Think Galactic
info@thinkgalactic.org
Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622
Second Thursday of every month 7:30PM.
"Think Galactic is a Chicago-based reading group that seeks to discuss speculative fiction from a radical left perspective. We are a pro-woman, pro-queer, and anti-racist group that dreams of a world without oppressive hierarchies."
"After one of the late-year meetings (usually November or December) we each throw out 2-3 books or stories we think would make for a good discussion. A list is compiled and 12 books/stories are drawn out of a hat, with the first being January's title, the second is February's, and so on. It's really that simple. As for content or other criteria, we always seek to have as many women and persons of color as we can, as they have been traditionally under-represented in SF. We look to mix up themes and topics, but are always interested in stories that deal with race, class, gender, and sexuality. Specific topics of interest, like the environment, population, war, etc. also factor into the mix."
"Typically we go around in a circle and everyone says a bit about what they thought of the book-- things they particularly want to talk about, things they liked, things they didn't like, etc. Discussion grows organically from there; we do make an effort to be sure everyone has a chance to be heard."
"Our reading list page includes current and past lists: http://www.thinkgalactic.org/readinglist.htm"
2002 to present
"More mature/patient teen readers might find our group to be of interest (our selections range from the very dense to lighter satire or YA). Younger readers might get impatient with our discussion process, or they might enjoy it. Take a look at the reading list and see what you think. Everyone is welcome as long as they are respectful in discussions."
"There are no membership requirements or other prerequisites."
"Facebook. We are on GoodReads and LibraryThing but not actively using these at this time."
"We just ask that people be respectful of one another in discussion-- this includes not monopolizing the discussion as well as being respectful of others' opinions. We are a primarily progressive/radical leftist group, but we've welcomed people of a variety of political perspectives. Also, we usually have vegan snacks, which is a nice policy to be aware of if those fit your dietary requirements. Everyone else: They're yummy."
N/A
Phandemonium Bookclub
bookclub@phandemonium.org
Borders in Evanston, 1700 Maple Ave
Bimonthly
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
The Forest Park Speculative Fiction Reading Group
contact@fpsf.curragh-labs.org
Forest Park Public Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd, Forest Park, IL (708) 366-7171
Second Wednesday of every month at 7PM.
No mandate or mission.
"Each member chooses a book and leads a discussion on that book in a rotating basis."
"Our discussions are loose conversations, nominally led by the person who selected the book."
"Our entire reading history is documented on our website."
late 2007 to present
"Our group's material is usually suitable for teen readers, but we aren't targeted at young readers."
"There are no prerequisites other than reading the books."
No.
No.
"The Forest Park Speculative Fiction reading group reads a wide variety of science fiction novels, with a smattering of fantasy mixed in. Our small group is welcoming and friendly, with a relaxed atmosphere. Newcomers are welcome. Please visit our website for more information."
Destination Wonder
Interested parties can contact Destination Wonder at the organizer's work email, stever@dkpl.org, or at their work phone, 815.756.9568, ext. 28
Destination Wonder meets in the DeKalb Public Library (309 Oak Street, DeKalb, Illinois 60115-3369) conference room on the lower level.
Destination Wonder gathers on the first Wednesday of every month at 7PM.
"Destination Wonder meets to read, enjoy, and discuss speculative fiction in a friendly social environment."
"The discussion leader gathers ideas from the group and determines the reading schedule for a six month period."
"We put the books into context (author, time period, genre, subgenre, etc.) and then discuss the books themselves."
2005 to present
"Destination Wonder is suitable for older, mature teens and adult readers."
"There are no prerequisites--simply show up having read the book and be ready to discuss it. If attendees desire to check out a copy of the book from the DeKalb Public Library, however, they will need a valid library card from an Illinois library that participates in Interlibrary Loan / Reciprocal Borrowing."
Not yet, but it is planned.
No.
"Destination Wonder meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please join us! You can obtain a copy of the discussion book at the DeKalb Public Library. Refreshments are provided--all you have to do is attend and enjoy the journey as we explore the furthest reaches of space, the remotest worlds of magic, and the darkest regions of nightmare! Please remember, though, that this discussion is intended for mature teens and adults. If you have any questions, please call the DeKalb Public Library at 815-756-9568 and ask for Steve Roman, or send him an email at stever@dkpl.org."
Close Reading Group
info@chicago-sf.org
The Oak Park Public Library, Main Branch. 834 Lake Street Oak Park, IL 60301. In February and November we usually meet at Capricon and Windycon respectively.
Every third Saturday at 2PM.
To engage in sociable reading of speculative fiction texts while engaging those texts on theme, style and other merits.
Nominations are collected at the discussion one to three months in advance, and an online poll of the members is conducted. The winning selection's nominator then becomes the discussion leader for that month.
The shape of the discussion usually involves an initial round table discussion of first impressions of the work, and then evolves from there. The selection nominator is in charge of the discussion and moderates.
August 2006 to present
chicago-sf.org's Close Reading Group often deals with mature themes and is for adults and persons mature enough for such discussions.
None.
None of importance.
chicago-sf.org maintains a code of conduct attendees are expected to observe.
We welcome everyone who wants to have exciting and in-depth discussions of speculative fiction!
(Lisle Library's) Science Fiction/Fantasy Group
Jen Ozhourk
Lisle Library District (777 Front Street, Lisle, IL)
"We meet once a month on a Wednesday evening (usually at the end of the month) at 7:00 p.m. There is a planning meeting in December, and the group usually takes a hiatus during July and August."
"I suppose our mission is really to share our love of books -- everyone contributes suggestions at the planning meeting, so we always have a wide range of books to choose from. I think that for most people in the group, this means that we read things we wouldn't otherwise know about or think to pick up."
"We have a planning meeting where everyone is encouraged to bring 1-2 (4 at most) book suggestions. We then go around the circle and each person gives a little description of their book (or maybe a longer description). I keep track of all the suggestions and then when we've gone through all of them, the group votes as a whole to determine which books we'll read. It's up to me to make sure we have a balance between what we would classify as science fiction and fantasy, and also a balance between male and female authors. In the weeks between the planning meeting and the next book discussion meeting, I also determine the schedule/which books will be discussed when (this makes sure that we have a balance there, as well -- like, a heavier book in September, when we've had more time to read it)."
"We always begin with asking if anyone is reading anything interesting they'd like to share (always some good-sounding books mentioned). Then, we really start our discussion. Our book groups here at the library really aren't that formal --- we don't have a specific list of questions, etc., -- basically, we just start discussing plot, or characters, etc. ; whatever people want to talk about it. As the facilitator, it's up to me to make sure we stay on topic, but I mostly just guide the discussion. Our group is a lot of fun, and there's always at least one point during the discussion where it gets a little raucous. At the end of our discussion, we choose what we call "type codes" which classify the book (like, award-winner, alternate history, etc). Lastly, we all rate the book on a scale of 1-5 (5 is best, 1 is beyond redemption) and then average that score. I'm hoping that in the near future, I'll be able to have something where you can search what the group has read over the years, not only by title, but also by type code or rating."
"Recent past books have included: Elizabeth Moon's Trading in Danger, Vernor Vinge's Rainbow's End, China Mieville's Un Lun Dun, and Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. I'm happy to provide you with bookmarks that show what we've read and when (it'd be a long list to put them all in here)"
1994 or earlier to present
"We welcome teen readers, especially when we read a YA selection, like Un Lun Dun or Wicked Lovely. I try to make sure that we have at least one YA title per cycle (year's worth of reading), but I think that many of our books would appeal to teen readers, as well. There are some people in our group who bring their kids to discussions from time to time, and it's great!"
"Although the Lisle Library sponsors the group, members do NOT need to live in Lisle, or even have a Lisle library card. Of course, if they want to check out one of our books here, they need a Lisle card, but some people just bring their own copies, either from home, or from their own library."
N/A
"I think that all we ask is that if someone would like to attend, they first read the book. Or at least 1/2-3/4 of the book. It's hard to join in a discussion when you've only read 2 chapters of it. However, if someone hasn't gotten too far into the book and they'd like to come to a discussion and just listen, that's ok. Also, we would ask that anyone who comes to discussions to be courteous and respectful of the opinions of others. As I mentioned, sometimes, our discussions get a little raucous, but it's all in good fun."
"I would encourage anyone who is curious about our group to check our Ning page. We list not only what our upcoming books are, but I always post a recap of our discussions, as well. In addition, group members post a lot of interesting links and other material. You don't need to be a member of the group to view the page (although if you want to comment or post, you do need to join - but it's free). We're a really great group, with great people. We have a lot of fun, and our discussions are always good (and the books are varied). I've come to expect some good insights from our group into the books we discuss, and as a result, it makes the whole reading experience for me even better."
Chicago Nerd Social Club Science Fiction and Fantasy Bookclub
No response yet.
Noble Tree Cafe 2444 N. Clark Street Chicago, IL
Monthly on the second Monday
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
September 2009
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
No answer yet received.
Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Discussion (at Homewood Public Library)
erinm@homewoodlibrary.net
This group uses a meeting room in the Homewood Public Library at 17917 Dixie Highway Homewood, IL.
Monthly on the 4th Wednesday at 7PM.
"To expose readers who have never read the genre to speculative fiction and to give current fans of the genre a place to discuss what they've read."
"So far, the discussion leaders have chosen after discussing things over with the group members. We're hoping to eventually read suggestions given by the group."
"We give a month to read each title, and, when we meet, we just dive into discussing it. The group leaders try to have at least a few questions and pertinent facts gathered before the meetings."
Rover by Mel Odom, Ombria in Shadow by Patricia A. McKillip, and On Basilisk Station by David Weber.
June 2009
"Older teens would likely be all right. We're not looking for works that rate in any particular way for a certain age group."
"No membership or pre-requisites. You must only bring and open and curious mind."
"Not currently."
"We do not provide baby sitting services."
N/A

Chicagoland Speculative Fiction Reading Groups FAQ

What?

This project aggregates information about Chicagoland reading groups and book clubs focusing on speculative fiction. The intent is to provide a resource for people looking for a reading group to join. You are free to link to this FAQ, to embed the calendar and map and to cite the information in the document. No proprietary claim is made. Click the groups above to learn more about them. Check the map to your right to learn where, and below it, the calendar to see what and when.

Why?

Reading is valuable, and reading in a social fashion enhances that value. Too often we lack the social value of reading. Even genre fans can often find they are the only person in their peer group to have read a particular title. Sharing that excitement with others can be easier with a reading group. This outpost is here to make it easier to find information about all the reading groups operating in the area. I also hope it will be a resource for librarians and other members of the book trade when they are asked about book clubs.

How?

This webpage will be updated when information about the groups presently catalogued changes, or a new one comes to our attention. It will represent the best information available. Schedules and policies, content and mission, pretty much everything a potential member might want to know will be right here. To add your group to this resource answer this questionnaire, then email it to the maintainer. Please, let me know of any groups I've overlooked here.

Who?

Chicago hosts a strong set of reading groups and book clubs. The hard-working organizers of these groups have put up with numerous questions, including a full questionnaire in the course of making this happen. Their efforts are invaluable. The project was undertaken by and is maintained by Jason M. Robertson and hosted by chicago-sf.org.

Embed

If you would like to embed the calendar or map in your webpage select and copy the code for each below. A return link where used is appreciated, but not required.

Calendar Code

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Changelog

Changes to this document that take place after it goes live will be recorded here.


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