Sunday Status Update: January 25, 2015

Today, Shallan from THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE. Mild spoilers.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Shallan: So I’ve been stuck in company with Kaladin, Brightlord Kholin’s Captain of the Guard. I didn’t think much of him at first, but now that I’m getting to see beneath the grim exterior, I find myself admiring him. He’s been hurt before but he’s healing, and he’s tall and muscular and — I admit, handsome in a rugged sort of way. Also they say he’s a peerless spearman. And a brilliant commander. From what he’s told me himself, he has the undying loyalty of his men, and he came from nothing to shake the fate of kingdoms. It’s remarkable! And I would never have known, had a series of improbable events not forced us to seek shelter together, huddled in intimately close confines where we have no alternative but to bare our souls and…

… wait just one moment here. Am I in a novel? Storms, I’m in a novel!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Brad: This week I’ve read some great comics: I’ve continued to read the SF series Elephantmen, as well as the manga drama series Nana. I’ve re-read some issues from some old favorite series, too: Hellblazer, Alan Moore‘s run on Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex, and Will Eisner’s The Spirit. My main reason for re-reading this time was to pick which issues to assign in my Comic Book and Visual Literacy course. So, if you’ve ever wanted to read Eisner’s The Spirit, I can now make recommendations based on the $1 issues available on Comixology: #1, 404, 410, 432, 434, 446, 472, 485, 502, and 503. This $10 selection will give you a chance to read some of the best of these famous stories. I’ve also been re-reading McCloud’s Understanding Comics. I pick up new ideas each time I teach this insightful work. Outside of class, I’ve been reading Love and Rockets for the first time. It’s far better than I expected, and I probably would have assigned excerpts from it had I read it before creating the syllabus for my class. On audible, I listened to, and was amazed by, my first Theodore Sturgeon novel: More Than Human. And just a few days ago, I somehow managed to start two different audible books on the same day since I was driving all day: The Golem and the Jinni and Rite of Passage. I’ll probably alternate between both books because I’m equally hooked by both narratives already.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews João: I picked up Firefight by Brandon Sanderson on a whim after the books I had ordered online failed to arrive on their estimated date, and proceeded to read it all in a single day. It’s a Brandon Sanderson book, we’ve come to expect that quality from his books right? Still need to collect my thoughts on it, which I thought would be easier than it has been. Why hasn’t it been easier? Because in the meantime I started reading R. Scott Bakker’s debut The Darkness That Comes Before and have found myself in lustful love with it. You know how every 10 to 15 books, if you’re lucky, there comes that one book which you love so much, that touches every single pleasure point of your reading soul, that you can’t help but feel ecstatic just by reading it? Scott Bakker’s book is one of those books from me, and such a different book from Sanderson’s that I can’t help but compare one with the other, even though their very core is diametrically opposed.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews John: This week was a lazy week for me–mostly short stories or novellas, and only one actual book. I read Frog, by Mo Yan (translated by Howard Greenblatt), an epistolary novel about a small village in Communist China. I also read through Volumes One and Two of the Fierce Reads Anthology, collected and published by, and I’m slowly progressing through Some of the Best from 2014. As is the nature of anthologies, some of the included pieces are more appealing to me than others, but I’m enjoying the opportunity to read short works by authors who are either new or familiar to me.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kate: This week I’ve been reading–you guessed it, more fairy tales. Endless fairy tales. But I’ve also picked up Neil Gaiman‘s Trigger Warning, which is really good and a lot of fun. And I’ve just begun listening to Holly Black‘s The Darkest Part of the Forest. I’m looking forward to reviewing both of those.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I finished Jo Walton’s SMALL CHANGE series, and started  Michael Moorcock’s gigantic book The Whispering Swarm. In between, I read a few more chapters of the book on Queen Isabella, and dipped into William Gibson’s essay collection, Distrust That Particular Flavor. I especially like that he added commentary at the end, since most of these pieces were written in the last nineties and early oughts.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ryan: This week, I borrowed William Gibson‘s The Peripheral, Jeanne DuPrau‘s Diamond of Darkhold, and Terry Pratchett‘s Carpe Jugulum from the library (as well as several non-SFF books). I’m confident one will catch my attention because I last fall began a new system of reading, inspired by Tyler Cowen, in which I borrow five to ten books from the library at any given time and then read whichever one catches my attention. I began the system because I’d begun to notice that I almost never read the books I added to my “to read” list. However, there was at least a 1/10 chance I’d read any book I actually borrowed from the library and put next to my bed. The system works, in so far as I’ve read more this school year than I have since 2009-2010 (the last time I read 80 books in a school year). However, it doesn’t work as well for Gibson, who, unfortunately, prefers to test his readers’ patience in the early chapters. To be honest, I’ve already failed the test with The Peripheral. But maybe this time I’ll pass!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Sandy: Just this morning, on the NYC subway, I finished reading another wonderful Robert Silverberg novel, Recalled to Life, which I hope to get a review written for very shortly. Then, I plan to start another book of Silverberg’s, Time of the Great Freeze (1964), as my current Silverberg reading project continues….

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Skye: The stack of books sitting on my bedside table consists of: White Cat by Holly Black, The Fade by Chris Wooding (a reread in order to write a review), Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay (and things just got intense. I’m looking forward to reviewing this one), Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (it’s taking me a while, I know. I’ll get there!), and The Weavers of Saramyr by Chris Wooding (which yes I have been reading for months now. Definitely bit off more than I can chew adding that to the pile.) I’m fairly happy with this arrangement, even if it means it takes a bit longer to read any one book. Many reviews to come with this bunch!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I got a little more done on the reading front. I’ve begun — and almost finished — with Poul Anderson‘s The Queen of Air and Darkness and Other Stories. Like any anthology, there are stories that resonated with me to greater or lesser degrees, but it’s all fairly well-done. I’ve also reading Napoloeon: An Intimate Biography by Vincent Cronin. I picked it up on a whim, but now I’m enjoying it. Admittedly, some of that enjoyment comes from my amusement at Mr. Cronin, who clearly struggles to restrain some Napoleon fanboyism.

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TIM SCHEIDLER, who's been with us since June 2011, holds a Master's Degree in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Tim enjoys many authors, but particularly loves J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke. When he’s not reading, Tim enjoys traveling, playing music, writing in any shape or form, and pretending he's an athlete.

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