Jana: This week I read Finna, a very slight novella (I’d call it a novelette) by Nino Cipri about love, queerness, anxiety, wormholes, and big-box capitalism. I wish it had been a longer read, but I can’t figure out where I wish Cipri had expanded it. I also read Bethany C. Morrow’s A Song Below Water, and discovered that Kelly and I had the same reactions to it, which was fun (and unsurprising).
Bill: This week I read When Jackals Storm the Walls (good) by Bradley P. Beaulieu, A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians (disappointing)by H.G. Parry, Skinwalkers (good) by Tony Hillerman, and am halfway through The Angel of the Crows (quite enjoyable) by Katherine Addison. In video my son and I are nearly done with season one of Grimm, which I’m enjoying the second time around, and we also got around to watching Terminator: Dark Fate, which was solid enough but derivative, overly-long and repetitive, and seemed to try to be solving a problem that didn’t exist. But it was good to see Hamilton and Arnie together again.
Kat: I worked on a few of the Locus finalists this week. I read Revenger and Shadow Captain, the first two books in Alastair Reynolds’ REVENGER series. Revenger won the Locus Award for Best YA Novel last year, which astonishes me because it wasn’t that great. Shadow Captain, which is up for the same award this year, was worse. These books don’t deserve that prize. Next I read Permafrost, also by Alastair Reynolds, which is up for the Locus Award for Best Novella. It was a much better story, but not better than its competition in that category.
Kelly: I’m in the middle of Sam J. Miller’s Locus-nominated Destroy All Monsters. Miller is doing some interesting things with point-of-view here, and I can’t decide if it’s working or not. I suspect I won’t know until all is revealed at the end.
Marion: Our local independent bookstore opened up for browsing last Saturday (not yesterday) so we went right down there. I bought a YA book (not fantasy) called With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, for three reasons; 1) It was on their Authors of Color display and I wanted to show solidarity, 2) I wanted to shovel some revenue into the bookstore’s depleted coffers and 3) it has a drop-dead gorgeous cover. I decided to read a chapter or two before I gave it away–mainstream YA isn’t my genre–and sat down to read. When I looked up, two and a half hours had gone by. I was captivated by the voice of Emoni, our narrator, a single mom and high-school senior with a dream to become a chef. I liked that her struggles ran the gamut of serious social obstacles to normal teenage issues; I loved her support network and I loved her. I recommend this to anyone who feels disheartened, or who is fighting for their dream.
Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading a collection of stories that I have not read since high school … and for me, high school is a very long time ago! The collection is called King Kull, by the legendary author and creator of the sword-and-sorcery genre, Robert E. Howard, and I am just loving the fact that I am refamiliarizing myself with this great character, who feels like an old friend. I hope to be able to share some thoughts on this terrific collection with you all very shortly….
Terry: We’re in the middle of awards season, so of course I’m reading everything and writing reviews immediately! Um, no, actually, that’s a lie. I’ve been reading a couple of old novels, published more than two decades ago: Pleading Guilty by Scott Turow, who has been one of my heroes for a long time (originally published in 1993, and which I bought immediately upon publication because I planned to read it immediately); and Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay, which is luminous (first published in 1998, and again, immediately purchased). I always said I was going to read all the books in this house someday, and I guess that’s today.
Sandy,refresh my memory; is King Kull the “By This Axe I Rule” guy?
Yes, indeed, Marion!