Fringe Book Club

Chicon Fringe is facilitating extracurricular events around Chicon 8! The “Fringe” are events that will generally be off-site (some may be online) and don’t require Worldcon membership. As such, they shouldn’t be read as “official” Worldcon events, but they will hopefully be a fun supplement for both Worldcon attendees and local Chicago folks who might not be attending the actual convention. We’re hoping these events give Worldcon visitors a chance to check out other aspects of Chicago, and encourage Chicago folks to check out the convention!

Fringe is starting out with an online book club series to discuss the Hugo-nominated novels and novellas, hosted by Chicago SFF groups, bookstores, and libraries. Attend as few or as many as you would like–we’re hoping this gives con-goers and Hugo-voters a chance to meet each other.

We have Zoom events set up for each club: just click the books you’re interested in to register. Please note that we’re planning on using AirMeet (a different virtual platform) for some other events, and may try to switch some of the later club events to Airmeet if that works out, so folks can get familiar with it. We’ll update the Fringe website and email anyone already registered if that happens.

As a disclosure: Fringe events, and opinions expressed by hosts or attendees, do not represent official positions of Chicon 8 or the Hugo Administration.

Registration is free, regardless of Worldcon membership status. All events will take place in Central Time (UTC-06:00).

Tuesday, May 24
7:30 P.M.
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuireThink Galactic
Sunday, June 4
11:00 A.M.
A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí ClarkPositron Chicago Sci-Fi Book Club
Thursday, June 23
7:30 P.M.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky ChambersSpeculative Literature Foundation, Chicago Chapter
Tuesday, June 28
7:30 P.M.
The Past Is Red by Catherynne M. ValenteCity Lit Books
Tuesday, July 5
7:30 P.M.
Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka AokiWeird & Wonderful
Monday, July 11
7:30 P.M.
Project Hail Mary by Andy WeirF(r)iction
Monday, July 18
7:30 P.M.
Elder Race by Adrian TchaikovskyChicago Nerd Social Club
Wednesday, July 20
7:30 P.M.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky ChambersMadison Street Books
Monday, July 25
7:30 P.M.
Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de BodardCity Lit Books
Sunday, July 31
2:00 P.M.
A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. HarrowBookends & Beginnings Sci-Fi Book Club
Wednesday, August 3
7:30 P.M.
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-ChanEvanston Public Library SFF Book Club
Wednesday, August 10
7:30 P.M.
A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady MartineThink Galactic

Keep an eye on this page for schedule changes and additions—there are some folks interested in adding discussions for other Hugo categories, or to duplicate some of these discussions in time slots friendlier to other time zones. We might not get everything scheduled before the Hugo voting deadline of August 11, but it’s still a great chance to meet and discuss.

Hope to see some of you at these, and looking forward to meeting some of you in Chicago (or virtually) in September! Please email Chicon Fringe if you have any questions or comments, or if you’d like to be notified of any additions or changes to the schedule.

Tips and Guidelines for Book Club Attendees

  • Please note Chicon’s Code of Conduct will be enforced during discussions.
  • Please mute yourself when you’re not talking.
  • The first time you have something to say, it’s helpful to briefly introduce yourself with your name, pronouns if you’re comfortable with that, and where you’re from!
  • If possible, using the reaction buttons (raising your hand, clapping, etc.) can make things easier and more engaging with larger groups.
  • Using the chat function can be helpful and is encouraged!
  • There won’t be any video or audio recording of the meeting, but we may save the text of the general chat for notes. At the end of the meeting, we may ask if people are comfortable with us taking a screenshot of us all waving—you’re welcome to close your video or log off a few seconds early if you’d rather not.