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F2F Book Discussions > F2F77 : May 2018 | Science Fiction

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message 1: by Aaron Vincent (last edited May 03, 2018 08:40PM) (new)

Aaron Vincent (aaronvincent) | 2053 comments Greetings!

Buckle up, earthlings. For this month of F2F discussion it is our mission to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before. ;)

Mission Briefing No. 1

Look for a science fiction novel that meets one or all the of the following qualifications:

(a) won a Hugo or a Nebula.
(b) included in any top 100 lists.
(c) written by notable science fiction writers.

Identify to us the novel you have chosen to read and answer the following question:

Which subgenre of science fiction fascinates you and why?

To help you answer the question, here's a quick guide to several science fiction genres.




message 2: by Abdul (last edited May 04, 2018 01:34AM) (new)

Abdul (juramentado) | 58 comments I've chosen to reread Octavia E. Butler's Dawn with a view to finally reading Adulthood Rites, the second book in her Xenogenesis/Lilith's Brood series.

Sadly, none of the books in the trilogy were ever awarded, much less nominated for, the Hugo or the Nebula, but Butler is a notable science fiction writer. She's inspired a generation of SFF writers, so much so that there's an anthology based off of her science fiction, Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. So it fits the last qualification.

Which subgenre of science fiction fascinates you and why?

I'm drawn to soft science fiction and social science fiction. I'm interested in big sci-fi ideas if they can take me to how it affects a character, or it affects the behavior we presently exhibit. I can't continue reading any book if I don't root for a single character, and in my (limited sf reading) experience soft science fiction does that better than others in the genre.

(E.x. I managed to finish Station Eleven not because of the post-supervirus world, but because of the characters mourning the loss of an entire world. I read Annihilation not for the alien genius loci growing in the Southern Reach, but because I wanted to read about a woman trying to get closure (view spoiler).)

There are exceptions, but that's when the author's enthusiasm shows on a page.


message 3: by Ranee (new)

Ranee | 1902 comments I plan to read How to live safely in a science fictional universe (pun intended 😄) by Charles Yu

It says here in GR that it has won some awards
Hehe

I basically like all the subgenres except for the zombie one. No offense, I would rather watch one than read one. But Scifi Comedy has a soft spot in my heart, because of Douglas Adams. And I like the company of other doctors- Doctor Who ans Doctor Strange. 🤣


message 4: by Ycel (new)

Ycel | 662 comments Hullo!

Reading "Neuromancer" by William Gibson, the first novel to win the triple crown of sci-fi awards (the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Philip K. Dick Award) :) My first cyberpunk.

Not very particular about sub-genre as descriptions tend to overlap (you might even disagree how I classified these stories) but to comply with the requirement, here are the SF titles that I’ve read:
- soft SF (Dune, Ubik, Ender’s Game)
- soc sci SF (1984)
- gothic SF (Frankenstein)
- steampunk (Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld)
- post-apocalyptic fiction (Station Eleven, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
- dystopian (The Handmaid’s Tale, Never Let Me Go, Fahrenheit 451)
- extraterrestrial life (Contact)
- comedy SF (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Would love to read hard SF (Asimov’s Foundation series, and Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem).

Friends have also been recommending Anne McCaffrey's "Pern" series (science fantasy).

But alas, not enough time to read all the books I want :(


message 5: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (itslainee) | 227 comments I will be reading Railsea by China Mieville. The book has not won any award but the author has won awards for his other works. And if time allows that I finish Railsea, I might read Our Friends from Frolix 8 by Philip K. Dick or Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.

I am not sure which sub-genre fascinates me most since I read just about any of those depending on my mood but I can definitely say that erotic sci-fi is out of my to-read list. Hahaha.


message 6: by Generoso (new)

Generoso | 4 comments For this month, in accordance with challenge, I've decided to read books that won at least both Hugo and Nebula awards and maybe coming from different subgenres as well.
So far I've read Dune for the soft sci-fi and next in line will be The Forever War for the military sci-fi.

Not particular with any sub genre. I think each has its own unique flavor to experience. But I am a sucker for happy endings so I think I have a slight aversion of picking up books in subgenres that have a higher probability that the main character/the character I'm rooting for end up dead or have an unsatisfying end.


message 7: by Tin (new)

Tin (rabbitin) | 560 comments I've chosen to read Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven. It didn't win the Nebula or Hugo (but it did receive public support/backing from none other than Georgie R.R. Martin during the year it came out, naming it as his "should win" for the Hugo, which caused a bit of a stir, I heard) but it did take the Arthur C. Clarke Award though. And it is on this top 100 list: Top 100 Best Science Fiction Books

Which subgenre of science fiction fascinates you and why?

Soft Sci-Fi because I am interested in the soft sciences (psychology, sociology etc.) more than say the hard sciences (chemistry, engineering, physics etc). I also love dystopian, apocalyptic and post apocalyptic (these may overlap) because they more or less, always explore what it means to be human, and it also allows us to discuss serious topics (some are current issues) at lenght in the context of a fictional story, instead of having to read a really boring article on climate change or elitism or something. It can also be a driving force to make some changes in how we do things. Besides they are also kind of fun to read because it makes me feel extremely relieved that I am not in a degraded, wasted dystopian world (although some might argue otherwise?)


message 8: by Earnest (last edited May 07, 2018 10:36AM) (new)

Earnest | 12 comments The novel I've decided to read is
Embassytown by China Miéville Embassytown
I was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

The subgenre I like most in sci-fi is called planetary romance. It is about humanity that have scattered throughout the stars into different planets. It is very interesting to read the different cultures that authors have thought about


message 9: by Louize (new)

Louize (thepagewalker) | 1830 comments I'll be reading All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. The book was nominated for a Hugo and won a Nebula... and I conveniently have a copy on hand. :)

Ooooh, Sifi! As a teenager, I've dubbed them as boy's read. My brothers love them, and I only read them if there's a bet between us. Along the way, I enjoyed reading them, as much as I enjoy watching them. I gravitate more on Speculative fiction, but I've read dystopian, superheroes, steampunk (view spoiler) and time travel. Theses books open me to new wonders beyond understanding (view spoiler).


message 10: by Monique (last edited May 16, 2018 05:19PM) (new)

Monique (attymonique) | 2127 comments Mission Briefing No. 1

For this month I'm ~planning to read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. (Yes, kill me! I haven't read it yet!) Gaiman is a Hugo winner and "Neverwhere" appears on this list of top 100 fantasy books. https://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/139085...
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin. She died recently and I haven't had the opportunity to read another one of her works, so I decided that this should be it. The Left Hand of Darkness won the Hugo in 1970 and the Nebula in 1969. I think it's safe to say that it has a cult following, that it will always be included in any top lists for science fiction.

I'm aware that there sub-genres of science fiction but I don't base my choices of reading material on those sub-genres. For me, they're all just scifi. :D

ALSO: Yay, Tintin for Station Eleven! :D


message 11: by Rome (new)

Rome (rome_j) | 11 comments I intend to read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I already started last month but couldn't really move forward due to other books I was reading. I first saw the movie and I think the book has so much more to offer so I am gonna go for it.

Well, I read Seroks series in three years ago. I think it could be categorized as steampunk fiction. It was a very new genre to me and it gave me a distinct reading experience which I never found in other books I ever read.

This month is going to be exciting


message 12: by Angus (last edited May 10, 2018 08:10PM) (new)

Angus (angusmiranda) | 4337 comments Mission Briefing No. 1:

I intend to read We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It didn't win anything as it preceded the SF awards but it is generally considered as the grandfather of futuristic dystopia (Brave New World, 1984, etc.). So I guess it falls under C.

The following are the subgenres of SF that I enjoy reading:
-Soft SF
-Social SF
-Some post-apocalyptic and dystopian SF.
-Maybe parallel worlds? I'm intrigued by Blake Crouch's Dark Matter. Maybe I'll pick it up if I have more time to read.
-The all-encompassing speculative fiction.
-Maybe gay erotic science fiction that does not involve aliens. But maybe I'd be missing the point then lol.


message 13: by Meliza (new)

Meliza (mecawish) | 720 comments I started reading listening (I'm on audiobook, I missed it.) to Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow. Been wanting to read this for a long time after reading Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Card is a notable science fiction writer so... yeah, I chose this.

As for the subgenre that fascinates me, I think I'm into soft sci-fi and steampunk. I think I haven't read any hard sci-fi yet, but I definitely want to read one soon. Any recommendations? Mundane science fiction is also interesting.


message 14: by Ranee (new)

Ranee | 1902 comments Question, if a book is dystopian does it immediately fall under SF?


message 15: by Don (last edited May 16, 2018 09:00PM) (new)

Don (donx) | 19 comments Mission Briefing No. 1

I'm reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglas Adams, his second book in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series. I think the series often gets listed as one of the essential sci-fi novels.

Just about any of the subgenres of sci-fi looks interesting, as shown by the examples of the others' choices here and in Ycel's nice list, and I would like to add most them in my TBR.

However, I would pick first those works under the subgenres of comedy sci-fi, soft sci-fi, social sci-fi, dystopian, post-apocalyptic. Been also eyeing to read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, a space opera, which could probably mean a satisfying smorgasbord of those other subgenres and sub-subgenres.


message 16: by Aaron Vincent (new)

Aaron Vincent (aaronvincent) | 2053 comments Mission Briefing No. 2

Encryption
Most science fiction stories explore the big ideas extrapolated from what if scenarios. Using a what if statement, describe one or two of your favorite science fiction novels. It should not be too obvious or too vague.

Decryption
1. Try to guess the novels described by the what if statements posted on this thread.

2. Answer the following question:

Why is the idea of the journey or the voyage so central to science fiction?



message 17: by Aaron Vincent (new)

Aaron Vincent (aaronvincent) | 2053 comments @Ranee: I believe all dystopian or post apocalyptic novels can be categorized as science fiction. These type of novels are exploration on the possible future of earth. Such future scenarios are usually predicted using current situations or science and technology.


message 18: by Abdul (last edited May 18, 2018 11:10AM) (new)

Abdul (juramentado) | 58 comments Mission Briefing No. 2.

Encryption

1. What if nanotechnology becomes an indispensable part of our lives? In this novel, with the power of nanotech, a layabout sees djinns and a boy living with disability becomes a gumshoe. A former radical becomes a government adviser on terrorism, a money trader gets entangled with a terrorist plot, a recent hire must find the other half of a miniature qur'an to save a nanotech company, and an arts dealer looks for the sweetest legend of all: a mellified man.

2. What if a glass book existed that gave you the power to share and receive human memory with a single touch? In this novel, a royal doctor fights for the soul and reputation of his prince, an assassin's investigation puts him in the crosshairs of a sinister cabal, and a woman scorned hunts her fiancé who canceled their engagement. The cabal owns this glass book, and will blackmail, brainwash, or bludgeon anyone standing in their way. However, somebody killed one of their number, and they are willing to kill each other to find out the murderer. With the help of a glass book, they might just find out who.

Bonus, because these are graphic novels:

3. When parallel universes are collapsing on each other, what if the only way to save your universe is to destroy a parallel earth? As the most elite superheroes, you have the power to decide: on which earth do you commit genocide to save two universes?

4. What if three housepets, a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, all transformed and weaponized by a military outfit, gain human-like sentience and emotions, and escape into the world? What measure is a non-human?

Why is the idea of the journey or the voyage so central to science fiction?

Maybe because science is about exploring the unknown, a figurative exploration. It is easier to frame this exploration in science fiction works as a literal one.


message 19: by Monique (new)

Monique (attymonique) | 2127 comments Mission Briefing No. 2

Encryption
What if humans can be bought and strung up in lawns as toys and/or decorations and therefore, status symbols, of other humans?

Decryption
1. [I will try my best. I haven't read a lot of scifi novels but I will hazard guesses.]

2. Because voyage allows investigation, a visualization of the many what-ifs that science fiction covers.


message 20: by Tin (new)

Tin (rabbitin) | 560 comments Mission Briefing No. 2

Encryption:

A. What if a crazy ass religious order takes over the US in the midst of an infertility plague and forces sexual subservience on women?

B. What if there is this crazy ass, twilight zone-y, jungle where people who have been, never return the same way again? And by never the same way, i mean either dead, dying, or all cuckoo.

C. What if a crazy ass, super rich, genius dies and in his will says that he will give all his gazillions to whoever solves his puzzles and finds the egg/s in a crazy ass virtual world he created?

Decryption:

For Monique's: (view spoiler)

For Abdul's: I need to work a little harder on these! Nothing comes to mind on any of em!

2. A journey is central to science fiction because science fiction lives and breathes on ideas/concepts whether actual or imagined, and if you stay in one familiar place then said ideas would be limited to that place. So the only way that you can learn and discover and expand your knowledge and views is to go on a journey.

@Monique: (view spoiler)


message 21: by Abdul (last edited May 18, 2018 11:04AM) (new)

Abdul (juramentado) | 58 comments Decryption:

Tin wrote: "A. What if a crazy ass religious order takes over the US in the midst of an infertility plague and forces sexual subservience on women?"

(view spoiler)

Tin wrote: "For Abdul's: I need to work a little harder on these! Nothing comes to mind on any of em!"

Maybe my what-if's are too vague. I'll revise them! Edit: revision made! :)


message 22: by Charlotte (new)


message 23: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Beer (Charlottebeer513) | 3 comments hello


message 24: by Ranee (new)

Ranee | 1902 comments Encryption:
1. what if all that exists ends, the stars the planets,all those galaxies and then someone tells you that you can watch it as it happens. Will you watch it?

2. What if it rains all day never stopping. Just this rain everyday drenching you and your colors away and all that remains is this hope of a shelter that promises a sun and warmth. But it has been weeks walking in a direction so miserable and wet- Wet biscuits, wet maps, wet socks. Do you cling on hope or just let yourself pour away with all this rain?

3. What if someone made a thesis project and successfuly invented a machine to read someone’s mind Would you use it knowing that such knowledge comes with a dreadful consequence? (This is a difficult one, it is after all an Indie book and I like to book push it because it deserves readers and if you know it, I love you already. Speaking of, Benny is my copy still with you?)

Decryption
I thought I knew scifi and then all of a sudden I cannot guess any of the stories above

Journey to outerspace and to innerspace tackles the very root of science, curiosity.


message 25: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Tolentino | 7 comments I will be reading, Farenheit 451, the giver and never let me go.


I prefer dystopian and social sci fi. I am not a fan of sci fi. I guess to me, these are the most relatable and intriguing subcategory of sci fi.


message 26: by Aaron Vincent (new)

Aaron Vincent (aaronvincent) | 2053 comments Decryption:

From Tin:

"B. What if there is this crazy ass, twilight zone-y, jungle where people who have been, never return the same way again? And by never the same way, i mean either dead, dying, or all cuckoo."

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

"C. What if a crazy ass, super rich, genius dies and in his will says that he will give all his gazillions to whoever solves his puzzles and finds the egg/s in a crazy ass virtual world he created?"

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

From Ranee:

"1. what if all that exists ends, the stars the planets,all those galaxies and then someone tells you that you can watch it as it happens. Will you watch it?"

The HItchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams?


message 27: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Beer (Charlottebeer513) | 3 comments Aaron Vincent wrote: "Decryption:

From Tin:

"B. What if there is this crazy ass, twilight zone-y, jungle where people who have been, never return the same way again? And by never the same way, i mean either dead, dyin..."
Thanks you for best friends only


message 28: by Angus (new)

Angus (angusmiranda) | 4337 comments Mission Briefing 2:

Encryption:

1. What if the city you're living in is cinched on railroad tracks? What if this city must be constantly pulled at a timed pace to avoid being destroyed by some destructive force that pulls the ground toward it?

2. What if human cloning is possible? What if these clones question their existence and the purpose laid upon them?

3. What if we could travel to distant galaxies? What if you are sent to a planet inhabited by alien beings to live with them and to teach them what faith is?

4. What if consciousness can be retained after death? What if you can project your consciousness into inanimate objects (e.g. coins)?

Decryption:

Monique: The Semplica Girl Diaries (but this is a short story)

Tin: The Handmaid's Tale, Annihilation, Hunter X Hunter - Greed Island arc lol?

Abdul & Ranee: I cannot!

Q&A: Maybe the journey/voyage is a tool for the author's idea to be speculated. These may be physical journeys rife with action or inner journeys that pose questions about social constructs, being, the unknown.


message 29: by Ralph (new)

Ralph Dm | 3 comments Meliza wrote: "I started reading listening (I'm on audiobook, I missed it.) to Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow. Been wanting to read this for a long time after reading Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Car..."

You can try The Expanse Series (8 Major Books to date) by James Correy. It has good character development and is an enjoyable read. You can also try Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein.


message 30: by Ralph (new)

Ralph Dm | 3 comments Encryption

1. What if the world was run by a theocracy guided by an AI? What if this society has been corrupted, treating women as secondary citizens?


Decryption

Angus: Your nr 3 sounded like the story: The Rose of Ecclesiastes but I think its setting was within our solar system.

Why is the idea of the journey or the voyage so central to science fiction?- It is because it facilitates discovery of answers that are yet to be obtained by our contemporary body of knowledge.


message 31: by Don (last edited May 24, 2018 07:59AM) (new)

Don (donx) | 19 comments Decryption:

Angus,
#2: Never Let Me Go
#3: The Book of Strange New Things

😊


message 32: by Abdul (new)

Abdul (juramentado) | 58 comments Decryption

Angus wrote: "3. What if we could travel to distant galaxies? What if you are sent to a planet inhabited by alien beings to live with them and to teach them what faith is?"

Is this The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell?


message 33: by Angus (last edited May 25, 2018 03:18AM) (new)

Angus (angusmiranda) | 4337 comments Don: Yas! :D

Ralph and Abdul: Nope, Don got it right.


message 34: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Tolentino | 7 comments Hello is the event pushing through this afternoon?


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