Come along to some friendly, informal book chat. Guided by our experienced book group leaders, our book discussion groups will meet throughout the weekend to discuss classics of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.
No previous book group experience required!
Venue: Braid Room.
Free, no ticket required.
SATURDAY 8TH JUNE
Saturday 8th June, 11am to 12noon
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
About the Book
The historians can't seem to settle whether to call this one 'The Third Space War' (or the fourth), or whether 'The First Interstellar War' fits it better. We just call it 'The Bug War'. Everything up to then and still later were 'incidents', 'patrols' or 'police actions'. However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an 'incident' as you are if you buy it in a declared war.'
5,000 years in the future, humanity faces total extermination. Our one defence: highly-trained soldiers who scour the metal-strewn blackness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy: an insect life-form known only as 'Bugs.'
This is the story of trooper Johnny Rico, from his idealistic enlistment in the infantry of the future through his rigorous training to the command of his own platoon. And his destiny is a war that will span the galaxy.
Saturday 8th June, 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
About the Book
In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the colour of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different - special - she names her Onyesonwu, which means 'Who fears death?' in an ancient language.
It doesn't take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu - a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.
Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.
Saturday 8th June, 2pm to 3pm
The Traitor by Seth Dickinson
About the Book
Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up and see red sails on the horizon.
The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They will conquer Baru s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She'll swallow her hate, join the Masquerade, and claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.
To test her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.
Saturday 8th June, 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
About the Book
In the far future, after human civilization has spread through the galaxy, communications begin to arrive in an apparently alien language. They appear to threaten invasion, but in order to counter the threat, the messages must first be understood
SUNDAY 9TH JUNE 2019
Sunday 9th June, 10:15am to 11:15am
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
About the Book
Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely assistant; Luke, the future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers - and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. Twice filmed as The Haunting, and the inspiration for a new 10-part Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House is a powerful work of slow-burning psychological horror.
Sunday 9th June, 1:15pm to 2:15pm
The Ghost Stories of M.R. James
'Still as the night was, the mysterious population of the distant moonlit woods was not yet lulled to rest'
The aim of a good ghost story is to make the blood freeze, pleasurably, and this M. R. James achieves to perfection in these wonderful stories. His most atmospheric settings include English country houses and gardens, the north end of the churchyard, the yew-maze in 'Mr Humphreys and his Inheritance' and the unforgettable train journey in 'Casting the Runes'. To each of these stories he brings an eye for the telling detail, an imaginative twist and a narrative tone that is, at least to begin with, urbane and reassuring ...
Sunday 9th June, 4:30pm to 5;30pm
Station Eleven by Emily St-John Mandel
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.
One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again.
Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.
If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?