Sunday Status Update: October 2, 2011

Lots of activity as we move into October…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This wasn’t a great reading week in the Capossere household.  I finished David Drake‘s Out of the Waters, his sequel to his moderately entertaining Legions of Fire. Unfortunately, I found it less entertaining than the first and thus a struggle to finish. Much more surprising was how disappointing Margaret Atwood‘s collection of essay on science fiction, In Other Worlds, was.  The writing was as strong as one would expect, but for a fan of the genre, there just wasn’t enough there that was particularly new or insightful.  Reviews of both to come . . .

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: Right now, I’m in the far future, kicking @$$ and taking names with Takeshi Kovacs in  Altered CarbonRichard K. Morgan‘s adorable and cuddly (I’m being sarcastic) hero of the series bearing his name. I’ve been wanting give this book a go for a while now, but it was actually much further down my TBR list. So bought it on a whim and am I ever glad I did. Now, not only do I want to read the rest of the Kovac books but I put Morgan‘s non-Kovacs book Steel Remains on my Amazon wish list too.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: This was Atticus O’Sullivan week at my house because on audio I listened to Kevin Hearne’s Hounded and Hexed back to back and am halfway finished with Hammered. These are fun urban fantasies with a cool hero, a terrific canine sidekick, and lots of laughs. In print I started The Janus Tree and Other Stories by Glen Hirshberg. I know Terry’s a big fan of his, so I’m looking forward to exploring his work.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: My annual geek-out weekend is here — I’m attending Archon 35! I didn’t successfully become a master seamstress or lose 800 pounds in time for the convention, but I’m still psyched… and I have lots of FanLit bookmarks to hand out. And of course I’ll be taking plenty of reading material with me: Linda Poitevin‘s Sins of the Angels (in the middle of it), L.A. Banks‘ Conquer the Dark (just started it), and an older book that just arrived in the mail Thursday: Pillar of the Sky by Cecelia Holland.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I finished Carol Berg’s Soul Mirror for a review. At a book booth at my hometown’s signature steampunk event, the Handcar Regatta, I bought the first volume of the graphic novel League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. As you’d expect, it is quite different from the movie, with a strong, multi-faceted woman character front and center. Now I’m reading a suspense novel set in Weimar Republic Berlin, just as the Nazis are coming to power. It’s called Sleepwalkers. The premise of the title is implausible, but the Jewish war hero detective is a sympathetic character and I am impressed by the descriptions of Berlin in the early 1930s.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Robert: Last week I finished Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night, which ended up being one of the best zombie novels I’ve ever read. Now I’m reading Hell & Gone, the second volume in Duane Swierczynski’s CHARLIE HARDIE trilogy after Fun & Games. I was planning on reading Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law once I was through with Hell & Gone, but I recently received a copy of the new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk, so I’ll be starting that instead.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I packed up my briefcase on Wednesday, taking with me a book that was due at the library (at which I planned to stop on my way home), but completely forgot to bring another book just to read — which is how I wound up with a book now four days overdue, but completely read. It’s one of the Booker Prize nominees, Snowdrops by A.D. Miller. It’s a dark, sad tale of an English expatriate in Russia in the days following the fall of the Soviet Union, written as an extended letter to the narrator’s financee to explain why he has never told her about his years in Russia. Depressing, but very well done. I also started reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin because I want to read all the World Fantasy nominees before the World Fantasy Convention at the end of November. Finally, I’ve been reading The Bible Repairman, a collection of stories by Tim Powers (one of my favorite writers). And, oh yes, a new find in the realm of fantasy magazines, Fantastique Unfettered. As you might guess, the new fall television season has rather passed me by.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: I somehow managed to start out writing a review of Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees and end up half an hour later with a finished review of the SANDMAN series. Mirrlees deserves her shot, so I will get back to working on the Lud-in-the-Mist review…but for now I’ll simply say that it’s a good novel, you’ll probably like it, and it’s not very well known, giving you a lovely opportunity to lord it over your friends. Huzzah! In terms of reading, I did manage a bit this week, though I fluttered amongst texts like a sort of promiscuous honeybee, determined to slurp up pollen from whichever flower flashed its lovely petals at me. I read the parts of Gene Wolfe‘s Claw of the Conciliator (phenomenal as the first one so far), Robert N. Charrette‘s A Prince Among Men (on which I am reserving judgment until I have read more of it), and The Face of Apollo by Fred Saberhagen (who – despite a winning premise with this novel – remains, regrettably, Fred Saberhagen).

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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. Greg, I bought Altered Carbon at an sale a couple of weeks ago, entirely based on Marion’s review. Even though she only gave it 3 stars, it sounded like something I’d enjoy.

  2. Greg–glad you liked Altered Carbon–I’m a big fan of that series and in fact will be using Altered Carbon in my science fiction class this term

  3. Kat- Marion’s review is what sold me too. For some reason I was thinking you had already reviewed it too.

    William- I’m not always a fan of science fiction,especially far-future with a lot of very advanced technology, but Morgan writes it so matter-of-factly with a street tough edge that it reads like straight-up crime noir.

    I’m about half-way through and Altered Carbon will get a glowing review from me.

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