My Review of a Review: Sword & Laser Episode 1

Last weekend I watched the first episode of Sword & Laser, a science fiction/fantasy show that airs on Felicia Day’s You Tube channel, Geek & Sundry.  Okay, that was a mouthful.  I thought I’d post a brief review of the show, in case you’re interested.

Sword & Laser is hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt (she’s the Sword, he’s the Laser).  The show runs about 30 minutes and airs every two weeks.  The first episode was a nice mix of science fiction/fantasy news, info about new releases, questions and comments from viewers, an author interview, and a discussion of this month’s book.  For example, they talked about the Hugo nominees, and how e-book readers are reading a lot of new and never-heard-of science fiction and fantasy authors, and how that’s probably good for the field.

It’s a good format and a fun set, equipped with medieval goblets and a smoke-breathing dragon (which was maybe a bit forced but it’s the first episode after all).  Plus, I was able to casually comment to my husband later that night, “so I hear Robert J. Sawyer has a new book coming out” — and that little bit of knowledge about things he likes honestly makes me happy.

Sword & Laser also has a GoodReads book group, so it’s not clear to me how much book reviewing will actually take place on the show and how much is on GoodReads.  In case you’re worried about spoilers (I was, so I finished The Magicians before I watched), no need to worry.  In fact, our two hosts hadn’t even finished the book yet.  So this first episode was more of a teaser than a review.  They do plan on having Lev Grossman on the show in a couple weeks, so I’m looking forward to that.

The author interview took up most of the show, and in this case it wasn’t an author I was super-interested in (Scott Sigler, Nocturnal).  I was disappointed by how little time was spent talking about The Magicians, because that’s what I was tuning in for.

Still, it’s a fun show overall and the only science fiction-fantasy video book club I know of!  I’m definitely in for future episodes.  As for The Magicians, it was a very cool book that I’ll review soon.  It’s one of the rare fantasy books that really stays in your head for days after you read it.  And that’s a good thing.

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