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Thread: EoFF Book Club - October - Babel-17

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    'Just Friends' Formalhaut's Avatar
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    Default EoFF Book Club - October - Babel-17



    The Man on Platform Five by Robert Llewellyn
    October


    We're switching genres from a wacky, British rom-com condensed down into a book, to a science-fiction novel which weaponises the use of words in a way that'll be compelling to those who take a glance at the current state of politics.

    The Blurb

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodreads
    Babel-17 is all about the power of language. Humanity, which has spread throughout the universe, is involved in a war with the Invaders, who have been covertly assassinating officials and sabotaging spaceships. The only clues humanity has to go on are strange alien messages that have been intercepted in space. Poet and linguist Rydra Wong is determined to understand the language and stop the alien threat.

    Where to find a copy

    - Try your local library first of all. Nothing beats free reading!
    - If they don't have a physical copy, check to see if they have a digital library and see if they have a eBook or eAudiobook.
    - If that fails, check used book shops or used book websites online. You can often get a good deal. You could also use eReaders and apps to check their prices, like Kindle or Kobo.

    Discussion

    Unlike regular book groups, I'll keep this thread open for discussion throughout the month for people to post first impressions and ongoing thoughts about the story.

    Obviously, put such talk in spoiler tags. At the end of the month (I'm going to set a date for the 29th October), discussion no longer needs to be put in tags. Think of that date as the time we would meet up normally if this was a physical book club.

    Anyway, I hope you all manage to find a copy!

    If someone's really struggling, post about it and I'll see what I can do.

    Book Order

    Book Order

    Jinx - August - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
    Bubba - September - The Man on Platform Five by Robert Llewellyn
    Mr. Carnelian - October - Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
    Shauna - November -
    Karifean
    WarZidane
    Freya
    Bri
    Formalhaut



  2. #2
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    Also, apologies for the late opening of this thread! I knew I forgot something to do over the week.


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    So far, I'm a only a couple pages in, but I think I'm hooked. The first few pages were a bit tough to read, but on reflection, I think that it's more of a mental shift than anything, as I went directly from Monster Hunters International to Babel-17, and the former book is not an intellectual read at all, where this one is shaping up to be. The book seems to start in the middle of whatever is going on on, so hopefully it will clear things up as the story progresses. Thanks for the suggestion, and hopefully will have more to say about it soon.

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    Taking care of business Cid's Knight Bubba's Avatar
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    Oh man, I haven't started this yet. Could we maybe have a month gap in November before the next recommendation? Just to accommodate us slow readers

    I don't want to have to rush it!

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    Finally finished it! Well, it was a couple days ago, but I've been mostly away from the internet, so haven't had a chance to jump on the forums. Thoughts in spoiler tag.

    (SPOILER)This seems to have been a celebration of language almost more than a story. There was a plot, but it seems to be more a case of the language directing the plot than the other way around. Also, it doesn't seem like the first story set in the universe. The author kind of drops you in the universe and goes forward without a whole lot of background. Some of it is explained to you as you go, but a lot of it is just there. This isn't even necessarily is a bad thing, as it lets you fill in the blanks and imagine things yourself, but I am certainly interested in seeing if there's any other stories in this setting. Maybe that was on purpose as well. The whole book assumes a level of intelligence that one just doesn't see in most fantasy or sci-fi anymore, and it was kind of refreshing to read something that makes you think, rather than just drift along in the story.

    It's fascinating how the very language that Rydra is trying to discover becomes the antagonist, even more than the people behind it. It's clear that there's a larger war going on, but it's only barely mentioned in relation to the mystery of the language, and it's origin.

    Rydra herself is interesting, as she's not your typical hero. It seems like she might be somewhere on the autism spectrum; it's nice to see that a solid main character can be written that's actually human with human issues to be overcome. However, despite her obvious brilliance, some of the leaps of logic she takes are a little hard to believe.

    Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I would absolutely recommend it to others.

  6. #6
    Crazy Scot. Cid's Knight Shauna's Avatar
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    I uh admittedly never got around to reading it this month, but I will have some time this weekend to power through. .___.

    How did everyone else do?

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    I have had such a busy october I still haven't even finished the last one :O So sorry everyone!

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    Let's give it till the end of November as I haven't started yet and I've been looking forward to this one!

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    Any chance of a November book, or are we pushing it back a month?

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    Not heard from Formy but I think we're waiting for December before the next entry

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    I still haven't finished the book UGH

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    Yeah hey guys, I've kinda fallen out of social media the last few weeks. No particular reason, but yes I was planning on picking that (and the Book Club!) back up in December.

    I've read the book by the way. It's actually pretty good. Kinda deep, and focuses plenty on how language works. Book Spoilers!I did call Rydra actually subconsciously sabotaging the expedition very early. I might be genre savvy for the book, I mean I think the book did well to mask it, but I had her pegged pretty early on. The explanation given was pretty neat though.

    Other than the big reveal, the book is occasionally likes to throw sci-fi speak at you, which I guess makes sense considering it's a science-fiction novel, but it mostly doesn't confuse for too long. The side characters are just that, side characters, but they all serve their purpose. The action definitely focuses on Rydra's development and a core cast of characters.


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