The Other Worlds Book Club
The Other Worlds Book Club reads and discusses fresh sci-fi titles.
Meets the Third Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM.
New members are always welcome!
Books Inc. Campbell
The Pruneyard Schopping Center
1875 S. Bascom Ave. #600
March 2020 Selection: When young adventurer Laios and his company are attacked and soundly thrashed by a dragon deep in a dungeon, the party loses all its money and provisions...and a member! They're eager to go back and save her, but there is just one problem: If they set out with no food or coin to speak of, they're sure to starve on the way! But Laios comes up with a brilliant idea: "Let's eat the monsters!" Slimes, basilisks, and even dragons...none are safe from the appetites of these dungeon-crawling gourmands!
February 2020 Selection: A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer T-Nehisi Coates (BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME) takes the helm, confronting T'Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before. When a superhuman terrorist group that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil. If Wakanda is to survive, it must adapt--but can its monarch, one in a long line of Black Panthers, survive the necessary change? Heavy lies the head that wears the cowl!
January 2020 Selection: "Deft, tense and atmospheric, compellingly immersive and wildly original." --The New York Times
The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.
Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
November 2019 Selection: "Brilliant...it is all that Dune was, and maybe a little more."-- Galaxy Magazine
"The perfect companion piece to Dune...fascinating."--Challenging Destiny
Praise for Dune
"I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings."--Arthur C. Clarke
"A portrayal of an alien society more complete and deeply detailed than any other author in the field has managed...a story absorbing equally for its action and philosophical vistas."-- The Washington Post Book World
"One of the monuments of modern science fiction."-- Chicago Tribune
"Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious."--Robert A. Heinlein
"Herbert's creation of this universe, with its intricate development and analysis of ecology, religion, politics and philosophy, remains one of the supreme and seminal achievements in science fiction."-- Louisville Times
October 2019 Selection: A Darker Shade of Magic, from #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Antari--magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes--Red London--and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.
September 2019 Selection: "A phantasmagorical picaresque through a lushly realised underworld, populated by a grotesque bestiary of fantastical creatures. . . . This twisty example of the new weird genre examines love, loss and loyalty, packing skilful world-building and a powerful emotional punch into a little over 200 pages."--The Guardian
She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.
Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.
The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic--the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses--and devastatingly personal--a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.
August 2019 Selection: The place, New York City; the time, the very near future. The streets of Gotham are swarming with self-driving cars, which are now a reality, and the competition between two entrepreneurs for this cutthroat futuristic business grows increasingly fierce. But when the escalating technological warfare produces superintelligent AI computers that use data to decide who should live and die, the results are explosive . . . and deadly.
It is left to young Naomi Sumner, inventor of the virtual world in which the AIs train, to recognize that the supercomputers are developing goals of their own--goals for which they are willing to kill. But can she stop these inhuman machines before it is too late? More importantly, will she stop them?
Three Laws Lethal takes the reader on a wild ride in a world that is still imaginary . . . for now . . .
June 2019 Selection: That's what NYC cop Barry Sutton is learning, as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome--a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.
That's what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It's why she's dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.
As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face to face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease--a force that attacks not just our minds, but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.
But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?
At once a relentless pageturner and an intricate science-fiction puzzlebox about time, identity, and memory, Recursion is a thriller as only Blake Crouch could imagine it--and his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date.
May 2019 Selection: On a planet with six suns, night is about to fall for the first time in two thousand years . . .
The planet Kalgash is on the brink of chaos--but only a handful of people realize it. Kalgash knows only the perpetual light of day; for more than two millennia, some combination of its six suns has lit up the sky. But twilight is now gathering. Soon the suns will set all at one--and the terrifying splendor of Nightfall will call forth a madness that signals the end of civilization
Isaac Asimov's short story "Nightfall" first appeared in 1941. It has since become recognized as a classic, its author a legend. But the short story isn't the whole story. Now, Dr. Asimov has teamed with multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robert Silverberg to explore and expand one of the most awe-inspiring concepts in the history of science fiction.
In this novel, you will witness Nightfall--and much more.
You will learn what happens at Daybreak.
April 2019 Selection: In this stunning space opera, a warship's AI becomes trapped in a human body, her goals reduced to one: revenge. Winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke awards
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.
Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.
Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.
March 2019 Selection: For more than two decades, the sight of the Doctor Fid's powered armor has struck fear into the hearts of hero and civilian alike. But when a personal tragedy motivates Doctor Fid to investigate a crime, a plot is uncovered so horrific that even he is taken aback.
Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must race against time if he is to have any hope of confronting the approaching threat. Every battle takes its toll...but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.
Fid's Crusade is a supervillainous tale of rage, grief, guilt and violence. Also, of humanity rediscovered.
February 2019 Selection: To save his daughter, he'll go anywhere--and any-when... Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career...as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler's brain. Until one afternoon, his "rescue" team arrives--eighteen years too late.Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he's only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can't remember.Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter's very existence is at risk. It'll take one final trip across time to save Miranda--even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father's heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.
November 2018 Selection: For suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic thrillers, Wool is more than a self-published ebook phenomenon―it's the new standard in classic science fiction.
In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo's rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.
His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.
October 2018 Selection: A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved--its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand's code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What's clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history's most perplexing discovery--and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
September 2018 Selection: Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki?son of a giant?blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman's deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
August 2018 Selection: Hubert Vernon Rudolph Clayton Irving Wilson Alva Anton Jeff Harley Timothy Curtis Cleveland Cecil Ollie Edmund Eli Wiley Marvin Ellis Espinoza--known to his friends as Hubert, Etc--was too old to be at that Communist party.
But after watching the breakdown of modern society, he really has no where left to be--except amongst the dregs of disaffected youth who party all night and heap scorn on the sheep they see on the morning commute. After falling in with Natalie, an ultra-rich heiress trying to escape the clutches of her repressive father, the two decide to give up fully on formal society--and walk away.
After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life--food, clothing, shelter--from a computer, there seems to be little reason to toil within the system.
It's still a dangerous world out there, the empty lands wrecked by climate change, dead cities hollowed out by industrial flight, shadows hiding predators animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, more people join them. Then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. Now it's war - a war that will turn the world upside down.
Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation science fiction thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years...and the very human people who will live their consequences.
July 2018 Selection: The concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor's Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning BINTI.
Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.
Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.
Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene--though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives--and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.
June 2018 Selection: The thrilling sequel to the Hugo and Nebula-winning Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, and a finalist for the 2018 Hugo and Nommo Awards
It's been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she found friendship in the unlikeliest of places.
And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.
But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.
After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?
April 2018 Selection: With wry humor and penetrating satire, Flatland takes us on a mind-expanding journey into a different world to give us a new vision of our own. A. Square, the slightly befuddled narrator, is born into a place limited to two dimensions--irrevocably flat--and peopled by a hierarchy of geometrical forms. In a Gulliver-like tour of his bizarre homeland, A. Square spins a fascinating tale of domestic drama and political turmoil, from sex among consenting triangles to the intentional subjugation of Flatland's females. He tells of visits to Lineland, the world of one dimension, and Pointland, the world of no dimension. But when A. Square dares to speak openly of a third, or even a fourth, dimension, his tragic fate climaxes a brilliant parody of Victorian society. An underground favorite since its publication in England in1884, Flatland is as prophetic a science fiction classic as the works of H. G. Wells, introducing aspects of relativity and hyperspace years before Einstein's famous theories. And it does so with wonderful, enduring enchantment.
March 2018 Selection: The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.
Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George--publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide--and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite--heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus's ancestors--they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn--led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb--which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his--and the whole Turner clan's--destruction.
A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism--the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.