EP085: Merry Christmas from the Heartbreakers

By Mur Lafferty.
Read by Stephen and Anna Eley.
Musical guest: Twisted Sister.

“Look, I think I know where this is going,” Kris Kringle said, but Gingermuffin cut him off.

“Do you? The Heartbreakers have been making Tom Petty sound good for years, and no one gives a damn. Tom Petty gets all of the credit.”

Kris wondered if he was sober enough to have this discussion. “You’re not talking about Tom Petty.”

Gingermuffin slammed his hand down on the table. “Damn right I’m not!” Kris’s carefully stacked poker chips fell over in a clatter of

Rated R. Contains profanity, violence, and the puncturing of childhood myths. Merry Christmas!

Referenced sites:
Reading is Fundamental
Child’s Play
I Should Be Writing
Geek Fu Action Grip
Podsafe Music Network (Terms of Use)

Comments (18)

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  1. I tried to nominate Mur’s reading of this delightful piece for a Parsec Award, but of course it was ineligible, since she was one of the organizers. Happily, others can now hear it!

  2. tony in the couve says:

    This was one of the best stories ever, and I am not just a sucker for a good Christmas story. Thanks. I will be passing this along to the family.

  3. Mark says:

    This was quite a delightful tale for Christmas time.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

  4. slic says:

    Nooooooo! I’ve over-subscribed to podcasts! I never expected this to happen, but I heard this last year. It’s one thing to read a story and then hear an audio interpretation…

    It’s like getting a comic treasury and owning most of the issues already.

    Either way – good story. Liked the Twisted Sister outro. And, absolutely, Christmas is for kids, not curmudgeons like me – happily, mine are still young enough to hear the Christmas bell.

  5. Pilitus says:

    I’ve not listened to the episode yet, so I have to ask this: Is this the exact same story as Mur read on Geek-fu last year, or has it been edited?

    I liked it last year, but I just wanted to know.

  6. SFEley says:

    There have been some revisions on the story, yes. It’s about a thousand words shorter, for one thing. Though I personally had to look at both versions side-by-side to notice the changes.

  7. Gary H says:

    I listened to this as part of Voices: New Media Fiction and enjoyed it very much. You have to love an elf named Gingermuffin, especially when he starts drinking Stohli. Another great story by Mur. This may become a Christmas classic for me, right up there with Christmas Vacation.
    Merry Christmas.

  8. Joe N says:

    I liked the basic story idea, but did it bother anyone else that it was so male bashing? All the men were incompetent children that needed to be rescued by women. Even the one non-prefect woman in the end changed on her own while her husband passively was letting the marriage die.

  9. Brian from Winnipeg says:

    Less than twenty-four hours after listening to this, I heard a radio spot that fits with it almost perfectly. The surprising part is that it was on a science show (Quirks and Quarks)! You can hear it online:


  10. Tim says:

    It’s really funny, I literally just got done listening to this story from Voices and here it is again! It really is a great Christmas story and I’m glad to see it getting more attention. Nicely done.

  11. I kept grinning from ear to ear. I didn’t get to listen to this until this week. Oh my I was chuckling the entire time. Mur really is an excellent author.

    Steve, great voice acting for you and your wife 🙂


  12. Chris says:

    Well written, to be sure.

    I think I’ve started to become a podcast Grinch or something. None of the Christmas-themed stories are doing it for me this year.


  13. Janni says:

    This was reily delightful.

    And I’m now kind of regretting that I’m listening behind schedule. 🙂

  14. David says:

    I must admit, at first I groaned because I place Mur Lafferty in the “Steve’s Inner Circle” club. But once I heard the story, I was totally won over. It deserved its place and then some. Great job, it was a delightful little Christmas sci-fi present. Kudos to Mur for a story that was witty and human.

  15. dogpurse says:

    That was the best Christmas story I have heard so far. Thank you.

  16. Amber M says:

    For some reason it is telling me the page is ‘temporarily unavailable’ and I was unable to access it on my computer or a friends… any suggestions of the problem?

  17. scatterbrain says:

    Gingermuffin: what a pun!

    Now that’s a christmas story!

  18. I Really love the traditional slushy sentimental Christmas stuff – but even I thought this was great fun! Yeah Scatterbrain Gingermuffin Ha ha!