May Book Club

The next meeting of the TOG Book Club is 7:30pm, Friday 30th May 2014, and we’ll be reading Embassytown by China Miéville

The plot of the novel surrounds the town of Embassytown, the native alien residents known as Ariekei, their Language, and the human interaction with them. The novel was well reviewed and won the 2012 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

Big thanks to everyone who came to our April Book Club and read The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi.

All are welcome to come and chat about the book (members & non-members).

April Book Club

The next meeting of the TOG Book Club is 7:30pm, Friday 25th April 2014, and we’ll be reading The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

The Quantum Thief is the debut science fiction novel by Hannu Rajaniemi and the first novel in a planned trilogy featuring Jean le Flambeur. It was published in Britain by Gollancz in 2010, and by Tor in 2011 in the US. It is a heist story, set in a futuristic solar system, that features a protagonist modeled on Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief of Maurice Leblanc.

The novel was nominated for the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel, and was second runner-up for the 2011 Campbell Memorial Award.

Big thanks to everyone who came to our February Book Club and read The Bridge by Ian Banks.

All are welcome to come and chat about the book (members & non-members).

February Book Club

The next meeting of the TOG Book Club is Friday 28th February 2014, and we’ll be reading Rainbows End by Vernon Vinge.

Rainbows End is a 2006 science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge. It was awarded the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The book is set in San Diego, California, in 2025, in a variation of the fictional world Vinge explored in his 2002 Hugo-winning novella “Fast Times at Fairmont High” and 2004’s “Synthetic Serendipity”. Vinge has tentative plans for a sequel, picking up some of the loose threads left at the end of the novel.

The many technological advances depicted in the novel suggest that the world is undergoing ever-increasing change, perhaps destined for a technological singularity, a recurring subject in Vinge’s writing (both fiction and non-fiction).

Big thanks to everyone who came to our January Book Club and read Old Man’s War by John Scalzi.

All are welcome to come and chat about the book (members & non-members).

Book Club Resurrection

After popular demand the Book Club will be restarting. Friday, 25th October, from 7pm. It’s a very informal affair, and anyone is welcome to attend. (Bring your favourite tea.)

We’ve learnt from our past problems; this time around we have at least two people willing to lead the discussions, and it was proclaimed that no book shall exceed 400 pages in length. The first meet-up won’t have a book to be read, instead just pop along with suggestions as to what to read for next time! And, if you have one, bring along your ereader for a discussion about their merits and drawbacks, versus paper books (and maybe even audio books).

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.