Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge

It is time for my second REAL challenge. I've said it countless times, I don't read fantasy and science fiction. I always thought it would be too complicated for me or even too creepy. But I always get emails asking for YA/MG speculative fiction about poc recommendations and I'm tired of not being able to give my own recommendations. I WILL complete this challenge.

Hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books. You must read 12 books. Starts Jan 1, 2011. Ends Dec 31, 2011.

1. Little Sister by Kara Dalkey

2. Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry

3. Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves

4. Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon

5. Huntress by Malinda Lo

6. Libyrinth by Pearl North

7. The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott

8. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

9. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

10. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

11. Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalesiter

12. Flora Segunda (Flora Trilogy #1) by Ysabeau S. Wilce

13. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafoar-Mbachu

14. City of Light, City of Dark by Avi

15. Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (Ship Breaker #1)

16. For the Win by Cory Doctrow

17. Arrow by RJ Anderson

Hopefully I have a wide range of books covered, although I think I have more fantasy than science fiction. *sigh* But it's better than nothing. It looks like I might have more Asian-inspired fantasy than anything else, I would like to add at least one other YA/MG with Latino/a main characters. I'm actually very eager to dive into this challenge and I won three of these books (one of them is only temporary though =/) so I better get cracking! Any recommendations would be welcome (if you've already recommended titles to me know that I did listen. It was just really hard to narrow down the list). An invaluable resource was Charlotte's list and Zetta's list.

ETA: I do not crosspost for challenges so debuts about poc are mostly likely on my list of YA/MG debut authors, same thing if they are a mostly GLBT cast (I'm still working on that challenge post though).


  1. I'm looking forward to your reviews on these. I've found it difficult to find adult POC urban fantasy. It's a challenge, but I always keep my eyes open.

  2. Dawn Metcalf's LUMINOUS (June 30, 2011) has a Latina main character. What a fun challenge! :)

  3. I'm not sure if you already know, but one of the three main characters in the Magic or Madness books is Latina.

    Fury of the Phoenix is a sequel--I don't know if you've read the first book, or how well it standards alone.

    Zahrah is more of a middle-grade book--it's excellent, but the reading level is simpler than most YA.

    Scott Westerfeld's Extras has a future-Japanese main character, if you want more SF. It's technically the fourth book in a series, but I think it stands alone fairly well.

  4. The main character of Paolo Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker is multiethnic; his father's surname is Lopez. Other characters are black, either born in the US or from Caribbean islands that have been inundated by rising seas, the result of global warming. And the wealthy girl he rescues is of South Asian heritage. I strongly recommend adding this title to your list--it received this year's Printz Award and was a National Book Award finalist.

    Another speculative fiction book I suggest adding--and a great companion to Ship Breaker--is Cory Doctorow's For the Win. No Latino characters but the ensemble cast consists of teens and adults from India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.

  5. I agree with Lyn, I think you'd love SHIP BREAKER and FOR THE WIN. SHIP BREAKER in particular was fantastic. Three cheers for SLICE OF CHERRY, as well! As I'm pretty sure you know, speculative fiction is my favorite genre, so I can't wait to hear what you think of these! =D

  6. Isabel Allende wrote a fantasy series for YA. Haven't read it but the first book, City of Beasts, takes place in South America and I think the other books in the series take place in Asia and Africa. (Hmm... now that I've just reminded myself of it, I really need to move it up on my TBR list.)

    If you're including graphic novels, there's this old one for MG by Avi. The main character is mixed (Black and white, I believe) and the boy who gets pulled into her adventure is Latino. I loved this book so much as a kid, that as an adult I bought it twice (but didn't realize it until I cleaned out my garage a few months ago. heh.)

  7. Just realized I didn't give the title of the Avi graphic novel. It's City of Light, City of Dark

    And since I'm back, Avi has this MG ghost story called Something Upstairs about a boy who moves into a house that's haunted by a young murdered slave. It's a super short book, but a good read (at least it was when I read it as a kid.)

  8. @Mardel-Once I become a fan of sci fi/fantasy/urban fiction your blog will have already provided me with a good number of recommendations, you do such a good job!

    @Malinda-I know, I'm so psyched for Luminious! I didn't include it soley because I don't cross post for challenges and I'm reading Luminous for the YA/MG Debut. I'll add that to the post :)

    @Mel-I definitely didn't know that about Magic or Madness, bonus! Makes me feel better about the equality of my list =)
    I'm reading both MG and YA for this challenge sp Zahrah fits perfectly, yay! And I ADORE Silver Phoenix, can't wait to read the sequel.

    I'll have to look into Extras, I've seen the cover around and I did read the first book in the series, just never reviewed it, but I wasn't a huge fan.

    @Lyn-I had Shipbreaker written down and then became intimidated by how many books I needed to read for the challenge in such a 'foreign-to-me' genre so I erased it. But I'll add it back, better to have too many options and it sounds phenonemal, plus Maggie loved it :D

    How could I have forgotten For the Win?? definitely wanted to read that book.

    @Maggie-You are going to push me to read one of these a month, make sure I complete this challenge! haha. I'm adding For the Win and Shipbreaker to the list since both you and Lyn endorse them so strongly =D

    @Cacy-Oh I have heard of that series! In fact I think Lyn from an earlier comment recommended the series to me. *sigh* SO.MANY.BOOKS *half heartedly curses book bloggers and their many good recommendations* I need to keep my list to a manageable level so I'm only going to add City of Light, City of Dark. I try to avoid slavery books now.

    Thanks all for the recommendations! Keep 'em coming. Just know that if I don't put them on the list, that doesn't mean I don't read and appreciate your recommendations xD


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