I have been itching to make a new book bingo card, and with the year more than half over, it seems like a good time to see if anyone is up for a new reading challenge. I’m doing terrible at my yearly Random Book Bingo Card, but why not start another one?
This isn’t a normal bingo card. I call this the Tour the Sol System Bingo Challenge. In this challenge, the goal is to read stories full of space adventures and journeys across faraway planets, without leaving our own backyard. Books read for this challenge must be set within our own Solar System. (or a solar system/planet that could be ours.) Behold, the card.
To clarify a few of the challenge tiles:
“Space Story Written —“ Challenges are any story not set primarily on Earth. They can be in space, or on a planet or asteroid. Some scenes or parts of the book may take place on Earth, but the focus shouldn’t be on Earth. And I count the years written in the time frame, so yes, you could theoretically use books written in 1980 for two of these challenges.
“Set in the Outer Solar System” was originally intended to be ‘Uranus or Neptune or their Moons’, but this seems a bit too limiting. Under the Outer Solar System label, a story set on a spaceship travelling to or from these planets, or a story set in the Oort or Kuiper belt would also count. Technically, an argument could be made for Saturn and Jupiter to be part of this region if finding good stories for this tile is proving challenging.
Pluto is in the Kuiper belt, so stories set there, or about getting there count for “Set in the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud”.
“Asteroid Impact” stories can be about asteroids causing problems in space, or they could be threatening Earth. Or, have already impacted the Earth.
“Fantasy Elements in Space” Can mean actual fantasy in space. Or maybe there are some things you consider fantastic enough to fall under this heading. If part of the story’s backstory is that an advanced alien came and instantly terraformed all the Rocky Planets, then that can count as fantasy. Or if a story features aliens or humans with psi powers that defy logical explanation. Alternatively, if dated science tropes like Martians or Jungle Venus stretch your suspension of disbelief too much, you can relabel them as fantasy, turning this tile into an “Outdated Science Fiction” tile instead.
“Set on Earth” Is almost a free square. Any book where the setting is stated to be Earth (or where there is no need to state something so obvious) is fair game. This includes books of any genre.
And here are some more general rules. Of course, feel free to change them to tailor the challenge to your needs.
One tile per book: Each challenge is filled by it’s own book, and each book gets used once, even if it could fulfill the conditions of multiple cards.
No Leaving the Sol System: Except I suppose for the challenge about leaving the Sol System, which should be focusing on leaving the system. To be even more hardcore at this challenge, books involving Faster Than Light travel should also be banned.
Novel or Novella Length Preferred: But comics, graphic stories, and even short stories are acceptable. Read whatever you have to to fill this card.
1 Year Deadline: I’m going to give myself a year to do this. Adjust this to suit your own reading pace.
I’d love to hear from anyone that uses this card. Some of the tiles will be very hard, and it’ll be interesting to see what obscure stories get dragged up for this challenge.
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