December 3, 2019

21.1: Classic SF pre-read: On creating cannons, and how to read problematic fiction & authors.

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 (

* Ice by Anna Kavan (

* Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany (

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, 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 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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