The Cosmic Codex
The Cosmic Codex
Club Codex 2024: The EASY book club for award-winning science fiction

Club Codex 2024: The EASY book club for award-winning science fiction

Read and discuss one or more sf novels next year
“A discourse on wonder” by Brian S. Pauls, 2023; Digital illustration created using Midjourney

My novelette, An Illicit Mercy, is part of a new promotion in December, Free Science Fiction & Fantasy Reads.
Check out nearly 200 novels, short stories, and excerpts, available for free.

Will a young woman survive when her village is destroyed by an alien space fleet?
Toemeka lives with her family in an idyllic mountain village on a distant planet.  The village is aware of the war that rages on their planet but the elders believe it won’t touch them.  They are about to be proved wrong.
Star Rider Emerges by Heidi Skarie is the exciting backstory to Star Rider on the Razor’s Edge that reveals the events that led up to Toemeka joining the Coalition of Free Nations and becoming an undercover operative.

Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak (Unstoppable Book 2)
Club Codex is reading and discussing the Locus Award-winning novel “Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak” by Charlie Jane Anders through December 31. Please join us!

by Brian Scott Pauls, with the help of Claude AI

Earlier this year, I started Club Codex to provide a more convenient way to connect with others who enjoy good science fiction novels.

People who love both science fiction and book clubs face a number of challenges. Such readers can find themselves:

  • Disappointed at not having enough time for regular meetings, either in-person or online.

  • Discouraged by so few opportunities to share their thoughts with others about award-winning science fiction.

  • Frustrated because they haven’t come across a simple, effective solution that works for them.

Does this sound familiar? That’s not usual!

If you feel this way, Club Codex may be a good fit for you.

Here are answers to a few questions you may have about how it all works:


What is Club Codex?

A book club organized by The Cosmic Codex newsletter.

What type of books do you read?

We read and discuss one award-winning science fiction novel each month. Most selections are recent (within the past year or two.)

Do I have to read all the books?

Nope. Read as few or as many as you prefer.

What if I take longer than a month to read a book?

For 2024, we’re announcing all the selections in advance. Pick a book on the schedule that’s two, three, or more months down the road. Start reading it as early as you like!

How does the discussion work?

All discussion is online, chat-based, and asynchronous. Only have time to post your thoughts on your lunch break, late at night, or early Saturday morning? No problem! The Internet is always here. Your posts will be waiting for the rest of us when we check in later.

What does it cost?

Nothing! A free subscription to The Cosmic Codex is all you need.

How do I get started?

You can join Club Codex in three easy steps:

  1. If you haven’t already, subscribe to The Cosmic Codex:

  2. Join the discussion thread for each book you want to read. See below for links to the threads for each of our 2024 selections. Leave a comment, like “Join”, so you will receive alerts on your Substack account.

  3. If you have time, introduce yourself in our welcome thread:

    Welcome Thread

That’s it. You’re now a member of Club Codex! Talk to you in 2024.  :)

Club Codex 2024 Selections


The Extractionist by Kimberly Unger

Winner of the 2023 Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States

When expert virtual reality extractor Eliza McKay foils an attack in the digital world, thugs break into her home to hack her implants. But the executive she's rescuing strangely resists extraction because of a dangerous secret lurking in the virtual world. McKay must beat the hackers to survive and reboot her career.

Jan Discussion Thread


Cloud-Castles by Dave Freer

Winner of the 2023 Prometheus Award for Best Novel of libertarian science fiction

When idealistic aristocrat Augustus Thistlewood travels to the impoverished floating world of Sybill III to help the downtrodden, he finds the residents more interested in robbing him blind. Protected only by street urchin Briz, who figures she should steal from Augustus before anyone else does, his naïveté leads to misadventures among the bizarre cultures inhabiting the planet's aerial vegetation.

Feb Discussion Thread


Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford

Winner of the 2023 Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

When 11-year old aspiring entomologist Ruby discovers a bizarre bug that escapes after burning through her window, she and her friends must find the insect, which is making neighborhood objects mysteriously disappear, before federal authorities can get to it.

March Discussion Thread


Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman

Winner of the 2023 Arthur C. Clarke Award for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year

When biobanks containing DNA samples of extinct species are mysteriously destroyed, a guilt-ridden scientist and industry executive hunt for a surviving species of highly intelligent fish, whose last known habitat has been ruined by mining. Their search for answers leads them on an ominous journey through a dystopian near-future landscape.

April Discussion Thread


The Hieros Gamos of Sam and An Smith by Josephine Saxton

Winner of the 2023 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award for underread science fiction and fantasy authors

Wandering a desolate countryside for a decade after a friendless, merciless childhood, a feral boy's lonely existence is disrupted when his curiosity draws him to a strange wailing sound. This discovery kicks off a kaleidoscope of adventures, emotions, and dangers that lead him to finally open himself to the risks of commitment and relationships.

May Discussion Thread


Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Winner of the 2023 Hugo Award for Best Series

When the last humans leave a dying Earth to colonize a previously terraformed Eden, they discover the planet has been overrun by a hostile civilization and transformed into "mankind's worst nightmare.” Now the two societies hurtle toward conflict over the fate of the new Earth and the future of the human race.

June Discussion Thread


Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Winner of the 2023 Hugo Award for Best Series

After ancient terraformers overwrite alien life on the planet Nod, their sins are forgotten for ages. Then an exploratory vessel arrives, igniting hopes in those onboard for connecting with lost kin. Instead they reawaken an ancient doom that has waited through the eons for humanity's return.

July Discussion Thread


Children of Memory by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Winner of the 2023 Hugo Award for Best Series

Generations after Holt founded a human colony on the empty world Imir, his descendants struggle to survive. They encounter strange events, unaware advanced alien explorers have secretly arrived to study them. Soon both groups learn Imir conceals dangerous mysteries of its own, which they may be unable to escape.

August Discussion Thread


Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Winner of the 2021 Otherwise Award for works of speculative fiction which explore and expand gender

Violinist Shizuka Satomi must recruit seven prodigies to trade their souls for success to escape damnation.  Homeless transgender teen virtuoso Katrina Nguyen may be her last candidate. But when Shizuka meets retired starship captain and mother Lan Tran, she starts rethinking the meaning of a soul, and wonders if something as small as a warm donut and a found family is enough to break the curse.

September Discussion Thread


Arboreality by Rebecca Campbell

Winner of the 2023 Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction

When a Canadian community is ravaged by climate change, a few residents perform small acts of preservation. A professor rescues books from a collapsing library; a man plants fireweed on a barren hillside; an aspiring luthier poaches lumber to craft a violin. Their endeavors echo through their intertwined lives, depicting how humanity endures environmental devastation.

October Discussion Thread


36 Streets by T. R. Napper

Winner of the 2022 Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel written by an Australian citizen or permanent resident

Hanoi gangster Lin Vu, an Australian-Vietnamese outsider, climbs the ranks under mob boss Bao Nguyen's tutelage. But when an Englishman comes seeking his friend’s killer, Lin is embroiled in mega-corporate conspiracies. She must choose between family, country, and gang.

November Discussion Thread


The Peacekeeper by B. L. Blanchard

Winner of the 2022 Sidewise Award for Best Long-Form Alternate History

When Ojibwe detective Chibenashi investigates two eerily connected murders, he uncovers earth-shattering secrets about his family. The Peacekeeper embarks on an emotional journey to solve the case and rediscover himself in a North America never colonized by Europeans.

December Discussion Thread

Questions or comments? Please share your thoughts!

Leave a comment

1 Comment