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Past nominations (closed) > September Classic Novel Discussion Topic selection complete

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Please use this topic to nominate a Classic Science Fiction or Fantasy novel you wish to discuss as a group in September (beginning September 1, or as soon thereafter as my head clears and the bowl games wrap up.)

(A Classic novel would typically have been published prior to 2000 and be considered a popular, trailblazing or important work of science fiction or fantasy. Presumably, any actual "classic" is still in print!)

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. If your nomination is selected by the group, you'll be expected 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 "Classic" SF/F novel which was written before 2000; that discussion starts on the 1st of each month. One is a "Contemporary" SF/F novel, which was written after 2000; that discussion starts on the 21st of each month. We also read one or more short stories (or anthologies of short stories) every second month; that discussion starts the 11th of alternate 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 this is our discussion selection for September. Dragonsbane has already been selected as our August Classic Novel discussion topic.

Nominations will be open through Wednesday, July 18, when I'll collect the nominees and post a poll so members can choose among them.


message 2: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) How about The Player of Games?


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 526 comments Oh I own that unread!


message 4: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments I want to nominate The Last Unicorn


message 5: by Andrea (last edited Jul 14, 2018 08:18AM) (new)

Andrea | 2803 comments Haven't nominated this one before Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "Haven't nominated this one before Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen"

OK, you successfully confused me by editing your message to change the book. :)


message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2803 comments G33z3r wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Haven't nominated this one before Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen"

OK, you successfully confused me by editing your message to change the book. :)"


Sorry, I had put the second book in the trilogy by mistake (similar names), figured it made more sense to start at the beginning though :) Was hoping I'd be quick enough and no one would notice.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "Was hoping I'd be quick enough and no one would notice. ..."

Except Goodreads emails me a copy of the message as soon as you post it; no matter how fast you are, or how long it takes me to notice, what I see in my inbox is the original message. And, since it said "Pit Dragon Chronicles #2," it was hardly a Holmesian deduction to ask how important reading #1 would be. Except when I started to type the message... huh? I went through a brief period of wondering, "why would an author give the same title to both the 1st & 2nd books in a series? Wouldn't that be confusing?"

Just assume I'm more easily confused than a cat by a flashlight.... :)


message 9: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2803 comments Question - Player of Games is book 2 in a series, is it recommended for a person to read book 1 first? I saw one answer saying they are standalone "However, they are probably best read in order, as then the nuances of life in The Culture are better understood."


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2803 comments G33z3r wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Was hoping I'd be quick enough and no one would notice. ..."

Except Goodreads emails me a copy of the message as soon as you post it; no matter how fast you are, or how long it take..."


To complicate things, I was introduced to this series by having book #3 on one of my high school summer reading lists, so apparently no problem starting there :)


message 11: by Donald (new)

Donald | 157 comments Andrea wrote: "Question - Player of Games is book 2 in a series, is it recommended for a person to read book 1 first? I saw one answer saying they are standalone "However, they are probably best read in order, as..."

They really are standalone. I've read Culture books in all kinds of order (having read 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10, with the last two coming first IIRC) and never felt like I was missing anything.


message 12: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments They're standalone.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Andrea wrote: "Question - Player of Games is book 2 in a series, is it recommended for a person to read book 1 first? I saw one answer saying they are standalone "However, they are probably best read in order, as..."

Many fans of the series insist that readers should start with just about any book in the series other than the first one. #2 and #3 seem to be the ones usually recommended as a good starting point.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Randy wrote: "Many fans of the series insist that readers should start with just about any book in the series other than the first one...."

A good chance that's true. I started with the first (Consider Phlebas), and have never read another; never intend to.


message 15: by Roger (new)

Roger G33z3r wrote: "Randy wrote: "Many fans of the series insist that readers should start with just about any book in the series other than the first one...."

A good chance that's true. I started with the first ([bo..."


I read the Consider Phlebas first as well and really wasn't a big fan. I was told to try the second book before I gave up but I haven't gotten around to it.


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 526 comments I had read a book that I think was far along in the Culture ‘series’ which ai has no idea about at the time. I thought no it was... I’ll have to look it up - but it was like giant squid in a gas giant? It was pretty good and totally stand alone as far as I knew.


message 17: by Brendan (last edited Jul 17, 2018 12:15PM) (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments I re-read Consider Phlebas recently and it's much better than people say. It's less polished but all the elements of the later books are there and its a cool story with iconic moments. I suspect if people don't like it they either don't like villain protagonists, or simply don't like Banks. It's not at all surprising to me that G didn't like it, Banks writes horror.

For what its worth, I followed people's advice and started with Player of Games originally, and I wouldn't rank it among the top books in the series.

EDIT: Banks has true standalone non-Culture related sci-fi that is every bit as good as the Culture books, if people are really worried about the nonexistent continuity. Against a Dark Background and The Algebraist were both easy five stars for me.


message 18: by Brendan (last edited Jul 17, 2018 12:22PM) (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Rachel wrote: "I had read a book that I think was far along in the Culture ‘series’ which ai has no idea about at the time. I thought no it was... I’ll have to look it up - but it was like giant squid in a gas gi..."

Sounds like The Algebraist.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Rachel wrote: "I’ll have to look it up - but it was like giant squid in a gas giant?"

Talking squids in outer space?


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Brendan wrote: "I suspect if people don't like it they either don't like villain protagonists, or simply don't like Banks. It's not at all surprising to me that G didn't like it, Banks writes horror...."

I don't recall any horror in Consider Phlebas, just every character was totally unlikeable as they flitted around space doing random and ultimately pointless things.


Randy wrote: "Talking squids in outer space?"

Sounds like Lexx. :)


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 18, 2018 06:15PM) (new)

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


message 22: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2803 comments G33z3r wrote: "   Reminder: Today is the final day to nominate a Contemporary Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our August group read and discussion."

Classic that is...for September. We can blame the squids...


message 23: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 18, 2018 01:44PM) (new)

Andrea wrote: "Classic that is...for September. We can blame the squids... ..."

Yeah, what she said.

Really, there are just too many months to keep them all straight.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Announcement banner
Thank you for the nominations. A poll to select our Classic Science Fiction / Fantasy Novel discussion topic for September 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 vote only if you plan on participating in the discussion of that book.

Note that this is our discussion selection for September. Dragonsbane has already been selected as our August Classic Novel discussion topic.

This poll will be open through Wednesday, July 25.


message 25: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 26, 2018 01:19PM) (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 Classic Fantasy or Science Fiction novel for our September group read and discussion.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Announcement banner
Our selected classic sf/f novel discussion topic for September is....

The Player of Games (Culture, #2) by Iain M. Banks The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

The discussion will begin September 1.


message 27: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Oh wow, I'll be reading this with two other groups. The first book (Consider Phlebas) is on sale right now, just in case anyone wants to read it first (optional)


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