I’m Giving Away an ARC of The Dispatcher: Murder By Other Means

You wanna win it? Here’s how you do it:

I’m thinking of a holiday song right now. Guess which one it is in the comments.

That’s it!


1. One guess per person. Don’t post a list of songs, y’all.

2. When you leave your comment, make sure the email address you put in the comment form is one I can reach you at (don’t put it in the comment itself, unless you want the whole world to know your email address).

3. In the event that more than one of you guess which song I’m thinking of, I will ask Alexa to randomly select a number between one and [the number of people who guess the song correctly]. Whatever number Alexa picks, whoever is the chronological equivalent will win. In the event that no one guesses it correctly, I will have Alexa pick a number between one and [total number of comments] and give it to whichever comment corresponds to that number, chronologically speaking. Basically, someone’s gonna win this thing.

4. Contest lasts for as long as the comments are open (which will be two days from when I post this entry, so, early evening, Eastern Time, Saturday). I’ll try to contact the winner immediately thereafter to figure out shipping.

5. Contest open worldwide. Yes, I will pay to ship wherever. Also, if you like, I will sign/personalize the ARC. I’ll put it in the mail early next week. Given the state of the US mail at the moment, I wouldn’t expect it before Christmas (and definitely not before the end of Hanukkah).

6. What qualifies as a “holiday song”? It’s a song that is either about, or strongly associated with, one or more of the December holidays. As an example, while “Jingle Bells” is not strictly about any particular holiday, it’s so strongly associated with the holiday season that it counts (although I’m using it as an example here because the song I’m thinking about is not, in fact, “Jingle Bells”). “December Holidays” in this case are Hanukkah, Christmas (and surrounding days), Solstice, and New Year’s Eve/New Years Day. Also, I’m not actively trying to stump you all here, so the song I’m thinking about doesn’t just have a glancing association to the holidays. It’s a full-on holiday song. I told Athena which one it is, just in case you all don’t trust me. And no, she can’t be bribed.

(Also, if you want the actual signed, limited hardcover edition of Murder By Other Means, you can pre-order it from Subterranean Press here. The hardcover edition is limited to only 2,000 copies, so if you want one when it comes out in April, it’s best to pre-order as soon as possible.)

Got it? Then guess the holiday song, and good luck!

— JS

577 Comments on “I’m Giving Away an ARC of The Dispatcher: Murder By Other Means”

  1. “Here Comes Santa Claus”. Bonus points if you’re picturing the SWAT teams from Christmas Vacation.

  2. The first thing that pops into my head is Chiron Beta Prime, which has gotta be one of the best xmas songs ever nerded over!

  3. Adam Sandler’s Chanukah Song. (Please don’t make me guess which revision). Spelling choice of Hanukah song chosen based on google search.

  4. You’re thinking of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. And if you weren’t, you are now. And for the next week at least, based on how long it sticks in my own head.

  5. Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney by Ella Fitzgerald? Cause thats the one I have stuck in my head.

  6. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The long version with the 8 reindeer in the beginning and because it has all the fun call and responses!

  7. So I shouldn’t guess “Jingle Bells”?

    “Last Christmas,” not because I believe it’s what you’re thinking of, but because I like it.

  8. Now you’re in my wheelhouse. Hopefully it is weird Christmas songs. Should I go with Blue Xmas or Back Door Santa? Hmmmm…..

    Back Door Santa!

  9. Without looking at other comments:

    Since the Dispatcher books deal with death as the major element, don’t see how the song can be anything except “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”.

  10. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid (at least, that’s what holiday song is stuck in my head right now)

  11. Not sure of the title, but it begins, “Christmas, Christmas Don’t Be Late” by Alvin & the Chipmunks.

  12. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas (Bing Crosby version of course). After losing, would you mind letting me drown my sorrows by letting me cough up some dough to a food bank there in Ohio in your name? I can’t even visit my Dad, but he told me to give to the North Texas Food Bank in his name- he said he didn’t need anything, and I’ve seen the news feeds of people that are lining up here. Pretty sure it is the same there. Take care, be well, and don’t die on me. I NEED you to keep writing and being snarky.


  13. Fum, Fum, Fum

    Which is kind of obscure, I realize, so probably not the one you’re thinking about, but it’s one of my favorites so that’s my guess.

  14. Grandma got run over by a reindeer. … And I love that Redshirts is in the background!

  15. Wonderful Christmastime. Not because it’s any good, but because it’s so aggressively earwormy it’s damn near impossible to get out of your head.

  16. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

    (I hope this didn’t multi-post; WordPress isn’t letting me login with my usual credentials.)

  17. I’m going to put two in here. Firstly, because they are great Christmas songs, and secondly because I’m almost certain they are not ones that he ill have chosen.

    1) Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis by Tom Waits

    2) How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly (please trust me on this one as to how good it is)

  18. And one more because I’ve jsut remembered another really great one that not enough people have heard of.

    3) A Christmas Duel by Cyndi Lauper & The Hives

  19. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is what popped into my head, immediately. Probably because I just saw Randy Rainbow’s parody about Juliani in the last 48 hours.

  20. Well dang. Typos killed my answer. Let’s try again.

    My guess is The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) by Nat King Cole.

  21. A Christmas Carol – Tom Lehrer
    Relations, sparing no expense’ll
    Send some useless old utensil,
    Or a matching pen and pencil.
    “Just the thing I need! How nice!”

  22. “I’m a Christmas Tree” – Wild Man Fisher and Dr. Demento.

    And any of you who haven’t heard “Making Gravy”, go and listen to it.

  23. “CV19 Was Worst Christmas Gift, Ever” by Evil Random Luck
    (no idea what to guess that was no already guessed)

  24. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” – the Bruce Springsteen version.

    (I know it’s not Bing doing “White Christmas” because damn, dude, horseradish on a carnitas burrito? nfw!)

  25. Just because I haven’t seen anyone else guessing it: “I Am Santa Claus” by Bob Rivers.

  26. Nobody’s guessed the Wexford Carol yet, and I just saw a great vid of it on the interwebs, so I’m going with that.

  27. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer because that’s what in my head after wrapping some presents yesterday.

  28. “Christmas at Ground Zero”, Weird Al Yankovic.

    (And even if you aren’t thinking of it, you should listen to it. One of my favorite of Al’s “genre parodies.”)

  29. Jingle Bell Rock! – can definitely see you dancing to this with the volume cranked up while making a festive Holiday Burrito!

  30. “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” because – Hey! – it’s hard to eat Burritos without ‘em (trust me, I play hockey… 😳)

  31. It’s a tossup between the John Gorka version of “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and William S. Burroughs with the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy performing “A Junky’s Christmas.” As a traditionalist, I’m leaning towards “I heard the Bells.”


  32. I’m gonna go with Weird Al’s “The night Santa went crazy” because that’s what’s stuck in my head.

  33. Father Christmas by the Kinks. (It’s fantastic…. and also almost certainly wrong, but what the hell.)

  34. Joy to the World! I recently learned the lyrics are about Jesus’ second coming, so it’s “not really” a Christmas song, which I find amusing since I tend to avoid overdoing Christmasy things during Advent.