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.

Would Vegetarians Eat Electric Meat? - Sword & Laser


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.

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Why It's OK to Hate My Favorite Book - Sword & Laser

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 by Philip K. Dick, and the determination that it's OK to hate the book I love.

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Interview with Delilah S. Dawson! Whimseydark, Vampires and Ikea

We had a lovely time chatting with author Delilah S. Dawson about her struggles with Ikea furniture, brilliance on Twitter and the coining of Whimsydark. There's also a fair amount about blud and humans.

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S&L Podcast: 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.

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

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.

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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.

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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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