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

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

One by Conrad Williams


This is the United Kingdom, but it's no country you know. No place you ever want to see, even in the shuttered madness of your worst dreams. But you survived. One man. You walk because you have no choice. At the end of this molten road, running along the spine of a burned, battered country, your little boy is either alive or dead. You have to know. You have to find an end to it all. One hope. The sky crawls with venomous cloud and burning rain. The land is a scorched sprawl of rubble and corpses. Rats have risen from the depths to gorge on the carrion. A glittering dust coats everything and it hides a terrible secret. New horrors are taking root. You walk on. One chance.

One won the BFS Award for Best Novel in 2010.

What Did We Think?

Very much a novel of two halves (literally). The first half was seen as being exciting fun science fictional post-apocalyptic horror with powerful imagery and realistic and interesting situations and emotions from the survivors.

The second half however fell foul of many of the group as it was seen as being more fantastical and less plausible than the first. Whilst the emotions still felt genuine the situation did not and the finale left too many issues unsatisfactorily resolved for many: crucially the enigma of Jane's guardian angel.

Overall, the novel was superbly well written with many a wonderful turn of phrase and impressed even the non-horror fans in the group, however the second half just wasn't the cup-of-tea of enough people in the group and so the book's score suffered because of it.

Votes were as follows: 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8