Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

My Goodreads reviews for 2017

Image from the cover of MASK: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, Vol 1

My low logging rate on Goodreads for 2017 belies how much I read on a given day; it just doesn’t come from books. That’s not because I’m too distracted for the long form, more that I’ve been having trouble losing myself in the worlds that novels require. (Or wanting to; it’s easier to watch good films or great TV, after all.) So last year’s record, as little as I read in qualifying matter, fairly reflects that.

Revolution, by Cullen Bunn, John Barber, Fico Ossio, Sebastian Cheng:

A fast-paced introduction to IDW’s rebooted Hasbro universe that balances thrills and spectacle with the deeper, darker aspects the individual titles will no doubt explore. (26 May)

MASK: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, Vol 1: Mobilise, by Brandon Easton, Tony Vargas, Juan Samu:

Read the individual issues that comprise this upcoming TPB. Can’t say I’m crazy about the art: the deficiencies stick out across the less kinetic panels, and even the action scenes often suffer from confusing layout. Also, while the commitment to diversity is commendable, the notion that the new-continuity Gloria Baker would have anglicised her original Indian name in modern Britain is some colonial-era bullshit. But the story is going places, and the rebooted characters are still in the construction phase. It’s worth getting in from the ground up. (5 June)

Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang:

Dipped into this on and off over the last year; a deceptively dense collection that darts between Biblical era fantasy, steampunk-tinged gnosticism and more contemporary speculative fiction, strung together on the common threads of the mind-body problem, free will versus determinism, and faith not necessarily of the spiritual kind. (18 September)

Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, by Bob Mehr:

Bob Mehr turns the Replacements’ tragic history into a real page-turner, and not in a bad way. (27 November)

Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling, by Jim Ross:

Good Ol’ JR’s life in wrestling is a breezy read, for sure; I ploughed through it in a few sittings. But it’s one let down by a few silly errors (that would been caught in another pass by a copy editor) and a significant lack of detail. I mean, not even counting that it’s curtailed at an event that took place 19 years ago! That’s all most likely for pragmatic or political reasons, but there’s a general sense that Jim Ross the person wants to keep the reader at arm’s length. In that case, why write an autobiography at all? (30 December)