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 is on Winter Break

We'll be back soon!

Here are our current giveaways. Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in December 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll s... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Our favorite books of 2021

Here are our favorite books published in 2021. Hover over the cover to see who recommends each book. Click on the cover to read our review.

Please keep in mind that we did not read every SFF book published this year, so we know we’ve missed some good ones!

Please add your comments — we’d love to hear your opinions about our list and to know which were YOUR favorite books of 2021. What did we miss?

One commenter chooses a Kindle version of one of our 2021 faves or a book from our stacks.

ADULT SFF



MIDDLE GRADE / YOUNG ADULT SFF



NON-FICTION Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in November 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a wi... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2021 Hugo Awards (GIVEAWAY!)

Winners of the 2021 Hugo Awards will be announced at the 79th World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) which will be held December 15-19 in Washington DC (DisCon III). (Usually WorldCon is held in August but it was delayed this year due to COVID). The award ceremony takes place on Saturday December 18. The Hugo Award finalists, listed below, are chosen by a poll of readers.

There are no Retrospective Hugo Awards being presented this year because the 1946 Retros were presented in 1996. We're covering only the categories you see below but there are lots more that you can find on the 2021 Hugo Award page.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We’ve included the co... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in November 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll s... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Eighth Annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

Time for our eighth annual SPECULATIVE FICTION HAIKU CONTEST!  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:

Written in three lines, though sometimes in two or f... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in October 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a win... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in October 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll se... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Horror for kids

With few exceptions (e.g., Invasion of the Body Snatchers), I do not enjoy horror novels or films. When I was a freshman in college in the late '80s, my friends decided to go see Witchboard, a horror movie that was playing at a local theater. I tried to bow out, saying I really couldn't handle it, but they insisted I just needed more exposure. I reluctantly let them (pretty much literally) drag me along, but it wasn't long before I was out of my seat and cowering in the lobby for an hour while they finished the movie. As far as I can recall, that was the last horror movie I ever (partially) watched.

My daughter Tali, who is now the same age I was when I saw Witchboard, recently had a similar experience. (It would not be at all surprising if, like many of our preferences and tastes, an aversion to horror is hereditary -- it likely has something to do with the biological ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in September 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner wit... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday is on Fall Break

Here are our current giveaways.

Thoughtful Thursday will be back on October 21. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read in September 2021?

Usually we do this on the first Thursday of the month (that would be next week) but we'll be on Fall Break next week, so we're doing it on the last day of the month this time.

What is the best book you read in September 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Favorite magic systems

As Supreme Court Justice Potter1 Stewart famously said when asked to explain “magic” in fantasy novels:


“I shall not today attempt to further define the kinds of actions/abilities I understand to be embraced within that description, and perhaps I never could succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”2


Ok, he didn’t really say that about magic in fantasy novels. He was talking about pornography.3


But let’s pretend.


Now, some novelists don’t bother themselves to “further define” how magic works in their fantasy universe. They figure the reader knows it when they see it,

Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in August 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Fantastic Quotes!

It's time again to share some of our favorite (new or old) quotes from speculative fiction.

They can be deep, poignant, witty, hilarious, or otherwise memorable.

You can choose quotes from books you’ve read, or from interviews or blog posts from the authors who write those books. SFF films and shows are fine, too.

Give us the quote and the source (book or film title, link to interview or blog, etc).

Here are a few of the fantastic quotes that readers mentioned last time we did this. Click the book cover to read our review.
The Divine may have created many hells, but I think they pale beside what men create for themselves.

 

~City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

Br... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in August 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll sen... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in July 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this Horrible Cover

Time for another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest.

We like Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves, but wonder if you can come up with a better title for this particular cover? (Click to embiggen.)

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

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

Tenth Annual Speculative Fiction 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 e... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in July 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in June 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday is on Summer Break

Here are our current giveaways.

We will be back on July 29. Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in June 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Happy 14th birthday to us! (GIVEAWAY!)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

June 1 marked our FOURTEENTH 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 supplies last, we have S,M,L,XL). Or, if you prefer, you may choose a book from our stacks, or a $5 Amazon gift card.



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'... Read More