This week, Red Sonja.
Red Sonja: It is so damn cold. The kind of cold where you can step outside just for a moment and the snot starts freezing in your nose. Limping by on coin from a troll contract a while back, though I had a job convincing the burgomaster that I was me. Like he expected me to walk out of a blizzard in a chain-mail loincloth. Had to drop the rucksack right there in the square and dig the damn thing out before he’d believe me. Should have taken that caravan job with Conan a while back. He’s probably snug inside an inn someplace, waiting for the snow to end. Nobody with sense is on the road right now. Even the troll seemed to think it was too damn brisk for this nonsense.
Bill: This week I read the excellent The Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham, and A. K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name in preparation for reading the sequel, The Thousand Eyes, which I’m currently about halfway through. The Abraham was fantastic, while the Larkwoods were/are enjoyable enough, if somewhat overly long. I also read This Way to the Universe: A Theoretical Physicist’s Journey Into Reality by Michael Dine and Todd Davis’ poetry collection Coffin Honey. In video I bid a fond if sad farewell to The Expanse, one of the best adaptations even on TV I’d say. I also watched The Eternals, which was better than I expected; I’d call it a mid-level Marvel movie.
Marion: I haven’t read much at all, and very little in genre. I finished An Old Man’s Game by Andy Weinberger, a detective novel set in Los Angeles, with a querulous retired Jewish P.I. (the old man of the title) as our first person narrator. Mostly I enjoyed it because Weinberger owns one of my county’s best independent bookstores and it’s great to see him have success with his second dream as well. The other night I needed an escape, so I settled in with a cozy, comforting story by Patricia Highsmith–The Boy Who Followed Ripley. Hanging out with the polished sociopath Tom Ripley and his not-so-clueless wife, trying to figure out who he’s going to end up killing in this one, is so relaxing.
Sandy: Moi? If you will take a look back, you’ll notice that all the books that I’ve reviewed here over the past four years, whether they were in the fields of sci-fi, horror or fantasy, all share one thing in common: They were all written during the period 1900 – 1950; a little reading syllabus of mine that I like to call Project Pulp. Well, it would seem that the early 20th century fun is destined to continue for a bit, because my first book of the New Year is one by “The Ghost Man” himself, Algernon Blackwood. This is the first novel that I have ever read from this great author, after having already experienced four of his collections. The novel in question is The Human Chord, which was originally released in 1910. I am just loving this novel so far and look forward to being able to share some thoughts about it with you all in the near future….
Tim: This week, I (re)read Thuvia, Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Even more than most Burroughs novels, this one feels as though it was written at a dead heat with no time for digressions or lulls in the action. Consequently it’s now one of my least favorite BARSOOM novels, though I liked it quite a bit as a child. Age has given me more appreciation for a breather now and then, I suppose.