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Science Fiction Discussion Groups

One of the great things about the internet is how easy it is to get in touch with people who have similar interests to you. Obviously if you’ve found this site you’re familiar with looking for news/information on the internet. But what about disussion?

I’m not talking about forums, although they can be great fun for a casual chat too. I’m thinking more along the lines of book clubs where people select a book to read at the same time and discuss. Its often surprising how different people’s views and interpretations can be and in good discussions you can end up with an entirely new appreciation of the book in question.

So let me recommend three places

Good Reads

Good Reads is more than just a book discussion site. Have you ever wanted to be able to catalog not just what books you have read, but also the books you want to read? Would you like to be able to compare your libraries with friends? Engage in categorized discussions about your favorite authors? Maybe even see what your favorite author is reading?

All of that is possible at the Good Reads site. There are lots of discussion groups available, but my personal favorite is the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club which has a monthly book discussion.

This month they are actually reading and discussing two books, The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett and Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow.

If you’re a member, don’t be shy, add me as a friend.

The Sword and Laser

This podcast is released roughly twice a month. One podcast before they read a book and then one podcast after they have read the book. This is backed up by an active discussion community. The reason for the name is that they are alternating between fantasy and science fiction books for their monthly reads. The current book is Watership Down (which I haven’t read in many years and probably deserves a re-read).

Beyond Reality

If you prefer your book discussion in email, then I have the perfect Yahoo! group for you in Beyond Reality. This email discussion group picks two books each month for discussion. With over 500 members, there’s plenty of activity with lots of people contributing to the conversation.

Although they have books of the month, the group doesn’t limit discussion to just those two. You’re also encouraged to chat about other science fiction and fantasy books.

August’s books are The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and a real classic, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

Where Do I Find The Time?

If your live is anything like as busy as mine you probably can’t read five books a month. Some months I can barely read one. But that’s the great thing about being a member of multiple discussion groups. You don’t have to read every book. You don’t have to participate in every discussion, you have a variety to choose from and even if you don’t read a book, perhaps seeing the other people’s comments on it may make you add it to the to read list.

Do you know of other discussion groups? Let me know about them in the comments. Is anyone aware of groups that discuss movies in a similar fashion?

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Eoghann Irving is amongst other things the creator and Editor of Solar Flare. He has a life long interest in all forms of science fiction and fantasy and a pressing need to share this interest with anyone who will listen. Find out more at his personal website

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