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Manchester SciFi Book Club #mcrsf @mcrsf_madlab @madlabuk
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Hi Everybody!

Voting is open on our next round of books.

The choices are as follows:

The Girl With All the Gifts by by M R Carey (512p)
The Star Diaries by Stanislav Lem (352p)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin (448p)
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (1/5) by Douglas Adams (224p)
Roadside Picnic by Boris Strugatsky (224p)
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (345p)
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin (336p)
Year Zero by Rob Reid (368p)
Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones (384p)
Zendegi by Greg Egan (368p)
Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (336p)
The Peripheral by William Gibson (496p)

For a description of each book please scroll down.

Please indicate your choices on our Doodle Poll:
http://doodle.com/poll/v98pmrvcypkubvuh

Please make up to 5 choices.
In the past we have found low attendence when books are over about 400 pages. If you vote for a book with more than 400 pages please make an extra effort to come along to the discussion. Thank you.

We will finalise the choices at our next meeting on 18th April.

See you next book!
Our Next Books

18th Apr – Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (288 pages)
16th May – A Calculated Life by Ann Charnock (208 pages)

Book Descriptions
The Girl With All the Gifts by by M R Carey (512 p)

NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.
The Star Diaries by Stanislav Lem (352 p)

Stanislaw Lem’s set of short stories, written over a period of twenty years, all feature the adventures of space traveller Ijon Tichy and recount him spinning in time-warps, spying on robots, encountering bizarre civilizations and creatures in space and being hopelessly lost in a forest of supernovae. This is a philosophical satire on technology, theology, intelligence and human nature from one of the greatest of science fiction writers
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin (448 p)

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky – a palace above the clouds where gods’ and mortals’ lives are intertwined.

There, to her shock, Yeine is named one of the potential heirs to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with a pair of cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother’s death and her family’s bloody history.

But it’s not just mortals who have secrets worth hiding and Yeine will learn how perilous the world can be when love and hate – and gods and mortals – are bound inseparably.
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (1/5) by Douglas Adams (224p)

The intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent begin in the first volume of the ‘trilogy of five’, Douglas Adams’ comedy sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. At this moment, they’re hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON’T PANIC.

The weekend has only just begun . . .
Roadside Picnic by Boris Strugatsky (224p)

Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those strange misfits who are compelled by some unknown force to venture illegally into the Zone and, in spite of the extreme danger, collect the mysterious artefacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the Zone and the thriving black market in the alien products. Even the nature of his daughter has been determined by the Zone. And it is for her that Red makes his last, tragic foray into the hazardous and hostile depths.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (345p)

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin (336p)

The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication. It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres.

But Shevek’s work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres’s sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there. But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.
Year Zero by Rob Reid (368p)

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on American pop songs ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), resulting in the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang and bankrupting the whole universe. Nick has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly. Thankfully, this unlikely galaxy-hopping hero does know a thing or two about copyright law. Now, with Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick has forty-eight hours to save humanity—while hoping to wow the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.
Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones (384p)

“All I did was ask you for a role-playing game. You never warned me I’d be pitched into it for real! And I asked you for hobbits on a Grail quest, and not one hobbit have I seen!”

Hexwood Farm is a bit like human memory; it doesn’t reveal its secrets in chronological order. Consequently, whenever Ann enters Hexwood, she cannot guarantee on always ending up in the same place or even the same time.

Hexwood Farm is full of machines that should not be tampered with – and when one is, the aftershock is felt throughout the universe. Only Hume, Ann and Mordion can prevent an apocalypse in their struggle with the deadly Reigners – or are they too being altered by the whims of Hexwood?

A complex blend of science fiction and all sorts of fantasy – including fantasy football!!
Zendegi by Greg Egan (368p)

Nasim is a young computer scientist, hoping to work on the Human Connectome Project: a plan to map every neural connection in the human brain. But funding for the project is cancelled, and Nasim ends up devoting her career to Zendegi, a computerised virtual world used by millions of people.

Fifteen years later, a revived Connectome Project has published a map of the brain. Zendegi is facing fierce competition from its rivals, and Nasim decides to exploit the map to fill the virtual world with better Proxies: the bit-players that bring its crowd scenes to life. As controversy rages over the nature and rights of the Proxies, a friend with terminal cancer begs Nasim to make a Proxy of him, so some part of him will survive to help raise his orphaned son. But Zendegi is about to become a battlefield …
Nexus by Ramez Naam (474p)

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power; from the headquarters of an elite agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath Shanghai; from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok; from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.
Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (336p)

So tell me, Dr Maxwell, if the whole of History lay before you … where would you go? What would you like to witness?

When Madeleine Maxwell is recruited by the St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, she discovers the historians there don’t just study the past they revisit it.

But one wrong move and History will fight back to the death. And she soon discovers it’s not just History she’s fighting…

Follow the tea-soaked disaster magnets of St Mary’s as they rattle around History. Because wherever the historians go, chaos is sure to follow.
The Peripheral by William Gibson (496p)

Flynne Fisher lives in rural near-future America where jobs are scarce and veterans from the wars are finding it hard to recover. She scrapes a living doing some freelance online game-playing, participating in some pretty weird stuff. Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things though are good for the haves, and there aren’t many have-nots left.
Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, and Wilf’s, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the distant past can be real badass.
About Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club:

Manchester SciFi Book Club is held every third Tuesday of the month from 7pm until 9pm. For more information, check out our group page.
Contacts:

You can contact us via Twitter at @mcrsf_madlab or by using the hashtag #mcrsf. Keep up to date with Manchester Sci-Fi book club posts at Madlab or take a look at our history on Madlab vintage.

We also have a group on Google which we would encourage you to join, and you can check us out on Google+ at our Manchester SciFi Book Club page. 

Hi Everyone!

We'll be taking suggestions for our next round of books at our meeting this month (21st March). If you have any ideas please let us know!


Just in case you’re wondering which exciting science fiction books we’ve read and how we’ve rated them, here is the updated list. Scores are out of five except where stated.


2017

16th May – A Calculated Life by Ann Charnock (208 pages)
18th Apr – Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (288 pages)
21st Mar – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (384 pages)
21st Feb – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (432 pages) – 3.94 Feathers
17th Jan – Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (304 pages) – 3.75 Attributes

2016

15th Nov – Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw (400 pages) – 2.87 Bird Eating Goliath Tarantulas
18th Oct – Foreigner by CJ Cherryh (432 pages) – 3.00 Mecheita
20th Sep – The Three Body Problem (Part 1) by Cixin Liu (416 pages) – 3.97 Bodies
16th Aug – A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (216 pages) – 2.92 Eggs
19th Jul – Dauntless by Jack Campbell (304 pages) – 2.88 Jump Points
21st Jun – Northern Lights (from His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman (448 pages) – 3.23 Armoured Bears
17th May – Girl from Mars by Julie Cohen (416 pages) – 2.17 Lizards
19th Apr – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (448 pages) 10.25 out of 15 Lives (=3.42 out of 5)
15th Mar – Lexicon by Max Barry (400 pages) – 2.79 Barewords
16th Feb – Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon – 3.85 Fruit Cakes
19th Jan – Rocannon’s World – Ursula Le Guin (128 pages) – 3.11 Flying Cats

Here is a list of the science fiction books that we read at #mcrsf from 2010 to 2015.

See you next book!

Hi Everybody!

Thank you for your suggestions for our next round of books. Out of the 12 books suggested, 6 had more than our approximate 400 pages maximum length. Therefore I have scheduled the remaining 6 books, as listed below. I have also added in Foreigner by CJ Cherryh.

See you next book!

16th Aug – A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (216 pages)

20th Sep – The Three Body Problem (Part 1) by Cixin Liu (416 pages)

18th Oct - Foreigner by CJ Cherryh (432 pages)

15th Nov - Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw (400 pages)

17th Jan - Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (304 pages)

21st Feb - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (432 pages)

21st Mar - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (384 pages)

18th Apr - Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (288 pages)

16th May - A Calculated Life by Ann Charnock (208 pages)


Foreigner by CJ Cherryh (432 pages)

The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, `Foreigner` begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the `Foreigner` series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author."


Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw (400 pages)

We were prepared for an earthquake. We had a flood plan in place. We could even have dealt with zombies. Probably. But no one expected the end to be quite so... sticky... or strawberry scented. Yahtzee Croshaw ("Mogworld," Zero Punctuation Reviews) returns to print with a follow-up to his smash-hit debut: "Jam," a dark comedy about the one apocalypse "no one" predicted. * The hilarious new novel by the author of "Mogworld"! * Croshaw's Zero Punctuation Reviews is the most viewed video game review on the web! * For lovers of bizarre horror and unforgettable characters! "[Croshaw is] able to pull off slapstick comedy in print, and that's no easy feat." ComicsAlliance"


Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (304 pages)

Imagine a distant world where gods walk as men, but wield vast and hidden powers. Here they have made the stage on which they build a subtle pattern of alliance, love, and deadly enmity. Are they truly immortal? Who are these gods who rule the destiny of a teeming world? Their names include Brahma, Kali, Krishna and also he who was called Buddha, the Lord of Light, but who now prefers to be known simply as Sam. The gradual unfolding of the story - how the colonization of another planet became a re-enactment of Eastern mythology - is one of the great imaginative feats of modern science fiction.


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (432 pages)

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD** * SHORTLISTED FOR THE KITSCHIES GOLDEN TENTACLE*** * LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEY'S WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016*** The astonishing self-published debut novel that Guardian calls 'a quietly profound, humane tour de force.' When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past. But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful - exactly what Rosemary wants. Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years...if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful. But Rosemary isn't the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (384 pages)

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.


Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (288 pages)

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper. When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris's ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik--a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return. Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation--a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness--are just the beginning of irrevocable change. At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive...and even evolve.


A Calculated Life by Ann Charnock (208 pages)

Nominated for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award! Late in the twenty-first century, big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free of addictions. Violent crime is a rarity. Hyper-intelligent Jayna is a star performer at top predictive agency Mayhew McCline, where she forecasts economic and social trends. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she far outshines her co-workers, often correcting their work on the quiet. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime. When a string of events contradicts her forecasts, Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs direct interactions with the rest of society. Bravely and naively she sets out to disrupt her strict routine and stumbles unwittingly into a world where her IQ is increasingly irrelevant a place where human relationships and the complexity of life are difficult for her to decode. And as she experiments with taking risks, she crosses the line into corporate intrigue and disloyalty. Can Jayna confront the question of what it means to live a normal life? Or has the possibility of a normal life already been eclipsed for everyone?"


Books Unscheduled Due to High Number of Pages:


The City & The City by China Mieville (500 pages)

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Bes el, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & The City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.


The Peripheral by William Gibson (496 pages)

Flynne Fisher lives in rural near-future America where jobs are scarce and veterans from the wars are finding it hard to recover. She scrapes a living doing some freelance online game-playing, participating in some pretty weird stuff. Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things though are good for the haves, and there aren't many have-nots left. Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, and Wilf's, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the distant past can be real badass.


The Algebraist by Iain M Banks (544 pages)

It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young and fighting pointless formal wars. Seconded to a military-religious order he's barely heard of - part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony - Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes a war draws closer - a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he's ever known. As complex, turbulent, flamboyant and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, the new science fiction novel from Iain M. Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale.


Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (608 pages)

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 ARTHUR C CLARKE AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL WHO WILL INHERIT THIS NEW EARTH? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare. Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?


Excession by Iain M Banks (464 pages)

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back. 'Banks is a phenomenon ...wildly successful, fearlessly creative' William Gibson 'Thrilling, affecting and comic ...probably the finest science fiction he has written to date' New Scientist 'Banks has rewritten the libretto for the whole space-opera genre' The Times


Cyteen by C J Cherryh (680 pages)

The Hugo Award-winning SF saga is now available in one complete trade paperback edition, containing Cyteen: The Betrayal, The Rebirth and The Vindication. "A psychological novel, a murder mystery and an examination of power on a grand scale, encompassing light years and outsize lifetimes."--Locus.

Hi Everybody

Our next book is Rocannon’s World by Ursula Le Guin (122 pages). Why not come along and join us at our next meeting? We'll be at Madlab on Tuesday 19th January at 7pm.

Our books for the following months are:

16th Feb – Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon (384 pages)
15th Mar – Lexicon by Max Barry (400 pages)
19th Apr – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (448 pages)
17th May – Girl from Mars by Julie Cohen (416 pages)
21st Jun – Northern Lights (from His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman (448 pages)
19th Jul – Dauntless by Jack Campbell (304 pages)
16th Aug – A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (216 pages)
20th Sep – The Three Body Problem part 1 by Cixin Liu (416 pages)

See you next book!

Hi Everyone!

We've been going for almost six years. It's gone quickly, except perhaps for when we read Neverness!

But what else have we read? Here's a list of the scifi classics we've read and had a good ole discussion about:

http://madlab.org.uk/2015/11/manchester-scifi-book-club-book-list-to-date/

We'll be choosing our next round of books soon. Any suggestions?

Our next book is The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (408 p) on the 15th December

Followed by Rocannon’s World by Ursula Le Guin (128 p) – currently only available as used/ebook - on the 19th January.

See you next book!

Hi Everybody!

Our next book is The Martian by Andy Weir, which we'll be discussing on 17th November.

The best-seller behind the major film from Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.

“I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth. I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m screwed.”

Come along and discuss the book at our next meeting: Tuesday 17th November at 7pm.

Our next books:

15th December – The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (408 p)
19th January – Rocannon’s World by Ursula Le Guin (128 p) – currently only available as used/ebook

About Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club:

Manchester SciFi Book Club is held every third Tuesday of the month from 7pm until 9pm. For more information, check out our group page.

Hi Everybody!

Our next book is Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter, which we will be discussing on Tuesday 15th September at 7pm.

“For years the human race suffered from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found – in the form of genetically engineered human beings, gems – the line between survival and ethics was radically altered. Now the gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies that created them, and against the norms who see them as slaves. And a conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the gems is the key to that freedom. But with the gemtech companies fighting to keep the gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these ‘unholy’ creations, the gems are up against forces that may just be too powerful to oppose.”

Our next books:

20th October – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (384 p)
17th November – The Martian by Andy Weir (384 p)
15th December – The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (408 p)
19th January – Rocannon’s World by Ursula Le Guin (128 p) – currently only available as used/ebook

Hi Everbody!

We hope you are enjoying Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter for our meeting on 15th Sept.

We have decided upon our next round of books, as follows:

20th October – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (384 p)
17th November – The Martian by Andy Weir (384 p)
15th December – The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (408 p)
19th January – Rocannon’s World by Ursula Le Guin (128 p) – currently only available as used/ebook

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel (384 p)

The New York Times Bestseller, Longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015, Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2015, 2014 National Book Awards Finalist, 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist. What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again. Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened. If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?

The Martian – Andy Weir (384 p)

The best-seller behind the major film from Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain. I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth. I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m screwed.

The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell (408 p)

ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR “A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense”. –USA Today “AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That’s who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel”.

Rocannon’s World – Ursula Le Guin (128 p) – currently only available as used/ebook

SCIENCE FICTION-GENERATIONS AGO THE STARLORDS HAD LANDED ON THE DISTANT PLANET OF FORMALHAUT II TO LEVY TRIBUTE.BUT NOW THE LEAGUE OF ALL WORLDS IS THREATENED BY THE ULTIMATE ENEMY.AND THE LONE HUMAN SURVIVOR, ROCANNON, IN ALLIANCE WITH THE THREE NATIVE RACES OF THE PLANET, MUST LEAD A DESPERATE BATTLE AGAINST AN ALIEN FOE.

Hi Everbody!

Our next book is MaddAddam by Marget Attwood (496 pages) which we will be discussing on Tuesday 21st July. 7-9pm at Madlab.

"In this final volume of the internationally celebrated MaddAddam trilogy, the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of the population. Toby is part of a small band of survivors, along with the Children of Crake: the gentle, bioengineered quasi-human species who will inherit this new earth.

As Toby explains their origins to the curious Crakers, her tales cohere into a luminous oral history that sets down humanity’s past—and points toward its future. Blending action, humor, romance, and an imagination at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is vintage Atwood—a moving and dramatic conclusion to her epic work of speculative fiction."

Our next books

At this meeting we will be suggesting books to read in the future, so please let us have your ideas!

18th Aug – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (432 pages)
15th Sep – Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (400 pages)

Hi Everybody

If anybody would like to buy a copy of We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ, which we will be discussing on 16th June, I have one brand new paperback copy available for £3. I'll bring it along to our next meeting on 19th May.

Don't forget our book for 19th of May is SciFi classic The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick.

See you next book!
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