Mission Status Update: reach for the stars

SCIFIMONTH 2018 (1-30 November) - the universe is what we make of it

We’re a third of the way and settled into a regular routine – no mutinies, no odd disappearances and no garbled screaming on the comms. I’ve not been around as much as I’d like on this first leg of our journey (I had to spend some time in med bay; then have been kept busy down in the cargo hold sorting out some legacy crates). However, I’ve been listening in on comms all the while, so grab a cuppa and I’ll bring you up to date on what’s been going on…

Crew update

Last week’s early re-fuelling stop on Luna gave a few more explorers a chance to jump aboard: say hello to Maria at A Night’s Dream of Books, Hannah at I Have Thoughts on Books, Caitlin at Realms of my Mind and the inimitable Cupcakes and Machetes. The Litsy wing of the fleet is also expanding – Eos462 has joined us this week!


  • I’ve got a copy of Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us, Mark O’Connell’s ‘queer ode’ to growing up loving the SF movies of the 70s and 80s – courtesy of The History Press
    • How to enter: comment below (including how to contact you if you are not already signed up for SciFiMonth) or tweet telling us your favourite 70s or 80s SF movie (and why!) tagging #RRSciFiMonth and #WatchingSkies
    • Closing date: midnight PST on Friday 23rd November
    • Entrance limited to residents of US, UK, Europe or Australia only
    • Additional terms: The winner will be contacted on Saturday 24th requesting postal details, and must respond within 48 hours or forfeit the prize (a new winner will then be selected). By entering the competition, you agree that your contact and postal details can be passed to The History Press.
  • Deanna will send one lucky winner a book of their choice (up to $30) from the Book Depository. To enter (and have some fun!) pop across to Deanna Reads and complete her Guess the SF Book quiz before 1st December
  • Avada Kedavra will pick one winner who can choose any one of John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Signal to Noise or Connie Willis’s The Doomsday Book – get on over to Bookish Muggle and leave a comment to enter the draw before 4th December
  • Watch out for at least two more giveaways due to be announced before month’s end!

Giveaway winners

  • Excaliburedpan is the winner a copy of Ursula Le Guin’s classic The Left Hand of Darkness courtesy of Lisa at Dear Geek Place
  • Bookforager is the winner of a copy of Implanted by Lauren C Teffeau in our Sign Up Giveaway

Reviews and features

The posts are coming in thick and fast! Would you believe we’re at over 100 so far? You might want to make a cuppa and grab a protein bar (or some cake) before you settle in to check out what you’ve missed.


A few crew members are still settling in and finding their berths: regular contributor (and sometime co-host) Jorie shared her enthusiasm for SciFiMonth and first time flyer Maria announced her intention to jump aboard at A Night’s Dream of Books (welcome!). Kaleena at Reader Voracious has her TBR ready (and an awesome BSG tribute on her wall – nice one, Kaleena!) as does Chuckles (check his Book Cave for regular updates); and both Chuckles and Amy of A Thousand Worlds have had a think about what SciFi films and tv shows they will be watching in between all the books!


Most of the crew have found a favourite spot, settled in and some have established a weekly routine:

  • Music Monday – join Lauren at Always Me each Monday for a SciFiMonth twist on her musical choices (you can play along in the comments or by sharing a link to your post). She got us started with a bit of post-apocalyptic ear-worming (you were warned) and this week she’s gone all out with contributions from Queen and Janelle Monae. YAS! Now you know what I’m listening to as I put this mission status together…
  • Teaser Tuesday – the Purple Booker’s weekly meme was given a SciFiMonth spin by OD Books (enjoying Ben Hammott’s Antarctic alien survival horror Ice Rift) and S J Higbee (trying out Dana Stabenow’s SF adventure Second Star)
  • Top Ten Tuesday (now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) was hugely popular this week – my TBR may never recover! A quick round-up of all of us (brace for impact, your wishlist may undergo rapid expansion) who took a long, loving look at the backlist SF we’d like to read: Louise at Exploring by Starlight, Lisa at Dear Geek Place, me (ahem), Michelle at In Libris Veritas, Lynn of Lynn’s Books, Annemieke at A Dance with Books, and Amy at A Thousand Worlds
  • Waiting on Wednesday / Can’t Wait Wednesdays – now hosted by Wishful Endings – is another weekly test of your TBR. Lynn got excited about Navigating the Stars (…archaeologists in space. DAMMIT LYNN); Tammy of Books, Bones, Buffy calls The Sol Majestic a big-hearted intergalactic adventure for fans of Becky Chambers and The Good Place” (DAMMIT TAMMY) and Mogsy at The Bibliosanctum is as excited as I am about Tiamat’s Wrath (book 8 of The Expanse, which has sadly been pushed out to March 2019. DAMMIT). Yes, my TBR is starting to scare me.
  • It’s been quiet on Thursdays (we’ll come up with something) but Friday was bad for arachnophobes as Lynn set the Friday Face/off prompt to spiders, with Lynn, Tammy and Mogsy all celebrating (or torturing us with, your call) cover art from around the world for Ezekiel Boone’s SF spider horror The Hatching. Thank heavens for Lauren, who chose to focus on Marissa Meyer’s Renegades for her Friday challenge mash-up – no spiders in sight!


Let’s carry on with with some enthusiasm (it’s not in short supply, but we all benefit from regular booster shots!) – Norrie at Reading under the Blankie suggested 7 Books for People Who Think They Don’t Like SciFi; Alexandra Wolfe has thoughts on 6 more just in case (people can be so stubborn!);  and Kaleena has 10 Reasons she loves SF.

Meanwhile, Louise of Exploring by Starlight shocked us all with the classic SF movies she hasn’t seen yet (Louise, you know what to do). Avery of Red Rocket Panda went along to SFX Bookcon 2 at Foyles in London and reports back on an excellent event after a rocky start (I was also there; my heartfelt thanks go to Avery for confronting the asshat who harassed Rebecca Kuang when the moderator didn’t intervene. WTF people).

Interviews and guest posts

Alexandra Wolfe has been lighting up the sky this week with a series of excellent posts (don’t miss her commemoration of Laika, the first dog in space) – plus she made room to share her blog with a couple of guests! First up, a post from Dave Hutchinson about how he built his world for the Fractured Europe sequence (one of my favourite series of recent years!). Second, a fascinating interview with cross-genre author Gregory Frost, who talks about craft, the challenges of marketing and the bear traps on the road to getting published.


Okay, I’m going to try a new format this week as we’re ON FIRE with so much going on! For ease of reference, here’s a quick rundown by author of reviews from the SciFiMonth fleet this week:

Elena has also contributed some film reviews! She has thoughts about Beyond and Hardcore Henry (safe for work, I promise).

Last but not least, we’ve got some recommendations for you: Deanna is a big lover of podcasts and had some SF audio dramas for your listening pleasure; Avada Kedavra got very excited about SF thrillers; Chuckles gave some thought to SF set in space; Alexandra Wolfe has some suggestions in response to our ‘need for speed’ cue; and Tammy has 14 SF novels you should watch out for in 2019.

Okay, you can open your eyes again now. Your TBR is safe. We promise. Until next week.

Ship’s Media Library Photo Challenge

The photo challenge has branched out: Amy at A Thousand Worlds has made it a regular feature post, and Avery at Red Rocket Panda has turned it into a book tag! I’m loving the reinvention – and loving seeing your entries. Keep them coming, folks.

Check out the Photo stream of #RRSciFiMonth on Twitter to see all the photos (admittedly, not just from the photo challenge, but trust me – it’s lovely to see the rest too!) or check the tag on Instagram or Litsy (I’m a Litsy newbie, so thank you all for the warm welcome).

Posting somewhere else? Sing out in the comments so we can boost the signal and come find your photos.


Lisa and Jorie are hosting our SciFiMonth read-along of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet with Twitter chats each Sunday at 3pm EST (US) / 8pm GMT  (UK, 9pm Europe) / 4am CST (China) / 7am AEDT (Sydney) / 9am NZDT (New Zealand) sorry folks.

There were some technical issues with Twitter updates being delayed this week, so watch out for blog posts at Dear Geek Place and fingers crossed for clear comms channels next Sunday!

Book cover: A Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetMissed week 1? Jorie has gathered her first impressions and collected the questions from the chat if you’d like to put together a post of your own thoughts!

Week 2 / Sunday 18th: “The Wane”, up to the end of “Hatch, Feather, House”

Week 3 / Sunday 25th: “October 25” to the end

Tune in to #smallangryplanet to take part.

If you have read the book / series before – please, no spoilers!


Until next time: fly straight, fly safe, and don’t peer into any weird egg-shaped objects you find on deserted planets / in your cargo hold / being lovingly tended by a psychotic android.