S&L Video: Author Spotlight - Kevin Hearne

Kevin Hearne was an English teacher who put up with rejection from twenty three agents and five publishers before he finally prevailed. Thank goodness he did! We would have never been able to meet Oberon! Oh, and Atticus too, of course. We ask Kevin many many things including if we can expect a TV or graphic novel adaptation, and why chicken apple sausages? 

Download audio here.
Download video here. 

 

S&L Podcast - #171 - The Martian Influx

We're very excited that James S. A. Corey's 'The Expanse' is being made into a TV series! PLUS we sat down to chat with Andy Weir and Daniel Suarez. We learn you shouldn't go for a publisher, but go for an audience, and why you should NOT tell your friends your stories but make them read what you write instead. 

Download direct link here!

 

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING

Tom: Smithwick's
Veronica: Red wine. Possibly a Pinot Noir.

QUICK BURNS

Syfy Turns James S.A. Corey's Expanse Into "Game Of Thrones In Space"
Locus awards ballot is up
Anthology will launch to public May 1!

CALENDAR

INTERVIEW
Andy Weir
Daniel Suarez

Learn more about SF in SF.

S&L Video: Author Spotlight - Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig has a reputation for cursing. He also has a reputation for being a badass writer of amazing characters in inventive situations, across novels, comics and movies. He also invented cornpunk. Oh wait, he ALSO writes one of the best guides for writers ever made. But what is his favorite word? Well, now you'll just have to watch for that, and to see how many times our editor has to use the bleep button. Spoiler: he uses it more on the hosts than the guest.

Download audio here.
Download video here

S&L Podcast - #169 - Sneaking Peeks and Swapping Sleeves

From a debate on whether we should read early chapters from George R.R. Martin's "Winds of Winter" to the usefulness of Asimov's three laws, to our wrap-up of Altered Carbon, this is an episode that should contain a lot of wisdom. Who knows? It might!
Download audio here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Tom and Veronica: Bulleit Bourbon

QUICK BURNS

Amazing Stories relaunches on April 1

Pre-order William Gibson's new far-future novel The Peripheral

A New Novella from Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles Series Arrives November 2014!

Excerpt from the Winds of Winter | George R.R. Martin

All Hell Breaks Loose In That New Winds of Winter Chapter

Why Asimov's Three Laws Of Robotics Can't Protect Us

CALENDAR

TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES

X-Men - Days of Future Past

BOOK CHECK-IN

WRAP-UP Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.

Finished - overall impressions?

When are you a new person?

APRIL PICKS

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish

Brand by Bryan Benson

BARE YOUR SWORD

Which real-world companions would accompany you on a fantasy world quest?

SF and Fantasy Anthologies

EMAIL

***

Hey Tom and Veronica!

Listener from Bosnia here. Since you're reading Altered Carbon I'd like to weigh in.

Kovacz which is a transliteration of Kovač. The last letter is read like a "ch" sound like in cheap, chore or champion.

The "a" is more like an "ah" sound rather than "ay". Like the second "a" in "large". And Kovač means "smith". So there you go! Takeshi Kovacz - Warrior Smith!

Not chiding you for the pronunciation btw; I just found that this was an appropriate excuse to contact you!

Love the show and I hope it keeps going strong for years to come.

All the best,

Stefan

P.S.:
I hope (rather arrogantly) that this email gets picked up for the podcast because I would absolutely love hear Veronica mispronounce my name, because I'd find it quite charming!

***

Hey sword and laser!

I need some help. I'm trying to find a book I read once upon a time. It has to do with the the earths rotation stopping, I think because of an asteroid strike, and is an adventure set in what remains of civilization. I want to say it's by Navarro... But can't find any hints of it anywhere. Does this ring a bell?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Ryan

***

S&L Video: Author Spotlight - Alastair Reynolds

This week you’ll learn how Alastair Reynolds went from Cornwall to a doctorate in astronomy, to pushing ice across the vastness of space. How much do current scientific advances influence him? Does he feel a kinship with Mass Effect? What order should you read his darn books in? All these questions and more will be answered.

Download audio here.
Download video here

S&L Podcast - #167 - Spitcoin

We evaluate George R. R. Martin's plans to stay ahead of the HBO show, look forward to spaceships returning to SyFy, congratulate Arthur C. Clarke Award finalists and ponder the disgusting need for spit as a payment method in Richard K. Morgan's "Altered Carbon."

Direct download link here!

QUICK BURNS

FINALISTS: 2014 Arthur C. Clarke Award

People Who Use E-Readers Dive Far Deeper Into Books

Incredible Game of Thrones pop-up book folds out to 3D Westeros map

J.K. Rowling has released History of the Quidditch World Cup online

TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES

George R.R. Martin knows how to stop 'Game of Thrones' from catching up to his books

Frederik Pohl's dread-coated ateway to get a TV series adaptation

Syfy promises a return to space opera at last, with Ascension

Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson - who watched it?

BOOK CHECK-IN

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

First impressions

Payment Methods

Punishment

Our April book pick will be selected by Bryan Benson who backed our Kickstarter. Thanks Bryan. The book is "A Dance of Cloaks" by David Dalglish. -- Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Aaron Felhorn has been groomed since birth to be Thren’s heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.

Bryan also is an author so we're going to make HIS book our official alternate pick. So check out Brand by Bryan Alexander Benson as well! It's a fast-paced, Fantasy action novel with steam-punk tendencies. It is the first book in the Order of Luminan series. We'll have Bryan on for our wrap-up episode at the end of April.

BARE YOUR SWORD

What good would come aliens arriving from another planet?

Recommend a book you think most people haven't heard of

S&L Video: Author Spotlight - Mary Robinette Kowal

How do you become an award-winning puppeteer AND award-winning writer AND a audiobook narrator? Easy. Be Mary Robinette Kowal. We ask the author of Without a Summer and Valour and Vanity how she fits in all those things and still has time to convincingly imitate Patrick Rothfuss and convince Sam Sykes to make debatable life choices.

Download direct link here.

FEATURED REVIEW: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Welcome to another Featured Review! In this series, we' highlight book reviews from the S&L audience. If you want to submit a review, please check out the guidelines here! -Tom

Review by David Goransson 

What do you get when you mix the epicness of Tolkien, exalt in the cool of “The Good The Bad and The Ugly,” are partial to Arthurian legend, and possibly (some have suggested) have overindulged in too much weed? You get “The Gunslinger” the first book in Stephen King’s Magnum Opus “The Dark Tower Series.”

This will be the third time I’ve read “The Gunslinger,” and each time I read it the more I appreciate it. Not for its plot structure, which is often times as broken as Roland--but more for its “vibe.” A certain coolness that exudes from a character who is chillingly relentless and unapologetically single-minded in his quest to the point of obsession.
Plus he has a massive pair of .45 calibre six shooters. 

For those who have finished the series, there is a lot to appreciate in rereading the beginning. There are people and characters and places and events mentioned, sometimes only in passing, that will have veterans nodding their head. But for the first timer--a lot of it will be just gibberish. And a lot of first timers will hate the ending, or “non” ending, and possibly curse the day King was born. That’s why I often suggest that virgin Tower Knights skip this book altogether. There’s nothing in the plot you actually need to start the journey. Because as a beginning this book is hopeless to the point where many will despair of the quest before its begun. But as a prequel this book is fantastic. It will be like returning to an old lover and discovering something deeper about their soul.

Do yourself a favour cully and wait a book or two till you are ready. There is no rush for this one. Else by the time you can appreciate this story you will have forgotten it. “Time’s the thief of memory” as Vannay says. So will you cry off maggot and turn aside? No? It's too bad. It will be sad to see you broken and set upon a blind path. But if you are so determined to pull leather, then take your stance with legs set wide and I will do what I can, not to convince you to read this book, but rather to continue with the next, should you stumble on the way.

****


So come, let us have our Palaver, do it please ya.

Firstly I’d advise getting a copy of the 2003 edition or later. It has been edited and revised to fit better with the following books and possibly make a bit more sense for first timers. I would also recommend having a squiz at Robert Browning's poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” which inspired this book. It’s about 34 Stanza’s long and tells the story of a knight on an elusive quest for the Dark Tower, driven by duty and obsession

The Setting 
Somewhere beyond In-World, but not Mid-World. The world is broken. 


‘The world has moved on,’ we say . . . we’ve always said. But it’s moving on faster now. Something has happened to time. It’s softening’

Clocks can’t be trusted and people measure time by other means, like Jake who counts one to two weeks as “3 poops.” Distance and direction is also adrift. 

The landscape of the story looks pretty much like any barren wilderness in any Western. In fact, at the start, one could be forgiven for mistaking this book for a Western. But its not long before the reader will get the unnerving feeling that things are off kilter. Walk into Tull for example. It's your typical Western shanty complete with stables for your horse and a good old saloon come whorehouse. Except there’s a honky-tonk piano’s playing a rendition of “Hey Jude.” What the..? And pretty early on we get a random glimpse of a Taheen. Do you ken “Taheen?” Cry your pardon, but how could you, unless you had already read further into the series. Say sorry. Man’s body, raven’s head--this one anyway. There are old machines long disused, that were powered by electricity or atomics. There are slow mutants and threaded stock (non-mutated men and animals) are getting rarer. Ah, an alternate Universe? Or rather, a parallel Universe. Do you say so? One of many. "... there were many remnants of the gone world, just as there were demons.”

The Good 

Jake 

The boy who didn’t come from this place but vaguely remembers dying in a vaguely remembered other world. A world where the buildings are so tall they scrape the sky and people drink Coca Cola and watch teevee, and there is a Ka-tet of musicians who call themselves “Kiss.” Do you ken it? He loves the gunslinger, even though the gunslinger doesn’t deserve his love any more than his neglectful ma and da did--possibly less.

The Bad 

The Man in Black 

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

In Browning’s poem he is referred to as a “hoary cripple,” a liar, a kind of devil who is all too happy to take deals to point out the road to obsession. In this story he is the sort of villain who resurrects a devil weed addict and embues him with eternal life--not because he wants him to be well, but because he wants the addict to suffer in his addiction forever. He offers a barren woman a child. A child king. Just kill the unkillable interloper first. Not because he wants his enemy dead, but because he wants his enemy damned. He gives his enemy a boy to love, but .... “While you travel with the boy, the man in black travels with your soul in his pocket.”

"This bad man . . . this Marten . . . he was a wizard. Like Merlin. Do they ken Merlin where you come from?”
“Merlin and Arthur and the knights of the Round Table,” Jake said dreamily.
The gunslinger felt a nasty jolt go through him. “Yes,” he said. “Arthur Eld, you say true, I say thank ya..."


The Ugly 

The Gunslinger 

What is a “gunslinger” in this world? Well its not a cowboy with a pistol. Roland Deschain comes from the heart of In-World. From Gilead in New Canaan. A city of castles.

Yar!” He paused. “When I was your age, I lived in a walled city, did I tell you that?”


The castles are ruled by knights called “Gunslingers.” So called because of the “Irons” that are the mark of their office. Roland’s father Steven Deschain was a direct descendant of Arthur Eld and Lord of his version of Camelot.

My father had by then taken control of his ka-tet, you must ken—the Tet of the Gun—and was on the verge of becoming Dinh of Gilead, if not all In-World

But the world has moved on. And Roland is the last gunslinger and he is on a mission to fix the Universe. To find the Dark Tower. Everything else, love, family, humanity, his very soul is expendable in the light of the greater good. See it well. See it very well indeed.


****


So have I convinced you yet to carry on to book 2? I hope so. Because I’ve seen the end of that journey and would have you set upon the path. Not because I am wise or good. Perhaps I just play the hoary cripple--I say true. I say thank ya.

Long days and pleasant nights

 

New Sword and Laser T-Shirts!

We whipped together some new t-shirts for the Kickstarter last year, and if you weren't able to pledge at the level you can get them now from Slashloot!

019-Sword-and-Laser-Album-Tee-2T.jpg

For the first time our album art is available as a t-shirt featuring the expertly characterized demon-hunting Veronica and spaceman Tom.

And the lovely 3 Lem Moon concept by Scott Johnson will definitely impress the cyborg-dragon lovers in your life.

Of course the original logo shirt is till available too.

Get these and many shirts related to podcasts you love at slashloot.com.


019-Three-Lem-Moon-Tee-2T.jpg

S&L Video: Author Spotlight - Anne Leonard

Anne Leonard's first book JUST came out. Congrats Anne! Moth and Spark is about a Prince who has been chosen to free dragons from bondage to the Empire, but nobody’s exactly sure how he should do it, not even their riders. He meets a doctor’s daughter who discovers she’s a seer. She’s also a commoner, so he really shouldn’t fall for her How do you shine a spotlight on such a young career? It's all in the backstory! Just watch.

Download direct link here!

S&L Podcast - #164 - Bill Gourgey's POST-Post-Apocalyptic World

We chat with Bill Gourgey, who's Glide Trilogy does not settle for a run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic world. What happens AFTER the post-apocalyptic dust settles!? We also find out how a tech analyst ends up writing genre novels and poetry. You won't believe his answer! Or maybe you will. You probably will. But you won't know what it is, unless you watch/listen to the show!

Download link here!

Get video versions here. 

S&L Video: Author Spotlight - Hugh Howey

We're back!!! Welcome back to the space castle, everybody! HUGE thanks to our Kickstarter supporters for making this possible. In our first episode of Season 2, we talk to Wool Omnibus author Hugh Howey.  Find out how not to get shoved outside, how George R. R. Martin motivated Hugh's career, and his number one editing tip.

Direct MP3 download here.
Subscribe to the YouTube page here!
Or via iTunes!
Other file formats here!

S&L Podcast - #163 - Hugh Howey Hullabaloo

Hugh Howey caused quite a stir with his findings about independent authors, but what does it mean for us readers? We also talk about the Wizard of Earthsea feminism implications and have an exciting election for the March book pick! There is a gavel involved.

Direct download here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Tom: New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

Veronica: Vina Robles Red Blend

MOTH AND SPARK GIVEAWAY

VIDEO SHOW COMING THURSDAY OMG!!!!!

QUICK BURNS

Hugh Howey's Report

Self-published ebooks: the surprising data from Amazon

Most Amazon bestselling authors aren't making minimum wage

WH Auden told JRR Tolkien to cut the love story from Lord of the Rings

Daemon And Influx Author Daniel Suarez On Why Innovation Has Stalled

CALENDAR

TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES

Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptation Watch

More on the Redshirts TV Series

What was cut to make the "unfilmable" book Winter's Tale into a movie

BOOK CHECK-IN

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin

Earthsea and Harry Potter

Women in Earthsea

Among Others and Earthsea

March Pick

BARE YOUR SWORD

A forgotten classic?

Looking for more firearms in "High" Fantasy

EMAIL

Hi Tom & Veronica,

Listening to Gregory A Wilson talk about his daughter's name made me think of my own family. I was named after Jessica Atreides (Dune), putting me in the odd position of being named for a sci-fi character AND having one of the most common girls names of my generation.

I passed the nerd legacy onto my own children as well - my son's middle name is Zaphod (as in Beeblebrox) and my daughter is named Aeryn (after Aeryn Sun from Farscape). Hopefully she won't resent me for it the millionth time she has to spell it out loud for someone.

Love the show,

Jessica

S&L Podcast - #162 - Gregory A. Wilson's Graphic Fallen Angels

We chat with Gregory A. Wilson, author of The Third Sign, about his newest novel Icarus and the graphic novel based on it that he and artist Matt Slay are working on. It's about a being who falls from the sky to save a world from tyranny. We also find out if he named his daughter after one of his own fictional characters.

Direct download here!

Multiple video versions (ogg, MPEG, etc.) from Archive.org.

Giveaway: Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard

Moth and Spark: A Novel
By Anne Leonard

Hey all, Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard is coming out Feb. 20 so Viking press gave us 5 copies to giveaway! The book comes out Feb. 20, so we'll pick that day to announce a winner drawn at random from respondents to this thread.

To enter, head over to our Goodreads thread entitled "If you were a recently freed dragon, what's the first thing you'd do?"

Listen to the show or check back in the thread on the 20th to find out who wins!

S&L Podcast - #161 - What Harry Potter Stole from Earthsea

This time around we're kicking off our February book pick, A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin. If you're looking for the first tale a of a boy who attends a school of wizardry, we've got the goods, as well as what Ms. Le Guin, who wrote her book in 1968, thinks of Ms. Rowling. Plus The Clarion Workshop deadline is looming and USC and Intel make one author's world come alive.

Direct download link here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Bikini Blonde Lager   
Veronica: 2011 Plantagenet Shiraz Omrah

    
QUICK BURNS    
    
Announcing the instructors for the 2014 Clarion Writers' Workshop    
SF writing competition: a world without the Normal Curve!    
British science fiction book awards lurch towards gender parity    
Intel Leviathan Project    
This interactive chart maps out all the storylines in The Hobbit    
    
 CALENDAR    
    
TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES    
    
Neil Gaiman's American Gods gets a brand new TV deal    

BOOK KICK-OFF    
    
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin    
Wikipedia entry for 'A Wizard of Earthsea'    
Ursula K. Le Guin's website    

    
March Poll launched
, vote on what our book should be!

April will be a book picked by our Kickstarter backer Bryan Benson!    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD    
    
What fictional items would you decorate a room with?    
    
Adding "lem" to the dictionary    
    
EMAIL    


Hi Guys,
I listened to TNT for a long time and really enjoyed Tom’s narrative about tech and the tech industry. I just returned to TNT from a short hiatus to discover that Tom is no longer there. It’s only been a couple of episodes but it doesn’t feel the same. I don’t think TNT will be the same without Tom.
Anyway…. I remembered Tom use to mention S&L from time to time on TNT and figured I’d give it a try. I downloaded and listened to my first S&L episode (#160) today and liked what I heard.
I use to submit articles in the TNT’s sub reddit from time to time. Not sure what the official way is to submit for this show but I just read a book I thought was very relevant to discuss you guys had about how Fantasy and Scifi are so tied together and how (as Tom mentioned) it even mixes into Horror sometimes.
I thought this book was really cool for just that reason. It’s got pirates it’s got sudo time travel it’s got monsters. Take a look!

Mike E.

Kevin Singer – The Last Conquistador