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Old 07-19-2013, 05:55 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
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August 2013 Book Club Nominations

MobileRead Book Club
August 2013 Nominations


Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for August, 2013.

The nominations will run through midnight EST
July 30 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

Book selection category for August is:

Science Fiction

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Sony
Spoiler:
Often listed as one of Clarke's finest novels, Rendezvous With Rama has won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. A fast-paced and compelling story of an enigmatic encounter with alien technology, Rendezvous With Rama offers both answers and unsolved mysteries that continue to fascinate readers decades after its first publication.

Available at libraries everywhere.


(2) A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub | Kindle / Scott Dutton Design & Illustration: ePub
Spoiler:
A Princess of Mars (1917) is a science fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first of his Barsoom series. Full of swordplay and daring feats, the novel is considered a classic example of 20th century pulp fiction. It is also a seminal instance of the planetary romance, a sub-genre of science fantasy that became highly popular in the decades following its publication. Its early chapters also contain elements of the Western. The story is set on Mars, imagined as a dying planet with a harsh desert environment. This vision of Mars was based on the work of the astronomer Percival Lowell, whose ideas were widely popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


(3) Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub | Kindle
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

While attempting to escape a civil war, four people are kidnapped and transported to the Tibetan mountains. After their plane crashes, they are found by a mysterious Chinese man. He leads them to a monastery hidden in "the valley of the blue moon" -- a land of mystery and matchless beauty where life is lived in tranquil wonder, beyond the grasp of a doomed world.

It is here, in Shangri-La, where destinies will be discovered and the meaning of paradise will be unveiled.


(4) Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
Amazon UK / Amazon US
Spoiler:
This is the penultimate Culture novel by Banks--written in 2010. In fact, it is our final visit to the Universe of The Culture as it is set later than The Hydrogen Sonata which was his final science-fiction novel.

Surface Detail is regarded as one of the finest books set in that Universe.
It has an epic sweep spanning Real and Virtual worlds. We meet the fascinating Ship minds, a memorable villain, and are submerged in a murder story, Machiavellian politics, a revenge quest and fascinating minor characters all set within four inter-related and integrated plots. The blurb from Amazon reads:

"It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.
It begins with a murder.
And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself."

While the culture novels share a common setting, they can be read as stand-alone books.


(5) Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:

The novel is set in a post-visitation world where there are now six Zones known on Earth (each zone is approximately five square miles/kilometers in size) which are still full of unexplained phenomena and where strange happenings have briefly occurred, assumed to have been visitations by aliens. World governments and the UN try to keep tight control over them to prevent leakage of artifacts from the Zones, fearful of unforeseen consequences. A subculture of stalkers, thieves going into the Zones to get the artifacts, evolves around the Zones.


(6) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Amazon US / Kobo

Spoiler:
Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.


(7) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Amazon Canada / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble US / Bookworld Australia
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.


(8) Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Amazon Canada / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Alastair Reynolds's critically acclaimed debut has redefined the space opera with a staggering journey across vast gulfs of time and space to confront the very nature of reality itself.
Available at libraries everywhere!

Amazon.com Review:

Alastair Reynolds's first novel is "hard" SF on an epic scale, crammed with technological marvels and immensities. Its events take place over a relatively short period, but have roots a billion years old--when the Dawn War ravaged our galaxy.

Sylveste is the only man ever to return alive and sane from a Shroud, an enclave in space protected by awesome gravity-warping defenses: "a folding a billion times less severe should have required more energy than was stored in the entire rest-mass of the galaxy." Now an intuition he doesn't understand makes him explore the dead world Resurgam, whose birdlike natives long ago tripped some booby trap that made their own sun erupt in a deadly flare.

Meanwhile, the vast, decaying lightship Nostalgia for Infinity is coming for Sylveste, whose dead father (in AI simulation) could perhaps help the Captain, frozen near absolute zero yet still suffering monstrous transformation by nanotech plague. Most of Infinity's tiny crew have hidden agendas--Khouri the reluctant contract assassin believes she must kill Sylveste to save humanity--and there are two bodiless stowaways, one no longer human and one never human. Shocking truths emerge from bluff, betrayal, and ingenious lies.

The trail leads to a neutron star where an orbiting alien construct has defenses to challenge the Infinity's planet-wrecking superweapons.

At the heart of this artifact, the final revelations detonate--most satisfyingly. Dense with information and incident, this longish novel has no surplus fat and seems almost too short. A sparkling SF debut. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


(9) Solaris by Lem Stanislaw
Amazon UK / Amazon US / B&N (US) / Diesel / Google Play (AUS)
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:

The book is about the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species.

In probing and examining the oceanic surface of the planet Solaris from a hovering research station the human scientists are, in turn, being studied by the sentient planet itself, which probes for and examines the thoughts of the human beings who are analyzing it. Solaris has the ability to manifest their secret, guilty concerns in human form, for each scientist to personally confront.

Solaris is one of Lem’s philosophic explorations of man’s anthropomorphic limitations.]


(10) Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Amazon Canada / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble US / Bookworld Australia
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Winner of both the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Nebula Award for Best Novel.

For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.

But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin -- barely of age herself -- finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.

Five years in the writing by one of science fiction's most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.


From Publishers Weekly:

This new book by Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning author Willis ( Lincoln's Dreams ) is an intelligent and satisfying blend of classic science fiction and historical reconstruction. Kivrin, a history student at Oxford in 2048, travels back in time to a 14th-century English village, despite a host of misgivings on the part of her unofficial tutor. When the technician responsible for the procedure falls prey to a 21st-century epidemic, he accidentally sends Kivrin back not to 1320 but to 1348--right into the path of the Black Death. Unaware at first of the error, Kivrin becomes deeply involved in the life of the family that takes her in. But before long she learns the truth and comes face to face with the horrible, unending suffering of the plague that would wipe out half the population of Europe. Meanwhile, back in the future, modern science shows itself infinitely superior in its response to epidemics, but human nature evidences no similar evolution, and scapegoating is still alive and well in a campaign against "infected foreigners."p. 204 This book finds villains and heroes in all ages, and love, too, which Kivrin hears in the revealing and quietly touching deathbed confession of a village priest.


The nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 07-23-2013 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Thru post 59
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