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Topic: 2010/2011 Fantasy Challenge -- DECEMBER DISCUSSION THREAD

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Subject: 2010/2011 Fantasy Challenge -- DECEMBER DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 2:20 AM ET
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A note: To prevent confusion, this will be the sole challenge discussion thread for the month of December. So you should use it to talk about BOTH the 2010 AND the 2011 challenges.

On the 2010 side of things, who's got the end in sight with a month to go? I myself only have eight books to finish! (Which seems like a lot, but I only have one non-fantasy novel that I have to read this month, so it's doable.)

And on the 2011 side of things, the meat of the post:

 

Previous, related posts:

2011 Fantasy Challenge -- LISTS ONLY THREAD

As we get started, some explanations of various categories are in order.

 

Part A: The subgenre definitions that should be followed are:

Fantasy Mystery: Any fantasy novel that uses a mystery structure for its plot. Examples include Elizabeth Bear's New Amsterdam stories and almost everything in the paranormal/supernatural noir subgenres.

Fantasy Romance: Any fantasy novel that has a strong romantic subplot; usually the resolution of the romance is the true climax of the novel, even though there may be a political or adventure plot as well. Examples include Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series, Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife quadrilogy, and everything in the paranormal subgenre.

Gothic Novel: A novel that combines elements of both horror and romance. The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures. Melodrama and parody (including self-parody) are other long-standing features of the Gothic. Examples include much of the work of Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King, as well as titles such as Northanger Abby, by Jane Austen, and The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.

Fantasy Graphic Novel: A narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format. Examples are really, really numerous -- there's a whole section at your local bookstore. ;)

Interstitial: A fantasy novel whose basic nature falls between, rather than within, the familiar boundaries of accepted genres, particularly in between the genres of fantasy and literary fiction. Will often utilize fantastic elements within a very realistic framework. Examples include Nina Kiriki Hoffman's A Fistful of Sky, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and much of the work of Italo Calvino.

Meta-Fantasy: A type of fiction that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction, exposing the fictional illusion. Examples include Samuel R. Delany's Neveryon series, William Goldman's The Princess Bride, and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Military Fantasy: Works set in the context of conflict between national armed forces; the primary viewpoint characters are usually soldiers. Stories include detail about military technology, procedure, ritual, and history; military stories may use parallels with historical conflicts. Examples include Elizabeth Moon's Deeds of Paksenarrion series, David Drake & Eric Flint's Belisarius novels, and Glen Cook's Black Company novels.

Steampunk: Works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used?usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England?but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne (but not actually by authors of that era) or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Examples include Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, and Cherie Priest's Boneshaker.

Urban Fantasy: A fantasy novel defined by its sense of place -- it must be set in and fundamentally about a city. The city can be historical or contemporary, real or imagined, but it must be a character in the novel as much as the protagonist is. Some examples include Patricia McKillip's Ombria in Shadow (historical, imagined); Charles de Lint's Newford novels (contemporary, imagined); and Emma Bull's The War for the Oaks (contemporary, real). Another example is Catherynne Valente's Palimpsest, which features both four contemporary real cities and one imaginary city as characters.

Weird Fiction/New Weird: Fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Some weird fiction examples are H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness and William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland. Some New Weird examples are Jeff VanderMeer's City of Saints and Madmen and Ekaterina Sedia's The Alchemy of Stone.

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Part B: Some topic definitions that should be followed are:

The Matter of Britain: The body of literature and legendary material associated with Great Britain and its legendary kings, particularly King Arthur. Some examples are T.H. White's The Once and Future King, Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, and Mary Stewart's Merlin series.

The Matter of France: Also known as the Carolingian cycle, this is the body of legendary history that springs from the Old French medieval literature of the chansons de geste, or Old French epic poems. Some examples are Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions and Italo Calvino's The Nonexistant Knight.

Southern Hemisphere: For ease of use, I'm referring to Africa, South America, and Australia here, even though some of Africa and South America is actually in the northern hemisphere. :)

Secret History: A revisionist interpretation of either real or known history which is claimed to have been deliberately suppressed, forgotten, or ignored by established scholars. Some examples in fantasy are Elizabeth Bear's Promethean Age novels and Mary Gentle's ASH: A Secret History.

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Part C: Some places where you can find lists of the award winners are:

William L. Crawford Fantasy Award: http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/CrawfordWinsByYear.html

Andre Norton Award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Norton_Award

Michael_L._Printz_Award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_L._Printz_Award

Newberry Medal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newberry_Medal#Newbery_recipients

Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurealis_Award_for_best_fantasy_novel

British Fantasy Award: http://www.britishfantasysociety.org.uk/index.php/british-fantasy-awards/history-of-the-bfas

Gaylactic Spectrum Award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaylactic_Spectrum_Awards#List_of_winners

Lambda Literary Award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda_Literary_Awards_winners_and_nominees_for_science_fiction,_fantasy_and_horror

Hugo Award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_award_for_best_novel

Nebula Award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula_Award_for_Best_Novel

Mythopoeic Award: http://www.mythsoc.org/awards/fantasy/

World Fantasy Award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Fantasy_Award_for_Best_Novel

Banned Books list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most-commonly_challenged_books_in_the_United_States (note: there are longer lists, but this is a good place to start.)

1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list: http://www.listology.com/list/1001-books-you-must-read-you-die

The Locus Recommended Reading List for 2010: http://locusmag.com/Magazine/2011/Issue02_RecommendedReading.html

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Part D: Some explanations of the miscellaneous challenge categories:

Themed Anthology: Any anthology of short fiction created around a central theme. (This will be almost all anthologies, btw.) For example, the anthology Wizards is centered around the theme of wizards; the yearly "Best Fantasy of " anthology is themed around, well, the best fantasy of that year. :)

Non-Fantasy novel by a Genre Author: Just what it says. Find a fantasy author that has written something that can't, by any stretch of the imagination, be called fantasy. They will often do this under another name. One example is Barbara Hambly, who writes historical fiction & historical mysteries; another is Catherynne M. Valente, who has published several volumes of poetry.

Non-Fiction work related to the Genre: This is a really broad category. It can be interpreted fairly strictly by finding one of the works of literary criticism analyzing fantasy or by reading a biography of a fantasy author; it can be interpreted more broadly by reading a work of mythology, history, psychology, etc. that explores a topic you've seen in fantasy novels. As long as you can make an argument that it applies, it applies. ;)



Last Edited on: 2/3/11 2:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 6
Date Posted: 12/4/2010 4:20 PM ET
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Okay, in filling out my selections I've discovered one of the options is even harder than I thought -- work dealing with the myths/cultures of a southern hemisphere culture. I know Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death applies (and likely Okorafor's previous YA novels do too), but am not finding much else. Anybody have any suggestions? I really thought there'd be a ton of Latin American stuff, but I haven't read any of it and I can't tell from the descriptions of, say Marquez's work where the fantastic elements come from -- European or Latin American mythology, or no particular mythology whatsoever, in which case it probably would not qualify. And I can't believe there isn't anything dealing with aboriginal Australian myths, but nothing's coming up in searches. So. . . help? :)

Date Posted: 12/4/2010 4:29 PM ET
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Phoenix, Thanks again for doing these challeneges. I must admit that this year's selection seem a bit daunting in finding. I haven't had much luck yet but also I haven't spent a ton of time searching.  The Latin American stuff has been a challenge for me as well. I will let you know in a few days if I come up with anyhting.

Date Posted: 12/4/2010 7:17 PM ET
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I agree.  Thank you so much for setting up these challenges.  I like the categories!  Lots of variety and some relatively obscure subgeneras and awards. 

For Southern Hemisphere works, one I read a long time ago was The Maori by Alan Dean Foster.  It is set in the late 1800's and deals with a Englishman ( I think) and his interactions with the local Maori culture, specifically the shaman.  I remember it being really light to non-existent on the fantasy aspect though, almost a historical fiction rather than fantasy, and I don't recall how much it had to do with the folklore/mythology as opposed to just the culture in general.  Maybe someone around here has read it more recently than 20 years ago and remembers it better? 

I'm trying to think of some myself.  I've read quite a few that incorporate aspects such as the dreamtime or tell the folk tales, (Tad Williams' Otherland comes easily to mind!) but I'm still trying to think of one where it's a main plot point.

Date Posted: 12/4/2010 10:03 PM ET
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*phew!* I'm having a bit of a hard time, too. I thought it was just me. For the Southern Hemisphere challenge I found The Falling Woman, Pat Murphy. There's a bit more Myan/Incan/Aztec stuff out there but I didn't note down all of it. I wanted to find one truly Southern. Then I found Walkabout Woman, Michael Roessner. As for anything actually written in a Southern Hemisphere language, the best I can come up with would be something by Carlos Castaneda...and whether or not to consider his work fantasy could be debated. So could considering Spanish a Southern Hemisphere language. ;) 

Also, there's really not a whole lot of recent (meaning the past few centuries) Carolingan literature out there. If I'm going to hit that one, I'm going to do it old school and read the Song of Roland itself. I even looked at historical fiction and there's not a lot out there. Maybe the Matter of Rome would be easier. I already found one that would fit that category (but I filed it under Secret History).



Last Edited on: 12/4/10 10:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Southern Hemisphere novels
Date Posted: 12/4/2010 10:22 PM ET
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Some that I have read are Nancy Farmer's young adult novels The Ear, The Eye and the Arm, and the The Warm Place, both set in Africa; and I love Jorge Amado's work--The Two Husbands of Dona Flor and The War of the Saints are excellent.  If you can stand paranormal romance, there is Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen series set in Australia.  It's more of a traditionally European derived fantasy series, though.  The first book in the series would be Full Moon Rising

I was thinking of getting Terry Dowling's Clowns at Midnight set in Austraila and was wondering if it would qualify for this list or would be considered strictly horror.  Has anybody here read it?

Date Posted: 12/4/2010 10:41 PM ET
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I found a better link for the Mythopoeic Award Nominees.  I noticed the link you has both winners and nominees.  Here's the one I found:  http://www.mythsoc.org/awards/fantasy/

The Carolingan category is a new one for me.  I've heard some of the story/history but never thought of it as a category of it's own.

Date Posted: 12/4/2010 11:35 PM ET
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Lisa -- As long as the horror has supernatural elements (as opposed to being entirely human in nature) it should count. However, it seems like from the description that while Clowns at Midnight is set in Australia it is going to be about stuff that happened in Sardinia, up in the Mediterranean. (At least that's how I interpret the description; please anyone who has read the novel let us know!) Thank you much for the suggestions of Nancy Farmer and Jorge Amado though! I wasn't aware of either of their work. :)

Jasmine -- Thanks for the mention of The Falling Woman! I knew I wasn't crazy. . . there IS stuff drawing on Mayan myths! As for what counts as a Southern Hemisphere language. . . yeah, I deliberately left that vague because it could very easily get sticky. ;)

Melanti -- Haven't read Maori, but the two Amazon reviewers seem to be rather angry it was classified as historical fantasy and maintain it is entirely historical fiction, with no fantasy cooties, lol. But given that sense I get that they think calling something fantasy is an insult, I'd take their reviews with a grain of salt. :D And isn't Otherland science fiction? I thought it was cyberpunk? I read the first few hundred pages once upon a time, then got bored. . . didn't even remember it was set in South Africa. Oh and thanks! That is a better link. I knew there was a more easily laid-out page somewhere of Mythopoeic nominated works, but couldn't find it when I went to fill in the info. Will update the OP.

 

In terms of Carolingian fantasy. . . I was planning on reading Three Hearts and Three Lions, and I'd recommend Italo Calvino to anyone who hasn't tried him yet. (His was the other example I came up with.) It's true there aren't nearly as many options as there are for the Arthurian category, but doesn't Guy Gavriel Kay have one that would qualify? Hmmm. . . *searching* I was thinking of A Song for Arbonne, which is set in a France-analogue but a little later than the normal Carolingian stuff. . . 13th century. And about evicting some Christian heresy, not the Moors, so not quite. I shall search some more. . . It looks like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has one called Night Blooming that should qualify. . . it's part of her series of books about a vampire St. Germain, for those who like dark fantasy/horror. Oooo! Here's an option for those who aren't into historical fantasy! Judith Tarr has a novel (Kingdom of the Grail) where she links Roland (from the Matter of France) to Arthurian legend (that would be the Matter of Britain)! So you could double count that novel in both categories! ;)



Last Edited on: 12/4/10 11:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2010 12:02 AM ET
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While looking for something *entirely* different, I found Huon of the Horn, by Andre Norton:

"It is the later part of the Charlemagne saga, coming after the death of Roland at Roncevaux. It is a hero story in the great tradition. In it Huon, Duke of Bordeaux, is betrayed by the knight Amaury, just as Roland is betrayed by the Ganelon. To redeem himself in the eyes of the emperor, Huon is sent on a difficult, practically impossible mission to Babylon, which is in the hands of the Saracens--Charlemagne's bitter enemies... "

Subject: And because this is the discussion thread for this year's challenge too. .
Date Posted: 12/5/2010 12:21 AM ET
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Just finished: Locus Fantasy Award Winner
Filled with: Beauty, by Sheri S. Tepper
Other categories this novel could fill: Fairytale fantasy; Time travel fantasy; Set in a recognizable historical milieu; Action takes place while traveling (non-quest structure); Told from a first-person perspective.

My thoughts: Deeply flawed, but mostly through over-ambition, and with a core that is both delightfully clever and filled with moments of heartbreak. I don't think I'm going to write a full review because I'd basically say everything said at this review but I can now finally see why people think Tepper hates humanity. . . yet I still love her work and wish more people read her. (Also, for anyone who's only read this one? Give Six Moon Dance or The Family Tree a try, please, they're WAAAAAAY better.)(Or if you want zero politics in your SF, you can always try The True Game which is just plain fun science fantasy.)

Date Posted: 12/5/2010 4:17 AM ET
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Otherland is one of those weird ones.  It's technically science fiction and cyberpunk, but it really reads like a fantasy.  It's set in the near future, where people are meeting up in a online virtual reality world - or rather, set of worlds.  Since so many of the virtual environments involved are fantasy related, and the main set of characters are in the virtual reality worlds for about half the series, their portion of the story seems a lot more like a fantasy than sci fi.  It's not set in Africa, but one of the main characters, !Xabbu, is an African tribesman, and several times through out the series he tells some of his tribe's folk tales/stories/myths which tend to relate back to whatever is going on.  Doesn't really meet the challenge requirements though.

It's amazing how many historical fiction books catch the fantasy cooties, especially if they're not set in a solid time and place.  These cooties are understandable though, since Foster's a pretty prolific SF author. 

I'll have to try Family Tree again.  I started it - I quite vividly remember the bicycle and the cherry tree - but I don't recall why I didn't finish it.

Not sure what I'm going to read for the Carolingan one.  I like Calvino a lot, but he's so hard to find.  I might do what Jasmine mentioned go classic.

Date Posted: 12/5/2010 11:22 PM ET
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I was just browsing around io9.com and found a list of potential SF book gifts.  This one in particular looks like it would fit the southern hemisphere portion as well as the modern fairy tale and meta-fantasy.  Though the blurb on io9 (see below) implies it was written in another language, from what I can tell it was written in English.

Redemption in Indigo, by Karen Lord (Small Beer Press)
In this retelling of a Senegalese folktale, an abusive husband hires a tracker to find his wife, Paama, who had fled two years prior. The actions of the tracker, Kwame, draw the attention of the Indigo Lord, who lost his powers of chaos to the same Paama. This is a book that only came out in English this year, and was eagerly anticipated. Although it takes place in a unnamed place, it blends the feeling of mythology with an every day world in a compelling way. For: The fairy tale enthusiast who lurks beneath the surface of most grown-ups.

PBS Link: Redemption in Indigo: a novel
Here's a nice long excerpt from Tor.com:  http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/07/preview-redemption-in-indigo-by-karen-lord



Last Edited on: 12/5/10 11:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/6/2010 9:23 AM ET
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I am finishing up "The Hallowed Hunt" by Lois McMaster Bujold. The first two books in the Chalion series were amazing. This one thus far has been somewhat lackluster. I decided to stick with it because Bujold has been proven in the past to me. Now I am over half way completed and it is finally beginning to pick up the pace.

Date Posted: 12/8/2010 10:50 PM ET
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Not sure if this is where I need to post the rest of my fantasy challenge reads for 2010 but I am doing so.  If it's to go someplace else, just let me know.   (Thanks Phoenix!)  Since I tend to get sidetracked by interesting books and life got rather busy I will not finish the challenge but perhaps I can pick up the unread choices for 2011!  It was great fun to read all these wonderful fantasy books.  Truly enjoyed the new authors and it was fun revisiting some of my favorites from the past.  Great job Phoenix!

Beowulf's Children by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Steven Barnes (Barnes is the Non-Caucasian Author):  This is an exciting read about a group of bright and highly intelligent earth explorers who settle a world they call Avalon which has creatures beyond what they ever experienced on earth.  The most feared is the grendel and the survivors finally settle on an island they name Camelot where they many to kill all the grendels.  As the colony expands, the population divides into two groups - The Star Born and the original colonists.   As the intergenerational conflict escalates, Cadmann finds his leadership in the colony challenged by Aaron, who emerges as leader of the next generation.  I liked the book very much.

World's End by Joan D. Vinge (Hugo Award winner - had read The Snow Queen so read this one in its place):  Joan Vinge is one of my favorite fantasy/science fiction writers.  After I finished this book, I realized that I had read it 20 years ago.  However, with the experience in life I think understood the author's messages better.  This is the story of a basically good man who carries guilt like a shield.  He adored his father but could not relate to or get along with his brothers who were lazy, weak and selfish.  As the youngest son he had no rights to the family estates so he left home, to the sorrow of his father, and pursued his own life.   His adventures brought his own sorrow, regret and more guilt.  When he encounters his brothers again he finds that they have not changed at all.  So it is with us all.  Even siblings remain people that we cannot tolerate.  The hero examines himself in depth and, at last, comes to an acceptance of his life and who he is.  The real story is how he got there and the experiences that led him to this point.  A most thoughtful and intriguing read! 

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (Year I was born):  The author spins a depressing view of a world not too unlike the one in which we live.  Snowman, formerly known as Jimmy, has lost his best friend, Crake, and the woman they both loved, Oryx.  This post-apocalyptic vision recalls to us the visions of other authors - Aldous Huxley and George Orwell among them.   Will our world spin out of control due to technological development that creates new life forms?  Snowman believes that he is alone with a group of physically enhanced people who know no rules, no terror, no religion, no life at all like his own.  His job is to survive and teach these people how to live in a radically altered environment.

Too Long a Sacrifice by Mildred Downey Broxon (Time travel):  This is the story of Tadhag and Maire, man and wife from 6th century Ireland, whose life with the faeries leads to quite another existence when they are transported to the war torn Ireland of the 20th century.  Tadhag is possessed by The Horned One, a mythical creature who rules the winter month.  Maire is possessed by the Goddess who rules the warmer months.  It's an entertaining story full of tragedy, death and mythical creatures.  Fun read.

Flash by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Science fantasy):  Excellent read with lots of science fiction technological emphases. The hero, Jonat, is an ethical, honest man trying to survive in an arena of money-grabbing and power hungry people, organizations and companies. Several attempts have been made on his life - one of which almost succeeded.  Shortly after this attempt his sister and brother-in-law are killed.  Jonat discovers there is a deep conspiracy.  People are threatened.  People disappear.  People are killed. Can Jonat survive and serve as a parent model for his niece, Charis, and nephew, Alan? 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (School of Magic):  What a charming story!  I had never thought I would read this series because I watched all of the movies with my grandson but when it came time to do this challenge I thought why not.  I guess one is not supposed to start a series in the middle but this is the one I picked up first at a thrift store so it was my choice.  The book is not nearly as scary as the movies were.  In fact, I found I liked the characters very much.  The story is predictable or perhaps I remember much of what I saw in the movie.  Anyway I liked it.  Since I saw the movies I visualize them as the actors and actresses who played the movie roles.   



Last Edited on: 12/29/10 4:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 15
Date Posted: 12/9/2010 1:52 AM ET
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No worries, R.E.K., this is the spot. :)

I finished a couple more 2010 challenge books:

 

Work written pre-1920: The Enchanted Castle, by E. Nesbit

Other categories this could fill: YA Fantasy; Protagonist younger than 18; Told from a third-person omniscient perspective.

My thoughts: Meh overall. The magical parts were quite delightfully magical, but the kids were pretty annoying. So were the adults. I don't think that even if I had read it when I was eight this would have impressed me very much.

 

Third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint: Auralia's Colors, by Jeffrey Overstreet

Other categories this could fill: High fantasy; YA fantasy; Protagonist younger than 18.

My thoughts: Another meh overall book. The author had a really annoying habit of littering the text with compound words ("spiderbat" "cavecat" "beastman" "madweed" etc. . . even the characters had mostly compound names like "Cal-raven" and "Ark-robin") and I was really not expecting the heavy-handed religious parable. But it read quickly, and if that's your sort of thing. . .

Date Posted: 12/9/2010 11:14 AM ET
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I think I'm going to give this a try.  I may have to stick with the shorter challenge because I don't have much that will fit into these categories - but I've been out of reading straight fantasy for a while so this will get me going!  I have In the Forests of Serre by Patricia McKillip which I noticed someone put on their list, so that will get me started.

I'll just say I love Songs for Arbonne - it's a great book even if it doesn't fit this challenge.  :)  Yes, I'm totally obsessed with Guy Gavriel Kay - I have his new one but haven't read it yet, so I'll have to see if it fits into one of these categories.

I'm sure I'll be back here for help.

Date Posted: 12/9/2010 5:45 PM ET
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Okay, one of the Southern Hemisphere languages of Africa is French.... would that work? 

For that matter, upon researching, there are many "Indo-European languages such as Afrikaans, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish have held official status in many countries [of Africa], and are widely spoken."

So wouldn't all those languages work?  Hope this helps someone...



Last Edited on: 12/9/10 5:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/9/2010 7:48 PM ET
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LOL, yeah, that's why I only specified "other than English" -- because very few Southern Hemisphere countries use their indigenous languages anymore, so if I had specified that it needed to be an indigenous southern hemisphere language. . . oy! That would've left like three books. I mainly added the language option to encourage people to read non-American/English writers since I didn't put in a "translated" category this year. ;)



Last Edited on: 12/9/10 7:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/10/2010 11:28 AM ET
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Well, that makes sense -- I fear I'm going to end up being a light-weight this year with all my writing projects(speaking of which I wonder if the themed anthology counts if I wrote one of the stories in it - LOL), but I'm going to try... =)

I have one series that I just HAVE to finish this next year and I think between it's twenty books and the writer, it should span quite a few topics by the time the series is over.... though he'll probably have written at least one more novel by the end of next year... lol.



Last Edited on: 12/10/10 11:33 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/11/2010 12:19 AM ET
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I was thinking of using The Magicians and Mrs Quent by Galen Beckett as my fantasy romance pick.   A friend has told me that I should use it as my gothic novel pick.  Somebody else has told me not to bother as it is hideously boring.  Which, of course, makes me cat curious and more likely to read it to see what the fuss is about. 

I was wondering if other members had read it and how they would catagorize it?   Also, this and the Science Fiction challenge are my first challenges, so please forgive a stupid question.  Do we have to wait until Stroke of Midnight, January 1, to start reading or can we start sooner?  

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 12:26 AM ET
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You ARE supposed to wait until the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1st. Sorry. :D

As to The Magicians and Mrs. Quent. . . haven't read it myself, so I can't say. From the blurbs on Amazon it looks like it could fit either of those categories. . . though the point of Gothic is traditionally the air of mysterious, magical happenings that actually turn out to be totally prosaic, so it might be a *better* fit in the Fantasy Romance category.

Date Posted: 12/13/2010 12:24 AM ET
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Soooo I'm going to give this fantasy challenge a shot. It seems daunting since I'm a paranormal reader, but I'm no stranger to the sci-fi/fantasy section of borders. With that being said, I'm terribly afraid (exaggerated) of gettin those 2 genres confused (sci-fi & fantasy), but finding THIS thread with the descriptions should be UBER helpful. Also, just to clarify, do I HAVE to make my selections prior to the start of the challenge? I'd prefer to wing it since I'm not completely known to the genre... :-p thanks so much for the challenge btw! :)
Date Posted: 12/13/2010 8:15 AM ET
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Welcome!

Winging it is perfectly fine.  I can guarantee that once I start reading, most of my list will change drastically.  I'm too much of an impulse reader to ever stick to a plan.

I made a list of books I already own just to see what I have on my bookshelf already.  The hope is that it'll keep me from getting new books until I've read some of the ones I already have.  It's not going to work, but that's my hope.

There's several categories in the challenge that could be filled by paranormal romance, though, so you won't be completely out of your element.

Date Posted: 12/13/2010 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2007
Posts: 480
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Awesome! Thank you Melanti! I have to work an overnight shift this week at work. So, I plan to bring my books with me to see what I have. Sounds like a good plan, and of course, I'll be lurking on all of your WL's. Soooo, if anyone has any great suggestions for the genre, throw them my way :)

Date Posted: 12/15/2010 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Just finished: Set in a world with no magic.
Filled with: Devices and Desires, by K. J. Parker
Other categories this could fill: High fantasy; Told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint.

My capsule review: A book that I didn't really like yet which I could see still had a fairly large number of positives; I'm torn on whether or not I'll read the sequel, which probably means I won't.

My full review, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/fantasyreaders/99845.html

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