The Science Fiction Discussion Group doesn't just review books; it discusses the many issues raised by the works, according to moderator Steve Dailey. After reading Frank Herbert's Dune, for example, the group ruminated about messiahs and religion. This week, it'll tackle The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre, an award-winning fantasy writer who's concocted an "alternative" version of history. Her book is set in 1693 Paris, during the reign of King Louis XIV. She did her research in France and invests the story with intricate details of court life. But in her version of history, a Jesuit priest presents the king with two humanlike sea creatures thought to hold the secret to everlasting life. The male, already dead, is dissected by the priest, while the living female -- which has two tails, golden eyes, and a lilting voice -- sings to the priest's sister, who is painting a portrait of the creature for the king. The sister soon finds herself moving away from the male-dominated monarchy and the Church toward the beautiful creature, which is symbolic of feminine intelligence. You can just guess what tonight's discussion will be about. The talk begins at 8 p.m. at Borders, 525 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach. Admission is free. Call 561-734-2021.
The International Film Series at Florida Atlantic University's Broward campus was such a success last year that the school has revived it for the fall. The series, which runs every Wednesday through March, offers mostly subtitled foreign-language films, and each screening is followed by a discussion. This week's selection is the 1971 Italian film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, about the progressive persecution of Italian Jewry in prewar Europe. In 1938, as Mussolini steps up anti-Semitic policies in Italy, the aloof, aristocratic Finzi-Contini family holes up in its vast walled estate, ignoring the specter of being sent to a concentration camp -- until it's too late. The sad, haunting movie won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Tickets cost $4. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Call 954-236-1272.