Hi there! Hugo Award for the best 2015 science fiction and fantasy novel will be announced on August 20, 2016. This is exactly 13 weeks away, and there are five shortlisted sci fi and fantasy books, all are fantastic reading choices, voted by the fans. Would you like to join me on a reading challenge to read these five books and chat about them in the community of fans? If so, here is how we can do it.
- First, look at the reading schedule on the title image of this post. See? Five books are spread over the 13 remaining weeks. I broke it down so each week you need to read about 200 pages. This is your benchmark to stay on track. A lot of reading? Well,It wouldn’t be a challenge otherwise. But think how fun it will be when the awards are coming up, and you have read all the five, and picked your racing horse, so to speak. It almost becomes a sporting event!
- Second, post the link to this page on your social media, invite friends. Don’t forget to include the #HugoChallenge hashtag whenever you blog, post or tweet.
- Third, sign up by subscribing to my blog at http://www.EllieMaloney.Wordpress.Com. This way you will receive my posts about the challenge, all kinds of fun trivia about these books and such. You can follow me via email or via the wordpress account. Also, say ‘i’m in’ in the comment section on this official page of the Hugo challenge. Also sign up for the public Facebook group – Jalapeno Book Club where I will post all the reading updates. Please use this group as you see fit to discuss everything about these 5 readings as long as you include hashtag #HugoChallenge.
- Fourth, check in at least once a week to talk to the fellow readers about your progress and about what you have read. But really, check in any time. Share your thoughts in comments to the book page:
- Lastly, join the Hugo Challenge main page for the discussion of the Hugo Award winner on August 20.
Read about the five novels for the challenge:
- Ancillary Mercy (book 3) by Ann Leckie (Orbit), science fiction, 336 p.
For a moment, things seem to be under control for the soldier known as Breq. Then a search of Atheok Station’s slums turns up someone who shouldn’t exist – someone who might be an ancillary from a ship that’s been hiding beyond the empire’s reach for three thousand years. Meanwhile, a messenger from the alien and mysterious Presger empire arrives, as does Breq’s enemy, the divided and quite possibly insane Anaander Mianaai – ruler of an empire at war with itself.
Anaander is heavily armed and extremely unhappy with Breq. She could take her ship and crew and flee, but that would leave everyone at Athoek in terrible danger. Breq has a desperate plan. The odds aren’t good, but that’s never stopped her before.
- The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc), 630 p.
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit), fantasy, 449p.
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
- Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow), science fiction, 881 p.
From Mike’s Collectable Books- What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remains . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny-seven distinct races now three billion strong-embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey) (Nebula winner), fantasy, 438 p.
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.