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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.
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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!
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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
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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)
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Hi Everybody

Next month's book is The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick, 19th May 7-9pm at Madlab.


Books for the following month's are:

16th Jun – We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ (152 pages)
21st Jul – MaddAddam by Marget Attwood (496 pages)
18th Aug – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (432 pages)
15th Sep – Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (400 pages)


See you next book!
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Hi Everybody!

Here is our next round of books for Manchester SciFi Book Club...


17th Mar - World War Z by Max Brooks (342 pages)

21st Apr - Time's Eye by Arthur C Clarke & Stephen Baxter (384 pages)

19th May - The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick (272 pages)

16th Jun - We Who Are About To... by Joanna Russ (152 pages)

21st Jul - MaddAddam by Marget Attwood (496 pages)

18th Aug - Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (432 pages)

15th Sep - Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (400 pages)


An excellent selection which will no doubt lead to some compelling discussion points and more than a few laughs!

See you next book!
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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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Hi Everybody!

This month we are reading by World War Z by Max Brooks (342 pages).

"It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality."

We're meeting on 17th March 7-9pm at Madlab. All welcome, except zombies.

Our next books:

21st Apr – Time’s Eye by Arthur C Clarke & Stephen Baxter (384 pages)
19th May – The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick (272 pages)
16th Jun – We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ (152 pages)
21st Jul – MaddAddam by Marget Attwood (496 pages)
18th Aug – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (432 pages)
15th Sep – Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (400 pages)
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Hi Everybody!

Our next book is Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (384p)  which we will be discussing 1900 - 2100 on 17th Feb at the Madlab (or upstairs at Terrace next door.)

"Roughly twenty years from now, our technological marvels unite and turn against us. A childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online…and kills the man who created it. This first act of betrayal leads Archos to gain control over the global network of machines and technology that regulates everything from transportation to utilities, defence and communications. In the early months, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans by from a senator and single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s “smart” toys, to a lonely Japanese bachelor, to an isolated U.S. soldier by but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is far too late. Then, in the span of minutes, at a moment known later in history as Zero Hour, every mechanical device in our world rebels, setting off the Robot War that both decimates and by for the first time in history by unites humankind."

If you would like to join us for a discussion about this book please come along. It doesn’t matter whether or not you know much about science fiction. It does help if you’ve read the book, but its not essential!

Our next books
17th March – World War Z by Max Brooks (342 pages)
21st April – Time’s Eye by Arthur C Clarke & Stephen Baxter (384 pages)

Click here to vote on our next books!
http://doodle.com/gumxtc5cccc787tf#table
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Manchester SciFi Book Club #mcrsf @mcrsf_madlab @madlabuk
Introduction
Manchester SciFi Book Club meet on the third Tuesday of every month to discuss a science fiction book previously chosen by the group. Discussions are informal and you don't need to have a read any SciFi before to join us.
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Manchester Digital Laboratory, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HN