‘Beam me up Scotty’: Sci Fi Month 2016 #RRSciFiMonth

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That’s it folks.  Sci fi month 2016 ends today – and what a great month it’s been.  I’ve had a great time and I hope you all have too!  I was determined to write, post and watch lots of sci-fi (well, lots in terms of my own normal posting) and I managed to do so so I’m all coloured happy. I watched a few films, particularly enjoyed Jurassic Park.  Read and reviewed three books and managed to highlight 4 sci fi books that I’m looking forward to as part of my Waiting on Wednesday posts.

I have to give a great big hand of applause to Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow for doing such a stella job of hosting and I have to say that I hope they do so again next year as I’m actually going to formulate plans next time around!  That’s right – there are actually going to be PLANS (although in fairness, I probably said that same thing last year – however, this time there really are going to be plans)!!

So, as one door closes, another usually opens.  We currently have a readalong about to start for Becky Chambers A Closed and Common Orbit – starting literally in the next couple of days but if you’re interested in joining in you could easily catch up as it’s a nice gentle pace (and when I say catch up I mean jump on board because we’ve not started yet – details here).  Also, in the New Year, the Little Red Reviewer will be hosting her annual Vintage Sci Fi month – so dig out your old vintage sci fi books, films, covers, tv – whatever, and join in.  Lots to still look forward to people.

Finally, just in case you needed a little pick me up – here – just for you:

Live long and prosper 😀

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Events Update: Beam me up! #RRSciFiMonth

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This is just a quick update to make you aware (if you’re not already) of Sci-Fi month 2016.  Hosted by Rinnreads and Overtheeffingrainbow since 2013 this is an event that celebrates all things sci-fi.

Details of the event and the sign up page can be found here.  Stop on over and check it out – this is a really great event with lots of interaction with other bloggers.

If you’re like me and sci-fi tends to take more of a back seat then this is a great incentive to pick up more books.  It’s is a really chilled event – it takes place for the whole month of November and you can pretty much review/blog/chat/tweet/write discussion articles/host giveaways, you name it – you can do it!  And, as much participation or as little as you want.  Plus twitter

Come join the fun.

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We can rebuild him…it….(#RRSciFiMonth)

People, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s third bionic sci fi month. Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow will be your hosts, better, than they were before (is that even possible?), better…. stronger…faster…. (Okay, I’ll stop now)

This is a very quick post (mainly because, like the White Rabbit) I’m late about this month’s Sci-Fi Month 2015 event being hosted by Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow.  Okay, late it may be, but because this is a sci fi event – I’ll just hop into my tardis and take a spin back in time – so actually, if you’re reading this post now – it’s really earlier than you think!!!!  It could work! Yeah, my head hurts too.

Anyway, details here – go and sign up, only if you wish of course. Who am I kidding, everybody signed up a month ago right?, But, don’t forget that I have a tardis handy…which means, technically speaking, I will be first!  Went there again..

So, to my plans, (wrings hands with glee):

I’m joining in the readalong hosted by the Lovely Lisa at OtER: The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, details here.  I am so looking forward to this book!

I’m hoping to read:

  1. Lock-in by John Scalzi
  2. The Machinery by Gerrard Cowan

I won’t add more because November is already a bit pushed!  And, if I do find a way of making time slow down, well, I can read more.

But – I think films are very possible too.  Fancying rewatches of Blade Runner, Star Wars and Aliens – bring on the popcorn!

Tweet all about it here:;#RRSciFiMonth

That is all.

Join us.

“Live long and prosper.”

Hear all about it, hear all about it!!!

Two great events.  (You’re welcome :D)

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Darkness falls across the land The midnight hour is close at hand Creatures crawl in search of blood To terrorize your neighborhood And whosoever shall be found Without a book or kindle in hand Must stand and face the hounds of hell And rot inside a corpse’s shell…..

RIP (Readers Imbibing Peril) – this is the brainchild of Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings.  This year The Estella Society will be hosting the event.  Details here.  This is NOT a challenge – it is an event and the accent is purely on fun.  Choose as many books as you want, enter a readalong, whatever.  Dark fantasy, horror, mystery, thriller, chiller – it’s the right time of year to give yourself the goosebumps.  And there’s lovely artwork:

Image by the very talented Abigail Larson

Sci Fi Month 2015: November

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Sci fi Month 2015

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It’s not rocket science …. (pun intended)

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It’s all about great sci fi…

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little green men and spaceships! (or whatever floats your ship)

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Check out the details. Hosted by Rinn Reids and Over the Effing Rainbow.

Details here.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Just finished reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.  It would be easy to say I had mixed feelings about this but to be honest I don’t have mixed feelings at all – it simply, and bluntly wasn’t for me!  And, that’s in spite of having some very original (to me anyway) concepts and from having what I considered to be a very good ending.

Set far into the future Ancillary Justice is a space opera of epic proportions.  At the start of the story we follow Breq, currently residing on an unfriendly and largely inhabitable ice planet Breq comes across a former colleague, Seivarden, who has been attacked and lies dying in the cold – that is, until Breq intercedes.  This is a strange relationship between two characters who have no liking for each other. Now, jump back approximately 20 years and follow the story of One Esk Nineteen of the Justice of Toren warship.  One Esk is an ancillary, an AI, linked to many other similar AIs all sharing their thoughts and actions.  I’m not quite sure how to describe ancillaries other than that they are simply shells of people that have been used to create armies to be used by the Radch Empire in it’s quest to rule the stars.  Bear in mind at this point that these are not the only avatars being used in the story.

What becomes fairly quickly apparent is that Breq and One Esk are in fact one and the same character – except all One Esk’s former counterparts were destroyed along with the Justice of Toren about 20 years ago.  Breq, the only survivor now seeks revenge upon the person responsible – the Lord of the Radch – Anaander Mianaai.

So, what did I like about the story.

Well, without a doubt, there’s a lot to comprehend. This is a story of revenge.  It’s fairly involved given all the characters and different systems plus becoming familiar with all the names, back story and the way the AIs function plus trying to get a feel for Breq and Seivarden.  It’s a book of politics that takes a look at issues of class and inequality.  The measures to which some societies will go to impose their will upon those that they deem ‘uncivilised’ and in the act of doing so commit all manner of atrocities themselves.  It is, without doubt a thought provoking book and whether you like it or not it will definitely make you sit and consider things.

I actually liked that the author has come up with a system where sexual identity seems to be left undefined.  The dominant culture seem to use a language that uses primarily the word ‘she’ although sometimes with a scattering of the word ‘he’.  In their language and culture this is acceptable but does lead to difficulties when conversing with people from other cultures. What I actually really like about this concept is that whilst reading the book I didn’t have any defined ideas of how a person should be acting because of their gender.  In fact this was really a breath of fresh air.  I wasn’t thinking about the dynamics of possible relationships between characters or whether a character was acting in a way that I thought they would or should because of any predetermined ideas based on their gender.  I was simply concentrating on the story.  Such a great concept.  But, that being said, I didn’t like the way it was executed.  In other words everyone described using the female pronoun ‘she’.  Why?  I think it was a little confusing to be honest.  If you’re going to have a genderless society or at least – not genderless because clearly there are males and females but a society where ‘he’ and ‘she’ have become irrelevant somehow in terms of the language then why still specify one of these?  It just seemed odd to me and jarred a little plus it just felt a little confusing (although I admit that could just be me and the fact that I’m such a newbie to sci-fi).  I mean, I just don’t get it.  Why would you ever reach a point where you drop one of these descriptors but not the other?  If you’re trying to reach some sort of equilibrium it clearly makes sense to drop both altogether doesn’t it?

The other slight negatives for me – in a universe this size, how likely was it that Breq would have come across Seivarden – seems a bit too convenient a plot point – and yet, did Seivarden really add anything? Other than getting Breq a foot in the door towards the end probably not – although I concede that both Breq and Seivarden were having identity issues and their journey together seemed to alter them both – which was actually one of the more enjoyable elements of the story for me. Plus, whilst I did like the ending it felt a little bit too easy in parts.  I can’t say more because I don’t want to spoil it.

Anyway, I can’t deny that there are parts of this story that were really good and I did become quite gripped towards the end but to be honest this wasn’t really for me and put simply it didn’t hold my attention the way I thought it would.  Can a good ending redeem the book – sometimes, but in this instance I don’t think so.  This book took a lot longer than I would have expected because I kept putting it down and finding it hard to pick up again.  I’m clearly in a minority as it seems to be very popular so I certainly wouldn’t try and dissuade anyone from reading but I doubt that I will continue with this series.  I must confess that I feel a bit grumpy with myself for struggling with this one and feeling like somehow I’ve missed something fundamental or just been too plain dense to ‘get’ it – I really did want to love it but it just didn’t happen and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

This is my first read for Sci Fi November 2014.  Check out the details here.

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