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Podcasts > S&L Podcast - #280 - Good Omens for 2018

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1660 comments Mod
Neil Gaiman is running a new TV show and we're excited! Plus the Arrival folks are making a Larry Niven short story into a show, and indie bookstores are booming! We also kick-off Nalo Hopkinson's The Salt Roads.

http://swordandlaser.com/home/2017/2/...
https://soundcloud.com/swordandlaser/...
https://www.patreon.com/posts/7969366


message 2: by Mike (new)

Mike (mindolin) | 23 comments regarding Adam H.'s email about tracking new releases by authors, I have had good luck using Fict Fact. I have mostly used it to track books in a series.

Mike


message 3: by Andy (last edited Feb 02, 2017 06:19AM) (new)

Andy (andy_m) | 311 comments Fun town names from Michigan (my home state):

Romulus
Remus
Vulcan
Christmas
Climax
Bad Axe
Hell

All relatively easy to say, but interesting none the less.

Then there is Kalamazoo...

A Wisconsin name for you (my current home)
Lake Butte des Morts


message 4: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8038 comments Mike wrote: "regarding Adam H.'s email about tracking new releases by authors, I have had good luck using Fict Fact. I have mostly used it to track books in a series.

Mike"


I also use FictFact. Works very well.

www.fictfact.com


message 5: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8038 comments Andy wrote: "Fun town names from Michigan (my home state):

Romulus
Remus
Vulcan
Christmas
Climax
Bad Axe
Hell

All relatively easy to say, but interesting none the less.

Then there is Kalamazoo...

A Wiscons..."


Except those are all pronounced the way normal people pronounce them. Massachusetts towns on the other hand....

You know that Monty Python sketch where he goes, "My name is spelt 'Throat-Warbler Mangrove' but it's pronounced 'Luxury-Yacht'." (And he says "warbler" like "wobbler" and "yacht" as if it rhymes with "thatched".) Yeah, Masstowns are like that.

For instance, how do you think Leominster is pronounced? Wrong! (view spoiler)

How about Billerica? Nope! (view spoiler)

And give Worcester a try. Oh, man, you are so lost right now, you're heading to Vermont. (view spoiler)

Actually, that explains why Veronica has a difficult time with names. I suspect being exposed to MA naming conventions messes with someone's developing brain.


message 6: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8038 comments Also, did Veronica pronounce Beaulieu correctly? Because I know a guy who pronounces it bow-lee-owe ("bow" as in ribbon) and there's an actor who pronounces it bool-you. It's almost as if everyone with that name says it differently.

Beaulieu is like the opposite of Meyer, which has a single pronunciation but a dozen different spellings. (Meijer, Meier, Mayer, Maier, Mejer, Mair, etc.)


message 7: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (last edited Feb 02, 2017 12:11PM) (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1660 comments Mod
Trike wrote: "Also, did Veronica pronounce Beaulieu correctly? Because I know a guy who pronounces it bow-lee-owe ("bow" as in ribbon) and there's an actor who pronounces it bool-you. It's almost as if everyone ..."

He says to pronounce it like "Bowl yer ass off" (I think the "ass off" is silent)


message 8: by Rob Secundus (new)

Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments I was just want to say thanks for recognizing that I Have Pledged My Loyalty To Tom And Veronica And The Glorious Sword And Laser Party Which They Lead etc etc, but also I'd like to clarify that I definitely wasn't reading any kind of negative intent into the whole hard-fantasy discussion, or anything negative about fantasy vs science fiction-- just that the discussion was oriented in a direction which if one chose to walk further in that direction, would, I think, result in one coming to a place I find troubling.

W/r/t names, and pronunciations, and Monty Python, Fry and Laurie also have a relevant sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq-dc...


message 9: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6686 comments Mod
I really liked the new intro! I'm not sure whose that is, but nice call back to Outer Limits!


message 10: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1660 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "I really liked the new intro! I'm not sure whose that is, but nice call back to Outer Limits!"

It was Mark! He's the creator of another one of our bumpers too :)


message 11: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6686 comments Mod
Veronica wrote: "Rob wrote: "I really liked the new intro! I'm not sure whose that is, but nice call back to Outer Limits!"

It was Mark! He's the creator of another one of our bumpers too :)"


So you're saying I should make another one to keep up with Mark?


message 12: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1660 comments Mod
If you do, we'll send you a book from Lem's Library! That's the deal!


message 13: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 429 comments Veronica wrote: "If you do, we'll send you a book from Lem's Library! That's the deal!"

I wrote you a song, but I'm having trouble with the big band arrangement. (not kidding)


message 14: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6686 comments Mod
Veronica wrote: "If you do, we'll send you a book from Lem's Library! That's the deal!"

Hmm. Tempting.


message 15: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) | 908 comments I'm actually surprised that Adam H. said that Goodreads didn't have anything--I get a monthly Goodreads newsletter with new releases by authors I've read!

Obviously it's only useful if you shelve and/or rate books on Goodreads.

If you're looking for it, go to Account Settings > Emails and scroll down to Newsletters and Other Mail, and check "Send me the monthly New Releases email" and then check "Only send this to me if it includes an author I’ve read" (you can customize it further, too).

I don't actually "use" this newsletter that fully because I follow new books by putting in the work for it, haha, but it's nice in case I miss anything.

(Be aware that it might be wrong if the date was put in the book profile itself wrong, but that's usually caught the closer it gets to release.)


message 16: by Ammi (new)

Ammi Bui | 22 comments This isn't exactly sci-fi/fantasy related, so feel free to delete if necessary, but regarding your discussion in the podcast about people's desire to talk to staff about books/browse physical shelves and the rise of indie book stores... I love that they're doing well, but as a library employee and library/information science student, I feel like I have to advertise on behalf on libraries, too: we also offer reader's advisory services, host book discussions, and we have great print and e-book collections as well! I've been taking full advantage of my libraries' collections for most of the S&L picks, and I hope others are, too!


message 17: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 345 comments Ammi wrote: "This isn't exactly sci-fi/fantasy related, so feel free to delete if necessary, but regarding your discussion in the podcast about people's desire to talk to staff about books/browse physical shelv..."
Libraries are awesome!


message 18: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3824 comments Inconstant Moon is a pretty good story. Plus, Larry could use a break with the visual media peeps. He's been shopping Ringworld as a movie for what, 20 years or so?


message 19: by Louie (new)

Louie (rmutt1914) | 878 comments Ammi wrote: "I feel like I have to advertise on behalf on libraries, too"

I go to my local library at least once a week. All but 2 of the (comic)books I read last year came from my library. And I also love the Interlibrary Loan system if my local does not have what I am looking for. #LibraryLove <3


message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2202 comments Veronica wrote: "Rob wrote: "I really liked the new intro! I'm not sure whose that is, but nice call back to Outer Limits!"

It was Mark! He's the creator of another one of our bumpers too :)"


Thanks Rob. I cut the cord last year and rediscovered the Outer Limits on one of the local over the air subchannels carrying COMET TV programming.

And thanks to Veronica and Tom for letting me pick out a Sandman Slim novel by Richard Kadrey from their Patreon stash.


message 21: by Louie (new)

Louie (rmutt1914) | 878 comments That Mark Hamill episode of The Outer Limits ("Mind Over Matter") gets me every time. :'(


message 22: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3824 comments I love libraries. I get most of my reading material from them, both books and comics. I feel a little like I'm cheating the author by not paying retail for their work, but then authors do get something from library sales.


message 23: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6686 comments Mod
I typically do the library for comic trades and sometimes manga. I also use it for the picks I'm not sure I'll like.

I can do most of it online now too, which is even better.


message 24: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2440 comments Wow. It's probably just me but Tom's description of The Salt Roads made it sound like an absolutely horrible book. (I went ahead and downloaded the kindle sample anyway.)


message 25: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8038 comments AndrewP wrote: "Wow. It's probably just me but Tom's description of The Salt Roads made it sound like an absolutely horrible book. (I went ahead and downloaded the kindle sample anyway.)"

My theory is that it was chosen because Vaginal Fantasy is on hiatus and girls just wanna, they wanna have fun.


message 26: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8038 comments Also relevant for this podcast (Look away, Tom):




message 27: by Chad (new)

Chad (doctorwinters) | 180 comments Mike wrote: "regarding Adam H.'s email about tracking new releases by authors, I have had good luck using Fict Fact. I have mostly used it to track books in a series.

Mike"


+1 for FictFact!


message 28: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments I love love loved the audiobook Midnight Robber by Hopkinson. Took me a little while to pick up the pidgin, but the audio helped with that for me. But I loved that it was about a space colony mostly populated by the descendants of French Caribbeans. Such a nice change from some of the futures I've read, although I swear that older books were weirdly better about that.


message 29: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4111 comments On the topic of Bat Boy, this "documentary" is being done by cavers I used to hang out with when I was physically well enough to crawl around in muddy pits. http://huntforbatboy.com/


message 30: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2440 comments While on the subject of bats. Check out this bat drone that flies like the real thing.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/techn...


message 31: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8038 comments That Bat Bot is cool. Nice and quiet, too, I'll bet.


message 32: by Joyce (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 171 comments Mike wrote: "regarding Adam H.'s email about tracking new releases by authors, I have had good luck using Fict Fact. I have mostly used it to track books in a series.

Mike"


FictFact.com is the one I use as well. I love it for tracking my series. I get emails telling me what is coming out I have it set for weekly but I think you can get it more often plus I believe that they have a calendar for new releases.


message 33: by Joyce (last edited Feb 07, 2017 12:38PM) (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 171 comments As far as the question of "hard Fantasy" I think there is the equivalent of "Hard Sci-Fi" but its just a bit different. Yes I know that the hard sci-fi is considered to have things based in science but hard fantasy always has the basic fantasy tropes and does not veer too far away from it.

I consider "The Hobbit" to be hard fantasy because of its huge world building. It has the all the common tropes, Elves, Goblins, Good vs Evil, an epic adventure, Wizards, Kings, Queens etc. At least that's what I think of when I think Fantasy or would "Epic Fantasy" be a better title for it?

What do you guys and gals think? And what books would you consider "Hard Fantasy"?


message 34: by Ammi (new)

Ammi Bui | 22 comments @Joyce Phone won't let me hit reply, but I agree with you completely! Another series I always think of is The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander.


message 35: by Ammi (new)

Ammi Bui | 22 comments (Apologies for the separate posts, but apparently I can't edit my own comment)

Would you say high and low fantasy= hard and soft sci-fi?


message 36: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1518 comments Joyce I think you are referring to what is traditionally called "Epic Fantasy".

What I think of as "Hard Fantasy" is usually a bit more modern (although it wouldn't have to be), and it uses very firm rules on the logic in that world. There can be magic, and other things impossible in our world, but it cant be wishy washy about how and when it can be used. Think more Brandon Sanderson and less Tolkien.

Wikipedia's entry actually matches up pretty close to what I think

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_fa...

But, if others have a different take, I'd also be interested in hearing it.


message 37: by Joyce (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 171 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "Joyce I think you are referring to what is traditionally called "Epic Fantasy".

What I think of as "Hard Fantasy" is usually a bit more modern (although it wouldn't have to be), and it uses very ..."


ok that's interesting. By that definition perhaps The Magicians or All the Birds in the Sky would fall under that theory?

I never event thought to look at Wikipedia LOL


message 38: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8038 comments Joyce wrote: "As far as the question of "hard Fantasy" I think there is the equivalent of "Hard Sci-Fi" but its just a bit different. Yes I know that the hard sci-fi is considered to have things based in science but hard fantasy always has the basic fantasy tropes and does not veer too far away from it.

I consider "The Hobbit" to be hard fantasy because of its huge world building. It has the all the common tropes, Elves, Goblins, Good vs Evil, an epic adventure, Wizards, Kings, Queens etc. At least that's what I think of when I think Fantasy or would "Epic Fantasy" be a better title for it?

What do you guys and gals think? And what books would you consider "Hard Fantasy"? "


A little background on me first -- when I was in college, my PhD thesis was going to be on genres. Specifically, is it possible to create genre definitions and distinctions that anyone can use without making individual judgement calls? (I had to drop out because of Reagonomics, but that's a separate issue. Point being, I've done a lot of research into genre over the years.)

So the short answer is no, that is not what Hard Fantasy is.

John Nevets has it correct: Hard Fantasy is a world where the magic system has specific, well-defined rules which are never broken.

The Lord of the Rings does not use this sort of magic system. It works by author fiat where anything goes and the rules aren't clear to the reader. This is often called Implicit Magic.

As Brandon Sanderson, perhaps the most popular author using Hard Fantasy, said, "Tolkien doesn't have any rules. If Gandalf really wanted to fly, he could." Lev Grossman has also said, "When Gandalf wanted to do a spell, he waved it around and yelled something and then something exciting happened. But you never had a sense there was an orderly system." Patrick Rothfuss chimes in with, "His magic isn't ever explained, it's not part of a system you can explore, because Tolkien's world is kind of painted in broad, impressionistic strokes."

Rothfuss calls the two types of styles Scientific Magic (in Hard Fantasy) and Poetic Magic (old school no-rules Fantasy).

The first true Hard Fantasy novel I encountered was Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics, published in 1980. However, there were examples before that. It's about a boy who goes to wizard school and becomes proficient in various forms of magic to defeat an evil demon, as prophesied. (Note: JK Rowling was 15 when this was released, the same age I was.)

However, Rowling's Harry Potter books and Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles are a mix-and-match of Hard Fantasy and Implicit Fantasy. The difference between them is that Rowling breaks her internal rules at her whim when it suits the plot, whereas Rothfuss does it deliberately to underscore that people in his world don't yet know everything about how magic works. Rowling is violating her story's internal consistency because she wants a quick fix to a problem. Rothfuss does it to create more problems for his characters.

The rules of a magic system don't have to be spelled out (pardon the pun) for the reader, as long as the author clearly communicates that there ARE rules. Peter V. Brett does this very well in his Demon Cycle series. It's also a clever gambit because he gets to have his cake and eat it, too. The warding symbols provide protection against demons but he never states specifically what those symbols are. So if he ever needs a new one, he can just invent it.

Sanderson takes the opposite approach, where he specifically states the rules of his systems. (He's essentially creating D&D modules.) However, he makes it so characters (and readers) can find loopholes and work-arounds for the magic. That allows him to play in the "negative space" of his worlds, building in twists which are simultaneously unexpected yet logical in hindsight.


message 39: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6686 comments Mod
Nice post Trike.


message 40: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Rob wrote: "Nice post Trike."

I second.


message 41: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4111 comments Joanna wrote: "Rob wrote: "Nice post Trike."

I second."


I third! :)


message 42: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1518 comments So any wiki editors around here who can supplement the article. I agree that is a great description.


message 43: by Joyce (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 171 comments Thank you Trike that was a great explanation. That was so clearly explained now I understand. Wow we have some really smart people here. I am always learning something new. Which one of the reasons I love Science Fiction as a genre because every now and then smart stuff happens. LOL.


message 44: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 345 comments That is a great description of how fantasy can be split based on the nature of the magic system.

I have a comment about the Kingkiller Chronicles. Instead of mix and match between the two, I would probably say it has one magic system of each type. Sympathy is a Scientific Magic system where Naming is more Poetic Magic from what I remember of the books.


message 45: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Yeah but there's also alchemy and that seems to be different than simpler chemistry and also magical. You get the idea that it's a still wide open field, scads of research to do.


message 46: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Anus One is the new nickname for Air Force One.


message 47: by Rob Secundus (new)

Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments Trike wrote: "Joyce wrote: "As far as the question of "hard Fantasy" I think there is the equivalent of "Hard Sci-Fi" but its just a bit different. Yes I know that the hard sci-fi is considered to have things ba..."

Yeah, that's an awesome post.

Did you ever encounter Rhetorics of Fantasy ?It's my only real experience with the subgenres-of-fantasy conversation and it breaks things down into (essentially) quest vs immersion fantasy-- fantasy that stays in one place and fantasy that moves across the land. The book itself was problematic, but that seemed like at least a good or valid starting point for subdividing fantasy.


message 48: by Kev (new)

Kev (sporadicreviews) | 639 comments What was the source of Veronica's beer club? Some kind of "of the month" source? I was driving while listening and meant to make a mental note, but didn't.


message 49: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3459 comments Mod
SporadicReviews.com wrote: "What was the source of Veronica's beer club? Some kind of "of the month" source? I was driving while listening and meant to make a mental note, but didn't."

http://www.amazingclubs.com/


message 50: by Kev (new)

Kev (sporadicreviews) | 639 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "http://www.amazingclubs.com/ ."

Thanks!


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