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: 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

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover!

Time for another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest!

This book by Lin Carter is not quite as bad as its cover. But the cover definitely needs a new title.

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

Thoughtful Thursday: SFF Anniversary Gifts (+giveaway of some lovely earrings!)

So here we are coming up on Valentine’s Day and thoughts, and media posts, turn to love. One of the ones we came across recently was that standby list of traditional anniversary gifts...


Of course, our thoughts, as they’re prone to do, turned immediately to wondering what would those gifts be like in some of our favorite fantasy/sci-fi worlds?

Sure, those early gifts would probably be pretty similar (paper for the first year, wood for the fifth, tin for the tenth), but what about the gifts for those oh-so-special anniversaries celebrating an impressively enduring love/bonding? What would be the equivalents of our culture’s silver (25th year), gold (50th), and diamond (60th)?

We’ve provided one possible list from Middle-Earth (we decided to stop at 60 despite knowing that some chara... 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 January 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... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Collaborative Cliché — Villains Edition!

It’s time for another Collaborative Cliché!

Villains. Here at FanLit, we love villains, especially when they are well-written, nuanced, smart characters. Often, though, villains still fall into the category of flat, stick-figure characters, or worse, the dreaded Evil Overlords. It’s boring to read, and fun to mock.

In this Collaborative Cliché column, we take on the thinly drawn, evil-overlord villain. Let’s look at every stereotypical thing the Big Bads do. We'll start you off, but please use the Comments to keep us going! Add your favorite eye-rolling dumb villain move.

One random commenter with a USA mailing address will win a book from our Stacks. 



MordorMort’s dark cloak swirled about hi... Read More

2018 Books We Can’t Wait For!

Here are some of the books we can't wait for in 2018!

Hover over the covers to see what our reviewers said about each book.

Which books are you looking forward to in 2018? One commenter wins a book from our stacks. Read More

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

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in December 2017. 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: 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 2017 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

Our favorite books of 2017 (Giveaway!)

Here are our favorite books published in 2017. 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 2017. What did we miss? One commenter chooses a book from our stacks.

ADULT SFF



MIDDLE GRADE / YOUNG ADULT SFF



ANTHOLOGIES / COLLECTIONS



NON-FICTION Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read in 2017?

2017 is almost over! 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 2017?

It doesn't have to be a book that was published in 2017. Just read in 2017. 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.

Next week we'll be telling you about our favorite SFF books published in 2017.

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 updating list of Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in November 2017. 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: 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 November 2017 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: Rename this horrible cover!

Time for another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest!

This book by Phyllis Eisenstein is not as bad as its cover. And really, the cover's not that bad. It just wants a new title.

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

Thoughtful Thursday: Please pass the yams!

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Americans!

OK, we all know the traditional Thanksgiving main course is turkey, but we also know that what really makes a great Thanksgiving repast/buffet are the sides: acorn squash, roasted Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, pumpkin soup, curried, well, you get the picture.

Just like we know the protagonists of our favorite books and films do the heavy lifting, but the side characters add the rich flavor.

So let’s make a meal out of them (so to speak, this isn’t the Donner Party in Space): what three or four side characters would you put on the table? Who’s the yam to your main dish?

One random commenter will choose a book from our stacks. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Fourth Annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

Time for our fourth 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 we reviewed in October 2017. 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, pleas... 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 October 2017 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... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Stranger Things Season 2

We love this VHS-style Blu-Ray set!



Sure, you could wait for October 31st to immerse yourself in the creepily disturbing, to wallow in waves of nostalgia, to set your eyes upon a child’s wonder and fear intermingled, and of course to down mounds of, well, Mounds (and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and M & Ms, and Almond Joys and and and...).

Or you could do what the rest of us are planning on: break open those bags of Halloween candy a few nights early, plop on the couch, and binge-watch season two of Stranger Things which will be released on Netflix tomorrow.

This show has it all -- arcade games, Eggos, and everyone's favorite childhood memory, riding bikes at night. Everything about this show has been unbelievably fun!


So, what are your predictions for the second season of Stranger Things? What do you think will happen in the crazy, um, “upside down” ... Read More

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

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in September 2017. 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, ple... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Thoughts about Blade Runner and similar films (giveaway!)

As I mentioned in my review of Blade Runner 2049, I thought the film was engrossing, atmospheric, and evocative, combining a deeply thoughtful and philosophical story with visual flare.

Whether you've had a chance to see it or not, here are some questions I'd like to discuss:

1) What are some other films (or books) that do a good job of questioning and/or blurring the concept of identity between humans and the Artificial Intelligence that we create?

2) Can you think of a film series that should have ended rather than adding one or more sequels? If there were multiple sequels, where should the series have ended and why?

3) What would a Blade Runner prequel look like/involve?

4) Where would a Blade Runner 3 go? (Let's try to avoid spoilers for Blade Runner 2049.)

One random commenter will ch... 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 September 2017 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, o... Read More