Sunday Status Update: October 1, 2017

This week, Batman confronts his most terrifying foe yet: the specter of a slow month.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Batman: Field report for September: I dislike Septembers. I understand that this is selfish of me, because the reason is that there is statistically less crime in September. There is a detectable lull each year in between the warm weather of August and whatever horrors my enemies wish to unleash in Halloween season, and so September is just… sort of there. A few minor heists prevented, a handful of small-scale criminals brought to justice, a firm but brief explanation to Poison Ivy on the subject of the park’s official borders. I must not be disappointed. I cannot be. I prefer to think of it as trepidation for what my enemies may unleash when the other shoe inevitably falls. Trepidation. Yes.

…thank God it’s October.

Brad: This week I’ve been rereading Elric stories along with the corresponding old Elric comics that have been reissued over the past few years. In addition to Elric, I have read one novel–Outline by Rachel Cusk–and one work of nonfiction: Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. Finally, I am still reading the memoir Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan.

Marion: I read Sword and Sorceress #32, an annual themed anthology, week before last, starting on the plane ride back from Hawaii. The book was given to me by the editor, but with no expectation of a positive review (or any review). These books appeal to a specific audience – people who loved Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover books and the first Sword and Sorceress anthology. Many of the authors featured here are repeat authors with a series character or series world, and my ignorance of past events hampered my enjoyment of some of the tales.  When I got home I treated myself to a re-read of Ellen Kushner’s The Privilege of the Sword, the sequel to Swordspoint. My thoughts about it almost exactly mirror Kat’s but I will probably write up my response to it for the site. I read an ARC of Tales From a Talking Board, Word Horde’s latest anthology of spirit-board stories, and now I’ve been pulled deeply into David Walton’s latest, The Genius Plague.

Sandy: Moi? I so enjoyed reading Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black last year – one of the scariest books that I’ve read in ages – that I’ve decided to see if lightning can strike twice. I’m currently reading Ms. Hill’s 2010 novel The Small Hand and have been sucked in immediately. I hope to have some thoughts on this one ready for you all shortly…

Skye: I’ve got a few books on the go right now, mostly for something to do while commuting to school. I’m not reading any of them particularly quickly but the books I have going are: Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor, The Long List Anthology (Volume 2) ed. David Steffen, A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, The City Stained Red by Sam SykesThe Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, and Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. I’m also planning on going to The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature (Can-Con) in mid October! I’ve never been to any of their past events so I’m excited to see what it has in store. Overall, I’ve been reading in those rare breaks between wedding planning and class work. Luckily short fiction exists, so my hope is that you’ll at minimum see me in Tadiana’s Short Fiction Monday column more regularly.

StuartIt’s been ages since I provided an update to the FanLit family. My daughter and I have been in London now for two months, while my wife remains in Tokyo waiting for her UK spouse visa. I’ve been so busy with the move, finding housing, cooking with my daughter (a first for everything!) and adjusting to the new job that I haven’t had any time at all to even think about SFF, but last Wed I finally took and passed my UK Financial Regulations Exam, which clears the way for finally having my evenings and weekends back and time for audiobooks again! What a huge relief, I can tell you.

So I checked and was surprised that nobody has yet reviewed N.K. Jemisin‘s The Stone Sky (2017), the final book in her BROKEN EARTH trilogy. As this was one of the most impressive series I have ever read, what better way to get back into SFF reviews than with this much-anticipated book.

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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. Wow, so much stuff in this week’s update — and so much non-book stuff!
    Skye, wedding planning must be fun. Stuart, it sounds like things are going great for you. I hope your wife joins you soon!

    Can-Con sounds promising. Sky, there seems to be a bit of a theme in your reading; fantastical cities.

    Batman, don’t fret. Halloween is coming.

    I also wondered who was reviewing The Stone Sky. I don’t have it yet but I want to read it and it is coming up on my list.

    • I’ve got a review of The Stone Sky cooking, but I had to put it on hold to deal with some things. I hope to have it finished and site-ready in a few days. :)

  2. YAY!!! STUART IS BACK!!!!

  3. Stuart /

    Thanks guys, it’s so good to be back to thinking about SFF rather deadly-dull financial regulations (does that even need saying?). I’ve missed you all and reading/listening/reviewing. London has been amazing, as has been adjusting to life in England, and only now with the test done can I start to reestablish a daily rhythm. Being able to listen to audiobooks on the tube (Northern Line) to work has been a treat, and I’ve just gotten through the first two chapters of The Stone Sky. It’s such a unique fantasy (or SF?) world with such distinctive terminology I had to listen to it again to recall who all the characters were and concepts like raga, sessapine, orogeny, etc, but it is such a rich and powerful blend of ideas and personal drama I feel right back in the thick of it.

    Jana, I look forward to seeing your review first, as that will help me formulate my own thoughts on the book when I’m done. It’s been so long since I wrote a review, and some time since I listened to the previous two books, but the BROKEN EARTH is definitely my favorite series of the past few years.

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