We readers are always after the new hardback shiny, eyes ever pinned to the horizon of new releases. And who can blame us? Buying books is our love language. It’s how we show authors our gratitude and appreciation; it’s how we dote on friends and comfort ourselves.
But in all our gazing out into the abyss of ever-published new stories, all those books we loved the years before get buried in the TBR grave. We miss out on wonderful experiences hiding right under our noses: backlist books. These are older books from publishers that are still in print and have been out in the world for at least a year.
And so, I’ve created the Adult Sff Backlist Books Challenge to dive into the burial mounds of stories we’ve forgotten. But it’s more than just digging in the past for good reads; it’s a challenge to shift all that love, gratitude, and appreciation towards the works of authors already out in the world. More specifically, it’s a challenge to read adult fiction and find joy in stories we’ve overlooked for the high of new shiny books.
Welcome to the challenge, Valkyries
Table of Contents
- This challenge will run from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022; you can join at anytime before December 1, 2022.
- Books must be categorized as adult; category crossovers do not count for this challenge.
- Books should primarily fall under science fiction or fantasy, but so long as the story has strong elements of these, genre crossovers and expanding to thriller/horror count towards the challenge.
- Books must have been published before 2022. So 2021, 2020, 2019, and all years prior are fine.
- Re-reads, ebooks, audiobooks, and short stories all count.
- Everyone is welcome to participate A blog is not required; you can link to other sites like Storygraph. Just be sure to let us know in the comments where we can politely stalk you
- No matter where you post, please share which book you selected for each month and how it relates to the theme/why you picked it!
- Use the hashtag #ASFBB22 to chat with other readers doing this challenge and to share your reviews, reactions, recommendations, etc
- To officially sign up, leave us a comment letting us know where to find you and what you plan to read.
To keep things as simple, yet still subjective, as possible, we’ve left each monthly Theme open to interpretation. This gives you the freedom to read whatever you’re genuinely drawn to so long as you can relate it to the theme in some way in your post. It’ll be interesting to see how other readers interpret the themes and which books they select to read! With each theme below will be about 2-3 examples, but we’re also including a suggestion list of Adult SFF stories to check out if you’re stuck. It’ll be added in a week or so. Without further ado, here are the monthly themes for 2022!
Please note: not all the images below contain links; AWS is down, which means every website that uses them is also down. I’ll add links as soon as everything is back up and running.
January — Winter
January’s theme is winter, which is our favorite season of the year. This theme can be interpreted literally, with a winter setting in the story, but it doesn’t have to be. A cozy cover, a retelling from a snowy region, a nuclear winter apocalypse, a village in the mountains, etc can all count under this theme. And if your story nails this theme for a different reason, we’d love to know. That’s part of the fun here.
February — Time
Time is everything, and it can be interpreted as anything: a date on the cover, a specific era in the book, the ability to travel through time, lost pieces in time, broken memories, an alternate history, and so on.
March — Oaths
Oaths and promises: two things no main character should swear lightly. And yet, many do, sometimes without realizing it. As with the other themes, interpret this as you will, but remember: an oath can be a declaration, a haunting, the giving of a precious item for safe-keeping, an ideal, the kiss of revenge, or a secret buried deep.
April — Hidden Places
April’s theme is one of our favorites: Hidden Places. Curiously, this doesn’t only apply to physical spaces in our world *wink*.
May — Starlight
May’s theme is starlight; this can be anything that reminds you of starlight, whether it be a place or type of magic or symbolism.