Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sci-Fi on Tap

The Peter White Public Library has started a new book club:  Sci-Fi on Tap.  It meets the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm in the Ore Dock’s tap room.  Join us to discuss some classics and check out what’s new in PWPL’s science fiction section.

Convergence by C.J. Cherryh is the 18th novel in her Foreigner series.  After successfully negotiating a treaty with the Kyo, Bren Cameron must now present it to the human government, many of whose members distrust him because of how he has embraced the Atevi language and culture. Meanwhile, on the mainland Cajeiri, heir to Tabini-aiji, at the felicitous age of nine, must learn how to deal with the many Atevi clans, not all of whom like the changes that humans have brought with them.

Imagine a universe where a different anthropomorphized sapient mammal populates each planet.  Such a universe exists in Barsk:  The Elephants’ Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen.  The fants, considered the lowest of all species, live on a dreary, rainy world, valued only for the pharmaceuticals it provides, especially koph which allows users to communicate with the dead.  When a number of dying elderly fants disappear but do not appear in the spirit world, it is up to Jorl, historian and speaker to the dead, to discover what has happened to them.

When Maria wakes up in the cloning vat filled with synth-amneo fluid, it takes her a moment to realize that not all is as it should be.  Globs of blood are floating around her vat and the other crew members have been cloned meaning that they must have all died in the same time frame.  Is there a killer among them?  With decades missing from her memory, Maria, the other crew members, and the ship’s computer IAN must solve the mystery of their death, rebirth, and pasts if they are to survive in this sci-fi mystery Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.

In The Hike by Drew Magary, businessman, Ben, away on yet another trip, decides to take a hike near his hotel.  When he witnesses two men in Rottweiler masks killing a young girl, he screams for help, only to have the men start chasing him.  Unable to find his way out of the woods or to get any cell phone reception, he must begin his journey where the one rule is to stay on the path if he is to find his way back home.

Set in the not too distant future, Crosstalk by Connie Willis examines unexpected consequences.  Briddey Flannigan is in love with co-worker Trent Worth.  When he asks her to undergo a medical procedure to enhance their emotional communication, she is delighted, despite warnings from her family and company nerd, C.B. Schwartz.  When she wakes up from surgery, however, it is not Trent’s emotions that she feels, but C.B.’s voice in her head.  How could this happen?  And will the unexpected consequences end there?

Littered with discarded biotech from the Company, ravaged by drought and war, the world described in Bourne by Jeff Vanermeer is a polluted and dangerous place.  One day while scavenging, Rachel finds a piece of biotech which she names Bourne.  Is Bourne a plant? Animal? Person?  Despite warnings from her partner Wick, Rachel decides to raise Bourne as her child, a decision that will have massive consequences not only for her but the world she lives in.

--Carolyn McManis, Programming Coordinator

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