1. megan: jacqueline carey. kushiel's dart and so on.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      this is a double trilogy, no bs. i guess it's two stories in the same
      world, hence two distinct trilogies. i dunno. anyway there's a race of
      people descended from jesus and mary magdalene, whose credo is "love
      as thou wilt," so really i guess basically they're satanists? anyway
      the first trilogy follows a girl named phaedra and things sort of
      devolve from there. seems to involve a lot of stuff, celtic stuff,
      greco-roman stuff, viking stuff, demons and magic, etc. (ed: i admit
      that i'm realy not able to follow this whole thing very well. sounds
      awfully complicated with a lot of words i understand used in ways that
      don't really make sense to me. anyway i remain your faithful

  2. adam: greg bear. the city at the end of time.

    1. verdict: -
    2. review:

      never read any greg bear. bought this not at an airport bookstore as
      usual, but rather at... the train station bookstore! knew the name and
      thought this looked good. "big, imaginative, return to form, yadda
      yadda." so here's what's cool about it: it's sf on the largest
      scale. the first chapter is called "fourteen zeros" because "that's
      how many zeros after the one into the future we're talking." (ed: this
      is the stupidest thing i've ever heard.) it's about people in the far
      future trying to stop the universe from imploding inward on
      itself. they're humanoid, there's a hierarchy of races, some are
      extremely powerful and build galaxies and stuff. i dunno where this is
      going. they're trying to breed some kind of special people that can
      save the universe. (ed: this sounds stupid because adam obviously
      thinks it was stupid.) he tried to finish this book as penance for
      quitting anathem (which fact should be a point of pride, imho), but
      made it almost to the end and quit. he couldn't tell the characters
      apart and didn't like the book. "from what i read about the ending, if
      i'd have finished it, i'd have been *more* pissed off."

  3. paul: joe abercrombie. the blade itself.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      seemed like table setting, not a satisfactory conclusion, clearly
      setting the stage for the rest of the series. what he liked about it
      was the nuances of how people behaved even though they were basically
      pretty rotten. he prefers fables to things that are really thought-out
      with regard to physics are magical systems or whatever. this book
      really gets the characters right, and very little fantasy does. thumbs

  4. paul: ursula k leguin. the left hand of darkness.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      obviously a classic. this book clearly thinks everything through,
      there's lots more about the world that doesn't show up on the page,
      but it shows. this is his second time reading it, and he appreciated
      it more. highly recommended.

  5. jen: joe abercrombie. best served cold.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      adam and chad have both reviewed this book. she loved the first law
      trilogy, but this one... "is this fantasy?" it took her forever to
      read it because it's "not a fantasy novel, it's just a vengeance/war
      novel." it could have been italy in the middle ages. apparently, she
      says, i'm just not that into war. she likes the characters, but she
      thought it was weird that shivers was also a berserker, just like
      logen. what, is this a trait that all northmen share? OH SHIT!
      argument ensues!! adam and chad are not buying this. but it really
      bothered jen. she enjoyed it, but is now less excited for future joe
      abercrombie novels.

  6. interlude.

    are semi-mystical period martial arts novels fantasy? very good
    discussion, if i do say so myself.

  7. chris: george r r martin. a clash of kings.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      this is fantasy fiction, serious business. no question. it's also
      really awesome, and it does also break free of tolkien (which subject
      was just previously under discussion). jen would not like these
      books. lots of intrigue, plot-heavy. they're long, but everything
      drives the story forward. it could be set in europe and really
      wouldn't make any difference, there are no particularly fantastic
      elements. you can see prior minutes for a bit of plot summary, but as
      should be clear, we really can't attempt to keep up with the amount of
      story here. it's not clear whether he'll ever finish this series, but
      for now, chris is hoping he does.

  8. marko: charle stross. saturn's children.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      "the cover doesn't lie." freya, the main character, is a fembot. "she
      had been built for one purpose only," as marko so very tactfully puts
      it. but there are no men left, "they got extinct." so it's a society
      of androids built to obey humans, so they build a weird aristocratic
      society. the story takes place in the solar system, so if you want to
      get around, it takes a long time. there's a lot of stuff about how
      much easier space travel and extraterrestrial life is for robots, how
      you might build a city on mercury, etc. marko liked it, thought it was
      fun and recommends it.

  9. matt: china mieville. the city and the city.

    1. verdict: +++
    2. review:

      chad already reviewed this book. everything he said is true. this is
      the bomb, the real deal, and is so very highly recommended!!

  10. chad: china mieville. perdido street station.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      this is out of bounds, and is a latter-day classic, so not much
      perhaps will be said. he already read the iron council, so he's a bit
      out of line here. the connection is loose, though, so it's
      fine. anyway we hear a bit about it, a big sprawling story. it's done
      very well and he's into it.

  11. coda

    this was a great, productive and super fun meeting. everybody finished
    in high spirits.

  12. that's all, folks.