Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 16, 2001

There and Back Again by Pat Murphy

Our discussion of There and Back Again drew twelve participants. The book is a light, humorous space opera by Pat Murphy. Since Murphy is best known for serious “slipstream fiction” such as The Falling Woman, this book represents a substantial change of pace for her work. The plot of There and Back Again follows a mild-mannered man named Bailey Beldon, who joins up with a group of adventurers on a quest for the center of the galaxy.

We all found this book to be a lot of fun to read. The unlikely hero Bailey is clever at avoiding capture by slavers and pirates, even on occasion resorting to yodeling. We liked reading about a hero who was not in great shape and who

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 2, 2001

Starfish by Peter Watts

We had a large crowd of fifteen for this discussion, including two first-time visitors. The book under consideration, Starfish, was a first novel by Peter Watts. It involves an undersea scientific experiment being conducted by a large corporation. The team living underwater and doing the work is mostly composed of criminals who are doing this dangerous job instead of going to prison.

The details of living and working underwater seemed believable. One member of our group is a scuba diver, and he found no technical problems. We were not surprised to learn that the author is an ocean scientist.

The heart of the novel is an examination of how people work together on this dangerous mission. The team members are not simple thieves and swindlers, but

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