Reading Challenge | Sci-Fi Experience 2015 A celebration of #sciencefiction on #JLASblog! (#SciFiExperience)

Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

2015 Sci Fi Experience hosted by SteelDroppings
(“Space” by Stephan Martiniere,
used with the artist’s permission)
THIS is still true: Finding a renewed joy in reading science fiction stories during SFN, and having my hours to enjoy the stories grow a bit limited as November shifted into December, I was most delighted to find: the Sci-Fi Experience! (Review Site of the Experience!) As 2014/5 continues to move forward, science fiction & fantasy will both play a larger role on my blog as I am a member of The Classics Club, whereupon one of my focuses is specifically on: classic science fiction, classic fantasy, and classic/modern Magical Realism. (I tend to include the latter under this umbrella due to the elements which attach the sub-genre to the creativity of the former!)

*note: although I kept the paragraph intact from last year, I updated the links to reflect 2015!

To fully understand why I was so wicked happy last January during my 1st attempt to participate in the Sci Fi Experience, please direct your attention to my participation log from 2014! There is one component that I hadn’t realised was similar between 2014 & 2015’s #SciFiExperience, which is the fact I had the lovely pleasure of tweeting Ms. Elliott just ahead of embarking on my science fiction journey! Last year, I had the direct intention to read her Jaran series but this year, methinks as the boxes in which I have stored her High Fantasy series Crown of Stars is located somewhere out of sight and mind, I’ve decided to see if I can ILL the series which perked my interest originally for it’s uniqueness! I may or may not have mentioned this previously during Sci Fi November 2013 (although I’m sure I must have remembered to include on my essay about “From Seventeen to Seven”), I first picked up King’s Dragon when I was seventeen years old. I remember this quite well as it served as a turning point in my life; not just my reading adventures but my writing adventures. Up until that particular point, for whichever reason I hadn’t yet put the pieces together and realised I was a bonefide sci fi geek and a high fantasy appreciator!

The evidence was quite strong, I had begun writing my science fiction based on science fact novel three years earlier, and my dedicated passion for Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry’s vision of it), Star Wars (George Lucas’s vision of it) and Battlestar Galactica (the original series) were a good indication I had strong roots in the genre. However, reading science fiction & fantasy novels was a slower progression of mine, as I was always keeping my eyes peeled for a new motion picture and/or tv serial which would whet an interest for the fantastical as much as the science-based elemental explorations! I adore Space Opera the most because I love the interconnected elements it provides but truly, I’m still mapping together my wanderings within the Speculative Fiction genres!

This year, during the Sci Fi Experience I am going to keep a running list of books I am reading a few chapters at a time, as I want to see if I can discover new authors and stories to explore as the year progresses forward. I thought for the large batch of what I had borrowed from my local library (my dear librarians are used to me carting off more books than I can carry in a soft grocery bag that has become my ‘library book bag’!) whilst Sci Fi November was in-progress I will be reading 50 pages per novel to see if the style, the voice, and the tone of the writer’s vision sits well with me. Some of the novels were ones I picked up off the shelf based on visits within the book blogosphere either this year or last year during Sci Fi November and/or the in-between months leading up to this year’s events for Sci Fi November & the Sci Fi Experience!

Today whilst the masses shopped and sought the best Cyber Monday deal online for Christmas, I had some wicked online experiences myself which included chatting with writers I enjoy speaking to in the twitterverse (Ms. Elliott yes, but also Ms. Heather Webb (of the forthcoming “Rodin’s Lover” – note I’m itching to read this!) & Ms. Carol Buchanan (of whom I crossed paths with awhile ago via a mutual acquaintance Jess E. Owens (of whom writes a fantasy series about Gryphons I dearly want to read!) whilst participating in a wicked new tweetchat for writers via #WUChat (Writer’s Unboxed) (next one is on New Year’s Day!) and Ms. Sara Gilbert (yes, I’m referring to the actress turnt talk show hostess who infamously brought Darlene to life on Roseanne)! And, whilst I was having all this joy on Twitter, I was also putting together my re-written schedule for Sci Fi November (lest I reveal how many drafts it took me to re-organise my extended fortnight?) and re-queue my #IndieWriterMonth event all the while sorting out which novel to finish reading to post!

One thing is for sure, I never expected to randomly come across information in regards to Ms. Elliott’s YA debut Court of Fives! Nor did I fathom a curious little ‘sub heading of a description’ would whet a thirst of interest to read it! Mind you, are all Janeite’s as predictable as I am?! lol Not that it was referenced to be attributed to Jane Austen, no, my second favourite author Louisa May Alcott (via Little Women)! Except, I felt it was the Janeite in me combined with a new appreciation for Jane Eyre, that whet the whistle of thirst to read it. As you can see in this tweet, I am not exactly the target audience for the novel! Yet, sometimes you surprise yourself or in my case, you get excited about a new project by an author you already trust to read!

And, thus dear hearts that brings me back to the topic at hand — as if Ms. Elliott reads this note (as I am not sure if she read the one from last year) she will notice a few things: 1) I am a reader who appreciates her world-building and the attention she gives to descriptive narrative whilst conceiving well-lit worlds of complexity and layered depth; 2) I’m a thirty-something who has yet to sort out where she put her Science Fiction Book Club hardback copies of the Crown of Stars saga (yes, I truly not only joined the Club at seventeen but joined in order to purchase novels like these from it! I left the club in the early 2000s when it sadly disappointed me in a downgrade of quality) as I fear they ended up in different boxes!; and 3) I decided approx. a half hour ago or so when I put my book review for Category 5 on pause to compose this post instead (do tell me I’m not the only book blogger slash reader who gets sidetracked?) to read the Spiritwalker Trilogy! (and whoa! when did her website get overhauled?!)

Expect to read a LOT about why I love the cover-art on her novels as well when it comes time for me to blog my ruminations!

Sidenote: Within seconds of composing this sentence, Ms. Elliott popped up on Twitter and somehow the topic of cover-art came up so I decided to ask her if she had any influence in creating the Crown of Stars saga book covers because I simply adore seeing them on a bookshelf together! I truly did feel like it was Christmas each time one of the books arrived by Post! And, I was being honest: even if the cover-art of a novel curiously attracts my eye towards the story, if the book synopsis, the book jacket, or any other bit about the story itself doesn’t draw a connective thread of curiosity for me to actually read the novel, the cover-art is dismissed. It becomes ‘art’ rather than a wicked cover for a story I am itching to read. I still admire illustrators and cover art designers — they put so much creativity in bringing to life ‘something’ on the front of a novel that encourages us to pick up the book (yes, the physical copy of the book — you know I only read print book editions of novels! hence the blurb on my Twitter profile) initially that even if I am not motivated to pursue reading the novel, I give them a nod of acknowledgement in what they created. I find illustration for books fascinatingly intriguing! I’d love to take my own art to a new level of interest and dimension! Pencil and pen/ink drawings were always on my list to pursue, as I never had the chance to shift out of oil pastels; at least not yet.

Click to read part of the conversation I had this year with Kate Elliott & to see where we talked about book covers

Once again, the cover-art for the Spiritwalker series drew my eye; I’ve read various bits about the series and of course, a part of me realises that this series is so far outside my comfort zone of plausible series to read that it is quite literally going to challenge me whilst I read it! Except to say, I wonder if it will be that far outside the scope of what I’d enjoy!? As far as the ethereal elements are concerned, and the world of spirits, I previously disclosed how thankful I was to discover The Ghost Bride wherein a vast majority of the story takes place outside of our physical reality!

One thing is for sure — I believe in Kate Elliott and I believe in the worlds she envisions to take us someplace wholly new in order to grow, diversify our world view, and to expand our horizons. Sure, I might step outside where I am comfortable travelling on occasion (but then again, it isn’t like the Crown of Stars saga didn’t push my envelopes a bit too — it was Liath who kept me centered!) but she encourages my imagination in a way that gives me hope to find other writers in the Speculative realms who can give clarity of thought and depth of insight into their worlds. Kate Elliott dares to create a story which leaves you pensively happy for finding it.

  • Cold Magic, Cold Fire, and Cold Steel – the Spiritwalker Trilogy by Kate Elliott (steampunk) or (icepunk rather!) *ILL
  • The Boy With the Cuckoo-Heart by Mathias Malzieu {I found this via Roof Beam Reader originally, grabbed it off a library display (featuring clocks & clockpunk titles) w/o realising my library had it in their catalogue!}
  • The rest of this list will percolate as I read!
  • *NOTE: ILL REQ = inter-library loan request

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Special Spotlight on a debut novelist:

As you might have already gathered, I am receiving this book for review and I am going to be featuring my book review of The Last Gatekeeper in January! I had no idea the event was pushed back to start in December but I am thankful it was as it will give me the chance to engage with new readers and book bloggers in December before moving into January! Likewise, as I read I want to get back into the habit with blogging either weekly or every so many days about where I am in my reading life! I used to participate in WWW Wednesdays, so that’s a start! I will be taking two months to go through all the lovely blogs for Sci Fi November + Sci Fi Experience in a combined jaunt as I want to enjoy what everyone is posting & providing for us to enjoy! Originally, I was going to only visit during December, but I feel renewed tonight putting my thoughts together on the Sci Fi Experience and welcome the chance to extend the celebrations on science fiction!

If you are interested in learning more about this story which is centered around EHS please visit: the author’s site on behalf of her debut novel.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

The novels I wish I could read but are not available at this time:

  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – have to wait til April 2015 to ILL
  • will continue to add titles

The books I cross-promoted via Sci Fi November which posted between Dec & early January:

  • Category 5 by Paul Mark Tag (review)
  • An Uncommon Blue by R.C. Hancock (review)
  • Impossible by C.A. Gray (review)
  • The Dragon of Unrest by Anthony Russo (audiobook review)
  • Time and Again by Deborah Heal (review)
  • Unclaimed Legacy by Deborah Heal (review)
  • Every Hill & Mountain by Deborah Heal (review)
  • The Gin Thief by S.C. Barrus (review)
  • Dance Until Dawn by Berni Stevens (review)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Okay! I cannot wait any longer — what are you reading & discovering during Sci Fi Experience 2015!?

Also, how wonderful is it the artist has allowed us to showcase his artwork on our blogs whilst we support the host SteelDroppings on this epic happy event each year!? *round of applause* Visit the artist!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

At the very same time, if you are curious to know which

SFN 2014 Participant badge created by Jorie in Canva

posts I will be posting the first fortnight of December:

Kindly read this missive of an update! 

Also, there are a few Book Blogosphere Events I participate in annually; archived in my top menu!

This marks my first contribution to:
2015 Sci Fi Experience hosted by SteelDroppings
(“Space” by Stephan Martiniere, used with the artist’s permission)

{SOURCES: The 2015 Sci-Fi Experience was granted permission to use the artwork by Stephen Martiniere in their official badge for all participants to show their solidarity during the event! Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Sci-Fi November Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Tweets were made possible to embed by codes via Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Tweets shared about the Sci Fi Experience 2015:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Dystopian, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Steampunk, The Sci-Fi Experience, Time Travel

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One response to “Reading Challenge | Sci-Fi Experience 2015 A celebration of #sciencefiction on #JLASblog! (#SciFiExperience)

  1. Thanks for joining us again this year. What a fun opening post. I look forward to seeing what authors/books you discover are to your liking.

    I haven’t read Elliot, but I received a copy of her short story collection forthcoming from Tachyon that looks very promising.

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