Good Omens for 2011 - The S&L Podcast #50

It's our 50th episode!  We celebrate with a high-energy episode, looking at all the best books of the past decade and kicking off our new pick for January.

January 15 - Modern Times 2.0 by Michael Moorcock comes out   
January 18 - Home Fires by Gene Wolfe,    
A few cons coming up Mid-January   
BARE YOUR SWORD - feedback from the audience   
Tor's poll - best sff books of the decade   
Reading Goals for 2011   

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett   

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett   from Audible

It won the poll!

You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them. The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearance as diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) are as much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up to one of those rare books which is enormous fun to read the first time, and the second time, and the third time...    
More on Wikipedia   

What else we're reading   

Veronica - Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson from the Baroque Cycle   
Tom - Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three  by Stephen King

On your latest podcast Veronica mentioned that she enjoyed the Millennium series a lot.

Today the New Yorker had a
nice article on the appeal of the series:

Also the
website from the publisher for the series in well designed and quite informative (currently >45 mil. sold). It contains pictures of all the locations used in the books.

Great podcast !



This was definitely a good podcast-- even with the sound issues (It happens to the best of us.).

Tom Merritt made a number of good points about the trappings of copyright law. However, I think that it is important to note that even famous authors found it hard to make a living because so many people were ""stealing"" his work. This is why he made so many personal appearances, which may have acerbated his untimely death.

Derivative works can be fine, but as a writer I would like to have control of what people do to my works and characters.

Thanks again for a well done episode.




This podcast is brought to you by the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 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
Partner Sticker Fu.  Use the code Sword1 and get 10% off the stickers at   

Good Omens for 2011 - The S&L Podcast #50

Interview with Cory Doctorow – The S&L Podcast #028

As a wrap-up of "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" we finally snag an interview with the author of the Sword and Laser book club selection.  Cory Doctorow is always a fun person to chat with, and this episode is no exception.  We do query him on some of the thoughts behind Down and Out, but also about writing and the publishing industry in general. We also let him pick our next book!

Quick Burns

Ursula Le Guin's Petition Against Google Books

8 Comic Book Relationships To Make You Feel Good

Book Pick

Our next book is The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi.


Interview with Cory Doctorow - The S&L Podcast #028

#020 - The S&L Podcast: Here There Be Dragons

While we're kicking off reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, we're also proud to announce we're going to Dragon*Con in Atlanta to do a live episode of Sword and Laser! We're very excited about that, especially because Veronica has been reading a book about dragons and is hoping to meet one. [display_podcast] WHY WE PICKED A GAME OF THRONES Rick on May 22, 2009 at 9:22pm I third "Game of Thrones". It is sitting on my shelf waiting for me to finish the China Mieville book I'm in the middle of. Also, for those upset with Mr. Martin's lack of new bookage, you should go read the comments by Niel Gaiman on his blog concerning exactly what George R. R. Martin is and is not to his readers. C on May 23, 2009 at 9:39pm Game of Thrones is fantastic, the only problem I can see with it is that anyone who reads it will be completely hooked for the rest of the series. As long as people don't mind that then it's great. I would also be interested in reading something else (as in something outside Song of Ice and Fire) by him though. Armageddon Rag is supposed to be really interesting and Fevre Dream is about vampires which is always fun. Both of those are standalone books (I think) so they might be better than starting a series? terpkristin on May 26, 2009 at 4:10am The reader for books 1-3 (Roy Dotrice) is great. I purchased the 4th book but haven't listened to it yet (read that one in hardcover on an import version), though John Lee is the narrarator, and some have said that they don't like him as much as they like Dotrice. ABOUT A Game of Thrones A Game of Thrones is the first of seven planned novels in A Song of Ice and Fire, an epic fantasy series by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on 6 August 1996. The novel was nominated for the 1998 Nebula Award and the 1997 World Fantasy Award, and won the 1997 Locus Award. The novella Blood of the Dragon, comprising the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel, won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella. The novel lends its name to several spin-off items based on the novels, including a trading card game, board game and roleplaying game, and HBO has authorized the filming of a pilot episode based on the novels.[1] WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING Tom - Heretics of Dune Veronica - Black Powder War, Book 3 in the Temeraire series (Book 1 is here) ESSENTIAL NERD VIEWING John Hodgman administers a nerd test to President Obama. Do you know the answers? MOVIES Moon - A Film By Duncan Jones; Starring Sam Rockwell.
Read More

#010 - The S&L Podcast: OMG Bunnies!

[display_podcast] News Tales of Beetle the Bard to be published Dec. 4
She will donate all monies to the Children’s Voice campaign.  Amazon plans to produce 100 copies with the intention to duplicate the original look and feel of the book Amazon bought from her at auction for collectors that will go for $100 (recoup some of that money back) and the 157 page book will also have additional illustrations from the author. The standard edition will retail for $12.99

i09 debate: Magic vs. Science

Watership Down
First novel by Richard Adams
Published in 1972
Was rejected by 13 publishers but has never been out of print since first published.
Watership Down began as a story that Richard Adams told to his two children, Juliet and Rosamund, on a long car journey.
Based on he Private Life of the Rabbit (1964), by British naturalist Ronald Lockley
Anti-feminist?  Misogynistic?
Adapted into a film in 1978.
Also made into a TV series in the UK int he early 1990s and a theater production as well.

Ning Forum Reviews

Tayo - I just read "Feast of Souls" by C. S. Friedman and I cant recommend it highly enough. Fantastic. One of the most original new fantasies I have read since "Sabriel" by Garth Nix.

Simon - I have just finished reading the Terry Goodkind series 'Sword of Truth' and thought that I should tell you all that it was MEGA. Also if anyone has read this series then can you advise who to read next. I'm a bit stuck for ideas.

Giveaway! We're giving away a Logitech USB Headset! Want it? Get creative! Write us a ONE LINE CLOSING SENTENCE to a science fiction or fantasy novel. See our last contest for a sample of a good opening line! We'll put the top choices up for a vote! Check out Audible! Journey to a world beyond words with Audible Sci-Fi & Fantasy. Check out Audible for exclusive access to your favorite sci-fi and fantasy authors and exclusive commentary.  In addition, the new imprint, Audible Frontiers features new and sometimes previously unavailable audio books made available for the first time in audio.  Click here for a free trial offer and get your first audio book free.
Read More

S&L Book 1: The Golden Compass

golden compassThe inaugural book of The Sword and Laser has been chosen, and it's The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Not only is this a personal favorite of mine, but Tom Merritt and I thought it would be nice to read now considering the movie is coming out in December! The Golden Compass is the first in the trilogy His Dark Materials, but we'll only ask you to read this first book. It may be easier for you to buy all three books at the same time (and you'll probably want to read the others!), but you're in no way required to do this. Most libraries should have it, and there are also new and used versions available on Amazon. Hopefully we can all acquire the book by next Wednesday, and then we can plan on talking about the first chapter! The next book will be decided by a vote, and it'll probably be a "classic" of some kind. Enjoy!
Read More