BONUS: "Gestalt" short story by J.C. Hutchins / by J.C. Hutchins


As reported in my recent UltraCreatives interview with author and podcaster Mur Lafferty, Mur recently reactivated the Playing for Keeps "Stories of the Third Wave" fan podcast to promote the novel's Author Sanctioned™ release date of August 25 at This anthology of fan-created content is astounding in scope; Mur told UltraCreatives listeners that she'd received so many stories for "...Third Wave," she's resorting to a daily release schedule just to keep up. How cool is that?

Even cooler (at least for me) is that Mur invited me aboard to write a short story set in her Playing for Keeps universe. I was flattered by her offer and concocted Gestalt, my contribution to the project. It was also a blast to get back in front of the mic and reading my own fiction again.

Longtime listeners of the 7th Son podcast know that 7S was originally conceived as a superhero story ... but since I was (and to a degree, still am) convinced that believable superhero tales are extremely hard to tell in prose fiction, I abandoned that concept for a more realistic narrative. As I wrote Gestalt, I set to prove myself wrong -- and I think I did just that. Your reaction as a reader may prove differently, but I'm very proud of this little story, and I hope I did Mur Lafferty's universe justice with it.

If you've never heard the Playing for Keeps podiobook or the "Stories of the Third Wave" podcast, but like what you hear here, be sure to visit to subscribe to both projects.

And please help support Mur Lafferty's work as she rushes the Amazon charts on August 25. Here's a link to the book's product page at -- but please be a part of the community effort and wait to purchase Playing for Keeps on the 25th.

Stay super.