Sunday Status Update: January 8, 2017

Character update on break this week.


Bill: This week I read Babylon’s Ashes, the newest installment of THE EXPANSE by James. S Corey. As has become the norm for this series, I stayed up to finish it in one night—love this story and these characters! I also read City of Ice, K.M. McKinley’s follow up to The Iron Ship. Like its predecessor, the sequel is a sprawling, slow sort of story, though I’d say unlike The Iron Ship, this one felt its length a bit more. Still enjoyable however, and I’m quite looking forward to the third book. Outside the genre, I finished What Playwrights Talk About When They Talk About Writing, a series of excellent interviews by Jeffrey Sweet (himself a playwright and director) and a book I highly recommend for anyone interested in the craft. Meanwhile, in the multimedia genre universe, the family spent Thursday night watching the original War of the Worlds film at our classic theater (next week Alien and Solaris) and Saturday night watching Raiders of the Lost Ark while The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra played the score, and I’m rewatching season one of The Expanse with my son (his first time) in preparation or season two. 

Marion: I didn’t get much reading done this week. I enjoyed many of the stories in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of F&SF, especially a story by Wole Talabi called “The Regression Test,” which touches the border of horror, and a beautiful tale by Monica Byrne called “Alexandria.”

Sandy: Moi? I have just finished reading a terrific novel by Philip K. Dick called Eye in the Sky and hope to get a review of this one out for you very shortly. Next up for me will be another of Dick’s early novels that I have not had the pleasure of reading before, Vulcan’s Hammer (1960). I greatly look forward to getting into this one…

Stuart: Last week I revisited the 1974 award-winning SF classic by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed. I read it in high school and was deeply moved by its thought experiment contrasting an anarchic/communist society on an arid moon (Annares) with a capitalist society on a wealthier planet (Urras). We already have an excellent review by Jesse, but I’ll try to add my thoughts 25 years after the previous read. Next up I plan to listen to Ender’s ShadowOrson Scott Card‘s revisiting of Ender’s story from Bean’s perspective, and after that I will give another try to Walter M. Miller‘s A Canticle for Leibowitz, since so many people thought I got it wrong on that one.

Terry: I finished Benedict Jacka‘s Veiled, but have yet to dive into Burned, because I’m reading The Path of Flames by Phil Tucker for SPFBO and it is LONG. It’s enjoyable, even if it does show lots of “first book” problems.  I’ve also started a non-genre book, The Guineveres by Sarah Domet, but it hasn’t fully captured me yet.

Tim: This week I’m at a workshop, so I’m afraid I’m getting very little reading done. I did listen to more of The Handmaid’s Tale on the drive down, but since then I’ve been too busy for anything resembling steady reading.

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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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  1. Update: a friend lent me SUMMERLONG this week and I started it yesterday. I’m not crazy about the story (and the “secret” seems really obvious –maybe I’m wrong) but Beagle’s writing is a dream and he captures Puget Sound absolutely.

    • I’ll be very interested to hear what you think when you’re done reading Summerlong! Story weaknesses aside, Beagle’s writing is truly wonderful.

    • Aaaahh, that reminds me that I keep forgetting to write my review of Summerlong. It’s the worst black mark on my NetGalley account. I totally agree with Marion: love Beagle’s writing and the setting was wonderfully captured. I wasn’t enthralled with the plot.

  2. I’m sorry you all have not heard from me in a few weeks. I’ve been prepping two new classes and working on a couple of projects at my university. Now that the spring semester has started, I hope to be back on track this week.

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