Dec

21

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 21, 2004

Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg

Only 3 people out of the 13 who showed up for the discussion had finished this alternate history collection of short stories. One person hadn’t read any of the book and 4 did not plan to finish it. Almost everyone (12 people) had read Silverberg before.

Although the book is marketed as a novel, it is actually a collection of stories (most published previously in Asimov’s). The stories are related only by the theme of a Rome that continues eternally (or at least through the last story which is set in 2723A.D.), but is often on the verge of falling. Silverberg’s history roughly

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Dec

07

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 7, 2004

Chindi by Jack McDevitt

A large group of 16 people showed up for this meeting, although some were there for voting on new books and socializing more than for discussing the book. Twelve people did start the book and 7 of them managed to finish it. Twelve had read McDevitt before.

This is McDevitt’s third book featuring superluminal pilot Hutch and her over-the-top rescues. In this volume she and a group of amateur explorers from the Contact Society follow a signal around the galaxy trying to locate the alien

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Nov

16

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 16, 2004

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Nine of the 10 people who showed up to discuss this Discworld novel had tried reading it, but only 5 finished. Six had read Pratchett before and 2 sent in e-mail comments.

Although still satire, this is Pratchett’s darkest book in the series. It’s a socio-political police procedural. In it Sam Vimes, one of the Ankh-Morpork Guards, ends up in his own past during a time of political struggle. He mentors his younger

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Nov

02

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 2, 2004

Darwin’s Children by Greg Bear

Only 7 of the 12 people who came to the discussion on a dismal election day had read this sequel to Darwin’s Radio. All who started it had finished and all but one person had read Bear before.

This book begins 12 years after the first book and follows some of the same characters. The “virus children,” the next evolutionary leap, are growing up. Their odd looks and abilities cause fear, which leads the government to put them in

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Oct

19

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 19, 2004

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Eight out of 10 people who showed up for this discussion managed to lose themselves in this book of British nonsense, and 6 of them found their way to the end. Four had read Fforde before.

This is the second book in the Thursday Next series. Four have been published so far and a fifth is due out the summer of 2005. The first book, The Eyre Affair, which we read last year, is a stand-alone book. This second book, however, is part of a continuing series in which Literary Detective Thursday tries to retrieve

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Oct

05

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 5, 2004

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds

We moved this extremely long, complex space opera up in the queue 2 weeks early so only 5 people of the 7 who showed up at the meeting had read any of it. No one had finished. Four people had read Reynolds previously.

This book is set in the same universe as Reynolds’s first book, Revelation Space, which we read earlier. Although Chasm City covers some backstory about the universe, the book can be read as a stand-alone novel. In it a bodyguard, Tanner

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Sep

21

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 21, 2004

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Eleven people met to discuss this book, and 2 sent in e-mail comments. Of the 11, only one had not read any of the book and one had not finished. Nine had read Moon’s work previously.

In this Nebula Award-winning, near-future book, autist Lou is faced with a dangerous procedure to correct his condition, but it may also change who he is. Moon paints a vivid picture of his different inner world, showing us his obsession

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Sep

07

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 7, 2004

Perfect Circle by Sean Stewart

Fifteen people turned up for the discussion of this darkly humorous ghost story, and one person called in comments during the meeting. Four had finished the book and three had read a portion, but definitely did plan to finish it later. Seven had read Sean Stewart before.

The story is about an aging punk, “Dead” Kennedy, who sees ghosts in black and white, is still in love with his ex-wife, loses dead-end jobs on purpose and is haunted by dead relatives–one of them a murderer. One reader loved the book enough to call it “my religious experience for the year,” while another thought it

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Aug

17

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 17, 2004

Crossfire by Nancy Kress

Twelve people showed up for the discussion of this first book in the Crossfire series. Of those, five had finished it, three had read part of it, and eight had read Kress before.

The book begins when Quakers, Saudis, American Indians, and other groups with enough money to buy passage off a dying Earth colonize a planet they call Greentrees. There they discover puzzling, non-native inhabitants, the Furs, and become embroiled in interstellar war. Besides the usual problems of survival on a

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Aug

03

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 3, 2004

The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells

Of the seven people who showed up for this discussion of the first book in The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, five had read the entire book and six had read Wells before. Two people e-mailed comments and one sent a verbal message.

The trilogy starts 30 years after the The Death of the Necromancer when Ile-Rien is at war with an unknown enemy, the Gardier. The bombing by the black airships, along with the early Twentieth Century level of technology, gives this story the feel of World War II England. Tremaine, a strong but reluctant heroine,

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