Sunday Status Update: July 15, 2012

Hard to believe it’s the middle of July already.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This week I finished books two and three in Jane Yolen’s solid PIT DRAGON series: Heart’s Blood and A Sending of Dragons. I also finished Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain and it ended up as one of my favorite reads so far — a brilliant bitingly funny and provoking look at America and highly recommended. Lastly I read an unfortunately disappointing historical mystery by Tessa Harris — The Anatomist’s Apprentice. As for ongoing, I returned home yesterday from vacation to a pile of ARCs from which I immediately plucked Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson — the first book in a prequel trilogy to his massive MALAZAN EMPIRE series. I’m several hundred pages in, which in the usual Erikson fashion means less than a third of the way in. Sigh.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I entertained myself with some really good reading this week: John Scalzi’s Redshirts and K.J. Parker’s Sharps will both be candidates for my favorite books of 2012, I’m sure. (Gee, and both read in only a couple of days — I’m kind of sorry I didn’t spread those out better.) If you’re thinking of reading Redshirts, I beg you to try the audio version read by Wil Wheaton — he’s fantastic. I also read Paul S. Kemp’s The Hammer and the Blade which was fun, but got completely overshadowed by Sharps and Redshirts.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: I just finished the middle-grade novel Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland. It’s a bit dark and grim as kids’ books go, but just about right for me! Review to follow. Now I’m starting Ilona Andrews’s Gunmetal Magic, a spinoff of the KATE DANIELS series starring Kate’s awesome friend Andrea.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I finished Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay this week. Great fun! I treated myself to The Wind Through the Keyhole, the newest Stephen King GUNSLINGER novel. The first three books in that series are my favorite King books — and Wind harks back to those early ones, and the early collaboration with Peter Straub named The Talisman. I just picked up Tin Swift, Devon Monk‘s latest in the AGE OF STEAM.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I have been reading Pavane by Keith Roberts, a steampunk novel written before anyone had thought up the word “steampunk.” It’s beautifully written, contemplative yet with plenty of action, and I’m enjoying it very much. I’m also dipping into David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, a book of essays by a man who was a master of the form.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I read, on a whim, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. It’s still one of my all-time favorites. I also read Christine, an older Stephen King novel. While I generally enjoy King’s early work, this one was a bit of a dud (at least in comparison to the wider group of his books). I’m not sure how King can imply that an insane, monstrous serial killer is behind the antics of a rabid dog in one novel and yet, in a novel about a literally possessed car, the best demon he can come up is some angry old fart.

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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. Bill, I remember those Pit Dragon books! I won the third one as a prize when I was about 14, and read it without initially realizing it was a book 3. Then I found the first two and went back and read them. I recall they were pretty good.

  2. I thought that Christine was pretty lame too — the possessing demon wasn’t that great, and somehow an evil car just seemed less original than usual for the big guy.

  3. Terry just shared a post on Facebook about someone who has stolen a bunch of other people’s work and posted them in the Kindle store as his own. One of them is Redshirts.

  4. Someone did that to our Beth a few years ago too, IIRC.

  5. Isn’t Amazon responsible for some degree of oversight? This is appalling.

  6. I’ve posted one-star reviews on Amazon for each of those books — the guy pirated something like 13 of them, retitling them and listing himself as the author. He claims to have written Childhood’s End and Stranger in a Strange Land, among others. What a low-life!

  7. I just finished Albert of Adelaide by Howard L Anderson. Sort of an Australian Wind in the Willows style of book. It was wonderful.

  8. I just read Albert of Adelaide and uploaded a review this morning. It is a delightful book!

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