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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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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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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Woo! Here it is, the final episode in our Binit mini-series. We get to wrap it up with a book neither of us have read before, and bring it full circle talking about Afrofuturism, university, technology, and what "herratige" really means. 

Links to buy the Binti novella's and support the pod are:

Binti
Binti: Home
Binti: The Night Masquerade

Next week we're taking a break, but will have a short announcement of our next book! Then we'll be right back into it with the pre- and post-reads, as well as a few mini episodes, this time with guests!

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. In particular, check out our twitter this month, where we've been posting a lot of great Afrofuturist art, music, and other resources. 

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

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We read and discuss the second installment in the Binti trilogy. In this book, Binti: Home, Binti comes back to Earth to go on a Himba woman's pilgrimage, and has to deal with a family who doesn't understand her decisions and a homeland that is hostile to her new friend, the Meduse Okwu. 

We continue our discussions of different ways to relate to the idea of technology, whether rural life is necessarily "primitive" and whether that's a useful word in any context, and how Binti's journey is relatable to both of us. We're also doing a bit of an experiment with our structure, walking through the book's entire plot. Let us know if you like it!

We also mention this review of Binti: Home at NPR by Amal El-Mohtar.

Links to buy the Binti novella's and support the pod are:

Binti
Binti: Home
Binti: The Night Masquerade

We'll be back on June 26th to discuss the last Binti novella!

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. In particular, check out our twitter this month, where we'll be posting a lot of great Afrofuturist art, music, and other resources. 

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

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June 12, 2018

3.2: Binti post-read

Welcome to our first post-read episode this month, for the first novella in the Binti Trilogy: "Binti".

In this episode, Adrian connects his childhood growing up in rural Alaska to Binti's background, Matt talks about why he loves the moral landscape of the novella, we discuss the essence of technology, and we both answer whether we'd rather be Meduse or a shrimp-ship. 

Content warning for some discussion of the violence in the book, as well as spoilers for only the first Binti novella.

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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. In particular, check out our twitter this month, where we'll be posting a lot of great Afrofuturist art, music, and other resources. 

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

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A short episode to tide you over this week! We discuss Arther C. Clarke's The Star (pdf), comparing and constrating it to The Sparrow. Full spoilers for both the story (it's only 4 pages, you should read it!) and The Sparrow.

This is a relatively clean episode that's mostly about how and why people lose their faith and whether science fiction generally does a good job at handling this question.

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In addition, we realized that our links to related works aren't showing up in all podcatchers. Here are the links from the last episode, if you're looking for more recommendations that (we think) are better than The Sparrow

Monolingual Fieldwork by Daniel Everett (a linguist learns Hmong)
Do Elephants Have Souls? by Caitrin Keiper for the New Atlantis
Alien intelligence: the extraordinary minds of octopuses and other cephalopods by Elle Hunt
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
1491 and 1493 by Charles Mann

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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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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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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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