Marion: I read Crownbreaker, the final book in Sebastien de Castell’s SPELLSLINGER series. I’ve skipped one book in Kellen’s adventures, and it’s the one before this one, but I think I kept up well enough. Kellen is sent off to kill a god in this one, but as always, his real problem is his relationship with his powerful, loving, manipulative, lying father. Now I’m reading Elsa Sjunneson’s Sword of the White Horse, a second world fantasy based on the Ubisoft game Assassin’s Creed, Valhalla. I’m at a slight disadvantage because I don’t know the world, but the adventures are fun.
Bill: Along with a lot of student papers, I read
- Rose/House by Arkady Martine, an excellent, layered novella that lingers in the mind for some time afterward
- Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee: a mostly enjoyable novella with a good premise but one I wished had slowed down into a novel
- This Blue by Maureen N. McLane, a poetry collection that strengthened as I read further
- Smith Blue by Camille T. Dungy, a good poetry collection with a remarkable long poem: “Prayer for P——
Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading Louis Charbonneau’s 1960 novel Corpus Earthling, which was the basis for my very favorite episode of the TV show The Outer Limits. The book, to my surprise, is completely different from that truly frightening television episode, and I hope to be sharing some thoughts on both of them with you all very shortly….
Terry: I’m reading In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune, who has become one of those writers I follow closely. Such heart in his work!
I finished Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo, a mosaic novel where the ghosts of a ruined town in Pancho Villa era Mexico recount their harsh lives, sort of a Spoon River type story but in prose not poetry and with fewer viewpoints (none uplifting like Lucinda Matlock in the Masters work). Then came The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton, a four part tale of life in Florida during an accelerating climate catastrophe, which feels realistic and evades most of the pitfalls that these “literary” SF novels usually fall into. After that, Karel Capek’s sardonic robot play, R. U. R.; the graphic novel of reality-changing conspiracy theories, The Department of Truth (James Tynion IV & Martin Simmonds); and Leena Krohn’s eccentric Datura, whose heroine gets progressively disconnected from reality by ingesting seeds of the titular plant (as well as by her job as editor of a paranormal magazine). Next up at least some of the short stories in Brian Evenson’s The Glassy Burning Floor of Hell followed by Hailey Piper’s No Gods for Drowning.
The Rulfo sounds intriguing.
It’s grim, and told in a modernist style so you have to be alert to when the voice changes from one character to another. Pedro suffers for his sins, but probably not in proportion to what he inflicts on the community he lords it over.
I think you and Bill might like The Light Pirate also. I felt like it somewhat resembled Earth Abides and The Drowned World in saying that when civilization goes, it’s gone, and it’s futile to try to keep it alive rather than adapting to the new reality. The fact that we bring it on ourselves, unlike in the other two books, makes this more tragic. But that reflects what is happening in real life.