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Topic: Let's choose a topic for our 2Q 2012 SF Challenge /completed

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Subject: Let's choose a topic for our 2Q 2012 SF Challenge /completed
Date Posted: 2/29/2012 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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For the third year in a row now, we are having a year-long science fiction reading challenge on this forum.  And starting in 2012 we're trying new quarterly group-consensus topical challenges as well.  For 1Q 2012, this process resulted in the Full Spectrum Challenge that started January 1 and will end March 31.  Now it is time to begin the selection process for 2Q 2012 SF Challenge, which will run from April 1 to June 30.

From a high level, the selection 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 1.  I will start the nomination process by putting "NOMINATE NOW" in the headline of this thread, and by naming three broad topics.  Anyone else can nominate an additional broad topic, and we will discuss for at least three days, on this thread.  After that time, I will change the headline of this thread to say "VOTE NOW", and keep the poll open for at least another three days. 

Then I'll close the poll and start a new thread for Step 2.

The three topics that I am placing into nomination include two that did well during 1Q polling, and one new idea.

  • Awards – ten categories based on selections of winners and runners-up of science fiction awards
  • Science Fantasy – ten categories that demonstrate the variety of ways that a work can meld things traditionally considered science fictional and things traditionally considered fantastical.
  • Post-Humanism – ten categories that demonstrate the variety of science fictional visions of what comes after humanity as we know it.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 3/9/12 1:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/29/2012 6:34 PM ET
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Well. . . but there're two things I was gonna nominate up there already. Will have to think if there's any other category I'd maybe vote for. . . :)

Subject: broad topics
Date Posted: 2/29/2012 8:07 PM ET
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If I read the thread correctly, I can only nominate one additional broad topic.  frown

What about "firsts" - that is, an author's first book?  Locus does have a nice list of recommended "first works" to choose from if it were to become an issue.  Although I have to admit that I can't think of ten categories to go with "firsts".

What about Grand Masters?  Nah - been done on another web-site.

I nominate Space Opera.  Ta daaaaa

Date Posted: 2/29/2012 11:25 PM ET
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What about Utopias and Dystopias?

Subject: examples of categories
Date Posted: 3/1/2012 7:52 AM ET
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Alison, Lisa,

Could you give a description of (or examples of) categories you think would be good within Space Opera, and Utopias/Dystopias?

-Tom Hl.

Subject: categories for Firsts
Date Posted: 3/1/2012 8:06 AM ET
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I think it is possible to come up with categories for just about anything.  But sometimes you have to get a little out of the box. For example,  "Firsts"could be expanded into

  • First Novel of an American writer
  • First Novel of a British writer
  • First Novel of a female writer
  • First Novel of a male writer
  • First Award Winning Novel by a writer
  • First Contact
  • First Landing on Mars
  • First Artificial Intelligence
  • Last Novel of a writer
  • Last Human
Date Posted: 3/1/2012 10:25 PM ET
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In terms of categories:

A Utopia/Dystopia written before 1950

A Utopia/Dystopia written after 1950

A Y/A Utopia/Dystopia

A Utopia/Dystopia that has won or been nominated for a HUGO or Nebula

A Gender based Utopia/Dystopia

An Economic Utopia/Dystopia

An Evironmental Utopia/Dystopia

A Religious Utopia/Dystopia

A Political Utopia/Dystopia

A Utopia/Dystopia written by an American Author

A Utopia/Dystopia written by an Author outside of the United States

A Utopia/Dystopia existing on Earth

A Utopia/Dystopia existing off Earth but inside our Solar System

A Utopia/Dystopia existing outside our Solar System

A novel containing both a Utopia and a Dystopia

I'm sure you can think of more that I haven't put in

Subject: Space Opera categories
Date Posted: 3/2/2012 12:27 AM ET
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Well, you could almost take everything Lisa said and replace utopia/dystopia with space opera.  Also:

  • Space Opera with aliens
  • Space Opera with an interstellar empire
  • Space Opera with AI's
  • Space Opera written by an author you haven't read before
  • Space Opera that's won a major SF award
  • Space Opera from a series
  • Space Opera as popular media
  • Space Opera that discovers something (place, person, history, technology, etc.) 
  • Space Opera and conflict

 



Last Edited on: 3/2/12 12:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: vote now
Date Posted: 3/4/2012 12:53 PM ET
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Nominations and discussion seem to have settled out, so I am opening the poll today.   I created descriptions for the two that did not have them, based on wikipedia definitions. (Hope they are ok). The nominations, in alphabetical order, for 2Q 2012 SF Challenge topic are:

  1. Awards – ten categories based on selections of winners and runners-up of science fiction awards
  2. Firsts - ten categories of author's first works, and other things playing off the word "first"
  3. Post-humanism – ten categories that demonstrate the variety of science fictional visions of what comes after humanity as we know it.
  4. Science Fantasy – ten categories that demonstrate the variety of ways that a work can meld things traditionally considered science fictional and things traditionally considered fantastical.
  5. Space Opera - ten categories of science fiction that emphasize adventure, and are often set in outer space, often involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities.
  6. Utopia/Dystopia - ten categories of science fiction set in an idealized or nightmare world, often for purposes of social or political commentary.

Please consider which you might be interested in participating in, and vote for one, two, or three of them, but not more, by posting on this thread. You can come back and edit to change your vote as long the polls are open.   At the end, if necessary, I will break a tie.

Polls are open from now through Thursday, March 8.  On Friday, March 9, I will start the thread for discussion of ten categories within the selected topic.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 3/4/12 6:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/4/2012 3:31 PM ET
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What about the "Firsts" category? Was that not a real nomination? :)

Subject: Firsts
Date Posted: 3/4/2012 6:51 PM ET
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Hmm.  I didn't think it was an actual nomination.  But I'm not all that rule-bound, so I added it to the list just now.  If people don't want it, they won't vote for it.

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 3/4/2012 7:38 PM ET
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Since I can vote for 3, I vote for Award winners, Firsts and Utopias/Dystopias.

Subject: voting
Date Posted: 3/4/2012 9:04 PM ET
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I vote for awards, firsts and space opera.

Date Posted: 3/5/2012 12:20 AM ET
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I vote awards, firsts, and space opera like Alison. :)

Date Posted: 3/6/2012 10:32 PM ET
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Heh!  I vote for Firsts.

-Tom Hl.

Subject: "Firsts" wins for 2Q 2012
Date Posted: 3/9/2012 1:30 PM ET
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I tallied up the votes this morning

The results are

  • 4 for Firsts - garrity, Zylyn, PhoenixFalls,TomHl
  • 3 for Awards - garrity, Zylyn, PhoenixFalls
  • 2 for Space Opera - Zylyn, PhoenixFalls
  • 1 for Utopia/Dystopia - garrity

I'll be setting up a new thread for selection of ten categories of "Firsts" shortly.

If you have any feedback on the process of selecting the broad topic, feel free to comment on this thread.