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 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

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2021 Locus Awards (Giveaway!)

On June 26, 2021 Connie Willis will host the Virtual 2021 Locus Awards Ceremony. The Locus Award finalists, listed below, are chosen by a poll of readers using an open public ballot. The Locus Award list is always fascinating because it's a lot different from the Nebula and Hugo lists.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. (Sorry we didn't manage to read all of them this year!)

We’ve included the cover art for our favorites.

Which, if any, of these finalists have you read? Who do you think will win the Locus Award in these categories? Are there any titles you think should have been on this list but aren't? Answer below for a chance to win a book from our stacks or a $5 Am... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in May 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: 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 May 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 y... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2020 Nebula Awards: Novels, Novellas, Andre Norton

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 56th Annual Nebula conference (June 4-6) will be held online this year (as it was last year) and the 2020 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, June 5, 2021.

Last week we discussed the finalists for Best Short Story and Best Novelette. Today we'll talk about the novels and novellas, including the Middle Grade and Young Adult novels nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

Here are the finalists in these categories. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories.

BEST NOVEL:

Piranesi by Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2020 Nebula Awards: Novelettes & Short Stories

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 56th Annual Nebula conference (June 4-6) will be held online this year (as it was last year) and the 2020 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, June 5, 2021.

Today let’s talk about the finalists for Best Short Story and Best Novelette. We’ll talk about other categories in a future column.

Here are the finalists in these categories. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories. Most can be read for free online.

BEST SHORT STORY:

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson, Uncanny
Advanced Word Problems... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in April 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: 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 April 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: Rename this horrible cover

Usually at this time of year we promote Free Comic Book Day and ask you about your plans for visiting your local comic shop, but this year, due to the pandemic, it's been postponed to August 14.

So, instead, let's do another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest.

Farnham's Freehold, by Robert A. Heinlein, was published in 1964, probably not coincidentally, the same year as the last cover we mocked. You can click the image to embiggen.

Can you suggest a better name for a book with this cover? 

The creator of the title we like bes... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s your TBR list like?

We suspect that most of our readers keep a TBR ("To Be Read") list and we're interested in hearing about it, so we've got some questions. Feel free to answer as many as you'd like and to ask questions of other readers.

Do you keep a TBR list? If not, why not?
What format is it in (e.g., notebook, spreadsheet, online)?
How many books are on your list?
How do you organize it?
How do you decide in which order to read your books?
Are you good at sticking to the list?
Where do you discover the books you put on your list?
What are the first five books on your list?
If you have one piece of advice for creating a TBR list, what is it?

As always, one random commenter will choose a book from our stacks.

Hamlet’s TBR Lament
by Bill Capo...

Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in March 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. 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 weeks, Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover

Time for another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest!

The Underpeople, by Cordwainer Smith, was published in 1964 and makes up half of the novel Norstrilia. The cover is.... striking...

Can you suggest a better name for a book with this cover? 

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

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming?  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 March 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.

Get email notifications... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in February 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. 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 weeks, Read More

Thoughtful Thursday is on Spring Break

Here are our current giveaways.

See you next week! Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Poetry

Saint Patrick’s Day always sees me returning to my favorite poet, William Butler Yeats, whose grave I made a pilgrimage to many a year ago. Though he might be the most famous, Yeats is hardly the only wordsmith from Ireland; for such a tiny land, it exports a hell of a lot of good poetry.

Which got me to thinking about poetry in fantasy. Tolkien, of course, made huge use of it in his works (your mileage may vary as to whether that’s a good or bad thing). But so have other authors — whether within the work itself, or as inspiration (see “Vaster than Empires, and More Slow” by Ursula K. LeGuin), as epigraph, or even by using poets as main characters, as Daniel Abraham does in his sublime LONG PRICE QUARTET.

... 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 February 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.

Get email notificati... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Promising new authors!

The announcement of a new book by one of our long-standing favorite writers is always cause for excitement and then eager anticipation.

Just as exciting is the discovery of a new talent, though here the joy is not anticipated but comes partway through a reading as the realization dawns that we are indeed reading something outstanding, written by someone who just might be added to that list of favorite authors.

Given this past year we’ve all had, that sort of discovery is all the more treasured.

So what say you readers? What relatively new authors in the past 1-2 years have broken through for you into that rarefied atmosphere?

Or if not new writers, maybe a writer you’ve just come across (and are now frantically going through their backlist until their next new title comes out).

For me, I’d place Micaiah Johnson and Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in January 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. 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 weeks, Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Valentine’s Day 2021

Valentine's Day is around the corner!

Love is in the air and everyone's thoughts turn to romance.

Five years ago we asked readers about their favorite fantasy and science fiction romances. We thought we'd check in again to see if there are any updates to your lists.

Who are your new (and all-time) favorite SFF couples, and why?

And, are there any SFF couples that you really despise? If so, why?

As usual, one random commenter picks a book from the stacks. 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 January 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.

Get email notificatio... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Favorite speculative fiction soundtracks

Television and streaming services have given us a wealth of speculative fiction content the past several years.

HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and even Syfy have delivered interesting, thoughtful programming with high production values, including outstanding soundtracks.

Which show has your favorite sound track? Why? Tell us in the comments.

One commenter with a USA mailing address will win a book from our Stacks or a $5 Amazon gift card. Read More