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The Sci-fi and Fantasy Book Club Message Board › What are the meetings like?

What are the meetings like?

A former member
Post #: 7
I live a bit far away but I'd really like to parcitipate in a group like this. I've been a member for a while and still haven't made it to a meeting. I keep trying to talk myself into it but, with all the driving, it will take up most of my day and I'm as busy as anyone.

I was hoping that maybe some of you could tell me a bit of what the meetings are like. Are they structured? Do you socialize after? That sort of thing.

I read quite a bit. While I don't read everything in the meetup list, I have read quite a few and would be glad to shift my reading to more of those titles if I should become actively involved.
Springfield, VA
Post #: 15
Alan -

I'd been "lurking" in the shadows for several of the books before I finally was able to attend a recent meeting with this group. Sometimes I'm not crazy about the book, or sometimes my schedule won't allow me to attend. BUT, after the time I did attend (Roger Zelazny's "Lord of Light"), I really liked the group and the location. It's a small-ish and cozy coffee shop at the intersection of Kings Highway and Telegraph Rd.

I got there about 15-20 min. before the start-time, and there was one other person there already. As people drifted in, they would go and get food and/or drinks (there is quite a unique and interesting menue there!!!), then pull up a chair. So, finally, about 10-12 of us converged to monopolize the couch/chair area right in front of the fireplace. (Someone said "Our regular table was already take" - so there may be a standard spot, but I'm not sure. We were going toe-to-toe with a knitting group...and THEY had knitting-needles, and we only had paperbacks!!! So, we let them keep the table!) There are other tables and chairs in the near-by area (It's about the size of a Carrabou Coffe Shop - maybe a Starbucks), so the noise level was fairly buzzing. And, we were in the middle of the entire place. I could hear folks pretty well in my immediate (3-5 feet away) range, but the comments of those across the coffee table were hard to follow.

We started with general comments about the book ("Who liked it - and why?" etc.) and followed a loosely rambling series of observations, comments, questions, and other tidbits about style, plot, and author history. About halfway, the noise made it so that we broke-off into sub-sets (by proximity) to go more in-depth...or to go off-topic - as we preferred. Those sub-sets would intermingle and reform as the noise-level allowed - and there was still cross-talk between all attendees. After about an hour to an hour and a half (or so), we began to wind down, said our good-byes, and worked our way outside...where some of us (by virtue of less noise) followed-up on some remnant conversations.

My personal observation was that the group is EXTREMELY well-read - with an exciting mix of modern and classical Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans. The age range is mixed, as is the gender-distribution. We touched on some deep issues within the material, had some keen comparisons with other novels (some that the group had already read), and shared lots of details about the genre. Along the way, folks felt free to interweave comments about SF/Fantasy TV shows/movies, and just had a good time. All-in-all, it was a lot of fun, and the people were very friendly, warm, and inviting.

I'm planning to attend this Sunday for "Hyperion" - and will continue to attend when the material, my schedule, and the spirit moves me. I'm only driving about 15 minutes - so my commitment isn't as great as yours. You might consider planning other activities in the area to optimize your experience! There are some good movie theaters and restaurants nearby.

Perhaps we'll see you soon!?!?! Hope this helps!
A former member
Post #: 4
Alan pretty much hit the nail on the head. The meeting are very casual, friendly, and the conversation certainly isn't restricted to the book- we often spend just as much time discussing the random tangents we find ourselves on then the book itself.

Hes right about the diversity of the group. Its a wide range of ages, genders (well, 2 genders at least), and life experiences. The group is very well read as well but nobody comes off 'holier then thou' or condescending because you aren't familiar with typo on page 157 of the 1st edition of "Insert Obscure SciFi Book".

The group does tend to dissolve into sub-conversation but in my opinion its a good thing. Bored of the conversation to you left? Turn to your right!

Don't worry if you didn't get all the way through the book yet either. Most discussion start with "so... did you finish the book yet?" Depending on the length (or quality!) of the book sometimes as much as half of us haven't finished it.

Good conversation, good books, good people. Its worth the drive. It takes me about 35 minutes but I don't mind one bit.
user 10567812
Washington, DC
Post #: 7
Hey i've been going off and on for about 5 months now and its great. The group is great and the books while I'm not crazy about a lot of, its the group itself that make it worth the trip. Yeah we get off topic a bit and sometimes talk about the book for a few minutes but its well worth any trip. i live in Herndon and I make the trek out there.
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