The SciFiMonth Challenge 2021

SciFiMonth 2021 (1-30 November): Words full of hope and threat, like the stars

It’s SciFiMonth next month! Time to stack our TBRs, prep our star charts, lay in an epic quantity of tea (*other drinks are available) and hope someone aboard knows how to handle tribbles. If you’re looking for ideas on how to join in the shenanigans, the SciFiMonth Challenge is here to help.

The SciFiMonth Challenge is a themed prompt per day to inspire blog posts (or combine into a blog tag), Twitter threads, BookTube/BookTok vids or book photos on Instagram, Litsy or Twitter. Our motto is keep it casual and keep it fun – if you just want to answer 3 random prompts across the month, that’s cool. If you want to share a photo or post a day, we’ll cheer you on all the way. Whatever you do, wherever you post, please add a link to the master schedule so we can come admire it – we’ll share some of our faves in the weekly Mission Logs.

This year’s prompts

November 1Your SciFiMonth TBR
November 2Hello Dolly #TropeTuesday (clones)
November 3Make way (debuts)
November 4Rated fresh #ThrowbackThursday (at least 2 years old)
November 5International author (non US/UK)
November 6#StackSaturday
November 7Fun and games (SFnal / futuristic sport or competition)
November 8Add to ship’s library (1 recent SF read you recommend)
November 9Sweet dreams #TropeTuesday (cryosleep / suspended animation)
November 10Books of a single hue
November 11Modern classic #ThrowbackThursday (at least 10 years old)
November 12Independent voices (small or indie press / self-published)
November 13Teach an old dog new tricks (SFnal retellings)
November 14Book rainbow
November 15Current read
November 16I can kill you with my mind #TropeTuesday (psychic powers)
November 17Desert island Remote moon reads
November 18Well-matured #ThrowbackThursday (at least 30 years old)
November 19SF in translation
November 20Too old for this shit (older protagonists)
November 21Spine poetry
November 22Can’t wait to read
November 23Artificially yours #TropeTuesday (digital consciousness,
personality downloads, cyborgs, meat vs machine)
November 24We’ve come a long way baby (evolution, genetic engineering,
pushing scientific boundaries)
November 25Turn back time #ThrowbackThursday (at least 50 years old)
November 26Judge a book by its cover artist
November 27I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe (book vs film/TV)
November 28#ShelfieSunday
November 29Let’s do that again (longed-for sequels)
November 30Favourite SciFiMonth read

Check out the supporting notes if you need further suggestions on what direction to take a prompt in, but feel free to interpret as broadly as you wish!

Remote moon reads is the SciFiMonth spin on the Wyrd and Wonder Desert Island Reads tag, which has specific rules (but if you would rather interpret it broadly as ‘books to read when you’re stranded no a remote moon’ you absolutely can).

What else will be going on?

As always, we’re looking forward to a month of reviews, discussions, recommendations, opinions and nonsense as we share our enthusiasm for all things science fictional.

On the organised chaos front, my co-pilot Lisa is ringleading our SciFiMonth read-along – this year, we’ll be reading Everina Maxwell’s debut space opera Winter’s Orbit. Hop across to Dear Geek Place for details, to register your interest and/or volunteer to host a week’s discussion.

I intend to focus on novellas: there’s no formal plan (chaaaaoooosss), but if you are interested in joining me for a casual buddy read / discussion group, yell in the comments. A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers will definitely be in the rotation; I’d love to tempt you into reading one of Premee Mohamed’s novellas; and I shall certainly be reading Light Chaser by Gareth L Powell and Peter F Hamilton. After that? I’m open to suggestions – just let me know in the comments what novella(s) you’d be interested in reading!

Want a taste of what else to expect? Check out this year’s launch announcement or dip into the archives of our previous missions.

Share your plans with Mission Control

This year’s navigation chart – aka the the master schedule in GoogleDocs – is now set up for you to start adding your posts whenever you’re ready. Feel free to add them in advance if you’re super-organised or pop them in as your posts go live. Plans change, so no judgement if a post doesn’t go live on the day you expected (or at all) – we’ll just know to keep an eye open.

The master schedule is how Lisa and I keep track of everything going on – if you add your posts, we will include them when we compile our weekly Mission Logs each weekend (and boost them on Twitter, time and sanity prevailing; sometimes the month gets away from us).

Join the crew

What’s that? You’re not on the crew yet? There’s always room for one more (and then some) aboard the good ship SciFiMonth! If you’d like to join us for 30 days of SFnal shenanigans, you’re very welcome – just sign up here to let us know and we’ll add you to the crew list. Anyone who signs up and makes a SciFiMonth post (and adds it to the master schedule) before November 7th will be entered into our sign up giveaway.

Online swag

If you’re on the crew and would like to boost the SciFiMonth signal on your own channels, you’re welcome to use our banners and buttons. All we ask is that you please include the image credit on your posts:

ARTWORK by Liu Zishan from

QUOTE from Babylon’s Ashes by James S A Corey