Podcast review: Sword and Laser
Are you a science fiction fan? If yes, this podcast review is just for you! Today I attempt to turn you on to a most excellent science fiction and fantasy book reviewing podcast – Sword & Laser.
Sword and Laser, as the name suggests, deals with books in the science fiction and fantasy genres. It is hosted by Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont, both of whom are avid book readers and lovers of the genre. As far as I know, Sword and Laser has been in existence from 2007 and before there was a podcast, there was an active book review and discussion club, hosted on Ning. This group is now dead and all of the activity happens on the Goodreads forums. There is no barrier to entry so feel free to join the group, even if you are not into podcasts.
Veronica and Tom pick a book each week (or so) and, after giving the members some time to read it, discuss it on the podcast. Both are active participants in the Goodreads group so the podcast is not just a one way street. The most interesting part in the podcasts, in my opinion, is the interview with the author part. Veronica and Tom coerce the most famous of the sci-fi and fantasy authors and characters to come on to the podcast and answer the questions from the Googreads group members. Think Joe Abercrombie (The First Law trilogy), Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor on the Game of Thrones).
As I mentioned, both Tom and Veronica are avid readers themselves and are extremely knowledgeable in the subject matter. Both are tech journalists and have excellent geek cred. Veronica is known for producing and hosting some shows on CNET and Mahalo and currently hosts Tekzilla show on Revision3 network. Tom Merritt is also a well known tech journalist, having been a host of several shows on CNET until his departure for the TWIT Network, where he currently hosts several shows, most prominent of which is Tech News Today.
Whether you are a frequent reader of sci-fi and fantasy books or whether you are looking for some one-off recommendations, I would recommend you navigate to the Sword and Laser Goodreads group and become a member. Also, if you are a fan of show like Flash Forward, The Game of Thrones or the Millennium Trilogy movies, it should be no surprise to you to find out that these shows and movies are based on books, which are reviewed by Tom and Veronica. Check out their George R.R. Martin and Robert J. Sawyer threads, as well as the respective podcast episodes.
Bottom line, to navigate the world of sci-fi and fantasy, that abides by the Sturgeon’s Law (“Ninety percent of everything is crap”), you need Tom and Veronica to hold your hand. Between the podcast and the S&L Goodreads forum you will have your hands full of excellent fiction!
You can find Sword and Laser content on: