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The Sword and Laser

Updated 7 days ago

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Books
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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

362 Ratings
Average Ratings
334
17
3
3
5

One of my favorite Podcasts ever

By Grkpektis - Sep 03 2019
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I stopped reading novels after I graduated high school because I hated the books I was forced to read. Years later I found out about this Podcast on G&S and now I love reading. My only problem is I have a lot of catching up to do

Nice!

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

iTunes Ratings

362 Ratings
Average Ratings
334
17
3
3
5

One of my favorite Podcasts ever

By Grkpektis - Sep 03 2019
Read more
I stopped reading novels after I graduated high school because I hated the books I was forced to read. Years later I found out about this Podcast on G&S and now I love reading. My only problem is I have a lot of catching up to do

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.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Sword and Laser

The Sword and Laser

Updated 7 days ago

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!

#254 - Wheel Of Boobies

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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.

May 11 2016

35mins

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#314 - Not-So-Young Frankenstein

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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.

Jan 04 2018

39mins

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S&L Podcast - #161 - What Harry Potter Stole From Earthsea

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This time around we're kicking off our February book pick, A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin. If you're looking for the first tale a of a boy who attends a school of wizardry, we've got the goods, as well as what Ms. Le Guin, who wrote her book in 1968, thinks of Ms. Rowling. Plus The Clarion Workshop deadline is looming and USC and Intel make one author's world come alive.

Feb 05 2014

41mins

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#250 - Ken Liu Explains Why Silkpunk Is Not What You Think

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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).

Apr 05 2016

32mins

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S&L Podcast - #177 - A Chat with Grand Master Delany

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We intersect with Mr. Samuel R. Delany at the Nebula Awards to talk about his writings, old and new, and the role of science fiction, plus more stimulating conversation.

Jun 04 2014

31mins

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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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#344 - Steamy

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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!

Feb 08 2019

32mins

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#343 - Math Is Hard

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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.

Jan 17 2019

37mins

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S&L Podcast - #188 - It's A Dragon Con Plex

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We talk with Naomi Novik, fanfic writer, Ruby on Rails coder and author of the Temeraire series, from DragonCon 2014 in Atlanta! Then, we wrap up Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Sep 03 2014

1hr 21mins

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#346 - Accio Book Pick!

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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.

Mar 04 2019

35mins

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S&L Podcast - #230 - Reading Makes You A Better Person, Says Science

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We cheer for Patrick Rothfuss winning the Hollywood game, jeer a little at Spielberg refusing to put a Delorean in the Ready Player One movie and peruse with careful academic curiosity a study showing the increase in empathy caused by reading.

Oct 14 2015

29mins

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#234 - We Think We Know How Game Of Thrones Ends

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George R R Martin will only say that Game of Thrones will end in a bittersweet way. We’re pretty sure we know what that means. Also Chinese Nebula Award winners and our first impressions of Time and Again by Jack Finney.

Nov 11 2015

40mins

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S&L Podcast - #165 - SciFi Is Finally Literature!

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We kick off our March book pick, Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, ponder the brief career of Jonathan Ross as LonCon MC, and discover that at least Houghton Mifflin thinks SciFi is lit.

Mar 05 2014

40mins

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S&L Podcast - #171 - The Martian Influx

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We're very excited that James S. A. Corey's 'The Expanse' is being made into a TV series! PLUS we sat down to chat with Andy Weir and Daniel Suarez. We learn you shouldn't go for a publisher, but go for an audience, and why you should NOT tell your friends your stories but make them read what you write instead.

Apr 16 2014

2hr 10mins

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S&L Author Spotlight - Brent Weeks

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How did Brent Weeks get from Montana to writing novels on napkins to becoming the bestselling author of the Lightbringer Series? We'll ask him about that, find out his favorite word and whether he still has those napkins.

Apr 11 2014

27mins

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#340 - No Birdy Poos

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The Verge is writing SciFi for a better tomorrow, plus is Roald Dahl Fantasy? Is It's a Wonderful Life SciFi?

Dec 06 2018

39mins

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S&L Podcast - #214 - Discworld's Inner Rage

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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.

Apr 30 2015

46mins

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#273 - Han Solo’s Big Sister

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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.

Nov 23 2016

37mins

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#266 - Are You Reading Too Much?

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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.

Aug 17 2016

37mins

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#249 - Secrets Of All The Birds In The Sky W Charlie Jane Anders

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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.

Mar 30 2016

43mins

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#370 - Death is Her Favorite Character

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Got reader’s block? We've got some tips to get you out of it. Is there too much SFF out there now? And why Death is Veronica's favorite character. We kick off Hogfather and give our final thoughts on Snow Queen!

Dec 05 2019

48mins

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#369 - Jeffety Jeff Jeffers of Planet Jeff

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How we’re feeling about the Snow Queen, and where it’s world-building might have drawn from. Plus two alternative pronunciation guides for the character names. Plus, a treasure trove of awesome articles about SciFi-type things!

Nov 21 2019

38mins

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#368 - But is it Art?

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So many awards! You have no excuse for not finding something awesome and new to read right now. Not that you ever do with us on the job, we hope. Also, our first impressions on reading The Snow Queen.

Nov 11 2019

30mins

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#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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#366 - Just Crack Me Open and Take a Look

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Should you feel guilty for re-reading? The answer is no. But you shouldn't feel guilty for not re-reading too. Plus our fantasy casting of A Darker Shade of Magic is pretty much all Keanu.

Oct 11 2019

31mins

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#365 - But Lin-Manuel Miranda!

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Targaryen TV show possible? Check. Clifford Simak movie on Netflix? Check. Far Side back? Check. Showtime turns down The Kingkiller Chronicle TV show? WHAT?! BUT LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA!

Sep 26 2019

35mins

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#364 - Kick Your Problems in the Face

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Fran Wilde's op-ed from the future sounds hilarious. N. K. Jemisin's new novel sounds awesome. And Andy Weir's short story has been adapted into a cool short film. So much good reading out there! Plus our thoughts on why Trail of Lightning has us thinking that sometimes you just have to kick your problems in the face.

Sep 12 2019

29mins

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#363 - Extremely Unbalanced

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The Hugos have come and gone, and they were awesome. Audible's in trouble for speech-to-text. But they're right, it's an accessibility issue. Also, the publishers are right, it's a copyright issue! Tell it to the judge, both of you! Plus, we kick off our September pick, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.

Aug 29 2019

35mins

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#362 - Live from Dublin WorldCon 2019!

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We had SO much fun at WorldCon in Dublin. We were blown away with how many people came out to see us!! We were literally prepared with plans for if the room was empty, but no, Ireland filled our room and our hearts. We got some great conversations and book recommendations from folks in the crowd too! Go raibh maith agaibh! The craic was grand!

Aug 19 2019

31mins

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#361 - My Little Space Brain Friends

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Are we excited for The Witcher? Probably? Are we excited for the Hitchhiker's Guide Hulu TV series? Maybe? Are we excited for Vessel? In some ways? Is Tom excited for The Poppy War? YES!

Aug 01 2019

46mins

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#360 - Cuddling with Direwolves

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Veronica is definitely not meeting direwolves in Ireland and stealing them and smuggling them back into the United States. Definitely not. Plus, our thoughts so far on Vessel by Lisa Nichols.

Jul 18 2019

33mins

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#359 - We Have Literary Opinions

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We’re so excited about our guest pick! It’s the kickoff for our July book, and the first ever-not-in-any-way chosen by Tom or Veronica. Also we love XKCD and we love Station 11. Also Dara and Terpkristin. So much love!

Jun 27 2019

25mins

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#358 - Nebula Interview with Greg van Eekhout

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Tom talks with Greg van Eekhout, author of Voyage of the Dogs and California Bones about dogs, writing from local influences, and what the Nebulas mean to him. Also Tom embarrasses himself at least twice!

Jun 20 2019

22mins

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#357 - The Last Beagle

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We're excited for a trip to the Hunger Games' past and to hear Tatiana Maslany show us her Orphan Black chops again. Plus, Veronica takes on a Jim Butcher challenge and our final thoughts on The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

Jun 20 2019

38mins

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#356 - Greetings from Tom Merritt, Illinois

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We’re cautiously pessimistic about Winds of Winter, but hey wouldn’t that be cool? Also we discover what famous authors we live in (yes, you read that right, live in) and our initial thoughts on The Last Unicorn. PLUS an astonishing announcement about next month’s pick!

Jun 09 2019

25mins

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#355 - Rebecca Roanhorse at the Nebulas!

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Tom catches up with Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trail of Lightning, to talk about writing native cultures in genre fiction and what she gets out of the Nebula conference.

May 30 2019

14mins

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#354 - More Than a Bookstore to Me

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Tom had fun at the Nebulas, and we’re excited about the winners. We also kick off a new book, wrap up the last one and give our thoughts about the Game of Thrones finale.

May 23 2019

40mins

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#353 - Whiskey by Bob

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Locus Award finalists! Great supplementary material for the Martian Chronicles! Why we need utopias! AI Whisky! ALL THAT AND MORE! Sorry. We're really excited about this episode. We hope you will be too.

May 16 2019

28mins

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#352 - The Sword Conspiracy

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To Gene Wolfe! Thank you for Shadow and Claw and Pringles. Plus, William Gibson’s Alien 3, what you need to know before reading The Martian Chronicles, and our final thoughts on the vast conspiracies that make up Theft of Swords.

May 02 2019

36mins

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#351 - Uncanny Collateral with Brian McClellan

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Brian's most recent book, Uncanny Collateral, is described (on Brian's Twitter) as "Harry Dresden meets Dog the Bounty Hunter in a fast-paced urban fantasy about a collection agent who works for the supernatural."

Apr 18 2019

29mins

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