Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 17, 2002

The Pickup Artist by Terry Bisson

Fourteen people attended this meeting at Lori and A. T.’s home, and two submitted comments by email. Our topic was The Pickup Artist, a near future sf novel by Terry Bisson. In this story it has been decided that there is too much content (art, books, movies, music) in the world, so old stuff must be eliminated to make room for people to buy new content. Regular lotteries are held to determine which creators’ works are to be eliminated, and all the world’s governments develop collection agencies that confiscate obsolete content. The protagonist title character works for such a collection agency. Eight of us had started this book, and all finished it.

The Pickup Artist is full of thought-provoking ideas. The story is an obvious variant on Fahrenheit 451. We wondered why an award-winning author like Terry Bisson would write a book about such a painful theme as the destruction of art. We all found the concept horrible, but felt the scenario presented in this book is

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 3, 2002

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Eleven people attended this meeting at Willie and Charles’s home. The topic was Revelation Space, an epic science fiction novel by new writer Alastair Reynolds. The story, set in the far future, involves interplanetary archaeologists looking into the mysterious disappearance of an extraterrestrial species. Their search leads to a big adventure that includes academic rivalries, assassination attempts, and galactic conspiracies. Nine of us started the book, and six finished it.

We liked a lot about this book. One person described it as an imaginative political space opera. The book is full of neat sf ideas. The complicated plot, told in a structure that jumps back and forth in time, is fun to read and has a good payoff

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