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The Danish Museum of Science and Technology, Catch – Center for Art & Technology and the Libraries of Elsinore have established a joint book club where readers can meet and exchange reading experiences around science fiction.
Science fiction has, in broad consideration, been crucial to our conceptions of society. At the same time, the literary genre has also had a major impact on our thoughts of future technologies. Throughout the 20th century, several inventors have highlighted the influences of literature on their technological achievements. For example, Jules Vernes’ descriptions of the vessel Nautilus in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea” gained crucial importance for the development of the submarine as we know it.
In this book club we met at different destinations and talk about the books and the technological focal points of the works.
Jules Verne: ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea’ (ed. 1870)
Jules Verne is wildly absorbed in the wonders of nature, technology and science in ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea’. But he also shares his contemporary society’s fears, that the future and development not only bring progress but also dangers. The novel’s enigmatic Captain Nemo is both a humanist and anarchistic terrorist, and the unlimited freedom he seeks in the infinite world of the sea he finds only in the form of the submarine’s enclosed exile.
Translation of text by Frits Andersen, in 50 Highlights; No. 50. Aarhus University Publishers
The Library at the Culture Yard – Thursday, March 12 – 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Aldous Huxley: ‘Brave New World’ (1932 edition)
In Aldous Huxley’s dystopian future novel ‘Brave New World’, humanity is turned upside down under a totalitarian regime where biological control and mass production form the foundation of society. The book is an accomplished and frightening thought experiment with threads for both the novel’s contemporary and the present.
Translation of text by Thomas Behrmann, litteratursiden.dk
The Danish Museum of Science and Technology – Thursday, April 23. – 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Ursula Le Guin: ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’ (ed. 1969)
In the 1960s, American literature was dominated by realism. Science fiction was for technology geeks only. But then Ursula Le Guin came up with a series of books that put our view of civilization, and not just technology, under debate.
The most important of these novels was 1969’s Left Hand of Darkness, which takes place thousands of years in the future on an ambisexual planet, where men and women assume male or female gender character according to their circumstances and needs. Ursula was not only ahead of her time in terms of the social construction of gender characters. Science fiction in general zoomed in on the technological future, but she wrote about anarchistic movements, about society’s tendency to produce strangers themselves, and about climate change?
Translation of text by John Freeman, Weekendavisen, February 2, 2018
CATCH – Thursday, May 14 – 7:00-8:30 p.m
Olga Ravn: ‘The Employees’ (2018 edition)
In 2018, Olga Ravn released the sci-fi novel “The Employees”, which on the cover is referred to as “A workplace novel of the 22nd century”. So we are in the future in an immediately recognizable environment, the workplace.
The spaceship ‘The sixteenth ship’ has a crew of human and humanoid employees. In 102 testimonies, they describe the life of the spaceship to a committee, which over a period of 18 months is set to “gain insight into the relations between the employees and the objects in the rooms”.
Translation of text by Anne Vindum, authorweb.dk
Elsinore Municipality – Thursday, June 18 – 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Coordinators: Majken Overgaard, Catch & Simon Brørup, The Libraries
Contact regarding the books and reading club: Simon Brørup / firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact regarding registration: Stine Strømsted / email@example.com
Link to library event page: https://helsbib.dk/nyheder/laeseklubber/science-fiction-laeseklub