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The Hot Mic Issue #9 - Imposters and Dimples and Holidays and Arty Stuff

The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter
The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter
Imposter Syndrome will soon envelop us all and live as one, giant, insecure organism. Or maybe I’m the only one who feels like that.
My friend Ty Schalter launched his newsletter soon after mine, and is a joy to read. It also has a clever pun on his name. Gimme Schalter
As someone who nearly got into sports journalism myself, I really appreciate the POV of the nerdy sports fan. Ty’s newsletter effortlessly moves between his chosen topics of nerd and sports and parenting, and I highly recommend it…But my point is Ty started after me, and I think he just released #20. Amazing consistency, go Ty!
But this is my 9th “weekly” newsletter.
I have weeks where I blink and it’s Saturday and I haven’t released a newsletter. I have weeks where I just think “who the hell wants to hear what I have to say?” Imposter syndrome is a constant battle.
Anyway. Apologies to you. If you don’t follow my shows or my twitter feed, November was a real kick in the teeth, as Grandmother used to say.
December is here now, I am here to tie up loose ends. Thanks for reading, and supporting me. I hope I can keep you entertained in this dark time of the year.
  • Stuff I Like
  • Reading
  • Update on My Stuff (kinda)
  • Blaseball is Back!
  • The State of the Podcasts
  • WorldCon!
  • Credits

Hot Mic logo, black BG with a green microphone
Hot Mic logo, black BG with a green microphone
Stuff I Like
Grant’s Advent Calendar: My fellow Podcast Academy Hall of Famer friend Grant Baciocco started in podcasting around the same time I did (“The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd” and Toiley T. Paper are among his creations), and he has been doing a successful video podcast every December, where he opens his Advent calendar. He is incredibly talented and funny, and a lot more consistent with daily content than I am, so it’s always amusing. I didn’t think he was doing it this year (cause, well, he told me,) but I just looked at Patreon and there’s Grant’s Advent Calendar Podcast. It’s different this year, but still creative. The videos are short, always SFW, family friendly, lots of fun.
G̸®̶@̴n̴†̸'̵s̷ ̵@̸d̶v̴3̸n̷†̵ ̸C̷@̴l̶3̶n̸[̸)̵@̸®̸ ̷ v.i.i
G̸®̶@̴n̴†̸'̵s̷ ̵@̸d̶v̴3̸n̷†̵ ̸C̷@̴l̶3̶n̸[̸)̵@̸®̸ ̷ v.i.i
Deck the Hallmark: I find it outrageous that I am an open and vocal fan of Christmas romances, both books and movies, and no one bothered to tell me about Deck the Hallmark. Three guys review Hallmark, Netflix, Lifetime, etc Christmas movies. The hosts sound like frat brothers, and I was bracing for “haha stupid women’s movies” but these guys joke and guffaw without ever punching down. They’re a lot of fun to listen to. They have over 500 episodes and I started with the more recent ones, and then went hunting for my favorite movies to see what they thought of them.
Deck the Hallmark cover image, red with snowflakes and three white men in Christmas jammies.
Deck the Hallmark cover image, red with snowflakes and three white men in Christmas jammies.
Note: The episodes have some less-than-stellar technology attaching ads to them, so be ready to skip forward or end it right after they say good bye, or you might get eight minutes of the same ad, over and over again.
Love Hard: Speaking of Christmas movies, one of the DtH episodes is dedicated to one of the newer Netflix movies, Love Hard. It’s about columnist Natalie who falls for Josh on an online dating site. They have a ton in common, click on every level, and he’s apparently a super hot, chiseled, guy. But, they’re on opposite sides of the country! He mentions how he wishes they could spent Christmas together, so she decides fly out and surprise him.
She finds he’s been catfishing her, and he’s not a chiseled hot guy, but a nerdy, not-chiseled, mother’s-basement-dwelling guy.
I want to give a shoutout to the writers that they never made Josh’s Chinese heritage a reason she is turned off by him. It is not a Long Duck Dong situation where ‘haha he’s Asian’ is the joke, super racist, and played over and over again.
(Ah, John Hughes movies, they did not age well at all, especially Sixteen Candles.)
Josh tells her the chiseled guy picture he used is actually his friend Tag, and offers to set them up, so long as she pretends to be his girlfriend in front of his family for the holidays. (I love a good fake romance trope, I admit it. )
To woo Tag, Natalie pretends to be someone she’s not: outdoorsy, rock-climbing, Thoreau - loving. It’s a romance, so you can guess where it ends, but how it gets there is the real story, and it manages to be sweet and funny with a wacky, confusing, awkward party as the climax.
My only problem with this movie: Josh is funny and has a quiet confidence that’s very sexy, and I can’t see why he can’t get a date. He’s shy but not self-deprecating. He claims not to be sporty, but when Natalie is trying to impress Tag by totally being into rock climbing and not afraid of heights, she gets stuck at the top of the climbing wall, frozen with fear. While Tag stares in confusion, Josh nimbly leaps up the wall to talk her down and save face with Tag. Josh is total boyfriend material.
Also, Jimmy O Yang has dimples. Good lord. Save me from the dimples. It’s too adorable.
Photo, Yang's dimples. (and the rest of the cast of Love Hard)
Photo, Yang's dimples. (and the rest of the cast of Love Hard)
It’s the holidays, so my reading stack is only Christmas stories. I have old favorites, like Connie Willis collections and a themed crime mystery anthology, but I’m very excited to be diving into Take a Look at the Five-and Ten, a more recent Willis novella. I will report back when I make headway into it. I will admit that although I hold Willis as one of my favorite authors ever, I haven’t been as excited about some of her recent Christmas stories (“All Seated on the Ground” was much much longer than it needed to be, and “Deck.Halls@Boughs/Holly” didn’t grab me.) But I am excited about this one. I will report back.
Ilustration: Book cover, grayish city, back of gray-haired person holding hands up to snow.
Ilustration: Book cover, grayish city, back of gray-haired person holding hands up to snow.
My stuff! Kinda!
I got an early draft of Station Eternity‘s cover, and y'all, I have never been so excited about a cover in my life. I really can’t wait to show it to you. It conveys everything I want it to, namely, “lady adventure in space but not pew-pew.” Nothing wrong with pew-pew, but it’s not in this book. I will release as soon as I am able.
I have also seen an early cover for “The Ophelia Network,” my Audible original novella coming out in May. It too is not final, so I can’t release it. I’m just very excited to say that I have some amazing covers coming up.
There should (I hope) be some original Christmas fiction from me coming up. I’ll keep you posted.
In summary, stuff is happening, I can’t show it to you, but I promise it’s going to be awesome.
Blaseball is back!
I won’t go into to it too deeply, except to say it’s another two weeks of Blaseball with some new (replaced) rules and apparently a tutorial. This means if you’re new to Blaseball, you should check it out because it’s a fresh start.
Speaking of Blaseball, (cutting a long story that no one will care about but me) I asked my kid, NumbersNinja, to draw Boss Sourdough for me, and, y'all, I mean, it’s amazing. Remember, NumbersNinja is available for commissions.
Illustration: Person made of bread dressed like a mob boss, his bat is a lame. One foot is on a skull.
Illustration: Person made of bread dressed like a mob boss, his bat is a lame. One foot is on a skull.
In Blaseball-related writing, I did a writeup of the band The Garages for Alasdair Stuart’s The Full Lid mailing list, and so I will point you there for both the article and Alasdair’s other stuff. And you should check out The Garages. They’re so eclectic you should be able to find something you can enjoy.
One more Blaseball thing. I’m toying with a livestream Blaseball show with NumbersNinja, called the 7th Inning Soulscream. Follow on Twitch to catch the casts.
7th Inning Soulscream logo, red baseball stitching, white bg, font is jittery.
7th Inning Soulscream logo, red baseball stitching, white bg, font is jittery.
The State of the Podcasts
I Should Be Writing - The Murverse Mothership
Ditch Diggers remains on hiatus, and I Should Be Writing is on hiatus for the month of December. I will be spending the time resting, pondering the show and the Patreon, and how to come back bigger and better in 2022. The last three episodes of Season 17 will go up this week.
Escape Pod continues its solid presence, and we are once again up for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine. The shock came when Divya and I also got nominated for Best Editor (Short form). I am just looking forward to Worldcon and dressing up and being around industry types again.
Speaking of WorldCon...
My schedule:
12-16 Thursday
5-7pm, Public Hugo Nominee Reception, Ambassador Ballroom
(I will try to make the end of this, but I get in at 5pm and have no idea how hard it will be to get to the hotel.)
12-17 Friday
1pm The Softer Side of Science Fiction, Blue Room
2:30pm Escape Artists Meetup, Ambassador Ballroom
12-18 Saturday
1pm The Magnificent Novella, Blue Room
I don’t have a Kaffeklatch, a signing, or a reading, so I’m a bit unhappy with that, but the con has been beset by many problems, COVID not the only one, and I’m trying to be understanding. That said, if you want something signed, hit me up after a panel or if you see me around.
I’m hoping to have custom postcards for y'all. Wish me luck.
Roll Credits
You can support me on PatreonJemi, or just buy me a Ko-fi. That helps support my many creative projects.
If you can’t support via financial ways, you can help by telling a friend about my work, or leaving a review of my podcasts or books, or forwarding this newsletter!
Just want to catch the podcasts? For I Should Be Writing, you can subscribe on iTune or take this RSS feed and plug it into your preferred player. Ditch Diggers is on hiatus but you can find back episodes here: iTunesRSS, and Spreaker.
Or just search I Should Be Writing, Ditch Diggers, or Mur Lafferty on any podcast site.
Podcast credits: ISBW production by Summer Brooks, ISBW theme song by John Anealio, DD theme song by Devo Spice, art by Numbers Ninja, site design by Clockpunk Studio and hosted by Libsyn.
This newsletter is BY-NC-ND 3.5 Creative Commons licensed.
See you next week time!
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The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter
The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter @mightymur

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Mur Lafferty 8311 Brier Creek Parkway Ste 105274 Raleigh, NC 27617