Larry Correia’s story has shown up on American Greatness today. If you’ve already read his version then there’s nothing new here, but good to see it’s getting around on the blogs.
Vox had a couple of posts up about this but I figured it would be useful to have Larry’s first hand version. It does highlight what Vox says about SJWs using any means possible to destroy those who resist their demands. Larry truly is a moderate guy and the charges used to attack him are laughably untrue. And he is successful enough that this is more of an insult than an injury but it shows how they can destroy less successful people working anywhere near an SJW area of influence. A cautionary tale.
Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series has been a fun experience for me. His stories feature heroic monster hunters battling the unalloyed evil of the world’s varied monster population. The Shacklefords and their associates have turned wholesale slaughter of the undead into a lucrative enterprise but one that has taken its toll on the family. Included in this attrition are three recent victims who have been turned respectively, into a werewolf and two master vampires. But what makes it a pleasure is that none of the monsters and none of the hunters ever seem tempted to wax poetic on the need to increase the world quotient of social justice. The diversity of the characters is measured in species of monsters dispatched or the variety of allied supernatural creatures such as trailer-park dwelling elves, death-metal loving orcs and gangsta gnomes who get featured in a story. Correia never once discusses the need to ascertain the correct gender fluid pronouns of any zombies before blowing their heads off with a rocket propelled grenade. So, the books are very much action oriented. Shooting monsters is their forte.
But I am happy to relate that Larry’s storytelling abilities are definitely becoming more nuanced. In Siege one of the highlights of the book is a sustained dialog between the protagonist (Owen Pitt) and his nemesis. In this scene Correia gives the devil his due. In fact, I think his evil character may actually seal the show. Of course, there is still plenty of combat and monsters being blown up. And Larry further clarifies the mythology of his universe. So never fear, there’s plenty of explosions to warm the heart of all Monster Hunter fans. But Larry is definitely steering the series into a more complicated plot. Larry has shown that he is not averse to killing off some of his characters. And some of that goes on in Siege. But what is also clarified is that he is braiding at least five separate strands of supernatural intervention and even some of the “good guys” may not get along together. So, we shouldn’t expect any imminent resolution of the larger threat that has been growing in the background. If anything, the details at the end of Siege further complicate the future for Owen and his family. But that’s alright. Larry seems in control of his material and expanding the scope of the story to epic proportions.
So, if you are already a Monster Hunter fan then the good news is that Siege is a very worthy successor to the series. And if you are new to the series then rest assured that your investment will pay off with an already good number of sequels to satisfy your monster killing quota and with every indication that Larry will continue to expand the Monster Hunter saga into an urban fantasy franchise comparable in size and quality to Jim Butcher’s Dresden files. The only shortcoming to the story is that the only mention of Agent Franks is retrospective to the previous book. We’ll have to wait for the next book to see his smiling face.
As noted earlier, Larry Correia has published a second installment of his Tom Stranger stories (A Murder of Manatees: The Further Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent[Audiobook] By: Larry Correia, Adam Baldwin, Audible Studios Sold By: Audible).
I have to admit. This is a guilty pleasure. The stories, such as they are, border on the ridiculous. The plot is just an excuse to allow Tom Stranger and his friends and enemies to interact in an adventure that resembles science fiction in the same way that the old 1960s Batman tv series resembles Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies.
But I don’t care. It’s fun. Correia fills his little two-hour audiobook with good natured jabs at himself, modern politics, culture and the conventions of pulp science fiction. There’s never any doubt that Tom and his associates will provide quality, excellent customer service and that the bad guys will get their comeuppance.
And we can also be assured that Adam Baldwin will continue to find ways of voice portraying whatever ridiculous characters Larry invents, no matter whether it’s a bubble gum snapping android from the Jersey Shore or a hard-tweeting U.S. President on the battle field of the Mar-a-Lago golf course. Having only previously known Adam Baldwin’s acting skills from Full Metal Jacket, Firefly and Chuck I wasn’t prepared for his wonderfully hammy touch to this kind of goofy material. He absolutely makes the most of the story and its characters.
I just finished it today and I enjoyed every silly second of it. Bravo Larry and bravo Adam. I only wish there were more. And what I really wish is that Hollywood would wake up and make the Monster Hunter saga into a movie series (either tv or big screen). And I think Adam Baldwin would be a natural as Agent Franks.
But that’s a rant for another day. Meanwhile if you like goofy tongue in cheek pulp sci-fi or you’re a fan of Larry Correia or Adam Baldwin then I highly recommend A Murder of Manatees. You could think of plenty of worse ways to spend two hours.
Adam Baldwin (Firefly’s Jane Cobb and Chuck’s Colonel John Casey) narrates the continuing adventures of Tom Stranger, the most service oriented interdimensional insurance agent you’ll ever meet. I’m a fan of Larry’s Monster Hunter series and I always like stuff that has Adam Baldwin in it. And the fact that he’s right-wing guy doesn’t hurt either.
I haven’t listened this one yet but the first one was very entertaining, very funny. And Adam does a very good job covering all the voices. Of course I’d prefer if Baldwin could be playing one of Larry’s Monster Hunter characters (Agent Franks?) in a movie version. But I’ll take what I can get.
So I don’t know if this second one would benefit from listening to the first one, first. So I recommend getting them in order.
For you Monster Hunter Intl. Fans, Larry Correia Has Posted Part X of his Annual Christmas Noun Saga
Larry was the guiding spirit behind the original Sad Puppies campaign and the author of the best-selling Monster Hunter International series. He’s also an extremely amusing fellow and his Christmas Noun parody is a yearly institution on his site. The earlier installments are linked there and provide background on the various goofy story conventions involved in the tale. And it’s free. Enjoy.
The results have been announced and just as with last year, the Hugos have been shown once again to be way outside the mainstream. Of course, not everything I voted for won. But enough did and enough other stuff that did win was at least recognizable as SF&F. Sure, there’s some stuff written by SJW allies but at least it was stuff people actually buy so the really egregious stuff was passed over completely. Here’s the complete list:
Kudos to the winners and especially to Larry and the other puppies, sad and rabid, for starting the fire in that dumpster known as the Hugos. Like anything that’s been shown defective the Hugos have been replaced with something that actually works.
If you’ve been following the Puppy vs Pink SF saga you know that puppies come in at least two denominations; sad and rabid. The Sad Puppies are the disciples of Larry Correia and wanted to draw attention to the incestuous log-rolling that a clique of sjw inspired authors and fans used to monopolize the results of the Hugo Awards. The Rabid Puppies are the shock troops of Vox Day who despises these pink science fiction folk with an intensity that would be frightening if it wasn’t so hilarious. He has spent the last two Hugo seasons stuffing the ballot box for such science fiction gems as “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” by Chuck Tingle and “Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex” by Stix Hiscock. But lately the Hugo Award has become routine. To mix things up he has switched targets to concentrate on one of his favorite pink sf targets, John Scalzi. Mr. Scalzi and Vox are old “friends.” Scalzi was the president of the SFWA when Vox was ejected for his unsympathetic feelings toward the left wing of sf. Vox has spent considerable time tweaking Scalzi whenever he sees an opportunity. Such an opportunity has arisen.
Mr. Scalzi has written an homage to Asimov’s Foundation Series. It is entitled The Collapsing Empire. Vox under his authority as editor of the publishing company Castalia House has released a book called Corroding Empire by the interestingly named author Johan Kalsi. Vox’s book debuted a day or so before the release date of Scalzi’s book and Amazon was forced to withdraw the Corroding Empire title based on its similar title and author name. Whereupon Castalia has rebranded the book Corrosion and given as the author Harry Seldon (the hero of Asimov’s foundations stories). From what I’ve read Corrosion is actually doing quite well. How all this will turn out is anyone’s guess but as a spectator sport it has been highly entertaining. But what about copying The Foundation story? Is this heresy? Should both sides be shunned? I’ll tell you what I think.
When I was a kid Isaac Asimov was part of “The Big Three” sf writers (Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke). I’ve written previously about Heinlein and in summary I think he remains a very important writer from the “Golden Age” and an excellent story teller with the usual exception here and there of bad work to prove that he ruled.
Back then I read all the Asimov that was available including his juvenile Lucky Starr books. I thought he was very good and I thought his robot and Foundation books were among the best sf around.
Fast forward forty, fifty years and rereading some of these classics (specifically the Foundation Trilogy) I find, maybe not surprisingly, that they don’t hold up as remarkably well as the Heinlein books. While the plot outline of the Foundation books is still engaging, the characters and the construction are kind of flat. Truth be told, when I reread it I found myself rooting for the petty kings that surrounded the Foundation. I thought it would make a more interesting story if the Mule not only reconquered the Galaxy but forced the Foundation scientists to fix his sterility and improve his health. Thereafter he could go on to conquer the Andromeda Galaxy where there were nasty aliens that really needed their asses kicked by a telepathic mutant with a big nose which is what the story needed all along. Sort of a galactic Game of Thrones with lots of scantily clad babes and plenty of gore. Or something like that.
In the eighties or nineties Asimov wrote a sequel to Foundation (Foundation’s Edge). Now remember, at that time I still thought the foundation books had been great. I bought the sequel, read it in one sitting and was very confused. It kind of sucked. Asimov had become a tree hugger. In the story the protagonist visits a planet that is based on a communal life force. Every living thing is part of a collective consciousness. At the end of the book the protagonist is supposed to decide whether the galaxy should be ruled by the First Foundation, the Second Foundation or Gaia (the collective tree-huggers). He cops out to ensure a sequel but you can tell his heart is with the hippies. My reaction was that he was a commie all along and I should go purge my collection of all Asimov. After that he wrote some sequels to his robot books and I think at some point he merged the two series into some kind of fusion of the two. So, what does all this mean?
It means that John Campbell gave Asimov a very good plot outline to write a story about (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (in space!) and Asimov did a very decent job with a good idea. What it also means is that not everything from the good old days was all that good. Asimov was famous for cranking out work at a tremendous rate. Sometimes it shows. Also, he doesn’t write people all that well. Plot progression he handles pretty well.
My only other thoughts on Asimov is that he really thought robots were the solution to everything. Once back in the late 1980’s I went to a lecture at Boston University. The topic was the future and humanity. Two of the speakers were brilliant physicists Freeman Dyson and Murray Gell-Mann. Dyson had revolutionized quantum electrodynamics and Gell-Mann hypothesized the quark level of particle physics. These guys were almost Einstein level geniuses. Their discussion on the possibilities of human endeavor in the far future were dizzying. Dyson was speculating on how humanity could engineer an escape from the entropic death of the universe and Gell-Mann discussed the possibilities for power generation based on the fine structure of particle physics. The third speaker was Isaac Asimov. He got up and said that the most important human endeavor was the creation of advanced robots. He said when robots had the intelligence that a dog displays when it catches a ball in mid-air then all of humanity’s problems would be solved. The other two speakers made polite noises and said that was very interesting. But it seemed like they were embarrassed to be on the stage with this nut. In retrospect, it’s interesting to remember that Asimov’s New York Yiddish accent made him sound a lot like Larry David. It probably would make a fairly funny SNL skit if anyone cared about Isaac Asimov that much. But it cemented my impression of Asimov as a doofus. After all a robot is a tool. No different from the invention of fire or the wheel. It will be used and it will be abused but humans adapt to their environment and that includes the parts of our environment that we ourselves induce.
So Vox and Scalzi borrow away. Asimov is not divine and his story was stolen from Gibbon first and handed to him by Campbell so what’s to steal?
Well the winners were announced yesterday. You can see the official announcement here:
I’ll copy the results here:
Best Science Fiction Novel
Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm by John C. Wright
Best Fantasy Novel
Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia
Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber
Best Alternate History Novel
League of Dragons by Naomi Novak
Best Apocalyptic Novel
Ctrl Alt Revolt! by Nick Cole
Best Horror Novel
Souldancer by Brian Niemeier
Best Comic Book
Best Graphic Novel
The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
Game of Thrones – HBO
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game
Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks
Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Mobile Game
Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks
Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Board Game
Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures/Collectible Card/Role Playing Game
Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th edition) by Chaosium Inc.
So what do I think? Great!!!
What’s not to love? Oh sure, I have to disagree with picking The Martian over Deadpool for best movie, but you know, it’s just the movies and movies are for kids anyway.
So good for the Dragon Con folks for finally making SF&F great again
Some people are saying that the Dragons are to the People’s Choice Awards as the Hugos are to the Oscars. I guess that’s supposed to be a put-down of the Dragons. But I’ll take that analogy. Have you seen the Oscars lately? Every movie they award and most of the movies they nominate suck
You can do a lot worse than let people pick what they like. At least it gives you a good indication of what they’re willing to spend their money on. And that’s good news for the winners. When a Con that musters 60,000 participants runs an award that can really put a lot of eyeballs on the results. And that’s especially good for the newcomers and the smaller categories. Excellent.
Congratulations to all of them.
But of course a bonus feature of the Dragons is who hates the results. All the familiar cast of characters. The Puppy-kickers one and all. But happily they’re not gloating. They’re exhibiting all the familiar characteristics of angry SJWs. The three laws in full effect. Their pets didn’t win. Fraud, ballot box stuffing, skullduggery and possibly even flimflammerry! Larry Correia! Vox Day! Puppies!!!
The administrators must be questioned and found guilty of serious offenses. Pressure must be brought to bear on them to confess their sins and cleanse the awards of its populist taint. Special Snowflake Fairy Dust must immediately be power sprayed onto the contest so that next year the requisite number of special categories will fill the winner’s circle with socially just empowerment. They’re not following The Narrative! Attention must be paid!!!
Or something like that. Anyway, bravo Dragon winners. Well done. All in all, a nice holiday weekend treat.
So last week I talked about the Hugos and Dragon Awards. And we’ll have to wait for Labor Day to see if the Dragon Award voters look more like Puppies or CHORFs. I think it’s an open question as to whether the type of readers who read the Puppy books will bother to vote for them. Sure it’s much easier to vote for something that’s free, but honestly, most normal people don’t know that sci-fi awards even exist. So, to be continued.
But what I do want to write about is the situation on the ground between the Puppies (all flavors) and the CHORFs. I won’t go back into the weeds of what it’s all about. Instead let’s talk about where it’s going. This week most of the Puppy Leaders (Larry, Brad, Sarah, Kate, Dave and of course Vox) had something and sometimes a lot to say about the 2016 awards. Here are some of the links.
I’ve read all their posts and even all the comments. I didn’t visit the CHORF sites (although several CHORF trolls were quite active on the comments sections of these puppy posts). I think I have a pretty good idea how everyone is feeling and what they want.
I think the Sad Puppies (most of them) intend to continue their policy of widening the reading and voting circle to include people who like good stories instead of just literary message fiction. By building an awareness of this alternate SFF community they are creating the core of a better fandom.
And this is truly admirable.
I think the Rabids intend to torture the CHORFs whenever and however they can. This is not only to overthrow the tyrannical regime of the SJWs, but also because they really really like doing it.
And this is truly hilarious.
The rabids are the precise remedy for the hollow pomposity and hypocritical virtue-signaling that fandom has devolved into. Rabid malice is almost a separate entity in and of itself.
Now, for the folks in the audience that think that the Rabids are the offenders I direct them to this post about David Truesdale (directly below) to get a feel for how they treat people who don’t agree with the narrative they enforce. They’re not nice or even fair.
I guess if someone looked at the dichotomy of the two puppy approaches he might compare them to the New and Old Testaments respectively. Basically the Gospel on the one hand and Samson pulling down the Philistine Temple on the other.
Based on some voting numbers that Vox put up on a post, it looks like about 2,000 of the extra voters from last year didn’t vote in the finals this year. So they didn’t renew their memberships. It seems entirely possible that next year’s awards will be even more contentious than 2016 when the best short story nominees included “Space Raptor Butt Invasion.” I don’t pretend to anticipate or even understand exactly how Vox plans to prosecute his war against the SJWs of SF but I’m almost certain that he has only just begun to torture them. He does seem to take the long view.
Those among the CHORFs that think that the worst is over because the rabid nominations were defeated in the finals do not understand what those nominations mean. For every Space Raptor Butt Invasion that wins a nomination spot, some one of the ancillary writers who faithfully vote the party ticket gets denied the promised spot on the periphery of the circle jerk. Essentially, the incentive for going along with the group-think will begin to evaporate. Before you know it, people will start reading what is actually entertaining instead of “good for you.” We can’t have that. So it’s probably going to get worse for the status quo.
It is reminiscent of some kind of ancient siege. The CHORFs are like some city totally surrounded by a horde of merciless barbarians. They have fought several skirmishes and have even sent out sorties to win the day by concentrating all their resources on offense. But their numbers and resources are dwindling and the horde seems to only get stronger and more blood-thirsty after every encounter. I can only guess at what the mentality and morale of the besieged is currently.
Pass the popcorn.