Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 20, 2009

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

13 people attended a discussion of Arthur Clarke’s Childhood’s End. Everybody has read Clarke before. Everybody but 1 person started the book. Everybody but 2 people finished it.

Almost everyone in the group read this book initially more than 5 years ago, and reread it in time for the discussion. The consensus was that Childhood’s End hasn’t aged since it was written in 1950s, except some phrases in it were a little dated. Clarke’s predictions about future technological changes seemed on track to most readers, especially those who grew up or worked with computers in the 1950s. Others disagreed: Clarke has not even dreamed of all the various gadgets we have

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 5, 2009

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson

Ten people attended this discussion at A. T.’s house, and three submitted comments by email. Our topic was Robert Charles Wilson’s Axis, the sequel to the Hugo-winning novel Spin. At the end of Spin, a gateway had been opened to a strange alien world. The plot of Axis takes place thirty years later, featuring various groups of humans who have settled in the new world. It’s a complicated story involving government conspiracy, romance, genetic engineering, and attempts to communicate with aliens. All of us had read Wilson before, and all had read Spin. We all started Axis, but only three finished the book and three more planned to finish.

Our opinions of this book were fairly similar. We think that this book has well-crafted prose, but the story and characters are less engaging than those of

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