I haven't talked to much about my pop culture intake of late, so I thought I'd do some posts to update that. This is the first of three (I think) and it covers what I've been reading since the beginning of June.
The first and only book I've read so far this month (I did abandon a second) was The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, an anothology of new stories edited by Ellen Datlow. It was a solid collection, though the percentage of stories I liked a lot was relatively small...but nothing was horrible either. My favorite three were "Ardent Clouds" by Lucy Sussex (don't think I've read her work before); "All Washed Up While Looking for a Better World" by Carol Emshwiller (a creepy and cool story about a woman searching for adventure only to have it backfire); and "Daltharee" by Jeffrey Ford (hard to go wrong with Ford...this one is about a bottled city).
I've read both the April and May issues of F&SF, finishing the latter this morning. Solid issues of each but the standouts were "The First Editions" by James Stoddard (about people who have been turned into books); "Five Thrillers" by Robert Reed (pretty much what it implies - five stories packed into one, all featuring the same amoral character); "Reunion" by Robert Reed (yeah, him again); "Rebecca's Locket" by S.L. Gilbow (dealing with a potential change in how the dead live on); and "Immortal Snake" by Rachel Pollack (a wonderful story about stories and how they can both save and destroy).
I've also been reading a lot of comics. I just now finished Y: The Last Man - Ring of Truth, which is the 5th volume of the series. I'm glad I made the decision to reread this series before the final volume comes out this Wednesday, as it as been many years since I've read the ealier stories. I had forgotten quite a bit, though I also remembered quite a bit too. I've been caught up in the story all over again as well as marveling over the art by Pia Guerra and Jose Marzan Jr. Even though I've gotten through five trades since last Sunday, I don't think I'll be quite ready to read the last one on Wednesday. That's okay...I've waited this long, so what's a few extra days or even weeks?
Lastly, I also read Fables: The Good Prince, which is the 10th and latest volume of the ongoing series. It's a thick one too, collecting 10 issues. The story centers around Flycatcher, who has recently recovered the painful memories of the loss of his family, and his quest to get vengeance. Actually, something much more interesting happens. It's a very uplifting tale in the end and I kept turning the pages to see what was coming next. Well done, Bill Willingham. And the same to you, Mark Buckingham and his inker posse. Looking forward to the next one already.
So, have I exhausted my reading material yet? Ha! In addition to the 4 remaining volumes of Y: The Last Man, I now have 6 trades stacked up and ready to go. I have 2 issues each of F&SF and Asimov's in a drawer next to the bed. And after my trip to the library on Friday, I now have three books piled just to my right. So there's the next couple weeks or more...