Tag Archives: podiobooks

Podiobooks to Print: Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty

Another podcast novelist makes the leap (over a tall building) to print on Monday, 25 August as Mur Lafferty‘s superhero novel, Playing for Keeps, debuts from Swarm Press.

I read Playing for Keeps about a year ago, when a pre-overlord Chris Miller and I were asked to assist with some of the “Stories of the Third Wave” supporting material for the podcast release of the novel. Unfortunately, I had to drop out of the production after only one episode due to some conflicting obligations, but the story of super-powered people whose abilities aren’t quite good enough to make them full-fledged superheroes is right up my alley and I’ve often speculated that my own “Third Wave” power could be anything from killing hard drives to sipping coffee just before it has cooled down to the point where it won’t burn my tongue.

Here’s the official press release from the publisher:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 25 Release Date for Mur Lafferty’s Playing for Keeps

Swarm Press is pleased to announce the upcoming release of breakthrough podcaster and author Mur Lafferty’s newest novel of superheroic action Playing for Keeps. Originally a self-released “podiobook,” this new printed version of Lafferty’s novel is due to hit shelves on August 25, 2008.

Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty.

Welcome to Seventh City, the birthplace of super powers. The First Wave heroes are jerks, but they have the best gifts: flight, super strength, telepathy, genius, fire. The Third Wavers, like bar-owner Keepsie Branson and her friends, are stuck with the leftovers: the ability to instantly make someone sober, the power to smell the past, absolute control… over elevators. They just aren’t powerful enough to make a difference… at least that’s what they’ve always been told. But when the villain Doodad slips Keepsie a mysterious metal sphere, the Third Wavers become caught in the middle of a battle between egotistical heroes and manipulative villains.

Playing for Keeps grabbed me and kept me reading straight through when I should have been plotting a new fantasy series for Tor Books. Mur, thank you. Tor, however, does not thank you.” – David Drake, author, Hammer’s Slammers.

Mur Lafferty is an American podcaster and writer based in Durham, North Carolina. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a degree in English. Her nonfiction work has appeared at www.SuicideGirls.com, as well as in the magazines Knights of the Dinner Table, PC Gamer, Computer Games, Scrye, and SciFi Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in Hub, Escape Pod, and Scrybe. She was, until July, 2007, the host and co-editor of Pseudopod, and is currently the host and creator of the podcasts Geek Fu Action Grip and I Should be Writing. Visit Mur online at www.murverse.com

Playing for Keeps is still available as a free audio production at Podiobooks.com.

Podiobooks to Print: Brave Men Run by Matthew Wayne Selznick

Brave Men Run - I Will Be ThereMatthew Wayne Selznick‘s Brave Men Run: A Novel of the Sovereign Era is the latest podiobook to make the jump to the print market. The book will be released by Swarm Press this Sunday, 13 July 2008, and Matt has planned a day-long “Book Release Web-a-thon” to help promote sales on Amazon.com. There are plenty of details at the the book’s official site but the gist is this: beginning at 10am EST on Sunday and continuing every hour throughout the day, Matt will be streaming live video and reading new short stories set in the universe of his novels. Contributors include Mur Lafferty (Playing For Keeps), J.C. Hutchins (the 7th Son trilogy), Nathan Lowell (South Coast, Quarter Share) and other well-known podcasters and podiobook authors.

Brave Men Run is the story of Nate Charters, a teenaged boy who is about as far from normal as teenagers get: he looks different and he has abilities that he has kept hidden from his peers for his entire life. But when the existence of the so-called “Sovereigns” is announced on live television, Nate learns that he is not alone, and his life changes forever. Brave Men Run is a superhero coming-of-age story that doesn’t feel like it was lifted from the pages of a comic book, but rather like it was born in the halls of your own high school and on the streets of your home town.

Brave Men Run: A Novel of the Sovereign Era is still available as a free, serialized audiobook at Podiobooks.com, read by the author. The audio version was nominated for a Parsec Award in 2006.

Bookstuff: Podiobooks in Print

Jack Wakes Up by Seth HarwoodI arrived home this evening to find a soggy package from Amazon.com on the front stoop. Fortunately, the cardboard box had not allowed any of the damnable rain to seep through and damage my copy of Seth Harwood‘s novel, Jack Wakes Up.

Harwood is the latest Podiobooks.com author to land a book deal and see his novel—which is still available for free in audio form at Podiobooks— in print. When the novel was released, March 16th was declared PALMS SUNDAY; Harwood’s fans (myself included) mobbed Amazon.com and pushed Jack Wakes Up to the top of the Mystery charts there.

From the back cover of Jack Wakes Up:

What does an action movie one-hit-wonder and ex-drug-addict do when he’s cleaned up, down on his luck, and running out of money?

In the three years since Jack Palms went clean—no drugs, no drinking, no life—he’s added fourteen pounds of muscle, read 83 books, and played it as straight as anyone can ask him. Now, when an old friend from L.A.calls, he hits the streets of San Francisco to help a group of Czech drug buyers make one big score, a single drug deal that he hopes will set him up for life.

But, when people start turning up dead, and an old nemesis on the police force calls, Jack finds himself with just 24 hours to track down San Francisco’s biggest drug supplier or face charges that will put him behind bars.

Only an Oscar-caliber performance will get him through this alive.

Infected by Scott SiglerThe next Podiobook to see print is Scott Sigler‘s Infected (originally titled Infection when released as a podcast novel, but changed in the print version for legal reasons). Sigler is the author of several other podcast novels, including EarthCore, Ancestor, The Rookie and Nocturnal. The last of these is—as of this writing—in progress, with Sigler releasing a new episode like clockwork every week even as he pimps the hell out of the April 1st release of Infected on Amazon.com. To quote a certain wizened old Jedi Master, “he’s more machine now than man; twisted and evil“.

How twisted is this guy? Well, he’s been putting audio versions of his novels out on the Interwebs for a couple of years now, and he’s somehow bamboozled his publisher into giving away the PDF version of Infected for free until Monday, March 31st! That’s right, if you’re not reading this from the far-flung future, you, too, can get the entire text of Infected at absolutely no cost. Nooooo! It’s the future! You’ve missed it! Go back! Go back!

Why in the name of sweet, money-lovin’, capitalism would Scott do such a thing? Because he’s not right in the head. Or maybe, just maybe, he thinks that if you like his stuff you’ll think it’s worth dropping a few bucks to get a shiny and oh-so-tangible print copy. He’s either a flaming lunatic or a freaking genius. Either way, download the PDF. What have you got to lose? Oh, and tell your friends to download the thing, too. Don’t just send them the PDF; that’s cheating, you bastard. Besides why should you make it that easy for your buddies? What have they done for you lately? They can click on the link just like you did. But tell them to do it by Monday, or they’ll be left with nothing but regrets and an empty feeling inside. Oops! Too late! The hour has passed, and that hollow feeling in your gut? Yeah, I tried to warn you about it. Now you’ll have to buy the book.

Are you still reading this? What’s that? You want a synopsis of the book before you download it for free? Fine, here you go:

Across America, a mysterious disease is turning ordinary people into raving, paranoid murderers who inflict brutal horrors on strangers, themselves, and even their own families.

Working under the government’s shroud of secrecy, CIA operative Dew Phillips crisscrosses the country trying in vain to capture a live victim. With only decomposing corpses for clues, CDC Epidemiologist Margaret Montoya races to analyze the science behind this deadly contagion. She discovers that these killers all have one thing in common — they’ve been contaminated by a bio-engineered parasite, shaped with a complexity far beyond the limits of known science.

Meanwhile Perry Dawsey — a hulking former football star now resigned to life as a cubicle-bound desk jockey — awakes one morning to find several mysterious welts growing on his body. Soon Perry finds himself acting and thinking strangely, hearing voices—he is infected.

The fate of the human race may well depend on the bloody war Perry must now wage with his own body, because the parasites want something from him, something that goes beyond mere murder.

5 O’Clock Shadow – 05 April 2007

5 O’Clock Shadow - 05 April 2007
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Rockbox , the “open source jukebox firmware”, on my iPod. Unfortunately, Rockbox isn’t quite ready for primetime on fourth generation iPods and after two days of frequent lockups I decided to revert back to Apple’s original firmware.

Thanks to firmware juggling and not quite unrelated iTunes juggling, I kind of lost track of the podcasts I was listening to and stopped downloading new episodes. Thankfully, I had a backlog of about 400 episodes from 40-50 different podcasts on my iPod. This afternoon, I queued up Black Jack Justice, a hard-boiled detective series from Decoder Ring Theater done in the style of old-time radio dramas. It’s good stuff, and Season One is available at Podiobooks.com. Also available at Podiobooks is Season One of The Adventures of the Red Panda, an homage to The Shadow and The Green Hornet.

Decoder Ring Theater just wrapped up Season Two of Black Jack Justice and has begun a new season of The Adventures of the Red Panda, so I need to get on the stick and start downloading podcasts again soon.

Bookstuff: Ancestor

Ancestor, the popular podcast novel by Scott Sigler is now available in print at Amazon.com. When Sigler originally released the novel in serialized audio form, it had an audience of over 30,000 listeners, including me. I got started a little late, but quickly caught up and—like so many other “ancest-whores”—found myself waiting very impatiently for Scott to release the next chapter.

Ancestor is best described as a blend of science-fiction and horror. Scientists attempting to create an animal whose organs can be transplanted into human beings inadvertently create a pack of monstrosities whose ravenous hunger leads them on a killing spree that leaves the snow-covered ground of a remote island in Lake Superior soaked with human blood. It’s exactly the type of story you’d expect to see featured on The Most Dangerous Night of Television, SciFi Channel’s weekly Saturday night monster movie marathon.

Ancestor is the second of Scott Sigler’s novels to see print; Earthcore (also originally presented as a podcast novel) is also available at Amazon.com. All four of Scott’s novels (including Infection and The Rookie) are currently available for free in audio form.

Netstuff: Podiobooks article in the New York Times online

There is an article in the Books section of the New York Times online today about one of my favorite websites, Podiobooks.com.

Podiobooks combines the concepts of audiobooks and podcasts to deliver free, full-length novels (fiction and non-fiction) in regular, bite-sized installments to your favorite podcatcher (I use iTunes).

After signing up for a free account, you can browse the site and subscribe to more than 90 titles. Once you’ve subscribed, chapters from the novel(s) are delivered to your podcatcher on a weekly basis. Feeds are customizable, so if you want to receive chapters more frequently you can tweak the delivery settings to meet your preference.

With most podcasts, when you subscribe your podcatcher downloads the latest episode; if you go to J.C. Hutchins’ 7th Son website right now and subscribe to his feed, you’ll get the latest episode of the second novel in his trilogy, which is definitely not where you want to begin listening.

On Podiobooks, when you subscribe to Hutchins’ first novel, 7th Son: Descent, (and you should), you get a custom feed that starts from the beginning of the book and delivers a new chapter on whatever schedule you like. That’s what makes Podiobooks unique.

Read the article, then go sign up for an account at Podiobooks.com. If you want some recommendations, I can suggest a few titles:

  • Ancestor by Scott Sigler.Am I the only one who finds the idea of Scott Sigler recording in a closet absolutely hilarious? I hope not. I want a poster made of that photo! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read the New York Times article, dammit! Most of the action Sigler’s second podcast novel takes place on a fictional island in Lake Superior, where scientists are hard at work creating beastly critters that want to eat us all. I enjoyed the hell out of this book, but I have one bone to pick with Mr. Sigler: No self-respecting Yooper would name his dog “Pasty”.
  • 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins. I’ve talked about this book on KJToo.com and on The Round Table more times than I can count, and with good reason: it rocks. After a four-year-old boy kills the President of the United States, seven men are suddenly ripped away from their ordinary lives to discover that they are all clones of the man responsible assassination, and only by working together can they stop him.
  • The Red Panda Adventures by Decoder Ring Theater. Radio drama in the style of The Shadow and The Green Hornet. The Red Panda and The Flying Squirrel use clever gadgets, hypnosis and fisticuffs to fight crime on the streets of Toronto. By day, the costumed vigilantes are actually one of the city’s wealthiest menUnless I missed something, The Red Panda’s alter ego is never named throughout Season One. I only realized this about halfway into the season, so I’ll admit I wasn’t listening for the name in the first few episodes. Very clever. and his sassy driver, Kit Baxter.
  • Voices: New Media Fiction edited by Mur Lafferty. A collection of previously-podcasted short stories from authors like Cory Doctorow, Tee Morris, James Patrick Kelly and Patrick McLean (whose “Death of a Dishwasher” is one of the collection’s highlights).
  • The Curious Education of Epitome Quirkstandard by A.F. Harrold. How to describe this one? At the risk of insulting the author and the citizens of the United Kingdom, I’ll call it “very British”. Epitome Quirkstandard is an English dandy who — thanks to World War I — finds himself without a cadre of servants waiting on him hand and foot. Simone Crepuscular ran away from home to join the circus and accidentally joined the army, instead. After a long tour in India, Crepuscular leaves the service and travels across Asia and Europe, eventually returning to England where he self-publishes an astonishing number of pamphlets that contain the length and breadth of his considerable knowledge and experience. When the clueless Quirkstandard passes out near Crepuscular’s pamphlet shop, it marks the beginning of his curious eduction.