1. josh: patrick rothfuss. the name of the wind.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      debut novel, lots of critical acclaim, good amazon reviews. the author
      couldn't publish it, eventually picked up by daw. they'll publish it
      in three parts. enjoyed it, but then was bummed that the second part
      won't be out until next year. "he's a bartender, a man of many names,
      he's famous it turns out," etc etc. most of the book is a flashback to
      his youth and training, the next book will probably be a flashback to
      his DAYS OF THUNDER. would definitely read the second book.

  2. chris: dan simmons. hyperion + the fall of hyperion.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      admits he broke the rules. re-read hyperion and part of the the
      fall. he read them years ago, and just felt like reading them
      again. they're great, but he doesn't really know what to say. but
      those of us who haven't read these demand to hear more. he says
      pandora's star basically stole most of its ideas from hyperion, and he
      gives some background for us non-dan-simmons-readers. we also digress
      into ilium and olympos. anyway hyperion is highly recommended by all.

  3. chris again: ekaterina sedia. the secret history of moscow.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      about a third of the way in. highly recommended on amazon. got a neil
      gaiman quote on the cover (which pleases some and displeases others.)
      reminds chris of a murakami novel set in moscow (specifically
      hard-boiled wonderland), and he likes it so far. will report further
      next time.

  4. chad: china mieville. iron council.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      "after the last book which i didn't like at all, i wanted to read
      something from someone i heard was good... but wait, i heard vernor
      vinge was good..." (digressions.) anyway, chris likes china mieville,
      and chad figures he can trust chris, and so... kind of like the old
      west, but with magic and stuff. nobody can quite explain the setting,
      but basically chad admits that it's steampunk and that he likes
      it. (chris disagrees: it's not steampunk.) anyway there's trains,
      machines and magic. multi-species world, lots of beings living
      together in this big city-state, etc. anyway it seems like it ought
      to be a cheesy setting, but somehow it's not. chad thinks it works
      because he's generally insterested in political stuff in a fantasy
      setting. recommended, and would also read perdido street station now,
      although it wasn't necessary in order to enjoy this book.

  5. interlude

    discussion about spine labels. size: 1/2 to 1", subject matter: ??
    basically, we love the dragon in josh's candidate logo, but we need a
    better sci-fi component: either a better ufo, or possibly SATURN. so
    maybe a dragon perched on saturn, or perched on the rings of saturn!
    more progress soon...

  6. marko: richard k morgan. thirteen.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      marko has read all his books. there's no singularity! in other books,
      there's the transportation of consciousness from body to body, but
      this book is a prequel, so there's no such stuff here! relatively near
      future, marko guesses 21??. the usa has splintered (literally into
      jesusland, etc.), other nations have risen, mars is being
      colonized. lots of stuff about genetic engineering of humans, of which
      there are now several types (hyper-sexualized, submissive females,
      hibernators, blah blah blah). one variant is the THIRTEEN, some kind
      of ultimate soldier, and now we get into the pop
      anthropology... anyway, there's politics and religion and all kinds of
      stuff, but basically it's a crime story. better than any of his other
      books, and very highly recommended!

  7. adam: michael flynn. eifelheim.

    1. verdict: +(+)
    2. review:

      wanted to find something less pulpy, from the cover this certainly
      looks more serious. adam read reviews calling it hard scifi, and
      indeed is concerns itself more with science. all in all, adam really
      liked it. alien contact in 14th century germany. some guy discovers
      anomalies in historical data around this german city... ("oo, data
      mining!" "no, it's fucking jared diamond.") he investigates, and we go
      back in time and the story is told... priests and aliens, etc., etc.,
      deals somewhat with religion. generally speaking, the stuff in 14th
      century germany is great, but all the stuff in the present-day just
      sucks sucks sucks. on page 67 he almost threw the book across the room
      (JUST FYI). chad has beef with scifi authors who want to be pop
      science dilettantes (and for GOOD REASON, in the humble editor's
      opinion), and adam agrees that this sums up the problem with this
      book. generally he really liked it and would recommend it.

  8. matt: iain m banks. matter.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      my turn to talk, so i can't write it here. good book. longer than most
      banks books, and with the three strands and so on, it was a fairly
      slow ramp-up. but it was enjoyable all along, and the end was well
      worth it. highly recommended if you like iain banks and the
      culture novels. which i do.

  9. administrivia

    we plan to try to meet once a month rather than once every two months,
    and try to stagger the presentations. six per meeting seems like a
    good number.
    other suggestions include:
    - a meeting where we all read the same book
    - a meeting where we all read classics
    - a meeting where we all ready pulpy 50s novels
    no consensus seems imminent, so we'll take it to the list.

  10. that's all, folks.