Book Club Discussion Transcript: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

We hope you had a good time discussing Six Wakes with your book club—or had a good time reading it on your own and thinking about it!

Below the cut is the transcript for our own Six Wakes discussion. Maybe you’ll agree with our opinions, or maybe you’ll think we got it all wrong. Either way, we’d love to hear from you in the comments if you found our discussion interesting!

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Book Club Questions: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer—before they kill again.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.

Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently…

As I mentioned in the Book Club Prep post for this novel, the synopsis above isn’t super accurate as to the actual plot, worldbuilding, and primary concerns of this novel, but at least it probably piqued your interest.

After reading and discussing Sadie and The Fact of a Body back to back, we were hoping to find something a little lighter to read, and Six Wakes definitely fit the bill. Although the novel asks a lot of questions of us as far as what makes a person this person and not some other person, it’s a light and fast-paced read that’s easy to fly through. Don’t expect a tightly plotted mystery, though—Lafferty’s book is best enjoyed if you focus your little grey cells on the philosophical questions she’s presenting, rather than looking out for clues the way you would with a Hercule Poirot novel.

Both Colleen and I enjoyed this read, although I was a little disappointed by the lack of a strong mystery storyline. We had a good time reading and had plenty to talk about during our discussion, but we also wished Lafferty had pushed some of her ideas even farther when it came to the societal repercussions of the world she’d created. Even so, I would still recommend Six Wakes, especially for people who want the sci-fi lit experience of contemplating interesting concepts and philosophical questions, but are also looking for a fun page-turner.

Discussion questions below the cut!

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Book Club Prep: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

Our next book club book will be Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty! The synopsis below is pretty inaccurate, both factually and as far as what the book is actually about—but gosh, it sure sounds exciting, which I guess is what really matters in the publishing house’s eyes. If you’re interested in ethical dilemmas and philosophical questions raised by the concept of cloning, delivered in a fun and fast-paced read with a murder mystery subplot hanging around in the background, Six Wakes would probably be a great book for you!

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer—before they kill again.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.

Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently…

Highlight white text for content warnings: death and dying, assault, suicide, torture

For those of you looking for hosting ideas, here are some easy snacks and beverages you and your book club compatriots can enjoy while discussing Six Wakes. And for those of you who are looking for something more beyond the book itself, here are some articles and books which either tie into Lafferty’s novel or expand upon its themes and content.

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