January 28, 2020

22.2: A Memory Called Empire post-read: Matters of Taste, Culture Shock, and Historical Worldbuilding

Well, we've finally found a book we disagree on! While Matt loved A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (https://amzn.to/2GrJJzC), Adrian was more cool on it. In this episode we discuss our disagreements, which largely come down to matters of taste in the aesthetics of stories we enjoy. We also get at some of the tough questions about empire & cultural hegemony posed by the book, and discuss wether we think the book fully explored these issues. We also talk plenty about the historical worldbuilding & other elements that we both enjoyed.

It's a different episode than most, in that we disagreed, it's actually the second time we recorded the post-read (we weren't happy with the way the first session came out), and we recored in person together in Adrian's NYC apartment. 

There's a long list of other books / media we talk about at the end of the episode and I've tried to capture them all here. As always, links at spectology.com if they don't show up in your podcatcher, and any Amazon links are affiliates.

* East Goes West by Kang Younghill

* 1587: A Year of No Significance by Ray Huang

* Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

* Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

* Foreigner by CJ Cherryh

* Treason by the Book by Jonathan Spence

* Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott

* An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (episodes 20.1 & 20.2)

* Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (episodes 6.1 & 6.2)

Byzantophilia in the Letters of Grigor Magistros? by AnnaLinden Weller 

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

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