S&L Podcast - #363 - Extremely Unbalanced

The Hugos have come and gone, and they were awesome. Audible's in trouble for speech-to-text. But they're right, it's an accessibility issue. Also, the publishers are right, it's a copyright issue! Tell it to the judge, both of you! Plus, we kick off our September pick, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.

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Iain: The Hugo Award for Best Novel goes to The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Hugo Award for Best Novella goes to Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells

The Hugo Award for Best Novelette goes to “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho

The Hugo Award for Best Short Story goes to “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow

The Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form goes to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Iain: Retro 1944 Hugos

BEST NOVEL: Conjure Wife, by Fritz Leiber, Jr. (Unknown Worlds, April 1943)

BEST NOVELLA: The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Reynal & Hitchcock)

BEST NOVELETTE: “Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” by Lewis Padgett (C.L. Moore & Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science-Fiction, February 1943)

BEST SHORT STORY: “King of the Gray Spaces” (“R is for Rocket”), by Ray Bradbury (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, December 1943)

TRP: I realise that this is not really the place to mention theatre productions but given the ""importance"" of the author is to this community I thought I'd mention it.

The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith in London is putting on an adaptation of Solaris by Stanisław Lem in October.

It is adapted by leading British (Scottish) playwright David Grieg and arrives after previous visits to Edinburgh and Melbourne (Australia)

The cast includes a certain Hugo Weaving (yes, that Hugo Weaving)

I know this is only of limited availability to the people who can get to London in October but I'm definitely not going to ""Lem"" this play. In fact I'm going on the 15th October."

Publishers are taking issue with Audible’s new Captions feature, introduced last month. The feature uses machine learning to transcribe spoken words into written ones, so users can read along while they listen to an audiobook. The issue, however, is that Audible is doing this based on audiobook recordings, which have separate licenses to physical books and ebooks. The company is not apparently obtaining the necessary licenses to reproduce the written versions of these works.

The lawsuit was filed by the big 5 publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster) along with Chronicle Books and Scholastic.

Shad: Stormlight Archive 4 is 50% done! There is an update on tor.com.

Mark: The Astounding Award for Best New Writer is the new name for The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer


@RMarpole says:

Shout out to @swordandlaser

Listening to this epic #SFF podcast led me to @BrianTMcClellan 's Uncanny Collateral which I really enjoyed and reviewed over on Fantasy Faction. If you want the latest SFF news then you need The Sword and Laser in your life!

@ScottPantall says:

@swordandlaser By the time I got to the end of Episode 361 had forgotten that @Veronica had promised to share the astronaut space pee song and I was very confused about what my podcast app was doing. Thanks for the laugh!

Veronica asked for some "what to read next" suggestions on Twitter, and here are some good ones:

@hoopmanjh says: far-future neo-Victorian space pirates? (and recommended Alastair Reynold's Revenger and Shadow Captain)

@wadebryanr says (after recommending V.E. Schwab): Well she’s basically written nothing but masterpieces so anything you haven’t yet read gets my highest recommendation.

@KeithDDale says: Have you read Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames? It’s fantastic!

@allofmyhopes says: Elizabeth Wein’s “Code Name Verity” and Jonathan L. Howard’s “Johannes Cabal the Necromancer” are my two go-to recommendation.

Also, anything by N.K. Jemisin, but I think you’ve got that covered.



Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Book Briefing

Sword and Laser interview with Rebecca Roanhorse.


The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang