Next meeting 27th August

The next meeting is on 27th August in the Chester Library. We will be discussing Vurt by Jeff Noon.

Vurt tells the story of Scribble and his gang, the Stash Riders, as they search for his missing sister Desdemona. The novel is set in an alternate version of Manchester, England, in which society has been shaped by Vurt, a hallucinogenic drug/shared alternate reality, accessed by sucking on colour-coded feathers. Through some (never explained) mechanism, the dreams, mythology, and imaginings of humanity have achieved objective reality in the Vurt and become real.

The Guardian have an interesting article on Jeff Noon here. The article mentions that the book has recently been republished as a twentieth anniversary edition. Noon is one of those writers who is critically acclaimed but never quite made the big time.

Our other task for this meeting is to choose the next four books for the remaining meetings of 2016. Incidentally note that from September the meetings have switched to the third Saturday in the month so the dates are:

  • 17th Sep
  • 15th Oct
  • 19th Nov
  • 17th Dec

The books on the shortlist are listed below. I’ve written up summaries for all the books and put it on my web site here. If you’re interested there is also a summary of the SFX four star and above rated books on the site.

The shortlisted books are:

  • A Lee Martinez – Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain
  • Adam Christopher – Made To Kill
  • Douglas R Brown – Tamed
  • Drew Hayes – Super Powereds Year One
  • Jack Williamson – Darker Than You Think
  • John Scalzi – Old Man’s War
  • Lawrence M. Schoen – Barsk
  • M. R. Carey – The Girl With All the Gifts
  • Natasha Pulley – The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
  • Pat Cadigan – Synners
  • Paul McAuley – Something Coming Through
  • Piers Anthony – On a Pale Horse
  • Sergei Lukyanenko – Night Watch
  • Stephen Baxter – The Time Ships
  • Stephen Graham Jones – Mongrels

Note that I’ve sneakily added an extra book, Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones, that wasn’t mentioned at the meeting. Mongrels is, like Tamed, a fresh take on the idea of werewolves, and it’s a book that I found enchanting.