The Drowning Empire, Episode 62: Upon Pain of LIfe

The Drowning Empire is a weekly serial based on the events which occured during the Writer Nerd Game Night monthly Legend of the Five Rings game. It is a tale of samurai adventure set in the magical world of Rokugan.

If you would like to read all of these in one convenient place, along with a bunch of additional game related stuff, behind the scenes info, and detailed session recaps, I’ve been posting everything to one thread on the L5R forum,

This week’s episode is from Pat Tracy, following up on the events from last time, where Moto Subotai faked his own death in order to escape from his Kolat black mailers.

Continued from:


Upon Pain of Life

By Patrick M. Tracy

The old man, Daichi, stood on the other side of the fire from Bayushi Kenshiro. The sounds of the jungle were distant. The rustle of leaves parting against the flanks of a hunting cat. The call of the night birds, the undertone of the tree frogs chirping to each other.

Kenshiro’s right hand was tied to his waist. It had been thus for several days. His face was yet bandaged from the recent beating, his crushed nasal bones causing a whistle whenever he would breathe. The old man threw a stone at him. Reflexively, he swung the bokken in his left hand, trying to hit it. He missed. Again.

Daichi threw the next stone harder. Kenshiro dropped into a clumsy guard, all the angles wrong, and the stone cut his cheek, sending a flare of sparks across his eye. He barely managed to hit the third stone as his sensei pitched it in his direction. Daichi gestured with his chin at something over Kenshiro’s shoulder. He looked, and the old man leaped across the fire, slamming a hardened heel into his stomach, knocking him to the ground, disarming him. Bokken in hand, Daichi pounded Kenshiro about the head and shoulders for nearly a minute. He could only cover and wait for it to be over.

“You still stand like a Moto. What have I said?”

Kenshiro levered himself up. There were bruises all over him, atop older bruises, atop older ones still. Daichi was as much a tormentor as a teacher. Kenshiro said nothing.

“You are not like the others they send me.”

Kenshiro waited.

“You hate yourself far more than they do.”

Kenshiro bowed to his sensei.

“Now stand like a Bayushi. A horse will not appear beneath you. Knees to the front, feel the ground, always stand ready to move faster than your opponent, even when none are visible.”


Bayushi Soichiro squinted at the scroll he’d been given. “It says you have a throat injury, and can’t speak yet.”

Kenshiro nodded.

Soichiro shrugged. “Daichi-sama says you may be of some small use, training the men and accompanying jungle patrols.”

Another nod. Kenshiro’s throat would be weeks in healing enough to speak, and would never produce the sound it once had. The sharp pain still lingered. It was not so severe as the pain in his nose. Daichi had used a small knife to dig at the flesh of his face, then moved the bones within until his breath came silently again. Between the scar tissue around his eyebrows and the lumpy wreckage of his broken nose, his face was not the same as it had been. Such were Daichi’s brutal results.

Soichiro was an older man, perhaps 40 winters, but still moved well and had fair muscle tone. “Let us see what we have in you, Kenshiro.”

They went to the practice ring, and Soichiro picked out two parangu-shaped bokken. Kenshiro examined the weapon rack. Most of the practice weapons there were old, splintered, and dented. More than a few of them appeared to have been made by the young bushi, rather than any skilled craftsman. This was a small dojo, after all, far out in the middle of nowhere. Still, he would see to it that the training equipment was improved, even if he had to carve new bokken himself. There was one no-dachi practice sword, chipped and crooked, the protective lacquer worn through. He selected it, left hand foremost, and turned.

Kenshiro had learned much from Daichi. He could see Soichiro’s face tighten and knew that he would not wait for the traditional bow. Kenshiro leaped to the side just as his new officer committed to his attack, placing the edge of the bokken against the man’s neck. With a sword of steel, a simple pull backward would relieve a man of his head. There had been some luck involved, but Soichiro did not have to know that.

Soichiro relaxed. He stood upright, his small mempo slightly askew. “Very well. Welcome to Camp Heron. You’ll be training the younger men.”

The officer straightened himself and replaced his parangu in the weapon rack. It was only later that Kenshiro was to discover that his best weapon was the naginata.


“Draw the bow with your back, not your arm,” Kenshiro rasped. Another volley of arrows went askew, flying everywhere but the target.

“You may imagine that you have no need of a bow, but you are fools. You, there! What are the keys to archery?”

The surprised young samurai sputtered. Kenshiro did not bother to learn their names. Those were unimportant, as his own was. Scorpions were not individuals, not faces to be remembered. They were a collection of tools and potentials. There was only the need of the Clan, which answered only to the needs of the Empire. Glory was not theirs to grasp at. Only duty.

“Well,” Kenshiro’s jagged voice asked.

The young Bayushi’s eyes were wide above his simple white mempo. They thought of their new trainer as a thing walked from nightmares. Kenshiro did not try to dissuade them from this idea, for it was true. Nevermind that the nightmares were his own, the hounds of his past gnawing at his hide with every heartbeat.

“Start at the ground,” he suggested, drawing closer, crowding the young man.

“Stance,” he blurted out.

Kenshiro gestured that he should continue.

“Firm body posture. Breath is controlled. Bow hand is relaxed. Elbow is extended. String hand thumb is a hook of bone. Back is tense across the shoulder. Anchor is solid against the jawbone. Eyeline is set. Target is sure. Heart is slow.” The form tumbled out, once started.

“Good. What do we know about archery?” Kenshiro put his knuckles behind his back.

“The arrow knows its way. The bow shoots straight. It is only the archer who fails,” they said as a group.

“Archery has two phases. Learn to hit the target. Then learn to hit the target again. You fools are still in the first phase. You will be running three miles each morning until you progress to the second. I will be running with you. Your ineptitude is a poor reflection upon your sensei. This does not improve my mood. Now, try again.”


Bayushi Kuronobo’s mempo frowned. He stood at the doorway like a living stormcloud, a hand casually resting on his katana’s hilt. It was known that he had killed more than sixty men in sanctioned duels. The real number was probably far greater. He was one of the deadliest men Kenshiro had ever met, and he had not lived a sheltered existence.

“It is a feeble disguise, but perhaps it will suffice. Go get your things, we are needed elsewhere.”

Kenshiro bowed and ran to his small room. He did not hide the fact that he did so. He assumed that Kuronobo did not wish him to tarry.

Other than a bedroll, a change of clothes, and his weapons, there was not much to pack. He arrived again in moments. There were two ponies waiting, Kuronobo mounted up, and he followed suit, careful to effect some clumsiness in the action and fumble with the gear he carried.

“You needn’t waste your energy trying to fool my eyes, Bayushi Kenshiro. Even if I were not your patron, I would always sense your deception. Your only advantage is that no one will look for the face of a dead man in your own.”

“Any failure is mine. Daichi was…thorough.”

“What is wrong with your throat?”

“I drank acid.”

“Hmm. Good. We’ll soon be putting this thin disguise to a test.”

Those were the last words Kurnonobo spoke for the entire trip.

As the small Rokugani horses went, the one Kuronobo had selected for him was a poor example of the breed. Even the best of them could hardly compare to any Unicorn horse. In his old life, Kenshiro had owned one of the finest horses in the Empire. He would never see that horse again, never sit astride a steed half so grand. Everywhere he looked, mile he traveled, the true measure of what he had sacrificed became more clear.

His education in misery was only just beginning


The White Tiger Shrine.

Toranaka had really made it happen, and better than anything they had discussed. Entering it that night created a potent and almost overwhelming sense of loss. Kenshiro struggled to keep his face impassive, to remember that Moto Subotai was dead, and all his associations were broken. Nothing of him could be allowed to remain. The memories were simple knowledge. Emotion could not rush from them like ink being smeared upon wet rice paper.

He stood at Kuronobo’s side, hands folded before him, eyes seeing everything, heart deadened against what he feared would be.

And then they arrived. Subotai’s friends. His brothers in arms and deeds and blood spilled upon the earth.

Akodo Toranaka.

Yoritomo Oki.

Tamori Isao.

Even Doji Shunya, with yet new strips of colorful fabric decorating the hilt of his blade.

But Bayushi Kenshiro did not know these men, did not care greatly about what befell them, other than the hope that they would work to the betterment of the Empire and die as samurai should. He was an impartial observer, an outsider to all this.

It was the moral imperative that Kenshiro held onto with a white knuckled grasp. If he allowed himself to feel, to identify, to soften toward these good men, he would be doomed. Everything he had destroyed with his own hand would have been for nothing. No. Subotai had to remain dead, and Kenshiro could only parse through a dead man’s memories as one read a history scroll or looked at paintings upon a wall.

Toranaka, as commanding as ever, as sharp and quick as his blade.

Oki, still haunted, perhaps more hard bitten and fatalistic than before.

Isao, wiser, now motivated by the urge to follow in his master’s steps, he had the air of willing death around him.

Shunya, calm and sophisticated, matured somehow, but no less driven to be the epitome of a Crane Duelist. He goads Kuronobo in oblique ways, testing to see if there is any emotional currency he can gain, wondering if he will be able to call the man to a duel one day and spill his blood.

None of them trust him. Nor should they. Kenshiro is an unknown, an honorless dog. A faceless Scorpion killer.

Without Uso, without Shintaro, there is no center to them anymore. They are not a group, so much as men gathered from their individual enterprises.

This was a place that Kenshiro hoped he would never be, with the few men who had known Subotai best, with the one audience to which his feeble artifice would hardly be sufficient. Perhaps he could fool them for a day, or a week, or even a month, but they would learn. One of them would see some tell-tale that there had been no time to train himself against.

All he could do is hold them at the greatest possible distance and play for time. There would be a moment, some point when allowing them to know who he had once been. That moment was not today.

Kenshiro listened as Kuronobo told them of the current crisis, the reason that the White Tigers were being called. There was a great sea beast attacking the coast. The gaijin fleet had been found. Great and awful tidings.

Subotai would have had much to say. Kenshiro dared to say nothing, dared to betray no emotion or hope or fear. The man before them did not have the luxury of such things.

Kuronobo forced Toranaka to swear to take Kenshiro into their group, to trust them as they trusted the Shogunate orders they received, to keep him safe from harm at all costs.

The unspoken predicate to his words were to force Toranaka, when the truth came out at last, to spare Kenshiro’s neck from his blade. Not that he would raise a hand to defend himself against the Angry Lion. Kenshiro would accept a death blow from this man, and understand why it would fall. All that had lead to Subotai’s demise and Kenshiro’s invention would be outside Toranaka’s ability to understand.

Had he confronted dishonor, he would have knelt upon the ritual mat and washed the sin from his family in his blood. He was the better man, the greater soul, and thereby had the right to judge as harshly as he wished.

This was why Subotai had told him to leave Ikoma Uso’s journals unread. Sometimes it is no good to know too much about a friend. Sometimes the small fictions we allow ourselves to harbor are the only things that keep friends from becoming enemies.

Kenshiro could see that Toranaka felt as if he had but few true friends to count on. Those closest and firmest in their resolve had fallen away, killed or taken down other paths. He was surrounded by strangers and those he only half trusted. There was nothing that he could say or do that would decrease the Akodo’s skepticism. He continued to stand in silence, impassive on the outside while his heart was a raging storm within his chest.

And then there were noises within the shrine to the fallen.

Toranaka burst in, blade to the disheveled man who was in the process of grabbing Uso’s no-dachi off the wall.

There was much shouting and disagreement. The vagabond, the tattered man holding Uso’s sword spoke only in quiet tones, calm against the storm of their emotions.

“Who was this shrine built for?” he asked. The voice was familiar.

“The honored dead of the White Tigers. To their memory,” Toranaka spat.

“For the dead, then. If it is dead men you honor, then this sword does not belong here.”

Kenshiro watched them, watched them marvel at the man who had come back from the dead, for Ikoma Uso stood before them, his flesh torn and broken by wounds that he could never have survived, his handsome face a wreck, now covered by a mempo.

But it was Uso, and his return was not greeted with pleasure, for Toranaka had learned what he was, learned that beneath his carefully crafted image, Uso spirit traveled darkened roads.

Uso met his eyes. He knew in a moment. Kenshiro had been born into a world where Uso was dead. Uso sighed, ignoring the heated words all around him, and pointed at Kenshiro’s no-dachi. “Really?”

Kenshiro raised one eyebrow and shrugged. They both had secrets. They were both dead men walking. For the moment, though, it appeared that Uso was content to keep that to himself.

And so they were reunited. Much like a broken vase, though, there were pieces missing. Points of fracture spiraled outward between all of them. Oki stalked away with sullen eyes. “Uso is dead!” he shouted over his shoulder.

Toranaka gritted his teeth so hard that his jaw quivered. Isao looked between one face and another, perplexed.

They were sent to their tasks, far from united, Kenshiro subject to the scorn of the group, with only Uso to speak with, as they were both equally distrusted.

Not for the first time, Kenshiro reflected that things would have been far better had he never been born, had Subotai before him never been born. As it was, he was consigned to the pain of living, and would suffer it for as long as necessary. Perhaps there would be a day when the gaijin and the Dark Oracle of Water would be vanquished, when a time for endings would come to pass. Perhaps then, he could finally rest.


To be continued next week:

A Note on Book Reviews

So yesterday MHN held another successful Book Bomb. We got John Brown’s whole trilogy up into the top of some genre lists, sold a whole mess of books, and most importantly that means the author GETS PAID (remember, all authors should have GET PAID in their mission statement).

But John pointed out something interesting to me from the time we Book Bombed the novel Bad Penny. We sold several hundred copies that day, but the added attention meant that over the rest of the month John moved a total of 12k copies. Twelve thousand copies in a month for an independent book is really impressive. Something John said about that stuck with me. One of the reasons was because he got a bunch of enthusiastic reviews from the people who participated in the Book Bomb, and that helped him get continued attention.

I don’t really think of reviews as a sales component too often. Usually when I think of reviews it is to read through them for the self esteem boost or to relentlessly mock the really dumb ones. :)  (because Hard Magic is literally filled with talking animals!) But apparently reviews do actually matter.

So I’d ask you guys, if you are so inclined, after participating in the Book Bombs, would you post some honest reviews on Amazon and other places? My goal with the BBs is to give worthy authors an attention boost, so if that helps, then I’m all in favor of it.

Book Bomb: John Brown’s Dark God Saga

Today is the day. We are Book Bombing John Brown’s awesome Servant series.

I’m doing this because I’ve Book Bombed #1 before (which from the results and reviews, you guys loved) and #2 and #3 just came out.  For those of you who missed out on the last one, I’ve put a link to book 1 also. John has also put them all on sale for this also. This is a historical first because I’ve never bombed a whole trilogy before!

For those of you new to Book Bombs, this is how it works. I do them to give a deserving author a much needed boost. You can buy the books wherever makes you happy, because the important thing is that the author GETS PAID. However, I try to steer as many people as possible to Amazon because they have a sales ranking system that updates hourly. The more people who buy a book in a short period of time, the higher the book gets in those rankings. The higher it gets, the more new people see it, the more it shows up in searches, etc. Once we get a book onto a bestseller list for its genre, then lots of new people see it. Success breeds success.

To give you an example, I Book Bombed John Brown’s Bad Penny and this is what he had to say about it:

I just want you to know that your readers are not only a pleasure because of their enthusiasm, but they also set me up for the huge run Bad Penny had in July. We moved more than 12,000 books. I broke the top 30 in Amazon for a few days. In Nook, I was a best seller the whole freaking month. How did this happen? I got a BookBub promotion. How did I get that? Well, one thing they look at are the reviews. And your folks who enjoyed Bad Penny came out in spades. When you post the book bomb, you need to tell them this author loves the Monster Hunter Nation.

So please tell your friends. As the day goes on I will post the sales ranks of the various books to see if we’re making a difference. Having done a lot of these I know there is a delay in how Amazon calculates so we usually start seeing a real difference in the afternoon, and then it will climb through the evening.


Why did I pick John Brown for another Book Bomb? Well, John is a friend of mine. We started out about the same time. His first novel, Servant of a Dark God came out about the same time as Monster Hunter International. So being two relative nobodies we decided to go on a book tour on our own dime. We set up signings (basically whoever would have us) and then we went on a series of gigantic road trips across the western US. We went to San Diego, Phoenix, and Denver. And the Denver trip  across Wyoming was like an adventure novel. Long story, but it involved burning trucks, poached elk, car wrecks, a crazy guy on the run from the reptoids of the Hollow Earth, and a 12 hour drive through a blizzard.

So I have spent a lot of time in a Ford Focus with John Brown.

John is really talented writer. Since we started at the same time, and he works just as hard, and hustles just as much, he should be where I am, EXCEPT John got hosed. He had a contract with one of the biggest publishing houses, and then he had a professional conflict with his editor. After his first book came out, John turned in the sequel. I’m probably getting the timeline/details wrong, but this is just to give you an idea. After months of sitting on it, the editor told him to make a bunch of drastic changes. Okay, not a problem. That’s what editors do. My second book came out. John turned in his revised version. The editor sat on it for a while, and then ordered him to make a bunch of other drastic changes. My third book came out. John turned it in again. Now it was too long. Cut a third of the book. My fourth book came out. John changed everything around, now put back in the stuff you cut. My fifth book came out. Etc.

And the thing is, I read one of those drafts, and it was awesome. Steve and the guys at EBR read all of those drafts, and they loved them. And those guys know the fantasy market better than anyone. So it wasn’t like John was turning in crap books. Sometimes you just get an editor and an author who should not be working together, and in this case John got screwed.  If his second book was ever going to come out from this major publisher, the market had already forgotten about number one, and for a new author, that is the kiss of death. That is a career killer. So John asked to get his rights back and go indy.

One happy bonus to that, all of the negative reviews John got about Servant of a Dark God mentioned the same couple of issues, mostly related to the order of the chapters and the intro. Which is funny, because those changes were mandated by his editor. So when John got his rights back and published it himself, it is the “author’s cut” where he put everything back the way he originally had it. Thanks to his friends and fans, the new Servant is doing well, and now the rest of the series (as he intended it to be written, and not mangled for 5 years) is out, and available to Book Bomb the hell out of today for cheap.

So please tell your friends. Let’s get John Brown some exposure! Let’s once again demonstrate that the Monster Hunter Nation and friends is more effective than a major publisher’s entire marketing department. :)


So here are the stats as of 8:00 MST

The 1st book in paperback Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,069 

In Kindle:

The 2nd Book in paperback Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,173 in Books

in Kindle: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,753 Paid in Kindle Store

And the 3rd Book in paperback Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,121 in Books

EDIT:  So let’s take a little break from wrapping up this fantasy novel rough draft I’m working on today and check to see how our little Book Bomb is progressing so far:

Book #1 

Book #2 

Book #3 

Way to go guys! 

EDIT 2: 

So now that it is time for bed, let’s see how we did today

Book 2

And Book 3


Morning Edit: The numbers continued to climb through the night, but this bit is particularly cool: We didn’t just bump up John’s books. We bumped up John. 

Amazon Author Rank

SLC ComicCon 2014 After Action Report

Wow. What a busy con.

I haven’t heard if it is official or not, but if Salt Lake City wasn’t bigger than San Diego’s Comic Con, then it was really, really close. On Saturday the word was that we’d broken 120,000 people. The entire state of Utah only has 2.8 million people. That’s 4% of the state’s population in one building. This was only the 3rd time we’ve done this.

That is one powerful nerdy state.

This was a really different con for me. Normally I like to just go and wander around, be on some panels, maybe do a book signing for an hour or two, that’s it. I’ve never been tied down to a table before, but Kevin J. Anderson and Peter Wacks invited me to have a spot at the WordFire Press booth. So I went for it. KJA had a brilliant idea, and he’s been trying to put together this sort of author “super booth”. I spent most of the con sitting between Peter Beagle (Last Unicorn) and Brandon Sanderson (Way of Kings).

There were more books stashed. It still wasn't nearly enough.

There were more books stashed. It still wasn’t nearly enough.

It was like a good book signing, that was non-stop for three days. By the end I’d been cleaned out of nearly every title. All I had left was some MHN and Warbound hard covers. By Saturday morning I was out of book 1 of every series. And that’s not counting the ones people brought in, or the hundreds—not a typo—of people who just wanted to come by and say hi.

I’m not kidding when I say that I probably shook a thousand hands. My hand is sore. Now I understand why celebrities use the fist bump (to be fair, some of my fans are really STRONG). Protip to authors, if you see a guy with tree trunk arms and tactical beard standing in line, go for the fist bump. If you are me, and half of your fan base looks like that, suck it up. Ace wrap that shit and get back to typing. :)

Because there was over 500 guests they capped the number of panels that we were on to four. All of mine went well, but my favorites were the one in the big room on Friday. Brandon Sanderson was the moderator, and it was me, Brandon Mull, Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weiss, and Dave Wolverton.

One HALF of the room...

One HALF of the room…

To put this in perspective, this panel was about How to Write Good Magic Systems. That is a geeky writing topic panel. That is a 1,500 person room and we filled it. I found out after that there were more people outside who couldn’t get in. Where else can you get 1,500 people to come and listen to geeky, nuts and bolts, writing topics?

The other half.  And yes, ComicCon wants to make sure the guests remain properly hydrated.

The other half.
And yes, ComicCon wants to make sure the guests remain properly hydrated.

And that room is a tiny fraction of how many people were there. The green room overlooks the floor, and I’m kicking myself for not getting some pictures from up there of the crowds. This year, because I had an actual booth, I didn’t hang out in the green room as much, so I didn’t see as many celebrities and didn’t get to meet any of them. I missed Patrick Warburton by a couple of minutes, which is a bummer, because Brock Sampson is the greatest character ever. I was hoping to suck up and get him to record my voice mail as Brock Sampson. “You’ve reached Correia. LEAVE A MESSAGE… AT THE BEEP.” Come on. You know that would be awesome. I didn’t see Ron Perlman or Bruce Campbell either, which is a bummer.

I had another fun panel on Friday. I was the moderator and the topic was How to Write Awesome SciFi and Fantasy. Good bunch of writers, I was sitting on the end so I could see down the table, “small” room with only 200 people in the audience, so I’m really looking forward to it. Right off the bat I asked the audience by show of hands how many of them want to be professional authors, and 90% of the hands go up. Good. Now I know what way to take the questions.  So I tell everybody that we’re not going to waste time with college professor bullshit like defining genre or any of that nonsense, but let’s get down to business, nuts and bolts, tips and tricks, what do we actually do to make this stuff work.

The panel is going great except for one tiny little thing. It turns out that we are next door to something that I would find out later was Zombie Laser Tag, and the folding partition between the rooms isn’t sufficiently sound proof to stop the Screecher Zombie, whose riveting dialog consisted of HRAAAR HRAAAAAAAA HrEEEEEEEEECH HreEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH HrEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH over and over again.  

So it was funny at first… A few minutes in, starting to get annoying. So I signal one of the volunteers at the back and they disappear, hopefully to get Screeches to take it down a notch. Nothing. It keeps going. Apparently the moderator is starting to look annoyed because people I recognize in the audience as Monster Hunter Nation fans are giggling. Then when Screeches drowned out John Brown (who has perfect radio announcer voice, so I know if I couldn’t hear him, the audience probably didn’t either) I’d had enough.

So I hopped off the stage, pounded on the wall and ordered them to KEEP IT DOWN IN THERE!  I used my firearm’s instructor voice (you’ve got to speak from the chest) so that whole section of the convention center heard it. That worked. The zombies shut up. In fact, I didn’t hear them again until the 5 minute warning. The audience enjoyed it. If the moderator had been anybody other than the guy who makes his living off of zombie killing, it wouldn’t have been nearly as funny.

Now SLC ComicCon wasn’t without its glitches. On day 1 there was a huge bottleneck. The people who’d registered early and paid extra for Gold or VIP passes ended up in the same line as general admission, so people who’d already paid were stuck out there for 3 or 4 hours trying to get inside. That killed half their Thursday. The Con had set up satellite locations where people could pick up their badges early, but you can’t expect people to go out of their way and change their behaviors in sufficient numbers to make a dent. Hopefully next year they’ll do what other big cons do and mail those badges in advance or something.

On Friday I brought my three oldest kids with me, and I let them wander ComicCon unsupervised. The deal was they had to come and check in with dad every hour, which they sort of, almost did, if you consider two hours like one. One nice thing about SLC ComicCon is that it has an atmosphere where I could let my teenagers wander around and not be too worried about them. Serious props to the volunteers and security for working their butts off to keep it that way.

Since this is ComicCon even the working professionals still have our geeky fan boy moments. My geeky highlight was when I got Margaret Weiss and Larry Elmore to sign the 1985 Dragonlance trilogy I’ve had since I was 10 years old. I already had Tracy’s signature, so that’s both authors and the artist, and I could honestly tell all three of them at once that it was those novels that got me writing in the first place.

It was 120,000 fans flying their geek flags high. I had a blast.

Reminder, BOOK BOMB tomorrow! John Brown’s Dark God series

Just a reminder for everyone to mark their calenders because we will be book bombing John Brown’s series tomorrow on Amazon. I’ll post more details and links in the morning. 

I figured I needed a reminder post because the last one was stuck beneath two fiskings of the Village Idiot, and those take up a lot of space just from the magnitude of nonsense. 

Anyways, John will be putting all 3 books of the series on sale for this too, so for those who didn’t get in on the first one when I plugged it last time you’re not missing out.

If you are curious what a Book Bomb can do for an author check out this message I got from John while setting this one up: I just want you to know that your readers are not only a pleasure because of their enthusiasm, but they also set me up for the huge run Bad Penny had in July. We moved more than 12,000 books. I broke the top 30 in Amazon for a few days. In Nook, I was a best seller the whole freaking month. How did this happen? I got a BookBub promotion. How did I get that? Well, one thing they look at are the reviews. And your folks who enjoyed Bad Penny came out in spades. When you post the book bomb, you need to tell them this author loves the Monster Hunter Nation.

So there you go. Tomorrow I’ll post up all the links and details. 


SLC ComicCon Schedule & Signing Info

For the next few days I’ll be hanging out with a hundred thousand of my closest friends at the Salt Lake City ComicCon.

Throughout the show I’ll be hanging out and signing at the WordFire Press booth with Brandon Sanderson, Kevin J. Anderson, Brad Torgersen, Peter Beagle, and a bunch of other authors. It is booth #728. 

We will also be selling MHI t-shirts, challenge coins, buttons, and patches there.  

Once I have an official schedule from Kevin of times I know for sure I’ll be there, I’ll post it here, but otherwise just swing by and I’ll probably be there, unless I’m hanging out in the green room, getting a massage, eating free food, and hanging out with movie stars. Yeah, ComicCon is pretty sweet. :)

I will be on the following panels. 

Thursday September 4, 3:00 pm Building Plot: How to Implement Rising Action, the Try/ Fail Cycle and Character Arcs into Your Stories Room 151G ::

Thursday September 4, 7:00 pm Writing Suspense Room 355D ::

Friday September 5, 5:00 pm Credible Magic Systems: Method to Madness North Ballroom ::

Saturday September 6, 11:00 am How to Write Great Science Fiction and Fantasy Room 255B ::

The Guardian’s Village Idiot Admits to Libel

Yesterday I posted a link to my latest fisking of the Guardian to Facebook. Surprisingly enough, Damien Walter showed up in the comments.

Now I suspected Damien wasn’t particularly bright, you can tell by his clumsy column writing, but I was only joking about him being the Guardian’s village idiot.  Little did I realize he was Show up on Facebook and Brag about Committing Libel dumb.

Because that thread has three hundred comments on it, I trimmed out everything before Damien showed up. The only other things I cut where the memes people posted because they don’t paste over and I’m too busy to go copy and insert the individual files. The parts where Damien incriminated himself are in bold. But really, check out the whole thing to watch Damien’s bizarre attempt at deflection through deconstructionist straw grasping.

Larry Correia Just keep calling him on his lies.


Damien Walter Libertycon sounds great. When is it?


Larry Correia Hey, Damien, how about you cite where Toni said that or you retract it and issue a public apology?


Zachary Hill Force it. Make him prove it or apologize.


Damien Walter How about you give a definition of science fiction, as you’re certain it’s a genre.


Larry Correia Okay, noun, plural genres [zhahn-ruh z; French zhahn-ruh] (Show IPA)
a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like:
the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.
Fine Arts.
paintings in which scenes of everyday life form the subject matter.
a realistic style of painting using such subject matter.
genus; kind; sort; style.
Fine Arts. of or pertaining to genre.
of or pertaining to a distinctive literary type.

According to the world’s largest book retailers and publishing houses, science fiction is a genre.

So, back to you, who started it, cite where Toni said that.


Joseph Capdepon II So I guess Mystery isn’t a genre of fiction? Romance? Horror?

You call yourself a journalist and you can’t even get the most basic and simplest of things correct in your article?


Damien Walter I said give a definition of science fiction, not of genre.


Ross K Wolfe *grabs popcorn*


Zachary Hill Well, you don’t seem to know the definition of genre, so he had to start there.


Mark Davis Jr. This is gunna be good.


Larry Correia  First thing on Google: Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a “literature of ideas”.[1] Authors commonly use science fiction as a framework to explore politics, identity, desire, morality, social structure, and other literary themes. 

Now, back to the part where you fabricated a total lie about Toni Weisskopf, cite where she said that. This isn’t some little obfuscation issue over terminology, cite where she said that or you are a liar.


Thomas Mandell Richard; Halfwit Damien probably would take one look at the guest list for LibertyCon and beg off or come up with a really assinine excuse for not goin’.


Larry Correia From Britain: 

British Dictionary definitions for science fiction Expand
science fiction
a literary genre that makes imaginative use of scientific knowledge or conjecture
(as modifier) a science fiction writer


Damien Walter What’s the scientific knowledge in Star Wars?


Larry Correia Shit, it is harder to find a definition of science fiction that doesn’t use the word genre in it.

But that is a side show. Let’s get back to the part where you lied about Toni. Provide a cite where she said that. There is nothing open to interpretation. She either said that or she didn’t.


Damien Walter Where is the scientific knowledge in Star Wars? You mean you write science fiction, but can’t define it without google? Lame.


Larry Correia Look at you playing semantic games. I don’t do the frenemies thing Damien. Cite her or you are a fucking liar. I even posted the link to her diatribe. Cite it or you are admitting to everyone that you are liar.

You did the same thing to me when you put words in quotes attributed to me which I never said.


Loopy Libertarian 

Wow, you cannot answer a direct question if your life depended on it, can you, Damien?

Larry has directly asked you, “Now, back to the part where you fabricated a total lie about Toni Weisskopf, cite where she said that.”

He did that both in his post and here.

Yet, you dodge and weave with semantics over definitions of genres.

I think that right there is an “answer” in and of itself.


Greg Ellis Star Wars is more closely related to fantasy than to true science fiction. Star Wars has virtually no science foundation upon which to base the appellation “science fiction” since it contains virtually _no_ actual “science” in its plot, storyline, or backgrounding. It’s almost pure fantasy – and fantasy is its own genre.


Damien Walter Come on Larry. You’re a scifi writer. Where is the scientific knowledge in Star Wars?


Joseph Capdepon II Before we get into ideas like faster than light travel, robots, shield technology, weapons that fire coherent light, the mecha, the fighters, etc, I want to see where Toni claims to say what you claim she said Damien, or like Larry said, you are just a fucking liar.


Damien Walter Because it’s an easy question. Any fan has discussed this a thousand times.


Mark Davis Jr. I get it, he’s talking about Star Wars not having science in it because Star Wars is fiction, just like his claims about Toni Weisskopf!


Joseph Capdepon II You write about space opera and you don’t even know what the hell space opera is do you Damien?

Star Wars is space opera. I would classify Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn series as Space Opera as well. No real hard science in it either.


Larry Correia I didn’t write a response to your opinion on Star Wars. I wrote a response to the fact you’re a liar. I’ve given you multiple dictionary definitions. Now you owe me an answer. Provide the cite.

As for Star Wars sci-fi elements (because you conveneintly leave out the part of the definition which says CONJECTURE) robots, AI, FTL, laser weapons, space ships, alien life. 

Now, that’s 3 I’ve answered. Give me the one I asked for. Provide the cite where Toni said that or demonstrate that you lied.


Damien Walter Hurrah Greg Ellis yes Star Wars is indeed a lot like fantasy! These genres aren’t so clear. So, what do you call the genre that contains both SF and Fantasy?


Larry Correia Cite where Toni said that.


Patrick Freivald So Damien, your idea of journalism is to lie about what people said, and then to literally ignore it when called on your error? Typically, when presented with facts counter to something previously stated, a journalist will issue a retraction, often with an apology.


Joseph Capdepon II Now, if you want hard sci-fi, I would recommend Stephen Baxter to you.

Hard sci-fi, space opera, military sci-fi, etc are SUB-GENRES of the GENRE of SCIENCE FICTION.


Damien Walter You haven’t answered my question at all Larry. You want to assert that science fiction is a genre. And yet you can’t even separate it from Fantasy.


Greg Ellis There’s a word for that, Damien, and a genre. But you know that already. It’s called scifi-fantasy. It’s also referred to as cross-genre fiction. However, Larry’s right. Answer his question about Toni, if you would please.


Joseph Capdepon II I think Damien has comprehension problems as Larry answered the question, but Damien doesn’t want to accept it.


Ross K Wolfe The non sequiturs continue. It’s almost as if he knows he’s a liar and a libeler.


Jason Hobbs Yesss, Finally, you two are duking it out on here!


Thomas Mandell Damien Walter: QUIT DODGING THE BLOODY QUESTION!!! Provide cites or accept the title of BLOODY FECKING LIAR!!


Larry Correia They are both genre fiction, but this is pretty obvious pathetic obfuscation. Provide a cite where Toni said that.

You are a liar and a coward. 

Genre fiction categories primarily exist so that book sellers know where to shelve things. According to the largest retailers in the world it goes fiction-scifi/fantasy- then they break down into sub genres. Whoop. None of that has anything to do with the part where you fabricated a lie about a real person, and now you will not provide a cite.

Quit trying to change the subject. You are a liar. Provide the cite or shut the fuck up.


Zachary Hill So, you refuse to offer proof and therefore admit that your a liar?


Steve Poling So, Larry Correia cites examples of serial lying, impugns the fellow’s character and says, “Correia is really mad.” The guy gets knocked around like a pinata and his defense is the passion with which his whipping was administered.


Greg Ellis Baxter and Benford are _gods_ of hard sf.


Larry Correia Of course I’m mad. I don’t like liars.


Patrick Freivald To be fair, lazy shithead wannabe journalists not fit to run a college paper will sometimes report things from secondary sources without checking the primary source, and so without actively lying they end up saying things that are outright false. When this is made apparent, they issue retractions, often with apologies.


Rob Fabian Damien won’t accept anything Larry says, just like he’ll never actually answer Larry’s question. He actually thinks he’s “winning.”


Chris Cook Come on Daimen, just admit your mouth / keyboard wrote a check you can’t cash… You figured nobody would notice, right? Dork.


Joseph Capdepon II But hey, Damien will make fun of Baen’s covers, even though Baen has sold millions upon millions of books, he will lie about what Toni and Larry said but it is all okay.

The Brits are paying him to “write” a novel. I’m sure it will check off all the boxes on the SJW checklist.


Steve Weinberg This sort of reminds me of when in FIREFLY Mal is having the duel, and the rancher remarks “my god, he thinks he’s doing well!” Except, of course Mal is awesome and Damien is… well…


Sam Cook Am I really a rarer beast than a unicorn for being a left-leaning fan of Larry Correia?


Damien Walter I read Toni’s essay when it was published, and dozens of responses to it, and re-read in writing that piece. My opinion of it was exactly as stated in my column.


Rob Fabian Translation: I CAN”T cite anything, but I have the feels…


Zachary Hill Star Wars: The potential for advanced robotics, aka Droids. Ion engines which is a real concept. Using advance machines to collect water for a better life in arid climates, Anti-gravity and its uses. I can keep going but this is already far more of an answer than the liar deserves.


Joseph Capdepon II Translation: Toni’s essay says the exact opposite of what I want it to say, so I will say it says what I want it to say so that it fits the narrative I want.


Tommy Craddock Jr You never said a word about it being your opinion Damien, you said this happened:

“issue a diatribe against any and all sci-fi that did not pander to this conservative agenda.”

Where did that happen?


Tom Walls I read Toni’s essay. Damien lied. No weasel way around it.


Joseph Capdepon II What about Eric Flint, Damien? Is he a part of the conservative agenda?


Chris Cook You would think he’s a progressive or something like that…


Zachary Hill He can’t answer with proof because he made it up.


Larry Correia Guys, screen cap this.


Patrick Freivald We’re not asking for your opinion of the piece. We’re asking for evidence that Ms. Weisskopf said what you say she said.


John Van Stry Damien, opinions are not facts. You need to apologize to Toni for what you wrote, and need to put in a retraction. If you want people to take you seriously, you must admit when you’re wrong. Otherwise you’re just another hack and a liar.


Damien Walter No, toni’s essay as a whole is a diatribe – IE one sided and biased. Every single sentence singles out those she politically disagrees with as the enemy, and her message is that for “peace” to come back to the genre they need get bak in line with the genres conservative values.


Zachary Hill As a hack historian, I know that you have to always cite your sources. Source for Damien’s accusation: Damien’s butt, Facebook, 2014.


Tom Walls Oh. Sorry. Weasels aren’t a “genre”. Or something


Dan Paddock Damien: please define right wing and present the right wing elements of Eric Flint’s personal politics.


Michael McInnis Larry cowards and liars never admit they are wrong, they simply change the subject, and try to marginalize their detractors.


Zachary Hill Damien, you’re saying what you think she said, but you have yet to cite any quotes.


Colin Collins “You haven’t answered my question at all Larry. You want to assert that science fiction is a genre. And yet you can’t even separate it from Fantasy.”

It’s alright, I can’t separate your “journalism” from fantasy either.


Rob Fabian “Every single sentence”? Really? So, if, just by chance, I COULD cite a single sentence that does not, then you’d admit to lying and retract? Didn’t think so.


Damien Walter Now let’s get back to genre Larry. You’re asserting that science fiction is a genre, but you can’t define it.


Larry Correia So Damien just said – ” I read Toni’s essay when it was published, and dozens of responses to it, and re-read in writing that piece. My opinion of it was exactly as stated in my column.” 

So you just admitted that she didn’t say that. You fabricated it. You put words in her mouth. There was nothing about pandering to right wingers.

So in your newspaper column you knowingly put fake words into the mouth of another person, thereby harming their business. 



Robert Gants Damien, we know Toni, we know what she wrote, and we know that you are an ignorant little person with an inflated view of your own importance in the universe!


Zachary Hill He defined it. Several times. Because you refuse to accept those definitions for reasons, doesn’t mean he hasn’t defined it. Not let’s get back to you being a dirt bag liar.


Tom Walls Damien,,,, Argumentum ad anus extractus,, or Argumentum ad feces fabricatum ?


Mike Phillips Damien, answer the question. I actually read her speech. It sounded more like a praising of diverse ideological. You know, because the battles that wage between


Damien Walter Still no definition of genre. If you want to hold science fiction as a genre Larry, you need to have a definition. How about literature, is that a genre?


Colin Collins Damien, define “thriller” as a genre. Is something still a “thriller” if it has a mystery?


Damien Walter The novel? Poetry? Theatre? Are those genres?


Sean Hraba As for your “militarism after 9/11″ remark Damien Walter, FUCK YOU, as a native New Yorker I find that remark offensive.


Zachary Hill He’s defined it twice already. Now give a quote and cite your evidence.


Rob Fabian Wow, Damien here is a perfect example of what Ronald Reagan was talking about so many years ago:


Ross K Wolfe Hey, Damien, define: “Liar” and “Libeler”, and explain how you are neither.


Tom Walls Somebody define “asshat”….


Larry Correia At no point did you specify in your column that it was your opinion. You fabricated something and put it out as if it was fact. You did not clarify in any way that was your opinion of Toni’s words, you portrayed it, to your audience, as if that was something which she had actually said, knowing full well that it was a lie. 

I can’t believe you were dumb enough to admit that in public. Screen capped. 

Now when Toni gets back from DragonCon we’ll have to see if she wants to sue you for libel or not. Be glad that it is her and not me, because she is far kinder.


Thomas Mandell Damien Walter quit with the semantics, admit you are a liar & libelist hack.


Keith Glass Oh, PLEASE, Damien, DO come to Libertycon. It will be an utter hoot. For us. . . .


Joseph Capdepon II Ah, because Damien doesn’t have a leg to stand on, he is going to quibble over what is a genre and what is not.


Tom Walls Game, Set . Match,..


Damien Walter There’s a long history of debate about defining science fiction. One of the long established arguments in that debate is that genre definitions don’t fit SF. So it’s hardly a new opinion.


Nicole Baston Larry , you may have to define libel for Damien he doesn’t seem to understand words.


Zachary Hill There’s a long history of people making up lies about other people to make themselves look good. Its hardly knew to people with low self esteem.


Truman Jensen I’m pretty sure libel laws are easier to win in the uk. This should be fun.


Colin Collins So, Larry says that the entire thrust of your article is based on lies and you get hung up over whether genre means genre or literary form?


Robert Sestito Wow dude is completely bat shit crazy. This is insane if Larry had a interview with Obama and completely added a information to that interview he would be liable. It’s kinda cut and dry.


Sam Cook I’m surprised that Damien Walter actually had the courage to come over to Larry Correia‘s page.


Damien Walter All newspaper columns are opinion Larry. That’s the distinction between a columnist and a reporter. I’m entirely happy with the piece, and of course you’re welcome to proceed however you wish.


Larry Correia Hey, Damien, while I’ve got you here, any chance you can explain how your quotes you misattributed to me were based upon your feelings as opposed to things I actually said? 


Keith Glass Love the bit where he tweeted that Larry would sacrifice his first-born child to the gods to destroy Damien.

I think the reality is the sacrifice of an ingrown nose-hair down the porcelain altar would be sufficient. . . .


Nora MacFie Still reading but: “And for the record, I don’t know or care what Damien’s orientation is, though I’m willing to bet when the act is over there is a lot of weeping involved. ” Burn. The burn is hotter than the sun. Back to reading.


Sam Cook We know that you’re happy with it. It’s not true, though.


Dan Paddock That’s because your a libelous loon with no moral compass.


Larry Correia Since you are hung up on definitions, 
[lahy-buh l] Spell Syllables
Examples Word Origin
defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.
the act or crime of publishing it.
a formal written declaration or statement, as one containing the allegations of a plaintiff or the grounds of a charge.
anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents.
verb (used with object), libeled, libeling or (especially British) libelled, libelling.
to publish a libel against.
to misrepresent damagingly.
to institute suit against by a libel, as in an admiralty court.

 But we’ll have to see how that opinion of yours about how everything in a newspaper is just opinion shakes out.


Steve Weinberg I can’t wait to see how his “column” (which is all “opinion” because facts are columns”) spins this thrashing he’s receiving. I wonder if it’ll be recognizable?


Steve Lewis Damien’s genre question is the attempt of a no-nothing to sound intelligent.

Nothing more. 

Could you make the point that Star Wars is, in many ways, a fantasy story that incorporates a science fiction image system, but that doesn’t negate the science fiction label. The Lensman series that Damien cites is classic science fiction and incorporates many of the same elements that Star Wars does. 

Also, Damien, yes, the novel is a genre.

novel (literature)

An invented prose narrative of considerable length and a certain complexity that…See More


Damien Walter Yes, exactly, the novel is a genre, that’s why I asked. Is literature a genre?


James Schardt Damien, I hope you aren’t shooting for a government grant for your dancing ability. Your ability to tap dance around a question you are afraid of asking is seriously lacking.


Dillis Freeman Larry, I know some excellent Queen’s Counsel and solicitors if you would like a referral. They would have fun with this.


Ivan Wolfe As I tell my writing students, Damien, opinion does not mean you can lie or ignore facts. Trying to hide under the “opinion” label to cover irresponsible claims and sloppy writing would get someone a failing grade in my class.


Colin Collins Damien, even if you do believe Toni’s article to mean what you say, it only proves that you have a complete lack of reading comprehension or are a hack.


Thomas Mandell Sam Cook; The only reason Herr Walter showed up was to get ideas and fodder for his next piece of regurgitate.


Joseph Capdepon II James Schardt, well, he did get a grant from the British government to “write” a novel…


Ray Carter Larry Correia hire a nice (at least to you, to Damien, not so much) attorney in the Land Where Great Britain Used to Be – this begins to sound like a Popehat worthy legal adventure, complete with cheddar popcorn…


Larry Correia Dillis, that would be wonderful. I leave it entirely up to Toni’s mercy. 


Joseph Capdepon II Damien never explained either how Eric Flint is a part of that conservative whatever he claims that Baen and Toni favor.


Rob Fabian Not courage, just self-promotion. By picking a fight with the eeeevil orchestrator of the Sad Puppies campaign, he makes himself the darling of the SJW brigade. Next year, he walks off with a preemptive Hugo for the novel he still hasn’t actually written…


Mark Wasko · Tom, it all makes sense now. Someone at his company told Damien he was an asshat, but he thought they said asset so he’s been doubling down on the derp ever since.


Sam Cook Do you really think he’ll finish it by then?


Rob Fabian Of course not. He’ll win it for “standing up to Larry Correia” while everyone babbles about the genius of the work he’s never actually finished.


Damien Walter Ok Larry, we’ve established you’re suing me now let’s get back to your assertion that science fiction is a genre. Define the genre, what is SF and what isn’t?


Joshua DeBoe “the novel is a genre” – do go on, please.


Rob Fabian It’s not like THAT has never happened before with a prestigious award…


Alan Kuhn Damn…….that boy certainly has sand….in his Vag that is…


Damien Walter Secondary question, is literature a genre?


Patrick Freivald I love how Damien seems to believe that being a “columnist” instead of a “reporter” means that he can make shit up without consequence and it’s all okay.

Apparently that “ethics in journalism” course didn’t take.


Sam Cook The novel is a genre of literature the way that painting is a genre of visual art.


Dan Paddock And the distortion continues…


Dan O Mac I’ve heard stuff like this before. It’s usually from a child that finds him/herself in a loop of lying and misdirection while trying to figure out an escape from their parents right before they learn how “the truth can set you free.”


Rob Fabian You know, I’m not entirely sure Damien passes the Turing test…


James Schardt Larry, unfortunately Toni 1) is far to nice to do something like that 2) probably doesn’t care enough about Damien to do anything if she weren’t.


Damien Walter Also, original question, Libertycon. Sounds great, when is it?


Chris Wilcoxson · 3 mutual friends

Damien, that you tweeted this proves you know absolutely nothing about Sci-fi.

Damien Walter on Twitter: Emotionally complex sci-fi. Does such a thing exist?

@damiengwalter @InformationHead Le Guin often focuses on a nuanced depiction of women’s lived experience which not all readers may notice.


Dillis Freeman Larry, have Toni contact me at her convenience. Would she like the head of the News of the World investigation team?  He’s expensive but loser pays in the English system. 


Joseph Capdepon II Damien is in a loop! Someone reset him!


Larry Correia Dillis, kick it over. I’m going to try and talk her into it on principle.


Colin Collins Just because one group of critical theorists have redefined the popular term “genre” to mean essentially literary form does not mean that in popular usage we have to agree. That definition may be useful for those esoteric articles that will remain unread by almost all writers and readers of popular fiction, but it is useless for anyone who lives in the real world.


Graham Bradley For Damien: Google is hard, so I did this on your behalf. The definition of “genre”:

a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

SF has similarities in form, style, and subject matter. It’s fiction that deals with science as an overt element of the construct. You’ll find subgenres under the umbrellas of hard SF and soft SF (where lots of the fun stuff comes in), but your straw-man assertion that SF is somehow not a genre does not hold water.

Furthermore your assertion that all newspaper columns are opinion and therefore your libel of Toni does not count as actual libel would undermine the worth of anything you write for a newspaper anyway.

(Not that you hadn’t already done that yourself.)


James Schardt Damien, it’s June 26-28 in Chattanooga, Tennessee


Joseph Capdepon II Really, genre labels matter for places that sell books, something Damien will never have to worry about.


Nicole Baston Wait- is he crowd sourcing Larry and his fans for their grasp of Google because he can’t be bothered to look up his own definitions?


Keith Glass Larry Correia: how about a MHN Kickstarter to fund the legal action ?


Nora MacFie Excellent fisk, as usual, Larry


Dan O Mac ^BOOM


Colin Collins Be aware Graham Bradley, that Damien has made it obvious that he doesn’t know much about science fiction forms, styles, and subject matter.


Richard D. Cartwright I think this is the time when the judge would be telling Damien to answer the question or risk contempt of court.


Graham Bradley Colin Collins, I’m starting to wonder whether he knows much about the meaning of words in general.


Keith Glass Richard D. Cartwright: he’s already gotten OUR contempt. . .


Dillis Freeman Larry, it’ll be a bit but I’ll get you contacts. I’ve actually thought of the perfect team. There have been 317 female QCs since the system was formalized. I know two and have been waiting to see them have some fun.


Mark Olivares ·Is it a genre? Is it not? For Damien, reality flows in and out of fashion like the solar winds. 


Patrick Freivald The judge would be telling Damien to answer the question, and his lawyer would be telling him to shut the hell up! Fun to watch, though.


Damien Walter oh well. Larry’s opinions on genre have dried up. Good evening people, until next time.


Thomas Mandell Welll he’s been at it for four years


Graham Bradley Let me see if I understand this…Damien learned everything he knows about solar wind from, I dunno, probably fiction…science-fiction…which isn’t a genre because…reasons, I guess…damn I’d better write this down. Can the UK government give me a grant?


Richard D. Cartwright Nicole, I am ok with educating Damien. Of course I weep for how far the British educational system has apparently fallen.


Mark Olivares · 33 mutual friends

Damien’s going back to his fifteen followers and going to complain that we were mean to him, isn’t he?


Joseph Capdepon II And we see the Damien as he flees with his tail between his legs. Later, he will write a column where he misrepresents and lies about what happened.


Mark Olivares ·The solar winds blow, like Damien’s writing.


Mark Olivares ·I have Always been a proud member of the Libertarian-Conservative-Mean Poopyhead conspiracy to undermine Sci-Fi.


Steve Lewis Damien, you seem to have a problem understanding classification systems. Labeling science fiction a genre is a bit nebulous, but the same can be said of fantasy. Most fantasy contains magic or paranormal elements, but not all. Oftentimes, the only element needed to define something as fantasy is a secondary world. 

Also, in any classification system, the higher you travel up the hierarchy the less defined things become. The broader the category, the less defined. The things you’re fixating on are first year English major minutia. You sound like a freshman on winter break trying to impress his family with all he’s learned.


Robb Kelley This is great.


Larry Correia My opinion on genre is who gives a fuck? I don’t care what genre any given book of mine is until it shows up in some on Amazon. Damien is picking at a mote in his eye as I brained him over the skull with a beam. 

But getting back to the fun part, this is the US legal definition of libel:

“Libel occurs when a false and defamatory statement is published which tends to harm a person’s reputation or expose him or her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule. It is important to remember that defamation can be in many forms, including articles, headlines, advertising, letters to the editor, sports columns, drawings, opinions, outlines, and photographs.” 

Hell, attempting to damage reputations seems to be Damien’s job description. 

So yes,opinion still counts if it is false and defamatory. Damien admits it is false, and it is obviously defamatory. This is even cooler since he’s already demonstrated a pattern of lying and fabricating quotes for authors from this publishing house.


Joseph Capdepon II Genre labels only matter to those who have books for sale. Something that Damien will probably never have to worry about.


Nora MacFie Classic deflection on DW’s part throughout this thread. It’s a tactic of the left. He’s all hung up on the genre thing and spins even when he’s proven wrong there. Doesn’t want to talk about the actual topic which is that he lied about what TW said in her post. I’ve screen capped it to use as an example of the tactic. As I say, it’s classic.



Steve Binder Wow. Just wow! Can’t believe there are really people in the world like DW.


Michael Rizzo · 4 mutual friends

I commented a couple of times on the guardian piece and included the original of Toni’s “diatribe” something Damian should have done as a responsible literary figure who knows the definition of genre. It was interesting to have casual observers have a WTF moment in regards to his reading comprehension after reading it. So long and thanks for all the fisk!


Retiqlum RetiQlum Um let’s see:

The novel, like poetry, is a form of the art known as literature.

Genre is “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.”

Also, a columnist doesn’t write opinion pieces. A column, as opposed to an editorial, is supposed to be factual. Even then an editorial is supposed to use facts to base the opinion on. Creating an opinion based on supposition would be called a work of fiction.


Sean McCune Holy Crap! That was…’gnome getting punted by Franks’ type of awesome.


Graham Bradley Can we get some NSFW tags on this hardcore pwnography?


Brian Galloway Damian’s claim that SF isn’t a genre is the first time I’ve ever heard that assertion, and I’ve been reading SF for 30+ years. Is there really a school of thought that believes that? Or is he just making that up, too?


Eric James Stone Wikipedia says science fiction is a genre:

Science fiction – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as f…See More


Thomas Mandell Brian Galloway; probably made up, or just argued among SJW’s


Eric James Stone Encyclopedia Britannica says science fiction is a genre: ” The term science fiction was popularized, if not invented, in the 1920s by one of the genre’s principal advocates, the American publisher Hugo Gernsback.”…/topic/528857/science-fiction

science fiction (literature and performance)

A form of fiction that deals principally with the impact of actual or imagined s…See More


Steven Smith Damien, language evolves. A few years ago, a meme was a transmissible unit of cultural information. Now it also means a picture with a clever caption. Your definition of genre is what I mean when I say medium.


Todd Wilkinson <set marker>……… and a full set of screen caps of the message thread up to this point. Message me if you want them Larry.


Sanford Begley I am going to run counter to those who hope Damien comes to Libertycon. While I would possibly enjoy watchjing him be made fun of I fear for the freedom of some attendees. Someone would wind up drowning him in a crapper and go to jail for it. He certainly isn’t worth it


Cameron McCurry I see that Damien is a star pupil of “Argument via attrition.” The problem is that around here, we don’t get tired.


Larry Correia  So Damien says science fiction isn’t a genre. The Encyclopedia Britannica, the entire publishing industry, and all of the world’s book retailers say that it is. Okay, glad we got that cleared up. 

But while Damien was straining at a gnat, he swallowed a camel. Even if Toni is too nice to sue, he just demonstrated to the world he is a liar, and had zero qualms about smearing someone’s character based upon his feelings rather than any objective facts. 

Now some people in the media can do that sort of thing and still have jobs, only those people are talented in a way that makes up for it. Damien has no talents. 

You know, I thought Damien was dumb. I mean really, he’s a terrible, clumsy, columnist, his points aren’t strongly made or persuasive, when they’re even rational enough to be considered a point that is, but I figured he was just run of the mill dumb. Not stupid enough to admit to criminal behavior on Facebook dumb. I was only joking about him being the Guardian’s Village Idiot. Little did I realize that I’d underestimated him.

James L Young ·Given that Baen does business in Great Britain, is there any reason Toni can’t sue under the UK’s much easier libel laws? I mean, has anyone thought about contacting a solicitor regarding this article? Not to throw a bucket of chum into an already ac…See More


Larry Correia Just sent to me by an English professor: “1. Darko Suvin. 1972. Science fiction is “a literary genre whose necessary and sufficient conditions are the presence and interaction of estrangement and cognition, and whose main formal device is an imaginative framework alternative to the author’s empirical environment.”” 

And Damien is still a liar. 


Brett Bowen So let me see if I follow.

Damien wants a definition of Sci-Fi.
Larry provides one from google as well as a definition of genre.

Then Damien wants to know what’s the scientific knowledge in Star-Wars.
Some various readers discuss futuristic scientific innivations…

Damien then contends that Larry has presented no definitions of either “genre” or “sci-fi,” and begins all over again.

Larry, et. al. attempt to move on, Damien runs away.

Cool. I think I’m all caught up now.

So, Larry Correia, allow me to express my disbelief that people like Damien actually exist. Most of the libprogs I talk to are dense, and I had just chalked this up to hyperbole. Lo and behold, Damien pops up to shows us whay it’s like to occupy the shallow end of the intellect pool.

Lin Wicklund You know, Damien has 15 whole followers!


Mark Olivares · Surprising, isn’t it, Lin? Usually, train wrecks gather more morbid curiosity…


Larry Correia From a Marxist literary scholar: . SF is distinguished by the narrative dominance of a fictional novelty (novum, innovation) validated both by being continuous with a body of already existing cognitions and by being a “mental experiment” based on cognitive logic. From Metamorphoses In Science Fiction.

Heh. Even Marxists think that scifi is a genre. 

Rod Linkous Damien, for a “college educated man” you’re a moron. Literature is the entire field of written works. It is then broken down into different genre. A novel is nothing more than a work of a certain (arbitrary) length. Frankenstein is literature, it’s also borderline horror/science fiction (GENRE). A Tale of Two Cities is literature; it is also IN THE GENRE of historical fiction. Get the idea you mouth breathing, panty wearing, pathetic excuse for a human being? As some great person once said, ignorance can be cured, stupidity is forever.


Steve Barish

 Again, I’m sorry I missed this. Seems like a great occasion for somebody (Damien) to get sued, but even if not I would think his editor and publishing team would like to know about his utter lack of journalistic ethics. Making Stuff Up is only slightly less egregious than Copying Others’ Work…(I felt the need to use expanded phrasing since Damien’s illustrious career evidently didn’t expose him to concepts more sophisticated than a six-year old’s homework). 

I wonder how The Guardian would react if it got a flood of email and letters from people who just watched Damien admit to making up statements? This is a second offense that we know of already…seems like his bosses would want to know.


Larry Correia

 Brett Bowen basically correct, but don’t forget the part where Damien admitted to being a liar. 

What you just saw was a bunch of deconstructionist nonsense and intellectual straw grasping over a quibble to avoid the actual topic of Damien Walter being a liar.




It goes on for a bunch more posts, mostly with people hoping that Toni sues the Guardian, but you get the idea. Toni probably won’t sue because she is nicer than I am, and Damien is a bug to her. Me personally, I must like stepping on bugs.


Damien left after that last post. I was told afterwards that he’d taken to Twitter, where he was telling his followers about how he’d won a debate with me. Yikes… I’ll just leave this here for people to make their own call about that.


The lesson to be taken from this exchange is this:

  1. As I asserted yesterday, Damien Walter is a liar.
  2. When the liar was dumb enough to place himself in a position to be called on his lies, he resorted to obfuscation and deconstructionist nonsense to divert the issue away from his lies.
  3. When a liar does that, don’t let them change the channel. Don’t play their semantic games. Hit them in the head with a brick. Backed into a corner, Damien fucked up and committed the ultimate pseudo-intellectual sin of telling the truth.


When his professional abilities and fundamental integrity were called into question, Damien tried to turn weasel by repeating inane diversionary questions instead. A decent human being would defend their honor. A worm tongue would try to play games. Spending much time on his stupid diversions during the exchange would have played into his hands. I prefer the brick to the face method.


But now that ship done sailed, let’s go through why Damien is extra stupid.


Science fiction is a genre. As can be seen by the above definitions pretty much everybody agrees that it is. Dictionaries, professors, publishers, book sellers, and authors consider science fiction a genre. While searching I found it harder to find a definition of science fiction anywhere that didn’t use the word genre. I started out by posting the definition of genre, because it answered his question.


I’ve got some English professors who are fans. Since they work in academia in left wing dominated universities I can’t imagine why they don’t want to come out of the closet as Larry Correia fans! They were PMing me definitions the whole time (yes, shockingly enough I actually don’t have a copy of Darko Suvin’s seminal treatise on literature on hand).They were laughing at Damien during this too because they were used to his form of pathetic word games, as that tactic was common in academia.  Here are some quotes from the PMs to shed some light on Damien’s sad little brain.


What D is trying trying to do is too pull you into the swamp that the deconstructionists love. They try to get their opponents to concede to their claim that all language is inherently indefinite. Once they get that, they can disrupt any definition or absolute meaning. The effective riposte is the one based on common sense, not theory. In short, if there was no limit to the indefinitude human communication would not be possible. So the inability to come up with exacting definitions is only a limiting theory, not a destruction of definitions, sub definitions and nuances. That language is flexible does not mean that it lacks sufficient precision for us to be able to distinguish between closely related types of similar things. It’s a despicable academic parlor trick.




The sad additional truth: that too many critics become slavish devotees of some perspectives to the point where they retain less common sense than a dim-witted cow. Damien and a lot of acadwmics fit that bill.


So in the thread we established through over half a dozen widely accepted places that science fiction is in fact a genre. Then the bit about Star Wars and how it fits the definitions of using extrapolative tropes… I’ve got no idea where that comes from, but let’s see… Besides aliens, alien planets, space ships, space stations, energy weapons, artificial moons, faster than light travel, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, cyborg limbs, robots, energy shields, stasis, walking battle mechs, holograms, escape pods, cloning, flying cars, jet packs, and Ewoks, not much.


And best of all, somebody found a tweet from 2013 where Damien himself talked about how science fiction is a genre. So he’s not only stupid, he’s forgetful. It turns out he truly is like the freshman who came home from college, trying to wow the grownups with all his exciting new knowledge, as if the fact he gleaned some bold new literary theory somehow excuses the fact that he’s a liar.


The important thing is that we have established, without question, that Damien Walter is a liar. He lied about Toni in his last column, and he has lied about me twice. He isn’t just a liar, he is an admitted liar, and an unapologetic one at that. He is someone who has proven he is willing to defame in order to further an agenda. Whenever Damien’s name pops up in any conversation, he needs to be branded with the word. He needs to wear it like a scarlet letter. Well, he’s already got an L on his forehead but I’m pretty sure that’s for Loser, but we need to make sure that other one sticks.


Damien Walter is a liar.




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,881 other followers