Sci-Fi Group Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Greg, Muad'Dib (last edited Dec 07, 2018 05:08AM) (new) - added it

Greg | 812 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for the second book of the month, or group read, for December. Please remember to use the spoiler tags where necessary.

The other group read topics for this month (Ringworld and What Mad Universe) can be found here and here.


David Lutkins | 0 comments I am nearly done with this book now. My impressions so far is that it is an excellent mystery/thriller, but unfortunately there is not a lot of science fiction going on. I'm puzzled why the author decided to set the story in an alternate history universe because, at least as far as I've read, the mystery could just as easily happened in a real world timeline, I don't want to give away any of the plot, but am curious if other readers are disappointed or whether they like how Deighton has depicted a defeated England.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 45 comments I have read it, and I agree with David. It is a very interesting book, but SF it is not, at least not in the sense I know.


David Lutkins | 0 comments I finished this book some days back. As mentioned, I think it is an excellent thriller. I thought the plot was interesting, with a lot of twists, and the characters were mostly fully developed.

My main complaint about the book is that the details of the German victory over England were never given, at least as far as I can remember. The author presents the scene as simply the German occupation army in charge, except in the north, and the English trying to cope with it.

Is anyone else reading this book? This is a busy time of year for everyone, but for those of us with time, I do recommend this book as a thriller, although there is nothing at all in terms of science fiction here.


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 45 comments I think Deighton was correct not to give any clues as to how the Germans beat Britain. I would be irrelevant to the story, and start off all sorts of adverse reviews from the sourpusses determined to slag it off. Take a look at some bad reviews that some authors get. Quite often you wonder if the reviewer was reading for any reason other than to vent spleen, so on something like this, don't give the opportunity - just get on with the story. I think that given the premise, Deighton did quite well, generating a plot that was logical, but also creating an atmosphere that was credible relating to what had supposedly happened. Agreed not SF


Thorkell Ottarsson | 209 comments I finished this book and Fatherland (the book I nominated but no one voted for). Both of the books are only sci fi in the sense that it is an alternative history. Both are detective thrillers but I found Fatherland more interesting since the plot had much more to do with WW2 and there was a reason for making an alternative universe. I think this book could have happened in any fantasy country and the result would have been the same.

What is the point of this book? That politics are dirty? How is that something you need an alternative universe to prove? I often got the feeling that the book was written to shock British readers. Imagine if all these historical figures we have come to love were killed and sacrificed in a political game? Shocking? Well I'm sure it is shocking for someone who is brought up to love Churchill and the king to picture them being killed by Nazis. Not so much for the rest of the world, I think.


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 45 comments As someone from the other side of the world, I regarded that as more of a consequence of taking that losing position rather than being shocked. I regarded the point of the book as simply a "what if" exploration and did not see any particularly profound message, but maybe I was not thinking hard enough about it.


message 8: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer | 8 comments I have started this, but not finished by no means. I am having a bit of a hard time with it.


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