Various Updates, Cons, Podcasts, Contests, Books, and Stuff

First off, I did a podcast interview with Baen for the release of Monster Hunter Nemesis. I talked about how I write, why I do what I do, and upcoming goodies.

Also, for those of you who aren’t on Audible, they’ve been serializing Hard Magic on the Baen Podcast, so you can go back and listen to it. If you haven’t, you should, because it is awesome. :)

I’m going to be the author Guest of Honor at OsFest in Omaha this weekend.  So if you are in Nebraska swing by and say hi.

I have read all of the short stories for the Baen Fantasy contest. Holy moly. There were a ton of good ones. I’ll be going over them with the Baen editorial staff and discussing each of our picks so we can notify the winner. All I can say is if you didn’t win, don’t feel bad, because the competition was stiff. We had over 500 entries, and they narrowed that down to 15 finalists, of which all of them were solid. All of the ones I read were enjoyable and every one of the writers showed enough skill and creativity that I’m sure we’ll all be reading them again in the future.

Once all of the judges are done arguing over it, the winners will be contacted. I’ll make the official announcement at GenCon.

I’ve been getting lots of emails with people asking me what I’m working on now. I’m currently 90k words into a fantasy novel (I think this one will end up at around 135k).  I’ve been calling this one my Epic Fantasy, but after explaining the plot to some critics and other authors, it might actually be considered Heroic Fantasy, because I have no idea what the “rules” are, and as you know I don’t do very well coloring in the lines.

Either way I’m really pleased with how it is coming out, and I think you guys will like it.  I didn’t get much done on it over the last month because I can’t write while on book tour. When I do have small bits of downtime during a tour, I usually find myself in a stupor on a hotel bed watching NCIS or something.

I have no idea on release date yet. It is also through Baen.

The Official Alphabetical List of Author Success

I’ve often been derisively referred to as a “D List Author” by my critics.  Curious, I had to look up where that list came from:

Sadly, as usual my critics suck at everything. This scale is based on how recognizable movie stars are, and since most regular people wouldn’t recognize any but the most famous (or funny looking) authors, it doesn’t really work for us at all. So I have created this super helpful guide so critics know what bucket to arbitrarily stick writers in.

What’s way better than fame? All fame is good for in Hollywood is determining how much they have to pay actors. So screw recognition. Show me the MONEY!

Since the super reliable Guardian newspaper reported that only the top 1% of all authors make more than $100,000 a year from writing and the average mid list author makes around $30,000 a year we’ll just have to extrapolate out from there. Since my critics like to say I’m a D Lister, and I’m doing way better than the Guardian’s 1% cut off, then I can only assume that my critics are really fucking harsh, but a metric is a metric, so here we go!


The Official Alphabetical List of Author Success

A List – High upon Mount Olympus They Gaze Down Upon the Pathetic Mortals = All the $

  • Authors who are worth more than the GDP of some countries.
  • Authors who build their houses out of gold bars.
  • Characters from their books get their own theme parks.
  • The lady who wrote Twilight.

B List – The King(s) =$$$$$$$$$$

  • Authors who have TV shows about their books starring Peter Dinklage.
  • Authors who sleep on large piles of money.
  • Politicians who get illegal campaign contributions masquerading as advances.
  • Oprah’s Book Club.

C List – The Perpetual Bestsellers =$$$$$$$$$

  • Authors who play poker with Castle.
  • Authors who have lesser TV shows not starring Peter Dinklage.
  • Authors who always get sold in airport bookstores.
  • Authors who are rich enough to have sex scandals and it actually makes the news.

D List – My Wallet Says Bad Motherfucker = $$$$$$$$

  • Authors whose quarterly tax withholdings are sufficient to purchase a new Mercedes Benz.
  • Authors who’ve written a shit load of books for a whole lot of years.
  • Snooki
  • The International Lord of Hate.

E List – The 1% =$$$$$$$

  • Authors who make enough off their royalties to impress their mother in law.
  • Authors who lucked into a decent movie deal.
  • Authors who actually have long lines at book signings
  • The Real Housewives.

F List –  The Professionals =$$$$$$

  • Authors who have good lines at book signings.
  • Authors whose quarterly taxes could buy a new Hyundai.
  • Authors who have worked extremely hard to hone their craft over many years.
  • Authors who have consistently treated writing like their career.

G List –  I’m Pretty Awesome At This Writing Thing =$$$$$$

  • Authors who are super excited they got to be Guest of Honor at a convention.
  • Authors who have some people come to a book signing.
  • Authors whose quarterly taxes could buy a used Hyundai.
  • Single authors who’ve sold enough copies they can safely use being a writer as a pick up line at bars.

H List – Holy Shit! I Quit My Day Job! =$$$$$

  • Authors who are still really glad their spouse has a real job.
  • Authors who think that paying quarterly taxes on their royalties is total bullshit.
  • Authors who can go to their high school reunion all smug like, “Oh, you work at Autozone? Well I’m an AUTHOR bitches!”
  • Authors who have made enough from royalties to impress their mom.

I List – Doggone It People Like Me =$$$$$

  • Authors with the first glimmers of real professional success.
  • Authors who begin contemplating how they’re going to tell their boss to shove it.
  • Authors who only check their book’s Amazon rank once a day.
  • Authors who pay their mortgage payments from their royalties.

J List – What the Fuck? I’m a Real Writer? =$$$$

  • Authors who are still getting used to the idea people want to read their crap.
  • Authors who have sold a respectable number of books.
  • Authors who check their book’s Amazon rank every hour.
  • Authors who start to pay most of their bills with their royalties.

K List – Welcome To Mid List =$$$$

  • The average professional author with a writing career.
  • Authors making enough money to be really tempted to quit their day job except their spouse won’t let them.
  • Authors who are still really happy when anybody shows up to a signing.
  • Authors who are still terrified that their fans will realize they’re a talentless fraud any minute now.

L List – I Think I Can. I Think I Can. I Think I Can. =$$$

  • Authors who’ve sold some books.
  • Authors who annoy the shit out of all their friends and families to come to their otherwise empty book signings.
  • Authors who haven’t realized Amazon only updates their ranks hourly and are still checking every fifteen minutes.


  • Authors who’ve published a book or something.
  • Authors who sit in front of their computer, compulsively hitting Refresh over and over to see their Amazon ranking like one of those perpetual motion bird toys. Peck. Peck. Peck.
  • Authors who collect royalties sufficient to eat out once in a while at a restaurant. Okay, maybe Applebees, but they can’t get appetizers.
  • Author on the panel who can’t help but flog their books to the trapped audience with every comment.

N List –  Yeah, I’m Like Totally a Writer, Baby =$.

  • Authors who’ve published a book or maybe some short stories.
  • New Authors who all the other aspiring authors in their writing group secretly hate.
  • Authors who collect enough royalties to eat out occasionally, but only from the Dollar Menu.
  • An average Hugo or Nebula award winner.


  • Authors who don’t realize there isn’t actually any reason to join SFWA.
  • Authors who haven’t made enough off their royalties to pay the dues for SFWA.
  • The average voting member of SFWA.

P List – That Guy =$

  • Author who has maybe sold a couple things or won some contest or something.
  • Know it all author who won’t shut up on a panel about his bullshit who all the professional authors just want to throat punch.
  • Doesn’t know what royalties are, but thinks any author who complains about paying taxes is inherently evil.

Q List – The College Guest Lecturer =$

  • Author who sells something like a short once in a great while to a very tiny audience, so they can go be panelists at conventions in order to bore the living shit out of the poor audience while they drone on about the “rules and definitions” of genre fiction.
  • Never actually sold enough books to earn back their tiny advance, but that’s okay, because writers who make money are sell outs producing bourgeoisie garbage for the masses.
  • Writes pretentious blog posts warning S and U List authors that their fiction has to check the mandatory social justice boxes about nonsense like ending binary gender.

R List – The Artiste  = $

  • Authors who’ve written a pretentious dense piece of unsellable crap.
  • Authors who write for prestigious literary journals where they can be read by literally dozens (if you count the editorial staff).
  • Authors who skip right to B List if Oprah mentions them.

S List – The Struggling

  • Authors who’ve written something, but haven’t had any luck selling it yet.
  • Authors with the most incredibly frustrating job in the universe.
  • The Future of Writing.

T List – The Troglodyte

  • Struggling authors who haven’t realized they need to actually learn to write.
  • When nobody likes their work proclaims “They just don’t understand my brilliance!”
  • Likes to post angry reviews on the internet bashing Authors A-S.

U List – The Aspiring

  • Thinking about writing something.
  • Wonders where they’ll find the time?
  • Don’t feel bad. We all started somewhere.

V List – Oh, You’re a Writer? I’m a Writer Too!

  • Hasn’t actually written anything, but likes to tell professional authors that he’s just like them because he wrote a poem back in high school and his teacher really liked it.
  • Maybe when he retires from his career, he’ll become an author.
  • He’s got this amazing idea, and he’ll share it with you if you do all that actually writing the book part and then you can split the crazy huge profits 50/50.

W List – Huge On Twitter

  • Author who hasn’t ever actually sold anything, but they’ve got a whole lot of Twitter followers, and they’re gonna tell you all about it.
  • Author who will not hesitate to inform A-K level writers they’re doing it wrong, because if they were real writers they’d have better Twitter presence.
  • Author who fails to realize that the only type of follower who counts is the one who will give you money for your product.
  • Lives in their mom’s basement.

X List – The X

  • Writes violent pornographic bondage fan fiction involving My Little Ponies, Voltron, and Breaking Bad on the internet, while dressed in a stained bunny costume that looks like a strange gimp version of that thing from Donnie Darko.
  • Don’t make any sudden moves.
  • We’re just going to walk away real slow now.

Y List – The Yama

  • A primordial creature barely capable of vomiting words onto a page in a blasphemous impersonation of the act of writing, so mind shattering and terrible that a single story threatened to end language forever. He is The Thing That Should Not Be. To read his foul creations will summon the Black Goat of the Woods with its Thousand Young, and it will kill your muse and sodomize the corpse.
  • Is confident that he’d be a much more successful writer than A-X, if only he wasn’t too busy stalking Asian women on the internet to actually submit any of his crayon scribbles.
  • The reason sci-fi conventions have security.

Z List –  The Guardian’s Village Idiot = ($)

  • A kind of Anti-Author.
  • Motivated by delusions of relevancy, crowd sources witch hunts against writers higher on the list.
  • Collects the opposite of royalties, and actually has to be paid a strange sort of “Book Welfare” to produce a book.


Keep in mind that most of us started way down on this list and you can move up and down as your career progresses.  Who knows? Tomorrow the Guardian might say you’ve irreparably damaged your career, and I’ve personally found that will bump your royalties up at least one level on the list!

So carry on, noble author, and let’s defeat that alphabet by making readers happy and selling piles of books!

Live tweet interview tonight

For those of you on Twitter, I’m doing a live Tweet interview at 9 EST with‪#‎sffwrtcht‬ I’m @monsterhunter45

Geeky Hobbies: Mini painting WiPs

I’ve worked on a few minis since getting back from book tour. None of these are finished yet. All of these are for my Warmachine mercenaries army. None of these are good photos, as I broke one of my two lamps for my light box.




Rutger & Taryn


EDIT to add for hosting purposes


Foodmachine Houston: Gaming for Charity

Here is a heads up for a charity event that many of you will probably think is really cool.

Foodmachine events already take place all over the country. That’s where Warmachine players bring food and money donations to play in tournaments, and all of the donations go to the local food pantries to help out the poor. There is a great bunch of gamers in the Houston area and they’re doing this to get their non-profit status.

I met the guy running this, Mike “Snorlax” Ramirez the last time I was in Texas. I was at a sci-fi convention in Galveston. They only had me on one panel a day, I didn’t have a rental car, and there wasn’t much for the writers to do (the con was mostly Babylon 5 20th reunion stuff) so I had tons of time to kill. Luckily for me a bunch of the Houston area Warmachine fans were in the game room, and Mike was happy to lend me an army. They were a great bunch of guys.

They kept me occupied with 3 days of gaming, so when Mike asked for the signal boost I was happy to help.

So please check it out. I’m going to mail him some autographed books for the event auction too. If you are anywhere Houston you should check out the actual event. I’ve seen some impressive pictures from other Foodmachine events of the tons of food they’ve gathered, and this is Texas we’re talking about. You guys can’t let anybody beat you at being the biggest!



Elizabeth Warren’s 11 Commandments

Elizabeth Warren, best known for being a super white lady who pretended to be Indian to fulfill an EEOC requirement, is trying to establish herself as the “Youthful” alternative to Hillary Clinton for a presidential run. This is understandable since Clinton was born in ’47 and Warren was born in ’49, and that’s like seven Prog years.

Anyways, Warren gave a speech and listed off the 11 Commandments of Progressivism.

Since I despise Progressivism to the very core of my being, let’s take this opportunity to go through these commandments together. As we’ll see, most of them sound all nice and fluffy but are actually pure evil, sort of like pulling a bunny slipper over a jackboot. Each one of these is so ridiculous that responding to it would take a thesis, so I’ll just hit the broad philosophical points.

- “We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

By Wall Street, Progs don’t actually mean “Wall Street”. They mean free market capitalism, which is their ultimate enemy. Capitalism enables people to improve their lives without government. The Prog’s end game is all about central control, only since the Progs all have Gender Studies degrees instead of Business degrees they suck at it even more than the Politburo.

As for Wall Street, whenever Progs are actually in power they practice a vicious form of crony capitalism where their friends and donors get special perks and favors, and political enemy’s businesses are punished. Solyndra? Here is your sack of money. Campaign donors and unions are Too Big To Fail! You donated money to the opposition? Audit time, bitches!

- “We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

Think that one through for a moment. It isn’t we believe in science period. There is that second bit about “protecting the Earth” as in we believe in whatever gives us an excuse to gain more control and power.

If you believe in manmade global warming or not, you ever notice that the Prog answer is always MOAR GOVERNMENT CONTROL!?  Progs believed in science back in the 30s too, but it was all about eugenics that time. We all saw how that worked out.

- “We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”

Wrap your brain around that hypocritical bullshit. We must protect the internet from evil corporations? What about the NSA reading all our stuff? What about the government deciding what can and can’t be said, and Progressive senators trying to pass “Kill Switches”? I’m not a fan of Google, but Google can’t send a SWAT team to my house to kill me.

- “We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

Like many Prog talking points, this commandment is based upon wishful thinking, and it appeals to the base emotions of shame and greed.

Most rational people understand that minimum wage jobs are meant for low skilled positions and people who are starting out, and once you’ve gained some skills you go get a better job. Only a fool expects to buy a house and raise a family on burger flipper wages. But not Progs, oh no, because in their world when you raise a business’ costs they’re not going to eliminate those low skilled positions, instead they’ll just get more money from their endless money tree that all business owners have in their back yards.

I’m a retired accountant who worked for everything from Fortune 500 megacorps to tiny companies. I’ve been an auditor, a financial analyst, a finance department manager, and a small business owner, so trust me when I’ve said that I’ve never talked to a Prog who had a fucking clue how business actually works.

- “We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

I’m pretty sure this is the same point as before, but God only had 10 Commandments, so Elizabeth Warren is going to show him!

- “We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”

More recruiting by shame and greed. Got a stupid degree that is completely useless in the real world? Not your fault!

This problem is complex, but Progs love to take the complex and dumb it down into sunshine and rainbows. Yes, college is too expensive, and the fact this is coming from an Ivy League professor is highly ironic, says the guy who worked his way through state college to get an always in demand degree.

First, the more government meddles in funding, the more expensive college becomes. Prog solution? More government control (sensing a trend yet?).

Second, the time spent in college has become increasingly irrelevant, and more and more of that expensive time is wasted on things that don’t actually matter in real life. Most of us learn more in 6 months of working in our chosen field than we did in 4 years of school where we had to take lots of useless, forgettable classes designed to make us “well rounded”. I can become well rounded in ways that don’t require borrowing money, thanks.

You want to learn about Gender Studies of Left Handed Eskimos? Read some books. You want to get good at some art? Practice. Neither of those requires you to get a hundred grand in student loans. You want to make money? Get a degree in something that is actually in demand outside of college. (Pro Tip, those are usually the “hard” majors as opposed to the “fun” majors).  Pretty simple really.

- “We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

Because Progressives would NEVER raid those entitlement programs to pay for other stuff! Okay, except for all of the things she listed there, obviously.

Progs believe that everyone is entitled to everything, but they don’t really have any clue how to pay for any of it. All that crunchy math stuff is super hard. Social Security is fundamentally mathematically flawed because when it was passed people didn’t live as long. No amount of wishful thinking changes the fact that entitlements cost money, and somebody else has to pay for them. The Prog solution? More entitlements.

- “We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.”

I can’t believe you’re saying it in 2014 either, because this tired old nonsense about pay inequality between men and women has been disproven over and over again. But Progs gain power by moving from crisis to crisis, and this time the War on X, the X=Women.

There are outliers, but for the most part men and women are paid the same for EQUAL work. The statistical blips occur because of lifestyle choices, and stepping away from careers for family reasons, plus some fields are predominately male and some fields are predominately female by CHOICE, and the market values those fields at different rates. Notice that Progs never throw temper tantrums that there are more male plumbers or male electricians? Yeah, those aren’t sexy.

- “We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

If that is the case, then why are Progs proponents of policies and programs that manipulate populations based upon sex and race? If we’re all equal, why do Progs feel the need to sort everyone into easily managed boxes?

I diverge from some of my conservative brethren on marriage, mostly because I think that is one item of many that is none of the government’s damned business, and never should have been to begin with. The difference is that us Cons can actually debate what constitutes the government’s limited responsibilities, and our biggest problem is that some of us want the government to be your dad. On the other hand, all Progs want the government to be your mom, jailer, priest, and dominatrix. To Progs, everything is the government’s business, the only question to them is at what point do they bring in the gulags and purges?

- “We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

Sounds great. But as usual with Progs the devil is in the details. What is this “reform” you speak of? Oh, wait… You mean that you want to allow in millions of illegal immigrants across our nonexistent borders so you can keep them as an easily manipulated near-slave class forever dependent upon Democrat social programs, to benefit your crony capitalist allies, and to further your political agendas? Fantastic!

Personally I’m in favor of lots of legal immigration, where immigrants have rights, opportunities, and legal protections. But shucks, then the Progs wouldn’t be able to manufacture a humanitarian crisis whenever they needed one.

- “And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

This one is actually two different topics.

Like I said before, I’ve never met a Prog who understood how business worked, and this whole thing about corporations being people meme is an extension of that. No, a corporation isn’t a person, but it is a legal entity make up of PEOPLE. So, if an individual has rights, do they give up those rights when they go into business with other individuals? Of course not. But keep in mind that Progs don’t actually believe in rights. They think the Bill of Rights was a list of suggestions of stuff the government should allow until it becomes inconvenient.

The second bit about Right to Their Bodies is asinine. Progs are all about Choice, as long as it is choosing things they’re in favor of—like killing babies—but if you Choose to own a gun, or Choose how to run a business, or Choose how to spend your own money, or Choose to have privacy, or Choose to not let the government read your mail and tap your phones, or Choose what to do with your own property, or Choose to disagree with Prog doctrine in any way, then those are bad choices, and you’re a bad person, and need to be regulated/audited/imprisoned/shot.

As for overturning Hobby Lobby, it is hard to believe that this woman was a law professor. It won’t take long for Prog outrage to shift to the next group that doesn’t want to pay for their entitled bullshit.

So that’s the 11 commandments of Elizabeth Warren. She forgot a few Prog doctrines though.

-       You only have the right to self-defense when and how the government says so.

-       You have religious freedom only as long as it agrees with Prog dogma.

-       You have the right to property until the government wants to take it.

-       Don’t even get us started on outdated concepts like privacy and free association!

And the main tenet of conservatives’ philosophy, according to Warren? “I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.”

You left out a few parts there, Professor. Here, I fixed it for you:  I got mine, because I worked for it. The rest of you are on your own to exercise your liberty, live your life, and pursue happiness free of constant government meddling.   

Let me try to sum up Prog doctrine for you, and I don’t even need 11 commandments. Hell, I bet I can nail it in one.

The Golden Rule of Progressivism = Do, say, or promise anything—no matter how outlandish— in order to gain and constantly expand government power and control over all facets of life.

Who is going to GenCon?

GenCon is one of my all time favorite conventions. Even though GenCon is known primarily for being the premier gamer con, it also has a fantastic writing track. In between spending stupid amounts of money on minis I’m going to be on a bunch of panels. Because GenCon allows pre registration many of those have already filled up, like the 150 spots for my Writing Action seminar are already taken. But we did just add another solo Larry panel. This one is a Q&A, so if you want in it is event ID SEM1466979.

I’m also going to be announcing the winner of the 1st annual Baen Fantasy short story contest there too (the winner will be contacted beforehand).  We got over FIVE HUNDRED entries for the contest, so the competition is fierce.

I’m flying out with just a carry on with an empty duffle bag shoved inside, but it is going to be filled with games and tiny metal dudes for the flight home, because I love GenCon.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,598 other followers