From swordandlaser on March 14, 2019, 6:15 p.m.
We review the final four books in our Mad March Tournament. Plus lots of great new award-winners and nominees to fill your to-read list and our continuing thoughts on our re-read of Harry Potter.
From swordandlaser on March 6, 2019, 6:20 p.m.
Author S.A. Chakraborty joins us on the show to talk about the inspiration for her two recent books: The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper.
From swordandlaser on March 4, 2019, 2:47 a.m.
So many good TV shows based on books that we love are coming, and we even got a movie with a casting announcement that made Tom very excited! Plus, our final thoughts on The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal and the kick off of what we assume is a re-read for most of you, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling. Come on. Read it again! It’s fun! We are GO for March Madness! Head to Goodreads or find the link on swordandlaser.com to vote for your favorite books.
From swordandlaser on Feb. 15, 2019, 4:39 p.m.
We chat with Mary Robinette Kowal, the author of this month’s pick, The Calculating Stars. From acknowledging and learning from your biases, to de-stigmatizing mental illness, to using math as a magic system, we had a lovely time and don’t care WHAT people would think.
From swordandlaser on Feb. 8, 2019, 8:46 p.m.
So many news stories! We have to speed through them but there’s some good picks from lots of award winners in there. Plus, the best pajamas ever and whether Calculating Stars is steamy!
From swordandlaser on Jan. 17, 2019, 8:13 p.m.
We’re very pleased that the Hugo Nominations are open and we’ll keep reminding you. Also we’re pleased to discuss pairing beer with novels and pleased to look over the new Philip K. Dick award nominees. We’re pleased to be reading Ninefox Gambit too, even if it makes our brain hurt.
From swordandlaser on Jan. 3, 2019, 9:50 p.m.
We’re SO excited for books coming out this year, AND we award our favorite Sword and Laser reads for 2018! We finish with our final thoughts on Crows.
From swordandlaser on Dec. 20, 2018, 9:30 p.m.
The Sword and Laser bump returns! Also, Veronica wants to start reading comics. And we realize we need brain, but that’s all we need. Isn’t that festive!
From swordandlaser on Dec. 6, 2018, 9:15 p.m.
The Verge is writing SciFi for a better tomorrow, plus is Roald Dahl Fantasy? Is It's a Wonderful Life SciFi?
From swordandlaser on Nov. 29, 2018, 5:51 p.m.
We’ve got options! For TV shows! Well we don’t but Annalee Newitz, Mira Grant and Kristine Kathryn Rusch do! Plus our feelings on Zeroes.
From swordandlaser on Nov. 15, 2018, 9:28 p.m.
Tom inadvertently affects a listener feud, the truth about George R. R. Martin and why we think Zeroes is number 1.
From swordandlaser on Oct. 26, 2018, 7:07 p.m.
Well we are certainly interested in Molly Gloss after that Ursula K. Leguin blurb, we’re mad on behalf of Chuck Wendig, each for different reasons, and coincidentally Zeroes by Chuck Wendig is our next pick. Plus we wrap up the journey that is Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country.
From swordandlaser on Oct. 11, 2018, 8:40 p.m.
We're excited for optioned TV series for Circe and Dresden Files even if they are just options. Also we brainstorm Type 3 civilizations and female gearheads.
From swordandlaser on Sept. 27, 2018, 8:09 p.m.
Gorgeous LeGuin books, more Bobiverse! and our final take on Slan.
From swordandlaser on Sept. 13, 2018, 7:09 p.m.
We’re excited for TV with Henry Cavill as Geralt, and maybe even some Witchlands! Plus our initial non-spoilery impressions of this month’s book, Slan.
From swordandlaser on Sept. 4, 2018, 4:46 a.m.
We talk to author R. A. Salvatore about his new book Timeless, and also how he feels these days about Chewbacca, Dungeons and Dragons and more. Timeless is out September 4. Pick it up in the Salvastore!
From swordandlaser on Aug. 30, 2018, 7:35 p.m.
We lost the Hugos and it was AWESOME! Plus we have great news about a new novel coming from Rivers Solomon, and a new ebookstore from Wal-Mart. Plus we kick off Slan by A. E. van Vogt and our final thoughts on Jade City.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 17, 2018, 3:41 a.m.
SFF readers have more mature relationship views. It's science. And hey! We're still Hugo-nominated! Will we stay that way or become winners? Who can say? But we have other things to say, like what we think of Jade City by Fonda Lee.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 3, 2018, 3:49 a.m.
The Tor vs. Library saga continues, we're pumped for the World Fantasy Award nominees, and the serendipity of reading a book about the place you are at while you're reading it. Trust us. It will make sense in the show.
From swordandlaser on July 20, 2018, 4:18 a.m.
We're excited about new monsters and solarpunk but mostly we're excited about Mortal Engines! Except for all the murder.
From swordandlaser on July 5, 2018, 9:50 p.m.
We team up with Mallory and Brea from Reading Glasses for a supercollaboration with reading advice, emails, and discussion of Mortal Engines.
From swordandlaser on June 21, 2018, 10:42 p.m.
Why we think Amazon may have been cribbing off us, the reality TV connection to ancient Greece, and the raging 2X audiobook debate speeds along.
From swordandlaser on June 14, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
A database of all the stories, Stranger Things enters the tie-in book world, a debate about speed-listening, and what Veronica REALLY thinks about Zeus.
From swordandlaser on June 1, 2018, 12:39 a.m.
We're very excited about the Expanse coming back and Gail Carriger's plans and that the "What are we drinking" segment got a good review! Plus the different takes on mythology from our two latest book picks.
From swordandlaser on May 17, 2018, 6:32 p.m.
Brian McClellan joins us to talk about his latest book, Wrath of Empire (second book in the Gods of Blood and Powder series). Plus we find out why he may not want to time travel, and what his writing kryptonite is!
From swordandlaser on May 10, 2018, 7:20 p.m.
So many awards! Locus, Scribe, Parsec, oh my! Plus why we think maybe it's OK to read the 21 books you shouldn't read, and we kick off Tanith Lee's amazing Night's Master.
From swordandlaser on April 26, 2018, 2:48 a.m.
Have you ever walked into a book store and just froze? Us too. We'll talk you through it. Plus we announced the May book pick and Tanith Lee fans will be happy! Because it's by Tanith Lee! Also the wrap-up for We Are Legion (We are Bob).
From swordandlaser on April 13, 2018, 9:19 p.m.
We are SO excited to be nominated for the Hugos! Thank you! Also the return of the Expanse and why Amazon will spend $1 billion on a Middle Earth show.
From swordandlaser on March 30, 2018, 2:01 a.m.
The March tournament was so much fun, and in the end we'll read We Are Legion (We Are Bob) which is an appropriately fun book. We also talk about other podcasts that are cool to listen to, plus our last thoughts on the beautiful complexity of An Unkindness of Ghosts.
From swordandlaser on March 15, 2018, 6:32 p.m.
More Pratchett TV coming, and more Rothfuss books? Plus more deep discussion about an Unkindness of Ghosts, including why blurbs may lead you astray.
From swordandlaser on March 2, 2018, 12:28 a.m.
Tom tries to convince Veronica to fight hate, but A Wrinkle In Time has her questioning love's power.
From swordandlaser on Feb. 16, 2018, 7:54 p.m.
Hey the Hugo nominations are open and you can vote for us! Also Firefly is coming back as books. And the Hugo nominations are open and you can vote for us. Plus StoryBundle has an awesome set of books called Black Narratives! And the Hugo nominations are open and you can vote for us. Oh and the Locus Awards are open for voting. That one... you can't vote for us. But you can vote for us in the Hugos.
From swordandlaser on Feb. 1, 2018, 6:32 p.m.
We share our memories and thoughts on the passing of Ursula K. Leguin. We also talk about how silly it is to think anybody but George R. R. Martin truly knows the release date for Winds of Winter, and discover the true villain of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
From swordandlaser on Jan. 19, 2018, 5:48 p.m.
Goodbye Shannara, hello The Blade Itself TV show? Also Moby Dick and Philip K Dick have different problems, and what the monster in Frankenstein might truly represent.
From swordandlaser on Jan. 4, 2018, 7:11 p.m.
It's a whole new year of books, and we have some suggestions! Plus the science behind Westeros and the amazing 200-year-old Mary Shelley.
From swordandlaser on Dec. 21, 2017, 5:09 p.m.
Ready Player One may have a sequel, The Witcher TV show has a show runner, and we have no bones to pick with California Bones.
From swordandlaser on Dec. 8, 2017, 9:19 p.m.
#312 - Eating Bones for Fun and Magic by swordandlaser
From swordandlaser on Nov. 30, 2017, 10:31 p.m.
This week we have a lot to say about wine, some to say about Amazon's Lord of the Rings series and loads to say as we wrap up Connie Willis' Doomsday Book. Plus we kind of sort of kick off December's Book, California Bones.
From swordandlaser on Nov. 10, 2017, 2:18 a.m.
OMG. Patrick Rothfuss is best buds with Lin-Manuel Miranda and they're doing a TV prequel to Kingkiller Chronicles, while Felicia Day plays Poppy the Dragonologist AND Amazon wants to do a Tolkien series. And that doesn't even begin to shed light on how good our book pick Doomsday Book is. But the piece de resistance of the show is one man's story of losing power and trying to read.
From swordandlaser on Oct. 26, 2017, 10:47 p.m.
We’re happy for Chuck Wendig and sad for the passing of Roy Dotrice and Julian May. And we’re also debating whether side conversations are a good literary device.
From swordandlaser on Oct. 12, 2017, 10:42 p.m.
That’s right, Sword and Laser has been picking and reading books for 10 years and we’re not even close to stopping. This week we discuss why you don’t need to travel to London to read Theodora Goss but it doesn’t hurt. And why we’re extra excited for Andy Weir’s Artemis.
From swordandlaser on Sept. 28, 2017, 6:50 p.m.
Good Omens looks good, Annihilation looks great, our last thoughts on Helliconia Spring, and why we’re reading about monsters in October.
From swordandlaser on Sept. 19, 2017, 6:51 p.m.
Annalee Newitz joins us on the show to talk about her new novel Autonomous. We discuss indentured robot servitude, the archaeological digs she's digging right now, and what the future of our economy could look like!
From swordandlaser on Sept. 14, 2017, 5:44 p.m.
The Martin Studies International Network will help you study Westeros better, Scott Lynch gives hope for the next Locke Lamora book and sadly, we lose a great one in Jerry Pournelle,
From swordandlaser on Aug. 31, 2017, 6:10 p.m.
We say goodbye to Brian W. Aldiss by reading one of his books. We respect Terry Pratchett's Steamroller wishes. And why Hey Jude is not an anachronism.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 17, 2017, 6:50 p.m.
All the best books are being adapted into TV shows and movies including Good Omens, The City and the City, Dawn, and The Fifth Season! Plus we dive into the Gunslinger and talk mostly spoiler-free about fantasy westerns. And BONUS song about our Goodreads moderator, Rob.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 10, 2017, 7:43 p.m.
We talk with author Daniel H. Wilson about his book, Clockwork Dynasty and why we might not need to fear the robots.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 3, 2017, 7:16 p.m.
Hot Pie has a bakery! Ready Player One has a trailer! The Rook has a TV show! This episode has a final word on butterscotch! And the man in black has a gunslinger following him!
From swordandlaser on July 20, 2017, 8:09 p.m.
Hey kids, Nnedi Okorafor has an HBO show coming, EW and Tor have LOADS of book recommendations and we love the world created by Ursula K. Le Guin.
From swordandlaser on July 13, 2017, 5:56 p.m.
It's windy but in among the breeze, N.K. Jemisin shares wisdom about writing, characters and wrapping up the Broken Earth Trilogy. Plus she accidentally brings up FanFic and talks about why, even though it can be more than practice, it's really good for honing your writing.
From swordandlaser on July 6, 2017, 8:43 p.m.
George R. R. Martin has even more money coming his way, public domain books clean up nice, we love the Locus Award winners, and why Veronica is not allowed to let a bear eat her.
From swordandlaser on June 22, 2017, 6:44 p.m.
New Game of Thrones Trailer! AHHHHH! Levar Burton reading stories on a new podcast! AHHHH! Haint plot hole in the Hum and the Shiver-- ahhhhh— maybe not that big a deal?
From swordandlaser on June 15, 2017, 9:48 p.m.
We talk to Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, the authors that make up James S. A. Corey, about coffee, distilled and fermented beverages and making The Expanse a TV show at BayCon 2017.
From swordandlaser on June 8, 2017, 7:52 p.m.
The Hugo nominees are out and we love them all, we kick off the Hum and the Shiver with music, and a spider that looks like a sorting hat.
From swordandlaser on May 31, 2017, 6:07 p.m.
We are excited about the winner of this year's Nebula, the finalists in the Locus awards, and so many TV shows coming from our favorite books. Plus, why Neil Gaiman will read a Cheesecake Factory Menu on stage.
From swordandlaser on May 18, 2017, 12:35 a.m.
We chat with author Cory Doctorow about his new novel Walkaway, which is post-apocalyptic, but not dystopian. It's also DRM-free!
From swordandlaser on May 11, 2017, 5:58 a.m.
We've got more of Game of Thrones TV coming, the Arthur C. Clarke Award nominees, and our thoughts on why The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is the opposite of epic in the best way possible.
From swordandlaser on May 4, 2017, 3:20 a.m.
We talk with M. R. Carey about his new book The Boy on the Bridge, and how The Girl with All the Gifts became a movie!
From swordandlaser on April 27, 2017, 6:09 a.m.
Neil Gaiman makes sure the American Gods TV show is prepared for the sequel he hasn’t even written yet, why the Invisible Library doesn’t need to change the world to be awesome, and a plea for regular folks to get back to Fantasyland.
From swordandlaser on April 21, 2017, 3:30 a.m.
Matthew Isaac Sobin tells how his desire to write a beautiful story about the solar system, and how the aggressive encouragement of a friend led to the story of Jonathan, the Last Machine in the Solar System.
From swordandlaser on April 13, 2017, 5:48 a.m.
Hugo Nominees are in! The African Speculative Fiction Society nominees are in! People pressuring you to read 200 books a year are in. But us slow readers draw the line.
From swordandlaser on March 30, 2017, 6:25 p.m.
A SciFi book is mysteriously returned after 35 years, at the same time a billionaire suddenly invests in brain implants and a skull begins to talk. Are these events connected somehow? Yes. They're all discussed in this episode along with Gateway by Frederick Pohl.
From swordandlaser on March 23, 2017, 3:55 a.m.
Author Brian McClellan talks with us about his new entry point into the Powder Mage universe, Sins of Empire, why there's no wrong order to reading his books, and his attitude toward research.
From swordandlaser on March 15, 2017, 4 a.m.
Sometimes a character does stuff you hate. And that’s OK! We explain why. Plus: great space opera, women writer picks, and some guy named Tom wrote a book too.
From swordandlaser on March 9, 2017, 6:33 p.m.
Brittany Curran, who plays Fen on The Magicians, talks about how her childhood love of C.S. Lewis has turned into a modern-day trip to Fillory. Plus, the best way to enjoy Walt Whitman!
From swordandlaser on March 2, 2017, 5:02 a.m.
The Nebula Award Nominees are out, the Gateway is in and we’re glad we traveled The Salt Roads. But most of all we’re geared up for the March Madness tournament of fantasy. Get your voting fingers clicking folks!
From swordandlaser on Feb. 16, 2017, 5:32 a.m.
We check in on our reading of The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson, get some hints on the progress of the next Kingkiller Chronicle, and find another way to track author releases.
From swordandlaser on Feb. 7, 2017, 5:17 a.m.
Bradley Beaulieu is on the show to talk about the second book in “The Song of the Shattered Sands” series called “With Blood Upon the Sand” coming February 7th. We also find out what a Pinterest board can do to build a better world!
From swordandlaser on Feb. 2, 2017, 5:57 a.m.
Neil Gaiman is running a new TV show and we're excited! Plus the Arrival folks are making a Larry Niven short story into a show, and indie bookstores are booming! We also kick-off Nalo Hopkinson's The Salt Roads.
From swordandlaser on Jan. 23, 2017, 10:34 p.m.
Person hunter, really! He's an equal-opportunity ass-kicker. Author and fighter of crimes, Myke Cole, tells us how he got involved in the new CBS show Hunted! And, what Sam Sykes has to do with any of it.
From swordandlaser on Jan. 19, 2017, 5:06 a.m.
A hot new approach to a fantasy trilogy, the real drama of rocket scientists involves cake, and why you can’t trust turkeys to rigorously use data to predict future results.
From swordandlaser on Jan. 6, 2017, 5:29 a.m.
We commend Terry Brooks' foresight, possibly convince Veronica to watch the Man in the High Castle some more, and give you important information to get the most of The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.
From swordandlaser on Dec. 22, 2016, 7:42 p.m.
We discuss whether the central plot device (the hook!) of the Rook is a cliche or clever. Plus, how to find the best stories in SciFi and Fantasy and help authors get exposure at the same time.
From swordandlaser on Dec. 8, 2016, 4:49 a.m.
We kick off our December book, the Rook by Daniel O’Malley and we are so excited for Lin-Manuel Miranda to team up with Patrick Rothfuss. http://swordandlaser.com/home/2016/12/7/sl-podcast-275-get-hip-with-the-rook https://www.patreon.com/posts/7439054
From swordandlaser on Dec. 1, 2016, 5:19 a.m.
We wrap up our thoughts on the cartoon violence and snappy dialog of David Wong's dissertation on lawlessness in Tabula Rasa. We think we know what it could be a metaphor for. Whether it is or not is left as an exercise for the reader.
From swordandlaser on Nov. 23, 2016, 5:19 a.m.
We are optimistic for Dune, excited for The Expanse, and hopeful for Stranger in a Strange Land. But we’re certain of what we want Emilia Clarke to be in the Han Solo movie.
From swordandlaser on Nov. 10, 2016, 6:43 a.m.
We congratulate Brandon Sanderson and the World Fantasy Award winners and try to calibrate the futuristic violence for you. The fancy suits calibrate themselves.
From swordandlaser on Oct. 27, 2016, 5:51 a.m.
We discover that some people's names just don't work as awards. We're excited about a site full of fictional timelines. And we ponder troubling jinni paternity questions.
From swordandlaser on Oct. 13, 2016, 5:45 a.m.
We don't want you to steal cats (not even books, really), just to take home the exhibit from the Museum of Science Fiction. We'll explain! Plus, you must cast your vote for the classic or the new! Will you vote against Veronica?
From swordandlaser on Sept. 29, 2016, 5:51 a.m.
We look for authors who satisfy like Scalzi, find out how dirty the new dirty editions of The Magicians are and discuss an ethical question regarding library books.
From swordandlaser on Sept. 15, 2016, 4:05 a.m.
We praise the underrated and print books, and we get into the dog-eat-dog world of Fire Upon the Deep!
From swordandlaser on Aug. 31, 2016, 4:58 a.m.
The Hugos are in, for 2016 and 1941! And although the Thorn of Emberlain is delayed, we understand. We also pick our favorite wizard school and wrap up The Last Wish.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 17, 2016, 5:27 a.m.
This week we dive into our (non-spoilery) thoughts on the Witcher and get excited about a movie based on Ted Chiang's story and a TV series based on George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards. But Brad poses a question about how one tells if they're reading too much.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 11, 2016, 3:51 a.m.
We talk with Dave Barrett, author of Inkshares book It's All Fun and Games and Zac Linville author of Inkshares book Welcome to Deadland. One has zombie-like inhabitants based on theme park patrons and the other finds a LARP outing becoming all too real.
From swordandlaser on Aug. 4, 2016, 6:01 a.m.
We have an excellent conversation about great character names and revel in the news of rising print book sales. But the big question is, which Witcher is canon?
From swordandlaser on July 27, 2016, 2:22 a.m.
We're excited about American Gods. We have mixed feelings about Time Traders. And we definitely understand why you might have to judge a book by its cover, but there's a good reason to try not to. Except in one particular case.
From swordandlaser on July 12, 2016, 11:10 p.m.
G. Derek Adams, author of Asteroid Made of Dragons, knows his title is over the top. He meant it that way, and it's part of the genius of his stories. Find out which rules he breaks, why, and how it made for a wonderful cast of characters in a fascinating world.
From swordandlaser on July 6, 2016, 4:21 a.m.
Looks like your old bookstore is getting into fancy dinners, plus the rise of book-based card games and how Time Traders proves you live in the wrong time.
From swordandlaser on June 29, 2016, 2:05 a.m.
Fran Wilde talks to us about Updraft, how she was inspired to create the bone city, and why she doesn't mind the young adult label but it doesn't always mean what people say it means.
From swordandlaser on June 22, 2016, 5:57 a.m.
American Gods nails the casting, John W. Campbell Award nails the nominees, and we nail the true origin of the world of Updraft as we wrap up this month's book pick. OK, we're probably wrong about the hedgehog (but we do wrap up Updraft).
From swordandlaser on June 15, 2016, 2:34 a.m.
Ramez Naam talks about his Nexus trilogy, nanotechnology, and when to worry about AI getting too smart!
From swordandlaser on June 8, 2016, 12:30 a.m.
You may be surprised to learn Gillian Anderson's role in American Gods. You may be surprised that China did not previously have official SciFi awards. But you should not be surprised at all to think of Shakespeare as an SFF author.
From swordandlaser on June 2, 2016, 8:17 p.m.
We talk with Jason Greene and Alex Berg from Hardcore Game of Thrones, a show that tells the history of Westeros in the style of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History.
From swordandlaser on May 25, 2016, 2:24 a.m.
We are excited for a new space opera from John Scalzi, not new but awesome Nebula Award winners, and we get teary-eyed over an A.I. as we wrap up Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora.
From swordandlaser on May 11, 2016, 5:45 a.m.
Wheel of Time is getting a TV series and Veronica has one thing (well, more than one thing) that she expects to see. Would that make it the "boob tube?" (Ed. note -- Jesus, Tom... c'mon) Meanwhile we discuss how Aurora masterfully balances hard science and literary storytelling.
From swordandlaser on April 27, 2016, 2:28 a.m.
The Hugos are out! We leave the drama to the side for this one and celebrate the novel nominees. But we didn't waste the drama... we just saved it for our evaluations of TV show and movie-based SFF books! We even brought a little to season our conversation about The Fifth Season and A Darker Shade of Magic. It's OK to like different styles of writing, folks!
From swordandlaser on April 19, 2016, 11:58 p.m.
Magician and TV star Andrew Mayne has managed to become a successful published author. How? Not magic. Well some magic. But magic isn’t required. Plus Tom loves his latest novel Station Breaker.
From swordandlaser on April 13, 2016, 2:30 a.m.
Statistics dub Tyrion the main character of George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords and Veronica got to talk to him! Well, she talked to Peter Dinklage anyway, who plays him on the TV show. She reports back on his handshake and reveals what Arya Stark did to her. Plus, we kick off our April books!
From swordandlaser on April 6, 2016, 12:29 a.m.
Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings tells us about the inspiration for his worlds, his domain name, how translation has helped him as a writer, and why silkpunk is a thing (but probably not the thing you’re thinking).
From swordandlaser on March 30, 2016, 4:47 a.m.
We’re joined by Charlie Jane Anders to wrap up her book, All the Birds in the Sky. Did you know Kevin has a secret history? What anime inspired Ernesto? These things, as well as all the winners of all the awards on this episode.