March 5, 2019

12.1: Semiosis pre-read w/ Nate Spence: Alaska, Survivalism, and Ecology in Science Fiction

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 ( 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 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, 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 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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