A Halloween Public Service Annocement from Monster Hunter International

Several years ago a film crew from the television news program PrimeLine was given unprecedented access to the staff of Monster Hunter International, a secretive company headquartered in Cazador, Alabama. Chief PrimeLine reporter, Leslie Bing, after learning of the existence of monsters was committed to educating the public about their dangers. Mr. Bing’s original plan was to broadcast the interviews as a series of public service announcements before Halloween. However, the tapes were later seized by an unnamed federal agency and the staff of PrimeLine was admonished to never speak of monsters publically. The only thing that remains from these conversations are the transcripts of the original un-edited PSA footage, presented here for the first time.

Reception Area, MHI headquarters building

PL:  I’m with Earl Harbinger, Director of Operations for MHI, a company that purportedly tracks down and destroys supernatural threats. So, Mr. Harbinger, this is your chance to tell the world about monsters. What does the public need to know to stay safe?

HARBINGER:  You know they’re never gonna let you show this, right?  Cold day in hell before that happens.

PL:  Thank you for your concern, Mr. Harbinger, but here at PrimeLine, we’re dedicated to getting the truth.

HARBINGER: Uh huh… Good luck with that. Agent REDACTED will probably feed you into a wood chipper. If I were to say, on camera, that monsters were real, I’d get shut down by the REDACTED so fast your head would spin.

PL: Well, hypothetically… For our Halloween special, if monsters were real, what would you tell everyone?

HARBINGER:  Hmmm… hypothetically? Buy guns. Lots of guns.

#

CUT TO:  A different office.

PL:  Julie Shackleford, MHI Contracts Manager, has agreed to speak with PrimeLine about a very serious threat. Ms. Shackleford?

SHACKLEFORD: The biggest danger to America’s youth is that whole emo-tween romantic vampire fiction crap that’s caught on. Movies, books, TV, its everywhere.

PL: Excuse me?

SHACKLEFORD: You know, Anne Rice started it, with her brooding, sensitive vampires. Come on, pre-crazy Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in one movie? That’s some man candy. Then you got Twilight, oh barf, where sparkly vampires don’t want to eat you, they just want to be loved and all that EXPLETIVE DELETED. It sends the wrong message to young women. What kind of hundred year old hangs out a high school to pick up dates? Weirdo pedophiles. That’s who. Real vampires love those books. It makes picking up victims much easier.

PL: Really?

SHACKLEFORD: Absolutely. Speaks directly to camera. Listen, girls. I know you like that whole ‘bad-boy-but-I-can-change-him’ thing, but real life vampires aren’t sensitive, they aren’t sparkly, and they don’t want to be your boyfriend. They want to eat you. Sucking your blood is not a euphemism, they literally want to suck your blood… out of your body. You kind of need that to, oh, not die. With vampires, when somebody says don’t forget to wear protection, we’re talking about body armor. The rates of vampire attacks have risen dramatically over the last few years against gullible teenagers because you’re just making this easier for them. Looks back at reporter.  Hypothetically.

PL: Of course.

SHACKLEFORD: Looks back to camera.  Vampires love you about as much as you love a Big Mac, honey. Deal with it.

#

Cut to: A very cluttered office

PL: Owen Zastava Pitt is the Finance Manager for Monster Hunter International. I’ve got to say, you don’t really look like an accountant.

OZP: Sorry, just got off the range.  I like to shoot at least two hundred rounds before lunch every day.

PL: Am I reading this right? Studies piece of paper. Why do they call you the God Slayer?

OZP: Sighs. Kill one god, people get all worked up. Go figure. Drops a giant pile of guns on desk. Hypothetically, of course.

PL: So Mr. Harbinger has already talked to you?

OZP: Sent a company-wide e-mail, but yeah, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve got a public service announcement for you. Picks stack of papers off of desk.  This is valuable stuff and often overlooked by most people. Let’s say that you were to kill a monster, which could never actually happen, mind you, but say that you did kill an imaginary monster… How do you get paid?

PL: I have no idea.

OZP:  This, holds up paper, is a Treasury Form P-3506. You need to submit one of these within sixty days of killing a monster. As you can see, you need to put in your PUFF table numbers, which you can get by cross referencing column J from page 56 of table P.  I built a spreadsheet for this, but you can use the cross reference from ES-1920-B paragraph fourteen–

EDITORS NOTE:  Several minutes of explanation have been deleted here. It was believed that the accounting details would put most PrimeLine viewers to sleep.

OZP:  –then, and this is important, you still need to report this on your taxes. The 1040X is where you report PUFF income. Oh, man, the IRS will fine the EXPLETIVE DELETED out of you if you don’t fill out your schedule X every quarter!

PL: coughs politely. Thank you for your time, Mr. Pitt.

#

Cut to: outside of a workshop

Three individuals wearing baggy black outfits, masks, and tinted goggles have stopped the PrimeLine cameraman and are poking at him curiously. With sticks.

PL: Excuse me. Who are you?

?1: Stares. You… I seen on magic box.

?2: The Prime Lines?

PL: Why yes, that’s me on the… magic box.

?3: We be on magic box now?

PL: Maybe.  

?2: We for news!  Curious. You know the Bills Oh-Reillys?

PL: No. I’m afraid he’s on a different network.

?2: Sadness. Likes the Oh-Reillys.

?3: grunts. Possible laugh? Pinheads. He he he.

?1: Suspicious. You know the Keiths the Olbers Mans?

PL: No.

?1: Good. Skippy would eat the heart… of Keiths the Olbers Mans.

?2: Foul beast, the Olbers Mans.  #2 turns his head and spits on the ground.

The three mysterious individuals lose interest and wander off.

#

Cut to: Inside a very packed workshop.

PL: I’m here with Milo Anderson. MHI’s…. what is your title exactly, Mr. Anderson?

MILO: It’s just Milo. I don’t really have a title, though I’m thinking about putting Renaissance Man on my business cards.  Earl said you guys were coming and that I wasn’t supposed to talk too much. I think he said be helpful, but non-committal.

PL: Well, if you’ve seen our program, then you know that we pride ourselves on hard-hitting, fact-filled, journalism—

MILO: Nope. Haven’t seen it. I get all my news from Coast to Coast AM. I’ve got a public service helpy thing for you, though. Pulls sheet off of workbench dramatically.  Ta dah!

PL:  What’s all this?

MILO: Now, you might be thinking this is just a bunch of household cleaning products and some lawn-care items that you could pick up at any Wal-Mart, but oh no, what you’ve got here are the ingredients to take care of even the nastiest monster problems. I want to do my PSA on how to build improvised home explosives!

PL: I don’t think we can air that.

MILO: Aw, come on! One bag of REDACTED mixed with REDACTED of a pound of REDACTED and I can do this.  Milo picks up a sack, lights it on fire, and chucks it out the open doorway. You guys may want to cover your ears.

HORRENDOUS EXPLOSION

MILO: Waits for dust to settle. Coughs. Seriously. I think I should have my own show on the Discovery Channel. Each episode I could demonstrate all sorts of cool stuff. Now that would make for some good TV. How to build bombs and flame throwers for science! Could you pitch that for me?

PL: Thank you for your time, Mr. Anderson.

#

CUT TO:  Reception Area, MHI headquarters building

PL: Thank you for having us, Mr. Harbinger. It’s been an interesting experience.

HARBINGER: Glad to be of assistance, Mr. Bing. They’re never gonna let you show this, though. When you run into Agent REDACTED and he threatens you and takes your files, don’t resist too hard, it just gets him in a punching mood.

PL: Do you have any closing statements for our viewers in order to prepare them for Halloween?

HARBINGER: Kids, don’t eat too much candy all at once. You’ll get sick. For the grownups, don’t get too stupid at any parties. Everybody looks better in costume and you’ve probably been drinking too much. That can lead to some poor judgment.

PL: That’s it? That’s your advice?

HARBINGER: shrugs.  From everybody at MHI, have a happy Halloween.

 

Charity alert! Pin up girls and Mad Mike are helping the troops.

http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/news.php  Check it out.  Super Author Mike Williamson just sent me this. A charity event to help our injured troops. It has pin up girls AND food. 

NOTE:  I am 99% sure that this picture is NOT of Baen author Michael Z. Williamson.

EDIT:  Hmmmm… the charity things I’ve done so far as an author have involved wombats and red-shirt murders.  Apparently I am doing something totally wrong.

Back from Arizona, wasn’t even asked for papers once!

So last weekend was my Arizona signings.  Last year John Brown and I did the rounds, signed some books, and met some book sellers. This year John was unavailable, and I really didn’t want to go by myself, so Nightcrawler volunteered to come along for the ride.  Now that would have been a hilarious vehicle to attempt a carjacking on!

First thing first, I’m a little disappointed in you Arizonans. After months of bleating and squealing from the news media about the horrific terror of your racist laws, I was fully expecting (as a wise Latino) to have to present my papers at all of your many racist checkpoints (that MSNBC specifically told me would be popping up on every corner!) or face immediate beatings and deportation.  Sadly, my only dealings with law enforcement consisted of getting a friendly warning for breaking a traffic law and then a member of the Arizona Rangers gave me a t-shirt.

It’s like you guys aren’t even trying down there. Keith Olberman will be very upset to hear about this!

 I love Arizona. It would be on my list of states that I could live in, except for that whole getting up to 147 degrees in the summer thing you’ve got going on down there.  Though it was nice to leave the mountains of Utah (where it was snowing), to go hang out in 80 degree weather for a couple of days.  

Arizona is a long way from Utah. You wouldn’t think that, since they actually touch each other, but when you live in the mountains up at on the north end of Utah, and you drive all the way to Phoenix, which is sorta in the middle of Arizona, and back, in one weekend, it makes for an epic drive.  Last year when I did book signings there I just flew, but I really wanted to see what northern Arizona looked like, since I’d never been there before.  It sure doesn’t look like the rest of the state at all.

Flagstaff is actually very nice, kind of in the forest, and there was a surprisingly large number of hippies wandering around between stores that sold chakra beads, crystals, and hemp.  Luckily it turned out that the manager of the Flagstaff B&N was a huge fan, and they’d sold a pile of my books there. Very nice.

The plan in Phoenix was to hit as many bookstores as possible. Walk in, meet a manager, sign all the books in stock, try to find some staffer who could be a fan, repeat. Stores that I have a fan or two on staff tend to sell way more books than those where the staff has never heard of me.  I’ve got a few stores where they love me, and so they sell a correspondingly absurd number of books.  Those I love. So in the Phoenix area stores, my presence either merited a solid “woot” while others gave me a “meh” at best. 

The first one on the north end on the way into town was kind of embarrassing. They still had a single autographed copy of MHI from LAST YEAR.  D’oh! Talk about sad.  Luckily that only happened once, and just about everywhere else I’d been selling well, and a few I’d been selling great.  Just like in prior years and other states, B&N loves Larry Correia way more than Borders does. B&N usually stocked way more copies, their staff was much happier to help, and they were just generally a lot more chipper. Borders usually had a copy or two. That was it, and they weren’t usually very enthusiastic.  Compare that to some of the B&Ns or Book-Stars, who once they knew I was coming, they’d order many extra copies for me to sign so they could build an end-cap display. Autographed copies just plain sell better.

There was a single indy store that had never heard of me at all… But then again it appeared that most of their business consisted of beads and pseudo-Buddhist trinkets to sell to the local chai-swilling hipsters, so I probably wasn’t a real good fit anyway. 

I did a signing at the Tempe Marketplace Barnes & Noble on Saturday and was mobbed the entire time by a squadron from the Monster Hunter Nation. The two hour event turned into three hours of people trying to wheedle spoilers on the next couple books out of me. It was totally awesome.

Saturday night we did dinner at a Japanese steakhouse with the Arizona contingent of www.wethearmed.com Thurnlund even bought me dinner, which is saying something, because I got steak, shrimp, and sushi, all while the chef made big saki powered fireballs. Dinner ended up lasting from 7:00 until they tossed us out at midnight.  What a cool bunch.  

Sunday was the event at the Poison Pen. I’ve got to say that I love the Poison Pen. They are one of the neatest bookstores around, and getting to sign there is a real treat.  Last year was the first time I met them, and I think they were surprised by the number of fans that came in to see John and I, and also how much fun we all had. This year they were eager to invite me back. Also, I made their Top 10 list for the year, which was very neat, because these people read a TON of books.

There were five other authors present, S.S. Wilson (Tucker’s Monster), Weston Ochse (pronounced Oaks, Empire of Salt), Sam Sykes (Tome of the Undergates), and James Owen (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica).  We had a two hour discussion/Q&A with the audience, and then signed an absurdly large number of books.  Poison Pen wanted to be stocked up because they said that the Monster Hunter series has been selling extremely well there.

From L to R, James Gandolfini tells a fascinating story about his nose to James Owen, Sam Sykes, Weston Ochse, and S.S. Wilson

The other authors were witty, fun, and there wasn’t a snob in the bunch, (which does occasionally happen with us authorial types) I bought copies of everyone else’s books.  

One interesting note for the many gunnies of the Monster Hunter Nation, S.S. Wilson is the dude that wrote the screenplay for the Tremors movies. Yes, I got to hang out with the man that created Burt “You broke into the wrong rec-room!” Gummer, patron saint of gun-nuts.  We ended up having a good talk afterward, because he wanted to quiz me about how he could get the internet gun forum/blog community to know about his novels.  (I have a bit of a rep, you know.)  My response was “BURT GUMMER! You created one of the most popular movies amongst my tribe EVAR! Go forth and register on the following forums and tell them I sent you,” and then I gave him a list.  Seriously, if anybody can pique the interest of gun forumite novel readers, it’s the guy that made up Tremors. “Why do you have cannon fuse? For my cannon.”

After shooting the bull with the other writers for awhile, Mike and I set out for home. No deer were run over, so I call it a win. Overall, considering how far I drove and how often I’d look down to see that I was doing 95 in a 75, I only got pulled over once, (for passing a tractor when I really shouldn’t have tried to pass) and I got off with a warning. Yay!  (I was very contrite, because it had been a bad call on my part, but I think the warning was because Mike had his backpack with his U.S. Air Force name tape on it in the back seat, so Go Air Force!)

So this year’s Arizona trip was a rousing success.  Next up, the Great Grimnoir Tour. I don’t have it planned yet, but I’ll be flying to Minnesota in May, and then after that I’m going to road trip it through six states, hitting a different city every single day.

New podcast, and we had a lot of fun

http://dungeoncrawlersradio.mypodcast.com/2010/10/DCR_Larry_Correia_Interview-330307.html   I did this interview last week, and we had a great time.  The DCR guys are a blast to talk to.  We ended up talking for over an hour about just about everything.

I think this sums it up pretty well

Hat tip to Kathy Jackson for finding this. She thought that maybe I’d written it under a pen name. :p  Nope, but I agree with it. She must have thought that because of all the references to suck and Godzilla. http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/republicans-kind-of-suck-which-is-why-they-will-win-huge-in-november/

Let’s book bomb the hell out of John Brown

As many of you know, last year I did a book tour with fantasy author John Brown.  He wrote Servant of a Dark God.  I’ve reviewed this book before, and to summarize it is great. Really great. And it is the beginning of a series and the others are supposed to be even better. John is a good friend, and a really sharp writer. He’s actually helped me get better by helping me understand the things that I do, right or wrong, and to put them into words. He’s way more analytical than I am. I basically make sure something explodes every 40 pages and call it good. John actually understands the craft of writing.

That said, SoaDG originally came out in hard cover, and hard covers are expensive. Especially when it is from a first time writer that you haven’t heard of. I’m actually glad I came out in paperback first because it gave me a chance to build an audience. A $7.99 impulse buy is a lot easier than a $25.00 impulse buy. So John hasn’t gotten nearly the exposure he should have considering how talented he is.

Well, SoaDG is finally coming out in paperback November 2nd. And I would like to help John get some more exposure. One good way to do that is to bump up your Amazon scores until you start showing up on various lists. So now you only need to drop a measly $8 to see if I’m telling you the truth. 

Amazon works on some sort of bizzarre, indecipherable rolling-average algorythm. It is voodoo. But basically it changes hourly based on how many books were sold compared to everybody else in some unknowable time frame. I want to knock John’s number way up there, and the best way to do that is to buy a bunch of them at approximately the same time.

http://www.amazon.com/Servant-Dark-God-John-Brown/dp/0765362309/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287502096&sr=8-1

There’s the link. Go buy a book. Trust me, it is good. If you don’t like epic fantasy that doesn’t involve contractors shooting monsters in the face, then buy one now anyway, and then give it as a Christmas present to whoever you know that does like fantasy. What I want to do is to see if the Monster Hunter Nation can bump up the stats of somebody other than me.  Think of this as a telethon for making a good writer more famous. I’m going to update the stats here throughout the day to see what we can do.  Right now John is at:

  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • One note on SoaDG, because I got the behind the scenes; It starts out slower than it should have, and makes it seem like a different kind of fantasy novel, which throws some reviewers.  In reality, the first action chapter (which is like #4 if I recall correctly) was originally the beginning, but John’s editor made him change it. See, that’s why I love my editor. So far she’s only told me where I’ve done stupid things and told me to make them not suck. :)

    And here is a link to John’s webpage. http://johndbrown.com/ He’s got free samples on there too.

    EDIT: Trending upward, big time. :)

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    EDIT 2: Not too shabby.

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    EDIT 3: HA HA! Now we’re talking!

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    EDIT 4: BAM!  Top 100 in epic fantasy baby!  And now beating MHI which is at #91!  The Monster Hunter Nation is rocking the charts.

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    EDIT 5: Super Author John Brown moves up a page in Epic Fantasy!

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    EDIT 6: This is now higher than John got when his hard cover came out.  Congrats, Monter Hunter Nation. You are more effective than Tor’s marketing department. :)

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    EDIT 7: A new record

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    My geeky hobbies

    By popular demand, here is a quick pic of my new geeky hobby, building custom Monster Hunter International action figures. From L to R, Earl, Lee, Trip, Sam, Holly, Milo, Julie, Skippy, Gretchen. My Blackberry takes lousy pictures, so you’ll have to wait until I get back from AZ before I take any good ones.

    These still need lots of work, touching up, finishing, etc. Not pictured is Edward (needs work on his hood), Franks (screwed up sculpting his neck, botched the face paint), and Owen (saving him for last).

    I’ll take detail shots later. I’m proud of a few things that came out surprisingly good, like I built Trip’s dreads from scratch, and I built a shotgun shell leg caddy on Lee that looks like it came from the factory. I built Abomination to spec using a Marvel legends AK, M203 & EO Tech from Marauder, and a bayonet that I carved.

    Going to be in Arizona this weekend

    Saturday, October 23rd at the Tempe Marketplace B&N from 1-3 PM.

    Sunday, October 24th at the Poison Pen in Scottsdale at 2:00 PM.  This is their Halloween bash and will have 5 authors there.  http://www.poisonedpen.com/event-calendar/correia-larry-1 

    Come by and say hi.

    Massad Ayoob also hunts monsters

    In addition to being the most widely read gun-writer of our time, a great instructor, and all around interesting guy, Massad Ayoob also collects the occassional PUFF bounty. 

    http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2010/10/14/monster-hunters/

    Thanks, Mas. :)

    He points out that Stephen Hunter and I are two of the gun-culture writers to have made it on the NYT bestseller list. For my readers that haven’t read Stephen Hunter, you owe it to yourself to do so.  My personal favorites are Hot Springs and Pale Horse Coming.  Maybe Stephen Hunter and I should collaborate. We could have Earl Swagger team up with Earl Harbinger. Two old-school southern badasses shooting everything. We could call it A Tale of Two Earls.  Now that would sell a lot of books.

    More Grimnoir artwork from Zack Hill

    We’re getting closer to the release. I’m waiting to hear back on the final edits. Hard Magic is scheduled to release in May, so we should see an E-Arc around February or so.  I’m really excited for you guys to read this one. I’m very proud of it.

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