Jun 3, 2019

Book Club Reminder

That whipping star, that whipping star...
Frank Herbert's 1970 SF-novel featuring an agent of the infamous Bureau of Sabotage, a psychopath woman who plots a rather nonsensical plan to bring about the end of the world and an alien species who invented so-called jumpdoors that allow instant travel, is a very very interesting book, to say the least.
Meeting starts Friday, June 7th at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop as always. There will be snacks and drinks as always too.
See you there!

The Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club meetings are always (not this month for some reason) on the second Friday of the month at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore.
There's always snacks and drinks that you don't have to pay for, contributions are welcome.
You never need to sign up to join us, but we appreciate it greatly that you do read the book if you're coming.

Upcoming OBC meetings are as follows:
June 7 -  Whipping Star by Frank Herbert
July 12 - Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
July 26 - The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris (MYTHIC FICTION BC)
August 9 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
August 23 - Salem's Lot - Stephen King (HORROR SPECIAL)

1 comment:

  1. Here goes with another intrepid attempt at commenting on the OSFBC blog, with a few words on two novels we read or will read currently:

    WHIPPING STAR (check out my "alt cover" of this behind the link)
    Hey, I missed most of this meeting because of a mix-up of the 2nd-Friday rule (in my head). Sad! I really love Herbert's work - he is the quintessential "man of the world" s.f. author in mz eyes... Not too literary, with some innovative settings, always grandly philosophical and/or moral. This novel is part of the "BuSab" series, in which an anti-James-Bond agent of a galactic Bureau, whose main aim is to discreetly SABOTAGE the too-rapid efficiencies of modern governance! Or of a too-tight legal system, which might mean the collapse of the civilised universe - which truly is the case here; agent McKie attempts to rescue a sole remaining alien-in-a-huge-shell, who turns out to be pretty important to the continuance of 99% of the sentient beings in the galaxy. Herbert in this book applies an unusual style of very heavy dialogue to-and-fro (which I loved - check out the initial spat between McKie & Siker!), making the reader get up close to the very likely impossibility of cross-species communication, at the same time riding those legalese strictures that endanger McKie's alien companion-in-distress, and him, too, and billions of others. In the end the alien finds the saving loophole - all she needs is love!

    This is actually the 2nd read of the new "mythical fiction" quarterly offshoot of the OSFBC. Author Joanne Harris has attempted to retell the Nordic sagas involving Loki from the latter's point of view. I loved the many new things I learned about the old Eddan Asgardian world poems I never guessed at before. Harris, through Loki's eyes, of course interprets where he and Surtur (the great destroyer in the apocalyptic end time of Ragnarok, resulting in the death of Asgard and all in it) hail from positively, as the fount of chaos from which all else arose and must return to. What's hard is how diligently she limits any heroism in any positive sense - Asgardian gods we think we know are more or less idiotic, or at least tricky. And alwazs ungrateful! Not even the Nordic Jesus, Balder, impresses Loki. An astonishingly/consistently dank view, but a narratively thrilling read! I just wish Loki had been just a bit more mischievous and lustrous, less vengeful. But perhaps that's my skewed bias from a lifetime of misquoting/misinterpretative novels and comics and such...