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  1. Sword and Laser Podcast

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Books!  Books with mostly words, although some pictures are ok!
    This comic © 2003-2011 David Malki !

    Ain't literacy grand?  We here at Viddyviddy Corporations have been strong advocates of reading for entertainment and information alike ever since that one time in 3rd grade when our mom made us read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.  Combine that with the fact that one day that little kid would grow up to be a nerd with a penchant for escapism, and you get a life-long devotee of the fantasy and science fiction genres.

    Now, I'm going to take just the most wildest of leaps and assume that one or two of you out there in Internet Land are of similar tastes and would rather fork over the cash for a new paperback book than any other current form of entertainment.  If I'm right about that, than maybe I'm right in thinking you should check out the Sword and Laser Podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    Main site!
    Subscribe to the podcast for iTunes!

    Store, featuring lots of books!
    Discussion/Forum thing on Goodreads!

    I have only listened to a handful of episodes so far, but Sword and Laser seems to have a pretty cool thing going.  From what I can cobble together from their FAQ the origins of Sword and Laser were as a book club, and the podcast was eventually added.  Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt are at the helm of this genre-fueled juggernaut and it looks like they've managed to develop and maintain a community that shares their love of fantasy and sci-fi literature. 

    You can go to their Goodreads page right now and see what books are currently being discussed as well as all the other topics that crop up, including discussion about each episode of the podcast.  They welcome one and all to join their community, so go ahead and see if there's anything that catches your eye!  

    Release Schedule:  Once a week-ish.  From the iTunes archives it looks like they have a weekly schedule that occasionally gets interluded with a few extra weeks between episodes.  Some of the episodes are recorded at conventions, while others are interviews, so there might be a little extra time when it comes to creating and producing those types of episodes.  Fortunately, there is a big backlog of episodes to catch up on when the release schedule starts to lag.  

    Music:  Cute little intro.  And by little, I mean that when you combine it with the opening spiel for their sponsors it clocks in at over a minute long.  oonst-oonst-oonst-oonst

    Average Episode Length:  A sample size of 5 randomly selected episodes gives me an average time of 47 minutes (and some spare change).

    Hosts Veronica and Tom have great personalities (and I mean that in a good way not the "once you get past their faces they're fun!" way) and they can hold your attention for a host-only episode.  The interviews are well-paced and enjoyable as the hosts provide insightful, questions tailored to each guest.  Some episodes wander away from the topic of fantasy and sci-fi and into the realm of cool websites, television and general geekiness, and that's ok by me! 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The Goodreads thing is really cool!  I've never been able to get into forum discussions, but this looks like it is a bit more manageable and hey, you get to talk about books with other people who like books.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: Spoilers.  If you're not participating in their book discussions or haven't already read the book, you may have to skip some episodes where a book's plot is laid open on the autopsy table.

    Now go on and grab a mug of tea, your favorite comfy chair and a new sci-fi or fantasy book and get to reading!  Then subsequently get to listening! 


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