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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Late but not never! Our post-read episode for Victor LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom

We discuss the plot & many of the themes of the novel. Why do we think Black Tom such a better retelling of Lovecraft's story? What is psychological realism? Was an opportunity missed to include more immigrant characters? When are greivances such that ending the world is at least an understandable response? 

Resources mentioned in the podcast. Links on www.spectology.com:

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
- The LA Review of Books on Lovecraft retellings
- The Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemisin
- Blackkklansman by Spike Lee (out today on Digital Download!)
Passing by Nella Larson

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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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In this bonus episode we welcome Kevin Kelsey, author of the Heradas.com SF Blog & longtime listener, to discuss our reading habits.

How does reading on paper differ from reading on an e-reader? Why does one of us prefer paper for non-fiction and ebooks for fiction? Who enjoys audio books the most? Which imprint has the best physical books? When is it OK to write in a book? And why does Adrian sound like a sad Cookie Monster impersonator? We discuss all of these and more in what was a hugely fun conversation.

Many thanks to Kevin for suggesting this topic & recording with us. Make sure to check out Heradas.com for some wonderful essays & reviews of SF literature.

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 maybe feature you on a future podcast like Kevin! 

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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For October, Matt & Adrian are dipping their toes into the world of Horror, reading Victor LaValle's novella The Ballad of Black TomThe Ballad of Black Tom is a retelling of one of HP Lovecraft's most egregiously racist short stories, "The Horror at Red Hook", from the perspective of a black man living in Harlem who gets wrapped up in NYC's magical underworld. It won or was short listed for a number of top SF, Horror, and Fantasy awards due to its compelling characters, comfortable prose, and ratcheting tension.

In this episode, we discuss our own histories reading HP Lovecraft and other Weird/Horror authors, how our perceptions of racism in these stories changed over time, and get into the history of why Lovecraft in particular became so popular. 

Content warnings are due for the book & this episode. The book has some shocking racist police violence in it, and this episode we discuss Lovecraft's racism & xenophobia head-on, including reading some passages from "The Horror at Red Hook".

Resources for this episode are below. Links are available on our webpage (spectology.com) if they don't show up in your podcatcher.

- The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
- "The Horror at Red Hook" by HP Lovecraft (in the public domain)
The Weird, a short story collection by Ann & Jeff VandeerMeer
Searching for Zion by Emily Raboteau (LaValle's wife)
- How to Adapt Lovecraft in the 21st Century video essay by H. Bomberguy
- Pseudopod, a horror fiction podcast

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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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At long last, our follow-up episode to Yoon Ha Lee's wonderful Ninefox Gambit has arrived! And Ellie is back to talk about her job & the book with us.

Unlike most post-read episodes, we start off with a longer, non-spoiler discussion with Ellie about what she does & how the US Government uses startegy war games in both education & decision-making. It's a fascinating half hour conversation, and worth listening to even if you haven't read the book. 

Then of course we get into the meat of it! This episode, we talk about the details & themes of the book, and how they apply to the real world. Want to know more? You'll have to listen.

Our list of resources this time around (if the links don't show up, find them on spectology.com or our twitter, @spectologypod):

Raven Strategem and Revenant Gun, the next two books in the series
- Yoon Ha Lee's own cheat sheet for the factions in the Hexarchate
- Five genre books about games recommended by Yoon Ha Lee
- The twitter thread about writing SF from different bodies
- Harpoon, a military strategy game available to the public
- WaPo profile of Volko Runhke, a CIA game designer
- Brian Train's Board Game Geek profile
The Art of Wargaming (link to the Kindle edition, other editions availalbe on amazon with a search)
- A discussion of useful SF to read for military commanders 
- Bombshell, a great national security podcast (they sometimes talk about books!)

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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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September 18, 2018

Things We Like: September 18

Welcome back friends, it's been a while! Adrian & Matt are back from our break, happy to bring you our hottest takes on what we've been enjoying recently. And next week we'll have our post-read Episode for Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee, so you should read that & listen to our last episode if you haven't yet. 

This week we cover:

- MeasuredPolitics.org, Adrian's Political Action Committee
- Mike Boyd's YouTube channel, where he documents his process learning random skills
- Bojack Horseman, a show about a depressed actor / horse on Netflix
- The Cheese & the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg
- America City by Chris Beckett
- Jack Ryan, a TV show on Amazon

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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Late episode this week... but early episode this month! It's the Labor Day holiday weekend, so we wanted to post a longer episode to keep people company during all the BBQs and road trips. 

This month, the book we're reading is the Locus-award winning Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee. We also have a wonderful guest. Ellie Bartels is a strategy & war game designer, and has long been book club pals with Adrian & Matt. 

In this episode we discuss military science fiction, how science fiction and fantasy interact with each other, education game design, math, gender politics in the miliary & science fiction, and inter-departmental bureaucratic conflict. It is a really fun episode, and we have to leave some of the best parts for the spoiler discussion in a few weeks. 

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Some of the works we mention & discuss include:

- The Ancillary Series by Anne Lieckie 
- Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey 
- CJ Cherryh 
Shards of Honor and Barrayar (collectively refered to as Cordelia's Honor) by Lois McMaster Bujold 
- Honor Harrington by David Weber et al. 
- Blindsight by Peter Watts
- Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolf
- Unavoidably, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card 
- And last but not least, "Instruments of Destruction", the short Star Wars fanfiction about project managing the Death Star 

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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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