Hello, Happy Saturday! Today I want to talk about the possible books I could reads for rows 2 and 3 of r/Fantasy’s 2019 Bingo Challenge. If you’re unfamiliar, click on the link for all the details!
Second Row Across
Novel Featuring Vampires
This one is pretty self-explanatory. HARD MODE: At least one main protagonist is a vampire.
Format: Graphic Novel (at least 1 vol.) OR Audiobook / Audio drama
This is a format, not a genre however, please stick to something within speculative fiction. If you are reading individual comics for this square please read a volume’s worth. You can also use a manga volume for this square (again, please keep it to speculative fiction genres). You may also choose to listen to an audiobook OR an audio drama for this square – any speculative fiction audiobook / audio drama will count (novel length). HARD MODE: Graphic Novel – Start a new to you graphic novel. Audiobook / audio drama – has to be over 25 hours long.
There are so many different ones I could use for this, so I’m going to keep it open. I probably have 10-15 unread manga/graphic novels at any one time, so really, this could be anything.
SFF Novel by a Local to You Author
I realize not everyone lives in a place conducive to this square so if SFF authors are scarce in your immediate area then you can widen the area a bit even if it’s (for example, for some folks in Europe) a neighboring country. FAQ – What counts as local? Lives nearby, lived a significant portion of their life nearby. Like Anne Rice I’d count both New Orleans and San Francisco, for example. HARD MODE: Find the closest local to you author you can for this square.
I’ve already done a bit of research for this but haven’t found anything yet. I live in Pennsylvania, so if you know of a fantasy/sci-fi author living in my state, do tell me. I know some super local author friends and I might pick up some of their stuff if I can find a full-length novel by any of them.
SFF Novel Featuring an Ocean Setting
I know we had ships before, but this opens up the setting a lot. Got a mermaid or selkie story in mind? Works perfect here! On top of the ocean or under the ocean all works for this square. HARD MODE: Over 50% of the book has to take place in or on an ocean setting.
At the moment, I’m leaning towards The Scar by China Mieville. This will be me third Mieville book, and I’m hoping to like it just as much as the other ones.
Cyberpunk is defined as ” a genre of science fiction set in a lawless subculture of an oppressive society dominated by computer technology. HARD MODE: Not Neuromancer by William Gibson nor Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.
So I know it says Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson doesn’t count for hard mode, but Diamond Age isn’t Snow Crash. So… Diamond Age it is.
Third Row Across
This is sort of a multi-use square. Tried an author once and you didn’t like the book? Give a 2nd chance and try another book! Tried a format once (like a manga, graphic novel, or audiobook) and it didn’t jive? Try again here! Tried a specific book and didn’t get through it for whatever reason? Try again here! HARD MODE: There is no hard mode for this square as it’s already hard enough. 🙂
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. I read City of Bones a while ago and was just luke-warm to it. This book is on my 10 in 2019 list too – I had already planned on giving this series another try before this square was announced, so it’s perfect.
Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history that explores the developing intersection of African Diaspora culture with technology. There is a great discussion about Afrofuturism here if you are looking for more information. Self-explanatory. HARD MODE: The book has less than 1000 ratings on goodreads.
So going off of this article, it looks like I own a book in this genre already, which I did not expect. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemison. So I might read that. I know there are some Octavia E. Butler novels that count too, but those would be library reads. If I end up using the Jemison book for a different square, I’ll find a Butler book in the library.
SFF Novel Published in 2019
Pretty self explanatory – the card says Fantasy but any speculative fiction will work. HARD MODE: It’s also a Debut Novel.
If I don’t find a debut novel that I’m interested in, this square will be The Burning White by Brent Weeks. I am so excited for this book, man.
Middle Grade SFF Novel
So many SFF authors are writing Middle Grade these days, thought this would be fun! Middle Grade works are typically written with an readership of 8-12 year olds in mind. HARD MODE: You can NOT use your ‘reread’ for this square.
For this one, I’m definitely gonna read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I’ve never read it before, and I feel like it’s blasphemy to some people.
A Personal Recommendation from r/Fantasy
You ask the community for recommendations and choose one of those recommendations to read for this square. HARD MODE: Do not use the most frequently recommended book.
So, I asked for some recs already in the big thread of recommendations, and I got a couple potentials. Each book has been recommended one time though, so to fit hard mode, I need to ask again to the point where I get a book double recommended, and then I can go with the single rec’d one. Both of the ones that have been suggested so far sounds pretty good though, so we’ll see. I don’t wanna say what, because reddit is my anonymous hidey hole. So pbtbt.
And that’s it! I’m very excited for this year. I think once I get all these squares quasi-planned, I’ll actually make a list and make a point to do monthly library trips for the ones I need from there. Wish me luck!