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2016 Book Discussions > The Fifth Season - General Discussion and Links, No Spoilers (August 2016)

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message 1: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
This topic thread is for posting general information about and first impressions of The Fifth Season. No spoilers here, please.

What do people think so far? Are you normally a reader of fantasy fiction? If so, where would you put this book in the fantasy spectrum? If not, what about Fifth Season caught your interest?

Here’s a very simple map of The Stillness: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qi3BzqQrRFI...

This interview with Jemisin on Geeks Guide to the Galaxy is excellent. You may want to finish the book before listening to it, or at least to the last third of it. There are not really any plot spoilers, but what Jemisin has to say about her influences and intent will definitely color how you interpret things early in the book. https://geeksguideshow.com/2015/08/25...

From Dictionary.com:
orogeny.
Noun, Geology. The process of mountain making or upheaval.
Also called orogenesis


message 2: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2395 comments Thanks for the links. Much better picture of the Stillness than my Kindle showed! I'll be listening to the interview over the course of the day as the first 3 mins have me hooked!


message 3: by Peter (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments Well, I have to admit that I found this book more impressive than enjoyable, but I did finish it in one weekend despite having lots of other things to do.

This is a book I'd personally rather discuss in entirety than in parts.


message 4: by Viv (new)

Viv JM | 62 comments Peter, I think you're right about this being easier to discuss as a whole, rather than in parts (for reasons that become obvious when you finish)

I do read fantasy fiction a fair bit and I think this is very different from most. I thought it was very interesting and intelligent.

A pointer for those reading the ebook version - there's a glossary at the back (I didn't discover until I had already finished!)


message 5: by Peter (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments While I realize The Fifth Season is usually classified as fantasy, I find it feels more like science-fiction to me. It seems clear that the author spent a fair bit of time researching seismology, volcanology, etc.


message 6: by Viv (new)

Viv JM | 62 comments Peter wrote: "While I realize The Fifth Season is usually classified as fantasy, I find it feels more like science-fiction to me. It seems clear that the author spent a fair bit of time researching seismology, v..."

I agree. There's also the post-apocalyptic/dystopian feel, which is more reminiscent of sci-fi than fantasy.


message 7: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2395 comments I agree with Peter and Viv. This seemed more like sci fi than fantasy to me. I read more sci fi than fantasy but I like fantasy.


message 8: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
I agree with y'all that the full book discussion in where the meat will be. If you have something to say about an earlier part but think it's informed by what you've read later, the safest thing is to save your comments for the full spoiler discussion.

I thought it was more of a science fiction feel as well, but definitely elements that would be classified as fantasy.

Do you think it was the tone and complexity as much as anything else that made it seem more like science fiction? I tend to associate a lot of 'mainstream' fantasy with more black and white characters and a less ambiguous morality (an obvious oversimplification of a large genre, I realize).


message 9: by Peter (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments It was the world building that did it for me. There's really nothing there that couldn't be fit into slightly softish science fiction -- even the powers of the orogenes could have SF explanations. I wonder if it got classified as fantasy as that's what Jemisin is known for writing.

The other thing that keeps it from feeling like fantasy to me is the complete lack of any sign of divine powers. There are no meddling gods or their servants and no indication that they ever existed in any real sense.

But there is plenty of fantasy with complex world-building and ambiguous morality, such as Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series or Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company series or this author's own earlier works.


message 10: by Trudie (new)

Trudie (trudieb) Listened to the linked podcast and found it really interesting especially the part about Jemsin struggling to get published in the Sci Fi / Fantasy genre as her books main protagonists were people of colour.
I am not often a fantasy reader for the very reason that was proffered in the podcast - the repetition of certain tropes - quest stories, semi medieval settings ... But I loved how this book dispensed with all that and really tired to create a new world with new types of races - it seemed like a creative departure from most Fantasy and I greatly enjoyed that.


message 11: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2395 comments I also listened to the podcast and found it enjoyable. I note that Jemisin pointed to Octavia Butler as an influence. I've read about everything Butler wrote. Like Jesimin in this book, Butler was African-American and wrote about the big issues of race using alien species. Butler is considered a science fiction writer and I think this book is much closer to Butler's work than to that of fantasy writers.


message 12: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2824 comments Mod
Currently listening to the podcast--thanks for the link!

I'm more of a dabbler when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy and until this question, I'm not sure I've ever really made a hard distinction between the two. (I don't really tend to think in terms of genres so much as I like smart, innovative, often weird writers.) I don't tend to read or know too much about contemporary fantasy or sci-fi, so this is one of those books I probably never would have gotten around to without this group.


message 13: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2824 comments Mod
Looks like an unedited version of chapter 1 from the next book in the series is available here:
http://nkjemisin.com/2016/07/sample-first-chapter-of-the-obelisk-gate/
Or, you can just wait a month and buy the whole thing.


message 14: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
Can not wait a month. Must read now.

On a semi-related note, there's a mention of the second chapter being available through Jemesin's Patreon. She recently made some internet history by asking for supporters on Patreon not for a particular project, but so that she would have enough income to be able to quit her day job and write full time. Her goal was $3,000 a month, and she got almost $5,000.

It's a really interesting model. Similar to the way artists used to have rich patrons to support them, the internet allows an artist to have multiple, maybe not so rich, patrons. The bonuses that the supporters get is not all that much, things like the mentioned early second chapter of the new book. It really is people giving money because they want to see a favorite writer have time to produce more work.


message 15: by Lenore (new)

Lenore Gay (lenorehgay) | 9 comments Whitney wrote: "Can not wait a month. Must read now.

On a semi-related note, there's a mention of the second chapter being available through Jemesin's Patreon. She recently made some internet history by asking fo..."


Peter wrote: "It was the world building that did it for me. There's really nothing there that couldn't be fit into slightly softish science fiction -- even the powers of the orogenes could have SF explanations. ..."

This discussion is luring me into addint the book on my list. Love good world-building and strong characters. Thanks to all.
Lenore


message 16: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
This one definitely has both. Hope to see you back in this discussion!


message 17: by Caroline (new)

Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
All this is getting me pretty pumped to read the book. I'm a bit behind on all my books at the moment so I will probably join in the discussion fairly late!


message 18: by Veronique (new)

Veronique Caroline wrote: "All this is getting me pretty pumped to read the book. I'm a bit behind on all my books at the moment so I will probably join in the discussion fairly late!"

You're not the only one :0) I also would like to fit it in before the end of the month


message 19: by Peter (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments Veronique wrote: "You're not the only one :0) I also would like to fit it in before the end of the month "

Actually, wild card book discussions last until the 15th of the following month, so there may be more time than you realize.


message 20: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
And people are always welcome to keep the discussion going beyond the "official" end date, or even revive discussions years later.


message 21: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (topaz6) Just starting this, so glad the group decided to read it as I've been meaning to get to it for a few months now


message 22: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
Great! Looking forward to your comments.


message 23: by Caroline (new)

Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
I've finally started too and am enjoying it so far. I'm still getting used to the rhythm of the storytelling but am definitely intrigued.


message 24: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
The Fifth Season won the Hugo for Best Novel!


message 25: by Caroline (new)

Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
Awesome! I'll be driving from Colorado to California next weekend so am planning on listening to the next book for a good chunk of the drive!


message 26: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
Here's a video of Alyssa Wong delivering Jemisin's acceptance speech. The award announcement is at around 4:00, after some banter between Robert Silverberg and Pat Cadigan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY4Bw...


message 27: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2824 comments Mod
Very happy for Jemisin! Thanks for the news & link, Whitney.


message 28: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2395 comments Here's an interview with Jemisin published in the Atlantic on Sept 2. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainm...


message 29: by Marc (last edited Sep 06, 2016 07:14PM) (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2824 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Here's an interview with Jemisin published in the Atlantic on Sept 2. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainm..."

Thanks for the link, Linda--I just read it tonight--very interesting. I find it hard not to like Jemisin from what I've read. Plus, I'd never heard of the term "kyriarchy" (you can see the spirit of hate is still alive and well--looks like somebody managed to squeeze in a jab in the first sentence on the wikipedia entry).


message 30: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2395 comments Marc, I somehow read (OK, I guess skimmed) the article without it registering that I had never heard that term before. But I have carefully read the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry looking for the jab, but it is escaping me. Can you give me a hint? Perhaps it is because I have yet to have my morning coffee and my brain is still sleeping.


message 31: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2824 comments Mod
Linda, your brain is just fine--looks like someone already fixed it (bottom of the page said it was modified very early this morning).

When I first came to the page, the first sentence read something like:
"Kyriarchy, pronounced /ˈkaɪriɑːrki/, a stupid term used by idiots, is a social system or set of connecting social systems... "
Those weren't the exact words, but pretty close.


message 32: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2395 comments Ahhh ... that indeed I would have noticed! Perhaps it was added by someone imitating an ex-reality show personality running for public office but not desirous of the same attention?


message 33: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2203 comments Mod
The Stone Sky is currently $4.99 on ebook at multiple locations.


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The Stone Sky (other topics)

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Glen Cook (other topics)
Steven Erikson (other topics)