This week, Legolas and Gimli’s misadventures continue, as they reach Cair Paravel on the shores of Narnia.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Legolas: Journal Entry 4858306: Still searching for the Undying Lands. Still trying not to let recriminations begin with too much force. This week, however, I truly believed that at last we had come to the end of our travails. I looked out the prow of a ship and beheld a green country and pale sands, and upon a high place before the sea there was a white palace with banners dancing in the gusts. This, it seemed to me, might be the fabled isle of Tol Eressea that stands as welcome to the elves. It was with glad hearts, then, that Gimli and I made for harbor. When we landed, however, we were greeted by a strange and motley assortment of peoples. There was a woman whose lower body was that of a horse, a man whose lower body was that of a goat, and a whole mess of others equally bizarre. Most damning of all was the dwarves. Gimli swore up and down that those were not dwarves, but I should think I know a dwarf when I see one. These were small, bearded, carrying mattocks, and oh yes, called themselves dwarves. And that was that: until Gimli, no dwarf has ever sailed to the Undying Lands, so the Undying Lands these could not be. Still, we managed to trade for some food, and finding the people very hospitable, we almost stayed on for the night, but things were getting odd by then. The half-goat kept asking me if I was a son of Adam, and though I kept assuring him I’d never met this Adam, he wouldn’t shut up about it. Then it turned out the “dwarves” had never heard of Durin and didn’t think it was a very dwarf-sounding name, so Gimli nearly got into a fistfight with them. The final nail in the coffin was when a plump little girl all made up like a queen started saying that we must meet a lion.

“A small lion?” we asked, with some trepidation.

“Oh no! A great big one!”

“But he’s… tame?”

And at that, every one of them (Every. Bloody. One.) instantly started chorusing that oh, no, he was absolutely not tame.

Well, as you can imagine, we got back on the ship pretty quickly after that. The plump girl seemed unhappy to see us go, so Gimli gave her his spare handaxe. Just in case she had to fend off that lion.

Bill: This week was pretty light, though I did manage to finish Fran Wilde’s Updraft and Cloudbound and move on to starting the third in the series, Horizon. In media, I finished the final season of Dark Matter. While I enjoyed season one quite a bit, I felt the show has trended downward since (though not horribly so), and so I can’t say I’m crushed at its recent cancelation after three seasons. I also caught the first episode of The Orville, which left me thinking I’ll be surprised if I’m still aboard by the end of the season, but I’ll give it a few episodes. And in preparation for the new movie, my son and I just watched Blade Runner (the director’s cut—no voice over, no painfully on the nose hints about Deckard being a replicant or not).

Kat: I live near the coast of North Florida, so I am currently preparing for Irma’s imminent arrival. I am trying to read Mercedes Lackey’s Winds of Change, but it’s not nearly as interesting as the winds of change coming my way.

Marion: This week I read short fiction mostly. I browsed the stories in the anthology Strange California. My friend Laura Blackwell’s story “One Thing I Won’t Tell Julia” proves conclusively that a gifted writer can put a monster in a knitting circle; and in Seanan McGuire’s “The Great Tarantula Migration of 1972,” the furry arachnids are far from the only horror. I also read from the Sept/Oct Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Samuel R. Delaney’s “The Hermit of Houston” is sexually explicit and requires serious concentration from the reader (or at least it did for me) and rewards them with a powerful tale from a character fully immersed in their world. “On Highway 18” by Rebecca Campbell seemed like a story written just for me; a mix of nostalgia for the restlessness of adolescence and early adulthood combined with real fear, and a character who may be a ghost or the materialization of a deeply held collective archetype.

Tim: This week, I’ve been deeply embroiled in writing a paper, so I’ve gotten pretty much no reading done (at least, no reading that wasn’t in the service of the paper). Next week, I’m hoping to dive back in with the latest anthology edited by Gardner DozoisThe Book of Swords.