Posted by : atcampbell | On : May 22, 2007

I Hope the World Can Take It by Artemus Shelton

Nine people showed up at A. T.’s house to discuss the new novel by Reading Group member Art Shelton. The book tells a near-feature cyberpunk science fiction tale full of action.  The story follows a data courier who gets into trouble when carrying some especially secret information. One member had read Shelton’s work before, in a writing group. Eight of us started the book, and five finished it.

The story starts with a bang and never lets up. Most of us got involved with the main character and action quickly, and the story kept us going until the end. The surprise twist near the end is well-executed. Some of us felt that the story reads like a screenplay.

This book works well as an action novel. We really did not see as many new concepts and technologies as we would prefer in a science fiction novel. Most of

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : May 7, 2007

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

Ten people gathered at the North Village library for this discussion of Octavia E. Butler’s final novel. We had one first-time attendee. The story deals with a young woman who wakes up with no memory and tries to determine who and what she is. She quickly learns that she is not human, but instead is a member of a humanoid species with many characteristics of vampires. She eventually comes to learn a great deal about her heritage and the social structure of her race. Eight of us had read Butler before, and eight started and completed this book.

Some of us trouble finding copies of Fledgling to read, despite the trade paperback being out for only a few weeks. We suspect that bookstores and libraries had trouble figuring out where to shelve this book, since it deals with vampires but has no horror elements.

The protagonist’s story is told in first-person, and the author does a beautiful job of developing the story’s world, the plot, and the narrator’s emerging personality.

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