Sunday Status Update: June 18, 2017

Red Sonja’s path intersects with Father’s Day.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Red Sonja: Today, a small-town widow hired me to find her son, who’d gone missing in the woods. She wasn’t offering much, but pickings have been slimmer than usual lately. I eventually tracked the boy to a cave outside of town. He was just sitting there, looking in. Seemed like he’d been there a while. I asked him what he was doing, and he told me he was going to go into the ogre’s cave and fetch his father’s axe to lay on his grave. Apparently old dad had fought the ogre with some other men years ago, but it had gotten the better of them and he’d lost the axe. Now he was dead, and it was Day of Fatherhood or something like that. The boy wanted to go in and get it, but he was afraid. I suppose I should’ve dragged him back, but in the end I went in for him and came out with the axe.

“Is that it?” he said. “It’s smaller than I thought.”

“Right,” I said. “Um… sometimes a warrior has to make do with what’s to hand. Your father didn’t have time to go and get a bigger weapon.”

“But that’s just like a hatchet.”

“Just makes him braver.”

“I suppose. So… is it dead?”

“Sleeping,” I said seriously. “Big one too. You were wise to wait for me. I wouldn’t try going in alone.”

There wasn’t any damn ogre, of course. Could smell that much — ogre would’ve reeked like a midden. Didn’t find a sign of one in the cave either. A bear was the worst thing that ever lived up there. But the boy was happy and when I got him home the widow was happy. The coins she gave me didn’t quite cover the cost of my hand-axe, but I suppose I’m all right with that. My father told stories too, once.

Bill: This week I read the disappointing The Space Between the Stars, by Anne Corlett, and the more captivating if a bit random The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson. Media-wise I’m continuing my rewatch of Game of Thrones with my son (his first time) and we’ve reached early season three. The setups for what’s to come are even more impressive the second time through the series. I’m also watching Dark Matter’s second season, though their time switch screwed up my DVR series scheduling (grrr) so I’m an episode behind.

Brad: This week I’ve been reading lots of comics. I caught up on The Wicked + The Divine and Saga, and I’ve returned to reading the Vertigo comic Preacher (from the 90s). I’ve also been reading the comic Concrete and some of the Before Watchmen series, a few of which have been quite good, particularly Darwyn Cooke’s The Minutemen.

Marion: I started reading Vacation Guide to the Solar System by Olivia Koski and Jana Grcevich. What a fun book! The cover and inertial art captures 1960s space-age poster art perfectly and while the two writers provide lots of useful info about our solar system, it is all written believably in the form of a travel guide. For instance, you should travel to the moon immediately, they say, since it is drifting away from us at the rate one and a half inches a year. “Wait eight years and you’ll have to travel another foot.”

On Tuesday I indulged myself and bought the literary horror novel The Changeling by Victor LaValle. I wasn’t going to start it because I had errands to run. And you know exactly how that resolution turned out.

StuartVery busy with the UK visa application, moving prep, cleaning house, etc. That and trying to fit in as many meeting with friends as possible before leaving Tokyo. Have reached the 3rd book in the HYPERION CANTOS series by Dan Simmons, Endymion (1996), after making a total rookie mistake starting the final book Rise of Endymion (1997) first. I actually got 5-6 hours in before realizing it, which tells me I haven’t been following the story closely enough. Too many things on the mind…I did read the new Vol. 7 of SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan (author) and Fiona Staples (artwork), which was an enjoyable break from the real world. Much like Vols 5 & 6, I though it was good but not quite as great as Vols 1-4, though that may be because there’s been a long gap between reading the last three installments. 

Terry: I’m still reading almost everything I was reading last week! I finished The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch, which was fun but not as fun as one of his novels; and I’ve made considerable progress in Cherie Priest‘s Maplecroft, which I’m enjoying more the more I read. But I find that for yet another week I am completely riveted by the news. I’m also about to start reading Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy, in the hopes that this old dog can learn the new trick of not procrastinating. I’ve been doing it for close to 60 years (I’m assuming I didn’t procrastinate as an infant!), so I confess to having limited hope.

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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. Red Sonja, you are a good person.

  2. One of the most memorable Red Sonja stories ever!

    “On Tuesday I indulged myself and bought the literary horror novel The Changeling by Victor LaValle. I wasn’t going to start it because I had errands to run. And you know exactly how that resolution turned out.”
    — Marion, I think we’ve all been there!

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