Diverse SFF Book Club discussion

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June > What are your favorite SFF books?

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message 1: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
I'm eager to know what SFF books you have enjoyed over the years. Please share your favorite authors and stories. You can discuss any author or book you'd like. I just want us to all share our love for science fiction and fantasy.

My favorite fantasy author is Brandon Sanderson. Have any of you read his work? I absolutely adore everything he does. His fantasy epic, The Stormlight Archive is as near-perfect as a series can be, in my eyes. There are only 2 books out currently, but if he maintains the same quality I've seen so far, the series could one day surpass A Song of Ice and Fire. This is high praise coming from me because ASOIAF is my favorite story ever told.

I have started reading speculative fiction written by people of color only very recently and have been floored by the work of Octavia Butler and more recently, Nnedi Okorafor and N.K. Jemisin. Black women are doing amazing things for SFF and Afrofuturism, so it's an exciting time! I hope to read more SFF by non-black authors as well, so this book club will be a great opportunity for exploring the work of a variety of authors.

The last two SFF books I've read were The Grace of Kings and The Fifth Season, both of which were nominated for Best Novel at the Nebula Awards. If you are a fan of epic fantasy, then I highly recommend both of these novels!


message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather | 3 comments I was absolutely amazed by Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias


message 3: by Bina (new)

Bina (ifyoucanreadthis) | 3 comments Yes! Ink was amazing!! I'd add Hopkinson and Karen Lord definitely.


message 4: by Bina (new)

Bina (ifyoucanreadthis) | 3 comments And I loved Ascension, a qpoc space opera.


message 5: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "I was absolutely amazed by Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias"

I want to read it so desperately! I was thinking about adding it to a list of potential books later in the year, but am not sure how many people have read it. Probably not many.


message 6: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "Octavia Butler is on my list, I have heard so many amazing things about her work.

I grew up with classic scifi - Heinlein, Asimov, etc. I got more into fantasy with authors like Terry Pratchett, ..."


You're quite well-read! Very impressive.
I'm not familiar with Ursula K. Leguin's fantasy beyond book 1 of Wizard of Earthsea. I wasn't very impressed with it, so I didn't continue with the story. I read it for the first time last year, so perhaps I would have enjoyed it more as a child.


message 7: by Ioana (new)

Ioana (ioana-books) | 3 comments I just got Ink per Bina's prior recommendation, it's coming up soon, very excited :)

Naz, I had not heard of Brandon Sanderson so another for my list to explore!

I do LOVE Octavia Butler, she was the first non-white-guy author of sci-fi I ever read and I remember being so struck at the.. heart? soul? of her writing, which seems non-existent in more detached 'classic' (white guy) writers.

I also love Neil Gaiman, but his work is pure fantasy (no science); sci-fi wise I think Liu Cixin of The Three Body Problem is brilliant, and I also love the absolute madness of Philip K. Dick.

Looking forward to discovering so many more with the help of this group :)


message 8: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Ailean wrote: "Oh! Where do I begin? I am currently revising my home library, discovering my old and new favourites such as Asimov, Ramez Naam, Brian Aldiss, Gaiman, Pratchett, Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, etc. I..."

Gay vampire erotica? Please do recommend one. I need a book like that in my life.


message 9: by Anya (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 5 comments Yey, I feel like everyone here is my reading siblings! Sanderson is my favorite when combining love of a book and number of books. Rothfuss also loved. McCaffrey first got me into sff way back when. I read a lot of UF too.

I've become a huge Jemisin fan lately between reading Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Fifth Season. Okorafor also won me over with Book of Phoenix which is freaking AMAZING! I need to read more of both of their backlists :D.

I of course have a neverending flood of books going to my TBR, but I prioritize anything by an author of color, starring a main character of color, disability, non-straight, etc so I'm so excited for this group.

There have been a lot of awesome YA fantasies lately starring PoC and I highly recommend The Star-Touched Queen for Indian mythology and a book coming out in September called The Reader by Traci Chee.


message 10: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Anya wrote: "Yey, I feel like everyone here is my reading siblings! Sanderson is my favorite when combining love of a book and number of books. Rothfuss also loved. McCaffrey first got me into sff way back when..."

Hi, Anya! Thanks for joining. Sanderson is my most favorite author ever. :D
I have yet to read Rothfuss but I know I will love his work.

I have heard mixed reviews for The Star-Touched Queen but am eager to read it this summer. And yes, The Reader sounds excellent. I will be buying it for sure!
I hope you can join us in the coming months and offer many great recommendations.


message 11: by Anya (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 5 comments Oh I'm quite curious what you've heard negatively about Star-Touched Queen, I feel like I've seen nothing but praise, always curious for more opinions!


message 12: by Bhavya (new)

Bhavya  (saibiscus) | 2 comments Laura Lam is my all time fav SFF author! I have others but she's the one that always comes up first. Tamora Pierce is also awesome. As is VE/Victoria Schwab.

Brandon Sanderson is on my tbr. He's been recommended to me but I haven't read his books yet. I also believe Rothfuss is on my tbr as well.

I haven't read TSTQ but I've also heard mixed reviews about it.


message 13: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Anya wrote: "Oh I'm quite curious what you've heard negatively about Star-Touched Queen, I feel like I've seen nothing but praise, always curious for more opinions!"

I've seen negative reactions to the insta-love aspect of the novel. There's much praise for the beautiful writing, but the I've read that the plot can be kind of confusing and not much happens? I wouldn't know first hand, so I will let you know what I think once I read it.


message 14: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Bhavya (Books N' Calm) wrote: "Laura Lam is my all time fav SFF author! I have others but she's the one that always comes up first. Tamora Pierce is also awesome. As is VE/Victoria Schwab.

Brandon Sanderson is on my tbr. He's ..."


I can't wait to start reading a Darker Shade of Magic. Bought it recently because it was on sale. Now that's a book I have heard nothing but praise for.


message 15: by Anya (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 5 comments Ha instalove is an interesting statement with that book, I will just say that I think it all makes sense ;)


message 16: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Nek0 Neha wrote: "Morning Mates!

Man, there are so many fantastic people and stories in SFF that it took me a while to sit down pick my favourites. My all-time number one SF novel is Dune by Frank H..."


I need to buy the next Saga Volume!
Everyone should read TLotR, so there's nothing wrong with highlighting your love for this classic.
Thanks for joining! Have you already read Sorcerer to the Crown? I hope you can join us in the coming months if you find the time. :]


message 17: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Nek0 Neha wrote: "Naz wrote: I need to buy the next Saga Volume!
Everyone should read TLotR, so there's nothing wrong with highlighting your love for this classic.
Thanks for joining! Have you already read Sorcerer ..."


Yep, there's plenty of time! On July 1st, I will start/encourage discussions in the Goodreads group and continue the #DSFFBookClub on Twitter. I'll try to do a chat on July 15th, but I'm still not sure if it's a good idea because the group is pretty small and I can't guarantee there will be a lot of participation. So, we'll see!


message 18: by Shay (new)

Shay (shayshortt) | 3 comments Tad Williams, Robin Hobb and Tanya Huff are long-standing favourites. I would also heartily recommend The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, and anything by Malinda Lo.


message 19: by Brian (new)

Brian (bdorfman) | 2 comments I really love The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, I think it is one of the best SFF I've read in the past few years. I also really like the short fiction of James Tiptree Jr. / Alice Sheldon. I would strongly recommend Her Smoke Rose Up Forever to all scifi fans.


message 20: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Shay wrote: "Tad Williams, Robin Hobb and Tanya Huff are long-standing favourites. I would also heartily recommend The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, and anything by Malinda Lo."

I've heard wonderful things about The Golem and the Jinni! I'd love to read it one day. :)


message 21: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "I really love The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, I think it is one of the best SFF I've read in the past few years. I also really like the short fiction of James Tiptree Jr. / Alice Sheld..."

Thanks, Brian. I usually read Fantasy, bu I need to explore more scifi.


message 22: by Glaiza (last edited Jul 01, 2016 09:41PM) (new)

Glaiza | 2 comments From my teen years, I loved The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody, the Earth Sea books by Ursula K Le Guin and The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix.

Recent loves: N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, Aliette de Bodard, Catherynne M. Valente, Octavia E. Butler, and Kate Elliott.

I started reading the Ursula K. le Guin's Earthsea books when I was 12 but as an adult, I really love her SF novellas in Four Ways to Forgiveness. My other favourite novella is set on a space station in a Chinese-Vietnamese universe: On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard.

I am actually almost finished reading Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (I dip in and out of short stories) by James Tiptree Jr/Alice Sheldon. I agree with Brian's rec, Tiptree's SF work is brilliant. I also have her biography to read because she led an interesting life E.g. was briefly part of the CIA and also identified as queer later on in life.

I also adore the SpiritWalker Trilogy by Kate Elliott - AfroCeltic alternative historical fantasy. I still have to catch up on reading Brandon Sanderson's work but my favourite book of his is Warbreaker so far. Also, loved The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia anthology.


message 23: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Glaiza wrote: "From my teen years, I loved The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody, the Earth Sea books by Ursula K Le Guin and The Old Kingdom series by [author:Garth Nix|8..."

Glaiza, you're such a prolific and productive reader! I tried reading Earthsea as an adult and didn't enjoy it. I need to try Le Guin's other work before I write her off as not for me.

I still have not read Warbreaker, unfortunatley. I own most of Sanderson's books, many of them are signed! But finding the time to read his books is proving difficult, especially since I started my blog. The next books of his I want to read are The Reckoners trilogy and The Bands of Mourning.


message 24: by Glaiza (new)

Glaiza | 2 comments Naz wrote: " But finding the time to read his books is proving difficult, especially since I started my blog. The next books of his I want to read are The Reckoners trilogy and The Bands of Mourning."

Ditto finding time. Signings are the best! I hope Sanderson (and NK Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor) visit Oz someday. I still have to finish the Mistborn trilogy. (The irony of borrowing the books that come after the trilogy for my sister is not on lost on me). I have Elantris, The Rithmatist and The Way of Kings at home but I'm intimidated by the size of the latter.


message 25: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Glaiza wrote: "Naz wrote: " But finding the time to read his books is proving difficult, especially since I started my blog. The next books of his I want to read are The Reckoners trilogy and The Bands of Mournin..."

It's understandable if you're intimidated, but let me reassure you that The Way of Kinds, and especially Words of Radiance, will be some of the best Fantasy books you have ever read. They are totally worth it. Words of Radiance is a perfect book, in my eyes.


message 26: by Brian (last edited Jul 03, 2016 10:56AM) (new)

Brian (bdorfman) | 2 comments I really love Ursula le Guin also. I would recommend maybe trying The Left Hand of Darkness or The Lathe of Heaven.

NK Jemisin is amazing. I can't wait for The Obelisk Gate to come out.

An author I just realized no one has mentioned yet and can't believe it: Ann Leckie. If you like scifi space operas and are in this group, you definitely need to read Ancillary Justice if you haven't already.

EDIT: To balance out all my scifi recommendations, here's some great fantasy I've read recently: Uprooted, The Goblin Emperor, Graceling, The Queen of the Tearling


message 27: by Thearmchaircritic (last edited Jul 14, 2016 03:27AM) (new)

Thearmchaircritic (the-armchair-critic) | 5 comments Is it too late to add my bit? SFF is a major fave of mine. So it is very hard to narrow it down.
I would say fitting the brief of diversity and slaying on all levels really is The Fifth Kingdom by N. k. Jemisin, which was unexpectedly wonderful. I am earnestly searching for more epic tales, so recs are welcome.
Octavia Butler...hmm I read Fledgling(was it?) And it is a story that shall sadly remain incomplete. Great start to a series though
I tried Binti but it didn't leave much of an impression.
Books I'd love to recommend:
-Zoo City by Lauren Beukes(sp?). Set in Joburg, SA.
-The Traitor Baru Cormorant. Also really diverse and epic. If you liked Jemisin, you‘ll enjoy it.


message 28: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn | 5 comments Octavia E. Butler is my favorite SFF writer. I haven't read a book of hers yet that I didn't like. As far as stand alone books, Kindred and Fledgling are my faves. The Xenogenesis trilogy is my favorite series (but I haven't finished the Patternist series yet).

I enjoy a lot of Nnedi Okorafor's work, I'd recommend Akata Witch to start with if you are a fan of YA novels.

Other SFF writers that I've read: Charles Yu, Ted Chiang, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, Daniel Jose Older, N.K. Jemisin, and Jewelle Gomez.


message 29: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Thearmchaircritic wrote: "Is it too late to add my bit? SFF is a major fave of mine. So it is very hard to narrow it down.
I would say fitting the brief of diversity and slaying on all levels really is The Fifth Kingdom by ..."


I was thoroughly impressed by The Fifth Season so I will have to read Jemisin's other series as well.

I liked Binti, but I can understand if it didn't leave much of an impression. Hopefully the world expands and comes to life in later entries. There should be another one released early next year.


message 30: by Naz (new)

Naz (Read Diverse Books) (xsorenx) | 33 comments Mod
Evelyn wrote: "Octavia E. Butler is my favorite SFF writer. I haven't read a book of hers yet that I didn't like. As far as stand alone books, Kindred and Fledgling are my faves. The Xenogenesis trilogy is my fav..."

That's a lot of great recommendations! Thanks, Evelyn.
I have not read Charles Yu, Ted Chiang, or Jewelle Gomez, so I will definitely look more into their workl


Thearmchaircritic (the-armchair-critic) | 5 comments Evelyn wrote: "Octavia E. Butler is my favorite SFF writer. I haven't read a book of hers yet that I didn't like. As far as stand alone books, Kindred and Fledgling are my faves. The Xenogenesis trilogy is my fav..."

Fledgling wasn't meant to be standalone though was it?


message 32: by Evelyn (last edited Jul 26, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Evelyn | 5 comments Thearmchaircritic wrote: "Evelyn wrote: "Octavia E. Butler is my favorite SFF writer. I haven't read a book of hers yet that I didn't like. As far as stand alone books, Kindred and Fledgling are my faves. The Xenogenesis tr..."

There were notes found (that OEB wrote) that she was working on a sequel...but, well, you know... she didn't get a chance to finish.


Thearmchaircritic (the-armchair-critic) | 5 comments Evelyn wrote: "Thearmchaircritic wrote: "Evelyn wrote: "Octavia E. Butler is my favorite SFF writer. I haven't read a book of hers yet that I didn't like. As far as stand alone books, Kindred and Fledgling are my..."

It's heartbreaking, quite honestly.
Anyway, I shall put Kindred on my reading list, as it has been so highly recommended.
In other news: Broken Earth book 2 is coming out. I am too excited for words


message 34: by Simone (new)

Simone S.  (londondaking) | 3 comments My all time favorite fantasy series is the Sevenwaters trilogy by Juliet Marilier but my second favorite series is by M.C.A Hogarth, Her Instruments series is fantastic!! Right up my alley! I will admit, it's been a couple years since I've left the world of fiction for YouTube but I started reading again consistently since 2015 so there are a lot of new and old authors I want to get acquainted with. I also love Ruby Lionsdrake's Mandrake Series!


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