We hope you're enjoying the first month of our book club, where we've just moved on to Chapters 6 through 8 of Ubik. With a few weeks left to go, it's time to decide what we'll be reading in October. I've plucked a few titles from the suggestions thread and put them below; which one we read is up to you. If there's a theme to this month, it's "books I really should have read by now," so I'll do my best to point you to better sources than myself when describing them.

Once you've voted, here's how this works. The poll will be open until midnight, September 25th, at which point we'll tally responses, announce the reading schedule, and give you a few days to get the book. We can't guarantee complete international availability, but all four are both in print and available as Kindle ebooks. This is the first month we've run a poll, so we'd be happy to hear suggestions for how you want future ones to work. We don't want to start a war in the comments, but feel free to also make salient, spoiler-free recommendations if you've read one of the books in question.

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, 1988

Eco is probably the most widely known author on this list, and I've been hearing about Foucault's Pendulum for years as both a good novel and a cornerstone of conspiracy fiction. Unfortunately, that's about all I know about it, so I'll direct you to The Guardian, which describes a literary classic that doesn't forget to tell a compelling story along the way.

Old Man's War by John Scalzi, 2005

I've consistently loved John Scalzi's blog posts on science fiction and geekdom, and I've heard nothing but good things about Old Man's War. It's been described to me as a self-aware reinvention of military science fiction in the tradition of Robert Heinlein. For a sample chapter and some review links, head over to Scalzi's site.

Viriconium by M. John Harrison, 1971

Viriconium is mentioned frequently as a precursor to New Weird, the fusion of fantasy and science fiction written by authors like Jeff VanderMeer and China Mieville (who is a self-described fan of Harrison.) Properly speaking, we'd be reading a compendium of four shorter novels, an introduction to which can be read here courtesy of Neil Gaiman.

The Islanders by Christopher Priest, 2012

Christopher Priest is probably best known for writing The Prestige, which eventually gave us David Bowie as perennial nerd favorite Nikola Tesla. What convinced me to add this, though, is Inverted World, Priest's amazing and trippy foray into the relationship between perception and reality. If the Strange Horizons review is correct, we're in for something equally interesting with The Islanders.

Polling has ended. Get your copies of Foucault's Pendulum ready!

Closed Poll
What do you want to read in October?
  • Foucault's Pendulum 38%|476 votes
  • Old Man's War 21%|260 votes
  • Viriconium 8%|97 votes
  • The Islanders 34%|424 votes

This poll is closed