For the month of July we are reading and discussing another Prometheus Award finalist,
Snuff — A Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett (winner of a Prometheus Award for Night Watch, also set in Discworld), Snuff blends comedy, drama, satire, suspense, and mystery as a police chief investigates the murder of a goblin and finds himself battling discrimination. The mystery broadens into a powerful drama to extend the world’s recognition of rights to include these long-oppressed and disdained people with a sophisticated culture of their own.
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Join us as we read and discuss Snuff.
You need not have voted on this month’s selection to join in the discussion, but you do need to be registered and logged in on this site to access the book club’s dedicated forums.
We enjoyed reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s fairly well-written. The protagonists are likeable. The worldbuilding is fascinating and, if you grew up in the 80s, nostalgia-inducing. Characterization does suffer at the expense of that worldbuilding, however, and the story opens with a very long infodump that some might find engaging and others tedious. I personally think that the first-person point of view helps the author get away with it.
Ready Player One is not, however, libertarian science fiction. There are things to be found within that will make a libertarian smile and nod knowingly (vending machines for weapons and body armor; ineffectual government security; a school system far superior to any government’s, funded entirely by private charity) and things that will induce eye-rolling (the tired leftist trope of the evil corporation as villain). Some may be put off by the story being set in a post–energy crisis and post–global warming future. But government does not step in to save the day. The protagonists and their cohorts spontaneously organize to engage in self-help. We struggled to find an evolved stateless order, however. So the description of the novel that accompanied the Prometheus Award finalists announcement is a bit misleading.
All in all, Ready Player One may be well-written enough to qualify for the Prometheus Award, but it is not unambiguously libertarian enough.
Stay tuned for a full review.
Discussion has been moved to the TLR — Previous Reads forum if you have more to say about it.
Nominations Open for August
Nominations are now open for the book we will read next month (August). Head on over to the August 2012 Nominations thread in the book selection forum to put your choice in the running.
Deadline for nominations is Tuesday, July 10th. Then voting will be open on the nominees until Friday, July 20th, when the winner will be determined.
Do you want to receive the results of the nomination and voting processes in your inbox every month so that you don’t have to remember to check the forum on a certain date? Are you so busy that you sometimes forget when the voting process starts for our next read? If so, then you’ll want to sign up for our email newsletter.
We used to post these updates and reminders directly on our site, but now we send them via email instead — typically on the 11th and 21st of every month. We’ll continue to post more frequent reminders on the major social networks, but there’s no guarantee you won’t miss those.
As a bonus, new subscribers to our email newsletter this month are receiving a free Kindle (mobi) ebook copy of Matthew Alexander’s libertarian science fiction novel Wĭthûr Wē. You’ll also be entered for a chance to win a signed paperback copy. See the book giveaway page for details.
For up-to-date information about our book club, you can always visit the Lightmonthly Read page.