Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 15, 2000

The Golden Globe by John Varley

This discussion attracted nine participants. The Golden Globe is a science fiction story set a few hundred years in our future, in the same “Eight Worlds” universe used for Varley’s earlier novels The Ophiuchi Hotline and Steel Beach. The story follows the life of Kenneth “Sparky” Valentine, an actor who was a famous TV star as a child. Due to tragic event that occurred in his early adulthood, Sparky is on the run from the law. He can’t resist the lure of the stage, so he wanders throughout the Solar System appearing in plays (mostly Shakespearean) under aliases. The book jumps back and forth in time, showing us the adventures of the older Sparky and flashing back to his childhood and how he ended up in his current situation.

Most of us enjoyed this book a lot. We found Sparky to be a charming narrator, with a distinctive narrative voice that kept us turning the pages. We were amused by his friend Elwood P. Dowd, a person only Sparky can see who looks

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 2, 2000

Eric S. Nylund Interview

Eric S. Nylund is the author of Pawn’s Dream, A Game of Universe, and Dry Water. He is a graduate of the prestigious Clarion program for SF writers, and he lives in Seattle. When he learned that our group was going to discuss his recent novel Signal to Noise, he graciously offered to answer our questions about the book.

Reading Group: Was Signal to Noise your original title? Some of us think “Noise to Signal” might have been more appropriate.

Eric S. Nylund: No, Signal to Noise was the original title. It refers to the signal to noise ratio in electronics, a measure of how strong a signal you are receiving

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 1, 2000

Signal to Noise by Eric S. Nylund

Seven people attended the discussion of Signal to Noise. This is a near future SF novel about a math professor, Jack Potter, who is an expert at cryptography. While analyzing patterns in supposedly random astronomical signals, he discovers a coded message from an alien civilization. Jack and a couple of his colleagues try to establish communication with the aliens while avoiding spies from various governments who are trying to steal their research.

This novel had several interesting elements. This book’s approach to communication with aliens is novel. The scenes of scientists conducting research seem well thought out. The scientists use a lot of Virtual Reality in their research, allowing Nylund to explore some fascinating and exotic imagery

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