Sci-Fi Month

Announcement: Sci-Fi Month 2016

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It’s August, and that means it’s time to start thinking about Sci-Fi Month 2016! This year, Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow is joining me once again, as my lovely co-host.

Now, onto the finer details…

What is Sci-Fi Month?

Sci-Fi Month is a month-long blog event, that I hosted for the first time in 2013, created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction. From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it was intended to help us share our love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms. It was such a success – and I honestly wasn’t expecting that many people to join in – that people were already asking in December whether it would be held again the next year! It happened again in 2014, co-hosted by Oh, the Books!, and again in 2015, when Lisa came on board.

Sci-Fi Month has a schedule that all participants can add to, meaning everyone can clearly see what is being posted each day. This also encourages participants to comment on and visit other blogs. More information on adding to the schedule below.

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When is Sci-Fi Month?

Sci-Fi Month happens all November long, and takes place online – through each participant’s blog, Twitter feed, and other social media websites.

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Who can participate?

Anyone! Bloggers, authors, readers, publishers – the first year saw over fifty bloggers, twenty-five authors and three publishers taking part regularly, as well as plenty more commenting, Tweeting, discussing and sharing the love for sci-fi, and this has only increased each year since. Even if you’re not a blogger, you’re taking part just by reading, commenting and Tweeting!

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How can I sign up?

  1. Fill in the Google form
  2. Follow the official Twitter account, @SciFiMonth, for regular updates
  3. Get to know your fellow participants by viewing the list at the bottom of the page
  4. Start preparing for Sci-Fi Month 2016!

As with last year, there is no deadline for signing up – if you only learn about the event halfway through November, you’re more than welcome to join!

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What sorts of things should I post for the event?

Let your imagination run wild! If it involves science fiction, then post about it! Last year, we had all kinds of activity, including:

  • reviews
  • interviews
  • discussions
  • quizzes and puzzles
  • bingo cards
  • top ten/favorite lists
  • giveaways

And it doesn’t have to be books. We had so many posts on TV shows, films, video games and all different kinds of things last year. You can see more information on post types etc here.

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How do I add my posts to the schedule?

We are continuing to use the Google Docs spreadsheet. Everyone adds their own details, which makes it much easier for everyone. There are tabs for different post types, and details entered include post date, title, author, link to post etc – and these can be added at any time, even before the post has gone up, or several days after if you forget.

You can find the schedule spreadsheet here.

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Is there a hashtag I can use to promote the event?

Yes! Please use the #RRSciFiMonth hashtag on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and everywhere else! We also have an official twitter account: @SciFiMonth.

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Are there any official Sci-Fi Month graphics I can use on my blog?

Yes, please feel free to use the new ones for this year, graphics from previous years, or make your own.

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Who can I contact if I have more questions?

You can email me at rinnreads(at)gmail.com, tweet me at @RinnReads or @SciFiMonth. You can also contact Lisa through Twitter at @EffingRainbow. Or alternatively, you can comment on this post.

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Participants

You can view a list of all participants here. I’m not having much luck with any Linky sites this year, so I’ve resorted to a Google Doc!

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Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month 2014: We Have Lift-Off!

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This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2014, an event hosted by myself and Oh, the Books!. You can keep up to date by following @SciFiMonth on Twitter, or the official hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

Eeeek, Sci-Fi Month is finally here! It’s been months and months of preparation, emails, spreadsheets, brainstorming, all mixed in with a very busy schedule for all of us co-hosts. But now it’s finally here, and thank you so much to everyone who has signed up so far. If you haven’t yet signed up, you can still do so any time throughout November – just take a look on the information hub.

As with last year, we encourage all participants to share an introduction post on the first day, just to tell us a little bit about why you decided to join in. Feel free to use this format if it’s easiest, or take a look at last years – I’m trying not to repeat myself.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Haha, it’s funny reading my answers to this from last year. Then I was talking about saving for my Masters – and here I am, finally doing it. So to answer the question properly: I’m Rinn, in my 20’s, and currently studying for my Archaeology Masters so I can go off and (hopefully) work as a museum curator when I graduate. I’m from the UK but right now I’m studying in the Netherlands and loving it. I came up with the idea for Sci-Fi Month in the summer of 2013, then I spoke to various bloggers and it snowballed into a huge event last November that I was SO proud of. So I’m so happy to be bringing it back this year, with the help of the lovely ladies from Oh, the Books!.

Just hanging out in Rotterdam with the infamous 'buttplug gnome'.

Just hanging out in Rotterdam with the infamous ‘buttplug gnome’.

2. How have things changed since last Sci-Fi Month?

Although obviously I was a big fan of the genre before, or I wouldn’t have organised an event around it, I feel I am even more aware of the genre now. It’s one of the first things I look at when I’m finding new releases, whether it’s books, films or games. It’s like I have this instinct that tells me I need to find ALL THE SCI-FI THINGS so I can share them!

3. Have you been to any sci-fi related events over the past year?

Yes, I visited the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, and also attended London Film and Comic-con. I was also planning on going to FACTs, a convention in Ghent, Belgium in October but sadly it was right around exam time and I thought revision was more important. Even though it basically melted my brain.

DON'T BLINK. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T BLINK.

DON’T BLINK. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T BLINK.

4. What do you have planned for Sci-Fi Month?

Okay so I’m not posting EVERY DAY like last year. That was exhausting – well the whole event was, but it was totally worth it. I had tonsillitis for nearly two weeks of it last year, but I was still commenting and maintaining the schedule every day. Probably should have put my health first but… I’m fine now! 😉 I’ll be posting two or three times a week this month – I’ve got some lists, blogger panels, reviews, special editions of my usual features and some totally new ones. You’ll just have to wait and see…

I’m so glad that Sci-Fi Month is finally here! Are you participating? What are you most looking forward to?

Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month: My Top Ten Science Fiction Novels

For my penultimate post I want to finally share with you my top ten science fiction novels! When writing this list I realised that I hadn’t read as many ‘classic’ sci-fi books as I’d thought, but *insert comment about too little time here* and I have plenty on my list to read! Don’t forget to check out the schedule for the rest of today’s posts. You can also Tweet about the event using the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

And now, in no particular order, my top ten science fiction novels:

Six million years ago, at the dawn of the star-faring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones, which she called shatterlings. But now, someone is eliminating the Gentian line. Campion and Purslane – two shatterlings who have fallen in love and shared forbidden experiences – must determine exactly who, or what, their enemy is, before they are wiped out of existence.

1. House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds – when I was reading this for the first time, I actually almost gave up on it. But then suddenly something just clicked and I couldn’t stop reading – and it ended up being one of my favourite books. Reynolds’ writing produces such vivid imagery, and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – this is one highly original, utter whirlwind of a book. Packed with pop culture references that actually have meaning within the context of the story, it is perfect for gamers, 80s pop culture fans and geeks worldwide. You can read my review or five reasons why you should read this book if you want to know more.

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

3. Hyperion by Dan Simmons – a sort of retelling of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this space epic and the rest of the series (known as the Hyperion Cantos) is like nothing I’ve ever read. In the first book, each pilgrim tells their tale on the way to Hyperion and each tale is so varied and fantastical that you can’t help but fall in love with Simmons’ writing. My favourite story is that of the priest, Father Hoyt. I’m also really excited to read Dan Simmons’ other series, which is a retelling of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong… and science proves a dangerous toy.

4. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – you’ve most likely seen the film, but have you read the book? Written by Michael Crichton, this sci-fi thriller is brilliant fun and the film is actually fairly faithful – with the book you get more scientific depth. My only problem is the sequel: Crichton resurrects a deceased character because he was so popular in the film. Ugh.

In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live even called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she see it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her survival is second nature.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – this YA dystopian had me hooked from the very first chapter, and it seems to have done the same to many other readers. Now also a massive success on the big screen, with the second film having recently been released, it is a brilliant and terrifying view of a dystopian nation and corrupted government.

A final, apocalyptic, world war has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending the majority of mankind off-planet. Those who remain, venerate all remaining examples of life, and owning an animal of your own is both a symbol of status and a necessity. For those who can’t afford an authentic animal, companies build incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep… even humans.

6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick – if you only read one science fiction classic, I urge you to read this one. Dick’s brilliant novel of a future where animals are almost extinct, and possessing one is a symbol of status, is quite different from the film adaptation, Blade Runner, but absolutely and definitely worth the read.

Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a front assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens: but who?

Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. In simulated war games he excels. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game… right?

7. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – I expect this will be a lot more widely read now there is a film version, but Scott Card’s tale of a space military school for youngsters has been around for a while. I’d been wanting to read this for ages when I spotted it at a local charity shop, and was not disappointed. It’s just a shame that the author has such disgusting views.

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

8. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I didn’t realise this was a sci-fi novel when I started reading it, but it’s actually set on another planet and the people are settlers from Earth. This whole series is just an emotional rollercoaster, and due to Ness’ brilliant writing, had me blubbing like a baby at the very end.

The night after a shooting star is seen streaking through the sky from Mars, a cylinder is discovered on Horsell Common near London. At first, naive locals approach the cylinder armed just with a white flag – only to be quickly killed by an all-destroying heat-ray as terrifying tentacled invaders emerge. Soon the whole of human civilization is under threat, as powerful Martians build gigantic killing machines, destroy all in their path with black gas and burning rays, and feast on the warm blood of trapped, still-living human prey. The forces of the Earth, however, may prove harder to beat than they at first appear.

9. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells – the mother of all alien invasion novels, this book gives me the shivers. Written long before science fiction was the genre it is today, Wells’ account of a Martian invasion is terrifying, fabulous and oh so clever.

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.

10. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill – this recently released YA novel centered around time travel is a fantastic addition to the genre. It’s clever, fast-paced, well thought out and very, very emotional. I hope it also encourages people who don’t normally read science fiction to give the genre a try!

What are your favourite science fiction novels? Tell me in the comments!