The Sword and Laser discussion

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When/How did you find Sword & Laser?

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (last edited Jan 09, 2017 05:52AM) (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
So with upcoming 10 year anniversary of Sword & Laser, and Tassie Dave's cool new History page (http://swordandlaser.wikia.com/wiki/A...) on the wiki, it got me wondering how it is that people found the group.

The Goodreads group currently sits at 23,000 members (although the number of active participants is far smaller). The number of patreons currently sits at 506, each of whom donate at least $1 for every podcast released.

I'm tempted to make a poll (and I still might) but I'm not really sure what the most common answers will be.

For my own answer, I first found the group in 2012 thanks to Geek & Sundry and the video show on youtube. I suspect this will be a common answer, as I've seen others mention it before.

I wish I had found Goodreads and S&L earlier as I've missed out on about half of its existence. I'm not sure how I would have stumbled on it otherwise though, as my reading was always a much more casual thing. I did briefly use a facebook app by Living Social called "virtual bookshelf", but it didn't have the same sort of community that exists here.

For those of you who joined before 2012, how did you find the group/podcast?

For everyone else, how did you find it? A friend? Another podcast? Already following Tom and/or Veronica on social media? Something else?

I'm curious to know: When did you join, and how did you end up here?


message 2: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Morgan (sayselizabeth) | 127 comments Yep, I came in because Pat Rothfuss was on the video show in 2012. I'd heard of S&L before Geek & Sundry started that year on YouTube, probably through Felicia Day. When the video show stopped I switched to the podcast, and eventually started reading along with Among Others


message 3: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2179 comments Mod
I think I heard about the show on 'This Week in Tech' when Tom was on. It was definitely on a Tech show with Tom as a guest.

I was already familiar with both Tom and Veronica from their tech shows and blogs, and it sounded like a Book Club that could introduce me to authors and styles I was unfamiliar with.

I joined the S&L Ning forum in late 2008, around the time they read Anathem.


message 4: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 235 comments I subscribe to a number of tech podcasts and knew of Tom from his time at Twit and Veronica from her time on Tekzilla. Either or both of them must have mentioned S&L a number of times and I eventually subscribed to the podcast to see what it was like.

I think I must have started listening sometime in 2014, but only started to actively read along with most of the books towards the end of 2015.


message 5: by Fredrik (last edited Jan 09, 2017 05:23AM) (new)

Fredrik (Fredurix) | 185 comments Geek & Sundry is probably the answer for me too, although I can't say I remember. (I listen to so many podcasts that when I started listening to what blends together into a fuzz of history) It was certainly Sword & Laster that led me to Goodreads, though; I'm pretty sure I started listening before they moved, but I didn't interact with the old site at all.


message 6: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
In a somewhat related note, does anyone know the reason why Tom joined the group in 2010?

Did he have another account for the first 2 years? Did he accidentally leave the group and come back?


message 7: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 829 comments It came up as one of the results when I looked for scifi and fantasy groups in Goodreads.


message 8: by David (new)

David Holden (farrakut) | 685 comments I think I saw a couple of the Geek & Sundry videos with V&T, but I didn't seriously start getting into Sword & Laser until I finally got a smartphone that I could listen to podcasts in around late 2014. I've not always been a steady listener, though, depending on life.


message 9: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2015 comments Geek & Sundry for me as well. S&L has introduced me to so many books and different authors I wouldn't have found otherwise. Thank you, Tom and Veronica, for putting in so much time into this podcast in your spare time. And thanks to Felicia too for putting you on G&S so I could find you guys!


message 10: by Imbunche (new)

Imbunche | 12 comments I heard about it a couple of monthes ago from one one the booktubers, who talked about the group in a video, and decided to check it out.


message 11: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 271 comments I think I first heard about the podcast on the Tech Stuff podcast by How Stuff Works.


message 12: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2179 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "In a somewhat related note, does anyone know the reason why Tom joined the group in 2010?

Did he have another account for the first 2 years? Did he accidentally leave the group and come back?"


Sword and Laser was still using the Ning forum for the book discussion from 2007 to 2010.
2010 was when Goodreads officially became the only forum for discussion.
There were no threads for the Group before March 2010.

There was an overlap of both for a few months.

I think from 2008 to 2010, Sword and Laser here was more just a shared group (of fans & Veronica) who had accounts here who also were S&L fans.


message 13: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
Tassie Dave wrote: "Rob wrote: "In a somewhat related note, does anyone know the reason why Tom joined the group in 2010?

Did he have another account for the first 2 years? Did he accidentally leave the group and com..."


Ah. That would explain why there was a big spike in members in 2010.

And I just noticed that was on your history page. Oops.

Thanks Dave!


message 14: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 212 comments I also joined S&L through the Geek & Sundry videos. This is my third sci-fi/fantasy group and the others have benefited from books S&L has introduced me to.


message 15: by Geoff (last edited Jan 09, 2017 07:54AM) (new)

Geoff (GeoffGreer) | 328 comments Before joining the group, I had read The Lies of Locke Lamora at about the same time (Feb 2012). Somehow, I think through Veronica on twitter, I found out they were interviewing Scott Lynch on the podcast. And joined S&L because of that.


message 16: by Joanna (last edited Jan 11, 2017 08:28AM) (new)

Joanna | 1175 comments 2012 with the Geek & Sundry video show. I was following Felicia Day then. EDIT: I spent a while backfilling, although there were a number of books in the list I had read before. The first book I read with the club was Boneshaker.


message 17: by Maclurker (new)

Maclurker | 74 comments A friend, Allison Sheridan, did an interview with Tom sometime in 2012 where he mentioned S&L. I tracked down it down and have been a member ever since. I think Goodreads was in use by then. Allison's podcast is NosillaCast Mac Podcast.


message 18: by Phil (new)

Phil | 939 comments I think I had joined Goodreads earlier but then forgot about it then joined S&L because of Geek and Sundry.


message 19: by Keith (new)

Keith (KeithATC) | 427 comments I came with the migration from CNet Buzz Out Loud. To the Ning site. How is that for creaky and covered in cobwebs?


message 20: by Kat (last edited Jan 09, 2017 09:52AM) (new)

Kat | 29 comments I have a secret crush on Rob and just follow him around.

Well, half of that is true, anyway. I was checking out Rob's profile when I saw this group listed at the bottom of the page and thought that group name holds promises.


message 21: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
Kat wrote: "I have a secret crush on Rob and just follow him around.

Well, half of that is true, anyway. I was checking out Rob's profile when I saw this group listed at the bottom of the page and thought tha..."


I am kind of big deal..I even got a fancy nickname. Mostly because somehow Veronica managed to mispronounce Rob. Or well really she was trying to say Rob and Moderator entirely too quickly. :)


message 22: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (Nevets) | 919 comments Well I had to do a search on by posts, man that felt vain, to figure out that I think I joined in September of 2011 to talk about Ready Player One. I joined Goodreeds in 2008, but besides using it as a personal catalog I don't think I did much with it until I Joined the S&L group.

I used to listen to "Buzz Out Loud" just after Veronica started talking, and I think I was aware of S&L since near it's start, but it took either Tom or Veronica being on TWIT and mentioning they were reading RP1 to get me to join up since I was also reading it / had just read it at the time.


message 23: by Kat (new)

Kat | 29 comments Rob wrote: "I am kind of big deal..I even got a fancy nickname. "

So a secret crush would be totally legitimate ;)


message 24: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
John (Nevets) wrote: "Well I had to do a search on by posts, man that felt vain, to figure out that I think I joined in September of 2011 to talk about Ready Player One."

According to the member list (https://www.goodreads.com/group/4170-...) you actually joined: Jun 30, 2008 as the 12th member of the group.

Apart from Veronica, I don't recognize anyone else on that page, and most of them have 0 comments, and only 1 other person has over 100.


message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim | 476 comments I'd heard of S&L but didn't join until the show started in 2012. I have to keep an eye on "competitors" :P


message 26: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4458 comments I turned left at Albuquerque.


message 27: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
Trike wrote: "I turned left at Albuquerque."

I had to look that up. And I watched Merry Melodies growing up too.


message 28: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 754 comments Got me researching. I joined Goodreads (had been hearing about it) in May of 2012; joined S&L January 6, 2013. I totally learned about it from the Geek and Sundry videos.

Off topic, Geek and Sundry has wandered WAY off from my interests. They seem to be doing fine though, so more power to them!


Mel (booksandsundry) (Booksandsundry) | 136 comments I'm also a thanks to the Geek & Sundry Vid period. I'm ever so grateful for that, I've found so many great books thanks to S&L and I've grown so much as a reader. <3


message 30: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (Nevets) | 919 comments Rob that is hilarious!

Now we have proof that my memory IS shot at 40, and nothing I say should be trusted.

So I may have joined very early, but I'm pretty sure (until I get proven wrong again) I didn't participate much those first couple of years, either in listening to many of the podcast, reading many of the books, or responding to posts. I can be a bit of a lurker on forums, so I may have read more on the forum imbetween 2010 and 2011, but I'm not sure of anything.

I also would not be surprised if it was a recommendation of Veronica's, probably on a tech show of some kind, for how I found out about and joined goodreads in the first place, and joined the group here.

The funny thing is as I look over the avatars of those other early joiners, I recognize some of them, even ones with out any posts listed on this forum, so I'm really not sure what side is up anymore. Did goodreads in the past list other group members as friend suggestions or something over on the right hand side of the page?

Since I started writing this post, I got curious and combed through my old email, and found my first "New Discussions from Sword and Laser" email from 3/5/10 it has the same comment that is listed as Veronica's first one on here, but with a different avatar. So I'm guessing I just read those until I felt I had something to contribute over a year later. I do believe I read Blindsight with the group earlier in 2011 since it was a free e-book at the time, but apparently I was too timid to contribute on here about it.


message 31: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (whatlovelybooks) | 165 comments I found the group shortly after joining the Vaginal Fantasy book club.


message 32: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (SeanSandulak) | 388 comments Sandra wrote: "I found the group shortly after joining the Vaginal Fantasy book club."

Ditto, although I was a lurker didn't join the Goodreads forums until 2013.


message 33: by Kim (new)

Kim | 476 comments Serendi wrote: "Off topic, Geek and Sundry has wandered WAY off from my interests. They seem to be doing fine though, so more power to them!"

Might be because it's owned by Legendary Entertainment these days, a subsidiary of the Wanda Group, along with Nerdist. Hence the push for Alpha. Any way I digress.


message 34: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Jan 09, 2017 06:23PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 2179 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "Trike wrote: "I turned left at Albuquerque."

I had to look that up. And I watched Merry Melodies growing up too."


Shame on you. I guess you kids had your more up to date and fancy, but still less good cartoons.

I knew what is was. Though as a kid I had no idea where (or what) Albuquerque was.


message 35: by Rob, Roberator (last edited Jan 09, 2017 06:39PM) (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
I watched looney toons/merry melodies, but not all the time. There was gi-joe, transformers, thundercats and other toy selling commercials cartoons to watch.

I did watch them though. My personal favorite was always: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17oca...


message 36: by Joyce (last edited Jan 09, 2017 07:13PM) (new)

Joyce (Eternity21) | 141 comments I was a fan of Buzz out loud and Tom and Veronica mentioned that they were starting a sci-fi book club and I was hooked right from the beginning. I was always behind in my podcasts so it was actually already active for about 6 months before I started with it. Back then it was on Ning and was thrilled when they moved to Goodreads because it was so easy to keep up with the podcast and bookclub.

the first book I read was Unshapely Things back in May 2008. I have since gone back and read most of the older titles.


message 37: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2179 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "I watched looney toons/merry melodies, but not all the time. There was gi-joe, transformers, thundercats and other toy selling commercials cartoons to watch.

I did watch them though. My personal favorite was always: "


My favourites were when Bugs took a wrong turn (Usually Albuquerque) and end up in Tasmania with the Tassie Devil.
It was fun as a kid to see my home on a cartoon, even though they got it spectacularly wrong. ;-)


message 38: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4458 comments For the other younguns who don't know the Albuquerque reference:

https://youtu.be/e8TUwHTfOOU

I'm convinced the reason I can't pronounce La Jolla (la hoya) correctly is because of Bugs. He mispronounces it right at the end.

Apparently I joined S&L in August 2011, but I joined Goodreads a couple years earlier. That's weird that I wouldn't join any groups for so long.


message 39: by Mark (last edited Jan 09, 2017 08:27PM) (new)

Mark (mmtz) | 802 comments If I turn left after leaving my house, I'll wind up in Albuquerque. Most days I turn right to go to work and every other week I listen to the S&L podcast on the way.

Apparently, in Jan 2012, I emailed this link to myself and I've been hooked ever since.

http://www.swordandlaser.com/home/201...

The first book I read with the group was The Magicians

I've since become much more entangled in the Belrittverse, or is it the Mermontverse? by adding DTNS, Cordkillers and Vaginal Fantasy to my streaming watch and listen lists.


message 40: by Darren (new)

Darren Rob wrote: "John (Nevets) wrote: "Well I had to do a search on by posts, man that felt vain, to figure out that I think I joined in September of 2011 to talk about Ready Player One."

According ..."


He joined two years before Tom!

Geek & Sundry 2012 for me, as well. I believe I watched the show for a while before I joined Goodreads.


message 41: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (StephenofLongBeach) | 826 comments A Goodreads friend brought the group to my attention ( Thank You Morgannah again.) The Name of the Wind was the Book of the Month at the time. The same month the Orange County Meetup started up and it has been a blast every since. I am a patreon at the $1 a show level because I know every little bit helps.


message 42: by Jason (new)

Jason | 4 comments I regularly listen to podcasts and looked specifically for sci-fi book clubs. I found a few but the Sword & Laser is definitely one of the best


message 43: by Joe Informatico (last edited Jan 10, 2017 10:26AM) (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 848 comments My friend was a huge fan of Tom's work on TWiT and turned me on to him, and I think I first saw Veronica when she was a host of Qore, the PlayStation Network's magazine show. Someone I followed on Twitter (probably Felicia Day?) pointed out they had an SF&F podcast so I started following S&L around the time they did The Lies of Locke Lamora. Good timing too--I'd fallen off regular novel reading for the few years beforehand and was looking for something to light a fire under me and get me reading again, and S&L was just the ticket.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2246 comments My husband watched/listened to Tom on CNET? TWiT? Something like that, and said oh hey, he started a book club for science fiction and fantasy. I had mentioned I wanted to read more of those genres, or any, really. I joined when they were reading the elf-punk book, back in the Ning days. Ah yes, thanks S&L wiki, that was Unshapely Things and that would be in May 2008. I do remember we had JUST moved into our first purchased home, and where I was sitting on the couch. :)


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2246 comments Also WHERE... the HECK... is Tamahome?


message 46: by Janny (new)

Janny (JannyWurts) | 41 comments Found due to your discussion group here.


message 47: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5040 comments Mod
Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "Also WHERE... the HECK... is Tamahome?"

I don't know. He hasn't posted here since 12/23/16 though he did make a book status update on 1/3/17. I guess he's just busy?


message 48: by Rikki (new)

Rikki (queenrikki) | 50 comments Well, I joined S&L when it was still on Ning. I think I joined Goodreads just to continue following the discussion and podcast.


message 49: by AndrewP (last edited Jan 11, 2017 09:04AM) (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2113 comments I think my first Sword and Laser book was Anathem back in 2010. Don't remember how I initially found the website/podcast/Goodreads group.


message 50: by Louise (new)

Louise (Lowies) | 44 comments I was following Felicia Day in early 2012 (and before) when she announced Geek & Sundry and that there was going to be a science fiction book club om that channel. I had been thinking of getting back to reading SFF again and thought this would be a perfect opportunity.
It wasn't until the second or maybe third video episode that I understood that S & L was its own entity before G&S and that there was a whole bunch of podcasts to listen to as well.
I had never heard of Tom or Veronica before G&S either. So I admit I did not understand why Felicia was talking about them as THE Tom Merritt and THE Veronica Belmont (okay, she wasn't, but it felt a little like it) when announcing the book club show.

I have been reading along since May 2012 and have also managed to read most of the clubs backlog (I still have 1Q84 and The Magicians left to read - I'll get there, though).

I had heard of Goodreads via Vaginal Fantasy but didn't join until early May 2012 after it hade been mentioned several times on Sword & Laser as well.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Among Others (other topics)
The Lies of Locke Lamora (other topics)
Ready Player One (other topics)
Blindsight (other topics)
Unshapely Things (other topics)
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