Interview with James S.A. Corey and our Tigana kick-off! Sword & Laser Ep 5


Uploaded by geekandsundry on Jun 8, 2012

Transcript:

VERONICA BELMONT: Hello, everyone.
Welcome to the Sword and Laser.
I am Veronica Belmont.
TOM MERRITT: And I'm Tom Merritt.
VERONICA BELMONT: Can you believe that we're already at
episode number five?
TOM MERRITT: I know.
And we haven't even guessed the name of our dragon yet.
VERONICA BELMONT: Oh, soon my friend, soon
in this very episode.
TOM MERRITT: In this very episode?
VERONICA BELMONT: Oh, yes.
All will be revealed.
TOM MERRITT: Yes, but before that, we have the authors
behind James SA Corey.
Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham will join us as well as we're
kicking off our new book for June, Tigana
by Guy Gavriel Kay.
VERONICA BELMONT: I'm so excited about this book.
TOM MERRITT: I'm almost half done.
I'm loving it.
VERONICA BELMONT: Really?
Almost half?
Well, you cheated.
TOM MERRITT: I know.
VERONICA BELMONT: Way to go.
TOM MERRITT: Sorry.
VERONICA BELMONT: But before we get to all that, it is time
to knock out the news like you bullseye womp rat in your T16
back home, folks.
It's time for the Quick Burns.

In celebration of the New Yorker's first ever all
science fiction issue, Jennifer Egan tweeted a short
story, 140 characters at a time, on the New Yorker
Fiction Twitter account.
The story took 11 days to post and finished up June 2.
You can read the complete story at the New Yorker
website or in the June 4 and 11 issue of the magazine.
TOM MERRITT: I want to start tweeting a story.
VERONICA BELMONT: That took a really long time.
I mean, I guess it makes sense, because it's 140--
TOM MERRITT: What is it, 11 days?
VERONICA BELMONT: Yeah.
That's a lot of writing.
TOM MERRITT: You're going like this one.
As part of the BBC's 60-second idea series, science fiction
writer Elizabeth Moon argued that we all should be chipped
or bar coded from birth.
VERONICA BELMONT: Yes.
TOM MERRITT: Moon argues that it would prevent
identification mistakes--
sure--
and even allow soldiers to identify combatants from
noncombatants.
VERONICA BELMONT: I have been seriously talking about
chipping myself--
TOM MERRITT: I know.
VERONICA BELMONT: --probably since you
first met me in 2004.
TOM MERRITT: Yeah.
VERONICA BELMONT: And actually my friend Peter Ha over at
TechCrunch recently wrote an article about chipping and how
it would actually be beneficial and how we should
probably just be doing that.
TOM MERRITT: Let's finish the Quick Burns
before you chip yourself.
VERONICA BELMONT: OK.
It's just minor surgery, no big deal.
John Scalzi's book Redshirts came out earlier this week.
And if a novel about Star Trek laser fodder wasn't geeky
enough for you, Mr. Scalzi got musician Jonathan Coulton to
write a song from the point of view of one of the poor folks
in crimson.
[MUSIC - JONATHAN COULTON, "REDSHIRT"]
VERONICA BELMONT: Yeah.
Coulton was the right man for capturing the sad plight of
the unnamed ensign.
TOM MERRITT: Ah, the poor, endangered ensign.
I can't wait to read that book.
VERONICA BELMONT: I mean, it's called Redshirts, so--
TOM MERRITT: And Jonathan Coulton and Scalzi together,
that's aweson.
VERONICA BELMONT: --you can kind of expect what happens.
I haven't read it yet, but I'm assuming based on the name and
the Star Trek history.
TOM MERRITT: You just never know.
It's a novel in three codas, by the way.
Have you ever wondered just how big Westeros is?
VERONICA BELMONT: Yes.
TOM MERRITT: Adam Whitehead to the rescue.
On the Wertzone, Adam made a rough graphic comparing the
United States to both Westeros and Essos.
Among many interesting comparisons, the Isle of
Scagos is around the size of Ireland.
And Daenerys traveled farther than the width of the United
States in the first book alone.
VERONICA BELMONT: Wow.
Yeah, I remember seeing a post from Adam a while back
actually, I think discussing how everything just north of
the wall is massive just by itself.
TOM MERRITT: No wonder this planet has long seasons.
It's huge.
VERONICA BELMONT: It's not that big.
As that graphic showed, it's about the size of the
continental US.
Or maybe--
TOM MERRITT: It's huge.
VERONICA BELMONT: It's fairly large.
TOM MERRITT: Actually Scagos is a lot
bigger than I thought.
VERONICA BELMONT: That's true.
Finally, if you're looking forward to the third book in
Richard Morgan's Land Fit for Heroes series, an excerpt of
the Dark Defiles is now up at richardkmorgan.com.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that Morgan's tearing a piece of parchment
from the George RR Martin play scroll, and talking about
splitting this next book into two parts.
No release dates have been yet announced.
TOM MERRITT: All right.
We turn the Quick Burn laser gun on ourselves.
I'm not sure that's the right metaphor.
But what is right, if not righteous, is another
whiteboard review from Aaron proud Sword and Laser book
club member.
It starts with the destruction of everything.
AARON: Apocalypse bad.
Post-apocalyptic sc-fi good?
1997 movie The Postman bad.
But Robert McCammon's 1987 breakout novel Swan Song good.
Kevin Costner crosses as a shattered America
delivering mail, bad.
But a little girl, a horribly disfigured luchador and a
psychic bag lady crossing a shattered American delivering
justice, good.
Be good.
VERONICA BELMONT: Yeah.
TOM MERRITT: Poor Kevin Costner.
VERONICA BELMONT: I'm mad at Aaron right now.
TOM MERRITT: Why is that?
VERONICA BELMONT: Because he doesn't like Tigana.
TOM MERRITT: [GASPS]
VERONICA BELMONT: I know.
I'm not supposed to get mad at people who don't like the
books we pick.
But I was like, come on.
TOM MERRITT: You saw so close to eye-to-eye with him on
everything else.
VERONICA BELMONT: So close.
TOM MERRITT: So close.
VERONICA BELMONT: Come on, Aaron.
TOM MERRITT: We should thank him anyway.
VERONICA BELMONT: You do an awesome job.
I love your whiteboards.
They are hilarious, and you are so talented.
Thank you so much.
And if you want to send us in your videos, you could be on
the next show.
And we'll send you a package of prizes,
including books and stickers.
Just upload your message to your favorite video hosting
provider, like say YouTube, for example.
And email the link to us at feedback@swordandlaser.com.
I'm so excited, I'm losing my voice.
TOM MERRITT: Oh, my.
You'll get it back.
You'll get It back.
Because we're going to find out the dragon's name.
But before that, Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham join us to talk
about their work Leviathan Wakes as James SA Corey.
And we kick off our new book.
It's called--
I can never seem to remember or hear the name.
VERONICA BELMONT: They're not going to get the joke until
they start reading, Tom.
TOM MERRITT: Don't go anywhere.

VERONICA BELMONT: Welcome back to Sword and Laser.
We're extremely pleased to have Ty Franck and Daniel
Abraham, the secret powers behind James SA
Corey with us today.
Welcome gents.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Thanks for having us.
TY FRANCK: Thank you.
TOM MERRITT: Thanks for getting together and
chatting with us.
We got some questions from our Goodreads
forum to talk to you.
But I want to start off with how you guys came up with the
name James SA Corey for your collaboration.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Do you want to start with that one?
TY FRANCK: It's just our middle names.
James is Daniel's middle name.
Corey is my middle name.
And we decided we wanted some initials, so we used Daniel's
daughter's initials as the middle initials.
TOM MERRITT: That's cool.
I like that you used the daughters, then
combined the names.
Now why did you go with that kind of a pseudonym instead of
just saying, well, it's by Abraham and Franck?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: I have this whole thing about pseudonyms.
I've actually got three different names I write under.
And for me, it's a way that you can get an idea of what
you're picking up.
I have a very good friend who writes a whole bunch of
different stories in a whole bunch of different genres.
And so you never know exactly what you're going to
pick up with him.
It could be a far future space opera.
It could be a near future police procedural.
With James SA Corey book, you're going to get a James SA
Corey book.
With a Daniel Abraham book, you're going to get a Daniel
Abraham book.
I think it's just a branding issue more than anything else.
TOM MERRITT: Yeah.
That's cool.
TY FRANCK: I found that argument compelling.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: I snowed him, and he went with it.
So that's what happened.
TOM MERRITT: You just signed everything James SA Corey, and
he had to go along.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Yeah.
Pretty much.
VERONICA BELMONT: So tell us about one of your new
projects, of course, Leviathan Wakes, the
new book that's out.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Well, Leviathan Wakes is the first
one in a series called The Expanse.
And well, we started it off because I was in one of Ty's
role-playing games and I thought oh, look he's done a
whole bunch of world building I wouldn't have to?
And again, I talked him into it.
And he went for it.
VERONICA BELMONT: Wow.
I can't believe, you guys are like the fourth and fifth
authors that have mentioned role-playing games as being a
starting point for world building.
It's crazy, this trend that we've been seeing.
It seems to be so much more common than I ever would have
thought possible.
Were you guys playing D&D?
What were you playing?
TY FRANCK: Actually, it was a custom
game that I had designed.
Before I actually got serious about writing, I did most of
my creative stuff in game design, including rules and
world building and that kind of stuff.
And it was a custom system that I had come up with that
Daniel was playing in.
And that became the basis for the Expanse series.
TOM MERRITT: Yeah, the Exanpse series takes place in our
solar system.
And our first question from the Goodreads audience comes
from Nick, who points out that Ceres, the asteroid, is
important in Leviathan Wakes.
There's a whole plot that takes place
starting on that asteroid.
Was this on purpose to help people get over Pluto not
being a planet?

DANIEL ABRAHAM: I don't think particularly we were trying to
condole Pluto for that one, no.
TY FRANCK: Yeah.
Ceres is a good asteroid for setting stuff on, because it's
one of the few that's large enough to have a significant
population.
TOM MERRITT: So Nick was wanting to know if you're team
Ceres then.

DANIEL ABRAHAM: Sure.
I'm willing to be team Ceres.
VERONICA BELMONT: Awesome.
The next question comes from terpkristen who asks, what is
it like to collaborate on a book like these?
How does it work?
I know for some collaborations, each author
writes different chapters.
For others, I've heard that authors literally write
everything together as a sort of group project.
And others, where each other writes independently, and then
they take the best of both works and make it into a
cohesive story.
So how did you decide to start collaborating and why do
collaboration the way that you're doing it?
TY FRANCK: Well, we actually started out, the very first
chapters that were written were written with both of us
in the room at the same time.
It became clear that that wasn't going to be workable.
It was taking too long.
So what we decided to do was then just split the book up.
There's two protagonists.
It became very easy for me to write one protagonist and
Daniel to write the other.
What we do though, that I think is a little different,
is each time we write a chapter, we trade.
And I edit all of Daniel's chapters and he edits all of
my chapters.
And I think that's why we wind up with a fairly uniform
authorial voice.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Yeah, we can't really track
who wrote which sentence.
But we do swap off the first draft works.
TOM MERRITT: Yeah.
Because the Ceres part of Leviathan Wakes is kind of a
noir detective feel to it.
So if you were talking earlier about crime procedurals, its
got that aspect to it.
But the other is a more traditionally-- at least the
point I am in the book--
a more traditional space adventure.
But it doesn't feel like I'm reading two different books.
So I guess that makes sense that if you're editing each
other, you kind of smooth out that tone.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: There is the first edit when I get his
chapters, he gets mine.
And then after that, when we have the completed manuscript,
each of us goes through it, and we talk about that.
And Ty is very good about telling me
when I have gone wrong.
And I just change his stuff without talking to him
necessarily.
And it winds up being really homogenized that way.
We'll get something that have both of our voices in it.
VERONICA BELMONT: Do you still have like a third-party editor
that then looks at the final product and makes sure that
it's all cohesive the way you want it to be?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Yes.
The publisher insists on that.
TY FRANCK: Yeah.
They have no sense of humor about that.
VERONICA BELMONT: They just don't want that to happen.
TOM MERRITT: They don't let you get away.
You guys seem like you get along really well too.
That's gotta help.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Yeah.
I think the real trick to collaborating, if you're going
to collaborate in a project like this, is work with Ty,
because he's real easy to work with.
TOM MERRITT: I don't know.
Ty scowled a little when I said that.
No, I'm just kidding.
VERONICA BELMONT: Uh oh.
He was like, there's some deep-seated feelings there I
think that we don't want to tap into.
We should probably just move on to the next question.
This one comes from Jay Rush who asks, how much of the
Leviathan Wakes world is built on a foundation of past sci-fi
greats like Robert Heinlein, and how much comes right out
of your or y'all's future-looking imaginations?
TY FRANCK: I don't think, if you're a real avid reader of
science fiction who also writes, you can't help but
have the enormous history of science fiction impact or
influence what you're doing.
It would be impossible.
And really trying to come up with a truly original idea
only gets you so far.
But most of what we're doing did come out of the game
design stuff.
And I wasn't deliberately trying to redo what somebody
else had done before me when I did that.
But you can't help but have some of that stuff sneak in.
TOM MERRITT: So it's interesting to me that you've
got two different perspectives, and you've got
two different ways of approaching to this.
Because you mentioned that you both are in the same room, at
least when you started.
Do you have different writing styles when you're writing
separately?
What do you do?
What do you sit down to do when you start writing?
Are you at a keyboard?
Do you have a special place you like to be?
Or can you write anywhere?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: I can pretty much right anywhere.
We do have some rules about the game that we're playing
with the books though.
I have a perverse kink about word count.
So we always know how long the chapters are
going to be going in.
And we always have an outline that we've built together
about what's going to happen in the chapter.
So there is some guidance going in.
And we have an overarching outline for what the book is
going to be.
So it's not like we're just kind of flying
blind when we get there.
VERONICA BELMONT: Now, I was going to ask.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Go ahead.
TY FRANCK: I'm sorry.
Each writing session begins with us talking about the two
chapters coming up, and really hashing through the scenes and
what important points have to be addressed in each chapter.
And then we can split up from there and go to our separate
houses or whatever and write those chapters.
But we both have a pretty clear idea what's going to be
in those chapters before we write them.
VERONICA BELMONT: So what's easier-- writing
collaboratively or on your own?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: I like writing collaboratively, because I
only have to do half of it.
VERONICA BELMONT: Fair enough.
TOM MERRITT: And Ty, do you have a place where you go to
write, or can you also write everywhere?
TY FRANCK: I write wherever I happen to be when I
have some free time.
I actually have a pretty busy day job.
So I write whenever I can.
I do have chronic insomnia, so most of my writing happens at
about 3:00 in the morning.
And it appears to work well, because I'm half asleep and I
do my best writing when I'm asleep.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Really, the stuff that he's done when he's
all the way awake is not as good as the stuff when he's
just like on the edge.
The stuff on the edge are just brilliant.
TOM MERRITT: So do you give him sleeping pills then to
just kind of juice it up?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: No.
There's no point.
He just doesn't sleep.
By the time he gets here, he's half awake anyway.
I just give him some coffee to keep him from tipping over.
TOM MERRITT: Got it.
Well, thanks guys so much for taking the time and getting
together and chatting with us today.
I really appreciate it.
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Well, thank you for having us.
TY FRANCK: Thank you very much.
TOM MERRITT: Now, Leviathan Wakes is out right now.
When does the next book in the series come out?
DANIEL ABRAHAM: Caliban's War will be out the end of June?
TY FRANCK: Yeah, in about 20 days, I think.
TOM MERRITT: Excellent.
All right.
Leviathan Wakes, James SA Corey and Caliban's War?
TY FRANCK: Caliban's War, yep.
TOM MERRITT: Caliban's War is the next one
coming later in June.
Coming up right here on Sword and Laser, new books to read,
and we kick off our June book pick by Guy Gavriel Kay.
And the name of our dragon is revealed as well as who
guessed it.
Do not stop this video from playing, or you will be
scorched by--
not yet.

VERONICA BELMONT: Welcome back to Sword and Laser.
It's time for a look at the calendar.
Then we'll read your feedback and kick off our
new book for June.
So let's start with the book kick off.
We are reading Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay.
TOM MERRITT: I'll be honest.
When I started this book, I didn't think I was
going to like it.
VERONICA BELMONT: Really?
TOM MERRITT: I was like, I just read
Lies of Locke Lamora.
This seems similar.
It's not Guy Gavriel Kay's fault, but I'm kind of tired
of the like, oh, we're in the land with magic
and everything is--
VERONICA BELMONT: So you mean a fantasy book?
TOM MERRITT: Yeah.
It just felt like a regular fantasy book.
And then, and I don't want to be spoilery, but they get to
the hunting lodge.
And that's all I'm going to say.
But when that happens, I'm like, oh now I'm in.
There's a mystery.
There's much more intrigue.
What's going on here?
VERONICA BELMONT: As I said at the beginning of the show, I
have started reading it as well.
And I'm already totally sucked in.
Actually, I shouldn't say reading.
I'm listening to the audiobook.
We've had that discussion whether listening to the
audiobook counts as reading.
TOM MERRITT: It's reading.
VERONICA BELMONT: We fought about it
nonstop in the forums.
But I am absorbing this content via my ear holes.
TOM MERRITT: Right.
I don't know if that helps.
VERONICA BELMONT: Well, Simon Vance is the narrator, and he
does a phenomenal job with all the audiobooks I've ever
listened to that he's narrated.
And the characters, and the location--
it's one of those books where, as an extremely novice writer
that I am, I read it, and am at once totally intimidated by
his prose and by the way he writes.
And also, I feel like it's inspiring.
Like I want to be a writer, because it's so well written.
TOM MERRITT: That's high praise.
It actually won an Aurora Award in 1991.
It was published in 1990.
Guy Gavriel Kay is from Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
That's where he was born.
He was actually raised in Winnipeg.
And he got a law degree from the University of Toronto.
VERONICA BELMONT: Oh.
And then he also went to Oxford in 1974 to help
Tolkien's son, Christopher--
TOM MERRITT: Christopher Tolkien, yeah.
VERONICA BELMONT: --edit The Silmarillion.
TOM MERRITT: Yes.
So he was steeped in some pretty good influence there.
VERONICA BELMONT: He's got a little world building
background, one may say.
TOM MERRITT: Yes.
And he says--
I'm going to read this out--
"Tigana is, in good part, a novel about memory, the
necessity of it in cultural terms and the dangers that
come when it is too intense.
The world today offers more than enough examples of both
pitfalls, ignorance of history and its lessons, and the
refusal to let the past be the past."
VERONICA BELMONT: Hmm.
So I have to say that if this book reminds me of any other
books that we've looked at in the past on Sword and Laser, I
think it most reminds me of the Gentleman Bastards, Lies
of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, because it is set in a
kind of 19th century-esqe alternate history experience.
And the Palm is clearly supposed to be like Italy.
TOM MERRITT: Yeah.
He said he was actually inspired by pre-19th century
Renaissance Italy.
"I wanted Brandin Ygrath became that
of a Borgia or Medici--
prince, arrogant, cultured, far too proud.
Alberico opposing him was a crude, efficient, politburo
survivor." So more of a later influence.
But that whole thing of provinces not being able to
agree on anything and unite is very similar to the history of
Italy before it united as Italy.
VERONICA BELMONT: And it's funny because the accents that
Simon Vance does in the book, to me, aren't
always Italian sounding.
Like sometimes they're almost Russian.
And then we get more of like a Scottish influence later in
the book with the Highlanders.
And so it's fun to kind of compare that to what the
actual historical references or alternate historical
references may be.
TOM MERRITT: But we'll wrap it up next episode and talk more
about how these influences play out.
But if you are reading it, or if you plan to read it, think
about those issues of patriotism because at one
point when I started reading this book, I felt like, OK,
he's going for the suppressing a culture is bad.
We need to be in touch with our histories and our
ethnicities and who we are as people.
But he plays it much more subtly and starts to show the
dangers of that.
And that's what this quote that I just read points out,
is that there's a point where you could take it too far.
And so these characters are deep.
They're not paper cutouts of like patriotism, always good.
VERONICA BELMONT: And in terms of the fantasy stuff, the
magical elements that you discussed earlier as well,
it's one of those kinds of books where
the magic has a price.
Like it isn't just freewheeling magic, everything
is super easy, wizards are just casting
spells left and right.
There's definitely a--
TOM MERRITT: Which can be fun.
VERONICA BELMONT: Which can we fun.
You just have a wand, and you're Harry Potter, and you
can do stuff whenever you feel like it.
But I like that magic, it feels more real to me, in a
sense, when it's difficult and when it's costly.
TOM MERRITT: Well, that's always the difficulty with
writing about magic.
I've heard authors talk about is how do you put limits on
something that's magic.
Because it's magic,
potentially, it could be limitless.
And I think Patrick Rothfuss talks about, like you have to
be able to put a brake on it that's natural and
understandable that magic can't get around.
VERONICA BELMONT: They need to have their own laws.
They need to have real laws.
And those laws need to be followed through the
course of the story.
TOM MERRITT: And it works for you in this?
VERONICA BELMONT: So far it is working for me, yeah.
I'm almost halfway, I think, so far.
So not quite as far as you are.
But we are discussing it heavily in Goodreads already.
They've actually been discussing it for like three
weeks now already, because they knew it was coming up,
and they got started early.
But we don't have a discussion leader yet.
So if anyone wants to take over and become the discussion
leader in Goodreads, I'll start a forum thread, and we
can talk about that.
And then if you have any ideas that you want to share, just
post them there too.
TOM MERRITT: One last thing before we finish
the kick off here.
Tigana inadvertently was named after a soccer
player, Jean Tigana.
So because of that, some editions of the book, I think
the Italian edition, I think a French edition in Quebec, are
named, I think it's, Tigane Tigane.
T-I-G-A-N-E. So if you see that, that's why.
VERONICA BELMONT: It's the same book.
TOM MERRITT: It's just an accident, happy accident.
VERONICA BELMONT: It's not available in Kindle in the US.
That's another thing that we should point out.
It is available in Europe, I believe.
TOM MERRITT: But it's available in dead tree,
printed with ink edition.
VERONICA BELMONT: Dead tree edition.
And also audiobook edition.
TOM MERRITT: That battery never dies.
VERONICA BELMONT: All right.
Shall we move on to some other books that are coming out?
TOM MERRITT: Yep Next episode, we'll share your thoughts and
ours on Tigana.
But in case you're already done, you fast readers you,
here are some new books coming out.

VERONICA BELMONT: June 12 brings us The Shadowed Sun by
NK Jemisin, book two of the Dream Blood series.
The first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddesses
priesthood and an exiled prince try to uncover the
source of killing dreams.
TOM MERRITT: On June 19, we get Existence by David Brin.
An alien artifact is plucked from Earth's orbit, and it
wants to communicate.
VERONICA BELMONT: Uh oh.
TOM MERRITT: News leaks out fast, and the world reacts
with fear, and hope, and selfishness,
and love, and violence.
VERONICA BELMONT: As we do.
Also out on June 19, 2012, The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett
and Stephen Baxter.
From 1916 on the western front in France, to 2015 in Madison,
Wisconsin, this first-time collaboration of Pratchett and
Baxter transports readers to the ends of
the earth and beyond.
TOM MERRITT: Before we go, let's see what folks are
saying in email and on Goodreads.
VERONICA BELMONT: And we start with Amy who sent us in her
video review of Hyperion by Dan Simmons.
I know we wrapped it up in the last episode, but we'll let
her have the final word.
TOM MERRITT: All right.
AMY: Hey, Tom and Veronica.
Amy here from Gainesville, Florida.
I just finished reading Hyperion, and I have a few
comments about the overall writing style of Dan Simmons.
Like many in the forums, I almost stopped reading after
he wrote the sentence about the bruised-colored clouds and
the gymnosperms and the violent sky.
To me, he just really came off like a little kid learning SAT
words and trying to use them in any sentence, even when
they really might not be necessary.
But overall, it was worth the read if you can get through it
and as long as it's not your first science fiction novel.
OK.
Thanks for the great show.
Bye.
VERONICA BELMONT: So I'm a little worried that if she is
kind of upset by some of Simmons' overuse of--
TOM MERRITT: More flowery prose.
VERONICA BELMONT: --more flowery language perhaps, that
maybe Tigana won't be the book for her.
TOM MERRITT: I don't know.
Amy, let us know what you think.
VERONICA BELMONT: Because there's quite a bit of
description going on.
And actually, some people on the forums have been
complaining that the language is a little
bit too college fancy.
I don't even know what that means.
TOM MERRITT: College fancy.
VERONICA BELMONT: College fancy stuff.
TOM MERRITT: Like ketchup.
VERONICA BELMONT: Well, just like authors trying too hard.
Sometimes people get a sense that an author is trying too
hard to sound authory.
TOM MERRITT: I think it's a taste thing.
And in some cases, it can be absolutely true.
But some people actually like more description.
Other people want you to get right to meat of the matter.
VERONICA BELMONT: I'm really into the description.
I noticed what she was saying in Hyperion, but I haven't had
that feeling in Tigana so far.
TOM MERRITT: Jason posted in our Goodreads group, "The
fantasy genre has exploded in the last decade, leaving
science fiction to slide back into obscurity.
Why do you think this is?
I personally feel it has a little to do with a false
assumption that all sci-fi is hard sc-fi.
People don't really care to read about physics puzzles
solved with techno babble.
They want stories about real people having awesome
adventures, which fantasy delivers very well." It was a
struggle for him to introduce his friend to sci-fi.
But Dune and Battlestar Galactica served that need.
I think he's being a little harsh saying
it slid into obscurity.
But it does seem like with George RR Martin and Patrick
Rothfuss, and Joe Abercrombie, fantasy's got sort of the
upper hand right now, if you have to compare.
VERONICA BELMONT: I don't know.
I mean, I guess BSG, I think you kind of answered your own
question, because BSG was such a huge cultural phenomenon.
I don't know if I can really say that science fiction has
kind of gone to the wayside right now.
Maybe just because Game of Thrones is so huge at the
moment that it seems like it's over shadowing other kinds of
genre fiction.
But I don't think sci-fi is going into
obscurity any time soon.
TOM MERRITT: You know, Leviathan Wakes, James SA
Corey is a good example of sci-fi that's
very character driven.
You like the characters.
In fact, Felicia Day on Goodreads reviewed it
positively because of that.
She's like, I really liked the story.
VERONICA BELMONT: It was like a space opera.
She's been waiting for a good space opera.
And does that kind of cover that base for you, too?
TOM MERRITT: Yeah.
I think that's true.
Because I get the spaceships and the flying around, but I
care about the characters.
And there's a good story there.
So maybe try that one as well, Jason.
VERONICA BELMONT: All right.
Warren made a post in our Goodreads group called "What
Speed Do You Read?" He writes, "It'll give you a rough idea
of how long it's going to take you get through a book.
You can also work backwards if you know how long your trip
is, say an airline flight, you can look for a novel that's
around the right length.
Rule of thumb, 350 words per paperback page, 250 for a
regular book."
Some of the people on the threads got
some really fast times.
Kdog got 884 words per minute.
Did you take the test?
TOM MERRITT: I did.
I clicked the link in Goodreads.
Took the test and got 323 words per minute.
VERONICA BELMONT: Oh, I got 336.
I'm better than you.
TOM MERRITT: That's not that much faster.
VERONICA BELMONT: But I got all my questions right.
TOM MERRITT: I only got two or three.
VERONICA BELMONT: So what happened?
I have a theory.
I think I knew I was going to be tested on what was being
written in those paragraphs.
And so I kind of went back and reread some of it.
So I think if I had just read at my normal speed reading
speed, which if I'm trying to really plow through a book, I
can go pretty fast.
I would imagine it would be a lot faster than that.
Not that I'm bragging.
TOM MERRITT: 884?
VERONICA BELMONT: No.
Maybe not that fast.
TOM MERRITT: He's gotta be lying.
That's crazy.
VERONICA BELMONT: Someone on Twitter said they got over
like 1,500.
TOM MERRITT: Oh, that's ridiculous.
VERONICA BELMONT: No.
You just basically click the Finish button.
You open the page, and click Finish button.
That's what you did.
You're lying!
TOM MERRITT: Finally, Tyler posted, "There is a new
vintage clothing business in town that specializes in
science fiction fantasy vintage-style clothes and
accessories.
They do custom orders.
So if you see something you like, let them know and they
can definitely whip something up for you."
Check out these outfits.
VERONICA BELMONT: Nerd alert designs.
Yeah, they've got some great stuff.
TOM MERRITT: Little Mermaid, little ET thing going on.
VERONICA BELMONT: I've actually been talking back and
forth with the creator, and she's got
some pretty good patterns.
I may get something made.
TOM MERRITT: And it's all for women though, right?
VERONICA BELMONT: Yeah.
TOM MERRITT: It seems like.
Although there is a great wookiee outfit.
VERONICA BELMONT: Just because it's dresses doesn't mean a
guy can't wear them.
TOM MERRITT: Well, if a guy wants to wear a
dress that's fine.
But there's no non-dress option.
VERONICA BELMONT: There's no like a shirt like this with
those patterns, yeah.
But true.
TOM MERRITT: You're going to get the bear
dress, aren't you?
VERONICA BELMONT: No.
I think there's a really great pattern that has like a dragon
and a castle.
And I think I'm kind of partial to that.
So we'll see.
TOM MERRITT: Speaking of dragons.
VERONICA BELMONT: Speaking of dragons, OK.
It's the moment you've all been waiting for.
We have finally discovered the name of our dragon.
We spent countless hours reading names to see if we'd
get a reaction, an acknowledgement, anything.
And after a long, long time, we have a winner.
Roll that clip.
TOM MERRITT: It was a long time.
VERONICA BELMONT: All right.
So we've got some good suggestions here.
Let's see.
Buttercup.
No, you don't look like a Buttercup.
TOM MERRITT: Phileas?
VERONICA BELMONT: Phileas?
Steve.
Steve.
TOM MERRITT: Steve.
No.
VERONICA BELMONT: No.
TOM MERRITT: Scribbles?
VERONICA BELMONT: Skyfire.
TOM MERRITT: Vorlish?
VERONICA BELMONT: Vorlish?
TOM MERRITT: I don't know, it sounded dragony.
VERONICA BELMONT: Lisbeth Dragon with the Girl Tattoo?
No.
That's awful.
TOM MERRITT: Bob?
VERONICA BELMONT: That's a little awkward.
TOM MERRITT: Lem?
VERONICA BELMONT: I don't even know how to
pronounce that one.
We got a couple of Bobs.
Glator.
Fluffykins.
TOM MERRITT: No.
Well, we got to try everything.
VERONICA BELMONT: What about Antigone?
No.
OK.
Lady Amanda Applebottom.
[DRAGON SCREECHES]
VERONICA BELMONT: Oh, that was terrible.
TOM MERRITT: Dragon Khan with K-H.
VERONICA BELMONT: Khan!
Oo, Omar, like Omar's coming.
TOM MERRITT: Leopold?
VERONICA BELMONT: Lord Bookworm Lem of Swaser.
Lord Bookworm Lem of Swaser.
TOM MERRITT: Ah!
VERONICA BELMONT: Is that your name?
TOM MERRITT: Is that your full name?
VERONICA BELMONT: Wow.
Lord.
We did it!
Well done.
Congratulations to Zack B of New York who correctly guessed
the name of our dragon, which is Lord
Bookworm Lem of Swaser.
TOM MERRITT: That's his full name.
VERONICA BELMONT: That is his full name, I think.
Yeah, look, he's reacting right now.
He's so excited.
TOM MERRITT: We can call him Lem for short.
I think Lem is the best.
And we even asked Lem, and he was like, no,
that's not my full name.
TOM MERRITT: Yeah.
VERONICA BELMONT: That's not, I'm not going to answer it.
So do you think he'll answer to that normally?
TOM MERRITT: Now that we've properly guessed, I hope so.
VERONICA BELMONT: Congratulations to Zack.
We will send you a goody basket full of stuff.
TOM MERRITT: A dragon's hoard.
VERONICA BELMONT: A dragon's hoard worth of stuff.
We're going to give you some bookmarks, and t-shirt and
some books, and all sorts of great stuff.
So congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered, too.
There were some great guesses in there.
TOM MERRITT: Oh, he also gets eternal fame and glory.
VERONICA BELMONT: Oh that.
Of course.
Don't want to leave that out.
TOM MERRITT: Thanks everybody for watching.
Please subscribe to our YouTube channel.
It's the green button up there in the corner, one of these
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Send us mail.
Our email address is feedback@swordandlaser.com.
And of course, come join us in the fun at our Goodreads forum
at goodreads.com.
George RR Martin joins us next episode.
VERONICA BELMONT: Ahhh!
TOM MERRITT: We'll see you then.
VERONICA BELMONT: Bye!