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Just for Fun > Our 2018 Group Reading Challenges

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 09, 2018 06:11AM) (new)

Our group's Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Challenges for 2018 are now available!

(For those who haven't participated before, our Group Challenges let you set a reading goal for yourself to read a certain number of books that fit the criteria of that Challenge. It's a SF&F-oriented complement to the Goodreads Annual Reading Challenge. Because each Challenge lets you set your own goal for the number of books you want to read, it's a form of self motivation, not a competition.) You can sign up for as many, or as few, as you like (Instructions below).


SF&HF Reading Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Reading Challenge
Set yourself a goal for reading Science Fiction and Fantasy books in 2018.

SF&HF BINGO Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 BINGO Challenge
Read books matching our group BINGO card. Do a line, or do the whole card.

SF&HF Explorer Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Explorer Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read SF&F books by authors you've never read before. Explore new worlds, find new favorites!

SF&HF Discussion Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Discussion Challenge
Set yourself a goal for reading Science Fiction and Fantasy selected by our group for discussion in 2018. Join the conversations!

SF&HF Female Author Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Female Author Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read SF&F works by female authors.

SF&HF Awards Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Awards Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read SF&F books which have won awards, such as the Hugo and Nebula, or any other award(s) you care to use.

SF&HF Stand Alone Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Stand-Alone Novel Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read stand-alone SF&F novels.

SF&HF Completist Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Series Completist Challenge
Set yourself a goal to finish reading all works in SF&F series.

SF&HF Graphic Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Graphic Novel Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read SF&F Graphic Novels.

SF&HF Short Works Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Short Story Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read SciFi & Fantasy short stories, novelettes & novella.

SF&HF Historian Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Historian Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read SF&F from its early days. Vern, Shelley, Wells or whoever. (Pick whatever date you want to define "early days" by using the comments.)

SF&HF Setting Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Geographic Setting Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read works set in a variety of places. (Define your choice of geography in the comments, e.g. Continents, Countries, States, Provinces, Cities, Planets,...)

SF&HF Author Geography Challenge Icon   The SF&F 2018 Geographic Author Challenge
Set yourself a goal to read works by authors from different locales. (Define your chosen geography in the comments, e.g. Continents, Countries, States, Provinces, Cities,...)


* You can see all our past & present SF&HF Group Challenges here.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 30, 2017 07:40PM) (new)

How To Set Up A Group Challenge Goal

Note: Goodreads won't let you sign up for a challenge until the start date, January 1, 2018.

Click on one of the Challenges listed above to get to the Challenge's page.

Then, enter the number of books you want to read for that challenge.

Finally, enter the name of a shelf on your personal bookshelf where you'll put the qualifying books. E.g., I use sff-2018-reading-challenge, sff-2018-explorer-challenge, sff-2018-discussion-challenge, and so on. (Unlike the Goodreads Reading Challenge, only books you add to the designated bookshelf will count towards your Group Challenge. (You also need to mark the book as "read" and set the "date read" of the book within the Challenge's period — any date in 2018 — for it to count toward your goal.) Using designated bookshelves for each Challenge lets you read books that don't count toward your challenge(s), maybe even something that isn't science fiction or fantasy (I've heard rumors such things exist!) If you name a shelf for your challenge that you haven't created for your bookshelves yet, the shelf will be automagically created for you.

Remember to add the bookshelf to books you want to count towards your goal. If a book counts towards more than one challenge goal, be sure to place the book on all the appropriate shelves.


message 3: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments Oooooh, think I might do the reading challenge, explorer challenge, Bingo, and female authors (and see how many new female authors I can read that will tick off bingo squares, haha). I might also be a bit less strict with my geography challenge parameters and do that again :)


message 4: by Angie (new)

Angie | 66 comments Ooh, I'm planning to do the reading challenge, the Bingo challenge, and the Historian challenge (maybe 1960s and earlier...). I will have to give the others some thought. Love these.


message 5: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikekeating) | 242 comments I'm down for the reading challenge, maybe the bingo as well.


message 6: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 51 comments You might want to change the start date on the explorer challenge to 1 Jan instead of 1 Dec 2018...Just a thought.


message 7: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Hi G33z, thanks for setting these up.

I basically joined all except geography, awards and discussions. Still considering the Bingo and graphic novel challenge.

Slight revision needed for the shorts challenge since the title is for shorts but the description and picture are for graphic novel challenge.


message 8: by Bill (new)

Bill Burris (wburris) | 0 comments In an earlier discussion I mentioned science fiction magazines. I am wondering if magazines would qualify for the short story challenge.


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 01, 2018 07:46AM) (new)

Bill wrote: "In an earlier discussion I mentioned science fiction magazines. I am wondering if magazines would qualify for the short story challenge."

Since these challenges are all for self-motivation, what counts is really up to you. But if you look at my 2017 Short Stories Reading Challenge list, you'll see magazines certainly count for me! :)


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2563 comments I'd say the magazine itself (which is really a kind of anthology) and each individual story could count towards a short story goal.

Added myself to the bingo challenge. I gave myself a random goal at the moment but I'll need to see if I can find books to fill in more squares. I may not be able to dragon-theme them all, but there's a whole years worth of group reads ahead of us, so who knows what will get picked along the way!


message 11: by NekroRider (new)

NekroRider | 321 comments Question about the female author challenge. So I plan to read a heck of a lot of Robin Hobb this year. Wondering if multiple books by a single author count since a fair chunk of my books in general will be by her lol

Anyway, so far the challenges I've signed up for are the general sf/f challenge (20 books - will increase depending on how things go) and the bingo challenge (10 books - will increase depending on how things go).


message 12: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments NekroRider wrote: "Question about the female author challenge. So I plan to read a heck of a lot of Robin Hobb this year. Wondering if multiple books by a single author count since a fair chunk of my books in general..."

I think it's up to you, I did count multiple books by the same author in last years challenge


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "I'd say the magazine itself (which is really a kind of anthology) and each individual story could count towards a short story goal...."

The catch is, you can only get credit for a work that's in Goodreads' database, and individual stories usually aren't. (A short story /novella will be in the GR database if it's sold by itself (that's usually be a novella, e.g. Tor.com's line) or if it's publicly published on the web. In the latter case someone has to care enough to put it in the database since it doesn't come from the usual Amazon import sources.) So, I count magazines and anthologies as a single "short works" read.


message 14: by NekroRider (new)

NekroRider | 321 comments Cat wrote: "NekroRider wrote: "Question about the female author challenge. So I plan to read a heck of a lot of Robin Hobb this year. Wondering if multiple books by a single author count since a fair chunk of ..."

Great, thanks for the reply.


message 15: by Hillary (new)

Hillary Major | 436 comments Wow, what a list.

I'll definitely do reader, explorer, & discussion. I'm glad for the push the explorer gives to read newer (or just new-to-me) books. I'll probably end up adding most of the others as well. (Last year, I did count multiple works by the same woman toward the Female Author challenge, so I'll probably continue that pattern.) I'll have to give some thought to the series completist challenge & figure out ... In 2017, I caught up on a number of shorter series (Leckie, Jemisin, Gladstone). Some of those still on my TBR (Novik, Sagara West) are substantial time commitments.

I plan on reading short works, but I find trying to note what I've read in Goodreads more frustrating than fun, so I probably won't join that challenge officially.


message 16: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I just checked my challenges and it seems that two of them at least are not corresponding to my shelves and the cover views when you click your progress.

For example, in the main challenge page, I only read six out of targeted 20 books for my female author challenge but in my shelf I already reached 20. I did give all books the read dates so they are counted as books read in 2018.

Same thing happen to my series completion challenge, should be five books but the stat (in the challenge main page) only list two books.

Anyone experiencing the same issue?


message 17: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments No, mine appear to be all correct.


message 18: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Hmm must be one of the infamous Goodreads bugs then. Thanks, Cat!


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 26, 2018 06:34AM) (new)

Silvana wrote: "For example, in the main challenge page, I only read six out of targeted 20 books for my female author challenge but in my shelf I already reached 20. I did give all books the read dates so they are counted as books read in 2018. ..."

It shows 20 of 20 to me now, Silvana. (Congratulations, by the way!)


Silvana wrote: "Hmm must be one of the infamous Goodreads bugs then."

Goodreads tries to do this thing called caching. Apparently counting how many books you've shelved for the challenge with the appropriate date is slow, so they only compute it on special occasions and write the number down for quotidian display. Sometimes they don't get around to re-counting.

I mentioned it once in the Feedback Group (complete with 27 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was. :)


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments Justice was blind, though?
;)


message 21: by Silvana (last edited Jun 26, 2018 08:47AM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Thanks, G33z! Now I know what happened. Or is happening.

Mine (the female author and completist) looks updated by now.... Except for the short works and explorer challenge which I also apparently have completed. It is not that I try to finish them asap, but it would be good to know (and look like) if I finish them already.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I made the mistake of looking at the books I'd marked in my Standalone Challenge and found two of them weren't (going to be) standalone anymore. Sigh.


message 23: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2563 comments G33z3r wrote: "I made the mistake of looking at the books I'd marked in my Standalone Challenge and found two of them weren't (going to be) standalone anymore. Sigh."

Death of an author is not a blocker apparently either, what with a new Pern book coming out this year for example, fortunately I didn't join that challenge since the whole reason I'm reading Pern this year was to "complete" it after starting it so long ago. Michael Crichton feels like to have published more post-mortem than when alive (ok not quite, but still, there are a few now). Makes those completist and standalone challenges a...well...challenge!


message 24: by Hillary (new)

Hillary Major | 436 comments G33z3r wrote: "I made the mistake of looking at the books I'd marked in my Standalone Challenge and found two of them weren't (going to be) standalone anymore. Sigh."

I figure we have to go to based on reality-at-the-time-of-reading. So far, my stand-alones remain, but two of my series "completions" have had new releases


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Reminder Post-it   Reminder: It's December, and in addition to the usual year-end events, that means the closing of our 2018 Group Challenges. So, for those of you who are just a couple of books away from reaching your goal,... well, yet one more thing to do. (the list of all the 2018 Group Challenges is above in the first message of this topic.)

Recall that for Goodreads to include a book in the Group Challenge tally, you must mark it "read", set the "date read" to a 2018 date and put the book on the shelf you designated for that Group Challenge.

(Note: There seems to be a Goodreads bug (inconceivable!) when looking at the "view books" under your Group Challenge in that it shows just about everything you read in 2018 instead of just the books you shelved for the Challenge. Sadly, that makes it a bit harder to see what's been counted.)


message 26: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I love this year's challenges and will definitely continue with the same ones next year. Is it possible to separate the novelette/novella challenge from short stories?

G33z3r wrote: "   (Note: There seems to be a Goodreads bug (inconceivable!) when looking at the "view books" under your Group Challenge in that it shows just about everything you read in 2018 instead of just the books you shelved for the Challenge. Sadly, that makes it a bit harder to see what's been counted.) "

This gave me a little fright this morning since I was so confused with some books that are not SFF but included in the list!


message 27: by Cat (last edited Dec 04, 2018 12:10PM) (new)

Cat | 343 comments G33z3r wrote: "(Note: There seems to be a Goodreads bug (inconceivable!) when looking at the "view books" under your Group Challenge in that it shows just about everything you read in 2018 instead of just the books you shelved for the Challenge. Sadly, that makes it a bit harder to see what's been counted.).."
That completely freaked me out when I first saw it! I was worried I'd filed things incorrectly.

I've enjoyed the challenges but I'm not sure I'll do the same ones - I think I did too many and felt pressured to try and achieve them all. And that kind of stress is not what I want when I'm reading for leisure!

I think next year, I'll probably just stick with the reading challenge, explorer challenge and female authors challenge. Oh and if we do the bingo challenge again, I'll definitely do that! That was a lot of fun.


I found the standalone surprisingly challenging - I guess because I read mostly fantasy. I'm also going to hit pause on my author-geographical challenge, because while I enjoyed it and it's certainly broadened my reading horizons, I found it increasingly stressful to try and achieve.


message 28: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2563 comments Cat wrote: "I found the standalone surprisingly challenging - I guess because I read mostly fantasy. "

I noticed that too, I listed in another thread all the standalones we read as a group and they were mostly (all?) SF


message 29: by Mike (last edited Dec 04, 2018 03:48PM) (new)

Mike (mikekeating) | 242 comments So do we use the same bingo card for 2019, or change some categories? And if the categories are all the same, do we keep them all where they were or rearrange the placement?


message 30: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Andrea wrote: "Cat wrote: "I found the standalone surprisingly challenging - I guess because I read mostly fantasy. "

I noticed that too, I listed in another thread all the standalones we read as a group and the..."


Fantasy writers and maybe publishers seem to think everything has to be a series. That is why I appreciate people who could actually write one with no direct sequel.

I love the standalone challenge most of all the challenges, it definitely lower my series commitment.

On second thought, I might drop some challenges. I guess first it would be the explorer one since apparently it comes automatic. And then the series completist one since my unfinished series have decreased quite a bit.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

In addition to the BINGO square, we have a stand-alone stand-along novel challenge. I took a look at the 22 books I shelved there, and only found 3 fantasy (2 group reads Andrea already mentioned plus Good Omens.) So fantasy really is hard to find singletons.


message 32: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2563 comments Silvana wrote: "Fantasy writers and maybe publishers seem to think everything has to be a series. That is why I appreciate people who could actually write one with no direct sequel."

And when something is clearly a standalone to start with (e.g. The Host) but does well in sales, often the author is encouraged to add more installments. This usually leads to really poor quality sequels because there was no overall arc planned to start with, so they feel like they've just been glued on. Even Children of Time, we had a very meaningful conclusion to the first book, I can't really imagine what he could add to it that is meaningful to the original theme, it can only be "oh here's some adventure with a (view spoiler)". Maybe I'm wrong and it will have an amazing sequel but not convinced of that.

And seeing as my two examples are SF ones, I think the "sequel" curse is starting to jump genres.

Mike wrote: "So do we use the same bingo card for 2019, or change some categories? And if the categories are all the same, do we keep them all where they were or rearrange the placement?"

Been discussing this with G33z3r, I think we want to replace some of the squares, mainly the specific ones like "features a dragon" or "female author" with related but different options like "features a unicorn" or "asian author". Since G33z3r will put the card together I'll let him decide if he wants to move things around too :)

We didn't take suggestions the first time around but if many people hated a box let us know and we can consider replacing it.

Remember though that this is a challenge, and was meant to make you work and explore things you normally wouldn't. So for people that say "box x was hard to fill because I don't read much SF" well the point was to try to get you to read more SF, maybe you'll find you'll like it! If you see a group read you'd otherwise skip but it matches a box, maybe try it out (particularly if you can get a library book and don't need to pay for it, I can understand not paying $30 for a newly release hardcover if you're not sure you'll like it). I've often been pleasantly surprised by group reads that I would never, ever have picked up on my own.

Of course if you're already a flexible reader like myself, then you can always increase the challenge like I unintentionally did this year by ensuring all of my bingo slots were not just filled appropriately, but they all had to have an additional requirement, in my case all had to have dragons (a "near future" dragon book was such a weird combo I couldn't find anything to fit though, "cheated" by using Saturn Run or Ball Lightning). So if I could do it with dragons, I'm sure without that requirement it would be easy to cover the board with a little flexibility in your reading choices :)

And don't be afraid to ask for suggestions, and don't forget short stories count too, so if you don't want to invest a week or reading in category, might be able to hunt down a short/novella that is represented by GR with it's own page that you can read in a couple hours. Although that's up to you if you consider that cheating or not.


message 33: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 522 comments Off topic but I suspect children of ruin will go back to our home solar system....


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Mike wrote: "So do we use the same bingo card for 2019, or change some categories? And if the categories are all the same, do we keep them all where they were or rearrange the placement?"

Please see topic Ideas for 2019 Group Challenges to make comments or proposals on Challenges for 2019 & BINGO card boxes.


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