Welcome to Syzygy, the premier gathering of sci-fi readers in the Dayton area!

Syzygy logo

Syzygy is a diverse collection of SF lovers from around Dayton who meet monthly to explore a new book selection in the genial, inquisitive company of fellow fans. It started in August of 2005 and has met every month since.

New member FAQ

1.

What does it cost to become a member of Syzygy?

  Absolutely nothing! The only cost to you is the price of the books, if you choose to buy them. If you check them out of a public library, you can read for free.
2. Will you sell my e-mail address to spambots?
  We don’t even want your e-mail address! Just show up at a meeting.
3. Where and when does the group meet? Syzygy meeting
  Our meetings take place in the Books & Co. retail store in "the Greene" shopping center, at the corner of I-675 and Indian Ripple/Dorothy Lane, in Beavercreek. (See map below.) We normally meet at 7:00 pm on the second Wednesday of the month. This can change with holiday closings, or the opportunity for author signings, so it is good to stay in touch with our fearless leader.
4. Who picks the books you read?
  The members themselves pick out future readings in a dignified and egalitarian process, sometimes involving paper airplanes and lots of shouting :-}. Really, if you have a good idea, just bring it to a meeting.
5. Where can I get copies of the books?
  You can:

See our separate list of resources.


In the following reading lists:

 

Past reading list

  2005
  August September October November December
  Magic Street
Orson Scott Card
Timeline
Michael Crichton
The Forever War
Joe Haldeman

The Sparrow
Mary Doria Russell

Beggars in Spain
Nancy Kress

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

January

The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. LeGuin
“Paycheck”
Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
"We'll Remember It for You Wholesale"
Philip K. Dick

February

The Time Ships
Stephen Baxter
Red Mars
Kim Stanley Robinson
Hominids
Robert Sawyer
Into the Looking Glass
John Ringo
Coyote
Alan Steele

March

Rendezvous with Rama
Arthur C. Clarke
The Man in the High Castle
Philip K. Dick
Gateway
Fredrick Pohl
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams
Carnival
Elizabeth Bear

April

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus
Orson Scott Card
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Robert  A. Heinlein
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
Kate Wilhelm
The Lost World
Arthur Conan Doyle
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Jules Verne

May

Neuromancer
William Gibson
Old Man's War
John Scalzi
A Canticle for Liebowitz
Walter Miller
Mammoth
John Varley
The Time Machine
H.G. Wells

June

Startide Rising
David Brin
Ringworld
Larry Niven
Idoru
William Gibson
Out of the Silent Planet
C. S. Lewis
To Say Nothing of the Dog
Connie Willis

July

Darwin's Radio
Greg Bear
Moving Mars
Greg Bear
Dune
Frank  Herbert
Flowers for Algernon
Daniel Keyes
Dies the Fire
S. M. Sterling

August

Replay
Ken Grimwood
Timescape
Greg Benford
The Lathe of Heaven
Ursula K. LeGuin
When Worlds Collide
Phillip Wylie & Edwin Balmer
Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card

September

The Icarus Hunt
Timothy Zahn
The Guns of the South
Harry Turtledove
The Martian Chronicles
Ray Bradbury
Crystal Rain
Tobias Buckell
The Invisible Man
H.G. Wells

October

Foundation
Isaac Asimov
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Ray Bradbury
To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Philip José Farmer
Halting State
Charles Stross
Trading in Danger
Elizabeth Moon

November

The Speed of Dark
Elizabeth Moon
Deepsix
Jack McDevitt
Hyperion
Dan Simmons
A Fire Upon the Deep
Vernor Vinge
Pebble in the Sky
Isaac Asimov

December

Gravity
Tess Gerritsen
The Caves of Steel
Isaac Asimov
The Quantum Connection
Travis Taylor
Agent to the Stars
John Scalzi
The War of the Worlds
H.G. Wells

 

  2011 2012 2013 2014

January

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson
The Postman
David Brin
Solaris
Stanislaw Lem
Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

February

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Mark Twain
Spin
Robert Charles Wilson
Blood Red Road
Moira Young
The Quantum Thief
Hannu Rajaniemi

March

2010, Odyssey Two
Arthur C. Clarke
Dandelion Wine
Ray Bradbury
Ancient Shores
Jack McDevitt
Glasshouse
Charles Stross

April

Humans
Robert Sawyer
WWW : Wake
Robert J Sawyer
The Day of the Triffids
John Wyndham
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley

May

Starship Troopers
Robert  A. Heinlein
The Stars, Like Dust
Isaac Asimov
Diving into the Wreck
Kristine K. Rusch
Wool
Hugh Howey

June

Planet of the Apes
Pierre Boulle
Lucifer's Hammer
Niven/Jerry Pournelle
Lord Valentine's Castle
Robert Silverberg
The Shape of Things to Come
H. G. Wells

July

Close  Encounters
Katherine Allred
Methuselah's Children
Robert  A. Heinlein
WWW: Watch
Robert J. Sawyer
The City and The City
China Mi騅ille

August

Eifelheim
Michael Flynn 
The Unincorporated Man
Dani & Eytan Kollin
The Games
Ted Kostmatka
The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood

September

The Andromeda Strain
Michael Crichton
The Positronic Man
Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg
I Am Legend
Richard Matheson
Gravity
Alfonso & Jon疽 Cuarn

October

The Ghost Brigades
John Scalzi
The Anubis Gates
Tim Powers
The Currents of Space
Isaac Asimov

November

Camouflage
Joe Haldeman
The Doomsday Book
Connie Willis
The Mote in God's Eye
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

December

On Basilisk Station
David Weber
A Beautiful Friendship
David Weber
WWW: Wonder
Robert Sawyer

Current reading list

2014

October 8 The Host Stephanie Meyer Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Seekers, who implant in each surviving human body an occupying "soul" who jointly assure the loyalty of the occupied race. The conquerors are unprepared for Melanie Stryder, whose personality is so strong, whose will to survive is so fixed, whose feelings for her (as yet uncaptured) lover are so powerful that her occupier cannot assert complete mastery and begins to learn all it means to be human. Author Meyer, better known for her teen vampire Twilight series explores new territory in her first SF novel.
November 12 The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke

Vannevar Morgan is the engineer's engineer. Fresh from his triumphant construction of a bridge across the Strait of Gibraltar he conceives and sets out to build the first 'space elevator': a link between Earth and a satellite in geo-synchronous orbit that will cut the cost of moving material in & out of low Earth orbit by an order of magnitude.

He has already solved all the technical problems (such as inventing a new material with a tensile strength orders of magnitude greater than anything known in our time). Now he must tackle numerous non-technical challenges:

  • Securing financial backing for his outlandish venture,
  • Dealing with an order of Buddhist monks who have built a monastery one the sole mountain he needs as a base station,
  • Securing the trust of the local authorities, and
  • Overcoming his own frail health.

This book won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

December 10 Roadside Picnic Arkadi & Boris Strugatski

Some time in the recent past Earth was visited (unwitnessed) by alien spacecraft with an unknown agenda. These half dozen sites (or 'Zones', as they are known) contain incomprehensible artifacts, but also have negated the laws of physics as we know them (Corpses arise from cemetaries and return to their families). Entering one can be lethal and they are sealed off and under investigation by an international commission. Nevertheless a lucrative black market for alien artifacts exists and 'stalkers' (as they are known in the book--a better translation would be 'scavengers') venture inside. Redrick "Red" Schuhart was a master making a marginal living for his family until he was caught and served a prison sentence. Then he gets a rare chance to return legally and search out the legendary "golden globe" that allegedly grants all seekers anything they wish for.

The Strugatzki brothers, working together, became the most popular SF authors in the Soviet Union. From there, their reputation spread to western Europe, especially Germany. This is one of several of their SF works available in English.

January 14 The Gate to Women's Country Sheri Tepper Three hundred years ago North America was ravaged by a nuclear holocaust. Survivors live in two societies: Woman's Country is a matriarchy holding all women and a few non-violent men: they preserve farming, manufacturing, metallurgy, trade, education, medicine, while the garrison holds the warrior class of men, who protect them from outside invaders. The story unfolds through the eyes of Stavia, from the age of 10 through maturity, who defies cultural norms that would withhold most of the society's technology from the men.
February 11 Starfish Peter Watts In a society that derives most its energy from geothermal plants in the Juan de Fuca Ridge, under the Pacific Ocean, the Grid Authority has staffed its underwater power plants with humans so unfit for life in normal society, that they willingly accept the surgical modifications that allow them to breathe underwater and withstand tremendous pressure. With their boss viewing them as less than human, there is not much joy in the lives of the inhabitants of Beebe Station. Lenie Clarke fights to overcome her childhood abuse and establish herself in a society of violent misfits.

Our meeting place

Syzygy meets on the second Wednesday of the month at Books & Co., in "The Greene" shopping center in Beavercreek (See map at right). Meeting night and/or location can change with holiday closings or author signings, so it is good to stay in touch with our fearless leader. Meetings start at 7:00 pm and last around an hour.

We meet on the second floor, in front of the fireplace. If you don't see us, ask at the customer service desk.



Readers' resources (How to get the books)

Essentially, you can buy or borrow your books. If you choose to buy them you can shop among assorted on-line booksellers:

Bookseller

   

Comments

Amazon.com

   

Amazon.com now sells used books, too. They offer sample pages you can read on-line.

Amazon (UK)

   

We sometimes find books here, not available domestically.

Barnes & Noble

   

Also offers on-line excerpts.

James Thin

   

Another British retailer, with an outstanding SF section

If you live in the Dayton area, you can check the various national chains who have outlets here:

Name     Location     Phone     Comments
Barnes & Noble     2619 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd     433-0750      
    2720 Towne Dr     429-1660      
Halfprice Books     2090 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd     438-0249     These folks are serious about that "half price" bit. We once bought a vintage paperback of the original 2001, A Space Odyssey there for 47¢.

Dayton also has a few independent booksellers:

Name     Location     Phone     Comments
Books & Co. at The Greene     4453 Walnut St     429-2169     This is our meeting site. If you mention at the register that your purchase is on the Syzygy reading list, you will get a 10% discount. This is in addition to the "Millionaire's Club" discount, if you also have a store card.

If you have a library card from any Montgomery county library, you can borrow your book from any library in the county that has it.

  1. Go the the Dayton Metro Library home page .
  2. Click on "Catalog" (top of page).
  3. Fill in as much as you know about the book and click "Go".
  4. If that doesn't work, click "Other Libraries".
  5. Click on "More Ohio". (You will have to enable cookies on your browser, and pull out your library card to use this service.)
  6. Click "Standard Search". Fill in your title & try again. This scans dozens of libraries around the area.
  7. If you get hits, the "Details" link will tell you which library or libraries have it.

If you live in Greene county, you can look up books in the "card catalog" of the Greene County Public Library. They seem to have the newer titles!

There are more public libraries in the area outside both these systems:

Finally, if you live outside the range of any of these, you can still probably locate a library near you at:


Links of interest to SF lovers

Search the world wide web for "science fiction" and you will get lots of hits: primarily about TV shows, movies, gaming, or conventions. All the SF links in this section are targetted at people who like books. Many of the names don't tell you much about the services they offer, so we've tried to arrange them by service.


Contact us

For additional information about the Syzygy group, or provide comments about this web site, write to our fearless leader at the following URL:  .


The Syzygy readers' group home page/Revised September 2014

Copyright © 2014, Gary Lynch. All rights reserved.