Groups

These are all the Chicagoland SF/F & related book clubs on Positron's radar.

You can also check out a map of upcoming clubs & events to find a convenient one. Please note that some clubs (those that move around or meet online) will not appear on the map.


| City | North | West | South | Online & Nomadic | Related | Other |

City of Chicago Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Clubs


Chicago Nerd Social Club
Book Discussion group of the widely active CNSC. Books tend to be new, discussion tends to be fun.
Think Galactic
"Reading group that seeks to discuss speculative fiction from a radical left perspective. Discussing SF lets us have fun *and* explore issues of oppressive hierarchies, confronting topics of race, gender, sexuality, class and more.”
Weird & Wonderful Book Club
Picks from a wide range of works including SF, fantasy, magical realism, slipstream, YA, modern/postmodern, and other speculative fiction. Books are available at a discount in the store.
Classic Sci-Fi Meetup
"Book group for those who like science fiction literature and want to read/revisit classic novels in the genre." Generally select Hugo/Nebula winners or nominees, or otherwise considered influential, from roughly 30 years back or more.
  • Where: Mystic Celt, 3443 N. Southport Ave (Lakeview)
  • When: 1st Thursdays, 6:45pm
  • Online: Meetup

Sulzer SF Book Club
Alternates between Science Fiction and Fantasy selections. Books are available from the library.
  • Where: Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Ave (Ravenswood)
  • When: Every other month, 3rd Tuesday, 7pm
  • Online: Library Event Page
  • Previously Read ChiPubLib list; not in order read.

Fantasy & Science Fiction Bookclub
Group including a lot of long-time fans who meet at the beautiful Blackstone Library. Books are selected in advance so that library copies are available at each meeting for the next month.
  • Where: Blackstone Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Avenue (Kenwood/Hyde Park)
  • When: 4th Mondays, 6:30pm
  • Online: Library Event Page

Lords of Lore
"This is a SFF book club. We read books and discuss them. We are the LORDS OF LORE."
  • Where: Mysterious locations.
  • When: Mysterious times. But about every 2 months.
  • Online: Website with the rules, structure, and minutes from previous meetings. You will need to get on the mailing list to participate. Also, Tumblr, just for images apparently.

Queer Genre Fiction Book Discussion Group
The Gerber Hart Library hosts "various programs and events that support its beliefs that knowledge is the key to dispelling homophobia and that affirming information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons is critical to fostering pride and self confidence," including an SF/F book club.
Bloody Reads & Another Dimension
Horror, SF/F, and record shop Bucket O'Blood is now hosting two book clubs in their new space: one for horror, the other for science fiction. Gently used books with mysterious pasts available in-store when possible.
  • Where: Bucket O'Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston Ave (Avondale)
  • When: 1st Wednesdays: Horror. 3rd Mondays: SF. Both @ 8ish pm.
  • Online: Facebook and Website.

Volumes Sci-Fi
Club hosted by new & very active bookshop Volumes Book Cafe.
  • Where: Volumes Book Cafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave (Wicker Park)
  • When: Last Thursday (varies a bit) @ 7:30ish pm.
  • Online: Facebook and Website.

| City | North | West | South | Online & Nomadic | Related | Other |

North Chicagoland Science Fiction & Fantasy Bookclubs


Here defined (mostly) as "North of the 90".


Phandemonium
Phandemonium has for its main goal to annually run Capricon, while ensuring that the attendees have as much fun as possible.  It also strives, through the convention and other outlets, to promote Science Fiction as a literary genre and the Chicagoland Fannish community." Runs two book clubs! Phandemonium also has two special convention reading groups: they read the year's Hugo winner at Windycon, and a work by the guest of honor at Capricon.
  • Evanston
    • Where: Cosi, 1740 Sherman Ave, Evanston IL
    • When: January, March, May, July, September. Sundays (varies which), 7pm
  • Elgin
    • Where: Elgin Books, 66 South Grove St, Elgin IL
    • When: February, April, June, August, October, and December. Saturdays (varies which), 1pm
  • Online: Website but you'll have better luck with the "Goat Droppings" blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thirsty Thursday: Books on Tap
"We are a group of book lovers in our 20s or 30s from the Vernon Area Public Library District." Not SF/F by definition, but seem to frequently make genre selections.
  • Where: Chatterbox, 330 Old McHenry Rd, Long Grove, IL.
  • When: Thursdays (usually 3rd, looks like), 6pm
  • Online: Meetup and Goodreads.

EPL Science Fiction & Fantasy Discussion Club
"Join fellow sci-fi and fantasy fanatics as we tackle a new book every month (alternating between the genres) and then meet to discuss it and other genre-related issues and developments."
  • Where: Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston, IL
  • When: 1st Wednesdays, 7pm
  • Online: Website and Goodreads.

| City | North | West | South | Online & Nomadic | Related | Other |

West Chicagoland Science Fiction & Fantasy Bookclubs


Here defined (mostly) as "South of the 90, North of the 55".


Chicago Speculative Fiction Community
"We have a monthly social at Dave and Buster's on Clark, a monthly book discussion group in Oak Park and generally organize a movie outing when important new cinematic works (the new Harry Potter, Star Trek, Terminator, etc) are released. We also host a yearly party at WindyCon and lots of us attend Capricon, Duckon."
Forest Park Speculative Fiction
"We usually select books by asking each member to select a book and lead the discussion on it. This method, as opposed to a collective vote, yields a wider spectrum of books for the group to read." Selections are usually available from the library.
  • Where: Forest Park Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd, Forest Park, IL
  • When: 2nd Thursdays, 7pm
  • Online: Website that includes notes on each discussion.
  • Previously Read list on their site.

Western Suburban SF Meetup
"Our continuing mission: to seek out the most compelling, discussion-provoking science-fiction (and occasionally, fantasy) novels and gather together to chat about them over dinner. It's a pretty good mission."
The Chicago Sci-Fi/Fantasy Meetup Group
"We are an eclectic group into all aspects of Science Fiction and Fantasy including books, movies, TV, gaming and conventions."
  • Where: Cozy Corner Coffee Shop, 138 Marion St, Oak Park, IL
  • When: Frequent movie/other meetups, book discussions occasionally.
  • Online: Meetup

Thomas Ford SF
Focused on genre classics.
  • Where: Thomas Ford Memorial Library, 800 Chestnut Street, Western Springs, IL
  • When: Quarterly
  • Online: Library Page

Lisle SF & F Book Club
A long-running (20+ years) reading group, great website and support from the library.
  • Where: Lisle Library District, 777 Front Street, Lisle, IL.
  • When: 3rd Wednesdays, 7pm
  • Online: Excellent website with archives, comments, and the group's ratings. Also on Facebook
  • Previously Read spreadsheet from their page with rating and codes. Good stuff.

Naperville SF/F Book Club Meetup
"Do you love to read science fiction and fantasy? This is the book club for you! We meet once per month in various Naperville area locations. Join us to meet other sci-fi/fantasy book lovers and have a blast discovering new books."
Off the Beaten Path
This club looks for "books that are not strictly SF/Fantasy/Horror, but are a bit askew, in the spirit of The Twilight Zone."
  • Where: DeKalb Public Library 309 Oak Street, DeKalb, Illinois
  • When: 3rd Saturdays, 1:30pm
  • Online: Library Calendar

Futures & Fantasies
"Participants propose, select, and presumably read books in the science fiction and fantasy genres, as well as plain English science fact books." This is a Mensa Special Interest Group, but rumor has it that non-Mensa attendees are still welcome. Despite page description, appears to meet at restaurants in the Western suburbs.
  • Where: Noodles and Company, 7215 Lake St., River Forest, IL
  • When: 2:15pm, 2nd Sunday, every other month
  • Online: Chicago Area Mensa page, check the calendar. They also have Facebook and Meetup pages, albeit closed to non-members.

| City | North | West | South | Online & Nomadic | Related | Other |

South Chicagoland Science Fiction & Fantasy Bookclubs


Here defined (mostly) as "South of the 55".


Homewood SF/F
A science fiction and fantasy discussion group at the Homewood library.
  • Where: Homewood Public Library, 17917 Dixie Hwy, Homewood, IL
  • When: 4th Wednesdays, 7pm
  • Online: Library Page

Unreal World
Based out of the Westmont Public Library, "a group for readers who enjoy fantastical stories (including but not limited to paranormal, futuristic dystopian, science fiction, and fantasy literature)." Books can be picked up in advance at the library.
| City | North | West | South | Online & Nomadic | Related | Other |

Online & Nomadic Speculative Fiction Discussions


Virtual book discussions, and groups that move around.
Vaginal Fantasy/Chicago Paranormal Romance
The Vaginal Fantasy Book Club is hosted by Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Kiala Kazebee and Bonnie Burton. This is a book club for romance genre books with strong female lead characters. Examples would be Outlander, or the Anita Blake series. Each month, the group selects a main book for discussion, as well as an alternate pick for those who can get to it.

The Chicago Paranormal Romance Club is kind of the local chapter, and usually selects the Vaginal Fantasy picks for their meetups.


Chicago Force
A Star Wars group that includes a book club.
  • Where: Various locations around Chicagoland; most frequently the Barnes & Noble in Skokie.
  • When: Varies
  • Online: Website, Facebook, and Goodreads.

| City | North | West | South | Online & Nomadic | Related | Other |

Related & Occasional Genre Clubs


Reading groups focused on allied genres or that frequently but not necessarily select SF/F--common with YA groups.
Never Too Old: A YA Book Club for Adults
"Our reading list includes old classics, nearly forgotten favorites, and the best of the new YA offerings. We alternate new and old books as well as target ages for a good mix."
  • Where: The Book Cellar Cafe, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave (Lincoln Square)
  • When: Last Wednesdays, 8pm
  • Online: Website, Google Page, and Facebook.

YA Book Club for Adults (AKA Grafton YA)
YA for Adults! Meets at the Grafton, hosted through the Sulzer Regional Library
Devon Avenue Beggars
Sherlock Holmes discussions! No more info just yet.
  • Where: Edgebrook Library, 5331 W Devon Ave (Edgebrook)
  • When: 1st Wednesday of the month? 6pm.
  • Online: Library Event Page

League of Graphic Novel Readers
Evanston group that frequently discusses graphic novels with SF/F relevance. Books are available at the library.
| City | North | West | South | Online & Nomadic | Related | Other |

Other Literary Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Related Groups


That aren't book discussions, that is. Also check out the
Upcoming Events page for all kinds of not-a-book-club, SF/F-related things.
Bad Grammar Theater
A reading series "featuring established and rising Chicago authors reading the best in horror, fantasy, pulp fiction, science fiction, and the unexpected."
Gumbo Fiction Salon
"We love fiction, especially genre fiction & we love hearing it aloud. From Mysteries to Space Opera. Fantasy to Thrillers. Romance to Westerns. Ultimately, we don't care about labels or categories. Whether literary, mainstream or genre, we care about good stories & memorable characters. We also believe that often the best stories happen in the slipstream between categories. Come, share your fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and other forms. Or just listen along with us."
  • Where: Galway Arms, 2442 N. Clark St., Chicago
  • When: 3rd Wednesdays January-September; 1st Wednesdays October-December. 7pm.
  • Online: Facebook.

Unreal
A fiction-focused, experimental open mic.
  • Where: Upstairs lounge at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave
  • When: 3rd Tuesdays, 6pm
  • Online: Facebook, & Twitter.

| City | North | West | South | Online | Related | Other |

Defunct (or possibly just no more online presence)




Know of a book club or other event that should be on here? Contact PositronChicago@gmail.com!

No comments:

Post a Comment