Sunday Status Update: November 4, 2012

By way of introduction this week, FanLit would like to officially endorse the ticket of Gandalf/Elric 2012. 

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This week I read a lot of final paper drafts. I also managed to sneak in some Catherynne Valente:  the second book of her FAIRYLAND set—The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There and the first book of her PRESTER JOHN series—The Habitation of the Blessed. Reviews forthcoming.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews John:  I am working my way through Richard Knaak‘s  Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade.  It is kind of slow going because it feels like it is written for a juvenile audience.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I read another of Ursula Le Guin’s HAINISH CYCLE novels: Rocannon’s World. It was entertaining, but not as good as her later works. I tried Evan Currie’s first ODYSSEY ONE novel, Into the Black. This was a military space opera that didn’t at all stand out from the crowd. Better was Steven Brust’s first VLAD TALTOS novel, Jhereg, which has recently been produced in audio format. I think I’ll read some more of these.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I’m reading the National Book Award nominee The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers. Terry Weyna and I are trying to read several of the finalists and compare our responses to the judges’. The Yellow Birds is a war novel, which is not my favorite thing, but so far I am engaged by the prose. Last night, I dipped into Narnia and Beyond, literary commentary by Thomas Howard, who is pretty well-known as a Lewis scholar.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Steven: I’ve truly had a horrendous week in terms of having had time to read or write reviews. Due to some increased work responsibilities, family illness and having to stay up one night and have the police come over due to a prowler I think I literally got 20 pages read in Roger Zelazny‘s A Night in the Lonesome October, a book I had thought I would have finished and reviewed by this point. Other than listening to Robert Caro‘s Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power biography on CD in my car while traveling back and forth to work, that’s the total amount of my literary endeavors for the Halloween week. I hope everyone else is getting in some enjoyable reading, and I look forward to a new week.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: This week I read Karen Tidbeck‘s Jagannath, a story collection translated (by the author) from the Swedish to the English.  These are some of the strangest and most wonderful stories I’ve read in a long time, and I enjoyed them very much.  I’ve long felt that American readers of the fantastic needed to broaden their horizons to the science fiction, fantasy and horror of other cultures, written by those who actually live in those other cultures, and I’m grateful to the new small press, Cheeky Frawg Books, for giving us all the opportunity to read this marvelously weird book.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: Another busy week with e-mails flying hither and thither, but I’ve worked my way through Exile, the second book in Rowena Cory Daniells‘s OUTCAST CHRONICLES, and am now beginning on the trilogy’s final instalment, Sanctuary. I found the second novel a bit of an improvement over the first one, which I think is due to the sensation that I’ve finally reached the story Daniells really wants to tell (Besieged, the first book, occasionally left me with the impression that we were just sort of floating around killing time until the characters got their act together and kicked off the main plot). Reviews are forthcoming.

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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. Speak for yourself, Tim. I’m voting Cthulhu/Dagon.

  2. Steven– I hope things quiet down and stay safe.

    Tim –didn’t Elric have a sex scandal? I’m sure it was on the Internet.

    Terry — “Cheeky Frawg” alone makes it sounds worthwhile!

  3. Brad Hawley /

    5 days of migraines + 2 days in mountains with family =

    0 books + 1 neurologist appointment

  4. Ryan is still without power after the hurricane.

  5. @ Marion: Well, yes, Elric’s had some rough patches in the past, like that thing Dagon mentioned in the debate, the tendency to turn expatriate and firebomb his previous nation to smoking rubble (although I actually think Dagon sort of supported him on that…). But they say he’s over it all now, and anyway, they never actually proved he and Cymoril were anything more than really, really, really good friends.

    • I’ve read some of Elric’s biography and it’s pretty clear that he and Cymoril were more than friends, but I suppose it depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.

  6. Tim, do you think Dagon was implying Elric flip-flops?

    • @ Kat: No, no, see, it’s just like that specious rumour that he keeps himself alive by stealing souls. Those victims could have been the result of ANYONE’s soul-stealing demon-sword, xp

      @ Marion: I think it was a definite possibility, particularly if he was trying to take the heat off of his running mate for the same issue. And let’s be honest, Cthulhu is a flip-flopper. First he’s going to wake up and devour all intelligent life, then he’s not, then he gets hit by a boat so everything’s fine. Make up your mind already…

  7. Well, I went to vote today and would you believe that I had to write-in Cthulhu / Dagon??? It seems they failed to get on the Florida Ballot. I suppose these little problems are bound to happen when you keep eating your staff, but they really should have hired better advisers to begin with. It didn’t help that their campaign manager, Cugel the Clever, disappeared with all the campaign funds.

    I noticed that they did have some staff at the poll, though. Sauron was doing some last-minute campaigning and I have to say he was quite compelling. I think he’ll encourage many voters to write in Cthulhu.

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