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Topic: I think we should.....

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Subject: I think we should.....
Date Posted: 10/6/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
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have one of those "Challenge" threads like in other genre boards. Would anyone do it with me?

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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I'd be down. Any suggestions for what kind of challenges you'd want us to do?

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/7/2009 8:23 AM ET
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I'm up for a challenge, though I'm really not sure what you mean, exactly.  Reading books from various categories?  We could do a 9-9-9 challenge like paranormal.  Here's just an example of various categories that could be included:

  1. Cyberpunk
  2. Post-apocalyptic
  3. Novels by Grand Masters
  4. Time Travel
  5. Pre-1950 SF novels
  6. Anthologies
  7. Novels published the year you were born
  8. Novels originally written in another language
  9. Military SF
Date Posted: 10/7/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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I would be in, except for the Cyberpunk catagory, LOL.  I have been looking for some direction in my reading.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/7/2009 3:26 PM ET
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It's just an example.  In the paranormal challenge, people picked their own categories.  I think there are other challenges with a huge number of categories, but you only read one book in each.



Last Edited on: 10/7/09 3:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/7/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
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Yeah, like Matt said- categories like in Paranormal or we could do categories like:

1) Main character is a robot (computer/alien/etc)

2) Book by an author you've never read

3) Book set on Earth/Mars/a spaceship/wherever

Things like that. I'll start thinking on some things, I'm off to check out the other genre's challenges and steal (er, borrow?) ideas. I think it'd work just as well with a few people as a lot.

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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I'll join too. It'll help me find some books in categories that I normally don't read. I don't have any ideas except for maybe date categories - 1940, 1950 etc. Sounds fun

ann



Last Edited on: 10/8/09 7:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/8/2009 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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There's also always award-winning novels. . . one Hugo, one Nebula, one Locus, all to be mutually exclusive titles (as in no reading a single novel that won all three!).

 

I like the idea of reading a novel in each of various subgenres. . . I tend to avoid some subgenres because I don't think I'll like them, even though I've never really given them a shot (for instance, I never read postapocalyptic SF or cyberpunk). If I had a challenge to follow it might force me out of my comfort zone. :)

 

And if we're doing challenges based on some aspect of the novels, I could go for these categories:

 

Female first person narrator

Male first person narrator

Third person omniscient narrator

Third person limited, multiple perspectives

 

And one last idea: just for fun we could read something by an author whose last name begins with every letter of the alphabet. (Asimov, Bova, Clarke, etc.). :)



Last Edited on: 10/8/09 3:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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So, any further thought of how to go about this?  If we do something like a 9-9-9 challenge, I think it would be better to make it a rolling challenge rather than a 9-month limit, since I don't think many of us could pull it off.  Were you thinking it would start with the new year?  Next month? 

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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So, I finally got around to figuring out what the 9-9-9 challenge in the Paranormal forum was.

I agree with Matt C., 9 books in 9 categories in 9 months seems a little too extreme for me. I'm going to hit 100 books this year (in just over 9 months if I keep up my current production, actually) but I'm not willing to devote 81 of my 100 next year to SF. I have too much fantasy, mystery, and nonfiction to read. :) So despite how nice and round those numbers are, I think I would be in favor of slightly more modest goals. And since I have some time on my hands today and can put this together, I suggest this challenge:

 

One book in each of the following 35 categories in one year:

Category Challenges

1. Hard SF (def. as: Characterized by rigorous attention to accurate detail in quantitative sciences, especially physics, astrophysics, and chemistry, or accurately depicting worlds that more advanced technology may make possible.)

2. Soft or Social SF (def. as: Works based on social sciences such as psychology, economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology. May also describe works focused primarily on character and emotion.)

3. Cyberpunk (def. as: Works in which the time frame is usually near-future and the settings are often dystopian. Common themes include advances in information technology and especially the Internet, artificial intelligence and prosthetics, and post-democratic societal control where corporations have more influence than governments. Nihilism, post-modernism, and film noir techniques are common elements, and the protagonists may be disaffected or reluctant anti-heroes.)

4. Time Travel (def. obvious.)

5. Alternate History (def. as: Works based on the premise that known historical events turned out differently. May or may not include time travel.)

6. Military SF (def. as: Works set in the context of conflict between national, interplanetary, or interstellar 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.)

7. Superhuman (def. as: Works that deal with the emergence of humans who have abilities beyond the norm. This can stem either from natural causes  or be the result of intentional augmentation. These stories usually focus on the alienation that these beings feel as well as society's reaction to them.)

8. Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic (def. as: Works concerned with the end of civilization through war, pandemic, astronomic impact, ecological disaster, or mankind's self-destruction.)

9. Space Opera (def. as: Works that emphasize romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing powerful (and sometimes quite fanciful) technologies and abilities. Perhaps the most significant trait of space opera is that settings, characters, battles, powers, and themes tend to be very large-scale. These stories typically follow the Homeric tradition, in which a small band of adventurers are cast against larger-than-life backdrops of powerful warring factions.)

10. Steampunk (def. as: 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.)

11. Feminist SF (def. as: Works which pose questions about social issues such as how society constructs gender roles, the role reproduction plays in defining gender and the unequal political and personal power of men and women.)

12. First Contact (def. obvious)

Authorial Challenges

13. Work written by a Grand Master

14. Work written pre-1950

15. Work written in another language

16. Work written the year you were born

17. Work written by a non-Caucasian author

18. Anthology

19. Work by an author you haven't read before

Character Challenges

20. Work with a male first-person narrator

21. Work with a female first-person narrator

22. Work with a non-human first-person narrator (can be alien or artifical intelligence)

23. Work with a third person omniscient narrator

24. Work with a third-person limited multi-perspective viewpoint

Setting Challenges

25. Work set on Earth with no space travel

26. Work set in a human interstellar empire

27. Work set on a single human planet that is not Earth (may or may not have contact with Earth, or we can break this into two categories)

28. Work set in a galaxy with multiple non-human intelligences in contact with humans

29. Work set on a space ship (non-generation ship)

30. Work set on a generation ship (may take place at any point in voyage, including beginning and ending)

Award Challenges

31. Work that has won the Hugo Award

32. Work that has wont he Nebula Award

33. Work that has won the Locus Award

34. Work that has won a Retro Hugo Award

Other Challenges

35. Work written primarily for a YA audience

 

That would be 35 books, unless you guys want to allow a single book to satisfy multiple categories, in which case it might be as few as ten or so. I personally am not in favor of allowing a single book to suit multiple categories, but I'm open to it. We could also cap it, and say a book may satisfy no more than two categories, ensuring reading at least 18 books.

 

What are your thoughts? I tried to include all the suggestions everyone has made so far. . .



Last Edited on: 10/12/09 3:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 5:55 PM ET
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That one's not bad.  I'd say books shouldn't double-count though...if it fits multiple categories, pick one.

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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PhoenixFalls, what a great list.  I am excited about the books I haven't even read yet.

If we can agree, I would be willing to accept one book for Two and only two catagories.  If it fits in five you have to just pick two. 

The reason is that some of the catagories would be painful otherwise.  I would love, for example, to get numbers 1, 10 and 24 over with as painlessly as possible.  If it would be better to limit the number of multiples to 5 out of the 35 total, that leave us still reading at least 30 books.

Edited to ask,  So this would be for the year 2010?  I love that it is 2010. 



Last Edited on: 10/11/09 7:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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I'm okay with Pamela S.'s suggestion that a book may count in two categories, but that only five books can be double counted. I will admit that I wouldn't mind combining a couple of the categories I don't usually like to read. . .

 

Matt C., what do you think of that suggestion?

 

And what do Anne C. and Sarah S. think?

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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I like it! Thanks for all the thought you put into it! Do short stories count? (sorry if the answer is understood. I haven't done a challenge or read about them) Or can you count an anthology as one book? That way Cosmina could knock out her painful ones with somewhat less pain. I'll vote for one book for one category.   But I can live with books can be double counted in no more than 5 categories. 

 

Ann

 

Edited because Phoenixfalls and I were sending at the same time



Last Edited on: 10/11/09 8:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 8:20 PM ET
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Whatever you decide won't bother me, but I personally won't double count any...I can easily read 35 books, and own enough SF that I probably won't have to look far for books to fill the categories.

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 9:52 PM ET
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Ann C.: Reading a SF anthology was one of the categories. I would say that a single short story should not count in any of the categories -- where would the challenge be in that? ;) -- but that you can read an anthology to fill one of the other categories if all the stories in the anthology fit the category -- so for instance if it is a collection of one author's short stories and you haven't read the author before, or if the anthology is themed around one of the subgenres (like The New Space Opera anthology that came out recently).

 

Then the last question is do we wait and start at the new year, or do we start in November? I'm okay either way, so it's up to you guys.

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
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I'm interested in participating, whenever the start date is!

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Anything's fine with me as well.  Where's Sarah the Mastermind?

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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Oh good -There's a couple of anthologies that I haven't got around to reading that fit a couple of categories -glad they count as books.  I'll start anytime the rest of you want to get going.

Subject: Challenge
Date Posted: 10/12/2009 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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I'd like to give this a go.

My 2009 new years resolutions included reading 10 new "SF" authors.  (Only 3 more to go.)  Great way to break old reading habits.  And fitting the books to the categories will be a challenge in and of itself.

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I'll participate too!  I think I'm more of a science fiction reader than I really am.  I collect books but never get around to reading them, and this would certainly help me!

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Well, we're still waiting to hear from Sarah, who started this whole thread. . .

 

But since no one seems to have a preference for when, I'd say we start November 1st. Unless someone objects, I'll post the challenge in a new thread on 11/1/09 and we can all post updates on that thread throughout the following 12 months (unless it gets too unwieldy).

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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How about  we start on Nov. 1st 2009 and ending party is Nov. 2010.   I am looking forward to some great book reviews as we read. 

I would appreciate any recommendations in the following catagories: 

Cyberpunk

5  Alternate History

7  Superhuman

10  Steampunk

15  Work written in another language

23  Work with a third person omniscient narrator

24   Work with a third-person limited multi-perspective viewpoint (What is this anyway?)



Last Edited on: 10/12/09 7:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2009 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2007
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Wow. This is all very thoughtful. I read some science fiction, but some of your categories I don't even understand the definition. I think I will just watch and be awed this year. LOL

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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Nov 1st works for me.  I'll have some questions about what books fit into categories too.  I'll try to think up some examples for each category this week and see if I'm on target.

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