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    

S&L Podcast - #213 - Our Thoughts on the Hugos

We're excited and fearful about a new chapter from George R.R. Martin's Winds of Winter, we're hopeful about new books from John Scalzi and Ann Leckie and we're just a little wistful and/or angry about the Hugos.  

Download direct!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Newcastle Brown Ale    
Veronica: Viognier White Wine    
    
QUICK BURNS 
    
Sword & Laser Collection Contest    
    
Sandra: Behold!  A new chapter from Winds of Winter    
    
Eleanor (via Steven): BBC Radio 4 have three sets of programs celebrating the work of Ursula Le Guin. 

Dara: Ann Leckie sold another Ancillary story to Orbit, to be published in 2017.     
    
Sandra: Cover Art and Release Schedule for John Scalzi’s The End of All Things Novellas

Paul: The Tiptree awards and for 2014 have been announced. 

People are dropping out of the Hugos    

Aidan -  Two Hugo nominees have been disqualified due to ineligibility  

Pssst: Aidan's also got a short story collection coming out    

Ewan: The whole Hugos Thing   
    
BARE YOUR SWORD

Just a quick heads up that the Discworld Reading Order Guide now has an official Facebook page!
We are gearing up toward releasing the final (sad, I know) 3.0 version of the Guide soon and will be taking suggestions for the draft on the /r/Discworld subreddit and on Facebook once the draft is published. Looking forward to hearing from S&L Pratchett fans.

- Krzysztof Kietzman 


What COMICS Are You Reading    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett    
    
Brendan: Discworld graffiti showing up in London    
    
Neil Gaiman on Terry Pratchett's inspiration
    
Question about selecting out of print books as our book pick    
    
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    

Get published with Sword & Laser on Inkshares!

Good news, everyone! You know we love Inkshares, and now we've partnered with them to kick off their Collections. What does this mean?

To debut the Sword & Laser Collection on Inkshares, we will publish the five science fiction and fantasy projects with the most pre-orders by May 31st, 2015. Sword & Laser will choose their personal favorite from the top five and make it the debut book in their Collection.

The debut Sword & Laser Collection author will receive an interview on the Sword & Laser podcast. All five winners will receive a coaching session from Gary Whitta, Star Wars: Rogue One co-writer and author of Abomination, in addition to having their book published and distributed into independent bookstores, Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.

You can read all about the content over on Inkshares. Can't wait to see what you guys are working on!

S&L Podcast - #212 - Do You Have the Right to Delete Swear Words?

We give our last thoughts on The Goblin Emperor, kick of our April pick, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett and discuss why some author names are bigger than their titles. But what really gets this episode going is the debate about whether a reader has the right to "clean up" an author's language. 

Download file here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old    
Veronica: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12yr
    
QUICK BURNS
    
Rob: James Marsters fans rejoice! They are releasing a new audio version of Ghost Story read by Marsters.
    
David (LA, CA) Steven Spielberg to Direct Ready Player One.    
    
Mark: Clean Reader, a profanity-free ereader, best explained by Chuck Wendig
    
Yento: This wasn't unexpected but HBO confirmed they will finish Game of Thrones first.    
    
Trike: Game Of Thrones May Circle Back To Characters And Plots That Were Skipped    
    
Carl Poppa    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
Is it still about the author or is it about the title?
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Kick off Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett    

Wrap up The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison    
    
Oh you poor villains...    
    
In the end I liked this book    
    
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    

William Gibson on VR: "They did it!"

William Gibson, author of seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, tries out a virtual reality headset and deems this iteration of cyberspace up to snuff. Hey, if he's happy, we're happy!

S&L Podcast - #210 - Are You the Goblin Emperor?

We bid adieu to Terry Pratchett and commemorate him with one more book pick next month. We cheer for Chuck Wendig being picked for the next Star Wars novel. And we wonder if we are too much like the Goblin Emperor. Are you?

Download direct link here!

QUICK BURNS
    
Paul: Terry Pratchett has passed away    
Sandra: There will be one more DiscWorld novel    
    
Dara: Gollancz plans to publish The Thorn of Emberlain by the end of 2015. They also revealed the cover.    
    
Alpha Young Writers scholarship drive    
    
Dara: HBO wants 10 seasons of Game of Thrones
Mark: George RR Martin is sad but cancels WorldCon Saratoga and ComicCon "(Should I complete and deliver WINDS OF WINTER before these cons roll round, I reserve the right to change my mind)."

Joanna: Lois McMaster Bujold just announced that she has sold a book about Cordelia Vorkosigan to Baen, titled "Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen" and tentatively scheduled for February 2016. 
    
Sky: 20 new books will be released in the new Star Wars universe in a series dubbed "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens", that span multiple publishers and age groups and fills in the gaps between Return of the Jedi and the upcoming The Force Awakens. Including Chuck Wendig--- Details on the first standalone Star Wars movie including the title "Rogue One" and director and release date for episode VIII: Rian Johnson / May 26, 2017    

Tamahome : Station Eleven a finalist to be nominated for the Faulkner
    
BARE YOUR SWORD

Hey guys, just heard your podcast for the first time and really enjoyed it.

I'm a designer and concept artist that works in film and games and just thought I'd share the fact that I just finished working with Denis (Den-ee) on his upcoming sci fi film The Story of Your Life which will star Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.

I can't say anything about the movie i just worked on, but I wanted to voice my support for Denis as the choice to direct the new Bladerunner. People may not be super familiar with him, but if they watch his films, they'll see that he's could do a great job with it. He's got a kind of dark, gritty style and , fingers crossed, could be what this new Bladerunner film needs. I really like the idea of a less "Hollywood" type of director tackling this story.

Anyway, thanks! And if you'd like to see what kind of fantasy and scifi design work I do, please check out my site: www.theartofpeterkonig.com

-Peter

---

March Madness SF/Fantasy Style
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison    

Next time we'll kick off a Terry Pratchett book. Watch the goodreads group for the announcement of which one    

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    

Alpha SF/F/H Workshop Scholarship Drive

Here at Sword & Laser, we love encouraging people to try writing for themselves, even if it's just during NaNoWriMo! But the Alpha SF/F/H Workshop is helping many young writers, ages 14-19, learn their trade with the help of volunteers at their yearly workshop in Pittsburg. But they need our help!
 


Writing genre fiction can be a lonely business for teens. The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop brings together young writers, aged 14 to 19, for ten days of creation and peer review critiques. At the end of the workshop, students leave with new skills and a vibrant network of support.

Alphans have published in dozens of markets, including Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Analog and Strange Horizons. Many of them have placed and won in contests such as The Dell Magazine Award, Writers of the Future, and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Tamora Pierce, author of young adult series such as Protector of the Small and The Provost's Dog, has instructed at the workshop every year since its inception. This year, instructors include Ellen Kushner, author of the beloved Riverside books recently adapted into an award winning Audible series, Delia Sherman of Freedom Maze fame, and Andre Norton-award nominee Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Alpha works hard to keep costs low--every staff member is a volunteer, and the tuition is kept at the lowest possible level--but prospective students often require financial aid. This year--as they have for the past several--alumni have contributed writing and art to an illustrated flash fiction anthology and offered it as a donor reward in the entirely alumni-organized scholarship fund drive.

The Alpha alumni fundraiser will run March 17-26. Would you consider giving us a signal boost? Donations really do change the course of our young writers' lives.

To learn more about the Alpha SF/F/H Young Writers' Workshop, please visit the Alpha website, and check out our latest video, featuring interviews with Bruce Coville and Tamora Pierce.

S&L Podcast - #208 - Who Will Win This Year's Nebula?

So much good news! Some of our favorite stories are becoming movies and TV shows and we even have good news of a popular indie author getting picked up by Tor. And we even make a stab at predicting the Nebula winner. Yet controversy rages in the Untheileneise court. Especially about how to pronounced Untheileneise.

Download direct link here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Nothing. I'm tired.    
Veronica: Nothing, I have to go to a dance class after this!    
    
QUICK BURNS
    
"Mark Nebula nominees are up at including S&L March pick The Goblin Emperor and the current pick Annihilation Will the Supreme S&L go out on a limb and predict a winner? "    
    
Rob: Amazon picked up a full season of Man in the High Castle     
    
David: The City & the City may be coming to TV!    
    
Allister: This sounds great. Kazuo Ishiguro is writing a novel with elves and ogres. The Buried Giant is set after the departure of the Romans from Britain and draws on Arthurian themes whilst being influenced by samurai movies/films and westerns.    
    
Stephen: Becky Chamber's well reviewed self published The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet has been picked up by TOR for wider distribution.     
    
Louie: Blade Runner sequel gets its director and star. Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) is in negotiations to direct Harrison Ford.     
Warren: Harrison Ford to reprise role as Deckard in 'Blade Runner' sequel    
    
Dara: Paramount is trying to acquire the rights to The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.    
    
David: Bryan Singer looking to adapt The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
Apparently they're going to rename it Uprising. Maybe they're just using it to mine it for elements instead of really adapting it? Is the original (famous!) title that movie-unfriendly? "    
    
BARE YOUR SWORD
    
I also wanted to comment on the topic of alternative sexuality in SciFi.  It's funny because it seems like the last few books I have read in the genre are in fact exploring the idea that in the future sexuality isn't your standard hetero relationship.   The "Commonwealth Saga" by  Peter F. Hamilton had many different types of partnering, as a standard course throughout. Which also continued in his "The Dreaming Void" series.  Also "Hollow World" by Michael J. Sullivan had a very experimental play on sexuality (can't go into it since... Spoilers) and was really the whole point of the book.  I know these are just a few books, but it just feels like many of the newer books coming out have mixed things up.  Or at least not taken a hetero relationship as a standard assumption. -    Travis E
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison    
    
Sarah Monette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia    
The Goblin Emperor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia    
SarahMonette.com: Who am I?    
Katherine Addison || FAQ    
SFF In Conversation: Katherine Addison on The Goblin Emperor and Grimdark | The Book Smugglers    
The Book Plank: Author interview with Sarah Monette // Katherine Addison    
        
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 - #207 - Crowdfunding an Abomination with Gary Whitta!

Gary Whitta is an award-winning screenwriter who wrote The Book of Eli and worked on the first Star Wars standalone film. So when he had an idea for a dark historical fantasy story he wrote a book. Why? We ask him that, about successfully crowdfunding his novel, and much more on this episode! 

Direct download here!

Oh, and yes. We ask him about Star Wars too.

FEATURED REVIEW: Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb

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:
Robin Hobb is back, my friends. And for devotees of her epic fantasy series, Realm of the Elderlings, this is a very good thing. Fool’s Assassin is the much-anticipated continuation of the story of Fitz and the Fool, a pair of outcasts who struggle to save their beloved Six Duchies from near disaster. 

Fool’s Assassin opens while Fitz is enjoying his well-earned retirement. Things are finally peaceful and although he cherishes the quiet contentment of his life, Fitz struggles to accept that the need for violence is completely over. He still sequesters himself away from his loved ones, still keeps secrets like a compulsion, still can’t seem to let go of the intrigue - no matter how much he might like to. 

But when some suspicious coincidences start hinting of danger lurking outside Fitz’s rural, idyllic life, it seems it might be a good thing that Fitz has had trouble letting go of his past, because it certainly hasn’t let go of him. 

Key Themes
Country life, paranoia, fatherhood, A MURDER MOST FOUL, prophesy, creepy-crawlies, class, secret passageways, THE ULTIMATE DRAMA QUEEN

What’s Good 
Hobb is a master storyteller. Over the course of the last nine books, Hobb has honed her characters into realistically flawed, frustrating, and oh-so-lovable men and women.  Though the over ten-year gap between Fool’s Fate and Fool’s Assassin gnawed at many fans, the gap was deliberate. With such beloved characters and intricate plot, Hobb has been careful not to exploit them. That is the true triumph of this novel. Nothing here feels forced, nothing feels like Hobb simply wanted to capitalize off of her most recognized and well-loved series. Instead, Hobb has crafted a story that leaves you thinking, Of course! How could I have thought Fitz would fade into quiet retirement?? 

Hobb’s strength has always been her ability to make us care about her characters, and Fool’s Assassin fits right in with her previous books. Some of them have us tearing our hair and shaking the book in frustration, some have us cheering into the pages, but all of them feel fully realized. 

Furthermore, in a marked departure from her previous books staring Fitz, we are finally privy to more than one first-person narrator! Though I won’t reveal who this narrator is, I will say that it was a refreshing and exciting change that is probably going to prove necessary in her next novels. Hobb also builds on our feelings of dramatic irony in this book (everyone remember those high school English classes??) – the characters are intentionally a few steps behind the reader, creating delicious tension to put us all on the edge of our seats.

As another tasty tidbit, it seems that we may finally get a glimpse into the mysterious southern country The Fool hails from!

What’s Less Than Good
Though Hobb springs into action with hints of doom left and right, make no mistake – Fool’s Assassin falls victim to first-volume-in-a-trilogy-syndrome. Odd ends from the previous series and wrapped up. We build a detailed picture of Fitz’s current life. New threads of intrigue are introduced. But, just when the action is starting to get really exciting, we break for the new book. Fool’s Assassin is crucial to move the plot along, and that’s not all that it does, but it can feel frustrating to have so many questions by the end of the book. 

Furthermore, though Hobb always strives to have her novels and trilogies as self-contained as possible, readers with no experience in Realm of the Elderlings will be shortchanged by starting with this novel. Tearful reunions will make no sense, bittersweet partings won’t have their full effect. But that doesn’t mean this series isn’t worth it, it means those readers should look forward to this book at the end of finishing the previous nine books - because it is totally worth it. 

The Final Verdict
Hobb had a lot of expectations to live up to when she decided to continue the story of Fitz and the Fool. Such a beloved series is both a blessing and a curse to an author. However, Hobb rises to the challenge admirably. Although only time will tell if this series can capture the grandeur of her previous novels, Fool’s Assassin has all the hallmarks of a great new series. 

More than anything, Fool’s Assassin promises to capture our attention for her next novel in the series, and leaves us all slobbering for more.