Sunday Status Update: July 24, 2022

Justin: Just wrapped up Leviathan Wakes by James S.A.Corey. It is Book 1 of THE EXPANSE series. Read this on a dare and couldn’t be happier that I did. Also making some plans for a trip to Gencon in Indianapolis in a  couple weeks. You should expect to see a write-up from me on that adventure. If you plan to be there let me know and I’ll give you a Fanlit book mark and maybe play a board game or something.

Bill:

This week I read Tad Wiliams’ newest tome, Into the Narrow Dark — which is trademark Williams: glacially slow, wonderfully written, and highly enjoyable — and reread Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett, an excellent close to an excellent trilogy. I also finished All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life’s Work, by Hayley Campbell, a fascinating (especially the first half) and sometimes moving series of well-written personal essays on jobs involving dealing with the dead. In video, my son and I finished Stranger Things’ newest season which had a number of good moments despite pacing and predictability issues.  Ms. Marvel, however, I’m absolutely loving two episodes in.

Marion: Mostly, I pushed myself to finish a zero-draft of my latest WIP–one chapter to go! In down-time, I read the workshop pieces for this year’s Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. I finished up Book One in the KITHAMAR trilogy, Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham, which has a satisfying conclusion and leaves us with plenty of questions about what’s going to happen next, and started Heat Wave, the final book in the EXTRAORDINARIES trilogy by TJ Klune.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading a novel by an author who was at one time so popular that it is said that one-quarter of the books sold in England came from his pen. The author is Edgar Wallace, and the book in question is one of his many thrillers, Green Rust, from 1919. This book also sports some sci-fi elements in that it is one of the first to feature the subject of biological warfare. I am greatly enjoying the book so far and do look forward to sharing some thoughts on it with you all shortly….

Terry: I read the excellent horror novella What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher, a rewrite of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” I’ll never look at a mushroom the same way again. I also finished Risen by Benedict Jacka, which finishes off his ALEX VERUS series; A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe, an historical novel set in Vietnam when it was a French colony and known as Indochine; Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry, the first of his JANE WHITEFIELD mysteries, which my husband read aloud to me; and, inspired by our own Tadiana, Arabella by Georgette Heyer. I read tons of Heyer when I was in high school, and it was great fun to revisit her very predictable romance. I’m now at that dreaded “between books” moment, when I’m overloaded with riches and don’t know what to read next; it’s an uncomfortable state for me!

Tim: This week I read Tad WilliamsThe Dragonbone Chair, a novel that I began at least three times as a teenager but ultimately shelved. Reading it now, I can see why I did – Williams tends toward a “more is more” approach to his descriptions, and not every scene is essential – but I’m also enjoying MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN a lot more than I thought I would. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, but there’s something pleasant in slipping back into a Tolkien-by-way-of-Campbell work of mythology pastiche at this point. Recent fantasy has been veering more toward metacommentary when it comes to this kind of story, but there’s somthing to be said for just playing the tropes straight.


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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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2 comments

  1. Tim, I had to laugh at your point about Williams and how “not every scene is essential”, since in my review of his newest I wrote: “Did I need all the scenes that make up Into the Narrowdark, or all the details that make up some of the scenes? No. No, I did not.” (though I followed it up with an “and yet …”

    Justin–welcome to the wonderful world of The Expanse. Only eight more novels and a number of novellas/short stories left to go :) Enjoy Gencon!

  2. Kevin S. /

    Justin- The Expanse is excellent. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    Tim- Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is excellent. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

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