This week, I messed up and the usual status update reminder e-mail did not go out. Apologies! This means that we have relatively few updates from our staff, but… well, you all know what few updates means…
Bors: This week, Lancelot sent word that he hath rescued a most fair damosel from an enchanted pool that bubbleth with heat. Nay, I jest not, ’tis what the missive said. My poltroon of a cousin outright told the king that his deeds amounted to rescuing pretty girls from hot tubs. Twas read out to all and sundry with the knightly deeds for the week. The only contribution for our family, I might add. Father is drinking again.
Conan: This week I had to leave the pirate profession, due to the ship sinking three miles offshore. Apparently that was a reef. Oh well. Just a good morning workout for a Cimmerian. Shame about the crew, though. But anyway, I had a stroke of good fortune when I reached shore — just happened to fall in with Sonja. She’s taken service under a local baron to clear out monsters in a cave up North. I was able to convince him I could be useful as well, so we’ve been traveling together. Ah, the campfire tales! The flowing ale! I think we’re really hitting it off. We could have something.
Denna: I’ve had such a time of it this week. Master Ash ran off to be creepy and aloof somewhere else, so I’m once again without a patron and I need a date pronto. Almost picked somebody called “Sim” until I realized he was one of Kvothe’s social circle, so obviously I can’t do that. Ugh. So frustrating. Then I had to get down to Tarbean in time to fake a serendipitous meeting with Kvothe. He, of course, continues to seem completely oblivious to all the effort I’m putting in to be his magical, omnipresent quasi-girlfriend. But hey, on the upside at least he hasn’t figured out I’m one of the Chandrian yet.
Kvothe: Wait, what?
Bill:This week I read Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Blades, which is the first book going on my best of 2016 list because it’s absolutely great; David Liss’ The Devil’s Company, which I’d rank in the middle of books I’ve read by him; the graphic story The Imitation Game by Jim Ottaviani, which is good but marred by a few issues. I’ve also started Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Blood and Bone for the reread over at Tor.com that starts up this Wednesday.
Kat:I read three books/novellas last week: Claire North’s novella The Master (the third GAMESHOUSE story), which was very nice, Robert A. Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars, which I’ve never read before, and Attack of the Fiend, the fourth book in Joseph Delaney’s LAST APPRENTICE series.
Frodo: We’re finally coming up on the Misty Mountains, which I suppose means something is finally going to happen. That’s a bit of a relief, really. I never thought that I’d want more excitement after the flight from the Shire, but that was before I was stuck in a Fellowship with Boromir and Gimli at the same time. I wouldn’t be surprised to catch them comparing biceps. Boromir can go on for literally hours about the glory of Gondor and the might of Minas Whatsit, and Gimli’s even worse. It’s all “the hardiness of dwarves” and “dwarves make light of burdens” and “blisters, eh? Just like an elf!” It’s like he’s insecure about something.
Also, he keeps calling me “Shorty.”
Jana: This week I wrote the last two reviews for Tamora Pierce‘s SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man and Lioness Rampant. I made some progress with Sarah Fine’s The Impostor Queen; not as much as I would like, but I’ve been busy with work and reviews. And I made a trip to the bookstore so I could pick up some writing guides, in an effort to work toward being a more conscientious reader: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott, which is absolutely wonderful — thank you for the recommendation, Terry! — and The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones. Both were extremely helpful in completely different ways, and I’m glad I made the investment.
Red Sonja: Crom’s Beard, how does he keep doing it? I’m not even in the same country I left him in, but still Conan turns up the moment I finally land a decent-paying job. Now he’s getting half the pay and I have to listen to his stupid war stories every night. If he mentions that bull he wrestled one more time I swear I’m going to stab him. Oh, and remember when the old brewer paid me in ale for the cockatrice job? All that nice brown ale I was supposed to sell in the next town? Yeah, well, that’s long gone.
Sandy: Moi? I am just about finished with the first book in Leigh Brackett’s SKAITH TRILOGY, The Ginger Star, and hope to get a review of this one out very shortly. From there, I will naturally be heading on to the second volume, The Hounds of Skaith, to see what troubles Eric John Stark will be getting into next…
Stuart: After finishing Frank Miller‘s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, I moved on to Batman: Year One, a very finely-nuanced character study of Batman in his first year of crime fighting, and Jim Gordon’s first year battling rampant corruption in the Gotham Police Department. Batman’s first attempts to fight badguys is a series of almost-fatal disasters on his part, and he is always outnumbered and cornered. Who knew how hard it was to sneak around in costume and play vigilante in the middle of the night. The story of Jim Gordon is even more compelling, as we see how this uncompromising cop encounters hostility at every step in a dept so corrupt it makes the bad guys look honest. We also learn a lot about Gordon’s fears of raising a child in such a rotten, crime-ridden city. In many ways this story is even more convincing and realistic than Dark Knight Returns, and highly recommended. I’ve also gotten halfway through Paolo Bacigalupi‘s The Windup Girl, which is a grim post-energy dystopian story with few sympathetic characters, but it’s imaginative future setting in Thailand is exotic. It seems that author always prefers grim dystopian stories.
Supergirl: After the “illegal alien” debacle last week, my cousin now suddenly thinks I need to interact with human society more. It never seemed to matter to him before, but of course now I’ve embarrassed him in front of the rest of the League. So… yeah. I asked if I could contract as like a human wrecking ball or something, but apparently I’ve “destroyed enough buildings as it is.” Whatever. Batgirl’s set me up with a new identity, so I’m going to do Human Resources or something. I’m uniquely unqualified, but everyone says it’s super easy, so we’ll go with that. It’s not like I’m going to be a journalist or something. Periodicals are on their way out. I’m an alien, and even I know that much.
Nyah. Read it and weep, Kal.
Tim: This was a very busy week for me, and honestly I haven’t read a thing (although I did listen to a bit of a lecture called Of Sorcerers and Men by Michael Drout while in the car going to and from work). Hoping for more time this coming week.
Idea: Let’s all ignore Tim’s email for the 4th Sunday of EVERY month so we can read more character updates!
Good idea, Kat! Red Sonja had me ROFLing.
I did very little reading this week, but what I did was choice: THE FALL OF THE KINGS by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. Great stuff that I just tore through, even though I wanted to make it last.
I agree!! Does that make a majority??
Everyone was writing Short Fiction Monday reviews for me instead. Haha! (To be posted soon…)