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Sindome Book Club
Interest check and discussion

Sindome is a weird social club because we're not often able to socialize much as real people, due to the IC-OOC divide. However we have shared interests in cyberpunk media and I was wondering if anyone else would be interested in scheduling readings (and re-readings) of cyberpunk classic and modern novels and sharing our thoughts on them.

I'd be interested in doing other forms of media too, but I'd think that books are generally more convenient to procure and divide into manageable chunks.

Anyone wanna do this?

Lovely idea. I'm in!
Can you do it with @rules 2.G Sharing Contact Information in mind?

https://www.sindome.org/rules/

"generally discouraged and should be avoided at all costs"[/i}

"explicitly prohibited without express written permission from the admin"

Crypt casts an appraising eye over the area, searching for something.

I think so, we can just base discussions and book announcements entirely on this thread and so avoid any sharing of contact infos. Nominations and votes for books can also be done manually on the bgBB but it might get a little spammy.

Having staff endorsement to put out Google Forms for book nominations and votes would help a lot, as it would avoid the worry that anybody might pass contact infos to me surreptitiously through forms.

I'm down! 👍
Anor bless this idea, I'm in.
Looks like there are enough people interested to do this, then. We can start nominating books.

The way I imagine this will work is that each person suggest a title, and I'll put out an anonymous poll (without any text fields for people to sneak info to me) where you can rate which one you want to read. We leave one week or more of time where people can acquire the book, and we can have weekly discussions on each manageable chunks.

Obviously don't suggest any book without an ebook version or we'll never get anything done.

My own nomination is the low-hanging fruit, Count Zero. It's been a while since I've read it.

Solid nomination right there!

-

Devil's advocating for Neal Stephenson's 1995 classic 'the Diamond Age'.

If a later hard-scifi variant with even -more- androgyny, sociopolitical strife, and space-tech is fine, his later 2015 release of 'Seven Eves' was -incredible-.

IMO Count Zero is the FUNNEST of the Sprawl trilogy.

And Diamond Age - YES, it's so hack. Outstanding reading and except for Snow Crash, the most Sindome of Stephenson's books.

Don't forget this list!

https://www.sindome.org/inspiration/books/

Yes! Forgot about Neuromancer. Thanks for the list!
We could vote on the books on the Inspiration list first, unless people want to do something else.
Maybe combined both? Have the list as a nice go-to guide, but still offer the option of suggesting things we wouldn't otherwise know about.

Re-reading classics is great but there's nothin' quite like discovering a new favorite novel.

If we're using the list as the guide then I suppose I would also nominate Aleph Zero by our very own Kuzco. Which should also be on the Inspiration list too, I think.
Great way to support the community -and- get our cyberpunk on.
Okay, I'm going to give some time for people to send in nominations, then we'll close it on 15th of June LA time. If you have any book titles you want to nominate (including the ones on the Inspiration list) then post them here before then.

https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20200615T00&p0=137&font=cursive

The nomination list was a little bare so I added in a few from the Inspiration list. Obviously you guys can nominate more after the vote.

Books up for voting

Count Zero - William Gibson

Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson

Aleph Zero - Facundo Agüello (Kuzco)

Recombination - Brendan Butts (Slither/Fengshui)

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

How to vote

To avoid sharing contact details, we'll be voting here on this thread. Just pick the book . If you change your vote later on I'll really appreciate it if you pointed that out in bold on your new vote post, so that I know to subtract out your old vote.

The provisional deadline is June 22 to get your votes in, but if you guys feel that's too short I can extend it. https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20200622T00&p0=137&font=cursive

I vote for Aleph Zero - Facundo Agüello (Kuzco).
Oh, actually, people should pick their First Choice and Second Choice in case there's a tie.

As for my own vote...

First choice: Snow Crash

Second choice: Aleph Zero

Oh.

First choice: Aleph Zero by Facundo Agüello (Kuzco).

Second: Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

Diamond Age is one of my favorite Stephenson books, but Snow Crash is more CP and is also way up there.

1. Aleph Zero

2. Show Crash

1. Aleph Zero - Facundo Agüello (Kuzco).

2. Diamond Age

Will toss in my vote for Aleph Zero and Diamond Age as well!

(I am a bad person who hasn't yet read Recombination book 2 past the first chapter.)

The voting window hasn't closed yet, but so far the votes are:

Aleph Zero: 5

Diamond Age: 3

Snow Crash: 2

I'm down for anything but Snow Crash. I disliked that book so much, I really don't want to read it again. :P
I'll vote for Aleph Zero.
Okay, time's up. We'll be reading Aleph Zero.

How this will work is that everyone will be given a week to do their reading, and then you'll be allowed to discuss the section you just read. Don't discuss ahead, so that we don't spoil people who are slow.

Current Book: Aleph Zero, by Facundo Agüello

Read: Chapters 1 - 14 (don't start Chapter 15)

Deadline: https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20200629T00&p0=137&font=cursive&csz=1

Dammit.

https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20200629T00&p0=137&font=cursive&csz=1

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0858YXVDP/

I avoid doing business with Amazon whenever possible, but it seems this is the only way to get Aleph Zero. I'm given the option to start a free trial of Kindle, or spend $9 on the novel. I'm assuming that the $9 option puts at least some money in Kuzco's pocket, yes?

How do I ensure the most money goes to Kuzco and the least goes to Amazon?

There's, unfortunately, nothing I can say in public.
I can't say 100% but since I also have a book on Amazon-- buying it is probably the best way. I have never figured out how much money goes to me if someone reads my book on Kindle Unlmited.
Hello folks, Slither told me to come check this thread. You are all very kind and I feel truly humbled and flattered by your enthusiasm.

Unfortunately -- yes, Amazon has to be the way! I know Jeff Bezos has a tiny little lots of money already (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3VFmmqFCoM) but book platforms are usually fairly draconian in the slices they take from each sale anyways. Amazon doesn't charge much, comparatively (30%), doesn't impose vampiric contracts, and is generally very accessible for anyone in the globe. I don't have argentine alternatives anyhow! Also banking, it's almost impossible to send dollars to Argentina and I can work something out with Amazon.

Aleph Zero is an AMAZING book, you guys picked correctly.
Also, I forgot to factor in the time people'll need to get the book, does anybody want me to extend the deadline a bit? Since we're not doing this live it's not that important though anyhow.
Was everyone able to do the reading? If not, I can extend it to next week, although I'm already personally getting impatient with finishing Part One and would prefer people play catch-up.

Current Book: Aleph Zero by Facundo Agüello

Read: Chapters 15-28 (Don't start Part Two)

Any thoughts on the book so far?

Am gonna start reading tonight, about how long is part one? If under 300 pages I should be set for part two tomorrow morning. Sorry if I'm holding things up, been a busy week.
If people find 1 week too short to set aside time to read, I can have it be 2 weeks and double the reading instead. The book has 3 parts and the estimated reading time for the entire book is apparently 3 hours, but I'm personally faster than that.
Anyways, here's the next deadline, if it helps.

https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20200707T00&p0=137&font=cursive&csz=1

Just consumed chapters 1 - 15 without realizing how quickly it had gone. That's 1/5th of the book so far. 😊 The chapters are very short, and there are a lot of time & location jumps. It takes a moment to get used to the pacing.

I enjoyed how a number of sentences leave you to fill in the blanks. In particular, the phrases "bigger and wider than he would have preferred" and "pleasant memories, now bittersweet" tell stories all by their own. Some of the descriptions are expertly crafted, including mentions of "hydric explosions," and the ceasing of the "electronic bass' seismic tension." The most vivid to me so far is, "A slight mist was beginning to settle, which caused the light sources to be crowned with haloes, like saints in a photonic sky."

I like to get in characters' heads, and so far feels like the characters want to keep me at a distance. They have enough problems as it is, and I'm unwelcome.

I can forgive the numerous typoes. As a translation, it's better than not having one at all.

I did get distracted a bit with learning all sorts of things, like how a microwave gun works. 😅

Looking forward to reading the rest!

Sorry if I'm not offering much thoughts, I'm in like 3 book clubs. 🥺

I do like the premise of a cyberpunk novel that for once isn't set in the "center of the world" though. I kind of almost get a Raccoon City vibe, if not for the lack of zombies.

The quarantine is very topical right now too, except the people involved in this book has functional brain cells.

Also, we'll move on to the next part tomorrow, is everyone catching up?

Is this still going on?
Yep.
People being radio silent kind of makes me concerned the pace isntoo fast, bit until anyone says anything I'm gonna keep going.

Current Book: Aleph Zero by Facundo Agüello

Read: Chapters 29-36

Sorry I haven't been offering much commentary of my own, I'm super busy and distracted lol.

Current Book: Aleph Zero by Facundo Agüello

Read: Chapters 37-44

Blah. I've been crazy busy that I haven't had much chance to read before bed.

I'm up to chapter 22. The pace is picking up.

Speaking of pace picking up, I'm on Chapter 37 now. What a wild ride that was.

I had to flip back a number of chapters to fully digest the timeline. The events are ordered well, despite this.

Looking forward to reading more.

Valeriaaaaaaa. 😢

Chapter 38 was rough.

(Whoops, did not mean to tap Post Reply yet!)
Finished chapter 44. I don't want to stop reading. Blaaaah!
"Valeria looked at her com; it still had signal. Near her, Sergeant Wang talked to someone on her own device. With her black assault armor, it was a little funny to see her chatting relaxedly. Every so often she looked at Valeria sideways while muttering. There were only a few moments left for URCOUN to interrupt telecommunications, before the entire area would be held incommunicated."

When monas in full combat gear is just chilling at the bar talking on her proggie.

I really liked that part. It helped to humanize the lot of soldiers and show that they were more than just protocol-following drones. And that makes them even more frightening.

I feel we haven't talked much about Alejandro. And that might come from the fact that he's been forced into the action hero trope of being beat to heck and still forced to continue after the past 3 conflicts that left him mortally wounded. I forget if it's mentioned explicitly Shamhat's relationship with him, but it feels like they're together almost out of necessity.

When she accepted Laura's gift for him, he was in too much discomfort to be uncomfortable about that. So maybe it's not that we haven't been able to see much of him as a person (Rubik's cube excepted) but that the circumstances he's been put in prevent him from expressing himself.

We do get internal glimpses into his thoughts and feelings, like when his thoughts flashed in rapid succession while he was attempting to jump over to the bunker.

I foresee the current conflict as what will push Alejandro and Valeria together.

Well... if they both survive.

Also, I'm hoping Shamhat is okay.

Current Book: Aleph Zero by Facundo Agüello

Read: Chapters 45-50

I accidentally finished it all tonight. Couldn't put it down. Loved it.
I finished the book too because I wasn't sure if anyone else but me and ynk were reading lol.

Interest seems to have dropped off so I'm not sure if I should continue, but I guess we'll still vote for the next book to read. This time I suppose we'll just go for the first choice because the first choice/second choice system seemed to end up being needlessly confusing.

Another concern I also have is that it feels like some people were just simply too busy to keep up, while me and ynk were just being tortured having to wait before we get to read. Any thoughts on how to deal with that?

I think Crypt and Hek tried, at least.

I'm typically the only one who actually does the reading in any book club I've joined, lol.

Hopefully someone else did, but hasn't posted yet?

Hey guys =) Glad and flattered you read the novel. Any thoughts on Part Three? The tone changes quite a bit .
If I recall correctly, there were no more flashbacks in part three. Valeria & Alejandro were brought together, and with Shamhat and eventually Laura, they all had only one path forward. Part three was more-or-less the final confrontation.

I had to look away during Alejandro's beating and when the goons were like "we can start the real torture now if you'd like" and I was soooo thankful you didn't go there. I would've had to nope out of that.

You wrote Valeria really well, from start to finish. I was crying as she was dying, and I literally sat up in shock when Alejandro redeemed himself and injected her.