Friday, November 6, 2015

Think Galactic Extra-Special Un-Book Meeting

This week we had a bonus Think Galactic meeting: not a book discussion, but just to hang out and discuss some possible group improvements. We met at Geek Bar, which we were delighted to learn is soon graduating from "Beta" to "Release" versions, and we were able to acquire the most conspiracy-worthy booth in the place.

I'd brought up the idea of the meeting last time, after discussions with some other members--basically wanting to see if we could build in some more socializing time somehow.

Success! Three main points being:
  1. Pre-book club dinner, on a casual/drop-in/show-up basis. Location will be picked at the previous meeting and/or communicated out through Wordpress/Facebook/Goodreads/crude handbills.
  2. Meetings will wrap up at 9:30pm, to allow us
  3. To grab a post-meeting drink if we desire.
We're going to keep this stuff on the same night as club to make it easier for folks with busy schedules/long transit times. Also keep an eye out for the Think Galactic Hat, Sash, and Staff/Stick of Non-Hierarchical Non-Authority, signalling Our Presence.

We also talked about possibly bringing back the tradition of snacks at club, which predates me, but about which everyone got rather excited.

We discussed a number of local/less local cons that we go to or are interested in going to--Windycon, Gen Con, and ValorCon, and the DePaul one-day conferences they've been doing.  Also brought up Worldcon--in Kansas City, MO this year, and thus unusually-easy to get to. I'm planning on going and am hoping to meet up with "Traincon" (con folks who travel by train).

Think Galactic has a lot of resonance with Wiscon, having been inspired by it and with many of us attending--so we're planning to do a room party next time! And otherwise up our visibility slightly--we know that there must be Chicagoans attending Wiscon who aren't aware of Think Galactic, which is a tragedy!

Think GalactiCon came up again...I'd like to think that this is very, very slowly gathering momentum. We were all a bit dismayed by the idea of the work involved though, especially given that Think Galactic as is does a wonderful job of providing what we actually want: talking about books. Still. Hm.

Finally, two things about book club. Firstly, we discussed (without a firm resolution) occasionally having a club meet at a different location (perhaps North along the red line, perhaps something South or West) to make it easier for folks to get to a meeting--Chicago transit being oddly difficult along certain directions (particularly NE/SW diagonals).

Secondly, something we've been kicking around since reading Jo Walton's "Among Others"- an occasional "Megatext Book Club" that focuses on an author or a theme rather than one particular book. I'm pretty psyched about this, actually. Points:
  • Won't replace or conflict with the usual Think Galactic book clubs.
  • Probably to be held quarterly or less, at least to start.
  • Each meeting will have at least one organizer/discussion leader to structure it.
  • Will meet someplace centrally-accessible. Open Books and Harold Washington Library are our two main ideas right now.
  • Will try to pull together new folks--from other existing book groups and beyond.
 Much excite! Look for a likely first run in February or March.

Very glad we had this discussion--Think Galactic in particular, and the Chicago SF scene more generally, have been one of the most positive things for me since moving here, and I'd really like to hang out more with these folks, do some more word-spreading (the whole point of Positron, really), and maybe set up some other activities.

Balkanization abounds! Follow this conversation on TG's site, Facebook, and Goodreads (and thanks to John for notes in that thread).

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