Science Fiction London

We meet on the first Saturday of the month at 1:30 PM Eastern Time to discuss the selected topic, which could be a science fiction book, short story, movie, TV show, or theme. Detailed information on topic selection, meeting times and locations can be found on the meetings page.

Our upcoming topics

February 4, 2023

Sea of Tranquility

by Emily St. John Mandel

Presented by Mark A.

Sea of Tranquility follows some of the characters introduced to readers in the author's previous novels -- Station Eleven and The Glass House -- but is a stand-alone novel. A detective, Gaspery-Jacques Roberts uncovers complexities that connect people across time (over two centuries) and space (between Earth and a moon colony). We covered Emily St John Mandel's novel Station Eleven in 2020.

Availability Available from the London Public Library, Available from book stores e.g. Chapters/Indigo or Amazon or local used book shops.

March 4, 2023

The Lathe of Heaven

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Presented by Margot B.

In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes.

Availability Available from the London Public Library or from book stores e.g. Chapters/Indigo or Amazon or local used book shops.

April 1, 2023

Please note, this meeting will have two separate theme topics for discussion. The first half of the meeting is "SF Authorship & Publishing" and the second half is "The International Space Station".

Science Fiction Authorship & Publishing

Round Table Discussion

This will be a general discussion on science fiction authorship & publishing. Some of the discussion may involve a consideration of Canadian SF. Catherine F., the proprietor of Brain Lag Press, will join us for this discussion. Some newer SF is carried by newer publishers; small SF is published by genre-specific publishers (such as TOR), while other SF may be published by "mainstream" publishers and will be carried on the general fiction section of major book retailers. Those participating may wish to come with questions for Catherine on Brain Lag, on establishing a new SF publishing house, etc.

The International Space Station
Presented by Josie D.

This will be a theme meeting to discuss the International Space Station. Is it fulfilling its purpose? Is there more that it can do for humanity? What is the future of international space co-operation?

May 6, 2023

Dune

by Frank Herbert

Presented by Stephanie H. and Mark A.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for.... When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Availability Available from the London Public Library or from book stores e.g. Chapters/Indigo or Amazon or local used book shops.

June 3, 2023

Elysium

directed by Neil Blomkamp

Presented by Mark A.

Set in the not-too-distant future, many of the world's elite live on Elysium, an orbiting space station that circles the Earth. Life on Elysium is luxurious; among the amenities, there are Med-Bays, machines that can cure people. Back on Earth, Max Da Costa, a parolee who is working in a factory, is exposed to radiation and has days left to live. He joins forces with Spider, who is a hacker and leads a gang of well-armed, organized criminals -- to go to Elysium.

Availability We will watch the movie at the meeting in the library unless circumstances change. For those who want to watch at home DVDs are available from the London Public Library or it can be streamed, purchased or rented.

Topic selection for March 2023 to August 2023 will also be decided at this meeting. Please use the Topic Proposal form to submit an idea.

July 8, 2023

Noumenon

by Marina J. Lostetter

Presented by Josie D.

With nods to Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series and the real science of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, a touch of Hugh Howey’s Wool, and echoes of Octavia Butler’s voice, a powerful tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes. In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth’s solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go? Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He’s discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

Availability Available from the London Public Library or from book stores e.g. Chapters/Indigo or Amazon or local used book shops.

August 5, 2023

Planetfall

by Emma Newman

Presented by Mark A.

From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thorns, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing… Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown. More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret. Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi. The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

Availability Available from the London Public Library or from book stores e.g. Chapters/Indigo or Amazon or local used book shops.