Its time to vote on our next round of books, which we will start reading from March 2015.
Follow this link http://doodle.com/gumxtc5cccc787tf#table
and choose up to 5 books.
See below for brief descriptions of each book.
Our current book is We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (256 pages) which we will be discussing at the Madlab on 20th Jan
The following book will be Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (384p) which we will be discussing at the Madlab on 17th Feb
See you next book!
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick (272 pages)
A dazzling speculative novel of 'counterfactual history' from one of America's most highly-regarded science fiction authors, Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" includes an introduction by Eric Brown in "Penguin Modern Classics". Philip K. Dick's acclaimed cult novel gives us a horrifying glimpse of an alternative world - one where the Allies have lost the Second World War. In this nightmare dystopia the Nazis have taken over New York, the Japanese control California and the African continent is virtually wiped out. In a neutral buffer zone in America that divides the world's new rival superpowers, lives the author of an underground bestseller. His book offers a new vision of reality - an alternative theory of world history in which the Axis powers were defeated - giving hope to the disenchanted. Does 'reality' lie with him, or is his world just one among many others?
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (528 pages)
In The Mysterious Island a group of men escape imprisonment during the American Civil War by stealing a balloon. Blown across the world, they are air-wrecked on a remote desert island. In a manner reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe, the men apply their scientific knowledge and technical skill to exploit the island's bountiful resources, eventually constructing a sophisticated society in miniature. The book is also an intriguing mystery story, for the island has a secret.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (432 pages)
Ancillary Justice is the story of a warship trapped in a human body and her search for revenge. They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now. The Radch are conquerors to be feared - resist and they'll turn you into a 'corpse soldier' - one of an army of dead prisoners animated by a warship's AI mind. Whole planets are conquered by their own people. The colossal warship called The Justice of Toren has been destroyed - but one ship-possessed soldier has escaped the devastation. Used to controlling thousands of hands, thousands of mouths, The Justice now has only two hands, and one mouth with which to tell her tale. But one fragile, human body might just be enough to take revenge against those who destroyed her.
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (416 pages)
Ezekiel Blue's father committed a crime, unleashing a deadly menace into steampowered Seattle. And his bereaved family has paid the price. Now, Ezekiel is determined to clear his father's name, risking death and the undead in the attempt. Sixteen years ago, as the American Civil War dawned, gold brought hordes to the frozen Klondike. Fanatical in their greed, Russian prospectors commissioned Dr Leviticus Blue to create a great machine, to mine through Alaska's ice. Thus the Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine was born. But the Boneshaker went awry, destroying downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas. Anyone who breathed its fumes turning into the living dead. The devastated city is now walled in to contain the blight. But unknown to Briar, his widowed mother, Ezekiel is going in. His quest will take him into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.
Time's Eye by Arthur C Clarke & Stephen Baxter (384 pages)
1885, the North West Frontier. Rudyard Kipling is witness to a bizarre encounter between the British army and what appears to be an impossibly advanced piece of Russian technology. And then to a terrifying intervention by a helicopter from 2037. Before the full impact of this extraordinary event has even begun to sink in, Kipling, his friends and the helicopter crew stumble across Alexander the Great's army. Mankind's time odyssey has begun. It is a journey that will see Alexander avoid his premature death and carve out an Empire that expands from Carthage to China, beating the time-slipped army of Ghenghis Khan in a battle outside the ruins of Babylon in the process. And it will present mankind with two devastating truths. Aliens are amongst us and have been manipulating our past and our future. And that future extends only as far as 2037, for that is the date Earth will be destroyed.
We Who Are About To... by Joanna Russ (152 pages)
A multi-dimensional explosion hurls the starship's few passengers across the galaxies and onto an uncharted barren planet. With no technical skills and scant supplies, the survivors face a bleak end in an alien world. One brave woman holds the daring answer, but it is the most desperate one possible. Elegant and electric, We Who Are About To...brings us face to face with our basic assumptions about our will to live. While most of the standed tourists decide to defy the odds and insist on colonizing the planet and creating life, the narrator decides to practice the art of dying. When she is threatened with compulsory reproduction, she defends herself with lethal force. Originally published in 1977, this is one of the most subtle, complex, and exciting science fiction novels ever written about the attempt to survive a potentially lethal alien environment.
MaddAddam by Marget Attwood (496 pages)
Toby, a survivor of the man-made plague that has swept the earth, is telling stories. Stories left over from the old world, and stories that will determine a new one. Listening hard is young Blackbeard, one of the innocent Crakers, the species designed to replace humanity. Their reluctant prophet, Jimmy-the-Snowman, is in a coma, so they've chosen a new hero - Zeb, the street-smart man Toby loves. As clever Pigoons attack their fragile garden and malevolent Painballers scheme, the small band of survivors will need more than stories.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (176 pages)
I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.
Leviathan Wakes by James S A Corey (592 pages)
Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond. Now, when Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the attack, stop a war and find the truth behind a vast conspiracy that threatens the entire human race.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (448 pages)
Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.' This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
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.
Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (400 pages)
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.
The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell (408 pages)
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