Jana: This week I continued reading Sam J. Miller’s YA novel Destroy All Monsters; I’m enjoying the story, but the dueling first-person narrators sound exactly the same, which sometimes makes it tough to sort out what’s happening to whom. I read Theodora Goss’ The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl, the third-and-final instalment (as far as I understand things!) in her EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF THE ATHENA CLUB trilogy, and am happy to report significant improvements since book 2. I’ve been exploring some speculative fiction crafty-nerd fun, like STAR WARS and HARRY POTTER amigurumi/crochet projects, since my mind seems oriented on “making stuff” lately, and in that vein I’m checking out Helene Saucedo’s Handful of Stars: A Palmistry Guidebook and Hand-Printing Kit.
Bill: This week I read Atlas of Vanishing Places by Travis Elborough, an encyclopedic tour of cities, lands, and other settings that have disappeared or are in the process of doing so; Michael Seth Starr’s solid if relatively unenlightening unauthorized biography of William Shatner titled, um, Shatner; and Elena Passarello’s collection of essays, Animals Strike Curious Poses. I’m also partway through a few other essay collections, browsing a few a night: Phillip Pullman’s Daemon Voice: On Stories and Storytelling and The Joker Pyschology edited by Travis Langley. On audio I’m continuing to listen to the superbly written Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane and in video I watched the predictable/manipulative I Kill Giants and, in the best news of the week, the return of The Good Place.
Kat: It’s been two weeks since you’ve heard from me. Since then, I’ve read The Nobody People by Bob Proehl, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, Give the Dark My Love and Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis, The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein, Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff, and The Queen’s Gambit and The Queen’s Advantage by Jessie Mihalik. The only one that I can recommend without reservation is the Atwood novel, though I’ll say that Mihalik’s stories are a lot of fun. Reviews for all of these are coming soon.
Kelly: I’m still reading Maria Turtschaninoff’s Naondel, and I finished Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord and have moved on to the sequel, Unraveling. For my next read I’m eyeing up The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith. Magic wine? Yes please!
Marion: I finished Paul Krueger’s delightful Steel Crow Saga. I hadn’t known quite what to expect, but it was a thrill-ride. A review should be up soon, and I highly recommend the book. I also browsed the stories in the fantasy anthology The Wand That Rocks the Cradle (disclosure; I have a story in there). Now I’m reading around in an anthology I picked up at ReaderCon, called Hidden Youth; fantastical stories with young protagonists, set “in the margins of history.” I would explain what that means but I’m not completely sure myself.
Tadiana: The main thing I’ve been doing this last week is reading the FORWARD collection organized by Blake Crouch. It’s a set of six stand-alone science fiction novellas that explore a “pivotal technological moment” in our world. The authors are Crouch, N.K. Jemisin, Veronica Roth, Amor Towles (author of A Gentleman in Moscow), Paul Tremblay and Andy Weir. I’ve read all of them except Tremblay’s. So far Towles’ novella is the winner in my book, and as far as I’m aware this is his first venture into speculative fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by Roth’s, disappointed by Weir’s, and thought Jemisin’s was fun but that she was kind of coasting. I’m currently reading Charlaine Harris’s An Easy Death, a magical alt-history with an Old West type of setting, and the start of her new GUNNIE ROSE series.
Terry: I read Into the Fire, the latest ORPHAN X novel by Gregg Hurwitz, enjoying it a great deal. I’d thought this was the last novel in the series, but the final lines strongly suggest otherwise. I’m also reading The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 11, edited by Ellen Datlow; some great stuff in here. I’ve dipped into a great many others, but I’ll probably concentrate on John Scalzi’s Zoe’s Tale, the fourth book in THE OLD MAN’S WAR series.