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View Poll Results: What are your choices for the August Book Club book?
The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin 16 47.06%
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie 8 23.53%
The City at Worlds End by Edmond Hamilton 9 26.47%
The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner 7 20.59%
Halting State by Charles Stross 2 5.88%
The Martian by Andy Weir 8 23.53%
Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor 5 14.71%
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke 10 29.41%
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 7 20.59%
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells 12 35.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-24-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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August 2014 Book Club Vote

August 2014 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the August 2014 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on August 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin
Amazon US / Amazon Ca / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
This book was winner of multiple Science Fiction awards:

- Hugo 1975
- Nebula 1974
- Locus 1975
- Jupiter 1975
- Prometheus Hall of Fame 1993

Quote:
Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. he will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.
The book is part of what is referred to as the Hainish Cycle, a group of novels connected loosely by theme rather than by story and thus can be read in any order.


Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Kobo / Overdrive
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Winner of the Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards, nominated for the Hugo and Philip K. Dick Awards.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.


The City at Worlds End by Edmond Hamilton
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
Excerpt:

Kenniston realized afterward that it was like death. You knew you were going to die someday, but you didn't believe it. He had known that there was danger of the long-dreaded atomic war beginning with a sneak punch, but he hadn't really believed it.

Not until that June morning when the missile came down on Middletown. And then there was no time for realization. You don't hear or see a thing that comes faster than sound. One moment, he was striding down Mill Street toward the plant, getting ready to speak to the policeman coming toward him. The next moment, the sky split open.

It split wide open, and above the whole town there was a burn and blaze of light so swift, so violent, that it seemed the air itself had burst into instantaneous flame. In that fraction of a second, as the sky flared and the ground heaved wildly under his feet, Kenniston knew that the surprise attack had come, and that the first of the long-feared super-atomic bombs had exploded overhead....
Shock, thought Kenniston, as his mouth crushed against the grimy sidewalk. The shock that keeps a dying man from feeling pain. He lay there, waiting for the ultimate destruction, and the first eye-blinding flare across the heavens faded and the shuddering world grew still. It was over, as quickly as that.

He ought to be dead. He thought it very probable that he was dying right now, which would explain the fading light and the ominous quiet. But in spite of that he raised his head, and then scrambled shakily to his feet, gasping over his own wild heartbeats, fighting an animal urge to run for the mere sake of running. He looked down Mill Street. He expected to see pulverized buildings, smoking craters, fire and steam and devastation. But what he saw was more stunning than that, and in a strange way, more awful.

He saw Middletown lying unchanged and peaceful in the sunlight.

The policeman he had been going to speak to was still there ahead of him. He was getting up slowly from his hands and knees, where the quake had thrown him. His mouth hung open and his cap had fallen off. His eyes were very wide and dazed and frightened. Beyond him was an old woman with a shawl over her head. She, too, had been there before. She was clinging now to a wall, the sack of groceries she had carried split open around her feet, spilling onions and cans of soup across the walk. Cars and street-cars were still moving along the street in the distance, beginning erratically to jerk to a halt. Apart from these small things, nothing was different, nothing at all.


The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner
Amazon Au / Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
Condensed and with a link added from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Shockwave Rider was originally published in 1975. It is notable for its hero's use of computer hacking skills to escape pursuit in a dystopian future, and for the coining of the word "worm" to describe a program that propagates itself through a computer network. It also introduces the concept of a Delphi pool – a futures market on world events.

The title derives from the futurist work Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. The hero is a survivor in a hypothetical world of quickly changing identities, fashions and lifestyles, where individuals are still controlled and oppressed by a powerful and secretive state apparatus. His highly developed computer skills enable him to use any public telephone to punch in a new identity, thus reinventing himself, within hours. As a fugitive, he must do this from time to time to escape capture.

The novel shows a dystopian early 21st century America dominated by computer networks, and is considered by some critics to be an early ancestor of the "cyberpunk" genre. The hero, Nick Haflinger, is a runaway from Tarnover, a government program intended to find, educate and indoctrinate highly gifted children to further the interests of the state.


Halting State by Charles Stross
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Overdrive / Waterstones
Spoiler:
Quote:
In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com startup company that's just been floated on the London stock exchange. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But she soon realizes that the virtual world may have a devastating effect in the real one-and that someone is about to launch an attack upon both...
Quote:
It was called in as a robbery at Hayek Associates, an online game company. So you can imagine Sergeant Sue Smith's mood as she watches the video footage of the heist being carried out by a band of orcs and a dragon, and realizes that the robbery from an online game company is actually a robbery from an online game. Just wonderful. Like she has nothing better to do. But online entertainment is big business, and when the bodies of real people start to show up, it's clear that this is anything but a game. For Sue, programmer Jack Reed, and forensic accountant Elaine Barnaby, the walls between the actual and the virtual are about to come crashing down. There is something very dangerous and very real going on at Hayek Associates, and those involved are playing for more than experience points. No cheats, no extra lives, no saving throw - make a wrong call on this one and it'll be more than game over.


The Martian by Andy Weir
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Overdrive
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?


Just One Damned Thing After Another (Book 1 of the Chronicles of St. Mary's) by Jodi Taylor
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Overdrive
Spoiler:
“History is just one damned thing after another” - Arnold Toynbee

A mapcap new slant on history that seems to be everyone's cup of tea...

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions...and not to die in the process.

But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover - it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake ...


Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Rendezvous with Rama is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth's solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke's bibliography.


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Overdrive
Spoiler:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.


The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
The Time Traveller, a dreamer obsessed with traveling through time, builds himself a time machine and, much to his surprise, travels over 800,000 years into the future. He lands in the year 802701: the world has been transformed by a society living in apparent harmony and bliss, but as the Traveler stays in the future he discovers a hidden barbaric and depraved subterranean class. Wells's transparent commentary on the capitalist society was an instant bestseller and launched the time-travel genre.

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Old 07-24-2014, 10:51 AM   #2
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OK, I voted. Now we can have a three way run off vote.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #3
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I normally have a hard time finding (1) books I really want to read, i.e., books that I may read even if they aren't selected, and (2) that are available for cheap or at my library. I have neither of these problems this time, so need to really think about which items to vote for. My initial pass was voting for 7 of 10 and I really don't want to vote for that many which would just dilute the vote, so I will have to think on this and vote later.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:53 PM   #4
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Let the campaigns begin!

Two of those I've already read. As I stated in the other thread, The Martian is great and memorable, there's no doubt about that, but it's been discussed to death already at Mobileread, both in the Don's "Hey!! Let's get some action going! What are we reading?" thread (37 posts) and in its own thread started by curtw: "Really enjoyed 'The Martian' by Andy Weir" (57 posts). Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor was pretty good, but it was a bit difficult at times to follow the dialogue because the author, in my opinion, didn't always make it clear as to who was speaking. It was sometimes a bit of a downer for me because of the high body count, but others may feel that added to its realism. The Time Machine seems a bit moldy to me at this point, and I'm not really in the mood for space opera or books about video games, so I voted for (in no particular order) (1) The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner, the classic that introduced the concept of computer worms as well as gave a signature line to one of our members here at MobileRead, (2) The City at Worlds End by Edmond Hamilton, because the premise of a city being blown off the map—to somewhere else entirely, complete with all its still living inhabitants—is just so damn strange, and (3) Rendezvous with Rama, the story by Arthur C. Clarke of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame that many consider his masterpiece.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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I've read Rendezvous with Rama and I consider it a big stinker. It's dry, no real action, and boring. The characters are cardboard cutouts and the premise is weak.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I've read Rendezvous with Rama and I consider it a big stinker. It's dry, no real action, and boring. The characters are cardboard cutouts and the premise is weak.
I'm guessing you were also bored in the movie theater watching 2001: A Space Odyssey because it had no phaser or photon torpedo battles.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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Here are my thoughts so far. I have read 2 of them already. Rendezvous with Rama is an excellent story, not much action, but I really felt like I was with them as they explored Rama. One of the better books I read last year after it was nominated. Would be interesting to see what others have to say about it. One Damned Thing After Another, this story was just a fun time travel story with lots of action. I really loved The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis that was selected last year and thought this would be similar but it really goes in a different direction. Just a fun book to read.

I nominated Ready Player One since it has had excellent reviews and is supposed to be very nostalgic for people who grew up in the 80s and 90s. I am considering "reading" it via audio book since Wil Wheaton was the narrator and is also a character in the book. I like to listen to him talk and have heard he did great for this book. For me this seems like a great pairing given Wil's love of all things geek.

I agree with WT Sharpe about The Martian, great book but already discussed a lot here, and The Time Machine.

The Dispossessed is also a big contender for me, I have been trying to read the Hugo/Nebula winners from years past and haven't read this one yet. I have found the winners are generally excellent books, if not always in the ways I was expecting.

Ancillary Justice sounds interesting, but honestly I am a little turned off by the whole Hatchette/Amazon thing going on right now, so am probably not going to purchase anything from them till that is resolved. I would be more inclined if it was available at my library.

The others are not interesting enough for me to vote for with the possible exception of City at World's End which has an interesting premise.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:40 PM   #8
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The 1st time I read "City at World's End" I was in middle school. I had bought a copy used from the library of the town I was living in at the time. Some of the science is dates (it was written in 1951 after all) but it's still a good story. Of course "The Time Machine" is a classic.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:47 PM   #9
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If The Dispossessed or Rendezvous with Rama wins, I'm going to know that too many of you have no idea what makes a good science fiction book.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:50 PM   #10
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I can't believe the lack of love I'm seeing for The Shockwave Rider, but at least The City at Worlds End is tied for first place and Rendezvous with Rama is making a respectable showing.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:08 PM   #11
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I cannot believe this poll.

Rendezvous with Rama is lousy. It's not a classic. It's just a very boring book with nothing with recommending.

Le Guin is just a lousy author and nothing she writes is worth reading.

Of all the books, The Time Machine should win because there is a new sequel out for it and it would be good to brush up on it before reading the sequel. The sequal is called Time Ships written by Stephen Baxter.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:39 PM   #12
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Hmmm... Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie didn't strike me as all that appealing, but I see Robert J. Sawyer voted for it, and since he's written some of my favorite science fiction, maybe I should have looked at it a bit closer before voting.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:06 AM   #13
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If the book The Time Machine by H.G. Wells wins, can we download it from the MR library?
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:14 AM   #14
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If the book The Time Machine by H.G. Wells wins, can we download it from the MR library?
Of course.

ePub | Mobi/prc | LRF
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:25 AM   #15
crich70
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Posts: 6,632
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monroe Wisconsin
Device: K3, Kindle Paperwhite, Calibre, and Mobipocket for Pc (netbook)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Of course.

ePub | Mobi/prc | LRF
It's also the 1st story in the Omnibus that I posted here some time back.
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