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.

Sword and Laser podcast: 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.

Show notes

How to Win a Hugo

On the latest episode of Sword and Laser 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!

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Sword and Laser bookclub kicks off The Name of the Wind

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use offer code SWORD.

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Threeways to Save Humanity

In episode 184 of the Sword and Laser, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk of high fantasy, Neil Gaiman and saving humanity.

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Who deserves the starring role in the film adaptation of The Martian?

In episode 183 of the Sword and Laser, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt ponder on Matt Damon’s role in The Martian, why we love to hate villains, and the role of philosophy and ideology in Octavia Butler’s Dawn. Brought to you by Squarespace. Use offer code SWORD for a free trial and 10% off!

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The Powder Mage Trilogy - Brian McClellan's new epic fantasy series

In the latest episode of the Sword and Laser, Veronica and Tom break down their June book pick, Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan.

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Flintpunk and Geekomancy [Sword and Laser 179]

Would you like to be in a George R. R. Martin Book? Got $20K? Don’t mind being killed? Good. You can help wolves. Also we give our first impressions of Brian McClellan’s The Promise of Blood and talk Geekomancy with Michael Underwood.

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Nebula winner for best SF novel: Ann Leckie (Sword & Laser 175)

We chat with Ann Leckie mere hours before she wins a Nebula award, about what it’s like to get so many awards, and what’s coming next for fans of her award-winning novel, Ancillary Justice.

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A Wrap-up of Earthsea (Sword & Laser podcast 174)

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The making of the Sword & Laser Anthology

When Tom Merritt and I (Veronica Belmont) started producing Sword & Laser back in 2007, we really only meant it as a project to entertain ourselves. I loved fantasy, Tom loved science fiction, but we were curious to read outside of our comfort zones and get a more thorough understanding of genre fiction as a whole.

As our community grew, we realized that there were many writers in our midst as well. Not just the ones we were interviewing on the show, but fellow readers and forum contributors who were online and sharing writing tips and samples with each other. Because of this, an idea hit me: we should do a short story collection, completely sourced from our talented pool of podcast listeners. They've done so much for us, we should figure out a way to highlight their work as well!

It's been about two years in the making, but the Sword & Laser Anthology is finally a real thing. Tom, myself, and a team of friends scoured the thousands of submissions to find our favorite twenty stories to include in the anthology; ten science fiction, ten fantasy. Ultimately, the final twenty were selected by me and Tom, and it was an almost traumatic experience picking from the pool of incredible finalists. Many of the writers are previously unpublished, and all of the included stories are original to our collection.

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Sword and Laser Podcast 173: JJ, Destroyer of Canons

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. Check out previous episodes here.

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial Sand 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use offer code SWORD.

We're very excited to have Bryan Benson on the show today, who backed our Kickstarter for season 2 of video, and got to pick this month's book. He's a game designer, author and all around great guy. Plus, he helped us to realize that JJ Abrams has become the destroyer of canonicity in SciFi.

Read show notes here.

Sword and Laser is not just a podcast; we’ve also been a book club since 2007! Each month we select a science fiction or fantasy book, discuss it during kick-off and wrap-up episodes of the podcast, and continue that discussion with our listeners over on our Goodreads forums. So come read along with us, and even get a chance to ask your questions to the authors themselves!

Sword and Laser: Subscribe RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Sword and Laser Podcast 172: The Invention of BeerPunk

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. Check out previous episodes here.

[Video Link] Travel fantasy writer Anthony St. Clair (Home Sweet Road, Martini Destiny) is on the forefront of a new genre involving beer and travel, plus he reveals the secret for planning a book with one word.

Read show notes here.

Sword and Laser is not just a podcast; we’ve also been a book club since 2007! Each month we select a science fiction or fantasy book, discuss it during kick-off and wrap-up episodes of the podcast, and continue that discussion with our listeners over on our Goodreads forums. So come read along with us, and even get a chance to ask your questions to the authors themselves!

Sword and Laser: Subscribe RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Sword and Laser Podcast 171: The Martian Influx

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. Check out previous episodes here.

We're very excited that James S. A. Corey's The Expanse is being made into a TV series! Plus, we sat down to chat with Andy Weir and Daniel Suarez. We learn you shouldn't go for a publisher, but go for an audience, and why you should NOT tell your friends your stories but make them read what you write instead.

Read show notes here.

Sword and Laser is not just a podcast; we’ve also been a book club since 2007! Each month we select a science fiction or fantasy book, discuss it during kick-off and wrap-up episodes of the podcast, and continue that discussion with our listeners over on our Goodreads forums. So come read along with us, and even get a chance to ask your questions to the authors themselves!

Sword and Laser: Subscribe RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Sword and Laser Podcast 170: The Lives of Wesley Chu

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. Check out previous episodes here.

[Video Link] Wes Chu has had many interesting (and varied) careers, but we're happy that he's focused on the fascinating tales of Tao. In this Google hangout, we talk about the upcoming finale to the series, where he's taking the story next, and answer your questions!

Read show notes here.

Sword and Laser is not just a podcast; we’ve also been a book club since 2007! Each month we select a science fiction or fantasy book, discuss it during kick-off and wrap-up episodes of the podcast, and continue that discussion with our listeners over on our Goodreads forums. So come read along with us, and even get a chance to ask your questions to the authors themselves!

Sword and Laser: Subscribe RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Sword and Laser Podcast 169: Sneaking Peeks and Swapping Sleeves

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. Check out previous episodes here.

From a debate on whether we should read early chapters from George R.R. Martin's Winds of Winter to the usefulness of Asimov's three laws, to our wrap-up of Altered Carbon, this is an episode that should contain a lot of wisdom. Who knows? It might!

Read show notes here.

Sword and Laser is not just a podcast; we’ve also been a book club since 2007! Each month we select a science fiction or fantasy book, discuss it during kick-off and wrap-up episodes of the podcast, and continue that discussion with our listeners over on our Goodreads forums. So come read along with us, and even get a chance to ask your questions to the authors themselves!

Sword and Laser: Subscribe RSS | iTunes | Download this episode