Holidays are over, so might slow down a bit and *ahem* catch up on some real work 🙂
A Fantasy Medley (Subterranean Press) – Four short stories in a limited, signed by the authors edition – this is very pretty, and of very good quality, stories and production values both. While I bought it for the Robin Hobb, I think my favourite is the one from the author I HADN’T heard of, a great Baba Yaga story. I really enjoyed this!
Borderlands #11 – A very readable issue, with loads of stories. Particular standouts for me were the Cat Sparks story and the Jason Fischer gruesomeness.
ASIM #39, edited by Andrew Finch – One of the stories in this issue was one I originally solicited for ASIM 37 and I’m very pleased to see it in print at last. Disappointing there’s not more Aussie content in this one, but I particularly liked "Snake-Eater" and "The Colonel’s Character Flaw" by the international authors, and Jo Anderton’s contribution, "Dragon Bones", is excellent.
Fire, Kristin Cashore – Kristin Cashore is my favourite new fantasy author! And nyah nyah, this book isn’t actually released until October this year, so I’m feeling most smug right now. The prequel to Cashore’s debut novel "Graceling", Fire is set some thirty years before "Graceling", with one crossover character but a whole new set of world building in a different part of the Graceling world, which is both intricate and fascinating. Fell in absolute LOVE with the characters, and the plot was pretty good too. Cashore is divine! Look for a review on ASif! soon.
The Adamantine Palace, Stephen Deas, 369pp – It’s hard for a dragon book to impress me these days, and it’s very rare for me to enjoy a debut novel. This book succeeded on both counts – readable and interesting – a few flaws in characterisation, but overall, I thought it was pretty good.
Aurealis #41, Stuart Mayne, Ed. – All female issue – enjoyed all the stories!
Superman For Tomorrow!, Brian Azzarello – I wish this wasn’t just volume 1 – I wanna know what happens!
Loyalty in Death, JD Robb, 373pp – Always love an "In Death" book, even on a reread.
Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, Joss Whedon – I’m a big X-Men fan, and naturally a Joss fan too – I haven’t read X-Men religiously but have read enough to know that I really liked this, canonistically, and just as a good story. Love.
Key of Valour, Nora Roberts, 332pp – Third in a trilogy, still easy to follow. A bit basic and obvious, but with the usual excellent Roberts characterisation and flair. An easy, holiday read.
The Hallowed Hunt, Lois McMaster Bujold, 423pp – Bujold writes good. Is all I can say.
The Spirit Ring, Lois McMaster Bujold, 369pp – This one, while not as sophisticated as some of Bujold’s later fantasies, is still a great read – it was relatively predictable, but still worth the time.
Firebirds Soaring, Sharyn November (ed) – Took me a while to come back to this after short story burnout a few months ago, but once I did, I enjoyed it. A very high percentage of very good stories, for the most part very YA, and intriguing in many ways. Some skirted the borderline of SF rather broadly, including at least two that I wouldn’t have put as SF at all, but well written nonetheless.
Looking for Alibrandi, Melina Marchetta – Great book, second, third time around even! Reading it again to study with Year 10s, and thoroughly enjoyed.
Ages of Wonder (DAW anthology) – an interesting read with an unusual theme that didn’t really hit my buttons. Some good stories, and some I just didn’t enjoy, but not bad overall.
Terribly Twisted Tales (DAW anthology) – a collection that much better suited my tastes, and I enjoyed most of the stories. Some did a great job on making a fresh twist, almost akin to Margo Lanagan level, and I particularly enjoyed "Once they were seven" by Chris Pierson.
Currently reading another DAW antho (yes, this IS Last Short Story reading), and just got Joel Shepherd’s new book in the mail for review. Must do some school work though. Really must.