Sci-fi and Heroic Fantasy discussion

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Past nominations (closed) > March Contemporary Novel Discussion Topic selection complete

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 09, 2017 05:38AM) (new)

This is the place to nominate a Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our March group read and discussion (beginning March 21.) A contemporary novel would typically have been first published in the 21st century.

You need not have read the title you are nominating; after all, you'll be reading along. Feel free to say why you are making the nomination, if you care to. Note that if your nomination is selected by the group, we'll be expecting you to take the lead in the discussion.

We read two different SF/F novels and one short SF/F work each month: One is a "Contemporary" SF/F novel, which was written after 2000; that discussion starts on the 21st of each month. One is a "Classic" SF/F novel which was written before 2000; that discussion starts on the 1st of each month. We also read one or more short stories each month; that discussion starts the 11th of each month. You can always check on our upcoming SF/F Novel discussion topics by scrolling down on the Group Homepage to the "Upcoming Reads” section.

You can review past group selections in the "read" section of our Group's BookShelf. If you wish to continue a discussion of one of those past selections, all those discussion topics are still open in our Book Discussions area.

Note that these are nominations for our March discussion topic. The Passage has already been selected as our February Contemporary Novel discussion topic.

Nominations will be open through Wednesday, February 8, when I'll collect the nominees and post a poll so members can choose among them.


message 2: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


message 4: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2477 comments The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

It's on the NPR top 100 if anyone is trying to work their way through the list


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Silvana wrote: "The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman"

I like all three nominations so far, but this one sounds the most interesting to me.


message 6: by Marc-André (new)

Marc-André Accelerando by Charles Stross. It is just jam packed with big ideas. Like sending tiny spaceships propulsed by lases aimed at their sails.


message 7: by Hillary (new)

Hillary Major | 436 comments Marc-André wrote: "Accelerando by Charles Stross. It is just jam packed with big ideas. Like sending tiny spaceships propulsed by lases aimed at their sails."

Sounds interesting. I'm reading Stross' Merchant Princes series now & it's really sucking me in. The first two are a pretty fun twist on the portal fantasy; then things get really complicated & a bit grim. I'm almost finished w/the last of the original six & I think I'm gonna have to cave & get Empire Games ...

...after which I'll probably want a break from Stross, so I'll nominate Central Station by Lavie Tidhar.


message 8: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Hillary wrote: "...so I'll nominate Central Station by Lavie Tidhar. "

Reading that one now, about half way through. Very interesting descriptions with lots of references to other sci-fi works. Bit light on characterization and plot.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Silvana wrote: "The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman"

I'm going to reject this as horror and outside the theme of this group.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) G33z3r wrote: "Silvana wrote: "The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman"

I'm going to reject this as horror and outside the theme of this group."


Aw, G33z3r, I wish you'd reconsider. Gaiman is an established fantasy writer. Wikipedia lists the book as a "children's fantasy novel." The group read The Stand a few months ago which is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel (again, per wikipedia) which is probably more horror than The Graveyard Book.

And here's a list of the awards the book won or was nominated for (per GR):
Hugo Award for Best Novel (2009), Newbery Medal (2009), Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel (2009), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children's Literature (2009)
Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year (2009), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2010), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2009), Indies Choice Book Award for Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction): (2009), Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (ALAN/NCTE) Nominee (2009), British Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009), Cybils Award for Middle Grade Fantasy & Science Fiction (2008), Carnegie Medal (2010), Elizabeth Burr / Worzalla Award (2009), Premio El Templo de las Mil Puertas for Mejor novela extranjera independiente (2009)


message 11: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Could we reject it for being a children's fantasy novel?


message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2477 comments I'm reading The Stand right now, and frankly, until you get to about page 600, the fantasy aspect is pretty slim (just the dreams and some "maybe he's controlling the animals" going on), there's no actual proof of anything supernatural until that point, and there's only 200 or so page left after that. I mean just because it takes a while to get the to fantasy aspect doesn't make it any less a fantasy, but it's definitely more horror than anything else.

The Passage is considered horror in addition to SF, and we just voted that one in.

So while I'm not hoping to get the Graveyard Book back in the running (after all, I have my own nomination and less competition the better!) I'm curious what would differentiate fantasy/SF from horror. Sounds like a discussion topic of its own :)


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Randy wrote: "The group read The Stand a few months ago which is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel ..."

Yeah, that was my mistake. (So, apparently, was The Passage. I'll pay closer attention to GR shelving in the future.)


message 14: by Davy (last edited Feb 06, 2017 01:14AM) (new)

Davy | 47 comments The Graveyard Book also gets my vote (so far anyways). I'm excited to try more Neil Gaiman stuff. Hopefully most of his work leans more towards Neverwhere and Stardust than to American Gods ...

I'm going to nominate The Lies of Locke Lamora, even though that series isn't finished yet and it seems to have the same problem as Martin's Winds of Winter :/


message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 06, 2017 05:55AM) (new)

Davy wrote: "I'm going to nominate The Lies of Locke Lamora, even though that series isn't finished yet and it seems to have the same problem as Martin's Winds of Winter :/ .."

The main difference is Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series consists of self-contained novels, whereas Martin is writing one long continuous story. (There ought to be a term to distinguish a series of self-contained stories with continuing characters, like Harry Dresden or Honor Harrington, from a series like Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice & Fire that's one big story divided into a bunch of books.)


BTW, Davy, I noticed you edited your original post to change your nominee. There aren't any Goodreads notifications for edits, so there is a good chance I won't notice an edit and will stick with the original nomination. (I was going to point out we already had a discussion of The Gunslinger, and so I noticed your edit this time.) In the future, if you want to change your nomination, it's best to post a new message rather than edit an old one.


message 16: by Davy (new)

Davy | 47 comments G33z3r wrote: "BTW, Davy, I noticed you edited your original post to change your nominee. There aren't any Goodreads notifications for edits, so there is a good chance I won't notice an edit and will stick with the original nomination. (I was going to point out we already had a discussion of The Gunslinger, and so I noticed your edit this time.) In the future, if you want to change your nomination, it's best to post a new message rather than edit an old one. "

Roger that! FYI, I changed it because The Gunslinger is not contemporary since it was written in 1982, which I didn't notice because Goodreads shows the 2003 revised edition of the book. The original date is indicated, but greyed out and between brackets ... Live and learn I guess.

Good to know that the Gentlemen Bastards (and Dresden Files) are self-contained rather than 1 big story :) And I agree that there should be a term to distinguish those 2 styles of book series.


message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2477 comments G33z3r wrote: "Randy wrote: "The group read The Stand a few months ago which is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel ..."

Yeah, that was my mistake. (So, apparently, was The Passage. I'll pay closer attention..."


The Gunslinger is also shelved as horror (and I agree, what with the whole zombie attack in the town, and the villain who is essentially the same guy from The Stand). Frankenstein was another group read. Basically eliminating horror can also eliminate some good SF/Fantasy. But I'll double check next time I make a nomination.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

  Reminder: Today is the final day to nominate a Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our March group read and discussion.


message 19: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 520 comments I've had lies of Locke lamora on my shelf for a few years - it'd be good to have a push to get it done!

Also how do you get a link to the book in GR on your phone?


message 20: by Reyad (new)

Reyad | 10 comments I've read gentlemen bastard series a short while ago, it is really good.

Can we nominate series of books or does it have to be self contained?


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 09, 2017 05:37AM) (new)

Announcement banner
Thank you for the nominations. A poll to select our Contemporary Science Fiction / Fantasy Novel discussion topic for March is now open. If you're interested in participating in the discussion of one of our nominees, you can vote here for your choice. Please only vote if you plan on participating in the discussion of that work.

Note that these are nominations for our March discussion topic. The Passage has already been selected as our February Contemporary Novel discussion topic.

This poll will be open through Wednesday, February 15.


message 22: by Marc-André (new)

Marc-André You have two Accelerando in the polls.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Marc-André wrote: "You have two Accelerando in the polls."

Thanks for reporting it; fixed now.


message 24: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 10, 2017 07:19PM) (new)

Reyad wrote: "Can we nominate series of books or does it have to be self contained?"

I don't think it would be wise to try to "discuss" an entire series. The reading time would just be too long for a twice-monthly event. I'm open to making an except if several members want to really commit to actually reading or re-reading a series.

You're welcome to nominate individual books from the series. We've read a good many first books in a series. I can't recall any example of the group deciding to read anything beyond the first book (a few short stories from anthologies have been set in established series.) In fairness, it needs to be clear in the nomination that the book is part of the series and would require reading prequels before discussing.

I did once make an effort to ascertain which series people follow regularly. I thought we might be able to discuss a new release in an established series if enough members were reading that series. I think only a couple such series entries have ever been nominated and none ever actually selected.

Aside –
Once upon a time, Spooky1947 suggested a Robert Heinlein triptych of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, & Stranger in a Strange Land. Not really a series. It didn't work out badly, but then those are three pretty major works; and even so I suspect non-Heinlein fans were bored for 3 months.


message 25: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikekeating) | 242 comments G33z3r wrote: "Reyad wrote: "Can we nominate series of books or does it have to be self contained?"

I don't think it would be wise to try to "discuss" an entire series. The reading time would just be too long fo..."


I'm thinking something like a read (or reread) of a full series might work better as a separate ongoing event, rather than confined within a single edition of a monthly thing. So we could do the normal monthly discussions as we'd been doing, and off to the side have a different thread for our special reread of whatever.


message 26: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 14, 2017 05:49PM) (new)

  Reminder: For those who are interested in discussing one of the above nominees with the group, today, Wednesday, is the final day to vote for one of our Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our March group read and discussion.


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 16, 2017 08:10AM) (new)

Announcement banner
The original poll did not produce a majority choice, so I've created a runoff poll to decide the matter.

Please only vote if you plan on participating in the discussion of that book.

Note that these are nominations for our March discussion topic. The Passage has already been selected as our February Contemporary Novel discussion topic.

This poll will be open through Wednesday, February 22.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

  Reminder: For those who are interested in discussing one of the above nominees with the group, today (Wednesday) is the final day to vote for one of our Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our March group read and discussion.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Announcement banner
Our selected contemporary fantasy novel for March discussion is...

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1) by Scott Lynch The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The discussion will begin March 21.


message 30: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 23, 2017 05:58AM) (new)

For those in US who wish to participate in this discussion and who are audiobook listeners, Audible currently has the audiobook of The Lies of Locke Lamora on sale for $3.99 as part of their "first-in-a-series sale". Sale ends Monday (Feb 27.)


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