The Sci-Fi Challenge


Mish @ Stage and Canvas is hosting the Sci-fi challenge, which basically encourages the participants to read “3.14 or 8 sci-fi books from August 28 2009 to August 8 2010”.

I quite enjoy sci-fi, despite it not being a genre that seems to feature a lot on this blog. So, taking on this challenge makes sense, despite the fact that I find sci-fi novels the hardest to write reviews for.

I already have a couple of ideas on what I’d like to read, including:

  • Finishing the Ender saga
  • Finishing the K-PAX trilogy
  • Philip K Dick’s The Man In The High Castle
  • A Neil Gaiman (or two)
  • A JG Ballard (not read anything by him yet)
  • The Master & Margarita (it’s been on my TBR for a long time)
  • A Stephen King (or the Dark Tower septology, which would finish off the challenge – almost!)
  • Cloud Atlas (it’s on the Guardian list – didn’t realize it was sci-fi)

Yep, I know that’s more than a couple, and I’m sure I’ll deviate and not stick to the above, at all! And maybe – just maybe – I’ll cover more than eight! I am tempted to do 3.14 though….

Do you like sci-fi? Are you contemplating joining in? Or, do you have any recommendations?

Am looking forward to this – thanks Mish!

Edit: Just realized I’ve done eight sci-fi books this year, starting in Jan, so… that encourages me somewhat.

14 Responses to “The Sci-Fi Challenge”

  1. The last thing I need is another challenge. But I am so tempted…

    Didn’t know the Master and Margarita was considered sci-fi? I started once, and lost my way. But this would be a good incentive to try again. And it is time for another Ballard…

    I will check it out properly when I get back after my holiday, but provisionally; I’m in!

    • Ask Mish – it’s in her list! :) Master & Margarita is supposed to be a challenging read, so I’m interested in seeing how I get on.

      Cool – looking forward to seeing what you end up reading, and swapping book recommendations!

      Enjoy the holiday!

      • The only reason I recognize the title is because it’s on the Guardian’s SF/F list. It seems to fall under fantasy because it’s Faust-like, but it’s a big commentary against a bureaucratic society…*shrugs* Read it and see?

        No, I’m encouraging you to read 8 books, you mentioned possibly reading 3.14. So :P

        I’m really looking forward to exploring sci-fi too. I found out today that Frankenstein is considered the first of the mad-scientist genre. It’s one of those books that I just haven’t gotten to yet and now I have more incentive. Already my mind is titillated and it’s just the beginning.

  2. No problem, nice list. Well if you decide on Pi don’t forget the .14 . Heh.

    I just started Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky. So far (p 47) it’s pretty good.

    • You’re encouraging me to read only 7/50th of a book… just bad! :p

      Never heard of that – looking forward to reading the review. More than anything else, looking forward to discovering a whole world of sci-fi books I’d never stumble upon otherwise.

  3. I agree with Sarah…I would love to join this challenge, but I’m having a hard time keeping up with the challenges I’m already participating in (and it’s not really that many!) So tempting….

  4. GOOD luck, sounds like a lot of fun. I don’t read nearly enough SF. I’m trying to read Stephen Hunt’s The Rise of the Iron Moon, but it’s not the first in the series and I am having trouble getting into it. Shame, it seems like a good, well written book. I hate it when that happens!

  5. I loved Cloud Atlas – I hope you enjoy it too!

    Thank you for bringing this challenge to my attention. I think I’ll give it a go.

    I am not nomally a fan of science fiction, but there are a few titles I now have my eye on and I’d love to try them out. I think 3.14 books is probably a realistic number for me!

  6. @lahni : just join it!! you know you want to….

    @Sassy Brit : are you going back and starting the series from scratch? pity when that happens (really annoying when that happens-when you start off a promising series, but can’t get into it!!)

    @Jackie : glad to be of service :) am actually quite curious to see the kind of books you pick out for this challenge, not being an avid scifi fan and all that.

  7. Uncertain: Way to turn ’em over to the dark side- er- get recruits. Hahaha.

    Lahni: The challenge goes for a year, that’s ample time to read a few more books.

    SassyBrit: I’d say starting from the beginning would give you something to look forward to.

    Jackie: The more the merrier and it’s people like you the wide-ranged challenge is 50% geared towards. You might be surprised.

  8. Move Cloud Atlas to the top of your list! ;) It’s a fascinating book.

    I’m not really a Sci-Fi reader and I won’t let you talk me into another reading challenge LOL But I do like challenges that make you read out of your usual box! Well, maybe in the new year… ;)

    Enjoy your SF-challenge! (& others ;)

    • thank you!

      I have had Cloud Atlas just lying there for so long, that it’s almost funny. Again, it’s one of those books that I’ve been “saving” for a special occasion, so…. let’s see! Really looking forward to reading it now, for most people who have read it have said it’s fantastic, and I absolutely loved Number9Dream.

  9. I have The Master & Margarita on my TBR pile and hoping to read it before the year is out. I am trying to work through the Guardian’s 1000 Books You Must Read and it is surprising which books are considered Sci fi (for instance, Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus).

    I’d recommend John Wyndham. I have a number of his books and all are supposed to very good. I really enjoyed The Midwich Cuckoos and will be reading Trouble with Lichen next week for book group. Or there’s some of Margaret Atwood’s titles like The Blind Assassin or Oryx & Crake.

    • Atwood is definitely there on the list – haven’t heard of Wyndham though. Will check out Midwich Cuckoos, and looking forward to your review of Trouble with Lichen.

      Is the Guardian 1000 Books similar to the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, as I’m slowly working my way through that. Lots of books, I’m guessing, will be on both lists (e.g. I think Fingersmith was on both). Best of luck on that one =)

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