Sci-fi books are awesome for book clubs. They’re exciting, thought provoking, and some of the most important books of our time. One key to a fun book club is alcohol, but the other is to get good discussion going. Good discussion takes a little planning. Luckily, the Drunk Guys Book Club is here to help you come up with questions. The pan-galactic gargle blasters are your own responsibility.
The key to good discussions are questions that don’t have just one right answer. Let people build on each other’s ideas, make connections, or even disagree and debate.
Here are some general questions that would work for most any sci-fi book:
- What does this book say about science and technology and its effects on today’s society or the future?
- What issues does this book raise or what predictions does this book make?
- Is there anything the author definitely got right or definitely got wrong? Like what?
- How did this book influence today’s society or pop culture? (Or was the book influenced by today’s pop culture?)
- Is the purpose of the book to be optimistic about the future or to serve as a warning?
- Would you make this book required reading? Why or why not?
Questions for “classic” science fiction:
(Fahrenheit 451, anything by Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, etc)
- Why is this book considered a classic? Does it deserve to be?
- Has the book aged well? What elements hold up and which don’t?
- Why is this book important or what is its most important idea?
- What earlier books influenced this one?
- How did this book influence later books?
Questions for dystopian sci-fi:
(1984, Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, etc.)
- What makes this world a dystopia? What went wrong?
- What real or hypothetical historical events might have been the inspiration for this book? (The Nazi 3rd Reich, Stalin’s Soviet Union, etc.)
- How possible is it that something like the dystopian world in the book could happen in real life? What can/should be done to stop it?
Great thought-provoking books for a Science Fiction Book Club:
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Neuromancer by Williams Gibson
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
- A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller
You can listen to us drunkenly discuss some of these questions and more on the podcast here: The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode 2), Fahrenheit 451 (Episode 3), 1984 (Episode 14), A Clockwork Orange (Episode 22 ), Ready Player One (Episode 9), Hitchhiker’s Guide (Episode 24)