We talk with author Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger, about why healers are never the hero in genre fiction and how she decided to change that. We also press her for baked brie recipes and discover how the Foo Fighters helped shape Octavia Leander.
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! Read the rest
Carol writes, "Phil and Kaja Foglio have recently launched the Kickstarter for the latest book in the Girl Genius graphic novel series, Girl Genius: The Beast of the Rails. (And they've already reached their basic funding goal!)" Read the rest
Vermont, the little Holland of the United States, has been a leader in pot decriminalization, gay marriage, and socialist presidential candidates. One of the perks of living here is the annual free workout video that arrives in the mail. These elaborate DVDs go to all Vermont teachers (my wife's a librarian), paid for by the teacher's union and designed to get Vermonters through the harsh winters.
Our friends in Burlington worked extra hard this year to come up with a steampunk, time-travel theme. Props include a Tardis-like vehicle with a cockpit made from a wicker chair, fire extinguisher propulsion system, and voltmeter control panels. After a brief intro, some kind of evil time lord takes us through many sets of jumping jacks, pushups, and burpees. As goofy as the premise is, the workout is so intense I'm always praying for a Dalek invasion to end my misery.
The 3-day, $2750/person Rovos Rail train safari from Pretoria to Durban is pulled by 1930s steam trains; features giant, luxurious staterooms with their own bathtubs; offers high tea; and, true to its Edwardian time-warp, passengers are prohibited from working in public areas, lest this break the atmosphere of idle wealth and privilege. Read the rest
David ! from Wondermark and Machine of Death sez, "I'm hoping to turn some of my fake Victorian charts and diagrams (such as the venerable Hierarchy of Beards, or the newer Zoological Times Table of chimerae) into 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles -- my pitch video also features a cameo from my adorable kittycat!" Read the rest