Sunday Status Update: May 26, 2013

This week, tensions rise between Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Fafhrd: Well, it’s happened again. Six times this week. As I slide ’round a corner with hand on hilt of sword, prepared for any sort of deviltry, the Mouser treads on the heel of my shoe from behind, causing my foot to pull free. Coiled and tense as I generally am on these occasions, I tend to spill forward. Often into a gutter. Once into a midden. My friend apologizes on each occasion until I can scarce bear to mention it any further and am obliged to accept his clumsiness as an honest mistake. Yet it grows ever more frequent, and my patience is fraying. Fraying.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews John: NSTR(Nothing Significant To Report): I am slogging my way through two books… Ugh! I don’t want to name them….but sometimes it’s work!

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Kat: I spent the last week with John Scalzi, catching up on his OLD MAN’S WAR saga. I had previously read (and loved) the first novel, Old Man’s War, on audio and had been planning to grab the rest when I found them on sale at Audible. I did get Zoe’s Tale and Sagan’s Diary that way, but I didn’t yet have the second and third books, The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony. Then Brilliance Audio sent me the latest book, The Human Division, so I bought the books I was missing and caught myself up. It’s good stuff. After that I read John Ringo’s Live Free or Die which is the first of his TROY RISING series. I was more than a little annoyed at Ringo’s transparency. He’s obviously politically conservative, or possibly libertarian, which isn’t my problem (I lean that way, too) but it’s that Ringo is so obviously there behind the story. Also, his brand of conservatism, at least as shown in this book, is a lot closer to the selfish intolerance that liberals accuse conservatives of than is the simple “we think the government spends too much” type of conservatism espoused by suburban soccer moms like me. It was uncomfortable.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Marion: I got about twenty books at the Nebula Awards weekend, and the first one I read was Home Fires, by Gene Wolfe. I also took a tour of the Winchester Mystery House while I was there, and that inspired me to find a biography of Sarah Pardee Winchester that didn’t paint her as the “crazy widow Winchester” or “Superstitious Sarah.” I just started Captive of the Labyrinth, by Mary Jo Ignoffo, who might go too far in the opposite direction, blaming the evil private company who bought the mansion for creating the “spirit-haunted” image of the mansion’s owner and designer. Still, she did good research and it’s interesting to read about this fascinating historical figure.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Steven: My end of school workload kept me from reading much this last week. However, on a sci-fi related note, I did finally watch the movie Prometheus with my wife. We both liked it very much. I pointed out to her what I thought were some major similarities between the movie’s premise and two of Larry Niven‘s books, Protector (1973) and Ringworld (1970) in the alien race that were our creators? mentors? in the movie. Am I the only one to see any type of connection or possible influence there? Just curious. Three more work days till my vacation, at which time I should have little excuse for not trying to catch up on reading and reviews.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Terry: I finished Gillian Flynn’Gone Girl, an amazingly good book.  It’s been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award, which will be awarded at Readercon in mid-July, so I was expecting something fantastical to arise in the novel, but it never does. So I checked the SJA criteria, and sure enough: the award is for “outstanding achievement in literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.” Gone Girl qualifies in the first category, sort of like Jackson’s own We Have Always Lived in the Castle. At any rate, it’s a great book, and I’ll review it for The Edge soon.  I’ve also started Helen Marshall‘s Hair Side, Flesh Side, a collection of horror short stories that has been nominated for 2013 Aurora Award, and it is delightfully shivery. Finally, I’ve also started Gord Rollo‘s Strange Magic, a horror novel, which seems the book most likely to capture all of my attention, and very soon at that. Scary days, even as the hours of sunlight lengthen!

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I continued with Tailchaser’s Song. It’s growing on me. I also read a good deal of an unknown (*cough* Daniel Defoe‘s) author’s A General History of the Pyrates, because I seem to be on something of a pirate kick lately. So far I’m finding it very interesting. “Captain Johnson” obviously, lovingly sensationalizes wherever he thinks necessary, but that only adds to the appeal somehow.

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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. Kat, I’m reading Ghost Brigades right now.

    • Marion, did you read Old Man’s War? I think it’s the best book in the series, so don’t miss it!

  2. April /

    Tim – have you read George MacDonald Fraser’s Pyrates? It is sort of a farce of a history of pirates and a good helping of old hollywood swashbuckling movie parody. An absolute delight to read.

    I just finished an excellent steampunk mystery starring the neice of Sherlock Holms (+ a short bit from the man himself) called A Study in Silks.

    And I’m continuing my journey through the world of Miles Vorkosigan on audio – now on Brothers in Arms.

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