Sunday Status Update: May 26, 2019

Plenty of books this week!

Bill: This week I read several of the Locus short fiction nominees as well as a pair of nominated YA novels: The Gone Away Place by Christopher Barzak and Half-Witch by John Schoffstall. I’m also half-way through The Red-Stained Wings by Elizabeth Bear, book two of her LOTUS KINGDOMS series.  Not much genre viewing save for an episode of The Magicians, as I’m binging Deadwood (just as great the second time around) in preparation for the upcoming movie.

Jana: This week I didn’t really have time to read or write, which was a bummer. I planted some teeny-teeny-tiny saplings in my backyard, helped my neighbors clean up fallen branches after an early-week snowstorm, and hosted some visiting relatives, so it was an action-packed week for my relatively quiet household. I also received a lot of great-looking ARCs for Autumn 2019, so I’m already psyched for September and October. I won’t be starting any new reading until I’ve got my to-be-reviewed pile back under control, but I don’t think I’ll have any trouble with that in the coming week. Fingers crossed that there won’t be any more snow until much, much later in the year!

Kat: I’ve been concentrating on the Locus novels recently. I read and reviewed The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley which is a modern-day urbanized Beowulf tale. Severance by Ling Ma is a zombie apocalypse story in which zombies aren’t the point at all. The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black, is a young adult fantasy in which an American girl is growing up and trying to survive in the High Court of Faerie. Record of a Spaceborn Few is the last novel in Becky Chamber‘s WAYFARERS trilogy. I liked it even less than I liked the previous novels, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit. I’m afraid that Becky Chambers just isn’t for me.

Marion: My evening reading is non-fiction, and a dense read; The Mueller Report. I have to say I can breeze right past whole swathes of pages due to the redacting. Even so, it’s slow going. I also read the latest John Connolly supernatural thriller/Charlie Parker novel, The Woman in the Woods. Connolly can always be counted on to be disturbing; he can’t always make me come close to weeping, but he did in this one, with relationship between a little boy and a woman who talks to him via his toy telephone.

Tadiana: In the last two weeks I read Mark Lawrence‘s One Word Kill, which combines 80’s Dungeons and Dragons British teenage cast + cancer + time travel/multi-universe aspect. I also FINALLY finished Neil Gaiman’s short fiction collection, Fragile Things (which only took me three months); I read the ARC for Ilona Andrews‘ upcoming HIDDEN LEGACY urban fantasy, Sapphire Flames; and I plowed through T. Kingfisher’s steampunk-flavored fantasy, Clockwork Boys, in one evening (not to mention diving straight into the sequel/second half of the story, The Wonder Engine. Lots of reviews pending!

Terry: I’m one story shy of finishing Joe Hill‘s new collection, Full Throttle. It’s an interesting collection; the stories vary greatly, which speaks to Hill’s talent. I’ve also started reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, and so far finding it very enjoyable.

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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. Marion, Audible has The Mueller Report for free. It will be interesting to try this in audio format. I haven’t started yet but I will try to get to it soon.

    • That could be interesting. It’s slow going for me because I am underlining and making some notes so I can remember all the players. Harder to do with an audible book… but I could listen in the car.

  2. Kat, I wanted to say that Becky Chambers is prescient in one area; the state of Washington just approved composting of human remains (presumably you have to have this in your will, and there’s a whole thing about it; they can’t just chop you up and throw you in the backyard pile with the coffee grounds.)

    Terry Weyna was on a panel about “green” burials at FogCon and this was one of the things they talked about.

    • I think I would like being buried with the coffee grounds.

      • Generally, being composted seems like a useful choice to me.Given how I feel about coffee, I should be buried with coffee grounds.