S&L Podcast - #243 - Hugo Nominations Are Open!

Yes you can nominate your favorite novels, short stories, TV scripts and— oh look, fancasts! We also discuss the line between inspiration and appropriation regarding Sword of Shannara.

Download directly here!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Roots Dry New England Cider    
Veronica: Bulleit Bourbon    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Sandra: Nominate your favorite books (and podcasts) for a Hugo
    
Locus recommended reading list for 2015 books    
    
Joanna: On a different note, they've cast Shadow from American Gods and, at least to me, he's well within spec for the mixed-race character. Yay for not completely screwing it up!? 
    
Kristina: Altered Carbon to become a show on Netflix!     
    
Andrew: For all those who enjoyed our read through "City of Stairs", Robert Jackson Bennett's sequel, though not available on Amazon until the 26th of this month, is available at most bookstores and through pre-order. Check out "City of Blades" and purchase using the special S&L link I've included below, so that our fabulous hosts get some money for the referral URL."   
     
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
It's 2 Feb (again)    
    
Favorite S&L of 2015
 
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
 Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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 - #242 - The Animal in Our Collection

We congratulate the winners of our Inkshares contest and name the book that will be joining our Sword and Laser collection. Plus, why you shouldn’t be angry at George R. R. Martin and how Catherynne M. Valente’s Radiance is like a Tone Poem.    

Download directly here!

WINNERS!    
    
Congrats to our Sword and Laser Collection addition!    
The Animal in Man by Joseph Asphahani!   
An artifact of immense power puts Maxan in the middle of a secret war between mighty guilds. To overcome the resourceful and sinister masters who would use him, use everyone, as puppets, he must decide which nature defines him. Animal, or man?    
    
And big congrats to the other Inkshares contest winners who will be published by Inkshares!    
The Last Machine in the Solar System by Matt Sobin    
The Bones of the Past by Craig Munro    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Sky: George RR Martin finally admitted what everyone knew - that The Winds of Winter won't be out before the premiere of season six of Game of Thrones on HBO  

Tamahome: Graph of GRRM's publishing intervals show he's writing as fast as JK Rowling did and faster than Tolkien or CS Lewis.
    
Trike: Harlan Ellison. Released. A. New. Book. Came out December 31st from Subterranean Press. It's called Can & Can'tankerous. Which is awesome.  
    
Nokomis.FL: Friend of show, N.K. Jemisin Launches SFF Column at The New York Times Book Review.
    
Kate:  TechCrunch reports that Pottermore has abandoned exclusivity for the Harry Potter series. You can now purchase the ebooks directly through Amazon and B&N.
    
Sandra  :Phillip K. Dick Award Nominees
    
Stephen: A new Joe Abercrombie short story edited by the new guy at Tor.com
    
Nokomis.FL: Amazon Echo can now read your Kindle books aloud on request.
    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
    
Josh: You guys may have dug this up already, but this short story is what Valente expanded/altered to create Radiance.  It's free on Clarkesworld, and even has audio of her reading it!

On one hand I really want to read it, on the other it might be spoilery, so I'll probably save it til I've finished the book.

Is this a good book or is it merely an impressive example of the writer's art?
    
It seems like the basic argument of a lot of the book is that there's no such thing as nonfiction? ...But then I wonder if there's a second, subtler argument going on, that not only is nonfiction a lie, but fiction is the only way to truth.     
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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 - #241 - A.I. Animal Flesh Carvers

We talk to three of the leaders in the Inkshares Sword and Laser collection contest. From animal people to lonely AI to epic flesh carvers have they got some stories for you!

Download directly here!

Joseph Asphahani, The Animal in Man    
An artifact of immense power puts Maxan in the middle of a secret war between mighty guilds. To overcome the resourceful and sinister masters who would use him, use everyone, as puppets, he must decide which nature defines him. Animal, or man?
    
Matt Sobin, The Last Machine in the Solar System    
The story of The Last Machine in the Solar System is about a robotic artificial intelligence that has outlived human civilization by multiple billions of years. The machine has had an incomprehensible length of time to consider the demise of man and his own existence.
    
Craig Munro, The Bones of the Past
Life twisting magic, demonic possession and immortals who have outlived many of the gods themselves come together in this epic fantasy inspired by the likes of Glen Cook and Steven Erikson.
    
Go order a book at the Inksahres contest!
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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 - #240 - Wish We Were There

Over the break, we took a little time out of vacation to talk about our holiday reads, from ancient history to Chewbacca. Sigh. No Star Wars spoilers we promise.  We’re not there anymore. But we can pretend we are in this episode. 

Download directly here!

The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
 

 

S&L Podcast - #239 - King Arthur is a Mary Sue

We wrap up our thoughts about Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey. And we discuss why calling a character a “Mary Sue” has become meaningless and impedes constructive conversation.  

Download direct here and rate us in iTunes!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    

Tom: Guinness    
Veronica: Bulleit Rye
    
QUICK BURNS
    
The Very Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Books Of 2015
    
Trike: Margaret Atwood is writing a graphic novel trilogy, with a main character who is part cat and part bird, named Angel Catbird.
    
David: Apparently Neil Gaiman is working on a film adaptation of Gormenghast. I'd never heard of this series, but apparently it's one of those classics that impact lots of authors.    
    
Keith: Lev Grossman wrote a guide to The Magicians (TV) for fans of The Magicians (book)
    
Paul: The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), has released their own speculative fiction collection, featuring Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and more.
    
Sandra: The Man in the High Castle Season 2 is officially happening.
    
Sword and Laser Inkshares Contest
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Tails of the Apocalypse - Veronica is reading this review copy, loves it so far!
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next Month    

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente    
    
Wrap-up Arrows of the Queen    
    
Typos in my edition
    
An abundance of feminist ideas?
    
AotQ: A rare negative review?
        
ADDENDUMS    
    
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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 - #238 - W.E.B. Dubois' 1908 GoT Reference

A newly-discovered short story from W.E.B. Dubois called “The Princess Steel” seems to anticipate elements of Game of Thrones and Doctor Who. Plus, we kick off the book with the talking horses!  

Download directly here, and rate us on iTunes!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Sam Adams Winter Lager
Veronica: Leftover Red Wine from Thanksgiving that I got at  Whole Foods for $10    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
We May Have Just Found W.E.B. Du Bois' Earliest Science Fiction Story (1908 story called The Princess Steel) 
    
HobbitfromPA: Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars Is Coming to TV    
    
READ: Kim Stanley Robinson's first standalone story in 25 years! / Boing Boing    
    
Tamahome: "The Mountain" from Games of Thrones sets new keg tossing record, as he would.    
    
Andrew: Pierce Brown has won the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Science Fiction Book of 2015 - huzzah!    

Goodreads choice award winners    
    
Walter: Opening in select IMAX theaters and on Netflix on February 26, the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.  
      
Sword and Laser Inkshares Contest    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Stand-Alone Fantasy Novels    

Getting to “The End.” Standalone Fantasy Books That Came Out in 2015   
    
Steampunk - Recommendations?    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey    
     
ADDENDUMS    

Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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 - #237 - Charles E. Gannon and Big Idea Books

Author Chuck Gannon joins us on the show this week to talk about his most recent work in the Caine Riordan series (Raising Caine), as well as helping the government figure out the future as part of SIGMA. This is one busy guy, let me tell you.

Download direct link here and subscribe in iTunes!

The Sword & Laser Collection Contest: The Sequel

The rumors are true! (Were there rumors? There may have been rumors). Along with Inkshares, we're running another Collection Contest to find the next great science fiction and fantasy novels. We are so thrilled with our current (in-production) collection, and we can't wait to see what else is out there!

Head over to Inkshares to get the whole scoop, and to learn how you can submit your idea!

S&L Podcast - #236 - Time Travel is Frustrating

We wrap up what people thought about Time and Again by Jack Finney. Some loved the imagery, some got bored, and some thought he was just too hard on New York City.

Download directly here, and subscribe in iTunes!
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Louie: As previously reported, you can watch the first episode of The Expanse TV show right now. Three weeks before its SyFy premiere on DEC 14.
    
Joanna: On a different note, it's Worldbuilder's time again, and all kinds of creative and geeky activity and prizes are caught up in that. It's a big fundraiser for Heifer International run by Patrick Rothfuss.
    
Stephen: Nebula have released their reader guide for 2015 in all categories. 
Sandra: Nominations For the 2016 Nebula Awards Are Now Open    
    
Which reminds us, the Goodreads Choice awards voting just closed!   
    
Sandra: Orbit Books announced yesterday that they were expanding their SF/F line by 50% next year to publish a whopping 90 books starting in 2016.
    
9 sci-fi authors went to Microsofts research labs and wrote a book - @usuallymatt    

An Unattractive Vampire joins the Inkshares Collection
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
How is this for whiskey nerdism (deep breath):

First, both Tom and Veronica are drinking whiskey. Scotch, bourbon, Japanese, Irish, Canadian -- they're all whiskey. It's like how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Each subdivision of whiskey has its own rules. Scotch, for instance, can only be made in Scotland. You can make something exactly like it somewhere else, but you can't call it scotch. And even within scotch, there are sub-sub-divisions (single malt vs blend vs single grain, etc etc)

As for Japanese whisky (let's not get into whiskey/whisky right now): Tom is drinking whisky from Japan's first whiskey distillery, pioneered by a guy named Masataka Taketsuru, who loved Scotch, studied distilling in Scotland, and in 1920 fell in love with and married a Scottish woman named Rita Cowan. He returned to Japan, set up whiskey distilling at what would become Suntory, and met with very little success because Japanese drinkers did not like the burly taste of single malt (they preferred the tamer flavor of blended scotch) that Taketsuru so adored.

Ten years later, after his contract with Suntory was up, Taketsuru quit and started his own distillery with the aim of making Scottish style whisky again. And that's what Veronica is drinking: Nikka.

There was recently a massively popular soap opera about Taketsuru and Cowan called MASSAN that aired on NHK and caused a massive spike in interest among Japanese women in becoming whisky drinkers. Which is why, Veronica, that Nikka 12 year old you're drinking won't be available in the Us (or Japan) anymore. They're running out, and dropping age statements so they can use younger whisky without the stigma of a young age printed on the label (by law, the age on the bottle reflects the youngest whisky used; so if you make a brand by mixing 50% forty year old single malt and 50% 4 year old single malt -- you just made a 4 year old whisky). - Keith Allison
    
Help needed from the group - Where to start the Shannara saga?   
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next month: Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey       
    
Wrap up:    
Time and Again by Jack Finney
    
1880s via the 1970s (long but worth the read) 
    
What did you think?
    
Joanna: I found it kind of sleepy until I hit somewhere around 60%, and the Pickering plot picks up. For most of the book I was wondering if the author forgot about the [fact that Dazinger had asked Si to see his parents meeting, but then it got addressed in the very end.    
    
Colin: I listened to the Audible version of the book, and have to say that I enjoyed the experience. I instantly felt 'at home' with the conversational story telling style and was quite happy to be swept along wherever the story went - listening whenever I could until I had finished the whole thing.

That said, the story is not hard hitting, nor does it try to address big issues. The mechanics of the time travel, don't really bear close scrutiny. It just is what it is - a cleverly plotted mystery where the action happens to be taking place 90 years in the protagonist's past. I can see why some people could have been frustrated by the overly descriptive writing, but the richness of the text is really what sells the time travel aspect. The author must have researched it very closely - or he at least gives that impression."    
    
Matthew: I have to say other that other then the vivid descriptions of 1882 New York, I kind of hated this book. I grew to despise the main character, and in the last third of the book began to think of him as either, at best a well meaning idiot, or at worst self important anti-hero. After reading another thread, I see the Social commentary the author is trying to get at with the architectural changes of New York, and the anti-""ends justify the means"" style of government. However in the end I am left feeling dissatisfied.
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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.
 

 

"An Unattractive Vampire" joins the S&L Inkshares Collection!

Back when we launched the S&L Inkshares Collection, we were thrilled with the quantity and quality of the entries we received. For that first contest, we decided to pick two books that epitomized the concepts of "sword" and "laser" to us, and The Life Engineered and Asteroid Made of Dragons were those selections.

All the while, another book was flying up the contest charts, and capturing our hearts (and blood). An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel:

After three centuries trapped underground, Yulric Bile—the Curséd One, the Devil’s Apprentice, the Thousand Year Old Vampyr—has risen only to find that no one in this time believes he is a vampire. Werewolf, they call him. Zombie. Mummy. Lich. Vampires, he discovers, have become very pretty, very weak, and most disturbing of all, very good. He resolves to correct this disgusting turn of events, or at the very least, murder the person responsible. Aided by a vampire wannabe, the eight-year-old reincarnation of his greatest foe, and a host of ancient horrors as far from sexy as it is possible to be, Yulric journeys from lost subterranean cities to pink suburban houses, battling undead TV stars and his fear of cars, for the right to determine, once and for all, what it truly means to be a vampire.

I'm very happy to announce that An Unattractive Vampire is officially joining the S&L Collection on Inkshares! Jim is also a S&L listener, so we're extra excited to welcome him to the family. 

S&L Podcast - #235 - The Practical Effects of Mallory O'Meara

We interview Mallory O'Meara, producer and screenwriter for Dark Dunes Productions, about Yamasong: March of the Hallows, a movie about an automated girl and tortoise warrior, with puppets, Nathon Fillion’s voice and more. We also discuss her love of horror fiction, and how weird it is that her grandparents have a torture shack in the woods!

Download directly here!

S&L Podcast - #234 - We Think We Know How Game of Thrones Ends

George R R Martin will only say that Game of Thrones will end in a bittersweet way. We’re pretty sure we know what that means. Also Chinese Nebula Award winners and our first impressions of Time and Again by Jack Finney.

Download directly here, and rate us on iTunes!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom:  Hakushu
Veronica: Taketsuru
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Shocker: George RR Martin says Game of Thrones ending will be bittersweet
    
Winner of the Chinese Nebula Awards
    
Rob and Tamahome: New Star Trek TV show!
    
Tamahome: In non-Star Trek related news, Amazon opens its first brick n mortar bookstore
    
Alex: Looks like The Expanse will be getting a digital premiere starting November 23rd! 
Tamahome: Tamahome Tch. That's just what Captain Jim Holden would do, stream it to all the planets before its time.     
    
James: Philip Pullman's Dark Material trilogy is being made into a TV series. Hopefully they do a better job of it than the film as this is an amazing trilogy. 
    
Sandra: The 2015 World Fantasy Award Winners have been announced    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD

Interview with China Miéville

After my mention in episode 225 I will follow up with another reference to the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06mblgl
I listened live to the first 5 minutes and wanted to stay in the car. Luckily, I have it waiting with your podcast for me in the future :)

Paul B
 
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Time and Again by Jack Finney
    
T&A: Places and History
    
T&A: meta time travel observations

ADDENDUMS    
    
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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.

Kickstarter Hangout with Kai Herbertz

Lo those many years ago when we kickstartered a second season of Sword and Laser video, one of our backing levels promised a 30 minute hangout which the backer could choose to make public or not. Well after literally years of scheduling we finally got a chance to hang out and chat with Kai Herbertz. Big thanks to Kai for backing the season! Be sure to check out Kai's fantasy book and the anthology he's trying to fund on kickstarter!

Age of Torridan by Kai Herbertz

Anthology Project: Arcane Arts

S&L Podcast - #232 - Is This Book a Traitor To Its Genre?

We wrap up our October book pick, The Traitor Baru Cormorant. Some people find the hero less than heroic. Some people find the genre less than fantasy. So why did Tom like it so much? Is HE a traitor? Also a short story vending machine and why we're so jealous of Ann Leckie's good taste.

Download direct here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Templeton Rye    
Veronica: Rincon Del Tajo    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Winners British Fantasy Awards
    
This vending machine prints short stories to read instead of looking at your phone
    
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter play 'Cursed Child' is an official sequel
    
Mark: Ann Leckie posts her "10 Best Science Fiction Books" list at Publishers Weekly
    
Joanna: An "eARC" of Lois McMaster Bujold's latest Vorkosigan book, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is available on the Baen website
    
Trike: Apparently someone found a map of Middle Earth annotated by Tolkien himself, in an old book belonging to the original map illustrator of both LotR and Narnia. Turns out Hobbiton and Oxford are on the same latitude."    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
"Why Andy Weir needs to update his website," or "What short stories are you reading/have you read"    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next month: Time and Again by Jack Finney    
    
WRAP UP    
    
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson    
    
Is this book fantasy?  Veronica asks, you answered
    
What's the message? (full spoilers)
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser 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 - #231 - Can an Author Spoil Herself?

We have a delightful conversation with Catherynne M. Valente about decopunk, book awards, and why she fears spoiling herself about her own stories while she’s writing them.

Her decopunk book Radiance is out now!

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/. Download this episode directly here!

S&L Podcast - #230 - Reading Makes You a Better Person, Says Science

We cheer for Patrick Rothfuss winning the Hollywood game, jeer a little at Spielberg refusing to put a Delorean in the Ready Player One movie and peruse with careful academic curiosity a study showing the increase in empathy caused by reading.

Direct download here!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Bulleit
Veronica: Hendricks Gin and Tonic
    
QUICK BURNS

Rob: Patrick Rothfuss signed some kind of multi-media (Movie, TV And Video game?) deal with Lionsgate.

Louie: No Spielberg references in the Ready Player One film adaptation.

John: Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction. They tend to be more empathetic towards others.

Robert: Helene Wecker posted on her Facebook page that there will be a sequel to The Golem and the Jinni to be titled The Iron Season. It's a ways off but I think the wait will be worth it.

Stephen: One of the authors I suggested for future interviews was Jen Williams. Well, her books are now going to be available in the USA, via Angry Robot books. The announcement was made this week on Barnes and Noble's website.

BARE YOUR SWORD

Baby Brains, defined

On Spoilers & The Spoiler Tag

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson    
    
Is this the modern fantasy 1984?

Race, Culture, and Empire

ADDENDUMS    

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 Rewind: 'The Martian Influx' Redux

With the huge success of the film adaptation this month, we thought it would be fun to travel back in time to our interview with The Martian author Andy Weir and Influx author Daniel Suarez

If you're interested in picking up where that episode left off, you can follow this link to the Soundcloud page (audio should start at the 45:05 mark).

As noted, Patrons will receive this episode at no charge. Enjoy!

Download episode directly here.

FEATURED REVIEW: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Welcome to our Featured Reviews! In this series, we'll be highlighting book reviews by the S&L audience. If you want to submit a review, please check out the guidelines here! -Veronica

Review by Bryan S. Glosemeyer, original on Goodreads here.

"The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason."

The opening line of Neal Stephenson's new 'hard SF' thriller, Seveneves, is bound to go down as one of the great opening lines in science fiction. I'm sure it will soon be mentioned in the same breath as William Gibson's opening line to Neuromancer. "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

Seveneves: A Novel
By Neal Stephenson

So as you can see, the very first sentence packs quite a punch and the punches keep on coming. The clock is ticking till the sky itself burns for five thousand years. Will science and reason save humanity in the harshness of space? Or will politics and greed be our final undoing? Well, I won't spoil it for you, but if you are familiar at all with Stephenson's books, you'll expect very smart and very brave people try to save the world with their smarts and bravery.

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The premise is exciting and fun and the tension keeps ratcheting up and up. While this is most definitely 'speculative' fiction, he keeps the science grounded, yet fascinating. No artificial gravity, no warp drives, no energy shields. As usual, Stephenson does a great job of helping to make sense of the science for the average reader. But to do so means he does a lot of 'infodumps.' His books have always been high on the infodump quotient, Seveneves is even more so.

The book is divided into three parts, and I have to say I found the second act the most compelling, fast paced, edge of your seat reading. While there are smart people being heroic throughout the book, this is by far the most adventurous and heroic section.

I do have a few criticisms, and most of that has to do with character. Stephenson has never been one to dive too deep into his characters's inner worlds, but even so he could craft fleshed out, compelling and fun characters like Raz, Hiro, Jack Shaftoe. To be honest, I have to say that most of the characters fell pretty flat for me in Seveneves. I understand that the majority of them are scientists and engineers and they're not going to be the type to fall apart int an emotional mess when the shit hits the fan. But this is some pretty goddamn apocalyptic shit hitting the fan and I would expect even the coolest, logical engineer to have their emotions get hotter and go deeper than what we get here.

One character standout, though still lacking in the emotional depth I just mentioned, is the African American scientist/celebrity Doc Dubois. Any fan of Neil Degrasse Tyson won't be able to help but picture Dubois as Tyson. Even the speech cadences are there.

Again, without going into spoiler territory, the third act of this book was very reminiscent of Raz's quest in Anathem.

All criticisms taken into account, this is still a damn fun and exciting read. Fans of hard sci fi and doomsday thrillers are going to dig this a lot, I think.

Also, when I was reading it, I kept envisioning it not as a movie, but as a miniseries. With the right budget and enough hours to tell the story (5-6 hours I'd say) this would be awesome to see come to life on the screen.

BTW, I also made an online mixtape inspired by the book, especially parts one and two. You can check it out here!