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: FanLit’s 2018 SFF Limerick Contest

It's time for our annual Fantasy Limerick contest!

Your task is to create an original limerick that has something to do with speculative fiction. It could be about a character, a series, an author, or whatever fits the theme. Here are the rules for creating a good limerick (quoting from this source). A limerick:

is five lines long
is based on the rhythm "da-da-DAH" (anapest meter)
has two different rhymes
Lines 1, 2, and 5 have three of those da-da-DAH "feet," and rhyme with each other.
Lines 3 and 4 have two, and rhyme with each other.
You can break the meter rules if there's a good reason. You may

drop the first "da" in a line, changing that foot to da-DAH
add an extra "da" or two at the end of a line IF it's used for an extended rhyme, such as cannibal and Hannibal

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Thoughtful Thursday: 2018 Hugo Awards: Novels & Novellas

Lots of our favorites are included among the finalists for this year's Hugos for Best Novel and Best Novella. Will the "sure things" win? Will Ann Leckie or Yoon Ha Lee pull off an upset?

Not surprisingly, the novella category has the tried-and-true, like Nnedi Okorafor and Seanan McGuire, along with relative newcomers like Sarah Gailey. And the Tor.com novella imprint is well represented in that category!

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We've displayed the covers of our favorites.

BEST NOVEL

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, Tor
Read More

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

What is the best book you read in July 2018 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 our st... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: 2018 Hugo Awards: Series, YA, Campbell

The 2018 Hugo Awards will be presented at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California, on August 19. The Hugo Award finalists are chosen by readers who are voting members of Worldcon. This week we’ll talk about the awards for Best Series, Best Young Adult Novel, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Author. We discussed the categories for short works a few weeks ago and we’ll discuss the novels and novellas in our August 9 column.

Best series (in its second year) has a bumper crop of great stories. This category points out, once again, the difficulty in the category, with books that are definitely linked (Robert Jackson Bennett, Brandon Sanderson, for example) and series like Seanan McGuire's books, which can be read as stand-alones. It will be interesting to watch this category evolve.
Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in June 2018. 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 b... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: 2018 Hugo Awards: Novelettes & Short Stories

The 2018 Hugo Awards will be presented at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California, on August 19. The Hugo Award finalists are chosen by readers who are voting members of Worldcon. This week we'll talk about the shortest works, novelettes and short stories. We'll discuss other categories in future columns.



Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We liked all of these stories and loved most of them. It's not surprising that we saw many of these in the Locus and Nebula finalist lists.

BEST NOVELETTE

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, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in June 2018 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 co... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in May 2018. 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. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Happy 11th birthday to us!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

This month marks our ELEVENTH birthday!

Yep, we've been hanging out together (well, some of us) since June 2007!

To celebrate, we're giving away gifts!

FIVE commenters from the US will receive some FanLit BOOKMARKS (quite practical!) and a cozy FANLIT T-SHIRT (as long as we still have your size). Or, if you prefer, you may choose a book from our stacks.



You can leave any sort of comment -- a birthday wish, an admission of how many days/years you've been wasting your time edifying yourself at our site, suggestions for what you'd like to see happen at FanLit in the future, a festive natal day poem. Whatever! Just make sure to click the little notification box so you'll know if you won, or check ba... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2018 Locus Awards: Novels

The 2018 Locus Awards Weekend will be held in Seattle, Washington next weekend (June 22-24). The Locus Award finalists are chosen by a poll of readers. A couple of weeks ago we discussed the finalists for the Short Fiction categories, so this week let's look at the novels.



Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. I’ve included the cover art for our favorites. We loved many of these novels. The Locus Award list is always fascinating, almost always very different from the Nebula and Hugo lists.

How many of these finalists have you read? Who do you think will win the Locus Award in these categories? Answer below for a chance to win a book from our sta... 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, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in May 2018 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 com... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2018 Locus Awards: Short fiction

The Nebula Awards are in our rearview, and next up are the Locus Awards, leading us into Hugo Season!

The Locus Weekend will be held in Seattle, Washington, on June 22-24, 2018.

The Locus Awards have lots of categories, so I am focused on the short fiction this week and in a couple of weeks we'll discuss the novels.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. I've included the cover art for some of our favorites.

Who do you think will win the Locus Award in these categories? Answer below for a chance to win a book from our stacks.

 

BEST NOVELLA

In Calabria Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in April 2018. 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 ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2017 Nebula Awards: Novelettes, Short Stories, YA

This year’s Nebula conference (May 17-20) will be held in Pittsburgh, and the 2017 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

We talked about the nominees for Best Novel and Best Novella last week.

Now let's talk about the finalists for Best Novelette, Best Short Story, and the Andre Norton Award for YA SFF.

Here they are. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories:

BEST NOVELETTE:

“Dirty Old Town” by Richard Bowes, published by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2017 Nebula Awards: Novels & Novellas

This year’s Nebula conference (May 17-20) will be held in Pittsburgh, and the 2017 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Here are the finalists. Click the links to read our reviews:

BEST NOVEL:

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory, published by Knopf
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, Tor
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by  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, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in April 2018 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 c... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Free Comic Book Day 2018 (Giveaway!)

Free Comic Book Day — FCBD — is always the first Saturday of May. To get your free comics on May 5, you’ll need to locate a local comic bookstore and, if in doubt, give them a call to see if they are participating. Chances are, if it’s an independent comic book store, they are offering free comics, because FCBD is designed to celebrate comics, to introduce comic books to new readers, to celebrate the unique independent comic book stores that sell them, and to support comic book stores by bringing in new customers in addition to the regular patrons.



If you are new to comics, FCBD is for you just as much as it is for those of us who can’t make it through a single day without reading comics. For me and others like me, it’s a day of celebration. But we also want to reach out to new readers.

So, if you have never been into a comic book store before, please ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in March 2018. 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 ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover!

Time for another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest!

This story by Jack Williamson was recently reviewed by Sandy. Apparently, the story is not nearly as bad as the art.

But we feel like the cover needs a new title. Can you suggest one?

The creator of the title we like best wins a book from our stacks

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Plea... 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, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in March 2018 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 c... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in February 2018. 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, plea... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Our favorite SFF drinking establishments

Last year, for our Thoughtful Thursday St. Patrick’s Day Version I noted how the day always sees me browsing through one of my favorite Irish exports: the poetry of William Butler Yeats.

For this year’s post, I’m turning to another beloved aspect of Irish culture: the pub (which you might think couldn’t be exported, but you’d be wrong it turns out).

My best memories of Ireland are nights spent in pubs filled with and fueled by fiddle, flute and Guinness; banjo, bodhran and Guinness; pipe, tin whistle and Guinness; reels and jigs and songs and Guinness. Did I mention they have Guinness? (and no, it doesn’t travel well...).

It’s hard for me to imagine a place better than the pubs of Doolin, but that is... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Favorite book covers (from the past 5 years)

It seems like we're always making fun of horrible book covers, so now let's take some time to praise some great cover art. We'll make this a regular feature.

To narrow down the results, for this contest, let's choose covers that have been published within the last five years. Here are a couple of my favorites:

 
Full Fathom Five artist: Chris McGrath
The Lady of the Lake artists: Bartlomiej Gawel & Pawel Brudniak (design by Lauren Panepinto)

 

What are some of your recent favorites? Please name the artist if you know who it is.

Our blog software won't allow you to upload images, so you can either link to the cover somewhere on the internet (e.g., Amazon) or, try using this code with the URL of the image between the quotation marks:
<img src="URL goes here">
If this doesn't work (the blog is trying to protect us from unscrupulous commenters' images), I... Read More

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

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 February 2018 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, on... Read More

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

Sorry this post is going up so late today..... somebody is drinking margaritas in Mexico and forgot to post it!

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in January 2018. 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'... Read More