S&L Book 3: American Gods

american godsThe votes are tallied, and the next fantasy book we'll be reading is American Gods, by Neil Gaiman! There are many fantastic Gaiman books we could have picked, but this one comes very highly recommended. This is actually the first S&L book that I haven't yet read, so I'm really looking forward to it. I've read Neverwhere, so I already know that I enjoy his writing style. Here's a brief review from Amazon:
American Gods is Neil Gaiman's best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the onslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn't sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he's been delivering since his Sandman days.
As always, you have some time to get the book before we start reading. Let's shoot for Dec. 19th to begin the official discussion! Of course, knowing most of you, you'll be done reading it by then ;) Pick up the book at the S&L Store, or where ever books are sold or rented! Happy reading! -V
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Fantasy options?

Since we're just about through with our most recent sci-fi book (Ender's Game) it's time to start choosing what our next fantasy novel will be! Tom has started a forum thread (DO NOT leave suggestions in the comments here... I won't count them) where you can name some books you'd like us to read. On a totally personal note, I'd like to read something I've never read before (Golden Compass and Ender's Game were both old favorites of mine), so that's the only prerequisite for this voting cycle. I'll let you know in the thread if I've read your choice! -V
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S&L Book 2: Ender's Game

ender’s gameThe next book has been voted on, and it's going to be Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. It's strangely appropriate that we've chosen yet another book about a child that battles against forces seemingly out of their control, but the books also have a very different feel to them. Ender's Game is one of the first sci-fi books I ever read, so I'm looking forward to revisiting it again as an adult. It's the kind of book that you'll find yourself discussing with other people in the future, and the character attachment is very strong. There are also a lot of interesting themes in this novel that I think will really get people talking in the forums. I really consider this book to be a sci-fi classic, and you'll find that a lot of teachers use it to engage children in reading in schools. Orson Scott Card is a very prolific writer, and he continued the Ender story line for several more books. However, this book really stands alone, and I hope you enjoy reading it. You can find both the paperback and hardcover versions in the S&L Store, or check your local library (probably in the Young Fiction section).
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Vote for the next book!

We're still well into The Golden Compass, but we still need to choose the next novel! Based on submissions in the forums and and choices by me and Tom, we've created a poll. It will be open for the next 4 days, so make your choice! UPDATE: Oops. I'm my rushed state, I wrote "iRobot" instead of the correct "I, Robot." Someone has gadgets on the brain, huh? ;) [poll=2] -Veronica
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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!
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A social network of our very own

After many enthusiastic recommendations, I've decided to use Ning as our discussion forum. I've been a member of Ning for some time now, but this is the first time I've created a network. Seems like it will be perfect! There is, of course, the minor downside of having to join yet another social network, but if we had forums you'd have to register on those anyway. So go check out the page at swordandlaser.ning.com! This blog will still be used to announce the book choices and news. Have fun!
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