SciFri Book Club

The Sirens of Mars book cover sitting on top of red sand. The SciFri Book Club logo is in the lower left corner

Anchorage Public Library has partnered with Science Friday to bring the Sci Fri Book Club to the science and reading enthusiasts in our community. The SciFri Book Club is a program created by Science Friday to bring people together around all things science reading – anything from sci-fi short stories to nonfiction science books to science articles from various publications to science-y poetry!

We have two Book Club kick-offs per year—usually in the winter, and in the summer/fall. Between Book Clubs, we'll keep the conversation going in the online community and keep reading together!

Join Here


Spring 2022 Selection

The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World by Sarah Stewart Johnson.

Ebook and audiobook available from the Alaska Digital Library.

Join the SciFri Book Club community forum here.

Science Friday Radio Show

Don’t forget to listen to Science Friday on Alaska Public Media from 10 AM–12 PM every week! We’ll be hosting five conversations about this season’s pick throughout the spring.

  • Friday, February 25
  • Friday, March 4
  • Friday, March 11
  • Friday, March 18
  • Friday, April 1

Book Club Captain Christie Taylor will be on Science Friday, discussing science topics with experts related to our book choice, throughout the season. Tune into your local radio station, listen live on our website, or download the episode wherever you get your podcasts to hear our interview!

Book Club Meetings

The First Explorers Of Mars
Monday, March 14
3:30-4:30 PM, Zoom

This discussion meeting will focus on themes and topics from the first half of The Siren of Mars, or Chapters 1-6. You’re welcome to join us no matter your reading progress—come chat with other science-interested folks about Mars!

Register Here


The Sirens of Mars Are Calling
Monday, March 28
3:30-4:30 PM, Zoom

Register Here

This discussion meeting will focus on themes and topics from the second half of The Siren of Mars, or Chapters 7-11. You’re welcome to join us no matter your reading progress—come chat with other science-interested folks about Mars!

Virtual Events

Join us for a SciFri Zoom call-in, where attendees can listen in as the Science Friday team records an interview with science experts. Attendees could be selected to ask their questions live with our guests! 

Gadgets in Space: The Tech That Could Detect Otherworldly Life
Wednesday, March 9
2 PM, Zoom

What does it take to send a microscope and a Petri dish full of microbial life safely to the ISS—and, one day, to Mars? How might COVID-19 research help us understand how to best capture bioaerosols jettisoned into space form Saturn’s moon, Enceladus? What exactly is remote infrared spectroscopy, anyway?

Hear about this amazing technology from our guest experts, L. Miché Aaron, Ph.D. student at Johns Hopkins University who researches sulfates in Martian craters using remote spectroscopy, and Jay Nadeau, associate professor at Portland State University who studies nanoparticles and the development of scientific instruments to detect life elsewhere in the Solar System.

Register Here

Under An Ochre Sky: Writing The Sirens of Mars With Sarah Stewart Johnson
Tuesday, March 22
2 PM, Zoom

Join producer Christie Taylor in conversation with Sarah Stewart Johnson, author of this spring’s Book Club choice, whose work explores how to detect evidence for past or present life, especially those we might find off-world. We’ll talk about planetary geology, what it’s like to work on rovers before they set out into space and after they reach Mars, and the process of writing about another planet—and we’ll take your questions.

Register Here


SciFri Trivia Night: Book Club Edition
Wednesday, March 30
4:30-5:30 PM, Science Friday’s YouTube livestream

SciFri Trivia is a weekly gathering that’s part science-y facts, part dance party, and part pop culture romp, and it’s for anyone looking to bring together teams (or bravely play solo) to win ultimate bragging rights. It’s not all science trivia—and this time, we’ve diving into the topics and ideas explored in this spring’s Book Club pick, The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World.

If you haven’t read the book, you are still welcome to test your Mars knowledge with other space nerds! The winning team will be sent a box full of SciFri merch—plus, we’ll send you copies of our next Book Club pick!

Register Here

SciFri Book Club Programs to Go

In conjunction with the SciFri Book Club, Anchorage Public Library is offering 3 STEM themed programs-to-go for adults and teens. Stop by the Loussac, Mountain View, Gerrish, or Chugiak-Eagle River Libraries and pick up a kit to take home and make your own light up stars and star wheel.

Supplies are limited, 1 per household please.

VIDEO: Make a Paper Circuit

Kit #1

Friday, February 25 - Thursday, March 10

Paper Circuits:

  • Crab Nebula: Pulsar
  • Cassiopeia A: Supernova Remnant

Kit #2

Friday, March 11 - Thursday, March 24

Paper Circuits:

  • Whirlpool Galaxy: Black Hole & Neutron Stars
  • Eta Carinae: Blue Giant

Kit #3

Friday, March 25 - Thursday, April 7

Paper Circuit:

  • Cat's Eye: White Dwarf

Nothern Latitude Star Wheel

Community Recommendations

Check out what members of the SciFri online community are reading and discussing

Community Recommendations