SFF180 presents Space Opera September: Season 2: 2021 discussion

Your wrap-up thread

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message 1: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Wagner (sff180) | 44 comments Mod
Here is where you can post either links to your GR reviews of the books you've finished for the readathon, or to your wrap-up videos or blogs, or simply post some short reviews themselves (as long as they are spoiler-free please). This is not the thread I'll be consulting to determine everybody's final tallies for your certificates. Towards the end of September, I'll post instructions on how to send me all of that info. This is just for the group to talk amongst yourselves.

message 2: by Roseann (last edited Sep 30, 2019 02:42PM) (new)

Roseann | 6 comments Setting up a spot to monitor my progress:

9/1/19 4:50pm
Well, best laid plans and all that. I guess I ate something yesterday that didn't sit well and my read-a-thon plans went down the drain.

I was able to finish one challenge and am about halfway through a second.

Challenge 1:
A DISTANT SUN by Grant Boshoff

Here is a link to my Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

9/3/19 4:50 pm

Finished Challenge 2a:

FALLING FREE by Lois McMaster Bujold

Here is my Goodreads review link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

9/7/19 7:30pm

I have not been able to get onto my computer, but I have been reading away.

On 9/6 I finished Challenge 2b:

DAWN by Octavia E. Butler

You can read my Goodreads review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

On 9/7 I finished the second half of Challenge 2a:

VAST by Linda Nagata

I have to say this was one of the hardest reads I have done in some time and almost DNF'd it a few times. In my review on Goodreads you can find out why at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I am halfway through Challenge 3 and have having a much better time with that novel.

9/8/19 12:00pm

Challenge 3

SOLARIS by Stanislaw Lem

You can read my Goodreads review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

One more to go and I am done. I still have a few issues with Space Opera as a part of the SF genre (I like more sociological based stories) but this has given me a reason to explore this facet of the genre more.

Challenge 4
A FIRE UPON THE DEEP by Vernor Vinge
Well life got in the way this month and I haven't been able to post that much to my two ongoing read-a-thons. I did finish my final book for this challenge and will be adding a review as soon as I can. I will say that this might have been the best book I read for this challenge.

message 3: by Jessica (last edited Sep 23, 2019 07:01PM) (new)

Jessica | 4 comments 1/9 I just finished To Be Taught, If Fortunate and wow was that a great novella. I love how Chambers writes her characters and makes space travel seem realistic and wonderful and challenging all at the same time. I really enjoyed her writing and the science part of the novella. I just finished I Contain Multitudes, which is all about our microbiome and microbes and it was really cool to see that discussed here as well.

The characters were beautifully written and realized and I loved seeing the daily life of our MC and also how she developed and grew throughout the years as well. We get to see our characters and how they interact with their environment in so many different ways, and Chambers did a great job exploring all kinds of situations you may see when travelling to different planets and experiencing their atmosphere and gravity, and local flora and fauna. It was really cool to see Chambers imagination soar with the different types of species she came up with. It was fascinating.

As you can tell, I absolutely loved this novella and anything Becky Chambers writes, so I definitely recommend picking it up for Space Opera September :)

2/9 - I've started Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter and I'm really enjoying it so far! I like how we get different POVs from different points in time. I'm about 130 pgs in so far.
4/9 - Finished Noumenon, 4 stars. I loved this mosaic novel and how we got to see the different generations of clones and how they developed and adapted to their situation and environment and the "mission."
9/9 - I started Downbelow Station last night, and I'm about 50 pages in and quite enjoying it.
9/16 - I finally finished Downbelow Station and I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The whole concept is really epic in scope, but the execution is very insular and character focused. I enjoyed the characters and how we really got to know them, but I wanted a little more action and less boring stuff. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

9/20 - I am 200 pages into Cibola Burn and so far this is not my favourite of the Expanse novels...I'm not really into the conflict that is currently happening and I hope this wraps up soonish and we get a new conflict that interests me more.
9/23 - I finished Cibola Burn and I have now officially finished all the challenges!

To Be Taught, If fortunate, (1, 2A)
Noumenon (2A)
On a Red Station, Drifting (2A, 2B)
Downbelow Station (3)
Cibola Burn (4)

Happy Reading everyone!

message 4: by Romy (last edited Sep 27, 2019 11:03AM) (new)

Romy Binti: 2 stars

Here's my very short and basic review with links to 2 more in-depth reviews by other readers who had the same issues with it that I did but are a lot better at putting them into words (hope that's ok and not against any rules):

I was underwhelmed and kinda bored by this novella and don't get the hype. The writing style was ok but nothing special, and there was too much telling instead of showing for my taste. Basically it should have been a bit longer and more fleshed out to make me actually care about Binti and what was happening around her. But my main criticism is the lack of logic in how the story developed, plus some things were just too convenient. I checked the reviews by other readers and these two pretty much sum up my thoughts 100%, so I'll just link them here (full of spoilers of course, so be aware of that):
I won't continue this series.


Pushing Ice: 4.5 stars

I haven't read any hard science fiction in a long time, so I was very much looking forward to Pushing Ice. And it didn't disappoint! Great story about exploration, friendship (and how it can dramatically change), politics, tech and aliens. Not perfect, but definitely a very good read!


2001: A Space Odyssey: 4 stars

This was really good and made me want to check out the movie adaptation :)

message 5: by Agnes (last edited Sep 22, 2019 07:41AM) (new)

Agnes | 16 comments Adding my wrap-up thread to the list :D

started the readathon with challenge 1: The undefeated, which I also finished today.
Thank you, Thomas, for allowing me to discover this little gem.

Here is the link to my review, which doesn't do the book justice, sadly: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Now to decide whether I'll continue with challenge 2a or 2b...

Since I want to be a pirate (with possibly a side of spy), I've decided to start with challenge 2b. Also, I just need to continue reading Cheris + Jedao's story!
Starting Raven Stratagem today.

Finished reading Raven Stratagem. Wow. Looking forward to the last part of the trilogie next month.
Link to my poor review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Starting A Memory called Empire next, for challenge 2a)

And finished reading A Memory called Empire.
Review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Next on line is the second book for challenge 2a: An Unkindness of Ghosts.

Finished An Unkindness of Ghosts. This book was tougher to read, for me, and so it took much longer than planed.
Review to follow....

On to challenge 3 :D

Challenge 3 also finished. The book here was The High Crusade by Poul Anderson. Or How to defeat an interstellar Empire with cunning, boldness and blustering... :D Such a fun book to read.

With 5 books read and 4 challenges (challenge 2 being double), I am now only missing the last book for the last (but definitely not least) challenge... Starting Leviathan wakes. Let's hope work gives me more time to read in the next few days.

Finished the last book for Space Opera September. All 4 challenges completed!! :D

Loved Leviathan Wakes. I'll have to get my hands on the remaining 7 volumes now...

message 6: by Khaine (last edited Sep 24, 2019 11:15PM) (new)

Khaine (daughterofkhaine) Putting my own wrap-up here! I'm in Australia so I started the readathon yesterday.

I started with the largest book on my challenge TBR, The Dreaming Void. According to my Kindle, I got through 12% of it. Not a huge amount of reading, I'll be honest, but it's a brand-new Kindle and it was awesome to break it in with some Hamilton! I'm probably going to slowly plod my way through this one throughout the month and tackle the rest of the challenges in-between.

I sat down and got through All Systems Red by Martha Wells yesterday. I loved it! It was short and sweet, but still really interesting to see a POV chapter from an android. I guess I'm "behind" on the read-a-thon, since it's been ten days and I've only finished one novella, but I have read other space operas.

I'm a mood reader, so when I decided that the space operas I wanted to read were Warhammer 40,000... that's where I went! So even though they don't meet any of the challenges (one of them fails the 500-page challenge by FOUR PAGES! Argh!), I've also read Vulkan: Lord of Drakes, The Crimson King, Tallarn and Ruinstorm.

So I've technically read 2 books so far (since only one can count for a given series), one of which counts towards the challenges. At the moment I'm a Pilot and I've unlocked a Shuttlecraft.

I got very caught up in a series and didn't come back to this challenge. Oops! I definitely won't be completing every challenge, but this read-a-thon has still gotten me to try a couple of books I otherwise wouldn't have picked up!

I finished The Dreaming Void today, and it was amazing. It fulfills challenge 4, coming in at 641 pages, and surprisingly, multiple members of the main cast are LGBT -- so close to fulfilling 2B, except the author is not a diverse one. Ah well!

I've picked up The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet at long last. I should be able to smash it out before the end of the month (but I am going to continue to Void trilogy with a bit more enthusiasm, even if I can't count additional books from it -- it's too good!).

That'll bring the month to a close having fulfilled 1, 2A, 2B and 4. I don't think I'm realistically going to get challenge 3 completed, even if I switch to a shorter book than planned. However, I will still complete 4 books (3 of which will fulfill challenge requirements), unlocking Fleet Admiral/Space Pirate, a Shuttlecraft, a Fighter, a Blockade Runner and a Dreadnaught.

I really wanted a planet - cest la vie!

message 7: by Mustardseeds (last edited Sep 30, 2019 09:19PM) (new)

Mustardseeds | 6 comments It's the second of September and I just finished All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

I enjoyed it quite a lot :) Next book will be Ancillary Sword, I think.

It's the 15th of September and I just finished Ancillary Sword. I loved it - I don't know why I waited so long after reading Ancillary Justice to pick this one up. Honestly, I'm tempted to ignore the rest of the challenges and go straight to Ancillary Mercy.

Although, I have procured Leviathan Wakes, so I should probably do that one :)

It's the 1st of October and I still have about 90 pages of Leviathan Wakes. I'm still pretty happy with my reading month, even though I didn't manage 4 books. I still read more than I thought I'd manage, considering how busy September has been, and I was ill for a few days.

Also, I've really enjoyed all the books I've been reading this month!

I've had a great time during Space Opera September, thanks every one! And especially thanks Thomas for organising this whole thing!

message 8: by Seema (new)

Seema Singh | 8 comments I have completed 4 books on the rebel track. I'm now going to attempt to infiltrate the federation so I intend to finish 2 more books by women.
I truly loved 2001 A Space Odessey by Arthur C Clarke. I'm so happy that I decided to read it for my very first readathon. Such an amazing book. From the way it starts in prehistoric times to where it ends is unbelievable especially since it was written years ago. For those that haven't read it. I strongly recommend you do so.
The other amazing one was Leviathan wakes by James SA Corey. It is a long book but such a good plot and flows so well that I managed to finish it in just a few hours. I loved the last quarter the most, it was original and unexpected. The politics between Earth and Mars was well written. The future world was so realistic, you get completely immersed in the drama. Shades of orange recommended this - thanks, it was the best choice.
I don't have much to say about Babel 17...It was ok but the least enjoyable from the lot I chose. My second book from Samuel Delany and I hope his other work is more impressive.
I enjoyed the nouvella, I don't read many scifi nouvellas but I definitely want to read more full length novels by Gregory Benford.

message 9: by Phileas (last edited Sep 24, 2019 02:12PM) (new)

Phileas | 7 comments I finished On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard. So I'm now a space cadet piloting a shuttlecraft :-). It took some time until I got a feeling for how the family dynamics and how the society works but then I quite enjoyed the novella.

Now I'm on the big tome, Pandora's Star. That will take some time.

September 8th
I've paused Pandora's Star, which is good but also very long and some variety in reading helps me to keep up my reading pace. So I've read Rogue Protocol, the third novella of Martha Wells' Murderbot Diaries series. I liked it a little bit more than the first two. Murderbot is just a great character. But the stories itself are only slightly interesting and the novellas feel somehow repetitive. But murderbot and the other bots are sp enjoyable.

September 13th
Finished Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton. There are bits and pieces that quite annoyed me in this book. But then it was fabulous again. Hamilton is so good in this kind of epic narratives that I still love it despite its faults.

September 24th
A few days ago I finished Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany and The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi.
I thought that Babel-17 is pretty great even if I probably understood only half of it. It was a demanding read but rewarding.
I've started The Consuming Fire in parellel knowing that Scalzi is always an enjoyable easy read. But I have to say that I liked the previous book in the Interdependency series much more. Consuming Fire was fun and some of the new developments where interesting, others less so. I hope the next book in this series will be better again.

message 10: by Krista (last edited Sep 25, 2019 07:21PM) (new)

Krista (krickster1) | 10 comments Read All Systems Red first and loved it. Followed up with Bill, the Galactic Hero, which I did not enjoy.

25/9 Finished The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet a few days ago, and loved it. Closing in on the last bit of Great North Road in audiobook format, and hoping to finish Beyond the Sentinel Stars by the 30th!

message 11: by Caitlyn (last edited Sep 27, 2019 12:11PM) (new)

Caitlyn | 4 comments 1/9- Artificial Condition- An enjoyable read! I prefer the first novella, but the second installment has the same charm as the first. While I loved the new ship character, the human characters didn’t really stand out to me.

2/9- Ancestral Night- I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. All the elements were there, but the writing style didn't mesh with me.

5/9- Solaris- Not an enjoyable read :(

13/9- Rogue Protocol- Another action-packed installment of Murderbot!

16/9 Exit Strategy- Okay I became obsessed with this series and cannot wait for the novel next year.


message 12: by Kerry (last edited Sep 30, 2019 01:48AM) (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 5 comments 1. Novella: The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard
I liked this a lot, and I'm glad I chose it. Some more details in my review. Bonus, it also counts as by a woman.

2B. By a diverse author and/or with a diverse cast: Silence in Solitude by Melissa Scott
LGBTQIA+ author and characters in a three-person marriage. There was less space and more planet than I remembered, but it was enough to count. Both books so far are by women, so I figure I now have both 2a and 2b covered.

3. Written before I was born: The Big Jump by Leigh Brackett (1953)
I find myself very conflicted about this one. The big idea and the SF adventure are interesting, but the ingrained misogyny and racism are awful.

4. Longer than 500 pages: An Earthly Crown by Kate Elliott
I really enjoyed this one a lot. It's planet-bound, but part of a space opera series, so Thomas kindly let it count.

Technically I'm finished, as these are all by women, meaning any of them can make up my second book by a woman for challenge 2A. But I'm still planning one more to finish that challenge off as well, if I can read it by the end of the month.

I did it. It's 9.45pm on the last day of the month, but I did it.

2A. Two books written by a woman:
1. Trade Secret by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Space flight, pilot training, space stations, trade ships. This was most Space Opera book of the challenge.
2. Silence in Solitude by Melissa Scott
LGBTQIA+ author and characters in a three-person marriage. There was less space and more planet than I remembered, but it was enough to count. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Silence in Solitude is listed twice as either a second book by a woman for 2A or as 2B in its own right.

All five books are written or co-written by women.

message 13: by Donna (new)

Donna Kowalski (dpkowalski) | 6 comments I finished my first book - novella - Exit Strategy by Martha Wells. This is the fourth book in the Muderbot Series. I enjoyed this the least of the four books, rated it four stars. Next book is 2a A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

message 14: by Paula (last edited Sep 06, 2019 01:50PM) (new)

Paula (hairballsrus) | 5 comments I finished my first novel Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach. Can't say I was terribly impressed. Focused too much on the romance. I suppose it's possible I'm bailing too soon since it's a trilogy but I'm just a bit irritated by the main character at the moment.

How do you get the link to your review to appear here? Just copy and paste? I'm a complete amateur at this.

I'm currently reading Ghost Line and Leviathan Wakes.

message 15: by Hannah (last edited Sep 23, 2019 02:21PM) (new)

Hannah (diamond_rebel) | 2 comments 1. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells (novella, female author)- What an exciting end to the novellas! I enjoyed this one the most out of all four. I cannot wait for the upcoming full-length novel.

2. Dune by Frank Herbert (published before I was born, 500+ pages)- This was alright but I didn't love it. While I see why it was such a hit in its time I feel like some of that is lost on me, having mostly read recent SciFi. I really like the court intrigue and all the plot there. Overall it was just okay.

3. To Be Taught, If Fortunate (diverse author/character, female author) - This was an excellent novella showcasing what I think Becky Chambers is famous for, great character development. I really liked it.

4. The Fifth Season (diverse author/character, female author)- Wow! What I book to complete this readathon's challenges, etc. I am blown away by the worldbuilding and character development that Jemisin is able to pack into every second of this story. For a chunky novel, it does not feel that way when you are reading it. I want to continue on with the series immediately, unfortunately I have too many currently reading books for that but I am making that a priority for sure.

message 16: by Julie (last edited Sep 30, 2019 08:35AM) (new)

Julie (staralfurx) | 2 comments 1: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers (novella, diverse author/character(s), female author)
3. September. Loved this one! Really enjoyed the sort of quiet realism, and will certainly read more by Chambers.

2: Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (over 500 pages, diverse author/character(s), female author)
10. September. Did not love this one... I could not at all get immersed, I did not believe in the way the space program was run. I did enjoy the author's style of writing, though.

3: The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey (published before I was born, female author)

27. September. I didn't particularly enjoy the plot lines in this story. But the core idea had me hooked, and I have found myself thinking about it a lot, even if I admittedly got bored throughout while reading. I wish she had gone deeper into the whole concept of parents having to either euthanize or give up their disabled children to the state, so the state can turn them into shell people and keep them until their debt is paid off... But nope!

4: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (diverse author/character(s), female author)

29. September. This month turned out busier than expected, and after trying and failing to get into several other novels, I had to go with Becky Chambers again. Love this one, will absolutely continue on this series!

5: All Systems Red by Martha Wells (novella, female author)

30. September. Yay, managed to squeeze one more in! Loved it, will continue on this series too!

Overall very happy that I participated in this readathon. Will continue reading Becky Chambers and Martha Wells for sure.

message 17: by tysephine (new)

tysephine | 4 comments 9/10/19, Challenge almost complete, just 1 more to go.

1) On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard

2 a) Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

2 b) Ardulum: First Don by JS Fields

3)The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

4) Not completed yet. I could claim Mirror Dance for this one too, but where's the fun in that? I'm thinking it'll either be Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair or Downbelow Station by CJ Cherryh

message 18: by Jordan (last edited Sep 28, 2019 12:29PM) (new)

Jordan Dennis | 10 comments Here are my reviews:

1) Planet Stories 1949 Fall (Vol 4 #4) Enchantress of Venus by Leigh Brackett -- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

2) An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon -- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

3) The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi -- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

4) The Age of Scorpio by Gavin G. Smith -- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

24 September Update: All things considered, I'm close. Age of Scorpio has been giving me trouble; it's not that good. But the time deadline is looming. I'm at 67% so it shall be finished, but it's going to be a push. Once that's done, I'll have hit all four stretch goals (with three titles!). I've turned to audio for the others, and they're going much faster.

28 September: All done! One okay (but acceptable) title, two really good titles, and one absolute piece of gutter refuse. Glad to be done just in time!

message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna Kowalski (dpkowalski) | 6 comments Finished book 2a Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. This was a great book, look forward to the rest of the series. Next book 3 a space opera published before I was born - The Sands of Mars by Arthur C . Clarke.

message 20: by Belo (last edited Sep 11, 2019 09:48AM) (new)

Belo (belohat) Just finished book #1 and completed Challenge 3 with Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama. (I was born in '85, so finding a space opera written before my birth wasn't hard.) Captivating and 2001ish, even if some hokey moments derailed my sense of immersion.

message 21: by Robin (new)

Robin Batty (thisbatttylife) | 9 comments I finished Dune by Frank Herbert last night! I do believe that means I’m a Space Cadet with a Explorer (book that was published before I was born) and a Dreadnaught (book that is over 500 pgs.) 😁
Dune was a good book, I can see why it’s a classic. It was hard to get into and I had to focus on it much more than I usually do while reading, but the plot was good. I’m interested in the story, though I don’t know if I’m ready to go back and read more Dune books!

message 22: by Jacqueline (last edited Sep 23, 2019 12:46AM) (new)

Jacqueline Kirk (jacquelinekirk) | 8 comments I've finished Artificial Conditions by Martha Wells. Very enjoyable and I couldn't help thinking it was like a 'Secret Life of Bots' as the bots on it kept bemoaning the fact that humans were always needing rescued from their bad life choices! : )
Also finished The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey. This is a reread but I really like this book and McCaffrey does characters very well! The story covers the first ten years in the brain ship's life and the various partners she has.
I started to read Change Of Command by Elizabeth Moon but realised I seem to have missed a book in the series so I have switched to Alien Earth by Megan Lindholm! I'm halfway through Space Opera by Catherynne M Valente which I hope to have finished by the weekend.
I will be doing a mid month review video to go over the books I've read. Hope everyone is enjoying the readthon! : )

Update 23/09 -
Space Opera was a fun read, a definite Douglas Adams vibe! Done with Alien Earth and The Outside and about to get started with the big one! Lol! I can get it read in a week, right?

message 23: by Adam (new)

Adam | 5 comments I finished my 500 pager, Revelation Space, last night. Not sure how far I'll get in the rest until next week, as the next few days are super busy with work and family stuff. But next up is Binti.

message 24: by Donna (new)

Donna Kowalski (dpkowalski) | 6 comments Finished my third book 3 - book published before I was born, The Sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke published in 1951. This was Clarke's first full novel and I enjoyed it very much. Now on to book 4 book over 500 pages Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear.

message 25: by Julián (new)

Julián (julianvm) Ok, I have finished 4 books, and I think I have fulfilled all the challenges (correct me if I am wrong).

1. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. (CH 1, 2A, 2B) I liked the idea of the book, it was interesting and new. But maybe because it was short and the first part only, I didn't feel it so realistic. So, I won't continue the series.

2. Solaris by Stanislaw Lem. (CH 3) I really liked this book. It is a bit sad or depresing. but aside from that, I enjoyed it.

3. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (CH 4) Yep, I changed my first book (Consider Phlebas) to this book and it didn't dissapoint me. It was an amazing book.

4. Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon. (CH 2A) I liked the first part, I liked the idea and the dialogue. But from the second part, mmm, I just couldn't. The dialogue became so philosophic or religious, it didn't sound realistic, even some events were not real for me. Instead of reading a sci-fi space opera, it was like I was reading a fantasy book. So, I won't continue the series.

Anyway, I want to continue reading space opera, and I want to dig into Asimov's work.
So if I am not wrong I want to become a Fleet Admiral with my own planet hehehe

message 26: by Romy (new)

Romy Hi Julián! Good job on reading all these books so quickly!
I just started reading Solaris as well, but since it begins with the station not actually being in space but very close to the planet's surface, I'm wondering if the books counts as space opera (which should include space travel). So could you please tell me if the station moves into space during the story or if it stays inside Solaris' atmosphere?
Thanks and happy further reading! :)

message 27: by Julián (new)

Julián (julianvm) Romy wrote: "Hi Julián! Good job on reading all these books so quickly!
I just started reading Solaris as well, but since it begins with the station not actually being in space but very close to the planet's su..."

Being in a group, having some challenges, and discovering new books made me feel inspired to read them and fast, actually. Well, about your question, if my memory doesn't betray me, I remember the main character came in a space ship, then he was sent inside a capsule or sth like that, if I am not wrong, and then he went to this space station above the planet. The other space ship just went away. The space station is always in the atmosphere as far as I remember. I am not sure if there is a special rule to say if the book is or is not a space opera, I just saw the name of the book mentioned by someone else in group, so I read it.

message 28: by Romy (new)

Romy Julián wrote: "Being in a group, having some challenges, and discovering new books made me feel inspired to read them and fast, actually..."

Yeah, I picked Solaris as well because it was mentioned here in the group. I checked Thomas' video abour the readathon and he defined space opera as: "a story that takes place mostly, if not entirely, in outer space, in which space travel plays a key role in the narrative". Would you say that Solaris, from what you remember about it, fits this description? Because if the station doesn't move anywhere during the book, I don't think it counts (the part where the protagonist travels to the station from space at the beginning is very short) and I would have to find another book published before I was born... :(

message 29: by Julián (new)

Julián (julianvm) Romy wrote: "Julián wrote: "Being in a group, having some challenges, and discovering new books made me feel inspired to read them and fast, actually..."

Yeah, I picked Solaris as well because it was mentioned..."

If you say "space travel", well, Solaris just metions in the intro the the arriving to the planet, but mostly, the entire book is about this planet, Solaris and what happens in there. Aside from the few references when they are taking some trips on the planet. Now... if you say "outer space", well, Solaris is in outer space. I am not sure, but I would dare to say that most of the Space opera books are based in planets and what happen in there. Like Hyperion, where you can see they mention space travel. But mostly, it is what happens about the planet and in the planet. I don't know hehe, I am not so expert about the topic. Maybe Thomas can gives us a better answer

message 30: by Seema (new)

Seema Singh | 8 comments I agree with Julian and the others. I also read Solaris but didn't include it in the space opera September challenge. I'm also done with the rebel track books but I also decided to make the month of sept and space opera reads in general because it's quite cool. I enjoyed Solaris but don't think it counts as space opera .

I'm also wanting to complete the federation route for fun. I read ancillary justice. Thought it was a bit overrated. I started Blue shift and the third body problem. Only read a few chapters of each but so far it's looking good.

message 31: by Ila (new)

Ila | 9 comments I finally finished Revelation Space (challenge 4) last night. It took me way longer than I expected, thanks to work commitments and a very inconvenient virus that knocked me out for the better part of last week. Still, I didn't mind spending so much time on this novel because it was really, really good. It's epic in scope and very intricate, with a lot of scientific detail, but it'salso a mystery that kept me glued to the page from start to end (whenever I was lucky enough to be able to read, that is). I was particularly impressed with Reynolds' ability to create such a complex and vivid universe. The amount of detail is impressive: it's one of those instances where the setting felt like an integral part of the story, and that is one of the aspects of this novel I appreciated the most. I definitely want to know more about this universe; thankfully there are other books in the series to satisfy my curiosity.
Anyway, now I guess I am a space cadet in possession of a dreadnought.... What could possibly go wrong? :D

Next up is Ancillary Justice. Hopefully life will calm down in the next few days so it won't take me ages to get through it!

message 32: by Anna (last edited Sep 25, 2019 03:36AM) (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 5 comments I finished last night. I only made one change to my TBR, which I'm happy with. Some of these books could fit for other challenges, but I slotted them into a somewhat logical order.

1: The Undefeated + A Different Light
2A: Warchild + Gideon the Ninth
2B: The Outside
3: The Big Jump
4: Noumenon Infinity

And here's why I chose each book:

1: Someone mentioned an older woman protagonist, so I had to read it, and A Different Light was already on my TBR
2A: Both books were already on my September TBR
2B: It was on my August TBR, but I waited until September 1st, because it fit this challenge so perfectly
3: I figured the point of this challenge was to read older works, so I went for the oldest book written by a woman that I saw on other people's TBRs
4: I've been putting off reading this sequel for too long, it was time

Extras read after I posted this:
Shards of Honor

message 33: by Jess (Iorelyn) (last edited Sep 22, 2019 02:43PM) (new)

Jess (Iorelyn) (iorelyn) | 3 comments I've been a tad slower than I originally planned. But so far I've gotten three under my belt done and read.

Challenge 1 (Also 2a as it's a woman author) : All Systems Red I absolutely adored Murderbot. I'm not usually into novels, but I'm completely obsessed with this soap opera loving robot.

Challenge 2a: The Stars Are Legion I... was absolutely not expecting so much gore from this book. I'm not quite into body horror or squelching items, so this was a tad interesting for my to get through. Overall I enjoyed the read, but not as much as I had hoped.

Challenge 2b: Barbary Station This one I actually did enjoy, though it was difficult at times to keep up with whoever the main POV was. But I'm a sucker for space pirates trying to survive so I let it slide.

Challenge 4: Abaddon's Gate Finished the 3rd book yesterday. Didn't expect for the series to just keep getting better and better. The new characters each manage to hold my attention, just as the older ones we've known since book 1. More and more I'm so happy my friend got me hooked in this universe.

I only have Challenge 3 left to work on, but with me waiting for the book to be returned to the library, I might default to Foundation instead of Dune. I'm hoping to get this done just as the month ends.

message 34: by Adam (new)

Adam | 5 comments I just finished Binti. I liked it a lot. next up is Ancillary Justice.

message 35: by Kaa (new)

Kaa | 7 comments Halfway done!

1, 2A, 2B: To Be Taught, If Fortunate - there were some interesting ideas explored here, but I was a little disappointed because it wasn't quite as cohesive as I wanted.

2A: Warchild - I liked the military space opera feel, and Jos's voice was well-written, but this was also a rough read. A lot of trauma, most of which is never really addressed.

I dnf'd Gideon the Ninth because it was confusing and I wasn't feeling the tone. Just started on Downbelow Station.

message 36: by Eric (last edited Sep 18, 2019 06:36PM) (new)

Eric Gaston (egaston) | 3 comments I've got one more to go. I had a little bit of a bumpy start to the challenge. I had listened to Binti before so I listened to the 2nd book, Home, only to find that 99% of it takes place on Earth.

Novella (by a woman): On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette De Bodard - This one didn't grab me. I tend to like more action-packed stories.

Novel by a Woman: Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes - I enjoyed this fun space adventure and will continue on with more in the series.

Novel Over 500 Pages: Morning Star by Pierce Brown - Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.

I just started the audiobook of The Better Part of Valor by Tanya Huff today for my 4th book.

I don't think I'm going to go for the novel published before I was born. I tried Chronicles of the Lensmen, Volume 1: Triplanetary / First Lensman / Galactic Patrol and didn't make it very far. I'm not in the mood to try an older book again any time soon.

message 37: by Robin (new)

Robin Batty (thisbatttylife) | 9 comments I just finished All Systems Red by Martha Wells! That’s my third book read in the read-a-thon! It’s my novella as well so I believe that makes me a Wing Commander with a Shuttlecraft, and Explorer and a Dreadnaught! (Dune by Frank Herbert and Artemis by Andy Weir) One more book to go in the challenge!

message 38: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 8 comments I have one more book to go, the 500+ page behemoth, of course. I have been struggling to get through 2001: A Space Odyssey for two weeks. I'm not sure if the book is just that boring, or if I am in a slump or both. Either way I need to force my way through it so I can move on to (hopefully) better things.

message 39: by Llyren (new)

Llyren | 10 comments Kaa wrote: "Halfway done!

Me too! This month is an extremely slow reading month for me, even less than I had expected. But, oh well, it happens ;-)

I finished The Stars Are Legion and while I found it interesting story wise (I was well prepared for the gore in it so it didn't bother me), I couldn't connect enough to the characters to make it really stand out to me...

And then I thought it would be a good idea to switch my tome to Homo Sapiens 404 Sammelband 1: Die Verlorenen - space opera with zombies? what could go wrong, right? Yeah well. At least it read very fast and was at least bearable thanks to a few not uninteresting character dynamics.

For my "before me" book, I'll definitely go for Cherryh. And Chambers is set for the novella. Should be doable for the rest of the month...

message 40: by Donna (new)

Donna Kowalski (dpkowalski) | 6 comments Finished challenge 4 - read a space opera 500 pages or longer - Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear 512 pages. This was slow to start but one I got into it I enjoyed it. I assume I am now a Fleet Admiral - Federation Track. Still plenty of September left, next up The Dark of Light, Starhawke Rising Book One.

message 41: by Ila (new)

Ila | 9 comments So it's been a week since I started Ancillary Justice. I'm halfway through it but I'm not enjoying it at all. It's extremely slow and neither the plot (what little there is of it) nor the characters are particularly engaging. I still have a very vague idea of the motivations of the main character and an even vaguer idea of the universe the novel is set in.
In short, I'm really frustrated with this book, so I'm going to shelve it for now and move on to Dune Messiah, and maybe return to it in a few days.

message 42: by Ada (new)

Ada | 2 comments I'm a bit annoyed with myself because I've started: Gideon the Ninth, Dune, A Red Peace and the long way to a small angry planet. Even if I am enjoying all of them I'm not finishing them because I keep rotating...

message 43: by Paula (new)

Paula (hairballsrus) | 5 comments Ada wrote: "I'm a bit annoyed with myself because I've started: Gideon the Ninth, Dune, A Red Peace and the long way to a small angry planet. Even if I am enjoying all of them I'm not finishing them because I ..."

Ada, I'd go with what's appealing to you most and shelve the others for the moment.

message 44: by Paula (new)

Paula (hairballsrus) | 5 comments Okay, I've completed four books.

1. Fortune's Pawn (female author)
2. Ghost Line (novella and co-authored by a female)
3. Levithan's Wake (500+pages)
4. Dune (written before I was born)
I'm currently listening to Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes. Psychic cats!

message 45: by Ron (last edited Sep 27, 2019 12:13PM) (new)

Ron | 8 comments I'm finished!

I did deviate from my TBR. The reason was that I hadn't realized Velocity Weapon was over 500 pages, and when I noticed, I saw a path to completing all challenges with just four books:

1. Killing Gravity by Corey J. White (Novella)
2. Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter (Woman author #1)
3. Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe (Woman author #2, 500+ pages)
4. Nova by Samuel R. Delany (Diverse author & protagonist, Published before I was born)

I believe that ticks all the boxes, and entitles me to all the ships and a Homeworld.

Thanks to Thomas for putting on this readathon. I really enjoyed taking part and it got me reading some books I had been meaning to get to, but somehow never had. I've also enjoyed seeing what everyone else has been reading too.

message 46: by Leticia (last edited Sep 27, 2019 12:56PM) (new)

Leticia (leticiatoraci) | 11 comments I will still write a blog post about this in more detail but so far:

1: Read a space opera novella — Killing Gravity (The Voidwitch Saga, #1) by Corey J. White - 5 stars!

2A: Read two space operas by women —

1) Clash of Lines A Drath Romance Novel by Meyari McFarland - kind of too much romance mixed up with the sci-fi for me - 2 stars

2) Star Nomad (Fallen Empire, #1) by Lindsay Buroker - awesome start of a very entertaining series, with lots of humor. - 5 stars

3: Read a space opera published before you were born —Ringworldor The Sirens of Titan - I could not get into finishing any of these books so I am planning to read yet another book for this challenge.
So I read Nova by Samuel R. Delany . I considered it too literary for my usual sci-fi tastes, therefore 3 stars.

4: Read a space opera 500 pages or longer — Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio - I liked it very much- 5 Stars! This took me two weeks to read since I didn't want to hurry with it.

Literary Multitudes (literary_multitudes) | 3 comments My progress so far (how can September be nearly over already?!):

1: Read a space opera novella — FINISHED: Binti

2: Read two space operas by women/divers —
IN PROGRESS: A Memory Called Empire

3: Read a space opera published before you were born — OPEN: Nova

4: Read a space opera 500 pages or longer — IN PROGRESS: "Leviathan Wakes"

I'm still in the middle of two and have this tiny faint hope of getting to "Nova" before September is really over. Busy time at work, however, keeps me from reading as much as I would like... :-(

message 48: by tysephine (new)

tysephine | 4 comments Just finished the last challenge! I chose Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair for a space opera over 500 pages. Gave it 4 stars!

message 49: by Erin (new)

Erin (geekygimp) | 3 comments Sadly, wasn't able to complete any of my reads. I think picking Dune was a mistake as I am having trouble getting through it, and didn't want to read it regularly enough. Oh well, crossing my fingers for next time.

message 50: by David (new)

David (davidincornwall) | 3 comments Sorry I'm not going to make it by the deadline. I got stuck on the first book, it's a good one but I've been having a lot happen and my reading has fallen behind. That got me stressed and I had trouble concentrating.
Anyway, I hope everybody has had fun during this month and I'll try and see if I can make it through the next read-a-long.

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