Sunday Status Update: October 22, 2017

This week, Robin Hood and the Long Lead-Up to the Corny Joke.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Robin: This week, after many offenses given me, my patience reached its end. As the Sheriff of Nottingham fled from Sherwood Forest after his latest attempt to drag me to the gallows, I drew back my bow and sent a gray-goose shaft speeding right into his black heart. Or rather, I would have done, but he was on the back of a galloping horse at the time, and the bit of him that I could see most clearly was his rump. So I sent a gray-goose shaft speeding right into that instead. He didn’t half howl. Most of the men laughed along with me, but Stutely simply would not have done with the joke. Even far later in the night, he was on about it.

“Master,” quoth he, “what wouldst thou say that thou didst today?”

“Eh?” quoth I, a bit the worse for drink by this point. “I shot the Sheriff.”

“Ah, excellent! But what of that fellow he had with him, Sir Guy of Gisbourne. Didst thou shoot him?”

“No… ”

“Yes!” he cried, very animated for no reason I could tell. “And what might one call Sir Guy, as a servant of the Sheriff?”

“A… knight?”

“Or perhaps a deputy, good master?”

“I suppose…. ”

“So thou didst in fact shoot the Sheriff, master.”

“Yes. By’r lady, Stutely, thou wast with me when I did.”

“But thou didst not… ” quoth he, spinning his hand as if inviting me to continue.

I shrugged. “Kill him?”

“But remember Sir Guy, master! The Sheriff’s deputy. So, once more: what wouldst thou say thou didst today?” And he gazed at me very rapt.

I stared at him. “Stutely, what in God’s name art thou blathering about?”

He looked down at his drink, and I’d swear before the saints the man was disappointed, though I haven’t the foggiest why. “Nothing, master. Nothing.”

Bill: Little reading this week thanks to rehearsals and grading, but I did manage to finish Peter Brett’s The Core, a satisfactory conclusion to his very good DEMON CYCLE series. Media-wise, I binged both seasons of Fortitude on Amazon—I loved season one,  but season two, while having its moments, went a bit off the rails for me in terms of story and writing.  Once I get through these paper piles, I’ll be torn between Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer or Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Deadhouse Landing.  Quite the dilemma.

Jana: This week’s been a little light on reading for me, since I had some family members in town. But I’ve been working on Welcome to Night Vale, a tie-in novel to the wildly popular podcast from Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. It’s exactly as strange and imaginative as the podcast, and I’m looking forward to reading the second novel, It Devours! And in the coming week, I’ll get reviews knocked out for the first two novellas in JY Yang’s TENSORATE series, and I’ll get my review of the illustrated version of Neil Gaiman‘s Neverwhere in the hopper. Fingers crossed!

Kat: I’ve just finished reading Monday Starts on Saturday, an old Russian science fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It was bizarre — totally unique. I liked it and will get a review out soon. The new audio edition is excellent. I look forward to reading more from the Strugatsky brothers.

Marion: I finished Paradox Bound by Peter Clines. That title is a play on words, which I loved, and the story is an interesting amalgam of time travel (or, as the characters say, “history travel”), secret history and road trip, filled with colorful characters, weird roadside attractions and scary adversaries. I’ll save all my great similes for the review.

Now I’m reading Tremontaine, Season One in paperback. Tremontaine is one of the series in the mobile text project Serial Box, and I can see how getting one “episode” a week or something could be fun. I enjoy this idea… I’m not enjoying the “season” as much as I had hoped to.

One of my close friends lost her entire house to the Tubbs Fire. In the house was the book she had been reading, the historical novel The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. Needless to say, that copy of the book is now carbon. Good friend that I am, I bought her another copy. Hypocritical, covetous book-fiend that I am, I’ve decided she can have it just as soon as I’ve finished it.

Tim: This week, I’ve been listening to La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. I’m really enjoying it so far, though I’m only a little way into the book. I’ve also been reading Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar by Tom Holland (admittedly not a fantasy fiction work, but sometimes so eventful as to seem like a novel), and plugging away at my review of Larry Correia‘s Son of the Black Sword.

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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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One comment

  1. Tim, I am very much looking forward to your thoughts on La Belle Sauvage — I’m terrified that it won’t live up to my expectations!

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