Sunday Status Update: March 20, 2016

This week, Ron’s back. This is happening right now, so what about Harry Potter and other countries, anyway?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ron: Remember that time You-Know-Who took over Britain? Twice? I do. I just sometimes wonder if the rest of the world does. I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to notice at the time. If you do the math, there should be about a million wizards worldwide. You-Know-Who had like two dozen blokes in masks. I mean, sure, he was scary, no doubts about that, but that’s a pretty heavy weight of numbers. And since all the adults can apparate out of Britain if they like, it should’ve been impossible to keep his take-over a secret. Which means that all the wizards in the Americas, mainland Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific just sort of sat on their hands. Oh, the UK’s fallen to wizard Hitler? Best just make some popcorn and see how this turns out, eh? Well, thanks for nothing, cowards. Sure, we say completely unironically that we have the best wizards in the world and the best magical school in the world. And yes, okay, we don’t seem to talk much about foreign culture (or even notice that it exists, really) apart from admiring your Quidditch players. And I guess we just sort of assume that our problems are everyone’s problems, and…

… oh God. Does the rest of the world totally hate us?

Jason: I’ve been a busy FanLit bee recently. I help with our author interviews and we’ve had some fabulous conversations recently. Jana’s been focused on strong female protagonists lately speaking to Jordanna Max Brodsky this week about her recent release The Immortals, a not-for-young-adult modern take on mythology and the ancient gods. And last week she had a terrific chat with Tim Hanley on his latest, Investigating Lois Lane. If you haven’t read the interviews, you’re missing out on wonderful authorial insight as well as a chance to win their books. I’ve also been playing catch up on a serious backlog of reading. My review of Allen Steele‘s Generation Ship-focused novel, Arkwright, went up this week. It’s not great novel, but a fun read of a well-known scifi trope. I’m also about halfway through one of the most anticipated novels of Spring, Joe Hill‘s The Fireman. I won’t give too much away, but this may very well be Hill’s version of his father’s well loved The Stand. And I’m particularly excited to get my hands on Justin Cronin‘s conclusion to his PASSAGE trilogy, The City of Mirrors. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a bit for the Hill and Cronin reviews. They both come out in May.

Marion: I finished Mary Robinette Kowal’s story collection Word Puppets this week. The stories are arranged in chronological order, letting the reader experience Kowal’s growth as a writer. That was nice.  Then I drifted into a Lovecraft tributary. I read Jonathan L. Howard’s Carter and Lovecraft; and then Victor LaValle’s chilling and atmospheric novella The Ballad of Black Tom. I hope to post reviews of all three of these.

Ryan: I’ve nearly finished Kim Stanley Robinson‘s Red Mars and I’m perhaps two thirds of the way through John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany. Both are very good.

Sandy: Moi? I must admit that my reading had to take a backseat this past week in favor of my new toy. Up till very recently, I was the last person in the NYC area to own a flat-screen TV, but with the acquisition of my new Samsung 40” smart HD model, I have joined the rest of the human race. And I have been gorging on an old favorite on this new beauty, The Outer Limits on DVD. Probably the scariest sci-fi/horror anthology of all time, OL holds up wonderfully to this day. I hope to get a review of this classic show’s 49 episodes out in a few months. (I have recently placed a review for Thriller, another very scary, classic TV anthology show of the early ‘60s, on our workpage; it should be appearing soon.) But I have not been completely stagnant as regards reading: I am almost finished with the Leigh Brackett-edited collection The Best of Planet Stories, #1, and hope to get a review of that one out for you in the next few days. Stay tuned, and watch out for those Zanti misfits!

Stuart: This week I finished Frank Miller‘s Family Values (SIN CITY Vol 5), and both the artwork and story were terrible – I’m not sure what happened there. I will still give Vol 6 and 7 a chance and hope for a return in quality. Meanwhile, that dreaded moment came – I finished Vol 4 & 5 of SAGA, and have nothing left to read! Now I have to wait for Vol 6 to come in June – that’s an eternity. So I’m now at last embarking on my journey into the dreamworld of Neil Gaiman‘s SANDMAN series. On audio, I finished Adulthood Rites, the second book of Octavia Butler‘s XENOGENESIS series. It remains excellent, a very unsettling story of humanity being transformed, told by a child of both species.

Tim: This week I read James Dashner‘s The Maze Runner, which was fun but drearily familiar in the sense that it’s yet another YA dystopian novel about an elaborate death game and a special snowflake protagonist. Why, in my day the special snowflake protagonist at least had the grace to lampshade the silliness of the premise every two seconds with a self-conscious (often endearingly stilted) one-liner. Ah, 2003. I miss you. Admittedly I miss you for purely arbitrary reasons, but I still miss you.

FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrssmail  SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail
You can subscribe to our posts via email, email digest, browser notifications, Twitter, RSS, etc. You can filter by tag (e.g. Giveaway), keyword, author. We won't give your email address to anyone. Subscribe.

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.

View all posts by


  1. I can’t remember if I’ve read Vol 5 of SAGA or not.

    “Back in my day… ” Tim, you are so funny!

  2. Thanks for the signal boost, Jason! :)

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *