Manchester SciFi Book Club meet on the third Tuesday of every month to discuss a different science fiction book. The meetings are free to attend so, if you’re a science fiction reader, come on down. Right now, they’re taking a vote for their next round of books to read. Below is a list of the books, and a link to the poll. Get voting!
- Player One Ready by Ernest Cline (384 pages)
- Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (384 pages)
- Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon (384 pages)
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (318 pages)
- Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton (320 pages)
- A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur by Mark Twain (272 pages)
- Turbulance by Samit Basu (368 pages)
- Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (400 pages)
- Protector by Larry Niven (218 pages)
- We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (256 pages)
- Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days by Alastair Reynolds (296 pages)
- Shikasta Re: Colonised Planet 5 by Doris Lessing (384 pages)
Vote now or click through for more about each book…
Player One Ready
by Ernest Cline (384p)
It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. 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.
by Daniel H Wilson (384p)
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.
Trading in Danger
by Elizabeth Moon (384p)
The first book of an exciting new military sci fi series that features a swashbuckling spaceship-captain heroine who mixes commerce with combat. “Filled with fast-paced action and well-conceived characters.
Old Man’s War
by John Scalzi (318p)
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding. Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets. John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine and what he will become is far stranger.
Manhattan in Reverse
by Peter F Hamilton (320p)
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.
A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur
by Mark Twain (272p)
Hank Morgan finds himself transported to Dark Ages England where he is immediately captured and sentenced to death at Camelot. Fortunately, he s quick-witted, and in the process of saving his life he turns himself into a celebrity of the highest magnitude winning himself the position.
by Samit Basu (368p)
When Aman Sen gets off a plane from London to Delhi he discovers that he, and everyone on his flight, now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. Aman wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others.
Beggars in Spain
by Nancy Kress (400p)
In a world where the slightest edge can mean the difference between success and failure, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent … and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep. Once considered interesting anomalies, now Leisha and the other “Sleepless” are outcasts: victims of blind hatred, political repression, and shocking mob violence meant to drive them from human society … and, ultimately, from Earth itself. But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her “gift” – a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom.
by Larry Niven (218p)
Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his 32,000 years – his mission, to save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some 2 1/2 million years before . . . Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one and all, and Brennan was a smuggler. The Belt worlds had been tracking the Pak ship for days – Brennan figured to meet that ship first . . . He was never seen again – at least not by those alive at the time.
by Yevgeny Zamyatin (256p)
“We” is set in the One State, where all live for the collective good and individual freedom does not exist. The novel takes the form of the diary of mathematician D-503, who, to his shock, experiences the most disruptive emotion imaginable: love. At once satirical and sobering – and now available in a powerful new translation – “We” is both a rediscovered classic and a work of tremendous relevance to our own times.
Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
by Alastair Reynolds (296p)
Diamond DogsThe planet Golgotha – supposedly lifeless – resides in a remote star system, far from those inhabited by human colonists. It is home to an enigmatic machinelike structure called the Blood Spire, which has already brutally and systematically claimed the lives of one starship crew that attempted to uncover its secrets. But nothing will deter Richard Swift from exploring this object of alien origin…Turquoise Days In the seas of Turquoise live the Pattern Jugglers, the amorphous, aquatic organisms capable of preserving the memories of any human swimmer who joins their collective consciousness. Naqi Okpik devoted her life to studying these creatures – and paid a high price for swimming among them. Now, she may be the only hope for the survival of the species – and of every person living on Turquoise.
Shikasta Re: Colonised Planet 5
by Doris Lessing (384p)
A disturbing allegory, centered around a planet called Shikasta, which bears remarkable similarities to Earth. Through time, a higher planet, Canopus, has documented the progress of Shikasta and tried to distract its inhabitants from the evil influence of the planet Shammat, but the Shikastans continue to hurl themselves toward annihilation.