What we're about

This book club began in 2008 as a tiny group of strangers meeting out of a Borders bookshop (yes, that long ago). In the years since, we’ve grown from dozens to thousands, from strangers to friends. I often joke of us as an island of misfit toys, people from all walks of life, all backgrounds and professions and personalities, who would never otherwise meet except over a love of speculative fiction. Most of our regulars have a story of what caused them to join, and I imagine you do too.

We’ve worked hard and will continue to work hard to make the book club a haven for readers and enthusiasts to geek out and share their love of books, and will deepen our commitment to maintain a harassment-free safe space for all.

If you’re seeking an academic critique group or to rehash the classics, this isn’t the right group for you, and I encourage you to explore others that might be.

We intend to explore the expanding frontiers of the genre as fully as possible. We will deliberately and unapologetically push the boundaries of our reading list to include marginalized and queer voices and spaces, to occasionally dabble in adjacent speculative genres (such as horror, romance, and historical fiction/alternate history), to primarily focus on adult spec fic, but occasionally cross into YA or middle-grade.

Speculative fiction is and always has been a prism through which we can better understand our own world, so our discussions will range from the light and humorous to serious and uncomfortable topics such as race, gender, identity, sexual orientation, religion, and contemporary politics to the extent necessary to draw analogies or contrasts. To create room to explore these topics and learn from each other while maintaining a safe space for all requires openness, constructive dialogue, and positive intent and decency from all our members. Ad hominem attacks, bad faith arguments, malicious trolling, or the willful marginalization of any member’s identity will not be tolerated.

Going forward we’re operating under four key rules:

Rule #1: NOBODY DIES AT BOOK CLUB. To participate in person, you must attest and submit proof that you’re vaccinated and boosted. No exceptions. Requirements may evolve in the future as the demands of surviving the pandemic require. I regret that this may exclude members who cannot be vaccinated, but this is essential to keeping all of us and vulnerable loved ones safe. Also, if you’re sick, have been exposed, or are testing positive, don’t come to an event. Let’s continue to read about dystopian pestilences rather than add to them.

Rule #2: DON’T BE PROBLEMATIC. Don’t creep on, harass, or otherwise disrespect other members. Respect boundaries, and set your own in the knowledge that they’ll be respected. Come to me or an assistant organizer at any time if you’re being made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe (including calling us out if we transgress unwittingly). Our safety and anti-harassment policies will be enforced.

Rule #3: Time is fleeting, DON’T FINISH BOOKS YOU’RE NOT ENJOYING. Just put it down and move on to something you’ll enjoy. And if you need to drop out of a meetup to make room for someone that wants to read the book, please do so.

Rule #4: DON’T SHIT ON OTHER PEOPLE’S JOY. It’s 2022 and the world is on fire. Let people enjoy things even if you don’t. Let others express what they like about a book or a movie or other work and share their enthusiasm. At the appropriate time in a discussion, we will talk about what we didn’t like, and you are welcome to rant as needed; please do so in a way that doesn’t make anyone feel stupid or lesser for having liked a work. Three corollaries to this rule, (a) we’re also going to ask that you don’t talk about the book and your opinion of it (including linking reviews) before the discussion or on the meetup prior to the event; (b) no spoilers for the book before the event, or for any sequels during and after the event; (c) keep your RSVP up to date and drop out of events you can no longer attendto make room for someone who wishes to.

If you’re new and the above sounds like your jam, sign up for an event! We’d love to meet you. Please note that our events often fill up fast and you may find yourself on a waitlist. Do not be disheartened or intimated, we see a lot of movement on the waitlists and if you hang in there, you’ll probably get in.

Upcoming events (2)

October’s Speculative Fiction - The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Please join us as we discuss THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by Stephen Graham Jones. This acclaimed horror novel won the Bradbury and Stoker awards and was nominated for the Locus and World Fantasy awards. The book is relatively short, at about 336 pages.

Please note that YOU MUST COMPLETE YOUR VACCINE ATTESTATION with proof you’re vaxxed and boosted to gain a spot for this event. If you’ve already completed it for a prior event, no further action is required on your part. We will advance folks off the waitlist based on completed attestations.

Please keep your RSVP updated and accurate!* Space is limited for this event. We are intentionally holding some rsvp slots for new members specifically, so if you’re new and the event is full, please get on the waitlist ASAP!

You may bring your own food/drinks (no alcohol, please) or you may pick something up in Mosaic or at the farmers market before the meetup. We do ask that you pack your trash out with you.

KINDLE
PAPERBACK
AUDIBLE

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

From USA TODAY bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a “masterpiece” (Locus Magazine) of a novel about revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition. Labeled “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels” (Entertainment Weekly), this is a remarkable horror story that “will give you nightmares—the good kind of course” (BuzzFeed).

From New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American Indian experience. Fans of Jordan Peele and Tommy Orange will love this story as it follows the lives of four American Indian men and their families, all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, totally helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

*Since missing one of these meetups is taking a spot away from someone else who wants to go, we'll need to have a stricter attendance policy than normal. For book discussions, 3 no-shows in a rolling 3-month period will prohibit you from attending any other book discussion for 2 months after your last no-show. In order to avoid a no-show, please update your RSVP no later than 10pm two nights before a discussion. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation! If you need to drop off because of Covid symptoms or exposure or a positive test, there will be no penalty to no-showing or dropping late.

November’s Speculative Fiction - Hungry Hearts ed. by E. Chapman & C.T. Richmond

Please join us as we discuss HUNGRY HEARTS: 13 TALES OF FOOD & LOVE edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond. This collection of interconnected short stories is a relatively quick read, at about 358 pages.

Please note that YOU MUST COMPLETE YOUR VACCINE ATTESTATION with proof you’re vaxxed and boosted to gain a spot for this event. If you’ve already completed it for a prior event, no further action is required on your part. We will advance folks off the waitlist based on completed attestations.

Please keep your RSVP updated and accurate!* Space is limited for this event. We are intentionally holding some rsvp slots for new members specifically, so if you’re new and the event is full, please get on the waitlist ASAP!

You may bring your own food/drinks (no alcohol, please) or you may pick something up in Mosaic or at the farmers market before the meetup. We do ask that you pack your trash out with you.

KINDLE
PAPERBACK
AUDIBLE

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A stunning collection of short stories about the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives in teens, from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors, including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco.

A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the pastries she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that can cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one in the same.

Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

*Since missing one of these meetups is taking a spot away from someone else who wants to go, we'll need to have a stricter attendance policy than normal. For book discussions, 3 no-shows in a rolling 3-month period will prohibit you from attending any other book discussion for 2 months after your last no-show. In order to avoid a no-show, please update your RSVP no later than 10pm two nights before a discussion. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation! If you need to drop off because of Covid symptoms or exposure or a positive test, there will be no penalty to no-showing or dropping late.

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