Sunday Status Update: September 3, 2017

Character update will return next week.

Bill:This week I read House of Names, Colm Toibin’s retelling of the Atreus myth and A Brief History of Everone Whoever Lived by Adam Rutherford, a look at what the genome can tell us about human history

Kat: I finished the audiobook version of Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister which I didn’t like quite as well as Tim did, but that may be due to the narrator. Review coming soon. Now I’m back to MAGE WINDS trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. I’ll be starting book two, Winds of Change, today. I don’t have lots of hope for it, but I own the audiobooks and would like to get them reviewed for the site.

Marion: Bill Fulton lived in Alaska, ran a military surplus store and acted as a bounty hunter with a gang of US Army veterans like himself. He was also an undercover FBI informant in a scary yet somehow whacky case involving an Alaskan “militia” and a scheme to kidnap and kill dozens of people, from a federal judge to the militia leader’s neighbor, who worked for TSA. The Blood of Patriots is Fulton’s “now it can be told” political nonfiction/true crime (?) book, co-written by Jeanne Devon. If I had to categorize it, I guess it’s “another day in Alaska” nonfiction. It’s scary. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny in spots.

I also finished The Courier by Gerald Brandt. This was not a book for me but I think there is an audience for it. I’m about two-thirds of the way through Wen Spencer’s urban fantasy The Black Wolves of Boston. Although riddled with Baen Publishing’s signature typos, (this is the published novel, not an ARC) the book is actiony, darkly funny in spots and sweetly funny in others, with an interesting magical system and loads of fun characters.

Sandy: Moi? I have just finished reading Theodore Sturgeon’s 1958 hive-mind classic, The Cosmic Rape, and hope to get a review of that one out shortly. Next up for me will most likely be a Jules Verne novel that I have not had the pleasure of before, 1879’s The Begum’s Fortune. I look forward to getting into this book very much. Stay tuned…

Terry: When last I contributed to this column, I mentioned I was reading two particular books, and yes, they’re still in the “currently reading” folder on my Kindle. But to my surprise, I got seduced by a wholly different book, simple because the Kindle was upstairs while I was downstairs and I was too lazy to walk up the stairs. I greatly enjoyed Hauntings, edited by Ellen Datlow, which is chock full of great ghost stories by such eminences as Peter StraubCaitlin R. KiernanKelly Link and Connie Willis. I’ll try to write a review soon, but in the meantime: highly recommended. Now I’m reading The Nine by Tracy Townsend, a debut novel and the beginning of a fantasy series, THIEVES OF FATE, and wow, it’s good. It’s reminiscent a bit of Scott Lynch‘s work, but absolutely its own creature. It’s due out in November. Very bingeable, so guess what I’m doing this holiday weekend? Lots of neat stuff queued up after I’m done with that one, but right now I have no idea which of the zillions of great books I’ll read next.

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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. Terry, I just finished THE NINE and I loved it! I’m hoping we can get an interview with Tracy Townsend.

    • That would be very cool. My only complaint so far is that it’s so full of characters that I occasionally lose track of who someone is — probably because, contrary to my prediction that I’d binge on it, I’m actually reading for about an hour per day. Still, it’s so well written, and the premise so fascinating, that I’m really enjoying it.

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