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Sword and Laser

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast, started by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt.

Thoughts on the Hugo Awards

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt discuss a controversy that has science fiction stars going supernova.Read the rest

The Sword and Laser: Do Readers Have the Right to Delete Swear Words?

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In this episode of The Sword and Laser podcast, we share our final thoughts on The Goblin Emperor, kick off our April pick, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, and we discuss why some author names are bigger than their titles. But what really gets this episode going is the debate about whether a reader has the right to "clean up" an author's language.

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

Why author Peter V. Brett Empathizes with George R.R. Martin

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt tackle the week in science fiction.Read the rest

Are you the Goblin Emperor?

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt on the latest in science fiction and fantasy

We bid adieu to Terry Pratchett and commemorate him with one more book pick next month. We cheer for Chuck Wendig being picked for the next Star Wars novel. And we wonder if we are too much like the Goblin Emperor. Are you?

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

The Secret to Inventing Your Own Language

Sarah Monette joins Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt on the latest podcast.Read the rest

Who will win this year's Nebula Award?

On this week's Sword and Laser podcast, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt capture the latest developments in science fiction and fantasy.Read the rest

Crowdfunding an Abomination with Gary Whitta (Star Wars, The Book of Eli)

Gary Whitta is an award-winning screenwriter who wrote The Book of Eli and worked on the first Star Wars standalone film. So when he had an idea for a dark historical fantasy story he wrote a book. Why? We ask him that, about successfully crowdfunding his novel, and much more on this episode!

Oh, and yes. We ask him about Star Wars too.

Gary Whitta


Gary Whitta

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

Sword and Laser podcast: How Tyrion could die

In this new episode of Sword and Laser podcast, we have a whole Wheel of Time pilot mystery to solve, and then on top of it, George RR Martin says any character in the Game of Thrones series could be killed even if they’re safe in the book. WHAT?! Hands off the Imp!

Also, we explore the mystery of why Tom didn’t like Annihilation more, even though he wanted to.

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

Brian McClellan and his latest flintlock fantasy novel, The Autumn Republic

When you rule the world of "powder mages" you can do what you want. Brian McClellan wields his powder for good. In addition to delivering us the complete Powder Mage trilogy with the third book The Autumn Republic, Brian is going to bring us a second trilogy in the same universe, all while growing his own spaghetti sauce and keeping bees. Impressive. Most impressive.

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

Jeff VanderMeer's novel Annihilation is not for everyone

Veronica REALLY wanted to make the title of this episode "Tom Merritt is a sexist pig." But Tom doesn't need that kind of grief. And besides he has promised to read even more female SciFi/Fantasy authors going forward. But if you want to hear Veronica giggle at the notion -- as well as defend our book pick, Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and wax eloquent about the need for varied perspectives in literature -- then fire up this episode!

Full show notes here!
Support us on Patreon!

Military Fantasy and Myke Cole

Sword and Laser welcomes back the amazing Myke Cole to talk about how he finds time to write great books, fight crime, and decorate his apartment with even more books. We also pressure him into a startling revelation about unicorns. And of course, talk to him about his new book, Gemini Cell: A Shadow Ops Novel, which is out now!

Full show notes here!
Support us on Patreon!

Ready Player Two? A sci-fi sequel is in the works.

Join Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont for the Sword and Laser Podcast.

We wrap up The Sparrow. We loved it and it made us sad. We're also blown away at the quality of books being made into TV shows. Well, only a pilot and a trailer but so far so good. But should you risk reading a book and seeing a movie or TV show too? Maybe not! Plus, we get a hint at a sequel to Ready Player One!

Full show notes here!
Support us on Patreon!

Don't Fear The Roomba? An Interview with Daniel H. Wilson

Author and robotics engineer Daniel H. Wilson chats with us about his new story/app called Mayday: Deep Space about a person trapped on a ship full of monsters. Only you can help him survive! But of course we have to ask Daniel when the robots will rise up and kill us all.

Show notes here!
Support us on Patreon!

Best Books of 2014: Sword & Laser Podcast

Well we're here to kick off the new year AND celebrate our 200th episode so we gathered drinks and cheer and your favorite books of 2014 as well as our own and a few others. You'll never guess which one everybody picked! That's not true. You'll totally guess. You probably already guessed. But listen to the show anyway, OK. For us?

Full show notes here!
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Integrity For Sale: Sword and Laser Podcast

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?

Full show notes here!
Support us on Patreon!

The Most Hated Phrases in SciFi: Sword & Laser Podcast

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!

Full show notes here!
Support us on Patreon!

Veronica is a Cannibal: Sword & Laser podcast

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.

Full show notes here!
Support us on Patreon!