starlady: (bibliophile)
What I'm Reading
Wicked City by Alaya Dawn Johnson - The second Zephyr Hollis book and the last ADJ book I haven't read. She needs to write more! I just started this, so no comments yet other than that I stand by my observation about Zephyr being in denial about who she is.

Shriek by Jeff VanderMeer - I loved the Southern Reach, and this is more obviously weird fantasy than those books, which has its pluses and minuses, but I love it so far, particularly the fact that it focuses on a sibling relationship.

What I've Read
Whoops, I've built up quite a backlog. Here goes!

Charles Soule et al, She-Hulk vol. 2 - Apparently this was always meant to be as short as it was. Siiiiiggh I would read many more volumes of this kind of thing, the "how X thing or Y institution or Z non-superhero person is affected by a world of superheroes" thing is honestly more interesting to me than many superhero stories. A+, will totally seek out more Charles Soule comics in the future. Has anyone read Letter 44?

Michelle Sagara, Cast in Honor - The newest Kaylin book, and with this, I have read all but one of Michelle Sagara West's novels (except the Sundered books, which I honestly found unreadable). I enjoyed it very much, I continue to enjoy Kaylin's growth as a person and the exploits of her motley crew (found family ftw), and I am looking forward to the next book on multiple levels, not the least of which is: Aerians!

Diane Duane, Interim Errantry - This is "the Young Wizards volume 9.5," and since it's been a few years since I read A Wizard of Mars, I'd forgotten a little how much I love Duane's writing and the Young Wizards in general. The bit in the Halloween story where Dairine is a Jedi, for example--perfection. And all the characters I've loved for so long getting to do things that are slightly less "stereotypical plot diagram," particularly in the novella in the collection, Lifeboats, which I adored. (Also, how married are Tom and Carl in Lifeboats? Super married.) In many ways these three stories were like the best kind of fanfic, which expands a slice of the canon beyond what we get to see in the actual published works. I can't wait for Games Wizards Play.

Martha Wells, Razor's Edge - Martha Wells wrote the last novel in the old Star Wars expanded universe, and it's about Princess Leia, set between ANH and ESB. I liked it a lot (particularly semicompetent!Luke, lol), and you know, I love Star Wars. You can put that on my tombstone. I also love Martha Wells' writing, and I'm psyched to read more of her books. (Even her SGA tie-in novels, because in the year of our lord 2K16 I am not going to apologize for enjoying tie-in novels.)

Diana Wynne Jones, Dogsbody - More DWJ! More terrible parents and parental figures! More plucky heroines and brilliant writing! I feel like I understood this book, which is told from the perspective of a star who gets reborn as a dog, which probably means I'm missing things. The ending felt abrupt, but also completely neat and tidy; it was brilliant and painful and great.

Gillen/McKelvie, The Wicked & the Divine vols. 1 & 2 - My dear sibling introduced this to me with "This is what American Gods wanted to be," and I stand by that assessment. The art is beautiful, the story interesting, the concepts compelling, but I have to say the characters mostly left me cold. That said, I'll still keep reading, because I want to find out what happens after the Shocking Twist!™ at the end of the second volume.

Kelly Sue DeConnick et al., Bitch Planet vol. 1 - I feel like most people have probably heard of this comic by now, with its non-compliant women and its smart take on exploitation tropes and intersectionality. I liked it; like The Handmaid's Tale, it seems both a bit too plausible for comfort and also in many ways a story about what's happening now, as well as a near-future fantasy.

Noelle Stevenson et al., Lumberjanes vol. 1 - This was so great! As a Girl Scout, I got an extra kick out of the story of a bunch of young Lumberjanes at summer camp, I loved it, and I need to read more of it. (I also loved the little in-jokes of the palindromes in the cave, ngl, and also the camp chief's name and appearance. AUGH, it's so good!)

Becky Cloonan et all, Gotham Academy vol. 1 - I've liked Becky Cloonan's work for a while, and this was exactly the kind of story I like, as I said above, following as it does a group of misfit students at Gotham City's most prestigious private school and inventing some old history for the city, as well as featuring an independent take on its present. Also, important to note, the Batman in here isn't the full-on manpain Batman, which makes the whole thing more palatable--there's darkness, but there's also light, and most important of all, I love Olive and Maps and would read many more volumes about them.

Gillen/McKelvie, Phonogram vol. 1 - This feels like a dry run for The Wicked & the Divine, and given that it was about an obnoxious dude, I was mostly into it for the liner notes. Who knew so many people had so many feelings about Britpop.

Octavia Butler, Bloodchild (2nd ed.) - This is the late Octavia Butler's only (and entire) short fiction collection. Xenogenesis, fraught parent/child relationships, taboo subjects--Butler was great, and reading the back of the book talk about her in the present tense is still a wrench.

Gail Simone et al., Wonder Woman: The Circle - This volume collects Simone's first issues on Wonder Woman, telling the story of Diana's attempt to save her mother from the DC-equivalent of HYDRA Nazis invading Themiscyra, mostly. It was good! I like Diana and her friends and her sense of honor! I am still going to drink in the Batman vs Superman movie!

What I'll Read Next
Who knows. Hopefully a lot of it.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
What I'm Reading
Well, kind of several different things including She-Hulk vol 2, and also none--I've been trying to get some reading done in Japanese, which takes a while and which means that I haven't been reading English books.

What I've Read
Jason Latour et al, Spider-Gwen Nos. 1-5 (2015) - So my friend B told me about this series when she came to visit me this year, it was for sale on Comixology, I bought it, and I loved it. Originally a throwaway concept in a multiverse event, Spider-Gwen (now webspinning again under the name Radioactive Spider-Gwen, post-Secret Wars) follows Gwen Stacey as she deals with the emotional trauma of Peter Parker's death and the problems of being the Spiderwoman in a New York that has no time for heroes…complicated by the fact that her dad is the police detective in charge of her case. I think I said on Twitter that the NYPD doing what the mayor says is the least believable thing about the comic; Gwen is great (though the art is pretty terrible), and I loved her sarcastic responses to the world, her problems with her friends/ex-bandmates in the wake of the changes in her life, and the glimpses we get of a villain-version of Matt Murdoch. Probably one of my favorite comics this year, ngl.

Charles Soule et al., She-Hulk vol. 1 (2014) - Cancelled too soon, this series follows She-Hulk as she struggles to set up an independent law practice and deal with being a superhero on the side. Soule has a legal background himself, and he's a great writer, so it's no surprise that the story and the character and the cases she takes are all top-notch, and that there's some interesting questions about what the law means and what it does floating around in the background. These stellar qualities are almost enough to make up for the fact that the art is frequently godawful; the covers are always the best thing about each issue. Still, I'm looking forward to the second, final volume, which I have waiting on my iPad.

Garth Nix, Newt's Emerald (2015) - Garth Nix does a Regency romance with magic, complete with cross-dressing, pining, and enough social engagements to satisfy even the ghost of Georgette Heyer. I loved it from start to finish and I would read a dozen more books set in this world, the end.

Garth Nix, To Hold the Bridge (2015) - This collects basically all the short stories Nix has written since Across the Wall and Other Stories, with the exception of the Sir Fitz and Master Hereward tales, and it opens with the eponymous Old Kingdom novella. All of the stories are excellent, though the publication of some of them evidently intersected with the period in which I was heavily into anthologies, as about half of them turned out to be ones with which I was already familiar. The one about the surfer boy vampire hunter is still one of my favorites.

Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, Welcome to Night Vale (2015) - The Night Vale novel! Listeners, I enjoyed it quite a lot; it has remarkably few of the first novel problems you might expect, and all in all it did a very good job of carving out an experience that was still recognizably Night Vale weird but was also demonstrably different from the podcast in a way that took advantage of the medium. (The final chapter!) Bring on the next one!

James Tiptree Jr., Brightness Falls from the Air (1985) - Quite a good book, and probably as happy an ending as Tiptree could have written. On to the short stories.

What I'll Read Next
I have a pile of books I want to read before the end of the year, and doubtless I won't finish all of them. I would have to read 10 books in the next two weeks to tie my 2011 record of 87 books and 11 to beat it, which may or may not be doable, but on the other hand if I knock out a bunch of my comics backlog is probably possible. Wish me luck!

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