Monday, January 2, 2012

Working for the Mandroid's 2012 Science Fiction Reading Challenge

My daughter is taking a Science Fiction course this year as one of her English Major courses and, since I really like Science Fiction, I decided I would read some of the books on her reading list. So, why not participate in a reading challenge, too? I found this one hosted by Working for the Mandroid. Here are the details:

1. The challenge begins January 1, 2012 and runs through December 31, 2012. Books started before January 1st don't count towards the challenge. Re-reads do count, but a new review must be written. Any format of book counts - hard copy, audiobook, e-book - they aren't picky.

2. A review has to be written and posted for each book in the challenge. If you don't have a blog, they can be posted on Goodreads, LibraryThing, Amazon, Shelfari, Facebook, anywhere else book reviews are accepted and can be linked to.

3. Any books read for another challenge that fit into one of the categories can count towards this one. One book, however, cannot fill multiple categories in this challenge. For example, Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game technically fits into at least four of the categories. It can only count for one though.

4. A post will be set up on Working for the Mandroid beginning January 1st for participants to add their review links.

5. At the end of the year, Mandroid will put all the people who signed up for the challenge and finished 6 of the 12 categories in a contest for a not yet determined prize. Those who finish all 12 of the categories will be entered into a different, better contest. Additional contests throughout the year might also become available depending on participation of readers and availability of prizes. Note: The more participants, the more science fiction friendly sponsors, the more contests.

There are 12 categories as mentioned above. Here's a quick look at them. There are more details and book suggestions on the Mandroid site.

YA/MG Science Fiction title - This can be anything remotely science fiction written for a younger audience.  "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

Adult Science Fiction title - Same as above, but this time with an adult title.

Hugo Winner - Any book that's won a Hugo Award - see the list on the Mandroid site.
Some of them are clearly fantasy books, but for this category, that's okay.

Science Fiction Classic - Pre-1950s - This category would include things like Frankenstein, 1984, anything by HG Wells or Jules Vern, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you know, classics. Put your high school English caps on! Here's a link to the Classics of Science Fiction website for suggestions.

Science Fiction Modern Classic - 1951-1992 - You can find suggestions for these on the Classics of Science Fiction website, too. 

Steampunk - Any book that could be classified as steampunk - a sub-genre of science fiction that denotes fictional works set in an era or world where steam is the primarily use of power. It often takes place in an alternate form of the Victorian era and features futuristic technology twisted to fit in a historical setting. Here's a good list of titles.

Robots/Cyborgs/Androids - Easy enough - books that predominantly feature robots, such as, I don't know, Robopocalypse or I, Robot or even perhaps Cinder. Here's a list.

Spaceships/Aliens - Any book that heavily involves either spaceships or aliens. Here's a list.

Time Travel/Alternate History/Parallel Universe - Here's a list of time travel books. "One Magic Moment" by Lynn Kurland

Alternate history is a little different. It could be as different as steampunk or as simple as the resulting history caused by the Nazis winning WWII. Here's a list of suggestions.

Parallel universe are two stories occurring simultaneously across two different universes.  Examples can be found here.

Apocalyptic/Dystopia/Utopia - Classics include Brave New World and 1984, YA titles include Divergent, The Hunger Games, Matched, Wither, Ashes, the list goes on and on. I'd even say that any zombie titles would fit into this category too. Zombies = Apocalypse

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is highly recommended by our host. Here's a list of books: apocalyptic, utopia, and dystopia.

Cyberpunk - This is a bit subgenre of a subgenre. Cyberpunk was started in the 1980s and involves stories that tend to be about grungy societies that happen to be inundated with very high tech. It often involves some sort of crazy computer-based alternate reality and/or androids. William Gibson (Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition, Count Zero, pretty much everything he's ever written) and Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash, The Diamond Age) are your guys here. Here's a list of additional choices.

Mad Scientists/Genetic Testing/Environmental Disaster - The three most obvious titles, I think, would be Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, The Island of Doctor Moreau and Frankenstein. To broaden the spectrum, anything involving genetic testing and altering nature counts. There are additional suggestions on the sign-up post including graphic novels and your standard superhero comics. Here's a starter list of mad scientist titles.

Okay, so my daughter's reading list for her class has several of the titles suggested by the Mandroid site. I should be all set. Want to read some sci-fi this year? Go to this site and sign up! BTW, some of the comments posted here came directly from our host's sign-up post. You can find a much more detailed explanation of the categories there.

1 comment:

  1. So excited for this challenge. Got one review up. Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes. Thanks for joining!
    Book & Movie Dimension a Blog