Join us for a fun & punchy look back at Spectology's first year in books. Matt & Adrian discuss the favorite books we read in 2018, some of our favorite episodes to record, and just generally have a good time while reflecting on what a wonderful year we had together & with you all.

Major thanks goes out to everyone who has helped us so far! Our guests in 2018: Tobias, Britt, Max, Ellie, Kevin, & Charlotte. Dubby J & Noah Bradley for providing music & art to us. Seth for hosting me on his podcast. And of course anyone who has told a friend, submitted us to reddit, tweeted about us, or just listened to some of our episodes. We're so lucky to have such awesome listeners, and we're looking forward to reading another dozen books in 2019! We've got a great list of books and authors coming up this year, I can't wait to share them all.

As always, you can find us at @spectologypod on twitter, or email us at spectologypod@gmail.com. We'd love to hear your favorite moments of our from 2018! 

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This month on Spectology, we're reading Brown Girl in the Ring (https://amzn.to/2G9dqqZ) by Nalo Hopkinson, a classic of Caribbean SF & Fantasy. A young mother must outwit a warlord in post-apocalyptic Toronto in order to save her community, but to do so she'll need the help of that community & its gods.

Adrian & Matt are joined by Mendez Hodes (https://jamesmendezhodes.com), a writer & cultural consultant who works on RPGs and education curricula, who has an academic background is in African Religions. Together, they discuss how African religions found their way to the Americas through the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the details of that religious practice, how to respectfully think & talk about race & non-Western religions, and why rap is the ideal translated form for the ancient Homeric epics. We also talk about science fiction books! 

Some of the books & resources mentioned in this episode:

* Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (read the book, it's great!)
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed 
* Black God's Drums by P. Djeli Clarke 
* The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson 
* Xenogenesis series by Octavia Butler 
Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh 

And some nonfiction resources to learn more about Western African religions in the Americas:

* Our episode with Tobias Buckell discussing Caribbean SF in depth. 
* Flash of the Spirit by Robert Ferris Thompson 
* The Serpent & the Rainbow by Wade Davis 
Black Magic by Yvonne Chireau 

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We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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This week Adrian & Matt have finished this month's novel (Ten Billion Days & 100 Billion Nights) and have a whole lot to say about it! We talk about entropy, death, religion, and more. I'd write more but I'm tired so you'll just have to listen.

Some critical reviews of the novel we liked & mentioned:

* Strange Horizons (http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/articles/the-strange-horizons-book-club-ten-billion-days-and-one-hundred-billion-nights/)
* Complete Review (http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/trscifi/mitsuser.htm
* Two Dudes in an Attic (https://twodudesff.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/10-billion-days-100-billion-nights/

Anime worth checking out:

* Akira 
* Ghost in the Shell 
* Princess Mononoke 
* The Girl Who Leapt Through Time 
* Neon Genesis Evangelion 

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We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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Adrian & Matt are joined by Seth Heasley of the Hugos There & Take Me to Your Reader podcasts to talk about our favorite SF movie adaptations. We each take turns picking one of our favorites, then talk about it as a group.

Which movies do we pick? What kinds of adaptations are our favorites? Which movies do we think are actually better than the book? You'll have to listen to find out.

Make sure to check out Seth's podcasts. A good place to start is his & Adrian's conversation on The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin on Hugos There (https://hugospodcast.com). 

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Did we leave out any of your favorite movies? Think our picks were terrible? Think one of us clearly won? We'd love to hear from you!

Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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Happy New Year! Matt & Adrian are back to talk about one of Matt's picks. Ten Billion Days & 100 Billion Nights by Ryu Mitsuse (https://amzn.to/2Vw3CM8) is a classic of Japanese science fiction which was just recently (2011) translated and published in English. It tells an epic story that begins at the beginning of the universe and ends at its end.

This episode, Adrian & Matt discuss Japanese science fiction in various media, how Japanese & Anglo SF influenced each other, and how disasters can create communities amongst those who live through them. 

Books & movies mentioned include (links help support Spectology):

* Ten Billion Days & 100 Billion Nights by Ryu Mitsuse
* Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny 
* Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
* The works of David Mitchell 
* The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
* L'incal by Jodorowksi & Moebius
* Neon Genesis Evangelion 
* Akira 

Some links for further reading:
* Japanese SF: http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/japan
* Top 10 SF novels of all time: https://www.sfwa.org/2011/09/top-ten-japan-all-time-best-sf-novels/
* Haikasoru (Mitsuse's publisher): http://www.haikasoru.com
* Tale of the Bamboo Cutter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_the_Bamboo_Cutter
* Eight Dog Chronicles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nansō_Satomi_Hakkenden 

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We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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Happy holidays to all you spectologists! In our final episode of 2018, Adrian & Charlotte complete their discussion of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award-winning novel Rupetta by NA Sulway (https://amzn.to/2SjgX8r). This wonderful, overlooked novel has us both ruminating about our time in university, trying to dig into the meaning of a mechanical heart, and discussing how the prose & the story reinforced each other. 

Please excuse the sniffles, Adrian was a bit sick & tried to edit them all out, although I'm sure I missed a few. 

Charlotte can be found online at:

* @tambourine on twitter
* her DreamWidth blog: https://alwaysalready.dreamwidth.org 
* she recently won The White Review Poetry Prize, for poems including "bangable dudes in history" 

And books we mentioned include:
* Rupetta by NA Sulway 
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino 
Gnomon by Nick Harkaway 
* The Raven Tower by Anne Leckie (pre-order)

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Spectology will be back in 2019 with new books, more guests, and lots of great #content! 

Until then, we'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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This month, Adrian is joined by listener, poet, & publisher Charlotte Geater (@tambourine) to discuss Rupetta, by N.A. Sulway.

Rupetta is an under-appreciated historical SF novel about a clockwork woman & the human women through history who act as her caretakers. It won the James Tiptree, Jr. award in 2013, and was recently re-published in ebook format. 

Charlotte & Adrian discuss the publishing history of the book, Sulway's other works, historiography, folk tales, and the metaphors by which we understand consciousness. 

Works & links mentioned include:

* An interview with Sulway about one of the folk histories that inspired Rupetta 
* Another interview on other influences 
* The Jaquet-Droz automota in Neuchatel, Switzerland 
* Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang 
* Exhalation by Ted Chiang 
* Tender: Stories by Sophia Samatar 
* Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke 
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

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As always, we'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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We've read Children of Time (https://amzn.to/2QqYKII), and boy do we have a lot to say about it! This episode we discuss the structure of the book, whether novels need strong characters, how animal consciousness might differ from our own, and how to stock a ship designed to re-seed the human race on another planet. Adrian gets to jabber on about the Baldwin Effect & octopuses, and Matt makes some sharp points about the importance of empathy. Truly this podcast represents the future liberals want. 

As always, here's a list of stuff we discuss in the episode. If the links don't show up in your podcatcher, they will on spectology.com. All links are referral links.

Startide Rising by David Brin 
The Bees by Laline Paull 
* The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy 
* Watership Down by Richard Adams 
* The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov 
* Goedel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter 

And finally, a few books on consciousness, language, and evolution that weren't mentioned by name, but which Adrian recommends:

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith (octopus researcher mentioned)
* Adam's Tongue by Derek Bickerton (language evolution & the Baldwin Effect)
The Crucible of Consciousness by Zoltan Torey (language & consciousness) 
* The Perplexities of Consciousness by Eric Schwitzgebel (essays on the difficulty of introspecting consciousness) 
The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger (laying out the ideas behind the phrase "consciousness is an illusion" for a lay audience)

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We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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This November we're reading Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Woo Adrians!

This episode we discuss what the "science" in science fiction means. What other books portray science well? What does it mean to write a book about science? Should science fiction try to be "realistic"? 

In addition, we give you the book facts, and discuss a number of other works. Links are at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher:

Blindsight by Peter Watts
* Ursula K. Le Guin
Foreigner by CJ Cherryh
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (also see episodes 2.1 & 2.2 of Spectology for further discussion thereof)
* The Dark Eden Trilogy by Chris Beckett
* The Mars Trilogy by KSR
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
* The Arthur C. Clarke Awards

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We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submitting 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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Two quick announcements today, since we weren't able to get our usual pre-read episode recorded in time.

The first is that our November book will be Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. This is a book neither of us has read, but won the Clarke award and has themes that we're both interested in. Should be a good time.

The second is that Adrian guest hosted on the Hugos There Podcast (https://hugospodcast.com) a few days ago to talk about Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. It was a great conversation about one of his favorite books, so check that out if you need something to tide you over before our Children of Time pre-read drops next week. 

Final bonus announcement for our Americans who read the show notes: VOTE! This is voting day, and there are a bunch of important local elections on the ballot, from your state legislators to various criminal justice ballot reforms to just your local sheriffs & judges. We live in a dystopian hellscape, but you can make it mildly better by voting. And you can listen to me talk about Le Guin while you wait on line. 

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As always, we'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com. 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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