The Positronic Brains

About Us

Back in April of 1996, the Manager of the Barnes and Noble in Nashua, NH contacted frequent customer Jerome Conner about possibly forming a Science Fiction Reader's Group at the store. The first meeting was advertised in the store newsletter, and six people showed up for the it.

We started with only three ground rules:

  1. We would try to read real science fiction, as opposed to fantasy or horror novels.

  2. If we were reading a book that was part of a trilogy, or series, we would read the first book, even if it wasn't the best book of the series.

  3. We would avoid series ties-ins, like Star Trek or Star Wars books, in favor of more literary science fiction.
Of course, if you look at the list, we've broken the rules several times. We've read several works of fantasy, and Bimbos of the Death Sun is technically a mystery, albeit one set at a Science Fiction Convention. We've also inadvertently read a couple of books that were mid-series rather than the first book. And trust me, you can tell you're in the middle of something that's already started without you.

As we have discovered, there is an unofficial fourth rule, that no matter how much we like a book and want to share it with the group, it has to be "in print," since no matter how much we love something, the group is really all about selling books. If members of the group can't buy it to read it, we can't choose a title as a selection.

A name was picked for the group (the Positronic Brains), a date was set for the next meeting, and a title was picked. We have to admit, the first book was chosen solely because there were six copies on the shelf, and we needed a book right away. In the beginning we were meeting every two weeks. We soon realized we needed more time to finish the books, and switched to every three weeks and finally our current once a month schedule. We also started picking our books in advance, so that copies could be ordered into the store for the group.

Currently we've been meeting for over three years. Three original members of the group still attend, and while the composition of the group has changed, we generally have anywhere from six to twelve members attending our monthly meetings in the Café at Barnes and Noble, Nashua, New Hampshire. All you need to do to be a member is show up and want to discuss Science Fiction, (although it helps if you've read that month's book).