Sunday Status Update: March 15, 2015

This week, in honor of Terry Pratchett, we have Death and a quote from Reaper Man

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Death: NO ONE IS ACTUALLY DEAD UNTIL THE RIPPLES THEY CAUSE IN THE WORLD DIE AWAY…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Brad: This week I’ve been reading early, mostly wordless comics by Jason, and they are fantastic. I’ve also been reading long realistic fiction in graphic novel format: Box Office Poison and Tricked, two excellent works. I also read Brooklyn Dreams, a coming-of-age autobiographical graphic novel. I recommend all of these (and they are available for reasonable prices on Comixology). Finally, I started reading some Elric stories again.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Jana: I finished Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection Volume 4 (surprisingly emotional), finished Elizabeth Bear‘s hardcover debut New Amsterdam (published in 2007, but as well-constructed and compelling as her current work), and read Margaret Atwood‘s The Penelopiad, which is a marvelous re-telling and examination of The Odyssey from the points-of-view of Penelope and her twelve hanged maids. But what else should one expect from the brilliant and talented Atwood? I have a half-dozen books which need to be started, including The Suicide Exhibition by Justin Richards, Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Judd Trichter, and The Doll Collection, a collection of horror stories edited by Ellen Datlow. I have no idea which I’ll actually start with, just that it should prove to be interesting.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews João: Busy week as always, (hopefully by Easter I’ll be able to breathe easy again… oh who am I kidding), but my reading time with Permutation City by Greg Egan has proven to be just the best part of the whole week. My first Egan, but it certainly won’t be my last. Apart from that I have saved up some short fiction that I want to read some time soon, notably a couple of K.J. Parker’s newest that I haven’t read. Should be fun.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I finished S.M. Stirling’s NANTUCKET trilogy this week. On the Oceans of Eternity was a disappointing conclusion to a story that started off well but gradually declined. The rest of the week was spent with King Kelson in Katherine Kurtz’s CHRONICLES OF DERYNI series. I read The King’s Justice, The Quest for Saint Camber, and King Kelson’s Bride. I believe I’ve now finished all the books about Kelson, Morgan, and Duncan. That makes me sad.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kate: I’ve still been chipping away at A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall. Really enjoying it, but it is long. And I’ve started reading The Vorrh by B. Catling. I’m not too far into it yet, but so far it is a dense and confusing read. I’m hoping I’ll start liking it more; it’s about an ancient, impenetrable forest, so that’s promising. And I’m almost done with Raven’s Shadow, the first in the Raven duology by Patricia Briggs. I am kind of loving it so far.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kevin: Finals week is finally over (phew) and I can now get back to reading as usual. I’ve only been able to squeeze in a few light reads over the past few weeks – Ted Chiang’s The Alchemist’s Gate, Peter V. Brett’s Brayan’s Gold, and Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion – though I’m planning to finish my reviews of Trudi Canavan’s THE BLACK MAGICIAN trilogy. A friend has recommended Ted Chiang to me, so I imagine I’ll be reading more of his works in the future. I never did get around to reading The Left Hand of Darkness, so that’s automatically moved much higher on my to-read list as well. Other than that, I’ll be in Atlanta for part of next week – I imagine that’ll be fun. Maybe I’ll finally finish River of Stars, too; I’m still only on part two.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I spent last weekend at FOGCon. Between the dealers room, the Giveaway table and a big box of books Terry gave me, I’m in heaven. I just finished The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher. There is no way a book with this many mythologies and belief systems should work, but it all does. I finished Vermilion, a dark steam-punky alt-history fantasy by Molly Tanzer (great fun!) and While We Run, the sequel to Karen Healey’s apocalyptic SF YA novel When We Wake. On Wednesday, I started Hive Monkey, the sequel to Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L Powell.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Rachael: Fantasy and Science Fiction (and the world of literature as a whole) has lost a fantastic mind this week. In honour of Terry Pratchett, I’ve been rereading The Colour of Magic, and rediscovering what a genius he truly was. I’ve never read the entire Discworld series but I think I’m going to make it a belated resolution to do so. 

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Sandy: Having just finished Robert Silverberg’s masterful The Man in the Maze, one of his novels from 1968, I am moving backward … all the way back to his very first novel, Revolt on Alpha C, from 1954.  This book was written for a juvenile audience but I am finding it as charming as can be. My “official review” to come….

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Stuart: This week I finished Peter S. Beagle‘s The Last Unicorn and continued with Cordwainer Smith’s The Rediscovery of Man. Hard to believe it took me three decades to finally read The Last Unicorn after watching the Rankin/Bass animated film back in 1982. A very beautifully-written story. Next week my family and I will be heading to Middle Earth (Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud)  for a long-awaited tour of many of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film locations near Rotorua (Hobbiton), Wellington (Weta Studios, Isengard, River Anduin, Helm’s Deep, Minas Tirith), Christchurch (Edoras in Rohan), and Queenstown (Misty Mountains, Pillars of the Kings (Argonaths), Lothlorien, Ford of Bruinen). It’s a dream come true for any Tolkien and Peter Jackson fan. Never would have imagined how huge this movie franchise would become when I read the books back in 5th grade!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I’ve spent most of the week reading as many issues of The Dark as I have time for. I find I don’t know quite what to make of this magazine. I hope to have a review up for Magazine Monday on March 23, so keep your eyes out. Otherwise, nothing has really caught my attention this week except for Michael Robotham’s Life or Death, a mystery about a man who escapes from prison the day before he was due to be released. Cool premise, isn’t it?  I’ve got a number of fantasies on deck for this coming week, and am hoping to have some serious reading time carved out from a busy work schedule.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week has been another busy one, unfortunately, but I did get a bit read. I finished Kazuo Ishiguro‘s The Buried Giant (strange but enjoyable), and I’ve been trying very hard to buckle down and read Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation (something I’ve meant to get to for a while). Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to what feels like approximately all of the DRESDEN FILES this week, since James Marsters and his honey voice make up the vast majority of my audiobook collection, and it was definitely an audiobook week — lots of time in the car or doing repetitive tasks.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill:This was an eclectic week of reading that included:
A very good steampunk alternate history via Ian Tregillis’ The Mechanical

An unfortunately disappointing fantasy involving dragons and half-dragons by Rachel Hartman — Shadow Scale, the sequel to Seraphina, which I loved

A hard science fiction novel—Auroram by Kim Stanley Robinson, which has major problems with pacing, characterization, and to some extent, plotting. And which I still ended up recommending in my upcoming review.

Two volumes of poetry: Cyclorama — a collection of Civil War-based poems by Daneen Wardrop, and Blue Yodel by Ansel Elkins. As always with collections, I had a range of responses, but both had several powerful pieces

Several graphic stories: March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, telling in starkly powerful form the story of Lewis’ involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and, on the advice of MGG Brad (MGG = My Graphic Guru), a very cool play off the Maltese Falcon in a stand-alone Hawkman comic

A mix of science history and memoir—Boltzmann’s Tomb by Bill Green, very well written but unfortunately I already knew most of what he was telling me

I’m also partway through a collection of essay by Charles D’Ambrosio entitled Loitering (well written but so far I’m not getting the acclaim) and continuing the reread of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Orb Sceptre Throne over at Tor.com


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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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8 comments

  1. andreas /

    I second the recommendation of Brooklyn Dreams. The artist, Glenn Barr, also had the hilarious “Cliff’s Wild Life” in the horror anthology Taboo Especial.

  2. Brad Hawley /

    Thanks, Andreas! I’ll look for “Cliff’s Wild Life.”

  3. Brad Hawley /

    Tim: VERY interested in The Buried Giant. What a great author.

    Terry: That premise IS great! I want to read that one!

    Sandy: You keep making me go back to Silverberg. Thanks. Every time you mention him, I read a short story out of one of his collections. I need to get back to his early novels again. You inspire me with your dedication to an author. I have trouble sticking to a book without starting ten others before I’m done.

    Marion: I’m a sucker for books with the word Tarot in the title (or that deal with tarot). My favorite is still this one issue of Promethea by Alan Moore and drawn by J. H. Williams. But The Six-Gun Tarot is a great title.

    Jana: Deadpool review? Please?

    Of all the guests we’ve had, Death is my favorite so far. A wonderful quotation, and perfect for this week.

    • Bread, do you want reviews of Daniel Way’s complete work or the Brian Posehn/Gerry Duggan opus-so-far? Or both? I could start working on either or both after the 23rd. :D

      • Brad Hawley /

        Anything you want to review would be great! I’ll answer more fully in an email.

        Thanks,
        Brad

  4. Kat: I had the same feeling re Kelson and Morgan et. al

    Stuart: soooooo jealous

  5. I like Ishiguro, so I will probably read THE BURIED GIANT despite some of the controversies.

  6. Sandy: I’ve always thought of Robert Silverberg as the Suzuki Ichiro of SF. Very productive and very consistent, but doesn’t hit a lot of home runs. Seems he’s never really produced s single volume that stands well above his other works. Do you have a favorite? I’d like to someday read Nightwings, A Time of Changes, Dying Inside, Up the Line, etc.

    Bill: Very interested in your review of Aurora (which is already on Amazon as a pre-release review, right?). Those same criticisms would also apply to his book 2312, right?

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