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Old 10-22-2010, 12:04 AM   #1
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November 2010 Book Club Nominations

Help us select the next book that the Mobile Read book club will read for November 2010.

The nominations will run through Oct 27 or until 10 books have made the list.
Voting (new poll thread) will run for 5 days starting Oct 27.

Book selection category for November per the "official" club opening thread is:

November 2010
Science Fiction (rivets/science)

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 pool 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 poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations.

See post #3 for an ongoing compilation of nominations.

We have 10 fully nominated books! Nominations are closed.

Official choices each with three nominations:

1. Old Man's War by John Scalzi - [jabberwock_11, Moe The Cat, gca3020]
Inkmesh search

Description: Starred Review. Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master. Seventy-five-year-old John Perry joins the Colonial Defense Force because he has nothing to keep him on Earth. Suddenly installed in a better-than-new young body, he begins … more »developing loyalty toward his comrades in arms as they battle aliens for habitable planets in a crowded galaxy. As bloody combat experiences pile up, Perry begins wondering whether the slaughter is justified; in short, is being a warrior really a good thing, let alone being human? The definition of "human" keeps expanding as Perry is pushed through a series of mind-stretching revelations. The story obviously resembles such novels as Starship Trooper and Time Enough for Love , but Scalzi is not just recycling classic Heinlein. He's working out new twists, variations that startle even as they satisfy. The novel's tone is right on target, too—sentimentality balanced by hardheaded calculation, know-it-all smugness moderated by innocent wonder. This virtuoso debut pays tribute to SF's past while showing that well-worn tropes still can have real zip when they're approached with ingenuity. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left him: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry's service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens. The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring youth. After bonding with a group of fellow recruits who dub their clique the Old Farts, Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA and upgraded for battle, including fast-clotting "smartblood" and a brain-implanted personal computer. All too quickly the Old Farts are separated, and Perry fights for his life on various alien-infested battlegrounds. Scalzi's blending of wry humor and futuristic warfare recalls Joe Haldeman's classic, The Forever War (1974), and strikes the right fan--pleasing chords to probably garner major sf award nominations. Carl Hays Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved (from

2. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - [jgaiser, kennyc, AnemicOak]
Inkmesh search

From Wikipedia:
The Windup Girl is set in the 23rd century: Global Warming has raised the levels of world's oceans, carbon fuel sources have become depleted, and manually wound springs are used as energy storage devices. Biotechnology is dominant and mega corporations like AgriGen, PurCal and RedStar (called calorie companies) control food production through 'genehacked' seeds, and use bioterrorism, private armies and economic hitmen to create markets for their products. Frequent catastrophes, such as deadly and widespread plagues and illness, caused by genetically modified crops and mutant pests, ravage entire populations. The natural genetic seed stock of the world's plants has been almost completely supplanted by those that are genetically engineered to be sterile.

3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy By Douglas Adams - [obs20, lila55, ficbot, Quake1028]
Inkmesh search

Description: "IRRESISTIBLE!" --The Boston Globe Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by … more »quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years. Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel! "[A] WHIMSICAL ODYSSEY...Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy." --Publishers Weekly From the Paperback edition. (from

4. City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton - [crich70, twobits, ficbot]

Inkmesh search
ePub by mtravellerh
mobi/prc by JSWolf

Description: TRUE SENSE OF WONDER SF - "AN IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT." The City at World's End finds the pleasant little American city of Middletown victim to the first punch of an atomic war, a super-hydrogen bomb which explodes thousand yards above the city. Instead of blowing Middletown to smithereens, the blast blows it right off the map - to somewhere else. First there is the new thin coldness … more »of the air, the blazing corona and dullness of the sun, the visibility of the stars in high daylight. Then comes the inhabitant's terrifying discovery that Middletown is a twentieth-century oasis of paved streets and houses and shops and trees and gardens, in a desolate brown world without trees, without water, apparently without life, in unimaginably far-distant future Earth which lies abandoned and dying. To survive, the citizens of Middletown realize they will have to abandon their city, migrate to the alien city beyond the hills, and try to master the secrets of its long-abandoned, incredibly advanced machinery. But, the people of old Earth face their greatest crisis when they receive a communication from their own descendants, who have formed a Galactic Empire among the stars and long since evacuated Earth as uninhabitable or humans and have passed laws that it is to be preserved as a museum world and never repopulated again. If they are live in this future world, the men and women of Middletown will have to agree to leave Earth and migrate among the stars. The City at World's End is a human story of the reactions of men and women and boys and girl, people like you, suddenly thrust into an unprecedented situation. In its suspense, its intense humanity, its unexpected denouement, it is perhaps Mr. Edmond Hamilton's finest novel. We are sure you will agree. "A most impressive example of understatement ... in science fiction. The author has made a largely successful effort to keep the major components of his story within the bounds of the human. Quite an accomplishment in view of the cosmic nature of the plot. Five stars." Galaxy Magazine . (from

5. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke - [seagull, ctol, brecklundin]

I can only find the one large print format for this. Anyone else find something? - Inkmesh search

Suddenly space ships appear above all the Earth’s great cities. Soon the aliens announce a new regime enforcing peace and bringing prosperity to the planet. But some suspect ulterior motives particularly since humanity is no longer free to pursue space travel and the aliens never appear publicly. Years later they do appear but bring a message of the destruction of mankind as we know it and the transformation of human children into superior beings.

6. A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge [brecklundin, kennyc, voodoo_pepperweb]

Baen - Inkmesh search

From Amazon:
In this Hugo-winning 1991 SF novel, Vernor Vinge gives us a wild new cosmology, a galaxy-spanning "Net of a Million Lies," some finely imagined aliens, and much nail-biting suspense.
Faster-than-light travel remains impossible near Earth, deep in the galaxy's Slow Zone--but physical laws relax in the surrounding Beyond. Outside that again is the Transcend, full of unguessable, godlike "Powers." When human meddling wakes an old Power, the Blight, this spreads like a wildfire mind virus that turns whole civilizations into its unthinking tools. And the half-mythical Countermeasure, if it exists, is lost with two human children on primitive Tines World.

Serious complications follow. One paranoid alien alliance blames humanity for the Blight and launches a genocidal strike. Pham Nuwen, the man who knows about Countermeasure, escapes this ruin in the spacecraft Out of Band--heading for more violence and treachery, with 500 warships soon in hot pursuit. On his destination world, the fascinating Tines are intelligent only in combination: named "individuals" are small packs of the doglike aliens. Primitive doesn't mean stupid, and opposed Tine leaders wheedle the young castaways for information about guns and radios. Low-tech war looms, with elaborately nested betrayals and schemes to seize Out of Band if it ever arrives. The tension becomes extreme... while half the Beyond debates the issues on galactic Usenet.

7. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - [ficbot, Latinandgreek, voodoo_pepperweb]
Inkmesh search

From Amazon: In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong...

8. The Man in the High Castle by Philp K. Dick - [John F, jgaiser, kennyc]
Inkmesh search

Description: Dick's Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost WWII. Some 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through … more »a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), Dick provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality. Tom Weiner reveals an impressive vocal range that delivers the host of characters with distinct culture, class and gender personas, which helps to sort the various plot strands. His prose reading is engaging, though sometimes lacks sufficient emphasis and energy. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. the few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war--and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to awake. From the Trade Paperback edition. (from

9. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. - [seagull, jgaiser, lila55]

Inkmesh search - only large print at one site. Anyone else other links?

This is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel first published in 1960 that has never been out of print and gone through 25 reprints. It is considered one of the classics of science fiction. Appealing to mainstream and genre critics and readers alike, it won the 1961 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel.
The story starts in a Roman Catholic monastery in the desert of the Southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, then spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the surviving remnants of man's scientific knowledge until the day the outside world is again ready for it. Eventually, the organization seeks refuge and a mission in the stars. It's themes of religion, recurrence, and church versus state have generated a significant body of scholarly research

10. Time's Eye by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter [JSWolf, WT Sharpe, Moe The Cat]
Inkmesh search
1885, the North West Frontier. Rudyard Kipling is witness to a British army action to repress a local uprising. And to a terrifying intervention by a squadron of tanks from 2137. Before the full impact of this extraordinary event has even begun to sink in Kipling, his friends and the tanks are, themselves flung back to the 4th century and the midst of Alexander the Great's army. Mankind's time odyssey has begun. It is a journey that will see Alexander avoid his premature death and carve out an Empire that expands from Carthage to China. And it will present mankind with two devastating truths. Aliens are amongst us and have been manipulating our past and our future. And that future extends only as far as 2137 for that is the date Earth will be destroyed. This is SF that spans countless centuries and carries cutting edge ideas on time travel and alien intervention. It shows two of the genre's masters at their groundbreaking best.

Last edited by dreams; 10-24-2010 at 01:09 AM.
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