Dec

16

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 16, 2003

The Golden Age by John C. Wright

We had five attendees for this book with one late arrival and 2 commenting via email. Only two people read the entire book.

In a far future within a seemingly utopian society, a changed humanity rubs minds with other beings from around the solar system. Phaethon, the protagonist,

Continue Reading

Dec

02

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 2, 2003

Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick

Nine attended with 2 people emailing comments. Seven people started the book and 6 finished it. Five people had read Swanwick before.

Time travel and dinosaurs, what could be better? This book was one of the more popular reads with one reader starting the discussion by saying “this was a Book!” Many people in our reading group are interested in dinosaurs, and I

Continue Reading

Nov

18

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 18, 2003

Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear

Fifteen people attended this discussion, including one on crutches. Fourteen people started the book and 13 finished it.

The group was happy to read a book they felt dealt with SCIENCE. Set two weeks in the future, DR follows a virus researcher who discovers what seems to be a new virus that affects human reproduction. Soon widespread pregnancies are causing panic as facial changes visably mark those affected and humanity

Continue Reading

Nov

04

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 4, 2003

Jenna Starborn by ArmadilloCon 26’s GOH, Sharon Shinn

Twelve people attended this discussion and 3 others emailed in their comments. Eight people started the book with five reading to the end. The same five had all read this author before.

Using the classic Jane Eyre as the basis for a science fiction novel intrigued some readers while others were more ambivalent. The source material was easy to identify with a few updated twists, such as a cyborg wife instead of a crazy one. Plus in this retelling our heroine is a vat-grown, plucky nuclear reactor technician. There is a governess who is ruined by a lover, but needless to say Jenna

Continue Reading

Oct

21

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 21, 2003

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

We had ten people for this book plus one email review, all at StrangeHurst House. Although 8 people started the book only 4 people finished. Five people had read KSR before, mostly his Mars trilogy.

The book follows 3 souls through several incarnations in an alternate world where the Black Plague killed off most of the Europeans. Using the “bardo,” an in-between-incarnations waiting room, to separate the different lives helped the souls and the reader to review and separate each life. The episodic nature of the

Continue Reading

Oct

07

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 7, 2003

A Scattering of Jades by Alexander C. Irvine

We had 9 people for this book discussion at the home of the Brothers Siros. Seven people finished the book. Many people were surprised to discover this was Irvine’s first novel.

A dark fantasy set in an alternative 1840’s America, the novel centered around events designed to incarnate an Aztec mummy with a god who would control the world. We were impressed with the amount of work Irvne obviously put into the novel. A semi-sharp reader could recognize historical details such as the Bowery fire, the first explorer of Mammoth cave, and a fairly crazy steamship race. Plus

Continue Reading

Sep

16

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 16, 2003

The Collapsium by Wil McCarthy

Thirteen people attended the discussion of The Collapsium by Wil McCarthy held at StrangeHurst Manor. Eleven had read some of the book, with eight finishing it, and five had previously read works by McCarthy. We also had another first time attendee. This book prompted a lot of discussion. An interplanetary adventure with hard science elements, it featured heavy duty physics alongside rescuing the Queen of Sol (not Aretha). Most readers liked the science but quibbled with

Continue Reading

Sep

02

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 2, 2003

The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin

Eleven people attended this discussion at the home of the Brothers Siros. Ten people finsihed the book, which was deemed an “easy read.” Seven had read Le Guin previously and six had read all or some of her EarthSea series. The readers of EarthSea found this to be intriguing and well tied in with the previous storyline. A classic fantasy with dragons and magic, the book dealt with deep philosophies of love, death, and identity. Everyone spoke on how well Le Guin handled prose but for many the novel lacked ACTION. One reader described the pace of the book as “glacial.” This lack of ACTION hampered many readers’ enjoyment, and much we discussed if a new writer could have gotten away with writing such a

Continue Reading

Aug

19

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 19, 2003

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Thirteen at reading group for this book with 10 people starting the book and 7 finishing it. We had two new attendees (thank you, ArmadilloCon). One person submitted comments via email. The meeting was held at the home of Judy Strange and Jeff Hurst in North Austin. Sold as SF and marketed as a biblio-mystery, this book throughly amused and entertained some readers and confused others. Comparisons were made to the work of Gene Wolfe and Monty Python,

Continue Reading

Aug

05

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 5, 2003

Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb

We had 12 people for this book discussion at the home of the Brothers Siros. Seven people finished the book and the same seven were already familiar with Hobb’s work. Although the beginning of a new fantasy trilogy, the book was also a continuation of characters and setting from Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy. Most people had read the previous trilogy but those who hadn’t felt it worked well as a stand alone and didn’t feel left out of the story. One person liked it so well he went out and bought Hobb’s other books and began recommending them to others. This new series was deemed lighter in tone then her previous and so, more enjoyable to return to the characters; one person compared it to meeting old friends. An

Continue Reading