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January UN-official SFF-KIT: "Excuses, Excuses..."

2019 Category Challenge

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Dec 29, 2018, 5:41pm Top

In January your challenge is to read an SFF you meant to read in 2018, but never started/completed.

I know I have any number of those, and I can't be the ONLY one...?

What's on your list to read?

Dec 29, 2018, 6:02pm Top

For sure, you aren't the only one. I'm planning to get to Deadhouse Landing by Ian Esslemont in January. (apparently touchstones aren't working right now)

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 8:01pm Top

Mine is one I have been planning to read for decades! The Time Machine by H.G. Wells - not sure how I have never got to this before.

Dec 29, 2018, 8:06pm Top

>3 JayneCM: oh! That's one I've read...totally unlike the movie(s), too.

Dec 29, 2018, 8:08pm Top

I have a small stack of Heinlein books that I have been working through in 2018, and REALLY want to read and rehome, or keep if they impress me enough to consider a future reread.

My first choice for January is Rocket Ship Galileo.

Dec 29, 2018, 9:15pm Top

This is the perfect opportunity for me to finally get around to reading Jim Butcher's The Aeronaut's Windlass. If I am not mistaken, I have been meaning to read this one for more than one year (it seems that long).

Dec 30, 2018, 3:26am Top

I was supposed to read Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke for the December 2018 SFFKIT and The Scar by China Mieville for the SFFKIT at some point but didn't get round to either of them, so I'll have another go this month

Dec 30, 2018, 3:50am Top

My main goal for Fantasy is to read Turn of Light however, there are several carry-overs from #RRSciFiMonth I wasn't able to read which are carry-overs from years past (don't ask / longer story) which I aim to read in January since I spent 3wks getting through my Winter virus in December! (oyyy vie) I shared that list previously in one of the other groups - here it is:

Trans-Continental Girl in the Gears via audiobook
Far Orbit Apogee
2016 Nebula Awards Showcase
The Tesla Gate via audiobook
The Robot in the Next Cubicle
Almost a Millennium

--- there are more but I've decided to start with these, honestly at this point my TBR for January is leaning on the heavy side and most likely I'll have to *pace myself* and remember, I have TWELVE MONTHS to read all the lovelies I desire to read! lol Which of us is guilty of being an overachiever? lol

Dec 30, 2018, 7:28am Top

I want to read Children of earth and sky by Guy Gavriel Kay as a new book, taking place in the same cities, is out next year.

Dec 30, 2018, 8:07am Top

I’m rereading The Lord of the Rings, which I’ve been intending to reread for several years now.

Edited: Jan 1, 1:47am Top

Originally I planned to read The Compleat Werewolf, and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction, by Anthony Boucher, as I have had this patiently waiting for a couple of years now. But I'm on vacation and the Werewolf is not to hand, but a volume of Fredric Brown stories, Honeymoon in Hell, is available. Brown is one of those authors I've never read but have been meaning to. So, Honeymoon in Hell it is.

Jan 1, 11:25am Top

>11 NinieB: be sure to let us know what you think of it.

Jan 1, 3:25pm Top

Jan 1, 3:27pm Top

Finished my first book of the year, that qualifies for this, since I had TRIED to finish it yesterday! Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, and interesting alt history.

Jan 1, 7:11pm Top

I have several that I hope to get to this month.

Jan 2, 11:51am Top

I had two planned for the month -- Terra Nova and The Boatman -- but the horror book that I started last night seems to be more dark fantasy than horror The House, so that one may end up fitting in here also, as I'd definitely meant to read it in 2018. So, we'll see--I may have three in this category to start out the year!

Jan 3, 4:55pm Top

I had meant to read All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris last year, so that's my pick for this month.

Jan 3, 10:28pm Top

Mine for this month will be The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin, the third and final book of the Broken Earth trilogy. I finished the second book in July of 2017 and picked up this one when it was published in August of 2017. I intended to read it all of last year, so it's about time, right?

Jan 3, 10:42pm Top

I finished The Calculating Stars Mary Robinette Kowal today (it was excellent, btw)and as I truly meant to read it in 2018, it fits here. Of course, there are quite a few more books I intended to read last year, so there's more to come....

Jan 4, 8:15am Top

>19 Dejah_Thoris: I'm looking forward to The Calculating Stars so very happy to see you thought it excellent.

Jan 4, 9:14am Top

I finished Head On by John Scalzi, which I had originally intended to read last year when it came out. Excellent book, highly recommended!

Jan 4, 2:49pm Top

I had wanted to do a reread of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer last year after watching the movie, but wasn't able to get to it until now. I enjoyed it even more on this second reading.

Jan 5, 6:43am Top

My pick for this month is Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which I wanted to read last year after a friend read it and really liked it.
So far I quite like it, although I find it a bit stereotyped.

Jan 5, 1:43pm Top

I am planning on reading American War by Omar El Akkad, a post-apocalyptic story that I have been trying to fit into my reading since I read a glowing review of it by Sturlington last year.

Jan 6, 12:48pm Top

I picked this up in December 2018 and had planned to finish the year with it, but it spilled over into the New Year!

Artifice (The Silver Ships Book 12) (by S.H. Jucha) - Alex Racine has led his expeditionary force to the edges of Federacy space to confront Artifice, an omnipotent digital entity that poses an existential threat to the Omnians. This is the twelfth installment in Jucha's family-friendly space opera and has First Contact with not one, but no less than four "alien" species! In this story, there is a lot more action and less exposition, which makes sense since, if you've come this far into the series, you know everyone by now! BUT, the technology is a bit anachronistic, the aliens more than a little familiar for being "aliens", the logic behind one of Alex's major decisions a bit obtuse, and quite frankly, the climax was paradoxically, anticlimactic. That all said, for those following the Silver Ships overarching saga, it concludes the Nu'all story arc satisfactorily (even if we do see more of them in future stories,) and sets the stage for further adventures.

Jan 6, 3:12pm Top

I started The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu and translated by Ken Liu yesterday. I am listening to the audio, narrated by Luke Daniels and I am really enjoying it. I started this for SeriesCAT but it will work here as I had hoped to get to it last year.

Jan 6, 9:40pm Top

I meant to read Contact by Carl Sagan in 2018 for a book-club meeting originally scheduled for a couple of months ago. The meeting got moved to next weekend, so I'm trying to get through it now!

Jan 10, 1:37pm Top

I finally put Rocket Ship Galileo down for good last night...I tried, but it just wasn't engaging, and I didn't care about any of the characters. I usually enjoy books by Robert A. Heinlein, too.

Jan 10, 2:06pm Top

I finished Children of earth and sky by G.G. Kay which was as good as the other books of this author.

Jan 10, 5:06pm Top

I'm reading The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal - I read her short story The Lady Astronaut of Mars last year and loved it (you can read it for free on the Tor website), so I purchased the novel that goes back and tells her earlier story, but I never got around to reading it last year. Very good so far!

Jan 11, 4:16pm Top

I finished my January book today:

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
A poet who is converted by Scotland Yard into an undercover policeman trying to take down a group of elite anarchists finds himself thick in their midst, elected to their top council of seven leaders, each going by the name of a different day of the week. As his adventure unfolds, Syme (aka Thursday) begins to question not only his own role in the drama, but the very fabric of the world.
Whoa, this was one crazy ride. I'm not certain that I completely understand what's going on in here, but I do know that it's a complete hoot. Think The Prisoner meets a darker, more urbane Narnia.

Edited: Jan 11, 9:31pm Top

>31 scaifea: I read this in high school and probably need to read it again! I likely did not get as much out of it as I could now.

Jan 12, 1:20am Top

Just finished The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
Enjoyable, wouldn't rave about it. But kept me wanting to read to the end.

Jan 12, 7:33am Top

>33 JayneCM: keeping you "hooked" to the end is usually a good thing.

Jan 12, 9:07am Top

>32 rabbitprincess: I think if I'd tried to read it in high school I most definitely would have been totally lost.

Jan 12, 11:38am Top

My (first?) read for this challenge was FANTASTIC. I finished Terra Nova by Shane Arbuthnott yesterday--it's the follow-up/finish to his debut novel, Dominion, and I simply loved it. It's marketed as MG, but this series is one I'd recommend to young readers and adults alike. The series sort of balances on the line between MG and YA (especially in the second book), and there's an argument to be made that it's more science fiction than fantasy or vice versa, but whatever it is, I LOVED it. If you're following this thread, you should pick up the first book in the series :) Full reviews written for both books. This was my first 5-star read of the year, if you hadn't already guessed!

(And, by the way... for those who are reluctant to start a series before it's fully released, this two-book series is complete. The author has said he's not sure if he'll write more books about the main character or not, but the two books are complete in and of themselves.)

Jan 12, 3:48pm Top

I meant to re-read The Rifter by Ginn Hale last year, but I didn't, so I am doing it now. It is really good and has been several years since I read it last. I have read it at least twice before. My excuses for not reading it last year is that it is fairly long and I wanted to read a lot of other things that are shorter, and also that I tend to binge-read it at the expense of other activities, so I couldn't start it while I had coursework to complete on a close deadline. And during break I kept getting sick and had holiday obligations. (I do know how the story turns out now, so I should be able to do other things while reading it this time.)

I talked about The Rifter more in another thread because apparently I want to read two books at the same time. (Actually, I needed a break from the other book, which I want to finish but it is tiresome to read all at once.)

Jan 12, 3:51pm Top

>36 whitewavedarling: I will look out for it!

Edited: Jan 13, 7:48am Top

Finished The Three-Body Problem yesterday. Chinese author Cixin Liu, covers a lot; historical fiction (cultural revolution), math, science, ecology, aliens, contact.

Jan 13, 8:51am Top

>39 Kristelh: Are you going to read the other two books in the trilogy?

Jan 13, 9:33am Top

>40 Robertgreaves:. I am not sure. Have you read them?

Edited: Jan 13, 11:29am Top

Finished Rocannon's World by Ursula K LeGuin last night. I started a re/read of Ursula K LeGuin's oeuvre last year but didn't get very far (because shiny) - didn't even get through all the Hainish books (this is my third Hainish; it's #3 in Hainish Cycle, chronologically). Just as well to be slow, seems more fitting to have my reading wander through her worlds in a more leisurely fashion anyway.

Jan 13, 6:22pm Top

>41 Kristelh: The other two are well worth it, fizzing with ideas

Jan 13, 7:48pm Top

>43 Robertgreaves:, then I will probably keep them on my radar! Thanks.

Jan 14, 9:12am Top

Jan 14, 9:46am Top

>45 majkia: thank you!

Jan 14, 2:51pm Top

I've read Alif the Unseen which I have been meaning to get to for a long time. Once into it, the book became one that was hard to put down, Fantasy with djinn and computers in an unidentified Middle East country.

Jan 14, 6:44pm Top

>47 hailelib: I saw that in my local bookshop and was tempted.

Edited: Jan 14, 10:02pm Top

I finished Honeymoon in Hell for this month's challenge. It's a collection of SF stories from the 1950s. I really enjoyed it, but it does have a very strong 1950s feel. Lots of atom bomb/Cold War stuff. Another reviewer described all this as dated--I prefer to think of it as "of its time". Fredric Brown has a conversational style that I particularly enjoyed.

Edited: Jan 15, 7:12am Top

>49 NinieB: I like the way you think. There's some "vintage" SciFi which should not be discounted due to some older themes. People still read The Time Machine, Tom Sawyer, Jane Eyre, and Pride and Prejudice, products of "their time".

Jan 15, 8:46am Top

>49 NinieB: >50 fuzzi: Indeed, "of their time" is a much more charitable way of looking at this. Books published today will earn the same epithet fifty years from now.

Jan 15, 11:27am Top

I have completed the dystopian novel American War by Omar El Akkad.

Jan 15, 2:51pm Top

>50 fuzzi: >51 MissWatson: I love vintage stuff in all kinds of genres! True, sometimes what satisfied the audience of 50, 80, or 100 years ago just does not cut it any more, but more often than not there's still plenty of good to be found in older fiction.

Jan 15, 4:12pm Top

>53 NinieB: absolutely. There's some good reading available in older books.

Jan 17, 6:18pm Top

I have finished rereading The Rifter, it took five days (based on my other post >37 amaranthe:). That is pretty fast, considering it is over 1300 pages and I am back in classes now. :)

Jan 18, 9:12pm Top

Finished The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher. For a first book in a new series, it has some room for improvement but overall, it is a solid piece of fantasy/ adventure writing and I am intrigued enough to want to read the next book in the series.

Jan 20, 9:48pm Top

>56 lkernagh: I enjoyed The Aeronaut's Windlass too, but it sounds like we'll have to wait a while longer for the second book.

I finished Contact by Carl Sagan. I found Sagan's ideas about extraterrestrial communications interesting, but I prefer his non-fiction work.

Jan 21, 11:30am Top

And, I finished The Boatman (full review written). Unfortunately, while the other book I read for this challenge was phenomenal, this one left a lot to be desired. This review wasn't quite a rant, but... well, it wasn't good.

Jan 21, 11:58am Top

I've been wanting to read a Daniel Polansky book for a while now and finally got around to Those Above and finished it a few days ago. Just added my review and very much looking forward to reading more.

Jan 22, 6:31am Top

I bought The empire of ashes as soon as it appeared in my bookstore, but didn't get around to it last year. Now that I have finally finished it, I am a little underwhelmed. 560 pages of warfare in minute detail is a bit much. And at the end it just sizzles out without proper conclusion.

Jan 22, 8:53am Top

One week to go, and so many of you have been busy!

I have to admit I got sidetracked by CJ Cherryh releasing a new Alliance Universe book, which I am devouring, Alliance Rising.

Jan 23, 3:42pm Top

I've read Players at the Game of People by John Brunner which I started in July. That was just before I got totally distracted by a complete reread of the whole Liaden series and never got more than a few pages in. It was ... interesting.

Jan 24, 2:59am Top

I just started All Together Dead, but only managing to get a few pages read in the evenings this week - I'm in Azerbaijan, and that means I have a full day in the office and then 3-4 hours of conference calls with the UK and the US every evening... Long travel day home on Saturday, so should get a lot read then.

Jan 28, 11:51am Top

Success - managed to finish All Together Dead on Saturday. I thought it was well-done - things are getting more and more complicated for Sookie Stackhouse as she's gotten into the middle of various plots - vampires against vampires, humans against vampires - as well as having a were-tiger, a couple of vampires and a telepath interested in her. Lots to juggle in this one, and it looks like things are only getting more and more complicated for Sookie.

Jan 28, 1:30pm Top

Finish up! February will be here by Friday...

Have you made your "Colony" choices for next month's challenge?


Jan 31, 6:41pm Top

I was able to finish one more for this month. Last year, I had started listening to the audio of Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb, I think for the creatures month. I did not like the audio narrator at all and didn't make it very far. I owned a Kindle edition as well, but wasn't able to get to it until this month.

Feb 12, 9:38pm Top

>66 Robertgreaves: We read that book in our science class in 8th grade. I always thought it was strange to read a novel in science.

Feb 12, 10:16pm Top

>66 Robertgreaves: That does sound rather strange. What scientific topic was it supposed to be illustrating for you?

Group: 2019 Category Challenge

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