Lists, Reviews

Six Degrees of Separation: 1984

“Welcome back to Six Degrees of Separation: a monthly meme in which you’re invited to link six books in a chain, with connections as logical or crazy as you like. This month, to celebrate the launch of her speculative-fiction novel The Ark, Emma and Annabel chose to begin the chain with George Orwell’s speculative fiction classic, 1984.”


01. I read 1984 in high school as part of a unit that included We and Brave New World. More than 1984, Brave New World stuck with me – particularly the character of John. His introduction to society reminded me of the idea of being a stranger in a stranger land.

02. So…wait for it…my next connection is to Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. In the novel, the man from Mars is named Valentine Michael Smith. Surprisingly enough, there are two novels I’ve read where the main male character is name Valentine.

03. The other is the fabulous The Ploughmen (honestly, I feel like if I mention this book enough, one or two of you might cave and pick it up).

Six Degrees 1984


04. While The Ploughmen tells the story of a unique not-quite-friendship between two men, American Gods does the same, albeit in a very different manner. Plus, both of the books have a tree in the center of the cover.

05.The next connection is purely superficial, both American Gods and Young God have the word god in the title.

06. Other than that, the two books have next to nothing in common, whereas Young God and Winter’s Bone have quite a bit in common – two young girls in impossible situations trying to scrape together a life among rampant drug use and poverty.

Six Degrees 1984_2

So there you have it, from dytopian literature to a Montana western to rural Appalachian poverty in six easy steps. To participate, just follow the rules below:

#6Degrees Rules

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  • Tanya Patrice

    Okay – so I’ve added Ploughmen to my reading list – thanks! And love seeing all these connections!

    • Rory

      Yay! This meme is a lot of fun.

  • Naomi

    And, all the covers are either black, white, grey, or blue. Nice touch.

    • Rory

      I didn’t even notice that – great observation! (I feel a little proud of that now)

  • Annabel Smith

    I’ve been trying to get into Heinlein lately, seeing as he’s such a sci-fi master. But I have struggled with both books I’ve tried. I might add this one to my list.

    • Rory

      This is what I’ve always heard is the best, so it’s the only one I’ve read (it did not inspire me to read more).

      • Annabel Smith

        Yikes! Cutting.

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    Love this meme 🙂

  • Katie @ Words For Worms

    Fabulous list! I especially like your connecting The Ploughmen to American Gods by the tree (well, other reasons too, but the tree on the covers is what speaks to me.) Well played, Rory!

    • Rory

      It’s front and center, after all.

  • maria helena

    I’ve also added The Ploughmen to my tbr-list. As usual, your list is great. I love the connections – especially between 3-4 and 4-5 🙂

    • Rory

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Marisa @ The Daily Dosage

    Nice list! I didn’t read 1984 so I have to get a bit creative with my links. I have a copy of The Ploughmen and will have to get at it since you are raving about it!

    • Rory

      Oooh, I think it would be fun to find another book with numbers in the title or something like that.

      • Annabel Smith

        I’m amazed you didn’t go with NS0411 or whatever that book is by Stephen King’s son.

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