Part of my Memorial Day plans include getting ready for the next Seasons of Reading readathon which starts on June 1. Sign-ups are still available and I'll be adding my name just as soon as I finish this post.
This is the second year for the Sci-Fi Summer Readathon, which highlights that well known yet easily taken for granted genre and my theme for this literary event is Speculative Fiction. The basic definition of that term means that the story has science fiction/fantasy elements but is more focused on the characters than the technical details of the world they're in.
At least two out of the three books that I have lined up for this readathon fall into that category, starting with Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. It's the first in a trilogy that is set in a perhaps not too distant future where humanity has nearly been wiped out, due to excessive gene splicing and corporate medicine that caused a major pandemic.
The one remaining human who is still able to tell the tale is known as Snowman, whose only companions are beings he calls "Crakers", hybrid creations of his former friend Jimmy, whose talents may have lead to the destruction of society.
While searching for what supplies there are left at the lab Jimmy used to work at, Snowman goes through his memories to try and figure out how things went as wrong as they did. Atwood seems to have a love-hate relationship with technology, which many of us do, and this opening act ought to make her complete Maddam trio quite the thought provoking show indeed:
Since fantasy is allowed for Sci-Fi Summer, another first in a series book that I'm going to tackle is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.
This book has a bit of a Beauty and the Beast vibe, as huntress Feyre pays her debt for killing a shapeshifter wolf by living at a mysterious estate owned by Tamlin, a faerie lord who is not as brutal as he initially appears to be.
Over time, she becomes more attracted to her new home and when a danger than threatens both mortals and fae attacks, Feyre joins the battle to save not only her people but her new friend as well. I've heard a lot about how great Sarah J. Maas' books are from many readers and Booktubers, so this should be a fine introduction to her creative world:
Sandra Newman's The Country of Ice Cream Star is set in a post-apocalyptic America run mostly by children, since a disease that wiped out the adult population doesn't let them live past twenty years old.
Ice Cream Star is fifteen and her older brother Driver is beginning to show signs of "the posies" that will kill him off soon. Upon capturing a stranger named Pasha, who claims to be thirty and says that there is a cure, she leads their small band of followers on a quest to save Driver's life and perhaps all of theirs as well.
Our leading lady narrates in a mix of made-up slang and other terms from standard English that are loosely adapted. Sure, this does sound a bit like Mad Max:Thunderdome meets Huck Finn there but it's a pretty bold concept to try and pull off. From what I've heard about this book, this may be a difficult journey that's well worth the taking:
Chances are that I will be able to finish two of my three picks(my standard, plus The Country of Ice Cream Star is nearly 600 pages long) but it's not about the destination, as they say. Seeing what everyone else reads is part of the fun and might inspire a few more books to appear on my TBR in the near future.
Thanks in advance to Michelle Stockard Miller, who arranges so many amazing readathons like this, and best of luck to my fellow Sci-Fi Summer readers. The readathon ends on June 7 and the Twitter hashtag is #SciFiSummerJune, so keep an eye out for it.
Summer is a great time for science fiction and not just at the movies, although it lands at many theaters near us with plenty of fun flaws for real life science folk to point out to us(still going to love those space monster movies anyway,dude):