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Worlds Without End Blog

Reading Challenge: Mind Voyages Posted at 7:01 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

DuneThe Forever WarDoomsday BookPaladin of SoulsThe Man in the High Castle

I’ve been thinking about doing a reading challenge here on WWEnd for some time but just never got around to it.  I was just planning to start one for the New Year when I found Mind Voyages.  Mind Voyages is a yearlong reading challenge and blog set up by Robin of My Two Blessings that focuses on the Hugo and Nebula award winners and noms.  A perfect fit for me and WWEnd members as well, methinks.

The challenge is divided up into several "voyages" of differing lengths and themes.  You choose the books you want to read within the loosely defined parameters of each voyage rather than having to read from a pre-determined list.  You can set yourself a modest goal like the Moon Voyage, which is to read 6 Hugo winners, or you can go for a bigger challenge like Jupiter which is all the 1990′s winners.  Of course you can go for as many voyages as you like throughout the year if you want a bigger challenge.

The savvy reader will find lots of ways to get max value out of the books they choose.  Look for the books that overlap voyages like dual Hugo and Nebula winners (two birds, one stone) or pick 2 Philip K. Dick books for your Moon Voyage and knock out the Venus Voyage at the same time.  Someone will eventually figure out the least number of books you would have to read to complete all voyages.  I’m going for the Moon and will try for Mars as well.  Along the way I’ll knock out Venus, Mercury and the Slingshot Back to Earth by reading 12 books.  Here’s my list as it stands:

There are shorter ways to get there I think but many of those books I’ve already read so I had to dance around a bit to get to this list.  The best thing about this challenge is that almost all these books were on my list anyway and I’m still trying to read all the Hugo and Nebula winners so this will bring me closer to that goal as well.

So who’s in and what does your list look like?

10 Comments

Robin   |   15 Dec 2009 @ 10:47

Welcome to the challenge Dave. I’m so glad you decided to join in. I like your choice of books and how you figured out your voyages. I’m also going to be reading Dune and Man in the High Castle. Happy Reading!

Carl V.   |   15 Dec 2009 @ 16:48

It definitely sounds like a fun challenge, and will fit right in with the non-challenge sci fi reading experience I host every year AND the other challenges I have already determined to participate in next year. Dune is certainly on my list of a book that I simply MUST read this next year. I say that every year and it is really well past time. A couple of years back I used the wonderful ol’ internet to put together a Hugo and Nebula list because I was curious about how many I had read (few) and realized that I really wanted to read more. Despite the controversy of awards, I still consider them to be a valid expression and a way to look at finding meaningful reading experiences, not just from current genre fiction but also from the ‘classics’. Ringworld and the Foundation trilogy are just two examples of award winners that I had tended to shy away from because of a mistaken assumption, held since childhood, that they would be over my head. Not only was that not the case, but I deeply enjoyed reading them and consider them among some of my favorite reading experiences in my adult life.

Dave Post   |   16 Dec 2009 @ 10:14

Carl, I’ve been putting off Dune for many years myself. They keep making movies and mini-series out of it so I never felt any kind of urgency to get to it. There’s a new movie in the works right now, believe it or not. This is the year though. I’m gonna read it and this challenge has given me the extra incentive I apparently needed.

Carl V.   |   16 Dec 2009 @ 16:44

I hadn’t heard that there was another film coming out. I happen to be a fan of the Lynch version (yes, I can hear the hue and cry now) and there are things I enjoyed about the longer mini-series. Both make me want to read the book though so I can see what Herbert’s original vision was. I’m committing to it this year as well. I wish us both luck. :)

Rico   |   18 Dec 2009 @ 02:31

It’s actually rather prescient. The book is mainly about Arab culture, global (mediated through intersellar) warfare, and terrorism. I can see how it might catch the attention of film directors today.

Bjorn   |   22 Dec 2009 @ 19:27

Other people, also trying to read all the Hugo and Nebulas? That don’t look at you cross-eyed when you tell them what you’re trying to do? Lovely! I started this task maybe 5 years ago, and am through most of the actual winners, or at least have them awaiting my paws on my shelves. Now I’ve launched into the nominees… Isn’t there some quotation by Orson Scott Card about people trying to do this?

Dave Post   |   22 Dec 2009 @ 21:42

So, Bjorn, are you in? Sounds like you’re close to the end of the Hugo winners. The Moon Voyage is 6 Hugos. Will that push you over the top?

Bjorn   |   24 Dec 2009 @ 02:38

In like a dirty shirt! But it looks as though you almost need a spreadsheet to plan your challenge. Let me do the work-up… Beautiful site by the way!

Bjorn   |   24 Dec 2009 @ 03:32

I’m in for Jupiter! I’ll do the Mars trip, but there are some 80′s titles that I’m itchin’ to read. Also, I’ll hit the Slingshot to Earth and Venus trips along the way (I decline the Mercury voyage on ethical grounds).Here’s my list:The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon (2008 Hugo 2007 Nebula)Rainbows End – Vernor Vinge (2007 Hugo)Spin – Robert Charles Wilson (2006 Hugo)The Doomsday Book – Connie Willis (1993 Hugo 1992 Nebula)Blue Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson (1997 Hugo)Paladin of Souls – Lois McMaster Bujold (2004 Hugo 2004 Nebula)Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Philip K. Dick (1968 Nebula nominee)Galactic Pot-Healer – Philip K. Dick (it’s by Philip K. Dick!)Perdido Street Station – China Mieville (2002 Hugo Nebula nominee)The Years of Rice and Salt – Kim Stanley Robinson (2003 Locus 2003 Hugo nominee)Blind Lake – Robert Charles Wilson (2004 Hugo nominee)River of Gods – Ian McDonald (2005 Hugo nominee)Red Prophet – Orson Scott Card (1989 Hugo Nominee)Tea with the Black Dragon – R. A. MacAvoy (1983 Nebula nominee 1984 Hugo nominee)The Integral Trees – Larry Niven (1984 Nebula nominee 1985 Hugo nominee)The Claw of the Conciliator – Gene Wolfe (1981 Nebula nominee 1982 Hugo nominee)Looks like we’ll have some overlap. "The Forever War" and "The Man in the High Castle" were both great. I’ll look forward to hearing your take on that old dragon "Stranger in a Strange Land."

B.E. Earl   |   04 Jan 2010 @ 09:19

I see our lists have some similar titles. Best of luck with it!

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