Now that everyone's had time to read it, it's time to talk about The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell in detail. Did we like the book? Were the characters compelling? Did the end work for us? Was it an effective alegorical exploration of the Columbian contact with the Americas? And why are the answers to all these questions "no"?

This book featured a lot of graphic imagery, so be aware we have in-depth discussions of rape, torture, and isolation in this episode. 

If you'd like to skip the discussion of the plot and jump right to our deeper discussion of the themes, then jump from about 15:05 to 52:40. We wanted folks who haven't read the book recently, or don't intend to read it, to be able to understand the plot and enjoy the rest of the episode, but not everyone will want a recounting of the novel they just read.

During the course of the novel we mentioned a few articles, videos, and books, including:

Next week we'll be discussing Arthur C. Clarke's short story "The Star" (pdf) in the context of The Sparrow to compare and contrast them. 

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Tweet us at @spectologypod, submit the episode at r/printSF, or email us at spectologypod@gmail.com with your thoughts about the book.

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

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We're excited to announce that in May, we're reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell!

In this spoiler free, pre-read episode, Adrian and Matt discuss religion in science fiction. How do different books handle religion in the future? Does science fiction have an antagonistic relationship with religion? What are some of our favorite works of SF that feature religion? There's a diversion into Adrian's fundamentalist upbringing and his path to agnosticism. And what does a prog rock album based on future Jesuits sound like?

Some of the books we talk about this episode are:

And make sure to check out The Sparrow album by the prog rock band Metaphor for your reading soundtrack.

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Tweet us at @spectologypod, submit the episode at r/printSF, or email us at spectologypod@gmail.com with your thoughts about the book.

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

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Join us for our in-depth discussion of Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks. Content warning for violence, torture, and spoilers. 

Come for the rousing discussion on the place of violencein utopia, stay for the long-winded arguments over whether free will exists and how to define AI. How does Use of Weapons stack up to the rest of the Culture books? How do we feel about tech moguls obsession with the Culture? Listen to find out. 

Follow us at @spectologypod on twitter, or email us at spectologypod@gmail.com. 

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

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This week, we're responding to questions and comments from our listeners, and talking about some of the things we found most enjoyable this month. 

Learn how frequently we plan to update, our plans for future books, what albums we're listening to, and who our favorite Fab 5 member is. 

We also take the time to appologize for a mistake we made in our Use of Weapons pre-read. 

If you'd like your comments to be included in future shows, follow us at @spectologypod on twitter, or email us at spectologypod@gmail.com. 

As always, many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

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This month we're reading Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks.

In our innagural pre-read episode, we discuss the Space Opera and Mil SciFi subgenres, Iain M. Banks' socialism, how his Culture novels work, and our relationship to his work.

This is our first episode! There are a few sound issues, which we have already worked out for future eps.

Follow us at @spectologypod on twitter, or email us at spectologypod@gmail.com. 

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

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Welcome to our podcast!

Each month, Adrian and Matt will pick a science fiction book and read it. Learn about our history with SF, why we're doing our podcast, and what our plans are in this introduction episode.

As always, music is by Dubby J, and art by Noah Bradley

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