Science Fiction
London

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Upcoming Topics

The next few meeting topics are shown below.

More meeting topics get chosen at our June and December meetings each year.

It is important to note that room changes can occur on short notice. If you arrive at the designated room and find that the Science Fiction London meeting is not in that room, just ask any librarian where it is for that month. They should be able to tell you the correct location. Our apologies in advance for any room changes that are not mentioned on this page.

Meeting Title Author or Director Medium Presenter
Jan 5, 2019 The Orville (Season 1) Seth MacFarlane (Creator) TV Series Reinhardt C.
Most of us have probably viewed the series already on TV but arrangements will be made to circulate a copy of Season 1 when disks become available. No episodes of the show will be shown during the meeting.
Conceived as an homage - and parody - of Star Trek and Twilight Zone, The Orville is a relatively nondescript exploration vessel named after Orville Wright, one of the two famous Wright Brothers. The Orville travels a Trek-like universe exploring and rendering aid to those in distress.
This meeting will be held in the Stevenson-Hunt A room on the first floor. This room is opposite the Wolf Performance Hall in the same hallway.
 
February 2, 2019 Poison/The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Henrietta Rose-Innes (Writer)/Ursula K. LeGuin (Writer) Short Story/Short Story Mark A./Stephanie H.
Poison is available to read free here.The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is available at the library and at Amazon and Chapters/Indigo.
Poison: An explosion at a chemical plant in Cape Town has caused a toxic cloud to form over the city, with residents leaving on congested roads. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas: The Festival of Summer arrives in Omelas, a utopian city, full of people leading happy and peaceful lives. But the happy, peaceful lives of those in Omelas come at a price -- they depend on the suffering of a single child.
This meeting will be held in the Tonda Room of the Central library. The Tonda Room is beside the Stephenson Hunt rooms and across from the Wolf Performance Hall on the first floor.
 
March 2, 2019 Humans (Season 1) Lars Lundstrom (Screenplay) TV Series Reinhardt C.
Available at the London Public Library and at Amazon.
This British TV series, which is an adaptation of a Swedish TV series called Real Humans, examines a near-future Earth where synths (robots) look very lifelike and are increasingly common as appliances in the home. A few of these synths have contacts with their owners that make them self-aware and apparently sentient. This leads to a number of unexpected and dramatic consequences. The series essentially explores what it is to be human and to be entitled to human rights. I'm proposing that we look at Season 1, which is 8 episodes long, and that we watch it before the meeting so that we have the whole time to discuss it.
This meeting will be held in the Staff Training Room of the Central library. The Staff Training Room (formerly the Wellington Room) is beside the Dundas Room on the second floor. Just ask the first librarian you find on the second floor for directions.
 
April 6, 2019 Out of the Silent Planet C. S. Lewis (Author) Book Albert A.
Available at the London Public Library, Chapters/Indigo, Abebooks, and Amazon.
Dr. Ransom a well regarded linguistics professor is drugged and abducted by two strangers whereupon he awakens to find himself in their company within a spacecraft enroute to a planet called Malacandra. Once landed Dr. Random encounters the indigenous peoples of Malacandra, and undergoes a life altering experience that will profoundly impact him for the rest of his life. The reason behind his abduction is also revealed, exposing the motive and causes of his two companions
This meeting will be held in the Stevenson-Hunt A room on the first floor. This room is opposite the Wolf Performance Hall in the same hallway.
 
May 4, 2019 The Tourist Robert Dickinson (Author) Book Mark A.
Available at London Public Library, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, local bookstores.
In the future, travel continues to be a leisure activity, with affluent tourists pursuing more exotic adventures, hiring travel companies to escort them, in groups — to the grittiness of our early 21st century. One tourist, though, has done the unexpected and disappeared into our world. And finding her becomes more difficult than expected.
This meeting will be held in the Stevenson-Hunt A room on the first floor. This room is opposite the Wolf Performance Hall in the same hallway.
 
June 1, 2019 Quantum Night Robert J. Sawyer (Author) Book Terry B.
Available at London Public Library, Chapters/Indigo, Amazon.
Psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere. But while being cross examined in court, Jim discovers that he is missing the memories of a six month period of his life. Jim and his long lost girlfriend, quantum physicist Kayla Huron, will make a stunning discovery about the nature of human consciousness. As a rising tide of violence sweeps across the globe, Jim & Kayla combine forces to see if they can do the impossible, change human nature before the entire world descends into darkness.
This meeting will be held in the Staff Training Room of the Central library. The Staff Training Room (formerly the Wellington Room) is beside the Dundas Room on the second floor. Just ask the first librarian you find on the second floor for directions.
 
July 6, 2019 Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus Mary Shelley (Author) Book Stephanie H., Mark A.
Available at the library, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, and local bookstores. It can also be read here.
In her Gothic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his creation, Mary Shelley has inspired countless adaptations and, for which, she is often viewed as one of the first authors in the modern science fiction genre. It is a tale that has raised many issues & questions that SF still grapples with, such as the relationship between creators and their creations, the possibilities and limitations of scientific exploration, and the consequences of human ambition.
This meeting will be held in the Stevenson-Hunt A room on the first floor. This room is opposite the Wolf Performance Hall in the same hallway.
 
August 3, 2019 The Massacre of Mankind Stephen Baxter (Author) Book Ron T.
Available at the London Public Library, Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.
This book, written in the style of H.G. Wells, is a sequel to Wells' War of the Worlds. It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war-machines has led to technological leaps forward. So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. But the Martians have learned and adapted.
This meeting will be held in the Stevenson-Hunt A room on the first floor. This room is opposite the Wolf Performance Hall in the same hallway.
 

Preparing For Meetings

If you are thinking about attending one of our meetings, it would be a very good idea for you to prepare beforehand. Generally, that means getting and reading the book before the meeting. We know that many people cannot afford expensive hardcover editions. Therefore, it is our practice to choose only meeting topics for which a trade paperback or mass market paperback is available. For information on how to acquire the books mentioned on this page, please see our Availability of Books page. It offers information on how to search the London Public Library online catalog as well as links, phone numbers, and more to help you track down a copy of a book so that you can prepare for one of our meetings.

For film and TV topics, we will show the film or program (or at least an episode or two) at the meeting if the library licenses allow it. If the licenses don't permit us to show the film or program, we will circulate one or more copies of the film or program prior to the meeting. The description of the topic will indicate whether the film will be shown at the meeting or whether members will need to acquire it in advance. The Film/TV Sources page of this website will give you some information on how to determine if the film can be found at the London Public Library as well as how to find it elsewhere if the library doesn't have it.

Past Topics

You can see a more-or-less complete list of past meeting topics as well as a variety of interesting reports about those topics. Those reports list the authors and directors we have examined the most frequently, the members who have presented topics the most often, etc. etc.



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