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General - Group Business > Nominations for February 2011!

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (last edited Nov 18, 2010 12:32PM) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
Hi everyone,

It's time to start taking nominations for our February 2011 Books of the Month! As always, you can make 1 SF and/or 1 fantasy nomination, by posting a reply to this post with the title and author of the book(s). Adding a note about why you're nominating the book will help people decide whether they want to read it. Please feel free to re-nominate a book from previous months if it didn't win the polls.

I'll take nominations until November 19th and set up the first round of polls on November 20th.




Three Days to Never: A Novel, by Time Powers
The Habitation of the Blessed, by Catherynne M. Valente
Black Sun Rising, by C.S. Friedman
The Twelve, by James Burk
Cold Magic, by Kate Elliot
Black Prism, by Brent Weeks
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin

Archangel, by Sharon Shinn
Little Fuzzy, by H. Beam Piper
The Tar-Aiym Krang, by Alan Dean Foster
The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks

message 2: by Nick, Moderator (last edited Nov 15, 2010 09:51AM) (new)

Nick (doily) | 535 comments Mod
I'll nominate Three Days to Never: A Novel by Tim Powers for science fiction, a contemporary alternate history wherein Einstein found more than just the road to the atomic bomb. The Goodreads blurb calls it "an exhilirating masterwork of speculative suspense," and the positive reviews, some by members of this group, say it's a good introduction to Powers' work.

message 3: by Candiss, Moderator (last edited Nov 18, 2010 02:43PM) (new)

Candiss (Tantara) | 790 comments Mod
For fantasy, I would like to nominate the recently-released The Habitation of the Blessed by Catherynne M. Valente. I have read that, although still full of beautiful language, it is not so erotic-surreal as, for example, Palimpsest, and is more of a classic narrative fantasy in form.

The story is something of an alternate history/alternate science book. The premise is "What if all the bizarre things regarding the Medieval popular meme/myth of Prester John - the strange creatures that inspired Bosch, the Fountain of Youth, the magical soil that grows anything planted in it, whether living or not (sort of a proto replicator kinda thing) - were real? And what if the strange science behind all these things were real, as well?"

The author has produced a handy (silly, yet smart) visual aid to introduce the potential reader to Prester John and the legends surrounding him and all the whacky things Medieval folk and royals and church leaders believed about him, and how things grew and mutated as the stories passed through word of mouth. It can be viewed here: Prester John: International Man of Mystery (YouTube)

Edit to add: I am going to obstain from nominating a selection for SF this month.

message 4: by Shel (last edited Nov 15, 2010 01:51PM) (new)

Shel (shel99) | 939 comments I'll nominate Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman for SF, since it's come up a few times lately, it's one of my favorites, and there seems to be some interest.

For fantasy, I'll nominate The Twelve by James Burk, with full disclosure that the author is an online buddy of mine from another book group; however, I've read one of his previous books, High Rage, and would have enjoyed it even without being friends with the author, so make of that what you will :) The premise of this one sounds really interesting, about a city-state governed by a council of archetypes.

Sandra  (Sleo) | 1117 comments Shel wrote: "I'll nominate Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman for SF, since it's come up a few times lately, it's one of my favorites, and there seems to be some interest.

For fantasy, I'll nominat..."

I'll second Black Sun Rising. It's one that's in my pile. Is it scifi or fantasy?

message 6: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (last edited Nov 15, 2010 08:37PM) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
To me it's fantasy with an SF background story, but I'd consider it fantasy more than SF. I guess discussing this in more detail will lead to spoilers though. If you look at how the book is shelved here, 220+ people shelved it as fantasy and only 25 as SF:

Kerry (rocalisa) | 450 comments I'm going to renominate Archangel by Sharon Shinn for SF. Hopefully it'll get picked one month.

For Fantasy, Cold Magic by Kate Elliott.

message 8: by Jeffrey (last edited Nov 15, 2010 09:03PM) (new)

Jeffrey | 49 comments for sf I would nominate Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, a classic sf novel of first contact besides one of the best and cutest sf books ever.

For Fantasy, I will nominated Black Prism by Brent Weeks.

Jeffrey | 49 comments I thinkby the way there is no question that Black Sun Rising is a fantasy.

Sandra  (Sleo) | 1117 comments Thanks for the info on Black Sun Rising. Little Fuzzy looks pretty good, Jeffrey.

Sandi (Sandikal) | 334 comments Jeffrey wrote: "I thinkby the way there is no question that Black Sun Rising is a fantasy."

I think Black Sun Rising is a cross between science fiction and fantasy. Humans have colonized a planet and have to adapt to live on a world that has natural forces that behave like magic. It uses an epic quest trope.

I would say that Nick's nomination of Three Days to Never: A Novel is really fantasy. Yeah, it has Albert Einstein, but it's typical Tim Powers.

Maybe we should spend a month looking at books that straddle the line between fantasy and science fiction.

Sandra  (Sleo) | 1117 comments That''s not a bad idea, Sandi. I see we're reading Under Heaven in December. Yay!

Jeffrey | 49 comments However Sandi, almost most of the tropes in Dark Sun Rising are fantastical. But in any event its a classic book. I loved it.

orannia I loved Dark Sun Rising when I read it...way too long ago! I wouldn't mind reading it again, but I'm going to second Cold Magic (Kate Elliot) - I really want to read it!

Shel (shel99) | 939 comments I suppose you could put it on the fantasy list instead - I put in it SF because of the origins of the colony, and also for reasons that become apparent later in the trilogy, but it does contain more fantasy tropes than SF, so either way works :)

I like the idea of taking a month to read books that straddle the line...

message 16: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
Okay, what I've done is categorize the books that could be either SF or fantasy based on what shelves they appear on the most here on GoodReads. Based on that criterion, both the Tim Powers and CS Friedman books are fantasy. I know it's not a perfect rule, but it's hard to get into an in-depth discussion of this without actually starting the book discussion already :)

Tomorrow's the last day to add nominations. I've added the ones we have so far to the top post in this topic. We could use a few more SF books!

message 17: by Nick, Moderator (last edited Nov 18, 2010 09:27AM) (new)

Nick (doily) | 535 comments Mod
I'll nominate Moving Mars by Greg Bear for science fiction, because it really is science fiction. Really.

(I've never read any Greg Bear or Tim Powers -- that's how out of touch with things I am. I nominated the Powers because it was in the sci fi category in the summer of 2009 when I first joind this group. But I don't mind it being in the fantasy.)

Jeffrey | 49 comments Stefan, I will nominate a few other sf books from books that I have not seen read in other groups. I have read a few. It violates your rule about more than one nomination, but my thinking is that you should waive it here and just see which ones are seconded.

Here are some other books:

Hammered by Elizabeth Bear
Death's Head by David Gunn (superb military sf)
Tar-Aiym Krang by Alan Dean Foster (superb esper adventure novel)
Halting State by Charles Stross
Rendevous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

message 19: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
Thanks Jeffrey. We don't use the "seconding" system here like in some other groups, so please pick one book from the list to nominate.

Also, Halting State has been BotM here before - not that this disqualifies it, just letting you know. (Moving Mars has actually been BotM too, but many many years ago when we were still on Yahoo. Greg Bear actually answered questions about the book at the time.)

Jeffrey | 49 comments I will nominate then The Tar-Aiym Krang. Its a really fun read, a book that got me very intersted in sf a long time ago and sometimes that is more important that super serious issues.

message 21: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
I'm going to add a couple of nominations myself this time.

For SF: The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. This is the second book in his Culture series - we read book 1, Consider Phlebas, a while back. I know some people gave up on the Culture series after that first book, but the series gets a lot better, especially with The Player of Games and the next one, Use of Weapons. You can also read these books without having read Consider Phlebas, as they're standalone books that happen to be set in the same fictional universe. This is one of my favorite SF novels ever.

For fantasy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. This is a more recent novel. The sequel just came out last month. I just read the first one this week and enjoyed it very much, plus I think it could lead to some interesting discussion.

message 22: by Nick, Moderator (new)

Nick (doily) | 535 comments Mod
Stefan wrote: "(Moving Mars has actually been BotM too, but many many years ago when we were still on Yahoo. Greg Bear actually answered questions about the book at the time.)"

Stefan, I don't see Moving Mars on the bookshelf, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. I'm going to withdraw the nomination anyway because I like your idea of The Player of Games better.

message 23: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
Huh. You're absolutely right. I must be confusing this with another discussion group - or it may have been in Beyond Reality even before it was on Yahoo Groups, when we didn't keep these records.

Kelly (sisimka) | 329 comments With so many great nominations, I'm going to just cast a vote this month! And I've still too many books on the TBR pile!

message 25: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (last edited Nov 21, 2010 09:37AM) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
Hi everyone,

There's a problem with poll invitations, so I sent a separate message to let you all know that the February polls are up! To make sure as many people as possible see it, I'll put the links here too:

February SF:

February Fantasy:

The top 2 from each poll will move on to the run-off polls, which I'll set up on November 25th.

Please go vote, and as always, feel free to campaign for your nomination, either in the nominations topic or in the poll comments!


message 26: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
Hi everyone,

I've decided to end the run-off polls on December 1st rather than December 3rd. Initially I was worried that people might not have the chance to vote because I started the polls a bit late and because of the US Thanksgiving holiday. However, it looks like we've had even more voters so far than usual so I'm closing the polls tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, which will allow me to set up the bookshelves and the welcome to December message at the same time.

So, if you haven't voted yet, you have about 24 hours to make your voice heard!



Go vote!


message 27: by Kelly (last edited Dec 02, 2010 12:24PM) (new)

Kelly Flanagan | 23 comments I'd like to nominate for the fantasy side, Lamentation by Ken Scholes
and/or The Heart of the Mirage by Glenda Larke
For the Sci-fi I'd like to offer up an author, and ask for y'all to chose, as her book ALL get straight A's from me Julie E. Czerneda
I can't get enough of her books!

message 28: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1665 comments Mod
Kelly, thanks for the nominations, but those polls are actually already closed and the winners have been announced. Please post this again when we start taking nominations for March.

Kelly Flanagan | 23 comments OMG I am so sorry, I was surfing pre-coffee. Apologies all around!

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