Sci-Fi Fodder

"Harry Potter" Outreach Program

The guys over at SFSignal have started their "Reader's Challenge #6", which is titled "The Harry Potter Outreach Program". The purpose? To try to influence readers who will be purchasing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" to purchase another Sci-Fi or Fantasy book along with the much anticipated sequel.

The SFSignal guys have a good idea. As they state, "...Just think of all the people who read Harry Potter who haven't tried anything else fantasy or science fiction related, or maybe they've read something in the field but didn't like it. In either case, Harry Potter has a tremendously huge number of readers who maybe willing to try something different."

Their idea is to create a list of books that might appeal to "Harry Potter" readers. They have broken down the books into six categories - three for Sci-Fi (12 and Under, Young Adult, Adult) and three more for Fantasy (12 and Under, Young Adult, Adult). Then, sometime in July prior to the release of "Deathly Hallows", the site will post the top three books in each category in a format suitable for printing on a standard index card.

The thought is that Sci-Fi fans can carry these cards into bookstores and distribute them among other readers. Hopefully, they will try some of the books on the list!

It's a noble experiment. I submitted the following as my choices:

Science Fiction
12 and Under: "Space Cadet" by Robert A. Heinlein
Young Adult: "Podkayne of Mars" by Robert A. Heinlein
Adult: "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert A. Heinlein

(Hey - I like Heinlein!)

Fantasy
12 and Under: Lemony Snickett's "A Series of Unfortunate Events"
Young Adult: "The Sword of Shannara" by Terry Brooks (I actually like "Elfstones" better, but it's part 2...)
Adult: "The Wheel of Time" Series by Robert Jordan