Monster Hunter Siege, now available in paperback

Monster Hunter Siege is now available in mass market paperback.

GO BIG OR GO HOME

When Monster Hunter International’s top hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, was given a tip about some hunters who had gone missing in action, he didn’t realize their rescue mission would snowball into the single biggest operation in MHI’s history. Their men are being held prisoner in a horrific nightmare dimension, and the only way to reach them is through the radioactive ruins of a monster-infested war zone.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s also the home base of the powerful creature behind the devastating attacks on the Last Dragon and Copper Lake. It turns out ancient gods of chaos really hate trespassers. But this god picked a fight with the wrong crew, and now MHI wants payback. Calling on their allies, a massive expedition is formed, and with the odds stacked against them, a legion of hunters goes to war.

It’s D-Day at the City of Monsters.

Today’s Audible Daily Deal is The Monster Hunter Files, featuring me, Jim Butcher, Faith Hunter, Jonathan Maberry, and More

Today’s Audible Daily Deal is The Monster Hunter Files, featuring me, Jim Butcher, Faith Hunter, Jonathan Maberry, and a whole bunch of other awesome authors writing stories set in the Monster Hunter universe.

And it’s on sale today only.

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Monster-Hunter-Files-Audiobook/B074VHGZC4?ref=a_home-page_c10_dd&pf_rd_p=d1b9e3ed-79ce-46d6-a14a-f07910c32f57&pf_rd_r=4KGKAB5BDF0RZ807S2KH&

eARC for Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints AVAILABLE NOW!

The eARC for Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints is available now:

http://www.baen.com/monster-hunter-memoirs-saints-earc.html

Saints is the last of the memoirs trilogy written by me and John Ringo.

For those of you who don’t know what an eARC is, it stands for Electronic Advanced Reader Copy. These are the early versions of the manuscript, not fully edited, which get sent out to the reviewers. Baen, being buffed capitalists, understand that fans will pay to get a book early so they make their eARCs available for sale to you guys. (How many people like eARCs? Let’s put it this way. I earned out my advance for Nemesis on eARC sales alone. Because capitalism makes you ripped!).

eARCs aren’t fully edited, so you even get to see all the typos we turn in. Some eARCs or more polished than others, and there are long running jokes about scenes like “insert explosions here”. But honestly, of all my books so far there has never been a major change between the eARC and the final. Other than copy editing, that’s pretty much it.

If you read the eARC, stop by the Monster Hunter International, Hunters Unite page on Facebook, where there is a spoiler filled discussion thread. From the reviews so far, people are loving this one.

The official release date for the actual book is July 3rd.

Fisking the New Yorker in Defense of Delicious Chicken

The New Yorker magazine is always smug and pretentious, but this is special even by their standards. They took a brief break from ranting about Trump and all those dumb, inferior, red state hicks who voted for him, to instead rant about fried chicken and all those dumb, inferior, red state hicks who like it. Also, capitalism and religion are bad, because why not?

This article is particularly breathless and freaked out. I recommend reading the actual article once by itself, just to absorb the full effect.

Personally I only eat Chik-fil-A’s delicious Hate Chicken like once or twice a year, so it’s not like I’m a big fan, but as a capitalist 1%er, red state, chicken eating, cow expert, I am compelled to fisk this bit of literary brilliance. As usual the original will be in italics, my comments will be in bold.

From: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-gastronomy/chick-fil-as-creepy-infiltration-of-new-york-city

 

Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City

By Dan Piepenbring

April 13, 2018

 

During a recent lunch hour, I was alone on the rooftop of the largest Chick-fil-A in the world.

Dan was perched atop a gargoyle, like Batman.

The restaurant, on Fulton Street, is the company’s fourth in Manhattan, and it opened last month to the kind of slick, corporate-friendly fanfare that can only greet a new chain location.

Either that contradicts the headline or Dan doesn’t know what the word “infiltration” means.

The first hundred customers had participated in a scavenger hunt around the financial district. At an awards ceremony, the management honored them with a year’s supply of free chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. There were no such prizes on offer when I visited,

I’m betting that’s the real reason Dan was so butt hurt.

but from the fifth-floor terrace—on the top floor of the restaurant, which is twelve thousand square feet—

Having a place to sit while you eat your lunch is so bourgeoisie.

I could see that the line to get inside stretched almost to the end of the block. An employee took orders on a touch screen and corralled people through the doors.

Corralled? Here, let me bash you in the teeth with my +3 Bat of Subtlety.  

The air smelled fried.

I’m betting that line sounded way cooler in your head, but they don’t FRY AIR, Dan.

New York has taken to Chick-fil-A.

HOW DARE THEY?!?

One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city.

Keep in mind, New York City has 26,000 restaurants in it. If you ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a different place every single day, you’d never be able to try them all because by the time you cycled through, there would be a bunch of new ones in business. Plus you’d weigh 800 pounds and need a livestock hoist to get out of bed. (but that’s what delivery is for, quitter!)

I have to travel to New York a lot for my job. The food is the best part of those trips. For my fellow red state hillbilly vagabonds who’ve not been to the food capitol of the world, there are restaurants everywhere. There are restaurants within restaurants. There are secret burger places literally hidden inside hotel lobbies (behind curtains!). And that’s not even getting into the 8000(!) food trucks and carts. So they have sidewalk food in front of their food.

And it’s all pretty damned good, because there’s so much competition that if one sucks and goes out of business, there’s a hundred others lined up to take their place.

I’m just throwing those numbers out there to put into perspective what a whiny little bitch Dan really is to freak out over a few chicken places.

And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism.

Dan thinks Neil DeGrasse Tyson is too religious.

Its headquarters, in Atlanta,

Atlanta is in the SOUTH! AND THEY OWNED SLAVES!

are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet.

Yep, because that whole thing where the Master Humbly Serves is very un-New Yorker. Dan has no time for your egalitarian nonsense! After working hours the help should go back to New Jersey where they belong!

Its stores close on Sundays.

This complaint always makes me laugh. I constantly see snooty progs toss that out there, like being closed on Sunday is soooooooo silly. How quaint. How prosaic. You know what else shuts down on Sunday? London and Paris.  Seriously, they turn into ghost towns and most of the shops and restaurants are closed. Damn those ultra-Christian redneck Europeans!

Its C.E.O., Dan Cathy, has been accused of bigotry for using the company’s charitable wing to fund anti-gay causes, including groups that oppose same-sex marriage. “We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation,” he once said, “when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ ” The company has since reaffirmed its intention to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect,” but it has quietly continued to donate to anti-L.G.B.T. groups.

How dare some guy who owns a business have his own opinion about something? Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, most people don’t run background checks on the owners of every establishment we frequent to make sure their beliefs are in lockstep compliance with our own.

But this argument has been flogged to death a million times. Whatever your position is on gay marriage, I don’t care what anybody does as long as they stay off my lawn. Instead I want to concentrate on what a giant flaming asshole Dan is.

When the first stand-alone New York location opened, in 2015, a throng of protesters appeared. When a location opened in a Queens mall, in 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a boycott. No such controversy greeted the opening of this newest outpost.

That’s because the left has Protest Fatigue. You guys protest EVERYTHING. All that perpetual outrage has got to be wearying.

Chick-fil-A’s success here is a marketing coup. Its expansion raises questions about what we expect from our fast food, and to what extent a corporation can join a community.

I think most people just expect their fast food to be fast, tasty, and delivered with decent service.

But not the New Yorker. “Would you like fries with that?” “NO I WOULD LIKE RIGOROUS IDEOLOGICAL PURITY!” “Okay, should I make that a combo?”

I noticed that word—community—scattered everywhere in the Fulton Street restaurant. A shelf of children’s books bears a plaque testifying to “our love for this local community.” The tables are made of reclaimed wood, which creates, according to a Chick-fil-A press release, “an inviting space to build community.” A blackboard with the header “Our Community” displays a chalk drawing of the city skyline.

Community is only a cool marketing buzzword when leftists use it, like “Community Organizer”.

Outside, you can glimpse an earlier iteration of that skyline on the building’s façade, which, with two tall, imperious rectangles jutting out, “gives a subtle impression of the Twin Towers.”

Now, I’m not saying Dan is an unreliable narrator, but the way he sticks the words subtle impression in scare quotes makes me wonder if it is actually supposed to be the World Trade Center, or is he flipping out about a couple of rectangles?

But even if it is the towers… So?

This emphasis on community, especially in the misguided nod to 9/11, suggests an ulterior motive.

Oh, okay. Dan was looping back around to his weak ass Infiltration angle. Because only a True New Yorker could appreciate what happened on 9/11, none of the employees or loyal customers of Chick-Fil-A in New York are New Yorkers, New York isn’t in America, the rest of the country felt no effects, and hasn’t been at war for the last couple of decades. Gotcha.

But I’m still guessing he’s flipping out over some abstract rectangles.

The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words “to glorify God,” and that proselytism thrums below the surface of the Fulton Street restaurant, which has the ersatz homespun ambiance of a megachurch.

Declares a guy who I’m betting has like totally frequented a bunch of megachurches.  

David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice-president of restaurant experience, told BuzzFeed that he strives for a “pit crew efficiency, but where you feel like you just got hugged in the process.” That contradiction, industrial but claustral,

That isn’t a contradiction, you dope. That’s Customer Service 101.

You can always spot a New Yorker writer because they try to use $10 words to try and sound smarter than they are. I’m an award winning, New York Times bestselling novelist, and I had to go look up the word claustral. (You know someone’s trying too hard when MS Word’s spell check doesn’t even recognize it)

It just means relating to a cloister, so Dan is once again desperately reaching for that religious fanatic angle.

is at the heart of the new restaurant—and of Chick-fil-A’s entire brand. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Cows.

DUN DUN DUN!

It’s impossible to overstate the role of the Cows—in official communiqués, they always take a capital “C”—that are displayed in framed portraits throughout the Fulton Street location.

Newsflash, moron, the Cow posters are in all their locations. It’s part of their brand.

If the restaurant is a megachurch,

It’s really not even vaguely close.

the Cows are its ultimate evangelists.

Holsteins are known for their devout nature.

Since their introduction in the mid-nineties—when they began advising Atlanta motorists to “eat mor chikin”—

That’s New Yorker Speak for “they put up a billboard.”

they’ve remained one of the most popular, and most morbid, advertising campaigns in fast-food history, crucial to Chick-fil-A’s corporate culture.

Where Dan thinks morbid, most folks just think they’re funny. But I suppose that’s what we get for not being humorless, finger-shaking scolds.

  1. Truett Cathy, the chain’s founder and Dan Cathy’s late father, saw them as a tool to spread the gospel of chicken.

There he goes with the religious overtones again. If I was Dan’s editor, I would smack him upside the head and say “Subtlety, motherfucker! DO YOU SPEAK IT?” Seriously, progs. Turn it down a notch. You’d do a lot better if you didn’t sound like hyperbolic assclowns all the time.

In his Christian business book “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People,” from 2002, he recalls crashing a child’s party at a Chick-fil-A in Hampton, Georgia.

He literally “crashed” a kid’s birthday party? I bet he was looking for homosexuals to terrorize.

Brandishing a plush Cow toy before the birthday girl, he asked her, “What do the Cows say?”

She looked at me, puzzled. (Remember, she was barely three.)

“What do the Cows say?” I repeated.

“Moo,” she replied.

Everyone laughed at her pretty good answer, and I gave her a Cow and a hug and whispered the real answer to her. Then I turned to her mother and asked, “What do the Cows say?”

“Eat more chicken!” her mother cried . . . then, one by one, each person quoted the Cows and laughed.

The ironic thing here is a dude who probably faps to Whole Foods ads for cruelty free kale is super upset that somebody else came up with a successful advertising slogan.

Cathy died a billionaire, in 2014, but the “eat mor chikin” mantra has survived.

He made a billion dollars off it, and you’re shocked it’s still in use? For reals? This shit right here once again illustrates why it isn’t fair that in college us business majors have to take a bunch of liberal arts classes, but the social justice majors don’t have to take any business classes.

Though the Cows have never bothered to improve their spelling,

That’s kind of the joke, moron.

 franchises still hold an annual Cow Appreciation Day, offering free food to anyone dressed as a Cow. Employees dance around in Cow suits. The company’s advertising manager doubles as its “Cow czar.” The Cows have their own calendar. (This year’s theme is “Steers of Yesteryear.”)

They’ve been inducted into the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame,

Which is in New York.

and their Facebook following is approaching seven figures.

Which would explain why they do it.

Stan Richards, who heads the ad agency that created the Cows, the Richards Group, likened them to “a guerrilla insurgency” in his book, “The Peaceable Kingdom”: “One consumer wrote to tell us the campaign was so effective that every time he sees a field of cows he thinks of chicken. We co-opted an entire species.”

It’s like Dan’s sense of humor was surgically removed.

It’s worth asking why Americans fell in love with an ad in which one farm animal begs us to kill another in its place.

Because it’s funny.

No really, cows are an inherently absurd animal. I should know, I spent years milking the damned things. They’re silly looking, but they’re also kind of shifty, so the idea of them sabotaging dumb chickens to get eaten instead is hilarious.  The first time I saw a Chick-fil-A billboard was in Alabama in the 1996. I’d never heard of the place, but as a son of dairy farmers, it made me laugh, so I stopped and got a picture to send to my folks.

But I wouldn’t trust the New Yorker’s opinion on humor, just browse through their crappy cartoons sometime and see what I mean. 

Most restaurants take pains to distance themselves from the brutalities of the slaughterhouse; Chick-fil-A invites us to go along with the Cows’ Schadenfreude.

At this point I’m pretty sure Dan is just a pen name for Lisa from the Simpsons.

In the portraits at the Fulton Street restaurant, the Cows visit various New York landmarks. They’re in Central Park, where “eat mor chikin” has been mowed into the lawn. They’re glimpsing the Manhattan Bridge from Dumbo, where they’ve modified a stop sign: “stop eatin burgrz.” They’re on the subway, where the advertisements . . . you get the picture. The joke is that the Cows are out of place in New York—a winking acknowledgment that Chick-fil-A, too, does not quite belong here.

Well, of course they don’t belong in the city, they’re cows. That would be silly.

Here’s a true story that illustrates the sheltered mindset of Dan’s social group. One time I was at a publishing industry party in Manhattan. Being the one token wild red state barbarian, we were discussing what living in the country is like. (for the record, these people think Danbury Connecticut is The Country).

I offhandedly mentioned that my home county has more cows than people. This woman incredulously asked “what do you do with all their waste?”

“Huh?”

“How does it get to the sewer system?”

I just kind of stared at her blankly. “Uh… They poop on the ground.”

Shock. Absolute shock. And then I’m trying to explain to a bunch of people who live somewhere entirely paved where soil comes from.

Now don’t hate on New Yorkers. Most New Yorkers are wonderful people, but the Snooty Manhattan Pseudo-Intellectual Cocktail Party Class who write for rags like the New Yorker are the most clueless, sheltered, naïve, and privileged know it alls you’ll ever meet. They rarely interact with anyone who thinks or believes different than they do. They work with people who think the same, went to school with people who think the same, but consider themselves worldy because their last cabby was from Bangladesh.

Regular New Yorkers don’t like these people much either, and just want to eat their fried chicken in peace.

Its arrival in the city augurs worse than a load of manure on the F train.

Again with the trying too hard to get the vocabulary gold star, that’s not what “augurs” means either. It was from Romans doing stuff like looking at birds to divine the will of the gods. Besides, there’s already a train full of shit every time Dan commutes. 

According to a report by the Center for an Urban Future, the number of chain restaurants in New York has doubled since 2008, crowding out diners and greasy spoons for whom the rent is too dear.

Beware anytime a liberal starts tossing out stats without using any numbers. Yes, the number of chain restaurants has gone up since then, because the number to start with was extremely low. Chain restaurants represent only 13% of New York’s 26,000 restaurants.  https://ny.eater.com/2017/11/6/16612300/chain-restaurant-growth-nyc-report

So you’ll fucking live, Dan.

Also, whose fault is it the rent is so damned high? In the most competitive foodie city in the world, if a diner or greasy spoon goes under, there was probably a reason.

Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, is set to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the nation, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Good for them. A big part of that growth was probably because every time some angsty asshole like Dan throws a temper tantrum about them, another regular American eats there out of spite… and discovers the chicken is actually pretty good.

No matter how well such restaurants integrate into the “community,” they still venerate a deadening uniformity.

This statement is particularly ironic considering how much Dan’s community demands deadening uniformity.

Homogeneous food is comfort food, and chains know that their primary appeal is palliative.

Duh. That’s why people eat at chains. They know what they’re going to get, so there isn’t an element of risk. The flavor and quality will be fairly consistent from location to location. Me personally, I travel a lot and like trying weird new things and hole in the wall places. Other people don’t, they’re not adventurous eaters. That should be fine. It’s their choice.

Now ask yourself, what kind of bully asshole jerkface scumbag would be angry that people’s tastes are wrong? And this fucker has the gall to complain about uniformity?

Fuck you, Dan. Let your fellow New Yorkers enjoy their chicken. You’ve got thousands of other places to choose from.

Oh, and by the way, your editor should suck start a shot gun, because you’re using palliative wrong too. It’s an adjective for medical care that relieves pain without fixing the underlying condition, and liking comfort food isn’t a medical condition, you sanctimonious twit.

With ad after ad, and storefront after storefront, they have the resources to show that they’ve always been here for us, and recent trends indicate that we prefer them over anything new or untested.

So? The thing about taste is that by definition it can’t be wrong. It’s what that person wants to eat. You fuckers are all about choice until the nanosecond somebody choses different than you. 

 

VIDEO FROM THE NEW YORKER

 

To hell with your video too, New Yorker.

 

How to Write a New Yorker Cartoon Caption: Adam Scott Edition

Nobody in the history of the world has ever found a New Yorker cartoon funny. They just pretend to laugh so people like Dan don’t yell at them.

 

Defenders of Chick-fil-A point out that the company donates thousands of pounds of food to New York Common Pantry, and that its expansion creates jobs.

Those monsters!

The more fatalistic will add that hypocrisy is baked, or fried, into every consumer experience—that unbridled corporate power makes it impossible to bring your wallet in line with your morals.

Says the asshole who got paid for this nonsense. Actually, as a real professional writer, I pray that Dan is just an unpaid intern, or that he got paid in “exposure”, or something for this dreck. 

Still, there’s something especially distasteful about Chick-fil-A,

Well, as long as the chicken isn’t distasteful, America don’t give a fuck.

which has sought to portray itself as better than other fast food: cleaner, gentler, and more ethical, with its poultry slightly healthier than the mystery meat of burgers.

Burgers are made of cows, Dan. There, I solved that mystery for you.

Its politics, its décor, and its commercial-evangelical messaging are inflected with this suburban piety.

Of course, in addition to religion, capitalism, and freedom, Dan also hates the suburbs. Because what kind of horrible human being would want to have a small bit of personal space, and not be crowded into a tiny, rat infested apartment building with a bunch of other snooty liberals up in your business? 

A representative of the Richards Group once told Adweek, “People root for the low-status character, and the Cows are low status. They’re the underdog.” That may have been true in 1995, when Chick-fil-A was a lowly mall brand struggling to find its footing against the burger juggernauts.

Moronic articles like this have done more for Chick-fil-A’s business than the Cows. They’re seen as an underdog? Gee whiz, I wonder why? This chicken place get attacked constantly by the despised and untrusted media as being evil religious nutjobs, and then the media is shocked that regular Americans root for them?

How fucking tone deaf do these people have to be to not realize they’re the cause? Up above, Dan was sad there were insufficient protests against a CHICKEN RESTAURANT. A bunch of elitist pricks call for boycotts and protests against a chicken restaurant. THAT IS WHAT MAKES US ROOT FOR THEM. America loves underdogs, but we also hate bullies.

Today, the Cows’ “guerrilla insurgency” is more of a carpet bombing.

And fellow New Yorker Gersh Kuntzman got PTSD from shooting an AR-15.

New Yorkers are under no obligation to repeat what they say. Enough, we can tell them. NO MOR.

But if you tell them NO MOR, you would literally be repeating what they say. Man, you fucking suck at this writing thing. Just stop… Go get a job at Subway or something.

I often see people describe rags like the New Yorker as “intellectual”, and then they lament how America is “anti-intellectual.” No. America isn’t anti-intellectual. The problem fucking halfwits assigning themselves a title they don’t deserve. There was nothing intellectual about this. There was no deep thinking. This was some dude having a public hate boner against a chicken restaurant in proxy for his unresolved issues.

And now I think I’m going to go get some chicken for lunch. The spite makes it taste better.

April Update

First off, forgive the lack of blogging. It has been nuts. So here is a brief update so that you guys know I’m still alive.

Book Stuff

House of Assassins has been turned in to Baen.

I’m currently working on Monster Hunter Guardian.

I have another project I’m working on that I’ll be able to announce soon. I’m editing an anthology with someone else, and as soon as we get our last couple of contracts back from the authors, I’ll be able to talk about it and say who is in it.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints is out July 3rd.

Target Rich Environment is out September 4th.

Misc. Other Stuff

Now this is why I’ve not been blogging!

Back in February I hurt my elbow lifting weights. I’ve been having to go to physical therapy. It’s getting better, but what a time suck!

We have started excavation on Yard Moose Mountain. It is a gigantic project.  It is also a time suck because when you are developing a piece of property there are lots of little crises that pop up. You’ve got to deal with a bunch of different state and county agencies, and irrigation districts. You’ve got to jump through hoops. There’s meetings with contractors and the bank. There is SO MUCH STUFF.

And last week our Ford Expedition died, so we’ve been vehicle shopping. Right now we’re trying to decide what to get. The limiting factors being that I need something that can haul my exceedingly tall family around in, 4WD, and I like to buy cars outright. (too many years as an accountant dealing with depreciation and interest to like making payments).

Then we are also car shopping, because Correia 2.1 will be leaving for college soon, and we’re sending her off with my old beater car. But I don’t really want to get anything too nice to replace it, because 2.2 will be leaving a couple of years after that.

Appearances

This year I’ll be at Origins, GenCon, Salt Lake ComicCon, and LibertyCon.