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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 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!

In our latest vote there were two definite favourites followed by six books tied in third place. So we have scheduled the top two and will leave voting open for a bit longer to see if any more favourites emerge!

Our next books are:

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

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

Vote on our next books - http://doodle.com/gumxtc5cccc787tf#table


Our current book is Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (347 pages) which we'll be discussing on 17th Feb at either Madlab or upstairs at Terrace if construction work is till going on at Madlab.

See you next book!
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Hi Everybody

We have received the following invitation from the BBC World Service Radio:


I’m writing from the BBC World book Club at World Service radio. I see that the Manchester Book club read Neuromancer by William Gibson? We are doing a programme with him on Wednesday 26 November at 1230pm in New Broadcasting House. Firstly, could I extend the invitation to anyone in the bookclub who can make it to London and would like to be in the audience? Secondly – I wonder if anyone who read it might like to ask William a question about it via email, which we can put to him during the programme?
 

Ruth Sanderson
Producer
BBC World Service
Mobile  +44 (0) 77 693 50055
ruth.sanderson@bbc.co.uk


Don't forget that our next book is Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton, on Tuesday 18th November 7-9pm at the Madlab

Our following books are:

20th Jan - We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (256p)
17th Feb - Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (384p)


See you next book!
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Hi Everybody

Here are our next round of books for exciting discussions at Manchester SciFi Book Club:

19th August - Old Man's War by John Scalzi (318p)
16th Sept - A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur by Mark Twain (272p)
21st Oct - Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (400p)
18th Nov - Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton (320p)
20th Jan - We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (256p)
17th Feb - Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (384p)

Don't forget our next book on 15th Jul, which is Nova by Samuel R Delany.

See you next book!
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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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Hi Everybody!

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
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Hi Everybody

Our next book is Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton (320p) which we'll be discussing at 7-9pm on the 18th Nov at Madlab.

"In 1998 Peter F. Hamilton, the master of space opera and top ten bestselling author, published his first collection of short stories in A Second Chance at Eden. Thirteen years later he returns to short fiction with a new collection. This includes ‘Manhattan in Reverse,’ an original story featuring Hamilton’s popular detective Paula Myo, from his bestselling Commonwealth series.
From ‘Watching Trees Grow’ and a murder mystery set in an alternative Oxford in the 1800s, to ‘The Forever Kitten’ and the questions of eternal youth and the sacrifice required to pursue this, these stories deal with intricate themes and sociological issues. They take an intriguing look at what it is it that makes us enduringly human.
With all his usual wonderfully imagined futuristic technology, complex characters and brilliantly conceived storytelling, Peter F. Hamilton shows yet again what makes him Britain’s number one science fiction writer."

Read the book and join the discussion!


Books for the following months are:

20th Jan – We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (256p)
17th Feb – Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (384p)


See you next book!
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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.