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. 

---

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. 

---

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.

---

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)

---

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

---

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) 

---

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.

Adrian & Matt are back on their own this month, reading & talking about the short story collection Exhalation, by Ted Chiang. A wonderful collection of short fiction, we've decided to do something a little bit different from the usual. 

With this episode we talk about the power of short-form fiction, why we love Chiang's work so much, and (starting at 43:25) ask each other a couple tough philosophical questions of the type Chiang's stories attempt to answer. 

Books & movies mentioned include (links help support Spectology, go to spectology.com if they're not showing up):

- Exhalation, by Ted Chiang 
- Stories of Your Life & Others, by Ted Chiang 
- Store of the Worlds, by Robert Sheckley 
- The Best Stories of JG Ballard 
- Her Smoke Rose up Forever, by James Tiptree, Jr
- Tobias Buckell's Patreon 
- Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, ed. NK Jemisin 
- The Best SF&F of the Year series, ed. Jonathan Strahan 
- Interview w/ Chiang at Powel's 
- Interview w/ Walter Mosley at Paris Review 

---

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 month, we welcome the Demographically Similar Jennys from the wonderful & charming Reading the End Podcast to Spectology to read Ann Leckie's newest book, The Raven Tower! (https://amzn.to/2VShdjK)

The four of us discuss our past experiences reading both fantasy & science fiction, and how gender is used within those genres, as well as how it drives decisions about how to market those genres by the larger publishing industry. 

We couldn't have more well-read, fun, & knowledgeable guests for this discussion, so we really hope you enjoy this ep, and check out the Jennys' podcast as well. A great place to start would be Adrian's guest episode from last week: https://readingtheend.com/2019/05/01/podcast-ep-117-a-spectology-crossover-event/ 

Works mentioned this episode include:

* The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie 
* Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 
* Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 
* The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish
The Clewiston Test by Kate Wilhelm
* NK Jemisin's 2018 Hugo Award speech (video embedded in article) 

(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.)

---

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.

To celebrate having been at the podcast for one full year, Matt & Adrian are joined by Kevin Kelsey of Heradas.com as we make our most self-indulgent pick yet: Dark Eden, by Chris Beckett (https://amzn.to/2TRcpX0).

Join us for a somewhat self-reflective episode on why this is one of our favorite books, and why we think everyone should read it. It has linguistics, it has sociology, it has long time scales, it has survival in a harsh world, it has society building, it has a page-turning story, and it is probably the book we've mentioned the most on this podcast without actually reading and talking about it in its own episodes.

Kevin joins us to help us ground the conversation for folks who haven't read the book yet, and in a few weeks we'll all three dig into the rich thematic depth of this novel.

Some other works mentioned include:

Chris's Q&A on the SF Book Club subreddit 
- Chris on his history being labeled disabled 
- NK Jemisin's review of Dark Eden in the NY Times 
- Review by a juror on the Arthur C. Clarke award
- Our own episodes on Children of Time, Romie Futch, Gnomon, & Semiosis 
- Ice by Anna Kavan 
- The Helliconia Trilogy by Brian Aldiss 
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding 
- 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.)

 ---

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.

If you like stories about Alaska, then this is the episode for you! Author, game developer, and Adrian's childhood friend Nate Spence is this month's guest, discussing the ecological survival SF novel Semiosis by Sue Burke (https://amzn.to/2TceBgh). In the novel, a small group of humans tries to colonize what seems like a wilderness planet. The novel follows their survival & evolution of their society over generations.

In this episode, we talk a lot about growing up in wilderness areas and what it's like. What's a pushki? What did Nate's dad teach him in lieu of tying his shoes? Where did Matt bleed from on his Alaska hiking trip and why? How can Adrian possibly defend hitting an owl with his car? What search terms about Alaska do we not suggest you image search? We can't promise we answer these questions, but we'll sure talk about them. 

We'll also go over the usual book facts, while trying hard not to spoil what is an interesting, different, and so far very fun to read book!

Also, thanks to Amanda Hart, Nate's wife, for supplying our cover artwork this month! Check out her instagram, @amandalamandala.

Resources mentioned (go to spectology.com if the links don't show up in your podcatcher):

* Nate's most recent game, Ectolibrium, on Steam Early Access 
* Ectolibrium discounted in the IndieGala Bundle (not pay what you want tho)
* Dark Eden Trilogy by Chris Beckett 
* Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
* The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin 
* Embassytown by China Miéville
Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel 
* Article about the Russian Orthodox Old Believers in Alaska 
* Correction: Alaska is the 8th least white state, but has the highest percentage of indigenous people of any state

---

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.

Load more