Fringe Book Clubs


The covers of the 12 Hugo novel/novella nominees

Chicon Fringe is facilitating extracurricular events around Chicon 8, which will take place September 1-5 here in Chicago! The "Fringe" are events that will generally be off-site (some may be online) and don't require Worldcon membership. As such, they shouldn't be read as "official" Worldcon events, but they will be hopefully be a fun supplement for both Worldcon attendees and local Chicago folks who might not be attending the actual convention.

For full disclosure, worth noting that I (Jake Casella Brookins) am a volunteer for Chicon, but opinions expressed here on Positron, social media, or at Fringe events do not represent official Chicon/Worldcon/Hugo positions.

Whew! Disclosed! That done, let's turn to the first Fringe events—I'm quite excited about these! Over the next couple of months, Chicago-area SFF clubs, bookstores, and libraries are hosting online book clubs discussing the Hugo finalist novels & novellas. This is a great chance to discuss the works, and meet both Worldcon members and Chicagoland fans. All clubs take place on Zoom: simply click on the links below to register!

The current slate covers all the novels & novellas before the August 11 Hugo Voting Deadline, which is cool! But, keep an eye on this page for schedule changes and additions—there are some folks interested in adding discussions for other Hugo categories, or to duplicate some of these discussions in time slots friendlier to other time zones—might not get everything scheduled before August 11, but it's still a great chance to meet & discuss.

At Chicon itself, there will likely be at least one book discussion (hosted by Phandemonium, the book-club-branch of Capricon). I'd also recommend checking out Positron's upcoming events page for a list of book discussions, both in-person and online: there might be a Hugo discussion you'd like to join on there!

Tips & Guidelines for Book-Club Attendees:
  • Please note that we’ll be using Chicon’s code of conduct as a guideline.
  • Please mute yourself when you’re not talking.
  • The first time you have something to say, it’s helpful to briefly introduce yourself with your name, pronouns if you’re comfortable with that, and where you’re from!
  • If possible, using the reaction buttons (raising your hand, clapping, etc.) can make things easier and more engaging with larger groups.
  • Using the chat function can be helpful, and is encouraged!
  • There won’t be any video or audio recording of the meeting, but we may save the text of the general chat for notes. At the end of the meeting, we may ask if people are comfortable with us taking a screenshot of us all waving—you’re welcome to close your video or log off a few seconds early if you’d rather not.

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