Thinking about reading a book the discussion group has already read? We recommend you do!
Here are some descriptions to help you pick. They are listed in the order in which we read them.
February 2002 - Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
You don't have to be a computer programmer or an expert on encryption to read
this book, but it helps. Stephenson's most ambitious work to date takes on
the lives of several main characters during WW2 and the modern day, bouncing
back and forth between the Phillipines and the crypto center in England, trying
to break Enigma, trying to survive on the beach at Guadalcanal, setting up an
offshore data haven, and fighting to survive as the empire crumbles and everyone
around you goes mad. It works. It has moments of brilliance, moments of beauty...
but is probably not accessible enough to be recognized as his best work.
An afterword by Bruce Schneier, the world-renowned cryto expert who has often
spoken at ConFusion, explains the crypto used in the book. Stephenson takes
a lot for granted, and he may just be right.
March 2002 - Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
One of the best of the Discworld books, this introduces the Three Witches
(borrowing a bit from Shakespeare), Nanny Ogg with her huge family, Mistress
something who wants to be a new age wiccan, and Granny Weatherwax, one of Pratchett's
most popular characters, with her theory of "headology".
April 2002 - Glory Road by Robert Heinlein
Heinlein's grand epic of fantasy and adventure, starting in an (at the time)
little known war in Southeast Asia, progressing through the south of France to a
classic quest to slay a dragon, a mathematical theory, and your basic evil wizard... but
it isn't that simple, this is Heinlein.
May 2002 - The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse by Keith Hartman
With as many well-developed characters as a Brunner novel: a gay PI with a
mystery to solve, Wiccans, near-future SF, and an american indian shaman crossdresser,
this is one book that really keeps you guessing!
June 2002 - Time Traders by Andre Norton
A secret research project searches the past for illicit technological innovations,
a classic from one of the masters of the genre. Both a recently updated printing, with
more female characters, and the original version are available.
September 2002 - Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh
The Chanur series is made up of 5 books. A prologue novel (The Pride of Chanur), a 3-part series
(Chanur's Venture, The Kif Strike Back and Chanur's Homecoming), and an epilogue novel (Chanur's Legacy). We'll talk about the wonderful alien contact novel that started off this epic saga and find out why the felinoid aliens (Hani) are so popular.
Suggestions for future book discussion topics should be sent to
Back to Book Discussions
Back to the Stilyagi Home Page
Please send questions or comments about the Stilyagi website to
This page was last updated by Netmouse on
July 26, 2002.