A Hackerspace Book Club?

Yep! I don’t know about you, but I find myself reading endless piles of how-to books, technical journals, blog posts, and forums. While a lot of fun, I feel I’d do well to remember to dream from time to time. Afterall, how many objects first appeared in sci-fi books, films, or tv shows that have since become a reality? And have you heard of the role some of the cyberpunk novels played at the beginning of the hacker(space) movements? That makes them darn near cultural! And then there are those of us that just want to do something for fun, with no pressure, just because.

So here’s the plan. Last Friday of every month we meet in TOG, chat about the book, and pick a new one. If you can’t make it, or want to talk about the book in the in-between then stop by our boards forum. It’s free for anyone to join (so long as you haven’t been previously banned) and all posts are publicly accessible, even by those who choose not to sign up. It’s not mandatory, just a handy repository of information.

What kind of books will we be reading? Primarily; fiction. Otherwise, some classic sci-fi and cyberpunk books with a maker/hacker ethos, or that look at consequences of new tech. The idea is the members will suggest books, and whichever suggestion is most popular will be the one we will all read. You will be responsible for getting your own texts, and we won’t be asking how. But I will strongly suggest you visit your local library, or local (possibly second-hand) bookshops. It also doesn’t have to be printed, if you can find an audio-book version you are also most welcome to join in the fun!

But the first couple of meetings do present a couple of problems. The first meeting will be Friday, 25th November, from 7pm. We don’t have a lot of time to get much reading done, so I’m going to pick the shortest book on my list of suggestions. That is “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick, the book that inspired the ‘BladeRunner’ film. Then, we aren’t going to be meeting the end of December, so instead I propose a two-month reading block, and will suggest the longest book on the list, “Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson.

So, to summerise. The book for this month is “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick. We will meet Friday, 25th November, from 7pm in TOG to chat about it, and pick another book. At the moment I’m suggesting “Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson, but it will be up the attendees to decide. The next meet-up then will be Friday, 27th January, from 7pm in TOG. And if you can’t make any of the meet-ups, you can catch up on choices/discussions here.