Mission Status Update: first star on the left

We’re past the halfway mark now and we’re deep into our exploration of alien civilisations, parallel worlds and future technologies. Time for our weekly round-up of what’s been going on…

Crew update

No matter how far we travel, we’re always bumping into like-minded explorers keen to join us on our journey. S J Pajonas is our latest recruit, and has swung straight into action with a celebration of some favourite SF.


  • OD Book Reviews is giving away a copy of Daisy’s Run, a space disaster mystery thriller by Scott Baron. You’ll have to jump to it – the giveaway closes tomorrow!
  • I’ve got a copy of Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us, Mark O’Connell’s ‘queer ode’ to the SF movies of the 70s and 80s. Fancy a burst of nostalgic love for all your classic faves? This book is for you
    • How to enter: comment or tweet us with your favourite 70s or 80s SF movie (and why!) before midnight PST on Friday 23rd November. If tweeting, please tag #RRSciFiMonth and #WatchingSkies
    • Additional terms: Sorry, this one is limited to residents of US, UK, Europe or Australia. 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!

Reviews and features

Space travel is a marathon, not a sprint, but the posts are ticking along almost as fast as we are. If anybody needs a protein bar to keep them going, they’re in the kitchenette on the lower aft deck next to the jelly babies.


A moment’s silence before we continue: here’s to the late, great Stan Lee, who left this universe in search of another this week. Michael the Nashville Bookworm and Alexandra Wolfe said a few words in his honour. Excelsior!

Regular Features

Sailing ships used bells to keep time; we’ve got a weekly routine of regular posts to let us know that all is well:

Special Features

We got a SciFiMonth special this week, as our Little Red Reviewer interviewed author and SciFiMonth Fleet member Chris Voss about his debut novel, Genesis. Jess of Jessticulates struggled with Shelf Control over Connie Willis’s time-travel classic Doomsday Book, while Chuckles got me all nostalgic with her look back at the novelisation of the original tv show of V. Alexandra got acquisitive and enthused about SF gadgets and gizmos. Caitlin treated us to a first impression of Arkady Martine’s upcoming debut, A Memory called Empire (I’m so excited for this one) and took time out to celebrate classic SF anime Cowboy Bebop. Anime was on Louise’s mind too over at Exploring by Starlight – she shared the anime on her watchlist. Let’s get into into folks – what SF anime would you recommend?

Book Reviews

Your weekly recap by author of reviews from the SciFiMonth fleet this week:

Your TBR isn’t safe yet

Last but not least, we’ve got some recommendations for you: Alexandra Wolfe had some retro recommendations (check back for more next week); Amy of A Thousand Worlds had a little bit of something for everyone with recommendations by setting and age; the Little Red Reviewer shared her recent favourites (that’s recently read, not recently written); and Tammy has 14 Young Adult SF novels you should watch out for in 2019.

Photo Challenge / Book Tag

Yes, I’ll definitely be making a full-on book tag next year (and a book bingo? Why not!) – but I love how well the photo challenge prompts are working as post prompts this year.

This week, Paul Harrap had strong rainbow action (and scary bookends):


Check out the photo stream for #RRSciFiMonth on Twitter to see all the photos or check the tag on Instagram or Litsy – #RRSciFiMonth is going strong on all channels! Over at Space and Sorcery, Maddalena put together an homage to the best ships in the galaxy (I was so looking forward to that prompt – thanks to everyone who submitted for it).

Next week, we get the terrifyingly hard spine poetry prompt… get your thinking hats on!


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.

Book cover: A Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetWeek 1 recaps: Jorie’s first impressions | Lisa’s post

Watch out for the week 2 recaps coming later this week!

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

Tune in to #smallangryplanet to take part.

Remember, no spoilers for the later books in this final week please!


Apparently it’s some big festival for a large country back on Earth this week, so please watch out for the space turkeys (your call whether you help them escape, create some turkey cyborgs to even the score or hustle them to the galley pronto). I’ll be in the observation lounge with a slice of pumpkin pie being thankful for the authors who unleash our imaginations and allow us to explore the universe.