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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We're back with our post-read episode, discussing Nick Harkaway's challenging, interminable, and oh so enjoyable novel Gnomon. Spoilers all around. We also discuss postmodern fiction, writing people unlike you, and the power, both good and bad, of narrative in the modern world.

It's a long episode, but it was a hugely fun one to record! Big thanks to Max for taking so much time this month to hang out and chat with us, make sure to check out his books & the Serial Box story Bookburners.

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 together for a short episode going over some of their favorite books, movies, video games, and podcasts of recent. We each discuss three things that we're excited to share with each other and all of you! They are:

- Making Obama, a podcast from WBEZ Chicago

- Sorry to Bother You, a movie from Boots Riley (see it in theatres!)

- Japanese Style Originator, available on Netflix

- Chrono Trigger, available on Steam, iOS, Android, etc

The Invisible Valley by Su Wei, trans. Austin Woerner, Small Beer Press

- The Reading the End Bookcast, a podcast from the demographically similar Jennys

 

As always, we post these links and more at our twitter account, @spectologypod. We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter or 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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We're back with the #content plants crave. Joining us this week is special guest Max Gladstone, SF & fantasy author extraordinaire. But he's not here to talk about his own work, the Craft Sequence, oh no. Max wanted to discuss the phenomenal, long, daunting, nuanced, and mysterious Gnomon, by estemed author in his own right Nick Harkaway. 

The discussion this week is spoiler-free, and acts as an introduction to the book and the ideas in it. We had a long and wide-ranging conversation with Max about Nick Harkaway's literary background (his father is also a famous author), which other books of his we've read, and other books in the SF genre that are similar to Gnomon in some way. On the thematic side, we spoke about experimental & postmodern fiction, the surveillance state and it's effect on our lives, what calling something "social construct" actually means, what the leading cause of death in America is, how our phones act as magic items, and what it means to read a videogame. 

In a few weeks, we'll have our "post-read" conversation, which will feature heavy spoilers as we discuss the book in-depth. Pick up the book (amzn.to/2MszFb4) and read it with us!

Some works that we mentioned in the podcast (our website, spectology.com, has the links if they don't show up in your podcatcher):

- Malka Older's Infomacracy 
- Samuel Delany's Dhalgren
- David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress 
- Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
- The Play Report of a D&D campaign Adrian ran
- The interview with Harkaway Adrian references
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
- Our previous episode with Tobias Buckell
- The Power Broker by Robert Caro 
- David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest 
- Not mentioned, but Adrian meant to: The Broken Earth by NK Jemisin

As always, we post these links and more at our twitter account, @spectologypod. We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter, 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 got your hot takes right here, folks! Matt's back for a super-quick wrap-up of our series on The New & Improved Romie Futch by Julia Elliott. 

Matt reveals his favorite scenes from the book, we go down some rabbit holes talking about taxidermy and halloween costumes, and discuss about why growth as an adult is so difficult & important. We also mention the phrase "Soft Apocalypse" a bunch, which comes from the phenomenal book by that title by Will McIntosh. And manage to keep it under 30 minutes!

Next week we'll be back with another long episode, discussing Nick Harkaway's Gnomon with fantasy author Max Gladstone!

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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 back for our post-read episode of The New and Improved Romie Futch. This time, our friend Brittney O'Duffy dropped by to give her thoughts on the novel. She and Adrian discuss education as a gateway between socio-economic class in America, the use of the male gaze in Romie Futch, marketing analytics & the surviellance state, recontextualize the "millenials are killing X" think-pieces, and much much more. Sadly, Matt couldn't be with us this time, but he and Adrian will have a short wrap-up episode next week. 

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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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