S&L Podcast - #199 - Integrity for Sale

This week we almost wrap up The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, discuss the intricacies of eBook DRM and try to decide just how high a price our integrity would fetch. We also wonder the same about Neal Stephenson and Steven Hawking. Join us, won't you?

Download direct here!

S&L Podcast - #198 - The Most Hated Phrases in SciFi

This week we're busy. We congratulate the winners of several year-end awards. We kick off our December book pick, The Night Circus, a beautiful novel by Erin Morgenstern. And we dive into some of the most wretched and hated terms and phrases in the professions of authorship. Mary Sue is under siege!

Download directly here!


Tom: Red Trolley Ale
Veronica: Red Branch Hard Apple & Honey Cider
Casey: What are YOU drinking?


Tamahome: The Goodreads choice awards are in
Sky: Audible's best of 2014 released. Sanderson managed to win out over UF/Paranormal :)
Dara: SyFy has cast the leads for The Magicians series. Jason Ralph will play Quentin Coldwater and Sosie Bacon (daughter of Kevin Bacon) will play Alice.
Nick pointed out the successful test flight of the unmanned Orion space capsule
Nick: Christopher Nolan rumored to be offered Ready Player One to direct
Fiona: The BBC adapted Good Omens as a 6 part audioplay. First part will air on Radio 4 on Monday 22nd December. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman have cameo appearances!
Tamahome: What James Cameron says you'll do when you see the Avatar sequels. NSFW.http://boingboing.net/2014/11/26/james-cameron-on-avatar-sequel.html


Andrew picked: The City and the City by China Mieville


Louie: Terms authors are tired of hearing: "Infodump," "Mary Sue," "Hard SF," "Dystopian."
What are some terms that you are tired of hearing/reading?

Marion: What Is The Strangest or Most Unique SF/Fantasy Novel That You Have Ever Read?


Kick off: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern on The Night Circus - YouTube

the night circus | erin morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Support our show on Patreon

You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find upcoming and past new releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar

S&L Podcast - #197 - Veronica is a Cannibal

We sing the praises of Ursula K. Leguin, marvel at the casting of HBO's Westworld, announce our December book pick and wrap up Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. Also, Veronica admits she would eat people. 

Ed. note: I would eat people -V

Download direct link!

Tom: Milk (of human kindness)
Veronica: Tullamore Dew   
Sandra: Philip K. Dick's Short Story ‘The Crawlers’ Is Getting A Big Screen Adaptation     
David: Ursula K. Le Guin accepts the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014.    
terpkristin: The follow-up to Brandon Sanderson's first "Legion" novella (novelette? short story? something?) came out 11/24! It will be free from Audible for the first month, based on his blog post.   
Kvon: Pat Rothfuss' Worldbuilders is once again running an sff lottery and auction to benefit Heifer Intl. 
David: Wesley Chu re-signs with Angry Robot Books  
Michele and Rob: Amazon and Hachette have reached an agreement  
Bookshelf: Next year HBO will have a new series.West world- With Anthony Hopkins- an adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 novel of the same name.   
The Secret Root by D.S. Cahr suggested by Ira.      
Next time we'll discuss The City and the City by China Mieville suggested by Andrew.  Post your thoughts to the thread and we'll discuss more about them next time!     
Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar    
Marion: What is the one book or series you would give away to someone who is reading SF/Fantasy for the first time?   
Rob Secundus: Monstrously Long Audiobook Recs    
Next month's pick: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern    
Wrap up:  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick    
Drew: The Toad
Jay: Is everyone a vegetarian or is meat only for the richest people?     
John: I find it interesting how Dick describes casual lack of empathy. 

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S&L Podcast - #196 - Would Vegetarians Eat Electric Meat?

We have some awesome World Fantasy winners to talk about, some exciting casting news for The Magicians and The Expanse, but it really gets interesting when our “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” check-in turns into an ethics of meat-eating discussion. 

Download episode here!



Tom: Talisker    
Veronica: Glenmorangie    
Dara: Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar) will adapt Asimov's Foundation trilogy for HBO.
Terpkristin: The 2014 World Fantasy Award winners were announced, you can read the list here. Best novel went to A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar. I think we should think about reading it sometime soon as a sword pick. :) Saladin Ahmed agrees.

Sandra: Syfy's adaptation of the 'The Magicians' series has cast Eliot, Penny and Julia's roles      

Rob: Scribd is adding audio books to it's monthly subscription service.   

Louie: Deadline reports more ""The Expanse"" casting


Book Discussion: The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Leguin suggested by Carrie Smith.    
Next time we'll discuss The Secret Root by D.S. Cahr suggested by Ira.  Post your thoughts to the thread and we'll discuss more about them next time!

Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar    
What hard science fiction do you like?    
Looking For Psychological Horror Recommendations    

Terpkristin: MD/DC/NoVa: Looking for more members    

Stephen: Orange County: Nov. 24th 6:30 pm or so, at Barnes & Noble Booksellers    

Josh: The next San Francisco S&L meetup is Monday, Nov 24 from 6pm - 8pm at Borderlands Books!    


Check in on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep     

Bookshelf: The one thing missing in both the book and movie is the coffee.
They got the cigarettes but no coffee. (There should be at least one Night Hawks at the Diner kind of scene).

Jay: So... Why can't empathy be programmed?     


Support our show at Patreon.com/swordandlaser    

S&L Podcast - #195 - Why It's OK to Hate My Favorite Book

It's a jam-packed episode this week with great news for Ann Leckie and Andy Weir, our wrap-up of Alif the Unseen, kickoff of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the determination that it's OK to hate the book I love.

Download episode here or in the embed below!

Coffee. We’re both drinking coffee because we did this show in the morning. 


Sandra: Ann Leckie announced on her website that her novel Ancillary Justice has been optioned for television by Fox Television Studios     
Tamahome: G. Willow Wilson takes over (all female) X-men after her successful Ms. Marvel stint 
Joe Informatico: The already stellar cast of The Martian adaptation gains Chiwetel Ejiofor, officially making it the greatest film in the annals of celluloid.     
Nick: The Hemingwrite   


Book Discussion: The Many-Coloured Land by Julian May suggested by Ralff Windwalker    
Next time we'll discuss The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Leguin suggested by Carrie Smith. Post your thoughts to the thread and we'll discuss more about them next time!     
Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar    
Will: Amazon wants your vote on which books to publish. Amazon introduces the Kindle Scout program    
Trike: Counting With Covers!    
Nick: I tell the previous story as a metaphor(is that the right word?) for the times when a book is really really loved and popular and you read it and don't like it but feel something must be wrong with you because you don't get it.   

Dara: I recently finished reading Nexus and Crux by Ramez Naam.    
David: eBook-only series    
Kickoff: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick        

Wrapup: Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson    
Support our show on Patreon    

S&L Podcast - #193 - Kiss from a Queen (on the Face)

In Neil Gaiman’s new book, The Sleeper and the Spindle, Sleeping Beauty gets woken by a Queen’s kiss. And there’s pictures so it did happen. Fictionally speaking. We also discuss The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan, and find out people are pleasantly surprised by the techno-thrilling coming of age fantasy that is Alif the Unseen. 

Download podcast direct here!


Neil Gaiman's upcoming children's book, The Sleeper and the Spindle 
Winners of the 2014 Aurora Awards for best Canadian SciFi    
Mark wrote:  "In partnership with Ideate Media, IDW Publishing is proud to announce that Dirk Gently will be appearing in his first-ever comic-book series in 2015, helping to prove the interconnectedness of all things, the precept by which Dirk Gently, Douglas Adams’ beloved fictional “holistic detective” lives. Written by Chris Ryall with art by Tony Akins. A cover for issue #1 is by Chew co-creator Rob Guillory."

Book Discussion: The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan suggested by Vaughn.     

Next time we'll discuss The Many-Coloured Land by Julian May suggested by Ralff Windwalker. Post your thoughts to the thread and we'll discuss more about them next time!   
Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar    
Best use of Time Travel in a novel?    
It's the end of the world as we know it    
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson    
AtU: Religion in AtU - Net Positive or Negative by Hack    
AtU: The character of Vikram (spoilers) by Joanna    
AtU: Finished and Pleasantly Surprised? by Buzz    

Support our show on Patreon    

S&L Podcast - #192 - Sexual Experiences with Robert Jackson Bennett

Robert Jackson Bennett joins us on the show this week to talk about his new book, City of Stairs!

Download link here, or watch the video!

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

We also take questions from you, the audience, and ask him what the heck was going on with the video below:

S&L Podcast - #191 - Tom Merritt, Kindle Hater

From excitement about a new book in the Old Man's War series, to a rising demand for SciFi, things are looking up on the laser side. We also find out that Tom doesn't use a Kindle and Veronica's opinion on spiders.     

Download here!

Tom: Yorkshire Gold Tea    
Veronica: Hendricks Gin and Tonic    
Joanna: Next Old Man's War book from John Scalzi announced. 
The End of All Things

SporadicReviews: Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy optioned for TV!
Joe Informatico: FOX has committed to a put pilot* for a TV series based on the DC Comics (former Vertigo imprint) version of Lucifer, Lord of Hell. Lucifer first appeared in the Neil Gaiman-written Sandman comics before later featuring in his own Vertigo series. 

*I had to look this up. Apparently a ""put pilot"" means the network/channel agrees to air the pilot with substantial financial penalties to the development studio if they back out. This is generally a sure sign the network will pick up the pilot.   
SporadicReviews pointed out Pyr books in a blog post wrote: "We’ve recently heard from independent booksellers that their customers are hungry for science fiction again, despite the predominance of fantasy over these last several years. 
Paul: New Kindle Voyage looks cool.

ShadowShow by Brad Strickland    

Book Discussion:     
Next time we'll discuss The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan Post your thoughts to the thread and we'll discuss more about them next time!    
Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar    
Good books that are driven distinctly by outstanding dialogue?    
What's with the giant spiders?    
Peter V. Brett Calls Out DC Comics on Sexism    

Kick Off Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
S&L Podcast - #112 - Interview with G. Willow Wilson! — Sword & Laser    


Stories of Your Life and others by Ted Chiang    
SoYLaO: The Common Thread of the Stories (Mild Spoilers)  - Carolina 
Support our show on Patreon    

S&L Podcast - #189 - Literary Virginity, Literally

We dig into the first four stories from Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others, and boy do we learn a lot about ourselves and others. Plus you'll want to take your vitamins since Margaret Atwood's latest novel won't be available to read for 100 years and we explore the idea of regaining your literary virginity.

Download direct link


Tom: Lipton Diet Citrus Green Tea    
Veronica: B12 in water    
From Sandra: Legendary TV has acquired the rights to John Scalzi’s novel “Lock In” to adapt into a pilot for a potential series.

Legendary TV Buys John Scalzi Novel ‘Lock In’
From Joe Informatico: The Man in the High Castle TV series has cast its lead actress. Alexa Davalos, of Angel and Chronicles of Riddick fame, will play Juliana.     
Also from Sandra the newshound! - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s 1990 novel Good Omens is to be adapted for Radio 4 by Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy director Dirk Maggs.    
Margaret Atwood is writing a new book, but you won't be able to read it this century. She will be storing her next novel for 100 years in a library in Norway as part of a project organized by Scottish artist Katie Paterson.    
For the next six weeks we'll be highlighting picks from supporters of our Kickstarter. Look for threads to be posted in the Goodreads Group once every two weeks. We'll collect your thoughts and comments on the books then toss one around on each show until we've covered all six. These aren't official book club picks, just a way to expose folks to a few more options for things to read. We'd especially love to hear from folks who've already read these!    
Our first pick comes from Jonathan Strickland. Post your thoughts to the thread and we'll discuss more about them next time    
Book Discussion: ShadowShow by Brad Strickland    

What do you want to see in the store?! Also, we have a store!    
Litterarius Virginitas – what?    
For the love of Stanislaw Lem    


Hey guys! I'm a fan of your work and I recently subscribed to the podcast. I was wondering if you have already read ""The Commonwealth Saga"" by Peter F. Hamilton. I found it to be a great read (or listen, since I consumed it through Audible).

The whole universe it portrays is fascinating and I found myself devouring all 5 books as fast as I could. The last three books ("The Void Trilogy") combine sci-fi and fantasy in a great way and I think you will enjoy it.

Thanks and keep up what you're doing with S&L and your other projects because they are great.    


I'm writing to plug an anthology that I helped put together along with the rest of my Clarion Workshop class (UCSD 2012). We released it yesterday, we worked hard on it, and we're proud of it. It has 17 stories, one from nearly every person in my class, and they run the gamut from dark to light, satire to serious, sf to horror to fantasy. Several of the authors are award-winners, including Sam J. Miller, who won this year's Shirley Jackson Award for his story ""57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides."" Our Week 1 teacher Jeffrey Ford graciously provided the foreword.

It's a diverse tome that was more than a little inspired by the success you guys had with the S&L Antho. We're trying to do our own little Humble-Bundle-style, pay-as-you-can thing with this. 100% of the net proceeds are going to the Clarion Foundation to support future workshops. There's more info at http://awkwardrobots.org

Luke Pebler   

For next month: Veronica started a thread to brainstorm    
Stories of Your Life and others by Ted Chiang    


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 - #188 - It's a Dragon Con Plex

We talk with Naomi Novik, fanfic writer, Ruby on Rails coder and author of the Temeraire series, from DragonCon 2014 in Atlanta! Then, we wrap up Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Download link here!

Tom: Dos Perros     
Veronica: Blackstone Pumpkin Ale    
Naomi: Hap and Harry's Original Tennessee Ale    
Thanks to Les for bringing us the beer!    

Blood of Tyrants came out in mass market paperback July 29 and look for Uprooted coming June 30, 2015.


We time travel and wrap up The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Next time we'll kick off Stories of Your Life and others by Ted Chiang

And check out our new STORE!

We won a Parsec Award!

DragonCon was awesome as always, but Tom and I are thrilled that we won a Parsec Award for Sword & Laser! Specifically, the award for Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (General). 

Thank you to the Parsec Committee, all the voters, and of course our listeners! Here's the list of all the finalists and winners for 2014.

See Sword and Laser Live This Saturday!!

If you're in Atlanta this weekend and headed to DragonCon you MUST join us in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hilton at 2:00 PM (Eastern) on Saturday afternoon August 30th. Why?

BECAUSE we're doing a live Sword and Laser episode and interviewing the incomparable Naomi Novik! You cannot miss it. So DON'T!  See you there.  

Time: Sat Aug. 30, 02:30 pm Location: Crystal Ballroom – Hilton (Length: 1 Hour)

S&L Podcast - #187 - How to Win a Hugo

We congratulate all the winners of the Hugos and chat with Aidan Moher about how he took home the best fanzine Hugo for A Dribble of Ink. Veronica milks him for info on how to win, and then we learn a way you can help more people become better writers and win more Hugos!

Download direct link here!


Tom: Third Shift Amber Lager
Veronica: Hell or High Watermelon


Louie: Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice (Orbit) took the top prize of Best Novel. No surprise there. I believe Veronica called this result, months ago. What do you think about the other winners? How many of the nominees have you read?

Best Related Work: We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink) and Best Fanzine: A Dribble of Ink edited by Aidan Moher

Alain: The class of 2012 Clarion writers work shop is raising money for the non-profit Clarion Foundation.  The Clarion workshop is a six week course/session where aspiring writers who want to write Science Fiction and Fantasy can hone and improve their craft. Many now famous writers in the field have attended here is a far from exhaustive list. Anyway the class of 2012 have put together an anthology to raise funds. It's a name your price kinda of thing for .99 cents upwards. Luke R. Pebler who appears in the S&L anthology has a story in here as well as 16 other writers. A very cheap way to check out some up and coming writers.

Paul: July is biggest comic month in history making $53 million and the number one selling comic? Rocket Racoon #1. Rack up another one for the "Unknown Property" of Guardians of the Galaxy. P.S. Groot debuted in November 1960 in Tales to Astonish #13. Years Before Spider-Man, The X-Men or every one of the Avengers except for the original Captain America series (March 1941). Just For Posterity Ronan The Accuser (August 1967). The Original far future Guardians of the Galaxy which was a completely different team (January 1969). Adam Warlock (The already announced GotG 2? :) (April 1972) Drax (1973) Gamora (1975) Star Lord and Rocket Racoon both (1976)

terpkristin: Jennifer Lee, who co-wrote Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen, has been tapped to work on the screenplay for a live-action version of A Wrinkle in Time. I loved loved loved loved this book when I was a kid and am cautiously optimistic about this project...

George R.R. Martin Says Game of Thrones Readers Have Already Predicted the Series Ending

Syfy's Childhood's End Adaptation Gets Closer and Closer to Happening


Lindsay writes: Prior to reading The Name of the Wind, I read: Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis: Picked it up after listening to an interview with the author on the Skiffy and Fanty show and it was excellent YA Fantasy. Every time the main character blinks his perspective switches to a girl in a secondary fantasy world.

August 26 - The Broken Eye (Lightbringer) by Brent Weeks and Echopraxia by Peter watts (continuing on from Blindsight) Lock in by John Scalzi

September 2 - Sleeping Late on Judgement Day (Bobby Dollar) by Tad Williams

Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar


SFF Art for framing?

Finally got my @swordandlaser Anthology! Love the dedication. #swordandlaser #book #anthology #scifi #fantasy http://t.co/9rOcCHVKVN

Sword and Laser do #LonCon3 ! @swordandlaser http://t.co/ahzB5y3SXf

@swordandlaser Just got this. Looks like a fantastic lineup. http://t.co/V2Bg71q3qJ


Next Month's book pick! Stories of Your Life and others by Ted Chiang

This month's Pick:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The always important casting thread

Theories from: The Re-Readers' Thread posted by Jack


Sign up for the newsletter to enter to win a copy of Half a King by Joe Abercrombie! See form on the right-hand nav on the website here!

Have a free story from the Anthology!

The Sword and Laser newsletter is our way of reaching out directly to you and letting you know when special things are coming up. As a way of saying thanks for signing up, we're giving away stories. 

"Once upon a time there was a frog stormtrooper--"

Sorry I've been informed by Veronica that we need to give away good stories if we really want to thank people for signing up for our newsletter.

Sign up for our newsletter and receive the story  "A Night for Spirits and Snowflakes" by Aidan Moher, from the Sword and Laser Anthology! 

Update: Thanks to everyone who signed up! 

We'll be doing more giveaways on the newsletter soon. Sign up below and never miss out!

S&L Podcast - #186 - The Name of the Wind is Dave

Almost every book is becoming a TV show or movie. Also we tell you how to be a part of a living creation of Alice in Wonderland and we kick off Patrick Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind.

Download direct link here!



Tom: Smithwick's Irish Ale
Veronica: 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon

ALAIN writes: Ghost Brigades part of the John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War Series is going to air on SyFy. If they keep the tone of the novels it should be pretty cool. It's nice to see the SyFy channel air more Science Fiction and Fantasy. The irony is it took other cable channels to show them that the genre is viable if done properly. Scalzi has a self-interview about the news.

Dara: A Dragonriders of Pern movie is totally happening. Probably. Maybe.     

Michele: So this might make Tom happy, or not ;) Amazon Studios picks up The Man in the High Castle

Rob: Syfy will be adapting the magicians. That's right, not HBO, not showtime, not AMC. Syfy. Hurray? 

Nokomis.FL: Starz is previewing the first episode of Ron Moore's depiction of Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' on their website. You don't need to be a subscriber, but you do need to be in the US.
Ben: Jonathan Pryce and Alexander Siddig (among others) have been cast for Season 5 of Game of Thrones. No sign yet of Victarion Greyjoy and unfortunately it doesn't look good for fans of Arianne Martell, so let's all revisit her picture from the Fantasy Flight Games board game and pretend. 

Aubrey: There's a Kickstarter for temporary literary tattoos. "Litographs Tattoos: Wearable Tributes to Iconic Books" - I like the designs and they have a tattoo chain idea for the first 2500 pledgers to get a tattoo with a quote from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" so the whole book would be ""worn"" by all the backers. Pretty nifty idea, I think.    

Sony stops selling ereaders    

Kaleb: Deadly Class by Rick Remender has to be the most dark and twisted comic I've ever read! Anyone who reads this comment, I highly recommend you read it.
Half A King by Joe Abercrombie just arrived at my library! I'm excited to read my first book by Abercrombie. 
Out today August 5th! The Magician's Land: A Novel by Lev Grossman, Severed Souls by Terry Goodkind, The Widow’s House (The Dagger and the Coin) by Daniel Abraham

NEXT Week: August 12: Fool's Assassin (Realm of the Elderlings: Fitz and the Fool Trilogy) by Robin Hobb   

Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar    


Alex: Dystopian for Adults?    

Thane: Author or Book-Related Dreams?    

Dave: SDCC Epic Fantasy panel: Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy    
The Name of the Wind   by Patrick Rothfuss   

Is Kvothe a "Marty Stu"?