Welcome to a very special pre-read episode. This December, Matt, Adrian, and a series of guests are reading 3 separate works of "classic" SF and talking about them & what makes them a "classic". The works will be:

* Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke (https://amzn.to/35WGICa

* Ice by Anna Kavan (https://amzn.to/33CEfes

* Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany (https://amzn.to/2RdBTAk

Each book (& author) has had an large influence on modern SF, and we'll talk about that in those respective episodes over the course of this month.

In this episode, we dive deep into our own history of reading SF, with an eye towards the golden age. How did we get into SF, which authors did we first find that spoke to us, how did we find new authors & books, and why was so-called "classic" SF such an outsized influence on two kids growing up in the 90s and 00s?

In addition, we have a discussion on the problematic nature of a lot of these books and authors. Is it still worth reading something you like knowing what we know now about the books & the people behind them? How might different people have different answers to that question? How do we, specifically, choose books to read for this podcast? It's a difficult but hopefully enlightening conversation. 

We'll be off the 2nd week of December, and then back the final 3 Tuesdays of the month with a separate episode on each of these books. 

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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.

[A note: the content warnings at the beginning also apply to the episode as a whole. We talk about a lot of it in depth in a way that might be uncomfortable for some listeners. This episode is probably even less appropriate for younger children than normal due to that.]

We're back having read An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (https://amzn.to/2OMpWie), and here to talk about it in depth! 

We have a pretty far-ranging conversation about the ideas in the book, from how to be a friend and ally, to when violent revolution is necessary, to discussing the large social structures of the ship & the real world. We don't disagree about much, but we manage to argue a lot anyway! And towards the end we get to answering some of the existential questions we asked of ourselves in the post-read.

Stick around for the end to hear about what we're doing in December & early 2020 as well.

Other works mentioned:

* Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes 
* Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (episodes
* Semiosis by Sue Burke (episodes
* Dark Eden by Chris Beckett (episodes
* Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (episodes
* Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead 

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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.

Join us as we reflect on a few of the novels we've read for the podcast so far, and imagine what they might look like as on-screen adaptations. Matt & Adrian play executive producers, coming up with concepts for the adaptations & directors, writers, and actors who might work on them. 

Time stamps for each:

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Matt): 2m33s

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Adrian): 13m05s

Player of Games (a Culture novel) by Iain M. Banks (Matt): 25m26s

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (Adrian): 31m19s

This was a fun & somewhat silly episode, we hope you enjoy! If you have your own fancasting for these or any other books we've read, let us know by tweeting @spectologypod or emailing us at spectologypod@gmail.com, we'd love to hear them.  

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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.

In what ends up being a surprisingly introspective episode of Spectology, we introduce our new book: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (https://amzn.to/2O0rXHa). 

It is a very good book about life amongst the lower classes on board a generation ship. You and should buy it and read it. 

Much of this episode is spent questioning whether reading fiction can actually teach us things (where "us" = readers with privilege), or whether the emotions that fiction can induce are used as a stand-in for actually doing work. Answers are not found.

We also do book facts and talk about science fiction. We discuss different types of dystopian fiction & how genre tropes can be used or misused. But I'm not going to lie this one is weirdly pensive & self-reflective, even for us. 

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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.

Coming at you in person, Matt & Adrian sat down in the same room to record an episode about Colson Whitehead's post-apocalyptic literary novel, Zone One (https://amzn.to/2MR1hZT).

We loved this book, and had in particular have a lot to say about its relationship to other apocalyptic literary fiction, the ways the novel discusses, analogizes, and interacts with depression & PTSD, and New York City in literature and reality.

Other works mentioned:

* Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead 
* White Noise by Don DeLillo 
* Cosmopolis, dir. by David Cronenberg 
* 10:04 by Ben Lerner 
* California by Edan Lepucki 
* Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson 
* Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 
* The New & Improved Romie Futch by Julia Elliott 

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

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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.

Buh-buh-buh-bonus! 

Matt & Adrian return for another "things we like", where we talk about things we like outside of the books we're reading on the pod. Links are below, listen to the ep. to hear more about each one! If the links don't show up, they'll be on spectology.com.

 

Adrian's things:

- Otherworld Adventure LARP

- Gemini Man in 120fps (here's a podcast about it)

- Schitt's Creek (on Netflix)

 

Matt's things:

- This War of Mine (on Steam)

- RAQIA (song "Library of Babel" is playing in the episode)

- Quanta Magazine (https://www.quantamagazine.org)

 

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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.

Sorry for the late episode this week! Real-life travel has made editing & publishing more difficult than expected. The episode's editing might be a bit rough around the edges for that as well.

However, we have a really fun episode discussing Colson Whitehead's novel Zone One, a litfic novel about a man clearing zombies out of Manhattan after the apocalypse. We discuss the history of zombie movies & books, lightly touch on the problematic cultural history of zombies (which you can hear more about in our episodes with Mendez Hodes), and spend a lot of time discussing what makes a B movie. 

It was a really fun episode to record, and we hope you enjoy it, outtakes and all.

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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.

We're back for our post-read discussion of Waste Tide by Stanley Chan / Chen Qiufan! (https://amzn.to/2njvSFr)

We had mixed but ultimately positive feelings about this book. It's been a great experience to read and talk about—rarely does a book present such a breadth of topics for us to cover. Matt read it in Chinese while Adrian read it in English, so we discuss the mechanics of the translation in depth, as well as how even small changes can have large effects on the over-all tone of the book. 

However, it've also a book that deals with very dark subject matters, and handles some of those elements better than others. Heed our content warnings on this one. We discuss the problematic elements explored by the book in depth. 

Some related works & links (if the links don't show up, they will be available in the show notes at spectology.com )

Non-fiction books about living in China:

* The Corpse Walker by Liao Yiwu (https://amzn.to/2o7yBSl)

* Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang (https://amzn.to/2msDvci)

* China Candid, edited by Sang Ye (https://amzn.to/2myPgy4)

Three links about Guiyu, the real-life inspiration behind Silicon Isle. 

https://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/toxics/problems/e-waste/guiyu/

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2112226/chinas-most-notorious-e-waste-dumping-ground-now-cleaner-poorer

https://www.revealnews.org/article/looks-are-deceiving-in-chinese-town-that-was-us-e-waste-dumping-site/

Notice the date published & publisher for each of the above when reading, these are not without agenda. 

Yaz Minsky on Cyberpunk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ8S1CV3JwA  

Hedy Lamarr: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr 

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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.

For today's episode, Matt & Adrian read an essay about Chinese Science Fiction by Chinese SF author Ning Ken, and talk about it. The essay, published as "Modern China is So Crazy It Needs a New Literary Genre" on LitHub (https://lithub.com/modern-china-is-so-crazy-it-needs-a-new-literary-genre/), outlines a subgenre of SF that (supposedly) doesn't exist in English, and discusses why it's so important in China.

We take the conversation far afield pretty quickly, asking what makes a genre, whether Ultra Unreal works exist in English, how relevant these works actually are in Chinese SF, and who ultimately gets to define genre. Adrian rants a little about one particular author who annoys him online when he talks about genre, and Matt has very reasoned and smart things to say about whether it's even a good idea to argue about genre in the first place.

As always, the essay is an interesting one, and we hope you'll read it in addition to listening to us argue about it. In addition, here are some other related works to the conversation:

- Follow-up essay by Josh Feola & Michael Pettis
- "Folding Beijing" by Hao Jingfang
- Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan (see also the 18.x episodes of this podcast)
- The New & Improved Romie Futch by Julia Elliott (see also our 4.x episodes)
- Sorry to Bother You, dir. Boots Riley
- "Welcome to the Future Nauseous" by Venkatesh Rao

As always, links at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher.

We'll be back next week (Oct 1st) for our Waste Tide post-read, then October 8th we'll have the post-read for our horror-themed October novel.

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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 finally happening! We're diving fully into one of Matt's areas of expertise, Chinese Literature. This month we're reading Waste Tide (https://amzn.to/2N4K80g), the first novel by Chinese science fiction author Chen Qiufan (known as Stanley Chan in English), translated by Ken Liu. 

The book is new to both of us, so in addition to the usual bookfacts, this episode starts with a short introduction to the sociolinguistics of the Chinese language. From there we learn about the history of modern Chinese literature w/ a focus on how speculative fiction has been received over the last century, from the earliest Chinese translations of Jules Verne to the modern resurgence of SF & Fantasy movies coming out of China, and how that relates to other literary & political movements. 

Some of the works we discuss include:

* Invisible Planets, edited & translated by Ken Liu

* Chen Qiufan's stories at Clarkesworld (includes audio versions)

* Clarkesworld Podcast

* "Flower of Shazui" (set in the same world as Waste Tide

* The Paper Menagerie & Other Stories by Ken Liu

* The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

(Links in the shownotes at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher)

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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.

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