A Christmas Shopping Suggestion

Okay, I did this last year and it was awesome, so here goes nothing.

Sometimes people ask me if I’ve got a tip jar on the blog. I don’t. However, here is a way to kill two birds with one stone. Bird A: Do your Christmas (or other) Shopping. Bird B: Give your favorite author free money!

I’ve got an Amazon affiliates program. Basically any time you guys click on one of the Amazon links here on my blog, and then purchase almost anything through Amazon after entering through that link, then I get a percentage of your purchase price as a refferal.

So for example, if you click on this link to The Monster Hunters:

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=monshuntnati-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=1451637845

But then end up shopping and buying new toe nail clippers and a loofa and it cost $10, then I will get like 70 cents of that.  Multiply that by my thousands of readers and I just paid the light bill. :) It is pretty sweet, and if you guys were going to buy stuff through Amazon anyway, if you click through one of my links, then I get a chunk of money to blow on ammo and minis.

And remember, nothing channels the spirit of the Christmas Noun like giving the gift of various Larry Correia novels to all of your friends, loved ones, coworkers, probation officer, or terrorist network.

EDIT: I fixed the epic typo. No I’m not that cheap that I do everything in 1/10th of a penny. :p  And also, for future reference, any of the links to my books on the right side of this page will work too.

Why you should participate in Monday’s Book Bomb

This is the intro to Howard Tayler’s story Flight of the Runewright in the Space Eldritch anthology. http://www.coldfusionmedia.us/category/space-eldritch/  Tune in here on Monday so we can Book Bomb the hell out of this. The goal is to sell as many books in one spot, in one day, as possible, in order to bump them up on the sales list. (and hey, I even wrote the forward!)

This thing is straight up horror, and it just gets creepier until the end. This was the story that hooked me when I was alpha reading. So here is your free sample. You want the rest? Check back Monday and let’s give these guys a good sales boost.

#

There is a click, soft and silvery, at my throat. The black velvet bag over my head is now locked in place, and I won’t be able to see a damned thing until I’m safely aboard the Voidheron and bound for freedom. I know better than most just how damned those things are, but the thought of a blind, winding walk across the rune-inscribed tarmac gives me a momentary chill.

“The rope is to your left, Mister Simonson,” says a voice in my right ear. She sounds like a sweet girl, and she’s speaking remotely. Very remotely, I expect. She’s probably never seen the path we need to walk, let alone the glyphs, symbols, and assorted ’grams carved into the ancient materials of Voidheron’s hull. Seeing is believing, and believing is not worth it. My brother–my twin, just forty seconds my senior–has seen and believes, and is locked away for his own and everybody else’s good.

So I reach out with my left hand, and there is the rope. It feels like silk, and it’s thick. It hangs from something above me, taut above my hand, slack below.

“Hold tightly as you walk. Do not let go.” There is a mechanical hum and a click above me, then a gentle pull forward on the rope. I begin to walk.

“Mommy, why won’t they let us see?” The child’s voice is coming from maybe five meters ahead of me. Shut up, kid. You don’t want to know.

“The spaceship is very bright on the outside. We need to fly through the darkest parts of the whole universe, and our ship is brighter than the sun. If you looked at it, you’d burn your eyes.”

Lucky kid. His mother is one hell of a liar. I mean, that’s a good lie. There’s just enough truth in it to convince you that you shouldn’t look, but it’s not the whole story. The actual truth will have you wanting to look. After all, how can seeing some letters and numbers, or whatever those shapes are, really break your brain?

My brother, like all the rest of the runewrights, had to do his work with a patch strapped over his left eye. Always the left. Something about brain hemispheres. You can get by if just half your head has eldritch power coruscating through it, but if both eyes see what you’re writing, if you get a chance to really think about it, it’s all you can think about, and your head ends up in the place where Voidheron needs to go, except your head can’t get back out.

Ignoring the nervous murmurs around me, I walk. Led by the pulling of the rope, I step along a gradually tightening rightward curve. Then a sharp left and a long straightaway. There are others ahead of and behind me, shuffling carefully. Now another sharp left. I take a few steps, and my rope stops pulling. I take another step and my rope tugs backwards once. I stand still, waiting for direction.

The murmurs and shuffling footsteps are just a few meters behind me, moving from my left to my right. Somehow I’ve gotten off the path. It’s not my fault. I was led here. Did they pull me out of line? Do they know?

My face begins to sweat inside the velvet bag. Does velvet breathe? Am I going to suffocate? The smell of my own breath is suddenly overpowering. I brushed my teeth this morning, didn’t I? Is this halitosis or fear?

“Hold still for just a moment, Mister Simonson,” says the voice of innocence in my right ear. “Some passengers must take different paths than others.”

Some passengers? What does “some” mean? Thirtysomethings with brown hair and blue eyes? Or men who cleared security on a false ID? I think on the last time I saw my brother, Jude, bound to his hospital bed with heavy, padded straps, the bandage over his left eye keeping his mind from further fracturing. I stood at the foot of that bed, holding an envelope in my right hand, his Exodus Lottery notification inside. In my pocket, his passport. I wanted to apologize, but the words wouldn’t come.

A pull on the rope, this time to my right. It startles me, and my heart begins to pound. I follow, and I hear myself whispering. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” I clench my teeth against the voice, and it stops. My voice. Act normal! It’s too late to apologize to Jude, and mumbling a mantra will get me profiled. I blow out an exasperated sigh, and my breath smells like old cheese.

“Relax, Mister Simonson. We’re almost there.” I inhale deeply, through my nose like you’re supposed to when you’re relaxing. I exhale, and something warm and wet dribbles onto my upper lip. Snot? Sweat? Tears?

Blood? I haven’t had a nosebleed since we lived in Flagstaff. The air was too dry and too hot and way too thin. Say what you want about Wisconsin, but at least the air doesn’t cut you. For the first time I wonder what the air will be like on Terra Tenska, on the other side of the Abyssal Void. Cold and thin? Warm and wet? Those are okay. But cold and wet? Ugh. Depressing. That’s suicide air, and I breathed enough of that in Bellevue.

I’m being stupid. T-2 is a planet, not a state park. Earth has hot, cold, wet, dry, thick, thin … Terra Tenska should be the same. I just need to settle in whatever they call the local equivalent of Wisconsin, someplace where I’m free to enjoy the hot and the cold without sandstorms or suicides.

I’ve successfully distracted myself from the panic. See? I’m not guilty of anything. I’m not acting suspicious. I might be self-medicating on introspection, but that’s healthier than alcohol, or binge eating.

I wonder what the food will be like on Voidheron. The trip to Terra Tenska takes three days, so they’ll have to feed us something. Of course, figuring out accommodations like that for a couple thousand people is child’s play. The Abyssal Void makes travel so simple. No need to generate thrust to escape your planet. No need to spin for gravity, either. Just build something big and airtight–it might as well be a freestanding luxury hotel–and let the funny writing pull it to a new world. It’s as cheap as free, even considering the fact that you risk driving all your runewrights in-fucking-curably bonkers.

“Watch your step, Mister Simonson.” The tarmac gives way to something smoother. I’m on the ramp. Voidheron and freedom lie immediately before me. “Welcome aboard. Someone will be with you momentarily.”

I lick my lip and taste what dribbled there. No copper, but lots of salt. Sweat, then. Not blood. No parting shot from Flagstaff. Earth isn’t bothering to say good-bye to me, so I’m not going to bother saying good-bye to her.

 

My hood comes off, and the fresh air is delicious by comparison. They’re going to want to wash that thing a couple of times before putting it on anybody else’s head. I rub my knuckle across my upper lip and blink as I look around.

The lobby is a huge space, high-ceilinged and long. It curves out of sight in either direction, with milling crowds also extending beyond my view. Voidheron is cylindrical? Perhaps this is a subtle reminder that she truly is a starship, not the hotel she masquerades as. A hotel with no windows. We can’t have anybody looking at the runes on the tarmac, let alone at the Abyssal Void through which we’ll travel.

And then I see it, in my mind’s eye. The curving, indirect paths we took to board weren’t mapped to prevent us from stepping on the power symbols in the tarmac. Our trails were their own runes, inscribed by a couple thousand blind pedestrians. Was my pause the tail on an eldritch Q, a tilde changing the sound of some alien consonant? Or was I a serial comma in support of some extradimensionally-screamed list of crimes?

There were dozens of different tracks, all tracing some arcane cursive, all leading inward from a distant perimeter to the focal point, the great columnar Voidheron. Passengers poured through entrances at the circumference and into this lobby, where power in turn poured off of us and into … what?

There is a haunting familiarity to all this, a moment of déjà vu. I resist the temptation to draw my path from memory. Even accidental runes can have power. If I manage to get it right, what will I prove? That I can cause my own head to explode?

My nose dribbles onto my upper lip, and I wipe it away again with my knuckle. A washroom would be nice right about now. I cast my eyes about for the familiar restroom icons and then stifle a laugh. It’s unlikely they’ll label anything in the Voidheron in that way.

There is movement at the inner edge of the lobby. A second set of doors has opened, and uniformed attendants are handing key cards to passengers. My berth, or room, or whatever, will have a washroom. I mill about in the queue, waiting my turn, as the people around me do the same. Unhooded, some begin to converse.

“I think it’s silly.” An older woman to my right is complaining to her husband, or perhaps the most patient stranger in the world. “A book, a paper book, can’t crash a spacecraft. Not unless you hit the pilot in the head with it.”

God dammit, ignorance is dangerous. Jude explained this bit to me once, I think. Somebody did, anyway. I don’t want my freedom cut short by a careless idiot who doesn’t understand the peril we face. I interrupt.

“The problem is the way the pages touch, ma’am.”

She turns to me, as does the man next to her, who appears visibly relieved.

“Of course the pages touch, young man. Without a binding they’d fall out of the book.”

“It’s not the binding. When the book is closed, all the letters on opposing pages touch. Those words and letters? Maybe they’re all English when the book is open, but when the book closes you get new shapes, new paths in the ink. Just like a Q is an O with a comma in it, the closed pages form hundreds of thousands of random characters.”

Her eyes widen in surprise.

“I’m serious. The hull is covered in runes, right? Well, the ship’s controls are runes, too. I don’t know how they work, but if you throw the wrong random symbol inside the ship, even in something ephemeral like paper and ink, the controls might stop working, and then where would we be?”

She scowls. “You really believe all that?” She puts her hand to her heart and lowers her voice. “I heard the symbols and the blinders are all rigmarole to distract us from a fancy, Chinese space-drive.”

I’ve heard this one. If only.

“Maybe so. But if they’re scamming us, they’ve got to sell it, right? So … no books.”

“Mister Simonson?” Our conversation has taken us to the head of the queue, and the attendant is offering me a key card. “This will lead you to your cabin. Congratulations, sir.” He smiles as I take the card.

Just like with the silk rope, I’m now being led by a thing in my left hand. A map on the card scrolls down as I walk forward, down a short corridor, up two flights of stairs, and then down a longer, curving corridor. All of the doors on my path have been identical. Blank. No writing anywhere.

A group of travelers ahead of me–a family, perhaps–arrives at their door, which opens with a wave of the card. I walk past their blank door as it shuts. I proceed three doors further, and then the map in my hand displays a filled, blinking circle. Usually these things are indicated with an X. Perhaps that simplest of symbols has too much power to be used, even ephemerally, in display paper. But this is my door, and with a wave of the card and a twist of the knob, I’m inside.

It’s just like a hotel room, if sparser: bed, chair, lamp. And a private washroom immediately to my right. First things first, then.

I check my face just to be sure Flagstaff wasn’t flipping me off. No nosebleed, though I am a little pale. I splash some water on my face, cool at first, and then warm, relaxing.

Fool. If I’d had any sort of a nosebleed somebody would certainly have said something on my way here. Blood isn’t just a disease vector. It’s the most dangerous paint in the world.

 

MHI Kickstarter Update: Now in the Top Ten of RPG Kickstarters

139% funded, $62,978, with 9 days remaining. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/herogames/the-monster-hunter-international-employees-handboo

And now we have broken in to the top 10 of all Kickstarters for RPGs. However, I’d still like to move up a few more spaces so that we don’t just get bumped off next month when the new hotness comes along. :)

Planning my next Book Bomb

I will be doing another Amazon Book Bomb on October 29th, just in time for Halloween. :)

And this time I will be promoting SPACE ELDRITCH.

http://www.coldfusionmedia.us/category/space-eldritch/

Think Lovecraftian Space Opera.  And since I know a bunch of the authors and I got to alpha read some of the stories, I even wrote the forward. I first heard about this when Howard Tayler asked me to alpha read his short, and it was absolutely awesome, straight up space horror.

For those of you not familar, a Book Bomb is when you get as many people as possible to buy a specific book on the same day in order to boost their sales stats and get them showing up on various best sellers lists, which causes more sales and more exposure. I’ve got a pretty good track record on these. :)

MHI Kickstarter UPDATE: 10 Days to Go

We are 138% funded at $62,123.

We are nearing the home stretch. Only 10 days left. We’ve added patches, dice, an extra PDF of monsters, and very shortly we will be breaking in to the top 10 RPG Kickstarters of all time.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/herogames/the-monster-hunter-international-employees-handboo

At just over 70K (the #9 spot on the top 10 list) we will be adding a PDF of some extra adventures. At 75K we are dropping the price for additional books. And then at 82K (the #8 spot) we will announce another goal.

So thanks everybody for being so awesome and supporting this project. We are going to turn out one heck of a cool coffee table book of monster face shooting awesomeness. Now with 10 days left, please tell your friends, mention it on your blog, tweet it, facebook it, all of that good stuff. Thanks.

MHI Kickstarter Update: EVEN MORE STRETCH GOALS?!?!

Why yes, even more stretch goals. Because that is just how we roll. :)

132% funded, $59,534 with just 12 days to go.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/herogames/the-monster-hunter-international-employees-handboo?ref=live

So since we’ve funded we have added new patches, MHI logo dice, an extra PDF of monsters, and now we are going to go for even more cool stuff. Here is the latest update from Steve Long:

All right, Monster Hunters, since we’re nearing the $60,000 benchmark, it’s time to announce morestretch goals!

—if we reach $62,724, we’ll enter the Top Ten RPG Kickstarters (as far as we can tell, as of today). This will bring great honor to the Monster Hunter International Tribe! We don’t have any special thing planned for this, but we wanted to call it out so y’all could be proud of yourselves. :)
—if we reach $70,102, that puts us in 9th place for RPG Kickstarters. To celebrate this milestone, all backers at the $25 tier and above will receive a bonus PDF containing four adventures for the MHI RPG! The adventures will be written by Steve (and possibly some other folks) with some input from Larry. We don’t know what they’ll be yet, of course, but we’re going to try to make them good introductions to the MHI RPG with any maps or other resources you need to run them.
—if we reach $75,000, we will reduce the cost of all additional copies of the MHI RPG by $10, to $50! The first book you pledge for will still cost $60, but all extra copies you add after the first will only cost $50. (If you’ve already pledged to get extra books at $60 each, you can reduce your pledge to take advantage of this.) If you want extras of any of the higher-tier autographed or numbered books, contact us for information on that.
—if we reach $82,880, we’ll be at 8th place for RPG Kickstarters. We haven’t made up our minds what we’ll do then, but we’re considering a few things. Stay tuned….
And remember everyone, that this weekend special is an awesome deal. For every new pledge, or every upped pledge, Melvin the Internet Troll promises to send ONE LESS spam email! That is huge! If you tell all of your friends, we could stop Melvin from spamming for literally DAYS.
We are still working on last weekend’s special pledge drive. Ed has a veritable stack of chickens and Skippy is firing up the chopper. Bring honor to the tribe! Up yours today! (pledge that is).

Who knew? Romney’s actually got good comic timing.

I’ll admit, I laughed. That was a pretty good routine. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzYYyj9QDP4&feature=youtu.be

See, I told you so time.

I’ve been saying that the polls were crap and Romney was going to win for about four months now. My friends kept getting all despondant and bummed out, and I’d just tell them that that was what the media wanted them to feel. The narrative wanted conservatives to forget the Tea Party movement ever started, forget the 2010 midterms, forget the Wisconsin recall, hell, forget the Chick-Fil-A debacle boycott turned biggest fast food sales day ever.

So how come now Romney went from being 70 electoral votes behind to winning this week? Surely Joe Biden can’t suck that badly? (well, yes, he does, but this is bigger even than the magnificent Biden):

http://drawandstrike.blogspot.com/2012/10/so-how-do-you-end-up-with-surprise.html

Well, look at that… Now that they aren’t sampling as if democrats are going to turn out in even far greater numbers than 2008, and they are finally truing up the poll numbers so they don’t completely embarrass themselves, Romney is crushing Obama.

Oh, and for the last debate, performances were about tied, but Romney wins every poll about every issue. This is only because Obama’s entire campaign has been based on how Romney is an evil rich white guy who kills puppies and wants women and minorities and old people to die in the streets, and then when the undecideds see a fairly mushy moderate well spoken non-psychopath instead, the cognitive dissonance shoves them over to the Romney side. See, Americans really don’t like being lied to…

And speaking of lying, during the debate Obama lied about the federal oil leases and his energy policy, http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/101712-629775-public-lands-oil-gas-leases-production-down.htm

Obama and Candy Crowley both lied about Benghazi (yes, he used the word terror, but not in context, and then lied for the next two weeks straight),

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znVqyfxfbRQ and even Candy admitted right afterwards that she was wrong http://www.reagancoalition.com/articles/2012/20121016013-cnn-crowley.html (damn you context! DAMN YOUuuuuu!)

and the most hilarious one of all, Obama has a bigger pension than Romney. http://drawandstrike.blogspot.com/2012/10/so-how-do-you-end-up-with-surprise.html

Followed up this morning by the revelation about the total con job pulled on America. Remember a couple of weeks back when right after Obama got his ass handed to him during the first debate, the bestest most greatest awesome news ever came in about how super awesome the new unemployment numbers were and we’d finally squeeked under a lousy 8 percent?

At the time I called BS. I was an auditor for too long. All auditors have what is called the Smell Test. If it smells funny, it probably is, and this really smelled funny. At the time many of my left leaning readers told me I was full of it and that these stats were like totally awesome and legit and why can’t you just be happy for America? Racist.

NAILED IT.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/october-surprise-unemployment-aid-surges-to-four-month-high/

The numbers were garbage. They’d clearly been manipulated for propaganda purposes.

Now that Romney has the momentum and the cracks are showing in Campaign O, I’m fully expecting them to go Full Biden until the finish. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a military strike into Libya sometime between now and the foreign policy debate next week, you know, to bring somebody to justice or something.

I said the following here in January 2009:

I said it almost two years ago. Barack Obama is the Boy Band of Politics. No substance, no real talent, no experience, but media manufactured into a phenomenon. Like all Boy Bands, he’ll lose his luster eventually.

What we are seeing currently is what happens to all boy bands. Eventually enough people realize that they lack talent and they actually kind of suck. The media will still push them, but then the cracks will start to show. More and more people will see past the glossy media hullabaloo to discover that the boy band is just meh. Then it is inevitable. Once it becomes cool to hate the boy band, their career is over, and they will fade away into obscurity.

See? Told you so.

 

MHI Kickstarter Update: MHI DICE

Okay guys, as of today we are 126% funded at $57,099 with 14 days remaining to spread the word.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/herogames/the-monster-hunter-international-employees-handboo

It looks like we will be hitting our $60,000 stretch goal here in the next couple of days, so what better way to celebrate than with MHI Logo dice. Here is the update from Steve Long:

We’re getting close to the $60,000 stretch goal, so we thought it was time to provide a few details on the dice we’re planning to offer. Everything he says is totally true, and you should never play any sort of game against Horace.

–these will be six-sided dice (d6, as we say in the gaming industry — the same sort you use to play craps or Monopoly). The HERO System uses three d6 for Skill Rolls and Attack Rolls, and more dice to determine damage. In the MHI RPG, for most players six d6 will be enough in most situations; gamemasters may want 12 or more.

–the dice will be 16mm (for maximum stopping power!) and will feature the MHI “happy demon face” for the 1.

–we haven’t decided on the color of the dice yet (we’re waiting on some info from the manufacturer), but we’ll let you know when we do. Ideally we’d like them to be a color that’s appropriate for MHI (such as olive green), but we are more concerned that they’re easy to read at the gaming table.

–every backer at the $250 and higher reward tiers gets six MHI dice for free.

–backers (US or international) at the $60 reward tier or any higher tier can add 6 dice for $10, 12 dice for $15, or an ammo pouch of 36 dice for $50. (The ammo pouch won’t have the MHI logo on it or anything like that, but you could put a patch on it yourself if you want, and in any event it’s a darn cool way to store your MHI dice!) If you want some other number (must be a multiple of 6, because that’s how they’ll be packaged for us by the manufacturer), you’ll be able to contact us for pricing.

–US backers at the $10 or $25 reward tiers can also add dice for a small shipping charge. International backers at the $10 or $25 reward tiers who want dice will be able to contact us for shipping costs and tell us how many dice they’d like, and we’ll send them a quote.

–If we have dice left over we’ll sell them in the Herogames.com store while supplies last, but Kickstarter backers will get their dice first. If we have lots of dice left over we may sell them through distributors to local game stores, but the only way to be sure to get MHI dice is to order them through this Kickstarter.

–Horace, an orc who’s skilled at gambling, will test all the dice to make sure they roll true. ;)

MHI Kickstarter Update: The Bubba Patch

121% funded, $54,786 with 16 days to go. So we are almost half way there. Please keep spreading the word and telling your friends. Up next are MHI logo dice.

And now here is our other Kickstarter exclusive patch. This one is for the upper tier pledgers only. To commemorate the awesome founding plank owner nature of this group, what better way than with the original Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers team patch?

These will only ever be available through this one Kickstarter.  So up yours! (pledge that is) :)

 

 

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