Fun for Monday: 6 Degrees of SFnal Separation

Another year, another SciFi Month, another Monday … it must be time for another round of six degrees!

I was sitting on the fence about doing this tag again this year, but imyril tipped me over the edge by getting SF giant Peter F(rigging) Hamilton to play – I mean, how am I supposed to resist that?!

This tag was inspired by Kate over at Books are My Favourite and Best, but had its dial tweaked round to sci-fi by imyril for SciFi Month 2019. It is an addictive, frustrating, ultimately satisfying tag/game that can be played again and again, and I challenge everyone to have a go at it at least once!

Artwork by Tithi Luadthong from; quote from Seven Devils by Elizabeth May & Laura Lam.

Rules: take six science fiction books and link them one to the other in a chain using shared themes or tropes. Triple points (and a cookie) if you are able, at the end of your chain, to link the last book back to the first creating a scintillating circle of science-fictional delight.


This year I’ve taken all titles from my sci-fi tbr pile. Every one of these books was something I planned to squeeze into my November reading before reality gave me a swift sharp slap around the face …



War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

On a post-apocalyptic and dying Earth, in a Nigeria torn apart by war, two sisters are separated by conflict. This story promises mechs (Onyebuchi was inspired by Gundam!) and biotech, a ravaged dystopian world and some tough social commentary. Squeee.


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Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

Apprenticed aboard the scavenger spaceship Monetta’s Mourn, two sisters are separated when the vessel is attacked by criminal types. I already love Reynold’s writing, but to hear that he’d written a space adventure about space treasure and space pirates got me very excited. Too bad I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet …


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The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken

This scifi thriller about criminal types getting together to pull off possibly the biggest heist the galaxy has ever seen, sounds like a blast. One of the main characters is an Artificial Intelligence who believes himself to be a reincarnated Saint … what more do I need to say? I need to get on this one soon.


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Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

I can’t remember who recommended this one to me, but I am absolutely here for this scifi thriller about an Artificial Intelligence called Paladin, a robot who is hunting down a patent pirate (more criminal types!) who clones pharmaceuticals.



Noumenon by Marina J Lostetter

This is where my chain could fall apart:

A fleet of nine generational ships carrying human clones (tenuous? yeah …) makes an eons-long journey towards a peculiar star. What appeals to me most about this book is that Lostetter is telling a story about social change over generations in a series of vignettes. Sounds like absolutely my cup of tea.



Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Telling a story about social change over generations Tchaikovsky’s book sees near-extinction humanity leave their dying Earth for a terraformed planet that proves, upon arrival, to be already occupied. That’s all I know. Well, that and … there are spiders. Squeee!



So has anyone read anything on this list? Got any thoughts on what I should tackle first? And have I managed to tempt you into having a go at 6 Degrees of SFnal Separation for yourself?




  1. This is brilliant 😁 I’m sad that I haven’t read ANY of these, but they are all on my TBR. I always hear wonderful things about Children of Time, I’d start with that one.

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  2. oh bravo, fully-linked all ways around (and hell yes you can have cloning)

    I’ve read Revenger, which I enjoyed enormously (the sequels are sadly not quite as good) – space hijinks with Lara Croft style tomb raiding IN SPACE plus Space Pirates and complicated sisterly relationships? Oh, and AI who will tug your heart strings and and and… it’s kitchen sink space opera, in a good way.

    Children of Time is brilliantly executed and OH GOD NO I did not enjoy it because ARGH SPIDERS. Lots of people who tell me they don’t like spiders loved this book, so your mileage may vary depending on your visual imagination. This arachnophobic was gibbering the whole way through…

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    • Thank you! 😁
      I remember your review for Children of Time! (I’m sorry, as soon as you said spiders my brain lit up!) I think that’s probably what I’m going to pick up next. I’m keen to read more Tchaikovsky.

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  3. Here’s a vote for The Quantum Magician. It has one of the most outrageous and engaging casts of misfits and bizarre worlds I’ve ever encountered. And I liked the follow-up volume, The Quantum Garden, just as much. But you can’t go wrong with this list.

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    • Hi John!
      It does sound like a fantastic book! And I didn’t know there was a sequel out too. I’ll get on it in short order! Thanks! 😃


  4. I also plump for The Children of Time – it’s quirky and takes a lot of established space opera tropes and promptly upends them:)). I can’t comment regarding the spider issue, because I’m very fond of them – but I certainly LOVED Portia.

    I’ve also read Revenger and the other two books in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed the bleak, rather scary world, particularly as the defining relationship throughout is the one between the two sisters – even though (or because?) it comes under such pressure. A nice change from romance, I thought…

    And Autonomous is an interesting examination of power relationships within a really broken, dystopian society. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the other two, but it’s certainly a thought-provoking read. Lovely tag, by the way:)). And no – I’m not joining in – it’s FAR too addictive!!

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