SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Old, Closed Posts > Master Theme Suggestion List

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message 51: by Chris (new)

Chris (Nakor) | 17 comments New around here, so I don't know whether this has been done, but what about Steampunk as a month's theme?

message 52: by Jay (new)

Jay Bell (jaybell) Bangsian fantasy, stories that take place in the afterlife, is always an interesting theme. Of course there's A House-Boat On the Styx by Bangs himself. What Dreams May Come is another. Pier's Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series often takes place in otherworldly realms. And To Reign in Hell by Brust is pretty good. Surely there are others?

I wrote one myself that probably won't be out for years and years, and I have to say it was hard to maintain suspense with threat of death no longer there. A bit of a pain the the butt, that.

message 53: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Newtomato) | 123 comments Since this is a theme thread:

For either genre: Bridesmaid's Ball? i.e. take the runner-ups in our previous 6ish votes and pit them against each other. So many great books are repeatedly relinquished to first runner-up.

message 54: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1639 comments That's a good one, Cindy.

message 55: by Julia (new)

Julia | 820 comments I think that's a great idea, especially when the books're very close! And maybe further back than six months, because they're not all close...

message 56: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 203 comments Cindy wrote: "Since this is a theme thread:

For either genre: Bridesmaid's Ball? i.e. take the runner-ups in our previous 6ish votes and pit them against each other. So many great books are repeatedly relinquis..."

I like the idea, but please coin a different term for it - bridesmaids are not the 'runners up' at a wedding.

message 57: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey (Geoffreys) | 44 comments A theme that could fit in both categories is 'Hidden Worlds'

message 58: by Geoffrey (last edited May 07, 2010 05:15AM) (new)

Geoffrey (Geoffreys) | 44 comments Carolyn wrote: "I like the idea, but please coin a different term for it - bridesmaids are not the 'runners up' at a wedding.

I kinda like the title .... 'always a bridesmaid, never a bride' ... :)

message 59: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 203 comments Geoffrey wrote: "...'always a bridesmaid, never a bride' ... :)"

Except that that is a pretty negative saying, as well as not particularly true. I've been a bridesmaid 6 times, and got married somewhere in the middle of them (and been married for over 10 years now.)

As I said before, bridesmaids are not the 'runners-up' at a wedding - neither are the groomsmen.

How about 'Runners-Up Runway'? (playing off the Runway tv show)
or to be funny: 'Runners-Up Smackdown' (playing on wrestling shows.)

message 60: by Tristan (new)

Tristan A possible theme for both genres would be Unreliable Narrator, in which you must trust and investigate the text as much as you would trust the words of someone reporting events to you in real life. Biases could occur, the narrator might forget to mention something, and he/she could even outright lie to you.

message 61: by Drew (new)

Drew Billingsley | 2 comments Tristan--I saw you were a Gene Wolfe fan in your introduction. Aside from Wolfe, what other sf/fantasy authors do a good unreliable narrator?

message 62: by Tristan (last edited Jun 02, 2010 09:05AM) (new)

Tristan Off the top of my head I know that it was done in:
One Thousand and One Nights
Many H.P. Lovecraft stories
The Blue Rose Trilogy by Peter Straub
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Star Rover by Jack London (A brilliant brilliant book)
We Have Always Lived In The Castle and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Edgar Allen Poe's stories
Ambrose Bierce's stories
The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
Many things by Phillip K. Dick
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Many works by Jorge Luis Borges
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.
Pale Fire by Vladamir Nabokov
The City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff Vandermeer (<- Good stuff!)
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delaney
Blindness by José Saramego
I believe John Crowley uses it often

Though Gene Wolfe has earned a reputation using the unreliable narrator, there are other authors who came before him and pioneered the technique. Some use it to more importance than others, such as in The Dragon Waiting, where it takes a bit of a backseat to other things and one can still get a good chunk of the book without paying much attention to the unreliability of the narrators. Not true in Pale Fire however, where the crux of the book ultimately depends on the narrator's unreliability to the point that the reader is left wondering exactly what is the books reality.

message 63: by Robert (new)

Robert (rsbryant) | 10 comments How about books with "Mars" in the title?

message 64: by Katie (new)

Katie John (KatieMJohn) | 2 comments How about the novels with evidence of The Golden Thread?

message 65: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1639 comments Sci-Fi Exclusive: Tom Swift Jr. Books

message 66: by Frances (new)

Frances (mothindarkness) For master themes,

Android/Cybernetic (sf)
Supers/Superhero (some of the new stuff is really good)


message 67: by Frances (new)

Frances (mothindarkness) For a both category, how about stories that deal with multiple worlds? Ive seen that taken from a sci-fi or fantasy perspective depending on the mechanism to transfer between worlds.


message 68: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Lang | 14 comments SciFi Romance?

message 69: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 418 comments Brad wrote: "Sci-Fi Exclusive: Tom Swift Jr. Books"

Since these are such quick reads, I'd suggest adding a Tom Corbett book too. They make good comparisons for '50s YA SF books.

Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 542 comments How about books by authors who were selected to complete a series by a deceased author's estate?

That was probably a confusing sentence to read, so let me elaborate a little. Brandon Sanderson was selected to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Guy Gavriel Kay was selected to help complete the editing of The Silmarillion. Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert would probably qualify for Frank Herbert's work. But Ardath Mayhar and William Tuning wouldn't qualify, because their Fuzzy weren't commissioned by H. Beam Piper's estate. I'd probably disqualify John Scalzi too, because while he has the blessing of Piper's estate, Fuzzy Nation is a reboot rather than a sequel. (And I don't think they sought him out.)

We wouldn't necessarily have to read the book(s) commissioned by the deceased author's estate. (Because, after all, no one wants to read the last two WoT books if they haven't read the first 10?, especially if they aren't interested in doing so.)

Problems with this are that the group has read a lot of Kay and Sanderson as it is, and I'm not sure that we could come up with many other authors who would qualify. But I thought I'd throw it out there.

Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 542 comments Have we ever done zombies as a theme? The love for World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (one of my own favorites) in the current SF nominations thread has made me think this might be a good theme.

message 72: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1639 comments Not that I can remember. I will make sure that is in there for the next one.

message 73: by Akintunde (new)

Akintunde M. (27thcentury) | 3 comments I suggest a discussion about the vulnerability of an internet accessible Biometrics data=bank as highlighted by the sci=fi novel 27th Century Fiasco-ISBN 9781432744984

message 74: by [deleted user] (new)

My Debut Novel - Jake West - The Keeper of the Stones

Fantasy epic for anyone twelve and upwards. It's available online (please see reviews on amazon) and on smashwords as an ebook. I know I shouldn't be recommending my own book but I believe this is the forum to do just that?

Details at (Site being professionally developed)


message 75: by Dante (new)

Dante | 1 comments Adult-oriented, anthropomorphic animal characters (e.g. Gun with Occasional Music)
Religions in the future
Comedic Lovecraft (e.g. Gil's All Fright Diner)
Political allegory sci-fi (libertarian, socialism, republic, etc.)
Epistolary sci-fi or fantasy
Sci-fi or fantasy work written by "mainstream" writer
Superhero novel

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Books mentioned in this topic

Greener Than You Think (other topics)
Never Let Me Go (other topics)
Oryx and Crake (other topics)
The Road (other topics)
The Handmaid's Tale (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Ardath Mayhar (other topics)
H. Beam Piper (other topics)
Brandon Sanderson (other topics)
Brian Herbert (other topics)
John Scalzi (other topics)