Grab your gear, reader, summer’s on! Join us for another sunbaked expedition into the Uncanny Valley, with your intrepid hosts, David Gill and Suhail Rafidi.
Where & When? (IRL and Online)
Wednesday night discussions, 7:00 PM Pacific (6/17, 6/24, 7/8, 7/15, 7/29)
For those reading along at home, you can tune in live via Zoom link, which is emailed out the day of the discussion. Contact myself or David for the link. As usual, I will post the discussion after the event.
What Are We Reading?
Three novels, a novella, and a short story covering 5 authors: Karl Schroeder, Stanisław Lem, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Philip K. Dick, and Martha Wells. Get your copy from your local library, bookstore, online store, or friend’s shelf. The Stanislaw Lem story is available at the New Yorker archives, but requires a free subscription.
June 17: Stealing Worlds (2019) – Karl Schroeder
June 24: “Let Us Save The Universe” (1971) (In English in the New Yorker in, 1981) – Stanisław Lem.
July 8: We (1924) – Yevgeny Zamyatin
July 15: We Can Build You (1962, published 1972) – Philip K. Dick
July 29: All Systems Red (2017) – Martha Wells
Karl Schroeder’s 12th novel is a virtual worlds detective caper set in the near future. A young adult primer on the implications of blockchain and AI in our corporate futures. For some background, listen to Schroeder’s interview on The Bitcoin Podcast #288.
Stanisław Lem’s short story “Let Us Save The Universe,” was first published in 1971. The English translation was published in the December 14, 1981 issue of The New Yorker. A call to action to clean up the solar system, with Lem-ish levity.
Like many thought-provoking Russian novels of its time, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1924 authoritarian dystopia, We, was first published in translation outside of Russia. I’m pleased to announce that we’ll have Russian scholar Nikita Alligre joining us for this discussion. He’ll give us some sweet sweet literary background on Zamyatin and the circle of writers he ran with. This looks to be a groovy session.
As we are hosted by the Internet’s first and foremost Total Dick-Head, we’re definitely going to Phil up this summer! We’re tapping David’s expertise this season, and reading PKD’s We Can Build You, written in 1962 and not published until 1972. This book stands as a conceptual prequel to Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?.
Martha Wells kicked off her Murderbot Diaries with this well received adventure novella. Weighing in at just under 100 pages, it is reputed to be a potent and accessible gateway drug into her subsequent novels.
Now crack a book, and let’s DO THIS! See you soon.
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Thank you for reading. Reading rules!