Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Science Fiction Book Discussion Group

We started a new activity this year to go along with our "Are You Prepared... for the END?" series of programs.  Our Science Fiction book group was themed for this first year - all books about an apocalypse of some sort.  We started with One Second After which explored the devastation that an EMP would cause to the USA.  We followed that with the classic, A Canticle for Leibowitz, then the collection of short apocalyptic fiction, Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse in June.

For out August Discussion, we switched back to novel format with another classic, George R. Stewart's Earth Abides, wherein a plague has wiped out mankind (for the most part.)

Our latest discussion, on the 4th of October, was about the 1985 Larry Niven / Jerry Pournelle novel, Footfall, with an alien invasion theme.  At our discussion, I think we agreed that we had been depressed just about enough having spent the better part of the year reading about the many possible ways the end of mankind might be achieved.  However, we haven't made it past our tongue-in-cheek "deadline" of December 21st of this year, the end of another cycle on the mesoamerican long-count calendar.

Sticking with our theme, we've decided to round out the apocalyptic year with Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  This book spawned a series of sequels, a radio program, film and stage adaptations, a video game, comics, and much, much more.  While the Earth gets blasted to make way for a galactic freeway, the adventure thankfully doesn't depend on the doom-and-gloom reality of the other works we've read.

Which brings me to the end.  Well, not really the end so much as the beginning for the rest of the SF book group's existence.  We will meet monthly in 2013 and read a variety of SF and fantasy - titles TBD.  If you read this and are interested in joining (and we would love to expand the group), contact me directly at gwamsley@hutchpl.org.

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