• Embrace the Manic Pixie Dream Witch!

    We're happy for the Hugos, sad for the last Terry Pratchett novel, and J.R.R. Tolkien has a new book. Plus, we wrap up Uprooted by Naomi Novik and make our peace with a trope.

    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!

  • LISTEN: Neil Gaiman writes all the things!

    We have an eyewitness report from the ALA conference in San Francisco, our initial thoughts on Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and Neil Gaiman will write some episodes for the American Gods TV series. Thank American Gods!

    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!

    Photo: Kyle Cassidy (cc)

  • From Authors to Hollywood Moguls!

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    Ellen DeGeneres is apparently interested in adapting Naomi Novik's Uprooted as a film. But, we all know there's a long road from "interest" to "released." Just ask Neil Gaiman. The good news is Gaiman's American Gods is finally green-lit for TV! So there's hope. Unless you're a god from the Continent! More about that as we wrap up The City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett.

    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!

  • Why the Healer deserves to be a Hero

    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!

  • We Make People Win Nebula Awards — Maybe.

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    First off we now have a 100% record picking Nebula-award winning books for the club. That's 100% of the last two years. So take note Nebula-wanters! Also we're very excited about a new series from University of Illinois Press called the Masters of Science Fiction. You can find out William Gibson's secrets!

    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!

  • Why there's no such thing as writer's block

    orullianPeter Orullian wears many hats. He is an author, musician, and has worked for many years at Microsoft on the XBox team. Today we talk about his series The Vault of Heaven, get the scoop on his all-time favorite music, and hear why Peter believes there is no such thing as writer's block.

    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!

  • Apply John Scalzi Directly to Forehead

    Veronica, however, teases him about his Lock In Sequel's title. Todays Sword and Laser podcast also applauds Ernest Cline's choice of audiobook narrator, and sees the presenters offer polar-opposite opinions about Leigh Brackett's "Sword of Rhiannon."

    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!

  • Why genres don't matter on the Internet

    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!

  • Is The Magician's TV Quentin Too Handsome?

    Everything you've ever read seems to be coming to TV. Plus Veronica tries to uncover Tom's secret political conspiracy, while Tom changes Veronica's opinion of 1940s era swashbuckling.

    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!

  • Discworld's Inner Rage

    Rucksack Universe Author and Pratchett Enthusiast, Anthony St. Clair joins us to wrap up our reading of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. Is Granny Weatherwax a conduit for Pratchett's righteous anger? Does Tom live next to Nanny Ogg? All these mysteries and more revealed.

    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!

  • Thoughts on the Hugo Awards

    We're excited and fearful about a new chapter from George R.R. Martin's Winds of Winter, we're hopeful about new books from John Scalzi and Ann Leckie and we're just a little wistful and/or angry about the Hugos.

    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!

  • The Sword and Laser: Do Readers Have the Right to Delete Swear Words?

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    In this episode of The Sword and Laser podcast, we share our final thoughts on The Goblin Emperor, kick off our April pick, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, and we discuss why some author names are bigger than their titles. But what really gets this episode going is the debate about whether a reader has the right to "clean up" an author's language.

    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!

  • Why author Peter V. Brett Empathizes with George R.R. Martin

    We talk with Peter V. Brett about his new book, cool tattoos and the last enjoyable book he read. The Skull Throne, 4th in the Demon Cycle series, comes out March 31, 2015.

    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!

  • Are you the Goblin Emperor?

    We bid adieu to Terry Pratchett and commemorate him with one more book pick next month. We cheer for Chuck Wendig being picked for the next Star Wars novel. And we wonder if we are too much like the Goblin Emperor. Are you?

    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!

  • The Secret to Inventing Your Own Language

    Sarah Monette, a.k.a. Katherine Addison, tells us why you're all right about The Goblin Emperor, why the wizards in the book are so stubborn about using magic, and shares tips for inventing a language.

    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!

  • Who will win this year's Nebula Award?

    So much good news! Some of our favorite stories are becoming movies and TV shows and we even have good news of a popular indie author getting picked up by Tor. And we even make a stab at predicting the Nebula winner. Yet controversy rages in the Untheileneise court. Especially about how to pronounce "Untheileneise."

    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!

  • Crowdfunding an Abomination with Gary Whitta (Star Wars, The Book of Eli)

    Gary Whitta is an award-winning screenwriter who wrote The Book of Eli and worked on the first Star Wars standalone film. So when he had an idea for a dark historical fantasy story he wrote a book. Why? We ask him that, about successfully crowdfunding his novel, and much more on this episode!

    Oh, and yes. We ask him about Star Wars too.

    Gary Whitta


    Gary Whitta

    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!

  • Sword and Laser podcast: How Tyrion could die

    In this new episode of Sword and Laser podcast, we have a whole Wheel of Time pilot mystery to solve, and then on top of it, George RR Martin says any character in the Game of Thrones series could be killed even if they're safe in the book. WHAT?! Hands off the Imp!

    Also, we explore the mystery of why Tom didn't like Annihilation more, even though he wanted to.

    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!

  • Brian McClellan and his latest flintlock fantasy novel, The Autumn Republic

    When you rule the world of "powder mages" you can do what you want. Brian McClellan wields his powder for good. In addition to delivering us the complete Powder Mage trilogy with the third book The Autumn Republic, Brian is going to bring us a second trilogy in the same universe, all while growing his own spaghetti sauce and keeping bees. Impressive. Most impressive.

    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!