18.07: Deep Dive into THE SPARE MAN

Spoiler Alert! This week is our deep dive into Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Spare ManIt’s a sci-fi mystery novel often described as “The Thin Man in space.”

Deep dive episodes are necessarily full of spoilers because we ask all kinds of how and why questions specific to the writing of the work in question. If you haven’t yet read The Spare Man, you might consider doing that before listening to this episode. We’re not the boss of you, but we believe you’ll get more out of this episode and the novel if you read the novel first.

Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. It was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.


Do you like murder mysteries? Write down the elements that must be present for a murder mystery to be satisfying for you.

The Thin Man (1934)

6 thoughts on “18.07: Deep Dive into THE SPARE MAN”

  1. Hi there, Mary Robinette Kowal mentioned an ‘axis of power’ and spreadsheet to record the role, names etc of the characters – but also what their secret was and how they are related to the main character. She mentioned a previous episode that discusses/shows the spreadsheet. Any idea which episode and where I can see the spreadsheet? Thanks!

  2. This week, Mary Robinette, DongWon, Erin, Dan, and Howard took a deep dive into Mary Robinette Kowal’s book, The Spare Man. Murder mystery mixed with science fiction, and an homage to the Thin Man movie? Fame, reality versus invention, cocktail recipes, the Agatha Christie approach to murder mysteries, keeping track, beta readers, and would you use this process again all got covered in a giant episode that you can read now in the transcript in the archives.

  3. I’ve tried to find the axis of power thing that was mentioned. On which episode was that explained in depth?

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