Sunday Status Update, July 3 2011

Sunday Status Updates is a new feature here at FanLit. Read below to see what our community of reviewers is up to and everyone is invited to weigh in in the comments.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: After finishing up Duane Swierczynzki‘s The Wheelman. I had plans to pick-up a fantasy novel next (I’ve got a few that need reviewing). But The Wheelman was so good that I burned through it. It had a book excerpt for another of his novels, The Blonde. With a click on my Amazon Kindle, The Blonde was mine… Is the ability to immediately purchase a book whenever a blessing, a curse, or both?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I’ve just finished Sean Russell‘s The Initiate Brother on audio and, in print, an anthology of all of Philip K. Dick‘s stories written between 1952-1953. This week I’ll finish Ellen Booraem‘s Small Persons With Wings, which I’m reading with my daughter. On audio I’ll read one of Fritz Leiber‘s Fahfred and the Grey Mouser collections – it’s been a while since I’ve spent time with those two and I miss them!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I took a break from the fantastical to read A Red Herring Without Mustard, the latest FLAVIA DE LUCE mystery by Alan Bradley. Flavia is a genius chemist, dedicated detective — and eleven years old. AFter that, I started The Whisperers, by John Connolly, a CHARLIE PARKER thriller. Shiveringly good.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Robert: With the in-laws gone, I’ve been spending the week recovering, getting caught up with things, and resuming normal life. Of course, we also purchased four new bookcases, so I’ve been busy getting those all arranged. :D Along the way, I finished reading and reviewing Ari Marmell‘s awesome book The Goblin Corps. Joe Abercrombie fans will definitely want to check it out! I also read and reviewed the short story collection, Bite Sized Horror, book one of The Obverse Quarterly from small British publisher Obverse Books. Currently, I’ve started Den of Thieves by David Chandler, which I just learned is actually a pen name for prolific horror author, David Wellington. Explains why the book’s writing felt so polished :) Following Den of Thieves, I will either read Prince of Thorns — which seems to have been on the shelf for several months now! — or Courtney Schafer’s The Whitefire Crossing. Both are debut fantasies that I’m pretty excited about.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Stefan: I would have loved to get more reading and writing done today, but my wife has been traveling for business, so I’ve spent more time with my toddler son than with my books. Not a bad trade, as far as I’m concerned. Still, I managed to finish up The Best of Stephen R. Donaldson — a great collection of the author’s stories and novellas, and currently I’m reading The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan, a book I’m enjoying mostly because of the main character and despite the fact that some of the science is way over my head. I wrote a review of City of Ruins by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (up on right now) and am working on reviews of the Stephen R. Donaldson collection and Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. I also just bought my Supporting Membership for this year’s WorldCon and downloaded my Hugo Voter Packet, so I have to start reading the novels and stories I haven’t read yet so I can cast my vote by the end of the month. It’s simply amazing that almost all the nominated works are included in this packet. For $50, that’s an amazing value – and you get to vote in the Hugo Awards!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I’m in the final stages of readying for a move from the Bay Area in Northern California into the Central Valley near Sacramento, but even packing hundreds of boxes of books isn’t stopping me from reading. I finished Mira Grant‘s Feed the other day, and found myself not just tearing up, but actually sobbing at the end — so much so that I had to put the book down for a few moments until I could see clearly enough to read again. It’s the rare book indeed that will get such a reaction from me. I’d been surprised when this book made the Hugo ballot, thinking, a zombie novel?! Really? But Feed absolutely belongs there. Now that I’ve finished it, I’m reading Daniel Abraham‘s The Dragon’s Path and Sarah Pinborough‘s Tower Hill, along with the mainstream story cycle Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week, I finished Ari Marmell‘s The Conqueror’s Shadow, which ended up being very fun. Filled with general benevolence toward the world, I decided I’d make a run at finishing Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman‘s Dragons of the Autumn Twilight (which by this time I’m starting to regard as an old nemesis twirling its mustache). I got to about the 75% point before I burned out and crawled away to read Tanith Lee‘s Tales from the Flat Earth.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ryan: As for me, I’ve been working on some independent reading, including Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Diamond suggests that many societies collapsed by committing “ecological suicide.” It’s difficult to take the premise of Collapse seriously since Diamond has yet to explain how zombies figure into his theory…

What are you reading?

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RYAN SKARDAL, on our staff from September 2010 to November 2018, is an English teacher who reads widely but always makes time for SFF.

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  1. Perhaps I spoke too soon.

    Diamond writes that “with too many people and too little food, Mangareva society slid into a nightmare of civil war and chronic hunger … For protein, people turned to cannibalism, in the form not only of eating freshly dead people but also of digging up and eating buried corpses.”

  2. Oh, and perhaps I spoke too soon, too. Contrary to what I said, I’m not going to be able to finish Small Persons With Wings.

  3. I don’t know, Ryan, I don’t think that counts unless the buried corpses dig themselves up and start eating the living rather than the other way around. ;)

  4. Kat- I prefer beer with wings and maybe some celery sticks (that way I have most the food groups covered ). I’ve never tried wings with small people, but I don’t think I could finish it either. LOL

  5. I could eat anything if it’s dipped in bleu cheese.

  6. Honestly, people! It’s wings, small people and Buffalo sauce! Have I taught you nothing?

  7. The Wings are gone, so I’ve started Leslie Barringer’s Gerfalcon. (Fellow reviewers, please notice that this is another B author! :D )

  8. And I’ve started Dakota Banks’ Dark Time! B authors, here I come! *g*

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