Nov

22

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 22, 2020

During Stay-At-Home

Until further notice, all meetings will be held online at 7 PM on Mondays.

After Stay-At-Home

The following were on our reading schedule before the confinement started. We will reschedule meetings for these books once in-person meetings resume.

We also have a list of Candidate Books that we are considering discussing in the future.

Nov

16

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 16, 2020

Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny

Participants: A. T., Carol, Karen, Shirley, Nancy Loomis, Benjamin Iglauer, Ken Tolliver, Ruben, Mona, Denman, Hudson, Joan, John

  • Started the book: 11
  • Finished the book: 11
  • Read before this year: 5
  • Audio: 1
  • Digital: 10
  • Paper: 4
  • Read the author before: 10
  • Met the author: 3 (maybe 4)
  • Had dinner/lunch with: 2

Reports are that Zelazny was nice guy. Heavy smoker.

Ben: Read it in high school. Didn’t remember much beyond character as professional college student; thought that was great. This time reading it, noticed. Read Amber series, Lord of Light, Jack of Shadows, Changeling, Dilvish the Damned, etc. in high school and college. Hadn’t read Zelazny in decades when he started this. Lots he didn’t notice when young, even though he was a great fan. This time noticed lots of allusions (e.g., Shakespeare, Raymond Chandler). Interesting insight into the literary aspect of Zelazny (as opposed to sword and sorcery). This is the first book of Zelazny he’s read that didn’t have a mythological/folkloric inspiration. More reminiscent of Hitchhiker’s Guide, Space Opera, etc. with disguised aliens. Also reminiscent of Rudy Rucker with mobius strip. Enjoyed the humor. Enjoyed rediscovering Zelazny at a later stage in his reading career. Dated aspects: few to no significant women in the story. Liked fast-talking, swashbuckling, wisecracking protagonist. Character is doing something like parkour pre that word being available. Liked it a lot. Fun book. Interesting re-read. Almost felt like a first read since it had been such a long time since he first read it. Liked that it was short (typical SF of the period was ~200 pages). 



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Jul

15

Posted by : atcampbell | On : July 15, 2019

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Six members attended this meeting at the North Village Library. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic American West. The protagonist, Maggie Hoskie, is a Native American monster hunter who has been tasked with finding a missing girl. The book won the Locus Award for First Novel (2019), was Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2018), and is a Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel (2019).



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Jul

15

Posted by : atcampbell | On : July 15, 2019

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

We discussed Sea of Rust in conjunction with our discussion of Trail of Lightning at the July 15, 2019 meeting at North Village Library. Although six members attended, only three started the book and only two finished.

Of the two who read the book, both found some of the characteristics of the AI interesting. First, the unintentional appearance of “conscious” AI stemming from the increased complexity of robots was a new idea to us. Second, the exploration of robot evolutionary paths after humanity has become extinct was not something we had seen before. Nevertheless, we had some problems with the science presented in the novel, and were not particularly impressed by the writing style.

The member who did not finish the book intends to finish, and the two members who finished were split on whether to recommend it to others.

Apr

10

Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 10, 2019

Thanks for your patience. The Reading Group website is back online. The reading schedule is now current, and we have a whole new list of Candidate Books!

Jul

18

Posted by : atcampbell | On : July 18, 2016

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The club met on July 18th, 2016, to discuss Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Nine members attended. Eight had read the author previously, eight had started the book and six finished it, three had read the book electronically. The book was released in 2015 and is on this year’s Hugo Ballot for Best Novel.

Every member who had started the book enjoyed the first sentence of  the novel. Neal Stephenson is a favorite of many of the reading group members over the years and the method of reading his books on an electronic device was often easier than carrying around a physical copy of said book due to the size and length of other of his novels.

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Nov

16

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 16, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

The club met on November 16th, 2015, to discuss “The Martian,” by Andy Weir. Nine members attended, all had started the book and 8 finished it. Six had read the book electronically. The book was originally self-published in 2011 and became a hit on Amazon’s Kindle, leading to a hardcover edition published in 2014.

Two members had seen the movie starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, which was released in late September this year. They agreed that the movie had stunning photography and recommended it to all, including those who had read the book.

All members liked the book although there were several mild criticisms (since this was a purely

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May

06

Posted by : atcampbell | On : May 6, 2014

Nexus by Ramez Naam  (followup)

Comments by a reader who was unable to participate in the discussion

I did not get a copy of Nexus until after the discussion. I am about 3/4 through it.  I like Nexus a lot for two reasons. First, Naam does a creditable job of presenting both the good and bad sides of his tech. The human vs. posthuman is an SF idea that goes all the way back to Slan. In the past we have seen stories that supported the poor posthuman fighting against human prejudice and stories supporting the poor human fighting against posthuman prejudice.  But there have been very few that show that each is just as likely as the other.  Naam does have the protagonist take a stand on what the best use of the tech would be and explains why he takes that stand. Much of the novel indicates a broader

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May

05

Posted by : atcampbell | On : May 5, 2014

Nexus by Ramez Naam

9 people had started the book. 2 people finished. 7 people planned to finish. Nobody had read anything by Ramez Naam before. 5 people had read Nexus as an ebook.

Several people thought the book started too slow (some even said the opening scene was irrelevant to the plot and made them put them book aside); but those that stuck with it felt rewarded, as the pace picked up significantly later on. Several scenes in the book stood out as especially suspenseful; one of them was the scene where the protagonist races against time to put a backdoor in the

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Feb

03

Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 3, 2014

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

The group met on February 3, 2014, to discuss The Dirty Streets of Heaven, by Tad Williams. Ten members attended. All had started the book, and 6 finished. Two members had read the second book in this “Bobby Dollar” trilogy, and three planned to do so. The third book (Sleeping Late on Judgment Day) is due out in 2014. Although Williams is an established and international best-selling author, with 18 novels and two story collections, only one person had read any of his books before. Williams’s first book, Tailchaser’s Song, has become a movie and (causing him to be known as “the cat guy” for a couple of years), it was followed by The “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” classic fantasy series, and his “Otherland” series spawned a computer game. The Bobby Dollar series is a sort of noir hardnosed-detective-fantasy combination, unlike anything he’s done before.

Bobby Dollar is an angel, assigned to Earth to work in human form. When a person dies, the soul is immediately brought before a court to decide its fate. Bobby

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