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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Greetings Space Opera Fans!

I hope y'all are enjoying the unseasonably warm weather (unless you're from down-under, in which case, at last you're finally getting some relief from the heat!) It's time to nominate which space opera books we'd like to read as a group in March.

Up this month we have the following categories:

READER PICK: Dead trees is where it's at for the Reader Pick, which should be widely available in both paperback and ebook at most chain bookstores and public libraries. Books can't be exclusive to Kindle Unlimited since we're a global community.

INDIE PICK: This is for those newer, edgier books where the author has to do it all. Books that have been published by a micropress that helps you upload the thing, but YOU otherwise do the work and marking are okay, or if you got your backlist back, still qualify.

YOUNG ADULT FRIENDLY PICK: This is where YOU guys help me indoctrinate set a good example for my teenagers and hook them up with good books that won't make them roll their eyes. That means: Must be written FOR a young adult and STAR a young adult protagonist (age 17 or less) and not have been published any earlier than the year 2000 AD (yeah, I know you all think Heinlein is young adult, but the Y2K kids think he's sooooo 1966).

(If the cover looks like THIS, it won't appeal to a 2016 teen)

Since it's hard to find purely space opera YA books, any sci-fi book that has a strong space or space-yearning element will probably be acceptable. Gotta still have spaceships and aliens.

Drop your nomination into the thread below and, on the first of the month (or so), we'll spin it through to pick three brand new group reads.

Be epic!

Anna Erishkigal
SOF Borg Queen

P.S. - as of late we've had some people we've never heard of before popping by to spam this thread with nominations for the same book and then disappearing, never to be seen again. While we welcome new members, that's kinda a crappy thing to do to our author-members who hang out here organically to chit-chat about cool science stuff, so just so you know, if it's fishy, I just disqualify any nomination that is not made by an active community member.

message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 48 comments For an indie pick, I nominate The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers by Becky Chambers

Here is the blurb:
Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own

message 3: by Jon (last edited Feb 26, 2016 02:28PM) (new)

Jon Abbott | 48 comments My reader's choice pick Stardoc Stardoc (Stardoc, #1) by S.L. Viehl by S.L. Viehl.
It is the first of a series. Here is the blurb.

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accepts a position as a physician at Kevarzanga-2's FreeClinic. Her surgical skills are desperately needed on a hostile frontier world with over 200 sentient species--and her understanding of alien physiology is nothing short of miraculous. But the truth behind her expertise is a secret which, if discovered, could have disastrous consequences between human and alien relations...

message 4: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 48 comments And finally, for YA I nominate another book that I haven't read but which has become a classic: A Wrinkle in Time A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle by Madeleine L'Engle.

Here is a blurb:
It was a dark and stormy night.

Out of this wild night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe on a most dangerous and extraordinary adventure - one that will threaten their lives and our universe.

Winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in Madeleine L'Engle's classic Time Quintet.

message 5: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (last edited Feb 26, 2016 04:21PM) (new)

Teresa Carrigan | 2466 comments Mod
Reader pick: Agent of Change Agent of Change (Liaden Universe, #9) by Sharon Lee by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. This is free as ebook, and is available in paper in the omnibus The Agent Gambit The Agent Gambit (Liaden Universe, #9-10) by Sharon Lee

Indy pick: Quarter Share Quarter Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #1) by Nathan Lowell by Nathan Lowell

YA pick: Balance of Trade Balance of Trade (Liaden Universe, #3) by Sharon Lee by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller . (Fledgling Fledgling (Theo Waitley, #1; Liaden Universe, #12) by Sharon Lee is also good for YA and is free as ebook, but IMO Balance of Trade is a bit closer to a traditional juvenile space opera)

message 6: by R. (new)

R. Billing (r_billing) | 196 comments Jon wrote: "My reader's choice pick Stardoc Stardoc (Stardoc, #1) by S.L. Viehl by S.L. Viehl.
It is the first of a series. Here is the blurb.

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accep..."

This is totally brilliant. BTW I know Sheila, we were together on the old Forward Motion website.

message 7: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 339 comments Getting some relief down under? That would be nice ;)

YA pick: Hero by Belinda Crawford by Belinda Crawford

Indie Pick: Ambassador 1 Seeing Red (Ambassador Space Opera Thriller) by Patty Jansen by Patty Jansen

message 8: by Fiannawolf (last edited Feb 29, 2016 10:20PM) (new)

Fiannawolf | 163 comments Reader: A Soldier's Duty (Theirs Not to Reason Why, #1) by Jean Johnson

Indie: Inadvertent Adventures

Really stumped for a pick this time. I think I leave this one blank for the month. Just to see what other people find.

message 9: by John (new)

John Abbott | 73 comments Reader: The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds

Indy: Fluency (Confluence, #1) by Jennifer Foehner Wells

message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim Mcclanahan (clovis-man) John wrote: "Reader: The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds"

Good choice. A stand alone, but a good lead-in to the Revelation Space series.

message 11: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 887 comments Mod
Indy: Fluency

message 12: by Jason (new)

Jason Braida | 51 comments Indie Pick Quarter Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #1) by Nathan Lowell Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell.

message 13: by Francis (new)

Francis | 4 comments Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert but I also like the idea of Revelation Space.

message 14: by Laz (new)

Laz the Sailor (laz7) | 207 comments Second Stardoc and Quarter Share.

message 15: by EJ (last edited Feb 28, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

EJ Fisch (ejfisch) | 117 comments So is The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet indie or reader? I've nominated it for Reader Pick the past 2 months, but now it's nominated for indie. I guess I was never 100% sure what it was. If it can be considered a Reader Pick, I'll nominate it again.

Regardless, I'll try Renegade Renegade (The Spiral Wars, #1) by Joel Shepherd again for my actual Indie Pick. I'm actually *gasp* reading it as we speak and really loving it. I know the second book in this series got chosen for February...

And hey, I'll second A Wrinkle in Time A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle for YA Pick. It's not really space opera by any means, but it's definitely sci fi, and definitely a classic. I read it in elementary school and it's pretty much what got me interested in the sci fi genre :)

message 16: by Laz (new)

Laz the Sailor (laz7) | 207 comments I'll follow up EJ's request for clarification, as Joel Shepherd has been around for a while - I really like his books. But would he qualify as an Indie? Or is it by series publication?

I'll second Renegade.

Quarter Share could be a YA pick as well.

message 17: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (last edited Feb 28, 2016 03:24PM) (new)

Teresa Carrigan | 2466 comments Mod
I don't see Quarter Share for YA because Ish is more than 17 yo for most of the book. Not much more. Suitable for YA yes.

The rules in the top post would rule out Wrinkle in Time too, because it was published before 2000. That book is my earliest memory of a library, when I was about 7yo.

message 18: by EJ (new)

EJ Fisch (ejfisch) | 117 comments I know the first time Renegade was nominated, we did discuss it and decide that it was indeed indie, so we should be good to go with that.

But oh shoot yeah I forgot about the pre-2000 publication rule. Ugh it was such a good book - I don't remember it seeming overly "old fashioned."

message 19: by AndrewP (last edited Feb 29, 2016 10:12AM) (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 97 comments Seem to be a lot of Reynolds fans here so how about Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds as a reader pick. I believe it's another stand alone.

message 20: by Monica (new)

Monica Tholkes (mamamon) Young-Adult: Starflight by Melissa Landers
Blurb: Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

It's a surprisingly good book! Reminded me of the TV show Firefly. This books was the inspiration for me to join this group ;)

message 21: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Beauchamp | 4 comments Am I allowed to nominate my own book for the Indie pick? CHIMERA was indie book of the month a while back, and I would like to nominate its sequel HELIOS (if allowed).

Helios (Universe Eventual, #2) by N.J. Tanger

message 22: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 296 comments Teresa wrote: "I don't see Quarter Share for YA because Ish is more than 17 yo for most of the book. Not much more. Suitable for YA yes.

The rules in the top post would rule out Wrinkle in Time too, because it w..."

I am reading Quarter Share at the moment and I suspect young teens would like it despite the age of the main character.

A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1963.

message 23: by EJ (new)

EJ Fisch (ejfisch) | 117 comments Oooh, hopefully it's not too late, but how about Beyond the Red Beyond the Red by Ava Jae for YA Pick? It was just released today. I tried to nominate it a couple of months ago and then realized it hadn't actually come out yet :P

message 24: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Okay ... off to Randomize the results :-) Thread is now closed.

message 25: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Sorry guys ... I was super-busy over the weekend (out of town guests) so your questions slid :-( But I'll answer it now (belatedly ... sorry).

A Wrinkle In Time does not qualify for our YA pick. It is not technicallyspace opera, but has enough of a sci-fi flare with the machinery/tesseracts/wormholes/alternative societies that I would allow it under the expanded rules for our YA pick. However, the purpose of my pushing YA is our beloved sci-fi genre is dying as a literary genre because we no longer nurture new authors, new voices, or write to what a modern 2016 teenager wants to read. So ... sorry ... no Wrinkle in Time. Yes, I love this book. It got me obsessed with wormhole theory :-)

@Jon - A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is published by Harper Voyage, a subsidiary of Harper-Collins, a multinational multimedia corporation with a billion dollar marketing budget, so it doesn't qualify as an Indie Pick. Since it was the first book you nominated, I put it into the Reader's Pick category? The purpose of Indie Pick is to give our little guys a chance to be heard.

@Teresa - I second Balance of Trade - got to hear them speak at BOSKONE last weekend :-) Let's see if the Randomizer likes us?

@Laz - Renegade is Indie Pick because Joel Shepherd self-publishes it. and does all the work of marketing it himself via his own efforts. It has nothing to do with length-of-time published or number of reviews, but more of fairness, of giving the little guy who chooses to go alone a voice. Occasionally indie books get picked up by a major publisher (like The Martian did), in which case it would no longer be indie.

@Laz - Quarter Share does not market itself as YA. The character starts out as 17, but quickly turns into an adult who is dealing with adult issues.

@EJ - the pre-2000 rule only applies to the YA pick. There is very little YA sci-fi being written today that isn't Hunger Games / Maze Runner / Divergent dystopia, which is why the kids are all reading sparkly vampires or Japanese/Korean manga novels instead of reading sci-fi. It's my small, determined effort to get my own teenagers reading sci-fi :-) Also ... since I'm lagging, I included Beyond the red.

Okay ... now I'm REALLY about to go Randomize the Randomizer :-)

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