Posts Tagged ‘scifi’

SciFi Discussion – Foundation

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Foundation Book Cover

On the 18th September we reviewed Foundation by Isaac Asimov. Published in 1951, it is the first book in the classic science fiction Foundation Trilogy.

The premise of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology (analogous to mathematical physics). Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone on a small scale. It works on the principle that the behaviour of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy, which has a population of quadrillions of humans, inhabiting millions of star systems). The larger the number, the more predictable is the future.

Using these techniques, Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. Seldon’s psychohistory also foresees an alternative where the intermittent period will last only one thousand years. To ensure his vision of a second great Empire comes to fruition, Seldon creates two Foundations—small, secluded havens of all human knowledge—at “opposite ends of the galaxy”. (more…)

SciFi Discussion – Embassytown

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Book cover of Embassytown by China Mieville

On Tuesday 21st we successfully navigated our way across the Immer to discuss Embassytown by China Mieville.

“Embassytown: a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe. Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts – who cannot lie. Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect the two communities. But an unimaginable new arrival has come to Embassytown. And when this Ambassador speaks, everything changes. Catastrophe looms. Avice knows the only hope is for her to speak directly to the alien Hosts. And that is impossible.”


SciFi Discussion – The Island of Dr Moreau

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Island of Dr Moreau book cover First published in 1896, The Island of Doctor Moreau was written by legendary author H. G. Wells.

The text of the novel is the narration of Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat who is left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, who creates sentient beings from animals via vivisection.

Did We Like It?

Most people finished reading it and liked it. There were criticisms about the science of turning animals into people and the general dreariness of the story.

Is It SciFi?

The science was vague without any real explanation and some of us thought it was more of a horror story than science fiction. Despite these niggles we felt that, yes, it is SciFi. We also thought that The Island of Dr Moreau was a book that has stood the test of time.

Sci Fi Book Club

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Sci Fi Book Club

Title: Sci Fi Book Club
Location: MadLab
Description: Book Club for Science Fiction Fans
Date: 16-10-2012
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00





SpecFic Writing Group

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Speculative Fiction Writing Group

Title: SpecFic Writing Group
Location: MadLab
Description: A group for writers interested in science fiction, weird fiction, slipstream, horror or fantasy.
Date: 13-06-2012
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:30

Welcome to the Manchester Speculative Fiction Writing Group!

We are a group of writers interested in science fiction, weird fiction, slipstream, horror and fantasy. We meet on the second Wednesday of every month to critique a sample of each other’s work.

Our members write everything from flash fiction to short stories to novellas to novels; single genre to cross-genre to subgenre (steampunk, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, hard-SF to name but a few).

Established in May 2010 we now have well over twenty members with five to ten members regularly attending each meeting. We are still open to new members, young or old, published or unpublished. If you’re interested just drop us an email via our website or join our Facebook group.

We use DropBox for sharing work a week in advance. There’s a 3000 word limit for short stories but we’re flexible about novel chapters (3500 or even 4000 is probably fine). Longer stories or novel chapters can be broken up and read over subsequent meetings. We use the Milford system as mentioned here for critiquing which, although it says it’s a ‘primer for SF workshops’, works well for any genre. See you around!