1. prelude


  2. adam: ender's game. orson scott card.

    1. verdict: totally and definitively meh
    2. review:

      he thinks marko probably really liked this book. but we don't
      know. lots of military strategy. "it's almost just so... boring, you
      know?" he read this on the recommendation of a coworker who said it
      was the best book ever regardless of genre. well, you know. "the other
      thing that made it edgy was just how misogynistic and homophobic, you
      know, the whole thing was." so yeah, you know. "the entire book just
      kinda put me off the entire way."

  3. adam: speaker for the dead. orson scott card.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      shocked that it was even written by the same auther. he really liked
      it. he'd heard it's a totally different book and it really is. it's
      4000 years later and you know blah blah some stuff happens. ender had
      sort of apparently recognized that the whole ender's game thing was
      pretty fucked [which is, in editor's view at least, very legit]. so
      yeah, stuff happens. it's a better book by a lot, but not by enough to
      read more. (and paul says the next ones just get more problematic,
      so... yeah.)

  4. eli: catwings 1-4. ursula k le guin.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      you know, 4-year-olds can't really explain anything. this is a
      mess. he's all over the shop. it just keeps starting "they
      goooooo...." and you know, basically he finally ran away. he just
      wants people to read the books to him. they're pretty solid
      though. pretty far out and definitely recommended for the early
      readers in your life.

  5. jen on behalf of eli: the magic treehouse. mary pope osborne.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      who am i kidding, eli's gone, this is mom talking all the way. (adam
      doesn't even know time travel when he sees it. "is this sci-fi? oh
      it's historical fiction?" give me a break it's LOOOOOOORE.) so yeah,
      eli likes these too. they're pretty solid. time travel, all kinds of
      stuff, it's good. not catwings, but recommended.

  6. chris e: annihilation. jeff vandermeer.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      there's a lot of vague stuff in this book. there's an area x and some
      expeditions in there, you know, they all end up kinda weird. so this
      is a journal of a member of the 12th expedition. there's a lot of
      strange requirements apparently, on expeditions into area x. "so is
      there a call of cthulhu thing going on?" "yes. it feels a lot like
      lost if it was written by hp lovecraft." really liked it, would
      recommend it, and would read more.

  7. megan: of beast and beauty. stacey jay.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      there's a planet and some people show up and they're not super well
      adapted and, you know, the planet turns out to be sentient or
      something more or less, and it kindly begins mutating the people in
      order to increase their fitness [ed: just like natural selection,
      right? namsayin?] but yeah, the people aren't necessarily so into that
      [just like reality namsayin?]. so there's some weird queen sacrifice
      business and the planet is kinda good cop/bad cop. i can't follow
      it. she liked it though.

  8. megan: juliet immortal and romeo redeemed. stacey jay.

    1. verdict: --
    2. review:

      juliet immortal was bad. romeo redeemed was intolerable. teenage
      badness at its most bad.

  9. jeff: malice. john gwynne.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      really enjoyed it. definitely influenced by game of thrones and so
      on. there's some banished lands. people who live there are
      banished. yep. but there were also giants there so you know, there
      were some issues. there's a book of prophecy that some warlock dude
      finds and so you know there's gotta be a big war. it's like that. they
      found a new fighting technique, which is unstoppable. [ed: does nobody
      get this joke? fuck. what have we come to?] anyway it's supposed to be
      really a trilogy and if he can stick to that, it sounds pretty good.

  10. chris e: angelmaker. nick harkaway.

    1. verdict: meh
    2. review:

      clockmaker dude, his dad was a gangster. the dude's last name is
      spork, so clearly right away he's kinda cozying up to vonnegut or
      pynchon or somebody, and while that worked in the other book [ed: the
      gone-away world], it doesn't work so well here. some synopsis follows
      but to be honest the kids are kinda making this tough on your loyal
      scribe here and i'm dropping some packets. but anyway, now it's being
      compared to the central conceit of infinite jest, which doesn't really
      surprise chris. there's a cult of john ruskin [ed: which is legit],
      but yeah, they build handmade trains or whatever, so yeah. "it was

  11. chris b: alloy of law. brandon sanderson.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      this is number four in the mistborn series. he got into this through a
      podcast talking about the mistborn rpg. you know, allomancers and
      shit. magic system. three hundred years between the last book and
      this, so it's no longer high fantasy, it's more like steampunk at this
      point, big cities and sort of skyscrapers and stuff. recommended.

  12. chris b: exiles in arms: moving targets. c l werner.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      "talk about penny dreadfuls." a promising start. on a digital-only
      imprint called skull island expeditions. so this is the whole thing,
      cheese and pulp novella. it's great though. he's working on "night of
      the necrotech" now, which is a full novel, so hopefully we'll hear
      about that soon enough.

  13. that's all, folks!