This is a somewhat personal & sometimes somber episode, recorded while the world was changing rapidly around us due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. We do our best to discuss the novel, Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson, although neither of us were able to finish it due to external world circumstances. It is by far our shortest post-read ever.

We forgot to do content warnings. We have really frank discussions of grief, death, isolation, and loneliness. There is a brief mention of suicide. 

While this was recorded, Adrian was in quarantine due to having had extended contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. I'm happy to report that the quarantine is up and I've been fortunate enough to suffer no symptoms, and my friend who was sick is on the mend. But it the fear and uncertainty of those circumstances color the whole episode.

We hope that this episode brings some light into your life at the moment. We'll be back next month with a warm, cozy, escapist book & a guest we've been excited to feature. We'll also be publishing some extra episodes on the feed while social distancing, more information to come on those soon. 

Please stay safe, stay healthy, and remember that your health affects not only yourself, but also those around you. 

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

To find links to all the books we've read, check us out on Bookshop.

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

Last week, anticipating this week's shutdown of major US cities, Matt & Adrian sat down to talk about the ways we're working through our own social distancing boredom for a special edition of "things we like".

What are some of the best movies, games, and other activities to spend doing when going outside has become difficult or even dangerous? Check out this episode to find out, and of course a list of most of what we mentioned is below.

And finally, please do take this seriously! If you're not already removing yourself from public spaces and gatherings, do so. Wash your hands, wear a mask if that's recommended & available in your locality, and be aware not just of your own health, but of how you might affect the health of those around you. And if you're bored, hit us up on Twitter at @spectology, we'll likely have an increased schedule of podcasting for a while, and might even do a few live online events if enough people want to hang out and chat about science fiction books! 

Things we like:

7 Wonders Duel (iOS / Android)

* Code Names Duet

* Tabletop Simulator

* Technology Connections Juke Box

* Shenzhen I/O 

* The Nand Game

* nand2tetris

* Armadillo Run (not ball)

* Little Women

* The Incredibles (also on Disney+)

* rifftrax

* Blank Check Patreon

* DuoLingo Podcasts

* Easy Languages youtube channels

* The History of Ancient Egypt lectures

* Assassin’s Creed Black Flag

* Minecraft

* Diablo III

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

To find links to all the books we've read, check us out on Bookshop.

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

This March, Spectology brings you a discussion on the little-known but largely influential novel by David Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781564782113). Written from the perspective of the last woman on Earth, it's a sad and clever novel about loss, the Western cannon, the meaning of art, and the importance of other people in creating our identies. 

In this episode, we discuss the philosophy underlying the novel. Who is Wittgenstein, and how do his ideas about the philosophy of language underly the project of this novel? How do Bertrand Russel, Kurt Gödel, & Søren Kierkegaard fit into this puzzle? And what other novelists have been influenced by Markson?

It's a discussion worthy of Adrian's 2nd annual "self-indulgent pick", and we hope you'll enjoy being along for the ride.

One note: this novel isn't available on ebook or audio book. It's still in print in paperback, so if possible please try finding it at a local book store! Baring that, it's available through Amazon, or the new bookshop.org online sellers: https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781564782113

Also, here is the interview with Markson we reference several times: http://www.bookslut.com/features/2005_07_005963.php 

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

To find links to all the books we've read, check us out on Bookshop.

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

We've finally done it! Sorry for the late episode, a few real life considerations got in the way of editing. 

We're joined again by Ben Roswell (@roswellwrites on twitter & roswellian.itch.io) to discuss Catie Disabato's postmodern novel of celebrity & architectural cults, The Ghost Network (https://amzn.to/2VtAhVc). 

We all had a lot of thoughts on this book, and for any given one two of us agreed and a third didn't, in various combinations, like a big fun podcast triangle! It was a lovely conversation, about a great book to discuss with others.

Stuff we mentioned:

* Fight Truck: https://pantamalion.itch.io/fight-truck

* Trash Theory on FKA Twigs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oXADE5bzZI

* Roxane Gay on Janelle Monáe: https://www.thecut.com/2020/02/janelle-monae-afrofuture.html

* Lady Gaga Isn't Done Shape-Shifting Yet by Rachel Symes: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/03/magazine/lady-gaga-movie-star-is-born.html

* The Wikipedia page on Selena (cw domestic violence): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selena 

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

Matt & Adrian sit down for a chat looking back at 2019—which books ended up being our favorites, which episodes did we like, and how did we do in terms of diversity of authors, genres, and guests?

A big thanks to everyone who has stuck with us for two years now! Or who have just begun listening—we hope you'll stick around.

In addition, we were asked by a listener on Twitter (@spectologypod) to talk a bit about our favorite fantasy books, so we do that at the end. Here's a list of everything we mention (amazon links are affiliates):

Bear Daughter by Judith Berman (now back in print!)

* The Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein

* The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

* Finna by Nino Cipri 

* The Deep by Rivers Solomon

* The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

* The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

* The Dying Earth (now published as Marizan the Magician) by Jack Vance 

* The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolf

* Lord Dunsany

* Arthur Machen

* The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

* The Cradle series by Will Wight

* Jade City by Fonda Lee

* The Tensorate series by JY Yang

* Monkey (an abridged translation of Journey to the West) by Arthur Whaley

* The Worm of Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison 

* The Ghormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake

* The Nightland by William Hope Hodgson

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

New month, new book, new guest! This week we welcome Ben Roswell (@roswellwrites on Twitter) to discuss The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato (https://amzn.to/2uXSeA2). The novel takes the form of a fictitious non-fiction book about the disappearance of a young pop star & her entourage who tries to find her amongst hidden underground spaces in Chicago. 

In this episode, we discuss other experimental narratives, from role-playing games to postmodern novels like House of Leaves or Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Works mentioned (as always, links at spectology.com if they don't show up for you, and all Amazon links are affliates):

* Ben's Itch.io, where you can find his games mentioned

* Ben's new serialized fantasy novel

* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Suzanna Clarke 

* House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

* Fire on the Velvet Horizon by Patrick Stuart & Scrap Princess

* Hardboiled Wonderland & the End of the World by Haruki Murakami 

* Rupetta by N.A. Sulway (also episodes 9.1 & 9.2 of this podcast)

* Fight Truck (the unplayable? LARP)

* Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU by Carmen Maria Machado

* Ben's essay on Jeff VanderMeer's blog

 

If I missed anything, tweet @spectologypod and I'll drum up the link for you.

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

Well, we've finally found a book we disagree on! While Matt loved A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (https://amzn.to/2GrJJzC), Adrian was more cool on it. In this episode we discuss our disagreements, which largely come down to matters of taste in the aesthetics of stories we enjoy. We also get at some of the tough questions about empire & cultural hegemony posed by the book, and discuss wether we think the book fully explored these issues. We also talk plenty about the historical worldbuilding & other elements that we both enjoyed.

It's a different episode than most, in that we disagreed, it's actually the second time we recorded the post-read (we weren't happy with the way the first session came out), and we recored in person together in Adrian's NYC apartment. 

There's a long list of other books / media we talk about at the end of the episode and I've tried to capture them all here. As always, links at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher, and any Amazon links are affiliates.

* East Goes West by Kang Younghill

* 1587: A Year of No Significance by Ray Huang

* Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

* Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

* Foreigner by CJ Cherryh

* Treason by the Book by Jonathan Spence

* Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott

* An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (episodes 20.1 & 20.2)

* Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (episodes 6.1 & 6.2)

Byzantophilia in the Letters of Grigor Magistros? by AnnaLinden Weller 

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

Really short bonus/emergency episode today. Adrian is on his own and off-script, giving you the insider scoop on how to nominate & vote in the Hugo Awards, as well as why you might want to. 

Short answer: go to https://members.conzealand.nz/memberships and sign up for the "Supporting Membership". This will allow you to vote on the 2020 Hugo Awards, and nominate works for the 2021 Hugo Awards next year. For more general information, check out the Hugos website http://www.thehugoawards.org/i-want-to-vote/ which offers evergreen information on how to sign up for a membership any given year (it changes).

This is something I'm passionate about, but if it's not your scene that's OK! But I hope you'll give me the chance to make the case that voting in the Hugo Awards is worthwhile.

We'll be back next week with our regular programing, in this case the Memory Called Empire post-read.

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

It's the future baby! 2020 arrives with a bang as we discuss Arkady Martine's Byzantine-flavored space opera political thriller, A Memory Called Empire (https://amzn.to/2RdH5Ct). The story follows a young woman from an independent mining station who must travel to the central world of the Empire which surrounds it and act as ambassador. This comes as a recommendation from several readers & friends of the podcast.

In this episode, we discuss several historical figures who served analogous roles to that of the main character. The first, Grigor Magistros, is the subject of an [academic article written by Martine under the name AnnaLinden Weller. We also talk about S. W. Laden La, Tisquantum, and Kang Younghill, and Gendün Chöphel. Not sure who these fascinating historical cultural emissaries were? Listen to find out!

Other works mentioned:

Byzantophilia in the Letters of Grigor Magistros? by AnnaLinden Weller (no longer paywalled thanks to the author!)

* East Goes West by Younghill Kang

A Man of the Frontier: SW Laden La by Nicholas & Deki Rhodes 

* 1491 by Charles Mann (where the Tisquantum story as we tell it comes from)

Grains of Gold: Tales of a Cosmopolitan Traveler by Gendün Chöphel

(Links in the shownotes at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher. Any Amazon links are affiliates.)

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

Happy New Year, Spectologists!

Late in 2019, Matt sat down with Chen Qiufan / Stanley Chan, the author of Waste Tide, to discuss the book, the process of translating & editing it for an American audience, the importance of prose in genre fiction, how science fiction & startup culture interact in China, some of his favorite upcoming authors, and much much more. 

The conversation took place in English, although the conversation took place while Stanley was calling from the Hong Kong airport between flights so the audio is a bit more rough than usual. However, the conversation they had should more than make up for that.

If you enjoy this interview, make sure to check out our episodes on Stanley's book (18.1 & 18.2), as well as our discussion of the mentioned Ning Ken essay on the Ultra Unreal. You can find many of Stanley's stories at Clarkesworld, and follow Clarkesworld generally for many other translated Chinese SF stories. 

---

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

Load more