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The Sword and Laser

Updated 2 months ago

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Read along with the Sword and Laser book club! From classic science fiction to the latest gritty fantasy, we cover it. Subscribe for book discussions, author interviews, hot releases, and news from the genre fiction world!

Read more

Read along with the Sword and Laser book club! From classic science fiction to the latest gritty fantasy, we cover it. Subscribe for book discussions, author interviews, hot releases, and news from the genre fiction world!

iTunes Ratings

373 Ratings
Average Ratings
343
18
4
3
5

Great Content

By Yogikai - May 16 2020
Read more
Though I’m often late to discussions I enjoy the Goodreads group and the book picks.

Nice!

By rick mode - Nov 08 2017
Read more
I’ve found quite a few great books and series listening to the Sword and Laser. Recommended.

iTunes Ratings

373 Ratings
Average Ratings
343
18
4
3
5

Great Content

By Yogikai - May 16 2020
Read more
Though I’m often late to discussions I enjoy the Goodreads group and the book picks.

Nice!

By rick mode - Nov 08 2017
Read more
I’ve found quite a few great books and series listening to the Sword and Laser. Recommended.
Cover image of The Sword and Laser

The Sword and Laser

Latest release on Aug 06, 2020

Read more

Read along with the Sword and Laser book club! From classic science fiction to the latest gritty fantasy, we cover it. Subscribe for book discussions, author interviews, hot releases, and news from the genre fiction world!

Rank #1: S&L Podcast - #174 - A Wrap - Up Of Earthsea

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Veronica is traveling in China, so we pre-recorded this episode and took the opportunity to properly wrap-up A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin. We also kick off the rest of The Martian and promise to be better about these sorts of things once Veronica is back. Still, on the bright side, we are putting in practice a ton of great suggestions from the audience. Yay audience!

Apr 30 2014

27mins

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Rank #2: S&L Podcast - #187 - How To Win A Hugo

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We congratulate all the winners of the Hugos and chat with Aidan Moher about how he took home the best fanzine Hugo for A Dribble of Ink. Veronica milks him for info on how to win, and then we learn a way you can help more people become better writers and win more Hugos!

Aug 20 2014

42mins

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Rank #3: #270 - Be a Cat Burglar for Good!

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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?

Oct 13 2016

37mins

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Rank #4: #271 - Awkward Jinni Conversations

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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.

Oct 27 2016

40mins

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Rank #5: S&L Video: Author Spotlight - Alastair Reynolds

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This week you’ll learn how Alastair Reynolds went from Cornwall to a doctorate in astronomy, to pushing ice across the vastness of space. How much do current scientific advances influence him? Does he feel a kinship with Mass Effect? What order should you read his darn books in? All these questions and more will be answered.

Mar 27 2014

27mins

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Rank #6: #263 - When to Judge a Book by its Cover

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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.

Jul 27 2016

42mins

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Rank #7: S&L Author Spotlight - Rachel Swirsky

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Have you been ignoring short stories? You’re missing out! And Rachel Swirsky is one of the best authors to prove it. Find out how this award-winning author and podcaster got into writing and poetry too!

Mar 20 2014

19mins

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Rank #8: S&L Author Spotlight - Mary Robinette Kowal

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How do you become an award-winning puppeteer AND award-winning writer AND a audiobook narrator? Easy. Be Mary Robinette Kowal. We ask the author of Without a Summer and Valour and Vanity how she fits in all those things and still has time to convincingly imitate Patrick Rothfuss and convince Sam Sykes to make debatable life choices.

Mar 14 2014

27mins

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Rank #9: #322 - Analysis Paralysis

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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).

Apr 26 2018

39mins

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Rank #10: #367 - Shitposting Stephen King with Sam Sykes

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We explain why the Tiptree Award is now the Otherwise award, welcome the casting of Apple's Foundation TV show, and Sam Sykes has a message for Stephen King (and Myke Cole).

Oct 24 2019

51mins

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Rank #11: #248 - The Truth About Vampires w/ Jim McDoniel

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Jim McDoniel, author of An Unattractive Vampire, is not only the second author to get published in the Sword and Laser collection, he’s also a truth-sayer. About vampires. Like how they aren’t sparkly (usually). Return to the vampire roots with him!

Mar 22 2016

26mins

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Rank #12: S&L Author Spotlight - Max Gladstone

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It's our author guide to Max Gladstone! If you want an author who knows how to work the financial crisis into epic fantasy and is handy with a sword, Max is your man. We also get the final word on a showdown between him and Scott Lynch. You won't believe who really runs the economy.

Feb 27 2014

20mins

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Rank #13: S&L Podcast - #156 - Wrapping Up Dragons!

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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.

Dec 23 2013

37mins

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Rank #14: S&L Podcast - #200 - Best Books Of 2014

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Well we're here to kick off the new year AND celebrate our 200th episode so we gathered drinks and cheer and your favorite books of 2014 as well as our own and a few others. You'll never guess which one everybody picked! That's not true. You'll totally guess. You probably already guessed. But listen to the show anyway, OK. For us?

Jan 06 2015

34mins

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Rank #15: S&L Author Spotlight - Chuck Wendig

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Chuck Wendig has a reputation for cursing. He also has a reputation for being a badass writer of amazing characters in inventive situations, across novels, comics and movies. He also invented cornpunk. Oh wait, he ALSO writes one of the best guides for writers ever made. But what is his favorite word? Well, now you'll just have to watch for that, and to see how many times our editor has to use the bleep button. Spoiler: he uses it more on the hosts than the guest.

Apr 03 2014

22mins

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Rank #16: S&L Podcast - #155 - Why Sam Sykes Is For Sharks And The Alliance

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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.

Dec 18 2013

41mins

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Rank #17: S&L Podcast - #207 - Crowdfunding An Abomination With Gary Whitta!

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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.

Feb 25 2015

44mins

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Rank #18: S&L Podcast - #208 - Who Will Win This Year's Nebula

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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 pronounced Untheileneise.

Mar 05 2015

35mins

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Rank #19: S&L Podcast - #212 - Do You Have The Right To Delete Swear Words

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We give our last thoughts on The Goblin Emperor, kick of our April pick, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett and 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.

Apr 02 2015

47mins

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Rank #20: S&L Podcast - #175 Ann Leckie Wins it All

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We chat with Ann Leckie mere hours before she wins a Nebula award, about what it's like to get so many awards, and what's coming next for fans of her award-winning novel, Ancillary Justice.

May 20 2014

22mins

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#390 - Interview with Dennis E. Taylor

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We chat with Dennis E. Taylor about the Bobiverse, and what we can expect when we return to it in the new book Heaven's River.

Aug 06 2020

36mins

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#389 - Embracing the Challenge

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In this episode, it's tricky to put the World in WorldCon, alternate history first contact, and Tom is really excited about next month's pick. Plus, we wrap up our ultimately satisfying read of Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Jul 30 2020

43mins

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#388 - Interview with Sam Maggs

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We talk with Sam Maggs about her new novel Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope, and about writing different stories in different platforms, from video games to comics to novels.

Jul 23 2020

22mins

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#387 - The Nanobots Are Coming?

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The first rule of Short Story Club, SFF with a smile, and how to get the most out of Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Jul 16 2020

30mins

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#386 - Interview with L.E. Modesitt Jr

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We talk with L. E. Modesitt Jr, the bestselling author of two science fiction series and four fantasy series, who has published more than seventy novels. His latest book, Quantum Shadows is described as blending science fiction, myth, and legend in an adventure that pits old gods and new against one another in a far-future world.

Jul 09 2020

21mins

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#385 - What do you mean HORROR?

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We address the harassment accusations against authors, discover that the July pick could be classified as horror (to Veronica's horror), and have a whole lot of good TV coming based on a whole lot of good books.

Jul 02 2020

39mins

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#384 - Teenaged Wiccan

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Tom starts throwing money at Becky Chambers and Veronica defends her rose quartz. Plus, new Star Wars short stories coming and lots of great tie-in novels up for Scribe awards! Also our first impressions of A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine.

Jun 18 2020

30mins

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#383 - TerpTalk

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Congrats to the Locus Nominees and Nebula winners! We’ve read a bunch of those but there are some great new picks to be discovered too. Everybody wins! Plus long-time Sword and Laser listener TerpKristin joins us to wrap up Magician: Apprentice.

Jun 04 2020

45mins

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#382 - Great Movie, I Hate It

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We're beefing up our reading lists with Japanese and British award lists. Also it's fun to see what critically-acclaimed movies are hated by the authors whose books they are based on. Plus, we preview our June pick and have a few thoughts on the May pick!

May 28 2020

28mins

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#381 - Happ-E-Anding?

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We're going to get some good Discworld TV! We talk about why sometimes you don't want to read old stuff, and whether you're someone who likes depressing consequences or happily ever after stories. All that and our first non-spoiler impressions of Magician: Apprentice.

May 07 2020

37mins

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#380 - The One Where Veronica Forgets

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We invited Andrew Heaton, Host of Alienating the Audience, to join us! Oh Dune… is there any wrong way to enjoy you? Possibly yes. We also wrap up How to Lose the Time War.

Apr 23 2020

52mins

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#379 - Interview with Veronica Roth

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Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Divergent series, the Carve the Mark duology, The End and Other Beginnings collection of short fiction, and most recently her newest novel, Chosen Ones. We talk to her about the new novel, and what it’s like doing a virtual book tour!

Apr 16 2020

28mins

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#378 - Ointment for Your Brain

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The Hugo Nominees are in! And we've read some fo them! Also the Nebula Nominees are in and we've read some of them too! And we have thoughts on the beauty of this month's pick, This is How You Lose the Time War.

Apr 09 2020

30mins

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#377 - How to Hopefully WIN the Time War

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Worldcon goes virtual and we totally get it, Tom has a new book out, ways to support your independent bookstore, we kick off our April pick, and FINALLY give our last thoughts on The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley.

Mar 26 2020

45mins

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#376 - The Corona Light Brigade

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We’ve got our first impressions of the new Star Wars: High Republic books, some great new award-winning picks, and our first impressions of The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley.

Mar 13 2020

32mins

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#375 - 16 Books Enter, One Becomes Pick

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We unveil the 16 books we'll be pitting against each other in our quite Mad March tournament of polls. We also chat about the Nebula nominees, introduce our March pick, and give our final thoughts on Gideon the Ninth.

Feb 27 2020

42mins

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#374 - Chaotic Neutral

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We need your book nominations for our totally “mad” March tournament. Of books! Also we’re psyched Locke and Key is on Netflix, the new Naomi Novik series, and our first non-spoilery thoughts on Gideon the Ninth.

Feb 14 2020

37mins

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#373 - Generation Sword & Laser

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We’ve got picks from librarians and the public domain! Plus we’re excited for Gideon the Ninth and we have our final thoughts on the January pick, In the Company of Others.

Jan 30 2020

37mins

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#372 - Hmmm... hmmm.

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We’ve got Hugo nominations open! And a new Heinlein novel. I mean “new” to everybody but him, we guess. Plus, we kick off In the Company fo Others by Julie E. Czerneda.

Jan 16 2020

36mins

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#371 - Science Fungus

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Veronica explains the awesome piece in the New York Times about Ken Liu, we're excited for The Witcher, we announce the January book will be In the Company of Others by Julie Czerneda, and we wrap up The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. Plus, we put the “fun” in Science Fungus.

Dec 20 2019

30mins

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iTunes Ratings

373 Ratings
Average Ratings
343
18
4
3
5

Great Content

By Yogikai - May 16 2020
Read more
Though I’m often late to discussions I enjoy the Goodreads group and the book picks.

Nice!

By rick mode - Nov 08 2017
Read more
I’ve found quite a few great books and series listening to the Sword and Laser. Recommended.