Monster Hunter Nation

Special Limited Edition, Leather Bound Grimnoir Chronicles from Vault Books

Now these are really nice.

These are going to be extremely fancy, high quality, leather, collector editions. And the numbers are very limited, so if you want one don’t wait around.


They are using the French cover art (that Hard Magic cover is still my favorite cover I’ve ever had) PLUS the same artist, Vincent Chong, is doing three new full color pieces for each book (He is a fan of the series). For the really fancy super limited hand lettered few, there will be a 4th piece of artwork.

The three Grimnoir short stories that I’ve written will be included, one with each novel. There is also an interview with me and a new forward.

Vault is a relatively new company that specializes in really high end, collector editions. They’re also huge Grimnoir fans so are doing everything they can to make this as high quality as possible.

From the Vault page:
The Grimnoir Chronicles will be published in three separate volumes; Hard Magic, Spellbound, and Warbound. Each of the novels will have the following in common:

  • A new Author’s Foreword
  • An in-depth interview with author, Larry Correia
  • Cover by Vincent Chong
  • Three full-color, interior illustrations by Vincent Chong, per novel
  • Printed on 60# acid-free paper
  • Unique foil stamped design on front board and spine
  • Leatherbound
  • Smyth sewn binding for durability
  • Each novel will contain one of the three short stories set in the Grimnoir universe, making this definitive three-book set. These short-stories are the following:
    • Detroit Christmas
    • Tokyo Raider
    • Murder on the Orient Elite

Straight Outta Tombstone – Including an original MHI Bubba Shackleford story

The Straight Outta Tombstone anthology is now available for preorder. It is all Weird West stories. It has a bunch of awesome authors it, with many of us writing in our popular universes. Jim Butcher even has a western Dresden files story in it.


I wrote a story set in the MHI universe, about Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers, and their first job in the western US in the late 1890s. It was a lot of fun. This is the first time I’ve ever written anything featuring the original founding members of Monster Hunter International.

What’s Happening in 2017 on the Writing Front

2016 was a really busy year for me. I had four books come out, an Audible novella, and several short stories published. I also had my first leatherbound limited edition release.

If I look back at my career, I’ll have a huge year with a bunch of releases, then a smaller year with one or two, then another huge year, so on. It isn’t that I write faster or slower (I’m pretty reliable at about 2 1/2 a year) but in publishing you need to get your items on the distributors calendars way in advance so it just works out that way. 2016 was abnormal because I had three collaborations in there.

The next (6th) Monster Hunter novel is Monster Hunter Siege. It comes out in August. The rough draft is done, and I’m going through now and doing an editing pass. I really like this one. It’s back to Owen and progressing on the main story line. I finally get to give some screen time to the Big Bad that I’ve been teasing for several books.

The Monster Hunter Files anthology, featuring a bunch of awesome authors playing in the Monster Hunter universe, is done. I don’t know the release date for it yet. You guys are going to love it.  For the table of contents: 

Check that out. I got all sorts of cool writers. 🙂

The next (3rd) MHI collaboration is Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints, with John Ringo. Don’t know the release date on that yet. I’ve got to get Siege out the door first. This one is waiting on me.

Sarah Hoyt is currently working on the rough draft of Monster Hunter Guardian (a Julie Shackleford novel). It takes place during the same time as Monster Hunter Siege.

There is also going to be a collection of my short fiction put out by Baen. I do not know the release date of that yet. I’m putting together and sending Toni all of the stories soon. I’ve actually written a bunch of short fiction, but since it is scattered all over in a bunch of different anthologies over a bunch of years, you guys have missed a lot of really fun stories. And for all the people who have been asking, yes, Tom Stranger will be in there, so there will finally be a version in print.

Speaking of short fiction, coming out in 2017 I have a story in the upcoming Aliens anthology (I get to write a Gun Stories episode for the M41 Pulse Rifle), the upcoming Joe Ledger Unstoppable anthology (Rudy does a psyche eval), and a Bubba Shackleford original Monster Hunter story in the Straight out of Tombstone anthology. Out right now is the Forbidden Thoughts anthology and they reprinted one of my original Sad Puppies essays in it. I’ve got some other short fiction coming out in 2017, but I don’t think those anthologies have been announced yet, so I can’t say what they are.

I hope to have Sinners and my short story collection off to Toni during the 1st quarter. After that I will be working on the sequel to Son of the Black Sword, which is called House of Assassins. The 3rd book in the series is called Destroyer of Worlds.

Audible has asked me to do another Tom Stranger original. I haven’t gotten that on the calendar yet, but because 2 hours of audio works out to about 20k words, I will probably be squeezing that in somewhere between the books above. The next one is called The Adventures of Tom Stranger: A Murder of Manatees.

I have a bunch of other books under contract to write, but I’ve got to do these things in order. There are more Grimnoir novels planned, different trilogy, set in the 1950s, more MHI novels (lots), and a 3rd and final Malcontents novel (Into the Dark). I’ve also got some stand alones that I’ve pitched, but the existing series are the ones that pay the bills, so I’ve got to squeeze them in when I can. Basically if I don’t have any new ideas or get any new contracts, I’m booked from now until the early 2020s.

In related news, in 2017 there will be a new version of the Monster Hunter International Employee Handbook and Role Playing Game, this time using Savage Worlds rules.  More details to come.

If you want a leatherbound MHI, judging by the first one, get on those fast. The first run sold out fast. The rest of the series will be coming out over the next couple of years. I think the next two are up for preorder now.

There is also going to be a leatherbound limited edition of the Grimnoir trilogy, but we’re doing something special there. These are FANCY. More details to come.




Fisking the HuffPo’s Snooty Rant About Self-Publishing

This blog post is best-selling author Christopher Nuttall’s fault. I’ve been on vacation, actively avoiding the internet. Only when Chris saw this ridiculous article he knew I would be compelled to fisk it and sent it to me.


Fisking is like one of those espionage movies, every time I try to get out, they pull me back in. Only since this is from the HuffPo, there’s less espionage and more bad writing advice given snootily. 



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



Self-Publishing: An Insult To The Written Word


By: Laurie Gough 
Award-winning author of three memoirs, she is also a journalist and travel writer.

Who? (but don’t worry, I’ll get back to why you probably shouldn’t take professional writing career advice from somebody who has gotten like 50 Amazon reviews over the last 16 years, and their hot new release that came out a few months ago already has 1.2 million books selling better than it)

As a published author people often ask me why I don’t self-publish. “Surely you’d make more money if you got to keep most of the profits rather than the publisher,” they say.

Those random dinner party acquaintances Laurie made up actually ask a very good question. In today’s market, can you make more money self-publishing? It is a complex business undergoing rapid changes because of new technology. How will our award winning author answer?

I’d rather share a cabin on a Disney cruise with Donald Trump than self-publish.

Well, okay then. Between that and the catchy title of her little article that pretty much sets the tone for our discussion.

To get a book published in the traditional way, and for people to actually respect it and want to read it — you have to go through the gatekeepers of agents, publishers, editors, national and international reviewers.



Oh… Wait… Laurie is being serious. Dear God.

At this point I realized that Laurie wasn’t providing writing advice for people who actually want to make a decent living as writers. She is providing advice to people who want to be aloof artistes at dinner parties, before they go back to their day job at Starbucks.

As for what Laurie says about gatekeepers, it is all horse shit. She has no flipping idea what she’s talking about.

Publishers are the “gatekeepers”. If they like you, you’re in, and if they don’t like you, you’re out. Problem is, at best they only have so many publishing slots to fill every year, so they cater to some markets, and leave others to languish. And at worst, they are biased human beings, who often have their heads inserted into their own rectums.

Agents represent the author. Their job is to find stuff they think they can sell to a publisher, and then they keep 15%. So “good” is secondary to “Can I sell this to the gatekeepers?” And then we’re back to slots and rectums.   

Editors try to make the author’s stuff better. Period. They aren’t gate keepers, because it is their job to make the stuff that got through the gate suck less (seriously, the HuffPo should hire one).  Only self-published authors can hire editors too. Andy Weir hired Bryan Thomas Schmidt to edit the original self-published The Martian. Last I heard that book did okay.

“National and international reviewers” are on the wrong side of the gate, and I’m baffled why she included them. Reviewers come along after the fact, some are useful, but most aren’t. Even though I was ignored or despised by most of the big review places for most of my career, they haven’t made a lick of difference to my sales.

These gatekeepers are assessing whether or not your work is any good.

The problem is that “good” is subjective. What you personally think is “good” is irrelevant when there are a million consumers who disagree. I wouldn’t buy a copy of Twilight, but the author lives in a house made out of solid gold bars. “Good” is arbitrary. The real question is whether your product is sellable. (and yes, it is just a product, get over yourself)

Readers expect books to have passed through all the gates, to be vetted by professionals. This system doesn’t always work out perfectly, but it’s the best system we have.

It was the only system we had before technology came along and upset their apple cart.  

When only the gatekeepers could vet what was “good”, sometimes they were right, but since often the “professionals” were 20 something lit majors just out of college, or some clueless weasel who had spent his whole existence in the echo chamber of Manhattan publishing, often the system fed its own tastes and ignored vast swaths of the market.

And when you neglect a market, it will spend its entertainment dollars elsewhere. So in this case, competition is good. Because the real competition isn’t between traditional and indy publishing, it is between reading and movies and video games and streaming. Ultimately the market decides who wins, not some self-appointed gatekeeper.  

Good writers only become good because they’ve undertaken an apprenticeship.

Nonsense. Writing is like any other job. Some get training, some are self-taught, and everybody gets better with practice. If your first product isn’t perfect, but somebody wants to give you money for it, take their money!

The craft of writing is a life’s work.

Nope. It is just a job. Again, get over yourself. Writers aren’t that special.

It takes at least a decade to become a decent writer, tens of thousands of hours.

I haven’t hit my ten year anniversary of being a writer yet, but I crossed the million bucks in royalties milestone a couple years back, so I can’t wait to see what happens when I finally become a “decent” writer!

The tens of thousands of hours part? Yes. Practice helps. The more you work at something, the better you will get. But if your first book is sellable, and people want to give you money for it, SELL IT.

Your favorite authors might have spent years writing works that were rejected. But if a writer is serious about her craft, she’ll keep working at it, year after year.


At the end of her self-imposed apprenticeship, she’ll be relieved that her first works were rejected because only now can she see how bad they were.

Laurie made sense for a whole half a paragraph and then had to go and screw it up. Yes. Writers get better the more they write. So of course all of us look back at our first book and kick ourselves for things that we could have done differently now that we know better. But that doesn’t matter if that first book was SELLABLE. 

Every career has to start somewhere. And the sooner you are selling enough to quit your day job so you can focus all your energies on writing, the better.

So write your book. Try to sell it the traditional way. Once all those gatekeepers reject you (seriously, it is something like a 99.9% failure rate) then take a good hard look at your product and decide if you want to publish it yourself. And self-pub zealots aside, it isn’t a free lunch. It is hard to make a go of it. I’ll talk more about that below.

Did you ever hear what Margaret Atwood said at a party to a brain surgeon? When the brain surgeon found out what she did for a living, he said, “Oh, you’re a writer! When I retire I’m going to write a book.” Margaret Atwood said, “Great! When I retire I’m going to be a brain surgeon!”

I’ve used this too, but I think Laurie is missing the point.

The irony is that now that brain surgeon really could dash off a “book” in a of couple months, click “publish” on amazon, and he’s off signing books at the bookstore. Just like Margaret Atwood, he’s a “published” author. Who cares if his book is something that his grade nine teacher might have wanted to crumple into the trash? It’s a “published” book.

And here we see the real problem with Laurie’s whole world view. Yes, the doctor wrote a book and now he is “published” and apparently that wounds her. Because being able to put Author on your business card is sacred or some shit.

In real life, the doctor cranked out a book and self-published, but so what? If the book was crap and people didn’t like it, then he didn’t sell many, didn’t make any money, and the book faded into obscurity and was forgotten. (probably languishing in the Amazon rankings around the 2 million mark with such traditionally published hits as Kiss the Sunset Pig by Laurie Gough)

But if the book was entertaining and connected with some market, then the brain surgeon sold a bunch of copies, and now congratulations, Doc! You are in the Real Author business.

Either way, it is no skin off Margaret Atwood’s nose.  

People like Laurie think being an author is like an Yes/No proposition.  On the contrary, it is a ladder. What she needs is the OFFICIAL ALPHABETICAL LIST OF AUTHOR SUCCESS

The problem with self-publishing is that it requires zero gatekeepers.

Nope. The problem with self-publishing is that there are so many competitors that the challenge is to differentiate yourself from the herd. Sure, lots of them are crap (I can say the same thing for tradpub too), but if you find a way to market yourself and get your quality product in front of the right market, then you can make quite a bit of money.  

From what I’ve seen of it, self-publishing is an insult to the written word, the craft of writing, and the tradition of literature.

From what I’ve seen, I’d say the same thing about the Huffington Post.

As an editor, I’ve tackled trying to edit the very worst writing that people plan on self-publishing just because they can.

As an actual editor who gets paid for this stuff, that sentence reads like garbage.

I’m a horrible singer. But I like singing so let’s say I decide to take some singing lessons. A month later I go to my neighbor’s basement because he has recording equipment. I screech into his microphone and he cuts me a CD. I hire a designer to make a stylish CD cover. Voilà. I have a CD and am now just like all the other musicians with CDs.

Only you just described exactly how most real working bands got their start. Add a couple of kids with a guitar and drums, set up in your buddy’s garage, and start jamming. Eventually you will get good enough that you can book some local gigs, and if people like you, they will give you money for your stuff.

Except I’m not. Everyone knows I’m a tuneless clod but something about that CD validates me as a musician.

Nobody gives a crap about “validation”. Validation don’t pay the bills.

It’s the same with writers who self-publish. Literally anyone can do it, including a seven-year-old I know who is a “published” author because her teacher got the entire class to write stories and publish them on Amazon. It’s cute, but when adults do it, maybe not so cute.

So a grown up self-publishes a book, nobody buys it… Now most of us don’t care, but Laurie is offended, because how dare this nobody, this prole, this LOSER be able to say that he’s a writer too? HOW DARE HE?!

This all seems to be about how Laurie is offended some self-pubbed nobody can claim the same job title as her. Well congrats, Laurie, now you know how bestselling professionals like me feel about writers like you. Oh, but according to your bio you’ve written for Salon and the Guardian? That’s cute. 😀

With the firestorm of self-published books unleashed on the world, I fear that writing itself is becoming devalued.

Your fear is idiotic. The pie is not finite. If some other author gets a piece of pie, he is not taking pie from your mouth. You sound just like that other HuffPo writer who was mad at JK Rowling for stealing all the readers. 

Which reminds me of another ridiculous HuffPo writing advice article I fisked Why do you horrible people want writers to fail so badly? I swear, HuffPo writing advice reads like it comes from the demons in a C.S. Lewis piece where they want everyone to be as miserable as they are or something.

I have nothing against people who want to self-publish, especially if they’re elderly. Perhaps they want to write their life story and have no time to learn how to write well enough to be published traditionally. It makes a great gift for their grandchildren.

“I don’t hate you little people, I merely think you are beneath me… But I will grant a dispensation for your old people because they will die soon and no longer trouble me.” Sniff.

You know, when your sales numbers are shit, and you’re writing for HuffPo (which pays in exposure), maybe you should get off your fucking high horse, lady.

But self-publishing needs to be labelled as such. The only similarity between published and self-published books is they each have words on pages inside a cover. The similarities end there.

How bizarrely condescending and totally untrue… The only thing that matters is whether those words on those pages are entertaining enough to get people to give you money for your stuff.  If the author went through the gate, or around the gate, as long as they are entertaining who gives a shit?

I think the real issue here is that Laurie feels like she has served her time, yet some of these self-published nobodies have far more readers than she does. How uncouth. How barbaric!

And every single self-published book I’ve tried to read has shown me exactly why the person had to resort to self-publishing.

Which indicates that you have not read that many, or you suck at target selection.

These people haven’t taken the decade, or in many cases even six months, to learn the very basics of writing, such as ‘show, don’t tell,’ or how to create a scene, or that clichés not only kill writing but bludgeon it with a sledgehammer. Sometimes they don’t even know grammar.

And sometimes they are good enough to sell hundreds of thousands of copies and launch careers. The guy who sent me this article is self-published, and on any given day sitting comfortably in the top 100 ranking for his genre at the world’s biggest bookseller, way above most of his traditionally published competitors.

Author Brad Thor agrees: “The important role that publishers fill is to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you’re a good writer and have a great book you should be able to get a publishing contract.”

No offense to Brad, but wrong.  They should, but often they don’t. My first book got rejected by all the supposedly wise gatekeepers. It wasn’t until after I’d self-published and sold a bunch of copies, that I got picked up by a traditional publisher. 

Author Sue Grafton said, “To me, it seems disrespectful…that a ‘wannabe’ assumes it’s all so easy and s/he can put out a ‘published novel’ without bothering to read, study, or do the research. … Self-publishing is a short cut and I don’t believe in short cuts when it comes to the arts. I compare self-publishing to a student managing to conquer Five Easy Pieces on the piano and then wondering if s/he’s ready to be booked into Carnegie Hall.”

Sorry, Sue, but you can’t assume that everybody who goes indy is short cut trash. Sure, there are a plenty of hacks churning out garbage, but there are also plenty of great authors who got rejected by tradpub who went indy and made money. Or tradpub authors who self-pub their niche products. Or tradpub authors who self-pubbed stuff their publishers dropped the ball on, or that they got back the rights for things that went out of print and self-pubbed. The list goes on.

But since we are quoting successful authors now-

My first novel wouldn’t have been picked up, sold a quarter million copies, and turned into a six-book series if I hadn’t self-pubbed it first. Not bad for an insult to the written word. – Marko Kloos

Not all self-pubbed work is garbage, and not all traditionally published work is some sort of brilliant artistic achievement. They both have their fair share of crap. And ultimately the market will decide.

Writing is hard work, but the act of writing can also be thrilling, enriching your life beyond reason when you know you’re finally nailing a certain feeling with the perfect verb.

The verb I would pick for Laurie’s essay is Bloviate


verb (used without object), bloviated, bloviating. speak pompously.

It might take a long time to find that perfect verb.

Naw, it was pretty obvious right out the gate.

But that’s how art works. Writing is an art deserving our esteem.


It shouldn’t be something that you can take up as a hobby one afternoon and a month later, key in your credit card number to CreateSpace or Kindle Direct Publishing before sitting back waiting for a stack of books to arrive at your door.

Why not?

No, seriously. You bossy know it all… Why not? What if that book was brilliant, but the gatekeepers didn’t like it for some biased reason? Where do you get off being the arbiter of what the market can or cannot have access to?

If that book is garbage, it’s garbage. It probably won’t sell very many copies, but looking at your Amazon ranks, neither do you.

Let’s all give the written word the respect it deserves.

Which is why I took the time to fisk this awful article. Unlike the HuffPo’s abysmal writing advice pieces, my goal is to help writers achieve financial success, rather than some arbitrary and capricious fluff about art.

Thank goodness we got that tripe out of the way. Now onto business.

Okay, aspiring authors, this is how it actually works. I’ve said this plenty of times but there are really only two steps to becoming a successful pro author.

  1. Get good enough that people will give you money for your stuff.
  2. Find the people who will give you money for your stuff.

That’s it. That is how it works. Whether you do it traditionally or independently, that’s all there is to it. You want to make a living at this, you need to produce something that people want, and then you need to find a way to get it in front of them.

I’ve done it both ways. I’ve got friends who are making good livings traditional or self-pubbed, and I’ve got friends who are dirt poor and struggling both ways too.

Contrary to what you may believe, getting a tradpub deal is not all roses and sunshine. The average midlist author only makes like 30k a year. Which is way more than you get for writing for the HuffPo, but still not something that enables you to quit your day job. Only the top 1% of us make over 100k a year, which is kind of sad if you think about it. I’m making several times that annually and I still don’t meet the HuffPo’s standards to be a *real writer*. So basically they can kiss my ass.

The key is building a fan base and providing them consistent content. And unlike HuffPo staff authors, that means putting out books every year, not once a decade.

I’m not some self-publishing evangelist. It isn’t an easy button. It is freaking hard work. If you self-pub, you need to figure out how to differentiate yourself from the hundred thousand other scuts who just released something. If you put something out there but have no other means to drive traffic to it, it will remain obscure.

All of the self-pubbed successes I know aren’t like the hypothetical Doctor Book In A Month above, they are professionals who work their asses off building up a loyal fan base and consistently providing quality product.  

The big thing self-pubbed has got going for them is that they get to keep a far higher percentage of the sales price (something Laurie’s imaginary friend touched on in her opening paragraph but she never came back to).  So you can self-pub, sell fewer copies, but still come out financially ahead of somebody who is tradpub, but only keeping 8% of the cover price of every mass market paperback.

But, because of distribution, and things like being on the shelf in every Barnes & Noble, tradpub folks are going to sell more copies (hopefully). I can’t say if it will even out for you or not, because that depends entirely upon your market. (hell, one of the biggest things I’ve got going for me is audiobooks and ancillary foreign rights, which we haven’t even talked about at all)

Tradpub can be awesome for writers, but I’m not one of these twerps that worships at the feet of Manhattan publishing. They are dinosaurs, and not the cuddly kind.

All her stuff about Time Enough for Art is bullshit, because your editor is going to be dropping some nasty deadlines on your artsy-fartsy ass. And if you aren’t selling like Patrick Rothfuss or George Martin, they ain’t going to give you half a decade to leisurely finish the next one, they are going to cut you off.

Don’t believe the idealized hype. Tradpub turns out plenty of trash, and their gatekeepers often screw up, BUT if you can get picked up by a traditional publisher, they’ve got wide distribution, and if you are one of the lucky ones that they decide to throw some marketing money behind, you can make bank.  If you get a good editor, love and cherish them, because they are the best thing ever.

However, watch out, because many of the dinosaurs are carnivorous and they will eat you. I know many authors who have been screwed over in a wide variety of exciting ways by their big publishing houses.

Most tradpub authors aren’t treated like artistic royalty. The golden child gets all the love and marketing money. The rest are treated like monkeys banging a keyboard, and if you fail to bang the keyboard good enough, they will get a new monkey. Some publishers are ruthless. They will give you a deal, then give the book zero marketing push. It gets tossed out  there on its own. And if it doesn’t sell well, or doesn’t earn back its advance, so long loser. Sink or swim.

So either way, you are your own best marketing department. If you are indy, you are it. If you have a traditional deal, you can’t count on your publisher selling your books for you, so you might be it.   

Regardless of how you get your stuff out there, you have to keep doing it again, and doing it better. Most of us don’t have the reliable income to quit our day jobs until we have four or five books out, with more on the way. You live off of your back list. And your back list remains viable because every time you release a new book, the old stuff gets a bump up.

So each method has pros and cons. Only idiots and zealots get caught up on the method of delivery rather than the product being delivered. No matter how you do it, the more you produce art, the more art gets produced, the more likely we are to see great art.




‘tis the season for Noun!

For those of you just tuning in for our 9th annual Christmas celebration, inspired by other bestselling Christmas novels about Jars, Sweaters, Boxes, Letters, and other assorted nouns, I decided to cash in too, and thus began the biggest, loudest, bestsellingest Christmas tie in book series ever. It is tradition that every December I release excerpts from this magnificent saga.

Here are our previous years of badly written Christmas adventure:

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN Excerpts from my first epic Christmas novel, only with more Cthulu, zombies, and chainsaws. Young Tim overcomes his hatred of Christmas to defeat the anti-Claus in the Peppermint Thunderdome.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 2: THE NOUNENING  The much anticipated sequel to the greatest Christmas story featuring a noun ever. In this episode, Tim fights Stabby the Snowman and uses the Global Warming Power of Love.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 3D: THE GRITTY REBOOT  Christmas goes hard core as Rudolf leads the Reindeer Separatists in a jihad against Christmas.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 4: OCCUPY CHRISTMAS NOUN Tim and his adult son Tim Jr. have to save Christmas from being occupied by the 99%.


THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 6: YES, WENDELL, THERE REALLY IS A CHRISTMAS NOUN Tim and Wendell the Manatee travel through time to save Christmas from a legion of footy pajama wearing hipster douchebags.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 7: ATTACK OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE NOUN Tim has to protect the mall from the reality distorting powers of the nefarious Social Justice Noun.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 8: TOO NOUN MUCH ADJECTIVE Tim is joined by Superfluous Marketing Dog™ and The Rock (Ghost of Christmas Present Tense, Self-Esteem, and Physical Fitness) to defeat the incomprehensible evil of Straw Larry.



Written by Larry Correia

Directed by Paul Fieg, because nobody else would hire him after Ghostbusters

Produced by the team who made Ms. Sloan, because after that flop they were out of work and came cheap

Soundtrack by Sabaton (but bootlegged off of Youtube because we couldn’t afford the rights)


Opening narration by Ron Perlman

Ouch. Looks like there was some budget cuts because of last year’s Christmas Noun extravaganza. That’s because Larry spent all their money hiring the Rock… Good thing I’m still under contract! Crap. Light’s on. We’re recording. (clears throat)

Using the power of the Christmas Noun, our hero Tim had saved Christmas from eight consecutive years of terrible threats. However, Tim always had help. Without the assistance and guidance of the various Ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Future/etc Tim would have failed and Christmas would have been destroyed forever.

This time the Forces of Evil realized that if they ruined Christmas Ghosting first, then destroying Christmas after that would be far easier. So with the election of new Christmas Ghosts looming, Evil made its move.

Plus, 2016 was the year of the reaper, so there were plenty of ghosts in the running. Death lurked around every corner. No, seriously. 2016 killed everybody. As a celebrity I’m lucky to still be alive. Hell, we’ve still got like two weeks left in Death Year. I’m scared to go outside.

Yet even in the darkest of darkness there shines the light of the Christmas Noun. Our only hope is for Tim and his merry band of Christmas warriors to protect the Christmas Ghosts, or all will be lost.

Because Christmas… Christmas never changes.


From Chapter 1

Tim was sitting on his couch, watching the SyFy Original Movie Obamaconda vs Trumptopus, when his cell phone buzzed.

It was Santa. “Hey, Santa.”

“Ho Ho Hello, Tim. I’m afraid we’ve got a situation at the North Pole.”

Christmas was coming, of course they had a situation. Tim sighed. Enjoying the quality film would have to wait. “Let me grab my throwing stars and nunchuks and I’ll be on the way.”

“Oh, Tim, it isn’t that kind of emergency. I just need your help ensuring the integrity of the democratic process. It’s an election year for Christmas Ghosts.”

Tim was confused. “Elections?”

“Why yes, Tim. I’m afraid we recently lost an ACLU lawsuit because all of our Christmas Ghosts over the last eight years of Christmas Noun stories have been living humans or manatees, and that this is discriminatory hiring practice is unfairly biased against actual ghosts.”

“Oh… Groovy. What about the existing Christmas Ghosts?”

“The Rock was disappointed that he was no longer able to serve as the Ghost of Christmas Present Tense, Self-Esteem, and Physical Fitness, but he wished the best upon whichever dead person would be taking over for him.”

“He’s such a great guy.”

“I know, Tim. All of the elves and reindeer miss him already. Meanwhile, Wendell the Manatee seemed rather gleeful that he had served all of his court mandated community service hours as the Ghost of Christmas Future Past, and was last seen swimming toward Florida.”

Tim knew that Wendell hated it at the North Pole. There where jerky Narwhals everywhere and the internet was terribly slow. “I don’t know, Santa. I’m a Christmas Warrior and manly man of action. I don’t think I’m the kind of guy you want involved in politics. Plus, with all these felonies I don’t think I’m allowed to vote anyway.”

“But Tim, you forget that Larry Correia is writing this story. There is sure to be gratuitous violence at some point. So I’m drafting you to be in the Secret Santa Service.”

Okay, that made sense. “Don’t worry, Santa. I’m on my way.” Tim hung up and called to his faithful, adorable, huggable, lovable, and merchandise-moving animal companion. “Come on, Superfluous Marketing Dog™! Let’s go elect some ghosts!”

“Woof,” said Superfluous Marketing Dog™ with grim determination.


From Chapter 2

“That is a lot of friggin’ ghosts,“ Tim muttered to Santa as they looked over the crowded debate stage.

“Yes, Tim. 2016 was a stone hearted killer. All of these candidates are from this year alone. Early polling indicates Alan Rickman is favored to win since he already participated in the greatest Christmas movie of all time. But there are so many wonderful ghosts to choose from.”

Sally Love-Interest had been super excited to participate in the democratic process, so had tagged along. “That’s great, Santa! But since they’re ghosts, couldn’t you use anybody who died a long time ago and not just 2016?”

“Ho Ho No, Sally… It’s in the by-laws.”

“Awww. That’s too bad. I was going to vote for Alvin and the Chipmunks. They’d make great Christmas Ghosts.”

“Those are animated cartoon characters, Sally.”

“Oh…”Sally was exceedingly disappointed. “Like Neil Patrick Harris?”

“No. He’s an actual person and he’s still alive.”

“Yeah.” Sally was suspicious. “I’m not so sure about that one, Santa.”

Sally Love-Interest was super hot, but nobody had ever accused her of being the sharpest knife in the drawer.



From Chapter 3

The North Pole had gotten crowded. First, with all the ghostly candidates, who were dead, and then with all the news media and reporters, who were sadly, not dead.

“This election has turned into a media circus,” Tim told Sally.

“Oooh, I like the circus.”

“It’s not a literal—”

“Will there be monkeys?”

Tim sighed. “Never mind. Just play it cool. The job of a Secret Santa Agent is to stand here in our suits and dark shades and ear pieces, looking tough, and keep an eye out for trouble. Santa wants this election to go smooth.”

There were two main parties, the Mistletoe party and the Tree party, and some little weird 3rd parties, like the Eggnog party, or the Democratic National Socialist Reindeer Liberation Front. The North Pole’s system required the various Christmas parties to pick their candidates first, then there would be the general voting for all parts of the workshop, and then each workshop section’s appointed rep would vote in the Elftoral Congress.

The Christmas Warriors settled in to watch the primary debates/talent show. First up was the Tree Party. Justice Scalia turned out to be a great ventriloquist. The musical number featuring Bowie and Prince was incredible. And the exhibition bout between Muhammad Ali and Nancy Reagan was one of the finest shows of martial excellence Tim had ever seen. Who knew the former First Lady could shatter that many cinderblocks with a single punch!

“There are so many super good candidates. There are people from Firefly, Star Trek, Babylon Five, and actual astronauts!” Tim was actually getting really excited. “Most of these people would make fantastic Christmas Ghosts. I’m really impressed. I don’t know who to vote for!”

“There are seventeen candidates running for the Tree Party nomination,” Sally said. “That seems like a whole lot. Aren’t they worried all the good ones will split the vote and they’ll end up with some weird crazy fringe oddball choice?”

“Don’t be silly, Sally. I’m sure they know what they’re doing.”

Then Harambe the Gorilla won the nomination.

Tim was aghast, but Sally was super happy. “Yay! I knew there would be monkeys!”


From Chapter 5

Tim was having a hard time understanding North Poleitics. The Mistletoe party’s primary rules allowed for Special Super Mega Delegates, so even though he had gotten less votes in pretty much every section of the workshop, losing to Janet Reno, the Mistletoe party’s inevitable nominee was Fidel Castro.

Of course, since Fidel Castro had been a brutal communist dictator who had ruled with an iron fist, the media loved him. They immediately launched a vicious smear campaign against Harambe the Gorilla, who spent most of his time picking and eating fleas from his own pelt.

The tiny Eggnog party, seeing that the two main party candidates were the least popular ever, decided this was finally their chance to be taken seriously by the whole workshop, seized the opportunity by having a really fat elf strip down to his under pants to dance on stage during their convention. Then they all got really stoned.

Meanwhile, Vixen the (alleged) reindeer terrorist from Christmas Noun 3, was picked to run for the Democratic National Socialist Reindeer Liberation Front. She was not able to give a speech at the DNSRLF convention because she was busy sabotaging an oil pipeline in North Dakota with pipe bombs.


The election was really heating up. The North Pole was polarized like never before. And that’s saying something.

Harambe the gorilla couldn’t really communicate except for randomly mashing his opposable thumbs against a keypad, so his campaign got him a Twitter account. This proved to be a brilliant maneuver.

Fred the elf was reading his phone. “Oh look. Harambe just tweeted.”

“What’s it say?” asked Bill the elf.


“Uh… If I squint real hard, it looks like he’s promising me whatever I want.”

“I think that means he’s going to build a wall to finally keep all these penguins out of the workshop.”

“But penguins aren’t native to the Arctic, Bill.”


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“It’s like every populist thing I’ve ever imagined!”

“Harambe is like an empty vessel which can contain all my hopes and dreams. He’s going to make Christmas great again!”

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“Man, that gorilla tells it like it is!”


From Chapter 6

Tim was curious why a couple of suspicious men dressed all in black were poking around Santa’s Workshop in the middle of the night, so he tailed them as they broke in and began tampering with the computers the Mistletoe party had just left unsecured in a janitor’s closet.

“Hey, what’re you guys doing back here?” Tim asked, interrupting the thugs’ suspicious business.

“Well we are not doing the hacking of the election, that is for certain, comrade!” said one of the men in a really bad TV Russian accent. “We are totally not KGB or anything like that… We are… Uh…” He glanced around.

“From the internets company! For the fixings of your internets,” said one of the other suspicious totally not Russians, who had a hammer and sickle tattoo on his bicep.

“Oh, good. My manatee friend said that the lag up here is unbearable. His win rate on Call of Duty was in the crapper. You guys have a good one.” Tim waved and began walking away, whistling.

The totally not Russians waited a moment to be sure Tim was gone. “That was close, comrade!” Then they went back to their nefarious sabotage. “We were almost discovered in our diabolical plot to steal the election.”

Tim suddenly appeared from the darkness behind them. “I knew it! Damned Russians! Shoo!”

“Ah! The Christmas warrior is stealthy like ninja! Run!”

“Not so fast, Ivan.”

“Wait… How you know my name is Ivan?”

Tim kung-fu chopped him in the neck.


Despite the magnificent fight scene in the previous chapter, the Mistletoe party’s internal communications still got hacked. It turned out that despite Tim karate fighting his way through an entire Spetsnaz detachment, it was all for nothing, because the Mistletoe Party’s password was PASSWORD123.

Mistletoe Party internal communications like the following were leaked across the North Pole:

Hey everybody. Good news. The ceremony where we sacrifice a virgin to Moloch in exchange for power now has an open bar! How cool is that? I’ve got to warn you though, the ceremony is business casual. That means no flip flops, looking at you, Huma.

Also I know our voters are a bunch of idiots, and the Affordable Christmas Act is bankrupting all the elves, but can we at least try and stick to the narrative? Harambe voters eat penguins. Yes, I know Fidel brutally machinegunned a whole flock of penguins like ten minutes ago, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is continually berating and insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with us.  Remember, work closely with our media brethren and stick to the script!


Yes, Chris. That script is perfect. Run with that. By the way, we got you guys’ debate questions in advance so Fidel will have plenty of time to prep! Good work, big fella! See you at the blood sacrifice!  



From Chapter 8

You are listening to NPR. North Polar Radio.

“Welcome to Pole Talk, the completely unbiased nonpartisan always truthful news show, where we discuss the issues facing Santa’s Workshop and you… Our first topic: allegations of collusion between the media and the Fidel Castro campaign. We talked to our experts.”

“There is nothing to see here.”

“Excellent. Now our second topic: Harambe, Genocidal maniac or idiotic murder ape? All reasonable and good thinking elves agree that Harambe is a menace, and anyone who would even slightly agree to any of his mad ramblings is a terrible, awful, bad person. But let’s delve deeper. We have guests from both sides of the political spectrum in the studio with me now. What do you think of Harambe, Flaming Pinko Pundit?”

“Harambe will make the rivers run red with blood, which is very bad for the environment. While Fidel Castro has a proven track record of managing the tough issues. And if you’ve ever heard anything negative about his island paradise, it is only because you’ve been lied to by evil corporations. Cubans enjoy building rafts out of beer coolers.”

“Thank you, Flaming Pinko Pundit. Now from the other side of the aisle, what do you think, Screaming Liberal Pundit?”

“Well obviously anybody who doesn’t want to vote for Fidel Castro just hates penguins and sugar plum fairies and wants them rounded up and gassed in death camps.”

“Well there you have it, folks. We will continue to berate and insult anyone who disagrees with our take on the issues from now until the coronation… er… I mean election. Luckily for us, our totally accurate and unbiased polls indicate that Fidel Castro is up 96 to 3, with 1 percent going Egg Nog, and that Harambe supporters should just kill themselves now.”


What do you mean the gorilla won? AAAAAAHHHHHH! I even changed our password to PASSWORD1234! How can this be! Damn it, Moloch! We had a deal!

Our agreement stated that Fidel would get more votes, not that he would win. Check the fine print, fleshling. YOUR SOULS ARE MINE! BWA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAA!


No Chris! It isn’t over yet! Fidel’s victory was inevitable! INEVITABLE! We will not accept defeat! Assemble your media minions and redouble your efforts. If you can’t find a gorilla supporter who did something scary out of millions of voters, make some up! I want riots! Panic attacks! Hyperventilating snowflake break downs! There is still the Elftoral Congress. Until then we will burn the workshop down! Our new plan to win the election we just lost is to throw the biggest temper tantrum in history!

Uh… I’m a foul demon from the underworld and even I’ve got to say that’s kind of messed up.


From Chapter 10

“Why are those reindeer setting that stable on fire?” Sally asked. “Isn’t that where they live?”

“Yeah. They’re doing it because they got so freaked out believing their own ridiculous apocalyptic hype, that they see penguin eating gorillas around every corner. But at least they quit blocking traffic with their bodies after that snowplow went through,” Tim said as he watched the angry mob.

The North Pole had descended into chaos as the Mistletoe party voters had taken to the streets. But as hard as they were taking their loss, the media who had been covering the election were taking it so much worse. Keith Olberman had actually covered himself in sackcloth and ashes. Tim didn’t even know what sackcloth was.

Then Tim noticed that his wife was wearing a big red MAKE CHRISTMAS GREAT AGAIN hat. “Are you trying to get us killed? Take that off!” But it was too late. The “peaceful protestors” had seen them and were headed their way with torches and pitchforks. “Run for your life!”



From Chapter 12

Tim woke up in one of the North Pole’s secret prison cells. He had been captured. Tim cursed himself for not realizing that his eggnog had been spiked until it was too late. And then Tim realized who had kidnapped him.

“Julian Assange!”

“That’s right, Tim. It is I! Julian Assange!” said Julian Assange.

“But I saw you get devoured by piranhas back in Christmas Noun 4.”

“3. It was during the 2010 Gritty Reboot.” Julian Assange corrected Tim. “But I, and Wikileaks, have returned to the spotlight.”

“So sabotaging the Mistletoe Party is all your doing? But why?”

“Well, to be fair they kind of sabotaged themselves, Tim. They ran a candidate so lackluster they lost to a literal gorilla. I mean come on, did any of that stuff I revealed actually surprise anybody?”

Tim shrugged, which was difficult since he was tied to a chair. “Eh. Not really.”

“See? There you go. But if you must know the reasons behind my nefarious plot, it is because the Mistletoe party used to love me. Back when I was exposing bad things about George Bush, they loved me so hard that they got Benedict Cumberbatch to play me in the movie! But then once I revealed bad things about their guys, I was no longer invited to play in their reindeer games! Do you have any idea how much that hurts? My heart shrank three sizes that day!”

And then Julian Assange launched into a whimsical musical number.

Tim began struggling against his bonds. He really hated Christmas musical numbers.

Luckily, a few minutes into the villain’s choreographed dance routine, Sally Love-Interest dramatically crashed a stolen sleigh through the secret prison’s wall.

“Sally! You rescued me!”

“Whoa… Tim? Hey! Yeah, I was totally searching for you and not just spinning doughnuts in the parking lot.”

“Guards! Seize them!” Julian Assange ordered.

“The bad guy is Bandersnatch Cumberbund? But I loved you as Captain America!”

Tim sighed. As a huge sci-fi/fantasy nerd, it pained him when his wife got movies mixed up. “Just get us out of here, Sally! We’ll go on IMDB later and I’ll explain everything.”



From Chapter 13

The Elftoral College had turned into a hyper-violent blood soaked battle royal.

After stopping Keith Olberman from going up the clock tower with a sniper rifle, and valiantly defusing Chris Matthews 5XL suicide vest, Tim bravely rushed to the stage, and leapt between the two battling sides.  He held up the Christmas Noun (insert cool Lord of the Rings style CGI shockwave effect here!) and knocked everyone down.

“The power of the Christmas Noun compels you!” Tim shouted. The elves, reindeer, nut crackers, sugar plum fairies, polar bears, penguins, and sentient gumdrops quit fighting each other.  “Now shut up and listen. First one of you chuckleheads so much as looks at the other side funny, gets a sharpened candy cane in the eye, so help me, Santa.”

That shut them up, because after 9 years of Christmas warrioring, Tim was pretty badass.

“Look at you, guys. You’ve forgotten the true meaning of Christmas! It’s like love and stuff! Mistletoe, you’re being a big bunch of babies. You ran an unlikable jerk and lost fair and square, so no, you don’t get a Do Over.”

The embarrassed Mistletoe voters looked down sheepishly at their pointy elf boots.

“And Tree Party, you pinned all your hopes and dreams on a great ape. So maybe you shouldn’t get cocky yet.”

Harambe made incoherent grunting noises. Suspiciously, he had penguin feathers in his teeth.

“Okay, yeah, 2016 was really weird. Don’t blame me. I tossed a protest vote to Eggnog. But what’s done is done. The North Pole has made it through all sorts of crappy Christmas Ghosts before, and who knows, Harambe might not totally suck! Now if we’re still going to have Christmas, we need to get our crap together, and quit freaking out over obvious nonsense. Can you guys just shake on it?”

Harambe glared at Fidel Castro, but slowly extended one of his hands.

“Do it for Christmas…” Tim urged.

Fidel grudgingly shook on it. But then Harambe ripped Fidel Castro’s arm off and beat him with it, because he was after all, an eight hundred pound silver back gorilla.

“Damn it, 2016! You murderous bastard year!” Tim shouted. “Can’t you give us a break already?”

“Establish dominance, Fidel!” someone urged, but it was already too late. The Elftoral College once again erupted in violence.

Ten minutes and another shockwave from the Christmas Noun later, Tim got the two sides separated and tried again, but Tim really sucked at motivational public speaking, and his eloquent manatee was back in Florida sipping mojitos. Luckily, Zsa Zsa Gabor showed up at the last minute and gave a very impassioned speech that got everybody calmed down just in time to save Christmas.



Epilogue Narrated by Ron Perlman

Christmas was saved once again.  

Tim and Sally returned to their Black Tiger Kung Fu Dojo and Mall Santa Prep Academy for Disadvantaged Youths. Sadly, because of Tim’s Christmas Noun saving deadline he was unable to see Rogue One on opening night, and had to wait until the next Tuesday. Because in war, sometimes sacrifices had to be made.

After getting .001% of the vote, Vixen from the Democratic National Socialist Reindeer Liberation Front demanded a recount. The recount made big news until Harambe actually gained votes.

John Podesta changed his email to PASSWORD12345 and to this day whenever he trips on something or bumps his head, he angrily shakes his fist at the sky and curses the Russians.

Dejected, the news media fled the North Pole. Santa put them all on the naughty list.

There was a glimmer of hope for the future, because Harambe wisely picked Chesty Puller to be Ghost of Christmas Future Butt Kicking and Name Taking.  

Shockingly, none of the many celebrities who threatened to move to Canada if Harambe won actually left.

Because Christmas… Christmas never changes.