The Sword and Laser discussion

Introduction and welcome thread!

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (last edited Sep 01, 2010 01:08PM) (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1671 comments Mod
Hey everyone! A new member pointed out to me that we don't have an introduction thread, where users can say hello, speak about what they hope to get out of this group, and mention what authors and books they love.

Well, here we go!

New members will be instructed to post here and say hello. Everyone else is also welcome to make their own introduction if they wish!

I'll start... Hi, I'm Veronica! I'm one of the co-hosts of the Sword and Laser, and the moderator of these forums! My favorite authors include Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, and Laurie R. King.

message 2: by Salamangkero (new)

Salamangkero | 16 comments Hello! My name is PJ and I am a gamer, I recently finished the Dresden Files and am anxiously waiting for book 13 and the collected short stores by Jim Butcher.

I'm currently working on the "laser" part of the books now.

message 3: by Randy (new)

Randy Rydeen | 1 comments Hi. I'm Randy and I am interested in reading fantasy, science fiction, murder/thriller, and history.
Currently finishing "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"

message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 01, 2010 08:39PM) (new)

Hi, I'm Dave and I have a been a fantasy/sci fi fan for as long as I can remember. Although I read a lot of non fiction as well, striking a balance I guess and so glad to meet you all.

message 5: by Welwyn (new)

Welwyn Wilton Katz | 46 comments Hi, I'm Welwyn, and I'm just re-reading C.J. Cherryh's Cyteen so that I can read the sequel (I sure hope it's a sequel) Regenesis.

message 6: by Hilary (new)

Hilary A (hilh) | 40 comments Hi, I'm Hilary and I'm a scifi/laser-aholic. Catching up with all the reading I never seemed to be able to do in the past and loving it!

message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelbetts) Hi, I'm Sodon, or Mike. Looking forward to engaging in some great book club-type discussions. Almost done with Heinlein's Mistress! My favorite author of the moment is Guy Gavriel Kay.

message 8: by Welwyn (new)

Welwyn Wilton Katz | 46 comments Guy's a great guy. Hilary, you're doing what everyone should be able to do.

message 9: by Anthony (new)

Anthony (xebix) | 4 comments Anthony here. I just recently joined this group. I'm waiting for the next book to start so I can read along with the group. Some of my favorite authors are Timothy Zahn, Richard A. Knaak, and Hunter S. Thompson

message 10: by Caitrin (new)

Caitrin (literarydependent) Hey y'all, my name is Caitrin and my favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss. Not only because I like their book(s) but also their online presence and personality <3 I've been a fantasy fan since I first read a fantasy novel at 11 or so (before that I mostly read Tom Clancy and John Grisham, lol). I had to take Hooked on Phonics to learn how to read, because I liked making up my own stories better. I'm the daughter of scifi/fantasy fans so it was pretty natural!

I really just want somewhere to learn about books I'd like to read and being able to participate with fans of the genres I love. I would love to make some friends too! :D

message 11: by Joyce (last edited Sep 04, 2010 09:16AM) (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 171 comments Hi I'm Joyce and I am particularly fond of paranormal, scifi, urban fantasy, mystery books. More fond of the laser than the sword.I've been reading scifi as a child from mythology then graduated to Heinlein Robert and Philip Jose Farmer. I really love the Jim Butcher Harry Dresden series as well as Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse Vampire novels. I really run the gambit as far as reading goes. I worked in a book store for 6 years and that just fed my book addiction.

I'm always looking for a book that I might not have ordinarily pick up to read. Bitter Seeds was a good example.

message 12: by Patrick (new)

Patrick (halfadd3r) Hello! I'm Patrick, and I'm a long time Sword and Laser (the genres) reader.

I'm constantly fascinated by how Sci-Fi specifically can address issues that are....uncomfortable otherwise. I'm reading Rucker's The Ware Tetralogy right now, and it's dealing with drug-use, the nature of the soul, how to relate to technology, how to relate to separate lifeforms, ect. But it's still doing it in a way that moves an enjoyable story along.

My favorote Fantasy series have been Jim Butcher's Dresden Files as well as the VERY underrated Codex Alera (Furies of Calderon).

I read books (paper currently) verociously, and also love my Audible subscription. I highly recommend the new Bitter Seeds audiobook

message 13: by Joshua (new)

Joshua James Hello, I'm Joshua.

I'm new to goodreads, but not new to reading. I've read quite a bit of sword, but not enough laser in my life. Currently I have a lot on my plate, so I don't know that I'll get to the sci-fi stuff any time soon, but the good news is that I'm starting "A Game Of Thrones" (audiobook) this week, for the first time. Oh, and I'm also reading "Don Quixote" for the first time, which has swords and mention of dragons and giants in it.

message 14: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6185 comments I'm just another computer geek, with a monkey on his back called Windows 7. I type in Dvorak.

message 15: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Gass | 36 comments Hello, my name is Jeff. I am an overworked network engineer for a major healthcare organization in NC and reading is one of my escapes. I happened upon the Sword and Laser based on a quick mention by Leo Laporte on This Week in Tech. I have been hooked ever since. I have been reading mainly non fiction for the last few years but the Sword and Laser has brought me back to
Science Fiction and Fantasy in a big way.
Let me be the first to declare The Sword and Laser to be the classiest podcast on the Internet, thanks to Veronica and Tom!

message 16: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Gass | 36 comments Oh, and I was so stoked to drive down to Atlanta for Dragon Con but I was on call this last week! Maybe next year.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey, I'm Ala. Been reading Sci-Fi all my life. Favorite authors are too numerous to list at this point :P I tend to keep to myself, but will gladly join in on any book discussion.

Sooooo...yep. That's that.

message 18: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1149 comments Mod
Oh hello. I'm late to posting this but I am Veronica's co-host on the Sword and Laser show and co-founder of the club.

I'm a big fan of Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Douglas Adams, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and I could probably keep listing.

message 19: by Kim (last edited Sep 07, 2010 10:14AM) (new)

Kim (andronin) | 6 comments Hello, my name is Kim and I am a bookaholic ;-), and part time IT worker. My favorite genres are Fantasy (most sub genres), Science Fiction, Horror and suspense.

Favorite authors are in no particular order (and just a short list from the top of my tired brain)
Neal Stephenson, Dean Koontz, David Eddings, Stephen KingThomas Harris, George Orwell, Terry Goodkind

I too, like Ala, am a lurker but will chime in when I have something useful to say.

Currently reading the The Silence of the Lambs and Dreams of the Ringed Vale Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

message 20: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4132 comments I'm Kristin. By day, I'm an aerospace engineer. By night/weekend, I'm a nerd that reads way too much fantasy and plays way too many JRPGs. I also read the occasional sci-fi (thank you S&L!) and mystery/thriller.

I really love both the Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire series; I would put Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin in my list of favorite fantasy authors. I also like Neil Gaiman's forays into fantasy. On my "to read" list are Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Naomi Novik and some more Robin Hobb. I also must confess that I very much liked the Harry Potter books.

On the sci-fi side of things, I'm into Orson Scott Card, Neal Stephenson (I'm overlooking the train wreck that was Anathem, and Douglas Adams.

I'm currently reading Hobb's Assassin's Quest on my Kindle and "re-reading" Good Omens (listening to it on Audible while in the car or at the gym). My queue is very long, I'm hoping to get more reading done tonight and on my weeknights this week.

message 21: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Stoessel (vinny2020) | 36 comments Hello,
I'm Vincent, longtime lover of SF+F. Been reading the genre since the early 80s. Looking forward to sharing my views on SF+F topics and learning about new works.
Oh, I'm also the guy that asked the first live audience question during the DragonCon 2010 podcast that got David Gerrold stirred up a bit. :) Great times.

message 22: by Jared (last edited Sep 07, 2010 05:28PM) (new)

Jared (notthatjared) | 17 comments Hi. I'm Jared. I'm an amateur game designer, writer and life long geek.

My reading tastes lean heavily toward the sword, but I've been known to enjoy the laser from time to time. As a hopeless history geek, I also enjoy biographies and historical fiction/non-fiction.

I found the Sword and Laser podcast via Tom's East Meets West show, thereby discovering Audible. I now have two accounts and far less money. Thanks, Tom.

My favorite authors and biggest influences are George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury and Phillip K. Dick.

Currently I'm mainlining Jim Butcher's collected works. I'm reading the Codex Alera series on Kindle for iPhone, and listening to The Dresden Files on Audible, read by the amazing James Marsters.

message 23: by Michael (new)

Michael Minutillo (wolfbyte) Hey all. I'm Mike the Indiscriminate Information Sponge. I hated reading until I read The Hobbit and I haven't stopped since. Fave authors include Tolkien, J.R.R., Terry Pratchett, Robert Jordan, Raymond E. Feist, Tad Williams and Ian Irvine among many, many more. I originally joined the Sword and Laser to expand my Laser horizons and so far it seems to be working (this week I discovered Spider Robinson)

Sadly my time has been pretty poor lately so I've been absent from S&L but I'm back!

message 24: by Hope (new)

Hope (littlehope) | 82 comments Hi I'm Hope, I'm a poor collage student who is studying to become a special education teacher/reading specialist. Becouse of that I read a lot of childrens and teen lit but I'd probably read it anyway...

As a child I HATED reading, I was dyslexic and I did not learn to read till I was 11 or 12. Once I did learn ti read, something snapped in me and now I love it! :D

I'm more into fantasy but my favorite author is Orson Scott Card.

message 25: by Curt (new)

Curt Taylor (meegeek) | 107 comments Hi there, I'm Curt. I have at least 3 books going at any given time. The first scifi book I remember reading was Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seawhen I was 10, in my tree fort out in the backyard. Have been hooked on reading ever since. I tend to tackle an author rather then picking and choosing books. Right now I am hanging on Joe Abercrombie (finishing the trilogy and starting on Best Served Cold, waiting for his next book to arrive). Also working through Phillip K. Dick. Besides Sword and Laser, I love military history, especially the last century.

message 26: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new)

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Hi, I'm Josh. HTML-slinger by occupation, science-fiction-reader/gaming nerd/sloppy musician by inclination. Thanks to this bookclub I now appreciate the sword as well as the laser.

Favorite authors include Frank Herbert, Gene Wolfe, William Gibson, George R.R. Martin, Douglas Adams. I also made the opening music for the S&L podcast, and with my music partner-in-crime Karl Eifrig, a version of Clive Royal's open-source Sword & Laser song (you can see the video here).

message 27: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 17 comments Hey all, I work in mental health care, and wear the nerd badge. I have been following along with the group for about 4 months. I am reading It by Stephen King right now.

My fav. authors include Robert Jordan, Neil Gaiman, kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Lovecraft.

message 28: by Leighann (new)

Leighann (zhelenstilo) I'm Leighann. Currently unemployed and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I'm an amateur writer and translator when I'm not reading or providing tech support to my mother.

I'm a fan of both the sword and the laser (and have been since I was little), but I tend much more heavily toward sword. I'm also a huge fan of anime, manga, and JRPGs (and a lot of other Japanese things for that matter).

I like lots of authors, but my current favorite is Carol Berg. I'm currently working on Linger by Maggie Stiefvater as part of a small stack of urban fantasy (and maybe a paranormal romance or two) for a couple of book groups.

All that said, I'm mostly a lurker. I read almost all of the discussions, but I tend to not participate much. ^_^;

message 29: by Beth (new)

Beth (petersonb12) | 40 comments Hi, I am Beth. I like books that fall anywhere along the sword to laser spectrum and even occassionally read a book that is not sword or laser. But not that often.

I love listening to the show and reading the posts, although I must admit to not participating in the discussions much. But I like it here.

message 30: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (masupert) | 215 comments Hello,

My name is Matt. I have been lurking in the group for a couple of months now listening to the podcast. Figured I would chime in.

For the Group I am just sort of looking for other sci fi and fantasy nerds to discuss books with in general. It has actually been several years since I have gotten into serious reading again. I got burned out pretty bad during graduate school.

My favorite authors right now are J.R.R. Tolkien, Tad Williams, C.S. Lewis,Brian Jacques

message 31: by Ramon (new)

Ramon | 1 comments Heyo,

Name is Ramon and i did not know Tom and Veronica read sci-fi/fantasy books until Tom mentioned it on TNT!

My favorite authors so far are Paul S Kemp and Frank Herbert!
I love reading others authors but everytime i read the Dune series or Erevis Cale saga i just get lost in the words!

That's not really a good intro so...yeah =/.

Hello all!

message 32: by Adam (new)

Adam (jademason) | 23 comments Hi, I'm Adam. I am a software developer, entrepreneur, father, husband, gamer, and gadget hound. I recently published my first app for Android: YAGRAC - Yet Another Goodreads Android App. I am an avid William Gibson fan and have this group to thank for introducing me to Daniel Suarez. I'm excited at the number of new books Sword & Laser has mentioned and I'm eager to read more.

message 33: by Bob (last edited Sep 14, 2010 10:50AM) (new)

Bob (BobOnBooks) | 1 comments Hello,
My name is Rob. I am a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. I joined Good Reads due to the suggestion of the Sword and Laser podcast.
I am a help desk technician and spend many hours at my computer both at work and at home.
I find that I read more that ever today, but it is either online or technical manuals.
Audio books are how I am getting most of my recreational "reading".

message 34: by Alan (new)

Alan (professoralan) Hello,

I am Alan, and am a business/finance Professor in the Midwest.

Probably more than half of what I read is done via unabridged audio.

I am 75% sword, 25% laser.

message 35: by Sam (new)

Sam Smith (last_endeavor) Hi,

My name is Sam, I'm a web programmer, graphic designer, musician, and gamer in East Texas. I've been a Science Fiction and Fantasy fan for as long as I can remember.

My favorite authors are Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Tolkien, J.R.R., and Orson Scott Card.

I'm currently reading The Great Hunt and Gardens of the Moon.

I've been a listener of the sword and laser podcast for a few months now, and it's great to listen to while I'm working. Tom and Veronica are very informative, entertaining, and make a great team!

I'm looking forward to reading what other members in the group have to say about sci fi and fantasy books.

message 36: by Eric (new)

Eric Morgan (morgchop) | 7 comments Hi, my name is Eric and I am in the Navy. I enjoy both sword and laser, but tend to read a bit more laser. I also used to devour 4-5 books per month, and now I am lucky if I finish 1 in 2 months. My favorites are too numerous to list, but some highlights are: Peter F Hamilton, Dan Simmons, David Gerrold, Neal Stephenson, Orson Scott Card, Charles Stross, Steven Brust, William Gibson, Stephen R Donaldson, David J Williams, etc.

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)


My name is Sarah and I love to read. I love all types of books (fiction, non-fiction, mystery, sci-fi and fantasy. My favorite sword and laser authors include George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Katherine Kerr, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Frank Herbert.

message 38: by Michael (new)

Michael (arilin) | 1 comments Howdy Folks,

Michael here. 30 Year's old and new to the group! Love to read, and I read a lot. Favorite series I've ever read is a rough one. I loved the Dragoncrown Cycle by Michael Stackpole. Also, The Foundation Series by Asimov is probably one of my all time favorites. George R.R. Martin is another favorite. Infact, I think I just have to many favorites.

Though, I do read my fluff which equates to Forgotten Realms/Dragonlance books. To much to write. Currently work in IT, infact I'm currently AT work, and probably should be doing this report, but this is way more interesting to read. I'm rambling now. Thanks all!

message 39: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Jewison | 1 comments Hello,

My name is Daniel, I live up in Canada and I have been reading since I was very young. Most of the books I read are sci-fi/fantasy but i have read some mystery. My favorite book has to be Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I am currently reading Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

message 40: by Todd (new)

Todd | 36 comments Hi There,

I'm Todd and I'm from Australia. I've read Sci-Fi and Fantasy all my life from Enid Blyton to today's stuff.

I got into S&L from a mention on Tekzilla and listened to the podcast and, then I got a Kindle for my birthday and I'm back baby!

I want to get exposure to new authors and perhaps old ones I haven't tried yet.

message 41: by David (new)

David | 2 comments Hi,

My name's Dave and I've always been an avid reader. My interests are all over the map, but my favorites have always been SciFi & Fantasy (a gift from my father).

Favorite authors would include Tolkien, Herbert, Donaldson, Bujold (Vorkosigan saga), Pratchett and Weber (Honorverse).

I seem to be at odds with most of the list over George R. R. Martin. After struggling to finish the third book of A Song of Fire and Ice (Storm of Swords), I can safely say I'll never read anything by him again. Jordan might have lost direction in the Wheel of Time series, but I'm not certain Martin ever had one. What, Arya's been captured? Again?

I just finished Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and am currently reading Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Next up is the
The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film.

message 42: by Mark (new)

Mark | 2 comments Hi, I am new. You can call me punky. How are you?
I am just getting back into reading sci-fi fantasy, mostly because of Dune, so far a wonderful novel. But I'd love to get more recommendations from people.
I have read most of Heinlein, and I collect anything from Vonnegut, although I guess he is only occasionally a science fiction author.

message 43: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel | 1 comments Hi, my name is Gabriel, and I'm a bookoholic.

I live in France. I'm a full-time geek, sometimes teaching philosophy, sometimes working in the local nerdstore (sci-fi and fantasy books, rpgs and tabletop games : yum).

I'm a huge fan of Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny, Neil Gaiman ans Cordwainer Smith.

message 44: by David (new)

David | 1 comments Hello folks, David here. As with everyone else, I'm an avid reader who tends to focus on fantasy/sci-fi. I've been listening to the S&L podcast for quite some time now and I figured it was high time to join up.

To pick two favorite authors, I'll go with Brandon Sanderson and Robin Hobb.

Looking forward to joining the discussion on the next book.

message 45: by Philip (new)

Philip (heard03) | 383 comments Hello, I'm Philip. I've listened to S&L since last year, but only got involved really once the move was made to Goodreads. This a great online community with a lot of nice people who have varying tastes in SF&F. I never really knew who to read other than obvious authors like Heinlein, Tolkien, Herbert, and Stephen King. I've been turned onto some terrific books through the group and enjoy the thoughtful insight so many members have.

Oh yeah- Tom and Veronica rock for putting this group and the Podcast together.

message 46: by Tom (new)

Tom Gehrke (tomgehrke) Howdy! I'm Tom. (Or maybe I should call myself NotThatTom.) I am a network administrator/infrastructure architect and I love to read. Love both Twit and Revision3 and just kind of stumbled upon the Sword and Laser podcasts. I think I'm hooked.

My favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Tokien, Douglas Adams and pretty most most of the authors everyone else is listing.

I feel at home already.

message 47: by Remy (new)

Remy | 24 comments Hi, I'm Remy.
I've been a sci-fi/fantasy reader ever since my third-grade teacher introduced me to Lord of the Rings. When I'm not reading books I haven't read in a while or books for the club, I like to pick Sci Fi/Fantasy books from the library at random; almost all have been good reads so far. Favorite authors are Terry Goodkind, Raymond E Feist, Richard Knaak, and many more.

message 48: by Craig (last edited Sep 21, 2010 11:01PM) (new)

Craig (stoneious) | 1 comments Hello, I'm Craig.
I was the dork in high school you always saw reading a book, I've always liked to read. I tend to stick to Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

There isn't much to do here in Pittsburgh, serious lack of jobs and women so I still tend to read a lot. I joined this from following Veronica Belmont on twitter. Heard about her from AIE and her hosting the one Rifftrax live event and I saw her link to this one day. Seems like a group made for me, I look forward to being a part of a book club like this.

message 49: by Steve (new)

Steve (jstevenmoore) | 2 comments Hello all! I'm Steve.
I'm a long time fantasy/science fiction reader, techno-junkie and, as my kids me, OG (They say it means "Original Geek" but I think they mean "Old Guy") I started reading Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft way back in Jr. High, then moved on to Asimov, Heinlein, et al. Some of my favorite authors are Robert Jordan, Raymond E. Feist, Terry Brooks, Willam Gibson, and Vernor Vinge.
I've been too busy to read much the last several years but thanks to ebooks and I'm playing catch up!

message 50: by Martin (new)

Martin | 9 comments Hello,
I'm Martin. I was't a book reader type of guy, but it all change when I started to listen do the Starwars audiobook and from there I moved over to other "Laser" book, but a "Sword" book is also in my line of interests ;)

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