What we're about

Hello Madison! Are you a lit lover with a penchant for "fringe" subject matter? I'm talking about the darkly humorous, the peculiar, the subtly sardonic. Do phrases like "future noir" and "dystopian fantasy" pique your interest? Maybe you're not an established bibliophile, but looking to expand your love of Blade Runner and Star Trek to a new medium? Join this book club, devoted to all things weird! Some of the authors I'm hoping to cover include:

Margaret Atwood • J.G. Ballard • K.J. Bishop • Roberto Bolaño • Don DeLillo • Philip K. Dick • Dave Eggers • William Gaddis • M. John Harrison • Robert Heinlein • Kazuo Ishiguro • China Miéville • Michael Moorcock • Haruki Murakami • Mervyn Peake • Thomas Pynchon • Carl Sagan • Jack Vance • Jeff VanderMeer

And many more!


1. Fee for attendance is $1 per meeting, which goes toward the $20/month Meetup charge.

2. Whenever possible, adhere to Wheaton's Law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0la5DBtOVNI

3. We're a really diverse group, and inclusivity is essential. No discriminatory remarks on the basis of race, nationality, gender, sexuality or religion will be tolerated at our meetings or in our discussion/comment threads. Because fundamentally good people can and do say hurtful things without realizing it, you may be permitted one social snafu in this regard. If I or another member (respectfully) call you out on inappropriate behavior and you're willing to learn from the experience, you will be welcomed back. If you respond defensively or the behavior continues, you will not be welcomed back. Conversely, if you end up on the receiving end of hurtful comments and I don't catch it, please bring it to my attention. You have a right to feel comfortable in our group, and I (Dana) have a responsibility to ensure that you do.

Upcoming events (4+)

Book Discussion: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Needs a location

"In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters--James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna--join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There's no such thing as witches. But there will be."

Book Discussion: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Needs a location

"In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next."

Book Discussion: How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

Link visible for attendees

"For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague—a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice.

Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.

Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects—a pig—develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet.

From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe."

Book Discussion: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Needs a location

"A missing God.

A library with the secrets to the universe.
A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.

Carolyn's not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts. After all, she was a normal American herself once.

That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father. In the years since then, Carolyn hasn't had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient customs. They've studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God. Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation.

As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own. But Carolyn has accounted for this. And Carolyn has a plan. The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she's forgotten to protect the things that make her human.

Populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and propelled by a plot that will shock you again and again, The Library at Mount Char is at once horrifying and hilarious, mind-blowingly alien and heartbreakingly human, sweepingly visionary and nail-bitingly thrilling—and signals the arrival of a major new voice in fantasy."

Past events (200)

Book Discussion: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Needs a location

Photos (25)