Thursday, December 08, 2005

January - Science Fiction

Krystal is hosting January's meeting and here's what she picked:

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is the book we will spend the majority of the time discussing. Because it is a little longer than some of the books we have read in the past, it is also the only book I encourage everyone to read.

Some questions/ideas to guide your reading.

1. Why does Ender hate himself?

2. How are the characters in the novel like real people? How are they unique? What does this say about the way people should be?

3. What is Orson Scott Card’s view of violence?

4. In the ongoing fight of good vs. evil, how do we ensure that we are good?

5. What kinds of games are prevalent in the novel and what does the term “Game” come to mean?

6. The computer game Ender plays throughout the novel, and the connection the buggers have with the game

7. Ender’s struggle with isolation and friendship

8. What does it mean to be Speaker for the Dead?

Also, come prepared to discuss Science Fiction as a genre, and choose any (or all) of the following books, or any others you are interested in.

Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card. A companion book to Ender’s Game, written from the perspective of Bean. This book will also be included in the upcoming movie of Ender’s Game.

The Time Hackers by Gary Paulsen, author of Hatchet, Brian’s Winter, The Winter Room and Dogsong. When someone uses futuristic technology to play pranks on twelve-year-old Dorso Clayman, he and his best friend set off on a supposedly impossible journey through space and time trying to stop the gamesters who are endangering the universe. (87 pages)

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer, author of the New York Times best-selling Artemis Fowl series. In the future, in a place called Satellite City, the Supernaturalists patrol the city at night, hunting the Parasites in hopes of saving what is left of humanity. But soon they find themselves caught in a web far more complicated than they’d imagined. (267 pages)

Taylor Five by Ann Halam. Fourteen-year-old Taylor is still dealing with the fact that she is a clone produced by the same company that funds the Orangutan Reserve which is her home on the island of Borneo, when the Reserve is attacked and she flees with her younger brother and Uncle, the Reserve’s mascot. (197 pages)

Mr. Was by Paul Hautman. When John Lunt travels to Memory, Minnesota to visit his sick grandfather, what he finds is a door that leads to the past, where his foreknowledge of the atom bomb does not keep him from fighting in WWII. Disclaimer-This book has an intense scene of domestic violence, so beware if you choose to read it. (255 pages)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Originally published in 1953, this novel is set in the future when “firemen” burn books forbidden by a totalitarian “brave new world” regime. The hero, according to Mr. Bradbury, is “a book burner who suddenly discovers that books are flesh-and-blood ideas and cry out silently when put to the torch.” (190 pages)