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.)

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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.

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.)

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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.

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

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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 month on Spectology, we're reading Brown Girl in the Ring (https://amzn.to/2G9dqqZ) by Nalo Hopkinson, a classic of Caribbean SF & Fantasy. A young mother must outwit a warlord in post-apocalyptic Toronto in order to save her community, but to do so she'll need the help of that community & its gods.

Adrian & Matt are joined by Mendez Hodes (https://jamesmendezhodes.com), a writer & cultural consultant who works on RPGs and education curricula, who has an academic background is in African Religions. Together, they discuss how African religions found their way to the Americas through the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the details of that religious practice, how to respectfully think & talk about race & non-Western religions, and why rap is the ideal translated form for the ancient Homeric epics. We also talk about science fiction books! 

Some of the books & resources mentioned in this episode:

* Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (read the book, it's great!)
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed 
* Black God's Drums by P. Djeli Clarke 
* The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson 
* Xenogenesis series by Octavia Butler 
Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh 

And some nonfiction resources to learn more about Western African religions in the Americas:

* Our episode with Tobias Buckell discussing Caribbean SF in depth. 
* Flash of the Spirit by Robert Ferris Thompson 
* The Serpent & the Rainbow by Wade Davis 
Black Magic by Yvonne Chireau 

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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 month, Adrian is joined by listener, poet, & publisher Charlotte Geater (@tambourine) to discuss Rupetta, by N.A. Sulway.

Rupetta is an under-appreciated historical SF novel about a clockwork woman & the human women through history who act as her caretakers. It won the James Tiptree, Jr. award in 2013, and was recently re-published in ebook format. 

Charlotte & Adrian discuss the publishing history of the book, Sulway's other works, historiography, folk tales, and the metaphors by which we understand consciousness. 

Works & links mentioned include:

* An interview with Sulway about one of the folk histories that inspired Rupetta 
* Another interview on other influences 
* The Jaquet-Droz automota in Neuchatel, Switzerland 
* Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang 
* Exhalation by Ted Chiang 
* Tender: Stories by Sophia Samatar 
* Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke 
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

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As always, 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 November we're reading Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Woo Adrians!

This episode we discuss what the "science" in science fiction means. What other books portray science well? What does it mean to write a book about science? Should science fiction try to be "realistic"? 

In addition, we give you the book facts, and discuss a number of other works. Links are at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher:

Blindsight by Peter Watts
* Ursula K. Le Guin
Foreigner by CJ Cherryh
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (also see episodes 2.1 & 2.2 of Spectology for further discussion thereof)
* The Dark Eden Trilogy by Chris Beckett
* The Mars Trilogy by KSR
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
* The Arthur C. Clarke Awards

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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.

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.

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.

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.

July's book is The New and Improved Romie Futch, by Julia Elliott. Julia is an English and Women's & Gender Studies professor at the University of South Carolina, as well as an accalimed short story writer. Her first novel, Romie Futch follows the titular character, Roman, as he goes from schlubby taxidermist in rural South Carolina to a brain-enhansed schlubby taxidermist in rural South Carolina. 

In this spoiler-free, pre-read episode, Adrian & Matt give you the book facts, as well as discussing rural life in modern America, how education acts as a gateway between social classes, and masculinity in science fiction. We also touch on the genre of "weird fiction" and discuss the different influences on Romie Futch, from Faulkner to Lovecraft to Le Guin.

Some of the books & articles we mention:

- Adrian's short article Six SF Books to Read in the Age of Trump, where he talks about Romie Futch in #5.
- NYT Review of Romie Futch
- Tin House Magazine ("Candy" has a story by Julia, and "Summer Reading" features the last story by Ursula K. Le Guin)
- William Faulkner (southern gothic)
The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Three Moments of an Explosion, stories by China Miéville
Ice by Anna Kavan
- The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

In addition, you should check out the last episode we recorded, the interview with Tobias Buckell. A lot of that discussion will be relevant towards Romie Futch—we talk about climate change, economics of rural places in American, and more. 

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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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