Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shellie’s List for The Basics Challenge – Exploring Speculative Fiction

My Goal:
To attempt to read 100 books within a 5 year span, less 25% forgiveness rate, which is a total of 75 books. Divided down it’s 15 books per year. Which ultimately translates to a little over 1 book per month.
This challenge will be an overlap with The Fill in the Gaps Challenge listed here.
I have chosen to use a “reading pool” method. All the books are within the Speculative Fiction Genre – Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.
Overlapping Challenge Books
Science Fiction:
  1. Dune - Frank Herbert
  2. Children of Dune - Frank Herbert
  3. Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert
  4. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
  5. Foundation - Isaac Asimov
  6. Foundation Empire - Isaac Asimov
  7. Second Foundation - Isaac Asimov
  8. Do Androids Dream of Sleep - Phillip K. Dick
  9. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  10. 1984 - George Orwell
  11. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  12. Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clark
  13. Ringworld - Harry Niven
  14. Time Machine - H. G. Wells
  15. The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
  16. The Island of Doctor Moreau - H. G Wells
  17. The World Treasury of Science Fiction - David G. Hartwell
  18. The Day After Tomorrow - Robert Heinlein
  19. Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
  20. Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham
  21. Trouble with Lichen - John Wyndham
  22. Chrysalids - John Wyndham
  23. The Godmakers - Don Pendleton
  24. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream - Harllan Ellison
Feminist Science Fiction:
  1. Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  2. New Eves - ed Janrae Frank
  3. The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
  4. The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood
  1. Interview with a Vampire - Anne Rice
  2. The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice
  3. The Queen of the Damned - Anne Rice
  4. Cry to Heaven - Anne Rice
  5. The Locus Awards - ed Charles N. Brown - should be included in all catagories
  6. Great Tales of Horror - Edgar Allen Poe
  7. The Hunter of the Dark - H. P. Lovecraft
  8. Dracula - Bram Stoker (read but need review)
  9. The Inferno - Dante
  10. The Metamorphosis - Frank Kafka (read)
  11. The Historian - Elizabeth Kostava
  1. The Middle Window - Elizabeth Goudge
  2. The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
  3. Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - J. R. R. Tolkien
  4. Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers - J. R. R. Tolkien
  5. Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - J. R. R. Tolkien
  6. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  7. Dragon Flight - Anne McCaffrey
  8. The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart
  9. The Last Enchantment - Mary Stewart
  10. The Hollow Hills - Mary Stewart
  11. Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
  12. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone - J. K. Rowling
  13. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J. K. Rowling
  14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Ascaban - J. K. Rowling
  15. Green Mansions - William Henry Hudson
Reviews link to Layers of Thought:
  1. The Things That Keep Us Here - Carla Buckley (adult apocalyptic)
  2. The Magic Warble – Victoria Simcox (children’s fantasy)
  3. RELEASE by Nicole Hadaway – (horror, vampire)
  4. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan – (dark fantasy, fairytale retelling )
  5. Soulless by Gail Carrigan – (urban fantasy, steam punk, vampire, werewolf)
  6. The Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka (horror, classic, literature)
  7. - needs to be posted.
  8. Life As We Knew It
  9. The Dead and The Gone
  10. This World We Live In (all linked here in one post) – (apocalyptic, young adult)
  11. Inside Out by Maria Snyder (young adult – girls science fiction)
  12. Cursed by Jeremy Shipp (horror- bizarro)
12 completed, 63 more to go.

First book done: The Earthsea Quartet, Ursula leGuin

Do you ever get that feeling that you're the dunce of the class?

Well, thats how i felt when i finally finished the Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin. This series and its author have had a huge impact on the world of fiction, especially fantasy! One of my all time favourite fantasy series, the book of Pellinor is a nod to this series, so you can imagine what i was expecting!


God, i really wanted to love these books as they've inspired so many of my favourite writers and i had really high hopes for enjoying them (maybe that was part of the problem). Although i can appreciate the plot and story arc of the Earthsea Cycle (i had four books in one), i just didn't connect with the characters or story at all.

I was completely indifferent to SparrowHawk and his journey! I just seemed to disconnect while reading, if that makes sense.

Strangely, i feel slightly disappointed in myself for not appreciating/connecting with these books more , especially when i love reading/writing fantasy - I feel like i've now lost my membership card lol.

I guess i'll just have to put this series to one side and reread at a later date and see how i go.

I'd love to know what other people thought of this series? and if you liked/loved it, what was it about it that appealed?

or if there are other works by Ursula Le Guin which i might redeem myself with? lol.