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I read a lot of speculative fiction, and every year, the new Hugo award winner for best novel gets inserted somewhere near the top of my list. The 2017 winner was The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin. The first two installments of Jemisin's Broken Earth series won best novel (the third installment is nominated at the moment). As far as I know, Jemisin is the first writer to win two Hugos for Best Novel consecutively. I hadn't gotten around to reading The Fifth Season, the first in the series, so I decided it was time to check it out. The book was ambitious, evocative, and unique, and looking back, I really disliked it. Generally I'm not picky about fiction. I enjoy pulp at least as much as more philosophically rich science fiction. Reading this book, I realized that the reason I disliked it so much wasn't something reasonable like weak characters, or pacing (objectively every aspect of Jemisin's storytelling seemed pretty solid). I think it was because when I imagined the setting in my head, It looked stupid to me. That's it. I found this story largely uninteresting, even though I enjoy stories which are much less high-brow, but aesthetically more appealing to me, such as The Expanse series. As far as I can tell, the only thing that unifies my favorite Sci-fi is a vaguely hard or sleek look (even if the look is just in my head). As a result, I often find very interesting classics by Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, or Kurt Vonnegut largely inaccessible, whereas less ambitious books, and books which I can imagine well, like the Culture series are totally enjoyable to me. Has anyone else had a similar problem enjoying a book which is totally interesting, but aesthetically unappealing? Have you found a way to overcome this?
Well we have a game jam and now we have cocktail jam, so the natural progression is a fiction jam! (Credit goes to clairehosking for suggesting the jam) The basic idea is to write a little short something with all your thumb friends. I was thinking we could steal be inspired by wizard jam with episode title themes. Have a story inspired by any episode title from the network. You can write about Poopwater, New Mexico, In Search Of (Burnout) Paradise or Brendon Chung. Unlike in wizard jam, everyone writes about the same randomly chosen title. That way we see everyone's take on the same title. This is a lot of fun, see the multiple "Build the Nublar"s and "Shoot That Pizza"s from wizard jams. Basic rules: We start a new theme every month on the 4th. We submit our entry every month on the 1st. Entries should be a maximum of 3000 words. When you're ready to show your story, you can post it on Medium.com tagged with "Idle Fiction Jam". Feel free to add other tags you want of course, this tag just allows us to see all our entries together. Our theme for July 2016 is: A Person-Shaped Thing is a Person We also have diversifiers, optional constraints for you to apply to your ideas, in the hope that it can generate new interesting ideas. Try one, try five or try none if you want! The entries for June's theme Space Boss: The Lord of Space are here: There's also a #fiction-jam slack channel for anyone who wants to go on there for chatting about how the jams will work, or just chatting when we start writing. Here's the thread about the Thumbs slack: https://www.idlethumbs.net/forums/topic/10426-idle-thumbs-readers-slack-discord/?hl= discord I think this is the current signup link for the slack: http://stingo.infinitebit.net:8001/