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Sword and Laser Podcast 159: Ian Tregillis on Angels, Superpowers, and Deathmatches

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 have a chance to chat with the fabulous Ian Tregillis, author of the Milkweed Triptych and Something More Than Night. He alludes to his secret "Clakkers" project, explains how to make an angel talk like a shamus, and reveals Gretel's secret Reagan baby. (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!

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: Coldhands, My Canadian Girlfriend

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW.

In this episode, Red and Ivan discuss the Davos V & Bran IV chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). They also talk about Railroad speaking directly to listeners, Stannis’s Bannermen vs. Ivan’s twitter followers, the Nightfort, prince stew, Railroad writing Hodor high, and a TALKING TREE.

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Sword and Laser Podcast 158: Read a Book, Change Your Brain - It's Science!

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.

It's our first episode after New Year's and we're still recovering. Thank goodness Neil Gaiman, the Wertzone and Stephen Chow are here to perk us up. Plus we kick off our January book, The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany (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

Works eligible for science fiction awards

We're coming up on award season in science fiction and fantasy -- nominations are open or opening for the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, the Nebula Award, and a host of others. John Scalzi has put up a post where writers, artists, editors, and other eligible creators can list their eligible work; Charlie Stross created one too. They're both fascinating reads in their own right.

Feel free to post your own eligible works to the comments below!

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Sword and Laser Podcast 157: Marie Brennan's Fantasy Brings the Science to Fiction

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. - Mark

In this episode, Veronica and Tom chat with Marie Brennan about her historical fiction, her fictionalized history, and all kinds of matters relating to anthropology, ethnography, archaeology and natural history. And dragons. Plus, get a peek at how much glee she takes in chopping off hands.

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

Genderswitched Bilbo makes The Hobbit a better read

Michelle Nijhuis's five year old daughter insisted that Bilbo Baggins was a girl. After arguing about it for a while, Michelle decided to read her The Hobbit, switching Bilbo's gender-pronoun throughout. And it worked brilliantly. Bilbo is a great heroine: "tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender -- and neither does anyone else."

Pat Murphy wrote a novel based on this premise: There and Back Again, which is a retelling of The Hobbit as a science fiction story in which all the characters are female (in contrast to Tolkien, whose world is all but empty of women of any sort). It is, sadly, long out of print, but available used and well worth your attention.

In the meantime, this kind of on-the-fly changes to stories are part of what make reading aloud to your kid so much fun. Poesy often requests (demands) editorial changes to the books I read her, some of which have been surprisingly effective at improving the text.

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Gaiman's "Ocean at the End of the Lane" wins UK book of the year prize

Congratulations to Neil Gaiman, whose modern fairytale The Ocean at the End of the Lane was named "book of the year" by popular vote in the UK Specsavers National Book Awards.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: The Red Wedding AKA Truly, God is a Cruel Buscemi

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW. - Mark

In this episode, Red and Ivan discuss the Catelyn VII & Arya XI chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). It’s Edmure and Roslin’s wedding day! What could go wrong! Nothing! Ivan and Red discuss Attack The Block, wedding food, stone to lb conversion, unspoken threats, spoken threats, and actual murder.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: The Red Dress Rehearsal

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW. - Mark

In this episode, Red and Ivan discuss the Catelyn VI & Arya X chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). Kelly Anneken joins Ivan and Red as they discuss the Happy Mutants podcast, social media snafus, racist animals, Goorin Brothers hats, Lord Walder Frey as a tiny baby, Jinglebell jingling his bells, and Lord Walder’s Beringer White Zinfandel.

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Sword and Laser Podcast 156: Wrapping Up Dragons!

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. - Mark

It’s a no-holds barred episode where Tom and Veronica reveal their most horrible secrets. Happy Christmas! Also good news from Scott Lynch, slightly bad news from Charles Stross, and the book character you want on your side in a bar fight.

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

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: Rowing Across the Trident? That’s a Paddlin’

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things using foul language. In this episode, they discuss the Arya IX and Jon VI chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). Also covered: Bannerman Shannon’s NaNoWriMo victory, the double-headed horse, Sandor the Stranger, Telltale Games’ upcoming Game of Thrones game, Wolfman Bran, and new character Noswym McDrownsalot.

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Sword and Laser Podcast 155: Why Sam Sykes is for Sharks and the Alliance

We had a really good time chatting with Sam Sykes, author of the Aeon's Gate series. Among other things, we learned what a flying shark is good for, why he left the Horde, what a 'stealfie' is, and how Sam keeps his daily threat-making to a minimum. Plus your questions! Enjoy.

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

The Desolation of Tolkien

Ethan Gilsdorf reviews The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, where we see more clearly Jackson’s vision to give The Hobbit the look, feel and slow majesty of The Lord of the Rings.

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Sword and Laser Podcast 154: A Natural History of Dragons

It’s a very dragon-filled episode, as Veronica and Tom kick off their December pick, A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, actually by Marie Brennan.

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

Something More Than Night: noirish detective novel with extreme physics and angels

On Tor.com, Alex Brown reviews Ian Tregillis's new novel, Something More Than Night, a noirish hard-boiled detective novel about angels and extreme physics. Tregillis wrote the spectacular Milkweed Triptych, a trilogy of novels that suppose that the Nazis had a horrific, X-men-like experiment that produced superbeings who could only be held back by the secret work of English warlocks and the blood-thirsty cosmic powers they served. With Milkweed, Tregillis showed himself to be a literary chameleon, who could handle two-fisted WWII fightin' action (Bitter Seeds); Cold War spy thrillers (The Coldest War) and mind-bending, existential time-travel science fiction (Necessary Evil -- the best of the very good lot). Now, with Something More Than Night, he changes voice yet again, and with excellent effect:

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