The Official UN-official SFF/SFFF-KIT for 2017
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Welcome to the unofficial SFF/SFFF-KIT for 2017!
As in 2016, there seems to be some interest in continuing the challenge unofficially, and so I have set up this thread to organize our monthly challenges.
The 2017 Wiki is here:
Monthly challenges to be added here:
January: "Read an SFF you meant to read in 2016, but never started/completed" - hosted by fuzzi
February: "Space Travel!" hosted by mathgirl40
March: "Religious Themed SciFi/Fantasy" hosted by Kristelh
April: "Dystopian/Apocalyptic theme" - hosted by DeltaQueen50
May: "Alien contact" - hosted by majkia
June: "Series Month" - hosted by LisaMorr
July: "Award Winners/Nominees" - hosted by sturlington
August: "Humorous sci fi/fantasy" - hosted by leslie.98
September: "Steampunk" - hosted by Tanya-dogearedcopy
October: "Near Future SciFi" - hosted by avatiakh
November: "Historical SFF" - hosted by inge87
December: "Magic Systems" - hosted by VioletBramble
Pick a month and join us!
Just in case anyone is interested, here is a sci fi/ fantasy bingo square:
>13 tess_schoolmarm: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction and Fantasy
How about a theme of space travel? I'd be OK with hosting any month except for July and August.
Although I didn't participate this year, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Cat last year even though I don't consider myself a reader of SFFFFFf. I might think about dipping in and out next year.
>15 mathgirl40: - The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell is an excellent book for this theme. One of my top 5 books of last year.
>18 dudes22: even though I "hosted" this year's SFF-KIT, I didn't get a book read for every challenge, every month.
Drop ins are very welcome!
I will do a month; some ideas that I would consider would be alternate histories, military/conflicts or religious ideas. I will take March, pick one of these for me and I will go with it.
For sure I want to do Religious Themes in SFF, and if you need me to, I would do another. Give me March.
>24 Kristelh: you've got March. I left the theme open for whatever you ultimately decide. :)
How about a series month? We had one this year and it seems everyone always has at least one series to make progress with.
>22 sturlington: June's a terrific month to do the Awards category! I'll be reading from my Hugo and Aurora Voter Packets then.
>31 LisaMorr: added to the OP.
If anyone wants to reword or change their challenge, just say so. I don't mind editing.
I would be willing to do a month on humorous sci fi/fantasy (books such Terry Pratchett's Discworld or The Hitchhiker's Guide) in either August or September.
A couple of years ago, when SFFF was a CAT, I hosted the Steampunk month. At the time, it was all new-to-me; but since then I've gotten a better feel for the sub-genre and really enjoy it. Though I wasn't active with this year's KIT, I would like to volunteer to host Steampunk for the month of September 2017.
I haven't participated before but do read quite a bit of sci fi and would like to host a Near Future sci fi October
>41 avatiakh: you're welcome to join us! I'll put your name on October.
>14 majkia: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction and Fantasy
Wouldn't that technically be SFSFF?
And technically Speculative Fiction is an overarching umbrella that encompasses both Science Fiction and Fantasy... So would it not just be SF or SFF?
>43 gilroy: I prefer "SFF" as a simple abbreviation of "SciFi" and "Fantasy", but I've seen it rendered in many different ways.
I too prefer SFF but have gotten used to the additional (and until now mysterious) F!
I'm looking forward to joining this in 2017. I haven't read as much as I would have liked this year so I'm approaching 2017 afresh!
Okay, I got confused. For the AwardsCAT, we are reading science fiction awards in July, not in June. Would LisaMorr be willing to switch months with me so we can coordinate the two?
>2 majkia: I messed up the wiki, help!
I lost the boxes, don't know how. Sowwy.
ETA: fixed. The boxes appear when you put one space before you type the line.
December is stil open? I can do December with a theme of Magic Systems.
I've sent a note to Eva asking her to add the link to the SFF/SFFF-Kit Wiki on the Main Page.
>57 VioletBramble: I am SO sorry! I missed your request, do you still want December?
>57 VioletBramble: Oh I hope you still want December . Magic Systems would be awesome.
A week or so before your month, do create a separate thread, so we can share our reads for the month. :)
I am so sorry, for some reason I was thinking I was later like April. I will get on it right now.
Here's the thread for March, http://www.librarything.com/topic/250097
The April SFFFKit Thread for Apocalyptic and Dystopian Literature is here:
The May SFFKIT , Alien contact, is up:
>73 majkia: Thanks for the reminder - I was on vacation last week and forgot all about it - coming up shortly!
The July thread has been posted: http://www.librarything.com/topic/259625
>75 sturlington: thanks!
Halfway through the year, are y'all enjoying the challenges?
>76 fuzzi: I'm loving the SFFKIT! It's one of the only CATs I'm regularly participating in this year, but I'm mainly using it as an excuse to read books from my TBR shelves.
My favorite too, the rest I hit and miss but this one is steady. I also like the Award Cat this year but the rest is hit and miss.
>76 fuzzi: I read a lot of SFF anyhow, so I don't need the KIT for motivation, but it's nice to discuss the books with others in this group!
This KIT is the only place (other than my journal in the green dragon group) where I've been providing occasional updates as to what I've been reading this year seeing as I'm not participating in the full challenge.
This is one of my favorite challenges and I am enjoying seeing what everyone else is reading as well.
Similar to others, I'm following this Kit more than anything else this year. Long may it live...!
Me too. Although I've only posted occasionally, this is one of my favorite Kit/Cat's to follow.
I've added many new authors to my TBR shelf and have happily joined the Lois McMaster Bujold fan club.
No August thread yet? Need a bit of inspiration to find a book that fits...
I'm a bit tired of Terry Pratchett just now. Need to give him a rest. Never thought of Piers Anthony - ages since I read some of his Xanth novels.
Hmm - there's a blank spot there - never heard of Peter S Beagle... The Last Unicorn comes highly recommended... And I just might finally get around to reading Bujold.
>94 sushicat: oh, oh, OH, never heard of Peter S. Beagle? You're so deprived.
He was popular in the 70s, even before The Last Unicorn was made into a decent animated movie. I also really liked A Fine and Private Place, though I've not read it in a long time.
Bujold is a relatively new author for me: someone here recommended her works last year, and I got hooked.
I've just put up the thread for October - rather be early than forgetful, so here it is: https://www.librarything.com/topic/269622
So, I guess I must have completely imagined it, but I could have sworn I was in on a brief conversation about continuing this Kit into 2018. I can't find it now, though, and so I'm left thinking that it was one of those waking dreams, driven by all the other talk of 2018 and my working too much.
Assuming I'm losing my mind and we haven't already had this conversation, what are others thinking? I've loved this Kit, and it's really pushed me to dig into too-long-neglected pieces of my TBR, so I'd certainly want it to continue if folks weren't already feeling too over-extended with other 2018 plans. Thoughts? (And, just because I'm curious, did anyone else imagine that same conversation about continuing it, so that maybe it happened on a thread I didn't re-check in the last few days? Or, you know, there's group hallucinations to be blamed, I suppose...)
>103 majkia: I saw it mentioned way at the beginning, and I brought it up again a couple weeks ago, but other than a few comments indicating interest, the energy seemed to head to the CATs and the ScaredyKit discussions. There are now three CATs, two kits, and I think a BINGOdog is in the works. Would a SFFFkit be too much?
It might be that it is time to take a break and incorporate sci fi into other categories as able but like having a place where those that read SFFF can discuss but the 75 group has a thread so that would work. It might be time to take a break.
Much as I love SFF and will continue reading it, I'd be OK with taking a year off, so that I can devote more time to the other CATs and KITs. I'd probably return to SFFKIT in 2019 (if it's offered then) with renewed enthusiasm.
As an alternative idea, what about having a couple of group reads (one fantasy and one sci-fi)? There are already plenty of CATs and KITs, but the group reads calendar still has lots of space. We could do month-long reads for a single work or an author. These wouldn't get the same kind of participation we're seeing but at least there would be some sort SFF events to look forward to in 2018. Note that there are already Frankenstein for January and Cloud Atlas for March, and these could be considered SFF books too.
>108 whitewavedarling:, I was thinking the same thing as I read the above messages! Even with Frankenstein and Cloud Atlas in place, I'd think doing some author months would at least make sense? I admit, I don't have a clue what I'd propose for a particular work as a group read--I think most of what I'd come up with would either already have been read by most here, or would be something I'd be re-reading, which I don't do often...
It probably does make sense to take a break, with all of the plans already in place--I just enjoyed this one so much :)
I wonder if there would be any interest in Neal Stephenson. I'm working on Book 1 of the Baroque Cycle right now, and hoping to read the rest of the trilogy plus Cryptonomicon next year. I love Stephenson but his books are intimidatingly long and dense so it's always good to have company and support while reading.
ETA: Just so I don't scare everyone off, there are at least two Stephenson books, Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, which are (relatively) shorter and more accessible.
Another possibility is the fantasy works of Lois McMaster Bujold. I'd hosted a multi-year Vorkosigan group read, which was very successful, but I think most of us are done with those books now. However, she has written a good number of fantasy works and has recently published several new novellas.
In any case, I'd love to hear the opinions of our gracious host, fuzzi, about the 2018 direction before making any definite plans.
>111 whitewavedarling:, absolutely! It's not like 2018 starts tomorrow, much as we in this group sometimes treat it like it does when October hits :)
>110 mathgirl40:, I would be up for Neal Stephenson. I have already read Cryptonomicon (great by the way). I have not read the Baroque Cycle. I've read Snow Crash but not The Diamond Age.
>111 whitewavedarling:, There are a lot of the fantasy books that I haven't read. So I would certainly entertain some group reads.
I'll be reading SFF in 2018. I very much like the idea of author months.
Hey! I'm here!
I would love to do the KIT again.
I didn't manage to read a book to fit every month's challenge, and I wouldn't sweat it if others missed too. I like the TIOLI attitude: Take It Or Leave It. If you get it done, finish the month's challenge, fine, let's chat. If you didn't, no problem. :)
I'm game for setting it up, and reminding everyone who signs up for a month's challenge.
>116 mathgirl40: and that means you'll be happy to set up the wiki again? :)
Oh, that's great news! I don't always manage a book myself, but I love to drop in and read about new-to-me-authors.
Looks like there will be a SFFKIT next year -- if so, I'll definitely dip into it!
I will also be checking in, although perhaps not every month like this year, there so many good challenges next year!
I will be participating as much as I can. So glad it will be continued in 2018.
Yay. I was hoping this would be up again, but kept looking in the new group for any mentions. I'll be reading SFF for sure, but having a nudge in a specific direction every month is fun.
>108 whitewavedarling:, >113 LisaMorr:, >114 fuzzi:, >115 majkia:, I'm really excited the Kit will continue, and/but also wondering--would it make sense or no to still try to do one author month for Stephenson or someone else? It seems like a lot of the months are open for Groupreads in the 2018 group and that there hasn't been a whole lot of further discussion beyond what's already been settled, so I thought I'd bring it up. I don't know if you guys would still think an author month for Stephenson would make sense (or someone else), or if it would make sense to try to align it with a particular category in 2018's Kit? (Not in terms of making one month an author month necessarily, but placing a Stephenson month group read, for instance, in the same month where the SFFFKit could most likely lead them to his genre...?) In any case, I just thought I'd bring it up since so many of those groupread months for 2018 are empty at the moment!
>127 mathgirl40: I'd personally love to have a Neal Stephenson group read. His works cover a lot of SFF subgenres (cyberpunk, steampunk, alternate history, hard SF) so we could probably find at least one month to align it with. Should we ask in the main group reads thread if there is any interest? Is there another author/work that's a better choice? I mean a "better choice" for this particular time and purpose, since there are so many good choices! :)
I'm not really crazy about an author month. There are so many good authors to read, I think that's awfully limiting.
Maybe instead we can do something subject or genre-wise to narrow the field and then select authors who fit and then select a book or author to read.
I'm just afraid it will devolve to the most widely read authors and leave all the rest.
>129 mathgirl40: I believe that >127 mathgirl40: meant that we'd have an author or single work proposed as a group read outside of the SFFKIT in addition to the usual SFFKIT activities. It's not meant to replace one of the SFFKIT themes. If there is enough interest for a Stephenson group read, it would be proposed to the entire Category Challenge group, and we could time it to coincide with one of the SFFKIT themes if there is a good fit.
For example, Frankenstein is a scheduled group read for January, and coincidentally (or not), it aligns with the ScaredyKIT's "gothic" theme for January. The ScaredyKIT participants can read any gothic work in January, but the hope is that all the people reading Frankenstein might pop into the ScaredyKIT thread to join in the discussion.
>127 mathgirl40:. I thought we could do an author each month instead of or in addition to types of SFFF. In other words, i was thinking that it was a good idea to pick some authors for each month. But we could do and author and a topic, we also could match authors with the AlphaCat for each month (so more than one author.
>132 We did something similar in the Horror group last year. Each month had a theme and a representative author, and participants could choose either. I thought this idea worked pretty well.
>129 mathgirl40:, >130 Kristelh: is right--I'd never suggest replacing a theme/genre/subgenre with an author, as I agree it would be too limiting; I just thought it could be fun to have a 'groupread' focusing on one specific SFFF author, and that some would find it easier to participate if they could pick something that would fit both the author theme & the sfffkit theme at the same time :)
>131 mathgirl40:, that works... >132 majkia:, in horror, did it seem like a lot of readers focused in on the rep. author? I'd only wonder if such a small group picked such an author in a given month, that discussion wasn't what it might be otherwise. For instance, I know I'd participate in an author-month groupread if the author was of interest, but there's no way I'd do it every month, so I'd likely only pick the rep. author once or twice at most...
>134 mathgirl40: The Horror group ended up being so small last year that I don't think I can draw any conclusions from the experience. However, I liked the fact that I had the freedom to choose any work that fit the theme, but at the same time, if I chose to read that specific author, there'd always be at least a few people to discuss the works with. It also helped me find books to read. Some months, I did not already have books on my shelves or wishlist that fit the theme, so I looked for books by the proposed author.
I'd be OK with whatever format we decide for the SFFKIT. If authors are added to the themes, that's great, but if not, we could do some separate group reads. I see the CATs/KITs and group reads as serving two different purposes. The CATs/KITs are great for organizing my year's reading and to get recommendations from others. The group reads are better for deeper analyzes of works or to give me motivation to get through longer and more challenging works.
While people are actively participating here, I want to throw out a request for participants in a group read of one of my favorite but relativelyunknown fantasy novels, God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell. The "stalk" refers to stalking gods, not a stem. It is the first of a still ongoing series, but it is a complete story and easy to walk away from after the first book if you wish--indeed, all of us had to wait many years after this one to get a sequel. I am looking at possibly November, December or January for the time frame, but the actual month will depend on what those interested work out. If you would be at all interested, please PM me or drop by my thread and let me know.
And as I was getting ready to copy this so I can publish it in some other threads, one of the cats came by and erased it, forcing me to rewrite the whole darn thing!
While analyzing all the possibilities, we should keep in mind that the KITs are supposed to be flexible and require less organization than the CATs. :)
Here's a suggestion I'd like to throw out. We can let our host fuzzi decide how to set up the KIT, with or without author suggestions. If fuzzi wants to let each months' volunteer decide on the theme and whether there's an author or focus work attached to it, that's fine too. If there are no authors/works proposed within the SFFKIT (or not enough), then any interested volunteer can propose a separate group read.
By the way, I tried to think of a theme that would accommodate Neal Stephenson but couldn't find any because his works cover so many subgenres. The only unifying theme I could come up with was "doorstopper" so he might be better suited for a group read or distributed over the SFFKIT months. :)
I like the idea to let each monthly "host" decide their theme. If one wants to do a "author" theme, that's their prerogative. It might be a little limiting, but I don't have an issue with it.
I've not read Neal Stephenson at all, so I can't make suggestions on how to include his works in anything but an author theme.
Maybe we could do a "read an author new to you" month?
Instead of having authors featured per month, maybe would be better to do group reads but I think it would be fun to try to match the authors up with the alpha kit.
Such as Stephenson could be July read, Dick could be August, Bujold, September, LaGuin October.
Or we just do Stephenson as a group read in July if that month isn’t taken.
>138 Kristelh: Thanks, fuzzi. That sounds good. Doing a focus author doesn't have to be limiting if it's in addition to an existing theme and is optional. I agree that devoting one entire month in the SFFKIT to an author alone would be rather restricting. Having said that, we're doing a "Stephen King and family" month in the ScaredyKIT group, but there is a lot of material there to work with! :)
>139 mathgirl40: It sounds like it would be best to do Stephenson as a separate group read. October would work too, for 'N'. I have a slight preference for October, as I'll be working through my Hugo and Aurora packets in July, but July would be fine if it's the preferred month.
Once the 2018 Category Challenge Group is open, I'll create the main thread.
If any of you see that it's been created, feel free to give me a nudge...
It's open fuzzi. http://www.librarything.com/groups/2018categorychalleng
Question: I was going to tweak the name of the KIT to:
"The Official UN-official SFF/SFF-KIT for 2018", removing the extra "F" that seems to confuse some people.
I hope y'all are okay with that. :)
I hate to nag, but we don't have a thread for November 2017 yet and the heading isn't really self-explanatory.
>152 Tanya-dogearedcopy: Any word yet as to a November thread?
I haven't been participating here, but just in case anyone else didn't know about this:
Thought I would give everyone a heads up:
RE: the wikis.
I posted here:
And was referred to another thread where the wikis have been turned off due to spam? Until they get some kind of fix.
>157 fuzzi: thank you SO much for letting us know.
And a big thanks to everyone who is working hard to fight the spammers. I did some chat/message board hosting on AOL many years ago, and know what a challenge it can be.
The December thread is up: https://www.librarything.com/topic/275234
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.