Dancing with Fantasy and Sci-Fi: dance card

Banner: Dancing with Fantasy and SciFi - 2019 Reading Challenge (text on a background image of books viewed end on)

It’s been three months (where did they go? Have you seen them? Could you show them the way home?) since I last checked my Dancing with Fantasy and Sci-Fi score card, so I think it’s past time I checked in to see how I’m doing at marking off my dances.

A reading dance challenge?

Dancing with Fantasy and Sci-Fi is a prompt challenge designed by Annemieke at A Dance With Books. Over the course of 2019, we are trying to read to 20, 30 or 50 prompts (depending on how much of the challenge we signed up for).

Each read can only be used for one prompt, but you can move it from one prompt to another later on in the year if you need to. You can double up once per category if you get completely stuck, but I’ll try to avoid that!

Mid-year check-in

It’s mid-June and as of today I’ve read 32 books – so I should be comfortably halfway towards my challenge, right? Easier said than done: some of the prompts are very specific…


Score: 8/20

So I’m falling behind in this category – perhaps not surprising given my pure fantasy diet in May – but I’ve completed a row! Quite a lot of agonising over where to play some of my reads this month and whether to move titles around, but for now I’ll stick with everything as played. I have a few prompts where I have multiple candidates (but no other prompts that really suit those other candidates) – I guess I need to focus my SF reading a little more to make sure I cover some of the trickier prompts…

Dancing with SciFi dance card - book covers superimposed on completed prompts

Prompts completed: On a Different Planet (The City in the Middle of the Night) | Spaceship (Shadow Captain) | A.I. Point of View (I Still Dream) | Utopia (Semiosis) | Virtual Reality (The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle) | Super powers (Static Ruin) | Space Colonization (The Freeze-Frame Revolution) | Invasion (Tiamat’s Wrath)


Score: 9/20

Doing better here – although I still half-wonder whether Vicious belongs in SF as there’s a notional scientific ’cause’ for being Extraordinary, even if the resulting power feels like pure fantasy. I expected to be scoring a little higher though, so I still have some ‘work’ to do (ha, ‘work’! Look at those unmatched prompts: some of my favourite fantasy tropes).

Dancing with Fantasy dance card - book covers superimposed on completed prompts

Prompts completed: Necromancers (Children of Blood and Bone) | Ghosts (Someone Like Me) | Uncommon fantasy creatures (The Kingdom of Copper) | Gods (Empire of Sand) | Witches (The Near Witch) | Magical Law Enforcement (Lies Sleeping) | Portal fantasy (Beneath The Sugar Sky) | Warrior (Trail of Lightning)


Score: 4/12

This category is a bit of a catch-all by nature, so I focus on filling the core prompts first, but it’s beginning to benefit from my reading not neatly matching the prompts in the genre boxes.

Dancing with Something Or Other dance card - book covers superimposed on completed prompts

Prompts completed: Under 500 Pages (The Traitor Baru Cormorant) | Novella (The Tea Master and the Detective) | Finish A Series (The Unbound Empire) | Disability (Age of Assassins)

As we enter the second half of the year, I should probably start being a bit more mindful of this challenge – although the delightful part of it is that it is very freeform and flexible. There’s also a few prompts that I need to specifically read for (rather than trusting that my reading is broad enough to fill my cards) – a book published before 1990, proto SF, and a classic fantasy all leap to mind, as these fall well outside my regular reading diet.

Tempted to take part? It’s not too late – sign up on Annemieke’s blog and begin assigning your reads to prompts (you can assign books you’ve already read this year – not just those you read after you sign up)! Stuck for ideas? I’ve made some recommendations for the first half of the sci-fi and fantasy prompts – and I’m working on the second batch to follow very soon…