The Cosmic Codex
The Cosmic Codex
Club Codex (February 2024): "Cloud-Castles" by Dave Freer

Club Codex (February 2024): "Cloud-Castles" by Dave Freer

Read and discuss this Prometheus Award winning novel

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“‘Castles in the air…’” by Brian S. Pauls, 2024; Digital illustration created using Midjourney

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Club Codex is discussing Cloud-Castles by Dave Freer from February 18-March 16. We’re starting this novel a bit late. I’ve been running behind due to an illness in January. Freer received the Prometheus Award for Best Novel of libertarian science fiction last year.

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From the Amazon website:

“Augustus Thistlewood was an idealist. The youngest scion of a vastly wealthy family, he’d come to help the poor, deprived people of the strange world of Sybill III – a gas-dwarf world with no habitable land. The human population, descendants of a crashed convict transport, lived on a tiny, crowded, alien antigravity plate they called ‘the Big Syd’, drifting through the clouds in the upper atmosphere. It was a few square miles of squalor, in a vast sea of sky, ruled by the degenerate relics of two alien empires.

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The problem was that the people of the Big Syd wanted to help themselves, first – to his money, his liberty, and even his life.

Only two things stood between them and this: the first was his ‘assistant’ Briz, – a ragged urchin he’d picked up as a guide. She reckoned if anyone was going to steal from Augustus, it was going to be her, even if she had to keep him alive so that she could do it. And the second thing was Augustus himself. He didn’t know what ‘giving up’ meant. Actually, he didn’t know what most things meant. As a naïve, wide-eyed innocent blundering through the cess-pit of Sybill III, he was going to have to learn, mostly the hard way. Some of that learning was going to be out in the strange society that existed on the endless drifting clumps of airborne vegetation, and the Cloud-Castles of the aliens who hunted across them. Most of it was learning that philanthropy wasn’t quite what they’d taught him in college.”

Here’s the discussion schedule for February and March:

February 18-24: Author’s Note-Chapter 6
February 25-March 2: Chapters 7-13
March 3-9: Chapters 14-20
March 10-16: Chapter 21-Finale

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Discussion Thread

The Club Codex selection for the second half of March is Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford.

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The Cosmic Codex
The Cosmic Codex
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