January 14, 2020

22.1: A Memory Called Empire pre-read: Martine’s academic work, historical ambassadors, and what it means to be a member of an empire

It's the future baby! 2020 arrives with a bang as we discuss Arkady Martine's Byzantine-flavored space opera political thriller, A Memory Called Empire (https://amzn.to/2RdH5Ct). The story follows a young woman from an independent mining station who must travel to the central world of the Empire which surrounds it and act as ambassador. This comes as a recommendation from several readers & friends of the podcast.

In this episode, we discuss several historical figures who served analogous roles to that of the main character. The first, Grigor Magistros, is the subject of an [academic article written by Martine under the name AnnaLinden Weller. We also talk about S. W. Laden La, Tisquantum, and Kang Younghill, and Gendün Chöphel. Not sure who these fascinating historical cultural emissaries were? Listen to find out!

Other works mentioned:

Byzantophilia in the Letters of Grigor Magistros? by AnnaLinden Weller (no longer paywalled thanks to the author!)

* East Goes West by Younghill Kang

A Man of the Frontier: SW Laden La by Nicholas & Deki Rhodes 

* 1491 by Charles Mann (where the Tisquantum story as we tell it comes from)

Grains of Gold: Tales of a Cosmopolitan Traveler by Gendün Chöphel

(Links in the shownotes at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher. Any Amazon links are affiliates.)


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.

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