Sci-fi and Heroic Fantasy discussion

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

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 21, 2017 08:04AM) (new)

This is the place to nominate a Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our July group read and discussion (beginning July 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 alternate 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 July discussion topic. The Collapsing Empire has already been selected as our June Contemporary Novel discussion topic.

Nominations will be open through Monday, June 5, when I'll collect the nominees and post a poll so members can choose among them.


message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2473 comments Would The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro qualify?


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "Would The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro qualify?"

Yup.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I'll re-nominate Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman since it almost qualified for last month's runoff.


message 5: by Donald (new)

Donald | 157 comments In that spirit, I'll re-nominate A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly.


message 6: by Roger (new)

Roger Red Sister by Mark Lawrence


message 7: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Railsea by China Mieville


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

alarm clock   Reminder: Today, Monday, is the final day to nominate a Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our July group read and discussion.


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 13, 2017 07:10AM) (new)

Announcement banner
Thank you for the nominations. A poll to select our Contemporary Science Fiction / Fantasy Novel discussion topic for July 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 July discussion topic. The Collapsing Empire has already been selected as our June Contemporary Novel discussion topic.

This poll will be open through Monday, June 12.

Edit: I seem to have messed up the original version of this post. I have attempted to reconstitute it. I appologize for any discrepancy.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Announcement banner
Since none of the nominees had a decisive lead, I've set up a runoff poll between the two top choices (Anansi Boys & Red Sister) to complete the selection of the Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our July group discussion.

If you're interested in participating in the discussion of one of our remaing 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 July discussion topic. The Collapsing Empire has already been selected as our June Contemporary Novel discussion topic.

This poll will be open through Monday, June 19.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Announcement banner
Our selected Contemporary Fantasy novel discussion topic for July is...

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

The discussion will begin July 21.


message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2473 comments Nice, though now I need to decide what I'll kick out from my reading plans next month to squeeze in American Gods too...I guess if Blue Mars waited this long it can wait another month. You know, it's one of those perplexing problems readers have when there are so many good things out there to read and not enough time to read them, sigh. ;)


message 13: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Is this a Gaiman-only group now.


message 14: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) LOL I think there needs to be a ban on already selected authors for a year at least, or else we all be reading Gaiman, Dick or whoever popular all year.


message 15: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2473 comments Interestingly, though Gaiman has been nominated many times (I can think of 4 or 5 times), since I joined back in August/September last year, there was only the recent anthology and Anansi Boys that got picked. Maybe it seemed like Gaiman was selected more often than he actually was? Since I didn't read the anthology, this will actually be my first exposure to Gaiman so I'm quite excited.

One could then argue that we shouldn't have Philip K. Dick in the classic vote for August either since his anthology was recently picked, but last I checked it was winning too :)


message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 20, 2017 07:19PM) (new)

The group also selected Gaiman's story collection Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions several years ago, though looking at that "discussion", only two people showed up to discuss. Still, that puts Gaiman among our elite 3-timer club (along with Le Guin, Heinlein, & Sanderson.) (Asimov has had 6 selection.)

Yeah, I think we'll give Neil a rest for the remainder of the year.


message 17: by Silvana (last edited Jun 20, 2017 10:43PM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Based on this list: https://www.goodreads.com/group/books...

Gaiman has four books in the shelf now, including American Gods (2012). Same with Heinlein and Sanderson, who also has four.

Asimov 5
Gaiman 4
Heinlein 4
Sanderson 4
Le Guin 3
Zelazny 3
Christopher 3
Dick 3
Martin 3
Scalzi 3

Either ban them for one year or, as in another group, ban authors whose work we've read in the last two years.

I prefer the later. For August pick, this will rule out authors whose books we read since August 2015. Plus, even though we have read Heinlein many times, most of those happened four to five years ago, probably different crowd altogether.


message 18: by Roger (new)

Roger Silvana wrote: "Based on this list: https://www.goodreads.com/group/books...

Gaiman has four books in the shelf no..."


Banning for two years seems a bit harsh, I will agree we apparently are on a Gaiman kick recently but two years seems a bit long. For an author like Sanderson that's like five books...though you could ban Rothfuss and GRRM for two years and miss nothing...


message 19: by Silvana (last edited Jun 21, 2017 07:45AM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Roger wrote: "Silvana wrote: "Based on this list: https://www.goodreads.com/group/books...

Gaiman has four books..."


How about one year? we can do a vote as well.

Not many authors can be like Gaiman or James SA Corey or whoever publishes a book once a year.


message 20: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 243 comments Yeah, a 2-year ban is too harsh. American gods was submitted/won probably because of the TV show and that started to air not long after the anthology was selected. That's just a fluke.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Roger wrote: "I will agree we apparently are on a Gaiman kick recently but two years seems a bit long. ..."

I dunno about "kick"; we've only had 2 of Gaiman's books recently (one anthology last month, and an upcoming novel next month.) (Yes, there have been other Gaiman nominations.) I think a six month "Gaiman time out" will be fine; if people really want to read more of Gaiman next calendar year, so be it.


Silvana wrote: "Based on this list: https://www.goodreads.com/group/books...

Asimov 5..."


The bookshelf didn't have the most recent Asimov discussion of Caves of Steel properly tagged. I just fixed it; sorry 'bout that.

"Martin 3..."

Two of the three GRRM's we've read have been anthologies edited by Martin rather than written by him (Dangerous Women & Wild Cards). I think multi-author anthology editors probably get a pass. (Though if we got hung up on an anthology series, e.g. lots of Wild Cards books, I'd consider a hiatus as well.)


Silvana wrote: "Plus, even though we have read Heinlein many times, most of those happened four to five years ago, probably different crowd altogether..."

The Heinlein discussions are an interesting case: Spooky1947 (who we haven't heard from the last six months) suggested reading three Heinlein in a row (Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Stranger in a Strange Land) to compare the apparent underlying philosophy of each work. I thought that worked relatively well, though it left those not interested in Heinlein bored for three Classic discussion in a row.

The discussion of Christopher's Tripods trilogy is even before my time in the group, but apparently the group decided to read each book in succession.

I'm reluctant to impose a rigid author hiatus rule, because I don't want to strictly rule out reading a sequence if it seems meaningful (and if the group votes for it, of course.) (Though I also note that our discussion of tackling a whole series never coalesced on any series in particular.) :(


But both those examples were, as you say, a "different crowd." I think we already reached consensus that we could re-discuss a work if there isn't a lot of overlap between past participants and currently active members. Our recent Watership Down discussion is a case on point.


Roger wrote: "Banning for two years seems a bit harsh,..."

Two years definitely seems long to me; I suspect groups that use that interval don't read as many books a year as we do.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I agree that a 6-12 month hiatus for any author would be appropriate just to keep us from getting over-saturated. That being said, I'm glad Anansi Boys won - I'm on a bit of a Gaiman kick right now.


message 23: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2473 comments Anthologies/short stories are a different beast compared to novels, and I wouldn't want to kick out an author's novel just because an anthology had been read. Maybe they could each have their own ban (e.g. can't nominate a second anthology by same author in same year but can still have a novel, and vice-versa)

And in this case there were external concerns as well, with the TV series coming out and people wanting to read the books before watching the show. Because it would be unfortunate if many people are reading something anyway but we can't discuss it together. Though maybe that can have the special status that one other book recently had?

*nudge* BTW, if you want to read an author not yet read by this group before, can vote for Infernal Devices for August classic ;)


message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2473 comments I did some more thinking, and there are reasons why some authors pop up more often than others (aside from them just being more popular at any moment in time)

Take Django Wexler, who to my knowledge he has two series of books, and those series are really series, they don't have any standalones within them. Thus one can only really nominate the first book of each series and then that's it for that author, even if he writes 20 books in each series.

On the other hand Gaiman writes mainly standalones, and there is a fair amount of variety. American Gods is very different from Stardust, which is very different from Norse Gods, which is different from that book he wrote with Terry Pratchett, which is different from his Sandman graphic novels. So there's more options to renominate him multiple times. Thus blocking an author for a year, when maybe he has a very big range could also be limiting. I know authors that write different series/books in very different styles, to the point you would recognize them as the same author. Or they may write SF and Fantasy.


message 25: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments I was being snarky earlier, but honestly if we cant find 24 different authors in a year then that's just sad. Need broader horizons.


message 26: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2473 comments I am totally for a 6 month hiatus, maybe we can start with that? Though it's getting complicated now figuring out what is allowed and what isn't. After all we are allowing already read books if the original group of readers are not really around anymore (e.g. Dying Earth), and horror is sometimes out (Graveyard Book) and sometimes in (Something Wicked This Way Comes).

Guess it's really up to G33z3r if he wants to double check everyone's nominations against a list of rules. In the end I'll go along with anything since I've got such a huge TBR list I'm sure I can always find stuff to nominate no matter the restrictions. :)


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