Monday, January 4, 2016

A Veritable Slew of 2016 Events

A veritable slew, I say. If you are into reading SF/F and related genres, and maybe talking to other people about that, there are a lot of opportunities in Chicago for you to check out. I'd highly recommend checking out the Upcoming Events page, which lists all the book clubs and related events that we have on our radar. Already have 20+ clubs listed for January, and many more already listed for future months.

A couple new groups to note! Bucket O'Blood Books & Records are settling into their new home in Avondale, and are now hosting two, count them TWO, book clubs a month--Bloody Reads (horror) and Another Dimension (science fiction). Check out their website & Facebook for more, and swing by their shop sometime if you haven't already--well-curated, used SF/F & Horror, along with a good vinyl selection.

They started last year, but only recently were added to Positron's listing: Evanston Public Library's Science Fiction & Fantasy Discussion Group. They have a snazzy website and a good slate of titles selected through February.

MiƩville's latest hits stores
next week; I'd suggest
"The City & The City",
"The Scar", or
"Embassytown" if you're
new to his work.
A new book club is coming. Tentatively titled: The Megatext. It's a little ambitious, but I have high hopes. Instead of talking about just one book, we'll be discussing an author--however much or little you've read, but this will allow us to talk about themes across their work. This grew out of Think Galactic discussion of Jo Walton's "Among Others". Hosted by Open Books just west of the loop. More details forthcoming, but the first one will probably be in late March, and we're hoping to pull in a few members of different book clubs. First author to blossom under our critical gaze: China MiƩville.

Bad Grammar Theater is re-launching this month: "a reading series featuring established and rising Chicago authors reading the best in horror, fantasy, pulp fiction, science fiction, and the unexpected." Now meeting at Forte Framing & Gallery in Wicker Park. Find out more on the BGT Facebook page.

Capricon is coming right up, February 11-14. I haven't been, but I hear good things, and the Phandemonium folks who run it seem like good folk/fen. It's up in Wheeling, not too far away.

If you haven't had a chance to visit one of DePaul's Pop Culture Conferences, they are delightful. One-day conferences, free and open to the public, with a nice mix of fannish, scholarly, and writer/creator-focused content. This year they are having A Celebration of Star Trek, and it should be great. May 7th, right down in the loop. Check out their website & Facebook page for more info. Also! If you are interested in speaking on a roundtable, you have have until March 1st to submit a 200-word abstract of a topic you'd like to speak on.

Not long after that, Wiscon is happening, May 27-30! Now, it's up in Madison, but well worth the trip: the most welcoming and interesting con I've ever had the pleasure of attending. Panel programming is still shaping up, but you have until February 1st to submit a paper or panel proposal for the academic track if that's how you roll. I know I do.

I'm hoping for a rousing
"favorite SF/F train lit"
discussion, myself.

While we're venturing further afield, I may as well bring up Worldcon, which is unusually-accessible for Midwesterners this year: it's right down in Kansas City, MO, August 17-21. Lots of exciting stuff here, including the Hugo ceremonies. Unusually for a Worldcon, this one will also be holding an academic track, hosted by the Campbell Conference. They have extended their submission deadline to February 5th.

And if you do think you might head to Worldcon this year, you might want to ask around about Traincon. Organized by Bill Thomasson of the Chicago Speculative Fiction Community, Traincon is a way for train-using fans to meet up and hang out on the way. Kansas City is a 6ish hour Amtrak ride away, so it might be a nice way to get there. More details on that later.

That's it for now! Check out those upcoming events for book-club info!

1 comment:

  1. One you missed: Futures and Fantasies. Meets the second Sunday of alternate months at Noodles & Co. in Forest Park. Easy to miss because it's technically a Mensa sub-group, but everyone is welcome. I've been attending for years without ever getting around to joining Mensa.

    And the reading group at CompuServe's SF Literature forum is virtually if not physically in Chicago. Having the discussion on-line allows for an unusual format: We discuss the book in sections, no spoilers allowed. We're currently 6 chapters into T. Kinfisher's Bryony and Roses.