Another week, another installment of The Week That Was, my, uh, weekly series of posts collecting what I considered some of the most interesting SF&F-related links in the blogosphere. Enjoy!
Sarah at Bookworm Blues launched a new series of posts about disability in SF&F, titled Specials Needs in Strange Worlds. The introduction can be found here. This is a topic you don’t hear much about, so these posts are definitely worth a look. Make sure to check out Paul Weimer’s post about the Miles Vorkosigan series too.
Bryce at Only the Best SF&F posted a great review of the opening volume of one of my favorite fantasy series, The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts. As you may know by now, I take every opportunity I can to bring this criminally under-appreciated series to people’s attention. This review is great because it highlights the strengths of the book, but also shows why it may be a difficult read for some people, depending on their tastes and reading habits. Later this week, Bryce also had a guest post by author Janny Wurts that offered another great introduction to the series.
Staffer’s Musings had another installment in the “If you liked…” series, this time about American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I have to admit that, at first glance, a few of Justin’s suggestions surprised me, but the explanations made a lot of sense. (Also, this post made me want to re-read this novel. Badly.)
The finalists for this year’s Locus Awards were announced this week. What do you think? Essentially, I think this is what the final Hugo ballot would look like if it you didn’t have to be a member to make nominations. Which, in a sense, makes this award much more representative of the average SFF fan’s taste, right? Personally, I’m most excited to see Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh on the list, a debut novel I loved and reviewed here. It’s up against some pretty heavy hitters, but I’ll be rooting for it all the way.
In other news, I am finally, finally, getting around to watching the first season of A Game of Thrones soon. Peeking around the web to find some refreshers about the novels, I just found these animated shorts about the history of Westeros on io9.com. All of this is almost enough to make me read A Dance with Dragons… but I think I’ll wait until Martin is a bit closer to completing the series anyway.
On the home front, my review of Jeff Salyards’ excellent gritty fantasy debut Scourge of the Betrayer went up at Tor.com on Friday. You can read it here. Jeff was kind enough to provide a guest post about writer envy for Far Beyond Reality.
And also related to one of my Tor.com reviews: it probably says a lot about me that I was (and still am) somewhat star-struck after seeing a comment from none other than Gardner Dozois on my review of The Best of Kage Baker. I mean, it’s Gardner Dozois!
My final item is not directly SF&F-related but more about literary criticism in general: here’s a wonderful quote from the great John Updike. This is something anyone who attempts to review books should read and consider.
Coming up on Far Beyond Reality: reviews of some books I have very high expectations for, including: Princeps by L.E. Modesitt Jr., Existence by David Brin, 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson, and The Dragon Griaule by Lucius Shepard. All of those should be popping at Tor.com (and here a bit later) over the next few weeks.
And that’s it for this week!