February UN-official SFF-KIT: Colony
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This month the topic is colonization, either outworld, on some hidden part of Earth or in some fantasy realm. Alt history counts too.
Here's one resource: http://www.librarything.com/tag/colonization,+sff
Don't forget to add to the wiki: https://wiki.librarything.com/index.php/2019_SFFKIT#February:_-_Theme:
I'm planning on reading Planet Blood, which has been sitting on my TBR stack for ages...
>5 majkia: I've only read a couple of his, but I'm interested in reading more at some point. Embassytown really stuck with me because of its emphasis on language.
>7 scaifea: I don't know why I've been putting it off! I adored Mary Doria Russell's novel Doc, even though I don't really care about Westerns at all, so I have no reason to believe that I won't like The Sparrow as well.
I have The Final Six by Alexandr Monir on my Kindle and it is tagged "space colonization' so I will be reading this one in February.
Old man's war has been on my wishlist for quite some time and seems to be fitting this topic, so I may go with that. The sparrow also is very tempting.
I've got Embassytown, Artemis, Old Man's War and Childhood's End waiting to be read, but when I looked at the colonization/SFF tagmash, I saw Xenocide was on the list and that's already in my category challenge to read this year, so that's my first choice.
The Sparrow is one of my all, all-time favorite books! I need to order Children of God from my local bookshop because "Sparrow" is so incredibly heart-breakingly good. And it helps to read it a second time.
I'll check the tag for this month's theme to see what I've got on my shelves to join in the fun this month.
Oh wow! Thank you >1 majkia: for this list! I have several. Now all I need to do is decide which one(s) I'm going to read this month.
The Rowan, Grass, and Opening Atlantis are all in my hot little hands. They've all been staring me in the face for a while, too. Sort of like the woman on the cover of "Rowan." Along with her feline friend. But I am immune to the feline stares . . .
Grass it is. It goes to work with me tomorrow.
I will be reading The Martian by Andy Weir. My brother gave it to me a couple of years ago, so it's a past due TBR.
Finished in two sittings, could not put it down!
Wave Without a Shore by CJ Cherryh
Wow. Just wow. In this short novel Cherryh does what she usually does in her stories, creates a world, and culture, both alien and familiar...but this time it's on a scale that even she rarely attains. With virtually no fighting or other actions so common in SciFi, she hurls the reader along in this story of an artist who went too far and threatened a society conditioned to be blind to reality. Superb.
>28 fuzzi: It's a series I keep on dipping in to and after four books so far I've no plans to stop just yet.
>31 NinieB: That's funny that you would mention The Martian (by Andy Weir) not being your thing: I listened to the audio (narrated by R.C. Bray) and only gave it a "3" out of five stars, my ultimate "meh" rating. Then I took my daughter to see the movie, and it opened up the story for me in a different way, emphasizing humanity's greatness (instead of it being about a guy stranded on Mars, trying figuring out to survive.) I went back to the book, and now I consider one of my favorites :-)
>32 fuzzi: I've read several chapters this evening, and it's a lot of fun!
>33 Tanya-dogearedcopy: The plot certainly sounds interesting. But my chemistry is pretty rusty, so I found myself skimming the science, and that's 75% of the text. Good to know that you were converted after seeing the movie. I might try again at some time in the future--maybe the movie would help!
I read straight through Shards of Honor last night. I liked the character development that propelled the narrative. Bujold's writing is more than competent with some nice descriptions of nature in the different worlds. She also has a great sense of humor which she uses to great effect. The Machiavellian political strategizing I am less keen on--at a couple of points I did not have enugh explanation to keep up, but then I wasn't slowing down to make sure I got it, so that's on me. I will make sure more Vorkosigan is in my future.
I claimed the Debut novel square on my bingo card, and this is my book for this month's SFFKIT.
I read Old Man's War by John Scalzi. It was a very pleasant read and I enjoyed the characters' banter and witticism, though maybe the characters would have deserved a better differentiation and more depth. The description of John's wife's death (no spoilers here, we know she died she died before the action of the book starts) did make me shed some tears, though.
Also it's great that macmillan publishers provides the ebook without DRM!
I finished my February selection:
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
In Prentisstown all men and boys can hear each other's thoughts all the time, and there are no women or girls. Boys become men, in a secret ceremony, on their 13th birthday, but Todd's family want to get him out of town before then. A month before his birthday he discovers something that makes his escape even more important, and once he starts running, it seems he'll never be able to stop, because how can you hide from those who can hear your every thought?
Welp, this is definitely a page-turner and at first I thought I was going to love it absolutely. But then two things kept that love from happening:
1) After a while the whole thing started to seem like a very long episode of The Perils of Penelope; the main characters just keep falling from one urgent danger right into another and eventually it was just exhausting.
So I almost didn't even finish it, but then curiosity about how it ended won out over
>42 scaifea: Yeah, I had virtually the same reading experience that you did: I was so excited with it when I started but when "2" happened, I was absolutely over it. I'm not planning to continue either.
Did you read a book for the February challenge?
Did you add it to the Wiki yet?
Please take a couple minutes to record your challenge on the wiki, we only have six (6) listed for February!
>43 Tanya-dogearedcopy: Yep, I just can't take that sort of thing. It's two days since I finished it and I'm still upset about it!
>47 fuzzi: Yep, generally I think it's a pointless kick in the feels, honestly.
>48 scaifea: agreed. Even though I don't think it was a cheap plot, that's one reason I don't reread
>46 MissWatson: And I have finished it. Sorry to report that I did not like Jazz very much...
>51 scaifea: that is one book I have reread, have been able to get past what happens near the end, maybe because it wasn't just a cheap plot twist.
>52 fuzzi: I like your distinction and definitely agree with it. That one, though, absolutely traumatized me as a kid; just too, too sad.
>42 scaifea: I think that scene from The Knife of Never Letting Go is
>50 MissWatson: Don't be sorry - she wasn't likable, but by the end of the book I felt like I understood her better. Still didn't like her, but didn't hate her either.
>51 scaifea: I started to read that this summer and just knew a chapter or so in that I wasn't going to like it, so I put it down. The book I hated as a child was
For this challenge, I read The Disasters by M. K. England. It's a first novel and it shows - no world building, except that there are colonies in space. The characters are mostly funny and likable, if somewhat shallow and not entirely believable. The intended teen audience might not be put off so much by this as the book was quite readable.
>54 BookLizard: Exactly. And yes, I really didn't like that book as a kid, either.
>42 scaifea: The knife of never letting go is on my wishlist, but your comments make me think I should reconsider (even without reading the spoiler). Luckily I have more than 300 books on my wishlist. ;)
>56 chlorine: I always feel a little bad when someone passes on a book because of something in my reviews, but yeah, if you don't like animal cruelty in books then you really should consider skipping it, I think.
>57 scaifea: Don't feel bad, I feel this way because your review spoke to me. I'm sure it wouldn't turn people who are the correct audience for this book from it!
57> I hope not too many people "like animal cruelty in books," but I know what you mean. Some of us are definitely more sensitive to it than other people, and I for one appreciate that type of warning. I'll never have time to read every book I want to read, so I'd prefer to read books that will stick with me for the right reasons.
This weekend I read (and I'm already rereading) The MurderBot Diaries series by Martha Wells. It's a series of 4 novellas told by a SecUnit construct (half robot/half cloned human used to provide security in hazardous environments). MurderBot has hacked its Governor Module so it doesn't have to obey orders, but rather than going on a murderous rampage as its name would imply, it instead downloads movies, books, and serial shows to view in its downtime - or when it gets bored on the job. It's a funny and fast-paced adventure, but more importantly, an examination of identity. What makes one a "person" instead of a "thing"? How is our opinion of ourselves influenced by others? How do we know what we really want versus what we've been conditioned to want?
Finished my book for this month's challenge: Grass by Sherri S. Tepper is one of her earliest books and one I read probably, um, a couple of, um, decades (?) ago? Yeah, probably that long ago.
It's a fantastic bit of world-building, off-worlding, and a planet with entire grass coverage and an attempt by the humans to meld their human culture onto that of the alien world. Love Tepper's themes and the ability to look into her characters.
I finished Lockstep, a YA novel by Karl Schroeder, which has a very interesting premise. There is no FTL (faster than light) space travel in this universe. Colonies on different planets agree to a common wake/sleep cycle so that people can travel between planets (for trade purposes, mostly) hibernating during the long trips without being out-of-sync with their loved ones when they return. Apparently, this idea is very controversial, as can be seen by the comments in this article written by the author!
I have not yet got to my book for this month, and if I do start it by the end of the month, probably no chance that I'll finish it. I still plan to read it sometime this year though. I guess if it doesn't fit into another month, I can still list it here. I could use the 2-3 extra days we usually get!
I have completed my read of The Final Six by Alexandra Monir. I didn't realize that this is the first book in a trilogy or series, but I am hooked now so I will be reading on.
Just finished Salvation by one of my favorite authors, Peter F. Hamilton. His world-building is superb and I really enjoyed a series set early on in his universe, having seen where things go in the far future. Colonies exist but are still being created, as a new alien species appears near Earth.
>60 BookLizard: I really enjoyed the Murderbot series and I think you gave a very good description of the questions it raises.
>62 mathgirl40: That's a very interesting premise indeed! How did the book live up to it?
>62 mathgirl40: I think the book explained the ideas fairly well. As some of the critics pointed out, there was an element of implausibility to it, in that it's hard to imagine so many people would adhere to the rules. On the other hand, it's more plausible than faster-than-light travel. :)
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