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January 20, 2011


Posted by Dana

41dB-VE0qEL._SL160_.jpgEarlier this week I went to hang out with a Sci-Fi book club that I am sorta-kinda a member of.  (The group was started by my indy bookstore several years ago, so even though I rarely show up they still include me!)  

This book club is different than most, I think, in that it boasts as many men as women in the group - and the number of bottles of wine consumed is roughly equal to the number of people.  So, suffice it to say... fun group.

They choose a variety of books from classic sci-fi to current and will often read more than one book from a series.

This month, their selection was RENDEVOUS WITH RAMA by Arthur C. Clarke and the conversation was lively.  The book is classic sci-fi and deals with a topic many of our movies and books deal with: first contact with an alien species.  Though in RENDEVOUS WITH RAMA what they come in contact with is a ship built by an alien species with none of the original builders on board.  The humans do come in contact with other "lower" life forms and plenty of danger, but what the book club seemed to like best was the way Clarke had his characters handle the discoveries.  And how as readers you only knew what his characters could figure out.

I always find it impressive when a book holds up over time and the group all felt that this one does.  Though it was originally published in 1973, the group really connected to the story.

Another fun thing about a book that old is that everyone seemed to get hold of a different edition.  One edition even had a picture of what "Rama" looked like which we passed around and which everyone agreed was not how they imagined it.

If you haven't tried science fiction with your book club, a classic like this one is a good place to start.  And don't worry, you won't automatically start wearing costumes and speaking Vulcan if you include it on your list!

-- Dana Barrett, Contributing Editor