S&L Podcast - #241 - A.I. Animal Flesh Carvers

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

Download directly here!

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


Excerpt of DARK SUN, BRIGHT MOON and Giveaway!

Excerpt of DARK SUN, BRIGHT MOON and Giveaway!

Looking for something a little different to add to your To-Read list? Click through to read an excerpt of the book, and to find out how you can win a copy!

“Dark Sun, Bright Moon describes people isolated in the Andes, without the least notion of outsiders. They evolve an understanding of the universe that is complementary to our own but a great deal wider. The book explores events of a thousand years ago, events which fit with what we know of the region's history,” says author Oliver Sparrow.

In the Andes of a thousand years ago, the Huari empire is sick. Its communities are being eaten from within by a plague, a contagion that is not of the body but of something far deeper, a plague that has taken their collective spirit. Rooting out this parasite is a task that is laid upon Q’ilyasisa, a young woman from an obscure little village on the forgotten borders of the Huari empire.

This impossible mission is imposed on her by a vast mind, a sentience that has ambitions to shape all human life. Her response to this entails confrontations on sacrificial pyramids, long journeys through the Amazonian jungle and the establishment of not just one but two new empires. Her legacy shapes future Andean civilization for the next four hundred years, until the arrival of the Spanish.

Dark Sun, Bright Moon takes the reader on a fascinating adventure that includes human sacrifice, communities eaten from within, a vast mind blazing under the mud of Lake Titicaca, and the rise and fall of empires cruel and kind.

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A Steampunky Giveaway!

Want a signed copy of The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato? We've got three to give away! All you have to do is be a member of the Info Beam. Sign up below by Friday, Sept 12th to be entered to win! 

The Clockwork Dagger is the story of a gifted young healer, Octavia Leander, who sets off on her first mission. Her goal is to get to a plague-ridden village and help the people there, but a series of strange occurrences—including murder—rock the airship she is traveling on. The dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Dagger assassins, her cabin-mate hides secrets (and an alarming penchant for writing pulp novels), and Octavia is beginning to discover that her magical gift for healing may be even more powerful than anyone thought. In short, this airship voyage is much  more eventful than Octavia expected, and she’s stumbled into the midst of a conspiracy that may reach the crown itself.

The Info Beam
The S&L Newsletter 

S&L Podcast - #163 - Hugh Howey Hullabaloo

Hugh Howey caused quite a stir with his findings about independent authors, but what does it mean for us readers? We also talk about the Wizard of Earthsea feminism implications and have an exciting election for the March book pick! There is a gavel involved.

Direct download here!


Tom: New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

Veronica: Vina Robles Red Blend




Hugh Howey's Report

Self-published ebooks: the surprising data from Amazon

Most Amazon bestselling authors aren't making minimum wage

WH Auden told JRR Tolkien to cut the love story from Lord of the Rings

Daemon And Influx Author Daniel Suarez On Why Innovation Has Stalled



Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptation Watch

More on the Redshirts TV Series

What was cut to make the "unfilmable" book Winter's Tale into a movie


A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin

Earthsea and Harry Potter

Women in Earthsea

Among Others and Earthsea

March Pick


A forgotten classic?

Looking for more firearms in "High" Fantasy


Hi Tom & Veronica,

Listening to Gregory A Wilson talk about his daughter's name made me think of my own family. I was named after Jessica Atreides (Dune), putting me in the odd position of being named for a sci-fi character AND having one of the most common girls names of my generation.

I passed the nerd legacy onto my own children as well - my son's middle name is Zaphod (as in Beeblebrox) and my daughter is named Aeryn (after Aeryn Sun from Farscape). Hopefully she won't resent me for it the millionth time she has to spell it out loud for someone.

Love the show,


S&L Podcast - #100 - We're Old!

It's our 100th episode and we're having a party.  But some of you are not having a party with our book pick. Well, you can just Farcast out of here! Kidding! It's OK if you Lem it. Borges tells you why.


Tom: Maker's Mark

Veronica: Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet 

100 Episodes! Here's what we used to sound like.


Finally, Harry Potter Is Touching Down on Amazon’s Kindle 

Brush up on your Game of Thrones history with these animated shorts 

Fantasy Novels That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity 

Jack Williamson on what the future meant in the era of scientifiction 

A New Translation of The One Russian Science Fiction Novel You Absolutely Must Read

Parsec Awards 



Penny Arcade on China Mieville 

How do you take your audiobooks? 


Fox, Ridley Scott nab film rights to self-published sci-fi series 


Hyperion by Dan Simmons 

Where do we stand on the June book?

Hyperion... LEMMED! 

Other Dan Simmons work 

2013 Hyperion Movie 


Hey Tom & Veronica!

I just found out about you guys, and Geek & Sundry, in general. I'm super stoked: to hear Gaimen and Dick being thrown out there brings warm fuzzies to my book-lovin' heart. I enjoy what (be it your personality and literary smarts) and who (the authors!) your bring to the table. Can't wait for the next installment.

As for a dragon name, how about "Gelf"? 

A gelf can be a elven creature (sword); a genetically enhanced life form (laser); or can be anything you want it to be (in our line of business, imagination is everything). See Urban Dictionary for more details. A-a-a-nd, for bonus points, it was a Gelfling that merged the Skexis and urRu into one awesome whole- just like you guys have have brought the sword and laser communities together and the yet-to-be-named dragon seems to be half traditional dragon and half... MechaGodzilla. =) 

Anyway, you rock.





Secret Identity 

This podcast is brought to you by Audible.com the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Best Sellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook, to give you a chance to try out their service. For a free audiobook of your choice go to audiblepodcast.com/sword

S&L Podcast - #100 - We're Old!

Solve this puzzle for a secret look at Mira Grant’s BLACKOUT

Yesterday, io9 published an excerpt of Mira Grant's Blackout, the final book in her Newsflesh trilogy. Today, an intrepid Newsie hacked into the CDC computer system and liberated another file. For this one, though, you'll have to do a little digging...

Below is a puzzle whose answer reveals one of the five codes you'll need to access the second, top-secret document.

Rumor has it that you should be hanging around these other blogs to gather the other four:

Rose-Owls and Pumpkin Girls (The Journal of Seanan McGuire)

The Mary Sue

SF Signal

Fantasy Café

Once you've gathered all five codes, you can access the encrypted document at the Orbit Books site. WARNING: Massive spoilers for Feed and Deadline ahead!

Blackout will be available May 22nd.

Let us know where you would hole up during a zombie apocalypse in the comments below, and you will be entered to win the Newsflesh triology (FeedDeadlineBlackout)! Open to participants in the US, Canada, and the UK. Winner will be randomly selected on May 2nd!