Spectology: The Science Fiction Book Club Podcast-logo

Spectology: The Science Fiction Book Club Podcast


Each month we choose a speculative fiction book, read it, and talk about the ideas & themes it explores.


United States


Each month we choose a speculative fiction book, read it, and talk about the ideas & themes it explores.



Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Interview w/ the Hugo Administrator, Will Frank, on how & why to get involved with the Hugos

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 this year. I was really happy Will came on, and found it really fascinating to learn about how the Hugos actually work behind the scene, and the...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Announcement: Spectology "series finale" and the future of the podcast

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, but right now I just wanted to get this out in audio format & solicit feedback from everyone on what you might like to see & hear, and also ask for...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

28.2: Do You Dream of Terra-Two? post-read: Belief, Depression, and Courage in Sociological Hard SF

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 probably the best book I've read this year, and one of the best we've read on this podcast. I do hope you enjoy us talking about belief, depression,...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: Kathleen Jennings on Flyaway: Small Towns, Fairytales, and Linguistics

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 slew of other voices in it are some of the topics discussed. * Kathleen's website: https://www.kathleenjennings.com/ * Flyaway on Kindle:...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: Somaiya Daud on Mirage & Court of Lions: Body doubles, court politics, and historical science fantasy.

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, and how our cats are handling quarantine. I had a wonderful time talking to her and am absolutely loving Mirage, the first book in this duology,...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

28.1: Do You Dream of Terra-Two pre-read w/ Bee & Estelle: Alternate History, Destiny, and Space Travel

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/ . You can also find an interview Bee did with Estelle at their blog:...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

27.2: The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull post-read w/ Lydia: Colonial Power in SF and Rural & Island Culture.

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 don't care. Their lives each gets looked at in depth. It's a beautiful book and one worth reading, and we have a really fun conversation, which...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: WM Akers on Westside Saints, detective novels, RPGs, and sequels

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 and influences novel writing, the uprising in Philadelphia (Lakay Nou has since been renamed Camp JTD and is still regularly facing evictions), the...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: Nick Mamatas on Move Under Ground, a novel of Beat literary figures fighting Lovecraftian monsters

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 is a bit rough in this one, apologies! Nick was a pleasure to have on the pod though, and we're glad we were able to work through those audio...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

27.1: The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull pre-read w/ Lydia: Alien invasion and a history of capitalism & colonialism.

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 St. Thomas, bringing both technology and violence with them. This episode was recorded nearly a month ago, and while we hadn't finished the book...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: Nino Cipri on Finna, a story of parallel universes as found in low-wage furniture stores

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 feeling you get whenever you get lost in one of those large Swedish furniture stores, about navigating awkward post-breakup feelings, and about labor....


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: SA Jones on The Fortress, a book about restorative justice inside an all-women society

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. She also performs two readings from the book. As a personal asside, I think this is the best novel I've read so far this year, and I really hope...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

26.2: The True Queen post-read w/ Reading the End: Inclusion in Historical Fantasy, Comfort Reads, Sisterhood, and more

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 episode were we talk about Zen Cho's The True Queen. It's a wonderful little book about sisterhood, magical academies, scary fairies, and issues...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: Melissa Caruso on The Obsidian Tower, a story of a young woman on the run from her own magical power

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 & LARPing, writing buildings as characters, how the book's map was made, and as always Melissa offers a few short readings from the book. The...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: Veronica Roth on Chosen Ones, a story of what happens after the "chosen ones" have saved the world

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 famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled? Veronica and Bee chat about...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

In Conversation: Our Favorite Underrated SF Movies, with Seth Heasley of the Hugo's There podcast

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 viewing. What did we pick? You'll have to listen to find out! But it was a load of fun to have Seth back on, and you should check out his podcast (the...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

26.1: The True Queen pre-read w/ Reading the End: Historical Fantasy, Trash Birds, and Chaotic Quarantine Brain

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 fantasy, colonialism in fantasy, and other relevant themes. But let's be real, we're all over the map. Call it quarantine brain. Mostly we talk about...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Digital Book Tour: Laura Lam on Goldilocks, a scifi thriller where a group of women steal a spaceship to save humanity

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 becomes unexpectedly relevant, and eating algae. Laura also does a few short readings from the upcoming book. Goldilocks is available for...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Announcing the Digital Book Tour, hosted by Bee

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 do. Our first one, a conversation between Bee & Laura Lam, author of the upcoming novel Goldilocks, comes out tomorrow. From there, we'll have...


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

25.2: The Tea Master & The Detective post-read w/ Julia Rios: Cozy Murder Mysteries in Space!

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 main characters, and doing worldbuilding with non-Western cultures. It's a fun conversation, and we were so happy to have Julia on the podcast!...