Book List

All 2019 Book of the Month February January 2018 December November October September August July Movie of the Month June May April Short Stories March 2017 2016 2015 2014

The Forever War

So glad to catch up and talk about the psychotropic, dissociative trip that was The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch with all you Book Clubbers. For this month, we thought we'd take a bit of a different tack. The book selected for February is the Hugo AND Nebula award-winning The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Published in 1974, the novel follows newly conscripted soldier William Mandella as he fights in and returns from an intergalactic war. Interesting connection: Both this and Palmer Eldrich feature the UN as the predominant military force that guides humanity. Curious to see if there are…
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The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

This month's book chosen by the group is the Philip K Dick novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. It's a favorite of a couple of our members and we're looking forward to diving in. Escapism, drug empires, mysterious industrialists, and much more in store with this story from Dick in his prime. A solid description of the novel can be found here for fantasyliterature.com. Three Stigmata is a wild ride through the looking glass. Initially published in 1965, it artfully blends together the themes that were dominating the day. Namely Dick investigates rising consumerism and explores the inner workings…
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Lagoon

We are so excited to dive into Lagoon by Nigerian-American female author Nnedi Okorafor. This unique novel is a love letter of sorts to the city of Lagos. It puts the cultural and racial dynamics of this historic city up as a framework to support an interesting story about contact with extraterrestrial life. Okorafor then mixes in a heavy dose of African mythology and tradition to bring us a multifaceted narrative told from multiple perspectives. This may also be one of the most compressed timelines that we've read in Book Club. The entire narrative takes place over just a couple…
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The Demolished Man

The novel selected for the November 2018 Book of the Month is the Alfred Bester classic The Demolished Man. This "inverted detective story" follows successful business man Ben Reich through an obsessive plot to protect his business and market share at all costs. It's a trip into the psyche of the 1950's business man who is conspiring with his associates to keep the thought police in the dark. Book of the Month: The Demolished ManAuthor: Alfred BesterAvailable at Amazon, Audible, the Strand or your local books storeNext Meeting: Sunday, November 18thLocation: Woods and Ales - 234 W 14th Street, New York, NY While a bit dated in it's social views,…
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Hyperion

We've got a doozy for you this time around bookclubbers! So much to read, think, and talk about that we have decided to give it two months. Dan Simmons' Nebula Award-winning novel follows the pilgrimage of seven people to the far away world where they hope to meet a god-like creature. Each have their own story and their own purpose for traveling to the mystic city of Hyperion. Travel with this unlikely band of companions on this incredible adventure to the beginning (or the end) of life as they know it. This Canterbury Tales-style horror science fiction book has it…
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The War of the Worlds

After contemplating the existence and intention in our intergalactic neighbors, we decided to take a different tack on alien visitors this month. What if, after landing, they made their intentions abundantly clear? What if it was bad for the human race? Like lay waste to everything that moves kind of bad? Is that their only  HG Wells' 1897 novel The War of the Worlds paints a portrait of turn of the century England that is both vivid and relatable. This science fiction staple imagines how a pre-internet society might interact with a technologically advanced species from beyond the stars! This is one…
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Contact

This month's selection has us gazing at the stars. The excellent Jodie Foster version of the our book, Contact, is pretty darn good, but I find plenty of new concepts and characters in the novel. Written by the world-renown thinker and galactic explorer Carl Sagan (awesome articles here, here, and here on Sagan if you need a refresher), it illustrates and discusses the pitfall of putting nationalism over globalism, something that is still front and center on all our minds today. Also, miigghhttt be a big plug for his research and the SETI Institute (but we're cool with that). We're happy…
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The Left Hand of Darkness

Thanks to all of you who voted for this month's book. You've overwhelmingly selected Ursula K. Le Guin's classic Left Hand of Darkness (1970). As far as stories about alien races, this one is just about at the top of the heap. Gender politics, race, societal norms, and more are woven through a narrative that takes us through the human and alien experience. While some of us read this in early 2015, our membership has grown so much (by about 800%) since then and Left Hand an essential enough book that we're coming back around to it. It's a classic and not…
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The Sirens of Titan

Greetings all! Apologies for the late notification everybody, a quick note that the new book is usually posted as the new event a couple of days before this monthly email. If you're ready to get going on a new book and haven't heard from us yet, check Meetup! We're back with a classic sci fi novel for this month's book. Kurt Vonnegut is a prolific writer known for his dark sense of humor, satirical approach to science fiction, and a unique approach to storytelling. You know him from stories like Slaughterhouse Five, Breakfast of Champions, and Cat's Cradle. This month's selection, The Sirens of Titan got an A rating from…
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The Best American Sci Fi & Fantasy 2017

  This month we are keeping a beloved Sci Fi Book Club tradition alive. For the third year in a row will be reading the newest edition of a short story collection called The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. It has been a Club favorite each year and takes a good look at the current state of science fiction by highlighting some new and established writers in the genre. Stories are selected by John Joseph Adams and a new guest editor (this year is Charles Yu, best known for How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe) every year. Each have to meet certain…
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Childhood’s End

This month's book comes to us from Arthur C. Clark, well known for 2001: A Space Odyssey and the previously read The Sands of Mars. Clark is a staple in science fiction and one of his most famous books bridges two themes that we are interested in right now: the end of the world and space.   Childhood's End is a sweeping narrative that begins when an alien race arrives on Earth. Without saying too much, it takes a good look at how humanity can come together, or not, in the face of a new power. For a few of us, it will be…
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Annihilation

Let's keep rolling with the apocalypse theme, this is fun! With the feature film coming out this month, it was time that we cross Annihilation off our list. A couple members have read it, some of us have wanted to but haven't gotten the chance, and from what we hear, the book stands up better than the film adaption probably will. This short intro from The New York Times picks at the elements that got this title on our radars: "A clandestine government agency called the Southern Reach has sent 11 mostly failed expeditions into Area X, where an environmental catastrophe…
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Oryx and Crake

It's the end of the world as we know it. So, why not investigate how some authors think it could really happen? With how well received our multiple reality book sequence was, let's pivot and take a look at the apocalypse!   We're starting off with a trusted name here at Book Club. In Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, we see what happens when science is taken too far, and the effects it has on society as a whole. It is a unique perspective and is masterfully written. Book of the Month: ORYX AND CRAKE Author: Margaret Atwood Available at Amazon, The Strand or your…
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First 15 Lives of Harry August

Now we're really moving! Our journey through time and reality is at full stride with this month's book. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August  is a "a page-turning thriller that packs a ton of clever plot twists and world-building that you just want to lose yourself in" (io9). It is one part Groundhog Day, one part Highlander, and a lot of fun. 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.…
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Dune

Our foray into multiple realities continues this month with Frank Herbert's novel Dune. Political intrigue, prophecy, and some sweet knife skills come together in this sci fi classic. While a bit tangental to the string theory trip we've been on, it deftly portrays overlapping realities and they're consequences. It's a favorite book for us here at Book Club and we're confident that you'll enjoy it, too. The audiobook for 'Dune' is also highly recommended. It's a full radio play with multiple actors and high production value. Quick word of caution, there have been a couple of movie adaptions to Dune. None…
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Dark Matter

We have decided to embark on a concentration of sorts. We will be focusing the next few months on books that deal with multiple realities and investigate time as a central focal point. Let's kick it off with a contemporary trip through the door.   This month's book is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (no relation to the TV show on the SyFy channel). You may have heard of Blake Crouch in the past as he is also the author of the Wayward Pines trilogy.   Book of the month: Dark Matter Author: Blake Crouch Available atAmazon, at The Strand, or any local…
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Ready Player One

This month's book is a popular contemporary science fiction book that is one part eXistenZ and one part Goonies. Ready Player One has a cult following and is coming to theaters in 2018 thanks to Stephen Spielberg and Simon Pegg. It's supposed to be a real page-turner, which I think we could all use coming off last month's book :) "Layered with inside jokes and sly references that will appeal to a wide range of readers, Ready Player One is a smart, funny thriller that both celebrates and critiques [pop] culture... The puzzles are intriguing, the action is intense... [definitely…
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Physics of the Future

For April's book, we're jumping into the future. The very realistic and attainable future. Physics of the Future, written by one of the great thinkers of the 21st century, Dr. Michio Kaku. You may have seen Dr. Kaku on any number of PBS documentaries about the universe, your brain, or the perception of time. He's bright and funny and has mastered the ability to break down complex ideas into digestible nuggets of scientific knowledge. April's Book of the Month: Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 (2012) Available: Most book…
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Best American Sci Fi & Fantasy 2016

We're super excited to get into March's book, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016. We read the 2015 collection and it ended up being one of the group's favorite reads of the year. Everything from a black hole opening up next to Earth to militarized mermaids. Should be a good piece of escapism, enjoy! You can find out more about John Joseph Adams and the series on their website. It's all short form fiction published within the last year and looks to be really diverse in it's offerings again this year. Book of the Month: The Best American Science…
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A Handmaid’s Tale

The United States government has been upturned and women's rights are in danger... and that's just the starting point for this month's book! With the current state of affairs in politics in mind and our twinkle of hope that was last weekend's historic demonstrations in mind, we have selected The Handmaiden's Tale (1985) by amazing author and all around badass Margaret Atwood. We are really looking forward to getting everybody's insight on this book. Beyond this being a timely and pertinent book, it is a true classic among contemporary science fiction. It is well paced, engaging, and shockingly believable. Not to mention…
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Sands of Mars

We enjoyed our trip to the red planet with The Martian Chronicles so much that we've decided to stick around for a little while. Heck, maybe we'll just blow up the ship and have a picnic. Let's revisit the surface in a whole new way with this month's book is The Sands of Mars (1951) by Arthur C. Clark. The Sands of Mars tells the story of Martin Gibson, an acclaimed science fiction writer on his first trip to Mars for vacation. "...Once there, the intrepid author causes one problem after another as he stumbles upon Mars's most carefully hidden secrets and…
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The Martian Chronicles

For December's book, we wanted to be conscious of the holidays and choose something both engaging and fairly short. So we looked back and tracked down one of the quicker classics that has some serious clout.   I'm happy to announce that December's book is Ray Bradbury's the Martian Chronicles (1950).   Bradbury's fingerprint can be seen throughout modern science fiction and this is the one of the publications that really put him on the map, along with Fahrenheit 451 and the Illustrated Man. Space madness, aliens, and so much more await you in this collection of short stories.  …
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Blindness

This month's book is Blindness by the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner José Saramago.   Here is the link to buy it on Amazon but there were also 6 used copies at the Strand when we bought ours this week. It is an engrossing read that lends further prospective into the societal norms and hangups from another corner of the world. Hopefully Saramago's solution is not calling a distant race to destroy humanity like SOME OTHER AUTHORS.
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The Three-Body Problem

September's pick is The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Recipient of the 2015 Hugo award, this first installment in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy (Chinese readers generally refer to the series by the title of this first book). The Three-Body Problem "spans multiple decades and characters, but it zooms in on... two scientists in the very near future. An astrophysicist with a haunted past... and a nanotech engineer [who has] been swept up in a virtual-reality, online video game called Three Body that's so deeply metaphysical, it's begun to resemble a cult. Either of these premises alone would be make for a rich SF novel,…
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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Since some of us needed extra time on Mindscan, we thought it would be a fun idea to further explore the themes of identity and individuality through a couple other lenses. If you're ready for a new book, move on to the classic the novella Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde by Robert Louise Stevenson.   Either way, we hope that you'll also take some time to watch the 2006 Sci-Fi drama The Prestige starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale this month, as well. The book can be found here and here. While the movie unfortunately is not available on Netflix streaming, it is on Amazon.... or the…
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Mindscan

July's Book of the Month is Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer (2005). It's got the classic cheese of good sci fi and the contemporary sensibility and subject matter that makes Sawyer great (check out Neanderthal's Paralax if you have not yet). "When his father suffers a brain hemorrhage, Jake Sullivan, heir a Canadian brewery fortune, discovers he has the same rare, hereditary disease. Fear of an early death inspires him... to undergo a Mindscan, an expensive but apparently fool-proof technique in which the entire brain is scanned and downloaded into a technologically superior mechanical body that doesn’t breathe, eat, sleep or…
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The Time Machine & Island of Dr. Moreau

Since April/May's book was so contemporary, the group decided we should mix it up and visit the past with a couple of classics. I am excited to say this month's books are two HG Wells science fiction staples, The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Feel free to read either or both. Both are quite short, together clocking in under 300 pages. There are a few collections that have both of these stories and there are plenty of options online for these books, but we recommend supporting your local book store. There is a very good chance you'll find them in…
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Best American Sci Fi & Fantasy 2015

This month the book is The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015. Billed as one of the best collections of short stories for 2015, we couldn't help but select this. "Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor—a leading writer in the field—then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected—and most popular—of its kind." via John Joseph Adams
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The Water Knife

December's Book of the Month is The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. The People of Sand and Slag was a real strange trip but well worth the ride. By all accounts, Bacigalupi has reigned it in a bit for The Water Knife and presents us with a world within reach. Water wars in the Southwest US from a number of different perspectives. Among these characters, we meet "...Angel Velasquez: detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel 'cuts' water for his boss, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet,…
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Flatlands

This month we've decided to go for the gold. We have a novel (Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie) AND a novella (Flatlands by Joseph Abbott). Both stories directly address perception and reality. One from the perspective of an outlier of society and the other, a member of a subservient race. Both investigating what modern society can be and both totally nuts. Enjoy! We thought it might be fun to stoke this fire with a little something extra this month. Our Movie of the Month is Lawnmower Man (1992) directed by Brett Leonard (I recommend the Director's Cut). Not required, but interesting to consider as…
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Ancillary Justice

This month we've decided to go for the gold. We have a novel (Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie) AND a novella (Flatlands by Joseph Abbott). Both stories directly address perception and reality. One from the perspective of an outlier of society and the other, a member of a subservient race. Both investigating what modern society can be and both totally nuts. Enjoy! We thought it might be fun to stoke this fire with a little something extra this month. Our Movie of the Month is Lawnmower Man (1992) directed by Brett Leonard (I recommend the Director's Cut). Not required, but interesting to consider as…
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The Inverted World

August's book of the month is Inverted World by Christopher Priest. A city winched along tracks through a land full of hostile tribes. Rails must be freshly laid ahead of the city and carefully removed in its wake. But if the city doesn't move, it will fall further and further behind, bringing humanity closer and closer to the crushing gravitational field that has transformed life on Earth. Something different that we can't help but dive in to. Here's the Amazon link to get your copy. We also have a movie this month. What is reality? Who decides? We recommend the 1999 David Cronenberg…
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The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

This month's book is the Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. A direct follow-up to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe takes the world that Adams build and expands it's borders event more.
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Parable of the Talents

We couldn't help ourselves. Parable of the Sower was such a good read that we had to get back to this series. April's book of the month is Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. No spoilers here, let's get at it. Enjoy!
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The Left Hand of Darkness

A great read for the winter months, February's book is The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. Life, gender politics, and much more in store in this 1970 novel that won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards and established Le Guin's status as a major author of science fiction.
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Parable of the Sower

The November 2014 Book of the Month is Parable of the Sower by the incredible Octavia Butler. Not only is she a gifted writer, she is also one of this generation's flag bearers for contemporary Science Fiction. Then there is the circumstances of her death. We can't quite say, but there's something fishy there. Might be suicide, might be a murder plot to silence a strong, independent thinker. Just sayin'.
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The Illustrated Man

This month's book is The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. A book of eighteen science fiction short stories by Ray Bradbury that explores the nature of mankind. A recurring theme throughout the eighteen stories is the conflict of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people.
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Short Stories

The first selection for Sci Fi Book Club was a collection of different short stories. A bit out of the ordinary now, but definitely a good jumping off point! Selections were: Wonders of the Universe by Andreas Eshbach, The People of Sand and Slag by Paolo Bacigalupi, Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, Blood Child by Octavia Butler, and EPICAC by Kurt Vonnegut.
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This Month's Book Club Selection

We present options for a new book at our in-person meeting in Manhattan every month. Stories vary greatly in subject and publish date, generally switch back and forth between classic and contemporary.
New picks are posted on Meetup within a week of selection.

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The Sci Fi Book Club

Brooklyn, NY 11221

contact@thescifibookclub.com

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