The Fantasy and Science Fiction/Theory Reading Group

The Fantasy and Science Fiction/Theory Reading Group is a casual, convivial group that meets usually meets on the second Tuesday of each month. We gather to discuss works (partial list of previous readings) that we have chosen collectively and to put those works in some sort of theoretical perspective, the sort, of course, depending on the works and the viewpoints of those assembled. The Group is open on a drop-in basis, because we are always interested in the views of those who are especially interested in a particular work or author, but most participants try to attend regularly. Our currently active members include faculty, graduate students, and staff from the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and other local residents with strong interests in the field. (We are not open to undergraduates. Interested undergraduates may want to consider joining a local science fiction club such as the Stilyagi Air Corps in Ann Arbor.) The Fantasy and Science Fiction/Theory Reading Group normally meets year round from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. although occasionally our schedule varies, so please consult the calendar below. Our current location is 3184 Angell Hall in the Department of English of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The meeting will be hosted by one of our regular members. Light snacks are sometimes provided; if you would like to bring food of some sort, we only ask that you bring enough to share.

At our meeting of 8 Oct 2013, we agreed to continue meeting generally on the second Tuesday of the month and chose a slate of books for the upcoming year. All of the works listed below were available either new or used when the schedule was set, but some books may require ordering, so it is advisable to begin acquiring texts early. Our schedule 2013 follows:



T 12 Nov
China Mièville, Embassytown: a book by one of today's most pyrotechnic and controversial writers focusing on language, how it makes us who we are, and how it enters into meeting the alien.
T 10 Dec
Joss Wheden, Serenity (2005): Our annual pizza-and-viewing meeting, this time featuring the movie that concluded Joss Wheden's SF TV series Firefly. Special location: 1180 Duderstadt Center.
T 14 Jan

John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar: Brunner's groundbreaking dystopian novel about overpopulation and its impact on society.

T 11 Feb
Graham Joyce, Some Kind of Fairy Tale: twenty years ago, teenager Tara disappeared in the dense English forest known as the Outwoods, leaving her parents and her brother, Peter, to fear the unthinkable, but on Christmas Day the doorbell rings and there Tara standsódisheveled, unapologetic, and not looking a day over sixteen.
T 11 Mar
G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen: a novel set an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clientsódissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groupsófrom surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble (unsuccessfully).
T 8 Apr
Tanith Lee, Red as Blood: How would it be if Snow White were the real villain & the wicked queen just a sadly maligned innocent? What if awakening the Sleeping Beauty should be the mistake of a lifetime--of several lifetimes? What if the famous folk tales were retold with an eye to more horrific possibilities? Here are the world-famous tales of the Brothers Grimm as they might have been retold by the Sisters Grimmer!
T 13 May
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker: his second novel follows a number of characters in their noirish adventures around a clockwork device of great power (a Doomsday device), and is based largely in the United Kingdom with action taking place around the current day, with discursions to World War II and the years following.
T 10 Jun
David Levithan, Every Day: a young adult novel and what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.
T 8 Jul
Mark Millar, Superman: Red Son (graphic novel): What if baby Superman had crashed on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain and grew up to become Stalin's right-hand man? And what if insane genius Lex Luthor was employed by the US government to develop their own countermeasure against the Man of Steel, turning the Cold War hot?!.
T 12 Aug
Lev Grossman, The Magicians: psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world--where good and evil aren't black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.
T 9 Sep
Toby Barlow, Babayaga: a Novel: a novel of love, spies, and witches in 1950s Paris – and a cop turned into a flea.
T 14 Oct
Book selection meeting! Please come ready to suggest books for the group to read. If you wish, bring a copy of each suggested book and/or bring reviews. Please check in advance to make sure that the books you suggest are available. In case our selection discussion takes less than our two-hour allotment, anyone who wants to can bring copies of a short-short story for us to read together and chew on. If you can't make the meeting but want to make a recommendation, please send it to our email list (FantasySF@umich.edu).
T 11 Nov
Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312: a sprawling novel using SF themes such as terra-forming, necessary migration from earth, etc., whose action is set in the year 2312, in the great city of Terminator on Mercury, which is built on gigantic tracks in order to constantly stay on the planet's nightside.

If you want to send an electronic message to this Reading Group, please address FantasySF@umich.edu. If you want to see this message on the World Wide Web, please point your browser at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~esrabkin/fsftsched.html. If you want to add your name to the mail group or make suggestions or inquiries, please contact Eric Rabkin by e-mail (esrabkin@umich.edu).

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Friends of Eric (FOE)
This page was last updated on Thursday, 10-Oct-2013 9:45:00 EST.