Thoughtful Thursday

On Thursdays we host a weekly discussion question and usually gives away a book from our stacks. If you’ve got something you’d like to discuss or a suggestion for cover art that’s begging to be renamed, or if you’ve won a giveaway, please contact Kat. Thoughtful Thursday was originally conceived and hosted by retired reviewer Ruth Arnell.

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover

Time for another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest.

We like Philip K. Dick's Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, but wonder if you can come up with a better title for this particular cover? (Click to embiggen.)

The creator of the title we like best wins a book from our stacks

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Please send it to Kat. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in April 2022. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-12)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.), a FanLit T-shirt (as long as we have your size and you live in the U.S.A.), or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to subscribe to them. If we do... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in April 2022 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send you a $5... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Free Comic Book Day 2022 (Giveaway!)

Free Comic Book Day — FCBD — is always the first Saturday of May. To get your free comics on May 7, you’ll need to locate a local comic bookstore and, if in doubt, give them a call to see if they are participating. Chances are, if it’s an independent comic book store, they are offering free comics, because FCBD is designed to celebrate comics, to introduce comic books to new readers, to celebrate the unique independent comic book stores that sell them, and to support comic book stores by bringing in new customers in addition to the regular patrons.



If you are new to comics, FCBD is for you just as much as it is for those of us who can’t make it through a single day without reading comics. For me and others like me, it’s a day of celebration. But we also want to reach out to new readers.

So, if you have never been into a comic book store before, please ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in March 2022. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-12)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.), a FanLit T-shirt (as long as we have your size and you live in the U.S.A.), or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to subscribe to them. If we do... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

This was supposed to go up last week, but our server was down, so here it is, a week late.

What is the best book you read in March 2022 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday is on Spring Break

Here are our current giveaways.

See you in two weeks! Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Looking for hope (giveaway)

I confess it’s been hard for me to escape from the world lately, whether via reading, my own writing, work, or just the mundanity of everyday life (hard, for instance, to read social media from people in my town upset about lacking power for two days after a recent windstorm, given events elsewhere). So when it came time to come up with another St. Patrick’s Day post and prompt, the usual lightheartedness (PubsShamrocks! Snakes!) of prior posts felt a little off-tune.


One of my earlier posts noted how I often think of one of...

Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in February 2022. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-12)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.), a FanLit T-shirt (as long as we have your size and you live in the U.S.A.), or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, but our current notification system is n... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in February 2022 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send you a... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in January 2022. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: SFF TV Series: Stay or Go? (Giveaway!)

Once upon a time, I finished every book I started whether it gave me pleasure or not. It took me years to break myself of that, but I did eventually grow older and wiser (in that order and with a pretty big lag time between the two).

Also once upon a time (as in all the way back to “up to last week”), I’d sit through anything to watch my beloved science fiction/fantasy on TV. Originally, this was less a stupid obsession and simply a fact of scarcity; with three networks, and then later a mere handful of cable stations, there just weren’t a lot of genre shows on. So good, bad — it didn’t matter; you took what you got when you got it. And even though we’ve long been in a golden age of genre television, with sci-fi/fantasy all over the screen nowadays (there’s even a sci-fi channel! Kind of. Sort of. Well, not so much), it’s taken me a while to break an old habit (there’s that lag time I mentioned).

But epiphany has finally struck... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Crushes

In honor of Valentine's Day, as thoughts turn to romance, we ask:

Have you ever had a crush on a character from a science fiction or fantasy novel?

If so, tell us who it is and why you like them so much.

One commenter who comes clean chooses a book from our stacks or a $5 Amazon gift card.

Happy Valentine's Day! Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in January 2022 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send you a ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in December 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winne... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday is on Winter Break

We'll be back soon!

Here are our current giveaways. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in December 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send you a... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in November 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winne... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2021 Hugo Awards (GIVEAWAY!)

Winners of the 2021 Hugo Awards will be announced at the 79th World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) which will be held December 15-19 in Washington DC (DisCon III). (Usually WorldCon is held in August but it was delayed this year due to COVID). The award ceremony takes place on Saturday December 18. The Hugo Award finalists, listed below, are chosen by a poll of readers.

There are no Retrospective Hugo Awards being presented this year because the 1946 Retros were presented in 1996. We're covering only the categories you see below but there are lots more that you can find on the 2021 Hugo Award page.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We’ve included the co... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in November 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send you a... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Eighth Annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

Time for our eighth annual SPECULATIVE FICTION HAIKU CONTEST!  Anyone can do this!

As a reminder, here are the rules:

For haiku, the typical subject matter is nature, but if you decide to be traditional, you must give it a fantasy, science fiction, or horror twist. We expect to be told that the peaceful wind you describe is blowing across a landscape of an unfamiliar, distant planet. And if your poem is about a flower, we hope that elegant little touch of beauty is about to be trampled by an Orc. We welcome the sublime as well as the humorous, the pedestrian along with the momentous.

Though you may use the traditional three-line haiku following a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, feel free to break that pattern. Many poets who write English haiku adhere to other expectations:

Written in three lines, though sometimes in two or four... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books, comics, or films we reviewed in October 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in October 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll send you a ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Horror for kids

With few exceptions (e.g., Invasion of the Body Snatchers), I do not enjoy horror novels or films. When I was a freshman in college in the late '80s, my friends decided to go see Witchboard, a horror movie that was playing at a local theater. I tried to bow out, saying I really couldn't handle it, but they insisted I just needed more exposure. I reluctantly let them (pretty much literally) drag me along, but it wasn't long before I was out of my seat and cowering in the lobby for an hour while they finished the movie. As far as I can recall, that was the last horror movie I ever (partially) watched.

My daughter Tali, who is now the same age I was when I saw Witchboard, recently had a similar experience. (It would not be at all surprising if, like many of our preferences and tastes, an aversion to horror is hereditary -- it likely has something to do with the biological ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in September 2021. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday at noon EST, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks (if you're in the U.S.A.) or a $5 Amazon gift certificate (outside the U.S.A.). Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within... Read More