Eastside Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
Here's a thread so we can starting posting about books we want to share with each other, regardless of whether or not we read them for club.

"Travel Light" by Naomi Mitchison. I mentioned this one Saturday morning; here's the link to the NPR article I read!

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/01/2583849...


message 2: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Here's a thread so we can starting posting about books we want to share with each other, regardless of whether or not we read them for club.

"Travel Light" by Naomi Mitchison. I mentioned this one..."



Thanks! I was going to ask you about that one.


message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I mentioned the Barbara Hambly series that has been one of my favorites, and that (for some reason I'm still pondering) kept coming to mind while reading the Throne of the Crescent Moon. It was the Darwath Trilogy, which is primarily these 3 books.

The Time of the Dark
The Walls of Air
The Armies of Daylight


message 4: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
While reading "To Say Nothing of the Dog," I kept thinking of two much loved and studied books from my past. I'll probably talk about this when we meet, but I wanted to mention the two books here in case anyone wants to read them.

Dorothy Sayer's "Gaudy Night"
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...

Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own"
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Oh, in case anyone is interested, you can read A Room of One's Own here (thanks to Project Gutenberg). It is basically an expanded essay, but in particular the first chapter is what I kept remembering while reading To Say Nothing of the Dog.


http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200...


message 6: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I know Sara has seen these already (on facebook), but since we were talking about these yesterday....

http://seattletimes.com/html/books/20...
Fantasy worlds get an upgrade with alternate technology

"Replacing the perpetually Medieval faux-Europes that fantasy readers are used to with imaginary Asias and Africas helps keep the genre fresh, but authors can also make the settings of their magical tales more interesting by updating their worlds’ technology." (with 3 books listed as examples)

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/15/3254913...
Review: En Garde! 'Traitor's Blade' Delivers Adventure At Swordpoint
"When fantasy has gotten so grim and dark that the term "grimdark" has been coined to describe certain authors, things may have gone slightly overboard. With Traitor's Blade, the first installment of a new fantasy series called the Greatcoat Quartet, author Sebastien de Castell seems to be taking a stand against the grimdark wave. Unlike the bleak, bloody work of George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie, Traitor's Blade is a swashbuckling romp packed with charisma, camaraderie, quick wit and even quicker swordplay. That said, it's far from candy-coated — and it packs some serious substance."


message 7: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Gene Luen Yang has a new release: "A Graphic Novel That’s Like Harry Potter, But With Computers Instead of Wands."

http://www.wired.com/2014/09/secret-c...


message 8: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
It's probably just me who reads these, but..... here are a couple of fantasy series that I mentioned yesterday (and in the past).

Alan Dean Foster's Pip & Flinx books were one of my favorites back in the day.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/5181...

Also loved his Ice Rigger series. This is the one where the woman has to bare her chest to prove they are a mammalian species (after crashing on an alien planet).

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8...


message 9: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
Oooh, thanks for the recs! I hadn't heard of these ones before. Adding to the list...or perhaps for a future book club read?


message 10: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Sure -- it might be fun to revisit them in the group (plus it should be easy to get these from the library or find used). Light and fluffy stuff, for the most part, but fun adventures. :)


message 11: by Cindy (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:09AM) (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Oh, and I saw this to the side of a goodreads page, and it looks really interesting. Finnish author, 3rd book in the trilogy. Have you read or heard anything about this series, Sara?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...



Edit to add: This is the first book of the trilogy. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...


message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I know we're going to be putting together a list of things to read over the coming months, and it might be cool to think about the extended history of SciFi. We've read what some claim is the first, Frankenstein, but there are some ancient texts that are getting a lot of attention. I'm especially interested in "The Ramiana," which is an ancient Indian story from the 4th or 5thC B.C. (evidently the Diwali holiday is tied to this tale). A contemporary poet recently rewrote/translated the epic, much like Seamus Heaney did with Beowulf.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/bo...


There are some other fun possibilities, too, although they may be harder to come by. This article provides a few options: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/bo...


message 13: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
Good idea! I'll try and read those articles later today.


message 14: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
These sound super interesting! And no, I hadn't heard anything about them. We should definitely discuss adding the first one to our reading list.

CindyW wrote: "Oh, and I saw this to the side of a goodreads page, and it looks really interesting. Finnish author, 3rd book in the trilogy. Have you read or heard anything about this series, Sara?

https://www...."



message 15: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
I just had a chance to read the article about Nagra's retelling of the Ramayana; it sounds fantastic! I think we should definitely add it to the list. I really do like the idea of reading the forerunners of the genre alongside the modern.

CindyW wrote: "I know we're going to be putting together a list of things to read over the coming months, and it might be cool to think about the extended history of SciFi. We've read what some claim is the firs..."


message 16: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Some of Jorge Luis Borges' short stories are available online. One that seems to get studied and referenced quite often is "The Library of Babel." It's quite short, philosophical, about an infinite library (Borges was a librarian, I believe).

http://perso.crans.org/~raffo/library...


message 17: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I've found many of his short stories here, as well:

https://posthegemony.files.wordpress....

It is a different collection of his works, but many of the stories are also in Labyrinths. You can compare it against the Table of Contents on Amazon (using the "Look Inside" feature).

http://www.amazon.com/Labyrinths-Dire...


message 18: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
And one last useful resource as we read and think about Borges' words:

Selected Study Materials
http://www.autodidactproject.org/bib/...


message 19: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Didn't have time to entirely reread "Ready Player One," and when I went looking for a quick summary to jog my memory I found this:

http://nerdist.com/nerdist-book-club-...

The Nerdist Book Club started reading this in February, and there are some great resources. There are videos, lists of 80s references, discussion going on in the comments.... I'm having a lot of fun looking through this!


message 20: by PostPerry (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments Edmund Schubert withdrew from the Hugo's Editor nomination, but I checked out his site
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow....
and it has great links to short stories (left side of the screen), even an audio cast and a letter explaining his withdrawal. I'm probably a softie but the first story left me, in tears. $15 dollars for a yearly subscription is really tempting!

Oh plus the link for the 2015 Huga Award nominees,The Three Body Problem is there!! http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-his...


message 21: by PostPerry (last edited May 18, 2015 01:12AM) (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments Online Comic Space Opera found here http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2010-...
Howard Taylor Schlock Mercenary

Suspensful Thriller by a "Master of hard scifi"?
Night Train to Rigel (Quadrail, #1) by Timothy Zahn
http://www.amazon.com/Night-Train-Rig...

"You can protect yourself from your enemies, but God save you from your allies!"
A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War, #1) by John Ringo
http://www.amazon.com/Hymn-Before-Bat...

--recommendations courtesy of a friend


message 22: by PostPerry (last edited May 18, 2015 01:16AM) (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments Hi Sara, I read TRAVEL LIGHT and it was an amazing, unique read. Mitchison also has one called THE CORN KING AND THE SPRING QUEEN that has significant potential.

The Corn King and the Spring Queen (The Hera Series) by Naomi Mitchison

Naomi Mitchison

http://www.amazon.com/The-Corn-King-S...


message 23: by PostPerry (last edited May 26, 2015 01:07AM) (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments Here's that interview with Navy Admiral Stavridisj, http://www.themillions.com/2015/04/th...
books he mentions that I think fall into our preferences are:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel The Circle by David Eggers


message 24: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
PostPerry wrote: "Here's that interview with Navy Admiral Stavridisj, http://www.themillions.com/2015/04/th...
books he mentions that I think fall in..."


Interesting interview with the General. :)

Not sure the Dave Eggers book is SciFi or Fantasy -- more of a critical look at tech life inside a fictional high-tech company (that is a thinly-veiled Google).

I started Station Eleven a couple of months ago, and it has some interesting characters. The book was a digital checkout, and I ran out of time before getting very far into it.


message 25: by PostPerry (last edited May 28, 2015 12:40AM) (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments CindyW wrote: "PostPerry wrote: "Here's that interview with Navy Admiral Stavridisj, http://www.themillions.com/2015/04/th...
books he mentions th..."


::yes, they both are not super clearly scifi's we could save them if we run low on other suggestions eventually. Some of the reviewers on Amazon call them scifi but others just call them fiction novels. For me, The Circle is most intriguing as a near-future scifi possibilty and the concept of internet privacy is something I have a personal interest in. I'm also wanting to hear other members' thoughts on The Circle eventually, though I may break down and read it independently.


message 26: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
http://www.dailydot.com/geek/african-...

"The rich tradition of African storytelling is making the leap to comics."

These sound great! I'll have to see if I can get my hands on them.


message 27: by PostPerry (last edited May 30, 2015 08:02AM) (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Fantasy book reads! UPROOTED by Naomi Novik,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804...

and! pretty sure we should read the first book at some point considering how hugely immersive everyone says it is, GAME OF THRONES http://www.amazon.com/Game-Thrones-So...


message 28: by PostPerry (last edited Jun 29, 2015 07:39AM) (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch, #2) by Ann Leckie

Locus Magazine recently had some awards http://www.locusmag.com/ and here are the winners for us to consider maybe future reads http://boingboing.net/2015/06/27/winn... Plus, the Truth About Owls is a short story available online By Amal El-Mohtar I think it's somewhere in the fantasy fiction/ magical realism genres. http://www.strangehorizons.com/2015/2...

Also from Locus, here's an article/interview with Nnedi Okorafor http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/...


message 29: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
PostPerry wrote: "The Goblin Emperor by Katherine AddisonAncillary Sword (Imperial Radch, #2) by Ann Leckie

Locus Magazine recently had some awards http://www.locusmag.com/ and here are the winners for us to consider maybe fut..."


I read "The Truth About Owls" last week, and it was a nice short story. Fantasy....is a stretch...maybe magic realism? A little girl's imagination, hints of cultural mythology, and a metaphor for choices in one's identity, all make it a worthwhile read. It's quick, but thought-provoking. :)


message 30: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I think the Ancillary Sword might be an interesting follow-up read to last year's The Ship Who Sang. It seems to be a bit of a reverse: "Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she has only a single body and serves the emperor."

I can't quite tell, though, if this is second/third in a series....or just one of a few books that are set in the same universe.


message 31: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
CindyW wrote: "I think the Ancillary Sword might be an interesting follow-up read to last year's The Ship Who Sang. It seems to be a bit of a reverse: "Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of..."


I think it's 2nd or 3rd in a series; it's on my to-read list somewhere! I'll have to double check, as now I can't remember what the first book is called. I've heard lots of good things about them, though!


message 32: by Kari (new)

Kari Ramadorai (karrama) | 3 comments While they are wonderful, it's true. Ancillary Justice is first, with Sword second. Ancillary Mercy will round things out this fall. :)


message 33: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
A friend of mine posted a comment about an author that I've never read before, and it's a rather different type of Sci Fi. "The Water Knife," by Paolo Bacigalupi. Might be an interesting read for us!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

This is what my friend John wrote about it:

"He writes disturbingly to terrifyingly plausible science fiction from an environmental perspective. Often environmental collapse isn't the focus, but it deeply shapes the world Bacigalupi creates. *The Water Knife* is about the American Southwest and Colorado River water rights specifically."


message 34: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
A list from Book Riot that moves away from mainstream authors to "Challenge Your Idea of Fantasy Fiction... Fantasy literature is the perfect lens for readers to challenge our ideas of humanity, violence, society, and power."

http://bookriot.com/2015/07/22/9-dive...


message 35: by Kari (new)

Kari Ramadorai (karrama) | 3 comments CindyW wrote: "A list from Book Riot that moves away from mainstream authors to "Challenge Your Idea of Fantasy Fiction... Fantasy literature is the perfect lens for readers to challenge our ideas of humanity, vi..."

I've read Mirror Empire and Signal to Noise. They are both high recs. on my list.


message 36: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
Good to know! I've actually got Signal to Noise on my Kindle!


message 37: by Cindy (last edited Aug 06, 2015 12:20PM) (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
This isn't a book recommendation, but I didn't really have a place to post it....

As I begin The Quantum Thief, I realize that Rajaniemi is setting things up with the classic Game Theory "Prisoner's Dilemma." Don't know if the whole book will be filled with this, but it is probably worthwhile to take a few minutes to google the Prisoner's Dilemma....and some basic premises of Game Theory. I never went too far into game theory (more popular in math and political science fields), but here's my attempt to explain it in a paragraph:

Game Theory uses metaphors and thought experiments to reason through the probabilities of social interaction, collaboration, social structures...mostly for deep analysis and study of methods of social/political functions and strategies from a statistical/mathematical perspective. There are many arguments among theorists and philsophers about the ability/inability to predict future events with Game Theory, since future events (and even historic ones) between groups of people cannot be reduced to such simplified interactions in real life. So, it's not necessarily practical or useful in the short term, but some argue that it provides a scaffolding for applied logic that can then be used to understand situations and interactions.


message 38: by Cindy (last edited Sep 03, 2015 11:51AM) (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Read a fun review on the NPR website about this book. "I can't remember the last time I read a fantasy novel that made me laugh so much — and as often as I laughed, I gasped," says reviewer Amal El-Mohtar..... "it is a relentlessly charming, character-driven romance in which women and people of color take center stage."

http://www.npr.org/2015/09/03/4355436...


message 39: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I know we're thinking about what Fantasy book to read for next month, but as I go through our list above I'm seeing really recent publications. Sorcerer to the Crown isn't even available at the library yet (just came out two weeks ago). Another one we have above is "Uprooted".....and it's got a lot of holds at the library still, since it just came out in May.

Do we have some older books to call upon that might be easier/cheaper for everyone?


message 40: by Cindy (last edited Sep 19, 2015 04:09PM) (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
There was some discussion of reading the first Game of Thrones, or perhaps we should go after a true classic....Ursula K. LeGuin? C. J. Cherry?

One other that is mentioned above is "The Mirror Empire" -- looks like it is available at the library (published in 2014).


message 41: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Another idea: what about something by Jasper Fforde? Fantasy set in a world of literature -- always fun for book geeks. :)

"The Eyre Affair" is great, but perhaps it relies on an assumption of having read Jane Eyre?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


His Nursery Rhymes series was fun, too. The first one:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...


message 42: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
The Eyre Affair sounds great to me! It's been on my list for a while, and I actually got a copy from my library's ongoing book sale. :)


message 43: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I know we don't read a whole lot of superhero stuff in this group, but I'm looking forward to checking out this upcoming Marvel comic. Neat that a local artist will be on the team! Plus, it's set in the southwest, so my New Mexico nostalgia will kick in. :) Dec. 2015 is the debut

http://www.komonews.com/seattlerefine...


message 44: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
This is science non-fiction, but I'm really enjoying "Packing for Mars: the curious science of life in the void" by Mary Roach. She writes approachable, even humorous, accounts of science and scientists....in this case, those who plan and create for space exploration.

It's worth a read, if for no other reason than to get a real sense of what it takes to put humans into the void. It's been making me rethink some of the space scifi I've read/watched.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...


message 45: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
I created a "to read/future recommendations" bookshelf so we can keep track of book ideas. Please feel free to start adding to it! (Hopefully the settings are such that anyone can; I'll double check later when I'm not using my phone.)


message 46: by Cindy (last edited Nov 10, 2015 10:48AM) (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
As I looked through the various lists in the goodreads book awards, I saw a new J.D. Robb book, featuring Eve Dallas. I read the first couple in her series years ago -- might be a fun thing to read with the group. These are very much cop-mystery-noir sorts of novels, but they are set in the near future (I think 2050s). Robb is known for her romances, so there is an element of that in them, but these are far afield from that genre. I remember reading them as a bit of a counterpoint to some of Philip K. Dick's books.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...


message 47: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
I've been having fun looking through the lists of nominees for Goodreads Choice Awards. There are many books that I haven't read anything about before.

20 genres (SciFi and Fantasy have separate categories) with 20 nominees in each.

https://www.goodreads.com/choiceaward...


message 48: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "I created a "to read/future recommendations" bookshelf so we can keep track of book ideas. Please feel free to start adding to it! (Hopefully the settings are such that anyone can; I'll double chec..."

Sara, I ended up posting two things here because I didn't spot the bookshelf you mention above. Is this another one that you'll need to make a first post so it will show up?


message 49: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarakatieee) | 69 comments Mod
It's different! This thread is still for book recs, articles, and discussions. The shelf is accessible on the group front page, in the navigation section you'll see to the right. It's just like our own personal "bookshelves" on here, where we can add titles to currently reading, to read, read, etc. So, it'll have a the picture of the cover. I thought it might be an easy way for quick recall if we don't have time to scroll through the entire thread to remember titles we've mentioned as possible future reads. All members have access to add to the group shelves. You do, however, have to search titles to add from the actual group bookshelf page.

Hopefully this makes sense; I'm typing one handed on phone while holding a baby! If not, I can try to clarify later on today when I can get to a computer!


message 50: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "It's different! This thread is still for book recs, articles, and discussions. The shelf is accessible on the group front page, in the navigation section you'll see to the right. It's just like our..."

Ooooooooooh, I see it now. Totally missed that. I'll make use of it now and add the J.D. Robb book. :)

You know, maybe I'll go through this discussion thread (and check a couple of others), pull out the titles that people have suggested in the past to add to the book shelf. I'm in an avoiding-writing-and-housework mode today, and that will keep me occupied.


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