We're back for our post-read discussion of Waste Tide by Stanley Chan / Chen Qiufan! (https://amzn.to/2njvSFr)

We had mixed but ultimately positive feelings about this book. It's been a great experience to read and talk about—rarely does a book present such a breadth of topics for us to cover. Matt read it in Chinese while Adrian read it in English, so we discuss the mechanics of the translation in depth, as well as how even small changes can have large effects on the over-all tone of the book. 

However, it've also a book that deals with very dark subject matters, and handles some of those elements better than others. Heed our content warnings on this one. We discuss the problematic elements explored by the book in depth. 

Some related works & links (if the links don't show up, they will be available in the show notes at spectology.com )

Non-fiction books about living in China:

* The Corpse Walker by Liao Yiwu (https://amzn.to/2o7yBSl)

* Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang (https://amzn.to/2msDvci)

* China Candid, edited by Sang Ye (https://amzn.to/2myPgy4)

Three links about Guiyu, the real-life inspiration behind Silicon Isle. 

https://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/toxics/problems/e-waste/guiyu/

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2112226/chinas-most-notorious-e-waste-dumping-ground-now-cleaner-poorer

https://www.revealnews.org/article/looks-are-deceiving-in-chinese-town-that-was-us-e-waste-dumping-site/

Notice the date published & publisher for each of the above when reading, these are not without agenda. 

Yaz Minsky on Cyberpunk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ8S1CV3JwA  

Hedy Lamarr: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr 

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As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at spectologypod@gmail.com, or submit 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.

We've finished The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin (https://amzn.to/2L9Wdh0), and have a lot to say about it as usual! 

The book forced us to ask a lot of hard questions about the moral weight of actions of all of the main characters. We spend some time in a discussion on sympathetic villains and the importance of passing judgement on actions even while being sympathetic to motivations. We also discuss our own history with dreams, lucid dreaming, waking dreaming, and meditation. 

Also the moon!

Related & discussed links (available at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher):

* Waking Life by Richard Linklater

* The Dreamblood Duology by NK Jemisin (both books in 1)

* The Red Book by Carl Jung

* Tinariwen, desert folk/blues music from Northern Africa

* The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger

* Perplexities of Consciousness by Eric Schwitzgebel ("do you dream in color" studies)

* Mike Boyd (learning channel on youtube)

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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.

 

Through journeys and struggles, with the power of friendship, we did it! We recorded another episode, this time talking about Max Gladstone's latest solo novel, Empress of Forever (https://amzn.to/2ykpSOU). 

We both really enjoyed this book, and were really happy to get to read a novel by a previous guest. We start the episode off with Matt explaining the ways in which the book is & is not a science fictional adaptation of the Chinese epic novel Journey to the West, and then spend a lot of time discussing redemption and forgiveness and how those two things work in this novel, and how they should work in an ideal world. Also, Orn! This was a fun book to read & fun episode to record (even if Adrian was a little loopy & feverish), so we hope you enjoy it.

Some of the works mentioned in the episode (links at spectology.com if they don't show up here):

* Monkey: Folk Novel of China trans. by Arthur Whaley (Matt's recommended translation of Journey to the West) 
* Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny 
* Contact by Carl Sagan 
* Our previous episodes on Ten Billion Days & 100 Billion Nights, Semiosis, Brown Girl in the Ring, Ninefox Gambit, Binti, & "The 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.

Welcome to our final episode on Ted Chiang's newest short story collection, Exhalation (https://amzn.to/2X5A0JW). Matt & Adrian start by going through all of the stories in this collection, then go really in-depth on a few specifically, just like we did with Exhalation in our last episode (https://www.spectology.com/e/152-exhalation-post-read-re-reading-stories-philosophy-of-mind-the-heat-death-of-the-universe/). 

 

First 30 minutes: Intro, 2-3 minutes on each story, listing our favorites

29m 10s: "The Lifecycle of Software Objects": Mental & legal frameworks for how to relate to AI

1h 01m 14s: "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom": Character development & moral thought experiments

1h 17m 02s: "Truth of Fact, Truth of Feeling": How technology changes our cognition & identity

1h 29m 04s: "The Merchant & the Alchemist's Gate": Discussing the medieval Islamic setting

1h 37m 19s: "Omphalos": Short stories as jokes, young Earth creationism

1h 42m 53s: Discussing the structure, endings, & morals of these stories

1h 48m 43s: Wrap-up & outro

 

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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.

This week's minisode is an in-depth discussion of ONLY the title story from Ted Chiang's new collection, Exhalation (https://amzn.to/2RlWfVY). The story "Exhalation" is available for free online at Lightspeed magazine (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/exhalation/), so we thought we'd start with this to whet everyone's appetite, and give new readers a chance to read something by Chiang to decide whether you want to pick up the full book. 

We dig apart Matt's experience of re-reading this story (something he rarely does), discuss the meaty themes the story presents, and offer a few other stories about the process of science. It's a fun short episode, and we hope you enjoy it & stick around for next week's full dissection of all the other stories in the collection. 

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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.

The Demographically Similar Jenny's join us again for our post-read discussion of Ann Leckie's The Raven Tower (https://amzn.to/2EGiFvV). We liked it! We're talking about it!

We loved having them on so much, go listen to their podcast (https://readingtheend.com/thepodcast/) for more great book content. (#Content for the #Content #Gods!)

Other books mentioned on this podcast: 

- The Broken Earth series by NK Jemisin (2nd person) 
- The Inheritance Trilogy by NK Jemisin (gods as narrators) 
- The Steerswoman series by Rosmary Kirstein 
- Mission Child by Maureen F. McHugh (non-binary main character)
- Ninefox Gambit & follow-ups by Yoon Ha Lee (non-binary characters by a trans masc author)

(As always, links are at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher. And if I missed something mentioned in the episode, tweet at @spectologypod or @readingtheend and we'll find it for you.)

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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.

(Uploaded the wrong file earlier, if you have 2 versions of this episode, this is the correct one.)

This week we have a very special episode, as we're joined by Chris Beckett, author of April's book club selection Dark Eden. Chris was kind enough to call in from the UK to answer questions from Adrian, Matt, & Kevin (as asked by Adrian) about the book, his writing process, how he views political change, why his books don't have role models, his history with science fiction, and much more.

We hope you enjoy this episode! If you like it, let us know, and we'll try to do more author interviews in the future. 

Many thanks to Chris Beckett for making time for us, it was an incredibly enjoyable & thoughtful conversation. Make sure to check out Chris' most recent book, Beneath the World, a Sea, which is available in hardcover & ebook in the UK and can be shipped to the US via sellers on Amazon

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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.

We're once again joined by Kevin Kelsey of Heradas.com to discuss Dark Eden, by Chris Beckett (https://amzn.to/2TRcpX0). We've (re-)read this book and all loved it, and have a lot to dig into!

We talk about the political philosophy of the book. We discuss the psychological reality of the characters. Adrian rants about poverty for 5 minutes and why this book is personal for him, so that's on-brand. It's worth heeding the content warnings on this one, we talk in-depth about that stuff in the 2nd hour. 

A few of the resources we mention:

- The sequels, Mother of Eden & Daughter of Eden—worth reading!
- NK Jemisin's review of Dark Eden in the NY Times 
- Our own episodes on Semiosis 
- The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin 
- Critique of The Cold Equations by Cory Doctorow
Chris's Q&A on the SF Book Club subreddit 
- And if you're in the UK, pre-order Beckett's new book, Beneath the World, A Sea 

(As always, links are at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher. And if I missed something mentioned in the episode, tweet at us and I'll find it for you.)

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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.

Matt, Nate, & Adrian have a long, rollicking conversation about Semiosis, by Sue Burke (https://amzn.to/2JGYm6C). We all really loved the book, but also have a lot of criticism of it, and we get really in-depth on what it all means to us. 

The only other books we really mention are Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovski and Dark Eden by Chris Beckett. Look for our 8.1 & 8.2 episode numbers for discussion on CoT, and look out for our episodes on Dark Eden next month!

In addition, if you want to go deeper on how ecologies aren't stable and why thinking so leads to bad utopias, the 2nd episode in the documentary All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace will be right up your alley. You might also enjoy the book Seeing Like A State by James C. Scott.

Finally, big thanks to Nate for suggesting this book and talking to us about it for over 3 hours over these two episodes. Find his videogame on Steam Early Access by searching Ectolibrium. Also thanks to Nate's wife, Amanda, for the artwork this month, she's at @@amandalamandala on Instagram.

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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.

Short description today, have a cold and just trying to get this episode out. May edit it later.

Many thanks to Mendez for coming and discussing Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson with us. Check out his website for his RPG projects, really cool stuff. https://jamesmendezhodes.com

Resources mentioned: Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh, Black Preppers by Bim Adwunmi, Interaction Ritual Chains by Randall Collins, & the review of IRC by Xavier Marquez. If links aren't showing up your podcatcher, go to spectology.com for them.

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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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