A very tentative schedule for Fridays in 2018

This is a work in progress. Open to suggestions. In 2015 and 2016, I devoted Fridays to Norton and Lee, respectively. That led to a certain level of fatigue towards the end of the projects. In 2017, I focused on authors from Waterloo Region, which side-stepped the fatigue issue at the cost of causing problems with the gender ratio of authors reviewed1. In 2018, my idea is to

Focus on four primary authors, three women and one man: Dianna Wynne Jones, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Carrie Vaughn. A rotating roster avoids fatigue and with women outnumbering men three to one, I shouldn’t have the same problem maintaining my desired women to men ratio. Some months have five Fridays; I could just let the authors cycle on a four week rotation anyway but I think I will use this to review the slowly accumulating pile of Expanse novels I own. I might review two of them this year so by the end of 2018 I will be caught up.

I am open to suggestions as to which Joneses to review.

1: There is no shortage of review sites that focus on men.


Month

Date

Author

Title

January

5

Jones

12

Tchaikovsky

Empire in Black and Gold

19

Bujold

Shards of Honor

26

Vaughn

Kitty Goes to Washington

February

2

Jones

9

Tchaikovsky

Dragonfly Falling

16

Bujold

Barrayar

23

Vaughn

Kitty Takes a Holiday

March

2

Jones

9

Tchaikovsky

Blood of the Mantis

16

Bujold

The Warrior’s Apprentice

23

Vaughn

Kitty and the Silver Bullet

30

Corey

Caliban’s War

April

6

Jones

13

Tchaikovsky

Salute the Dark

20

Bujold

The Vor Game

27

Vaughn

Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand

May

4

Jones

11

Tchaikovsky

The Scarab Path

18

Bujold

Cetaganda

25

Vaughn

Kitty Raises Hell

June

1

Jones

8

Tchaikovsky

The Sea Watch

15

Bujold

Mirror Dance

22

Vaughn

Kitty’s House of Horrors

29

Corey

Abbadon’s Gate

July

6

Jones

13

Tchaikovsky

Heirs of the Blade

20

Bujold

Memory

27

Vaughn

Kitty Goes to War

August

3

Jones

10

Tchaikovsky

The Air War

17

Bujold

Komarr

24

Vaughn

Kitty’s Big Trouble

31

Corey

Cibola Burn

September

7

Jones

14

Tchaikovsky

War Master’s Gate

21

Bujold

A Civil Campaign

28

Vaughn

Kitty’s Greatest Hits

October

5

Jones

12

Tchaikovsky

Seal of the Worm

19

Bujold

Diplomatic Immunity

26

Vaughn

Kitty Steals the Show

November

2

Jones

9

Tchaikovsky

The Tiger and the Wolf

16

Bujold

Captain Vorpatil’s Alliance

23

Vaughn

Kitty Rocks the House

30

Corey

Nemesis Games

December

7

Jones

14

Tchaikovsky

The Bear and the Serpent

21

Bujold

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

28

Vaughn

Kitty In the Underworld




Comments

  • Elusis

    Howl's Moving Castle, certainly (with or without its sequels?) Archer's Goon, Tough Guide to Fantasyland, A Tale of Time City, and what's the one basically set at a Con?

    • Omega

      Deep Secret. Contains several not so thinly veiled portraits of British fen.

  • Jonesnori

    Deep Secret, The Dark Lord of Derkholm and maybe its sequel Year of the Griffin, all or some of the Chrestomanci series (Charmed Life et seq), Howl's Moving Castle et seq, maybe the Dalemark Quartet, maybe The Merlin Conspiracy. The first four sets listed are the ones I reread periodically.

  • Madscientistnz

    Howl's Moving Castle, Deep Secret, Dark Lord of Derkholm and any of the Chrestomanci series. Would be very interested to see your review of Fire and Hemlock. I always feel like I am missing important nuances when I read this, and it's not that DWJ is a poor writer, but that I am not clever enough or knowledgable enough to pick them up.
    Also like Archer's Goon, Black Maria/Aunt Maria, Hexwood, Dogsbody and The Time of the Ghost.

  • Meredith

    Deep Secret
    Dogsbody
    The Time of the Ghost
    Hexwood
    Witch Week
    The Lives of Christopher Chant
    Charmed Life
    Dalemark Quartet
    Dark Lord of Derkholm
    Howl's Moving Castle
    Castle in the Air
    Eight Days of Luke

  • Shem

    Definitely Howl's Moving Castle and Archer's Goon. I'd like to see A Tough Guide to Fantasyland as well.

  • Lenora Rose

    Howl's Moving Castle
    Charmed Life OR the Lives of Christopher Chant (The two plausible first books of the Chrestomanci series - Charmed life was written first and Lives of... happens first)
    Dogsbody
    Hexwood
    The Homeward Bounders
    Fire and Hemlock (tends towards an older audience than most of hers)
    Deep Secret (the fandom one)
    The Tough Guide to Fantasyland
    Dark Lord of Derkholm (Which is set in the Fantasyland of the guide)
    Archer's Goon

    So far I've suggested essentially the first book of most series, excluding Dalemark (And there's two open spots), and a set of the standalones that cover her range both for ages and emotions (plus both SF and F). There's a lot of her other books I like and would suggest you read, but this was meant to cover the broadest set for review.

    • Dana A

      Homeward Bounders and Hexwood for sure. They are two of her most science fiction type books. Also two of my favorites

  • Xtifr

    My top choice would appear to be a bit of a dark horse: <i>A Sudden, Wild Magic</i>. Like <i>Fire and Hemlock</i>, it's aimed at a slightly older audience than most of her work, but I think it's got a bit more meat on its bones. (Though both are good.)

    Beyond that, I'd second:

    Howl's Moving Castle
    Archer's Goon
    Dark Lord of Derkholm
    Dogsbody
    Deep Secret
    The Homeword Bounders
    Charmed Life OR the Lives of Christopher Chant (see Lenora Rose's post above)

    (I'm actually kinda meh on the Chrestomancy books, but they're important and significant to her body of work, so at least one almost has to be here.)

  • CHip

    Definitely _Fire and Hemlock_; probably her most ambitious work, and IIRC the only one that strongly binds to a specific traditional story (while bending to her purposes much more than Pamela Dean did).

    I'm also partial to _Eight Days of Luke_ and _Archer's Goon_ for sheer fun, __Deep Secret_ for the tangle and references, and _A Tale of Time City_ and _Conrad's Fate_, good stories in which she nails the ending (which she was often weak on).

  • Marisa

    My top picks for DWJ would be Hexwood, Fire and Hemlock, Deep Secret, The Homeward Bounders, Eight Days of Luke, The Power of Three, Dark Lord of Derkholm, Charmed Life and Howl's Moving Castle.

  • Chomiji

    I believe DWJ's books are best read approximately in publication order because she did improve over time. You've also already blogged two of my favorites, The Homeward Bounders and Archer's Goon.

    Dogsbody - 1975
    The Time of the Ghost - 1981
    Witch Week - 1982
    Fire and Hemlock - 1985
    Howl's Moving Castle - 1986
    The Lives of Christopher Chant - 1988
    Deep Secret - 1997
    Hexwood - 1993 (which I actually dislike, but so many people I respect like it a lot)
    The Tough Guide to Fantasyland - 1996 <-- non-fiction, strictly speaking
    Dark Lord of Derkholm - 1998

    I'd love for you to do the Dalemark Quartet, not least because they cover an awful lot of fantasy tropes that people take for granted (especially the lives of all those peasants and townspeople and mythological beings who are the background in other people's stories) and present realistic political situations mixed in with the fantasy elements. But they are, of course four whole books.

    In any case, they are:

    Cart and Cwidder - 1975
    Drowned Ammet - 1977
    The Spellcoats - 1979
    The Crown of Dalemark - 1993 (Note that long time gap ... )


  • Weatherglass

    Deep Secret, Hexwood, Archer's Goon, Howl's Moving Castle. I'm also partial to The Ogre Downstairs, which I don't think I've seen mentioned yet. It's not one of her absolute best, but it's one that I remember delighting me by how much better it was than I expected from the cover blurb.

  • Farah

    Ha, you are going to have real difficulty narrowing Jones down. But I recommend Time of the Ghost, Fire and Hemlock, Archer's Goon, Dalemark (see above) and Witch Week. Try not to get bogged down in the Chrestomanci sequence. (also, and apologies for the heavy hint; my own book is now on kindle at a not too horrendous price: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-Wynne-Jones-Fantastic-Literature-ebook/dp/B00FDR4DCG/ref=sr_1_4_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505299058&sr=8-4&keywords=farah+mendlesohn)

  • Katie

    Seconding the following:
    Hexwood
    Archer's Goon
    Dark Lord of Derkholm
    The Homeward Bounders
    Witch Week
    Howl's Moving Castle
    Dalemark-- all 4 would be best to see how they fit together, but if not, maybe Spellcoats
    Maybe Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy
    Maybe Lives of Christopher Chant

  • Janet

    I love the recs above and almost everything Jones wrote. Very much looking forward to your reviews! Most reviews and academic analyses (including my thesis, ha!) focus on the Howl's Moving Castle books or the Chrestomanci series, and there's relatively little on Jones's short story collections, or chapterbook/novella Wild Robert. It'd be lovely to see more written on the Dalemark Quartet, which takes (relatively) seriously some of the principles DWJ emphasizes through parody in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, Dark Lord of Derkholm, and Year of the Griffin. I don't know if anyone has yet examined Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy together (they're very loosely connected and written years apart), and Hexwood is one of my favourites. But really, you could write about any of DWJ's stories and I would be delighted :)
    I second Farah's mention of her own book - it really is excellent. Catherine Butler devoted a quarter of her examination of four British fantasists to DWJ as well, also a good read.

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