1. chad: richard k morgan. the steel remains.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      the first of a trilogy in the epic fantasy genre. well-known for his
      sf work primarily, has not entered into fantasy before, as far as chad
      knows. there is an amusingly incomplete quote from joe abercrombie on
      the jacket. "this book is the song of the sorcelator to joe
      abercrombie's the epic legends of the hierarchs." i think that pretty
      much says it all, but some of you may not read penny arcade, so the
      review continues. everything is totally macho. like, abercrombie is
      macho, too. but abercrombie is macho because he's a sissy. this is
      "not for sissies at all." supposed to take place super far in the
      future, probably, the moon has been destroyed and there are lizards
      and, let's be honest, fucking WITCHALOKS. the main character, let's
      call him GRIMM SHADO, meets up with the WITCHALOKS, and... i can't
      keep typing this. anyway when grimm shado meets the witchalok king,
      suddenly there's a ton a really graphic homosexual sex, which you may
      not have expected, based on the macho setup. that's sort of where the
      tension comes from. he sort of liked it, may read the rest. (he really
      doesn't seem sure.) there were no funny parts, and basically it was
      way too macho. "oh and there's also a wolfoid!!!"

  2. interlude

    a long exploration of eloth:tes follows, along with dinner.

  3. adam: hero of the ages. brandon sanderson.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      doesn't want to spend a lot of time on this, he's already spent enough
      time on this series. there was one totally fuck-yeah moment in the
      middle of the book, but all in all... it was good! he would recommend
      the entire trilogy. it's not heavy or trying to push any boundaries,
      it's just pulp fantasy. his only real problem with the book is that
      his religion comes through too clearly in the end. he would like to
      downgrade his review, but i will not allow it as he clearly enjoyed
      the book.

  4. oliver: max brooks. world war z: an oral history of the zombie war.

    1. verdict: -
    2. review:

      this is a novel by the zombie survival guide guy. no shit. "there were
      a lot of pages, so it was probably a novel." anyway this is told some
      years after the outbreak of world war z, and it's a history of how the
      various countries rid themselves of the zombie menace after this
      plague sweeps the world. a series of vignettes collected by a folk
      historian. a good strategy for him as a writer, since it allows him to
      avoid characterization. so basically it's a silly us-centric view of
      all these other countires, "hackneyed" is oliver's well-chosen word.
      that's pretty much the program, you can imagine how it works out. "it
      gets the job done." once you start turning the pages, you want to get
      to the end. high praise.

  5. jen: brian francis slattery. spaceman blues.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      she recounts the plot, which i will not record, since i've already
      reported on this book, although now that i think of it, i almost
      certainly did not record my own plot summary, and in this amount of
      space, i could more than likely be typing every word she says. oh
      well, what's done is done. moving on. she likes this story more than
      liberation, and she liked liberation when she read it, and this book
      made her like liberation more in retrospect.

  6. brandon: trenton lee stewart. the mysterious benedict society and the perilous journey.

    1. verdict: -
    2. review:

      a graduate of the iowa writer's workshop, "which is where the problems
      start, in my opinion." recommended by his wife sarah, this is the
      second book in a possibly open-ended series. brandon did not read the
      first. there's a long story here, but i won't tell it. he read it on
      the plane. it's pretty typical kid literature, there's an all-loving
      dumbledore, he has narcolepsy, etc. basically, it made him appreciate
      harry potter. if you have any chance of reading anything better in
      this genre, take it.

  7. brandon: m t anderson. the astonishing life of octavian nothing.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      we heard about this review, so i won't review. the story picks up
      halfway through, it's pretty good, he writes some really good
      sentences. if you took his ability to write sentences and j k
      rowling's ability to structure a whole novel, you'd have something
      really good. anyway this is basically a series of tableaux, but it's
      very smart about it. sarah thinks it's great, brandon thinks it could
      be a little better. but good.

  8. matt: michael swanwick. the dog said bow-wow.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      a book of short stories. i'm not done with this yet, but so far it's

  9. coda

    can it be steampunk if it was written in 1908? survey says: no!

  10. that's all, folks.