TJ at the speculative fiction blog Dreams & Speculation is hosting a 2011 bookclub/reading challenge focusing on The Women of Science Fiction. The bookclub will read one book and one or two James Tiptree Jr. short stories per month. If you want to participate you can sign up here – it’s not necessary, since you could just follow the discussions on the blog, but TJ is offering prizes and giveaways to those who do sign-up, so why not take her up on that?
I studied a bit of feminist sci fi at university, but since then I’ve neglected the genre, so this opportunity inspired me to get reacquainted with the writers and heroines I admire so much. In addition, I’ve got a bit of a reading challenge addiction, and this is undoubtedly the best one I’ve signed up for so far, as it’s not just a reading guide but a chance to discuss and discover insights to some great sci fi.
- January: Dust by Elizabeth Moon
- February: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
- March: Darkship Thieves by Sarah Hoyt
- April: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
- May: Mappa Mundi by Justina Robson
- June: Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler
- July: Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
- August: China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh
- September: Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon
- October: Farthing by Jo Walton
- November: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- December: City of Pearl by Karen Traviss
For ease of reference, you can download a .pdf version of the reading list
The bookclub will also be reading the James Tiptree Jr. short stories collected in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. Tiptree isn’t just one of the best feminist sci fi writers, she’s one of my favourite sci fi writers in general, and my favourite short story writer, period. Consequently I’m very happy to get a chance to read, re-read, discuss and contemplate her stories in detail throughout the year. You can find the short story reading schedule on the sign-up page for the bookclub/challenge
The short story discussions will begin in the middle of each month, while the novel discussions will begin on the last day of each month. From what I could surmise from my exploration of Dreams and Speculation, TJ is a very attentive and insightful blogger who engages regularly and comprehensively with those who comment, plus she’s got plenty of followers, so I think this could be a very rewarding bookclub.
And if your preference is for fantasy rather than sci fi, don’t despair! There’s a bookclub for you too - Jawas Read Too! is hosting The Women of Fantasy bookclub for 2011. If I have the time, I’ll be joining that one too.
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