Science Fiction
London

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Earthrise Over Plaskett Crater
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How SFL Works

The main focus of SFL is the monthly meeting, which generally consists of a brief look at club business and then the discussion of the book or film which is the central topic.

SFL also stages occasional events beyond the monthly meetings. Previous events have included:

Monthly Meetings

Each meeting is a discussion of a book, film or theme that is at least loosely within the realm of science fiction or fantasy. The discussion is led by one or two volunteers, who have prepared materials in advance of the meeting.

The presenter(s) begin by giving information about the author and/or the topic. This information is used to give some idea of the context of the topic: the influences on the writer and an insight into his creative motivation. Other information may also be given, including: a bibliography of the author's work; reactions of critics to the work under discussion, as well as other works of the author; pictures of book covers; lists of resource books that give more insight into the author or the book; and anything else that the presenter can find to enhance knowledge of the topic.

The second part of the meeting is also led by the presenter and features a discussion period. The presenter asks open-ended questions about the topic and attempts to get the other members to share their thoughts. For example, the presenter might ask how the work relates to others of the same style or what aspects of the work are the most or least convincing. Discussions are often lively but mature and courteous. One impartial visitor told us that the discussions were more intelligent and the presentations more polished than most of his university English classes. A good sense of humour helps keep things fun.

In addition to the meeting topics themselves, we will typically spend at least a few minutes of each meeting on announcements of interest to the members, discussing proposed policy changes and so forth. These matters are generally left until the end of the meeting. Participation is strictly voluntary.

A list of upcoming meeting topics can be found on our Upcoming Topics page.

Making Improvements

We regularly experiment with how we do things in an effort to make things better for all concerned. If you enjoy the meetings, we encourage you to come to all of our meetings and even present a few of your favourite books or films if you like. If you don't enjoy the meetings, please talk to one of our members with your constructive suggestions: maybe we can make the meetings better.