The Aiken County Public Library has a slate of events scheduled for the coming week that takes patrons to the future and beyond. The 2009 Great Decisions Discussion Series opens at 2 p.m. Sunday with Fred Wieland leading a dialogue on "The United States and Rising Powers." There will be a screening of a short documentary on the topic followed by a round-table discussion. The Great Decisions Series is free and open to the public. The next "Let's Talk About It" book discussion series, sponsored by the South Carolina Humanities Council, opens with a presentation on Frank Schaefer's classic Western "Shane" by USC Aiken professor Alexia Helsley, followed by a group discussion of the novel. Copies of "Shane" are available at the second floor reference desk for those who wish to participate in the "Let's Talk About It" event. The library holds a special screening of a movie that was released on DVD just this week from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. The family-friendly science fiction film "City of Ember" had its theatrical released to generally favorable reviews in October. Based on the first book of Jean DuPrau's "Ember" series, the film's young heroes Lina and Doon live in the super-illuminated underground city Ember. When the pair realizes the city's power grid is failing and find a morass of local politics and corruption prevents its repair, they hatch a plan to find a way out of the city and into a new life and find unexpected adventures along the way. The film is rated PG. The second Great Decisions discussion will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, on "Afghanistan and Pakistan." A book to accompany the lecture is available to purchase at the reference desk; purchase price is $20. More information on the discussion series is available at the website of the Foreign Policy Association, www.fpa.org. For more information about upcoming events, call the Aiken County Public Library at 642-2020 or visit www.abbe-lib.org. Contact Suzanne Stone at sstone@aikenstandard.com.