Storyological 1.08 – ASTROLABES ARE THE FUTURE

Still here? Excellent.

If you’re interested in how E.G. and I came about the idea of doing a podcast focused on short stories, or you, for whatever reason, really dig on imagined origin stories, then read on and enjoy this transcript of a mostly imaginary discussion between two mostly real people that describes the how and why of our podcast, Storyological.

CHRIS: As you know, Emma, we love short stories.

EG: *literal sigh*

CHRIS (continuing): From the golden aged, occasionally overly expository wonders of Joseph Campbell and James Tiptree, Jr. to the presently aged, very often liminally inclined dreams of Kelly Link and George Saunders. And, in many ways, there’s never been a better time to love short stories. Particularly in the world of science fiction and fantasy. There’s so much out there to read. And so much of it so brilliant. In places like Asimov’s and F&SF. Also Apex. And Strange Horizons. Not to mention Clarkesworld or Lightspeed. And then there’s the new kids like Shimmer. And Uncanny. Also Liminal Stories. Whose first issue was just announced a few days ago.

EG: And that’s only looking at publications based in the US or UK. If we broaden our scope a bit, we’ll see that the current boom in short stories is occurring all over. See, for example: Kalahari Review, or Mithila Review, or Rambutan. Also, anthologies! Beautiful anthologies where the physical books are works of art themselves, like Heat. And Flesh. And Trash. From Fixi Novo.

CHRIS: It’s fantastic, isn’t it?

EG: It is! Also it’s a lot of stories.

CHRIS: That’s true.

EG: It’s kind of overwhelming.

CHRIS: That’s also true.

EG: I wish someone would do all the reading for me and then tell me what to read.

CHRIS: That’s a great idea. We should do that.

EG: Who’s we? And what should we do?

CHRIS: We is us. We should make a podcast where we discuss two amazing stories a week.

EG: What would we call this podcast?

CHRIS: What about Storyological.

EG: That’s not a word.

CHRIS: Words don’t have to be real for them to mean things.

EG: Oh, god. Here we go. Might we please talk less about semiotics, and more about the podcast?

CHRIS: Sure. The Storyological Podcast is a short story discussion podcast in which two writers discuss two short stories.

EG: Could we also be drinking? I like it when we drink while we do stuff.

CHRIS: Okay. Yes. The Storyological Podcast is a short story discussion podcast in which two writers discuss two short stories while drinking.

EG: I think people will get bored, well, we’ll get bored, if we only talk about short stories. Plus, you know you. We need space for you to quote Yoda or talk about your dead parents.

CHRIS: I can work with that. Okay. Here we go. How about this. The Storyological Podcast is a short story discussion podcast in which two writers discuss two short stories while drinking and occasionally accidentally talking about other things.

EG: Brilliant. Though. Who’s going to listen to a podcast about short stories, anyway? I mean, does anyone even actually read short stories? I always figured most people were just pretending.

CHRIS: Excellent question. Which I will answer. In a minute. First. Here are some things people are saying about us on Twitter.

@tithenai: Listened to @storyological for 1st time on the way into town today & it’s FANTASTIC! Charming, thoughtful close reading of short stories.

@jsuttonmorse: @storyological I have to wait to next year to nominate you for fancast, right?

@nnedi: A wonderful podcast about BINTI. –> Storyological 1.08 – ASTROLABES ARE THE FUTURE

@irispjong: @storyological your podcast is such a great combo of intellectually nourishing and unpretentious!

@amndw2: .@storyological is one of my new favorite podcasts, and I loved hearing their take on Stuart Dybek’s wonderful story “Pet Milk” this week.

EG: *blushes britishly*

CHRIS: I know! But, anyway. Yes. See. People read short stories. And there’s lot’s of people who might enjoy our podcast. Who are, actually, already listening to and enjoying our podcast.

EG: I’m confused by whether we are talking about something that hasn’t happened, has already happened, or is in the process of happening.

CHRIS: We’re so liminal it’s crazy.

EG: Crazy like feeding on the ugly emotions of other people?

CHRIS: Not quite that crazy. Though Alyssa Wong wrote an amazing story about that and we talked about it on the podcast here:

Storyological 1.03 – GORGEOUSLY HORRIBLE…

EG: Crazy like losing one’s head in consequence of a loosed ribbon?

CHRIS: No, not really. Though Carmen Maria Machado wrote a sexy, amazing, gut-punch of a story inspired by The Green Ribbon folktale in “The Husband Stitch”, which we talked about on the podcast here:

Storyological 1.10 – NOW I’M ONLY FALLING APART

EG: Do I only exist to ask questions for you to answer?

CHRIS: No. Well. I mean. The real question is: do any of us exist?

EG: I definitely exist. Though not in this interview since you wrote most of it.

CHRIS: But I am imagining you as real!

EG: I don’t think that’s the same as actually being real.

CHRIS: We have this conversation a lot don’t we?

EG: We do. Both me and you. And you and you. It’s such a confusing time to be alive, really.

CHRIS: Aren’t they all?

And that was that.

After this discussion, readers, EG and I read a bunch of stories and recorded a bunch of podcasts about those stories. You can listen to them here. If you would like us to choose one for you, then try this one.


EG: Wait. I feel like we should have a better ending to this article. One that really feels like an ending, don’t you?

CHRIS: How about…

And everyone lived happily ever after, even the dead people. The End.

EG: That sounds like a perfect ending for anything.

CHRIS: Thank you.

EG: See you next time, readers.

CHRIS: Happy reading.


Chris Kammerud is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster. His fiction and reviews have appeared in, among other places, Strange Horizons, Interfictions, and Dark Heart: Volume 2. You can follow him online @cuvols or He lives in London with his partner and very rarely takes milk or honey with his tea.