This Thursday evening from 6 until 7 pm the Bailey Cove Science Fiction book club will be discussing the first book in Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” series. The club meets the first Thursday of every month at the Bailey Cove library to talk about science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels that appeal to both adults and teens. Book club discussions are free events and a great way to stay in touch with others who share your interests.
“The Hunger Games” series is part of a resurgence in adolescent fiction that crosses generational lines. It, like the “Twilight” series of novels, has devoted readers in the tween and teen sets and among Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millenials. “The Hunger Games” is an especially interesting series of novels for those interested in popular culture as it hits on many of the favorite targets of popular culture critics — television and sports. “Hunger Games” doesn’t explore the televised revolution so much as it broadcasts the totalitarian aftermath.
Dystopias set in some undetermined future aren’t new to fans of science fiction/fantasy or of history. History and literature buffs who pick up the novels will recognize echoes of ancient Rome’s gladitorial rings and the story of Theseus. Comic book fans might be reminded of Marvel’s Mojoverse, in which an entire world revolves around televised combat between genetically created slaves, kidnapped mutants, and whatever else Mojo and his flunkies can find. Readers might also be reminded of the Mad Max films of the early 1980s, in particular Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Stephen King in his review of “The Hunger Games” in 2008 for Entertainment Weekly points out that “readers of Battle Royale (by Koushun Takami), The Running Man, or The Long Walk (those latter two by some guy named Bachman) will quickly realize they have visited these TV badlands before.” King’s tongue in cheek reference to himself aside, his review focuses on the appeal of “The Hunger Games” — it’s partially familiar territiory but presented in some surprising ways.
While “The Hunger Games” trilogy ended in print in August of last year, the film adaptation of the first novel is due out in March of 2012. The official movie website went online on July 20th, but aside from offering fans the ability to embed a movie countdown ticker and a motion poster, the site offers little other information. In addition to the upcoming film, fans of the novel can listen to music inpsired by the books like “Girl on Fire” by Steph Anderson, who was part of the Wizard Rock movement inspired by Harry Potter as a member of Tonks and the Aurors. For more music, readers should check out “The Hunger Games Fireside Chat” at http://hungergamesmovie.org/1539/musical-episode-of-the-hunger-games-fireside-chat-episode-10-on-monday/
If this month’s book club discussion whets your appetite for more science fiction/fantasy reads, the Bailey Cove Science Fiction club reading lists offers a good mix of older favorties and up and coming works. Click here to see what other works they will be exploring.