S&L Podcast - #339 - Nope Ropes on a Tren

We’ve got options! For TV shows! Well we don’t but Annalee Newitz, Mira Grant and Kristine Kathryn Rusch do! Plus our feelings on Zeroes.

Download directly here!

Get Gallium read by Veronica on Audible.com


Tom: Fake Hot Apple Cider that is mostly sugar but tastes really good

Veronica: Water



Nokomis.FL - Hulu developing G.R.R. Martin's Wildcards series.

TRP: Looks like Theodora Goss is developing The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter made into a TV series by CW

Dara: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz has been optioned for TV by AMC.

David: Aaaand adding to the optioning parade: Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire)'s Rolling in the Deep got optioned to be a film

KevBayer - Kristine Kathryn Rusch's excellent Retrieval Artist series has been optioned for TV. (Right now, the series is around eight gabillion novels, novellas, and short stories)

In her latest newsletter, she says "The entire universe has been optioned for TV. That doesn't mean the series will show up on your favorite streaming service soon, but it does mean we're one step closer. If this becomes more than just a wish and a promise, I'll let you know."

Dara: George R.R. Martin is apparently sequestered away in a bunker to finish The Winds of Winter. This isn’t super newsworthy but this quote from the AV Club’s article is worth sharing for the lolz: “It’s kind of like he’s some sort of villainous supervillain, if said villain’s plan was to finally figure out how the f*** to wrap up that Brienne/Lady Stoneheart cliffhanger from 13 god*** years ago.”

Rob - Worldbuilders 2018 kicked off Tuesday and runs through December 11th. That is a shorter run than normal. See Patrick Rothfuss's blog post for more details.
Auctions end 12/6

John (Taloni)
The Mortal Word, fifth book in the Invisible Library series, is out. Squee!

William: Margaret Atwood just announced a sequel to the The Handmaid's Tale. It is called The Testaments. The Testaments will be set 15 years after Offred’s final scene in The Handmaid’s Tale and narrated by three female characters. It will not be connected to the television version, which has extended beyond Atwood’s 1985 novel to continue Offred’s story.

Dara: Joe Abercrombie is returning to the First Law world with a new trilogy via Orbit books. A Little Hatred marks Abercrombie’s much anticipated return to the world of the First Law. The novel features exciting new characters, along with the return of some memorable faces for longtime Abercrombie fans. Written and told in a way that only Abercrombie can, the new trilogy is a visceral story of bloody revolution. Sounds interesting. I didn't love the First Law books but I like Joe's style so I'll likely check it out.


Twitter book review from Beth:
JADE CITY, Fonda Lee. This @swordandlaser pick was too gritty for me. The rich characterization made it hard to keep going — there are no good endings when two mafias fight, and the best luck went to the least deserving. Good #book for the brave hearted. Me, I’m shallow.


Next week we will kick off:

Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crowley

Wrap up Zeroes by Chuck Wendig

Present Tense

Seven-Point Story Structure

The ending (Spoilers)


Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

S&L Podcast - #338 - Hygge Punk

Tom inadvertently affects a listener feud, the truth about George R. R. Martin and why we think Zeroes is number 1.

Download directly here!


Tom: Cass

Veronica: Bailey's on the rocks


Dara: BBC America has ordered an 8 episode adaptation of the City Watch novels of Discworld. 'The Watch is described as a “punk rock thriller” that takes its inspiration from the "City Watch" books in the Discworld series, following a group of 'misfit cops as they fight to save a ramshackle city of normalized wrongness from both the past and future in a perilous quest,' per the network."

Mark: A new Laundry Files novel by Charles Stross was released this week, The Labyrinth Index. The author has thoughtfully provided a briefing for readers who may not be up to speed on his peculiar insights about mobile phones, mathematics and eldritch horrors.

David: The World Fantasy Awards were announced in Baltimore today:

Victor LaValle's The Changeling and Fonda Lee's Jade City tied for Best Novel!

I was at the World Fantasy Convention when this was announced, so that was a fun experience! I got to hear Fonda Lee do a reading as well

Trike: New interview in The Guardian with George R.R. Martin:

Iain: Douglas Rain, the voice of HAL, has died.

Dara: Game of Thrones season 8 will premiere in April 2019


Quantum Computing and Cybersecurity novels

A "cozy" fantasy?


Zeroes by Chuck Wendig

Hey if you like books about space mining salvagers and you like Veronica then you should try the audiobook of Tom's book Gallium as read by Veronica on Audible!

The next episode will be November 28 followed only one week later on December 2 then we'll be back on the normal rotation.

S&L Podcast - #337 - Hackers, but Bears

Well we are certainly interested in Molly Gloss after that Ursula K. Leguin blurb, we’re mad on behalf of Chuck Wendig, each for different reasons, and coincidentally Zeroes by Chuck Wendig is our next pick. Plus we wrap up the journey that is Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country.

Download directly here!


Tom: Sidral Mundet

Veronica: Nope


Joe: Saga Press will be re-publishing 3 novels and a brand new story collection from Molly Gloss in 2019. I've read The Dazzle of Day and thought it was fantastic. I've been thinking about it and mentioning it to folks more than a decade after reading it. It's only grown in my esteem.

The pull quote from the announcement is from a conversation Joe Monti had with Ursula K. Le Guin: “Yes. Outside the Gates. They published it as young adult, but I never thought that was fully the right audience. Terrible cover. But if you brought it back into print, I’d blurb the shit out of that.”

Dara: Chuck Wendig was fired for being vocal on Twitter

Mark: The season finale of IRL: Online Life is Real Life features audio presentation of a pair of speculative fiction short stories describing what elections might look like in the future. Authors are Malka Older and Genevieve Valentine. Host of IRL is the Supreme Sword.

Dara: How a fan fiction for Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem became an official novel via The Verge. Spoilers marked in the article. Interesting piece.

Mark: This list by Reading Glasses' Mallory O'Meara was tailor-made for the Supreme Sword ;-)
10 Great Horror Books for Wimps

Mark: 2018 British Fantasy Award winners announced


SciFi NonFi

My 2019 'no new books' reading challenge

@swordandlaser Loved the Dresden series with Paul Blackthorne!

"Lovecraft Country: A Novel" by Matt Ruff @Scribd


Zeroes by Chuck Wendig

Book briefing

WRAP UP Lovecraft Country: A Novel by Matt Ruff

LC: The muddle in the middle

LC: If you enjoyed tangential Lovecraft, try these next

LC: The Green Book

NEXT MONTH: We're moving around our normal recording times to accomodate for the Thanksgiving holiday in the US among a couple other things. So that means the next episode will come out three weeks from now on November 15 then one on November 29th then we make up for the three weeks with a one week break and come right back on December 5th and we're back on schedule.

Guest post: Teaching Writing, or Expressing the Inexpressible

Guest post by Joseph Asphahani

I conducted perhaps the grandest of my life’s grand experiments about three weeks into the new school year in 2007. The students—a rowdy bunch of snot-nosed punks about a decade deep in the crumbling school system that was failing them. Me—an over-caffeinated snot-nosed punk about a day past my college graduation and the start of my first real job. The place—a rickety third-floor classroom in Chicago’s Gage Park High School. The task, which ultimately became the experiment, was to teach these kids how to write.

Joseph Asphahani.JPG

Joseph Asphahani

Teaching Writing, or Expressing the Inexpressible

...Or, to be more specific, how to write creatively.

That’s right: High School Creative Writing Class. I’m willing to bet that at least two-thirds of you reading this at one point in time thought to yourselves that you liked reading cool stuff so much that maybe you’d take a turn at writing some of it yourself. That enthusiasm was my reaction, too, when the school programmer told me on my first day, “You got two sophomore American Lit, two freshman Survey Lit, oh and a freshman Creative Writing? That can’t be right…” But, yep, it was right.

And three weeks in, it was going utterly nowhere.

I’d started the class like I’d started all my classes that year (remember, this was my very first deer-in-the-headlights year as a teacher). I’d run a bunch of gettin’-ta-know-ya type icebreaker stuff. I’d taken a couple of paper airplanes to the back, all in good humor. I’d managed to keep my smile up somehow. But eventually I had to actually start teaching things: storytelling, how to write creatively.

One experiment involved a track by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós (who, if you don’t know, perform in a language known only to the band!). The idea was to close your eyes and listen to this entirely unfathomable song and let the sound and the singing kind of carry you away to the fog-veiled realm of your own imagination, and then the dawn would break, and the light would burn the fog away and reveal a story of some kind. I wrote an example, which I read enthusiastically after the track was over. And then, the educator’s most overused line: “And now you guys try!”

That early experiment yielded mixed results. Some of my students got into it. Some of them tried. Some others gave it a half-hearted attempt, but I could tell there was something in them we could work with. But the majority of the class blew it off. They vocalized—at that moment and throughout the coming weeks—their confusion as to how in the world they even wound up in this class.

I tried a couple more experiments: surveys, interest-inventories, and questionnaires, all designed to excavate their personal interests and assemble them into poetry. In the next unit, we read some really juicy short stories and imagined beyond the cliffhanger endings. There were more units after that, but nothing ever yielded truly positive results.

I fell into a bit of a dark place. I asked myself if I was part of the system that was failing them. I asked myself what they had really been asking me all along: what difference is creative writing going to make in my life?

The grandest of my life’s grand experiments was to justify the importance—the quintessential, nuclear-significance—of creative expression. To clarify how it helps. Like all teachers, it was something I felt in my soul, that doing what I was doing had purpose—that learning was really the only way out.

So one day, about three weeks into the school year, I gave it my best shot. I told them that there would come a day when they really needed to tell somebody something. When they would no longer be able to hold in whatever they were feeling, when they’d have to let it out. And at that time, I told them, simple words would fail them. I told them there are some things in this life that just cannot be expressed through literal language. There are ideas and feelings that can only be expressed through stories. And that there would come a day when they would have something important to say. And would they be ready to say it? Would they be capable of making it make a difference?

Looking back on it now, maybe I was suffering from a bit of that snot-nosed, fresh-out-of-college, over-caffeinated energy. Maybe it was all balderdash.

But when I was standing up there, the grandest of my life’s grand experiments yielded an unexpected result: a buzzing in my own head. It wasn’t just them I’d been challenged to convince. It was me, too. It was my own existence I was justifying.

It was this epiphany that defined me from that point on as a writer and storyteller. There were—there still are—things I want to say, things I have to say, about our world and who we really are inside, but simple words fail me. Dear reader, I worry every day that we may just be beasts, so I wrote The Animal in Man to ask what you think about it. I don’t think I would have been able to ask if I hadn’t at one moment in my life justified why writing anything really matters.

You probably want to know how the class turned out after that. Well, I honestly don’t remember the rest. We wrote some stories (this time without soundtracks). We filled out some more surveys and tried a few more poems. Actually, as I write this, I suddenly recall that the confounded school programmer finally figured out a fix for his mistake, shuttered the class, and rolled the roster into some other graduation requirement. That’s probably why I can’t remember: because it’s not a story with a real ending.

But maybe it ends right here, in writing this.

The purpose of the experiment was to see if I could teach some students how to write, to figure out how one could possibly accomplish such a thing. I know some of those snot-nosed freshmen, more than a decade later, and they’ve grown into fine adults who have gone on to use their imaginations to great effect in their careers. I’ve seen them tell their stories on social media, expressing the inexpressible, and I kind of like to think that maybe I played a part in showing them they could.

Joseph Asphahani is an avid video-gamer, effective high school teacher, and enthusiastic candidate for whatever sort of cybernetic limb enhancement your megacorp is planning for the inexorable dystopian future. When he’s not getting hopelessly lost in simulated worlds, he’s often dreaming up worlds of his own. The Animal in Man: Violent Mind is his first novel. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two children.

S&L Podcast - #336 - Optional Excitement

We're excited for optioned TV series for Circe and Dresden Files even if they are just options. Also we brainstorm Type 3 civilizations and female gearheads.

Download directly here!


Pujashree: Circe by Madeleine Miller has been optioned for a TV series. Looks like Real Housewives of the Aegean is a go.

Eric: Mistborn Era 2 novel "The Lost Metal" is getting delayed in favor of finishing Skyward trilogy.

Tomp: Amazon has given the green light to a series based on Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Showrunner Rafe Judkins has been tweeting teasers as he writes the scripts. Production on The Wheel of Time is expected to begin in 2019, possibly to air on Amazon in 2020.

Dara: The Dresden Files have been optioned for TV.

Joe Informatico - The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association handed out the Prix Aurora Awards “for Canadian literary and fan works that members of the CSFFA feel are exceptional” this past weekend. Our recent S&L read Jade City took Best Novel, and Fonda Lee also tied for Best YA Novel (Exo).


Time to read!

Type 1,2, or 3 Civilizations

Female gearheads?


Lovecraft Country: A Novel by Matt Ruff

Book Briefing

S&L Podcast - #335 - Do You Know the Way to Slan Jose?

Gorgeous LeGuin books, more Bobiverse! and our final take on Slan.

Download directly here.


Tom: Summerland Pinot Noir from Fiddlestix Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills

Veronica: Nothing because GERD


William: The Folio Society has released a nigh-on perfect cover for S&L-read book The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (as seen on The Verge)

Terpkristin "" Jonathan Coulton & Greg Pak wrote a book back in the day called The Princess Who Saved Herself (based on the JoCo song of the same name).

They now have a Kickstarter for a sequel, The Princess Who Saved Her Friends.

Nokomis.FL - Dennis E Taylor signs option deal for his Bobiverse series. (also he's finishing a book called "The Search for Bender")

Terpkristin - The Riftwar Saga has been optioned for TV. As we all know, this doesn't necessarily mean much, but it's a step. I love these books (at least the ones I've read...and I have to get back to that world soon!).

Tor has discovered the power of Listicles

Shad - Tor.com put out a list of the 10 best completed SF and Fantasy series. Check it out if you are looking for something good to read where you don't have to wait for the end.

AND Mark noted Tor also put out The Greatest Science Fiction Robots of All Time.

Veronica: My friend Ted Kupper (we went to elementary school together!) co-wrote a graphic novel called Let Go: "LET GO is a science fiction story about a family struggling to adapt to technological changes in the near future. Buy it and learn more at http://www.letgocomic.com.


Help me remember....

Library Extension for Chrome


Next month: Lovecraft Country: A Novel by Matt Ruff

Slan by A. E. van Vogt

Slan: Political Worldview

Slan: Do you know the way to Slan Trope-ez? (expect full spoilers)


Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

S&L Podcast - #334 - Is it a Slan Dunk?

We’re excited for TV with Henry Cavill as Geralt, and maybe even some Witchlands! Plus our initial non-spoilery impressions of this month’s book, Slan.

Download directly here!


Any news or announcementsAmy: Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series is coming to TV! It’s been optioned by the Jim Henson company. This is IMO a very underrated series. Book one was good and two was fantastic, with an excellent magic system I can’t wait to see portrayed in a visual medium.

Kelli: Henry Cavill to Star in The Witcher Fantasy Novel Adaptation at Netflix (as Geralt)
...yes, please. I can get behind this casting!! [[[Tom adds:: Production will start October 18 andThe show will now likely premiere in late 2019 instead of 2020. ]]]

Mark: Here's an unfamiliar, but interesting award. The Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award was founded in 2001 to draw attention to unjustly forgotten SF authors.


Feedback from the audienceWhat other fantasy books have this trope?

Stormlight Archive Soundtrack Project


Slan by A. E. van Vogt

Book Briefing


Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

S&L Podcast - #332 - Losers and Lovin' It

We lost the Hugos and it was AWESOME!  Plus we have great news about a new novel coming from Rivers Solomon, and a new ebookstore from Wal-Mart. Plus we kick off Slan by A. E. van Vogt and our final thoughts on Jade City.

Download directly here.
Tom: Nothing    
Veronica: La Croix MANGOOO    

Silvana: Hugo winners: Next year for S&L!  
Joe: Rivers Solomon (author of the brutally awesome An Unkindness of Ghosts), a finalist for the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, will be writing a novel inspired by / based on Clipping's Hugo Award nominated song "The Deep".  The novel will be out June 2019. This will be a major, major book for the year.

Mark: Walmart has opened an ebook/audiobook storefront (including audiobook subscription). Service is linked with the Kobo ecosystem. US only for now. Audiobook subscription option provides one audiobook per month for $9.99. Free 30-day trial for the subscription. First-time customers signing up get $10 off their first eBook or audiobook purchase. 
Mark: Random Penguins is reissuing books that were adapted as movies. Vintage Movie Classics spotlights classic films that have stood the test of time, now rediscovered through the publication of the novels on which they were based.

One of the first titles in the series is Logan's Run by William F. Nolan. So far its the only SF&F title but there are many classic SF&F films based on books, so probably more to come.
Mark: Another digital doomsday article. Are we skimming our way to idiocracy? Soon to be followed by a doomsday article about all the S&L 2.5x audiobook speed readers ;-) 
Louie:  Tiamat's Wrath, Book 8 of The Expanse delayed to March 2019. "We know that you have been looking forward to TIAMAT’S WRATH this December. But because we are now entering the home stretch of this amazing series and we all want to make sure we get it right, we have asked the authors to give our editorial and sales teams some extra time to prepare for the launch."    
Nokomis.FL: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: 17,500 Entries on All Things Sci-Fi Are Now Free Online.
Two new S&L book reviews in 280 characters from Beth Meachum:    

CIRCE, Madeline Miller. This @swordandlaser #book had a great feel of Ancient Greece and also an engaging character arc from wishful passivity to dynamic strength. The ending with the tough women swapping kids worked really well - letting go is hard. 

MORTAL ENGINES, Philip Reeve. In my youth I appreciated how everyone in a Reeve #book faces jeopardy, even kids, pets, MC’s. In my feeble middle age it hits me in the feels. Good pick, @swordandlaser I am now ready for the movie. (Was the scar in the preview? I missed it.) 
Lovecraft: The good, the bad, and the sometimes really awesome!
SFWA Grand Masters and S&L

Kick Off    
Slan by A. E. van Vogt    
Book Briefing
Jade City by Fonda Lee
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser
You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

S&L Podcast - #331 - Where Have All the Good Guys Gone?

SFF readers have more mature relationship views. It's science. And hey! We're still Hugo-nominated! Will we stay that way or become winners? Who can say? But we have other things to say, like what we think of Jade City by Fonda Lee.

Download directly here!
Tom: Templeton Rye    
Veronica: WATERLOOOOO    
Worldcon meetup at 2 PM Sunday in front of hall 1
Mark: Text-based live coverage of the 2018 Hugo Awards Sunday Aug 19 8:00 PM PDT (UTC-7) will be available at. If you have good bandwidth, details about live-streaming coverage will be available at the Worldcon76 website.    
Dara: New research suggests SFF readers make good romantic partners. Apparently SFF readers "have more mature beliefs about romantic relationships than readers who gravitate toward suspense, romance, or even highbrow literature."

Only 404 adults were surveyed so take of this what you will. 

Trike: Statistical correlation not found.
Dara: AMC is developing an animated series called Pantheon based on the short stories of Ken Liu. Craig Silverstein, who created and produced AMC’s American revolution drama Turn, will serve as showrunner, producer, and writer. The network has a writer's room turning out a a whole season of scripts before deciding to green light or not.
Tomp: Rafe Judkins who is the screenwriter for the (possible) Wheel of Time series on Amazon Prime has posted images of the front pages of the first two scripts on twitter.  So far it has been posted on Mondays but they will shift it to Wednesdays. The first script is not under this hashtag but can be found on Rafe's twitter history.    
Dara: New “Deleted” Wheel of Time Novella to Appear in Unfettered III in 2019 written by Brandon Sanderson, this story was apparently on the cutting room floor for A Memory of Light.    
Dara: Announcing Three New Novels From Annalee Newitz. The link has details for 2 of the 3. I'm on board for all 3. Autonomous is excellent. 
Frankenstein-related news and creations,
Favorite Book Loglines

Jade City by Fonda Lee!
Book Briefing
JC: Where are the good guys?
JC: Inspirational Viewing
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser.
You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks.

S&L Podcast - #330 - Best Jade Plans

The Tor vs. Library saga continues, we're pumped for the World Fantasy Award nominees, and the serendipity of reading a book about the place you are at while you're reading it. Trust us. It will make sense in the show.    

Download directly here!
Tom: Strongbow Gold Apple Cider
Veronica: Una Lou Rosé
UPDATE via Joe Informatico: Following reports that Tor Books, a division of Macmillan publishers, was scaling back library access to it's frontlist e-books, the American Library Association, and the Canadian Urban Library Council have both issued public statements protesting the move.
Iain: Just out: 2001: An Odyssey in Words: Celebrating the Centenary of Arthur C. Clarke's Birth where a bunch of great writers celebrate by writing SF stories that are exactly 2001 words long. Enjoy.
David: 2018 World Fantasy Award finalists announced--awards to be given at Baltimore in November. I hope to see some of you there since I'm going!"    
Dara: The final season of Game of Thrones will premiere in the first half of 2019.
ATalkingDogMovie: Charlie Jane Anders posted cover art and a blurb for a new SFF book "The City in the Middle of the Night" to be released February, 2019.
Dara: Altered Carbon was renewed for season 2 with Anthony Mackie in the lead role as Takeshi Kovacs.
Scott: Hugh Howey's WOOL is getting a new adaptation - 20th Century Fox had previously acquired the movie rights to “Wool,” with Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian attached as producers.(apparently that didn't get off the ground, bummer)

Now: LaToya Morgan will executive produce the project in addition to writing the pilot. Howey is also attached as a producer. Morgan, who is currently under an overall deal with AMC, is no stranger to the dystopian genre. She currently serves as writer and co-executive producer on AMC’s “Into the Badlands.” She previously worked as a co-executive producer and writer on AMC’s “Turn: Washington’s Spies.” Her other television credits include “Shameless” and “Parenthood.”
"Hi Guys

I’m writing in support of double speed.

I subscribe to 110 podcasts. I listen to almost everything between 2x and 3x. Pocket casts also strips out silence for me.

You get used to it. Sometimes I have to slow down foreign accents. There are two comedy podcasts that I listen to at 1x because otherwise it ruins the timing.

This allows me to squeeze in over 5 hours of podcasts per day. I also subscribe to quite a few YouTube channels which also must be watched at double speed.



"i hope #jadecity is a good book as @AmazonUK seems to have sold out of #paperback since you chose it as book of the month" @bomwan
Another Twitter book review from Beth Mitcham: "NIGHT’S MASTER, Tanith Lee. I suspect @swordandlaser is getting more followers at @KCLS because it is taking me longer to get their picks. Good thing podcasts wait for me. This was a hazy, lyrical dream of a #book but with a lot of depressing sexism."
Reading Where it Happens 
Kick Off Jade City by Fonda Lee!
Book Briefing

S&L Podcast - #329 - Mad Love for Dog

We're excited about new monsters and solarpunk but mostly we're excited about Mortal Engines! Except for all the murder.

Download directly here!
Tom: Coke Zero    
Veronica: Watermelon Sparkling Water    
What Else Are We Reading?    
Tom: The Armored Saint by Myke Cole    
Veronica: European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #2) 
William: S&L readers may be interested to know that Theodora Goss has released Book 2 of the Athena Club called European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman which is the sequel to the S&L picked The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter. (Out as of July 10)

 European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #2) by Theodora Goss

It picks up exactly where the last one finished (I've got my copy already). 
Nokomis.FL-  Galaxy Magazine now available on Archive.org   
Mark: Fonda Lee sent out her newsletter today with a link to an excerpt of Jade War, the followup to Jade City. You can subscribe to her newsletter at her website     
Shad: Looks like Tor is starting to delay making new releases available to libraries through Overdrive for 4 months.
Dara: Announcing a Pair of Solarpunk Novellas from Becky Chambers via Tor.com. No idea what solarpunk is but I'm interested. Becky Chambers is dope.
I listened to the joint @swordandlaser @ReadingGPodcast last week. I'm still entertained by the answer to the question of how to privately rate and review books: Don't use an online service! It's one of those super simple kind of answers that is easy to look past. - @scottpantall    
If I had more time to read this is what my TBR would be every month: -1 Shakespeare play - a classic novel -a Non-fiction -a @vaginalfantasy pick -a @swordandlaser pick And if I had more time, I’d read a random one I’m in the mood for. - Priscilla Basilio
Is 2001 A Space Oddysey appropriate for my 11 year old?
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Book Briefing    
Clio isn't named after Miss Cleo ;-) - Tassie Dave   
ME: Favourite character(s)    
ME: Hunting Ground
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser   
You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

Reading Glasses/S&L Podcast - #328 - SUPERCOMBO TEAMUP!

We team up with Mallory and Brea from Reading Glasses for a supercollaboration with reading advice, emails, and discussion of Mortal Engines.    

Download directly here!
Tom: Templeton Rye "The Good Stuff"    
How to Change your Mind

What we will be drinking in October thanks to a tip-off from Mark    
Nokomis.FL, Phil, Tassie Dave, Trike, Richard and Ed: Harlan Ellison dies at 84

He was a multiple award winner SF writer best known for his short stories.
Mark: 2018 Locus Award winners have been announced. Here's a list posted at Tor.com
Mark: Author Richard Kadrey has a demented and entertaining new project going called Pulp Sabotage: Ruining your memories, one book at a time. He's modifying and repurposing old book covers, because why not?   
Terpkristin: More on Cockygate, including this gem of a court exchange.

THE COURT: You present in your papers about a dozen instances of prior use of ""Cocky"" in a title: Bite Me Cocky; A Little Bit Cocky; The Cocky Cowboy; Cocky Balls Boa, described as an erotic parody; Cocky Cowboys; Cocky SWATS; Cocky: A Stepbrother Romance; Cocky: A Cowboy Stepbrother Romance; and so on.

MR. REUBER: Your Honor, if I may?

THE COURT: No. You are out of the case.

MR. REUBER: I understand, your Honor. But I penned the brief, and there is an error that my client alerted me to this morning in the brief. Specifically, it is first one you just read, Bite Me Cocky, published in 2012. He has learned that that title may have changed as a result of the Cockygate sort of disputes. It might have been originally published as Bite Me and not Bite Me Cocky. I just wanted to point that out.

THE COURT: Originally Bite Me, then it became Bite Me Cocky?

MR. REUBER: Yes, your Honor. That was our understanding.

THE COURT: What is the explanation for the change?

MR. REUBER: As a protest, effectively. That is our best guess.

THE COURT: In response to the protest, he added the word ""Cocky""?

MR. REUBER: In response to Cockygate registrations, yes, we believe the author added the word ""Cocky"" as a protest. That is pure supposition on our part, your Honor. We have only been doing this for about 48 hours. "l
Reading Glasses READER ADVICE    
So now it's time to solve a bookish problem from one of our listeners....    
This afternoon I was looking back through my Goodreads and while a small handful of books I've enjoyed in the past few years really jumped out at me, there were so many I barely remember at all.    
I do give star ratings on Goodreads but don't write reviews. Can you think of ways to better remember the books you've read, other than writing a review?    
BARE YOUR SWORD/Reading Glasses Email
From Stev BSwitch: For the first time, I'll actually be reading along with @swordandlaser for their book of the month. I've never once read along with them - usually listening along for industry news and ideas for what/who to read next. This is the first time I'll be right there with them!    


I wanted to let you know you weren't alone in loving the Danny Dunn books as a kid. They helped reinforce my love of science and math. A series that took it's place when I got a little older was the Rick Brant Science Adventure series, kind of Hardy boys but with science.
I was looking at my pile of Dunn books and noticed I have some duplicates. If you are interested, I would be happy to pass them on to you.
Thank you both for this show and others that you do.
I'm a patron of S&L and DTNS.

I listen to podcasts at 1.5 speed, going any faster would require me to pay too much attention.

Kent Archie

Irina on S&L Podcast - #327 - Real Housewives of the Aegean:

Have you guys read Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin which re imagines the Aenied from the perspective of Lavinia the daughter? A short and smooth read that draws on the imagination. Your conversation about the gods in "Circe" resonated with some similarities on their standing in this book.

Colleen wrote in about nerdy injuries! Hey ladies - loved this week’s episode. Had to write in for two reasons.
Brea - I’ve had distance glasses since I was 8 and needed reading glasses since 25. So no shame in needing reading glasses at 36!

Mallory - I may have you beat on nerdy injuries. In high school, I was on our Reach for the Top team (I think they call it Academic Bowl or Quiz Bowl or something in the US?) We were out at a tournament and I started getting pain in the hand I used to ring the buzzer - I had developed tendonitis in my wrist from the buzzing movement. When we got back to the school after the tournament, I got sent to the gym to get my wrist wrapped and I went down in school history as the first academic injury.
Keep up the awesome work ladies, it’s always a pleasure to listen to you (on 1.4 speed!)

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Book Briefing

Sword and Laser is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser
Review both shows on iTunes!    
You can also support Sword and Laser by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

S&L Podcast - #327 - Real Housewives of the Aegean

Why we think Amazon may have been cribbing off us,  the reality TV connection to ancient Greece, and the raging 2X audiobook debate speeds along.

Download directly here.


Tom: Maui Brewing Co. Big Swell

Veronica: Basil Hayden Bourbon


AndrewP: Amazon just posted a list of '100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime'. Lot's of good stuff on there and I must be representative of their market as I have read 75 of the 100.

Victoria: Not sure how serious this is, but apparently someone is trying to trademark 'Dragon Slayer' - there's an article from Cory Doctorow about it here. I want someone to write 'The Cocky Dragon Slayer' now.

Trike: SFF book sales have doubled since 2010

John (Taloni) John Scalzi has finished the followup to The Collapsing Empire called Consuming Fire


Hello Awesome People!

Listened to S&L this week, talking about 2x speed. Over the years, I went from 1 to 1.5 and now I listen to everything at 2x speed. This includes audio books. The only way I’m able to listen to podcasts and audio books at this speed is because I’ve adapted to it over the years. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything because I listen to my audio books when I’m walking as I am completely focused on what I’m listening to. By listening at 2x I’m able to blow through books, and it keeps me walking at a fast pace.

Here’s is a mostly complete list of books I read in 2017 (45 total)

I’m halfway through 2018 and am already at 30 books…

Have a great day!

Stephen Schleicher from MajorSpoilers

From Jenna: Fellow listeners of @swordandlaser: are you really speeding up books and podcasts?! Why!? You're dying at the same time. Listen to the stories/words in the voice recording them. You're at a campfire. Voice, inflection, timing is art. rushing is for people who believe in heaven.

Chell on Patreon
Oh man listening to audiobook at normal speed RUINS them for me. I could never listen to them at normal speed. Narrators just read too slowly and it drives me insane. I can't focus on the words or enjoy them. I don't often go up to 2x (unless I am at a super exciting part and just want to hear what happens) but I tend to listen to it to things at 1.5x.

Kelvin on Patreon
I basically only listen to audio-books so does that mean I have to slow down. my card does a good job of telling me that! can't wait for tom's new Audio book. can we get a short section or chapter. . . I like to listen at the normal speed but can only listen at 1.5 max, 2.0 just seems garbage. I thought harpies were the bird women and sirens were like mermaids. I agree with TOM eg spoiler alert and Veronica's singing was great. wonderful show as usal.

Help me find a book from my childhood?


Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Briefing

Circe: The Real Housewives of the Aegean

Circe Readers Questions


Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks.

S&L Podcast - #326 - Slow Down, Readers!

A database of all the stories, Stranger Things enters the tie-in book world, a debate about speed-listening, and what Veronica REALLY thinks about Zeus.

Download directly here.


Tom: Strongbow Cider

Veronica: Una Lou Rosé


Stranger Things Is Launching a Book Franchise, including a Prequel About Eleven's Mom

Jessica: The FIREFLY crew returns in a brand new book series “Titan Books and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products have teamed up to publish a new series of official titles within the Firefly canon, with Joss Whedon serving as consulting editor” The first book, Firefly: Big Damn Hero, by Nancy Holder hits shelves in October

Dara: Not SFF-related but the outcome of this could have genre-wide impacts. For anyone not following along, the romance world has been in disarray because an author trademarked the word "cocky" and now using it as a cudgel against her fellow authors, threatening them with lawsuits and forcing them to change their book titles. The EFF has a rundown of events.

Can you imagine if someone trademarked "galaxy" or "space station" or "sword"? The outcome of this case will have far-reaching ramifications.

Meghan: Mortal Engines is getting the big screen treatment by Peter Jackson. 
Didn't see it on the S&L Bookshelf but it has been discussed a couple of times as a SF rec

Tomp: Fantasy Author Brandon Sanderson Teams With FremantleMedia North America To Develop TV Drama Series.

Mer: I attended a presentation by Dr. David Brin -part of a series of science lectures hosted by the Museum of Science Fiction in the District of Columbia area- and he mentioned a database he's founded (in conjunction with The Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination at University of California at San Diego) where science fiction plots are stored in a database. The intent is businesses/organizations/scientists don't have to reinvent the wheel; use the database to look for similar ideas by authors / screenwriters, and then use the already existing research to inform their work.

Folks like us can provide references to authors / screenwriters / stories for questions that have been asked.

The database and website is here TASAT: There's A Story About That.


Audiobook speed read

Kindle (and other ebooks!) Daily Deal


Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Briefing

Circe: spoiled by mythology?


Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

S&L Podcast - #325 - Mythology Ideology

We're very excited about the Expanse coming back and Gail Carriger's plans and that the "What are we drinking" segment got a good review! Plus the different takes on mythology from our two latest book picks.

Download directly here.


Tom: Baron de Lustrac, Armagnac Limited edition

Veronica: Bulleit


Silvana: Congratulations to Nebula Award winners:

No surprise for both novel and novella categories. I just read the short story winner and I love it!

John (Taloni): Gail Carriger's "How To Marry A Werewolf" is now out. This is one of a series of novella's Gail is putting out herself. They are all set in the timeframe of the Parasol Protectorate books and feature secondary characters from those work

Nokomis.FL: Was surprised to see that Dennis E. Taylor, who wrote We Are Legion, We Are Bob (The Bobiverse), has a new book coming out in June 5 called The Singularity Trap. Surprised also to only see it listed as an Audible audiobook, no Kindle or dead tree version listed. Usually it's the other way around. Anyway, it's a new series, which is good though I would have preferred a sequel to Outland, his first book in the World Line series. Edit: Now I know that 'Audible Exclusive' really is exclusive, not just to the format.

Dara: George R. R. Martin's short story The Ice Dragon is getting adapted into an animated film

Scott: Jonathan Maberry's book 'V-Wars' is getting a Netflix adaptation series starring CW's The Vampire Diaries - Ian Somerhalder

Silvana: It is done deal, The Expanse has been saved.
The recent fans campaign has truly been awesome and I am glad it paid off. Here's to six more seasons! 🥂

ALSO from Nokomis.FL: The team of James S.A. Corey are writing a new space opera trilogy.

Silvana: RIP Gardner Dozois
I only started reading short fiction and anthologies a few years ago but I am already feeling the loss.

Kenley: Shout out for S&L in Library Journal, the most trusted and respected publication for the library community. The article is about podcasts in general and includes a plug in the section on fantasy and scifi. I've included the entire section here because it may be of interest too (second paragraph is on S&L).

Sword & Laser is a long-running literary sf/f podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. They not only highlight current reading picks but also present a very active companion discussion forum on Goodreads and run an ongoing sf/f book club alternating between the two genres. (Belmont also cohosts the Vaginal Fantasy book club with Felicia Day featuring romance novels by female authors.) Bonus: learn what the hosts are drinking each episode.



Lindskold, author of The Firekeeper Saga: "One of the projects I’ve been working on over these past many months is putting together new editions of the Firekeeper e-books. Through Wolf’s Eyes; Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart; The Dragon of Despair; Wolf Captured; Wolf Hunting, and Wolf’s Blood are all now available in new editions for both mobi and epub formats from Amazon/Kindle; Nook; Kobo; i-Tunes, and GooglePlay."

Digital public libraries


Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Briefing

Reading Glasses Circe Live Stream: Join Brea and Mallory as they discuss Madeline Miller's Circe LIVE! Ask questions and join the discussion! June 5 from 6pm to 7pm PST.


Night's Master (Tales from the Flat Earth) by Tanith Lee


Tom needs your preorders! He's 75% of the way to having a sequel to Pilot X funded with just two weeks left to fund. So take a look and preorder a book!

Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks


S&L Podcast - #323 - Demon Mythology

So many awards! Locus, Scribe, Parsec, oh my! Plus why we think maybe it's OK to read the 21 books you shouldn't read, and we kick off Tanith Lee's amazing Night's Master.

Download directly here!


Tom: H20

Veronica: ZIPFIZZ


Mark: Sword and Laser has been nominated for a 2018 Parsec Award in the General fan or news podcast category. The Supremes previously won a 2014 Parsec in this category, but this time, the podcast is authored by Erotica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The things we learn by following S+L on the twitters!!!

Emily: There’s a gofundme (started by Mary Robinette Kowal) to help Rivers Solomon get to the Hugos. It’s made just over a third of its goal and apparently anything extra will go to helping other Hugo finalists. It seemed worth mentioning since Rivers Solomon is the author of recent group pick, An Unkindness of Ghosts, and supporting authors is always nice.

Mark: More awards, the 2018 Scribe Awards nominees. These are media tie-in creations and tend to fall under our radar. So much so that I couldn't find any official announcement. Here's the list from one of the nominated authors. Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Files, Planet of the Apes, Predator, Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Librarians, Supernatural and more...

Mark: 2018 Locus Awards finalists announced A boatload of familiar authors and titles. Very difficult to pick winners! Two S+L picks are up for best first novel! The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter and An Unkindness of Ghosts.

TRP: Not seen this elsewhere in this group so apologies if this is old news.
The BBC are filming an Edwardian (i.e. original period) set version of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. It stars Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark) and Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) with Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, Once Upon A Time) and Rupert Graves (Sherlock)

Dara: FIRE & BLOOD, the history of the Targaryens, will be releasing in hardcover on November 20, straight from the man himself:

However: Nokomis.FL also notes Winter is not coming this year.


First off, thanks to John Taloni and Tanya for that awesome rendition of We are the Bob (We are the Legion) that you heard at the end of last week's episode! Go check it out in case you missed it. If you lived in a Sci-fi/ fantasy world would you still be into nerdy fiction?

21 Books You Don't Have To Read

@careyt says: have you guys seen this new bundle?

@GeekyAwesomeJen says: I went to a pottery painting place and painted a Lem!



Night's Master (Tales from the Flat Earth) by Tanith Lee



Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks.

S&L Podcast - #322 - Analysis Paralysis

Have you ever walked into a book store and just froze? Us too. We'll talk you through it. Plus we announced the May book pick and Tanith Lee fans will be happy! Because it's by Tanith Lee! Also the wrap-up for We Are Legion (We are Bob).

Download directly here!
Tom: Water    
Veronica: Flying Fish IPA    
Tomp: It seems some helpful people have asked another bunch of helpful people about the Wheel of Time series on the Amazon chat service and they got a mixed result but most of the answers was that Yes it's on the way. Check out the four chats on wheeloftime.tv    
The Fall of Gondolin will be the second “new” Tolkien work to be released in two years, following the release of Beren and Lúthien in May 2017. Edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien, and illustrated by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee.  
Netflix confirmed that its adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher books will be 8 episodes long and shot primarily in Poland. 
Mark: 11 books Elon Musk thinks everyone should read. The list includes several science fiction and fantasy classics, plus non-fiction on artificial intelligence and more. 

And as John (Nevets) pointed out they are just books Musk has mentioned in previous interviews, not a list Musk compiled as a recommendation.  
Amazon is developing a TV show based on William Gibson’s ‘The Peripheral’. Scott B. Smith is writing and and Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are signed on as executive producers. The Peripheral takes place in two different futures, connected through a virtual reality game. One is relatively close to our present, the other is several decades further along, after society has collapsed.
Keith says: "The track record for bringing Gibson to the screen, big or small, isn't exactly sterling (or Bruce Sterling)""
The Martian is a prequel to The Expanse
Analysis Paralysis
Next Month:     
Night's Master (Tales from the Flat Earth) by Tanith Lee

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser.
You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks.
We Are the Bob (We Are the Legion)
Words by John (Taloni)
Music by Tanya