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Today Adrian is joined by Will Frank, this year's Hugo Awards Administrator, to talk all things Hugos. We discuss why you might want to nominate and vote for the Hugos, how exactly to get membership to do so (anyone can do it!), the special Video Game award, and why recent events that might have turned some people off will hopefully not be repeated…
 
Soo.... we've had a hard time keeping to a regular schedule recently, so Matt, Bee, & I (Adrian) have been discussing what we want the podcast to look like in the future. In this episode, I just talk openly about those thoughts, our plan through the end of the year, and how the podcast might change come 2021. I may write up a longer thing later, bu…
 
Bee is back (although Estelle could not join us due to IRL events) to discuss Temi Oh's wonderful debut novel, Do You Dream of Terra-Two? (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781534437401). With hints of Dark Eden, Semiosis, and Unkindness of Ghosts, this novel tackles the lives on a group of young people who are sent off to colonize a new world. It's pro…
 
This week Bee is joined by writer & artist Kathleen Jennings to talk about her book Flyaway. Flyaway is a fairy tale-influenced (or structured?) Australian Gothic novel (or novella?). Small town landscapes and linguistics, productive misinterpretations of fairy tales, Kurt Vonnegut, and what it's like to write a strict first-person novel with a sle…
 
This week, Adrian is joined by Somaiya Daud to discuss her new book, Court of Lions, the 2nd in the Mirage Duology (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781250126450). Somaiya and Adrian discuss genre mash-ups, body doubles, court politics, the legacy of French colonialism on Moroccan culture, the lack of beautiful dresses in the newest Star Wars trilogy, …
 
This month Adrian is joined by Bee & Estelle to talk about Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by new British author Temi Oh (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781534437401). Bee of course is from the Spectology podcast, where they run our Digital Book Tour. And Estelle runs the phenomenal Abolish Time zine on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abolish_time/ .…
 
Lydia joins us again as we discuss The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull! We absolutely loved this novel, which details the life of island inhabitants living under a passively repressive regime of extra-terrestrials, who are here on Earth for unspecified reasons. There is resistance, there are people who want to work with the aliens, there are people who …
 
This week we're joined by WM Akers to promote his new novel, Westside Saints (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9780062854049). Bee and WM talk Westside Saints (and its predecessor, Westside), an alternate history detective novel about a woman who solves "tiny mysteries" until they get much bigger. They also talk about how tabletop RPG design reflects an…
 
Today Bee is joined by Nick Mamatas, Bram Stoker award-winning editor & author of the just-re-released novel Move Under Ground. (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9780486841861)Bee & Nick talk about writing modern Lovecraftian stories & his looming influence, the joy of reading referential stories, and typographic style as a carrier of meaning. The audio…
 
We're back? We're back. Mostly.This month Matt is still out, and Adrian is joined by Lydia, a childhood friend of his from Homer, Alaska, to talk about the post-colonial alien invasion story The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781094081298).It's about life on the US Virgin Islands after an alien spaceship takes up home on S…
 
Sometimes a book comes along that is both so unlike anything that came before it, but also so vital & perfectly voiced that once reading it, it's impossible to imagine a world where that book hasn't always existed. Nino Cipri's novella Finna (bookshop or ebook) is one such book. It's a story about life under late capitalism, about that eerie feelin…
 
For our fourth Digital Book Tour episode, Adrian is joined by Serje Jones, whose new book The Fortress (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781645660026) has been published by our friends at Erewhon books. Serje & Adrian discuss restorative justice, writing trans-inclusive feminist science fiction, and feeling emotions in the body instead of in the mind. …
 
Hey all, a few things: 1. This is really late. Sorry about that! It's because of: 2. The audio quality is really bad. Matt's computer essentially crashed during recording, so we had to use the back-up recording which was also screwed up by the whole situation. So it's bad, and I've done my best to make it listenable. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this e…
 
Bee is joined by Melissa Caruso, author of the Sword & Fire trilogy, and the upcoming Obsidian Tower, available June 2nd. One woman will either save an entire continent or completely destroy it in a captivating epic fantasy bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic. Bee & Melissa discuss her new book, role playing …
 
Bee is joined this time by Veronica Roth, bestselling author of the Divergent series, to discuss her new adult novel, Chosen Ones. Chosen Ones takes place after a group of people has saved the world from the Dark One. After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal . . . for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you're the most f…
 
Once again we're joined by Seth Heasley of the Hugo's There podcast (https://hugospodcast.com) to talk about science fiction films! This time, we're talking about our favorite SF movies we think are underrated in some way. Maybe they bombed at the box office, maybe critics hated them, or maybe they have just been forgotten and deserve another viewi…
 
Adrian + Matt are joined once again by our favorite podcast duo, Gin Jenny & Whiskey Jenny from the Reading the End blog & podcast. They've selected Zen Cho's Malaysian-inspired novel of magical Regency England, The True Queen. This episode is extreme Chaotic Good energy. We barely talk about the book, and do our best to talk about historical fanta…
 
Welcome to our inaugural Digital Book Tour, featuring Laura Lam, author of Goldilocks. Five women steal a space ship to save a human race beset upon by climate change, even while society doesn't believe they should be able to work due to their gender. Our host Bee interviews Laura about genre conventions, found family, what to do when your novel be…
 
Hi everyone! We're excited to announce a project we've been working on to help tide everyone through the lockdown. Friend of the podcast & former guest Bee is joining us to interview SF authors with new books out. They will be bonus episodes happening on the main feed, but in addition to the regular book club & conversational bonus episodes that we…
 
Julia Rios of the This is Why We're Like This podcast is back for our post-read discussion of Aliette de Bodard's wonderful space murder mystery novella, The Tea Master & the Detective (https://amzn.to/3aD8cOU). In this episode we discuss power structures within & outside of large organizations like unions or monasteries, the friendship between the…
 
A quick bonus episode this week, with Matt & Adrian discussing their favorite Aliens in science fiction and beyond. We revisit some books we've read for the pod, talk about some classics, and hit on a few under-represented gems. We hope you like it! A bit late, sorry about that! Quarantine time is weird. I'll try to get around to listing everything…
 
This month we're joined by special guest Julia Rios! Julia is a Hugo-award winning Editor & Podcaster, host of the This Is Why We're Like This podcast (which Matt has been a guest on!), and can be found at @OMGJulia on twitter. She edited the Machina Serial Box series, and her fiction has been featured in the Mexicanx anthology A Larger Reality. We…
 
This is a somewhat personal & sometimes somber episode, recorded while the world was changing rapidly around us due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. We do our best to discuss the novel, Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson, although neither of us were able to finish it due to external world circumstances. It is by far our shortest post-read eve…
 
Last week, anticipating this week's shutdown of major US cities, Matt & Adrian sat down to talk about the ways we're working through our own social distancing boredom for a special edition of "things we like". What are some of the best movies, games, and other activities to spend doing when going outside has become difficult or even dangerous? Chec…
 
This March, Spectology brings you a discussion on the little-known but largely influential novel by David Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress (https://bookshop.org/a/1159/9781564782113). Written from the perspective of the last woman on Earth, it's a sad and clever novel about loss, the Western cannon, the meaning of art, and the importance of other p…
 
We've finally done it! Sorry for the late episode, a few real life considerations got in the way of editing. We're joined again by Ben Roswell (@roswellwrites on twitter & roswellian.itch.io) to discuss Catie Disabato's postmodern novel of celebrity & architectural cults, The Ghost Network (https://amzn.to/2VtAhVc). We all had a lot of thoughts on …
 
Matt & Adrian sit down for a chat looking back at 2019—which books ended up being our favorites, which episodes did we like, and how did we do in terms of diversity of authors, genres, and guests? A big thanks to everyone who has stuck with us for two years now! Or who have just begun listening—we hope you'll stick around. In addition, we were aske…
 
New month, new book, new guest! This week we welcome Ben Roswell (@roswellwrites on Twitter) to discuss The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato (https://amzn.to/2uXSeA2). The novel takes the form of a fictitious non-fiction book about the disappearance of a young pop star & her entourage who tries to find her amongst hidden underground spaces in Chicag…
 
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 & c…
 
Really short bonus/emergency episode today. Adrian is on his own and off-script, giving you the insider scoop on how to nominate & vote in the Hugo Awards, as well as why you might want to. Short answer: go to https://members.conzealand.nz/memberships and sign up for the "Supporting Membership". This will allow you to vote on the 2020 Hugo Awards, …
 
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 …
 
Happy New Year, Spectologists! Late in 2019, Matt sat down with Chen Qiufan / Stanley Chan, the author of Waste Tide, to discuss the book, the process of translating & editing it for an American audience, the importance of prose in genre fiction, how science fiction & startup culture interact in China, some of his favorite upcoming authors, and muc…
 
For our final book in our "classics" series, we read Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, a novel by Samuel R. Delany (https://amzn.to/2tTUHL5). This episode we're joined by Bee Gabriel (@benladen on twitter & patreon.com/benladen), an old friend of the podcast & one of Adrian's favorite cultural critics. This novel was an absolute joy to read &…
 
A doozy of a book, and one where we start off the episode not agreeing on how we liked it! Charlotte Geater (@tambourine on twitter and creator of wonderful bot-based poetry) joins us again after her Rupetta episodes last December to discuss the 1960s underground classic, Ice by Anna Kavan (https://amzn.to/2PRGTth). We discuss death, addiction, pat…
 
Seth Heasley of the Hugos There podcast (https://hugospodcast.com) joins us to discuss Arthur C. Clarke's 1950s classic, Childhood's End (https://amzn.to/2srqLWa). This is a short book about big ideas, asking what would happen if aliens came to Earth and instituted a generations-long paternalistic program to get us ready for our next stage of evolu…
 
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 (https://amzn.to/35WGICa) * Ice by Anna Kavan (https://amzn.to/33CEfes) * Stars in My Pocket Like …
 
[A note: the content warnings at the beginning also apply to the episode as a whole. We talk about a lot of it in depth in a way that might be uncomfortable for some listeners. This episode is probably even less appropriate for younger children than normal due to that.] We're back having read An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (https://amzn.…
 
Join us as we reflect on a few of the novels we've read for the podcast so far, and imagine what they might look like as on-screen adaptations. Matt & Adrian play executive producers, coming up with concepts for the adaptations & directors, writers, and actors who might work on them. Time stamps for each: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Matt): 2m33s The B…
 
In what ends up being a surprisingly introspective episode of Spectology, we introduce our new book: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (https://amzn.to/2O0rXHa). It is a very good book about life amongst the lower classes on board a generation ship. You and should buy it and read it. Much of this episode is spent questioning whether reading…
 
Coming at you in person, Matt & Adrian sat down in the same room to record an episode about Colson Whitehead's post-apocalyptic literary novel, Zone One (https://amzn.to/2MR1hZT). We loved this book, and had in particular have a lot to say about its relationship to other apocalyptic literary fiction, the ways the novel discusses, analogizes, and in…
 
Buh-buh-buh-bonus! Matt & Adrian return for another "things we like", where we talk about things we like outside of the books we're reading on the pod. Links are below, listen to the ep. to hear more about each one! If the links don't show up, they'll be on spectology.com. Adrian's things: - Otherworld Adventure LARP - Gemini Man in 120fps (here's …
 
Sorry for the late episode this week! Real-life travel has made editing & publishing more difficult than expected. The episode's editing might be a bit rough around the edges for that as well. However, we have a really fun episode discussing Colson Whitehead's novel Zone One, a litfic novel about a man clearing zombies out of Manhattan after the ap…
 
We're back for our post-read discussion of Waste Tide by Stanley Chan / Chen Qiufan! (https://amzn.to/2njvSFr) We had mixed but ultimately positive feelings about this book. It's been a great experience to read and talk about—rarely does a book present such a breadth of topics for us to cover. Matt read it in Chinese while Adrian read it in English…
 
For today's episode, Matt & Adrian read an essay about Chinese Science Fiction by Chinese SF author Ning Ken, and talk about it. The essay, published as "Modern China is So Crazy It Needs a New Literary Genre" on LitHub (https://lithub.com/modern-china-is-so-crazy-it-needs-a-new-literary-genre/), outlines a subgenre of SF that (supposedly) doesn't …
 
It's finally happening! We're diving fully into one of Matt's areas of expertise, Chinese Literature. This month we're reading Waste Tide (https://amzn.to/2N4K80g), the first novel by Chinese science fiction author Chen Qiufan (known as Stanley Chan in English), translated by Ken Liu. The book is new to both of us, so in addition to the usual bookf…
 
We've finished The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin (https://amzn.to/2L9Wdh0), and have a lot to say about it as usual! The book forced us to ask a lot of hard questions about the moral weight of actions of all of the main characters. We spend some time in a discussion on sympathetic villains and the importance of passing judgement on actions even while …
 
Hey folks! Short description bc it's already very late & I'm trying to get this out. I may update this later w/ more info, check spectology.com in the next day or two if you'd like more links to all the other books we mention. The book this month is The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin! It's a great book, potentially my favorite of hers. https://amzn.to/…
 
This is the first in a new series of episodes we're calling "Critical Conversations", where we take a critical work & discuss it in-depth. This time, Matt & Adrian discuss the article "Critics: Endgame" by Soraya Roberts & published in Longreads (https://longreads.com/2019/05/03/critics-endgame/). Roberts asks what the purpose of pop culture critic…
 
Through journeys and struggles, with the power of friendship, we did it! We recorded another episode, this time talking about Max Gladstone's latest solo novel, Empress of Forever (https://amzn.to/2ykpSOU). We both really enjoyed this book, and were really happy to get to read a novel by a previous guest. We start the episode off with Matt explaini…
 
[This episode comes with a content warning for discussions of depression, suicide, and drug overdose. It's all relevant to the works & part of a good-natured conversation, but we wanted to mention that up front.] This is an ongoing series we do every few months, going over some of the pop culture stuff we've liked recently. Some of it is SF adjacen…
 
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