Boars, Gore, And Swords book club: Strong Belwas’s Bowels

With the completion of Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Ivan and Red dig back into the Boars, Gore, And Swords book club, where they cover the chapters of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series that correspond to the previous television season. No book spoilers past the TV show!

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Mary Robinette Kowal and Jane Austen: separated at birth by a time-traveller


(Left: Mary Robinette Kowal. Right: Jane Austen, photo by TV West Country/Katie Rowlett)

Mary Robinette Kowal writes regency novels like Shades of Milk and Honey that blend magic with the milieu of Jane Austen.

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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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Terry Pratchett can't attend Discworld convention


For the first time in his long and storied career, Terry Pratchett has canceled a UK appearance, due to his failing health.

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Super-cute How to Train Your Dragon kids' costume


Okidz's child-sized Toothless costume from How to Train Your Dragon is amazing and has cute for days. It's made from felt and plush fabric, with the red tail-stablizer and all.

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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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CS Lewis explains why you should be proud to read children's books

A stupid, shaming, linkbaity screed against young adult literature in Slate has got lots of peoples' backs up. But reactionary nonsense about children's literature is nothing new, as CS Lewis's classic 1952 essay On Three Ways of Writing for Children (currently available in the excellent collection Of Other Worlds) demonstrates. Lewis demolishes the knee-jerk fear of being caught reading "kids' stuff," and reveals it for what it is: insecurity about your own maturity and seriousness (he also tackles the stupid idea that fantasy literature makes it hard for kids to know what's real):

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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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Last Unicorn clothes

Zack writes, "From the horse's mouth, so to speak (read: author Peter S. Beagle): A line of clothes based on Beagle's classic fantasy novel, memorably adapted as a 1982 animated film and an IDW graphic novel. If you've ever wanted 'Schmendrick Leggings,' or a 'Red Bull Poncho Tank,' now's your chance.

The Last Unicorn (Thanks, Zack!)

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My 20-year-obsession with DragonStrike's instructional videotape

“Not only have I watched the instructional VHS that came with the DragonStrike board game at least once a month since I was ten,” says Don Jolly, “I’ve pulled this tape out at parties. I’ve inflicting this tape on friends. God help me, I’ve shown this thing to girls. Then, I met the video’s creator.”

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Meet the man who remade Middle‑earth

Ethan Gilsdorf interviews John Howe, Tolkien Illustrator and Conceptual Designer of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogies

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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)

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. For a free trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use offer code SWORD. And by Audible. For a free audiobook of your choice and a free 30-day trial membership, go to audiblepodcast.com/sword

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Chapters one and two of Charlie Fletcher's The Oversight

“A dark and glinting book set in Victorian London, a fat and aggressively readable novel about a secret society — the Oversight — charged with the policing of all the magical and supranatural (yes, supranatural) elements of Britain.”

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The Oversight: conspiracies, magic, and the end of the world

The clever blendings of history and imagination in Charlie Fletcher’s new novel are satisfying enough to make resolution of its loose ends worth waiting for, writes Cory Doctorow

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