Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 19, 1999

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The discussion of Stardust drew seven participants. Stardust is a fairy tale about a young man who sets on a quest in an attempt to impress a beautiful young woman and win her affections. Along the way he has adventures involving tricky witches, evil noblemen, gypsies, and fallen stars. Unusually, the book is available in two forms: a heavily illustrated version with paintings by Charles Vess, and a plain text version. All of us at the meeting had read the illustrated version, which offered all the words plus some gorgeous art for less cost than the plain text hardback.

We started off with a brief discussion of a comics convention in Austin the prior weekend. Several of us had met Charles Vess at the convention. He had brought many of the original paintings from Stardust with him to the convention, and we

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 5, 1999

The Alien Years by Robert Silverberg

Six people attended the discussion of The Alien Years. This is a near future science fiction novel in which aliens invade and conquer the earth. The aliens remain offstage, and the story concentrates on the people living on Earth during the alien occupation. We encounter people forced into alien service, people seeking to serve the aliens, and people trying to overthrow the aliens. A large portion of the book follows members of a family in California that is active in the resistance throughout several generations.

We felt that this book had an intriguing premise, and it was developed well. We liked reading about truly alien extraterrestrial beings that were omnipotent and impossible for humans to understand. The aliens did strange things such as disassembling Stonehenge and reassembling it in a new pattern, and there was no attempt made to explain their actions. All of the characters in the book who tried to understand the aliens failed completely. The aliens were so inscrutable

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