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December SFFKit - This is how it ends!

2018 Category Challenge

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Nov 16, 2018, 1:35am Top

As the year comes to a close, consider other things ending:

... the end of the world as we know it: On the Beach was a favorite the year I read it. Another classic comes to mind (I've yet to read): War of the Worlds.

... or tackle The Dying Earth story arc by Jack Vance. Or what modern authors wrote in his honor: Songs of the Dying Earth (I really liked the audiobook).

... or think of the end of an era: e.g. N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth Trilogy

... or on a more positive note: read that last book in the series

... or consider the other side of the coin: as something ends, something new arises:
try (to find) a book set on new year's eve:

Enjoy! ... and don't forget the wiki!

Nov 16, 2018, 10:43am Top

Fun topic! I'm not sure whether I'll actually get to it, but I did recently buy All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, which seems like it would fit.

Nov 16, 2018, 12:37pm Top

I've been meaning to read Xisle by Steve Augarde for ages, and this feels like a good time. The beginning of the blurb: "Ever since the floods came and washed the world away, survivors have been desperate to win a place on X-Isle, the island where life is rumoured to be easier than on what's left of the mainland..."

Nov 16, 2018, 2:05pm Top

Oh! I've got Chrysalids by John Wyndham - both AlphaKIT letters and fits this KIT!

Nov 16, 2018, 11:02pm Top

I just finished The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison and I think I will carry on with the sequel, The Book of Etta as I am not quite ready to leave this apocalyptic world yet.

Nov 17, 2018, 4:16am Top

I don't know if I'll get to it, but I'm thinking of Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke for this.

Nov 17, 2018, 3:25pm Top

>6 Robertgreaves: That’s a good one.

Nov 20, 2018, 7:20pm Top

I'm going to be reading Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos.

Edited: Nov 25, 2018, 3:33am Top

>3 whitewavedarling: I read X-isle when it first came out, it's quite good. Peter F. Hamilton's first Greg Mandel book has the same sort of post climate change setting.

I might have a go at finishing the Kalix trilogy with The anxiety of Kalix the werewolf, it's been on mt tbr for a fair while.

Nov 25, 2018, 3:45pm Top

>9 avatiakh:, That's great to hear! I've been meaning to read it for ages, and just kept not getting around to it.

Dec 5, 2018, 7:55pm Top

And the title that I just finished qualifies for this month's challenge because it's the third in a trilogy; because it deals with life in the aftermath of the Subterrene War; and though it is not set on NYE, it does provide a "Janus point" in which the protagonist must look both backward and forward in his life

Chimera (The Subterrene War #3; by T. C. McCarthy; narrated by John Pruden) - Wrapping up the Subterrene War trilogy on audio! This is a mil-fic story set in a future world in which global wars are fought over the metals in the ground. In this installment, however, the underground wars have ceased and we find our hero, "Bug" lost in civilian life. Soon, however, he is called on a mission into the Southeast Asian jungles to do what he does best: Kill Germline sentients. These are young women who were bio-engineered to be ultimate fighting soldiers. Once in Thailand, however, the shape of the mission changes. Overall, it was a decent story, if borrowing a bit heavily from "Hurt Locker" to form the character, and "Apocalypse Now" to form the storyline. The audiobook narrator and production were very good, though I suspect that John Pruden lent the story a bit more of a parodic tone than I would have gleaned from reading the text, and I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing! :-D

Dec 10, 2018, 2:05pm Top

When the English Fall by David Williams: This is a different take on the postapocalyptic novel. It is told from the point of view of an Amish farmer just after a solar storm knocks out almost all technology, reducing the world to a preindustrial state. Written as diary entries, this was slow-moving and introspective, and I found it to be really a meditation on our dependence on technology and whether this is how we are meant to live life. I did not think the framing device (which didn't really frame, since the author never returned to it) was necessary, but that's a small quibble.

Dec 11, 2018, 6:51pm Top

>12 sturlington: I liked that one better than you did, I think.

Dec 12, 2018, 8:16am Top

>13 thornton37814: Oh, I liked it. I gave it 4 stars.

Edited: Dec 12, 2018, 12:28pm Top

Finished XIsle by Steve Augarde. This was a dark book. I suppose it's technically YA dystopian... but this was a dark book. A good four-star read, though. Full review written. I'm glad this challenge finally pushed me to get around to it--I'd been looking at it for two years now, and never quite picking it up.

Dec 12, 2018, 12:45pm Top

I have just completed Going Home by A. American, a apocalyptic story where the power grid has been knocked out and the main character is stranded hundreds of miles from home. I love survival stories and this one was a total "guilty pleasure" as the writing wasn't good but the story held me glued to the pages.

Dec 12, 2018, 2:37pm Top

>14 sturlington: It was one of those rare 5-star reads for me.

Dec 12, 2018, 5:35pm Top

>17 thornton37814: I'm pretty stingy with my five star ratings too. Four stars is a good solid read for me. I'm always happy with a four-star book.

One thing I really liked about it was that it took a different perspective from a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction. There was some violence, but violence wasn't the point, and it was therefore appropriately shocking when violence did happen. I also think the way the different people reacted was more realistic than in a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction, where everyone immediately reverts to savagery.

Dec 14, 2018, 12:24pm Top

Poorly executed concept of the end of power use as we know it, though the beginning of a new and limitless source of energy: Waldo & Magic, Inc by Robert A. Heinlein.

Off the shelves it goes!

Dec 14, 2018, 6:33pm Top

Not only did I finish the last book in the series, I also read the four books before it and got these ROOTs off my TBR shelf!! Finis!

The Exordium:
The Phoenix in Flight by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge 1
Ruler of Naught by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge 2
A Prison Unsought by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge 3
The Rifter's Covenant by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge 4
The Thrones of Kronos by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge 5

Dec 15, 2018, 2:31pm Top

Good job!

Dec 19, 2018, 11:36am Top

I finished Zone One by Colson Whitehead which really is about "this is how it ends". I was not blown away by the book though. A word smith, creative sentence filled book but rather cold. I found it hard to engage.

Dec 21, 2018, 1:06pm Top

I have read The Book of Etta by Meg Elison, the second in her "Road to Nowhere" series, this one felt very much like a middle book to a trilogy. The author explores gender orientation in a violent world where women have extreme value due to a plague that wiped out most women years ago.

Dec 22, 2018, 8:02am Top

I didn't find the time to read a book for this month, but I enjoyed the KIT. Looking forward to seeing you all in 2019.

Dec 24, 2018, 4:47pm Top

Finished my selection today:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A deadly flu sweeps across the Earth and leaves, in a matter of days, very few survivors. This is the story of a handful of those leftover folks and their journeys in the thirty or so years after Day One. The stories are fascinating and thrilling and tender and heart-wrenching, and the thread that connects them all is intricately woven into the most delicate of tapestries and its mysteries are a delight to watch unwind. I didn't feel that I related to any of the characters very well, but the excellent way the tale itself was told more than made up for it. Definitely recommended, if you like post-apocalyptic stuff.

Dec 24, 2018, 10:31pm Top

>25 scaifea:, I really like Station Eleven and it is a much better pandemic that Zone One.

Dec 26, 2018, 8:35am Top

>26 Kristelh: I haven't read Zone One, but I agree that Station Eleven is excellent! It did make me more nervous than I really want to be about such things - it seems so likely... *shudders*

Dec 29, 2018, 3:45pm Top

I finished the last book in the Kalix MacRinnalch trilogy by Martin Millar. I love these books yet even though I bought the book the week it was published it sat on my shelves for 5 years before I finally picked it up. This challenge and a TIOLI challenge in the 75ers group to read a book with an 'x' in the title finally got me going.
The anxiety of Kalix the werewolf is a humorous urban noir fantasy about Kalix, the youngest werewolf in her Scottish clan. They are hoping to bring an end to the werewolf hunters guild, while the guild is hoping to finally rid the world of Scottish werewolves.
I'm hoping there's another book eventually because I love the characters. Oh well, back to his Thraxas series.

I've read the second and am now onto the last book in a children's scifi trilogy by Monica Hughes. The first book, The Keeper of the Isis Light won the 2000 Phoenix Award, awarded to an English-language children's book published twenty years earlier that did not then win a major literary award. Quick reads about a small group of humans settling on the planet Isis. The climate is harsh and so they must not stray from the sheltered valley, eventually this becomes mythical lore.

Dec 30, 2018, 5:00pm Top

Oh yay! I was able to participate in this month's challenge, and also finished a TBR on my slightly smaller stack. Black Heart, Ivory Bones is the final volume in the Fairy Tale Anthology, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

Most of the tales are set in the modern day, such as Charles de Lint's town of Newford and Esther Freisner's re-telling of Rapunzel in "Big Hair" (think the ultimate beauty pageant mom). There are some poems in this collection, and some tales are set in the long ago past, such as "The Golem" by Severna Park and "The King with Three Daughters." Because there were different writers, the styles were up and down, and I gave it 3 stars.

Group: 2018 Category Challenge

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