Waterstone's Liverpool One Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club

Waterstones Liverpool One Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club

"This is space. It's sometimes called the final frontier. (Except that of course you can't have a *final* frontier, because there'd be nothing for it to be a frontier *to*, but as frontiers go, it's pretty penultimate...)"
- Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

About Us

This is the official blog for the book club held in the book lounge of Waterstones Liverpool One.

The group meet at 6pm on the first Monday of the month to discuss their thoughts and opinions on the books selected. The books range from classic fantasy to brand new science fiction short story collections.

It's a fun and friendly atmosphere and all are welcome: from those who have never read any science fiction or fantasy before, to those who don't read anything else.

The group, and this blog, are administered by Glyn Morgan, the Bookseller responsible for the Science Fiction section of the store and an avid reader of SF who is currently studying for his PhD at the University of Liverpool.

If you would like to comment on any of the books we've read, this month or in the distant past, please feel free to contribute to the comments section of the relevant posts.

Visit this club's little sister: Coffee and Comics

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Suggestion Box

This post represents the suggestion box for books for the group to discuss in the future. There will be a permanent link to it in the right column so that long after it sinks into the depths of the blog you can find it and add your suggestions in the comments section below.

If you're unfamiliar with the procedure, essentially we'll read anything from the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres (and there are arguments for Horror, and maybe even one day the odd Graphic Novel), the book has to be readable in a month which means that exceptionally long novels might be frowned upon, however if there is a reasonable consensus that a book would be good to read we could rig it so that long novels are preceded by shorter works.

All suggestions are taken on board and the final reading list is drawn by blind ballot in book club meetings.

So without further hesitation - let the recommendation begin!


  1. In the spirit of getting the ball rolling, I think a discussion of China Mieville's "The City and The City" would be interesting as it won the BSFA and Arthur C. Clarke awards this year.

    My second hat in the ring is 1967's "Lord of Light" by Roger Zelanzy, a great novel of science meets religion which I really enjoyed when I read it way back when.

  2. would like to get pratchett out of the way, all generaly good reads and quick, choice of title would be, guards! guards!, but in reality no preference, well apart from pyramids which was pants, david eddings pawn of prohecy also a choice, and while at it eye of the world, which though a bit long, and long winded is worth it, if horror would like to do day watch et all, and as for graphic novels...

  3. I do loooooooove Guards Guards! It might be my favourite Discworld book, but Mort would also be a close contender. Guards Guards is more self-contained for discussion though. I read Pawn of Prophecy when I was a kid and I don't really remember a lot about it except that I enjoyed it and part of it was set on a farm.

  4. One of my favourite books is Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. It is intelligent space opera. It is about 550 pages though! Is this too long for the group?

    Enjoyed talking to everyone on Monday! :-)

  5. Hi. Not actually suggesting a book, but wanted to ask about next month's book, The Brentford Triangle - I had a look at it and saw it was book 2 in a trilogy - does this really matter? I've read a couple of Robert Rankin's book previously but not these so I don't know the overall premise and whether we'll be a bit confused with what we read in book 2?

  6. I've only read Rankin's Retromancer and so I'm not the most qualified to reply (this was one of Andrew's picks I think) but I'm assured that the trilogy can be read in any order and that this is a better book than book one (The Antipope). They're not particularly long so you could read both... I however won't be.

    Hope that helps...

  7. Since we've not done a 1970s book yet I think we should have one in the next round of suggestions. I'd pick Christopher Priest's Inverted World for a number of reasons:
    1) I've never read it.
    2) It's number 71 in the SF Masterworks series.
    3) Everything else I've read by Priest (including seeing the film The Prestige, based on one of his novels, has been exciting, wierd and highly original.
    4) He's a british author, still working today who is not well known enough.


  8. Thanks for the help. If they can be read in any order then that's great - dno't think I'll be reading both either, my 'waiting to be read' book pile is already huge enough and I haven't quite finished City and the City yet - should do by Monday though :-)

    I've read a few Robert Rankin - not as good as seeing him talk live!

  9. As a suggestion for a book, I'd like to propose Halfhead by Stuart MacBride. I've not read it yet so I can't vouch for it, but I did go to the event he did at Waterstones and although he is now a traditional crime fiction writer, his first book is a futuristic crime - here's the link http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/stuart+b-+macbride/halfhead/7479009/

  10. I've seen halfhead in store - I think its currently on the 3 for 2... I'd be up for that - I guess it depends how the sci-fi/crime cross over goes down with people after The City and The City. I'd imagine quite well but you never know.

  11. Given that it just tied with Mieville's "The City and The City" for Best Novel at the Hugos, we should really read Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl" http://www.locusmag.com/News/2010/09/2010-hugo-awards-winners/

  12. Another couple of recommendations:

    * William Gibson: Neuromancer. (Or maybe more recent work, like Pattern Recognition?)
    * Iain M Banks: one of the Culture novels... Player of Games? Or maybe the slightly genre-bending "Iain Banks" novel Transition.

    I was hoping to come on Monday to discuss Rothfuss, but can't make it. Shame, as I also wanted to pimp our new Speculative Fiction writing group ( http://3.ly/SpecFicLiv ) starting on Thursday ;-)

  13. having just read charles stross, wirless, i would recomend this for a future read, some great ideas in story anthology format but especially 2 are worth a novel in their own right

  14. OK, given that Lauren Beukes has just won the A. C. Clarke award, how about we add Zoo City to the list? I'm reading it now, and it's good!

  15. How about local author James L Talbot's novel The Dark Place? Set in Liverpool and available in the local author section at Waterstones, Liverpool One.

  16. Jonathan Swords-Holdsworth's "Stories Of An Awkward Size" ? It's a bit unique as it's Australian, and it's dark, dark near-future stuff. It's kinda like Trainspotting meets Really Deep Science. On the cover the author describes it as "Slipstream and hard-SF", which is probably about right. I've not quite read anything like it. Not all the stories (it's got five) are brilliant, but a couple are and the rest are just good. Not a bad ratio!

  17. Hello there

    A new Sci-Fi show entitled 'Moon Quest' recently premiered in the Manchester Festival Fringe. The show was well-received and the recurring feedback from both various reviewers and audience members alike was as follows -

    1. Fundamentally, the themes, ideas and characters in 'Moon Quest' are good and the show has real potential.
    2. The script could do with developing in places to make it tighter (which is quite normal following a first-staging of a new piece).
    3. The production needs a bigger budget for costumes, props, staging and effects to convincingly create a 60's/70's sci-fi feel.

    Point 3. is the issue that bedevils so many artistic products in getting of the ground; finance. 'Moon Quest' is an ambitious project which was always going to need financing to be done full justice.

    We are planning to stage a fully-developed re-vamp of the show in the Spring next year at a Manchester theatre with a view to a regional tour and looking at different ways of financing this. One way is to Crowd fund and we have started a campaign, offering free tickets for the show next year in return for quite modest donations. We would be very grateful if you would consider please drawing this to the attention of your members.

    The link for the our Crowdfunding project is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1244804848/moon-quest?ref=user_menu/

    thanking you

    kind regards

    John Waterhouse

    Casagua Productions