Archive for August 22nd, 2008


Playing For Keeps: Talking With Mur Lafferty

If you’ve never heard of Mur Lafferty, this is for you. Mur is the author who turned me on to podcast novels with her excellent Heaven series. She’s also the creator of the I Should Be Writing podcast, an ongoing chronicle of her efforts to become a published fiction writer. The focus of that podcast is going to have to change, though — next week, Mur’s most recent podiobook, Playing For Keeps, will be released in print through the good people at Swarm Press.

I was lucky enough, earlier this week, to do a quick interview with Mur for Comixtreme about the book release. It was a lot of fun talking to her about the book, about her writing, and just in general. It sounds a little fanboyish, I suppose, but I enjoyed the chance to tell her how much I like her work. Playing For Keepsis really a fantastic book. It’s a superhero story about a group of low-powered superhumans… folks with seemingly useless powers like the ability to summon elevators or the power to cook the perfect meal or, in the case of our heroine, someone who cannot be stolen from. With powers like these, the “third wavers” are rejected by the heroes of the city. Things start to change, though, when a villain drops something in Keepsie’s possession — something the heroes want very badly.

The book is, at turns, exciting, funny, insightful, and touching. It’s a really unique angle to take in superhero storytelling, and it’s well worth reading.

It’s also, potentially, an important book. PFK is one of a few podcast novels — books that (like my own A Long November) were distributed for free as audio downloads on the internet — that has begun to make the transition to print. Mainstream book publishers are still skeptical of this practice. They think that no one will pay for something that they can get for free. The same goes for stuff like Summer Love, the story I’ve been serializing here on this very website. So when a podiobook becomes a traditional novel, it’s a big deal, and it’s a chance to send a message to the old media that the new media model can work. That’s why, even though I’ve already heard the novel, I can’t wait to go to on Monday, August 25, and order my print copy of Playing For Keeps. The idea is, for the folks who were planning to buy the book anyway to all do it on the same day, launch day, to help boost the book’s profile and bring it to the attention of people who otherwise may not have heard of it.

So here’s what I want you to do. If you’re at all interested in this — either in the idea behind the book or in the whole grand New Media experiment — do two things.

First: go check out my interview with Mur at

Second: Wait until August 25, then go to and order Playing For Keeps. Take my word for it, gang. If you liked Other People’s Heroes, you will love this book.

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