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RMFAO 2020 Genre Challenge > January'20 - Science Fiction

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message 1: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 03, 2020 03:57PM) (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
Happy 2020, everyone! Hope this year brings with it a lot of books, happiness and reading time for you all! 
At RMFAO we always begin our year with a Science-Fiction month and this year, keeping up with this tradition, we'll be starting 2020 with a month full of amazing science fiction reads, old and new alike.

There are absolutely no limits so you can interpret this genre in its broader sense and include other similar genres and/or subgenres that you feel might have a wee bit of similarity with the main genre. You can also include books that are not particularly centred around the main genre but has its components or elements somewhere in the story.

The main intent of this challenge is to incorporate different kinds of books and genres in our normal reading routine to make the experience more fun and entertaining. Please do not lose yourself in the technicalities as we all know how literary genres can be confusing. 
If you have any doubts or questions, then post them below and we'll be happy to answer/discuss them.

Here is the DEFINITION for this month's genre:

Science-Fiction: Science fiction (often shortened to sci-fi or scifi) is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas." It usually eschews the supernatural, and unlike the related genre of fantasy, historically science fiction stories were intended to have at least a faint grounding in science-based fact or theory at the time the story was created, but this connection has become tenuous or non-existent in much of science fiction.

Here's a quick summary of the levels:

Level 1: Casual Reader: 1 book (easy)
Level 2: Frequent Reader: 2 books (moderate)
Level 3: Bookworm: 3 books (mildly strenuous)
Level 4: Bibliophile: 4 books (strenuous)
Level 5: Bookiopath: 5 books or more (challenging)

Please mention what type of books you'd be reading:

PB: Paperbacks
HB: Hardbacks
EB: E-Books
AB: Audio Books

Please feel free to announce your to-read books along with the level you are targeting for below. Though it is not necessary as you can announce your reads as and when you decide or read them.

PLEASE READ (especially new members):
1. You can read any number of books for the respective genre every month.
2. You can join the challenge at any stage (in any month.)
3. You can drop out of the challenge any time you like.
4. You can select different levels every month.
5. Use this discussion board to share your reads with other members of the group.
6. Please be active and don't hesitate to ask questions or recommend books. 
7. You can couple this challenge with any other challenge here (or anywhere else.) We all do it and it makes it all the more fun!

Happy reading! 


message 2: by Fran (new)

Fran | 367 comments Off to a great start for the new year. Best of luck for all!
1.) The Diviners (AB) - Libba Bray 4/5


message 3: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
#1 The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov (AB)
Too much talk, debating and explaining science and possible science for me.


message 4: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
I am having a heck of a time finding any science fiction that interests me. I tried 3 books so far and abandoned them all due to boredom. I was alwas better with SF short stories than with novels. Maybe I can find a story collection I haven't read before. But, it's also early in the month, so I will keep looking.


message 5: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
I used to read a lot of SF short stories way back when, Cheryl. Really I guess they're pretty much the only short stories I've ever read a lot of.

A Touch of Strange is one that has stuck in my mind all these years - guess that should be decades. There's another collection too that I really liked but the name escapes me at the moment. It was probably edited by Harlan Ellison.


message 6: by 〰️Beth〰️ (last edited Jan 05, 2020 09:07AM) (new)

〰️Beth〰️ (x1f4a0bethx1f4a0) | 135 comments Cheryl wrote: "I am having a heck of a time finding any science fiction that interests me. I tried 3 books so far and abandoned them all due to boredom. I was alwas better with SF short stories than with novels. ..."

Are you looking at classics or newer books? More literary fiction or action packed?
I personally like variety from space opera to dystopian.
Some possibilities:

The Emissary by Yōko Tawada
The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
The Braintrust: A Harmony of Enemies by Marc Stiegler
The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares
On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard
Bermuda by Karim Soliman
Obsidian Detective by Michael Anderle
Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos
Golden State by Ben H. Winters

If you want some romance/ erotica with your science fiction then The Cartel by E.G. Manetti. She based her world on medieval feudal systems. Excellent world building

Hope you find something you enjoy. I know I will need help come Mystery month.


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
Thanks for the suggestions, Beth.


message 8: by Holley (new)

Holley | 37 comments Book 1: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (PB)
A solid start to 2020! 4/5


message 9: by Holley (new)

Holley | 37 comments Dagny wrote: "#1 The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov (AB)
Too much talk, debating and explaining science and possible science for me."


Have you read any other by Asimov? I tried the first Foundation and just could not get into it.


message 10: by 〰️Beth〰️ (new)

〰️Beth〰️ (x1f4a0bethx1f4a0) | 135 comments Holley wrote: "Dagny wrote: "#1 The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov (AB)
Too much talk, debating and explaining science and possible science for me."

Have you read any other by Asimov? I tried the first Foundati..."


I read it ages ago. I remember it being ok. Was planning to go back and reread some day. After Hitchhiker’s Guide I don’t think I could slip into Asimov’s writing style.


message 11: by Heena (last edited Jan 06, 2020 08:03AM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (heenarathore) | 2094 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "A Touch of Strange is one that has stuck in my mind all these years - guess that should be decades."

I tried to get this book but couldn't find it anywhere, neither as a public domain book nor on Amazon India. Though I got some other books by the author and they look pretty interesting! Thanks for this recommendation. I will be trying at least one of them :)


message 12: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
Holley wrote: "Have you read any other by Asimov? I tried the first Foundation and just could not get into it."

It's been so long, but I'm pretty sure I read all the Foundation books - although why I don't know. I recall not being overly fond of them. Maybe there just wasn't enough choices back then or maybe it was one of those books which were so highly touted you felt you 'had' to read it.


message 13: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
〰️Beth〰️ wrote: "I don’t think I could slip into Asimov’s writing style."

That's sure what I discovered, Beth!


message 14: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Dagny wrote: "A Touch of Strange is one that has stuck in my mind all these years - guess that should be decades."

I tried to get this book but couldn't find it anywhere, neither as ..."


I think the story which made such an impression on my mind is on the Internet somewhere. I'll look for it and post the link if I find it. Several of the older stories might be available whereas the actual collection isn't.


message 15: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
The Other Celia is the Theodore Sturgeon short story which stuck with me all these years - decades actually. It's one of the ones in the collection titled A Touch of Strange. Some of you may have already read it. I think I mentioned it here a while back - but maybe it was in another group. Anyway, I found it online at Free Speculative Fiction Online:
https://www.baen.com/Chapters/9781625...
The main page there for Sturgeon has some other info and a link to a few of his other stories:
https://www.freesfonline.net/authors/...


message 16: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Moore (ashleym99) | 71 comments 2. The War of the Worlds. This book was okay, but it was a little slow at times. It was descriptive of the aliens and followed the main character through his experience, but it didn't seem like a lot happened throughout the book. He was not involved in fighting, just trying to travel.


message 17: by Adelaide (last edited Jan 06, 2020 05:09PM) (new)

Adelaide Blair | 353 comments 1) Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. 5 stars. Lovely character-driven book that is part of a trio of books that all live in the same universe, but are mostly not related. This one is the best I think.


message 18: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
1.) The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
4 star YA science fiction. At first I thought this would be a romance-type story, but then the plot veers into another completely different genre. (I can't say more without spoiling the story.) An unexpected treat.


message 19: by Mark (new)

Mark (markvanvollenhoven) | 19 comments Artemis by Andy Weir a HB version
Not sure of the qualification besides Scifi.


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Finocchiaro (fino) | 3 comments Adelaide wrote: "1) Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. 5 stars. Lovely character-driven book that is part of a trio of books that all live in the same universe, but are mo..."

I loved the Becky Chambers trilogy too!


message 21: by 〰️Beth〰️ (new)

〰️Beth〰️ (x1f4a0bethx1f4a0) | 135 comments 1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer EBOOKS

I am not fond of retellings, but Cinderella as a cyborg... potential certainly. I understand recent YA science fiction series usually use the first book for world building and character development but this dragged even by the normal standards of the sub genre. Still it a popular book/series so maybe I missed something.


message 22: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie (marjorielest) | 115 comments Holley wrote: "Book 1: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (PB)
A solid start to 2020! 4/5"


Love HGG!


message 23: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
Ashley wrote: "2. The War of the Worlds. This book was okay, but it was a little slow at times. It was descriptive of the aliens and followed the main character through his experience, but it didn't ..."

I'm a bit ambivalent about Wells and actually like his non-science fiction books better than his sf ones.


message 24: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (heenarathore) | 2094 comments Mod
Thanks a lot for the links, Dagny. I really appreciate it!!


message 25: by Celia (new)

Celia Buell (celiareadsbooks) If you like space sci-fi I would recommend The Nyxia Triad which is what I'm currently reading. It has a mission with great characters and many plot twists. It is three books, I have finished the first and the second. The author is also very responsive on Goodreads, which is a major plus.


message 26: by Heena (last edited Jan 09, 2020 07:35AM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (heenarathore) | 2094 comments Mod
#1 The Other Celia by Theodore Sturgeon - 4/5

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Thanks, Dagny, for the suggestion and the link tot he story! It was an excellent read!


message 27: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 09, 2020 09:53AM) (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
2.) We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
3 star YA novel about alien abductions, the end of the world, and living life to the fullest until it happens.


message 28: by Holley (last edited Jan 11, 2020 10:53AM) (new)

Holley | 37 comments Book 2: Dark Matter - Blake Crouch (HB) - 4/5
Sign me the heck up for a book about the multiverse


message 29: by Holley (new)

Holley | 37 comments Dagny wrote: "Holley wrote: "Have you read any other by Asimov? I tried the first Foundation and just could not get into it."

It's been so long, but I'm pretty sure I read all the Foundation books - although wh..."


Foundation was touted as a must read book if I loved science fiction. I thought there was too much talking and politicking and really not enough moving plot


message 30: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
Holley wrote: "Foundation was touted as a must read book if I loved science fiction. I thought there was too much talking and politicking and really not enough moving plot "

That was probably my problem too then, Holley. Thanks!


message 31: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
3.) The Darkest Time of Night by Jeremy Finley
2 stars, and that’s being generous. It seemed like the author didn’t know if he wanted to write a serious X-Files type story or a cozy Hallmark Channel mystery. The writing really didn’t work for me.


message 32: by Fran (new)

Fran | 367 comments 1.) The Diviner's (AB) - Libba Bray
2.) Dr. Who: Dark Horizons (AB) - Jenny T. Colgan


message 33: by Holley (new)

Holley | 37 comments Book 3: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams (HB)


message 34: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
4.) All Systems Red by Martha Wells
4 stars.


message 35: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 353 comments 2) Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer. 4 stars. Very fun YA novel about a girl in danger assisted by her friends and an A. I.


message 36: by 〰️Beth〰️ (new)

〰️Beth〰️ (x1f4a0bethx1f4a0) | 135 comments #2 Chalice Bearer by E.G. Manetti 5 stars

I can not recommend this series enough. This is actually book 8 in the series. If you like Middle Ages history the author does fantastic job of using an interplanetary feudal system and entwines an unconventional romance with lots of intrigue.


message 37: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie (marjorielest) | 115 comments 1) Way Station audiobook


message 38: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
5.) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
3 stars. Kind of open-ended, because it's a trilogy, but the writing was pretty good. A bit Lovecraftian, a bit like the trippy late 60s New Wave SF. You definitely have to be in the right mood for this.


message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael Finocchiaro (fino) | 3 comments Does the YA series Red Rising count as SF?


message 40: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Does the YA series Red Rising count as SF?"

Yes!


message 41: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "5.) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
3 stars. Kind of open-ended, because it's a trilogy, but the writing was pretty good. A bit Lovecraftian, a bit like the trippy late 60s New Wave..."


Sounds like it might be interesting, Cheryl. Just put it on hold at Overdrive and I'm first on two copies so should get it soon. We'll see what kind of mood I'm in when it arrives, lol.


message 42: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: " Sounds like it might be interesting, Cheryl. Just put it on hold at Overdrive and I'm first on two copies so should get it soon. We'll see what kind of mood I'm in when it arrives, .."

Dagny,
It’s pretty short and pretty trippy, so it’s not a big investment of your time. There are 2 books that come after it that will probably clear up the questions found in this book. I’ll read them in the future, but need a few days to properly digest the events in this book first, lol.


message 43: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3009 comments Mod
Thanks, Cheryl. Plus it's the audio. One review said "Carolyn McCormick narrates increasingly disturbing events with an unwavering calm that makes the listening experience all the more chilling."


message 44: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1754 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "Thanks, Cheryl. Plus it's the audio. One review said "Carolyn McCormick narrates increasingly disturbing events with an unwavering calm that makes the listening experience all the more chilling.""

Ooh, the audiobook will be FANTASTIC!


message 45: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie (marjorielest) | 115 comments 2) Winter World by A.G Riddle Ebook Winter World (The Long Winter Trilogy, #1) by A.G. Riddle


message 46: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie (marjorielest) | 115 comments 3) The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore Ebook The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2) by Pittacus Lore


message 47: by Adelaide (last edited Jan 18, 2020 10:29PM) (new)

Adelaide Blair | 353 comments 3) The Masks of Time by Robert Silverberg. 3 stars. Annoying man from the future comes to the past and is annoying.


message 48: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 353 comments 4) The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. 3.5 stars. I'm just copying Cheryl.


message 49: by Holley (new)

Holley | 37 comments Book 4: Red Rising - Pierce Brown (PB, also a reread)


message 50: by Fran (new)

Fran | 367 comments 3.) Brave New World (AB) - Aldous Huxley
4.) Cress (AB) - Marissa Meyer


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