Brain Plague by Joan Slonczewski

(discussed September 20, 2001)

On a ten-point scale (1=bad, 10=good), the people who read the book gave the following ratings: 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8.5, 9, 9, 10
Average: 7.1

This book was "sponsored" by Ignacio Viglizzo. In one of his notes to the SFDG on August 17, he wrote

The following is a link to [Slonczewski] home page, which I found fascinating...

Many regards!


Here are some excerpts from a note that Raja Thiagarajan sent to the group on August 18, 2001:

[L]et me plug an excellent web site with a lot of information about Dr. Slonczewski:

Among other things, this has links to her two published short stories (with complete text available!):

The page for "Microbe" (1995) is

The page for "Tuberculosis bacteria join UN" (first published in the June 29 2000 issue of Nature [!]) is

This site also has links to articles "On Science in Science Fiction" (including Slonczewski's essay "Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy: A Biologist's Response") and "On Feminist Science Fiction". Check it out!

Raja also wrote that he'd been in correspondance with Slonczewski and that he mentioned this group would be discussing Brain Plague:

Dr. Slonczewski replied "I would be happy to answer any questions raised by your group." Wow! I thanked her for her generosity. Perhaps our moderator could compile a list [of questions] (if any) during the meeting?

On September 22, 2001, with help from Sivasailam Thiagarajan (who loaned the group a conference phone) and Gregory Rawlins (who let the group meet in his spacious living room) seven SFDG members got to chat with Dr. Slonczewski and ask her questions over the phone for about 90 minutes. Tremendous fun was had by all. Raja tried to record the chat, with mixed results, but he'll let people know how things turn out when he has more time to tinker with the recordings.