The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic – Chapter 7

The snippiting rampage draws to a close. This  is the last free sample chapter from my upcoming 2011 novel, The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic. I do not yet know the release month.  If you are just joining us, the links to the previous chapters are below.  I’ve just got one request. Please post in the comments of this thread and let me know what you think, if you’d like to get this, and if you are interested in the world of TGC.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6


Thanks for reading, – Larry


MAGIC LEADS TO TERROR – City Firemen were unable to contain the FIRE that ripped through a Mar Pacifica estate on Sunday evening until there were only charred remains of the home, belonging to famous big game hunter L.S. Talon. A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY was made once the DEADLY flames were extinguished. So far, SEVEN human bodies have been recovered from the scene. Local residents say that there was a great commotion and much GUNFIRE before the conflagration spread.  RUMOR is that Mr. Talon was a supporter of MAGIC and was himself an ACTIVE. He has been missing since Sunday and is believed to be amongst the DEAD. 

Article, San Francisco Examiner, 1929.





Chapter 7

San Francisco, California 


The address on Grandpa’s note was on the far west side of the city. The neighborhood was called Richmond, and a lot of things must have changed from when Grandpa had drawn his little map. The area was filled with new houses, stores, and churches. Every now and then they would pass an area that was nothing but sand dunes, but then quickly enough there would be more homes. Some of the larger places had been started, but then abandoned when the developer’s money had run out along with everyone else’s.

“Lots of Jews and Irishmen in this part of town,” the driver told Faye helpfully. “The Russians built a great big church up over that way.” Faye just kept watching out the window. As Grandpa had always said, her brain would just get to spinning sometimes, and the real world would fade away. She lost track of time as the town turned into suburbs, and then into an area of gentle green hills as they went south.

She snapped back to reality as the cab stopped. “We’re here. This is the address you gave me.”

“This? This is it?” she asked, staring out the window. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah,” said the driver. “Not what you were expecting, I guess.”

There had been a house here once, that much was obvious, a really large one from the remains of the foundation that was poking out of the ground. Weeds had grown up over the crumbling brick and what had once been a big chimney stood like a monolith.

“Looks like it burned down a long time ago,” the cabbie said. “You want me to take you back?”

There was a strange smell in the air when Faye stepped out of the cab. It was kind of fishy but not too offensive. It took her a moment to realize that she was actually smelling the ocean for the first time. This couldn’t be it. This had been her only clue from Grandpa. She started to wander toward the ruins.


There had once been a fence of iron bars around the property, but whatever had engulfed the house had been so hot that the metal had softened and bent, and now the fence just looked lopsided. She ran her fingers across the bars and they came away orange with rust.

“Hey, lady! Pay me,” the cabbie growled.

“Oh, sorry,” Faye mumbled as she returned to the cab and carefully counted the money out exactly. The cabby looked at it in disgust before driving off, and it was only a moment later that she remembered Gilbert warning her that people in the city also expected tips.

The gate was lying in the weeds. The grass was hip deep on what had once been a lawn. Faye thought that she could just barely smell the ash as she gingerly put her weight onto the charred boards of what had been the porch, and it reminded her of another, more recent, fire. She noticed that somebody had etched strange symbols into the crumbling floor, and she stepped over them carefully.

There was nothing else there.

Somehow she knew that something bad had happened here, something worse than the fire. Lives had been lost in this place. Death was in the air. 

“I’m sorry, Grandpa. I didn’t expect this,” she said as she slowly turned around. “I thought maybe somebody around here would help me.” She had been so certain that the address would hold the answers that she had not thought about what she would do next if there were no answers to be found. She was on the outskirts of a strange city, had no friends, and no idea what to do. She picked out a pile of bricks and sat down.

Why am I here?

Faye wasn’t sure. Grandpa hadn’t even really given her any last words, he’d just choked out half a sentence before dying, given her some weird metal thing, which she’d managed to already lose half of, and now she was just alone. She wanted to cry, but she felt like she’d already cried all her tears, and now she was just all dry and hollow inside.

A fat brown squirrel crawled up onto a nearby board. It cocked its head at her curiously, as if wondering what this strange human girl was doing sitting on some ashy bricks in the middle of its forest.

“Hello,” said the squirrel.

Oh, great, now I’ve gone crazy.

“Hi,” Faye responded.

The squirrel just kept looking at her, twitching nervously like squirrels do, and for a minute Faye thought that maybe it had just sounded like the little animal had spoken. Grandpa had always said that she got her brain spinning too fast sometimes and that if she spun it too hard it might break. The squirrel examined her for what seemed like an abnormally long time, and Faye started to doubt that she’d heard anything at all, and felt stupid for talking to it.

“Nice ring,” the squirrel said. Its voice didn’t seem to match, like the sound wasn’t coming from the animal, but through it. It had a deep, scratchy, male voice. “It set the ward spells off. Where’d you get it?”

“My Grandpa gave it to me,” she answered, holding up her hand to show off the black and gold band. She could have sworn the squirrel nodded thoughtfully. “He gave me a list with some names on it. I’m looking for somebody named Pershing. Could you help me, little squirrel.”

“We’ve got a live one at the old place,” the squirrel said, like it was talking back over its shoulder. Faye looked into the grass for other squirrels but didn’t see anything else hiding in the grass.

“Are you okay, Mr. Squirrel?”

“You ain’t from around these parts, are you, kid?” asked the squirrel.

“Is it that obvious?”

“Well, yeah, actually…” The squirrel twitched and swiveled its head back toward the road as it sensed something. A large black automobile was coasting to a stop on the road. Its whiskers twitched violently as the doors opened. “Shit! If it ain’t some Imperium mother-fuckers!” exclaimed the squirrel, then it swiveled back to her. “Damn it! Hide, girl! Hide! Go!” Then it leapt off the board into the grass.

Faye watched the profane little animal disappear, then switched back to the car. Three men had gotten out and were heading straight for the fallen gates. They reached into their coats and came out with guns. She scrambled behind the pile of bricks and ducked down low. It was just like what had happened to Grandpa, and she realized that she was shaking uncontrollably.

She could hear the crunching of the grass as the men moved. They were obviously city-folk, not hunters, loud and clumsy. She risked a peek around the side of the bricks, and the closest was going to be on the porch in seconds. And there, right in the soft ashen wood, clear as day, were her footprints, leading right to where she was hiding.

“Psstt. Over here.” The squirrel’s head poked up out of the weeds. “Stay low.”     

It was either follow the squirrel, or Travel before they found her, but she didn’t know where to Travel to, and if she appeared in front of one of the other men, they’d shoot her dead just like they had done to Grandpa. Faye crouched down, bunched up her dress so she could crawl, and hustled after the squirrel. The animal was gone by the time she got there, but there seemed to be an indentation in the grass. When she pressed on it her hand went right through into an empty space.

There was a footfall a few feet away. With no time to think, Faye shoved her head through the grass and found herself staring down an ivy-coated chute. There was only a foot of light before everything was masked in shadow. She kept going, scooting down a gentle slope. Spider webs hit her in the face and insects skittered across her body. A second later her hands landed in soft dust, and she pulled herself into a tight black space. A few spikes of sunlight pierced the darkness from holes in the floorboards above. Every time one of the men took a step, ash cascaded through the light. Something furry and warm pushed past her lips and she almost screamed.     

“Easy…” the squirrel said softly.

“Where are we?” Faye whispered.

“Coal cellar… Hurry up, Francis. Imperium assholes right on top of us.”

“I’m not Francis. Who’s Francis?”

“Shut up, kid. I ain’t talking to you,” the squirrel hissed. “Move your ass, boy.” There was a thud directly overhead and one of the men shouted something. They’d found Faye’s tracks. “Shit… They’re gonna find us. Never a grizzly bear or a moose or a Doberman around when I need one… Hey, girl, you got any Powers?”

“Yeah,” Faye whispered. “I’m a Traveler.”

The squirrel sighed. “What? Son of a bitch. I was hoping you had super strength or shot lightning bolts out your eyes or something because these Imperium goons are gonna find us any second.”

“My name’s Faye.”

“Did I ask for a life story? We’re about to get killed here…” The squirrel let out a long sigh. “Aw hell… My name’s Lance. You just scoot for the woods. I’ll hold them off.”  

She wasn’t sure what exactly the squirrel, Lance, was going to do to fight off three men with guns, so she reached into her pocket, and pulled out her little revolver. She cocked the hammer as slowly and quietly as possible. The squirrel rubbed up against her face again. “Are you daft? The only thing you’re gonna do with that little thing is piss them off. What is that? A .32? Jesus, you ain’t hunting squirrels. Gonna use that to put us out of our misery?”

There was a sudden crash. A pile of ash broke lose from the ceiling, obscuring the tiny shafts of light. Then another crash, and a much larger shaft of light appeared as one of the men smashed a hole in the floor with his boot.  “Go!” Lance shouted. The furry shape left her face, bounded up into the light, and launched itself into the air.

One of the men screamed. “It’s crawling up my pants! Kill it! Kill it!”

“Quit being a punk, and step on it, Al. We’ve got business.”

There was a commotion, shouting, and then one of the men started to laugh at his companion’s problem. They didn’t know they were dealing with a magic squirrel. Faye thought about the area near the front gate, concentrated, feeling her magic. She hadn’t Traveled since getting the bug stuck in her foot, and for the first time in her life, she was scared to use her Power and hesitated.

I can do this.

Her thoughts went ahead of her. The air was clear of objects, the grass was tall, waving, not a concern for a normal, but for her, every piece represented potential death, a single blade of grass potentially as deadly as a steel knife. No leaves in the air. No big pieces of sand or grit, no bugs, only particulate so small that her passage would brush it aside. Nothing was about to enter that space. She saw everything. And it all happened within a tenth of a second and she was gone.

Faye appeared an inch over the tall grass, still in the same prone position she’d been in the cellar, and dropped like a stone. Her landing was cushioned by the weeds and she popped right back up.

The three men were standing in a circle over something. One of them was pointing his pistol at the floor, and she knew that the magic squirrel was just as dead as Grandpa had been. “Lance!”

The men looked up simultaneously, guns rising toward her, and Faye prepared to Travel again, but their eyes collectively jerked upward as something passed through the air over her head with a rustle of cloth in the wind. A petite shape landed between the men in a crouch, knocking one of them sprawling.

It was a woman in a red dress. She rose quickly, slammed her palm into another’s chest with a terrible crack, throwing him back and completely through the brick chimney, collapsing the entire structure in a cloud of red dust. She spun back toward the last man, just as his gun stabbed out toward her, and Faye screamed. There was a gunshot.

The man’s head snapped back. The pistol dropped from lifeless fingers before he collapsed into the ash.

“Good shot, Francis,” the woman shouted, then she turned back to the first one she’d knocked down. She kicked a giant beam casually out of the way, bent down and grabbed a handful of hair, dragging the struggling man from the ashes. 

There was the sound of an action being worked, and Faye turned to see a man standing back at the gate with a bolt-action rifle. Faye almost Traveled, but he didn’t point the rifle at her, instead he gave her an easy smile. “It’s going to be all right. We’re here to help you.”

The man was young, probably not much older than her. “Are you Lance the magic squirrel’s friend?”

“Huh?” At first he seemed bewildered by that, then he started to laugh, like she’d said something hilarious.

Faye was confused by his reaction. “Come on! I think they squished him!” she cried, then Traveled back to the house. Her shoes hit the ashen floor, just as the lady in the red dress was smacking the last man senseless. The scary woman glanced up, surprised. She was holding the much larger man effortlessly by the neck, one arm cocked back to hit him again, her delicate knuckles covered with his blood. Faye paid her no mind. These new people seemed to be on Lance’s side, and he had saved her life.

“Oh no!” Faye cried, falling to her knees next to the hole in the floor. The squirrel was inside. It moved weakly. “You’re alive!” She picked up the tiny body and hugged it close.  The magic squirrel blinked stupidly. It must have gotten hit in the head.

The young man joined her a moment later, putting one hand gently on her shoulder. “Come on, we’ve got to get out of here. There might be more coming.”

“I wish they would,” said the woman. She appeared with a limp form thrown over one shoulder. The man was much bigger than she was, but she didn’t seem to notice the weight. “I hit that other guy through the chimney a little hard, but this one’s alive. I can remedy that real quick if you want…”

“Naw, the General will want to question him,” said a gruff male voice. “Francis, bring the car up and stick him in the back. Looks like some tough guys working for hire. They probably won’t know anything about the Imperium, but it’s worth a shot.” He sounded strangely familiar and Faye looked up. A burly, darkly-bearded man was standing at the base of the porch with his thick arms folded. He was wearing rough work clothes and a wide-brimmed hat. He was shorter than Faye, but nearly two men wide in the chest. Faye stood, still cradling the squirrel.


The man’s eyes twinkled as he grinned. “That’s me… Hell, kid. What’re you doing with that squirrel? I’m too proud and not near hungry enough to eat that flea-bitten thing for dinner.”

Faye looked down at the squirrel just as it regained its senses and bit the hell out her thumb. “Ow!” She flung her hands wide and the little animal scurried into the grass.

Lance turned and started to walk away with a pronounced limp, realizing a moment later that she wasn’t following. “You comin’ or what?”

Somewhere in Colorado

When Jake Sullivan woke up again it was later in the day and there were brown mountains outside blocking the sunlight, but a pair of electric lamps lit the train compartment fairly well. They were still moving and the air felt thinner when he inhaled. Someone was sitting in the chair next to the bed, reading a newspaper. The banner proclaimed that it was the Denver something or other, and the headline was about some anarchists causing trouble, but Sullivan didn’t feel like trying to move his head far enough to try and read it. He must have groaned, because the paper dipped down, revealing a thick pair of glasses and a friendly smile. “Evening, Jake. How’re you feeling?”

“Not dead. So could be worse.”

The man chuckled as he folded the newspaper. “Understandable. We haven’t had the pleasure of being formally introduced, though we’ve met twice now, I’m Daniel Garrett. I’ve been sent by my employer to make you an offer–” 

“Not to be rude, Dan, but which way’s the toilet?”

That caught him off guard, and he pointed for the rear of the compartment. “Well, you have been asleep for a really long time… But Ira said you shouldn’t try to move—“ Sullivan sat up abruptly, feeling the stitches pull and ache. “Never mind, I suppose.” He swung his legs off the bed, heaved himself up, and stumbled for the back. Walking would have been difficult under normal circumstances, but the rocking of the train made it worse. 

“Never been in a train car that had a private toilet. Now that’s high-class,” Sullivan stated on his return. This time there was a whole pitcher of water at the bedside instead of just a cup. He picked it up and started drinking

“Yes, I bribed our way onto the very best…” Garrett said as Sullivan pounded down the entire pitcher. “It was the first thing out of Chicago, well, this or a freight car, and the Doctor said he needed something decent to work on you, so I made sure I passed around enough dough to keep the crew from talking about the big, busted-up fella in the wheelchair.”

Sullivan slammed the pitcher down. “That’s better.” He leaned against the rocking wall, feeling every ache, stitch, and bruise, and he still had a cold. “I’m starved, any chance I could get you to spring for a couple of steaks?”

“Of course…” Garrett replied. “I… I thought you wanted to know what was going on first?”

Sullivan grimaced as his stomach growled.  Burning that much Power always made him hungry, and that wasn’t counting the blood loss. “You talk. I eat.”

That’s it.  Thanks for reading the sample chapters.  I promise it just keeps getting better after this, including the greatest climax I’ve ever written. Please leave a reply in the comments section below so I can guage the interest/excitement level.  And if you enjoyed this, please tell your friends.  Thanks, – Larry

EDIT: Now available for preorder

Talking to myself in the dark
The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic - Chapter 6

[…] under: Uncategorized « The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic – Chapter five The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic – Chapter 7 […]


Magnificent! Can’t wait for this series to be out!

Terry Goodkind, eat your heart out sucka!



That was excellent!


this is really great. i need to get my hands on more



posted a link on my wordpress site letting people know that free e-crack is available. I also am really, really enjoying this spin on history. Not sure if I want to classify this as urban fantasy or alternate history though.


I wrote a quick review and plugged it for ya. When you get around to it, I’d like a signed copy that I’ll pay for of course. Good stuff.


Wish it came out sooner. I look forward to reading the whole thing.


I love it, Larry. Thanks for posting this. I have one question, though; does the word Active apply to someone who’s magic is particularly powerful, or is it just a general term for all magic users? Also, is there any chance we could get a little more info on all the types of magic and what they do?


I hope this gets published before the zombie apocalypse arrives.

Splodge Of Doom

I like it!

I’m jonesing for more!

Good stuff, Larry, and I’m longing for the release to roll around.

Brett Stephens

Larry are you sure you could’nt post some more its a long
time till 2011.How about convincing Toni to post the E-ARC of MHV so I can buy it.


Fantastic – I want more!

It’s awesome. Pure and simple. I have been a fan of the pulp gaming/pulp style of the 30’s. This has racheted that interest up even more. In particular I’m a HUGE fan of the alternate history game/universe: Crimson Skies. I put this up on a couple pulp/miniatures gaming places, and there’s already some people preparing 28MM and other miniatures to game this! I do have one question: Do you have any design in mind for the zeppelins? I mean are they going to be semi-realistic looking, along the lines of the Macon and Akron, not realistic, but still the same… Read more »

The story gets 10 out of 10.

You get a 0/10 for posting it a year before the whole thing comes out.

grumble grumble…

C Kelsey

Larry, this is fantastic. On Facebook you did ask for feedback though, so please allow me a comment. I know this is only seven chapters, but the perspective jumps around an awful lot. The main story seems to focus on Sullivan and Faye. Is it possible to focus the story more on them. I know there’s a lot of background stuff you’re working on, but I did get a sense of reader frustration as each chapter jumped around. Again, I’m really enjoying it. I’m just providing an opinion. 🙂


Awww crap Larry. How do you sleep at night after doing things like this? All of us out here in internet-land, getting your “first taste is free” crack, and now we have to WAIT for the whole book to come out.
That’s just wrong man.

So … can I get another hit? 😉



Fantastic. Can’t wait for the book or the rest of the MHI saga. Thanks for sharing!


You need to get Ringo to teach you how to crank one out a month…

John Huttley

Excellent work Larry!
Looking forward to buying it.
A long wait in the meantime.

You need to pass it to Joe so he can put it on jiltanith.

robert devoe

yes Larry this is more great , fun enticing storytelling. And yes you are evil and mean to all us fans. Here little kiddies taste my sweet awesome exciting candy , Oh you want more CACKLE CAckle , oops gotta wait A YEAR UGGGHHHHHHHHH.
Good book cant wait to spend a whole day or 2 reading it. I couldn’t put down MHI when I got it. Damn work this is more fun. !!!!!


Larry, that was good stuff. But now I have to wait til 2011? At least MHV is coming soon because I need me some reading. My Butcher fix was earlier this month and now you have me jonesing for something that won’t be out til 2011.


Brian Hinchliffe

After reading the concept for GC I thought it would be so-so but after reading these chapters I can’t wait for it. When’s the MHV E-arc anyway?

Tim Covington

I love it and want the rest now. I think I shall have to bug Toni.

The Sick SuperHuman

Its awesome everything about it is awesome except one thing
release date 2011

carltohn mckenney

Good story.

Shifting viewpoint makes it seem choppy. OK for start of book but I hope it tames down shortly for the rest of the book. If not can you jump the viewpoint at chapter break rather than multiple times in a chapter?

Ben C

That is just cruel. Start out a story like that and then just leave it hanging.

Where do I send the money for the rest of it?



I’m just hoping release date 2011 means February and not later in the year.


I shot through MHI the day I got it, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of MHV. I must admit, I wasn’t that interested in the Grimnoir Chronicles… and then I read the first chapter. I can’t believe we’re gonna have to wait until next YEAR for the rest!

Between waiting for the MH books, the Dead Six novel, and this, you’re forcing me to learn something my parents tried for years to teach me – patience. *grumble*

In all seriousness though, keep up the good work. I enjoy damn near everything you’ve written. Looking forward to this with great anticipation.

Ryan Ballantyne

I’ve not read these samples, so you might think I’m not qualified to answer your questions, but I think I am.

See, I haven’t read them because I’m quite interested in the book. I very much want to read it when it comes out. However, I am *not* interested in getting hooked on a book that I won’t be able to read for another year, so I’ve abstained.

To all the rest of you: your anguish vindicates my abstinence. >:)

Joe in PNG

Incredible! I’ve been waiting for this since you posted the first little hints all those months ago.

Aaand if I remember right, St. Browning should be making an appearance…

Rupert Neve

Like x-men, but good and interesting and funny. So not like x-men at all, I guess…

I particularly enjoyed the warped history of the setting and characters. Most excellent.

I am only irritated that I must wait a year to read the rest. I would pay extra to get in on a pre-release hardcover/no-cover/e-book/version printed in disappearing ink on paper shotgun shells.

I have to wait one year for the book?????? Monster Hunter International was good but I can wait for Monster Hunter Vendetta, but this one looks soooo good … I’m a sucker for alternate realities, magic, hard boiled detectives, young girls in danger, wicked old men, world level conspiracy etc. You put all of them together and you want me to wait a year for it!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll say that you are a very bad man, but I think that it isn’t all your fault, after all you have a lot of (bad/good) company at Baen. I’ll try to forget about… Read more »

Fantastic! I can’t wait for the release.


You ended it right as everything is about to get explained? While I understand the reasoning, I never thought you were that evil. Nothing but pure evil!

The next year will be spent doing nothing but wondering what the explanation will be, and knowing that whatever I come up with will likely be inferior to the “truth.”


Good stuff! I just wish I could buy the book yesterday!

Andrew B

I’m really impressed with the characters, world-building, and system of magic so far. I like it. I’m definitely buying it.


Most excellent! The alternate reality setting is extremely compelling and the setting drips, oozes, and gushes style from the prime of the gangster era combined with the mystique of sci-fi fantasy. I also appreciate the detail given to representing physics realistically…or at least as much as possible when dealing with sci-fi and magic in fiction. And your detail in fights is also quite good.

Please post pre-order info when available and preferred method of pre-ordering if possible.


Very Cool. Thanks for preview. I really enjoyed it.

John Brown


I’d buy it right now. Why are they waiting so long?


They want to build Larry’s rep and the easiest way to do that is to ensure a steady but slow supply of novels for the first few years.

carlton mckenney

Unless he gets a Ringo type muse that fires him into hyperwrite and puts out 3 books a year.


Larry, be a pal and post the next chapter wouldya? That one was a bit short and we were just getting to the good part!


I will buy this as soon as it is released. I loved MHI and this teaser has my attention just as much as the MHI teaser did. I will also likely give copies of this as gifts, just as I have done with MHI. Bottom line- you can count on me to buy more than one whenever it comes out.


Hmm, I’m 69 so can’t guarantee I’ll be around to buy it in 2011 (but I intend to try for 2041) but it is definitely on my list. Maybe even the eArc if there is one.


I posted earlier, but I’ll add more now.

This is great stuff! It’s a major bummer that we have to wait so long, but from what you’ve provided, it will be worth the wait.

Personally, I kinda like the jumping around It worked for JRRT, so it’s not like no one’s ever used the technique successfully before.

Derek McQuay

My highest praise is buying the eARC.

Toni better put it up on Webscriptions soon!


You’re killing me, Correia. I was just able to deal with MHV not being available RIGHT NOW, and you come out with this! Supernatural stuff *and* set in the Thirties!

Michael G.

Larry, you sick bastard. What did we do to you to deserve this?
“I’m writing a book with magic, guns, zeppelins, hard-boiled detectives, retro-technology, zombie soldiers and secret societies. Oh and by the way, here are some sample chapters.”
Tell me who could resist that, especially after reading MHI? OK, besides Ryan Ballantyne, apparently.
Then you let us wait for 2011. That book better be out on January 1st, ya hear mister?

Seriously though, fantastic job, can’t wait to read the rest.


when i first found out about grimnoir my reaction was “eh, he should focus on monster hunter”. but now monster hunter is back burner. if i had this book and mhv in front of me and i could only read one, mhv would have to wait. baen needs to get your books to the market faster, this wait is murder. that being said, if you’re not already writing the second grimnoir book then you need to start writing it today.


Excellent work!!!
I add myself to the list of those waiting not so patiently for the release.


Never was much of a sci-fi/fantasy reader til I got a hold of your books Larry, absolutely loving this one very excited for the release.


Gotta say again, thanks for posting that comment on Brandon Sanderson’s Facebook status. I never would have known that this was coming out if you hadn’t.

Who do I need to bribe/cajole/threaten over at Baen to make this be released earlier next year? I’m already anxious to see what happens next. Great stuff here.

Scott Williams

More Please!
This is the reason that I don’t normally read snippets, when they turn out really good I hate having to wait for the finished product. Every bit as good if not better than MHI. Hopefully the EARC comes out soon.


Great stuff Larry, Jumping around to different perspectives makes it interesting for those of us who are

What? No I told you earlier……

schizophrenic. I try to keep the voices one at least the same page if not the same paragraph but sometimes it helps to have different story lines for each voice to follow. Keeps em all happy that way.


Man, I’m already hooked. This must be what an addict feels like when he’s jonesing for a fix! So good, Larry! It’s like you took Green Ronin’s “Mutants and Masterminds” RPG, combined it with what Heroes should be, and threw in a dash of Steampunk, and created this awesomeness! I can’t wait! I’m passing this on to all my friends!


Great! Good pace, interesting characters.

Yes, I wanna get a copy (or two). And additional stories in the series would be great!



Well, done, Larry…excellent use of Thirties history and period dialogue. I’m hooked, too!

Damn, 2011 is a ways off…


Damn Larry! Just…DAMN!

This is going on my wishlist ASAP.

Thoughts? Okay let’s see what I can do.. Okies… when you want to get the riffraff out of your state, dry it up. And send them to California. Lewis Gun. Not for concealed carry. Gravity. Now THATS a weapon with some heft to it. A few planets worth of heft in fact. For the man with super strength, healing, and heavy boots, the LeMat-Schofield in .50 and 12 gauge. Too cool a gun to stay with such an ass hole. I’d hope Faye gets it, but it probably weighs as much as her. Could you possibly imagine a more creepy,… Read more »

Oh boy, let’s just hope Baen puts the book out on Jan 1st 2011. 😉


waiting for 2011 is no good. time to go rogue on baen. listen, you write books i give you money for them. simple concept. here is money, give me book. you want more money? ok fine. you give more book.


The more i read the more i love it, though what would be scary is a heavy physics professer


Uh, Sullivan pretty much IS a physics professor. He ENJOYED reading Einstein, and I can’t get through more than a chapter or two.

Mr Fixit

Dang it!

Your like a crack dealer, giving me just enough to get me hooked!

More! anything for more!

Mr Fixit


That is a work of genius. And you are evil for giving us the first 7 chapters and making us wait a year for the rest. So I now officially pronounce you an Evil Genius!

Seriously, another book of yours I can’t wait to read. Does it come out after the Dead 6 novel? I can’t wait for your next book, whichever one it is.


Larry, I loved MHI, and thought I wouldn’t like this ’cause I’m not usually a fan of period fiction. Yikes, man! GNC-HM is great. Got to say that your writing has taken a real leap forward with these chapters, managing to keep the action pounding forward while developing characters this well is quite a skill. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the finished book. JD

Heath J

That was friggin awesome… Excellent stuff!

Now we come to the real question? How much? Every man has a price, what’s yours?? MOAR!


Wes S.

Please, sir, may I have some more?

Paula Handley

I’ve finished all the sample chapters. “Please sir, I’d like some more.”
No, really. One of my favorite eras in history (so many fascinating changes to not just our nation, but the world at large) plus magical abilities? You’ve hooked me, so now I’m planning on buying this series as well as Monster Hunters. Thanks a lot. 😀


I have a question for you, Larry:

How many books do you have finished right now that are in line to be published, and how many are you actively working on?


Just adding in one more comment: I for one like all the jumping around. Covering 2 storylines at once, along with “insights” from the various string-pullers and antagonists make it interesting.


I completely agree. In fact, one of my favorite “jumps”, and the reason I like the style so much, is when we are seeing things through Amish’s perspective right up until he dies, then it jumps back to Jake’s perspective. I thought that was great, I could actually see the scene play out in my head like a movie.

I will definitely buy this when it comes out Mr. Correia; fantastic work.

I read all seven chapters… today… in the one sitting. I have to agree with montanaarmorer, I really like all the jumping around: I liked it in the dead six(welcome back mr. nightcrawler story) that you co-wrote, and I liked it here. I think the tone was good: a little serious, but kind of playful. I also liked that you worked some of the period correct language into your narrative, not just the dialogue. From one author to another, I salute you, sir. Now, how many copies of MHI do we have to buy for you to realease MHI:Vendetta and… Read more »

Awesome Larry. Huge fan of MHI and will definitely buy this as soon as it’s available.


Will there be an advance copy through Baen? I would buy it today.

Chris Haston

Really enjoyed the first seven chapters. Cannot believe you are going to make us suffer till 2011. Ah well at least the earc will be up month or two before.


Good lord, this novel needs to come out a whole lot sooner than it’s scheduled release. I can’t wait until the end of 2011. That’s awful. I want to read it now.

Come on, Baen, do us all a solid and move up the release date. This is torturous.


Suffice to say that I will be securing a signed copy of this (and MH:V) from you once they are available… Gotta collect them all :).

George Hill

The story gets better. It just kinda keeps picking up pace…
I can’t wait for a bound copy! Signed of course!


Hey Larry, Screw You! We have to wait a whole ‘nother year for the rest! WTF! Can we get an E-ARC like, oh, tomorrow?

But seriously, this is a great start and I can’t wait to read the rest. You definitely have me hooked and I will happily pay the fifteen dollars as soon as the ARC is up on I’ve enjoyed everything of yours that I have read. Keep Writing! We’ll keep reading!


I’m going to do a repeat with this like I did with MHI. Got the book grudgingly for my father, but sat down and read the first chapter in the car in the parking lot at the bookstore. Then followed in Golum’s footsteps and hoarded it to myself until I was finished.
Autographed copies, when do they come out??? 8D


Point me to the preorder page. That’s all I ask.

Reeve Southam


I don’t remember much about my 2 hour flight from ATL to MSP, but my mind hasn’t stopped thinking about the characters you introduced to me while I was on it.

Clever look at a familiar time period. I liked the voice of the times that came through, it rang authentic, while you were warping the rest of the universe to incorporate magic abilities.

I’m looking forward to a time when you can write full time and we can anticipate a new release just as we finish your last one. How’s that for some performance pressure?

Thanks for posting these chapters.

Mike Doyle

I really liked this. Will definitely purchase the book. In fact, you can probably sign me up for both a paper-and-ink copy and an e-book copy. 🙂

Faye seems more engaging to me than Sullivan, simply because at this stage in the story she’s potentially very vulnerable, and yet *not* cowering in terror.

The way different people have different magic abilities, and yet more than one person has each type seems cool to me.

Thanks for the sneak preview.


Leon Jester


Can’t wait to read all of it. MHI rocked, this has the same flavour, pacing.

I like the heck out of it.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA


Um, Larry,
Have you seen any of War of the Worlds: Goliath?

Specifically their armored battle zeppelins.

James Nelson

Good stuff, don’t make the hero too invulnerable.

Larry, I just today came across your website. After having read your preview chapters here, I am ready to go wherever I must in order to find more of your work. and perform whatever violence I must in order to obtain it. Or, y’know, I might buy it too. That being said, you asked for critical response, so here it is: 1) Many viewpoints I enjoyed having glimpses of the world though different eyes than the main characters. However, I think you can do even better. a) I thought that the first perspective we saw, Traveling Joe, was absolutely rich… Read more »
Larry – You wanted feedback on the world, and I forgot all about it. I thought the world was a lot of fun – altered history, touch of steampunk, some Marvel-style powers. More important is the way you are delivering it – a bit at a time, in little snippets, as if all these goings-on were perfectly natural. The magic system is fun and easy to grasp, and it seems as though you will spend some time answering my main questions: “why did people suddenly get powers?” and “What is the energy source of / price they pay for using… Read more »
Bubba Man

Just finished reading the sample chapters and I am really looking forward to getting a copy of this one (who am I kidding, I’m looking forward to all of them, loved MHI, Bubba WANT MORE!!)

-Bubba Man “Bubba, you’re over the line from Redneck to Hillbilly!”


Absolutely brilliant! I’ll be buying this when you get it printed.


I read the snippets at Dribblets of Baen. I just want to say that was cracking I can not wait for the book to come out

Bought MHI shortley after release and loved it. Teen age son just read it a couple days ago. Will be ordering everything you write from here out. MHI was excellent but TGC is an order of magnitude better. I’m going to pre-order. Love the modified quotes from historical figures as well as the altered historical timeline in our parallel universe. Trouble is, the way they teach history nowadays in school, todays crop of youth will believe this historical timeline as fact. Thanks for giving away our once secret identities and blowing our cover. Pay no nevermind to that grey mist… Read more »

I’m breaking into Baen to get the advanced copy. This is well done!



Awesome work! I loved MHI, now it looks like I’m going to have a collection of Correia works on my shelf.


Awesome. MOAR, please.

irish red

I’ll buy it.

Karl Maier

This is very good and original, I am already hooked an I will be watching for more.

> I’ve just got one request. Please post in the comments of this thread > and let me know what you think, if you’d like to get this, and if you > are interested in the world of TGC. Larry, Please forgive me for presuming to comment about something you do well, but you asked… 1. Wow. [i.e., of course I would “like to get this”] 2. Your gift – Storytelling. You are raw, unrefined and addictive. 3. Your prose/style – yada yada yada. I could go on and on as some of the postings on this thread have. I… Read more »
Jürgen A.

Hope there is an eARC planned.
BTW is there on for the Second Monster Hunter planned? ETA?

Mark Love

You’ve joined John and Tom on my list of authors I will buy by reflex. Your stuff is just all good.


Yep, I’ll be buying this one as soon as it hits the shelves.

Sapper Mike

This is great. As soon as you get it out, I’ll buy eARC, HC, and PB. I use the PBs as reader crack to my friends to hook ’em on authors I like.

To new addicts!

Jon B

Please tell me there is going to be a release date for “Hard Magic” soon? Please, please, please? Absolutely loved the sample chapters and am hungry for more, much more. I haven’t read anything this original in a long time. Great work, sir.

A very good story. The displacement and alterations of history make this an addictive read. The characters are good (some will complain that they aren’t nuanced, but who wants to hear how they wet the bed or cry about their feelings). You pile the action on fast and hard which makes this great read. My only complaint is that you really need to have a bit more explanation of some of the background of the origins of magic (Now I know I have only read the first seven chapters). From what I could gather, this seems to have started in… Read more »
I just read this whole sequence again, I had originally read it off of the Jiltanith Baen snippets site. I love the concept and the pacing of Hard Magic, and I’ll have to go check out the Monster Hunter books now. One confusing bit that I’m still trying to figure out….you’ve established that everyone (except one person, who is apparently a Bad Guy) only has one Power (or at least that’s the conventional wisdom). Lenny was called a Finder, and he seemed to have some ability to “view” from a distance based on what he told Madi, but he also… Read more »

Sweet! I love it! I do not know if I will be able to wait for the rest of it to come out. Keep doing what you are doing!

As one of the prior commentors noted, you are a very good storyteller. This is not serious literature, it is VERY entertaining. I had no problem with the multiple viewpoints, I think it makes for a deeper story. My only problem with the multiple viewpoints is that Travelin’ Joe bought the farm. I liked the old coot. I understand that, like in Psycho, the result is to unsettle the reader because even viewpoint characters are not safe. I do have some issues with what I see as an inconsistency in Travelin’ Joe’s character. He is presented as someone who believes… Read more »

I don’t think the word “Geo-Tel” was in the 7 chapters I read. Care to share?

Ted N(not the Nuge)

Awesomeness, can’t wait for it and all your other projects, great stuff.


I really enjoyed this. I stumbled onto your work after my boss recommended MHI to me. I loved the pop culture references in that novel (also, the foreshadowing was superb) and I’m excited to see where you take the ‘alternate time line’ in this one. Nikola Tesla is probably my favorite mad scientist and I can’t wait to see how he ties into the story line. I liked the multiple view points, but it was a little difficult to tell when you were transitioning from one to the other. Slightly confusing, but I picked up on it pretty quick. Making… Read more »

Dear Sir;
You are an evil man. Everytime i pick up a book (or a sample) written by you, I began to feel the maddening need to run out and buy it. Keep it up, you’ve definitely earned your place among my list of must-read authors.

David L.

I can’t wait to read this book as well as your third installment in the Monster Hunter series. This looks like it will be something I have to read all of the day I get it. Just got Monster Hunter Vendetta a few days ago and could not put it down. Thank you for writing and publishing your work. Also, please put up an ARC of the whole book on Baen’s site closer to the release date. I want to read it all now hehe.


Thank goodness I did not read this until November – now the wait for the rest of this awesomeness is much shorter.

I love Raymond Chandler and Noir – and this rocks.

War Eagle!


Dune Scholar

Why won’t May 3, 2011 come any faster????

(is there no earlier release date?)

Larry – some impressive stuff – have re-read these samples over and over and over and over… you get the picture.

Please speed up time.



Kevin Goodrich

I must have this now. NOW I tell you!


Awesome stuff, as usual! As another post-ee said, you’ve just joined my list of “go out and buy everything in print” authors. Its a short list.