What are we?
The Science Fiction Book Club is a book discussion group that meets twice monthly on the second and fourth Mondays of every month in Central London, England. We have been meeting regularly since mid-2010 to discuss each months book choice.
What we do and don't read
We usually read character led Science Fiction paperbacks which could be anything from New Wave SF, Modern novels with an SF slant, Cross Genera SF, Dystopian Fiction, Feminist SF, Literary SF, Post-Apocalyptic SF, Short Story Collections, Space Opera or anything else that helps us become 'Well Read' in SF. We try to pick books that are as likely to appeal tomen as women and will generally be no more than 400 pages long. Something that a commuter will easily be able to finish within one month.
We will not read vampire novels, multipart series, Star-Trek/Star-Wars/RPG/TV/Movie novelisations or most books with leather/PVC clad cyber-assassin-strong-yet-sensitive-robo-ultrababes on the front cover***.
Our Reading List
We generally try to provide a few months notice of the upcoming book to allow people plenty of time to get and read them. Our past, present and future [Reading List can be seen here].
So that each meeting do not get too busy a maximum limit of 16 places per meeting has been set. Members are expected to RSVP before attending to allow us to control the number attending and provide the best experience for as many as possible. Those simply turning up without an RSVP will be asked to return with an RSVP.
Once Per Member, Per Book, Per Month
Due to the success of the book club, the large number of members and the limited amount of spaces, members can only come to one meeting per book per month. Places get taken many weeks if not months in advance and often have a waiting list of up to 8 people. This once per month restriction is not placed on any social events. Members who manage to Members Members who insist on RSVPing to more than one meeting per book per month will forfeit both their place and dues.
How much is membership
Membership is free but unless otherwise stated Bookclub meetings are charge at £2 per meeting. This covers our costs, provides us modest amount to advertise with and reduces 'tourists' taking all the places & never attending. Members have to pay their dues when they RSVP. Refunds will only be offered if the meeting is cancelled or rescheduled. Membership dues are made for named meetings and do not provide a form of credit that can be transferred between meetings. [Everything you need to know about Membership Dues is here].
Two strikes and you're out policy
Due to the success of the Bookclub and places being limited to each meeting, members who change their status to NO within two days of a meeting or those who simply don't turn up twice will forfeit their membership, permanently. When people cancel at the last minute it means that someone else misses out on taking that place, which isn't cool.
After the first time offenders will be sent an email warning them that the next time they will simply be removed. This email is sent with a 'delivery receipt request' so Your Glorious Leader ® knows the email was delivered to you.
Sadly Your Glorious Leader ® is not in a position to judge whether people have a legitimate reason for pulling out of a meeting at the last minute and it would be foolish to try. What we do know from personal experience is that when people are aware of this type of policy they tend to change their RSVP much much earlier, which helps everyone.
Our priority is to run the book club for regular members to get to know each other, make friends and have a good time. To this end members, or so called 'CherryPickers', who only seem able to RSVP Yes to really famous or popular books may loose their place at these meetings if regular members look to be loosing out. In this case 'loose their place' would mean their RSVP being change to No and their Dues refunded.
For the same reason as the two-strikes rule, Your Glorious Leader ® is not in a position to judge whether members/CherryPickers have a real reason for only attending famous/popular books.
This is not a judgement on these members/CherryPickers, their reading habits or their ability to attend. Its very human to want the best of things, but if you want to in this book club, join in.
"My god Jim, I'm a Book Club, not a billboard"
or absolutely no commercial or link building fake memberships
Any 'members' seen to place links or other advertising for any blogs/books/products/websites whatsoever or spamming members will be immediately removed from the group and banned from rejoining.
Unsolicited Commercial, Public Relations, Advertising or "I thought you might be interested" emails will automatically be blacklisted and forwarded onto Spamhaus and recorded as spam. You have been warned. We will also never provide our members email address to a commercial company or email our members on anyone else's behalf, so please don't ask! Its embarrassing.
*** Star-Trek/Star-Wars or RPG novelisations
I know they are popular but they are the Sci-Fi equivalent of Mills and Boone.