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Topic: Let's choose 10 categories for 1Q12 Full Spectrum SF Challenge /completed

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Subject: Let's choose 10 categories for 1Q12 Full Spectrum SF Challenge /completed
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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In the past two years, we've enjoyed year-long science fiction reading challenges on this forum, and for 2012 we decided to try something new: Quarterly group-consensus topical challenges.  You can find the discussion leading up to this process at http://www.paperbackswap.com/2011-SF-Challenge-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER/topic/249680/.   I've agreed to serve as moderator for at least the first quarter of 2012, which will span from January 1 through March 31, 2012.  Some disagreed with the concept, and so Bob K. has put up his own idea for a year-long challenge at http://www.paperbackswap.com/2012-SF-Challenge/topic/251851/, similar to 2010 and 2011.  Both challenges co-exist on this forum.   A goal is to have the category list for the 1Q 2012 SF Challenge ready posting on December 17.

From a high level, the process works like this:

  • Step 1 - Select a broad topic within Science Fiction, before the quarter starts.
  • Step 2 - Select ten categories within that broad topic, before the quarter starts.
  • Step 3 - Read a book for any 3, any 6, or all 10 categories, within the quarter.

This thread is for purposes of Step 2.  Step 1 at http://www.paperbackswap.com/Lets-Choose-Topic-1Q-2012/topic/251684/  resulted in a choice of the topic "Full Spectrum - one each from the major subgenre of speculative fiction - hard sf, social sf, space opera, science fantasy, fantasy, horror, time travel, alternate history, etc." I will start the category nomination process by putting "NOMINATE NOW" in the headline of this thread, and by seeding ten nominations.  Any one else can nominate additional categories, and we will discuss for at least three days, on this thread.  After that time, I will change the headline of this thead to say "VOTE NOW", and keep the poll open for at least another three days. 

Then I'll close the poll and post the final ten category list for the 1Q 2012 "Full Spectrum" SF Challenge.  Seed nominations will be in my next post.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 12/17/11 1:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 6
Subject: ten seed categories nominated
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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Our broad topic is "Full Spectrum - one each from the major subgenre of speculative fiction - hard sf, social sf, space opera, science fantasy, fantasy, horror, time travel, alternate history, etc.", and you might be interested to find out more about the genre at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_science_fiction#Genres_of_science_fiction.  I'm seeding the process with the following ten nominations:

  1. Hard Science Fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on human characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about human society
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5. Space Western - transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers.
  6. Science Fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
  7. Alternate History - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known, can include Steampunk
  8. Horror - literature intended to, or having the capacity to frighten its readers, through natural or supernatural events
  9. Fantasy - uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting; many subgenre in its own right
  10. Slipstream - literature with science fiction elements, but marketed as mainstream

Please give your thoughts about these categories, nominate others if I missed something you want to see.  I'll announce the start of voting on Wednesday December 14.

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Seems odd to me to have a horror category. . . odd even to have a fantasy category, to tell the truth, though since the majority of what I read is fantasy I wouldn't have any trouble filling it. . .

The alternatives I'd propose, probably not surprisingly, are the other mixed-genres: SF Mystery and SF Romance. Oh, or Military SF, though then I don't know what other category I'd kick out. . . ;)

Subject: two cents
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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I don't think we need a fantasy category when we already have "science fantasy"

And the "horror" category can/should be eliminated.  I've always thought horror movies were inappropriate on the SyFy channel (still do). 

I would replace with time travel, military SF, or pulp.  I'd rather NOT have to read an SF romance. 

And take out the word "human"  in categories 2 and 3.  When you think SF, don't you think of aliens???  They have feelings too.  Probably have societies also....cheeky   

Subject: additional nominations
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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@PhoenixFalls

I have three new nominations from you.  I've added a short definition to each.  Let me know if they are not what you intended.

  • 11. Science Fiction Mystery - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and mystery genres
  • 12. Science Fiction Romance - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and romance genres
  • 13. Military Science Fiction - principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth

Regarding horror and fantasy, I went for maximum breadth.  It would be ok with me to read some Lovecraft, Bradbury, or Bujold. 

@Zylyn

Fantasy and Science Fantasy are different things.  If only one of them survives the poll, I wouldn't merge them.

I have two more nominations from you.  I've added a short definition to each.  Let me know if they are not what you intended.

  • 14. Time Travel - moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space
  • 15. Pulp - science fiction as popularized in pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, although the style actually lasted longer than that.

Aw, poor aliens.  They get no respect.  I agree and am taking out the limitation to human characters and human society.   But even when writing about aliens, authors are usually making comments about humanity.

  • 2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  • 3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about society
Subject: poll tomorrow
Date Posted: 12/13/2011 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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Just a reminder that I will be setting up a poll on this thread tomorrow (hopefully noon-ish CST).  At this time, I see 15 candidates for 10 categories, although nominations are still open. 

For maximum numerical differentiation, I would give each of you seven or eight votes.  But in reading the above posts, there might be an assumption of ten votes each.  Any strong feelings?

-Tom Hl.

Subject: Vote now
Date Posted: 12/14/2011 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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The poll is now open to select the ten categories of our 1Q 2012 SF Challenge "Full Spectrum".  Each voter, whether they have partipated in the process up to this point or not, gets to vote for up to 10 categories, and I will tabulate them after the poll closes on Saturday December 17 at noon CST.  At that time I wil post the resulting challenge itself on a new thread.

In order to vote, please cut and paste the following block, and delete at least five of the lines.  (Don't worry about the line numbers, those just help you count.  I will tally by category title).  You may come back and re-edit your vote up until the time polls close.

  1. Hard Science Fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about society
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5. Space Western - transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers.
  6. Science Fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
  7. Alternate History - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known, can include Steampunk
  8. Horror - literature intended to, or having the capacity to frighten its readers, through natural or supernatural events
  9. Fantasy - uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting; many subgenre in its own right
  10. Slipstream - literature with science fiction elements, but marketed as mainstream
  11. Science Fiction Mystery - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and mystery genres
  12. Science Fiction Romance - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and romance genres
  13. Military Science Fiction - principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth
  14. Time Travel - moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space
  15. Pulp - science fiction as popularized in pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, although the style actually lasted longer than that.
Date Posted: 12/14/2011 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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I've been lurking in the challenge threads since last year. I am intrigued by the idea of a quarterly challenge rather than the full year straight up, since I feel better about committing to 3 months instead of a full year in advance.

So, even though you guys have never heard of me, I'm going to vote on this, since I'm planning to participate in the challenge.

 

  1. Hard Science Fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about society
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5.  
  6. Science Fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
  7. Alternate History - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known, can include Steampunk
  8.  
  9.  
  10. Slipstream - literature with science fiction elements, but marketed as mainstream
  11.  
  12. Science Fiction Romance - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and romance genres
  13. Military Science Fiction - principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth
  14. Time Travel - moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space
  15.  

Edited to add: I will be back to finish this. I need to think about it a little bit, as I can think of intriguing books in my TBR  for almost every category. Got rid of Fantasy just on the principle. (But I have a few really attractive zombie books staring at me so I'm keeping Horror for now).



Last Edited on: 12/14/11 1:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/14/2011 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Here're my ten votes:

  1.  
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about society
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5. Space Western - transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers.
  6. Science Fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
  7.  
  8.  
  9.  
  10. Slipstream - literature with science fiction elements, but marketed as mainstream
  11. Science Fiction Mystery - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and mystery genres
  12. Science Fiction Romance - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and romance genres
  13. Military Science Fiction - principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth
  14.  
  15. Pulp - science fiction as popularized in pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, although the style actually lasted longer than that.


Last Edited on: 12/14/11 5:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 12/14/2011 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I hope to participate, so here is my vote:

  1. Hard Science Fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. xx
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5. xx
  6. Science Fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
  7. Alternate History - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known, can include Steampunk
  8. xx
  9. Fantasy - uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting; many subgenre in its own right
  10. Slipstream - literature with science fiction elements, but marketed as mainstream
  11. xx
  12. Science Fiction Romance - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and romance genres
  13. Military Science Fiction - principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth
  14. Time Travel - moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space
  15. xx
Subject: my votes
Date Posted: 12/14/2011 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 95
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  1. Hard Science Fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about society
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5. Space Western - transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers.
  6. Science Fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
  7. Alternate History - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known, can include Steampunk
  8. Horror - literature intended to, or having the capacity to frighten its readers, through natural or supernatural event
  9. Military Science Fiction - principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth
  10. Time Travel - moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space
Subject: vote
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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  1. Hard Science Fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about society
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5. Space Western - transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers.
  6. xx
  7. Alternate History - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known, can include Steampunk
  8. xx
  9. xx
  10. Slipstream - literature with science fiction elements, but marketed as mainstream
  11. Science Fiction Mystery - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and mystery genres
  12. xx
  13. xx
  14. Time Travel - moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space
  15.  Pulp - science fiction as popularized in pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, although the style actually lasted longer than that.
Subject: Tom's votes
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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  1. Hard Science Fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  2. Soft Science Fiction -focus on characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  3. Social Science Fiction - concerned with sociological speculation about society
  4. Space Opera - emphasizes romantic adventure, exotic settings, and larger-than-life characters
  5.  
  6. Science Fantasy - a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements
  7. Alternate History - fiction set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known, can include Steampunk
  8. Horror - literature intended to, or having the capacity to frighten its readers, through natural or supernatural events
  9. Fantasy - uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting; many subgenre in its own right
  10. Slipstream - literature with science fiction elements, but marketed as mainstream
  11. Science Fiction Mystery - fiction which has elements of both the science fiction and mystery genres
  12.  
  13.  
  14.  
  15.  
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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6 votes each - Soft-SF, Space Opera - two winners

5 votes each - Hard-SF, Social SF, Science Fantasy, Alternate History, Slipstream - five winners, total of seven

4 votes each - Mil-SF, Time Travel - two winners, total of nine

3 votes each - Space Western, SF Mystery, SF Romance - Unfortunately only one of these can make the cut at ten categories.  I considered withdrawing my personal votes on these, but that was only SF Mystery and it would still leave a two-way tie.  So I had to change my vote, and I chose to change it from SF Mystery to Space Western. - for a total of ten.

The five remaining categories will become Bonus Categories.  Bonus categories don't count in terms of meeting the challenge, but you still get to publish on your tracking post, so everyone knows you did it.

Looks like a pretty good 1Q12 challenge to me!  I'll be setting up the thread for the tracking posts shortly.

-Tom Hl.