S&L Podcast - #137 - A rasher of Abercrombie

The Iron Throne, by  Marc Simonetti.

The Iron Throne, by Marc Simonetti.

It's a day filled with George Martin's real iron throne and Joe Abercrombie's new empires.  Plus Veronica reveals the August book pick!


Tom: Slurm

Veronica: Romulan Ale


Amazon launches graphic novel imprint, with George R.R. Martin among first authors

George R.R. Martin: This is what the Iron Throne REALLY looks like

George R.R. Martin smashes up a guitar; Neil Gaiman approves

Trailer for debut novel TERRA features some famous faces

Book Trailer: MADDADDAM by Margaret Atwood

A glimpse of a FIRST LAW world map

Joe Abercrombie sells new fantasy series to HarperCollins Voyager

J.K. Rowling quietly published a crime novel—all the way back in April

Your Semi-Obligatory Reminder Regarding Hugo Voting


Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles books are getting a TV show!


Ringworld by Larry Niven

This so much fun

"What the Tanj?!" 

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Redshirts and Among Others

Wrap up Ringworld and Redshirts August 6.

August book pick!

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold


Great First Lines

How much should an author consider race?


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

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Direct download link for this episode!

S&L Podcast - #125 - On the wagon

It's a show chock full of awards and TV shows based on books. Plus we have great news for fans of Joe Abercrombie and John Scalzi, and Veronica recommends a sexy book! Find out what happens when neither one of us have a drink.

Joe Abercrombie's The First Law (The Graphic Novel) - Interview
FINALISTS: 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award
FINALISTS: 2013 Prometheus Award
The real (?) "One Ring" Of The Hobbit
The Human Division has been renewed for a second season.
Something Electronic This Way Comes: Ray Bradbury eBooks Announced!
Haruki Murakami fans queue overnight for latest novel
Iain Banks, has terminal cancer and likely has less than a year to live.


Game of Thrones' sets record, gets fourth season
Syfy announces Childhood's End and Ringworld miniseries
BBC America To Co-produce Small Screen Adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL
C.J. Cherryh’s MORGAINE Books Optioned for Film

Dragonriders of Pern: (just Dragonflight if you don't have time for all three)
Next month: Wool by Hugh Howey
Veronica also recommends: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher

Book Chain


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.  

Download episode here!

Joe Abercrombie's The First Law (The Graphic Novel) - Interview

As listeners of the podcast know, both Tom and I are big fans of Joe Abercrombie, and especially of The First Law trilogy. So when I found out that Joe was working on a new graphic novel based on Logen Ninefingers and his (mis)adventures (from the man himself, no less) I immediately wanted to learn more.

Joe was kind enough to answer a few questions about the series, which you can learn more about at First Law Comic.


First off, congrats on the graphic novel! That's very exciting!

It's been a long time in the pipeline - maybe 18 months since the deal was first signed - so it's great to see it go out into the world.

Who first approached you to make The First Law into a graphic novel?

Rich Young from Blind Ferret, who also edited, put the artistic team together and brought in Chuck Dixon to adapt.  What interested me in particular about Rich's pitch, quite apart from his creative vision and his love for the books, was Blind Ferret's track record with webcomics and digital distribution.

Had anyone else come to you wanting to do that before, or was that something you had considered on your own?

I'd had a couple of much more traditional approaches, but the traditional comics market is pretty small and steadily dwindling, and obviously crowded with a lot of very powerful and long-established brands, I just didn't see a traditional approach getting enough momentum to make the work worthwhile.

Will this be a print edition, or digitally distributed? Both? And what will the release schedule be like?

It was the method of distribution that really sold this idea to me.  In essence there's a triple approach.  Firstly we're going to be serialising the adaptation, free to all comers, at www.firstlawcomic.com.  The first twelve pages have gone up already, and there'll be new pages posted every monday, wednesday and friday, hopefully for several years to come, given that this is a pretty detailed and comprehensive adaptation.  I just right away felt that, with free distribution, there was the potential to create a lot of goodwill and get a lot of people through the door and involved with it, and that it was potentially a good thing for the books as a whole.  

But for those who aren't satisfied with a page at a time and want to get a little ahead of the game, we're also going to be distributing whole issues, for between 99 cents and $2.99, via ComiXology, which will come with guided view and a package of inks, pencils and designs as a bonus with each issue. 

Finally, we'll be collecting every four issues into hard-copy collections, with further bonus material.  Exact details of those to be confirmed...

One of the great things about reading is the ability to visualize your favorite characters. How do you feel about nailing down the descriptions of the characters on the comic page? Have they ended up the way you pictured them in your head, and did you have input on that for the graphic novel?

Someone was foolish enough to offer me total editorial control, but I've tried to take a reassuringly firm yet lovingly gentle touch with it.  I think when you work with an artist you need to give them the freedom to draw it the way they see it, to let them interpret the work the way they want to.  And as a writer you don't always have entirely vivid pictures of every character and location.  So some designs were perfect right off.  Others were surprising, but fitted.  Others needed some tinkering with.  But generally, Andie Tong, the artist, has an amazing eye for costume and location design, and I've really been able to say yes, yes, yes to a lot of things and let him produce his vision of the books, given extra verve and variety by Pete Pantazis' colours.  So there'll certainly be some things that keen readers of the trilogy will see differently, but as a whole it's an adaptation that I'm very pleased with and hugely proud of.

Obviously the story needs to be trimmed down for this manner of storytelling. What was that process like? How do you pick what makes the cut?

Rich brought in Chuck Dixon, who's a hugely experienced comics writer, to do the adaptation.  He's obviously got a great sense for what to pick out from a scene, what to show and how, what angles to use to get the action across.  But obviously I know the books and the characters better than anyone, so I'd go over each script in some detail trying to keep as much sense of the books and the voices of the characters as possible, and maybe changing something here or there that would be important long term.  It's going to be a detailed adaptation, 16 issues for the Blade Itself alone, so it hasn't been necessary to really lose that much in terms of whole scenes.  it's amazing how much prose you can boil down into one carefully designed panel.  In general the whole process has been quite an education for me.  One that will continue for some time to come.

Do you have any plans to make any of your other books into comics?

At the current rate we probably won't be finished with The First Law for several years to come, so I'm keeping my energy for that, for the time being.  I've got a fair few irons in the fire with book projects as well, of course.  But I certainly wouldn't rule out adaptations of the other books.  We'll see how this one goes...

S&L Video - #19 - Red Country, Revenge, & Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie, author of The First Law trilogy, joins us to talk his fantasy western Red Country, letting go of fan favorite characters, and Logen Ninefinger's favorite whiskey.

More about our guest, Joe Abercrombie:

On the Web: http://www.joeabercrombie.com/

On Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/276660.Joe_Abercrombie

More on Joe's Works:

The First Law Trilogy: 

The Blade Itself: http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/the-blade-itself/

Before They Are Hanged:http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/before-they-are-hanged/

Last Argument of Kings:http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/the-last-argument-of-kings/

Standalone Novels:

Best Served Cold: http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/best-served-cold/

The Heroes: http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/the-heroes/

Red Country: http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/red-country/

"Morally Ambiguous Grey" by Aaron:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI9qDP3Biio

S&L Podcast - #72 - Interview with Kristian Nairn (Hodor!)

No book pick this week, but we do have a special interview with the man who plays Hodor in the HBO series Game of Thrones.  We'll find out what he had to do to get the role and how he thinks Hodor thinks. Plus a look at the Hugos and a new book recommendation engine.


Joe Abercrombie's next book gets a title

Can 32,000 Data Points Yield The Perfect Book Recommendation?

New China Mieville book gets a title 

Hugo winners, 2011


8/23/2011 - The Measure of the Magic: Legends of Shannara By Terry Brooks
8/23/2011 - The Power of Six (I Am Number Four) By Pittacus Lore
9/6/2011 - Legacy of Kings by C. S. Friedman
9/6/2011 - Tears of the Sun: A novel of change by S. M. Stirling

TV and Movies

For Croatian ASoIaF and GoT fans

3 new actors for GAME OF THRONES, plus Hellboy wants a part


Kristian Nairn plays Hodor on the HBO series Game of Thrones. He's also a DJ and WoW player!

Did he ever just wish his character was mute so he could stop saying "Hodor!"? Also, did he answer a casting call? If so what was the character description? -- Nick

Since this is his first major role, I'd like to know a bit about the casting process. How did he land role? What was the audition like? (a lot of Hodoring one would expect) --  Tero

I'd like to know how much say he had in his dialogue. No, seriously. There was a distinct lack of Hodoring in the show and I'd really like to know if he was involved in any discussions on how much Hodor is too much Hodor. I'm wondering whether they were toning it down to not grate on people, or if they just didn't have time to explain his backstory and didn't want people wondering about it until they'd had a chance to. -- Been

As a fellow big guy (6'7"" and about 280) did he have problems walking around the castles? I almost knocked myself out walking through a castle in Wales wearing a baseball cap. I walked strait into a stone door frame I could not see b/c the hat bill blocked it. Can only imagine how tough that would be with someone riding piggy back. -- Alden

Do you think that Hodor has intense internal thought but is unable to communicate it effectively? He can clearly understand what other people expect of him and can look after himself in other ways. -- Michael


This podcast is brought to you by Audible.com the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction and periodicals.   For a free audiobook of your choice, go to audiblepodcast.com/sword.

S&L Podcast - #72 - Interview with Kristian Nairn (Hodor!)

Interview with Joe Abercrombie - The S&L Podcast #56

Photo by Lou AbercrombieWe have the pleasure of talking with Joe Abercrombie, author of The First Law trilogy and his most recent book, set in the same world, The Heroes. We also delve into the darker nature of fantasy these days, how that thieving leech Tolkien stole all of Joe's ideas and then time traveled backwards to make them look like his own, and we take some questions from Twitter.


This podcast is brought to you by Audible.com 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 audiblepodcast.com/sword. On Audible now: The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie.

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Interview with Joe Abercrombie - The S&L Podcast #56