Posts Tagged ‘scifi’

Manchester Sci-fi Book Club – The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Sci-Fi Book Club

Sci-Fi Book Club

Title: Sci-Fi Book Club
Location: MadLab
Description: A book club for fans of science fiction.
Date: 15-10-2013
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales

This month we’re reading The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales by H.P. Lovecraft.

Long after his death, H. P. Lovecraft continues to enthrall readers with his gripping tales of madness and cosmic terror, and his effect on modern horror fiction continues to be felt — Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker have acknowledged his influence. His unique contribution to American literature was a melding of Poe’s traditional supernaturalism with the emerging genre of science fiction. Originally appearing in pulp magazines like Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, Lovecraft’s work is now being regarded as the most important supernatural fiction of the twentieth century.Lovecraft’s biographer and preeminent interpreter, S. T. Joshi, has prepared this volume of eighteen stories — from the early classics like “The Outsider” and “Rats in the Wall” to his mature masterworks, “The Call of Cthulhu” and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” The first paperback to include the definitive corrected texts, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories reveals the development of Lovecraft’s mesmerizingnarrative style, and establishes him as a canonical — and visionary — American writer.

Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club Contacts

You can contact us via Twitter @mcrsf_madlab using #mcrsf

Keep up to date with Manchester Sci-Fi book club posts at Madlab

We also have a group on Google which we would encourage you to join.

Manchester SciFi Book Club on Google+

Next Sci-Fi Book:

This month we’re deciding upon our next round of books. Take a look at the suggestions made at last month’s meeting and vote now!

Sci-Fi Book Club – Brave New World

Monday, September 16th, 2013
Sci-Fi Book Club

Sci-Fi Book Club

Title: Sci-Fi Book Club – Brave New World
Location: MadLab
Description: A book club for fans of science fiction.
Date: 15-10-2013
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This month we are reading the classic dystopian novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. – “After Ford” – in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and operant conditioning that combine to profoundly change society.

We will also be discussing ideas for future books to read, so please feel free to make suggestions!

Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club Contacts

You can contact us via Twitter @mcrsf_madlab using #mcrsf

Keep up to date with Manchester Sci-Fi book club posts at Madlab

We also have a group on Google which we would encourage you to join.

Manchester SciFi Book Club on Google+

Next Sci-Fi Book:

  • Nov 19th – The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales by H.P. Lovecraft*

*There are several versions of this book and not all of them include the Other Weird Tales, so please try to purchase the version published 25/07/02; ISBN 13: 9780141187068, thanks!

See you next book!

Sci-Fi Book Club – Rendezvous with Rama

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Sci-Fi Book Club

Sci-Fi Book Club

Title: Sci-Fi Book Club
Location: MadLab
Description: A book club for fans of science fiction.
Date: 17-09-2013
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke

This month we will be reading Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke.

This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is widely regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke’s bibliography. It is considered a science fiction classic, and is particularly seen as a key hard science fiction text.

Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club Contacts

You can contact us via Twitter @mcrsf_madlab using #mcrsf

Keep up to date with Manchester Sci-Fi book club posts at Madlab

We also have a group on Google which we would encourage you to join.

Next Sci-Fi Book:

  • Oct 15th – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

SciFi Books for Following Months:

  • Nov 19th – The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales by H.P. Lovecraft*

*There are several versions of this book and not all of them include the Other Weird Tales, so please try to purchase the version published 25/07/02; ISBN 13: 9780141187068, thanks!

See you next book!

SciFi Discussion – Reamde

Monday, January 21st, 2013

On Tuesday 15th January Manchester SciFi Book Club braved the cold and met up at the Madlab to discuss Reamde by Neal Stephenson. This is the second Neal Stephenson book that we’ve read, the first being Snow Crash.

Reamde is a technothriller novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2011. The story, set in the present day, centers on the plight of a hostage and the ensuing efforts of family and new acquaintances, many of them associated with a fictional MMORPG [Massively multiplayer online role-playing game], to rescue her as her various captors drag her about the globe. Topics covered range from online activities including gold farming and social networking to the criminal methods of the Russian mafia and Islamic terrorists.

Did We Like It?

Overwhelming everyone liked it, with one exception who wasn’t sure. With a generous 1042 pages there were a few people who were unable to finish Reamde. Although it is published as one book, it does feel like it could be split into 2 or 3 separate books.

Whilst it was a little slow at first, the pace soon picked up and accelerated to through the book. It was even a little rushed at times. There was plenty of action throughout and we were surprised that it has not already been made into a film.

Character Assassination

The characters were interesting with some being more developed than others. We did feel that the manner of describing characters was an info dump or even statistics read out from Trump cards. Richard’s back story was revealed in a better way, as it evolved all the way through the story. Sometimes characters were referred to by there names and other times by their nicknames, which caused a bit of confusion.

We liked that situations in the story made some of the characters personalities change. We also liked it when Peter got shot and killed, since he was treacherous and self-serving! Although none of the characters really stood out, there were plenty of characters that we liked, such as Csongor, Sokolov, Seamus, Yuxia and Egdod. We couldn’t really identify with any of the characters, although worryingly there was something of an familiarisation with chief terrorist Jones, largely because he was British.

There were not many moments where Zula had any control over what was happening, but when she did take control her decisions were pivotal.

Is It SciFi?

No. Not only was there an absence of robots and spaceships, there was nothing relating to science or technology which is not reality. Its a thriller that is fact based. There were no giant ideas or themes, Reamde is very much about the story.

Whilst Reamde is a great story, we felt that it was a bit contrived in places, for example when the terrorist gets killed by the mountain lion, how everyone got nicely paired off and how the Jihadists happened to be living above the hackers.

We liked the effort at describing and creating the game of T’Rain, the Apostropocalipse, the different ways in which the Americans & Chinese played T’Rain and the way the bandits piggybacked on the hackers money making scheme. It was interesting how the terrorists secretly flew out of Chinese airspace and over the Atlantic to Canada. We liked the description of the culture shock for Sokolov and the Jihadists when they were in America, especially when they reached the gun aisle in the supermarket. Richard mentioning that you could enter a Walmart store in one location and then emerge from another Walmart somewhere else entirely was a little gem.

It was proposed that we rate Reamde on the basis of “How deep is your vassal network” but we ended up scoring out of 5. Reamde scored a respectable average of 3.35.

Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club Contacts

You can contact us via Twitter @mcrsf_madlab using #mcrsf

Keep up to date with Manchester Sci-Fi book club posts at Madlab

We also have a group on Google which we would encourage you to join.

Next Sci-Fi Book:

  • February 19th – Behold the Man by Michael Morcock

SciFi Books for Following Months:

  • March 19th – Neverness by David Zindell
  • April 16th – Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
  • May 21st – The Truth (Discworld Novel 25) by Terry Pratchett

SciFi Comic

It has been suggested that we read SciFi Comic Y:The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, in collaboration with the Mad Graphic Novel Group.

See you next book!

SciFi Discussion – The Year of the Flood

Monday, November 26th, 2012

On Tuesday 20th November we discussed The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.

Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners – a religion devoted to the melding of science, religion, and nature – has long predicted a disaster. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women remain: Ren, a young dancer locked away in a high-end sex club, and Toby, a former God’s Gardener, who barricades herself inside a luxurious spa. Have others survived? Ren’s bio-artist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers? Not to mention the CorpSeCorps, the shadowy policing force of the ruling powers… As Adam One and his beleaguered followers regroup, Ren and Toby emerge into an altered world, where nothing – including the animal life – is predictable.

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