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Old 04-19-2017, 11:44 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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May 2017 Book Club Nominations

Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for May, 2017.

The nominations will run through midnight EST April 26 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

The book selection category for May is: Science Fiction.

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) In Times Like These: A Time Travel Adventure by Nathan van Coops
Goodreads | Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo US
Print Length: 384 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

"We broke something. How do you break time? Can something so bad happen that you fracture the world?" Benjamin Travers has been electrocuted. What's worse, he and his friends have woken up in the past. As the friends search for a way home, they realize they're not alone. There are other time travelers, and some of them are turning up dead. When Ben meets an enigmatic scientist and his charming, time-traveling daughter, salvation seems at hand, but escaping the dangers of the past may lead to a deadly future. If he hopes to save his friends, Ben must learn to master space and time, and survive a journey where past and future violently collide.


(2) Balance of Trade (Liaden Universe #3) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Goodreads | Amazon US / Audible / Baen
Print Length:464 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn was an honest, hardworking young man who knew a lot about living onboard his family's space-going trade ship; something about trade, finance, and risk-taking; and a little bit about Liadens. It was, oddly enough, the little bit he knew about Liadens that seemed like it might be enough to make his family's fortune, and his own, too. In short order, however, Jethri Gobelyn was about to find out a lot more about Liadens...like how far they might go to protect their name and reputation. Like the myriad of things one might say-intentionally or not-with a single bow. Like what it would take to make a Liaden trade-ship crew trash a bar. Like how hard it is to say "I'm sorry!" in Liaden. Pretty soon it was clear that as little as he knew about Liadens, he knew far less about himself. With his very existence a threat to the balance of trade, Jethri Gobelyn needed to learn fast, or else help destroy all he held dear.


(3) Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Goodreads | Wikipedia
Print Length: 145 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a “full empty,” something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he’ll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems.


(4) The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1) by John Scalzi
Goodreads | Overdrive
Print Length: 334 pages
Spoiler:
Our universe is ruled by physics. Faster than light travel is impossible—until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.

Riding The Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war—and, for the empire’s rulers, a system of control.

The Flow is eternal—but it’s not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well. In rare cases, entire worlds have been cut off from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, three individuals—a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency—must race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.


(5) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Goodreads
Print Length: 194 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

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.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television 'family'. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.


(6) Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick
Goodreads
Print Length: 306 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Hailed for his grandeur of imagination and superb worldbuilding, winner of and nominee for more than fifty awards for his outstanding work, Mike Resnick has rightfully won a place as one of science fiction's master storytellers. Now, in Kirinyaga, Resnick presents the haunting and utterly compelling tale of one man's utopia.

By the twentieth second century in the African nation of Kenya, polluted cities sprawl up the flanks of sacred Mount Kirinyaga. Great animal herds are but distant memories. European crops now grow on the sweeping savannas. But Koriba, a distinguished, educated man of Kikuyu ancestry, knows that life was different for his people centuries ago--and he is determined to build a utopian colony, not on earth, but on the terraformed planetoid he proudly names Kirinyaga.

As the mundumugu--witch doctor--Koriba leads the colonists. Reinstating the ancient customs and stringent laws of the Kikuyu people, he alone decides their fate. He must face many challenges to the struggling colony's survival: from a brilliant young girl whose radiant intellect could threaten their traditional ways to the interference of "Maintenance" which holds the power to revoke the colony's charter. All the while, only Koriba--unbeknownst to his people--maintains the computer link to the rest of humanity.

Ironically, the Kirinyaga experiment threatens to collapse--not from violence or greed--but from humankind's insatiable desire for knowledge. The Kikuyu people can no more stand still in time than their planet can stop revolving around its sun.

Deeply moving, swiftly paced, and profound in its implications, Kirinyaga is Mike Resnick's most triumphant work to date. His Fable of Utopia is the book every science fiction reader will want to own and savor for years to come.


Nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 04-27-2017 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Through post #42
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:45 PM   #2
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May 2017 Book Club Nominations

Nominations:

*** In Times Like These: A Time Travel Adventure by Nathan van Coops [GA Russell, issybird, Luffy]
Goodreads | Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo US
Print Length: 384 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

"We broke something. How do you break time? Can something so bad happen that you fracture the world?" Benjamin Travers has been electrocuted. What's worse, he and his friends have woken up in the past. As the friends search for a way home, they realize they're not alone. There are other time travelers, and some of them are turning up dead. When Ben meets an enigmatic scientist and his charming, time-traveling daughter, salvation seems at hand, but escaping the dangers of the past may lead to a deadly future. If he hopes to save his friends, Ben must learn to master space and time, and survive a journey where past and future violently collide.


* A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought #1) by Vernor Vinge [bfisher]
Goodreads
Print Length: 624 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Fire Upon the Deep is the big, breakout book that fulfills the promise of Vinge's career to date: a gripping tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale.

Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these "regions of thought," but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artifact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.

Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines, an alien race with a harsh medieval culture, and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue mission, not entirely composed of humans, must rescue the children-and a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.


* Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement [bfisher]
Goodreads
Print Length: 176 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

For a profit -- and adventure -- Barlennan would sail thousands of miles across uncharted waters, into regions where gravity itself played strange tricks. He would dare the perils of strange tribes and stranger creatures -- even dicker with those strange aliens from beyond the skies, though the concept of another world was unknown to the inhabitants of the disk-shaped planet of Mesklin.
But in spite of the incredible technology of the strangers and without regard for their enormous size, Barlennan had the notion of turning the deal to an unsuspected advantage for himself . . . all in all a considerable enterprise for a being very much resembling a fifteen-inch caterpillar!
This book also contains Hal Clement's classic article "Whiligig World."


** The Nightland by William Hope Hodgson [Pajamaman, Dazrin]
Goodreads | Project Gutenberg
Print Length: 450 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

"---this fantasy of a night-black, dead planet, with the remains of the human race concentrated in a stupendously vast metal pyramid & besieged by monstrous, hybrid & altogether unknown forces of darkness, is something that no reader can ever forger" (H. P. Lovecraft).

"One of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written" -- H.P.Lovecraft. Lovecraft wasn't wrong: this is, perhaps, the greatest single work of fantastic fiction in the English language. The sun has died, as have the stars. Not a solitary light shines in the heavens. The days of light are nothing by a legend -- they are a story told to soothe children. The last millions of humans still live in their Last Redoubt -- but the end of their days is at hand.


*** Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky [Pajamaman, issybird, Dazrin]
Goodreads | Wikipedia
Print Length: 145 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a “full empty,” something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he’ll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems.


** Consider Phlebas (Culture #1) by Iain M. Banks [Pajamaman, Luffy]
Goodreads | Wikipedia
Print Length: 545 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

"Dazzlingly original." -- Daily Mail
"Gripping, touching and funny." -- TLS

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.


*** Balance of Trade (Liaden Universe #3) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller [CRussel, bfisher, Luffy]
Goodreads | Amazon US / Audible / Baen
Print Length:464 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn was an honest, hardworking young man who knew a lot about living onboard his family's space-going trade ship; something about trade, finance, and risk-taking; and a little bit about Liadens. It was, oddly enough, the little bit he knew about Liadens that seemed like it might be enough to make his family's fortune, and his own, too. In short order, however, Jethri Gobelyn was about to find out a lot more about Liadens...like how far they might go to protect their name and reputation. Like the myriad of things one might say-intentionally or not-with a single bow. Like what it would take to make a Liaden trade-ship crew trash a bar. Like how hard it is to say "I'm sorry!" in Liaden. Pretty soon it was clear that as little as he knew about Liadens, he knew far less about himself. With his very existence a threat to the balance of trade, Jethri Gobelyn needed to learn fast, or else help destroy all he held dear.


*** Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick [BenG, WT Sharpe, Dazrin]
Goodreads
Print Length: 306 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Hailed for his grandeur of imagination and superb worldbuilding, winner of and nominee for more than fifty awards for his outstanding work, Mike Resnick has rightfully won a place as one of science fiction's master storytellers. Now, in Kirinyaga, Resnick presents the haunting and utterly compelling tale of one man's utopia.

By the twentieth second century in the African nation of Kenya, polluted cities sprawl up the flanks of sacred Mount Kirinyaga. Great animal herds are but distant memories. European crops now grow on the sweeping savannas. But Koriba, a distinguished, educated man of Kikuyu ancestry, knows that life was different for his people centuries ago--and he is determined to build a utopian colony, not on earth, but on the terraformed planetoid he proudly names Kirinyaga.

As the mundumugu--witch doctor--Koriba leads the colonists. Reinstating the ancient customs and stringent laws of the Kikuyu people, he alone decides their fate. He must face many challenges to the struggling colony's survival: from a brilliant young girl whose radiant intellect could threaten their traditional ways to the interference of "Maintenance" which holds the power to revoke the colony's charter. All the while, only Koriba--unbeknownst to his people--maintains the computer link to the rest of humanity.

Ironically, the Kirinyaga experiment threatens to collapse--not from violence or greed--but from humankind's insatiable desire for knowledge. The Kikuyu people can no more stand still in time than their planet can stop revolving around its sun.

Deeply moving, swiftly paced, and profound in its implications, Kirinyaga is Mike Resnick's most triumphant work to date. His Fable of Utopia is the book every science fiction reader will want to own and savor for years to come.


*** The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1) by John Scalzi [JSWolf, WT Sharpe, obs20]
Goodreads | Overdrive
Print Length: 334 pages
Spoiler:
Our universe is ruled by physics. Faster than light travel is impossible—until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.

Riding The Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war—and, for the empire’s rulers, a system of control.

The Flow is eternal—but it’s not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well. In rare cases, entire worlds have been cut off from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, three individuals—a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency—must race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.


* Quarter Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper #1) by Nathan Lowell [CRussel]
Goodreads | Amazon US / Audible / podcast
Print Length: 250 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

The Golden Age of Sail has Returned -- in the Year 2352

When his mother dies in a flitter crash, eighteen-year-old Ishmael Horatio Wang must find a job with the planet company or leave the system--and NerisCo isn't hiring. With credits running low, and prospects limited, he has just one hope...to enlist for two years with a deep space commercial freighter. Ishmael, who only rarely visited the Neris Orbital, and has never been off-planet alone before, finds himself part of an eclectic crew sailing a deep space leviathan between the stars.

Join the crew of the SC Lois McKendrick, a Manchester built clipper as she sets solar sails in search of profit for her company and a crew each entitled to a share equal to their rating.


* The Green-Eyed Monster (The Enigma of Twilight Falls #1) by Mike Robinson [WT Sharpe]
Goodreads
Print Length: 240 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Martin Smith and John Becker: bestselling authors with ordinary names and extraordinary minds.

Their words have power — to heal, to kill, to change the lives of their “characters” in shocking and unexpected ways. Famous for their uncanny similarity in both physical manner and literary voice, their childhood rivalry spins out of control into adulthood.

The death of one at the hands of the other brings to light their troubling past — and a mysterious presence, watching on from the shadows — an authorial entity with roots beyond our time or dimension; an entity with far-reaching designs.

The pen is truly mightier than the deadliest sword.


*** Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury [issybird, GA Russell, Hollow Man]
Goodreads
Print Length: 194 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

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.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television 'family'. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.


Nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 04-27-2017 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Through post #42
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:53 AM   #3
GA Russell
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I nominate In Times Like These: A Time Travel Adventure by Nathan van Coops.

854 Amazon reviewers give it 4.5 stars.

Amazon - free
https://www.amazon.com/Times-Like-Th...dp/B00FCCT6UQ/

Kobo - free
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/in-times-like-these-9

Nook - free
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-t...=2940153512563
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:15 AM   #4
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So, do you need us to nominate *From the Earth to the Moon* ;-)
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:25 AM   #5
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I'll second In Times Like These.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:42 AM   #6
Luffy
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I third In Times Like These.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:06 PM   #7
WT Sharpe
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So, do you need us to nominate *From the Earth to the Moon* ;-)
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:06 PM   #8
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I would like to nominate A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought series Book 1) by Vernor Vinge

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/..._Upon_the_Deep
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:15 PM   #9
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I'd also like to nominate Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement. A classic hard-science sci-fi story.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...ion_of_Gravity
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:50 AM   #10
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I nominate The Nightland by William Hope Hodgson
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10662

I nominate Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky Brothers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadside_Picnic

I nominate Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consider_Phlebas

Is three allowed?
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:19 PM   #11
CRussel
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Three is allowed. But it means you now have no seconds or thirds available to use, since your total tickets for nominations, seconds and thirds is three.
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:59 AM   #12
CRussel
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Sigh. So far, nothing is exciting me in this list. And SF is one of my genres.

OK, I'll throw one up. A non-series book in the Liaden Universe. I nominate:

Balance of Trade by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

Goodreads:
Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn was an honest, hardworking young man who knew a lot about living onboard his family's space-going trade ship; something about trade, finance, and risk-taking; and a little bit about Liadens. It was, oddly enough, the little bit he knew about Liadens that seemed like it might be enough to make his family's fortune, and his own, too. In short order, however, Jethri Gobelyn was about to find out a lot more about Liadens...like how far they might go to protect their name and reputation. Like the myriad of things one might say-intentionally or not-with a single bow. Like what it would take to make a Liaden trade-ship crew trash a bar. Like how hard it is to say "I'm sorry!" in Liaden. Pretty soon it was clear that as little as he knew about Liadens, he knew far less about himself. With his very existence a threat to the balance of trade, Jethri Gobelyn needed to learn fast, or else help destroy all he held dear.

464 Pages

Amazon US: $6.99
Baen: $6.99 (all formats!)
Audible - 1 Credit or $29.95$14.97

This is a bit of a coming of age book, so YA, and also definitely a 'trader' book, so in that subgenre of space opera. And while it is part of the larger Liaden Universe, it requires no prior knowledge of the rest of the Liaden Universe (really, Jon, I promise!), and the only book that depends on it in any way is its own direct sequel, Trade Secret.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:52 PM   #13
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I'll second Balance of Trade
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:40 AM   #14
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I'll third Balance of Trade.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:16 AM   #15
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I nominate Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick.
It was written as a series of short stories and novellas designed to be published as a novel later.
The book and its chapters are among the most honored in science fiction history with 67 awards and nominations including two Hugo awards.

Kirinyaga tells the story of Koriba, a well intentioned Kikuyu man from Kenya who sets about to lead his people to set up their own traditional Utopia, a planet named Kirinyaga (Mt. Kenya) after the holy mountain of their god, Ngai, in Kenya. The goal of the settlers is to live the way their ancient ancestors lived with no European influence or niceties. They will hunt and farm for their food, live off the land in traditional bomas (huts) and rule their society with the traditional councils of Elders advised by the mundumugu (wise man, witch doctor), Koriba.

Spoiler:
It is an brilliant novel about how one person's idea of utopia may not be everyone's and perhaps the ancient utopia was not a utopia at all, and how preventing change is impossible.

The story is told from Koriba's point of view, so we know that he thinks he is doing the right thing, but he is not meant to be a sympathetic character .


Goodreads:
Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia
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