Everything Other World discussion

Award-winning Sci-Fi Reads

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message 1: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod

We have been discussing the possibility of reading some sci-fi books in the coming months that have won prizes. Kurt, Sebastian, and I came up with this idea because we are interested in making a study of it.

Any suggestions?

Some might feel that past winners have better book choices than today's prize winners because the awards have become too political.

Now is the time to weigh in and make suggestions. A poll will go up in the next month or two. What you decide now will determine our reading into the fall.

To get us started, we should try and determine the content of the first poll.

message 2: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
There's the Hugos, the Nebulas, the Arthur C. Clarke award, and Philip K. Dick award - the four I have heard of. We could also try something from the people who invented the English language - the Brits. They have a BSFA (British SF Association) Award. I'm up for anything, really. These awards have introduced me to some fantastic writers in the past.

message 3: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
What are your favorite awards, and what are the awards you feel have become too political?

message 4: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
I've respected both Hugos and Nebulas the most for almost my entire adult life, but both have been making some very strange choices just for the sake of advancing the diversity agenda, instead of focusing on good stories and skilled writing.

message 5: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
When Kurt has the chance to weigh in regarding this discussion, maybe we can come up with a couple of solutions.

One is that we can choose four prominent awards and make a choice out of those. The Hugo and Nebula might be a bit dicey at the moment, but we could choose only one book from those and maybe we can choose the most worthwhile out of the bunch.

So, we could still push forward doing the nominees for this year and then work our way back.

There are many other options, too many to list, actually. We can randomly choose any award from any year and make monthly polls like that, but that would be a bit harder to keep organized for me.

There are all shades in between as well.

So, let's choose a plan of action and then stick with it. If it's not working for us, we can change it along the way.

It's my opinion that we should try and read the most recent ones as well as past ones. Writing does change over the decades, and today's writing will reflect what editors are looking for now in literature.

message 6: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
In the e-mail conversation I had with Kirsten last night, I noted the Andre Norton Award as well as too now defunct awards: the Gandalf and Balrog Awards.

I while I knew about the Hugo and Nebula awards, I never really paid attention to them in the past. I usually checked out the local bookstore, found the cover appealing, and checked the back. It's how I eventually found Andre Norton.

Randomly choosing an award and year may work. However, we may want to start with the current ones.

Like Sebastian, I've noted that recently, PC has become a dominant force in the awards. (Enough said. Don't start me on a rant.)

message 7: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
I just heard from Kurt via email. This discussion is getting a little confusing, so let's try and simplify things.

Let's do this. We go with a handful of top awards and choose one of the nominees from 2018 from each. We can do several of the awards so we can have a wide variety of choices.

Out of the bunch, I think we can choose one from this year that would be worthwhile.

Then we work backwards.

I think we will be able to find a worthwhile reading selection for every year. Even if we do not like it or agree with it, it still holds value for us as writers and readers.

So, say we make the mistake of choosing something with a distastefully strong feminist influence (I don't like works like this either). We can appreciate this as a trend. However, for us as writers, we might be able to appeal to editors with a taste for a strong female character instead of producing something that beats us over the head with feminist values.

Make sense? We are not going to like what we read every single time as there are not any guarantees, but you can put down anything you do not like and choose something else from the poll. We can also contact each other in the discussion thread and say, hey, guys, I'm not feeling it with this book. How's it going with you? Then we can decide what to do from there.

How is that? Keep our reading methodical by starting with this year's nominees, and then going backwards to 2017 and so on. But, also, keeping things flexible so that we can make adjustments along the way.

Sound good? In that case, we should pick one book from the Nebula nominees, one book from the Hugo nominees, etc. until we have a nice poll full of choices. Then we vote on it and see why these books were picked as excellent out of the genres.

This is going to be a lot of fun. Can't wait to get started.

message 8: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
Picking a story from each year from each award makes a lot of sense. We can focus on what is interesting and have good shot at picking something interesting.

message 9: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Okay, good. It's a start. I think the next thing is to pick six or seven awards so we always have a good amount of choices for each year. What do you think the final list should look like, taking into account Sebastian's suggestions above?

We can even go has high as eight awards if you want.

message 10: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
If we start with 2017 and work back, we can see how the awards evolved or devolved.

Nebula, Hugo, Andre Norton. I know of those.
Arther C. Clark, Philip K. Dick. That makes 5. I think Locus Magazine also has an annual award. What are the others?

If we make it back to the 1980s we can start pulling in Gandalf and Balrog.

message 11: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
British Sci-fi Association, Sebastian had said.

message 12: by Kirsten (last edited May 31, 2018 11:38AM) (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Do you want to do this year's nominees from 2018 first, or just start from 2017?

message 13: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
If the nominees are available for 2018, sure.

message 14: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Okay, so to keep things simple, perhaps we can start with 2017 and go backwards from there. This way, we don't have to sift through this year's nominees, which can get a bit time-consuming.

So, the list is, if they have this information available online, is:
Winner: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, published by Orbit US
The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
Andre Norton
Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine (Tor)
Arthur C Clark
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Fleet) has been announced as the 31st winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK’s most prestigious prize for science fiction literature
Philip K. Dick
THE MERCY JOURNALS by Claudia Casper (Arsenal Pulp Press)
British Sci-fi Association
2017: Novel: The Rift by Nina Allan

I learned a lot already. Now we can have a list of publishing companies that publish these books.

Who wants to put the poll together? Sebastian, would you like to get your feet wet?

message 15: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
Great picks for the July read.

message 16: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Yeah, I'm excited.

Happy birthday to Sebastian :)

message 17: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
Happy Birthday, Sebastian. :-)

message 18: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
As my old and grumpy British friend once said - Getting older is no reason for celebration! Unless you're getting wiser as well.

As for the poll - sure, I'm happy to create it, though I don't see a way in which we could limit it to the members of this group. Or is that not our intention?

By the way, I just thought about it - goodreads has a book popularity contest each year too! Artemis by Andy Weir was the book that grabbed the last year's sci-fi award, so I could add it to the poll.

message 19: by Kirsten (last edited Jun 04, 2018 11:06AM) (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Excellent! Andy Weir is a very successful self-published author, and for this reason I find his career endlessly fascinating. I think I'll interview him for the short story mag when we get the website up and running.

I think everyone on some level feels like your old, grumpy British friend, and that's why I giggled when I read it. However, there is the aspect that we got to live another year and spend time with our beloved.

If it's okay with you, we can have others vote on the poll, and join in the conversation too. I am torn, because they all look pretty awesome. I might read two or three books. Maybe all of them if I have the time.

Set up the poll. Should we do two polls a month? We can have one that panders to fantasy and paranormal and the other sub-genres and one that satisfies our quest, reading the best of the best of sci-fi. Even if we do not get people to comment much at first, I think it's a good thing for the future, as our group will grow with interested and engaged fans of these genres.

So, keeping this in mind, even if Kurt and I have something going for July already, you are welcome to make a second poll and do the sci-fi list.

Then, send out a notice to all of our members and invite them to vote and then discuss the books with us afterwards.

I can't wait to vote. I'm still torn between two or three books.

message 20: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
We can always read them on our own.

message 21: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Well, I just may do that. :)

message 22: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
I should have time to set up the poll tomorrow, but before I do I need to ask - do we all have time to comit to reading a such-and-such book? Since we're the mods, it'd be good if we could stimulate the discussion. Therefore, I think it's better to start doing the poll (preferably one to keep it simple) when all three of us can comit to participating in the discussion we're hoping to bring here.

message 23: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Let's start out with sci-fi first, and then when we increase our engagement, we can put up other polls. When we do, we can divide and conquer. Our thing with the sci-fi could run a little while, but when we get people who participate who have other interests, such as paranormal and fantasy, I can run those and then participate in two. We'll see how it goes. Nothing set in stone yet.

Sound good?

message 24: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
Is there anything specific you guys would like me to say in the poll's description?

message 25: by Kirsten (last edited Jun 06, 2018 10:41AM) (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
I suggest sticking to the facts. We are reading the best of the best, and selecting from the contest winners from 2017. You can list the contests we are drawing from, and instruct our group members to select their choice, or to read them all if they like. We welcome their participation and comments.

Don't forget to introduce yourself to the group.

No one may participate, but I'm sure the three of us will have some legendary discussions regarding our book choice.

message 26: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
When you set up the poll, I suggest trying to put each book's cover art. It helps to draw the eyes. You can choose that option when you start setting up books. Don't forget to announce that the new poll is up. You can look to past polls and announcements for guidance.

message 27: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Yes, that's true. It makes it easier. Kurt's good with that. I can't find how to do it all of the time.

message 28: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
An off the cuff remark - doesn't "All Other Worlds" or simply "Other Worlds" sound snappier and juicier than "Everything Other World?"

message 29: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
I created the poll. Check if this is what you were looking for? https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

message 30: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
Not quite how I do it, but the covers are underneath. Good first attempt. I made my vote.

message 31: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Made my vote. Next step is to send out a message to the group so they get it in their email inboxes. I think you go to the bottom of the poll, and you can message the group like that. Or, you can go to members, and I believe you can message all of the members. Let us know if you need help with it, Sebastian.

message 32: by Sebastian (last edited Jun 07, 2018 01:20PM) (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
I followed the goodreads guidelines on setting up a poll. How do you do it differently?

@Kirsten - since you and Kurt are the organizers of this initiative I'd prefer if you take the lead on deciding when and how initiate interactions with the group. One thing is I come late to this specific party and haven't had a chance to see how things are ran.

message 33: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod

I sent out the message. No worries.


I sent out the broadcast to all the members, but I forgot to include the link to the poll. Would you please send the link? They won't let me send out more than one broadcast. Plus, when I go to polls, I can't find the sci-fi one. So, I think we should include a link to that one and the one you set up too, Kurt, so people can find them. I would appreciate your help. Thanks!


You see, Goodreads is really weird, and Kurt and I are still trying to figure it out too. It's quirky and not extremely user-friendly. If you feel you ever have a bit more time and feel like taking the initiative so you can practice operating in it, just let us know.

In any case, I hope my book wins ;) lol

-Kirsten :)

message 34: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
I looked for it under polls and I'm not sure why it isn't there. I found a link to it from the messages and included that. Sebastian, did you click the create poll within Everything Other World? You would have clicked poll while in our group and create poll. Usually, there is a way to navigate from the poll back to our group. That is conspicuously absent.

message 35: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
BTW, I'm not trying to give you a hard time. I'm just trying to troubleshoot. As Kirsten said, Goodreads isn't user-friendly. There is quite a bit we've had to figure out by trial and error.

message 36: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
I think Kurt knows more tricks than I do. I am hoping to remedy that this summer :).

message 37: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
Kirsten said we should make the poll broader than the group members so I created a general poll on GoodReads.

message 38: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Oooh, cool. I think we misunderstood each other, I had no idea that we could do polls beyond our group and put it out to all of Goodreads. That's a good thing to keep in mind. Thanks, Sebastian, for noticing that. You taught me something new with that.

message 39: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
Now we know.

message 40: by Kirsten (last edited Jun 09, 2018 05:18PM) (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
In response to your off the cuff remark, Everything Other Worlds has been established now for over two years, and although it's a small group at the moment, it has earned SEO so that it comes up under searches, which is good. Starting all over again with another title for the group would mean we have to start all over again. If people search for us, they can find us, which is great. We come up under number two under a google search. Plus, the present title puts across everything we need our potential future members to know. Make sense? Best to stick with the present title so we remain visible.

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