Join us for a fun & punchy look back at Spectology's first year in books. Matt & Adrian discuss the favorite books we read in 2018, some of our favorite episodes to record, and just generally have a good time while reflecting on what a wonderful year we had together & with you all.

Major thanks goes out to everyone who has helped us so far! Our guests in 2018: Tobias, Britt, Max, Ellie, Kevin, & Charlotte. Dubby J & Noah Bradley for providing music & art to us. Seth for hosting me on his podcast. And of course anyone who has told a friend, submitted us to reddit, tweeted about us, or just listened to some of our episodes. We're so lucky to have such awesome listeners, and we're looking forward to reading another dozen books in 2019! We've got a great list of books and authors coming up this year, I can't wait to share them all.

As always, you can find us at @spectologypod on twitter, or email us at We'd love to hear your favorite moments of our from 2018! 

Two quick announcements today, since we weren't able to get our usual pre-read episode recorded in time.

The first is that our November book will be Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. This is a book neither of us has read, but won the Clarke award and has themes that we're both interested in. Should be a good time.

The second is that Adrian guest hosted on the Hugos There Podcast ( a few days ago to talk about Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. It was a great conversation about one of his favorite books, so check that out if you need something to tide you over before our Children of Time pre-read drops next week. 

Final bonus announcement for our Americans who read the show notes: VOTE! This is voting day, and there are a bunch of important local elections on the ballot, from your state legislators to various criminal justice ballot reforms to just your local sheriffs & judges. We live in a dystopian hellscape, but you can make it mildly better by voting. And you can listen to me talk about Le Guin while you wait on line. 


As always, we'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at 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 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. 


As always, we'd love to hear from you! Tweet us at @spectologypod, submit the episode at r/printSF, or email us at with your thoughts about the book.

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

A new month, a new book! Or in this case, series of books. The Binti Trilogy is a set of short novellas by Nnedi Okorafor. Together they are about the same size as a novel (and about the cost). They tell the story of a young woman in Western Africa who gets an invitation to the best university in the galaxy, and leaves everything she knows to attend. However, these aren't your typical chosen one or fish out of water school stories, and they take a lot of unexpected twists and turns along the way.

We loved the first two novellas when we read them, and so we're excited to get to re-read and finish the whole trilogy, especially after the diappointment of our last book! In this spoiler-free episode, Adrian and Matt discuss the musical and literary roots of Afrofuturism, Adrian's experience going from a rural town to a major university, and why we love these books so much. 

Instead of doing one post-read episode this month, we're going to be doing a shorter post-read episode week for a successive novella. The novellas and our schedule are:

- Binti (June 12)
- Binti: Home (June 19)
- Binti: The Night Masquerade (June 26)

And some of the other works we mention include:

- Afrofuturism by Ytasha L. Womack (highly recommended intro)
- Sun Ra & His Archestra
- A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
- Harnessed the Storm by Drexciya
- ATLiens by OutKast
- Blazing Arrow by Blackalicious
- Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe (album / movie)
- Bloodchild and Lillith's Brood by Octavia Butler
- Dhalgren and Nova by Sam Delany
- The Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemisin
- Black Panther by Ryan Coogler (soundtrack by Kendrick Lamar)

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Tweet us at @spectologypod, submit the episode at r/printSF, or email us at 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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