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lavaturtle reads things in 2018

2018 Category Challenge

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1lavaturtle
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 8:35pm Top

In 2018, I'm planning to read things in these categories:

* From the physical bookshelf (acquired before 1 Jan 2018)
* Nonfiction books
* Comics
* Short Stories
* Books published in 2018
* 2018 Hugo nominees
* Sequels to books I loved
* Books by my favorite authors
* Books by new-to-me authors

and participate in these group challenges:

* RandomCAT
* BingoDOG
* ScaredyKIT
* SFF/SFFF KIT

I'll count things that I finished in 2018. Each thing will only be counted towards one category, but can be counted in any number of group challenges.

2lavaturtle
Edited: Oct 3, 9:24am Top

From the Physical Bookshelf
Goal: 5 books
These are books that are sitting on a shelf in my house, but that I have not yet read. Only counting things that I already owned at the beginning of 2018.

Books read:
1. Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
2. Robot Uprisings ed. by Daniel H. Wilson
3. An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
4. A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows

Possibilities:
* The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
* A Way Home by Theodore Sturgeon

3lavaturtle
Edited: Aug 28, 8:33am Top

Nonfiction
Goal: 6 books
I'm hoping to read some more nonfiction books about history, as well as essay collections on interesting topics.

Books read:
1. The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
2. There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia by Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno

Possibilities:

4lavaturtle
Edited: Oct 7, 8:50pm Top

Comics
Goal: 50 issues
I have a pull list now! And I want to get back to reading older stuff via Marvel Unlimited. So I'm going to shoot for one issue a week, almost.

Issues read:
1. Runaways #8: Teenage Wasteland, Chapter 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
2. Runaways #9: Teenage Wasteland, Chapter 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
3. America #9: The World is Yours by Gabby Rivera
4. America #10: Bulletproof by Gabby Rivera
5. America #11: Ultralight Beam by Gabby Rivera
6. America #12: So Long and Goodnight by Gabby Rivera
7. Runaways #10: Teenage Wasteland, Conclusion by Brian K. Vaughan
8. Runaways #11: Lost and Found, Part 1 of 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
9. Runaways #12: Lost and Found, Part 2 of 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
10. Runaways #13: The Good Die Young, Chapter 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
11. Batwoman #9: Fear and Loathing, Part 3 (Stay High) by Marguerite Bennett
12. Batwoman #10: Kiss From a Rose by Marguerite Bennett
13. Exiles #1 by Saladin Ahmed
14. Exiles #2 by Saladin Ahmed
15. Exiles #3 by Saladin Ahmed
16. CALEXIT #1 by Matteo Pizzolo
17-21. Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick
22-26. Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K Vaughan
27-31. Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
32-37. Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
38. Black Bolt #1 by Saladin Ahmed
39. Black Bolt #2 by Saladin Ahmed
40. Black Bolt #3 by Saladin Ahmed
41. Black Bolt #4 by Saladin Ahmed
42. Black Bolt #5 by Saladin Ahmed
43. Black Bolt #6 by Saladin Ahmed
44. Batwoman #11: Pygsty by K. Perkins
45. Batwoman #12: Paradise is Burning Down by Marguerite Bennett
46. Innsmouth #4 by Megan James
47. Innsmouth #5 by Megan James
48. New X-Men #125: Losers by Grant Morrison
49. New X-Men #126: All Hell by Grant Morrison
50. New X-Men #127: of living and dying by Grant Morrison
51. New X-Men #128: New Worlds by Grant Morrison
52. Irregular, Chapter One: We Know What You Are by Cait May and Trevor Beam
53. New X-Men #129: Fantomex by Grant Morrison
54. New X-Men #130: Weapon Twelve by Grant Morrison

Possibilities:
* Ladycastle #1 by Delilah S. Dawson

5lavaturtle
Edited: Aug 14, 8:19am Top

Short Stories
Goal: 12 stories
This is likely to be a mix of recommendations, things I happen across, and things I get through Patreon

Stories read:
1. Worth Her Weight in Gold by Sarah Gailey
2. Bookburners Season 2, Episode 3: Mistakes Were Made by Brian Francis Slattery
3. Bookburners Season 2, Episode 4: Ghosts by Margaret Dunlap
4. Ready, Fire, Aim by gyzym

Possibilities:
* Fiber by Seanan McGuire
* Crispin’s Model by Max Gladstone

6lavaturtle
Edited: Yesterday, 8:50pm Top

Published in 2018
Goal: 12 books
There's so much awesome stuff being published! New books go here.

Books read:
1. Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys

Possibilities:
* Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear (March 20)
* Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw (July 31)
* The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (August 21)
* The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (October)

12lavaturtle
Edited: Jul 15, 9:31am Top

BingoDOG
General Thread with Card | Wiki



Books read:
1. Fits at least 2 CATs/KITs: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
5. Unread 2017 Purchase: Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
6. New To You Author: Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
8. Published in 2018: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
9. Longtime TBR: Robot Uprisings ed. by Daniel H. Wilson
10. Beautiful Cover: Runaways #8: Teenage Wasteland, Chapter 2 by Brian K Vaughan
12. LGBTQ Central Character: The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang
13. Read a CAT: The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale (for RandomCAT)
14. Rank in the Title: Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
15. Published > 100 years: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
18. X in the Title: Exiles #1 by Saladin Ahmed
19. Relative Name in Title: Kindred by Octavia Butler
21. Set During a Holiday: Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K Vaughan (set in the waning hours of Halloween night)
22. Something in the Sky in the Title: The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
24. Number in the Title: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
25. Story Involves Travel: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

15lavaturtle
Dec 29, 2017, 8:34pm Top

All set up! This thread is now open for comments :)

16rabbitprincess
Dec 29, 2017, 8:47pm Top

Welcome back and have a great reading year!

17thornton37814
Dec 29, 2017, 10:04pm Top

May 2018 be filled with good reads!

18mamzel
Jan 1, 9:53am Top

I will enjoy following your reading adventures. Have a great year!

19lavaturtle
Jan 1, 5:57pm Top

Thank you for all the good wishes!

20lavaturtle
Jan 2, 9:17am Top

Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Category: From the Physical Bookshelf
BingoDOG: Unread 2017 Purchase

I liked this volume a lot! Petrichor is a more central character and gets some character development. The difficult situation Alana faces, which drives most of the plot, is handled with courage and compassion. The themes of family, love, loss, and acceptance run strong through the whole arc.

21christina_reads
Jan 2, 5:03pm Top

I can tell I'm going to take a lot of SFF book bullets here! Also, I hope you do read Bellwether, as it's one of my favorites by Connie Willis!

22DeltaQueen50
Jan 4, 11:55pm Top

Your set-up is great and I am very interested in following all your categories!

23lkernagh
Jan 5, 11:39pm Top

Love the setup!

24lavaturtle
Jan 6, 4:14pm Top

Thank you both for the kind words!

25lavaturtle
Edited: Jan 8, 9:50pm Top

Runaways #8: Teenage Wasteland, Chapter 2 by Brian K Vaughan
Category: Comics
BingoDOG: Beautiful Cover

I'd started reading Runaways in late 2016, but never got back to it until now. I'm really enjoying the series that's on Hulu now (I believe the last episode of the season appears at midnight tonight), so I figured I'd pick this back up.

In this issue: I liked the team's connection with the new character they met at the end of the previous issue. The middle felt a bit recap-y, but that's just as well since it's been a while since I read this series. The ending was super creepy, and seems weirdly out of character for that character... must read on to find out what's going on!

26lavaturtle
Jan 8, 10:03pm Top

Runaways #9: Teenage Wasteland, Chapter 3 by Brian Vaughan
Category: Comics

This issue focuses on the Runaways' personal relationships as everyone's getting cranky and the reality of their situation is beginning to sink in. The characters' different personalities seemed well written. The surprise twist at the end was very surprising!

27lavaturtle
Jan 15, 8:37pm Top

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Category: By New-To-Me Authors
RandomCAT: Ack! I’ve Been Hit - The Ever Dangerous Book Bullets
BingoDOG: Story Involves Travel

This was a BB from mamzel (and I've also seen it mentioned by at least one blogger I follow).

I really enjoyed this book about three young people's mis/adventures around Europe in the 18th century. It was a good mix of fun adventure, character relationships, and thoughtful reflections on how race, gender, sexuality, disability, and abuse affected the protagonists. The narrator takes a while to acquire a clue, but it's totally in character given his background. Would definitely recommend this to fans of historical fiction with diverse characters!

28mamzel
Jan 16, 3:13pm Top

>27 lavaturtle: So glad you liked it!

29DeltaQueen50
Jan 16, 5:13pm Top

>27 lavaturtle: I was hit with the same book bullet so I am very happy to see you also had a positive reaction to the book.

30lavaturtle
Feb 3, 1:09pm Top

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
ScaredyKIT: Gothic Fiction
BingoDOG: Published more than 100 years ago

I finished this in January, just barely! Updating this thread now that I'm back from vacation.

I was familiar with the basic premise of this novel before reading it, but not with the actual plot or any of the non-titular characters. The plot starts out very slowly; almost nothing happens until about halfway through! It felt like Wilde was more interested in stuffing the book with witty one-liners than with telling the story. There's also an odd chapter that is almost entirely dense lists of aesthetically pleasing objects in history.

The plot is *there*, under all the ornate embellishments, and the basic concept is compelling. I'm glad later artists adopted the premise and retold/adapted it, because there's something wonderfully haunting about it at the core.

Among the witticisms are a variety of unfortunate statements about women, although nothing really surprising for a book from the 19th century. Far more jarring were the occasional intrusions of ugly vintage racism towards Jews and Black people. That really detracted from the story, and didn't need to be there at all.

Bottom line, if you really want to have read this story in the original, or if you want to see where a hundred of Oscar Wilde's most quoted quotes come from, go ahead and read it! It's not very long. But otherwise, it's kind of a slog through old-school prejudices and preening monologues.

31thornton37814
Feb 3, 10:07pm Top

I picked up that book in high school because it was categorized as Gothic. At that time, I equated Gothic with the romantic suspense genre. Needless to say, I didn't really enjoy the book. A couple of years ago, I decided to give it another try since my reading tastes were more mature and diverse. It still failed miserably for me. I will probably never pick it up again.

32lavaturtle
Feb 4, 5:06pm Top

Robot Uprisings ed. by Daniel H. Wilson
Category: From the Physical Bookshelf
BingoDOG: Longtime TBR
SFF/SFFF KIT: There's Always Tomorrow

I picked this up at Steampunk World's Fair a few years back, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until now. I'm glad I finally did! Like any short story collection, it has a mix of gems and duds. Here are some stories that stood out to me:

* "Eighty Miles an Hour All the Way to Paradise" (Genevieve Valentine) is a haunting post-apocalyptic tale about survival, and who we pick up along the way, and being left behind.
* "Epoch" (Cory Doctorow) has an interesting take on a rogue A.I. from a sysadmin's point of view.
* "The Golden Hour" (Juliana Baggott) features an unlikely rebel and a ray of hope in a capricious and regimented world.
* "Sleepover" (Alastair Reynolds) has a downright unsympathetic protagonist, but it's got an evocative setting, and a really interesting take on an old philosophical idea.
* "Of Dying Heroes and Deathless Deeds" (Robin Wasserman) is a tragic exploration of trauma, ambiguous moral choices, and poetry.
* "The Robot and the Baby" (John McCarthy) is a short, fun piece that I like because its wacky robot behavior is grounded in realistic computer programming. (Not surprising, perhaps, since the author invented the original Lisp programming language.) Note however that it does feature a rather unfortunate stereotype of a "crack mother".
* "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War" (Seanan McGuire) is a sorrowful tale about fading hope, callousness, and unintended consequences. It also features a clever use of a technology that isn't usually depicted in fiction.
* "Small Things" (Daniel H. Wilson) unfurls a horrifying apocalyptic wonderland at the same time it gradually reveals more about the protagonist's tragic backstory. It's a well-crafted gem of glittering terror.

33lavaturtle
Feb 18, 1:45pm Top

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Category: Books by new-to-me authors
BingoDOG: Number in the title
ScaredyKIT: Survival/Disaster

I really liked this book. The post-apocalyptic world was compelling and well thought out. The lack of information about things not in the characters' immediate proximity gave the story a particular feel that was well-suited to the setting. I liked the character development and slowly building connections.

I guessed who the Prophet was pretty early on, but fortunately the plot didn't hinge on that being a surprising reveal.

The ending wasn't super definitive -- this is definitely a book that jumps around in time to sketch in details rather than one with a super linear plot. Mostly this worked really well. I want to know what happened to the people on the cargo ships tho!

34lavaturtle
Feb 19, 9:19am Top

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
Category: Sequels to books I loved
BingoDOG: Published in 2018

This is a good story, as well as a quick read. I like the diverse cast of characters, each with a distinctive voice and personality. I like the relationships between the characters, and their growth over the course of the story. I love the cobbled-together family that is Eleanor's school.

I think it's neat that each of the books in this series has a different story structure, despite being a series that's all sort of about portal fantasies. (In this case, it's sort of a group quest.)

35-Eva-
Mar 5, 6:04pm Top

>34 lavaturtle:
I've had this one recommended to me, so it's nice to see that the characters are a big part of the story - I like character-driven plots.

36lavaturtle
Mar 7, 9:15am Top

The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
Category: By My Favorite Authors
RandomCAT: Laissez les bons temps rouler
BingoDOG: Something in the sky in the title

It took me a while to get into this book, but eventually the characters and their connected struggles drew me in. The magic system in this series is interesting.

37lavaturtle
Mar 7, 10:04pm Top

America #9: The World is Yours by Gabby Rivera
Category: Comics

This issue's plot happens over a very short period of time, compared to some previous issues, and it's very focused. The central conflict is compelling, although I'm not sure what I think of the main villain.

38lavaturtle
Mar 7, 10:24pm Top

America #10: Bulletproof by Gabby Rivera
Category: Comics

This was an awesome conclusion to this plot arc! I love the teamup of all the characters, and America Chavez being a righteous badass.

39lavaturtle
Mar 17, 8:14pm Top

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
SFF/SFFF KIT: Off World

I thought I'd like this book more than I did. It was highly recommended to me because "anarchists on the moon!". Which is very much my thing! But...

1) Ugh, Heinlein's gross sexism and Weird Sex Ideas. Every damn woman (or girl who's hit puberty) in the book is primarily viewed through the lens of how sexy she is to all the men in the vicinity. Women in general are routinely derided as foolish and emotional. Rape is considered a fun topic to joke about. Sure, Heinlein posits that women are treated well in their society... but only because they're considered a valuable commodity. Blah.

2) The whole political plot is not so much "we're building a cool anarchist society!" as "We, the few smart people, are carefully engineering a specific political outcome. Democracy is stupid! Anyway, look how very clever our clever plan is!"

There are some low-key racist undercurrents through the whole thing, too, just to top the whole thing off.

The one thing I did like about this story is that the villain is greedy prison operators who ignore the humanity of their prisoners, preferring to profit endlessly off their labor. That's something worth overthrowing! And sadly quite relevant to the real world.

40lavaturtle
Edited: Mar 17, 10:27pm Top

America #11: Ultralight Beam by Gabby Rivera
Category: Comics

I loved the first part of this issue, where Sotomayor University students grapple with recent events on their campus. The supporting characters continue to be really strong here. It's also cool that in the rest of the issue, we pick up a loose end from earlier in the series, and it looks like that plot is really moving forward.
The change in art style was a surprise! But Dapper America is actually pretty great.

41pammab
Mar 17, 10:26pm Top

Yes! I agree about the Golden Age SF authors. I want to love them. I loved them when I was a kid. But sheesh, I read them now and there are lines in those books where my jaw just hits the floor. It's amazing both how much attitudes have changed, and also how convinced people were that their futures were reasonable ones to imagine -- yet our lives today are actually so very different.

Anyway -- sorry that the Heinlein wasn't on for you. :(

42pammab
Mar 17, 10:28pm Top

>40 lavaturtle: And you're also reading Gabby Rivera! Which series is that? The America comic one? I read Juliet Takes a Breath by her a while back, and I'm very interested in more by her, but I don't want to get hooked before enough have been published.

43lavaturtle
Mar 17, 10:31pm Top

Yea, this is the America Chavez solo comic series that got started about a year ago. It's been pretty good! I'm a little behind and just catching up now, but I think 12 issues have been published. Unfortunately it seems like there might not be more after that :(

44pammab
Mar 17, 11:22pm Top

Well, that's too bad -- I've only heard good things. (But for me, it is a reason for me to stop postponing checking on whether it's at the library -- and that's a good thing!)

45lavaturtle
Mar 24, 2:35pm Top

The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross
Category: By My Favorite Authors
ScaredyKIT: Weird Fiction

This is another solid entry in the Laundry Files series. I really like this series's blend of spooky horror, self-deprecating humor, and technology-based magic. Mo has really come into her own by this book, and is a significant player in its plot from the beginning. It was cool that we found out what Angleton's deal is.The reveal of the final villain was a complete surprise to me!

46lavaturtle
Mar 25, 2:39pm Top

America #12: So Long and Goodnight by Gabby Rivera
Category: Comics

This was a heartwarming conclusion to the America series. I wish there was more! But if it had to end, this is a good ending.

I liked the variety of art styles in this issue.

47lavaturtle
Mar 28, 9:28am Top

The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
Category: Nonfiction
RandomCAT: Ripped from the Headlines
BingoDOG: Read a CAT

This is a compelling and well-written book about the major problems in (primarily American) policing today, how they got that way, and what might be done to fix them. Some of what was covered was stuff I'd already heard about from following relevant news, but Vitale does a great job of tying it all together and providing a depth of historical background. The writing style is quite accessible -- I was able to finish it in just a few days.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who's concerned about police reform or racial and economic justice in America.

48lavaturtle
Apr 4, 5:18pm Top

Runaways #10: Teenage Wasteland, Conclusion by Brian K. Vaughan
Category: Comics

Wow! This issue got intense, emotions running high as the team confronts a dangerous threat.

49lavaturtle
Apr 4, 5:22pm Top

Runaways #11: Lost and Found, Part 1 of 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Category:Comics

Guest appearance by Cloak and Dagger! These are characters I'm not too familiar with, so I'm intrigued to meet them. I liked this issue's various iterations of teens figuring out what they're going to do and who they're going to be in relation to what's expected of them.

50lavaturtle
Apr 4, 6:01pm Top

Runaways #12: Lost and Found, Part 2 of 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Category:Comics

I liked the second half of this story, too. The runaways continue to be well characterized, and I think I'm going to have to check out more Cloak and Dagger stories. I'm so worried about who the mole is in the runaways!

51lavaturtle
Apr 5, 2:35pm Top

Runaways #13: The Good Die Young, Chapter 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
Category:Comics

This issue is almost all backstory about the history of the Pride. It clarified a whole lot of things! I was surprised how different it is from what the Pride is about in the TV show. Anyway, it was great to find out what's going on there, and it turned the Pride members from a dozen indistinguishable villains into more distinct characters.

(And again with the cliffhanger/twist ending!)

52lavaturtle
Apr 9, 6:11pm Top

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Category: Books by my favorite authors
RandomCAT: April Loves Books!

I love the worldbuilding and magic system in this book, and the main characters are compelling. It felt like it took a really long time for the main plot to get going, and I got impatient with the cycle of "protagonist doesn't know anything about magic, which isn't her fault, but everyone is laughing and/or yelling at her about it". But once we got past that half of the book, it was an exciting story! I'm looking forward to reading the sequel (Akata Warrior).

53virginiahomeschooler
Apr 14, 9:52am Top

>52 lavaturtle: I keep hearing good things about this one. I may have to seek it out.

54lavaturtle
Apr 15, 3:40pm Top

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Category: Books by new-to-me authors
ScaredyKIT: The Supernatural
BingoDOG: New to you Author

This is exactly my kind of thing! I love when fantasy fiction thinks through what the day-to-day implications of magic and supernatural creatures would be in the modern world. And I think doctors are compelling heroes, but most stories relegate them to supporting characters and/or gloss over what they actually do all day. Dr. Greta Helsing is the protagonist I didn't know I've always wanted. And this book has a cheerfully twisty plot and a great bunch of characters. I can't wait til the sequel comes out in July!

55lavaturtle
Apr 16, 10:18am Top

Batwoman #9: Fear and Loathing, Part 3 (Stay High) by Marguerite Bennett
Category: Comics

I feel like there's some backstory I'm supposed to know about with Colony Prime and Jacob Kane and how the former sees the latter as a father figure? And Kate Kane's messed up relationship with her father? I'm really not sure if I've missed something, or if it's just meant to be revealed in this way.
In any case, this issue has a powerful monologue about how Kate's past has formed who she is today.

56lavaturtle
Apr 22, 4:57pm Top

Kindred by Octavia Butler
Category: By My Favorite Authors
SFF/SFFF KIT: Time Travel
BingoDOG: Relative Name in Title

This is an interesting novel that illuminates the brutality of slavery from the perspective of a Black woman from the 1970s. I liked the well-developed characterization of the main and supporting characters. The strange phenomenon that frames the book's events is never really explained, but it doesn't really need to be. The growing strain between Dana and Kevin is well done as well.

57lavaturtle
Apr 22, 7:19pm Top

Batwoman #10: Kiss From a Rose by Marguerite Bennett
Category: Comics

This issue mostly feels like a connection between the end of the previous story arc and whatever comes next, giving the characters a little breathing room to talk to each other. Unfortunately, the people available to talk to are obnoxious Colony leaders. (And ugh, Kate's dad is awful.) Not sure where the twist at the end is going!

58lavaturtle
Apr 22, 8:54pm Top

Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

This is an interesting piece, set in a fairy-tale world where all the people are wind-up toys living in various parts of a house with a train running between them. It's sad, but sweet. Despite being a world of toys, the characters make very grown-up decisions and mistakes.
(Also, I appreciated the casual inclusion of gay dads.)

59lavaturtle
Apr 24, 3:29pm Top

Worth Her Weight in Gold by Sarah Gailey
Category: Short Stories

This is a cute little story about a rogue and his hippo. I love it!

60lavaturtle
Apr 24, 7:34pm Top

Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand by Fran Wilde
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

This is an odd little vignette, a creepy trip through an increasingly grotesque museum that seems to be a metaphor for ableism? Anyway, it's interesting, and lyrical, almost more of a prose poem than a story.

61lavaturtle
Apr 25, 9:00pm Top

Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

This story is excellent and I like it so much! The robot protagonist is funny and sympathetic, the fandom depictions are spot on, and the fictional anime sounds amazing. I would definitely watch this show (which btw has a trans protagonist? awesome!) if it existed. The story reminds me a bit of Murderbot, and a bit of some of the stories in Robot Uprisings about lonely semi-obsolete robots.

62lavaturtle
Apr 28, 8:10am Top

The Martian Obelisk by Linda Nagata
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

A powerful story about what it means to carry on when all hope seems lost.

63lavaturtle
Apr 28, 5:18pm Top

Sun, Moon, Dust by Ursula Vernon
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

This is a cute story about a farmboy who doesn't go off to war or become a legendary warrior. I liked the distinctive characters.

64lavaturtle
Apr 28, 5:42pm Top

Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™ by Rebecca Roanhorse
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

Wow! This is a compelling story with a twist ending that creeps up on you before you realize it.

65lavaturtle
May 6, 12:28pm Top

The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees
SFF/SFFF KIT: Rise Up
BingoDOG: LGBTQ Central Character

I love the worldbuilding in this book: the society's interesting approach to gender, the political tensions, the magic system. The main character was well-drawn and sympathetic. The ending wasn't quite as definitive as I would have liked, so I'm glad there's more in this series!

66lavaturtle
May 7, 9:22am Top

And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

I really liked this fantastical mystery story. The central conceit, weird as it is, was handled thoughtfully and didn't feel gimmicky. The resolution made sense.

67lavaturtle
May 9, 9:04am Top

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, Part Two by Michael Dante DiMartino
Category: Sequels to Books I Loved
RandomCAT: Spring is all around

This series - the comics continuation of an excellent animated TV series - continues to be excellent. The art does a great job conveying the action, and the character voices are perfect. I enjoyed Bolin's exploits as a rookie cop and banter with Mako. The story is exciting and I can't wait to see what happens next!

68lavaturtle
May 12, 12:06pm Top

Children of Thorns, Children of Water by Aliette de Bodard
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

Since I haven't read The House of Shattered Wings, I'm missing a lot of the context for this story, so it took me a bit to get into it. But it does come together as a story, with an exciting glimpse of several magic systems and a bunch of haunting memories. Still, it's very much an "interquel", with little time spent getting us up to speed and not much finality to its ending.

69lavaturtle
May 12, 2:22pm Top

Exiles #1 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics
BingoDOG: X in the Title

This is an intriguiging beginning to a new series! I like the characterization and art for Blink and Khan. Not sure yet on Iron Lad.

70lavaturtle
May 12, 8:05pm Top

Extracurricular Activities by Yoon Ha Lee
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

This is a charming story about an interesting character on a government mission that goes a bit wrong. I liked the romance subplot, and the way the past tied into the story.

71lavaturtle
May 13, 11:40am Top

Exiles #2 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics

As the second part of the beginning of the story, this issue does a great job introducing the rest of the team and getting ready to move on to the next phase. I love Valkyrie's characterization, and how Blink and Khan relate to each other. Also, X-Babies is really weird.

72lavaturtle
Edited: May 13, 2:09pm Top

Exiles (2018-) #3 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics
ScaredyCAT: Close to Home

Peggy Carter: Captain America! Age of Aquarius! Valkyrie's romance with Peggy's sidekick Becky! I love so many things about this issue. I just hope that cliffhanger ending doesn't mean the end for Peggy and her crew.

73lavaturtle
May 13, 8:44pm Top

Wind Will Rove by Sarah Pinsker
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

I loved this story about folk music and history, and generation ships, and how we decide what's important to remember.

74lavaturtle
May 14, 9:18pm Top

Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by K.M. Szpara
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

This story does a great job depicting someone running up against a system that wasn't designed with people like them in mind, in an interesting urban fantasy setting.

75lavaturtle
May 19, 3:17pm Top

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

I loved this book! The alternate-history setting is a lot of fun. The author does an amazing job with the distinctive voices of our protagonists. The story is exciting and fast-paced. And it's stuffed full of awesome LGBTQ characters.

76lavaturtle
Edited: May 23, 9:39am Top

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

It's been a couple years since I read Binti, so it took me a bit to find my footing as this book jumps right in with the protagonist's current situation and a bunch of non-English words. But once I remembered what's going on, this is an interesting story. I loved learning about the Desert People and their history with aliens and advanced technology. The end of the book is rather abrupt and doesn't really feel like an ending. Hopefully the next book in the series will pick up the loose threads this one left dangling.

77lavaturtle
May 24, 11:00am Top

Bookburners Season 2, Episode 3: Mistakes Were Made by Brian Francis Slattery
Category: Short Stories

This is a reasonably fun installment about a magical conference, but doesn't have a lot of substance. Asanti gets some interesting character development, at least.

78lavaturtle
May 26, 4:34pm Top

CALEXIT #1 by Matteo Pizzolo
Category: Comics
SFF/SFFF KIT: Rise Up

This is a powerful beginning to a new series. I liked the assortment of characters introduced, with all their moral murkiness, and I liked the effective use of geography.

79-Eva-
Jun 3, 9:39pm Top

80lavaturtle
Jun 4, 9:12am Top

Provenance by Ann Leckie
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

I liked this book's worldbuilding, particularly the development of the Hwae culture. Took a while to get into the plot, but it picked up after a while. The Geck are interesting, and I also liked the brief glimpses of how the events of the Ancillary trilogy had affected the world.

81lavaturtle
Jun 13, 9:43am Top

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees
SFF/SFFF KIT: Series

The premise of this book is really interesting. And the storytelling is fast-paced and entertaining. Being the first in a series, it leaves a fair bit unresolved at the end, although not so much as to be annoying. I look forward to picking up The Consuming Fire when it comes out this fall.

82lavaturtle
Jun 18, 8:56am Top

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Category: Sequels to Books I Loved
RandomCAT: Unusual Narrators
SFF/SFFF KIT: Series
BingoDOG: Fits at least 2 CATs/KITs

This is another great story in the Murderbot Diaries series. I liked seeing how Murderbot relates to other constructs and AIs. The answers about Murderbot's past were a satisfying conclusion to that loose end from the previous book. The main plot is ultimately not very complicated -- it's a short book -- but it has room to develop a lot about the characters and the world they live in. The human relationships we get a glimpse of are compelling and interesting. But my favorite thing is our hero, who's been beaten down and told they're not even a person, fighting through their anxiety and trauma to live life on their own terms.

83lavaturtle
Jun 21, 9:12am Top

A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

A fun little story about a niche industry. I really like the protagonists and the slow reveal of Helen's past. The ending is satisfying and well-earned.

84lavaturtle
Jun 24, 10:22pm Top

The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

I liked the clever POV on this story, and the intertwined micro and macro narratives.

85lavaturtle
Jun 27, 9:21pm Top

Party Discipline by Cory Doctorow
Category: By My Favorite Authors

Found my way this story via a link on a blog post on social media... but it's actually set in the same world as Walkaway. This story feels like Walkaway's indictment of economic inequality, crossed with Little Brother's sense of what it's like to be a high school student in a terrifying surveillance state. I liked how it packed a lot of hints about what's going on in the world into a small space, filtered through the lens of what the protagonist is worried about.

86lavaturtle
Jun 30, 8:09pm Top

It's halfway through the year! Let's see where I am on my goals.

* From the Physical Bookshelf: 2/5
* Nonfiction: 1/6
* Comics: 16/50
* Short Stories: 2/12
* Published in 2018: 0/12
* 2018 Hugo Nominees: COMPLETE! (18/15)
* Sequels to Books I Loved: 3/5
* By My Favorite Authors: COMPLETE! (5/5)
* By New-To-Me Authors: 3/5

I need to pick up the pace on Nonfiction and things published in 2018! Sounds like a good place to focus my efforts once Hugo season is done.

87lavaturtle
Jul 9, 7:08pm Top

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees
ScaredyKIT: Science/Techno Thrillers

I loved this book! I especially liked the gradual reveal of the characters' backstories and how those fit into the main mystery. The exploration of the cultural role and implications of cloning was also super neat. I would love to read more about these characters, past the point where this story leaves off.

88lavaturtle
Jul 9, 7:48pm Top

Bookburners Season 2, Episode 4: Ghosts by Margaret Dunlap
Category: Short Stories

I'm not sure what I think of the main plot of this episode, which seems to rely heavily on a silly pun. But the advancement of Grace's story is interesting, and I'm curious where the techno-cultist stuff is eventually going.

89lavaturtle
Jul 12, 8:58am Top

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Category: Comics

This series has an interesting premise, and it's not subtle. It's loud, and in your face, and angry. And it's actually perfect for covering the number of fucked-up things about society that this comic tackles.

I like the main characters, and the bonds they form in the face of oppression. The art does a good job of making them larger than life, while still letting them have nuance and personality.

90lavaturtle
Jul 14, 3:49pm Top

Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees
BingoDOG: Rank in Title

Wow. This volume is even stronger than the previous one. Several storylines are handled deftly, and saying a lot in relatively few panels: Meiko's backstory, the introduction of the trans women on the prison planet, and the choices Meiko's father ends up making. I'm intrigued by the titular character and her supporters that make an appearance towards the end of the volume.

Also, the end notes, where the creators discuss some of their artistic choices, are totally worth reading.

91lavaturtle
Jul 15, 9:30am Top

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K Vaughan
Category: Comics
BingoDOG: Set during a holiday

This is an interesting story about a group of girls in the late 1980s, figuring out who they want to be while also dealing with some spooky mysteries. It's an intriguing story. It also does a good job of portraying some of the uglier parts of 1980s social attitudes without condoning them. The art is lovely and evocative.

92lavaturtle
Jul 15, 8:20pm Top

Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Category: Comics

I liked the character exploration of Erin, and the setting touches of the year 2016. Want to know more about the mysterious factions that have taken an interest in the protagonists. KJ still seems underused/underdeveloped as a character.

93lavaturtle
Jul 16, 8:45pm Top

Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

Hurray, KJ gets a lot more screen time in this volume! I liked the "weird prehistoric" setting. The art is great.

94lavaturtle
Jul 19, 9:17am Top

Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Category: Comics

Re-read this to remind myself of the plot before reading Monstress Volume 2.

95-Eva-
Jul 21, 9:20pm Top

>94 lavaturtle:
Ooh, I almost picked that one up recently, but it was too heavy to bring on the plane in my carry-on... Putting it on my librarylist instead.

96lavaturtle
Jul 24, 5:26pm Top

Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Category: 2018 Hugo Nominees

I liked that we learned a bit more about the history of the world, and the supernatural threats it's facing. But most of all, the artwork in this series is just breathtaking. Every panel of every page is filled with an incredible amount of intricate detail. It's beautiful.

97lavaturtle
Jul 24, 5:55pm Top

Black Bolt #1 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics

I'd never heard of this character before, but the first volume of this series is nominated for a Hugo, so I'm checking it out. The first issue is intriguing, with its poetic, cyclic narrative structure. I like the art.

98lavaturtle
Jul 24, 6:16pm Top

Black Bolt #2 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics

This issue tackled some important themes about justice and who gets labelled a "criminal". I'm liking the character interactions before. The non-speaking aspect of the character seems like it could get gimmicky (seriously dude, just get a chalkboard. or learn a signed language.), but hopefully it won't soon...

99lavaturtle
Jul 25, 8:33am Top

Black Bolt #3 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics

I like how the protagonists are starting to come together as a team.

100lavaturtle
Jul 25, 8:54am Top

Black Bolt #4 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics

Wow. This was a powerful issue, making good use of very little "front-story" to fill in a lot of character and backstory.

101lavaturtle
Jul 27, 8:57am Top

Black Bolt #5 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics

The plot's going in an interesting direction here. I hope Lockjaw is okay!

102lavaturtle
Jul 27, 9:17am Top

Black Bolt #6 by Saladin Ahmed
Category: Comics

This was a satisfying conclusion to the story arc.

103lavaturtle
Jul 29, 5:07pm Top

The Trespasser by Tana French
Category: Sequels to books I loved

I love the Dublin Murder Squad series, and this book delivers exactly the kind of can't-put-it-down mystery I've come to expect. The protagonist and supporting cast are great here. I was surprised by the solution to the mystery, and the ending was satisfying.

104lavaturtle
Aug 8, 9:00am Top

Lock In by John Scalzi
Category: By my favorite authors

When this book first came out, I apparently only paid a little attention to the pitch, because I thought "it's about a plague of total paralysis? sounds like Oh-No-Disability-Is-Terrible stuff, I'll pass". But it turns out I was completely wrong about that! This book picks up a couple decades later and is largely about disability culture, rights, and politics. It's really good! I like the worldbuilding and the characters.

105lavaturtle
Edited: Aug 12, 9:24am Top

Batwoman #11: Pygsty by K. Perkins
Category: Comics

The villain here is forgettable, typical DC "lol cRaZy people" fare, but the real point of this issue is Kate's inner monologue and memories of her childhood. Maybe soon we'll find out what actually happened!

106lavaturtle
Aug 12, 9:27am Top

Batwoman #12: Paradise is Burning Down by Marguerite Bennett
Category: Comics

This is a satisfying conclusion to the Coryana flashback arc. Now I just want to know what the deal is with Kate's family...

107lavaturtle
Aug 14, 8:19am Top

Ready, Fire, Aim by gyzym
Category: Short Stories

This is an excellent piece of fanfic that does a great job capturing the essence of Tony Stark's character and voice.

108lavaturtle
Edited: Aug 28, 8:37am Top

Innsmouth #4 by Megan James
Category: Comics

I just can't say enough good things about this series. It has a memorable and diverse set of characters, a fun premise that turns a corner of Lovecraftian mythos on its head, great writing, and an art style that's cute and expressive at the same time. I'm so excited there's more!

109lavaturtle
Edited: Aug 28, 8:39am Top

There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia by Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno
Category: Nonfiction books

The violence in Colombia towards the end of the 20th century is something I knew very little about, so this book was very educational. I think it did a good job connecting the dots and building a narrative out of a lot of different events. The tendency to jump around in time (e.g. "Velásquez went to his office on a day in 1998. He was working with Peréz. They met in 1995 and here's a 3-page story about that. In the middle of talking about what happened in 1995, though, we're going to also relate some important facts from 1980. So anyway about that thing in 1998...") made it a little hard for me to follow, but I feel like I got the gist of the story.

110lavaturtle
Aug 31, 9:45pm Top

Innsmouth #5 by Megan James
Category: Comics

This is another amazing installment, and a fitting conclusion for "Season 1" of the series. I love everything about this, and I'm psyched to see where it goes next!

111lavaturtle
Sep 1, 1:33pm Top

New X-Men #125: Losers by Grant Morrison
Category: Comics

I, uh, don't recommend waiting almost 3 years between reading sequential issues of a comic. I read #124 at the end of 2015, and I had NO IDEA what was going on at the beginning of this issue. (But I think I just about remembered the basics by the end.)

112lavaturtle
Sep 1, 9:20pm Top

New X-Men #126: All Hell by Grant Morrison
Category: Comics

This was a satisfying conclusion to the Cassandra storyline, and had some good characterization.

113lavaturtle
Sep 3, 4:53pm Top

New X-Men #127: of living and dying by Grant Morrison
Category: Comics

A powerful meditation on intolerance and fear and violence.

114lavaturtle
Sep 19, 9:56pm Top

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
Category: From the Physical Bookshelf

I loved this book! Saffron, Gwen, and Zech are amazing characters. The worldbuilding is fleshed out and really interesting. There's an expansive cast of supporting characters with complex motivations. The Shavaktiin are a fascinating concept.

115lavaturtle
Sep 21, 10:16pm Top

New X-Men #128: New Worlds by Grant Morrison
Category: Comics

Not sure what I think of this one. We get a whole bunch of new characters I'm pretty sure we've never seen before, and it's unclear whether we're supposed to know what's going on. The part with Jean/Phoenix is intriguing (and has some awesome art!), but... I'm apprehensive about the whole "oh NOES, she's POWERFUL" trope that seems to consume everything to do with her.

116lavaturtle
Oct 2, 7:27pm Top

Last quarter of the year. Current status:

* From the Physical Bookshelf: 3/5
* Nonfiction: 2/6
* Comics: COMPLETE! (51/50)
* Short Stories: 4/12
* Published in 2018: 0/12
* 2018 Hugo Nominees: COMPLETE! (22/15)
* Sequels to Books I Loved: 4/5
* By My Favorite Authors: COMPLETE! (6/5)
* By New-To-Me Authors: 3/5

117lavaturtle
Oct 3, 9:24am Top

A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows
Category: From the Physical Bookshelf

This was a great sequel to An Accident of Stars, satisfyingly resolving a lot of the plot from the first book. I loved Yena's storyline and greater role in this book. It was exciting that an important new character is a trans autistic boy, when so often autistic characters don't get to have any other traits. The big changes and reveal about the world were super cool.

118lavaturtle
Edited: Oct 7, 8:28pm Top

Irregular, Chapter One: We Know What You Are by Cait May and Trevor Beam
Category: Comics

This is an intriguing, fun new series about a bunch of supernatural kids. I like the assortment of characters and the dynamics between them. Excited to see what's next!

119lavaturtle
Oct 7, 8:27pm Top

New X-Men #129: Fantomex by Grant Morrison
Category: Comics

OK, this story arc at least seems to be going somewhere interesting for now. Fantomex is an... interesting character.

120lavaturtle
Oct 7, 8:50pm Top

New X-Men #130: Weapon Twelve by Grant Morrison
Category: Comics

A surprising ending, a costly mistake, a painful choice.

121lavaturtle
Yesterday, 8:49pm Top

Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys
Category: Published in 2018

I loved Winter Tide, and it's super exciting to return to the characters in the sequel. This book explores some of the fallout of the events of Winter Tide, so I recommend reading them in somewhat close succession. It's also a thoughtful meditation on trust, family, and consequences. And there are some great new characters!

Group: 2018 Category Challenge

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