Adrian + Matt are joined once again by our favorite podcast duo, Gin Jenny & Whiskey Jenny from the Reading the End blog & podcast. They've selected Zen Cho's Malaysian-inspired novel of magical Regency England, The True Queen

This episode is extreme Chaotic Good energy. We barely talk about the book, and do our best to talk about historical fantasy, colonialism in fantasy, and other relevant themes. But let's be real, we're all over the map. Call it quarantine brain. Mostly we talk about which birds are trash birds, Gin Jenny's entente with the spiders, which is the best Pixar movie, traumatic childhood movies, and literally just whatever comes to our minds at the time. Again, strong Chaos vibes.

But it was one of the most fun episodes we've ever recorded & re-listening to edit it was an absolute treat, so I hope you enjoy it & we will be back with the Jennys in a few weeks to actually talk about this book, which so far is absolutely amazing & you should definitely check it out.

Only one non-book link (again, buy the book! https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9780425283417), which is the board game Wingspan that Whiskey Jenny mentions.

Oh and also check out Gin Jenny on twitter, the Reading the End blog, podcast, & patreon. Really please do follow them & listen to the podcast, it's the best general book pod around.  

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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!

To find links to all the books we've read, check us out on Bookshop.

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

This month we're joined by special guest Julia Rios! Julia is a Hugo-award winning Editor & Podcaster, host of the This Is Why We're Like This podcast (which Matt has been a guest on!), and can be found at @OMGJulia on twitter. She edited the Machina Serial Box series, and her fiction has been featured in the Mexicanx anthology A Larger Reality. 

We're reading The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (https://amzn.to/2Jqepmr), a Homesian mystery story told by a space ship. It's a lovely, warm, cozy, and short book at a time when all those things feel in short supply. And of course, it's about some big issues that we'll talk about in the post-read. This episode, we discussed what makes a mystery story, the different sub-genres of detective fiction, and how much we like ships with personalities. 

We hope you enjoy the episode & pick up the book! 

 

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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!

To find links to all the books we've read, check us out on Bookshop.

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

New month, new book, new guest! This week we welcome Ben Roswell (@roswellwrites on Twitter) to discuss The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato (https://amzn.to/2uXSeA2). The novel takes the form of a fictitious non-fiction book about the disappearance of a young pop star & her entourage who tries to find her amongst hidden underground spaces in Chicago. 

In this episode, we discuss other experimental narratives, from role-playing games to postmodern novels like House of Leaves or Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Works mentioned (as always, links at spectology.com if they don't show up for you, and all Amazon links are affliates):

* Ben's Itch.io, where you can find his games mentioned

* Ben's new serialized fantasy novel

* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Suzanna Clarke 

* House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

* Fire on the Velvet Horizon by Patrick Stuart & Scrap Princess

* Hardboiled Wonderland & the End of the World by Haruki Murakami 

* Rupetta by N.A. Sulway (also episodes 9.1 & 9.2 of this podcast)

* Fight Truck (the unplayable? LARP)

* Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU by Carmen Maria Machado

* Ben's essay on Jeff VanderMeer's blog

 

If I missed anything, tweet @spectologypod and I'll drum up the link for you.

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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.

It's the future baby! 2020 arrives with a bang as we discuss Arkady Martine's Byzantine-flavored space opera political thriller, A Memory Called Empire (https://amzn.to/2RdH5Ct). The story follows a young woman from an independent mining station who must travel to the central world of the Empire which surrounds it and act as ambassador. This comes as a recommendation from several readers & friends of the podcast.

In this episode, we discuss several historical figures who served analogous roles to that of the main character. The first, Grigor Magistros, is the subject of an [academic article written by Martine under the name AnnaLinden Weller. We also talk about S. W. Laden La, Tisquantum, and Kang Younghill, and Gendün Chöphel. Not sure who these fascinating historical cultural emissaries were? Listen to find out!

Other works mentioned:

Byzantophilia in the Letters of Grigor Magistros? by AnnaLinden Weller (no longer paywalled thanks to the author!)

* East Goes West by Younghill Kang

A Man of the Frontier: SW Laden La by Nicholas & Deki Rhodes 

* 1491 by Charles Mann (where the Tisquantum story as we tell it comes from)

Grains of Gold: Tales of a Cosmopolitan Traveler by Gendün Chöphel

(Links in the shownotes at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher. Any Amazon links are affiliates.)

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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.

Welcome to a very special pre-read episode. This December, Matt, Adrian, and a series of guests are reading 3 separate works of "classic" SF and talking about them & what makes them a "classic". The works will be:

* Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke (https://amzn.to/35WGICa

* Ice by Anna Kavan (https://amzn.to/33CEfes

* Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany (https://amzn.to/2RdBTAk

Each book (& author) has had an large influence on modern SF, and we'll talk about that in those respective episodes over the course of this month.

In this episode, we dive deep into our own history of reading SF, with an eye towards the golden age. How did we get into SF, which authors did we first find that spoke to us, how did we find new authors & books, and why was so-called "classic" SF such an outsized influence on two kids growing up in the 90s and 00s?

In addition, we have a discussion on the problematic nature of a lot of these books and authors. Is it still worth reading something you like knowing what we know now about the books & the people behind them? How might different people have different answers to that question? How do we, specifically, choose books to read for this podcast? It's a difficult but hopefully enlightening conversation. 

We'll be off the 2nd week of December, and then back the final 3 Tuesdays of the month with a separate episode on each of these books. 

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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.

In what ends up being a surprisingly introspective episode of Spectology, we introduce our new book: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (https://amzn.to/2O0rXHa). 

It is a very good book about life amongst the lower classes on board a generation ship. You and should buy it and read it. 

Much of this episode is spent questioning whether reading fiction can actually teach us things (where "us" = readers with privilege), or whether the emotions that fiction can induce are used as a stand-in for actually doing work. Answers are not found.

We also do book facts and talk about science fiction. We discuss different types of dystopian fiction & how genre tropes can be used or misused. But I'm not going to lie this one is weirdly pensive & self-reflective, even for us. 

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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.

Sorry for the late episode this week! Real-life travel has made editing & publishing more difficult than expected. The episode's editing might be a bit rough around the edges for that as well.

However, we have a really fun episode discussing Colson Whitehead's novel Zone One, a litfic novel about a man clearing zombies out of Manhattan after the apocalypse. We discuss the history of zombie movies & books, lightly touch on the problematic cultural history of zombies (which you can hear more about in our episodes with Mendez Hodes), and spend a lot of time discussing what makes a B movie. 

It was a really fun episode to record, and we hope you enjoy it, outtakes and all.

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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.

It's finally happening! We're diving fully into one of Matt's areas of expertise, Chinese Literature. This month we're reading Waste Tide (https://amzn.to/2N4K80g), the first novel by Chinese science fiction author Chen Qiufan (known as Stanley Chan in English), translated by Ken Liu. 

The book is new to both of us, so in addition to the usual bookfacts, this episode starts with a short introduction to the sociolinguistics of the Chinese language. From there we learn about the history of modern Chinese literature w/ a focus on how speculative fiction has been received over the last century, from the earliest Chinese translations of Jules Verne to the modern resurgence of SF & Fantasy movies coming out of China, and how that relates to other literary & political movements. 

Some of the works we discuss include:

* Invisible Planets, edited & translated by Ken Liu

* Chen Qiufan's stories at Clarkesworld (includes audio versions)

* Clarkesworld Podcast

* "Flower of Shazui" (set in the same world as Waste Tide

* The Paper Menagerie & Other Stories by Ken Liu

* The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

(Links in the shownotes at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher)

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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.

Hey folks! Short description bc it's already very late & I'm trying to get this out. I may update this later w/ more info, check spectology.com in the next day or two if you'd like more links to all the other books we mention. 

The book this month is The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin! It's a great book, potentially my favorite of hers. https://amzn.to/31DKqyr

Matt & I spend a very long time talking about worldbuilding, different ways of doing it, books we love that do it well, etc.. It's quite the pre-read. Also, we're having some technical difficulties due to travel, so the sound is listenable but not to our usual standards. We should be better next episode, & back to normal next month.

The connected short story I mentioned ("The Narcomancer") is available as a podcast here: http://podcastle.org/2010/01/05/podcastle-85-giant-episode-the-narcomancer/

NK Jemisin's worldbuilding presentation is available here: http://nkjemisin.com/2015/08/worldbuilding-101/

And finally, her patreon is: https://www.patreon.com/nkjemisin

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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.

 

What goes around comes around on the wheel of karma, so this month Matt & Adrian talking about the new novel from past guest Max Gladstone, Empress of Forever (https://amzn.to/2Jl9X94)! 

We discuss a number of books, movies, TV shows, and RPGs in the general space opera subgenre. Here are some of the most relevant. If the links don't show up in your podcatcher, they will be available on the show notes at spectology.com. 

- Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone 
- This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max 
- Journey to the West 
- Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny 
- Ten Billion Days & 100 Billion Nights by Ryu Mitsuse (see our 10.1 & 10.2 episodes) 
- Iain M Banks (see our 1.1 & 1.2 episodes on his Use of Weapons
- Gnomon by Nick Harkaway (see our 5.1 & 5.2 episodes w/ Max as a guest) 
- The New Space Opera & TNSO2, ed. Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan
- Sufficiently Advanced (RPG) 
- Ghibli Fest 2019 (particularly Princess Mononoke) 
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (on Netflix) 

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We'd love to hear from you (tell us your definition of space opera!), 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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