Astoria Caffe and Wine Bar near Addison circle is a cozy, dimly lit place, and it served our book club well. They have a long list of wines and several cute holiday mixed drinks, and their cabinet is lined with lots of desserts. In addition, they have some sandwiches, a cheese plate, and appetizers. I ordered a Reuben panini and was not disappointed.
Really, I'm the only one of us who loved the book and was impressed by it. All of the mess of the novel, the weaving between narrative focus and structure, makes complete sense when we learn that the ship itself is telling us the story, puzzling through its programming to form something of a human narrative and, in the process, developing a consciousness. The true hero of the story is not the would-be protagonist Freya--it's the ship. I loved Robinson's meta-narrative choice here and felt his novel particularly timely since programs have now been written that allow computers to write novels. I also appreciate the skeptical focus on other-world colonization and the moral questions raised about these fictional explorers. I think Robinson brings some fantastic considerations to the sci-fi genre with Aurora.
"Ship decided to intervene. Which is to say, ipso facto, We intervened. We locked the locks all through the ship, yes we did."
"A complex manifold of overlapping universes, almost none of them sensed by us, and even fewer by the humans sleeping inside us. Flying through ghosts. Passing through a mystery."
"A nova off the port bow. Blue shift ahead, red shift behind. The stars."