I’m beyond thrilled to be part of the first-ever Self-Published Science Fiction Contest! What is that? Check out the write up over at Red Star Reviews for an explanation. The first round of the contest for we judges is to whittle down the pile of books we’ve been given from the 30 (31 for our group!) to 10 that we’re going to read in their entirety. How do we do that? Well, we read 10-20% of all 30 of the books and then vote on whether we’d like to continue them. I’m going to blog about these as I go, and I want to know what you think! How do you like the covers? Have you read the book? Did my write-up make you want to read it? Let me know!
Age of Order by Julian North
A dystopian story of classism gone to the extreme, I enjoyed the beginnings of Age of Order by Julian North. The characterization is there, and the plot grabbed me fairly early on. There’s a reason dystopian fiction is so popular–it engages with problems in the here and now in sometimes overt, sometimes subtle ways. This one seems like more of an overt look, but I’m not sure of the exact direction North is going to take it. There is classism taken to the extreme, and that has me interested. I want to know what’s going on enough to place this one on my “yes” stack.
Dog Country by Malcom F. Cross
This was my pick for the best cover on our team’s books. As for the content, we have a bunch of genetically engineered dogs put into battle in a kind of Forever War-esque setting. It takes some time to get going–at 10% I wasn’t sure I’d want to continue–but once it does, it is a much more thoughtful sci-fi story than I was expecting. I am only at 14% now, but I can already get the sense that this is going to be a powerful read. It’s on the yes stack.
The Revolution Will Be Tokenized by Christoph Brueck
The Revolution Will Be Tokenized is a kind of cyberpunk/dystopian mashup that thrusts readers into a refugee camp in Africa, where almost everything is a commodity or able to be stolen. I had a few problems with this one from the beginning, one of which is how casually rape is mentioned to one of the protagonists, who then shrugs it off. It just didn’t sit right with me. There are also a decent amount of grammatical errors or strange uses of terminology that put me off. I read 10% and I was forcing myself to continue. I put this one down as a “no.” Its Amazon ratings are pretty high, so maybe I’m an outlier here.
Round 1 Status
I’ve now dipped my toes into 21 out of 31 books. I’m now at 7 yes, 7 no, and 7 maybes. That “maybe” list is looming large compared to the number I’ll be able to allow on it. Let’s see how these last 10 books go. I’d love to hear from you what you think if you’ve read any of these books or want to see them on my longer reviews! Want to know what other books are on the list? Check out Red Star Reviews’ post on my team’s list to see the covers!
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