Fantasy Matters Reads!

Welcome to Fantasy Matters Reads!, an online book group devoted to reading and discussing works of science fiction and fantasy! 

The basics:

We read one book of fantasy or science fiction each month and discuss it on our forums.  Anyone can join, so let your friends know about it!

The details:
  • What book are we reading this month?
For the month of July and August, we are reading John Scalzi's Old Man's War, a novel that tells the story of John Perry, a 75-year-old retired man who enlists in the Colonial Defense Forces.  Old Man's War is the beginning of a series of four books; Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and Zoe's Tale complete the series.  Scalzi combines creativity and humor with the flavor of classic sci-fi greats such as Heinlein, making this series of books a very enjoyable read. 

  • How do I participate?
This one is pretty simple.  You get a copy of the book, read it, and post your thoughts on the forums.  There is a forum dedicated to each month's discussion, and you can feel free to post in response to others' discussion threads or start your own.  You are welcome to post whenever you like, although we would encourage people to focus their discussion near the end of the month when most people will have finished the book.  You can also choose how active you want to be--if you only want to read the books that we choose that are science fiction, then that's fine.  We welcome any level of participation (although we would certainly encourage you to try reading outside of your comfort zone!).

  • What do you mean, post on the forums?  How does that work?
When you visit the forums, you'll see that there is a whole forum dedicated to each month's book.  For instance, the first month is called "June 2012: The Summer Tree."  If you click on that link, you're taken to the forum where you can see what topics (also called threads) people have already started, or, if you don't see a topic related to your interests, you can start your own using the "New Topic" link near the top of the page.  We would ask that you carefully name your topics so that people who might not have finished the book can browse through the topics on the forum and know which ones they can read through without having things spoiled for them.  There are also other forums, as well, including a forum to post reading suggestions and a forum for off-topic discussion.  

  • How do I register for the forums?
You visit the forums here and click the "Register" button near the top right of the page.  You will be asked to agree to the forum's rules (basically, be nice and don't post anything nasty or illegal), and then you have to come up with a username and password for your account.  An email will be sent to the forum moderator, but in order for the moderator to approve your account (and here's the important part) you must also email jen DOT miller AT fantasy-matters DOT com with something that lets her know that you're a real person who is actually interested in fantasy/scifi and not just selling prescription drugs.  We apologize for this extra hassle, but we are dedicated to keeping these forums free from spammers, and so this sort of thing is necessary.

  • I have an idea for a book we should read!
Wonderful!  There is a forum here where you can suggest ideas for what we should read next.  When posting your ideas, make sure you explain why you think it would be a good choice; if your book is chosen, your words will serve as the introduction to the book the following month!  If your book is picked, we will also be in touch with you to come up with some discussion questions to kick off the conversation.  We will review all of the suggestions each month and use them to inform our choice for the next book we read.  We will try to balance book type--we won't read all YA vampire novels, for example--so if this month's book isn't your cup of mead, hang in there.  We'll work to make sure there's something that appeals to everyone's taste!

Note: Some comments from the forums may be used anonymously as part of a post on the Fantasy Matters homepage describing the discussion that Fantasy Matters Reads! has had about a certain book.