[bksvol-discuss] Next Meeting of the Science Fiction Club, Thursday, August 11, 2011

  • From: "Evan Reese" <mentat1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Bob Acosta" <boacosta@xxxxxxxxxxx>, <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <Sscifi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 14:06:52 -0400

Hello Folks,

We had another great discussion at our last meeting. Although not everyone 
liked it equally, we all enjoyed our book, House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds.

The next meeting of the Science Fiction club will be on Thursday, August 11, 
2011.

Time: 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific, and 01:00 UTC.

Place, Book Nook at:

http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rs7867a2369e0e

For this month, we shift focus from the far away in space and time to the very 
near future America. The book we're reading for the next meeting is Empire by 
Orson Scott Card.

This one's available from Bookshare at:

http://www.bookshare.org/browse/book/30304

and as a digital download from BARD at:

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.66281

Here's the NLS synopsis:

Unknown assailants attack the White House, killing the president and vice 
president and plunging the American Empire into a second civil war. As Right 
battles Left, a small group of special ops officers set out to reunite the 
country and find the saboteurs.

Here's a longer description from Booklist, taken from Amazon's page for this 
book:

Some video-game developers asked Card to write a scenario for "an entertainment 
franchise ... about a near-future American civil war." They came to the right 
man and held off on releasing the game until he completed this relentless 
thriller, which couldn't be timelier and is, for all its hyperactivity and 
flip, Hollywoodish one-liners, heartfelt and sobering. Its heroes are two 
special-ops army officers who keep their oaths to defend the U.S. against all 
enemies when far too many of their ostensible colleagues have decided to 
abandon theirs. A rocket hits the west wing of the White House, killing the 
president, vice-president, and secretary of defense. While those directly 
responsible are Arabs, the next day, 14-foot-tall, bulletproof, armed globes on 
mechanical legs, backed by shooters on individual hovercraft, seize New York 
City by killing anyone in uniform. None of the new attackers looks anything 
other than American. A "Progressive Restoration" administration is established 
in the city, and it encourages other cities and states to join it to restore 
government as it should have been but for the stolen elections of 2000 and 
2004. Intriguing plot wrinkles come fore and aft of those basic developments, 
there are many deftly shaped supporting players, and major shocks explode in a 
split second (no Stephen King slo-mo for Card!). Moreover, all the action 
doesn't obscure the author's message about the dangers of extreme political 
polarization and the need to reassert moderation and mutual citizenship; 
indeed, it drives it home.

Sounds like an exciting and thoughtful read, so hope to see lots of people at 
the next meeting to talk about this one.

Evan

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