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

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in January 2016 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 ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in December 2015. 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: Which 2016 releases are you waiting for?

Another year, another round of amazing novels! I can feel myself almost salivating at the delicious, delicious sequels and debuts set to be published this year! Right now I’m envisioning curling up in a comfy chair with a 2016 release and a big plate of cookies... and it’s really distracting…

Anyway, here are the two releases I’m most excited about this year:

1. Daniel Abraham’s The Spider's War, out March 8, is the conclusion to his acclaimed THE DAGGER AND THE COIN series. I’ve been waiting for this one for two years! Here's the publishers's blurb:

The epic conclusion to THE DAGGER AND THE COIN series, perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin. Lord Regent Geder Palliako's great war has spilled across the world, nation after nation falling before the ancient priesthood and weapon of dragons... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Reading Resolutions 2016

It’s that time of year again; full of optimism and champagne, we set a great list of goals for ourselves. Gyms, exercise machines sales reps and diet programs do gangbuster business the first two months of the year.

I take the easy way out and make reading resolutions. Here are mine for 2016:

I resolve to make my writing a priority.
I resolve to delve deeper into the sub-genre of Military SF.
I resolve to go to more conventions.

I’ve already registered for Northern California’s small and dynamic FogCon in March, and WorldCon in August. Look how well I’m doing!

How did I do on last year’s? Well, pretty well on the Mil-SF resolution, I think, and I read several good books on literary criticism, but I fail... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in December 2015 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... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read in 2015?

It's the last day of 2015! We hope you've had a wonderful reading year and that our work here at FanLit helped you achieve that.

Now we want to know: What is the best book you read in 2015?

It doesn't have to be a book that was published in 2015. Just read in 2015. It doesn't even have to be speculative fiction.

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.

If you haven't yet, please check out our favorite books published in 2015. And, as always, we have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly up... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Happy Holidays!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!
(And for those who don't celebrate Christmas, we wish you a lovely holiday season!)

We hope you are able to have a joyful time with the people you love.

We also hope you'll have time to spend with some wonderful books.

How are books involved in your holiday? Will you be giving any books as gifts? If so, which ones and why?

Do you hope to receive any particular books? Or perhaps gift cards or cash to spend on books?

If so, which books do you hope to acquire, and why? We want to know!

One commenter gets a FanLit T-shirt or a book from our stacks.

  Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in November 2015. 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 2015 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: Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our American readers: Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it invites us to take stock, to reflect, and to be grateful. As a big fan of SFF, I've had a great deal to be thankful this year, including new novels by Robert Charles Wilson, China Miéville, and Neal Stephenson. However, perhaps this year will be remembered as a great year for SFF films, including Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, and soon -- though not soon enough as far as I'm concerned -- another Star Wars film.

What are you grateful for?

One random commenter will choose a ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Second annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

Last year we started our annual SPECULATIVE FICTION HAIKU CONTEST! Now it's time for round two. Anyone can do this!

As a reminder, here are the rules:

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 break that pattern. Many poets who write English haiku adhere to other expectations:

Writt... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers (giveaway!)

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in October 2015. 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 October 2015 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: Happy Halloween!

Saturday is Halloween. Many people like to read horror stories and watch horror movies during the month of October, which is why we've been posting plenty of horror reviews this month.

Here are a few of our recently published favorite horror novels (click on covers to read reviews):



What about you? Do you gravitate toward horror during October? If so, what have you read and/or watched this month? Do you have traditional favorites that you read or watch every year or do you prefer to look for something new?

Tell us all about it. One commenter will win a book from our stacks. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover!

 

It's time again for one of our favorite games!

Please help us rename this atrocious-looking science fiction novel by John Rackham and DAW books (November, 1973).

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

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Please send it to Kat.

We love this game! Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Collaborative Cliché (epic fantasy edition)

Every year we invite all of you to join us in the cliché-fest we call Collaborative Cliché, invented by retired reviewer Ruth Arnell. Last year we rocked the urban fantasy world. This year, we return to an old favorite: Epic Fantasy. Ah, yes, those familiar tales of derring-do on a large canvas that are just a little too familiar. Help us embrace the cliché!

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: Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers (giveaway)

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in September 2015. 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 September 2015 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: Guess what we’re reading!

It's been over a year since we played Guess What We're Reading. Let's try it again!

Grab a very well-known speculative fiction book off the shelf (something you think we should be familiar with), choose a passage and give us 50 words from that passage. Other readers will try to guess your book while you try to guess theirs.

Here are the rules:

Submit as many passages as you like — just put them in separate comments.
When you guess someone’s book, reply directly to that comment so we keep the threads neatly organized.
Please keep your 50 words family-friendly and free of major spoilers or obvious clues such as well-known character names.
When you guess books, you may not use any resources outside of your own brain. No Google, no Amazon, no looking in the books on your shelves, etc. Where’s the fun in that? Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Celebrating all things short

"To say more, is to say less."

So said the great and prolific writer of short fiction, Harlan Ellison.

So in that spirit we are celebrating all things short this Thoughtful Thursday and we would love to know about your favourite short novels.

A few days ago upon reading Illyria, Elizabeth Hand's World Fantasy Award Winner for best Novella, I was reminded of what a wonderful thing it can be to skip through a short novel as if your life depends on it. I raced through Illyria, not for lack of time, but out of sheer enjoyment, and was left positively breathless at the end. It was a beautiful story, only enhanced by its diminutive stature.

After all, good things do come in small packages. (At 5 foot nothing, I repeat this maxim to ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in August 2015. 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 August 2015 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: Back to school! (giveaway)

It's that time of year again.

Children groan and parents cheer as another year of school begins!

In fact, at this very moment, as I'm writing this post, I'm trying to get the last of my kids off to school for the day before I leave for work.

Maybe if he went to Hogwarts, he'd be more enthusiastic about his education. They certainly had a better school lunch!

Did you ever fantasize about being a student at a fictional school? Which speculative fiction institution would you like to attend? Or is there a school you'd hope to be expelled from if you were a student there?

As always, one random commenter with a US address wins a book or audiobook from our stacks. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers (GIVEAWAY!)

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in July 2015. 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: Tom Doyle wonders about secret mages (and gives away a book!)

Tom Doyle blends historical fiction and urban fantasy in his AMERICAN CRAFT series. I loved his first bookAmerican Craftsmen and can't wait to read his newest offering, The Left-Hand Way. Tom's here today to talk about secret mages and to give away a copy of The Left-Hand Way to one commenter.

My AMERICAN CRAFT series is about the adventures and intrigues of modern-day magician-soldiers, or craftsmen. While their abilities are clearly supernatural, they are also things that could go largely unnoticed by non-practitioners: a favorable alteration in the local weather, a bit of edge in combat skills, a vision of a possible future. For the backstory of the craftspeople, I’ve imagined that their ancestors have been secretly intervening in world events since prehistoric times.

Thus, during the past ... Read More