A Blow has been Struck Against Puppy Related Sadness

Thanks to the Monster Hunter Nation and other caring individuals a great victory was struck today in the war against the scourge that is Puppy Related Sadness!


Warbound is a finalist for the Best Novel Hugo.

Almost the entire rest of the Sad Puppy 2 slate has been nominated. It turned out that my nomination for graphic work was not eligble. And Marko Kloos was actually nominated for the Campbell, but turned out to be inelgiable because he had a pro sale in 2011. Take those into account, I think we missed like a single category.

Already there is all sorts of outragey outrage coming from the usual suspects, with allegations of, I kid you not, “ballot stuffing” :D For everyone who has been involved in this process, you know how especially ironic and hilarious that actually is, since behind the scenes I’ve been collecting counts of Sad Puppies nominators the whole time to see if the process was rigged because there have been some really suspicious things that have happened in the past to other author friends of mine. Can’t help myself. I’m a retired auditor. But the London committee appears to be totally honest. Great.

(though the Guardian, in England, just happens to run an article mentioning me for the first time ever, making up crap about something I said 4 months ago, the day before LonCon, which also happens to be in England, has all the votes squared away enough to contact the nominees… Yeah… A suspicious person might think there could be a bit of a leak somewhere).

I look forward to the next few months of nonstop character assassination.

For the new visitors coming over from various outraged SJW’s twitter feeds to see just how hate mongery I am, here’s the short version. My side has been saying for years that the Hugos are just a popularity contest for one small clique of fandom. But we got dismissed with Oh, no, you bitter right wing cranks, you’re just not *real* writers. But hang on a second, noble Social Justice Warrior, guys like me are actually popular out in the real world and sell more books, and anybody can vote, they just need to pony up a little cash to join WorldCon, so let’s just check and see if it is actually a popularity contest… Yep…So, point proven.

As for ballot stuffing or making up fake noms? Nope. Just like people like me sell more books than the cause of the day literati twaddle pushers, we also have more fans. We’ve just never been this blatant about asking before. My fan’s $40 is the same as your approved fan’s $40. Deal with it.

So, when pepole who are on the approved list ask their fans for votes, that’s cool. When outsider barbarians ask their fans for votes, that’s ballot stuffing. What they’re actually saying is that the WRONG kind of fans are voting in their fan popularity contest, and that is simply an outrage.

However, now that I’ve proven a popular author can simply ask… I’m a relative nobody compared to some of the other authors who are sick and tired of being told they’re not *real* authors by their self appointed betters and legions of poo flinging monkeys.

I’ve got to keep this blog post short. I just barely walked in the door from ComicCon. I’m totally exhausted. I was on 9 panels, 2 signings, shook I don’t know how many hundreds of hands, talked to fans nonstop, and got to meet or hang out with lots of famous people. Nathan Fillion is a really nice guy in person. Julie Benz is great. Karl Urban is cool.

And best of all, I got to hang out with Adam Baldwin for a few hours, and last night my wife and I went out to dinner with him. (btw, Valters? Best restaurant in town. Amazing food). I told Adam my original idea for my Official Hugo Nomination Acceptance Speech, but he talked me down. This is way nicer than what I told him last night. :)

I was given the list at the end of one of my panels today. Other than WOT and Brandon, I actually don’t remember who I’m up against. Hang on.

·Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
- Haven’t read it. No idea.

·Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK)
- Haven’t read it. No idea. Heard of him, haven’t read his stuff.

·Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
- Haven’t read it. Mira is Seanann McGuire’s pen name. I’ve met her at WorldCon Reno and we got along fine.

·Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books)
- I hear it is pretty good. (okay, honestly, this series has already won 2 Audies, done well all over the world, and sold good, I’m fully not expecting most of the WorldCon voters to actually read it. It is way easier to just read the Guardian or blogs to find out that the author is the International Lord of Hate) :)

·The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books)
- Well… Hmmm… Brandon is a peer and a friend. He’s also one of the best novelists of our generation. Robert Jordan was one of the most successful authors in history. This is the biggest fantasy series of the last three decades.

So, Warbound vs. Wheel of Time. Let’s take a look at the tape.
The last book of a trilogy vs. an entire 14 book series
434 pages vs. 11,916 pages
135,000 words vs. 4.4 million words
Warbound was written in 4 months. WoT was written over 24 years.

Well, on that note, Warbound is a capable heavy weight boxer. Wheel of Time is Godzilla.

So thanks Monster Hunter Nation. Puppies everywhere rejoice!

Now I’m going to go pass out. :)

I’m at SLC ComicCon FanX for the next few days

I’m a guest at FanX for the next few days. http://saltlakecomiccon.com/

Since our last ComicCon was such a huge success we’ve got all the guests. If you can think of a celebrity from sci-fi, they might be there. I get to hang out with Adam Baldwin somewhere other than arguing with people on Twitter. I’ll also admit, I’m going to go all fanboy and try to get my picture taken with Nathan Fillion and Karl Urban. Then I need to see if Edward James Olmos really looks like a thinner version of my dad.

Here are my panels, though I’ve been told that there have been some changes from the draft that is posted online. There is a free ap you can download online too.
12-1 What Inspires Writers
6-7 Vader to Voldermort to Loki, Writers discuss writing bad guys
7-8 How not to be a Red Shirt author: Veteran authors talk about making writing a career.

10-11 Brainstorming for Writers and Artists
12-1 Writing Humor
7-8 RPGs and Writing: How to turn your games into books

2-3 Writing Action Sequences – (i.e. the Larry show)
3-4 Amping up your novel or screenplay with killer characters
5-6 Genre Blending: Mixing and Matching leads to innovative ideas

Larry F. Correia, International Lord of Hate

So I got slandered in the Guardian last Friday. I would have responded sooner, but I don’t normally blog on weekends, and yesterday was the highly successful Book Bombing of John C. Wright’s latest book. We got him into the 200s overall, #2 on three different bestseller list, onto the Movers and Shakers list, and the top of Hot New Releases. Side note, it is kind of funny how I’m not a *real* writer, yet I somehow manage to routinely manipulate the sales rankings of the world’s biggest online book seller once a month for my friends. Go figure.

Anyways, my name showed up as the poster child for hate mongery and villainy in the Guardian (a liberal tabloid that passes for a major newspaper in Britain). I’ve been in a lot of American news things but this was a first for me, so on Friday afternoon I had to discuss with my fans on Facebook what I should put on my new business cards. We finally decided on Larry F. Correia, International Lord of Hate. Almost went with The Hatemaster because of the 70’s super villain vibe, but that looks too much like The Hamster when you’re reading fast.

So here is the article written by Damian Walter. It turns out that Tom Kratman knew him back when Asimov’s had a forum, and remembered him as a shrill little libprog, and that if Damian was at the Guardian a village somewhere in England was missing their idiot.

Somebody else told me that Damian is an “aspiring” author, and that he’d recently been given a grant by the British government to write a novel. I have no idea if this is true, and don’t care enough to look it up, but man, if it is… your government actually pays people to write novels? BWA HA HA HAW! Holy shit. As an actual novelist, that’s funny. And I thought my government was stupid.

Unlike Damian, I’m not a huge pussy, so I will include the link to the thing that I’m about to insult. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/11/science-fiction-needs-to-reflect-queer-fluid-gender-identity

As usual, the article is in italics, my comments are in bold.

Science Fiction Needs to Reflect that the Future is Queer

You’re probably thinking, oh, not this shit again. Don’t worry. I’m not going to fisk the whole thing. I’m skipping the first few paragraphs. It is just more of the usual whiny ass demands for more message fic catering to Special Topic of the Day X. Tomorrow the X will be different, but the lectures will be exactly the same.

Though you should read it for tidbits like how male gamers play female characters in video games because they are curious about gender roles… Uh huh… And not because if you’re going to be staring at your character’s ass in Skyrim for 200 hours, it might as well be an attractive ass. The new Tomb Raider spent millions of dollars to perfect 3D boob jiggle for the next generation consoles because male gamers really want to hear Laura Croft’s feelings about the dangers of cismale patriarchy.

All of the other dumb shit he threw out there has been taken apart by other authors already:

Dave goes through why gender roles actually exist for things beyond hurting Damian’s delicate lilac scented feelings: http://madgeniusclub.com/2014/04/14/cow-manure-and-truth/ (and this one is especially good, because as he talks about punching cows. That back breaking, filthy, dangerous job is how I grew up. No wonder every other job in my life has seemed easy in comparison. I must have “privilege”)

Sarah explains how Damian having to cut his hair isn’t the worst thing to ever happen, while trying to steal my title of International Lord of Hate: http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/04/13/i-need-a-secret-lair-and-minions-and-piranhas/

And while the libprogs are tring to poison the awards well against other conservative writers, Amanda explains the modern literati libprog’s concept of fairness: http://madgeniusclub.com/2014/04/15/so-much-for-fairness/

I just want to focus on the part where he comes after me.

When author and historian Alex Dally Macfarlane made a call earlier this year for a vision of post-binary gender in SF, her intelligent argument was met with predictably intractable ignorance from conservative sci-fi fans.

First off, it wasn’t intelligent at all. It was a petulant demand for authors to end the default of binary gender in their fiction, and how she never wanted to see the default of binary gender again. Please, go ahead and read it. Don’t take my word for it.

For writers and fans like Larry Correia, whose virulent attack on MacFarlane

Interesting… Notice how Damian doesn’t ever link to what I actually said and never uses any actual quotes from me. Here is my “virulent attack”. If you’ve not read it yet, read it for yourself and decide if it matches anything Damian goes on to accuse me of: http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/28/ending-binary-gender-in-fiction-or-how-to-murder-your-writing-career/

was excellently dissected by Jim C Hines, sex is a biological imperative and the idea of gender as a social construct is a damn liberal lie!

If Jim’s pathetic slap fight attempt at taking me down strikes you as “excellently dissected” I’d hate to live in your sad little Everybody Gets a Trophy world. It was more of an attempted playground hair pulling, so then I responded by metaphorically knocking his fucking teeth in. Here is an actual dissection of excellence, where I take Jim Hines out and kick him around like a soccer ball. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/29/5687/

Unlike Damian, I don’t need to put words in people’s mouths. Libprogs want conservatives to be silent. Conservatives want libprogs to keep talking so the world can see just how full of shit they are. The links are all there. Judge for yourself.

There are so many distortions that I can’t even take this line by line, I’ve been forced to responding to fragments.

But Correia boils it down to a much simpler argument.

Not even close. None of what he goes on to say is even close to my argument, which was story first, message fic WAY later.

However accurate a queer future might be,

Uh… Wow… No. I never made that argument either. First, “however accurate a queer future might be” – Nope. Whatever sexuality floats your boat, it is no skin off my nose, but only about 2% of the population is gay, so I definitely don’t think it is accurate that we are going to have a queer future, or that mankind is going to ever end the default of binary gender.

That’s just wishful thinking on Damian’s part. Even if Earth went full Sparta in the future, most of us would still think that Damian is a pussy. As for the future, western nations have become more forgiving of homosexuality, true, but once again, while a libprog is quick to lecture us all on white privilege, their usual soft racism overlooks the rest of the world, where cultures that despise and persecute homosexuals are common. I would assume that those cultures have a future too. Demographically those cultures are making babies and growing while the permissive euro-socialists have quit having kids. Yes, I’m sure in the future the Space Caliphate is just going to love it some gay folks.

SF authors must continue to pander to the bigotry of conservative readers if they want to be “commercial”.

So that was my argument? Hmm… Interesting. Since Damon couldn’t be bothered to link to my actual article or use any quotes from me except for the ones he made up, let’s take a look at some of the things that I really said in the article:

“Now, before we continue I need to establish something about my personal writing philosophy. Science Fiction is SPECULATIVE FICTION. That means we can make up all sorts of crazy stuff and we can twist existing reality to do interesting new things in order to tell the story we want to tell. I’m not against having a story where there are sexes other than male and female or neuters or schmes or hirs or WTF ever or that they flip back and forth or shit… robot sex. Hell, I don’t know. Write whatever tells your story.

But the important thing there is STORY. Not the cause of the day. STORY.

Because readers buy STORIES they enjoy and when readers buy our stuff, authors GET PAID.”

Hmm… Write whatever tells your story… That sure sounds like me telling people to not write about gay people to satisfy conservative bigotry. Let’s see what other vile hate speech I spewed in those articles he was too chicken shit to link:

“Robert Heinlein had stories where technology allowed switching sex. Great. That’s actually a pretty normal sci-fi trope where in the future, there’s some tech that allows people to change shape/sex, whatever, and we’ve got grandmasters of sci-fi who have pulled off humans evolving into psychic space dolphins or beings of pure energy. If that fits into the story you want to tell and you want to explore that, awesome for you. I’ve read plenty of stories where that was part of that universe. If your space whales that live inside the sun have three sexes, awesome (that one was my novella push on Sad Puppies 1).”

Yeah. Wow. There I go again… Could it be that it is the libprog Social Justice Warriors who are bossing people around and trying to push conformist group think, and that they suffer from projection issues? Naw… That’s impossible. Let’s keep going, surely this simple idea that I boiled it all down to can be found in there somewhere!

You want a truth bomb? Readers hate being preached at. Period. Even when you agree with the message, if it is ham fisted and shoved in your face, it turns you off. Message fic for message fic’s sake makes for tedious reading. Yet, as this stuff has become more and more prevalent, sci-fi has become increasingly dull, and readership has shrank.

Nope. That can’t be it either. I warn writers not to bore the shit out of their audience for commercial reasons, but where’s the part where I tell writers not to write about gay folks?

Which is of course nonsense.

Yes, you fucking twatwaffle, it would be nonsense because you made it all up. When you can’t actually debate somebody libprogs go for Make Shit Up. And once you’ve hit that check box, they can go for Dismiss. For my new readers, here is a handy checklist for when you are arguing with morons like Damian. http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/09/20/the-internet-arguing-checklist/

Ironically, as this little ass clown was putting words in my mouth about how writers shouldn’t write about gay folks in order to assuage our homophobic red state audience, my book of the week was Sarah Hoyt’s novel with a gay narrator. My last Book Bomb was for a Michael Z. Williamson novel where the main character was a bisexual. You know why? Because the stories were entertaining and they were enjoyable books from talented authors.

The science fiction novels of Iain M Banks were bestsellers many times over, in part because the future they explored was openly queer.

In part? In fucking PART? By that logic Tolkien is a bestseller because some people really like books with trees in them.

Citizens of Banks’ future society the Culture have the ability to change their sex at will, and frequently shift between sexes and gender roles. Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 became both a bestseller and multiple award winner with a vision of the future that included fluid non-binary gender.

I like how he throws these out there like he’s proving me wrong or something… I suppose if I was the imaginary straw man he’d constructed I’d be all sorts of outraged or something.

And Nicola Griffith’s historical epic Hild, nominated for this year’s Nebula awards by members of the SFWA, is built around a bisexual protagonist.

Anybody who wants to be a writer really needs to separate “award winning” and “best selling” in their mind. They are not synonyms. Sometimes a book will be both. Usually they are not, and prestigious awards don’t pay shit. To most readers “award winning” is more of a synonym for “boring and preachy” because they’ve learned the hard way that over recent years awards are more likely to go to whatever preaches about Special Topic X than what is actually the enjoyable. This is a leading cause of Puppy Related Sadness.

And if members of the SFWA like it? Whoop. SFWA doesn’t represent the book buying public that actually pays the bills. The SJW crowd of SFWA will love whatever preaches about Special Topic of the Day X, and then they’ll write blog posts about how it was too bad more left handed transsexual Eskimos haven’t won awards, then they’ll lead a lynch mob against one of their fellow libprogs for slightly deviating from proper goodthink. SFWA is useless and their Social Justice contingent is tedious.

Now I want to raise a question, why is the Guardian brining me up now? If you look at the dates, I pissed off the left half of the internet clear back in January. That’s like ten million years in internet time. Since then the Social Justice Warrior crowd has moved on and been outraged by Jonathan Ross for possibly telling fat jokes in the future, then they got outraged at Neil Gaiman for his being surprised at how easily they get outraged, then they got outraged at Robert Silverburg and a couple dozen other prominent writers for saying that they didn’t want a soviet style editorial board to prosecute thought crime, then they got outraged at liberal Patrick Rothfuss for saying maybe they shouldn’t be so easily outraged all the time, then they got outraged at liberal Wil Wheaton for agreeing with Rothfuss, and I think I’m forgetting some other outrages in there too.

So there’s been plenty of outrage since their outrage over me saying that their message fic is annoying. (if only I could figure out a way to harness the friction energy of liberal hand wringing, I’d have a source of limitless free energy… then I’d then sell the patent for this device to Big Oil for a zillion dollars, because I’m a greedy capitalist 1%er)

So why now, months later, does a British newspaper feel the need to mention me and make up some shit that I never said? Hmmm… What could possibly be going on in, oh… let’s say, London… Could they have been counting up Hugo nominations maybe? Naw… Surely this is just a coincidence.

Well, Damian, as a libprog it is never too early for you to start poisoning the well. Though if you’re going to make it as a journalist maybe you shouldn’t be so ham fisted in your timing. You might inadvertently reveal that somebody leaked information to you early or something.

Personally I look forward to the next few months of nonstop character assassination about me by the Social Justice Warriors. It will be just like when I was nominated for the Campbell. If I can generate enough infamy in Britain, maybe I will be invited to go on Top Gear to drive the reasonably priced car. Then Jeremy Clarkson and I can go over to Piers Morgan’s house and toilet paper his trees.


EDIT: John C. Wright has chimed in, and holy moly, Damien gets whooped on. :) http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/04/a-marvel-from-a-d-801702/


Today we are Book Bombing John C. Wright’s Awake in the Night Land

Many of you already know John for being an awesome sci-fi writer. Personally, I found him because of his blog. http://www.scifiwright.com/ Like me, John is an out of the closet conservative. Only where I am blunt and sometimes crude, John is eloquent and intellectual. I’m a tetsubo. John is a rapier. I’ve got a lot of respect for his writing, and I don’t say this lightly but I really do believe he is our modern C.S. Lewis.

For example, this is the first thing of his that I read: http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/01/restless-heart-of-darkness-part-two/

Seriously… I was shocked to discover that A. This guy was on my side. B. He gets away with that while writing for Tor!

This new book is a collection of 4 interconnected novellas. However, it isn’t from Tor, it is from a new publisher, same place that did Kratman’s Boys Don’t Cry, and this house is run by somebody who is even more hated in left wing sci-fi than I am, so that is just icing on the cake. :)

The purpose behind a Book Bomb is to get as many people as possible to purchase a book on the same day. This causes it to move up the rankings until it gets on the different daily bestseller lists. The higher it gets, the more people who notice it, the more attention it gets, the more new readers the author picks up. All that means the author GETS PAID!  And you guys get a really good book to read, so everybody wins.

Right now it is sitting at:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,504 Paid in Kindle Store

I want to bump that up higher because I think John is a great writer and a voice of reason in the wilderness. So please tell your friends, repost this on your FB or Twitter or whatever you are in to.

Amazon used to update differently and book bombs would see movement in the first hour, but now it takes a few hours before there is anything significant.  So I’ll update the number during the day.


EDIT 1: Now we’re cooking.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,817 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#22 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#25 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#61 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

EDIT 2: Still moving up:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,073 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#17 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#20 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#48 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

EDIT 3: lunch time and we’re stil cooking:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,930 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#8 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#10 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#18 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

EDIT 4: 2:00 MST, and still climbing.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#5 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#9 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

EDIT 5: 3:47 mst. BOOM! Top 500 baby!
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#3 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#5 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

EDIT 6: TOP 400! I’ll need to ask John if I have once again beaten the Tor marketing department. :)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#3 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#5 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

EDIT 7: Top 300 now. Making this a very successful book bomb!
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#2 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic
#2 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy

EDIT 8: Still squeeking up. :)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#2 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#2 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

Geeky Hobbies, quick painting WiP

Mostly posting some quick, ugly, WiP shots because I need to host these to put them on the Privateer Press forums hoping for some feedback. :)

When I got this one my son decided that the character looked like him. It really does too. Especially the concept art. Hence the 57, which is my son’s football number.

Gaston 1

Gaston 2

Gaston 3

The Drowning Empire, Episode 51: Tento’s Tale

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, http://www.alderac.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=295&t=101206

Last week Zach Hill told part of the story from the perspective of his character’s serving girl. Not to be outdone, this week’s episode gets a little weird as Pat Tracy tells part of the story from the perspective of his character’s horse. Bear with me, because it is awesome. :)

Continued from: http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/28/the-drowning-empire-episode-50-shogun-wedding/


Tento’s Tale


We went into the wooden prison and across the long water. The others were frightened, but I was not. The men atop came with us, and sometimes they came to see us, so that we would not forget their faces. The old man brushed me sometimes. We ate, but poorly. Our legs grew weak, and there was no day, no night, no field in which to run. One of the men made terrible noises for a long time. It seemed as if someone was pulling his innards out, or that he had caught a foot in a hole and was trying to bite the leg off to escape. This eventually faded, and things grew quiet.


Later, there was the sound of much battle and shouting, but we were not part of it, and my spirit ached to rush against enemies. This, too, passed.


The prison began to shake and move much harder. The sound of the others screaming was difficult to stand, but I did not lose myself and join them. I could not bear it. Just as the men atop have their ways, I must have mine.


The purple man came, and his words had power. They were good, and all of us felt much better, though the wildness of the prison’s movement were so awful that it was hard to know which direction the sun once shined. The walls of the prison began to collapse, but a few of the men atop pushed them shut and held them. The long night of terrible trashing finally grew still, but our hooves were deep under salty water by then. I felt that the prison would fill up, and that we would drown. Perhaps the purple man and the old man would, as well. I did not wish for this to happen, but I was not able to change things.


The water slowly got worse, but the prison stopped moving at last. We were let out on flat land for many days. We did not see our men atop much, but having a stable that was not kept darkened and shaken back and forth was good. Eating fresh hay was also good.


Soon enough, though, we were made to go back into another one of the wooden prisons, this one bigger than the other. Some of the others balked and fought, but this was shameful. I went to my trial with head high and mane shaking in the sun, as is proper.
The time within the wooden prison was long. I know that I chewed through three hitching rails during our second journey. I came to doubt that I have ever been elsewhere, that I had ever seen the sun or galloped across the open land, the clean scent of the desert after a rain filling my nose. It became hard to remember that I was a horse, not a rat or a mole.


When the light finally came in and we were allowed up, many of us were too weak to leap to freedom. I was not. I jumped from the wooden prison and onto the wooden road, then onto the real land. In that moment, I remembered everything, and was a horse once more.


The air was thick and wet and hot. Every tree and every bush smelled and looked different. I knew that I was far from where I had been. Everything was unfamiliar. The people here were different, as well, their decorative skin not like what I was used to seeing, the sound of their language foreign.
It did not matter. I was free again, and though my legs shivered and my muscles ached from being still so long, I would be strong again.


I had been so long away from the lands of the purple men that I was used to being the only Hontō no uma, the only true horse present. There were purple men here, though, and some of them had brought my brothers and sisters with them to this distant place. I felt the fire rush inside me, and wanted to bite and kick the other horses to show my strength. The man atop and the old man would not allow this, though I did so when they were not present, when I was able. I am a true horse, and it is this way with us. Were there no men atop, we would go to battle alone.


The town on the coast was small, and soon we were away, into the strange forest. Unknown sounds were all around. I saw animals hanging in the trees that were like little hairy men. They hooted and screeched at us as we passed. Birds swooped in the branches and called out to each other. I could not see far, but I could smell large beasts, things filled with fangs and made of hunger.


Though the land was not known, and danger was all around, it was good to be on the road, with the man atop and the old man, and all the others. I had come to like the Han uma, the half horses, and the sound of their men atop was comforting. I liked the big one who laughed much and chattered on like a squirrel on a branch all day. I liked the one who had died a torturous death on the first journey, but had come back from death.


The man atop put his heels against my flanks and we went forward on the trail. There was a predator somewhere. I could smell him. Something huge, something that hungered for horse meat.


There was a blur, then I felt something against me, leaping on the man above. It was so fast, so big. My hooves left the ground and I felt myself fall, my belly exposed. The pungent smell of the creature filled my nose, the view of its striped hide so near me. I heard my man atop fall hard, the wind cough out of him.


Then the other men atop were there, all around, their weapons cutting the air. There was a roar and growl, then the sound of their metal hitting flesh, as I had heard before. The sound of it made me rise, made me burn for the battle and the charge, like we had done for all those dry, hot seasons in the past.


Blood splashed against the ground, against my foreleg, and it was done. I kicked at the striped thing, but they pulled me away. It was too late to prove that it had only been surprise that allowed it to knock me down, something that had never happened before. I was filled with anger. I wanted to go away from these stifling forests where things could hide and rush and ambush. I wanted the open land I knew before, the dust rising from the dry plains, the horizon to race.


The land opened up at last. We were able to go faster, but the men atop would not let us run. Sometimes my man atop would let me go ahead, but then we would have to come back for the others.


There was a day when the sound of my brothers came to me. Many many. I was glad within, but also wondered what would happen. Could I best these new horses? Would they be greater than I?
When they drew close, I let my head dip and looked at the earth. Some of them were Kyōdaina uma, the mighty horses. These I knew from my youth, knew I could not best in strength, even if they were not so swift as I. The Kyōdaina uma. This meant that we were again in the lands of the purple men. The smell of the mighty horses filled me, and there were mares among them. One, the largest and strongest, threw aside one of the half horses with a brush of her chin. I feared her, but wished for her also. The muscles on my flanks tensed and quivered. The Kyōdaina uma mare would soon be in season. She would never allow me to do what any stallion wished to do, but the scent of her drove me mad.


It was good that the group soon turned, and that I was far from her. It was good that, when we got to the city of the purple men, I was in an different stable.
The more I looked at the huge gray thing, the less I understood what it was. It was old, its skin hanging and wrinkled, and its huge head misshapen, with flopping ears. It seemed to have a snake attached to its head somehow. And it was the largest living thing I had seen. If it had been swift and agile, I would have taken affront to its existence. Because it was ponderous, a sad and clumsy creature, I chose to feel pity for it and otherwise ignore its presence.


The man atop came back from the noisy market with a boy for me to have. It was a happy day. I now had both an old man and a boy to care for me. The boy, being small, did a much better job of brushing my legs and forelocks than the old man, who didn’t like to bend down for very long. The old man gave the boy an apple. I approved. He gave me an apple as well.


I did not see the men atop for many days. I was able to break free of my stall and fulfill a stallion’s role a few times before there was a lot of shouting, and the old man came to take me back. Purple men with tools made banging sounds around my stall for a time after that, and made it so that I was unable to kick to door down again.


We left the city with many other riders, most on true horses or Kyōdaina uma, the alluring great mare among them. At last, they let us run. We went far across the land, and we traveled fast. It was like the days when I was not yet grown. It was like the memories from all the ones who came before, the herd-dream that we all feel in our bones and skin and blood.


The people came in the other direction, running, smelling like fear and death. I felt the man atop tense, felt him gather and flex his thighs around me. There would be a fight.


Then we were galloping, even faster than before. Enemies rushed us. I moved as the man atop wanted, and I could hear the sound of thrumming. I could smell blood and hear screams. I stepped on a fallen enemy and his innards burst from his sides.


It was over in a moment, and we carried on, galloping again.


The place in the high pass appeared. The smell of something wet and evil came. I could see a man-thing that was not of blood and bone, a not-right thing. There were many. We galloped past the first group of them, where the Kyōdaina uma and their women atop fought.


I rushed hard and jumped. The water of a small river was under me, and then I was on the other side. My man atop made his war sound, and I rushed, turned, stopped. He made his thrumming noise, and feathers appeared in one of the enemies. We bolted away before they could attack.


I could feel the man atop’s legs on me, and they told me where to go, when to stop, when to wheel. The thrumming death sound happened again and again. Men grew feathers where there had been none, and crumpled to the ground.


We leaped over a wall and into the midst of enemies and frightened people. There were many dead, their necks open and their blood in puddles on the ground. One of the enemies was in front of me, and I reared, catching him with both Hooves and knocking him down. I could feel his body break as my rear hooves smashed his chest bones in.


Another jump, another rush and turn. The sound of the man’s killing device, the feel of us running forward and back. The man atop was bold, and the enemies hit him with their cracking whips and their weapons.


The running went on and on. It lasted only a moment. Things were quiet at last, all the enemies dead, the man atop sagging in the saddle, the froth on my face and sweat upon my coat, the blood up to my belly from the fighting.


It was a good day. It was my favorite day since the wooden prison.

To be continued next week:



Next Book Bomb! April 14th, John C. Wright’s AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND

It is BOOK BOMB time!

Monday is the release date for John C. Wright’s new novel, Awake in the Night Land, and I want to give it a signal boost.

I first got to know John from his blogging. Like me, he’s a successful writer who is also an out of the closet conservative that is not afraid to stick to his guns, however John is so eloquent and so profoundly philosophical that he makes anything I write on the same topic look like HULK SMASH! John writes like a modern day C.S. Lewis, and I don’t say that lightly.

I don’t have a link for his new novel yet but will post it on Monday. I have not read this one yet, because I just got my advanced copy this morning, but I’m really excited to read it.

For those of you not familiar with how a Book Bomb works, that is where we pick a good book and an author who deserves a signal boost, and then we get as many people as possible to purchase the book on the same day. This bumps it up the Amazon bestseller lists, and the higher it gets, the more new people notice it. Success breeeds success, and we’ve had some pretty amazing results from Book Bombs in the past.


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