Sunday Status Update: May 14, 2017

This week, Red Sonja gets into the hero business.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Red Sonja: This week I killed my first ogre. I didn’t mean to. I sort of stumbled into it. I was just contracted for a draugr, but I got the wrong cemetery and when he saw me the ogre must have figured I was there for him. So he came running out screaming bloody murder. Ever seen an angry ogre up close? Ten feet of muscle and slime and bad disposition. I did what any sensible mercenary would do and turned right around, screaming bloody murder myself. Only I tripped over a headstone and fell over, and then when I tried to get my sword around, the ogre got tangled in my scabbard, and he fell over me, and broke his neck against a headstone. The villagers came up while I was going through his pockets and figured I’d done for him out of heroic valor or something, so they threw me a banquet. Sometimes things work out all right. Except for the ogre, obviously. Poor fellow.

Bill: This week I read Children of the World, a relatively strong collection of speculative short stories by Alexander Winstein. Outside the genre, I read two non-fiction works. One, Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Air Around Us by Sean Kane, was absolutely terrific while the other, In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic, and Mystery of Solar Eclipses by Anthony Aveni was unfortunately disappointing. Media-wise, most of my genre shows are now done for the season, but I was happy to note that Timeless was given a reprieve and will be back next year (you have to overlook a lot, but I still enjoy it). And I’m quite excited that I’ll finally get to Guardians of the Galaxy in just a few hours. Finally, I’ll just note that TCM is offering up “Creature Feature Thursdays in May” for those of you who like me love those old-time flicks. My son and I ate up The Black Scorpion the other night (I continued on into The Deadly Mantis and The Monster That Challenged the World because how could I stop?) Coming up this week the classic giant ant movie Them. I’ll be there!

Kat: Life is starting to slow down for summer, which means I’ve finally got more time for reading. This week I read a bunch of short stories which will be reviewed in our Short Fiction Mondaycolumns. I also read A.J. Hartley’s new teen thriller, Planet of Blood and Ice. It’s got some problems, but it was also really exciting. A review is coming soon.

Marion: I read a British period-piece murder mystery by Emmy Griffith called The Zig-Zag Girl. It is set in Brighton in 1950 and has a dectective and a stage magician as the investigators. Somewhat Agatha-Christie-like. I figured out who the murderer was and why but it was still fun.

I’m reading Prisoners of Geography; Ten Maps That Explain Everything about the World by Tim Marshall. Not that the title is grandiose or anything. I am not sure I agree with everything he asserts, but it’s smoothly written and interesting.

And following Bill’s recommendation, I read the graphic novel Spill Zone. It is great.

Stuart: Last week I finished Viriconium (2000) by M. John Harrison, four very different books loosely set in the dying-earth phantasmagoric city of Viriconium. The stories are baroque, artistic, dream-like, grotesque, and filled with bizarre poetic imagery, and just a few days after finishing the plot details have almost completely disappeared from memory, but the melancholy moods of Viriconium remain. I though I needed some lighter fare to clear the palate and saw that the second book in the fun BOBIVERSE series, For We Are Many (2017), was available in Kindle & Audible for the combined price of $6.98, so I couldn’t resist and am enjoying this as much as the previous one. Sometimes you just need some snarky American space opera that doesn’t take itself overly seriously to perk up your mood.

Tim: This week was a very busy one, but I did manage to finish Hyperion. It’s taken me a while, but it’s a good feeling to finally get through it. Shame it turned out to have a cliffhanger ending after all that. ;) I’ve also begun listening to Seanan McGuire‘s Every Heart a Doorway, which is a very well-written piece with a fun premise, though I am finding it a little too sentimental at times. Might just be my taste.

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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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One comment

  1. It’s always nice when random attacks lead to sumptuous banquets. And killing an ogre without even attacking him…hey, better lucky than good any day, am I right?

    Yay for more reading time and new books and managing to read book despite busyness! Onward into the summer.

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