S&L Podcast - #75 - FlashForward Wrap-up

We have a huge calendar to get through.  Some great books are coming out this month! Plus we wrap up Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer and with all the great conversations on Goodreads, we have a lot to say! Also a fruit fly died in the making of this episode.  He is survived by several thousand other fruit flies.


Book Review: The Man Who Found Zero: Early Science Fiction and Weird Fantasy from The Black Cat, 1896-1915

Twitter’s literary superstar, @MayorEmanuel, will tweet a science fiction short story tomorrow


9/13/2011 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
9/13/2011 Prospero Regained, L. Jagi Lamplighter
9/13/2011 Highest Frontier, Joan Slonczewski
9/13/2011 How Firm a Foundation, David Weber
9/15/2011 War in Heaven by Gavin Smith
9/15/2011 Briarpatch, Tim Pratt
9/20/2011 Reamde, Neal Stephenson
9/20/2011 Goliath, Scott Westerfeld
9/22/2011 The Islanders by Christopher Priest
9/27/2011 Ganymede, Cherie Priest (Tor)
9/27/2011 The Hum and the Shiver, Alex Bledsoe
9/27/2011 The Immorality Engine by George Mann


Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer

Foreign Language Pet Peeves - Anne

Tech in 20 years - Vladimir

Determinism vs. free will - Josh

TV and Movies

World War Z begins filming in Glasgow - Nick

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Kevin


Hi Tom and Veronica,

Hey where do you get the info for the Calendar segment you have? Is it a website? I looked on Goodreads and didn't see anything related to that.

This would be a useful site to bookmark.


From Boston.


Hi Veronica and Tom,

I recently downloaded the .mobi version of United Moon Colonies from archive.org and was saddened by the formatting. The .mobi file kept all the ""United Moon Colonies"" headers and the pages numbers from the original file. The problem is that they must have been treated as plain text when the original file was converted in .mobi and .epub, so now they pop up right in the middle of sentences.

It really bothered me, I'm a bit OCD-ed sometimes : I like things neat. Because of this and the fact that I am not a big fan of pdf reading on the Kindle, I decided to reformat the whole thing to make it more comfortable for me to read. It took a bit of work but I think I straightened it all out. At least I hope I did, although I'm sure there must be a forgotten line break hidden somewhere.

Anyway, I may not be the only one bothered by the archive.org files, so I thought I'd submit these reformatted .mobi and .epub to you so that you may do with them as you please.

As for the cover, I used the one Sean submitted on the Goodreads thread, credit where credit is due :) It would be easy enough to change it back to the original one if needed.

Anyway, I thought it might interest you and might make the reading more enjoyable for other people. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Tom Merritt book to read :)

Keep up the good work.


United Moon Colonies ePub

United Moon Colonies .mobi


Matt, Xenphi, Mitch, Jon, Armando, Marc, Craythur, Judy, Cynthia, Jenny, Kevin, George, David, Roy, Carlos, Stephen, Paulo, Andrew, Officer Friendly, Heather and Mike.


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 - #75 - FlashForward Wrap-up

S&L Podcast - #60 - SciFi is hard

We discover a whole new world of books to add to our reading lists thanks to the Hugo award nominations, and we dive into further discussion about what makes for hard scifi. The answer is, well, difficult.



BSFA Awards

The GAME OF THRONES title sequence

10 of the most badass dragons ever


4/26/2011 Will Super Villains Be On the Final? Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
4/28/2011 Titus Awakes by Mervyn Peake and Maeve Gilmore
5/3/2011 The Inheritance by Robin Hobb
5/3/2011 Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris - A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
5/10/2011 Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
5/10/2011 The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Tor)
5/17/2011 Embassytown by China Mieville


Is this truly 'hard' sci-fi?

How did you like the new Doctor Who show?


Blindsight by Peter Watts


I'm glad that I listened to your podcast. I also expected more out of the 1st episode, but welcomed the confusion/unanswered questions. I look forward & hope future episodes will fill in those blanks to keep me interested with new confusion/unanswered questions. I also agree about the 15 minutes before the premiere, what was that supposed to be anyway? LOL

I was about to get the books or ebooks to read, seriously thinking about it anyway. After listening to your podcast & hearing about the differences, I think that would add unwanted confusion. I'm not a S&L frequent listener or fantasy book reader, I wanted to hear about Game of Thrones. I may decide to hold off on the show & decide to read the book anyway. Then watch the series. Not sure yet. Probably normal having differences between the book & series, but it's new to me. At least I know not to read while watching.

Thanks for the education.



Hey, V&T...

Hate to sound like a PR flack (I'm not...just a reader) but I stumbled upon a real gem of a story at the Kindle store called ""Out Of The Dark"" by first-time author Lee Doty, and was impressed enough to write to you guys about it.

I took away hints of Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson, a big helping of Jim Butcher, a pinch of Tim Powers, and some essence of Elmore Leonard (all favorite authors), but this rookie manages to retain his own strong voice...and with humor no less!

Mr. Doty displays the writing chops of a veteran...pacing, character development, dialogue...all first class. No lasers, but swords, martial arts, and unconventional firearms are all employed to great effect without overwhelming the storyline.

According to his Kindle page he's a certified geek (programmer) who wrote this novel during the daily train commute to and from his day job, and he's self-published on the Kindle (good angles for an interview?)

Judging by the Kindle discussion board he's still enthusiastic enough to answer all his readers' emails personally.

Read the book for sure, but think about getting him on the podcast as well.

Cheers. Jon


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 - #60 - SciFi is hard

Heinlein fans are a harsh mistress - The S&L Podcast #039

We're halfway through The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but we have some non-spoilery insights to share from ourselves and the book club discussions on Goodreads. We also talk about some of our favorite SciFi crossovers and this whole crazy new world of eBooks, audio books and 'enhanced' eBooks.


The dystopian novel that's turning China upside down   
Simon & Schuster Look To ‘Enhanced’ E-Books Beyond Apps    
The 11 greatest, craziest sci-fi crossovers in television history   
Summer science fiction explosion: The io9 guide to August  

BARE YOUR SWORD - feedback from the audience   
Heinlein is a weak-minded, adolescent authoritarian   
Turing Method - A defintion of self awareness   
Do Audiobooks count as reading?   


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.

Check out our Partner Sticker Fu.  Use the code Sword1 and get 10% off stickers.

Heinlein fans are a harsh mistress - The S&L Podcast #039

#022 – The S&L Podcast: George R. R. Martin is not your bitch

It's time to pick a new book, but for some reason we just can't stop talking about George R. R. Martin. And in some cases singing about him. But we DID pick a new book and it's The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. It involves relativity, interstellar war and sad soldiers. In fact it's sometimes thought of as an anti-Starship Troopers. We think this book is a timely choice as Ridley Scott is making a 3D movie out of it. More on that in this and future episodes. If you want a sneak peek, take a look at this Forever War' Concept Art . [display_podcast] Also don't forget we're doing a live Sword and Laser in Atlanta at Dragon*Con! The show takes place Friday evening, September 4 at 8:30 PM in Hilton room 204. It will be Veronica, me and special guest Timothy Zahn. Other guests may be announced as well. BARE YOUR SWORD - feedback from the audience. Audio books are no good for SF Do you like your endings with everything-wrapped-up or open-ended? Hi Tom and Veronica, John Anealio' George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. QUICK BURNS - unrelated news of the month Robo-Ethicists Want to Revamp Asimov’s 3 Laws A Game Of Thrones pilot script leaked A brief history of SteamPunk Personal Effects: Dark Art by JC Hutchins. The book with a lot of cool extra materials. Tagline Contest Congratulations Barry O'Neil "Different worlds - different discussion"
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#015 - The S&L Podcast: We disagree!!

Turns out that just because Tom likes a book, doesn't mean Veronica will (she kinda hated it).  But we learned a lot about paranoia, and Polish communism. So it's not a total loss. Meanwhile we have determined that the podcast should be a once a month affair.  So get ready for regularity!  We'll be like the monthly bran in your reading  diet. And we hope to have interviews.  With real people. And some robots. [display_podcast] What we're reading Tom is busy reading some not sci fi book by Evelyn Waugh (Officers and Gentlemen) and still making his way through Droidmakers. Veronica is busy with David Eddings "Belgarath the Sorcerer" which is a continuation of the Belgariad and Malloreon. News Battlestar Galactica coming back tomorrow night! Wheel of Time video game appears to be rolling onto the scene. Our book pick In honor of the WoT video game, we'll read the first in that series. Eye of the World
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Free METAtropolis story from Audible

While they aren't a sponsor, Audible.com has been kind enough to treat Sword and Laser fans to a free download of the first story from their new Metatropolis series. So we said, why not?! METAtropolis is an interesting project. It's an original audiobook, meaning there's no print version. The stories are published directly to audio. The first story is entitled “In the Forest of the Night” written by Jay Lake (author of “Mindspring“) and features the voice of Michael Hogan better known to many of you as Colonel Tigh from Battlestar Galatica. The complete audio book, featuring five unabridged novellas will be released on Oct. 21, 2008. Go here to download the first story of the audio book. No credit card required, though you will have to create an account. Hey they wanna get something out of you for free. Don't feel like registering for an account? No problem. Audible's also throwing in a free sample of another story from METAtropolis called “To Hie From Far Cienia” by Karl Schroder (read by Stefan Rudnicki). This isn't the whole story, but there's nothing required except to click to download. Download sample of "To Hie from far Ciena" Let us know what you think of the series, and the idea of free stuff like this in the comments!
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