This week we almost wrap up The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, discuss the intricacies of eBook DRM and try to decide just how high a price our integrity would fetch. We also wonder the same about Neal Stephenson and Steven Hawking. Join us, won't you?
This week we're busy. We congratulate the winners of several year-end awards. We kick off our December book pick, The Night Circus, a beautiful novel by Erin Morgenstern. And we dive into some of the most wretched and hated terms and phrases in the professions of authorship. Mary Sue is under siege!
We sing the praises of Ursula K. Leguin, marvel at the casting of HBO's Westworld, announce our December book pick and wrap up Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. Also, Veronica admits she would eat people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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!