August 7, 2018

5.1: Pre-read for Gnomon, by Nick Harkaway, with guest Max Gladstone

We're back with the #content plants crave. Joining us this week is special guest Max Gladstone, SF & fantasy author extraordinaire. But he's not here to talk about his own work, the Craft Sequence, oh no. Max wanted to discuss the phenomenal, long, daunting, nuanced, and mysterious Gnomon, by estemed author in his own right Nick Harkaway. 

The discussion this week is spoiler-free, and acts as an introduction to the book and the ideas in it. We had a long and wide-ranging conversation with Max about Nick Harkaway's literary background (his father is also a famous author), which other books of his we've read, and other books in the SF genre that are similar to Gnomon in some way. On the thematic side, we spoke about experimental & postmodern fiction, the surveillance state and it's effect on our lives, what calling something "social construct" actually means, what the leading cause of death in America is, how our phones act as magic items, and what it means to read a videogame. 

In a few weeks, we'll have our "post-read" conversation, which will feature heavy spoilers as we discuss the book in-depth. Pick up the book ( and read it with us!

Some works that we mentioned in the podcast (our website,, has the links if they don't show up in your podcatcher):

- Malka Older's Infomacracy 
- Samuel Delany's Dhalgren
- David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress 
- Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
- The Play Report of a D&D campaign Adrian ran
- The interview with Harkaway Adrian references
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
- Our previous episode with Tobias Buckell
- The Power Broker by Robert Caro 
- David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest 
- Not mentioned, but Adrian meant to: The Broken Earth by NK Jemisin

As always, we post these links and more at our twitter account, @spectologypod. We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter, 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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