Upgrade to a better browser, please.

Worlds Without End Blog

2012 WWEnd Grand Master Reading Challenge Posted at 6:39 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

WWEnd Grand Master Reading ChallengeWell, we’re a little bit late to the party but we have finally launched our reading challenge! As you may have guessed from the title and the badge our reading challenge is focused on the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award winning authors. If you’re not familiar with the Grand Master Award it’s an award for lifetime achievement in SF/F given out by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The award is given semi-annually to a living author usually during the Nebula Award ceremony though it’s not a Nebula itself.

Heinlein, Bester, McCaffrey, Asimov, Clarke and of course Damon Knight himself… these authors are some of the giants of genre fiction and after adding the list to the site we hit on the idea of building a challenge around them. But not just a challenge. Here at WWEnd we have to do things just a bit differently so we decided to incorporate BookTrackr™ into it so you can track your progress throughout the year.

Why? Well, your typical reading challenge usually starts out with a lot of enthusiasm but over time it’s easy to get lazy and lose interest. Reading for a challenge is a solitary endeavor that goes something like this: you pick a book for your challenge, bugger off to read it, two weeks later when you’re done you blog about it and hope somebody reads your blog. Then you do it again and again – pretty much in a vaccuum. Sure you can hit the blogs to see how other people are doing but that takes a lot of time and gets pretty spread out as the months go on.

BookTrackr makes it easy to get involved and stay involved. If you look at the Grand Master Reading Challenge page you’ll see our solution in action. Every particpant in the challenge goes into a single table where you can directly compare your progress with everyone else. From that page you’ll be able to see which authors and books are being read and access all the reviews for the challenge. It’s meant to foster a bit of friendly competition between members; where we can all help to keep each other motivated. Plus, it’s just fun to fill out all the slots!

Grand Masters

How the GMRC works:

The goal of the WWEnd Grand Master Reading Challenge is to read 12 books — 1 each by 12 Grand Master authors — in 12 months and write at least 6 reviews. That’s it. Not a huge challenge compared to some others you’ve probably seen but it’s a good steady challenge for those of us with limited time. It’s also one that won’t scare off the slow readers amongst us. Raise your hand if you’re one of us.

Now I know some of you Evelyn Wood grads are thinking "I can read 12 books in a couple months…" That’s awesome, but that’s not what this challenge is about. You’re supposed to pace yourself and read a book each month then share your thoughts with the rest of us. Think of it as a "relax-a-challenge" if you will. Read a book. Post your review here on WWEnd, or post an extract here and link back to your blog for the full review. Then do it again. Read. Review. Repeat.

Further incentive:

We get a lot of great reviews here on WWEnd every week and we expect that we’ll get a bunch more through this challenge so we want to reward you for the effort with some prizes and some love. Each week we’re going to cherry pick the best reviews to feature in the WWEnd blog as a guest post. We’ll include an intro for you and promote your blog to our members. Try and drive a little traffic your way. You’ll also receive a GMRC button for the effort. Wear it proudly to your next convention.

At the end of each month WWEnd members will vote on the featured reviews and the winner will earn everlasting glory and some swag from the WWEnd prize box. Prizes include: T-Shirts, buttons, books and bookmarks etc. Remember how I said we want you to pace yourself? If you do, you’ll have 12 chances to win. And, of course, everyone who completes the challenge will receive a prize at the end. Schweet.

Anyway, I’ve gone on too long. Kudos if you read down this far! There’s more information and instructions on the GMRC page and on the Grand Master Award page and you can hit us with questions in the comments or in the forums.

So, who’s in? What do you think of our little scheme of marching up and down the square?


Emil   |   12 Jan 2012 @ 01:03

I’m in. I’m marching up and down the square. I’m reading.

Val   |   12 Jan 2012 @ 03:38

Sure, I was going to read some more classics this year anyway.

Rhonda   |   12 Jan 2012 @ 06:18

Spicing Up the Reading Challenge I’d already signed up for a couple of reading challenges, so I think it will be fun to combine the Grand Masters’ Reading Challenge with them, reducing the number of books I must read but giving the process more of a "challenge." The other two challenges I’m participating in have much more specific parameters; therefore, I plan to use as many of the Grand Masters’ books to fulfill as many of those parameters as I can. The first challenge that I picked requires title words to fit certain categories: 1. a book with a topographical feature; 2. a book with something that you see in the sky (perfect for GMRC, huh?); 3. a book with a creepy crawly; 4. a book with a type of house; 5. a book with something you’d carry in a purse, pocket or a backpack; 6. a book with something you’d find on a calendar. This one can be found at The other challenge is a much more straight forward science fiction reading challenge with some time period categories and some thematic categories, such as cyberpunk; spaceships/aliens; apocalyptic/dystopia/utopia; and robots/androids/cyborgs. This challenge can be found at I’m having fun finding GMRC books that will fulfill two reading challenges at the same time.

Dave Post   |   12 Jan 2012 @ 08:18

Good to see some of the usual suspects signing on! @Rhonda: There are a bunch of great reading challenges out there and it makes good sense to combine where you can. That’s partly why we’re only doing 12 books. Those that want to read more will likely be involved in another challenge elsewhere anyway. I like trying to optimize my reading to cover more ground like you’re doing. That’s a challenge in itself. I should probably make a page in the Resources section to show all the challenges that are happening. I’ll add your 2 links to that.

Jonathan   |   12 Jan 2012 @ 16:02

Starting off with "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Bradbury. I have been meaning to read this one for a while now.

Allie   |   13 Jan 2012 @ 01:49

Count me in as well! 🙂

Dave Post   |   13 Jan 2012 @ 08:00

@Jonathan: I’m going with The Best of Lester Del Rey. It’s not something I would have picked up outside of the challenge but I’m really enjoying it so far. @Allie: We’ve been expecting you!

Val   |   13 Jan 2012 @ 08:05

I’m starting with Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. It’s been on the to read stack for a while now anyway. Got to finish reviews of Direct Descent and Aces High first so say… late next week.

Allie   |   13 Jan 2012 @ 10:22

I’m thinking I’ll start with Robert Silverberg. I have both "The Stochastic Man" and "Lord Valentine’s Castle" lying around, but I haven’t decided which I’m going to start reading just yet.

Scott Laz   |   13 Jan 2012 @ 13:11

I like "reading projects," since I know at this point that there are many times more books that I want to read than that I will ever be able to get to, and it’s always hard to choose what to read next! This will fit in nicely with my own attempt to work on Pringle’s "100 Best SF" and "Modern Fantasy" lists, on which pretty much all the grand masters appear at some point.

Rhonda Knight   |   13 Jan 2012 @ 15:18

Once I finish some of my books for school, I’ll be reading Hellconia Spring by Aldiss. It fits the calendar word requirement for one of my other challenges. :)Rhonda

Emil   |   14 Jan 2012 @ 00:50

I’ve decided to read all the female authors. Only Le Guin is familiar to me. Hard to believe that I’ve never read McCaffrey or Norton before. This is the cool thing about this challange, picking up some books I’ve always wanted to read, but whici always seem to be neglected because of newer obligations.

Scott Laz   |   16 Jan 2012 @ 12:50

Emil can add another woman author to the list. Connie Willis has received the latest Grand Master Award…

Dave Post   |   16 Jan 2012 @ 13:34

@ScottLaz: I saw that too. Fantastic! I’ll be adding Connie to the challenge page shortly.

Dave Post   |   16 Jan 2012 @ 18:56

2011 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, Connie Willis, has been added to the GM list and the GMRC page.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.