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posted by martyb on Sunday September 02 2018, @09:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the In-just-over-three-months-it-would-be...-Mars-Ho-Ho-Ho! dept.

Want to read some books? Many of our users have shown interest in having a book club. Now it's finally time to kick it off.

Your soytyrant has pre-selected the first three books so that you have more time to read them, should you choose to do so:

September: Mars, Ho! by Stephen McGrew
October: Foundation by Isaac Asimov
November: The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin.

The plan is to read a book, and discuss it on the 1st of the following month. Suggestions for new books (of any genres, not just "science fiction") will also be collected at the same time. You can start listing some of your suggestions right now in this comment section. We'll pick up to eight of them and run a poll on September 15th to decide the book for December. And so on.

The first book is Mars, Ho! by Stephen McGrew, one of our more literary users (not to be confused with Mars Ho! by Jennifer Willis). The book is available for free on McGrew's website, although there are some purchasing options available if you want to support him. From the description:

Captain John Knolls thinks he's just been given the best assignment of his career -- ferrying two hundred prostitutes to Mars. He doesn't know that they're all addicted to a drug that causes them to commit extreme, deadly violence when they are experiencing withdrawal or that he'll face more pirates than anyone had ever seen before. Or that he'd fall in love. A humorous science fiction space novel, a horror story, a love story, a pirate story, a tale of corporate bureaucracy and incompetence.

All book club posts will be in the Community Reviews nexus, which is linked to on the site's sidebar. You'll likely want to click on that link once the posts fall off the main page.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 04 2018, @03:05AM (1 child)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 04 2018, @03:05AM (#730097) Journal
    For me, a lot of the book was extraneous. Lamp shading the number of times the narrator used the john, watched ancient movies from our time, or putting out real fires still didn't make those passages go by faster, though I did appreciate McGrew's warning. OTOH, I read it cover to cover. So I managed to survive.

    A lot of the book just seemed to be commentary on the present, such as robot coffee, bureaucracy crossed with engineering, and the profoundly ineffectual way Earth authorities dealt with space pirates. And it was kind of silly how one of the characters kept telling another to "read the book" without hinting why (just show the gory film contained therein and all would be explained). That other character was far from a book worm and predictably kept not reading the book.

    Hate to say it, but it just didn't feel very sci fi, though I liked that it didn't fall into the trap of explaining everything. It did have something of a retro feel to it, and reminded me some of the Asimov or Heinlein young adult stuff dealing with Martian colonization and the like.
  • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Saturday September 15 2018, @08:19PM

    by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 15 2018, @08:19PM (#735397) Journal

    Agreed, the "read the book" bit was over the top obvious where it was going. I assumed it was intended to add a bit of suspense.

    The overpowered nature of The Incredible Hos was also beyond my disbelief suspension threshold, 1) I presume that murderous space pirates would have been armed and armored to some extent, even if expecting a minimally crewed vessel. Even if they didn't just vent the ship, there should have been casualties. 2) Why did the hos suddenly have no interest in killing each other?

    Yes it definitely felt young adult in nature.

    It could easily have been set on a ship on the ocean, or secluded research station, but those aspects did work with a Mars trip better I think.

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