S&L Podcast - #229 - Taylor Swift is a Fremen

We wrap up A Canticle for Leibowitz and explore all its science and religion feels. Also we welcome a new Expanse series cover, a new Gaiman baby and we discover why Taylor Swift IS the Kwisatz Haderach. 

Download direct here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Water    
Veronica: Vitamin B12    
    
QUICK BURNS

Shelfie Is Shazam For Your Bookshelf
    
SporadicReviews.com Next Expanse novel "Babylon's Ashes" cover-reveal! June 2016 is too far away!
    
Rob Secundus: Maybe not worthy of a segment, but alt-country/rock singer Ryan Adams just released a cover album of noted pop star and possible escapee from the realm of the fey Taylor Swift's 1989. Why does Adams think the T-Swiz is so succesful? Well, she's just like the Kwisatz Haderach!

Ryan Adams said, “There’s that special, very interesting ingredient where you hear a skeleton of the song, just the bones, and her voice, and you go, 'Well, of course, this person plays to 60,000 people.’ It’s like at the end of Dune, with Paul Atreides riding the Sandworm, and his eyes are all blue from the spice mélange. That’s totally how I see Taylor.”
    
Andy: Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer welcomed their child Anthony Gaiman on September 16th! 
    
terpkristin: So long, Oyster! The "Netflix of ebooks" is shutting down, and most of the team is apparently going to join Google. The co-founders were definitely hired by Google, but it seems that a bunch of the staff may have been, too. Will be interesting to see what Google does with this...if anything.    
    
terpkristin: Storybundle.com is doing a bundle of 11 books that were finalists or winners of the Philip K. Dick Award (honoring distinguished science fiction). It will be going on for the next 22 days, or until about mid-October. 
    
Warren: Scientists have for the first time confirmed liquid water flowing on the surface of present-day Mars.
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Hello!

I do my own podcast about games, gaming etc, recently there's been a metallic twang to the far end when recording our sessions via skype.

The sound in your podcasts is always superior. If its not terribly intrusive could you tell me what software you use to teleconference and record.

Thanks in advance.

Brian

---

Ok, I'm sorry for this kinda silly question. My wife and I have noticed that a few recent SF/Fantasy novels have been using the word "sussurrus" and its other forms quite a lot. Rothfuss, Tregillis, Scalzi, and Graedon for example. We always tell each other when we encounter the word in a book or story and say "Gotcha, page XX!"

Is there some kind of inside joke being shared among the author community, or a ritual use of the word, maybe an homage to someone?

I hope bringing this up doesn't squelch or make anyone self censor, not our intention. Just chasing a silly phantom.

Thanks for your great site and podcasts!
Mike

    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next month: The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson    
Quiz to tell you who you are in Baru's world    
How Evil SFF Empires Create Ideal Citizens    

Wrap-up

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. 
    
Rachel [Spoilers]
    
ACFL: What to make of the crazy ending?

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.
    
 

FEATURED REVIEW: The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

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 Emily Carlson

The Low-Down:    

In a multiverse where magic is the product of the rise and fall of three celestial bodies, things can get a little complicated. Characters’ power waxes and wanes with the movement of these satellites, but the world seems to have reached a balance. However, that balance is shattered when the fourth, dark satellite – Oma – begins ascending. Oma, the Worldbreaker. Last time Oma rose, continents were literally torn in half by its power, and it seems that this generation will be no different. 

The Mirror Empire follows Lilia, a girl from a dying universe with an amber sky, as she is hurled into a new and thriving universe in escape from the dark forces gathering in her amber world. But Lilia is far from safe in her new blue-skied universe because the armies she fled haven’t given up the chase.


Key Themes:

Genocide, multiverses, TRULY NOXIOUS WEEDS, gender and sexuality, mystical orphans, THE DOPPLEGANGER, celestial bodies (wink, wink), BLOOD


What’s Good:

Hurley has bitten off an awful lot with her ambitious Mirror Empire. And for those of us who are bored with a linear and predictable narrative, this is a very good thing. Hurley seems determined to supplant nearly every fantasy troupe, even down to her five-gendered social structure with group marriage and funerary cannibalism. These bold rejections of what we take for granted in our own society are illuminating in Hurley’s hands. 

Take for example the thirty-something, war-hardened general returning home from her tour abroad to her teenaged, undereducated, ornamental husband. On one hand, this seems very familiar to fantasy fans (Drogo and Daenerys, anyone?). But on the other, it is completely unexpected and frankly, appalling. Readers might swoon at the scenes of Drogo and Dany together, might even excuse the some of the harsh treatment that Dany receives from Drogo. However, when the general dominates her husband and when we see how isolated he truly is, it’s harder to wear those same rose-colored glasses. 

The result is a novel that is challenging, though inducing, and at times shocking. But very much worth the time of any fantasy reader ready for something different. 

What’s Less Than Good:

Hurley has bitten off an awful lot with her ambitious Mirror Empire. What is this novel’s greatest strength can be its most frustrating weakness. Switching characters, universes, and social structures can be very confusing. Hurley pulls it off with a surprising amount of ease, but readers can still get lost easily. 

Furthermore, although Hurley is making wonderful strides towards fulfilling the potential of the unique world she created, only time (and more novels) will tell if Hurley is able to pull this off with the finesse demanded when an author deviates this much from reality. In my mind, the farther an author strays from reality, the heavier the burden is to make all of that mental strain worth our while.  


The Final Verdict: 

Maintain focus. If you can do that, The Mirror Empire is definitely worth the read. But for those of us who don’t want to leave a book with a pounding headache (I mean… not really, but you get it) this may not be the novel for you. The world Hurley creates is rich, engaging, and completely surprising. It is worth the effort the novel will require from you, but know that this is not a mindless read. So much of the world in this book is utterly new that it is bound to leave most people feeling a little star-struck. 

The world Hurley builds takes on a personality of itself, much like another character you are getting to know. It would be easy for the human characters to fade into the background of the novel and let the newness of the world stun readers. However, the characters in the novel are utterly profound. They are likable and revolting in turn, but in a way which reminds us of our own little green planet with a blue sky. The true wonder of this book is not the differences Hurley creates between her worlds and ours, but the similarities. Somehow, Hurley has managed to create a story where even with a radically different reality to ours, we are able to relate to and care about her characters. 

If you’re willing to go the extra literary mile, Hurley promises to deliver even more mind-blowing confusion in the upcoming Empire Ascendant dropping in October 2015. 

S&L Podcast - #228 - Is Present Tense for Baby Brains?

This week, things really go nuts when Veronica realizes that she likes Tom's book pick more than Tom does, which causes Tom to question everything he has ever known. Meanwhile, over on Goodreads, Thane questions whether present tense is the bane of genre fiction! Hmmm...

Download direct here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Yorkshire Gold Tea
Veronica: Candy Peaches (eating)

QUICK BURNS

Thane: Looks like BBC is doing The City and the City. A 4 part adaptation. The City & the City

Tamahome: I didn't know Octavia Butler's Dawn would be adapted to tv either.

Trike: Amazon is saying the first season of The Man in the High Castle will be available November 20, 2015. If you haven't seen the pilot, I highly recommend it. And I'm known as The Guy Who Hates Everything. (Which isn't true. I only hate MOST things. But this I love.)

Jason is referring to Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti, when he says:  I just found this tidbit on tor.com. This sounds exciting, the novella is read by Robin Miles and she worked closely with the author to get the right sounds and inflection to world build. Here's the synopis: "Binti is a brilliant young woman who is the first of the Himba community to be offered a place at the galaxy’s finest institution of higher learning." There is also a spooky race of bad guys.  Has there ever been a collaboration with an author to make a book sound right? "    ---(Tamahome found the Tor link)  

Stephen: Mark Lawrence has started a new story on Wattpad. It is a free western fantasy told in 19 parts.

Elizabeth: Turns out Uprooted may contain True Facts: io9. Medieval Skeleton Found Dangling From the Roots of a Fallen Tree.

BARE YOUR SWORD

Present Tense - Can you dig it? 

Epic Fantasy with Romance?

---

Dear Tom and Veronica,

I recently stumbled across a super-rad book from the University of Pennsylvania Press, ER Truitt's Medieval Robots, and I thought, what could be more Sword and Laser than that? I mean, ok, Space Dragons, maybe, and also actual laser swords. But still, Medieval Robots are probably the third most sword-and-lasery thing in existence. The title sounds like that of a really generically titled pulp, but it's actually a survey of automata in the Western Medieval world-- the fictional robots that feature in Medieval Romance and legend, the pseudo-fictional robots that feature in travelogues (turns out, the Middle East? Filled with robots!), and real, historical robots that were installed as curiosities in courts. Anyway, it's so rare that nonfiction stuff is relevant to the show that I thought I should share.
Rob S. 

---

I recently started listening to NPR's Ask Me Another, where Jonathan Coulton is the house musician, and heard one of their older episodes. On their July 31, 2014 show, Saladin Ahmed was a guest. This reminded me of your Bonus Interview with Saladin in 2012. I have not seen a video of Ask Me Another, so we cannot be sure whether Saladin/Jonathan are one person, but we do know that there is proof that they have been in the same place at the same time.

In case you have the time, I have included a link to that episode. The clip in question is "Can't Place the Place Name."

Enjoy.

-John

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

ACFL: Walter Miller Jr.

A Science-Fiction Classic Still Smolders

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.

FEATURED REVIEW: Nemesis Games (Expanse #5) by James S.A. Corey

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 Robert Zak
Ed note: Review is mostly spoiler free, but reader beware!

Nemesis Games (The Expanse)
By James S.A. Corey

Executive Summary: Best one yet! I've always enjoyed this series, but I really loved this book. My only complaint would I don't have more to read! I can't wait for book 6.

Audiobook: Jefferson Mays is back! Huzzah! Don't get me wrong, he's not one of my favorite narrators or anything, but he is good. And the guy they got to replace him for book 4 was not. I was considering switching to text for this book if that narrator was used again. Thankfully I didn't have to. 

His accents for Avasarala and Alex are excellent as always. Everyone else isn't really anything special. He has good inflection and reads in a nice and clear voice. Hopefully they'll be able to get him for all the future books.

Full Review
The Expanse books have been a lot of fun since I finally picked them up last year. However I was starting to feel like maybe it was running out of steam.

I liked Leviathan Wakes and thought Caliban's War was even better. However I felt Abaddon's Gate and especially Cibola Burn weren't as good.

I've grown tired of the rotating POV's with new characters to follow around. Part of the problem is that Avasarala and Bobbie were so great in Caliban's War, everyone that followed was a disappointment.

Not only that, but they didn't really feature in books 3 and 4 and I think that's a waste. Thankfully that's been remedied in this book. While they aren't POV characters again, they do feature fairly heavily in the plot, albeit Bobbie moreso than Avasarala.

The other problem was I always found at least 1 or 2 of the POV to be less interesting than the others. The best part is that instead of forcing the readers to deal with some new characters they won't like as much, they chose to make the other 3 POVs the remaining members of the Rocinante. Not only do we finally get in the heads of characters I've come to love in the last 4 books, but we get more of their backstories as well, especially Naomi and Amos. 

In fact if you haven't read The Churn previously, I'd highly recommend doing so before this novel. I think you'll get a lot more out of Amos's storyline if you do. I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite plotline. They were all just so good.

So apart from excellent choice for POVs what really makes this book so great is the focus of the story. The stuff with the protomolecule in the last four books has been interesting, but this book mostly takes a break from that.

The tensions have long been bubbling between the three human factions of Earth, Mars and The Belt/OPA have finally come to a head. And just when I thought I was enjoying this book, BAM! It somehow got even better.

This is a very different story than last four. That may upset some fans, but for me it breathed new life into a series that seemed in danger of losing its way.

Some characters in this book made me so mad! Others made me scared or nervous. Just seeing Bobbie and Avasarala made me happy. I hated having to stop listening each day, and I couldn't wait to start listening again. 

To me that's the sort of thing that pushes something from a 4-star rating into the vary rare company of a 5-star rating. It also put it solidly on my favorites shelf. I will definitely be listening to this one again.

If I had one complaint it's that it's over! I can't wait for book 6! If you found yourself not as happy with the last book or two, I highly recommend giving this one a shot, I really think it's best one yet!

S&L Podcast - #227 - Cherie Priest and the Caverns of Inspiration

This weekend at DragonCon 2015 in Atlanta, we had the great fortune of chatting with Cherie Priest for an hour in front a live audience of Sword & Laser enthusiasts! Listen in to hear Cherie's rise from goth to glorious, the proper way to distinguish steampunk from goth, and why Lizzie Borden is not who you thought.

Then go buy her books!
Download direct show file here.

Vaginal Fantasy x Sword & Laser!

This month, both of my nerdy online book clubs combined forces and chose the same book: Uprooted by Naomi Novik! You've already heard our wrap-up on S&L, but make sure you watch the slightly more unhinged episode of VF. We cover sexy times, casting, magical systems, and otter relations.

More of Vaginal Fantasy at our website!

S&L Podcast - #226 - Embrace the Manic Pixie Dream Witch

We’re happy for the Hugos, sad for the last Terry Pratchett novel, and J.R.R. Tolkien has a new book. Plus, we wrap up Uprooted by Naomi Novik and make our peace with a trope.

Download directly here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Yorkshire Gold Tea    
Veronica: Cab Sauv from Anderson Valley    
    
QUICK BURNS

Why the Hugos Matter
    
Final Terry Pratchett novel "The Shepherd's Crown' Goes on sale tonight in UK
    
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Story of Kullervo Will Be Published In October
    
Brendan: Has this been mentioned yet? Gollancz to publish "Sharp Ends", a collection of short stories from the world of the First Law by Joe Abercrombie. A mix of new and old short stories.  
    
Rob Secundus: Well the official trailer for the martian is up. I thought the headline of this polygon article was probably hyperbolic, but nope! The trailer literally spoils every major plot point of the book.     

Tamahome: Syfy Keeps Making Scifi TV Shows, Puts Frederick Pohl's Gateway in Development

Dara: SyFy announced premiere dates for The Expanse and Childhood's end. Via EW: "The Expanse will kick off with a two-night premiere event starting Monday, Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. ET and continuing on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. ET, before moving to its regular Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET timeslot for the remainder of its 10-episode first season.

Warren:  The BBC audio drama version of The Foundation Trilogy (Public domain) Its about 7.4 hour long. I got the original unabridged audio book version years ago. Both versions are good.
 
Sandra: Mark your calendars! The Ready Player One film adaptation hits theaters December 15th 2017.     
    
Sandra: Caitlín R. Kiernan's Drowning Girl and The Red Tree Optioned For Film    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Tom I know you are a connoisseur of the BBC :)
BBC Woman Hour talking about SciFi and FanFic
-Paul B.


---

Greetings Supreme Sword and Supreme Laser,

First, I want to thank you both for all that you do. This group has introduced me to so many authors and books that I would have never found on my own. I've made friends with so many people in the forums and being able to connect with other geeky people has been such a joy. Thank you!

Now to my feedback... I think a Recommendations folder in the forum would be a great addition. People tend to post recommendation threads in the General and the What Else Are You Reading folders and that sometimes creates overlap or duplicate threads looking for the same types of books. It would help de-clutter the other folders and make it easier for members to post, search, and discuss recs. I figured that I would shoot my idea your way and you can do what you think is best with it.

Many thanks,
Dara

---

Tom and Veronica,
My story, "The Lesser Evil" was part of your Sword & Laser anthology. I wanted to send a quick note to let you know that the story is one of the finalists for the Washington Science Fiction Association's 2015 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction.

www.wsfa.org

Thanks for the opportunity!  :) 

Best,
Day

--- 

Peter V Brett & dice

Message: I was listening to episode #211 today while I walked (trying to catch up to current) and he lamented the fact that there were no 16 sided dice. There is a game called Dungeon Crawl Classic (by Goodman Games http://www.goodman-games.com/dccrpg.html) that uses dice that are non-standard including a d16.

-Jim H.

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next Month: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.    

 Uprooted by Naomi Novik    
    
Baba Yaga    

Slate, on the Dragon: "He’s like a fussy music theory professor forced to cut an album with an improvising jazz musician, but the resulting music is better than either could make separately."    
    
Uprooted: Manic Pixie Dream Witch    
    
 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 - #225 - Why You Should Welcome the Robots

We chat with J-F Dubeau, author of The Life Engineered about why we should keep calm and build more robots. Also the good news of more Game of Thrones coming to TV thrilled the live audience at Nerdtacular 2015 as did our surprise host-swap! And thanks to Matt Avery of The Tadpool for the album art inspiration, and Greg Skinner for the original photo!

Recorded before a live studio of nerds, and thanks to Jeff Cannata of We Have Concerns for joining in! Download link here.

QUICK BURNS
    
Sandra: Game of Thrones news HBO Planning Eight seasons now, and maybe a prequel season?   
    
Paul:    Didn't want to start a whole thread for this but I took my wife to 
Barnes and Noble for fan girl Friday and they were giving away free 
copies of Drive...the Expanse prequel short story to advertise the 
upcoming TV show. If your interested its worth it to add to your collection check if they have it at your local store.
 
Interview     
J-F Dubeau author of Life Engineered      
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next Month: Uprooted by Naomi Novik    
Uprooted by Naomi Novik official site
 

S&L Podcast - #224 - Scott Sigler Keeps Us Alive!

Scott Sigler’s Alive is out, and even though he didn’t mean it as Young Adult fiction it’s turned out that way. And even though he didn’t mean it to be Science Fiction, it’s turned out that way too! Find out why this all happened and why he’s happy with all of it.

ScottSigler.com

Get the Alive audiobook for free on YouTube.

S&L Podcast - #223 - Why Station Eleven is Horror AND Science Fiction

This week we congratulate several more authors on TV deals, one author on getting to write more movie books, and another author on having too many potential movie deals. We also come to the conclusion that Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is all the genres.


Download direct here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?  
 
Tom:Yorkshire Gold Tea
Veronica: Sorta sour red wine    
    
QUICK BURNS

Sandra: Del Rey books has announced Chuck Wendig will also write two more books in the Star Wars series, further bridging the gap between the original movie trilogy and the new one coming in December.
    
James: Shannara Chronicles trailer has been released.    

Nick: Warner Bros., MGM and Lionsgate are among a group of studios locked in a heated bidding war for Patrick Rothfuss' mega-best-selling fantasy novel The Name of the Wind, book one in The Kingkiller Chronicle series.     
    
Andy: Third episode in the Max Temkin/Pat Rothfuss podcast dropped this morning, featuring a lengthy discussion from Pat himself about that bidding war for the film adaptation of The Kingkiller Chronicle everyone was buzzing about at SDCC. Check it out! Could I love this man any more? Ask me when "The Doors of Stone" hits the shelves in 2016.    
    
Ethan: Jim Hines is quitting his job to write full time. If you haven't read anything of his, pick up Libriomancer - a quick and fun urban fantasy - this series is up there with Dresden for me. 
    
Sandra: Here's the Nominees for the 2015 World Fantasy Awards. Three Sword and Laser book picks are up for best novel (The Goblin Emperor, City of Stairs, and Area X:The Southern Reach Trilogy). Chances are good for another Sword and Laser winner. 
    
Mark: British Fantasy Awards 2015 nominees include City of Stairs (fantasy) and Station Eleven (horror ???). One of the film/tv episodes nominated is Under the Skin, one of the oddest movies I've ever seen. 

BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Long time listener first time caller. I noticed you’re piicks links to amazon and was wondering do you guys have a straight link that would give you guys credit for any purchases? I could guess but looking at what’s the same but would rather be sure so you get credit. Wife’s a prime member and we are both pretty good Amazon customers. If I could use a link to help you guys out some more, all the better. You guys just missed my PS4 purchase.

Thanks again for doing the show and consider this a performance review for the year. “Exceeding expectations”

One of the 500 patrons peeps (number as of now) :o)

Michael

---
    
Yes/No/Maybe!

You know, Veronica? You're in excellent company; over here in Trondheim that yes/noing is a thing we've been doing since the dawn of time (or as long as I can remember, and who's counting)*. And funny thing; when listening to Among Others (thanks to you guys), I got a smile out of hearing that vocal quirk described as a characteristic of the North Welsh dialect. So throw away your embarrassment and embrace your expressionistic ambivalence!

(And it generally doesn't mean either yes, no or maybe; it's just a bit of verbal padding to to keep the thought in place until you shoot your mouth off ;)

Fredrik
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next Month: Uprooted by Naomi Novik    
    
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel    
    
Details matter    
    
Reminded me of Cloud Atlas    
 
ADDENDUMS    

Scott Sigler hangout Friday at 5:30 PM!!    
    
We'll be at Nerdtacular 7/31 at 4:30 PM and at DragonCon in September!    
    
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 - #222 - Neil Gaiman Writes All the Things

We have an eyewitness report from the ALA conference in San Francisco, our initial thoughts on Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and Neil Gaiman will write some episodes for the American Gods TV series. Thank American Gods!

Download direct here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Hendricks Gin and Tonic    
Veronica: Boonville Bite Hard Cider    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Kenley: The American Library Association held their annual conference in San Francisco this week. 25,000 librarians descended on Moscone. The event included a Tor panel with Vernor Vinge, Greg Bear, John Scalzi, Marie Brennan and Larry Correia.     

And Ulmer Ian says: "Just came from the Tor panel. Not much interaction between panelists so no barns were burned. Was great to see Vinge, I'm a long time fan. Marie Brennans talk about what books show we miss from current technology was particularly fantastic. 

In quick burn news: S&L pick and Nebula winner Goblin Emperor won best fantasy novel for the Locus Award. Be an S&L pick, win all the awards. "
    
Ulmer Ian: Ancillary Sword wins Locus best scifi novel.    
    
Alex
Neil Gaiman is going to write multiple episodes of American Gods for Starz. That makes me SO much more excited than it probably should.  
    
Joanna - There's a wonderful interview of Lois McMaster Bujold

It really dives into her process and what inspired her. It also highlights why the Vorkosigan Saga is still my very favorite scifi series. Namely following how culture follows technology and the development of great characters over time. 
    
Alex - Patrick Rothfuss and Max Temkin (one of the Cards Against Humanity guys) have started a podcast, and it needs a name   
    
Andy - The final novella installment to John Scalzi's "The End of All Things" was released.    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    

---
"Hi Veronica and Tom, 
We are in San Diego at WesterCon! We had a good reads/ S&L coffee klatch this morning. Thought of you two. It was great fun and we met some new S&L pals. Here's our pix. Hope all is well with you both. 

Best, Melisa from SF "    

---
    
    
"Dear Tom and Veronica, 

I happened to catch Tom's "book haul" video and I enjoyed it. What a 
great idea! 

That tall stack of books behind Tom got my wheels turning and here's 
what I think you should do: you should send them to listeners who agree 
to review them. I don't know what the rules are, exactly, so maybe you 
can't do it that way, but I think you should be able to publish the 
reviews on the website, can't you? I know you've published some 
listener-written reviews. 

The benefit of this vs. just giving them away at events is two-fold: the 
author gets a review out of it, which is why they sent it to you, and 
the Sword and Laser community gets to find out if these books are good. 

You'd have to come up with a way to decide who gets which book, but you 
can do a drawing or something? Does the Patreon funds give you enough to 
cover the cost of mailing these out? If not, asking listeners to pay the 
shipping cost would ensure they'd be invested enough to definitely write 
a review. It would still be cheaper than buying the book. 

Love the show! 
Beelissa "    

---    
"Hi Guys.

Love the podcast. This may be a little off-topic, but you're two erudite people, so I'm hoping you can  help.
Veronica, last podcast I heard you agree with Tom by saying ""yeah-no"" and then going on to say why you agree with him so much.
Can you help me understand why I'm hearing this more and more, all over the place. It's no longer just a simple yes, or no, it has become ""yeah-no"" or ""no-yeah""  
WTF? Why?
Will there be a new word in the dictionary soon, ""yeah-no"" ?
This drives me almost as crazy as hearing the word ""literally"" used incorrectly all the time now.
Ugh.

Keep up the great work on the podcast.

Darren"    Yeah, no
Yeah-no, controversial since 2006    
    

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel    
Emily Mandel's website    

Station Eleven > SE: Literary crossover? (please tag 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 - #221 - From Authors to Hollywood Moguls!

Ellen DeGeneres is apparently interested in adapting Naomi Novik's Uprooted as a film. But, we all know there's a long road from "interest" to "released." Just ask Neil Gaiman.  The good news is Gaiman's American Gods is finally green-lit for TV! So there's hope. Unless you're a god from the Continent! More about that as we wrap up The City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett.

Direct download link here.

QUICK BURNS
    
2015 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards Winners    
    
Ellen DeGeneres To Produce Naomi Novik's Uprooted    
    
This Year's Science Fiction Hall Of Fame Inductees Are Legends    
    
David: Hyperion being made for TV
    
Robert: Only a few days after the trailer was released, Fox has moved up the release of "The Martian" from November 25th to October 2nd. That's nearly two months!    

Daniel: Andy Weir did a spontaneous AMA  
    
Clyde: Shepherd's Crown will be the last Discworld novel. Rhianna Pratchett tells fans: 'I don’t intend on writing more Discworld novels, or giving anyone else permission to do so. They are sacred to dad.' 
    
SporadicReviews: American Gods TV series greenlit
    
Andy: SyFy slipped in a second trailer for "The Expanse" via their YouTube channel. Initially, it seems identical to the first trailer, but there are a few scenes scattered throughout which are not in the original. It looks amazing. 
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
I'm fairly certain I'm doing this wrong but hey at least I'm doing it. I was wondering if you have read the Adventurers Wanted series by M.L. Forman? if not it would be Awesome if you could showcase his first book Slathbog's Gold on your show. he has 4 books out and the 5th is on the way but he had a stroke last year and has been struggling with his writing and it would be Great if more people were made aware of his stories so they can show him support and encourage him to keep writing! thank you and I hope you are having a Great day.

P.S. just because he is my all time favorite Author you should read Saxon Andrew if you haven't already, all of his books are Awesome!!!

Dany

---
    
Hello.
I love the podcast and have been listening for a year or so now.

I have tried writing my first novel but was informed by a friend that the world I had created, had the same mechanics as the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell.

The plot was completely different but the way ships moved and fought were similar. I read some of the books and they were brilliant. (Very unique! Very different to normal space books)
Thus ended my writing career and my dreams.

My question is. How long (if at all) should I wait to write again? The ideas won't leave me but I don't want to be seen as plagiarizing someone's work!
When can a revolutionary idea be used by others in their own unique way?

Thank you for your time.

From a sad and confused fan
Turner Davis.

P.S. keep up the brilliant podcast.

---
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett    
    
CoS: Vohannes (full spoilers)    
    
Next Month: We'll read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel        
     
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 - #219 - We Make People Win Nebula Awards-- Maybe.

First off we now have a 100% record picking Nebula-award winning books for the club. That’s 100% of the last two years. So take note Nebula-wanters! Also we’re very excited about a new series from University of Illinois Press called the Masters of Science Fiction. You can find out William Gibson’s secrets!

Download direct here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Snowdrift: Orchard Select Hard Cider   
Veronica: Bulliet Rye    
    
QUICK BURNS
Ian: Sword and Laser pick Annihilation won Best Novel Nebula!

Joanna 
In 2013, the University of Illinois Press launched a new series of scholarly books: The Modern Masters of Science Fiction, a series dedicated to studying the men and women who shaped modern science fiction literature.

Nick: The Martian first teaser trailer/clip
    
John
IDW Publishing teases comic project with William Gibson
    
David H.
Chaz Brenchley won the Lambda Award for Bitter Waters for Best LGBT SF/F/H Book (it's a collection).

    
Brendan: Goodnight Dune

Sky 
Stealing Rob's post from another group that shall not be named - New Riyria Chronicles book and chance for bonus goodies like awesome t-shirts. Due to various deadlines, Mr. Sullivan has decided to self-publish the 3rd Riyria Chronicles book and is doing a Kickstarter.    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD

I am new to the Sword & Laser podcast and just really podcasting in general. It's amazing to find a medium where similar interests are explored and expounded upon. Having said that, I'm slowly catching up from earlier podcasts on Sword & Laser but upon listening to the Elizabeth Bear author spotlight I learned that your a fan of Grimdark (Abercrombie). I'm a huge fan of the genre and have read and found the following authors/books truly fascinating: Abercrombie (First Law), Heroes, Best Served Cold, Brent Weeks (Night Angel), Brian McClellan (Powder Mage Trilogy), Brian Staveley (Emperor's Blades), Luke Scull (Grim Company), and most recently Mark Smylie (The Barrow) which was amazing but yet found certain parts uncomfortable to get through. Right now I'm reading Marc Turner's (When The Heavens Fall).

Based on your experience with Grimdark and the Fantasy genre and what I have been reading, I was hoping you could shed some light on some other author's and their books that would fit the mold of what I am currently reading.

I'm really looking forward to what you have to say. Thank you so much for your time. Hopefully I'll be able to get up to speed on the podcast shortly enough. Thanks for your time.
Best,
Paul

--- 
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett    
    
S&L Podcast - #192 - Sexual Experiences with Robert Jackson Bennett    
    
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.
    

SWORD & LASER AT THE BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL IN BERKELEY!

SWORD & LASER AT THE BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL IN BERKELEY!

S&L Podcast - #218 - Why There's No Such Thing as Writer's Block

Peter Orullian wears many hats. He is an author, musician, and has worked for many years at Microsoft on the XBox team. Today we talk about his series The Vault of Heaven, get the scoop on his all-time favorite music, and hear why Peter believes there is no such thing as writer's block.

Download direct link here!


The debut of the Sword & Laser Collection

As you may have heard on the podcast, we launched a contest on Inkshares last month to find the debut novel for the Sword & Laser Collection. This novel would be published by Inkshares with the S&L imprint, the author would get an interview on the show, as well as writing advice from Gary Whitta!

Well, the time has come, and the news is out!

Congrats to both of our winners, JF Dubeau and G. Derek Adams! You can pre-order and follow their books, and stay tuned for their interviews on the show!

Of course, a huge congrats to ALL of the top six finalists, who will also have their books published. 

S&L Podcast - #217 - Apply John Scalzi Directly to Forehead

We congratulate John Scalzi on his book deal (while Veronica teases about his Lock In Sequel’s title), applaud Ernest Cline’s choice of audiobook narrator and have polar opposite opinions about Leigh Brackett’s “Sword of Rhiannon.”  

Download direct here! 

QUICK BURNS
    
AndrewP - Just read on the Tor.com website that Tanith Lee passed away :(    

Joanna: Holy crap, John Scalzi just signed a $3.4 million deal with Tor for his next 13 books. Well, if he still thought that he hadn't "made it", he has no excuse for that, now. Given his blog, though, I don't think imposter syndrome was something he suffers much anymore, if at all. More details, including the plan of books.    

James (Observant Raven) The first trailer for The Magicians TV series has been released.    

Louie: Wil Wheaton to narrate the audiobook of Ernest Cline's Armada.    

James (Observant Raven) The trailer for Arthur C Clarkes Childhood's End tv series has been released.    
    
Astronaut reads 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' in space    

See a first look at Matt Damon in Ridley Scott's 'The Martian'   

Finalists: 2015 Aurora Award    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Are some stories just too old? Forgotten or unreadable by today's standards?    
    
Adding "Lemmed" as a shelf    
    
Just for fun - reviews of self-pubbed "bad" ebooks    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Next month: City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett    
  
WRAP UP    

Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett    
    

ADDENDUMS    
    
Inkshares promo! If you've heard about Inkshares on the show, and want to try it out, use the link: inkshares.com/secrets/swordandlaser

You'll get $10 in credits to back a book you'd like to read! If you've already created an account and have backed one of the S&L contest entrants, you've already received an additional $5 to keep the momentum going! So head over to the S&L Collection contest and back your favorites!" 
    
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 - #215 - Is The Magician’s Quentin Too Handsome?

Everything you’ve ever read seems to be coming to TV. Plus Veronica tries to uncover Tom’s secret political conspiracy, while Tom changes Veronica’s opinion of 1940s era swashbuckling.

Download direct link here!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar    
Veronica: Viansa Sonoma County Zinfandel 2009    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Campbell Award Finalists    
    
Locus Award Finalists
    
Tamahome: As the unofficial spokesman for the Arthur C. Clarke award, I'm here to inform you that Emily St. John Mandel’s post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven just won it.    
    
David H. :They picked up ""The Magicians"" as a TV series.

Sandra: It feels dirty to link a buzzfeed article, but they have an exclusive look at Syfy's adaption of ""The Magicians"" series.

Dara: SyFy and Amblin are making a Brave New World miniseries.
    
Dara: BBC America set a premiere date for the Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell miniseries. June 13th at 10pm.    

Brendan: Natalie Portman to Lead Alex Garland's Next Sci-Fi Film 'Annihilation'
Say hello the the Biologist. 

    
Daniel: The folio society (who I just bought and awesome edition of Dune from) are going to realease a special edition of The Man in the High Castle.

BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Hey T & V:

     Alright, I'm that guy.  I'm the guy that read the ""Song of Ice and Fire"" books years ago, and now is watching how the television adaptation is playing out.  I feel this brings up an interesting precedent.  Normally a film or TV version is based on novels (or in some cases the other way round).  But this series brings up an interesting paradox:

    If the Novel series were begun first, but the final TV episodes aired before the book series concluded, which one is CANON? 

     Normally we have one or the other to point to so we can say ""...well Originally this happened but in the film .... etc""  This will be hard to parse as an avid reader.

Love the sword swipes and laser beams,
Caliban

P.S.  Loved the homage to Terry Pratchett.

---

TSoR: Is this Tom's response to the Hugo Controversy?    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett    
Audiobook     
Used copies    
EBook (Under the name Sea-Kings of Mars)    
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
Inkshares Sword and Laser novel contest check-in    
    
Read an Excerpt from THE LIFE ENGINEERED by J.F. Dubeau    
    
Read an Excerpt of CINNABAR by Edmund Newton    
    
Read an Excerpt from ASTEROIDS MADE OF DRAGONS by G. Derek Adams    
    
Read an Excerpt of ROCKETS by Liam Dynes    
    
Our show is 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 - #214 - Discworld's Inner Rage

Rucksack Universe Author and Pratchett Enthusiast, Anthony St. Clair joins us to wrap up our reading of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. Is Granny Weatherwax a conduit for Pratchett's righteous anger? Does Tom live next to Nanny Ogg? All these mysteries and more revealed.

Download directly here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: The Dalmore 12 year old    
Veronica: Bulleit Bourbon   
Anthony: A delicious coffee stout of some description.
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Joanna:  It looks like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is going to come out soon. 7-part miniseries     

Clyde: A passage which was cut from A Wrinkle in Time has been found by Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughter and published by the Wall Street Journal.    
    
Tamahome: Don't know if you covered the Arthur C. Clarke award nominees. It's a juried award, different from the Hugo's, and different from Arthur C. Clarke novels as well.    
    
Dara: Gollancz acquires sequel to Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s A Meeting with Medusa, written by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter
    
Dara: Cover reveal for Charlie Jane Anders's debut novel All the Birds in the Sky was posted on Tor. Coming Feb. 2, 2016
    
Sky: Mark Lawrence (Empire of Thorns, Red Queen's War) has a new 3 book deal from Harper Collins for "Red Sister", this one featuring a female protagonist.
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Hi Tom and Veronica,    
    
Just wanted to drop a note quick and say that Tom I immediately thought oh man this is like Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy for fantasy too as I got into this book. It really has that same vibe and I also had no idea Pratchett's work was like that. Fun stuff.    
    
Also I am listening to the audio version and it appears to be an older recording so I could see why that has put some off but I am kind of enjoying the old school vibe.    
    
Thanks,    
Drew R.
 
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett   
Study guide
io9 Guide to Discworld    
      
Next month: Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett - discussion on how to obtain it in Goodreads.   
Audiobook
Used copies    
EBook (Under the name Sea-Kings of Mars)    
Wikipedia article    

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