How to get Correia nominated for a Hugo, PART 4: Ten ways I’m different than Stephen King, and thus deserve a Hugo nomination

We are in the final two days of being able to get a supporting membership for WorldCon so that you can nominate stuff (Monster Hunger Legion is stuff) for the Hugo award. All month long I’ve been bugging you guys to get memberships so you can nominate up to 5 items in every category, to let your voices be heard. The cost of the membership is offset by the big packet of eBooks you get with works from all of the nominees.

First, I explained why it is so important to make literati snobs spontaneously combust with rage that a mere pulp novelist would tread in their sacred halls: This blog post alone caused several severe injuries at Ivy league English departments across the world and threatened to End Literature Forever.

sad puppy

Second, I showed just how serious this problem is with Sarah McLachlan music and sad puppies:  Proving that if you don’t register, it is because you hate puppies and pulp novelists and like it when Michael Vick runs them through the clothes dryer.

Think of the Children

And last week, I asked for everyone to please, please think of the children, as I shamelessly surrounded myself with children.

This is the final few days that you can hear my heartfelt pleas to stick up for unabashedly awesome action novels. I was out of ideas. I mean, I’d already rocked the sad puppies, so what else was there, but luckily current events came to the rescue.

Earlier this week Stephen King released a giant screed about gun control, and while my giant screed about gun control was based upon my years of practical experience in that field, his was based upon emotion, wishful thinking, and having snorted a lot of coccaine. It was mostly the same tired nonsense about how he like totally understands the 2nd Amendment, but it is time to get rid of our “obsession with dangerous toys” (hint, if you say you understand the 2nd and then immediately invoke “toys” or “deer hunting” you are an idiot).  I’m pretty sure the founding fathers didn’t rise up and do battle with a tyranical government and then immediately after write an amendment enshrining our right to hunt deer.

Then he talked about how culture doesn’t cause mass killings, guns do, which was why he pulled his book Rage off of the market because he felt guilty after it had inspired a couple of mass killers… Go figure. My favorite part however, was where he tried to use his Mad Horror Writer Skillz to invoke emotions about how Wayne LaPierre and the NRA needs to clean up the corpses and pick up the partially digested last meals from their intestines or whatever the hell pretentious hamfisted bullshit that was.  (another hint, I’m pretty sure my readership is of above average familiarity with violence, real horror, corpses, and gun shot wounds, so from that sample I’m fairly certain people with a clue are not exactly lining up to turn in their guns)

Please do keep in mind, that this is the same dude who back when he had a severe case of Bush Derangement Syndrome came out with is comments about how if you can’t read then you’ll end up in the Army… Yeah… Classy.

However, since Stephen King is all sorts of famous and of the correct political persuasion he was once again hailed as a genius in the media. Because look, even though he knows dick about the subject, his opinion matters, because he’s a NOVELIST! What about my opposing gun control article which was read by a million people which was written based upon my actual experience, and knowledge of the law, tactics, wound ballistics, and how actual violence works. NO! We will dismiss that because you are just a NOVELIST!  See how it works? Pretty nifty.

Because King has a political opinion, but he is of the correct political persuasions, I am sure he will be showered with awards. Meanwhile, woe unto the once award winning writers who come out of the closet as being of the incorrect political persuasion, because no more awards for you! Sort of like Orson Scott Card winning everything under the sun until he came out against gay marriage. Or Dan Simmons winning every literary award in existence until he wrote an article pointing out that maybe, just maybe, jihadi fundamentalists might want to kill us. No awards for you! Sometimes they even eat their own, as can be witnessed by Elizibeth Moon (who I believe is pretty darn liberal) having an opinion outside the accepted group think about terrorism and getting the fandom equivelent of a tar and feathering.

You guys hear me joke about this a lot, about authors getting blackballed because of their politics, but it is very real, and it annoys me to no end. I know a lot of conservative authors with other publishing houses, and they all just keep their mouths shut out of the very real fear of damaging their careers. Luckily for me, I used to own a machine gun store. It doesn’t get much more out of the closet than that. 🙂

For the record, I think Stephen King’s an extremely good writer. He’s been published for as long as I’ve been alive. When he’s on, the dude’s a word smith. When he’s off, he sucks. He can paint a brilliant picture with words, and then cram it into a meandering plot populated by mopey ass victim characters you just want to brain with a shovel. The main reason I don’t enjoy King novels is that he writes good victims, good thugs, and wouldn’t know a hero if it bit him in the ass. His books are all about making you feel helpless, useless, and weak. I can’t wrap my brain around that sort of mind set, and apparently that translates over into real life philosophy as well.

When it comes to pure writing skill, he’s on top. He’s been doing this for like 40 years. So when it comes to writing advice, I’ll listen. When it comes to self defense, the 2nd Amendment, or politics in general, oh hell no.

As a side note, my personal favorite bit of nonsensical Stephen King advice comes from a book of his I’ve not read. He’s got a writing advice book called On Writing, and aspiring authors love to quote it. One time I was on a panel at a convention and the topic was about balancing work and family, and some aspiring writer in the audience felt the need to stand up and quote from the book. I can’t remember exactly how it went, but it was a tortured analogy about how when King first got super rich, he built a big house with a big office, and he put his writing desk in the middle of the office, and then neglected his family because there was no room for them in the office. Later, he moved the desk to the side, so his children could play… And the aspiring author quoted this like it was all sorts of profundity.

My response was basically, “Look, dude… I’ve been happily married to the same women for fifteen years. I’ll take writing advice from Stephen King, but I’ll be damned if I take child raising advice from him. The reason he neglected his kids was because he was coked out of his freaking mind for a decade, so sit down and shut up.”

So now I will get ready for the inevitable slew of hate mail from King fans, but while I’m waiting for those, here are the Top Ten Ways I am Different that Stephen King and Thus Deserve a Hugo:

10.  I have never mistaken Barack Obama for Jesus. Not even in poor light.

9.  I have never written a book where the villian was a thinly veiled Dick Cheney.

8. I have never written a book based upon the Simpson’s movie.

7. If I had written Cujo, it would have been three pages. And most of that would have been a discussion over what is the best caliber for Saint Bernards.

6. I have never written myself into a corner at the end of an 800 page book, snorted a bunch of coccaine, and then exclaimed “HA! IT WAS A GIANT SPIDER ALL ALONG!”

5. When I write a book about a gun expert accountant who can take a punch, then critics say it is a horrible Mary Sue. When Stephen King writes fifty six books where the main character is a drug addled, depressed, whiney, victimized, helpless, alchoholic, sexually frustrated, daddy issues having, perverted, philandering, author from Maine, then it is brilliant literature.

4. I know to look both ways before crossing the street.

3. I know soldiers can read.

2. I can write an actual ending.

1. In addition to him being way more famous, selling way more books, and sleeping on a giant pile of money, he’s got a lot of awards and I don’t,


Tick off a critic today. For the children and the puppies.  Go here to buy your LonestarCon membership. You will need to register before the end of January, but then you have a couple of months to get your nomination in.

And thank you. Only you can save the pulp novelists.


EDIT: and I have been made aware of the Women typo, but it is actually kind of funny, so it stays. 😀

Today is the LAST DAY to register to nominate for the Hugos!
Geeky Hobbies: Sunday Afternoon Painting Work in Progress

45 thoughts on “How to get Correia nominated for a Hugo, PART 4: Ten ways I’m different than Stephen King, and thus deserve a Hugo nomination”

  1. “Elizibeth Moon (who I believe is pretty darn liberal)”

    Yeah, sadly she had to burnish her lefty bona fides in that incident and pretty much said she hates people like me. You know, a guy who read Tolkien at age 9 and recommends her ahead of him because her work is more approachable.

    (OK, who USED to recommend her ahead of Tolkien.)

  2. Which membership is the cheapest, but still works for someone who isn’t going to Texas?

    Make it step by step for the idiots like me.

    You’ve convinced me. It’s worth $60 to piss off those whom I’m unable to adequately describe here, and just possibly return a small slice of dignity to SF/Fantasy.

    1. There’s a lot of choices for membership, and I don’t want to make sad puppies cry by choosing poorly.

      I have dreams of a zombie infestation breaking out at a pity party after hours at the con. Seems the wrong person won, and some literati got plastered in a seedy bar. and bitten…

      Trouble was, nobody noticed, since after the infection is their conversation was less stupid, and they smelled better.

    1. I’m pretty sure that “sealing all the white women” is just a typo, but it kinda makes for a funny LDS joke.

    2. Double LDS funny with “sealing” and “women” together.

      As anyone who has ever been married can attest… ‘One wife is hard enough to keep happy. A second wife is enough to give a man a hatful of snakes’.

  3. Like I said on Facebook, you could have just written 10 entries with, “I’m not a pretentious dick.” Would have worked just about as well, if with a little less panache.

    1. I’m going to put up a post when I fill in my ballot. There are a few other things which just haven’t gotten the respect they deserve.

      1. Like Schlock Mercenary for graphic story, etc. Baen’s editors, Writing Excuses podcast for best related.

        Larry: No idea if you are going to win, but the Hugo committee *really* needs to have your blogs plastered on the insides of their eyelids. Keep up the good work!

  4. Your posts asking to support you are well worthy the 60USD entry fee – I wonder if they’re suspicious yet of the international supporting members…

    However I still must reiterate my demand for a video montage of literati heads exploding to a CPKM sound-track narrated by Tom Stranger.

  5. You have to understand King: You wake up one morning and realize that after a 40 year career, you wrote your best book in 1978 and nothing but crap ever since, cocaine is about the only thing it will prop your ego and certain amount of sourness against somebody is bound to set.

  6. I’ve only ever read one of King’s books. THE STAND. Full version. In 1991. I thought it quite good at the time. It actually had real heroes. I am not into horror so I’ve not read anything else King has ever done, besides his tome ON WRITING, which was also good. I essentially ignore King’s politics the way I ignore the politics of almost all writers, musicians, and actors: because I know that 95% of the time I can count on their opinions to be boilerplate empty-headed lefty nonsense that’s been spoon-fed to them over their lives, and about which they feel AUTHORATAYYYY (Cartman voice) because they are Big Rich Artistes and the rest of us are just poor dummies who need to be edumacated by the Big Rich Artistes who have all the right answers and all the bright ideas . . . not. As regards Mr. King’s anti-gun ranting, he reminds me of Dr. Rockso, the Rock’n’Roll Clown (he does cocaine): put the boots to him.

    1. I’d recommend some of his short fiction. A lot of it runs the gamut from western to sci-fi to fantasy to, indeed, horror. Most of it ranges from Alright to Pretty Damn Good, though he does have more than his share that is well into the realm of Excellent. As is the case with most of his body of work, the earlier it is the better it tends to be.

      Larry makes a great point, though. Most of King’s protagonists suck. I don’t know how many of his stories I’ve read where I though, “WTF? Why doesn’t anyone try to get/already have a gun?” That difference in mindset between myself and King is why I enjoy Larry’s stuff so much. It seems to be written from a viewpoint more in step with my own.

  7. There was a really good piece written by King about how we shouldn’t listen to celebrities for advice, but instead turn to experts. It was good advice at the time. Larry, this is my slow clap for you.

      1. I’m not entirely convinced those work worth a damn. Buckshot of any flavor would be better, and definitely more sure.

  8. Larry:

    My biggest complaint about “modern” and “literature” is what you allude to in #5 and actually mention further up – As a reader I can *not* identify with a whiny bitch protagonist. Write us some real damn heroes who know how to do some real damn heroics. The hero doesn’t have to be perfect, they are better when they overcome their own flaws, just do it without whining about how heroism goes against their core values.

    Hence writers who write characters that their readers can identify with are considered “hacks” while writers like King who write quasi villains, wimps and depressed anti-heroes are “Literati.”

    Keep writing heroes, Larry. .

  9. At a recent Appleseed I met a guy who was pretty close to fitting the description, except that he’s in IT. I’m 6’2″ and this guy was taller and broader than I am. Seems to know pistols quite well and shot a Rifleman score the first day. And, when I talked to him, he seemed to be really cool so I recommended your books to him.

  10. Read any Stephen King book that has a gun in it. You will know immediately that he very likely has never even seen a gun first hand, let alone shot one. He’s just not a gun person. But that doesn’t stop him from being an expert opinion worth listening to according to our unbiased press. He has no familiarity with the operation of even the most basic firearm mechanisms and is even less familiar with the capabilites of specific firearms. Who would be a worse choice to tell us that guns are unsafe? My seven year old son has never driven a car. His knowledge of the operation and capabilites of cars comes from TV (mostly cartoons). When we recently purchased a new car he was not consulted because his input would not have been based on reality.

    Remember when during (GW) Bush’s adminstration when we entered Iraq? Everyone who was against it would say the same thing. It went, “I support the troops, but…” then they’d go into their checklist of liberal leftist points about how war is always bad. They didn’t support the troops at all, they just thought that they’d get more people to listen to their bullshit than if they’d gone off on the evil military-industrial complex from the get go. Now pay attention to how many people are starting off their anit-gun arguments with, “I support the 2nd Amendment, but…” I actually appreciate that they do this since if they’re on the radio or in print it’s much handier than them wearing a sign that says, “I hate that you own guns.”

    1. The only King book I’ve read is “Thinner”. In it one of the characters, a shady mob-type character, uses a .38 revolver, which King calls a “Colt Woodsman”.

      I think he was trying to reference Hemingway, who actually owned one and wrote about it, but he was probably too busy snorting coke to do the research and get it right.

  11. I’ve given up on the Hugo being given to any fun stories. I used to use the Hugo list as my top SF/F buys, but over the years the entertainment value has declined.

    OTOH MHI is now one of Audible’s Essentials. Looks like some people know a great story when they hear one!

  12. I read, i read alot and I don’t think King is that good a writer. I have twice tried to read King books and have found them unreadable. 100 – 200 pages in and my eyes are bleeding from the suffering. People keep telling me “just read another 100 pages” or in the case of the first Dark Tower “you need to get through that one then you can enjoy the others”. Sorry if the first book of your series reads like the Bataan death march and the only goal is to finish it so that you can get to the others the. I have no time for you.

  13. King is just another hack who is obviously paid by the word. How else to explain all of his books that weigh in at 1,000+ pages that would have probably made a decent short story but nothing longer. It was a clown. Really? It was a rat. Really? It was witches. Really? By the way, love #4: ” I know to look both ways before crossing the street.” Made me laugh.

  14. Okay Larry, the heads exploding didn’t do it, the sad puppies didn’t do it, not even the children could do it. But when you bring out the Stephen King hate, that’s all it takes. I’m now a supporting member and totally voting for you… In all fairness I was going to join after last week’s post and just forgot to. But since I’m not a fan of King’s work I loved this post.

  15. To be fair, given the MHI universe, it would actually be a meaningful ending if it was “HA! IT WAS A GIANT SPIDER ALL ALONG!”. I mean – I could get to the end of a couple of the books and the big things coming along to destroy the world is… a giant spider. You could make it work.

  16. King was at his best with his early short stories, because at that time the market he was in was hellishly competitive and either you produced quality or your family ate Ramen noodles for another month. It wasn’t until he became The Great Stephen King (somewhere around Silver Bullet) that he began to suck.

    King and Anne Rice (speaking of pretentious leftie authors) suffer from the same illness: Too Big To Edit. When there exists a few million people who’ll buy whatever piece of tripe you squat out next, just because your name is on the cover, there’s no longer any incentive by either the author or the publisher to produce anything else but squat-tripe.
    Any attempt to point out to the author that maybe 800 pages of whiny BS with maybe 100 pages of actual story hidden inside will be met with the counterarguement, “Well, I’m an artist, and if I can’t have my masterpiece published without your peasant interference, I’ll jsut go down the sreet to HarperCollins…) and then the Board of Directors screams and the tripe flows unhindered.

    1. At least with the Rice books you get 2-for-1… In the middle of a 250-page story about whiny characters struggling with their darkness you have a character sit down and read/tell a 600 page story about other whiny characters struggling with their darkness.

  17. “The main reason I don’t enjoy King novels is that he writes good victims, good thugs, and wouldn’t know a hero if it bit him in the ass. His books are all about making you feel helpless, useless, and weak.”

    Thank you for articulating so well why I don’t like his novels. They all have some invincible horror in them and nobody can do anything about them, very frustrating! The only series I’ve been able to read is the Gunslinger series, but it suffers from Reason #2, the ending is absolute garbage.

    1. I would have liked to have seen how the Wendigo in King’s “Pet sematary” would have done had there been firearms involved.
      I bet the old guy accross the street in that small town could easily have had something big hidden in his shed or something.
      Eat WW2 Grenade evil! Boom!!! = No more wendigo sucking the life and sanity out of people.

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