Dec

17

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 17, 2008

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny

Thirteen people attended this meeting at A. T.’s home, including one first time visitor. Our topic was Nine Princes in Amber, the classic fantasy adventure by Roger Zelazny. All of us had read Zelazny before. Four were reading this book for the first time, and most of the rest had initially read it many years ago.

The book’s clever narrative hook (a man waking up with no memory in a hospital)

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Dec

02

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 2, 2008

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

We had seventeen people, the largest attendance in years, for this discussion at A. T.’s house. Another reader submitted comments by email. Our topic was Kitty and the Midnight Hour, the first novel by Carrie Vaughn. The story is about Kitty, the host of a radio call-in show devoted to the supernatural, who herself is a werewolf. Fourteen of us started the book, and all finished it.

One person was initially dubious about this book, and only read it because the group had chosen it. He was surprised and delighted by it. He said it was better

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Nov

18

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 18, 2008

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Eight people attended this meeting at A. T.’s house. Our topic was Joe Abercrombie’s first novel, The Blade Itself. It is a swashbuckling fantasy. All of us started and finished the book.

We thought this book had strong characters. The favorite of many was Inquisitor Glokta, a disabled veteran who becomes a torturer. We did not want or expect to like him, but found him empathetic and appreciated his dark humor. Several of us

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Nov

03

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 3, 2008

Gordath Wood by Patrice Sarath, Dinner with Patrice Sarath

13 people attended the discussion. 5 people had read Patrice Sarath’s short stories before. Everybody except 3 people started the book. 7 finished it. The rest were planning to finish it.

Gordath Wood starts with two young women, Lynn and Kate, venturing out (separately) into the woods in search of a runaway horse. Unbeknownst to themselves, they each cross into a parallel world resembling medieval Europe. Before they know it, the two heroines are dragged into a war between two feudal

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Oct

21

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 21, 2008

On Basilisk Station by David Weber

Ten people attended this meeting at A. T.’s house. Our topic was David Weber’s first novel, On Basilisk Station, which is also the first in the Honor Harrington series. The book is a military sf novel influenced by C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series of naval adventures. Five of us had read Weber before. All of us started the book, and nine finished it.

Many of us found the book to be a quick, energetic, enjoyable read. We thought it showed a good understanding of the military mind.  We liked the scenes of Honor

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Oct

06

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 6, 2008

The Complete Roderick by John Sladek

This meeting at the North Village Library drew thirteen participants. Our topic was The Complete Roderick, a classic robot book by ArmadilloCon 6 Guest of Honor John Sladek. The book was original published in two volumes: Roderick (1980) and Roderick at Random (1983). Five of us had read Sladek before. Ten of us started the book. Seven finished the first part (the novel Roderick) and three finished the whole thing. Four of us had read this work many years ago.

Many in the group enjoyed the book for its humor and social satire.  It worked well as a commentary on the culture of the late 70s/early 80s and as a parody of the

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Sep

15

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 15, 2008

Last Dragon by J. M. McDermott

This meeting at the North Village library had nine attendees. Our topic was Last Dragon, a first fantasy novel by Texas author J. M. McDermott.  Seven of us started the book, and three finished.

One person commented that this book was tough going.  He thought the storytelling was convoluted but could be followed, but ultimately could not see the

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Sep

02

Posted by : atcampbell | On : September 2, 2008

Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

Nine people gathered at A. T.’s house to discuss Babel-17, Delany’s classic New Wave novel. Additionally, two submitted commented by email. All of us had read the author before. Eight started the book, and five finished.

We like the book’s examination of language theory. A strong element was the development of the idea of language as shaping the mind and worldview of the person. One person commented that he enjoyed reading a rare novel that

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Aug

17

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 17, 2008

The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez

This special meeting was held at ArmadilloCon. Our topic was The Automatic Detective, a robot mystery novel written by A. Lee Martinez, one of the authors attending the con. We had a dozen attendees, including the ArmadilloCon Fan Guest of Honor and one visitor from Dallas. Six of us had read Martinez before. Ten started the book, and eight finished.

We enjoyed the narrator, Mike Megaton, who was built to be a warrior robot but developed the “free will glitch” and turned on his creator. Some commented that his narration and adventures (particularly getting beat up often) are reminiscent of

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Aug

04

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 4, 2008

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Nine people attended a discussion of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. Everybody in the group had read a book, most of them decades ago, and most of those people had not reread it recently. A few of them did not remember much about the book except that it was underwhelming. “For me there wasn’t much “there” there, even though I had friends who died in the war,” said a reader. Another reader, who generally doesn’t enjoy war novels (with exception of Ender’s Game) didn’t like this book because he happened to pick it up when he wanted to read something with the sense of wonder, but this was too depressing. He also saw no reason why the guy who survives the war should be the only one to do so, when he is nothing special.

Most people agreed that it was rather depressing. Some thought the only thing

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