Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace starts off violent and world-weary and continues to be gripping but painful. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world (isn’t everything, nowadays?) in which human cruelty and desperation take center stage. Wasp, the protagonist, is weary of it, and tries to do a good thing, but her attempt fails miserably and results in more hopelessness. …I’m not making this sound very appealing, am I? But the writing is great and it kept surprising me. I backed away twice but then couldn’t resist going back in. The plot got more intriguing after the story took an unexpected turn that brought two subgenres together. My one wish is that the ending had been more complex. I don’t think institutional change of that nature would have been very easy.
I read numerous issues of The Economist, to which I have a year’s subscription (using airline points). I utterly failed to read them in order, which was kind of interesting, actually, when I read analysis of a projected event after it had already happened and compared the two. I mainly chose this magazine for its outsider perspective on the US, and the way its world coverage is biased in a slightly different direction from American press. Also, free.
Written in Blood and Bone by Sholio is a really great adventure story with Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Bucky Barnes, who is beginning to come in from the cold. Also there are mountains and a monster in a cave.
A Fistful of Steves: This Town Ain’t Big Enough by Raikishi and teaberryblue is mostly an Iron Man story with a plethora of Captain Americas from more sources than I can describe here. Highly recommended for the longtime Marvel geek or anyone who wants to see exactly what decades of continuity can yield. There are some slashy elements.
Even if you think you’re tired of Marvel Cinematic Universe Captain America and Bucky stories, read Sparked Up Like a Book of Matches by Sena. It made me laugh several times with its clever turns of phrase and pacing. It was written before Age of Ultron came out, incidentally, so uses Comics!Clint who watches “Dog Cops.” Read this one! Read it! By the same author: Heart, Have No Pity on this House of Bone by Sena is basically Bucky In the Pacific Theater, and Also He Is Gay. It takes place before Captain America: The First Avenger, and I think the author did some research on what it was like to serve on Guadalcanal.