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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
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Archived General Discussions > March 2014 Moderator Pick Chosen

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message 1: by Terry (last edited Feb 03, 2014 09:53AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terry Pearce We have your first March book, by unanimous decision:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselvesby Karen Joy Fowler.

The NY Times called it 'a novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get'. It also recommended that to get the most from it you read nothing about it (including the review, which was rather honest of them). So we'll say no more, except we hope you'll be here to read it with us in March.

We also considered this month:

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Tolz
Cain by Jose Saramago
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Invisible by Paul Auster
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo


Hanne (hanne2) nice pick! I had this one ready to go, so glad to have the company in a few weeks!


message 3: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 89 comments Really looking forward to this one - I have only read 1 novel and 1 short story by her but each was so strong that I have been keen to read much, much more of her work.


Zulfiya (ztrotter) | 397 comments I started listening to it yesterday when audio became available from my library. There is some bitterness in the narrative that is hard to pinpoint. I promise - no more spoilers. I solemnly swear! :-)


message 5: by Lily (last edited Feb 27, 2014 06:27AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments http://blog.sfgate.com/bookmarks/2014...

Two of our upcoming (March, April wild card) selections are Nebula Award Nominees.


Terry Pearce It's true, but there seems to be some confusion about why this book is appropriate for a Science Fiction award. I guess it's something we can discuss when we read it.


message 7: by Lily (last edited Feb 27, 2014 06:33AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Another previous pick here (horror/paranormal in October special), The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, is a nominee.

I'm not going to put up a thread for the Nebula Award since it is a science fiction award, but fyi here are the best novel nominees:

Best Novel

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon
Hild, Nicola Griffith
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata,
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker

There is much more here:
http://www.themarysue.com/read-nebula...

And information about the award here, including past winners:
http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/


message 8: by Lily (last edited Feb 27, 2014 05:57AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Terry wrote: "It's true, but there seems to be some confusion about why this book is appropriate for a Science Fiction award. I guess it's something we can discuss when we read it."

Maybe should wait two days for March 1, but before I lose it, this tidbit may be tangentially relevant:

"In terms of subject matter, Karen Joy Fowler is all over the map. Her first novel, 1991's Sarah Canary, is the story of the enigmatic title character, set in the Washington Territory in 1873. A Chinese railway worker's attempt to escort Sarah back to the insane asylum he believes she came from turns into more than he bargained for. Fowler weaves race and women's rights into the story, and it could be another historical novel — except for a detail Fowler talks about in a 2004 interview. 'I think for science fiction readers, it's pretty obvious that Sarah Canary is an alien,' Fowler says. Yet other readers are dumbfounded by this news, seeing no sign of it. For her part, Fowler refuses to make a declaration either way."

http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guid...

Another review claimed Fowler has said Sarah Canary as her character is an alien.

What does Fowler hide in plain sight?

(This is one rare time I have finished our novel -- as a new book, it had a two week loan period. But the above is about her first published novel.)


Deborah | 983 comments I think we'll see that there is a vast divide between the Fowler and the Gaiman.


message 10: by Lily (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Deborah wrote: "I think we'll see that there is a vast divide between the Fowler and the Gaiman."

LOL! Since when have you decided to be given to understatement, Deborah?


Deborah | 983 comments I'm trying to do better.


Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments I suspect the nominations of Fowler and Hild might be part of a conversation within SWFA about the boundaries of their genre, and what books are and are not eligble for Nebula awards.


Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments As an aside, I might have nominated A Stranger in Olondria instead of The Golem and the Jinni for February, as in some ways (like quality of the prose) it seemed more this group's cup of tea, but I felt the subject matter (taking place in a secondary universe as opposed to an alternate version of our world) might be more out of some people's comfort zone, and it's from a small press publisher, which would probably make it a hard find for those of our members who rely on the library for their books.


Whitney | 2088 comments Mod
Lily wrote: "Terry wrote: "It's true, but there seems to be some confusion about why this book is appropriate for a Science Fiction award. I guess it's something we can discuss when we read it."

Maybe should w..."


Lily, I'm going to copy your post over to the general discussion folder for this book, as I think people will find it an interesting topic.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2306 comments Peter wrote: "I suspect the nominations of Fowler and Hild might be part of a conversation within SWFA about the boundaries of their genre, and what books are and are not eligble for Nebula awards."

I'd have to agree with that, Peter! But perhaps they fall into the third category of eligible books. I had always thought the Nebula nominees were either Sci Fi or Fantasy, but the first eligibility rule indicates a third category -- "a related fiction genre." I've copied the entire first rule (taken from the Nebula website - http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/rules/) below:

"1.All works first published in English, in the United States, during the calendar year, in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or a related fiction genre are eligible for the Nebula Awards® in their respective categories. 1.Works such as comic books, graphic novels, and similar type works shall be placed in an existing category as deemed appropriate by the Nebula Awards Commissioner, based primarily on their word count.
2.The Nebula Awards Commissioner will decide the eligibility of a questionable work."


message 16: by Lily (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Whitney wrote: "Lily, I'm going to copy your post over to the general discussion folder for this book, as I think people will find it an interesting topic..."

Thanks for the heads up, Whitney. I probably should have waited, but the way I've been going recently, it could have taken me far longer to relocate it than I would have been willing to spend.
Ref: Msgs @14, @8, @6.


message 17: by Lily (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Linda wrote: @15 "..always thought the Nebula nominees were either Sci Fi or Fantasy, but the first eligibility rule indicates a third category -- "a related fiction genre." I've copied the entire first rule ...."

Thanks, Linda. I actually looked for this and apparently overlooked it. But I was also minimizing, so thx for picking it up, given this discussion.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2306 comments Lily wrote: "Linda wrote: @15 "..always thought the Nebula nominees were either Sci Fi or Fantasy, but the first eligibility rule indicates a third category -- "a related fiction genre." I've copied the entire ..."

I'd like to know what fiction genre is considered to be related to sci fi and fantasy! When I have more time, I may just have to explore that!


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