Thoughtful Thursday

On Thursdays we host a weekly discussion question and usually gives away a book from our stacks. If you’ve got something you’d like to discuss or a suggestion for cover art that’s begging to be renamed, or if you’ve won a giveaway, please contact Kat. Thoughtful Thursday was originally conceived and hosted by retired reviewer Ruth Arnell.

Thoughtful Thursday: Gratitude, by Alex Hughes

Today we're participating in a blog tour and scavenger hunt to promote Alex Hughes'  new novel Vacant, book four in her MINDSPACE INVESTIGATIONS series. This is my current favorite urban fantasy series. There are two chances to be a winner (you can try for both):

1. We're giving away an ebook copy of any of the novels -- your choice. Just comment below to enter the giveaway.

2. In the following post, you'll find the next clue in a "CLUE-like" scavenger hunt. To win, you have to solve a whodunit mystery. You can find the rules and information you need for that here at Alex's blog. The winner of the scavenger hunt gets a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble, a signed copy of Marked, ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in November 2014. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in November 2014 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Books we are thankful for

Thanksgiving is day for family, football and food, but it’s also about giving thanks, for our family, our friends and for the blessings we enjoy. For this holiday edition of Thoughtful Thursday, we want to hear about books we are thankful for. Please comment on a book you are grateful you read.

I’ll start with two. I’m grateful that I got to read Louise Erdrich’s book The Last Report of the Miracles at Little No Horse when I did. At that time in my life, I felt betrayed by my church, I was traveling for my father’s funeral and, in general, feeling spiritually bereft. That strange and lyrical book reminded me that the trappings of faith, like organized religion, are just that, trappings, and that a spiritual conne... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: First annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

In a couple of weeks, the Haiku International Association will announce the winners of its 2014 Haiku contest, so we’ve decided to begin our very own annual SPECULATIVE FICTION HAIKU CONTEST! Don't miss out on this historic literary competition in the making. All you have to do is write a mere three lines of poetry!

For haiku, the typical subject matter is nature, but if you decide to be traditional, you must give it a fantasy, science fiction, or horror twist. We expect to be told that the peaceful wind you describe is blowing across a landscape of an unfamiliar, distant planet. And if your poem is about a flower, we hope that elegant little touch of beauty is about to be trampled by an Orc. We welcome the sublime as well as the humorous, the pedestrian along with the momentous.

Though you may use the traditional three-line haiku following a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, feel free to brea... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Last month's contest ended way too soon, so today we have 16 book covers to identify instead of the usual 12. Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in October 2014. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in October 2014 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What is Your Quest?

Today we welcome Dr. Anastasia Salter, assistant professor of digital media at the University of Central Florida. I met Dr. Salter recently at an academic symposium where she gave the keynote address and spoke about gamification of the classroom. Her career in digital media and game creation stems from her childhood love of reading and playing heroic fantasy. Her new book, which comes out in a couple of days, is about how technology is changing storytelling. We'll send an e-copy to one commenter (or you can choose a book from our stacks).

If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up twenty years ago, I probably would have answered Raistlin Majere. Former (and current DRAGONLANCE fans, try not to look at me too suspiciously. Raistlin ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Collaborative Cliché (urban fantasy edition)

In 2009, Ruth Arnell created the Collaborative Cliché project, where we reached for every cliché we have seen or read, and used them to create an awful group story. We skewered epic fantasy in that column, but we can find clichés anywhere. Let’s try it again, this time with a sub-genre dear to my heart, urban fantasy.

I’ll start us off. Then you continue the story by adding your cliché-ridden passage in the Comments Section. You can come back and add as many passages as you like.

One lucky horrible scribe (with a USA mailing address) will win their choice of a book from our Stacks. Here goes:

My soul-beacon tattoo woke me at two in the morning. I got up and slipped into my skintight, gleaming black leather pants, the matching bo... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in September 2014. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-12)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover!

Here's a book cover that's screaming for a new name. See it screaming?

Please help us rename the horrible cover of this book by the esteemed Michael Moorcock.

The author of the new title we like best wins a book from the FanLit Stacks.

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Send it to us. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in September 2014 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Predict future SFF classics

Back a couple of years ago, Smithsonian Magazine reminded its readers of a 1936 poll that asked which contemporary authors would endure the slings and arrows of critics, such that their works would be considered “classics” in the year 2000 (the poll was conducted by The Colophon — a magazine for book collectors that sadly did not itself “endure”). These are the authors their readers came up with:

Sinclair Lewis
Willa Cather
Eugene O’Neill
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Robert Frost... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in August 2014. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-12)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Create your own teen dystopia!

So rumors are that this whole teen dystopia thing has almost run its course, just as the whole teen vampire thing did. Who knows what’s next? But before we bid a fond farewell to the genre that gave us The Hunger GamesDivergentMatchedUglies, and the granddaddy of them all (or grandmother, depending if one goes by author or character) — The Giver, how about we raise a glass, or a salute for you teetotalers/under-agers, in honor of those teen dystopias that almost but didn’t quite make it (as few as there were, apparently).

Say, Pockmarked the Stars, where the population is segregated by one’s proclivity to acne, with the worst cases forced into mining far-off planets, until one teen unravels the hypocrisy that lies at the core (or is that pore) of it all — a hidden cache of Clearasil handed out on... Read More

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