2018 r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge: Conclusion and Thoughts

bingo 2018.pngThe r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge has been my favourite reading challenge ever since its beginning in 2015. The squares are a nice mix of easy and challenging, designed to make you read more widely and explore the parts of the genre you may not have read before. With a new card coming out tomorrow and having to update my Bingo challenge page, I’ll be archiving the 2018 completed cards as a post.

This year, like the last one, I’ve been trying for two cards. One unrestricted, one focused on underrated books, with the additional criteria of at least 50% female authors over both cards. I have certainly succeeded as far as the second goal goes, but a card made entirely out of underrated books has been…difficult and I had to relax my criteria a lot.

Aside from that, my main rule is “don’t force yourself to read a book you know you won’t like just because it fits the square”. Over the years, I got a lot better at this – this time, there was only one such book.

Some statistics

(because who doesn’t love statistics?)

  • 30.5 (61%) squares were filled with female authors, 19.5 (39%) with male authors. For comparison:
    • in 2017 when I did a women-themed card the ratio was about 77.2% female to 22.8% male (38.6 and 11.4 squares)
    • in 2016 it was 37.6% female, 54.4% male, 8% unknown (9.4, 13.6 and 2 squares)
    • in 2015 it was 38% female and 58% male (9.5 and 14.5, short stories square unknown)
  • 11 books (22%) were self-published
  • 5 books and 2 short stories (10.8%) were written by authors of colour. This is one area where it could be better.
  • 12 (24%) of the books were paper copies, the rest were ebooks. 5 of those ebooks were ARCs.
  • 33 books and 2 short stories (66.8%) were by authors whose books I haven’t read before – as far as making you read new authors goes, I declare Bingo a success
  • Only 12 (24%) squares stayed the same as they were on April 5th, in the earliest version of the plan I could find.
  • 32 (64%) books were part of a series
  • There were 8 times I had to find a replacement because I DNF’d the book I originally planned, probably a new record

Now onto the cards themselves. Whenever possible, I linked to my review of the book.

First card: unrestricted

2018 bingo card 1 - borderless.png

Novel that was Reviewed on r/Fantasy

Novel Featuring a Non-Western Setting

Five Short Stories

  • Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™ by Rebecca Roanhorse (link)
  • I, Kane by Laura M. Hughes (part of the Lost Lore anthology)
  • In Sea-Salt Tears by Seanan McGuire (link)
  • The Lily and the Horn by Catherynne M. Valente (link)
  • Honey Bear by Sofia Samatar (link)

Novel Adapted by Stage, Screen, or Game

Hopeful Spec-Fic

Fantasy Novel that Takes Place Entirely Within One City

Self Published Novel

Novel Published Before You Were Born

(1997, in my case)

Any r/Fantasy Goodreads Group Book of the Month

Novel Featuring a Library

Subgenre: Historical Fantasy OR Alternate History

Novel Published in 2018

Novel Featuring a Protagonist Who is a Writer, Artist or Musician (NOT: Kingkiller Chronicles)

  • Ombria in Shadow by Patricia McKillip

Novel Featuring a Mountain Setting

2017 r/Fantasy Top Novels List

  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Novel with Fewer than 2500 Goodreads Ratings

Novel with a One Word Title

  • Transformation by Carol Berg

Novel Featuring a God as a Character

Novel by an Author Writing Under a Pseudonym

Subgenre: Space Opera

Stand Alone Fantasy Novel

  • Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Novel by a RAWRR Author OR Keeping Up With the Classics

Novel from the r/Fantasy LGBTQ+ Database

Format: Graphic Novel (at least 1 vol.) OR Audiobook

  • Saga by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Novel Featuring the Fae

 

Second card: underrated books

2018 bingo card 2 - borderless.png

This card was a bit trickier. Initially, I thought I’d focus on self-pub books, then realised how difficult would that be, expanded “underrated” to “self-pub, small press, low number of Goodreads ratings, older, not talked about much…” and even then I failed – The City of Saints and Madmen isn’t really either of those things, but the One City square was a bastard and a half even unrestricted, the top list square directly contradicts the word underrated, so I thought I may just do whatever, and Witchmark was my last square when I was in a bad slump and pressed for time.

Still, 22 out of 25 isn’t bad.

Novel that was Reviewed on r/Fantasy

  • Witchmark by C.L. Polk – review to come soon, probably

Novel Featuring a Non-Western Setting

Five Short Stories

  • The Sangrook Saga by Steve Thomas

Novel Adapted by Stage, Screen, or Game

Hopeful Spec-Fic

Fantasy Novel that Takes Place Entirely Within One City

Arthurian Fantasy (square replacement):

Novel Published Before You Were Born

(1997, in my case)

  • Mermaid’s Song by Alida Van Gores

Any r/Fantasy Goodreads Group Book of the Month

Novel Featuring a Library

Subgenre: Historical Fantasy OR Alternate History

Novel Published in 2018

Novel Featuring a Protagonist Who is a Writer, Artist or Musician (NOT: Kingkiller Chronicles)

Novel Featuring a Mountain Setting

2017 r/Fantasy Top Novels List

Novel with Fewer than 2500 Goodreads Ratings

Novel with a One Word Title

Novel Featuring a God as a Character

  • Where the Waters Turn Black by Benedict Patrick

Novel by an Author Writing Under a Pseudonym

Subgenre: Space Opera

  • Traitor by Krista D. Ball

Stand Alone Fantasy Novel

Novel by a RAWRR Author OR Keeping Up With the Classics

Novel from the r/Fantasy LGBTQ+ Database

  • The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

Format: Graphic Novel (at least 1 vol.) OR Audiobook

  • Chimera by Tyler Ellis (link)

Novel Featuring the Fae

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4 thoughts on “2018 r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge: Conclusion and Thoughts”

    1. Thank you! It truly lived up to the word challenge this year, haha. Though I got tired of being limited in my reading choices by the end – the next one is definitely not going to be another double…

      Like

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