10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) XIII: A #SciFiMonth Top Ten : Stories & Inkslayers I discovered during @SciFiMonth!

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2022 by jorielov 2 Comments

10 Bookish Not Bookish Thoughts banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.

BE SURE to visit my FIRST ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.1

BE SURE to visit my 2nd ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.6

And, my 3rd ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.10
– a #SciFiMonth Book Tag AND Spine Poetry!

as well as my 4th ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.11

my 5th ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No. 12
– a #SciFiMonth Book Tag, Spine Poetry AND Meet the SF Reader!

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A list of 10 Stories & Inkslayers I discovered
during the 10 years of #SciFiMonth
| Hostess List

#SciFiMonth banner for 2022 created by Imryil and is used with permission.
Image Credit: SciFiMonth artwork is by the amazingly talented Simon Fetscher.

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A bit about why I love joining #SciFiMonth every year:

*waves!* to my fellow Sci Fi Geeks who are embarking on their own literary and cross-media journey this Sci Fi November! I decided to continue to break the mould of how I am announcing my #SciFiMonth adventures here on Jorie Loves A Story by using the prompts provided by #SciFiMonth and using those as a stepping stone of entrance into the event as I truly enjoyed doing this in years past. Its become a NEW tradition for me during the event!

Ever since I was a Young Astronaut as a kid you could say I’ve had this long seeded appreciation for the Cosmos, Astrophysics, Astronomy, Cosmology and Astronautics. When it comes to sorting out which stories I want to endeavour to read during #SciFiMonth every year, I get wicked giddy about seeking out Space Opera stories and all the lovely sub-genres which pull us into the further reaches of space and the explorations we can seek out the universe.

This was more aptly seen when I was reading through the 3x trilogies of #TheClanChronicles which to this day is one of my favourite series I’ve read, blogged and ruminated over as a book blogger. It was such a transformative experience for a girl who loves the stars and a Spacer lifestyle. Do visit those reviews if you’ve ever wanted to seek out a Hard SciFi series which grips you from the first story and holds you glued into its heart until the very last page is read. It is both epic and dramatically emotional to read because of how Czerneda writes such a smashingly realistic series which feels as if you’ve lived those lives by the time you’ve reached the conclusion. The only part of the series I haven’t yet read are the “Stories of Plexis” which is a fan-based anthology of shorts set on Plexis and involve the characters and/or other aspects of life on Plexis which is set in the Clan Chronicles universe. And, that dear hearts is changing this #SciFiMonth! You’ll have to await further posts to find out how and why!

From the stories we read, to the tv series and/or films we’re watching as a purveyor of Science Fiction worlds & lives. We tend to ‘bear witness’ to the genre simply by consuming our own personal route of its content & consume a larger sense of our world through the stories which are speaking directly to our future selves inasmuch as they are trying to evoke a conversation with our modern world.

It is quite impressive how we have the chance to remain on the threshold of where a genre can direct itself forward – to be on the springboard of change & innovation and to celebrate the voices on the Indie side of the ledger who are shattering expectations and giving us wicked good reads. But most of all – we all bear witness to the community of Science Fiction whenever we come together as a community and continue the event founded by Rinn @ Rinn Reads.

We owe her a sincere note of gratitude for INSPIRING us to follow this pursuit and to continue to create the community in which we all have become explorers seeking what whets a thirst of curiosity to discover & share throughout November each and every year since [2013]. Here’s to Imyril & Lisa – for giving their devotion and dedication to an event which would not quite be the same without their tireless efforts to keep us united and to collectively build new bridges of community with everyone who is socially bookish and wants to share our mutual passions of Science Fiction with each other.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

#SciFiMonth 2022 Top Ten Prompt graphic created by Imyril and is used with permission.
Image Credit: SciFiMonth artwork is by the amazingly talented Simon Fetscher.

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Top tens for our tenth year

We loved having weekly Favourite Fives for Wyrd & Wonder’s fifth birthday, so it’s only right to go full Top Tens for SciFiMonth’s tenth! But what are those weekly topics?

  • Previously, On SciFiMonth: SFnal books / films / shows / games you enjoyed or were introduced to during SciFiMonth in the past
  • Turn Back Time: feature tales about time travel or shout about classic SF titles
  • To Boldly Go: contribute to RunalongWomble’s excellent #SmallPressBigStories initiative with a top ten focusing on stories published by independent and small presses
  • One Small Step: sure we love a sprawling space opera, but this week is for celebrating short stories, novellas and novelettes
  • Can’t Stop The Signal: SciFiMonth is all about the community – share your favourite SF blogs we should follow

as it was disclosed via Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More

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No. 1 | Doctor Who : yes, I became a Whovian during #SciFiMonth!

When I saw the first prompted topic, I *knew!* I had to mention becoming a Whovian first and foremost because the community of #SciFiMonth in 2013 quite literally had a hand in how I discovered Who and to which of the episodes and seasons I inter-library loaned through my local library in order to dive deep into the series whilst at the same time gathering a firm knowledge of what anchoured all other Whovians into the world of “Doctor Who!” Towards that end, if you’ve never read this post (ie. Diary of Nu-Whovian) I suggest that you make a segue over to it! Whilst at the same time, I also shared this post about my first week experiencing “Doctor Who” — from there I must admit, time was not my friend and as my Mum, Da & I all DEVOURED the Doctor’s adventures, companions and travels – it became quite apparent to keep blogging about those experiences would have been especially harder than the JOY it was giving me as a watcher!

I also had the pleasure of sharing a guest post by a fellow book blogger who was a devout Whovian herself and of whom shortly thereafter retired from blogging. We were meant to continue to write guest posts & features on each others’ blogs but it wasn’t meant to be sadly.

It was David Tennant and Matt Smith who captured my heart & eye for Who and afterwards, my next favourite Doctor was Peter Capaldi. Thereby, I loved Doctors 10, 11 & 12. I’m most eager to see the new 2023 series featuring the 15th Doctor as well. I attempted to watch the 13th Doctor but for whichever reason I simply couldn’t get a rhythm into that series and gave up trying to make it work for me. It was a bit ironic as well because I thought for sure I’d find that series to be my jam but in the end, I longed for the other series’ and other Doctors. Plus for me, I fell emotionally hard into Capaldi’s journey as the Doctor as I binged it one Christmas and after that, I think my heart just was wrecked to move forward so soon after that experience.

The beauty of the Whovian universe though is that you can enter and exit throughout the series and find your own footing within the universe itself. What appeals to me, might not appeal to someone else and vice versa. We all have our favourites – from the Doctors to the companions and of course, there are some terrifying elements in Who which we weren’t (as a family) prepared to meet either! I also loved whenever River Song was involved because I used to know the actress from her days on ER. It was nice to see the ‘other’ side of her career.

I have such fond memories of this series and I hope to continue to explore the Whovian universe as time shifts forward as well. I’d love to buy some dvd collections as well as re-visit some of the episodes I saw in the past – not the Daleks (who loves those creatures?) and those creepy Angels are really off-putting — but there are other stories and moments I wouldn’t mind revisiting!

Here’s a thought:

IF you know of a specific episode & Doctor I ought to sync next into viewing, kindly leave a comment on this post or tag me a comment via @joriestory on Twitter. I’d love to generate another community of #SciFiMonth playlist and see what I can find via interlibrary loan again!

For now, this remains one of my top most beloved inclusively exclusive to #SciFiMonth discoveries and I am wicked happy I saw THE DOCTOR during the event and especially moreso during Year One!!

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No. 2 |  Discovering the JOY of The Clan Chronicles

I would be remiss if I weren’t dedicating my top second spot to #whoaretheclan & #theclanchronicles because for me as a reader, these particular series became my LIFE for the years I spent reading it. I had the unexpected JOY in being able to request the ENTIRE series from the publisher whilst joining the latter trilogy’s blog tours. It was a very special experience for me and the journey into the 3x trilogies held their own share of joys and sorrows as you’ll discover if you read through the fuller archive of all the reviews which are interlinked to the Clan.

Towards that end, I oft had hoped readers who loved the Clan as much as I had might have added some new commentary to these posts & reviews as I saved so many conversations to share with those readers that haven’t yet been told or said. There is a heap to unpack in the series overall and of course, if you read my reviews – a new reader to the Clan Chronicles will appreciate my honesty & details but I think a reader whose already experienced the series might draw out more than a new reader just moving into it. The final review of course is for those of us who took the journey as I didn’t hold anything back and I had the blessing of the author to share and write that review as it has stood on my blog. At the time I thought maybe I entered into River Song spoiler territory but blessedly as said, the author gave me her blessing to leave it as it was written.

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The Clan Chronicles (read them in ORDER of the series) (archives of my reviews)
– a quote from my review of REAP THE WILD WIND:

Cersi has an interesting balance – not only between the Clans but of how they are able to live on a planet whose resources are limited regionally. There is a devastating accident during the annual Harvest where the Om’ray tribe of Yena find the hard truth of what happens when you run into a shortage of food; as they use their food to trade for necessary items from their neighbour: the intimidating Tikitik. The Tikitik are one of two powerful overseeing races on this planet; the other being the Oud, of whom are a bit hidden from view for most of the story. There are intervals of revelation about Enris as his path is inter-connected (or so it would appear) to Aryl. He is the brother of the stranger who came to Yena to take a bride and instead died broken-hearted; only Enris knows of this truth, as he has a gift similar to Aryl. The two of them are gifted in ways that would surprise their kin and perhaps re-shape the destiny of their tribes.

My first introduction into primitive worlds within science fiction truly took me by surprise, as I found myself caught inside the emotional angst of how Aryl had to choose between her Clan and what was right for everyone involved. She was pitted against hard choices and she made them when no one else would assert she was in the right to choose the path which was hardest to admit was best for their survival. It is an interesting story about how a girl who was left ‘unchosen’ by those in her Clan ended up being specifically viable to affect change on her world. She was given inside information in regards to how her world was far more expansive than any Om’ray would sense whilst having to swallow the fact, she (and her Clan) were left in the dark about how old their world truly was in regards to being civilised.

Seeing how her tribe clashed with fellow Clans, without the benefit of accepting the changes which were effectively erasing their status quo – it’s young Aryl who is the champion of Cersi. She’s the daring young leader who never asked for the role and has become such a dearly beloved character of mine as she’s determined to set her path by her own accord. Strengthened by a force she has yet to understand, this is only the first chapter of where Aryl daringly sets out in search for where she belongs.

Czerneda has taken us on a journey towards understanding the Clan from the inside-out, as a method of finding an approach that will give us more insight into how they established their communities. As the Yena live mostly between sky and land, I remembered how during my viewing of Avatar most of the community within that story lived above ground too. I appreciate writers who have such a clear vision for their worlds, that even if your a new reader of theirs, it only takes a few readings to dip inside that vision and reside with their characters.

I appreciated the breadth of how we were so intimately aware of Aryl’s struggle to find balance – between her duties as a Yena and her instincts as a gifted Om’ray. Her mother was not as strong as she is to accept the changes amongst their kind nor to admit her daughter was reaching towards a new future which might leave the old traditions behind them. It’s a struggle of acceptance and for walking that fine line between knowledge and hiding in plain sight from those who cannot handle the truth you’ve uncovered.

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I’m a romantic at heart – I love a good romance and Ms Czerneda has at the core of this series written an epic romantic tale spun out of the deepest connection two souls could hope to find within each other. This is a series about Sira and Jason; of Sira’s ancestors and of how two people can effectively cause the great change for everyone in the universe. For this, I truly will never forget the series – of the hours I spent with the Clan and of the more difficult aspects of the story – of where I might have felt pushed out of my comfort zones a few times – because the ending is by far well worth the journey!

-quoted from my review of To Guard Against the Dark

As you find — it was a very interpersonal journey I took as a reader and one of the highlights of course of reading the series was the time I spent near the space station of Plexis! It held the eye of many readers & writers too over the years and Ms Czerneda compiled a special collection of stories which became the anthology of “Tales from Plexis” — however, I just now brought home my own copy of the anthology this year (2022) rather than the year it released. I had a wicked inspiration to write my own short story to submit for the anthology as well but sadly, it never left my imagination and made it to paper. If and when I ever sort out how to write it, I did have the idea to share it with the author who gave me so much inspiration throughout the series of the Clan even if no one else reads it. Sometimes it is nice just to give something back to a writer whose curated such a strong presence in our life and maybe that gesture will give some of the joy back to them as well.

Either way, as that is well into the future as I haven’t yet placed my writerly hat back on my head – for now, I am wicked thrilled to be able to revisit Plexis and the universe in which the Clan lived with this anthology for our 10th Year of #SciFiMonth! I couldn’t think of a more special inclusion on my Sci Fi Month TBR than this anthology because it was writ with love and admiration for the work the author put into the series itself.

Curiously curious – is anyone else planning to read “Tales from Plexis” OR did anyone else have such a strong affinity of connection with the space station as I had myself? I was curious what others might have thought and if you’ve been able to read this anthology? 

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No. 3 |  Trans-Continental : Girl in the Gears (novella) *audiobook
by E. Chris Garrison

A note about my connection to the author:

As you might already be aware of — Ms Chris and I have had a friendship throughout the years and it has continued with each new story I’ve read by her and/or have listened to as well via audiobook. Despite this connection however, I have always remained openly honest about my impressions & reactions to her stories, characters and writerly style. My friendship has never affected my ability to share an honest review or an honest reaction of her stories. 

I *devoured!* this novella via audiobook several years ago now and it arrived in my life and ears at moment in time when I truly needed the uplift. As you might recall, I am a migraineur which means I have chronic migraines – which I have openly discussed both on my blog and on Twitter as well. It is hard not to mention them because they’ve become quite disruptive over the years and just to be able to work full-time over the past year with two different jobs (one day, one night) has been incredible because previously I never could have held down one, much less two! Of course, part of that journey has also led to a less than active presence online as I’ve had less downtime to read, blog or tweet – but back to the point here – over the years, my migraines have simply derailed my readerly journey.

In (2016) I first started to discover audiobooks (courtesy of an audio blog tour featuring Richard Storry’s “The Cyptic Lines”) and from there, as they say, the rest is History. I’ve been slowly pursuing audiobooks ever since then and have developed a strong & affirmative passion for narrators who not only give convicting performances but who emote through their performances to give a very balanced and realistic perspective on the characters their creating for us to hear through our headphones. They have an innate ability to re-transform the experience for us as readers and give us something dramatically unexpected as well.

When I first started listening to this audiobook, I was reading the novella in print as well. Then, I opted instead to just listen to the story as I was struggling that #SciFiMonth with my health. I found myself soaking further into the story, connecting more with the characters and finding myself emotionally attached to all of it! In essence, I LOVED this novella and the audiobook adaptation of it. The sad bit truly is that my thoughts, reactions and ultimately the review I had planned to share that year during #SciFiMonth never came to fruitation and I am hoping dearly I can bring that to my blog this year instead.

I will be re-listening to this novella and look forward to finally putting words to thoughts about a story I loved and enjoyed hearing from a writer I simply love to champion because of the heart & soul she puts into her characters’ lives as much as the wider world in which she creates stories and series. In essence, this was one of my top beloved memories of #SciFiMonth and I hope other readers throughout the Sci Fi Month community will continue to discover her stories and find their own way into her worlds.

This is also a novella series written by an #ownvoices author who is transgender and is writing a series featuring a transgender lead character. This is something I discussed with her in the past during one of the #SciFiMonth chats I hosted via @SatBookChat. You can read the transcripts of our chats via these links: Part One and Part Two.

I can also announce now that I have copies of “Reality Check” which is set within the same world as Trans-Continental whilst I also have a copy of “The Mutliverse Blues” of which I will also be reading concurrently with my relistening of “Girl in the Gears”. Likewise, I’ll have a special component of reading the Multiverse as they have companion episodes of her podcast! More about that journey lateron during future posts this month!

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No. 4 | Rimrider by L.A. Kelley *audiobook

One of the areas of Space I love exploring in stories are the Rims and this particular story (and the series it is attached too) does that smashingly well! I was truly wicked happy I had the chance to discover this story through the audiobook as that was the biggest blessing for me as a reader. My own regret is that I haven’t yet had the chance to purchase the sequel of this story on Audible and sadly, I am not sure if the rest of the series will make it to audiobook either. You can view my review about it and see for yourself if RIMRIDER is your cuppa tea as much as it was mine!

At the time I heard this story, I was only listening to audiobooks for about a year and was still in the early days of knowing which narrators were charming me into following their careers and which storycrafters had stories which were becoming adapted into audiobooks with the gift of giving us elevated reads. When it comes to audio I am quite persnickety about how an audiobook sounds and how it is narrated. I have to feel the immersion factor first and foremost, but I also have to believe in the narrator’s ability to give me a fusion of the writer’s vision of their character(s) and their world(s) therein. RIMRIDER had the gift of giving me the complete experience and that is why it became one of my top favourite discoveries during #SciFiMonth. It was just so very unexpected, and I made such a strong connection to the story, it remains one my top experiences for the event itself.

Honestly – the narrator nailed the characters and the theatrical mannerisms which make this audiobook ‘SING’ to the reader – meaning, you can easily forsake whatever else you intended to do and simply ‘listen’ to this Space Opera! The humour is bang-on brilliant, the setting is intoxicating because you dearly want to know ‘more’ rather than ‘less’ and if this first installment is the gateway into the series at large – your going to want to consume the next books in sequence! I truly loved this audiobook – it was wonderfully produced, but it’s more than that — my sci-fi geeky heart was overjoyed getting caught inside a world which simply gripped me from the first moment I heard ‘Jane’ come through my headphones! -quoted from my review of RIMRIDER

One of the areas I love exploring in space are the places you aren’t always able to readily visit such as the Rims or other areas like them. I do fully regret that I didn’t get the chance yet to purchase “Outlaw Jane” from Audible as it is the sequel to RIMRIDER. I’m not even sure if the rest of this series will be released into audiobook either. I might be able to continue this series in print but I think for me personally I will miss hearing the narrator in my ears as they truly left me anchoured in the reality of the series and gave me such a wicked sweet listen!

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No. 5 | The Sea in the Sky : an Audible Original by Jackson Musker 

In case you were curious about when I listened to this episodic feature by Audible, it was during the year of the pandemic (2020). I was starting to get back into Audible that year and had just discovered this audio series in time for #SciFiMonth as you can view a tweet I shared which gave a shout-out of joy about it directly! I shared another tweet a bit lateron and a final one with the author, too!

As you can see, I was wholly consumed by it and as it was such an immersive experience for me as a listener it was also difficult to admit that I was only able to listen to it that year rather than blog about my reactions to it! It was such a different way of understanding the story and a unique soundscape of immersion too! You didn’t just listen to a story being told – you quite literally transmorphed yourself inside it and felt as if you had lived it in a very uniquely different way than just merely l listening to an audiobook adaptation of another story. It had sounds and effects that are not always available inside audioreads and the whole concept of it was just a level above what your expecting to find, too!

This truly became one of the benchmarks of memory for me throughout the last 10 years of #SciFiMonth and it is an audio serial I want to re-explore – this year or next – whilst offering to share my thoughts & reactions at long last as well.

I’d be curious – does anyone else listen to audio plays or immersive soundscapes of story like this one as I have myself? I know there are a few others like this on Audible but I’m also exploring to see if they are on Scribd or via OverDrive for libraries, too. If you have any suggestions of #nextlistens be sure to leave me a comment as much as if you’ve listened to this one yourself, too.

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No. 6 | Cindy Koepp’s Space Opera series

Sometimes the unexpected happens and you find yourself curiously captured by one writer’s unnamed Space Opera series – such as I found myself within the pages of Koepp’s series. You will find reviews of both novels (ie. “Remenant of the Stars” and “The Loudest Actions” as well as an Interview and conversation with the author; all of which was featured during #SciFiMonth!

The humour is deliciously quirky and it was such a lovely backdrop to the action! Koepp has a natural capacity for etching in humanistic thematics focusing on family and the life of the stars in balance with one another – wherein you feel pulled into the emotional throes of her characters, even at first meeting! Her characters feel vibrantly real – sincerely honest and particularly human, even the ones who are most decidedly from another world!

Koepp bridges spoken speech and telepathic communication well – you are never guessing what is being exchanged or by which method either!  A true joy is watching how her characters interact and express emotion – as their emotion is nearly surmised by their body language and their choice of words, enveloping you in the urgency of the crisis they are facing. Koepp has developed this world quite well – as each character in turn wholly feels fully fleshed together with their individual quirks and trademarks of personality.

I appreciated the warm touches of spirituality and how Koepp left most of her inclusions to be openly interpreted by her readers; she gets specific in some ways and vague in others; which I felt was fitting, as spiritual paths are dearly personal and individual. She allowed her characters the ability to speak their minds in all regards, including how much they felt they could share about this side of their life whilst going through the motions of their everyday hours. Simple truths knit alongside the conversations leaving the spiritual undertone to remain light and full of hope whilst giving solace to those whose path has grown overwhelming.

-quoted from my review of Remnants of the Stars

There were a lot of layers to unpack in this series – as you can see through the excerpt I am sharing from one of the stories. It is a very interestingly told story, too, especially because of the kinds of characters she created to tell this story but also, how she fused us into their world, their strife and the concept she wanted to impart to all of us who read the stories together. I reached out to her this Sci Fi Month to see if I was missing the next installments of this unnamed series but I haven’t yet heard back from her but I am hopeful I might before the close of November. I did search on her website but I couldn’t find a connecting announcement that would clue me into which story she released since I read this series until now that might be the ‘next chapter’ therein.

This one stood out to me for a variety of reasons – from how it was told, to whom is doing the telling within the series and of course, the fact that this is another entry of Science Fiction by an Indie author. I have a propensity of finding my footing in the Indie side of the Speculative Literature ledger of choice and this is another writer I had the pleasure of discovering during Sci Fi Month who evoked such a wonderful readerly experience for me.

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No. 7 | The Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal

I am listing this as one of my top discoveries for #SciFiMonth, as I first started to unwind the path into the Lady Astronaut series during the (2020) event. I was even sorting out the order in which to read the series – not just from the books released in print but also the additional short stories which accompany and thread through the series as well. From what I had gathered back then, those stories are only available online and were a bit harder to track down than I first expected them to be! Laughs. I did manage to get an outline of the journey I wanted to take as much as I started to make some headway into the series itself.

I knew it would take me some time to read this series in full but I never expected two full years to elapse between when I received the books and when I was going to be able to start reviewing them! I sometimes am as gobsmacked about time delays as the next person but considering what has gone on in my life during those past two years, the mystery isn’t really that hard to understand what pulled me out of stories and books and what extended the delays of sorting out my ruminative thoughts about the stories themselves. Sometimes I suppose stories just have to percolate in the back of your mind and heart until their meant to be properly devoured and discussed. Such is the case for me with this particular series and it is my intention to at least manage to make my way through the first novel “The Calculating Stars” as well as the following:

We Interrupt this Broadcast (0.5) – short story via Ms Kowal’s blog

The Calculating Stars (book one)

Articulated Restraint (1.5) – novella via Tor.com

By doing so, I would be prime to enter into the sequal “The Fated Sky” after Sci Fi Month concludes and carry on my sequencing of reviews for this series through my newly installed featured showcase called #SciFiSundays which I have already begun this year (2022). There is also a fourth novel: “The Derivative Base” which was meant to be released this year. Apparently it was delayed?! Hmm. Or, it might have become known now as the following title instead: “The Martian Contingency”. Again it is a very complex series to become involved with and one that I am happy to reside in for as long as I can sort out the proper order of reading it as much as the backreading of her research novels which was partially what was afflicting my readings as well. I wanted to better understand the groundwork of the series through the research she conducted herself but also through the journey of exploring the Further Reading options as well.

I decided this year to at least make a bit of headway into the series if I can read these few stories now and then, re-take up the Quest to read the research books, too. I started of course by reading “The Moon-Doggle: domestic and international implications of the space race” by
Amitai Etzioni which I had previously inter-library loaned from an out of state library back in (2020). Those notes are somewhere and if I can ever find them, I’ll share them. I only remember a bit of what I read of that book but it was helping me feel more anchoured into the story just by reading it whilst reading We Interupt this Broadcast at the same time.

So as you can see, this is both a past and current discovery for me during #SciFiMonth!

If you’ve read this series, I’d love to hear your thoughts about going down the rabbit hole of research reads and suggested further reading choices by the author. Do you ever seek out those books yourself and if so, which ones did you feel best offered further insight into the series itself?

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No. 8 |  Murder in the Generative Kitchen (novella) by Meg Pontecorvo

As you might have noticed, I have a particular penchant for finding short stories & novellas I like to explore in Speculative Fiction – not just Science Fiction but also for Fantasy & Cosy Horror! This particular novella was available to request in print from the publisher (my beloved World Weaver Press which sadly will not be operating continuously into the future but their titles are still aptly available for now which I disclosed on my reviews for their anthologies this past #WyrdAndWonder when I reviewed EQUUS and SIRENS) Their the publisher which first ignited a deep passion of interest in me to explore short form fiction through the series of anthologies attached to EQUUS and SIRENS – as FAE, Corvidae and Scarecrow left lasting impressions on me as a reader.

This particular novella explores technology and the effect of technologic advances that can impart a negative effect on society. As you will see through the review where I left my thoughts to help others ponder the constructs of this story, it was quite an interesting turning of events to unpack!

Where I think the truer strength of the story was for me, is how far technology is moving towards being outside the reach of mankind. Meaning, there are advancements in tech which place our own lives in jeopardy because it allows ourselves to believe the tech was only operating within the protocols we’re creating on it’s behalf. Instead of acknowledging the sentient ways in which tech evolves to gain knowledge past those protocols by what it ‘learns through processing information’; either by what we provide or from other sources outside it. Therein, lies the purpose of the story – of what is or isn’t meant to be invented past the point of reasonable need.

-quoted from my review of Murder in the Generative Kitchen

It is one of those thinking-man stories – wherein you have an incredible story to chew on and as you move through it, you can elect to take it at face value which is also a wholly good choice of how to experience it or you could take it a step further and consider the larger issues that the writer was able to stitch into the novella itself about technology, humanity and the future as it is being developed now. I love when Science Fiction can push us into those areas of discussion as much as illuminate the shortfalls of where sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and/or we do not consider enough about the choices we are making to move towards a more automated world and one completely reliant on technology moreso than we rely on ourselves.

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No. 9 | Nebula Awards: 2015 (edited by) Greg Bear

Until I compiled this list, I wasn’t aware of the fact that most of the stories on it are either novellas or short story compilations or anthologies! Apparently, over the last 10 years I’ve been joining #SciFiMonth, the stories which held my eye were short form fiction moreso than fuller length novels and/or series of Science Fiction! Outside of course, the Clan Chronicles as that goes without stating how involved that was to explore and to walk through it one trilogy to another in order of sequence. However, what I loved most about this prompt is how we as book bloggers and as explorers of Science Fiction get to re-examine what motivates us on this personal odyssey of exploration as much as the structure of time we have within Sci Fi Month to do those exploratory discoveries!

This particular collection of the Nebula Awards was my first foray into reading them and by the second collection I read of them, I realised that not all editors of the Awards themselves are alike in regards to how the stories are arranged and within the selection process of them as well. I still fully intend to see if I can get a copy of the Awards Ms Czerneda edited herself from 2017 – to cross-compare the three Award anthologies directly to each other and then, sort out if I want to continue gathering them or simply move on to other publishers and anthologies thereafter.

From my review, I maintained my steady process of how I evolve through anthologies and how I read them as a discerning reader. I might not always connect to each of the collection’s entries but the ones I do find a connection, I make a ready point to explain what worked for me and what the lead takeaways were as well. I love anthologies for this singular reason and it is lovely that throughout the years I’ve been able to maintain my pursuit of short form fiction and find my own way of discovery amongst the many choices out there to pursue!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 10 | RAL: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
co-hosting with Lisa @deargeekplace

This was by far one of my top favourite experiences of the last 10 years of #SciFiMonth because I was able to become a part of the community again by hosting Twitter chats which generally is my mainstay of activity during #SciFiMonth! It has nearly become tradition at this point — however, this particular year I decided to co-host a readalong of #smallangryplanet with Lisa, who was also that that point one of my co-founders & co-hosts of @WyrdAndWonder.

Although I made it to each of the Twitter chats, the transcripts did not always generate via Twitter as I was still struggling with my migraines back then as well. On my blog, only two of my ruminations made it to Jorie Loves A Story and a few years later when I tried to revive the third and final post of what I had originally read in the final chapters of the book, I cound myself unmotivated to return. It happened at the same time I tried to read the next book of the series and found what I loved about #smallangryplanet had become a bit too altered and too distanced from the memories I had carried over from those initial readings and discussions.

Here is what you will find though:

#smallangryplanet RAL Part One + #smallangryplanet RAL Part Two

This also marked one of the few times I participated in a RAL I was able to complete and give myself fully to participating in start to finish. For that, I am forever grateful Lisa and I were able to co-host this together. For those who love exploring the worlds of Becky Chambers, you’ll be further thrilled to learn that Lisa is hosting another RAL featuring her stories — which I believe is the final installment of this same series. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @deargeekplace to get all the updates and be sure to visit her blog when she disclosed her plans of how she’s hosting the RAL itself!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This marks my *official!* post of participation on behalf of:

#SciFiMonth 2022 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I hope you’ve had fun re-exploring what I’ve discovered through the first 10 years of #SciFiMonth as much as I’ve had in compiling the journey, I’ve taken myself. As I start to settle into my #mustlistens and #mustreads this November, I look forward to composing more posts to share and more reviews to discuss the stories as much as the worlds I’ll be visiting next as my Science Fiction adventures continue to inspire me further into a genre, I continuously feel passionate about exploring!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

I look forward to hearing if you are taking part this year and please link your participation and/or TBR post in the *threads!* I am going to begin journeying through the Mission Logs (provided by Lisa & Imyril) however, if you comment I’ll bump my visit to your blog(s) to the top of the travel list! Let’s see if we share any authors and/or goals in common, eh!?

If you took the prompts & turnt them into a book tag, add those links, too! 

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Official #SciFiMonth graphics (ie. the badge, the banner and the Top Ten Prompts graphic) were provided by the event host Imyril (all artwork credit is by the amazingly talented Simon Fetscher) and are used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #SciFiMonth 2022 banner as well as the Comment box banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2022.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my readerly life

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)

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Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2022 by jorielov in #SciFiMonth, 10 Bookish (& Not-So-Bookish Thoughts), Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Sci-Fi November

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2 responses to “10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) XIII: A #SciFiMonth Top Ten : Stories & Inkslayers I discovered during @SciFiMonth!

  1. Glad to see the love for Doctor Who displayed here.

    Not sure if you’ve dipped our toes into classic Who or not. The recent special may have you wanting to jump in.

    Ark in Space from Tom Baker’s first year (season 12) is a good stepping-in point and is cited by two of the three modern showrunners as a favorite.

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