Saturday, January 3, 2009

About the Cardathon Challenge

How long does the challenge last? A year to whenever. I'm planning on keeping the site for quite a while. And once you join, you can contribute for as long as you want. So this could be as 'ongoing' as you want to make it.

When does the challenge begin? Officially, January 1, 2008. Unofficially, whenever you want to start reading and reviewing!

What books are eligible? To qualify for the Cardathon Challenge a book needs to meet one of the following criteria:

1) a book written by Orson Scott Card
2) a book edited/compiled by Orson Scott Card
3) a book with an introduction by Orson Scott Card
4) a book reviewed by Orson Scott Card on his official website.

How many books are we talking about? I'd suggest choosing 6-12 books to read. Along with alternates, of course. Always feel free to list more alternates than 'official' choices. Essentially, you could read as many or as few as you wanted. Although, I hope that given a year, you would read at least six books. If you should read all the books on your list, feel free to add more.

How many books must be written by Card? I'd hope that you would choose at least one or two books for your list. But you can choose many other authors as long as they've been mentioned and/or recommended by Card. This leaves the selection process very open-ended, and gives you many, many options.

Do I have to be a sci-fi fan? No. You can be a newbie to the field. (Or a devoted fan.) Prior experience is not required. If you're a fan of realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, young adult fiction, mysteries, horror, etc. I really truly believe there is something for everyone to enjoy! Card has reviewed lots of adult books, many young adult books, a few picture books, and even a few board books. So there is truly something for everyone.

Do I have to be an Orson Scott Card fan? No. Not necessarily. You can be a newbie and be trying Orson Scott Card for the first time.

But how will I know which books are eligible? I have listed the books meeting the first three criteria in the sidebar. I will be sorting through his review columns in the days and weeks leading up to the official start date. I will be making individual posts about those books. So looking in archives will give you a list of those. Feel free to go to his site and search for yourself if you like. And feel free to choose books that fulfill other challenges you're already participating in!

Once I make my list, can I change my mind? Yes. You can change your mind at any point. Card will keep reviewing books in his weekly column as the months go by (now-December 2008) and you can always change your list to incorporate new titles. Also, always feel free to abort a book. If you've started a book and it's not just working for you, by all means abandon it in favor of something else! No use suffering through a book because you feel it's 'required' because it's on your list.

What do I do to 'officially' join this challenge? Leave a comment with your name and email address. I'll send you an email inviting you to contribute to the site. You can post your reviews on this site and/or your own site. (I will be posting mine here and on my other site, Becky's Book Reviews). Your reviews can be as long or as short as you want. You can be rambling or concise. It's all up to you! I would also suggest that you post about the challenge on your own blog, if you have one, to let as many people know about the challenge as possible!

Don't want to contribute to the site? Prefer to Mr. Linky? Click to add your post with a list of books. Just be sure to come back to the site regularly and let us know when you've got a new review up!

Don't feel comfortable posting your email address for all the world to see? You can email me privately to join. Just be sure to mention the words Cardathon or Challenge in the subject line!

Is there a button or banner? Yes. Foxy Writer has made one for us. It's at the top of the post now. And there are two smaller ones below! Isn't it great?! Thank you very much :)

Are there prizes involved? Not at this stage. I don't have any to offer at this point. Nor the money to ship them, but the 'rewards' will be in the reading and community-building. I have always found that reading is its own reward.


Chris said...

I'm definitely in!! chrisa511 at gmail dot com. I wanted to let you know of three other short story collections that are out with stories of his.

Dragons: The Greatest Stories, edited by Martin H. Greenberg contains The Bully and The Beast.

Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy, edited by Al Sarrantonio contains Keeper of Lost Dreams

Wizards: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy edited by Jack Dann contains Stonefather which takes place in the world of his new Mithermage series which comes out in early 2008!!

Becky said...

So glad, you're joining Chris!!! Thanks for the info. I have added those titles. :)

Nicola said...

Oh, I so want in on this! I'm a big fan. I am un-officially reading my way through his books and this will make it official. nicolama at cogeco dot ca.

Becky said...

It's nice to have you join, Nicola!

Chris said...

I've gone crazy on this challenge! My list is up to 26 books now :p But this one will fit nicely into other challenges as well, so it'll work great!

Booklogged said...

I'll be joining. Sounds like a fun challenge - I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card, too.

Becky said...

Glad to have you join, Booklogged! I recognize you from several challenges: R.I.P, Book Awards, Something About Me, Armchair Traveler.

Becky said...

Chris, I see you're combining this challenge with the Themed Reading Challenge. I plan to do the same. There is also a challenge called Reading the Author. It's to choose one author and read a selection of his/her works. To find out more on that one:

Jackie said...

Wow. Now this is a challenge I'd join in, if I didn't feel so overwhelmed by just normal reading. I'd really have to go the short story and into way, as I think there are a grand total of 3 actual novels by him I HAVEN'T already read. (I went through a phase)

Becky said...


You could always go with Card-recommended picture books :) And there are even a few board books! And he did review Haiku U, which I imagine would be both funny and quick!


Karlene said...

This sounds fun. I'm a Card fan from way back and have read all but seven on the list of Works By. I probably can't start until January because I have three other challenges I need to finish up. But come Jan. 1st, I'm in.

Karlene said...

Oops. rakrose59 at hotmail dot com

Framed said...

I'll be joining as well, but I'll post my list later. Thanks for giving me plenty of time to think about it. I haven't read many of his books so this will get me going.

Becky said...

So glad you'll be joining us, Karlene and Framed. And no rush on choosing books or making lists. This is all about being relaxed and in the moment. :) This is one stress-free challenge. No pressure to stick to a list. No deadlines. No guilt.

Becky said...


I just noticed you didn't leave your email address. No pressure since you won't be rushing to post. But if you could post it or email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com, I'll go ahead and send you the email inviting you to participate. You won't have to do anything until you're ready of course. But it would keep things tidy on my end. :)

Debbi said...

This is my kind of challenge - no pressure! I have been wanting to read some of Card's books for a while now and this makes the perfect excuse. wadeanddebbi at gmail dot com.

Becky said...

It's nice to have you join us, Debbi! I'm quite excited to get started. :)

Stephanie said...

Sheesh...I'm already challenge challenged, but I think I might just throw my name in the hat!! Since it doesn't officially start for awhile, I guess I can try to wrap up my other challenges first! Stoland at ameritech dot net!

Becky said...

So glad you're joining, Stephanie. We're in many of the same challenges, I've noticed. I am a challenge-addict. So I know it can be overwhelming at times. I hope this experience will be guilt-free, stress-free for everyone! It's all about the fun.

Susan said...

Hey Becky - I'm in, too. I will post my list later today on my blog ( I'll send you my email address privately. Thanks for hosting!

Becky said...

Susan, so happy to see you join! I don't remember if I've posted my email anywhere on this site, though the information is on my Becky's Book Review site, but anyone who feels uncomfortable posting their email address in the comments can email me at this address: laney_po AT yahoo DOT com. But please mention Cardathon in the subject line :)

alisonwonderland said...

i want to play too! :o)

alisonwonderlandUT AT gmail DOT com

Becky said...

Glad you're here, Alisonwonderland!

jenclair said...

Read about this one on Chris' blog. Looking forward to this one.

Juli said...

I just joined. I've only read one of his books before so this should be fun.

Becky said...

Jenclair and Juli:

So glad to add two more! If either of you want to contribute to the group blog, I'll need your email addresses. You can email me privately if you like. But if you don't want to participate in the group blog, that's fine too. Just be sure to leave comments on the site whenever you have a review up. And your list up. :)

Juli said...

Hi Becky. Here is my email

pandabear102205 at gmail dot com

Cath said...

Hi, I'd like to join. I've never read anything by Orson Scott Card but saw a post about him on Stuff as Dreams are Made On and have ordered Ender's Game. This challenge would be perfect for me to get me reading more. I've no idea what to read though!

My e.mail:
cath at russell2212 dot freeserve dot co dot uk

Becky said...


So happy to have you join! I hope you enjoy Ender's Game. It really is my favorite and my best. If you're looking for advice, I'm happy to advise. And I'm sure Chris will be too. :)

I'd recommend starting with Ender's Game. And if you enjoy it, you might want to go with the sequels next. It is up to you if you want to follow the story of Ender or the story of Bean. Speaker of the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind are the sequels to Ender's Game that follow Ender. And Ender's Shadow is the parallel novel to Ender's Game. It is told through Bean's point of view. (Of course, until you read Ender's Game you might be a bit confused with this post.) Bean has his own sequels. All of them with the word "Shadow" in the title.

Of course, you could always go with a stand-alone title. He has some great ones in that category. Probably one of my favorites is Pastwatch.

Ginny said...

I just found this & I'd like to give it a try. Could you email me details scrappydesigns @ I have to look through the book lists later on, but I'd like to do this!

Becky said...


So glad you've decided to join us. the challenge is to read however many books you want whenever you want to read them. Eligible books are those written by Card, introduced, compiled, or edited by Card, or those titles simply recommended by Card. Hope you enjoy!

raidergirl3 said...

Hi Becky,
Since I would like to read another Card novel after enjoying Ender's Game this year, I'll join the challenge! Plus a bunch more - he has reviewed quite an eclectic mix of books.
raidergirl3 at gmail dot com

Becky said...

So glad you've joined us Raidergirl3!

Carl V. said...

A cool and fun idea! I was a bit concerned that I entered a timewarp when I saw the date at the top of this post being January 3rd, 2009!

Joy said...

I'd like to participate, too! :)

poodlerat said...

Please sign me up! I've got a tentative list of reads, and I'd like to be able to contribute to the site (poodlerat AT gmail DOT com).

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