S&L Podcast - #263 - When to Judge a Book by its Cover

We're excited about American Gods. We have mixed feelings about Time Traders. And we definitely understand why you might have to judge a book by its cover, but there's a good reason to try not to. Except in one particular case.

Download directly here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Tom: Hacienda de Chihuahua Tequila

Veronica:  Omission Lager

QUICK BURNS

Sandra: The nominees for the 2016 World Fantasy Awards have been announced!

David: Story Bundle is offering a selection of the best Japanese Science Fiction in their "Haikasoru Japan Sci Fi"" e-book bundle. Works include Ken Liu's Hugo winning story ""Mono No Aware"" and Locus Award anthology nominee "Hanzai Japan" among others. 

Paul: Renee Elise Goldsberry, of Hamilton fame, will play Quellcrist Falconer in the upcoming Netflix series ALTERED CARBON

Rob: Admiral Thrawn is being officially re-added to Star Wars cannon! Not only is going to be making an appearance in season 3 of Star Wars Rebels, there will be a new book coming out next year by Timothy Zahn simply called Thrawn.

Alex: Ann & Jeff Vandermeer just released an 1200+ page anthology containing 97 short science fiction stories, The Big Book of Science Fiction. The stories range from 1897 (H.G. Wells - The Star) to 2002 (Johanna Sinisalo - Baby Doll). They also cover the whole breadth of the genre of science fiction, space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, the New Wave, and more. Written by people like Ursula K. Le Guin, Cixin Liu, George R.R. Martin, Octavia Butler, Harlan Ellison, Jorge Luis Borges and so much more!

Thane: Chronicles of Amber is going to be brought to TV! I don't know if Kirkman is the right guy for it, but I'll certainly give it a shot. Roger Zelazny might just be my favorite author.

Iain: American Gods trailer wheee!

BARE YOUR SWORD

Have you ever judged something unfairly?

Membership to MidAmeriCon from Carrie!

Carrie, one of our wonderful Patreon backers, has offered to transfer her attending membership to MidAmeriCon in Kansas City, this August 17-21st. She can't make it, but wants to see another S&L member enjoy it on her behalf! 

I thought we could open it up to our Patreon backers first, so if you're a backer in good standing send us a message if you can make it! If we don't hear from anyone within the next few days, we'll make a post about it on the forums. 

Thank you for your generosity, Carrie!

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION

Mention August Book: The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

Wrap up:  Time Traders by Andre Norton

This was... slightly disappointing (Full Spoilers)

The Rules of Non-Interference?

Differences between the original version and edited 2000 version

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 - #261 - The Restaurant at the End of the Barnes & Noble

Looks like your old bookstore is getting into fancy dinners, plus the rise of book-based card games and how Time Traders proves you live in the wrong time. 

Direct download here!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Crispin Apple Cider    
Veronica: Omission Lager    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Lindsey: The Girl With All the Gifts trailer came out this week -- it looks really awesome and intense. The movie is premiering in September in the UK, no US distributor yet but fingers crossed!     
        
Terpkristin: Barnes & Noble is going to open what I can only imagine are going to be some reading restaurants: "Mr. Boire announced that Barnes & Noble would open four new concept stores in Fiscal 2017, complete with a new restaurant featuring an expanded menu along with a beer and wine offering. In addition to opening the first new store in Eastchester, NY, this October, the Company plans to open stores at the Edina Galleria in Edina, MN, at the Palladio in Folsom, CA, and at One Loudon in Loudon, VA."  
    
Silvana: Locus Award winners: Congrats Naomi Novik (best fantasy) and Ann Leckie (best SF)!
    
Terpkristin: There's a Kickstarter for a Mistborn board/card game. It ends July 20th, so those board game fans out there who also like Mistborn might want to check it out! 
    
Paulo: Seems that a series of books will be written about the Mass Effect universe before the next game is launched. The first one, titled Mass Effect Andromeda: Initation, will be launched next August and it was written by none other than N. K. Jemisin
    
Silvana: JK Rowling released the history of Ilvermorny magical school
Slytherin's wand! And there is a sorting quiz! I got Thunderbird (the adventurous one) 
    
Robyn: Ready Player One has started production! Yay!
       
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
July Book: Time Traders by Andre Norton
    
TTT: Differences between the original version and edited 2000 version
    
Notes on Andre Norton and Time Traders for Patrons

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 - #259 - The Adventures of the Giant Space Hedgehog

American Gods nails the casting, John W. Campbell Award nails the nominees, and we nail the true origin of the world of Updraft as we wrap up this month's book pick. OK, we're probably wrong about the hedgehog (but we do wrap up Updraft). 

Download directly here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Tom: Water

Veronica: Omission Lager

QUICK BURNS

Sandra: Here's the list of finalists for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Or as I like to call it one sci-fi book to rule them all.

Michele: Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy in American Gods - this show's casting is blowing my mind.

These First Images From Bryan Fuller’s American Gods Will Make You Weep With Joy

Sandra: Legendary composer John Williams will score the music for Ready Player One.

Trike: Tor's Fall books released. Cover pr0n!

Nokomis.FL: Ron Howard could be reuniting with his “Apollo 13” scribe Bill Broyles on the movie “Seveneves,” which would have Howard directing and Broyles adapting the script.

BARE YOUR SWORD

How would you read if you were told you were dying?

Frankenstein 16 June 1816

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION

July Book: Time Traders by Andre Norton

Wrapup: Updraft by Fran Wilde

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 - #257 - Shakespeare Was a Genre Writer

You may be surprised to learn Gillian Anderson's role in American Gods. You may be surprised that China did not previously have official SciFi awards. But you should not be surprised at all to think of Shakespeare as an SFF author.

Download directly here!

QUICK BURNS
    
Mark: Amazon's press release listing the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities across the U.S (500,000 residents or more). Seattle tops the list.
    
Silvana: Full transcript of the new TWoW chapter (Damphair) 
    
Dharmakirti: Grimdark Magazine has announced a Kickstarter effort (beginning on June 15) to fund an anthology called Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists that will feature contributions from the likes of R. Scott Bakker, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Deborah A. Wolf, Michael R. Fletcher and others.
    
Silvana: 10 Years of Temeraire contest in Naomi Novik's website
    
Rob: Patrick Rothfuss's charity World Builder will be doing its summer fundraiser soon, entitled "Geeks Doing Good". There is a bunch of cool nerd swag available, and he previewed some of it on his blog.  
    
Sandra: The Chinese Government is Setting Up Its Own Major Science Fiction Award
    
Robyn: Gillian Anderson has joined the cast of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods" to air on Starz. "Anderson will play Media, the mouthpiece for the New Gods, functioning as their public face and sales representative, by taking the form of various iconic celebrities. She lives off the attention and worship that people give to screens — to their laptops, their TVs, to their iPhones in their hands while they watch their TVs. Ever the perky spokesperson, and always in control, she spins stories in whatever direction best suits her." 
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Shakespeare and Science Fiction

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Updraft, Fran Wilde
    
Book Kickoff: Updraft by Fran Wilde
      
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 - #255 - Just the One Planet

We are excited for a new space opera from John Scalzi, not new but awesome Nebula Award winners, and we get teary-eyed over an A.I. as we wrap up Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora.

Download directly here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Jameson's
Veronica: Omission Lager
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Louie: Details on John Scalzi's new book (due out March 2017), a space opera set in a brand new universe, and the start of a new series.
    
Clyde:  Scalzi got another award -- a somewhat unusual one. Well deserved say I.
    
Silvana: Nebula Award Winners
    
Sean: The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch finally has an official drop date - September 22
    
Dara: NK Jemisin has set up a Patreon to help her quit her day job so she can focus full time on writing.
    
Louie: Spielberg wants your 3D avatars to appear in Ready Player One.
    
SporadicReviews: Audiobooks keeping publishing afloat
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Hi,
I wanted to submit to you my first album "Cadence" a cyberpunk concept album due out June 7th at neonshudder.bandcamp.com/album/cadence

It's a bit different from typical concept albums in that it's almost completely instrumental.  The actual story component is an included 100+ page PDF that contains chapters corresponding to each track on the album along with artwork to add even more life to the  story. The album itself is like a soundtrack to the included story.

It's a completely original cyberpunk story set on the fictional island of "Cadence." It follows a group of couriers/detectives who are hired to find the culprit of a series of high profile murders in the cyberpunk city of Cadence.

I also wanted to shoot you some download codes in the event that you do dig it and wanted to pass it around to other people or whatever.

-jhm

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next month: Updraft, Fran Wilde (Audible version)    

WRAP UP

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson
    
AUR: The Voting    
    
AUR: The last section? (Spoilerish)
    
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 - #254 - Wheel of Boobies?

Wheel of Time is getting a TV series and Veronica has one thing (well, more than one thing) that she expects to see. Would that make it the "boob tube?" (Ed. note -- Jesus, Tom... c'mon) Meanwhile we discuss how Aurora masterfully balances hard science and literary storytelling.

Download directly here!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Jameson's    
Veronica: Old Potrero    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Mark: SFSignal says goodbye
    
Sandra: The Wheel of Time Is Going to Be a TV Series After All
    
Serendi: George R. R. Martin commissioned a trompe l'oeil mural for his Jean Cocteau Cinema. It's finished, and it's gorgeous!
    
Terpkristin: Cheapass Games is doing a Kickstarter for the game Tak, the game that they played in Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles books.
    
Anne: Bookriot has compiled a list with 100 must-read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Female Authors
    
Tamahome: George R. R. Martin rap battles J. R. R. Tolkien on Youtube. Who's to say who won?
    
Sandra: Locus Award Finalists
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Afternoon, Tom and Veronica!

I know you've already mentioned on the podcast about the first -ever- Dragon Awards from Dragon*Con, but would you mind mentioning that all of the published books from the first Inkshares contest are eligible for that award?

An Unattractive Vampire - Jim McDoniel
Practical Applications for Multiverse Theory - Nick Scott & Noa Gavin
Ageless - Paul Inman
The Life Engineered - JF Dubeau
Asteroid Made of Dragons - by me

You don't need to buy a D*Con badge to nominate or vote, and it would be exceptionally cool to see any of us be nominated, let alone win. With horror I heard your announcement that you would be skipping Atlanta this year as i was looking forward to finally seeing your human faces, but if one of your books makes the cut - maaaaaybe reconsider?

If any S&L listeners have read the books and think they're worthy of nomination, here's a quick link: http://awards.dragoncon.org/

Thank you
Derek

    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson
    
Book details in Patreon
    
Coming Soon:
Hardcore Game of Thrones
    
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 - #253 - A Tale of Two Styles

The Hugos are out! We leave the drama to the side for this one and celebrate the novel nominees. But we didn't waste the drama... we just saved it for our evaluations of TV show and movie-based SFF books! We even brought a little to season our conversation about The Fifth Season and A Darker Shade of Magic. It's OK to like different styles of writing, folks!

Download direct here!
    
QUICK BURNS
    
John: The Hugo Finalists are out
    
Thane: Jerry Pournelle wins the Heinlein Memorial Award from the National Space Society.
    
Dara: Mark Rylance joins Ready Player One film adaptation (as Oasis creator James Donovan Halliday)
    
Rob: Bobbie Draper has been cast! (Frankie Adams. She’s been a local star in NZ for a while and played a variety of parts and is also an amateur female boxer. )    
    
Rob: Neil Gaiman is writing a 6 part mini-series adaptation of Good Omens
    
David: TOR.com has published a list of (Almost) Every SFF Adaptation coming to Television / Movie Theatres. Nice to see our current book selection on the list! (Along with several other S & L picks) 
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
"Hi Tom and Veronica,

In the most recent episode of Sword and Laser you dropped a hint that if any listeners were doing inkshares projects that we should drop a line to your email. I fit that description! :)

My name is Rue Lazzaro, and I'm currently working on Thunder in Marrow: A Weird Western Fantasy novel. What is a ""Weird Western Fantasy"", you ask? It's orc barbers, whiskey magic and demon slaying cowgirl mercenaries. If you or any of your listeners can spare the $10 for a preorder on inkshares, you can find ""Thunder in Marrow"" on Inkshares at https://www.inkshares.com/books/thunder-in-marrow 

Thanks for the plug if you're willing to help me out, and good luck to Pilot X making its next goal!

Rue Lazzaro"    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next month's book: Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson    
    
WRAP UP    
    
A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab    
Regarding White London, a small anecdote  
Book, or movie treatment?   
    
    
The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
The r-word" (I tried to avoid spoilers)
Subduction Recapitulates Orogeny
When Style is more than just Cool" 
    
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 - #252 - Andrew Mayne’s Magical Writing Secrets

Magician and TV star Andrew Mayne has managed to become a successful published author. How? Not magic. Well some magic. But magic isn’t required. Plus Tom loves his latest novel Station Breaker.

Download directly here!

Wordfire Press Humble Bundle to raise money for the SFF Writers emergency fund and Challenger Center for science education.

S&L Podcast - #251 - How Veronica Tamed Tyrion

Statistics dub Tyrion the main character of George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords and Veronica got to talk to him! Well, she talked to Peter Dinklage anyway, who plays him on the TV show. She reports back on his handshake and reveals what Arya Stark did to her. Plus, we kick off our April books!

Download direct here!
    
QUICK BURNS
    
FINALISTS: 2016 Aurora Awards
    
Here Are the Winners of the 2015 James Tiptree Jr. Award
    
Paul: "Statistical Analysis Has Revealed Game of Thrones' True 'Main' Character"

Veronica on the Game of Thrones red carpet
     
Joanna: Geek & Sundry is having a hard scifi contest on Inkshares.
    
Thane and Tamahome: DragonCon is announcing its own genre award
AND Nominations for the Parsec Awards are open
    
Tamahome: New Kindle with battery case coming
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Hi Tom / Veronica,

You may be interested in: ‘Philip K Dick Tweets’.  This will play out the entire life of Philip K Dick in around 600 tweets, over the course of about 6 months.
It’s starting off right now at:
 
http://twitter.com/DoAndroidsTweet
 
It is just for its own sake, there is no PR campaign or commercial affiliations etc.  I’m just a Philip K Dick fan who would like to share the story of his fascinating life.  I did the same sort of thing for Wittgenstein (http://twitter.com/WittTweets) and Oppenheimer (http://twitter.com/OppieTweets). 
 
Both of these projects attracted a huge amount of interest from people who told me they were really thankful they were aware of it and following it right from the start.  I would be massively appreciative if you could share the news of this Philip K Dick project, so that as many people as possible can enjoy it.  It’ll clearly appeal to any hardcore Philip K Dick fan, but I think any sci-fi fan really.
 
It’s very much based on Lawrence Sutin’s (1989) biography of Philip K Dick and I’ve attempted to make it as accurate as possible. I give more information here:
http://zephauerbach.com/pkd
So please feel free to share the link @DoAndroidsTweet.  If you have any ideas on how to publicise this project more, please let me know.
 
Thanks!
 Zeph Auerbach

---
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Vote on June's Laser pick

April Picks
A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab    
The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
 
 ADDENDUMS    
    
Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered Pilot X on Inkshares! On our way to the full publishing goal.
    
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.

GUEST POST: Ragnarok; It all begins with the end of the world

Guest post by W H H Baker

Norse mythology is unusual among the well-known sets of legends from antiquity in that it doesn’t have life carrying on as usual until the end of time. Instead, the world ends in a truly epic battle where the gods will descend from their lofty thrones and ultimately lose a bloody encounter with all the dark creatures which inhabit the world. The legend says that the world is then ravaged by natural disasters and reshaped.

Although a touch bleak, I found myself wondering what it would have been like to be left behind, after an event like that. I should probably explain why my mind was travelling in this direction. After university I spent a year in Beijing learning Mandarin. Through that time I could see photos of all of my friends moving forward with life on the other side of the world, which left me, perhaps understandably, feeling a little left behind myself. Given that the most significant characters meet famously bloody ends during Ragnarok, I decided that it would make more sense for the survivor to be someone a little lower down the divine scale.

Fortunately for me, Norse mythology has the Valkyries, shield-maidens who bring the souls of worthy warriors slain in battle to serve in Odin’s host. I imagined a battle hardened character cast adrift in an unfamiliar world, a cold and bitter heroine with unending ages ahead of her. The more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the character; so much so that I was convinced that she needed her own suitably epic tale, a true Viking saga. That was how Skjarla was born.

Inspiration strikes in the strangest ways sometimes. I was listening to my music, when the KT Tunstall song ‘Invisible Empire’ shuffled on and sparked everything going. Within the song are the lines ‘I wear a rusting crown, and I know this dynasty is falling’. I imagined the lost heir to a long since shattered kingdom, bound by fate to resurrect the forgotten dynasty. Every piece needs a villain, so I borrowed from another of the Norse myths, that of the hero Sigurd and the dragon Fafnir, Sigurd’s bloodline also gave me the dynasty I was looking for.

One of my favourite things about writing fantasy is that you start with a completely blank slate; whatever you want in there in terms of cultures, magic or monsters is fair game. I have found that one of the best things to do when writing fantasy is to start with a map, no matter how crude the artwork. For me it has two main impacts: 

  • Firstly, as I lay out the world or region, it helps me to think what cultures live where and how they interact. In the Rusted Crown, I have borrowed liberally from various periods of history, sometime directly, sometimes more as a starting point for a more fantastical version of reality. I was particularly happy with Romans who I based on the ninth legion who famously disappeared into the mists of Britain, and emerged from the spell which had bound them there when it was shattered by the remaking of the world.
     
  • Secondly, I find that it helps hugely with the flow of the narrative, knowing where your characters are and where they are trying to get to. I find that it helps me think more logically from their point of view, rather than just having them go as the crow flies.

Before I started writing, I realised that there could be an inconsistency between Skjarla’s character and the nature of the quest I was about to send her on. Skjarla wouldn’t just end up helping some penniless heir out of the goodness of her heart, there needed to be more to it. I ended up circling back to Fafnir, the dragon slain by Sigurd. A dead dragon on its own is not much good as a villain, so his servants would be trying to recover the teeth taken as trophies from when the dragon fell. With the dragon reassembled it could be resurrected, with suitably unpleasant consequences for the world. I didn’t think it would unreasonable for Sigurd’s heir to have one of the Fangs, and for Skjarla to want to protect it.

One side effect of dragons having a fairly substantial number of teeth, and those teeth being scattered around the world, was that Skjarla and her companions were suddenly going to be doing a lot of travelling, trying to prevent the dragon from being resurrected. As I plotted out the skeleton of how the tale would unfold, I realised that with all of the plot threads it meant that there were almost five tales within the overarching story. So I made the decision to devote separate books to each, rather than having the climax of each section lost within the book. Fortunately I have read a fair few fantasy series, so I hope that I have got the right balance between leaving enough left unsaid to make it compelling to read the second book, without it being so much of a cliff-hanger as to be downright infuriating. I leave it to you to judge if I have been successful.

About W H H Baker

William grew up in Hong Kong and the UK, before studying Natural Sciences at Durham University. He currently lives in London with his fiancé, Emily, and is training to be an auditor. William is also mad about rugby and spends much of his time with his head buried in a book.

About The Ragnarok Saga: The Rusted Crown

Ragnarok. The Norse world is ending. The Valkyrie, Skjarla, is cursed to survive the remaking of the world by the Dark goddess Hel. For centuries Skjarla wanders Midgard: monster slayer and mercenary, buried in grief and rage.

Four hundred years later, Skjarla finds herself in the small town of Lonely Barrow. There, hidden in the northern forests at the edge of the Haemocracy, she takes on a contract which proves more complicated than she could possibly have imagined.

Joined by the exiled heir to the New Roman Empire, a crusading Loptalfar and mercenaries running from their pasts. The Ragnarok Saga is a captivating journey which will test the very limits of love, endurance and courage.

For more information about the book please visit: http://www.austinmacauley.com/book/ragnarok-saga-rusted-crown 

S&L Podcast - #249 - Secrets of All the Birds in the Sky w/ Charlie Jane Anders

We’re joined by Charlie Jane Anders to wrap up her book, All the Birds in the Sky. Did you know Kevin has a secret history? What anime inspired Ernesto? These things, as well as all the winners of all the awards on this episode.

Download episode here!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Irish Car Fuse (Carolan's Creme and Jameson's)    
Veronica: James Pepper 1776 Rye    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Ramez Naam's Apex Is The Winner Of The Philip K. Dick Award  
Reminder: Hugo Award Nominations Close March 31st
WINNERS: 2015 Aurealis Awards    
WINNERS: 2016 Ditmar Awards
WINNERS: 2015 BSFA Awards
    
Louie: Andy Weir wrote fan fiction* for Ready Player One, and it is now canon. You can read "Lacero" here. Although, spoilers for Ready Player One.   

Joanna: The Warrior's Apprentice is being reprinted for its 30th anniversary. It came out June of 1986, which means that if you count from publish date, I'm only a week or so older. Considering that it's still my favorite all-time scifi series, this makes me happy. 
    
This episode of Sword and Laser is brought to you by Scott Sigler and his new book ALIGHT, Book II of the Generations Trilogy. Listen to an excerpt of ALIVE, the first book in the series, and watch the book trailer!


BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
BIG thanks to everybody who voted in the march madness tournament!    
    
A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab    
We'll kick them off in two weeks OR if you pledge $5 an episode at patreon.com/swordandlaser you can get the book briefing right now
    
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

ADDENDUMS

Tom has a book on Inkshares called Pilot X!    
    
Our show is made possible 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    
    

March Madness has ended in a TIE!

Four rounds, thousands of votes, and it came down to two: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

And then they tied

Supreme Laser explains:
There appears to be white smoke emanating from the chamber.... wait no I see black smoke too... and pink... and what is that? Violet? And fuschia? Oh that is definitely ultramarine. And now some russet... and hmm how did they nail burnt sienna smoke. Well it is burnt. I suppose that was easy. And forest green. Beautiful. OK so it's basically a unicorn farting a rainbow.

I'm consulting the great book of Empressal Emanations and Statistical Manual V and it says here......Both.

I guess we're doing both.

Veronica and I will start reading A Darker Shade of Magic since we've never done a book from Ms. Schwab before. And The Fifth Season will be the ALT read and our second Ms. Jemisin pick! We'll both make our best effort to read it as well and it will have its own discussion section for those who'd like to make it their primary book.

So there you go. Who could have predicted???

Thanks everybody for participating. This was a lot of fun and I'm glad most of you had fun with us. We'll definitely do it again! 

Thanks for playing, everyone! 

S&L Podcast - #247 - Parents Just Weren’t Understood

We're checking in on All The Birds in The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and why some people were put off by Patrica and Laurence's parents. Trust us, so were Patricia and Laurence. Also it's March Madness and we have the hot inside track on the April fantasy winner and how YOU can pick it.

Download direct here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Lagunitas IPA    
Veronica: James Pepper 1776 Rye Whiskey  
    
QUICK BURNS
    
An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel is out today!

Dharmakirti: Ian McShane has been cast as Wednesday in the American Gods adaptation for Starz. YES! 
    
Alex: Good news for everybody who like non-western science-fiction and fantasy (like me), several drool-worthy translations are being released this year. Among them are the final volume in both the Three-Body Problem trilogy and the Night Watch series. And the never before translated to english book by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, The Doomed city.
    
Joanna: Lois McMaster Bujold was interviewed by David Larson for the NZ Herald. A pull quote I found interesting: 
"The great game change came, of course, with Amazon's Kindle, and it's been huge. I now make as much or more - every month! - from my [totalled] e-sales as I used to make every six months from my paper sales. I have no idea how long this manna from e-heaven will last but it's holding steady at the moment."
    
Tamahome: Lots of books from Peter F. Hamilton this year (SF April Madness?), including the conclusion to the Commonwealth Saga (Sep. 27 in US)
    
SFWA Names Sir Terry Pratchett as Recipient of the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award
    
Philip K. Dick Award Nominees Launch New Website, Offer Cool Stuff
    
Tamahome: V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows Debuts at #15 on the New York Times Bestseller List
    
March Madness update
    
Vampire Secrets
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Dear Veronica and Tom,

In the acknowledgements for All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders says she will come to your house and act the book out with finger puppets if there are confusing or disliked parts. I think you should take her up on it for the wrap up.

Cheers,
Jenny Colvin

    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
    
Amy: I hate it, but I love it. I'm so confused!

Mr: Too self-aware
    
Michele:  Diversity and SJW themes
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
Congrats to the winners of copies of "The Life Engineered":
Adam G.
Mark M.
    
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 - #246 - The 34 Rules of Robotics with J-F Dubeau

We chat with J-F Dubeau, author of The Life Engineered, first book in the Sword and Laser Inkshares collection. Find out whether the thousand year old robots in the book had any real life inspirations and whether they have sex. We're guessing you're slightly more interested in one of those questions than the other. 

Download direct here!

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.