I hope everyone has had fun -- I've definitely loved the entire experience, and thank you all very much for being such amazing co-readers! :D Congratulations on making it all the way through.
Thoughts on the last section: has it gone in directions you expected at the beginning? Has your view of Bren, the atevi, or anyone else changed dramatically? Do you have a favourite part, or a least-favourite section? Things you still want to know? Secret yearnings to ride mecheita-back over the mountains (or to never set foot near such a beast)? :D
I am now heartily wishing that I'd looked at chapter content as well as at page-counts, when setting up the reading schedule! (I thought even then it might bite me, and it has!) This reading was composed of a hundred pounds of action, a hundred pounds of disconnected info-bites, a thousand pounds of questions, and half a gram of explanations! My brain was churning faster than Babsidi's legs, but reached even fewer coherent thoughts than Bren manages.
On the other hand: yay, mecheiti icon becomes more appropriate than ever! :D
Commence discussion, now that we've met our Actual Protagonist(s?) for this trip!
1. Impressions of Bren so far? (If you can make such quick judgments on only two chapters?)
2. Thoughts about or observations on what we've suddenly been introduced to regarding the aiji's court and (now technologically further advanced) atevi society? Unlike Ian, Bren's right in the middle of it; what stands out to him, what stands out to you, and how much overlap is there? :D
Regarding spoilers: how far along is everyone? I've read either all, or all but one, book; someone mentioned they were only as far as the third book; and I think one of us has never read any Cherryh before...? So far I've been trying to avoid spoilers for absolutely everything beyond our current reading point, so the "Spoiler Edition" post will follow this one.
Some ideas, since this is a reread for me (I will try to walk the delicate line between "discussion topics" and "spoilers") and thus certain details stand out to me:
1. This is the only time in the whole novel where we get an ateva's POV; before and after Manadgi, it's through-human-eyes all the way. Thoughts? (Why do it that way? What do we gain, or what is hidden, by Cherryh presenting the first contact through a nonhuman perspective? What do you get out of it, or wish had been included?)
2. While "Books" within books are certainly something I've seen before, the setup in Foreigner has always felt a little odd to me, with two very short "books" -- almost prologues -- prefacing a third, novel-length story. I'm genuinely curious about why it was set up this way! Anyone have any theories?
3. Personal reactions so far? First impressions of the atevi, or the humans of either/both Phoenix and the station?
I'll be back in a little while to post my own reactions; must run a couple of errands first, but I wanted to get the post out there in case anyone else has finished their reading!
Edit To Add: If you wish to take the discussion down a spoilery path, make any spoilery replies here and then link to them, so anyone wishing to avoid spoilers can do so!
I'd really like to start this week, so if you're interested please speak up -- and if you're interested but don't think you can jump in quite that fast, comment and we'll work something else!
As it stands now, we'll be reading short sections twice a week, and discussion posts will go up on Thursdays and Mondays.
( Reading Schedule )
That actually sounds pretty good to me -- maximum discussion, and a light enough reading load per discussion that even a bout of RL Gets Crazy (TM) shouldn't be able to derail me.
Would everyone else find this convenient?
(I think we should read the first section for Thursday! I'm excited. :D Oh, and I was tentatively thinking Thursdays and Mondays, for days-on-which-a-discussion-post-goes-up. What do you think?)
I didn't vote, which I guess makes me the tiebreaker...
Based on my own preferences, it seems to make more sense to either do Plan 1 with a once a week discussion post (as the smaller sections mean less to discuss), or Plan 2 with a twice a week discussion post.
* Clarification: As I pictured it, if we were to have two discussion posts per week, we would also be reading two sections a week; otherwise, discussion could get too time-lagged and would be harder to keep cohesive.
Of the two, which would you prefer?
Reading Plan 1 with one discussion post per week
Reading Plan 2 with two discussion posts per week
I strongly prefer something else.
If we want to aim for 50-60 pages per "chunk" of reading, I'd suggest the following setup:
( seven units of approx. 60 pages )
Alternately, if we wanted to read a bit more at a time, we could do it this way:
( six units of 80-90 pages )
Or, slightly more ambitiously yet, there's a third option:
( 5 units of 90-100 pages )
Because I can, I give you a poll:
Which of the three reading plans would you prefer?
the first: 7 sections at 50-60 pages each
the second: 6 sections at 80-90 pages each
the third: 5 sections at 90-100 pages each
Bonus Question: How many times per week should discussion posts happen?
Once, and Thursdays work for me!
Twice, but only if we're on plan 1.
Twice, but only if we're on plan 1 or 2.