May

03

Posted by : atcampbell | On : May 3, 2010

The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner

Ten people attended this meeting at the North Village library. Our topic was The Shockwave Rider. Published in 1975, this book examines the projected impact of computers and other emerging social and technological trends on society in the early 21st century. The main character is one of the first depictions of a computer hacker in science fiction. The book was heavily influenced by Alvin Toffler’s nonfiction book Future Shock. Seven of us had read Brunner before. All ten of us started the book, and eight finished it.

One reader commented that the book holds up surprisingly well and that we can

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Apr

20

Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 20, 2010

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Twelve people attended this discussion at the Milwood library. Our topic was Magic Bites, the first novel by ArmadilloCon 32 Urban Fantasy Guest Ilona Andrews. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic Atlanta where science and magic alternate for dominance in waves. The heroine, Kate Daniels, gets caught up in an adventure involving creepy shapechangers. Eleven of us started the book, and eight finished it.

One reader said the book was a lot of fun. She appreciated the disgusting

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Apr

05

Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 5, 2010

Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance

This meeting at the North Village branch drew twelve attendees. Our topic was Planet of Adventure, an omnibus combining four related novels by Jack Vance: City of the Chasch, Servants of the Wankh, The Dirdir, and The Pnume. They follow the adventures of Adam Reith, the sole survivor of an Earth ship sent to explore the planet Tschai. The planet is populated by three races, all dangerous to our hero.

Ten of us had read Vance previously. Ten started this book. Nine of us finished the first novel, and seven finished all four.

One reader enjoyed these stories. He felt they started quickly and showed great

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Mar

16

Posted by : atcampbell | On : March 16, 2010

On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

Twelve people gathered at the Milwood library to discuss On Stranger Tides, the pirate novel that will serve as the basis for the next Pirates of the Caribbean film. Eight of us had read Tim Powers before. Nine of us started the book, and seven finished it.

One reader totally enjoyed the action-packed story filled with swordplay, and

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Mar

01

Posted by : atcampbell | On : March 1, 2010

Little Green Men by Christopher Buckley

Eleven people attended this meeting at the North Village library. Our topic was Little Green Men by Christopher Buckley. The book is a humorous novel about what happens when a conservative, bowtie-wearing television talk show host is abducted by aliens. Two of us had read Buckley before. Nine of us started the book, and all nine finished it.

Several of us loved the book. We laughed at all the humor about Washington

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Feb

17

Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 17, 2010

Star Flight by Andre Norton

Thirteen people attended this discussion at the Milwood library, and another submitted comments by email.  Our topic was Star Flight by Andre Norton. This book is an omnibus of two planetary colonization novels, The Stars are Ours (1954) and Star Born (1957).  Eleven of us had read Norton before. All of us started the book. Eleven finished the first novel, and six finished both.

Our group had been interested in reading Norton’s work for years, but her work had been largely out of print for a while. The publisher Baen has recently started

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Feb

02

Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 2, 2010

Incandescence by Greg Egan

This meeting at the North Village branch library drew fifteen attendees. Our topic was Incandescence by Greg Egan, one of our group’s favorite authors. In this hard sf novel, a group of people living in a world much different from Earth are forced to develop their understanding of physics in a hurry to save their home. Thirteen of us had read Egan before. Twelve started the book, and eight finished it.

One reader commented that sf is a literature of ideas, and this book is a

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Jan

19

Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 19, 2010

Thirteen Orphans by Jane Lindskold

Appropriately, thirteen people attended this meeting at the Milwood Library. Our topic was Thirteen Orphans, a tale of Asian magic unleashed in the American Southwest. Three of us had read Lindskold before. All of us started the book, and ten finished it.

We all appreciated this book’s new magic system, based on mahjongg. We hadn’t seen it used before in fantasy, and we appreciated how the author had researched

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Jan

04

Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 4, 2010

Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow

Eleven people attended this discussion at the North Village Library. Our topic, a short novel by James Morrow, is a secret history about a weapons project conducted by the US Navy during World War II. While the Army was busy researching atomic bombs, the Navy was working on giant monsters to fight the Japanese enemy.  And a host of people from the American film industry were recruited to help them with their task.  Six of us had read Morrow before. All of us started and finished Shambling towards Hiroshima.

Several of us loved the idea of the Naval Giant Monster project. One person

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