Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Speculative Fiction Challenge 2012

Image Links to Challenge Page

I used to read a lot of this and somehow lost the habit. But last year I re-read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and was reminded how much I’ve missed this kind of brilliance.

For 2012, I definitely want to read a lot more science-fiction and fantasy than I’ve read in the past five years.

And this challenge is going to help me do just that!

And just what does speculative fiction mean, anyway?

  • Science Fiction: hard/soft SF, cyberpunk, time travel, alternative history, space opera
  • Fantasy Fiction: dark fantasy, urban fantasy, magic realism, quest, mythical fantasy, steampunk
  • Horror Fiction: paranormal, gothic literature, splatterpunk
  • Supernatural Fiction
  • Superhero Fiction
  • Utopian and Dystopian Fiction
  • Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

I”m signing up to read 24 books, which will put me In Nirvana.

And am I nervous about that? You bet.

About a half dozen titles at most, from my last reading year, would have hit those marks.

But am I excited? Yup. Absolutely.

Here are some of the possibilities I’m considering:

First, there’s some overlap with the books I’m thinking of for the Dystopia Challenge.

Next, I am endlessly fascinated by the books on the Endicott Studio’s mythic fiction and fairy tales reading lists.

And I really do hope to make some serious progress with the books that I’ve shelved as Fairy Tales in my GoodReads shelves.

And, too, I might read on in these series, which likely means some re-reading too:
✔ Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series (I’m on the 5th, IIRC)
Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series (books 5 & 6)
Lois Macmaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga (looks like I’ve read 3 & 4?!)
Diana Paxson’s Wodan’s Children series (I’ve read the first)
Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion series and the Vatta’s War series (started, but barely)
Vonda McIntyre’s Starfarers (I never did read the last one!)
Douglas Adams’ series (I’ve read the first two, at least…)
Frank L. Baum’s Oz series (I’ve read maybe 6 of the 14, many years ago)

And I might finally begin on some books that have been shelf-sitters for ages:
Stories by Lovecraft and LeFanu and some other anthologies
Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphans’ Tales
Gregory Maguire’s series, beginning with Wicked
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, at which I’ve made only half-hearted attempts
Kage Baker’s The Company series
David Weber’s Honor Harrington tales
Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series (is this paranormal? or mystery?)
Naomi Novik’s Will Supervillains Be on the Final? (I think this is the newest of the bunch)
And various books by: Tad Williams, Karen Traviss, Liz Williams, Amy Thomson, Emma Bull, Charles deLint ✔ , Jonathan Carroll, and Caitlyn Sweet.
I’d also like to read more of these authors: Elisabeth Vonarburg, Joan Slonczewski, Kelley Armstrong, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sally Gearhart, Octavia Butler ✔, Jane Yolen, Nicola Griffith, Sheri Tepper, Guy Gavriel Kay, Nnedi Okorafor, Hiromi Goto ✔, Leslie Marmon Silko, Larissa Lai ✔, Nalo Hopkinson ✔, and Isabel Allende.
(Because they’ve written some of my favourite books, so why wouldn’t I want to read more?)
And, to complicate things further:
The NPR Guide to Navigating Fantasy and Sci-F
Ward Shelley’s beautiful painting The History of Science Fiction (available as a print and guaranteed to add to your TBR and TBW lists)

But what about you? What’s really stood out for you in these tales in recent reading years?

What should I add? What should I move up the list?

Actual Reads:

1. Gail Carriger’s Soulless (2009)
2. Octavia Butler’s Kindred (1979)
3. Kate Wilhelm’s Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976)
4. William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood Series (2011-2012)
5. Alex Adams’ White Horse (2012)

6. Catherine Asaro’s Ascendant Sun (2000)
7. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: We Find Ourselves, Volume 15 (2011)
8. Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief (2005)
9. Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
10. Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008)

11. Jeff Lemire’s Out of the Woods (2010; Sweet Tooth, Volume 1)
12. Jeff Lemire’s In Captivity (2010; Sweet Tooth, Volume 2)
13. Jeff Lemire’s Animal Armies (2011; Sweet Tooth, Volume 3)
14. Jeff Lemire’s Endangered Species (2012; Sweet Tooth, Volume 4)
15. Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot (1993)

16. G.R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones (1996)
17. N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010)
18. Brian Jacques’ Redwall (1986)
19. Rick Rioran’s The Sea of Monsters (2006)
20. Hiromi Goto’s Half World (2009)

21. Hiromi Goto’s Darkest Light (2012)
22. Nalo Hopkinsons The Chaos (2012)
23. Joe Hill’s Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft (Vol 1, 2008)
24. Joe Hill’s Locke & Key: Head Games (Vol 2, 2009)

And, I am officially IN NIRVANA, having read 24 books.

25. Joe Hill’s Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows (Vol 3, 2010)
26. Joe Hill’s Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom (Vol 4, 2011)
27. Joe Hill’s Locke & Key: Clockworks (Vol 5, 2012)|
28. So Long Been Dreaming, edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan (2004) Selected Stories
29. Pasha Malla’s People Park (2012)
30. Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (2008)

31. Corey Redekop’s Husk (2012)
32. Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (2011)
33. Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay (2010)

[Edited to say: complete!]


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