Hundredth Book

February 20th, 2010 by Editor B

95 Mostly sci-fi books

Phil Baird / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Tomorrow at my book club we are discussing our hundredth book.

We have been reading together since the summer of 2001, when we got started with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

Since then we’ve been through an awful lot, including the flooding of our city as well as the death of our founder. But we’re still going, stronger than ever in fact.

We select our books by a simple method: Each person takes a turn selecting three books on a theme. Given the current size of our group, two years or more may elapse between turns.

This club is perhaps the single most enjoyable and completely stress-free activity I’ve had over the past decade. That’s why I’ve stuck with it, I suppose.

Actually it’s no longer as stress-free as it once was. It is more difficult to carve out that monthly time-slot since becoming a father; I feel a little guilty sometimes; and despite my repeated pleadings Xy doesn’t seem to respect my desire to have this one little bit of “me” time held sacred and inviolate. As a result, I’ve had to bring my daughter along to a couple recent club meetings, with varying degrees of success.

Yet still I persist. I’ll extract my revenge on Xy some day.

Here’s a spreadsheet listing all the books we’ve read, in order.

I see I’ve failed to mention one defining fact: We are a science fiction club. We read science fiction almost exclusively. I say almost exclusively because we have veered into fantasy occasionally, and we have read some books which many people, including our club members, would not consider science fiction. We have had many interesting conversations — I almost said “debates” — on the definition of the genre. In fact our very first meeting started with that question and it still comes up almost every month. I’m happy to report that we don’t appear to be in any danger of discovering a definitive answer.

If you’re interested in science fiction you should join us. We meet on the second Saturday of every month at 10:30 AM. (Except, obviously, this time; we’re meeting on a Sunday because of Carnival.) Location: Octavia Books. (Speaking of Octavia, our most-frequently read author to date is Octavia Butler.) You don’t have to be some kind of hardcore science fiction fan to attend. You don’t even have to know what science fiction is. Just bring an open mind.

Oh — our hundredth title? The Transmigration of Timothy Archer by Philip K. Dick.

It was OK. But I wouldn’t call it science fiction.

8 Responses to “Hundredth Book”

  1. Casey Says:

    There’s some really great stuff on that list. I want to try to catch up with you guys for “The Year of the Flood”.

  2. Eric Says:

    I am frankly amazed that you, or anyone, has read 100 science fiction books. I really enjoy science fiction, but… that’s a lot of science fiction! (Or sort of science fiction, I guess, in some cases.) I guess the structure of a book club must really help to keep a person focused on reading.

  3. mike Says:

    psst… Delany, no ‘e’. A fine list. It needs Iain M. Banks, but you prolly knew that, and I wouldbe tickled if “Dhalgren” ended up on a lit list of NOLA sf book readers.

  4. mike Says:

    oops, I see he’s in there correctly on another line. ignore my typo sniping.

  5. chrissieroux Says:

    Enjoyable and stress-free activity is so unbelievably important and yes, so hard to come by when one has small child(ren). We’re probably right there between your place and the bookshop–if you ever need someone to watch P while you recreate, let us know. Seriously! Sydney and Evan would love a playmate.

  6. Rob Womack Says:

    You know, Jack Womack is my second cousin, and I have to say that Terraplane is by far a better book than Heathern.

  7. Jack Schick Says:

    It would be interesting to see notes about an overall group rating poll-
    or
    quick critique comments from your group as result of discussions.
    I’m insane with too much piled up to get any reading done. And now there is UCTV and lots of intellectual Meat
    on the DISH NETWORK.
    Robt. A. Heinlein–Methuselah’s Children–Time enough for Love–
    …this “Future History” set of tales is proving eerily true in many
    observable ways…the Elites focused on Longevity and concentration of
    Power and Space Program to escape the Burgeoning Masses of Earth…
    The Power of Corporate Fascism as a necessary development for
    survival of some kind of Human Remnant, at the complete disregard of
    underclass, unfortunate masses.

  8. Tim Says:

    Cool. I can’t give you a clear definition for SciFi either, but I know when something is definitely NOT SciFi. Like Star Wars. I noticed that in your hundred book. Star Wars, as much as I love it, is NOT SciFi; it’s fantasy.

    Peace,

    Tim

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