Wednesday, July 19, 2017


In case you missed it, so you don't!

Hey readers! Apologies for the unexpected hiatus. A triple-whammy of Wiscon, Readercon, and some (positive, but time-consuming) personal developments has slowed down Positron updates. But! More coming at you soon! We've got podcasts coming up on Yoon Ha Lee & military SF, followed by an episode looking at the changing face of epic fantasy, featuring novels by Sofia Samatar, Seth Dickinson, and N.K. Jemisin. We've also got some Wiscon & Readercon recaps coming your way.

In the meantime, some things to catch up on or stick on your calendar:

On Positron:
Coming up Around Chicago:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Think Galactic- All the Birds in the Sky

For the June meeting of Think Galactic, we discussed All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. The much-lauded novel (it's on a serious awards streak) follows two characters from childhood through early adulthood, as they find themselves on opposite sides of a magic vs. technology war in a very near future.

Brief notes and possible spoilers below:

Chicago Nerds- The Prestige

For the June meeting of the Chicago Nerd Social Club, we discussed The Prestige by Christopher Priest. A tale of two rivalrous stage magicians in the 19th century, the novel plays with ambiguity and illusion—there are huge plot elements that have to be inferred, and can't be proven conclusively—and has a lot of uncanny doubling and mirroring.

We had a good discussion about this, with lots of references to other magicians (fictional and otherwise) and some discussion of its 2006 film adaptation by Christopher Nolan. Brief notes and possible spoilers below:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Doctorow @ Printer's Row

A couple weeks ago at the Printer's Row Lit Fest, I got to catch Cory Doctorow in conversation with Mary Robinette Kowal. Mostly focused on his new novel Walkaway, the discussion jumped to some interesting places. Very brief notes below:

Friday, June 23, 2017

Podcast #5- BikeCon & Wiscon

In Episode 5, we recount some of our thoughts ad adventures cycling to Madison for Wiscon 41.

Find out more about Wiscon!

Bikecon was formed out of Think Galactic--though we're hoping to have more members next year.

Big thanks to Amal El-Mohtar and C.S.E. Cooney for graciously allowing us to use some recording of their works.

Our music is provided by Pelafina. Check them out on Facebook and Bandcamp!

Hope you like the show! Questions, comments? Sound off in the comments, or drop us a line at

Friday, June 2, 2017

Classic Sci-Fi- Stations of the Tide

For the June Classic Sci-Fi Meetup, we discussed Stations of the Tide (1991) by Michael Swanwick.

The Nebula-award winning novel is a bit difficult to categorize: set on a planet about inundated by massive floods, it follows a nameless bureaucrat as he attempts to recover some stolen technology. There's lots of magic (maybe), as well as chemically/spiritually/virtually altered reality, AI questions, and shape-shifting aliens.

This is a novel that is near and dear to my heart, and I always jump at the chance to hear what people think about it. At Classic, we had decidedly mixed feelings, some really liking it, others really not connecting with it—we generally agreed that it's both really quite weird and extremely well-written, however. Brief notes below!