So there I was… unprepared for the blogging week but wanting to throw up something. Then I remembered that it’s SciFiMonth. Hosted by the Wyrd & Wonder crew, this is a monthlong celebration of all things scifi. I wanted to participate but guess what? I’m unprepared. No surprise there.
Well, I said to myself, I’ll participate in a minor way by cheering from the sidelines. And do you know what that means? No? It means scifi book tags throughout the month!! 😆
I actually don’t have that many scifi-themed book tags on my “To Do” list of tags, but there was a Star Trek tag there with a link that no longer works. A quick googling later and I was in luck: I found four different Star Trek book tags! Of course, I was excited and wanted to do them all in one long post, but I’ll be patient and do them in separate ones. Here’s the first one I found.
This Star Trek Book Tag was created by booktuber James Holder.
But before I get going, I must confess. I’m not a Star Trek fan. 😨 I watched the show as a kid, but I just wasn’t interested. So… well, umm… to the tag!
The Original Series
Pick a book that has influenced you or has been influential in your choice of career.
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chödrön
I always go with Chödrön’s commencement speech on failure for these questions. It’s one of the most influential and helpful books I’ve read that made me reassess my reaction to failure and made me realize that there may be opportunities for other things, other paths, when you fail at something. It was a book I needed to read at the time I read it, and I’ll always recommend it because society makes us believe that failure is the end instead of the beginning of something else.
The Next Generation:
Pick a book in the same genre as TOS published between 20 and 100 years later.
So this one asks for a book in the same genre as the answer for the first question but that was published 20 to 100 years after that book. Well, I had to break the rules on this one.
I often do a quick glimpse at book tag questions before I start on them because I usually read the post months or years earlier and have it sitting around on my “To Do” list until I eventually decide to do them. So I didn’t read all the questions for this before starting, which is why I didn’t realize I should have selected an older book for first question. I could have changed my answer, but I don’t feel like it.
Chödrön’s book was published in 2015. She gave the speech just a year before that. So to answer this question, I’ll need to choose a book that will be published in at least 2034. I can’t see that far into the future, so I’ll just go with a book that’s coming out next year.
Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James
It’s the second novel in James’s Dark Star trilogy, which begins with Black Leopard, Red Wolf, a fantasy novel about a mercenary named Tracker searching for a boy who we’re told from the beginning is dead. The story was tough to get into but after the first 100 pages, my interest stuck. I’m hoping for better luck with Moon Witch, Spider King.
Deep Space Nine:
Pick a book with a strong sense of setting.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Actually, the story is all about the setting. To me, it’s as if the setting is the protagonist. The Night Circus is a fantasy novel about the protégés of two magicians competing against each other to determine which magician’s method is best. I love this book; it’s one of my favorite stories. Sure, the plot isn’t the strongest, but the writing is compelling and draws you into the magical Night Circus that you can’t help but yearn to visit and wish it was real.
Pick a book about a journey or a voyage.
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
This book has been on my mind lately because I was considering it for a post I recently drafted. I read it years ago and really enjoyed it. It’s about a young man and his eccentric uncle journeying to the center of the earth, which is presented as a land stuck in a prehistoric period. The characters made it an entertaining read. Btw, I’m currently watching the new TV show La Brea, which I believe is in part inspired by this story. I haven’t decided yet if I like the show.
Returning to TOS and TNG, pick a book published between 20 and 100 years before your TOS pick.
Aha! I can do this one. I just have to choose a book that was published 20 to 100 years before my answer to the first question.
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Maskerade by Terry Pratchet
I chose two since Chödrön’s book was published in 1995 but she made the speech in 1994. Carr’s The Alienist was published in 1994. I read it back in 2019 via audiobook when I was casting around for something to listen to during dull moments at work. I zipped through the book. It’s historical fiction mystery/psychological thriller set in the mid-1890s about a criminal investigation led by a noted psychologist. At this period in history, psychology was just being introduced into police investigations. It was a really good read, and I’d like to continue with the series. I wanted to follow along with the TV show too, but I got distracted.
Maskerade was published in 1995, and it’s the next Witches book I need to read from the Discworld series.
Pick a book that has divided the fandom or community.
I don’t have an answer for this because I don’t really keep up with fandoms and such. James (the creator of the tag) answered this with Marlon James’s book, and I was surprised because I didn’t realize (or maybe I’d forgotten) that there was a divide in the SFF community over Marlon James’s fantasy book.
The only fandom I sort of keep up with is the Harry Potter fandom. So if I should use that, I would answer with all the extra stuff J.K. Rowling spews about the Harry Potter world. I’m one of those who doesn’t care much about this extra stuff. What’s in the books is the canon.
Pick a book that wears its influences on its sleeve.
Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Vol. 1 by Matthew Mercer & Matthew Colville, illus. by Olivia Samson
This comic book series is very obviously inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, and I love it for that. It’s about a band of adventurers that form after the individuals team up to get rid of a monster that’s behind the poisoning of the waters of a swamp town called Stilben. It’s a light, fun read that was quite entertaining to me — since I understood the D&D references (finally). But you can still enjoy it even if you are unfamiliar with D&D.