Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Club Discussion Questions for Vessel

I recently crafted a short list of discussion questions about Vessel that are suitable for book clubs, book reviewers,  bloggers, and anyone else who likes to think about and/or discuss fiction. These are only to get the conversation started, but here’s what I’ve got:

1.   A catastrophic solar storm destroyed all electrical devices on Earth in Vessel. Do you think the human race could survive such an event? How?
2. In the future world of Vessel, Alana is a slave. We know slavery has been around for a long time and is still going on today. Could slavery ever be eradicated or is it part of the human condition forever?

3. Kinder behaves in strange ways throughout the story of Vessel. Do you believe his motives are benevolent or malevolent?

4. In Vessel, the Reticents “teach” their students by implanting a microchip in their brains and downloading information. Do you think such a thing might be possible one day? Why or why not?

5. Recks asks Alana at one point in the story where she wants to live. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

6. What do you think happens in the sequel to Vessel?

Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. They’re meant to spark discussion, but I’ll give you my take on the answers.

1. Since I wrote the book, it’s probably already clear I think there’s a chance humans could survive a solar storm, but I think life would return to more of a hunting and gathering lifestyle. Things we take for granted, like modern medicine and life-saving drugs, would disappear. As a result, a lot of us would perish. There are many places that would be difficult to live without a reliable power source in the winter, which might favor people living closer to the equator. I also think its possible small pockets of humans could survive in very different regions, totally isolated and unaware of each other.

2. Regarding slavery, it seems like it’s been around in one form or another for a very long time. I wish I could say it could be eradicated, but it’s hard to see how.

3. Kinder was a fun character to write for several reasons. You never quite know what he’s up to or if he’s even a threat at all. He’s not 100% honest with anyone in the book.

4. Implanting a memory chip in your brain would be handy, don’t you think? Seems like it would be impossible, but scientists are already implanting electrodes in people to help stimulate paralysis victims’ muscles. I’ve even heard of studies where electrodes have been used to stimulate the brain to improve cognitive ability. I’d say anything is possible where human ingenuity is involved.

5. If I could live anywhere at all and money was no object, it would be on a beach, preferable a warm one with lots of tide pools, colorful fish, and gorgeous sunsets.

6. The story definitely continues after the events of Vessel, but that’s all I’ve got to say about that!

If you haven't read Vessel yet, you can find it on Amazon~

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