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Past nominations (closed) > September 2013 Contemporary Novel nominations complete

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

It's time to start thinking about which Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel will be the focus of our September group read and discussion (beginning September 21.) This is the topic to nominate your idea. (A contemporary novel would typically have been published in the last 25 years. It's helpful if the novel is still in-print; it also shouldn't require having read previous novels in a series, so anyone can participate.)

You can review past nominees and winners in the Group's Bookshelf. (If you wish to continue a discussion of one of our past group selections, all those discussion topics are still open in our Book Discussions area.)

You need not have read the title you are nominating; after all, you'll be reading along. Feel free to say why you are making the nomination, if you care to.

Next weekend is either US Labor Day Weekend or WorldCon, depending on how you're wired, so get your nominations in before you frolic off in your cosplay power armor. Nominations will be open through Wednesday, September 4, when I'll collect the nominees and post a poll for one week so members can choose among them.


message 2: by Andreas (new)

Andreas | 677 comments Last months have been more on the sci-fi side. So, I'd like to nominate a fantasy book which has won last year's Locus Award for Best First Novel:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
I expect beautiful prose similar to Beagle, Peter S. or John Crowley.


message 3: by Pickle (last edited Aug 26, 2013 09:11AM) (new)

Pickle | 92 comments can i please recommend Light, its on my tbr shelf and sounds interesting. It will also be my first book by the author.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Wednesday is the final day to submit nominations for our September Contemporary SF/F book discussion. If you had one of mine, now would be a good time to share.

(Curious, last month there were a dozen nominations, and this month there are two. Doesn't anybody here read in September? Nah, me neither. Now that American football season has begun, I've lost all interest in science fiction and fantasy until the Superbowl :)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

this is a bit older, but can be had easly in ebook form...with the passing of Grandmaster Fred Pohl how about Plague of Pythons for this month's book (im sure everyone's already read Gateway)


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Spooky1947 wrote: "this is a bit older, but can be had easly in ebook form...with the passing of Grandmaster Fred Pohl how about Plague of Pythons for this month's book (im sure everyone's already read Gateway)"

No, it's several decades too old for the Contemporary category. You can nominate a Pohl for the November Classic discussion if you like. (And I wouldn't be so sure everyone has read Gateway.)


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

kewl. :)


message 8: by Gene (new)

Gene From a guy who has not read Gateway: my nomination for it.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Evgeny wrote: "From a guy who has not read Gateway: my nomination for it."

I'll try to remember that when we get to the November Classic discussion nominations. If I forget, please remind me!


message 10: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments Pohl was still publishing right up until the end so there will be contemporary novels by him. I had not suggested something as I am very keen to do Light.

I did start reading The Night Circus but was not really enjoying the way it was written and was not interested enough to keep going (why stick with a book when there are more interesting options available).

Next month I will probably have a different nomination though!


message 11: by Andreas (new)

Andreas | 677 comments Surely, there are lots of contemporary novels from Pohl since the beginning of the 90s. E.g. the whole Eschaton trilogy started in 96 with The Other End of Time. I haven't read any of those newer works, though. And I'll stick with my nomination (even though Ben doesn't like it well enough :) ).

Just an idea: We could bring up a kind of monthly commemoration read. This years would sadly have filled such a box fully (Vance, Matheson, Pohl just recently). What do you think?


message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 04, 2013 04:52AM) (new)

Ben wrote: "Pohl was still publishing right up until the end so there will be contemporary novels by him...."

For myself, I'd suggest waiting until next month and nominating Gateway in the classic category. I'm decades overdue for a reread. And we did just discuss "The Space Merchants" in July, so it's not as if we've never read the author.

Besides, I cherish the "contemporary" category as a chance to read something that isn't buried in an inch of dust on my bookshelf!


message 13: by Gene (new)

Gene OK, I will withdraw my Gateway nomination, but I will nominate it again next month as G33z3r suggested.


message 14: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments I didnt hear good things about his last novel, we have just done Space Merchants and I also share the idea that the the contemporary catagory should be looking at the present and not at the past and looking at what the most relevant and interesting contemporary books are.

Often as soon as a writer dies people will want to read one of his books but they will not always feel the same way in a few weeks time. For instance there was substantial talk on the Sword and Laser group of doing something by Banks or Vance soon after they died. I do feel there is a need to wait a bit and see what feels relevant after the immediate aftermath.

In terms of really contemporary stuff Fallen Land: A Novel, Blood Oranges, The Drowning Girl, Love Is Strange or one of Graham Joyce's would all be really interesting and make great discussions, there is no need to go too far back in time. . . But I really think Light would be a superb book to discuss.


message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 04, 2013 06:29AM) (new)

Andreas wrote: "Just an idea: We could bring up a kind of monthly commemoration read. This years would sadly have filled such a box fully (Vance, Matheson, Pohl just recently). What do you think?..."

Yeah, we could call it the Deathwatch Read. Or maybe the Haunted Book Club.

Between the Classic, Contemporary, and Short Story categories, I think we have a place to fit every SF/F author, if the group so chooses. Are people really hungry for a 4th monthly SF/F read?


message 16: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments dont think we have enough people reading and contributing for a 4th one. That is not to say that the 3 catagories should be stuck to all the time.

For instance I am in a group that looks at fiction from this century but excludes genre fiction all times except 1 month where instead of the usual catagories they pick a crime, sf, horror etc. book so it corrects the imbalance of the rest of the months and feels a fresh welcome change. So for instance perhaps one time we could look at

a) SF/ Fantasy poetry - in depth, possibly a mixture of free online poetry from a range of sources and articles about SF poetry - plenty scope for discussion there

b) an award - e.g. could look at all the books/ stories that won the hugo award this year or all the nominees for the novel next year in one or two months

c) a focus on a particular aspect or type of book/story e.g. cyberpunk, feminist SF (old and new), slipstream, alternative history etc.

Overall though I think the format works very well and there is a lot to keeping it at least 90% of the time exactly as it is.


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 04, 2013 08:14AM) (new)

Well, we've drifted way off topic here, but why not? (I planned on taking a little digression here tomorrow myself.)

Ben wrote: "b) an award - e.g. could look at all the books/ stories that won the hugo award this year or all the nominees for the novel next year in one or two months..."

I actually did that when I hijacked the May Contemporary Novel discussion by unilaterally declaring the nominees were the merged Nebula and Hugo Awards nominees (Okay, I said I was going to do it in advance and nobody argued, so I went ahead and did it :) The result was a discussion of "Throne of the Crescent Moon". I wanted to force at least one very contemporary choice, and I have in my mind to do it again next year, too. :)

And we have minor divergence from the usual procedure with the current Heinlein trifecta. That went through the usual Classic vote, though.

One of the things I keep an eye on is the Upcoming Books You're Looking Forward To topic. It occurred to me that if enough people were planning on buying and reading a brand-new book on or near its release date, it would be a good choice for a spontaneous discussion among the willing. I've been meaning to poll what ongoing series members are reading, in case there is an opportunity for an immediate discussion of a new book there.

And I suppose we could have an annual "Memorial" read chosen from works of authors who passed away the preceding year, too.

Open to suggestions...


message 18: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 05, 2013 05:18AM) (new)

Thank you all for the suggestions & discussions. (Nominations are now closed.) The Poll for selecting the Contemprary Novel you want to discuss in September is now open, so please Vote Here for your choice.

This poll will be open through Tuesday, September 10.
Vote Here .


message 19: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments I think you mean contemporary novel G33z3r - as we are already doing Le Guin for the novella cat.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Ben wrote: "I think you mean contemporary novel G33z3r ."

Yup, thanks.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Final day of voting. If you are interested in participating in our Contemporary Novel discussion, you can still Cast Your Vote. Poll closes midnight Tuesday (US PDST, I think; it's past my bedtime :)


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

The choice for our group's Contemporary novel discussion in September is:


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Thanks to our discussion participants.
The discussion is scheduled to begin September 21.


message 23: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments drat, already started and abandoned it as I concluded that there are too many other books out there that I will enjoy more. Still I know it is a very popular book and I am sure many people will enjoy it and find plenty of stuff to talk about with it.


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