Sunday Status Update: January 30, 2021

Peter Pan: I like having mothers, but they’re always trying to make me grow up. Well, almost always. Sophie’s my mother now. She’s Wendy’s daughter, or daughter’s daughter, or daughter’s daughter’s niece. Or something. Anyway, mothers keep trying to make you grow up and be a man, so I expected Sophie would too, and I told her I wasn’t about to grow up and get a beard and work in a bank. But then she kept agreeing with me. “No,” she said, “it’s actually a really bad time to be a grown-up. The houses are really expensive and the wages are really low and my mom says the American dream is dead.” Then she started talking about late stage capitalism, and a lot of other boring stuff. I asked if I could fight late stage capitalism with my sword, but she said no. I could probably fight Jeff Bezos, though. I don’t know if she was serious.

Bill: This week I read The Thousand Eyes, A.K. Larkwood’s successful sequel to The Unspoken Name; Max Gladstone’s excellent Last Exit; and Thomas Halliday’s quite good non-fiction look at the ecosystems of prior epochs — Otherlands: A Journey Through Earth’s Extinct Worlds. In audio I finished Paul Strathern’s nicely written and concise Empire: A New History of the World. And in video, I watched the highly recommended I’m Your Man, a German film about an ancient civilizations researcher/museum curator beta testing a companion android.  I’m also thoroughly enjoying the first season of Arcane and finding the first season of Eureka amiable enough as background while working.

Marion: I’m finishing up Cat Rambo’s new space opera, You Sexy Thing. It’s a brisk, entertaining adventure and I’m enjoying it a lot. An update: Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes came in the mail (and ARC). I’m about a third of the way into this creepy, suspenseful, atmospheric “haunted house in space” book. Excellent characterization.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading a recent release from the fine folks at Armchair Fiction; another one in their ongoing Lost World/Lost Race series. The book in question is the voodoo thriller The House on Stilts, which was written by the obscure author R. H. Hazard and released in hardcover in 1910. I am hugely enjoying this one and look forward to sharing some thoughts on it with you all shortly….

Terry: I finished When Things Get Dark, a collection of Shirley Jackson tribute stories edited by the inestimable Ellen Datlow, and it’s my first 5-star read of 2022. Excellent stories abound! I was particularly taken by the Kelly Link story that closes the collection, as well as stories by Elizabeth Hand, John Langan, and many others. I’m now back to reading The Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski, the second of the WITCHER books, and while it’s not a slog by any means, it’s too jokey and unserious to really suit me. I like the television series better, which is something I hardly ever say. I’m also reading City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand, and it is excellent, with an exciting New Weird setting, ancient tales setting the stage, and brilliantly written characters. If Bertrand keeps it up throughout, this will be the second 5-star read of the year.

Tim: This week it was back to the usual academic material, so I read Dorsey Armstrong’s Gender and the Chivalric Community in Malory’s Morte d’Arthur. Interesting and useful, but I doubt I’ll be reviewing it here. But a deadline is coming up, and after that I plan on slipping in some fantasy. I see Tamsyn Muir has written a novella…


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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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