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Topic: 2014 SF Challenge /DISCUSS /Sep-Oct-Nov-Dec

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Subject: 2014 SF Challenge /DISCUSS /Sep-Oct-Nov-Dec
Date Posted: 8/30/2014 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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This thread is for continued discussion and questions regarding the 2014 SF Challenge.  If you are new to this, the challenge itself can be found on the 2014 SF Challenge /TRACK  thread, and it is NOT too late to join!

So, here we are 8 months into it (2/3 of the year).  Are you on track to your goals? 

Personally, I've finished 23 of 40, which is behind a little.  Still hoping to catch up again later in the year, when the weather isn't so beautiful for doing stuff outdoors.  Lately, I've finished these few -

S2  The Moon - Steel Beach (1992) by John Varley, finished 8/10/14 ***
F2  First novel of a male writer - The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham, finished 8/25/14 ****
A12 An author whose last name begins with A, B or C - Forward In Time (1973) by Ben Bova, finished 8/30/14 ***

I see Ancillary Justice has also won the Hugo last week.  Is anybody adding it to their reading plans now that it is sweeping awards?  I read it earlier this year, and gave it a big thumbs up!

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 11/30/14 6:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Subject: not SF at all, but interesting
Date Posted: 9/9/2014 9:03 AM ET
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One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson (2013)

Just started Andy Weir's The Martian.



Last Edited on: 9/9/14 11:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Subject: proposing a new category for the challenge
Date Posted: 10/5/2014 8:53 AM ET
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According to the rules of the 2014 challenge:  Adding new Categories: If during the year, you come up with a great new category for one of the existing sections, propose it on the current discussion thread, and if you can get two other people to agree, it can become "official" and added on the template below.

I am proposing a new category in the AUTHORS section -

A13  Collaboration (a novel by 2 or more already published authors, or a collection/anthology of collaborated shorter works)

Please respond on this thread if you approve, and if two agree I will add it to the template on the tracking thread.

-Tom Hl.

PS - I am currently reading The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick



Last Edited on: 10/5/14 8:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2014 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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That (add a category) sounds fine to me.  I just read some Anne Bishop.  I need to update my list to see where I stand.  I think I can finish since I'm back into reading sci/fi
 

Date Posted: 10/7/2014 1:33 AM ET
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That category sounds good to me as well.  I'm severely behind in reading science fiction this year.  For some reason nonfiction and mysteries have taken over.

Subject: A13 Collaboration
Date Posted: 10/7/2014 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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Thanks!  It's approved, and I've put it into the challenge template.  Everyone should feel free to copy it into their own tracking post now.

I seem to be coming up low in FIRSTS and LOST AND FOUND.  If anyone thinks of any good categories to add in those, it would probably help everyone.



Last Edited on: 10/7/14 11:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/8/2014 4:22 PM ET
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I don't have any addition categories to add but for found artifact, have you considered Jack Sheffield's books?  Summertide, Divergence etc? Also Greg Bear's Eon?

I'd suggest Ringworld and Gateway but I can't imagine you haven't already read them.

 

Subject: found artifact
Date Posted: 10/8/2014 11:42 PM ET
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I have read Ringworld, Gateway, Eon too recently to count them for reread.  And I would love to read Eschbach's Das Jesus-Video, but there's not enough time left in the year for that.  Will look into Jack Sheffield, though.  Thanks.



Last Edited on: 10/8/14 11:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2014 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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It's been fun hanging out with you guys the last few years, but I think it's time to shut down my PBS account for a variety of reasons...  

I'll still be hanging out on Goodreads if you guys want to chat.  I know I've already added a few of you guys as friends there!

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3034846-melanti

 

Subject: this community
Date Posted: 10/28/2014 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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Sad to say, it seems that paperbackswap does not have any good option for surviving the transition to ebooks.  I have appreciated the communities that formed here and on bookcrossing (same problem) not because of identical interest but because of a persistent commitment to compare notes even when perspectives differ.  It's sad to see them wither.  Well - not as sad as when sf-books.com just shut down one day, cutting off an international science fiction book trading community with no warning at all.  I landed here shortly after that.

Myself, I am continuing to work on the 2014 challenge, and have now reached the fun scramble to fill remaining categories.  Not sure what will happen in 2015, but life is change.  Most of you know that I have been active on goodreads for a while now. Anyone who leaves paperbackswap and wants to stay in touch, please friend me there.  Many of you already have.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3082950-tomislav

Date Posted: 11/10/2014 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
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Still reading mostly mysteries and nonfiction.  My guess is that I'll finish out the year with medium challenge.  I'm currently reading Pangborn's A Mirror for Observers.  It's a marvelous, quiet story of Martians who live hidden amongst us.  The ethical questions of non interfence and the obligations of observers is quite interesting.  I have Ancillary Justice up next which I'm rather excited about.

Date Posted: 11/11/2014 5:32 PM ET
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A Mirror for Observers is just sitting over there on my wife's bookshelf, never having been read by me.  You make it sound interesting, so I think I will try to find a slot to fill with it.

I read Ancillary Justice last spring, and will be re-reading it in January.  I went and volunteered it for a face-to-face book group I belong to.  It's the only science fiction book that the group chose (probably just to be nice to me, and on the basis of many awards received), and I'm afraid I will have a lot of explaining to do for them.  I recommend you read it over a quick span of time, as there are a lot of things for which the meaning becomes clear only later in the book.  But I liked it and am looking forward to my second read.  The sequel Ancillary Sword has been released too.

I've been plugging away at the challenge, and am now 7 books from finishing, if I can get them in the needed slots.  I have exhausted the possibilities of my TBR shelf, which is down to something like 10 SF books.

Subject: the last month of 2014
Date Posted: 11/30/2014 6:58 PM ET
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November was a very SFnal month for me, and I finished 6 categories, leaving me with 4 to go.  Should be a piece of cake now.
F9  First person narrative - Neptune's Brood (2013) by Charles Stross, finished 11/2/14 ****
L4  Lost Child - Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980) by Frederik Pohl, finished 11/6/14 ****
L3  A Found Artifact - Heechee Rendezvous (1984) by Frederik Pohl, finished 11/10/14 ***
F5  The first novel of a series - Proxima (2013) by Stephen Baxter, finished 11/15/14 *****
F7  First Artificial Intelligence - The Annals of the Heechee (1987) by Frederik Pohl, finished 11/22/14 **
L2  Lost World (on Earth) - A Mirror for Observers (1954) by Edgar Pangborn, finished 11/26/14 ****

As you can see I really liked Proxima, whose sequel Ultima was released just a few days ago.  My local library is ordering it at my request.  I'm not sure how long that will take, but I guess I'm committed to not buying my own copy now.

And Lisa, thanks for pointing me towards A Mirror for Observers.  I actually had never read any Edgar Pangborn before, but liked it quite a bit.

 

 

Date Posted: 12/9/2014 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
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Ancillary Justice is outstanding.  I'm still working on my "Medium Challenge."  I've restarted reading Note's From the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone and have Incarceron by Catherine Fisher on deck.

Subject: Imperial Radch trilogy
Date Posted: 12/18/2014 10:37 PM ET
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Lisa,  I just read Ancillary Sword.  I felt it was a solid and entertaining read, but not as ambitious as Ancillary Justice

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 12/22/2014 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
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Hi Guys, I was thinking I would do the 2014 challenge over for 2015 (and hopefully do better) unless there was a desire to create a new challenge.  Any thoughts?

Subject: full challenge completed
Date Posted: 12/28/2014 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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Hurray!  I've finished the 40-book full challenge, as of today, wrapping up with the mediocre Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley.

As for next year, I was not planning to organize a new challenge.  If someone else would like to do that, or even just re-use the 2014 challenge with a few minor updates, it would be ok with me.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 12/28/14 9:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/31/2014 3:09 AM ET
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Thank you Tom.  I've posted the challenge again for anyone who wants to join in.

I hope in this go around I will increase my SF reading.  There are a great many books that have come out in the last year that I haven't had a chance to read.  North's The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Weir's The Martian, The Peripheral by William Gibson and The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter Hamilton are all books I hope to read in 2015.