Who is going to GenCon?

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

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

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

The Drowning Empire, Episode 58: Last Wills & Testements

The Drowning Empire is a weekly serial based on the events which occured during the Writer Nerd Game Night monthly Legend of the Five Rings game. It is a tale of samurai adventure set in the magical world of Rokugan.

If you would like to read all of these in one convenient place, along with a bunch of additional game related stuff, behind the scenes info, and detailed session recaps, I’ve been posting everything to one thread on the L5R forum,http://www.alderac.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=295&t=101206

This week’s episode was written by most of the players, as they were about to go on a ridiculous suicide mission. 

Continued from: http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/06/27/the-drowning-empire-episode-57-letters-from-second-city/



Written the day before the White Tiger Expedition left Second City.
The Last Will and Testament of Akodo Toranaka, Son of Goro
The executor of my will shall be Ikoma Uso-san, as he is my Lion brother. Moto Subotai shall assist him, though I do not wish Subotai-san to expose himself to danger traveling in Lion lands in Rokugan. If neither of them are alive, Suzume Shintaro will take this burden.
The specially balanced and weighted katana and wakizashi my father had made for me, a one armed swordsman, should be returned to him. Some day, a one armed warrior of the Lion clan may have use of them.
Any money that I have to my name shall be used to make copies of my journals and speeches. I would like one copy of them to be given to the Golden Plains dojo. Another copy to my friend, Moto Subotai if he still lives, and one copy to my betrothed, Utaku Yanai.
My horse shall be returned to the stables of the Lion Clan.
My personal possessions shall go to Utaku Yanai.
Please scatter my ashes on the Golden Plains in Rokugan, and pray for my spirit at the oldest Shine of Hachiman.
It is my wish that the Shukan of the Friendly Traveler, Hisao-san shall become a samurai in the Lion Clan under the Akodo name. I have promised him this honor and it must be granted him or my spirit will be unsettled.
If I am able, I shall be reborn a Lion clan samurai. If this does not occur, or if there is a delay before my rebirth, I shall return as a spirit to help guide the warriors of the Lion Clan until the end of the Empire. Only when The Emerald Empire is gone and the ways of Bushido are forgotten will my service be at an end.
If I have fallen in honorable battle, do not grieve for me longer than is custom. To die in battle is a gift to a warrior such as myself. I only pray that my life was taken after the battle was won and I died of my wounds surrounded by the headless bodies of many enemies.
If I have died by an assassination or betrayal, I call upon all of my surviving friends to make careful plans and then annihilate my murderers to last, so that not even their names are remembered. White Tiger mons should be left with the headless bodies of the traitors.
It is also my sincere wish that the White Tigers complete the mission we began. The Dark Oracle of Water and the Destroyers must be stopped and if my life was the cost, I pay it with honor.

Akodo Toranaka

The Last Will of Captain Yoritomo Oki, Son of Yoritomo Okimitsu.

Left in possession of the Mantis ambassador in Second City.

As dictated to and transcribed by the ambassador’s scribe.

“Ok, make sure you write down everything I say… are you writing? I don’t want you to miss a word. Ok, good… here we go! This is the last will of Capta-, excuse me. Admiral! Yoritomo Oki. Tsuruchi trained archer and commander of the Powerful Friendly Traveler Navy. Son of Yoritomo Okimitsu, Captain in the Mantis third fleet, the furious Third Storm.

How did that sound? I think it sounded really good. Let’s continue.
In the event of my death… no no. In the extremely unforeseeable and unlikelyevent of my death, during this heroic and valiant expedition, please ensure my daisho and yumi are returned to my Tsuruchi Archer dojo to be hung on the wall as holy relics… What?… Yes, I mean that… just keep writing.


Excuse me. For my body, please dress me in my armor. Don’t burn me, but still sever my head. Then put on my dark lenses for me then throw me in the ocean… as a sort of ocean burial… I don’t know. Hey, where did I put my sake bottle? Oh, It’s right here… I swear there was more in here earlier…

**unintelligible mumbling and cursing**

Anyway, for my stuff, let’s see… I want half of any koku I still have to be given to my home town Broken Wave city. I want them to use the koku to buy as much sake as they can hold on the island and throw a party, no… a festival in honor of me. With shugenja shooting bolts of fire into the sky and lots of geisha. Yes, definitely manygeisha.


The other half of my koku, I don’t know… just write down that it should be distributed evenly among the leadership group of the White Tigers, but none to Ikoma Uso because I think he still has some of my money… don’t write that part down… why are you smiling? So, do something like that. But If I, of all people,am dead they probably will be too. In that case just give it to my dojo or any remaining family I might have or use it to pay off any, um… unresolved debts I may have accrued.

**Laughter and unintelligible cursing**

Oh, I nearly forgot about my ship, er… fleet! Give any uncollected profits to the ronin in charge, ehhh temporarilyin charge, of myfleet. I like that man. Give my remaining glorious warships to… I don’t know, give ‘em to the Mantis navy. They could always use a few more great warships… But not Tonta! I want to be buried with my big and beautiful, Tonta. I do love her… I don’t know how one arranges a sea burial with such a big, **hiccups** but please try. Oh, uh, thecatapult tonta… make sure it says catapult there, that’s important. Really, really important. I think that’s about it… you can stop writing now.”

Uso’s last Will & Testament

First, if you not of the Lion Clan, you should know that I poisoned the ink of this letter. Only the Ikoma family know the antidote, so you are undeniably fucked. Enjoy.


If you are reading this, then I am dead. Hopefully it was a warrior’s death than can be someday turned into an epic.
I have but a few possessions. I was not much of a collector of anything in life, but what I do have must go somewhere:
My daisho and no-dachi will be returned to the Ikoma family. I’m sure my father sired a veritable Fortune’s shit-load of bastards, and one of them (hopefully) is worthy of these items.
My two tantos, knotted rope, garrote, ivory kukri, three ninja-to, destroyer-clawed gloves, ivory dagger, mempo, tea set, white wig, calligraphy set, bag of gaijin pepper, and any other weapons that I have any ancillary claim to should go to Bayushi Maemi…assuming she doesn’t already have them somehow.
My journal diagramming the gaijin firearms, gaijin languages, gaijin war tactics, and gaijin pepper should go to the shogunate (after requisite copies are made by the Ikoma family, of course).
All the coin I stole from Oki should go back to Oki when he’s proved he can handle it.
The packet of letters I have should go to Akodo Toranaka. He is the only one who can make use of the information I have there, and it is of the utmost importance to the Empire that he, and he alone (again, after requisite copies are made, and assuming Maemi hasn’t already stolen them) receives them.
Also, please warn my descendants that I’m likely to be a very bad ancestor. It runs in the family.


To be continued next week: 

Ikoma Uso

Kaiju Rising in Audiobook!

Kaiju Rising has just hit audiobook and Audible.com.


I have a story in this anthology that is a lot of fun. I got to write about a 12th century alcoholic samurai archer’s quest to defeat the Great Sea Beast that ruined his life.  I got the idea from my friend Tony, not that he is a drunken samurai in real life, but from his L5R RPG character, and I had a blast with it.

The anthology is packed with awesome giant monster stories from a bunch of good authors. Check it out.


Book Tour 2014 Recap in Pictures

I am back from book tour and it was a big success. I don’t have the final numbers yet but this appears to be by far the most successful release I’ve had yet. MHN hit #1 on all of Audible, #1 fantasy ebook on Amazon, and most importantly Nielsen Bookscan is the most accurate measurement of all books sold available and I had the #2 bestselling fantasy hard cover in the country. I owe all that to my awesome fans, and the best part of book tour is getting to see them in person.

I started out in Minneapolis and signed at Uncle Hugos. As most of you know this is the book store that gave me my big break. I love going there. Because that is the place where I steer people to for personalized autographs I usually have to do a two part signing, where I go early to personalize all the mail orders. Because you guys know I’ll write pretty much anything and even draw cartoons, there were a ton of those this year. So day one, my hand was shot. Enjoy your doodles of manatees and moose. :)

Tour autographed copies


The next night was the signing at Hugos.  It was standing room only and we packed the place. I was told that the only signings they’ve had with more people were Lois Bujold and Anne McCaffery, either of whom I’m happy to lose to. I got to meet a few people that I’ve known online for a long time in person, including Von Krag (who plugged me to Uncle Hugos to begin with) and Old NFO (who flew up from Virginia!)

My Minnesota fans are pretty damned hard core too.

tour hard core

Because of the tight timeline I was only able to spend one day at ConVergence, but I was able to visit with a bunch of people and do another signing and meet and greet. I wish I had more time there because it seemed like a really fun convention.

But duty calls and I had to catch a flight early the next morning. Sadly I wasn’t on a party floor, but the room next to me decided to throw a party anyway. No problem, head phones in, Luther soundtrack, and go to sleep, but by 3:00 AM they’d gotten progressively drunker and had one woman that laughed like a really loud barking hyena, so I went over, pounded on their door and pretended to be hotel security. That shut them right up. Yes, everybody else on that floor of the hotel, you are welcome. :)

Up next was Westercon. Sadly Delta Airlines lost my luggage so I was later than expected (this would be the first of many delays this trip!). I’m not really a Clothes Guy. Basically I go shopping once a year before book tour. Since I had 3 weeks worth of clothing in that bag I came to the sad realization as I was standing there that if that bag was gone “I don’t own any other clothes.”  Luckily my bag turned up eventually, otherwise that would have gotten real interesting and I would have had to make an emergency run to the Extra Large Casual Male (best store name ever).

Tour Lanyards

They had a surprise for me there too. Baen sponsored the lanyards and badges, so everybody got MHN themed lanyards.

(side note, this was particularly funny because it turns out some SMOFs on the committee threw a fit about me being a guest, because they’d bought into the nonsense narrative about me being a Hatey HateMonger. Luckily a bunch of others know the truth about me and told them to shove it)

This was really two cons in one, as the writerly WesterCon was next door to FantasyCon which was more of a media/movie/fan con. I swung by FantasyCon for a bit to visit my friends over at WordFire Press.

Tour Westercon

WesterCon was a blast. I got to hang out with many of my writer friends. I signed next to Paul Genesse and Dan Wells, and just to my other side in this pic was Brandon Sanderson (whose line filled the room). As Dan pointed out, no matter how well you are doing as an author, it is hard to feel successful when you compare yourself to Brandon. :)

Paul was all jazzed up during this because he’d just gotten done interviewing Sean Astin, John Rhys Davies, and the guy who played Gloin (drawing a blank on that actor’s name), and Paul is the biggest Tolkien nut you’ll meet. He even got Gimli and Gloin to improv out the scene where young Gimli isn’t allowed to go on the adventure from the Hobbit, and the two actors totally ran with it in character. I’m betting that’s all over YouTube by now.

This next picture is of me and author David West, and has to be included because he hadn’t gotten his badge yet but had just successfully impersonated me to bluff his way into FantasyCon. Bald with a goatee yes, but I’m guessing that wasn’t the most observant security guard ever.

Tour West

Seattle was up next.

Normally when I fly into an area I’ll have a signing or two scheduled, and then I spend the rest of the time driving from one bookstore to another, meeting staff and signing store stock. I only did a little bit of that while I was in Seattle because I got to go over to my favorite mini gaming company, Privateer Press, to take a tour.

And before my fellow Warmachine nerds ask, nope, can’t tell you anything cool, because I signed an NDA. But man, they’ve got some cool stuff in the works. I ate lunch with Will, Darla, Doug, and Aeryn, then we brainstormed my next project I’m writing for them. (I listened to the audiobook of Into the Storm on my next couple of flights so I could ponder on those characters again, and it reminded me that if you’ve not listened to Into the Storm, you are missing out because it is friggin’ awesome and Ray Porter narrates the main character like he’s Frank Sinatra).


I had a good sized crowd at University Bookstore.

Tour Seattle

I had a great bunch of fans at the University Bookstore, including several guys from WeTheArmed.com.  It is always good to put actual faces to internet screen names.

Tour Seattle 2

These young men went for the Earl Harbinger look. These two are hard core and have practically memorized MHI:

Tour young fans

Up next was Portland, but first you have to understand that I don’t fly well. I’m a big dude who doesn’t fit in airline seats, and take offs, landings, and turbulence make me a little nauseous. I’m not afraid of flying, but it is a terribly uncomfortable experience for me and I take no pleasure in it, but it is part of the job so I suck it up and fly a lot anyway.  But then I saw that I was going to be flying on this:

Tour Death Trap


Then I sat down a couple feet from this:

Tour propeller

I sent a text to Corinda, Baen’s Marketing Wizard and Tour Arranger, including these pictures and said “If I go all Buddy Holly promise to sell lots of books for my kids.”

But then the weather was wonderful, we never climbed that high so the views were great, and it was one of the smoothest and most pleasant flights I’ve had in my entire life. Way to go, Mr. Negative.

Tour Mt Saint Helens

I was only in Portland for one day so I didn’t hit that many book stores, but the most important thing in Portland is the Danner Boot Factory Outlet. You’ve got to understand that us size 15 guys don’t actually get to try on shoes before we buy them like a normal person. $300 later I was back on the road.

Up next was Powell’s in Beaverton. It was another big signing and a wonderful bunch of people. We closed the place down and I still had a line.

tour Beaverton

If you go on Facebook there are tons of pictures of me posing with fans.  As usual they’re old to young, male and female, all sorts of ethnic and social backgrounds, and the SJW’s mandatory “Diversity Panels” look like a Klan rally in comparison.  I know that doesn’t fit the narrative about me and my fans, but maybe the Guardian is just smoking crack when they allege that I’m trying to keep sci-fi white and male?

San Francisco was my next stop.

Tour San Fran

I signed at Dark Carnival in Berkley, and the Copperfields in San Rafael and Santa Rosa. These signings were smaller than the packed ones of the last week, but by this point of the tour I was getting a little incoherent so that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. That’s the thing about book signings, one day you’ll pack a place, the next day you’ll hang out with a handful of people. You just never know what your fan base is like  in any given area until you go there.

One good thing about visiting California is that it reinforces how moving away twenty years ago was a good thing for me. How can you people stand sitting in traffic like that? Holy moly. I’m a country boy at heart. Crowds mess with my calm. And I’ve still got to go to New York City this year.

Then it was off to North Carolina for ConGregate. I flew through ATL (where on time flights go to die), and my one hour layover turned into a 3 hour layover, with another hour sitting on the runway, so by the time I got in I’d missed a panel and the opening ceremonies, but at least my luggage actually made it this time so I was wearing pants.

Toni Weisskopf saw me stumble into the hotel that night and bought me a steak. I love my publisher.

This was the first year they’ve done ConGregate, so I was honored to be their writing GoH. They put on a great con.

Tour Lots of Books

That is a whole lot of books to sign, and that pile is only part of what I signed there. That stack was for a book seller to take to DragonCon. I didn’t get a picture of the line I had at my signing there, but it was a great turn out. I can’t imagine how many books *real* writers have to sign!

Tour Patch 2

ConGregate was awesome. I went to StellerCon in the same area several years ago when I was first starting out and met a lot of the locals. It was good to see them again. Plus with my publisher and many of the Baen staff there too, they’re always fun to hang out with. Cons are the only time that I ever see the Baen folks and I really love working with them.

Sunday afternoon Steve Long ran an MHI RPG game. The seats had been auctioned off in the charity auction and I’m pretty sure we were the biggest thing on there. Next time we’ll stick them on eBay a week before and I think we could get even more money for charity. (plus I told Steve that next time I’ll GM for him so he can actually play). The game went great, with us being a bunch of gun toting, hot tempered, quick on the trigger, murder hobos, so it was very MHI appropriate.

Monday morning I got to take a tour of Speaker to Lab Animals’ laboratory. Everybody in fandom knows Speaker, and in real life he is a leading neuro scientist. We write about sci-fi, and he actually does it for a living. All I can say about his work is that it was mind blowing.

I got home late Monday night, brain dead, exhausted, and really happy to see my wife and kids.

Thanks everybody. You were fantastic.



Tor.com posts a really positive review of Warbound?!

I just got home from book tour late last night. It was a huge success and I’m pretty sure this is the biggest release I’ve ever had. I’ll write up a recap of that and post tomorrow (with pictures!) but in the meantime here is a review of the Hugo nominated Warbound from Tor.com.

Now when you see that Larry Correia got mentioned on Tor.com you probably groaned and thought, oh what horrible thing did Straw Larry say now?

But it is really positive! http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/07/warbound-grimnoir-chronicles-larry-correia-appreciation-hugo-nominee  Huh?

This reviewer gets it.

The comments are fun too, because you can immediately tell the people who actually read it from the ones who are regurgitating narrative or the ones who Skimmed Until Offended. For the record I’ve never told writers not to write fiction with a message in it, just that the story and audience entertainment has to come first, but hey, whatever helps them sleep better at night. :)

Book bomb (sorta)

Today is not really a full press Book Bomb, but more of a heads up. This amuses me greatly:

“Little Black Book of People I Want to Throat Punch”
by Cold Dead Hands

It’s not a written book, but a blank one for you to keep lists in (or whatever). Buying this book does a few things- it helps out the folks at Cold Dead Hands (the 2nd Amendment advocacy group), it’s sure to freak out any liberals who might see it, and it helps out another member of the Monster Hunter Nation (CorreiaTech’s Marketing Dyaimo Jack is proving a point on the power of the MHN) (and getting paid!) So check it out and if it amuses you too, pick up a copy!

2 signings in California, Thursday July 10

I will be signing at the Santa Rosa Copperfields at 1, and the San Rafael Copperfields at 7.

Then off to North Carolina for Congregate.

In related news MHN was the #2 best selling hard cover fantasy novel in the country last week.


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