284 thoughts on “A great article about the politics of sci-fi/fantasy”

  1. Talking about politics in things, check the DC Comics announcement about Batgirl #19 today. Batgirl is gay, and her room mate is a transgendered bi. Not political at all, right?

    1. Shoot, over in Marvel just about the only two superheroes who ain’t locked lips are Captain America and Nick Fury (either one or both if marketing is scared off by the racial thing.)

      1. Tom, if you wanna watch that sort of thing, I believe you’re looking for Batwoman issue 4, but don’t expect to enjoy it too much. The scene with Batwoman and her girlfriend is innercut with a scene where Batwoman’s sidekick gets her guts ripped out with a meathook type implement.

    2. Um, without getting into the politics of this, please check your facts. Batgirl is not gay. Batwoman is gay, but that’s been going on for 7 years no, so it’s a little late to start complaining.

      You’re right that her roommate was revealed in issue #19 as a transgendered woman, but if you’d read any of the articles floating around about it, you’d know that the guy running the Batgirl series at the moment made the decision, not on word from DC, but because the comic already had a very large LGBT following, and he wanted to be more inclusive of that audience.

      It wasn’t politics, it was the creative team making a deliberate effort to please their audience. That’s frequently called ‘smart business’ where I come from.

      1. Nonsense. It’s an attempt at “social relevancy”, just like when DC/Marvel had Lex Luthor as George Bush, the Tea Party as racist mass-murderers, AIDS-positive superheroes, Barack Obama as a superhero… Note that all of this goes in exactly one political direction?

    1. Couldn’t be. Leftist authors include unicorns in their stories sometimes. I don’t think they’d ever include a “right-wing, religious, gun-toting female writer of SF/F.” Although you could be Julie Shackleford, assuming she writes SF/F on the side. =)

      1. …dammit, now I need to write a story with a unicorn in it. I’ve done dragons, werewolves, angels, demons, aliens, vampires, zombies, squonks, and talking cats, but never unicorns. Clearly, I’ve been slacking.

        I *wish* I was as awesome as Julie Shackleford.

      2. A squonk is a legendary creature from the Pennsylvania hemlock forests. It is reputed to be so ugly that it will literally dissolve in its own tears when confronted with a mirror and reminded how hideous it is.

        The squonk in my story is actually a were-squonk (of course it is, because I am me), and he’s in one of my numerous stories about my werewolf PI (none of which are published, woe is me). The story has yet to find a home and is sitting on an editor’s desk right now.

        For further information, visit the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squonk


    2. Julie, if you are, there are a few of us. Sarah Hoyt, Sabrina Chase, Kate Paulk, Alma Boykin, and others are out here. Look for “human wave” sci-fi and you’ll find a growing number of religious or at least not anti-religious, conservative to libertarian, gun-toting females. You ain’t alone. 🙂

        1. Julie: I highly recommend Sarah Hoyt’s “A Few Good Men” it’s Sarah’s version of the American Revolution / The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

          The shifter’s series is very good, too – Draw One in the Dark, Gentleman Takes a Chance, and Noah’s Boy (coming in June). Of course, I am somewhat biased, since I’ve been tuckerized… at least I don’t get eaten by a were-shark!

  2. If you can’t be a sterling example, you’ll have to serve as a horrible warning…

    What amazes me is that Heinlein would be considered right wing today.

    Libertarian, nudist, author of “Stranger in a Strange Land” that helped kick the sexual revolution of the 60’s, polyamorous, Heinlein. He ran for the California state legislature as a democrat, and was beaten by a republican.

    Hell, Scientology was started from the same conversation with L. Ron Hubbard that birthed “Stranger”. It was about how anything, including roller skating, was worship, and could be the central theme of a tax-exempt church, if you could only keep a straight face while talking about it.

    Baen is going to end up like Fox News. It’ll have a bit over half the market, while all the other leftie publishers squabble over the rest.

    You chose wisely, Master Correia.

    1. Actually, Scientology was started as a bet between Hubbard and Frank Herbert, after they were arguing about the Freemen “religion” in Dune.

  3. Love the Baen-bashing over there. Sorry, but every Baen book I’ve read is at least enjoyable; I can’t say that about what gets churned out by the other publishers. PARTICULARLY when they think it’s “literature”.

    I also find it amusing that they hold up as icons of literature people who were just doing a job. Heinlein, Burroughs, Lovecraft, Howard — heck, the last three were literal pulp writers. Tolkien? His stories were a way to play with his toy languages.

    Perhaps its my contrary nature, perhaps its the aversion I have to those with English degrees, but I find the “literature” chasers to be almost universally BORING. Tell a good story, you’ll have my dime.

    1. > Tell a good story, you’ll have my dime.


      Most modern literature is crap, and almost all modern “study” of literature is beyond crap.

      That said, there are some things in classical music that you don’t get in a three piece rock band, and studying form and technique can pay dividends.

      My listening tastes include Beethoven and the Clash – both are excellent, even if one has more music theory behind it. No reason that one’s reading tastes can’t include excellent action adventure AND excellent more-literary stuff.

      I don’t think it’s an insult to say that Baen is more of a punk-and-blues-and-rock-and-roll publisher than it is a chamber-music publisher – agreed?

      1. Clamps: If punk was honest with itself, it’d be moving rightwards today. Instead we get endless three-chord paens to how cool the party that’s destroying teenagers’ hopes for the future is, because the other side is like, totally religious and stuff.

      2. Clamps, there are actually quite a few Libertarian and “Right” leaning punk bands out there. You just have to search for them.

      3. And we get Green Day on the radio in L.A. in an interview, telling us we HAVE TO go vote for John Kerry on election day.

  4. That pinko literature professor sneered at “militaristic SF books and films” that “suggest the most interesting thing to do with the alien is style it as an invading monster and empty thousands of rounds of ammunition into it.”

    Larry, you keep writing those books and I’ll keep buying them!

      1. Larry, just to let you know, “Clamps” is also known as Will, Dan, Yama the Spacefish, and Luscinia Hafez. He is a strange little troll upon whom the gods have laid the solemn duty to prevent people from reading my books whilst simultaneously producing great literature such as this. It is truly a magnum opus that has to be seen to be believed.

        Also, I reviewed Marko Kloos’s book today. If you’d like me to review that new novella of yours, just send me an epub. I’ll send you A THRONE OF BONES if you’re in the mood for epic, or THE WARDOG’S COIN if you prefer battle tactics and bloodshed, in return.

      2. “Here is a nuke. Wonder what type of monster you would use this on?

        OMG! If you convince Larry to include that in an MHI I will be so happy. I know one or two other authors that could use that in their books as well.

  5. Hey, this is the guy that Scalzi won’t refer to by name anymore. Cause he’s too hatey hatey racist and sexisty.

      1. Do you know how we know you’re a fool, Chlamydia? You come to right wing sites, as a plain and obvious leftist, and tell people the books addressed are terrible. Always that word, “terrible.” Do you know what that does, when you do that? It helps us sell books. Why don’t you, yes, you, personally, just send us money?

      2. And the sad thing ? Scalzi USED to be decent. “Old Man’s War” was great. . . the later stuff, quality started falling off FAST. .

      3. Being the frequent victim of mindless morons who equate “doesn’t agree with me politically” to “bad writing,” Keith, I’ve got to say I don’t see a drop off in quality with Scalzi, at least as regards the Old Man’s War _series_. If anything, i think I liked Ghost Brigade better than OMW. Zoe’s Tale I found cute as hell. There was something in The Last Colony that I choked on, briefly, but, since I can’t recall what it was it can’t have been that bad.

        There will probably be a tendency to equate the following with being patronizing. I don’t mean it that way. I think Scalzi does a very good job of writing up _a_ military, and war, given no experience of either. There are not many people without that experience who could do it nearly as well.

      4. I’m not equating them. I don’t agree with you politically. Your writing is bad and you should feel bad. They’re unrelated.

      5. Oh Clamps really? I do believe that since Col. Kratman continues to sell novels and Baen continues to publish them that your childish little insult is just so much bullshit.

        Are you a published author with a legion of fans? No? Then who the fuck cares what you think about Col. Kratman’s writing style?

      6. He’s published by Baen, barely a step above self-publishing. He has more people reading Caliphate because he shares their beliefs than people reading it for the story or for the writing style or for the characters.

        1. Baen: Barely a step above self publishing? 😀 Holy moly! Wow… I thought you were dumb, but you are like huffing paint, sleep in a helmet, freaking stupid. Across the world, trolls just winced. You just made Nigerian spammers sound like Rhodes Scholars.

          Look, dipshit, seriously… One step above self publishing is going with a small press pub that has no distribution and bad contracts. My books are on shelves wherever Simon & Schuster ships books. Tom and I am in every B&N in the country. We’re in the Books a Million, we’re in most indy stores, depending on what they are into as I’ve found some of those weird hippy beads and crystals places don’t carry me for some odd reason. They spend money on advertisting and flying me around on book tours. Over the last couple of years my barely better than self published publishing house has sent me to 19 states, I can’t remember how many conventions, has gotten my books on the fronts of catalogs, gotten me reviewed everywhere, they’ve sent me to BEA, and they’ve gotten me on national bestseller lists. Having started out self published, I must have missed the part where I got a totally awesome publicist in Manhattan. 😀

          Since I’ve teamed up with them on my rights, and I’ve still got freaking awesome percentages, they’ve gotten me a TV deal (not that Hollywood has done anything with it yet, but the option checks still cash!), audio book deals (where I’ve had one of the top 5 bestselling fantasy audiobooks in the country for the last couple of years in a row), and they’ve got me foreign translations (seven so far if I recall correctly, and I’m really excited for Hard Magic to come out in Chinese this year), and a bunch of other groovy perks.

          And authors know and associate with other authors. That’s sort of what people who work in the same field do. And we all talk about our publishers and our editors. I’ve got friends at every single one of the big houses and a whole lot of small presses. For sheer professionalism, support, and ease of working with, I wouldn’t trade my Baen editors for any of theirs.

          So, yes, Clamps… Please do continue to educate us all on the publishing industry that you are all sorts of smart about.

      7. Chlamydia, nobody takes you seriously. Nobody takes your writing seriously, except for you and you don’t count. Yes, I do feel sorry for you. Yes, I know you want to bear my child but I just don’t swing that way.

      8. Clamps, you’re awfully evangelical in your beliefs. Just because you don’t like any of the authors here doesn’t mean you have to badger people into acting how you think they should. Worse, you give no real reason for your distaste other than you don’t like it. You don’t even give technical reasons for why any of the authors you claim to have write poorly do. And I’m supposed to trust your taste on faith just because you’re shouting your opinion from the rooftops?

        Many of you critiques, however, have been variations of the theme, “I can/would have done better.” I challenge you again to prove it. Do better. I can claim to write better than Larry, Vox, the Colonel, Mike, and you all day long, but the fact remains is that I don’t have anything published that can prove my outrageous (and false) claim. Put something concrete on the table for comparison, be it standards or snippets, and let us decide for our selves.

      9. I don’t like Caliphate because the characters are zero-dimensional, the plot is boring, the message is overshadowed by the fact that the good guys are actually worse than the Caliphate, and the prose is lifeless and dull.

        Is that not satisfactory?

      10. There is a sample from Chlamydia linked here somewhere, Nathan. Nose around. Be prepared to hold that nose, though, once you find it. It’s pretty putrescent.

      11. Says the boy* who cannot, by his own admission, recall the difference between one book and another. The man who cannot understand why 13 year olds who have never held a rifle would miss a small, erratically moving target, who doesn’t understand that formed jello quivers differently…fuckwit, you can’t read or _think_, let alone write.

        I say “boy” because, if I had to guess, I would peg you as either under 18 or, if older, still living in your parents’ basement, which is morally the same thing.

      12. Actually Clamps, I enjoy the way he weaves a story. I eagerly await the next couple of books in his Legion del Cid books and the next Countdown book. He writes excellent military style science fiction and fiction. A whole lot of people think like I do.

        How many books have you sold again?

        Are you running one of the big publishing houses? Do you have a stable of authors that sell, sell, sell?

        You are just a pathetic little wannabe hack. You are fighting way out of your weight class son.

      13. Clamps, if it is better than Caliphate why are you not published?

        Maybe you should pull your head out of your ass and listen to what your betters have to say.

      14. Because Night Shade Books went kaput.

        And because I really should write some short stories to get off the ground.

        1. I’ve sold 6 short stories this year to four different markets. (in addition to the 2 novels I’ve turned in so far) If you are so superior to us poor ol’ right wing dummies, what the hell is your excuse?

      15. None of you are my betters. I somehow doubt that my betters spend their time here.

        I wish I had M. John Harrison’s talent…

      16. Night Shade does not equal Baen. So bullshit buddy. That is a poor excuse. You are not published because your writing is terrible, otherwise if it was better than Caliphate a publishing house would have published it by now.

        So come up with another excuse.

      17. Oh Clamps, you are a delusional one aren’t you.

        My comments to this blog are better written than what you have graced the internet with. I’m an amateur but I know I’m your better. Everyone here is your better. The authors you are attacking and the publishing house you are attacking are your betters. With your attitude you will never equal any of them. Give me six months to a year of serious work and you won’t equal me. I doubt you equal me now and I know that my work is still rough because I’m still learning.

        So keep inflating your own ego if you need it. Just because you say it is so, does not mean it is.

      18. Clamps said, “I don’t like Caliphate because the characters are zero-dimensional, the plot is boring, the message is overshadowed by the fact that the good guys are actually worse than the Caliphate, and the prose is lifeless and dull.
        “Is that not satisfactory?”

        Not for a public debate. “Zero dimensional” is hyperbole. Your opinion on the plot is subjective. You might not be in the target audience, after all. Your opinion on the message seems to be tied to your personal politics, and while I haven’t read Caliphate, I did read A Desert Called Peace, and the Colonel’s prose seemed satisfactory enough. ADCP seems to be of the school that holds that prose should never call attention to itself, especially at the expense of the story. That style seems to be consistent with the rest of the sub-genre known as military science fiction.

        Look, your enjoyment is your enjoyment. All those reasons you gave are valid, for you. Whether or not you liked Caliphate doesn’t matter to me. I do, however, get testy when you start trying to impose your enjoyment on mine because you think your way is the only way. What makes your opinion any more right than mine?

        Your actions here illustrate Larry and Vox’s points about politics in the genre. Science fiction should be the most heterodox of all genres, with room for all beliefs on the political spectrum. Yet zealots like you try to impose a misguided orthodoxy and then wonder why sales are tanking.

      19. No you twit. Caliphate is good because it is well written. It has a defined story arc, characters that are very believable and that you care about and it is entertaining. Why else would it sell so well? Why else would people buy Colonel Kratman’s other books if they were not entertaining?

        I’m thinking that it just comes down to you being jealous of those that are more talented than you are and those that have been successful in a field where you have failed.

      20. If the prose isn’t going to draw attention to itself, why write a novel at all?

        The only difference between bland prose and badly-written florid prose is the badly-written florid prose is at least fun to laugh at. With bland prose like Kratman’s or Day’s, you don’t even get unintentional fun out of it.

        1. “If the prose isn’t going to draw attention to itself, why write a novel at all?”

          Wow… Somebody took college English and knows fuck all about actually telling a story.

          “The only difference between bland prose and badly-written florid prose is the badly-written florid prose is at least fun to laugh at.”

          Pot. Kettle.

        2. Clamps, I’m a reader not a writer but I don’t want the “prose” to get in the way of the story. The story is what I purchase novels to get not “great” prose.

          1. It is rare that anybody remembers the prose after they get done reading a novel, but they’ll remember characters, plot, and cool scenes.

          2. I’m an aspiring writer and still learning. Never stop learning. I read that good prose should not, does not attract attention to itself. I would think that it would be like riding in a car. If the ride is smooth (prose is tight, and easy to read) you enjoy the ride. If the ride is choppy, you want to get out ASAP! and put the book down.

      21. Bland? So that is why Larry and Tom sell so many books and other authors at Baen manage to sell so many books? Because it is full of bland prose? You’re a joke boy. You don’t know a damn thing about prose.

        So you would like people to laugh at your attempts at prose, as you call it? I find that odd. I would think the point of writing would be to sell something, not have people ridicule and laugh at it.

      22. The only time I remember the prose of a book is with Ray Bradbury. That man could paint a picture with words that made the image stick in your brain.

        All other times, it is the story and the characters that stick out, not how it was written, unless it was terrible. I had to put down Interview with a Vampire the one time I tried to read it.

      23. I’m always going to remember the line about stars dancing pavanes in Eternal Light or the line about nanomachines drifting like fish semenin Empty Space, but I don’t remember the hero in Caliphate’s name or anything that happened in A Magic Broken.

      24. Reader immersion matters more. If you can get a reader to keep turning pages until the end, you win. If they set your book aside because their immersion’s been broken too many times, whether through grammar issues, purple prose such as you seem to favor, or an overly showy turn of phrase, you lose.

        Tell a good story. All else can be forgiven. Prose is just a vehicle for story. Stop trying to insist on flashy rims on a rusted out POS Impala.

        Story sells.

        Now, will you have the good grace to stand down instead of being a mindless contrarian?

      25. The fish semen line from Empty Space was amazing and you know it. Actually, the entirety of that book was amazing. Reminds me of someone’s description of J.G. Ballard. (who dices science textbooks and Ernst-like surrealism with devastating precision: see The Drowned World especially)

        Go ahead. Give me what you think is the best paragraph you’ve ever written.

        1. I’m going to take the time to actually write a real reply to this, because even though Clamps is too stupid to figure it out, I’m going to repost this on the blog later and I’ve got a lot of aspiring writers who read this. This is a serious peice of advice. What Clamps just wrote there is a very stupid, and in fact, self-defeating way to approach being an author.

          The best paragraph you’ve ever written simply doesn’t matter.

          The best paragraph I’ve ever written is the one I just finished, because that means I will GET PAID for it soon.

          I have published about a million and a half words of fiction. Counting the blogging, articles, and that sort of thing, I’ve probably written three million words over the last five years. So that’s approximately 60,000 paragraphs. Of those, there were probably some good ones, but I don’t remember any of them in particular, because that is a pointless, naive, hack way of looking at being a professional writer. The single best piece of writing advice I’ve ever heard was from Kevin J. Anderson, and that was if you want to ever live off of being a writer, be prolific.

          Having one trophy parapgraph which demonstrates your mad wordsmithing skillz is totally and completely irrelevant to being a writer, because people don’t buy paragraphs, they buy a whole bunch of parapraphs put together into a story. Publishers don’t buy paragraphs, they buy stories. You can wordsmith the shit out of a paragraph and have a real diamond, but if it is buried in a bad story, nobody will ever care, and nobody will ever read it.

          Flowery pretentious language has derailed a lot of potentially good stories. If your goal is to impress English professors, get published in a prestigious literary journal (which might be read by 100 people if you count the editorial staff), and impress the chicks in the art department with your dramatic readings at the coffee shop, then concentrate on big metaphors. If you want to actually have lots of people read your stuff and be entertained by it, concentrate on being able to convey a story.

          Not that I’ve got anything against metaphors mind you, but they should be things that happen while you are telling the story. The story shouldn’t exist to show off your brilliant wordsmithing or your clever prose. Clever prose for clever prose’s sake is like being a horrible basketball player with no career who is really super proud that he once won a slam dunk contest.

          Also, there is no best. Words are tools you use to accomplish a goal. If the goal is to convey an emotion in a story then it is the paragraph that does that. If it is to hook readers, then it is the opening line of your series. For aspiring writers, the most important words ever are THE END because that means you actually finished a book. If I’m writing to convey an idea, then the best paragraph I’ve ever written was in my big gun control post that got read by a million people, was used by legislators to debate laws, got on the national news, and actually changed a few minds. If my goal is to make a dumb internet troll look like a complete tool, then my best paragraph might be a throw away comment on Facebook. (Clamps doesn’t even merit the effort).

          So if I had to pick the single *best* paragraph I’ve ever written it would be the first one I ever published: “On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetant jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.” Is that brilliant prose? Nope. Is it millions of fish semen swimming in sunlight of stars or icicles clinging to sunlight globs or whatever the hell Clamps is talking about? Nope. Not even close. It is pretty straight forward. But it has hooked a whole lot of readers, sold a whole lot of books, and launched the series which pays my bills. So for me, that makes it the best.

          Clamps is a fool, but through his foolishness aspiring writers can learn valuable lessons about what not to do. I’m going to compile all of this next week for a blog post.

      26. Isn’t happening. I realize my prose is fanfic quality. If what Larry posted is accurate, you don’t.

        Let’s see, skimming through that link, you’re telling, not showing. Passive voice clutters your prose. Your story stops so you can info-dump description in goat-gagging terms. Write a story or write poetry. Pick one. Oh, there’s Maid and Butler dialogue as well. Joy…

        Please tell me you’ve improved since then.

      27. Why Clamps? I know that my writing is still on an amateur level. I have no delusions of grandeur that you seem to have. I am working to become a better writer while you seem to be stuck in some kind of one person circle jerk over your own poor writing.

      28. “It is rare that anybody remembers the prose after they get done reading a novel, but they’ll remember characters, plot, and cool scenes.”

        The exception that proves the rule being Tanith Lee. I would read her recipe box. And, I suspect, afterwards feel haunted by a sense of dark, but bittersweet corruption.

      29. Tom, I’m going to disagree: I find Old Man’s War quite re-readable, but Ghost Brigades not nearly as much. And Lost Colony. . . well, I never finished it: it bored me.

        But then, my personal gauge **IS** re-readability. I’m on my 9th or 10th pass through the Carrera books. . . I’d worn out my original copy of “Freehold” by the time I got an e-reader, and I can nearly quote, chapter and verse, most of Ringo’s Kildar and Troy Risong books. . . (grin)

      30. Larry, that reminds me: I need to dig through the book boxes in the Garage (new house has nowhere near the bookshelf space of the old house. . . )

        It’s been ENTIRELY too long since I re-read “Hyperion”. . .

      31. Sure, but that’s _your_ standard, Keith, not a universal one. It is, I admit, a better standard than Chlamydia’s tacit, “Quality of fiction is defined only by the number of distracting and pointless metaphors, plus left wing politics, and the number of meaningless awards those things gather, but it is still highly subjective.

        1. Tom, often I’ll end a comment on a story/novel with “YMMV” because I know that what I think is a “good read” isn’t what somebody else will think is a “good read” and there’s no way to “prove” that I’m correct (or wrong).

          Of course, there are a few books out there that I wonder how anybody could think are “good reads”.

        1. Then you’re an even bigger idiot than I thought. You go on about wordsmithing and beautiful language like it is some sort of holy grail, but apparently you wouldn’t recognize it if it bit you on the ass. The Terror has some of the finest prose ever put to a page, and it still told a very bleak story. I didn’t care for how he ended it, but doesn’t change the fact that it was a brilliant book. He wrote hundreds of pages where he made snow, ice, cold, and suffering into poetry.

          Your stupid writing was fascinatined with icicles that were holding globs of light, even though in the same paragraph you said it was dark. Dumbass.

          Olympos and Illium were incredible stories and the best examples I’ve ever seen of taking multiple oddball elements and combining them together into a fantastic story.

          Oh, and by your stupid criteria, Simmons has also won a bunch of awards. Far more than I have… So I guess that means he has to be good.

          You’re BORING me Clamps. I can love debate, and I even tolerate fools, (though as Sean Astin said, Larry Correia doesn’t tolerate fools lightly 🙂 ) but I can’t abide pedantic wankery that doesn’t go anywhere. This blog has had thousands and thousands of commenters, and I’ve only ever banned a handful, and that was because they were repetively boring or totally insane. I’ve kept you around because kicking the shit out of you has amused my fans and you’ve provided useful blog fodder, but you are rapidly becoming circular and uninteresting.

          Buh bye. 🙂

  6. @Rob Crawford:

    > Love the Baen-bashing over there. Sorry, but every Baen book I’ve
    > read is at least enjoyable

    I reckon you’re talking about my comments, because I think I’m the only one over there saying anything less than 100% complimentary about Baen.

    I’m not sure how it is that I’m failing to convey my point (which is ** NOT ** Baen-bashing ; Baen is my favorite SF publisher), but let me try one more time:

    Baen pros:

    * Baen is open-minded in a way that Tor, etc. are not.
    * they publish a lot of good novels
    * … indeed, their best stuff is as good as the best from other houses.
    * they don’t have a political litmus test
    * everyone I’ve met who is associated with Baen strikes me as a good human being
    * I’m glad – VERY GLAD – that Baen exists

    Baen cons:

    * there a large number of mil-SF readers who purchase their books for the guns, the rewarmed Saint Crispin Day speeches, and the Heinleinesque flavor, and don’t while these readers may very well like good writing, it’s not the primary determinant of their purchasing choices.

    * … and thus the result is that Baen gets away with publishing a lower AVERAGE quality of work.

    As an example, I was once reading Caliphate http://www.amazon.com/Caliphate-Tom-Kratman/dp/1439133425 on Tam Slick’s nod and I snorted out loud. My GF asked “what?”. I replied “on one page it’s got power armor, a giant flying assault zeppelin, trash talking Muslims, and a reference to a blow job. I can tell you without even looking at the spine that this is a Baen novel.”

    Again, this isn’t bashing: Baen’s pocketed easily pocket one or two thousand dollars from me over the years for their books, and I’m a big fan of Larry, Sarah, etc. You can always get a great rollicking read if Baen is on the spine…but you’re also a lot more likely to get a book that has power armor, blowjobs, vast hordes of enemies spilling towards the small redoubt of the Good Guys, etc., than you are to get a Chine Mieville or Ian Banks -like experience.

    1. Here’s the problem: I define “quality” as “did I enjoy reading that”. Can’t think of a Baen book that has failed that test. Given time, I could find plenty of examples from other publishers that do fail that test, including some that get held up as masterpieces.

      And why would I _want_ a “China Mieville-like experience”? Scanning his works, they look boring. My god, one of them is described with terms like “voluminous”, “lyrical”, “edgiest” — can’t say those terms have ever led to a good read.

      1. > Here’s the problem: I define “quality” as “did I enjoy reading that”.

        100% valid.

        Certainly, I think that if something FAILS that test, then you’ve got a novel that fails as a novel, no matter what it’s other merits might be. I certainly am NOT a fan of work that you have to suffer to get through.

        That said, I take a moral and philosophical stance that it’s a good thing to educate our palates.

        It lets us appreciate some works at multiple levels. For example, back before I started writing myself, I knew that I liked Larry’s stuff, but it was only after I tried my own hand that I realized that his prose, which reads as effortless, is actually really skilled. I realized that the first person that Larry favors is really well suited for his particular brand of we’re-all-just-guys-here humor. Conversely, I also realized that the way that Michael Flynn weaves classical history, medieval philosophy, etc. into his stories is also stunningly impressive.

        I would say that my enjoyment of all sorts of novels is radically increased by paying more attention to what makes them good, from Larry (rollicking shoot-em-up adventure) to Michael Flynn (slightly melancholy, deeply Catholic worldview philosophical layers behind the action) to Mieville (“new weird” flavor, literary rhythms, immersive), and so on.

        To make an analogy: a kid may like nothing more than pizza and spaghetti, but we are more fully adults, and more fully human beings, if we learn to appreciate a fresh-from-the-garden tomato with buffalo mozarella, a simple roast chicken with rosemary and salt, a nice blue cheese, etc. You get to enjoy more stuff, more deeply…and you still get to enjoy pizza! It’s a big universe God has made for us – why not enjoy more of it, and enjoy it more fully?

        > And why would I _want_ a “China Mieville-like experience”?

        Because he’s a DAMNED good writer, and delivers amazing stories, in a style that is excellent.

        > Scanning his works, they look boring.

        I dare you to read Perdido Street Station and say that! 😉

        > My god, one of them is described with terms like “voluminous”,

        i.e. “immersive” – if it’s a good story, who doesn’t want to be immersed? Is Monster Hunter not a big epic tale, spread across a few books?

        > “lyrical”

        i.e. “well written, with well crafted sentences, and a nice flow to the words”.

        A good thing!

        > “edgiest” — can’t say those terms have ever led to a good read.

        Yeah, OK, you got me there. “Edgy” isn’t the best way to sell me on a book either. 😉

      2. So for me, Embassytown was an extremely frustrating book. Mieville is a damned good author, the ideas were interesting, but he must have been paid by the ratio of punctuation marks per sentence. He’s unable to write paragraphs of clean, concise sentences when the possibility exists of concatenating three, four, five, even ten clauses together is present.

      3. Mieville proves the point that it’s possible to be a truly excellent, one-in-a-million writer… and still be full of beans.

      1. Yes, but you’re a wannabe, un- and (based on the sample) never-shall-be-published pussy, _and_ an idiot, so who cares what you prefer? Y’all have a nice day, Chlamydia.

        Now don’t run off and cry. We hate it when women and girls and whatever the hell kind or transexual you may be run off and cry.

      2. Methinks Clamps couldn’t HANDLE a typical Corriea or Kratman book. We’re talking a classic example of a Krataclysm just waiting to happen.

        Of course. . . .for REAL fun, put him in a Vogon Poetry Appreciation chair, and have the Colonel, Larry, Mad Mike, and Ringo do tag-team readings. . . I’d PAY to watch that. . .

      3. I did read Caliphate. It sucked moogle antenna. Call me when you win an award. I’ll eat my shoe.

        And, oh yeah, resorting to sexist and homophobic insults? How mature.

      4. @Clamps:

        > I did read Caliphate. It sucked moogle antenna. Call me when you win an award.

        What does an award prove? The Hugos are a political game, worked behind the scenes by factions of the in-crowd. Judge a book on its own merits, not – as they say – by its cover.

      5. It proves more than sales do, if I believe Vox Day when he says he sold 40,000 copies of A Throne of Bones.

        And saying awards are politicized is just an excuse.

        1. Clamps, you are so full of shit. And I’ve won an Audie, been a finalist for that 3 times, was a Campbell finalist, and a Verlanger finalist for best novel in FRANCE. So I guess since I’m award winning, when I tell you that you are full of shit it counts more. And that Audie made me a lot more money in new royalties, which is the main reason I love it. 🙂

          Saying that only winning awards makes you a *real* writer is pure stupidity just from a statistical perspective. There were something like 328,000 books published in the US last year. There were over 500 sci-fi titles and probably twice that in fantasy, from the major publishing houses alone. So let’s say that conservatively there are 1,000 genre fiction books eligable for an award. There are 5 finalists. That means that .005 of all the authors are finalists for an award.

          There are what? 12 awards? Oh, but wait… Often the same popular authors come up for different awards in the same year with the same work, but let’s give it the benefit of the doubt, and say that all 5 of those finalists from each of those 12 awards (that’s actually probably a high number) that means a whopping .06! of all books in a year get put up for an award.

          You dipshit.

          And the awards are politicized. Looking at the most famous one, if you are popular with a big faction of the WorldCon voters, you get nominated for a Hugo. If you aren’t, then you don’t. That’s why every year we can usually guess who most of the finalists for best novel are going to be just by looking at the catalogs of upcoming books, and we know who is going to show up on there before anybody has actually read the book. Duh.

          So you not liking Tom Kratman stuff doesn’t make him not a real writer, like you’ve insisted on here before. The fact that lots of people GIVE HIM MONEY for his writing make him a real writer.

        1. It was addressed to Kratman and I responded because what you said was FUCKING STUPID. You post stupid bullshit on my board, don’t get surprised when you get called on it.

          This topic is a pet peeve with me, because to so many literati asshole left wing douchebags, the fact that I’m right wing means I’m not a *Real Writer*. First I wasn’t a real writer because I was self published, got a publishing contract. Then I wasn’t a real writer because I wasn’t a best seller. Did that too. Then I wasn’t a real writer because I hadn’t won awards, then I won some awards… But anytime I post something that goes against the accepted political group think, there it is again. It is all bullshit designed by a bunch of self righteous assholes to shut down any opposition and it PISSES ME OFF.

          So shut the fuck up, you idiot. Tom Kratman is a REAL WRITER because he writes books for a living and GETS PAID. You don’t like it, fuck off. Because he GETS PAID. That makes him a professional writer. I don’t know Vox, never read one of his books, but if he’s sold FORTY THOUSAND copies of a book, then he’s GOT PAID. So shove it up your ass, Clamps, and if you ever post that not a *real writer* bullshit on my board again, I’ll smack you around and show that you’re full of shit ever single time.

          In fact, I should probably put this as its own blog post, because what you said was so fucking stupid that it deserves to be read by thousands so they can point and laugh at you.

      6. Vox Day is a professional blogger and the only reason he sold so many copies is because he has a fuckload of sycophants reading his blog.

        Kratman is a talentless hack, and I’m saying this because I actually read Caliphate.

        1. “a fuckload of sycophants” because you don’t like them. Liberal bloggers who hate my guts say that I sell a lot of books because of my sycophants. Personally, I prefer to call them FANS.

          Backpeddle all you want. You’ve got some hard on for Kratman and you brought it over here with your bullshit about winning awards. Kratman gets paid to write books. You don’t. He wins. Fuck off. At the end of the day, I can go to Barnes and Noble and get a Tom Kratman book off the shelf and buy it. That makes him a real writer. You thinking he lacks talent is totally irrelevant, because there are enough people who are entertained by his writing to give him money, so apparently he is realy good at something that you aren’t. There are plenty of writers with writing I can’t stand, and they’ve got buckets of awards and they’ve got fans so they make money, my disliking them means nothing, and at the end of the day, they are still real writers.

      7. Larry, you’re not a “real” writer, you’re a “real awesome” writer. Woo Hooo!

        Clamps. You’re just sad. A sad, little puppet for fascists. Poor Clamps. Wants to be a real boy. 🙁

        Baen has the best books I’ve read in a long time. Writers who write amazing dialog and breath-taking action. Why would I read a SF/Fantasy book unless I wanted to read well-written dialog and action? Regardless of the author’s politics?

        What I’m not enjoying in today’s mainstream SF is the benevolent dictator model. I’ve seen it quite a bit, and it’s disturbing. But since leftists love to believe their fantasies are real (Barack Obama’s perfection, the efficacy of gun control, Socialism has just never been applied properly, etc…) the benevolent dictator fits rather perfectly with their world view.

      8. Oh fuck me, Clams, you’re such a nitwit. Let me ask you a question.

        Simple question really.

        I am a professional journalist. In the last 20 years I’ve probably written at least as many words as our host.

        I get paid for writing those words.

        I have not written a novel.

        Am I a real writer?

        If not, why?

        Show your work.

      9. As long as they don’t pretend to be anything else.

        Thing is, Vox Day’s The War In Heaven is propaganda. And it was written by a guy who thinks rape is a good thing.

        1. Uh huh… So you just throw that out there… This dude that you’re stalking around the internet is a rapist… And we should just believe you because you’ve proven yourself to be so damned trustworthy and knowledgable about everything else?

          Or we could just figure that’s more libel, and you’re just full of it.

      10. It proves more than sales do?

        God you’re an idiot.

        Sales prove all. If a book sells it means people like it. Say a book wins the Hugo, but doesn’t sell but a few hundred copies. Does that mean it was a better book than one that sold millions but didn’t win an award?


        1. By your own idiotic criteria, Twilight has won awards… so you’d have to say yes.

          You hypocritical moron.

          No matter how you try to back track now and cover your ass, it wasn’t about good, it was about your bullshit definition of what made something legitimate. I don’t give a shit if you like Twilight or you beat off to Team Jacob, doesn’t matter. At the end of the day Stephanie Meyer has made millions of dollars and has millions of fans. She satisfied her “sychophants”, or fans as most of us real professional authors would call them.

      11. I read Correia. I agree with most of his politics. My daughter reads Correia, and agrees with none of his politics. Which one of us is the sycophant?

        Mieville: I read Perdido Street Station. They had a tribe which ‘wanted to be free, so chose socialism.” No explanation, no justification, nothing. The only other thing you ever learned about the tribe is that they like to use ridiculously circuitous language to describe crimes committed bytheir members. I remember almost nothing else in the book.

        Ken McLeod (can’t remember if he was in this blog or the other): In Learning the World, he had a character repeatedly do what looked like the wrong thing, according to logic and the way he showed the contact aliens to act. No justification of any of his actions, and the only expalanation ever given was in the plot twist ending, where it turned out he was right becasue the Marxist historical dialect is a scientific law of the universe.

        Iain M. Banks: In Transition, the ‘hero’ randomly murders one of his allies for the crime of being a hedge fund manager. The ‘help me, General Betrayus, you’re my only hope’ line was a bit out there, too.

        That’s what I see when I read lefty SF. No real attempt to justify themselves in most cases, not even the thin veneer of ‘logic’ Le Guin had for her book The Disposessed. No real variation either. I can get plots, characterization, justification of points I do or don’t agree with, and still come out feeling like I read something worthwhile rather than a tract or manifesto if I read nearly any Baen book, wether it’s Correia, Flint, Cratman or Lackey.

      12. Tom and Larry are 100% on-point here. The only REAL measure of success for an author, is HOW MANY BOOKS DID YOU SELL. You can write the all-time-best-novel-of-all-eternity, but if you only sell 14 copies, and most of those to relatives, you’re a failure as an author.

        And “important” works ?? Right. Important means some academics found something about it that they can write papers on, and inflict on unsuspecting students as a means of guaranteeing them their livelyhood.

        Personally, I have an additional criteria, that separates a merely good book, from a great one. A good book, I enjoyed, and perhaps recommended it to others. A GREAT book, I’ve read and re-read multiple times, recommended, and gave copies to friends and associates.

        There’s a REASON my local gun range has started filling with Corriea fans: I left a few copies of MHI, Monster Hunter Vendetta, and Monster Hunter Alpha there. They’ve been passed around and gotten rather dog-eared, and last time I was at the range, I saw copies of MH:Legion, Dead Six, and both Hard Magic books.

        I need to start dropping off Carreraverse and Freehold books over there next time. No need to introduce them to Ringo, they found him on their own. . . . (evil grin)

      13. Funny that, I seem to remember that Caliphate and A Desert Called Peace were little more than tracts with the thinnest veneer of plot.

        1. So have been many award winning and bestselling novels… Or do you only turn into a whiney little bitch and spam people’s blogs with your bullshit comments when it is right leaning?

      14. Ok, name some books that won awards yet are on the level of Kratman when it comes to style, characterization, or plot?

        1. You’re the one that thinks awards equal quality, dipshit. I only like receiving them because they get me some publicity which leads to more sales.

          And I happen to prefer Kratman’s writing to most of the award winning things I’ve read. Tom tells a story, I’m entertained, and not once did I have to listen to screeds about global warming/corporate greed/evils of capitalism, while a bunch of “protagonists” navel gaze and whine about their situations.

      15. Clamps, I’ve got to disagree with you. I don’t think anyone can read “The Watch on the Rhine” and not:
        1: Despise Nazis, hippies and socialist politicans.
        2: Believe humanity can survive anything, including the aforementioned jerks.

        If you want to hate him, do it for the right reasons. He pulled a reverse Correia, and as a honkey, sweet talked a smoking hot latino chick into marrying him. (He’s taking their womenz!).

        It has to be evil, somehow. Anything that makes Kratman happy is evil; Metro-Sexual Monthly said so.

      16. Clamps, Baen books are renowned for being really good books that readers love. Why do they love them? Because they have really good dialogue, really good action sequences, plots that make sense and follow logic instead of lefty wishful thinking, and characters that engage the reader.

        Now, sad little puppet of fascists, I know that these things exist in Baen books because I’ve read them. I’m sorry, but you are about as deep as a puddle of flea spit. What’s as sad as you being a puppet of fascists is that you actually think you’re a fairly deep thinker and therefore winning the debate. You’re not, little puppet. Sorry. 🙁

      17. Alright. Put up or shut up. Do better if you can. Sell more if you can. In the mean time, have some class, stop moving goal posts and grind your axe elsewhere.


        1984 _AND_ Animal Farm. Both of which were also widely panned by leftists and academics when they came out. Highly criticized for being bad propaganda, wrapped in shitty writing.

        Two of my favorite books. . .


        Clamps, on April 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm said:
        Ok, name some books that won awards yet are on the level of Kratman when it comes to style, characterization, or plot?

      19. Don’t get me wrong — love Kratman’s work, although State of Disobedience and Caliphate aren’t my favorites of his.

        Another “award winning, best selling” author to throw in the mix. L. Ron Hubbard sold a shit-tonne of shitty books, his work makes Kratman’s look like Shakespeare. None of his peers (the greats of the field: people like Asimov, Heinlein, etc.) would have argued he wasn’t a “real” writer.

        Hell that twit with the Twilight series qualifes — she’s a professional writer, and people give her metric butt loads of money for her work. The fact that I’d rather castrate myself with a belt sander than read her shit is irrelevant.

        Kratman’s good by the only two standards that matter — his readers (like myself) enjoy his writing immensely, and we are willing to choke him with dollar bills in order to continue tying off our arms and juicing up. Whether YOU like is means esxactly fuck-all.

      20. For fuck’s sake, I can at least remember the characters in Animal Farm, which is far more than I can say about Caliphate.

        1. Well, to be fair, Kratman has never penned anything this magnificent:

          A young woman with close-cropped hair, dark at the roots and bleached almost white at their tips, held with a band and a gold disk pendant amongst silver chains, dressed in black clothes under a white wool cardigan and midnight blue coat stood in the doorway. “Spies?” she said, momentarily puzzled and starry-eyed, pushing the door shut. Snow fell in flurries, the flakes were melting on our hair. “No matter,” she said, unsheathing a blade. “You don’t have your patron Cleisourarch to help you. He’s dead by Red hands, impaled with a stake and paraded naked and flayed open through the streets of Mediolanum and dumped in the river. You face me, the greatest duellist in all of Carantania.” She swung at me and I blocked with a length of pipe.

          By Clamps http://yamathespacefish.deviantart.com/art/Nocturne-chapter-3-105196396

          Shit… I should just hang it up now if that’s the prose it takes to be a real writer. 😀

          Oh, but wait, there’s more:

          “I’m cold.” Marciana said, her words turning vaporous

          Shit. I hate when my words get all vaporous.

          And speaking of dialog that pops:

          “How very fortunate you are. You won’t be fed nonsense about us backing democracy, egalitarianism, and socialism, which they say like it’s a bad thing, in order to weaken their host culture. Nine heavens help you, you could be dealing with a Kahanist. Might be hard to sleep through their ravings on the Croatii. It’s not like anyone alive’s had a problem with Croatii as a whole, it was just something long ago, so long ago that continents have been rent apart and merged together, stars have winked in and out of the sky, constellations have shifted from spears to cookware and from lions to radio telescopes. And when they did, it’s not like the Croatii collaborated any more than every other Seliniafied ethnic group, but they’ll just reject your reality, I guess so they can ward off accusations that they don’t have a real goal, they just hate anyone with darker skin and anyone who’s Muslim. I’m telling you, you make better friends. You aren’t like ‘You have to disperse throughout the world to bring about the apocalypse! No, wait, you have to be clustered in your own state. Here, have this insignificant tract of desert on the ass end of nowhere and now you can fight and die in all our proxy wars, and fuck you, we’re just using you to grab resources’ and all that rubbish. And then they do the same thing in Adiabene after forcing two thirds the population into Bharuka because the idea of dividing the region based on religion somehow makes sense to them and the Kahanists move in and take control.”

          Yes. Now that’s some bitchin’ dialog that resonates the shit out of… stuff and things! To be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tom Kratman write anything like that… Mostly because he’d vomit himself to death if he tried.

          And the really sad thing about being a *real writer*, Clamps? Me linking to that post just made that the most widely read thing you’ve ever created. 😀

      21. The standard for comparison was “. . . style, characterization, or plot. . . ”

        Have you ever READ Animal Farm?!? It’s good, but more for its _content_ and _meaning_, not its “style, characterization, or plot”.

        Hell, those were the precise attacks the leftists of yesteryear ATTACKED it on!

      22. I have read it and it’s so much better than Caliphate and A Desert Called Peace, or The War In Heaven for that matter.

      23. Didn’t Caliphate get written in about 48 hours? Might have been one of Tom’s other books, can’t remember right now.

      24. “In fact, I should probably put this as its own blog post, because what you said was so fucking stupid that it deserves to be read by thousands so they can point and laugh at you.”

        This. Please. Your fiskings are always entertaining. =)

      25. “I’m cold.” Marciana said, her words turning vaporous

        Shit. I hate when my words get all vaporous.

        Was that metaphor too complicated for you or have you just never stepped outside in sub-zero temperatures?

        1. “Was that metaphor too complicated for you” – The mark of a really bad writer is to blame your lack of skill on your audience just not being smart enough to “get you”. That wasn’t complex, it was just bad.

          “or have you just never stepped outside in sub-zero temperatures?” – Well, I live at 6,000 feet above sea level on a mountain next to a ski resort in a great big house that I paid for with all my royalties I’ve received for not using really shitty metaphors, so yes. 😀

      26. I have a lot of things to read. When I’m finished, I’ll turn Monster Hunter International a new asshole.

        1. You will “turn it a new asshole”?

          Oh, please do. Please. I think it is in its 6th printing now, and everytime I get a really self rigtheous douchey liberal review we have to make another print run. 🙂

          I do like how you haven’t read it, but you already know you’re going to give it a bad review because I’m mean. Of course, I’ll just have to balance this against my 12,000+ reviews on Audible where I’m still at 4 1/2 stars. Funny, all of the one star reviews there feel the need to mention my politics too.

      27. John Scalzi is a professional blogger and the only reason he sold so many copies is because he has a fuckload of sycophants reading his blog.
        Stross is a talentless hack, and I’m saying this because I actually read ….well, okay, the paraphrase breaks down here, because having met and talked to the “man,” I can’t imagine ever wasting brain cells on anything he writes.

      28. Guys, forget how chlamydia writes. Here’s an example of how he _reads_: http://seekingnewearth.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/caliphate/#comments

        (Since Will le Fet leads to Yama’s site, one suspects it’s our very own chlamydia, the wannabe who never shall.)

        IOW, 13 year old boys, who have never before held a rifle, cannot hit a tiny moving target, yet are somehow grads of the imperial stormtrooper school of marskmanship.

        And apparently mixed up Caliphate with another book…

        And why molded jello quivers…

        And the strawman who, in fact, existed in German y according tom police records…

        Now, personally, I think Chlamydia’s issue with me is that I’m part Jew and part Gypsy, and he’s a racist. (RACISSTTT!!! RAACCCIIISSSTTT!!!)

      29. “Smoking hot,” like the pics on my site, barely does her justice, Steve. I’ve seen her cause traffic jams and accidents on the streets of Boston, just by walking along the sidewalk. Restaurants would go quiet when she entered. Yolanda was absolutely _the_ most beautiful person, place or thing I have ever seen in my life.

        She’s over fifty and still smoking hot, too.

      30. But but but but

        “Quivers like the product of a jello mold.”
        The product of a jello mold. Not “like jello.”

        Anything I write is better than that.

        1. “Anything I write is better than that.”

          Dude… That giant paragraph of dialog I posted from you was so bloated, uninteresting, and densly obnoxious that I was briefly struck illiterate. If I was reading slush I would’ve tossed that submission after about thirty seconds, tops.

          Listen, seriously… I teach creative writing seminars. I’ve worked with dozens of pro authors and a bunch of pro editors. If you really want to be a writer, your best bet is to shut up, quit showing the internet your self righteous butthole, and get back to practicing your craft.

      31. IOW, 13 year old boys, who have never before held a rifle, cannot hit a tiny moving target, yet are somehow grads of the imperial stormtrooper school of marskmanship.


      32. “Vox Day is a professional blogger and the only reason he sold so many copies is because he has a fuckload of sycophants reading his blog.”

        Clamps aka Yama, you claim to know so much about my writing, and yet you obviously don’t know that what you claim is impossible. The War in Heaven was published in 1999 in mass market paperback and 2000 in trade paperback. It had three printings, 30,000, 5,000 and 8,000. It sold through all three printings before mid-2001.

        I started my blog, which is on target for its first one million Google views this month, in 2003. Whatever success TWIH had, it wasn’t due to the blog.

        Now, you may dislike my politics, my ideology, my faith, and my writing. That’s fine, that’s your prerogative. But none of that is going to change the fact that my books sell, my blog is popular, and my latest book was recently declared the best, and most ambitious, epic fantasy series of the last decade by multiple reviewers, including one professional writer.

        And Larry sells far more than i do, and he wins awards.

        You, on the other hand, not only are not even a published author, but are responsible for “Cantianilla Vasilescu, the greatest swordswoman in all of Carantania.” And yet, instead of being humble, instead of attempting to learn from people who are successfully doing what you quite clearly want to do, you behave like a complete prick as an uninvited guest in their houses.

        That’s beyond stupid. At the very least, don’t you realize that professional editors, agents, and publishers read our blogs? Do you really think they will want anything to do with you in light of your asinine behavior?

        I don’t care what you do, but it would be in your best interest to grow up and shut up.

      33. VD “That’s beyond stupid. At the very least, don’t you realize that professional editors, agents, and publishers read our blogs?”

        Don’t forget critics(I am still a greenhorn), though at this point I don’t think you could pay me to review his material.

        That’s one of the reasons I follow this blog, to sit back and shut up most of the time and watch authors, and other professional types talk. I’m trying to improve my writing style, as I know my first attempt at satire fell short.

        I started writing reviews for Plays, and now novels to improve my writing as well. If I can identify what works in a story maybe it will rub off on me.

        I don’t think Clamps understands that he is spouting off in front of industry types though. He probably doesn’t think those that visit this blog are important.

        Keep chewing him a new one though, it’s entertaining. 🙂

      34. Cantianilla is a real name. Unlike Lithriel Everbright and Caitlys Shadowsong.

        Marcher Lord Press and Baen, maybe. And I want nothing to do with Marcher Lord Press and Baen.

        1. “Cantianilla is a real name. Unlike Lithriel Everbright and Caitlys Shadowsong.” Or Aragorn, or Rand al Thor. Duh. Your names are the least of your problem in that turgid mess.

          “Marcher Lord Press and Baen, maybe. And I want nothing to do with Marcher Lord Press and Baen.” After reading your sample, I’m pretty sure you will never have to worry about that. 😀

          I don’t know who Marcher Lord Press is. Baen however is distributed by Simon & Schuster and is either the 4th or 5th biggest publishing house of science fiction and fantasy. We sell a whole lot of books and publish a lot of authors. If you had a brain at all, and you really did intend to ever get published, you’d shut your stupid newbie mouth and not go out of the way to burn bridges with people who could someday provide you with a paycheck. You’ll note that though I think some big house editors are total douchebags, I never name them, because this is a small industry and people move around. One of my current editors used to work for Tor. People may move jobs, but they always remember know it all assholes.

          You are a fool.

      35. Marcher Lord published Vox Day, most likely for religious reasons since it certainly isn’t about quality.

        I have no desire to be published by Baen. Maybe Night Shade, had they not collapsed.

        1. You’re an idiot. If you are an aspiring author you take the first legit contract that doesn’t suck and you cash that check. Right now you are a hobbyist with delusions of adequecy and no actual knowledge of how this industry really works.

        2. Hey, moron, if it sold 40,000 copies, the publisher wouldn’t care if it was written in Crayon. Believe me, they happily cashed their paychecks, and then they sent him a contract for more.

          Novelists who care more about artistic purity than selling books usually end up with little boutique publishers, win a couple of literary awards, never pay off their advance, and then end up working at their day job for the rest of their lives.

      36. and my latest book was recently declared the best, and most ambitious, epic fantasy series of the last decade by multiple reviewers, including one professional writer.

        By some nobodies on Amazon who probably wouldn’t have read a fantasy novel that didn’t have the name Vox Day on it.

        1. What a profoundly ignorant statement. Here, let me help you out:

          “By some nobodies on YYYY who probably wouldn’t have read a fantasy novel that didn’t have the name XXXX on it.”

          For XXXX, feel free to insert any author’s name. For YYYY, feel free to insert any sales outlet or fancy award you care to name.

          Because duh, you friggin’ idiot.

          That’s how it work. Authors build a brand. People who like that brand purchase that author’s product. Right now the brand for Clamps = Know it all pudwhacker who can’t write for shit but thinks he’s awesome. Good luck finding the audience looking for that. 😀

      37. “Marcher Lord Press and Baen, maybe. And I want nothing to do with Marcher Lord Press and Baen.”

        What about Simon and Schuster, Pocket Books, Ace, and Random House? The thing is Clamps, people move around a lot in the industry. And if you’d actually read The War in Heaven, you’d know that the editor who signed it, and liked it so much that he published two more books in that series and signed me to another book contract afterwards, is now a Publisher and Senior Vice President at Random House. Pretty much all the people whose approval you’d need to offer you a book contract work for him.

        And my editor at Pocket Books was one of those who signed Jim Butcher at Ace. What do you think she’ll make of your constant attempts to tear down her work?

        Now, not being leftist gatekeepers, I doubt Larry, or Tom, or I are likely to hold your idiocy against you. But then, we don’t matter with regards to your finding a publisher one day. The people I mentioned above do. And if there is one thing that all of us know very well, it is that the gatekeepers aren’t particularly keen on loose cannons likely to embarrass them.

        And you, Yama aka Clamps aka Will le Fey, are one of the loosest cannons I have ever seen.

      38. Here’s a point from Chlamydia’s own comment from his putrescent little sample: “Vox Day has at least one hundred and seventy five followers and that depresses the fuck out of me.”

        His _obvious_ problem is he’s driven by envy. He has no talent and tries to substitute quasi-literary wankery for it. He had no experience in even _observing_ the real world, hence cannot describe it. He doesn’t have the raw brainpower to understand what he lacks or even to grasp that he lacks it, hence unwittingly puts up trash that people read only to ridicule. But over all of that is laid a heavy layer of _envy_ for those who can and do.

        Hmmm…let’s go see if he’s tried to post anything the the Baen’s Bar slushpile.

        1. Man, I bet it would really piss him off to learn this blog usually gets 3-5k hits a day, unless I post something political, and then I’ve had as many as 85,0000 individual readers in a day, and that doesn’t count the 2,000 people on Twitter and I think I’ve got like 4,000 on Facebook. 😀

      39. Hmmm…just for fun’s sake, here’s Chlamydia’s first sentence and then the same thing, but in English that actually works:

        Chlamydia: “The three of us holed up in an abandoned factory devoid of any life for the night.”

        English: “Then three of us holed up for the night in an abandoned factory, devoid of any life.”

        You don’t know why sentence 2 works and yours doesn’t, do you?

      40. And then there’s the ephemeral beauty of, “Icicles held captive beads of brilliant golden sunlight.
        “Stay quiet,” I warned Ava. Her response was little more than a sullen glance. We were in a long hallway filled with junk and fallen chunks of the concrete roof. Icicles held captive beads of brilliant golden sunlight. ”

        You really think that Icicles line is good enough to repeat twice in two sequential paragraphs? You laughably pathetic shit.

        And, since you’re holing up for the _night_, what kind of icicles are they that are still holding that captive sunlight? Must be some amazing isotope of water to be doing that. Yeah, yeah, you surely meant holding up while it was still daylight for the night, but YOU DIDN’T FUCKING SAY THAT, you goddamned moron.

        1. Salgak, that is a brilliant idea!

          EDIT: and following your link, he’s already edited that post to fix some of the stuff us po’ ol’ dumb right wingers have pointed out. Ironic.

      41. If I did post the line twice, it’s because I made a mistake.

        And as I said, it’s certainly better than anything you’ve written, is it not?

        1. “And as I said, it’s certainly better than anything you’ve written, is it not?”

          Well then, by all means. Why don’t you go ahead and submit it to some publishers and literary agents and find out? 😀

        Because you said something like that, did you not?

        And don’t tell me you’ve earned the right to be an asshole, because a fifth-rate author published by Baen probably hasn’t.

        1. Heh… The difference is that I’ve GOT a career. 😀

          And that whole bestselling, award winning, multiple languages, TV deal, 8 years worth of books under contract, making a living at writing thing? Yeah… I’m probably 2nd rate. 😀 But it wouldn’t really be an argument with a left wing nutter if the thread didn’t come back full circle to “but you’re not a *real* writer!” It’s the circle of life.

      43. I’m sure it’s better. I confess I’ve only read Caliphate and maybe there are some amazing metaphors about stars dancing stately pavanes or “nanocameras, drifting in the air like fish semen” in there, but somehow I doubt it.

        1. Send me that file if you don’t mind. I’m the toastmaster at LibertyCon this year. I think we need to squeeze this in as a dramatic reading one night. I’ll make sure somebody records it for you. We’ll make sure to preface the whole thing with telling everybody about Clamps stalking you around the internet first.

          EDIT: And I don’t drink either. Which is why I always seem to end up as the designated driver for a bunch of drunk authors and editors at conventions, but hey, Jim bought my a bucket of lobster for that at WorldFantasy. 🙂

      44. There’s only one real metaphor in there. You should try to get out of your mind that the metaphor is the mark of good writing. It’s a useful technique, nothing more. Overuse of metaphor, on the other hand, is the mark of a pretentious hack – someone, say, like _you_ – who tries to use the technique as the substitute for ability.

        1. Seriously, metaphors are just one tool in a tool box. This isn’t a creative writing class where your teacher gives you points for every metaphor you shove in. They are basically pointless the vast majority of the time, and occassionally vital. If you find that you’ve used five metaphors to describe the weather on one page, you are probably a hack.

      45. I read the linked text from “Yama,” It seemed familiar.

        Then I realized where I had seen it before. Our local school system teaches something called “Writing to Read.” It’s a program for First Graders in which they are told to write *anything* irrespective of spelling or grammar, just put words on paper.


      46. I knew you didn’t drink.

        Thing is, I am really pretty egalitarian. Fan – you shoud pardon the expression – squeee just creeps me out. I wasn’t even comfortable having a designated parking spot as a company commander, so…

        The booze used to help me deal with squeee…without it, the squeee kills.

        1. Indeed. That’s why I like DragonCon the best. There’s so many movie stars nobody notices the writers. 🙂

      47. Larry: “I’m the toastmaster at LibertyCon this year. I think we need to squeeze this in as a dramatic reading one night. I’ll make sure somebody records it for you. We’ll make sure to preface the whole thing with telling everybody about Clamps stalking you around the internet first.”

        You’re on. I’ll be there with the usual video gear. Let’s do this around the pool right before the Mad Scientist Roundtable on Saturday night!

        Tom: Are you *sure* we can’t talk you into LibertyCon? Lots of folks you know will be there, we can count them fans and video that as well! That is, if the Clap can count higher than 10…

      48. Chlamydia, forget it. You have been efficiently and effectively ridiculed to the point of evisceration. Everyone here is just laughing at you and your pretention and absurb hackery. Rather than hurting either Larry, Vox, or myself, you have helped us sell books. Even as a troll you are a loser. Nothing you can say, no editing to your silly opus you might do, can change that.

        You’re a loser, boy. Get used to it and get over it.

        Oh, and get a job and move out of your parents’ basement, would you?

      49. I dunno…I’m just really unenthused about cons. But ask Kelly Locklear sometime about Shannon, the hot liberal chick with the wimp boyfriend, and the power of anti-liberal and mysogynistic speech.

        1. Kelly has never told me that story, but it sounds like the intro to one of John’s books.

          The whole women lusting after writers thing surprised the crap out of me. We’re the ugliest of all celebrities. But I still drag my 5’11” hot viking triathlete wife along with me to every con possible. 🙂

      50. Well…as all good stories begin, “Now this is no shit.”

        It is, in fact, no shit. Ask Kelly.

        I was at Libertycon ten years ago. I was in the Army. I was 5’10”, 165 pounds, and not bad looking. Moreover, I had (still have) killer eyes and had (but don’t anymore) a just shy of commercial quality singing voice. And I’ve always been lucky with women. See, eg, wifey.

        Several of us are talking and arguing at a table by the pool. One of these is a – again, no shit – hot liberal chick named Shannon, IIRC. I am NOT trying to bag her. I am in a vile mood anyway, because I was a day late to the goddamned con. Why? Because the car’s clutch had died going up the Great Smokies, and I’d spent the first night of it in a fleabag motel (all that was available) while a backyard mechanic hunted down a clutch for me.

        So, being disinterested in access to Shannon’s hot little body, and being in a vile mood, I go _way_ out of my way to be illiberal, misogynistic, condenscending, patronizing, and rude. Hell, she’s liberal and her boyfriend’s a wimp. They deserve it.

        But it doesn’t work quite the way one would expect. Every comment I make the chick moves a little closer. So does she at the war songs. It gets to the point where to get my attention she is reaching out to touch me…gently…reverently…adoringly…like I was a god. Oh…and asking in a tone of voice that one reserves for divinity, too. And she doesn’t have the excuse of being drunk either. And her wimp boyfriend is there to see it all.

        Kelly’s comment, later, was, “One more misogynistic comment from you and she was going to throw you over her shoulder and drag you off and MAKE you rape her.”

      51. Chapter Three of Nocturne is the best. I love the long, meandering self-introductory monologue from Vanilliana Caberetescu, the Greatest Swordswoman in all Caretamillivanilli that finally, after many twists and turns ends with: “So, what are your names, wayfarers?”

        That is true Argon quality and has turned into somewhat of a catchphrase at VP. It’s so bad it’s awesome. So, one has to credit him with concocting one bit of immortal dialogue.

      52. Did you forget to change your name to James May, Vox?
        Hm, now I get it… you’re rich enough to spend your entire life blogging… you probably bought all those copies of your book yourself to inflate sales numbers.

        1. James May from Top Gear? And Pro Tip, Clampy, if you have to explain it, it wasn’t funny.

          So… he makes enough money from blogging(?) that he had an extra $80,000 just laying around to buy some books, so that he could post about it on the internet… Yes… Your knowledge of finance is rivaled only by your knowledge of writing.

      53. The long paragraph that Mr. Marston (Clamps’ real name) wrote is an example of what I have termed “missile salvo” dialogue. As you Evil Right-Wing Folk may know, in modern naval warfare one needs to fire more than one or two missiles to get through the active defenses of an enemy task group, one must launch a large salvo, to ensure that even if some are shot down the rest penetrate. Marston’s approach to dialogue is similar — he writes as if his characters were trying to say as many things as fast as they can in order to penetrate some sort of mental “missile defense,” rather than, oh, organizing their thoughts so as to make sense.

        He is attempting exposition in dialogue. He is attempting it very poorly. I have repeatedly read his paragraphs of this sort and had no freaking idea at what point or points he was getting — I’ve literally had to analyze each paragraph semantically, sometimes splitting it sentence by sentence, to understand what his characters are trying to say.

        He probably thinks this is means that he is enaging in good writing. He fails to grasp that writing should be clear, that the whole reason for writing is communicating and that therefore a writer who has failed to get the idea conveyed in description or dialogue across to his readers has failed at writing.

      1. I gave up on him when he was co-writing for Sandman and had all the English Conservatives as tools of Hell…

      2. I gave up today when he repeated Scalzi’s crap about how white is easy (without any consideration of background), after I looked up his background to find out…sure enough, his parents own a chain of pharmacies, and they’re all Scientologists.

        I guess they’re being correct–being a white, upper middle class douchenozzle IS the easy setting in life. Their mistake is in assuming all white people fit that mold.

        Now, if they decided all black people looked alike…what would we call that?

      3. Wait, Clamps aka Yama is a SCIENTOLOGIST! Oh, sweet Travolta… that explains so much. And it is the funniest thing I have heard in weeks, possibly months.

        Gentlemen, of course our collective works cannot possibly rival the One True Standard for literature, the magnum opus of speculative fiction, BATTLEFIELD EARTH!

      4. Nah, Battlefield Earth is readable as a comedic disaster. Yama’s magnum opus reminded me of the emo poetry i didn’t write in high school, twenty years ago

    2. Consider that the Saint Crispen’s day speech is possibly one of the greatest Soliloquies in Literature. Is infact the mother of all Battle Speaches that is High Praise Indeed for only in TRUELY HORRIBLE CHAOS is when humanity shows through its highest ideals, Friendship Camaraderie, Sacrifice, Heroism, Mercy and Forgiveness. These books even illustrate the Putting down the sword and beating it into a plowshare.

      At the risk of Godwinating my argument we not only rebuilt Japan and Germany We became Fast friends with them. (Even the Posleen get forgiven eventually they even get called upon to fight I suspect given the last Chapter of Honor of the Clan).

      1. Yeah, I don’t really get the hate of the Saint Crispin day speech idea (but we’ve already established Clamps is a doofus), because it works. It worked for Patton. Hell, it looks like Idris Elba gives a speech like that in the new giant robot fighting godzillas movie! (sign me up!)

    3. Yeah, but I’m not reading Kratman for wicked-cool interstallar engineering. (That’s what Banks is for. :D) I’m reading him for kicking the ass of bad guys. Ok, and for mocking lefties. I like that part too. (Yeah, I know, zombie comment. Blame Larry for reposting this link on his FB.)

    4. You’re right. Most publishing houses would not put up with trash-talking Muslims. Trash-talking Christians or Jews, but not Muslims.

      Now when exactly did showing exaggerated respect for Islam as opposed to other religions become a mark of science-fictional excellence? And why should it be?

      Power armor — well, if you’re going to write about infantry combat in any future later than Next Sunday A.D., that’s pretty much going to be there for the same reason that someone writing about future war in 1935 was likely to mention strategic air warfare.

      Vast hordes of enemies spilling toward the small redoubt of the Good Guys is pretty common in any prolonged action story. Seriously, I mean as in all the way back to the Battle of Thermopylae, which is probably the ur-example.

  7. I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction. My dad was a conservative Canadian and SCIFI nut. I read all the classics, and then moved on to more contemporary authors. I couldn’t agree more. If it wasn’t for people like Correia, and Baen Books I would stay in the world history section and mourn the loss of my favorite genre to the sensitivity shock troops. I only just discovered the MHI books , andI hit them like a fat kid at the ice cream bar. Thanks Mr. Correia for the great books and keep up the good work.. Another MHI book please.

  8. Not all of the comments are anti-Baen over there (just dropping on a link from there). I’ve been reading Baen books for decades. I my last print purchase just happens to have been Larry’s “Hard Magic” (I’ve been forced to cut the size of my physical collection due to moving for work, so most new purchases are on a Kindle). I wish Baen would release Kindle versions of a large number of their older titles (Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven for instance).

  9. @Skip
    > So for me, Embassytown was an extremely frustrating book.


    As I wrote over in Vox’s blog:

    VOX: China Mieville’s Embassytown is both innovative and exceptional.

    TJIC: What Mieville was trying to do was absolutely innovative, and I guess – in a technical sense – it was exceptional.

    It failed as literature, though, and it absolutely failed as an enjoyable read.

    Embassytown is actually a perfect example of the academic Cathedral sneaking in to science fiction and destroying everything masculine and interesting and freedom-loving about it. It’s one big academic wank-fest, the Sapir Worf hypothesis dug up from it’s damp tomb and reanimated with a jolt of lightening. “Aliens don’t have words for something, therefore they can’t think it…except, wait, maybe their entire society can undergo a radical reengineering and their new mode of communication can create a new mode of consciousness”.

    It is a testament to Mieville’s fantastic level of raw talent that he managed to make as almost-good a novel as he did out of it, but the result is a mess. A depressing, overly-intellectual, heir-to-the-1960s-British-New-Wave mess.

    Again, my hat is off to him for trying something bold (he almost pulled off City and City, another left-wing-ontology-made-flesh), but I would never recommend either novel to anyone.

  10. I work in science. Except for 7 months, I have always worked in science.

    As a youngster, I read science fiction and fantasy, and the books I read only encouraged my love of science. The authors I read had scientists doing Bleeding Edge research and both she positive and negative results of the technology. And how the unforeseen results can surprise everyone.

    As I grew up, this attitude seemed to change in the sci-fI/f I read. Instead of being people of action and adventure, scientists were depicted as useless, Ivory-towered, or engaging in ‘evil’ science.

    At this point I wonder if I would havedeveloped my love of science if I had grown up reading how scientists are depicted in modern sci-fi/fantasy.

    1. Insectress, you REALLY need to read some of Travis Taylor’s stuff. Not evil, definitely not evil. Travis Taylor’s stuff also has the hard science chops that I suspect you will appreciate. I’m familiar with him for Back to the Moon and the Vorpal Blade series, good reads.

      1. Second vote for the Vorpal Blade series, add John Ringo’s newer series to the list as well. I think he’s going with the Hot Gate as the name for the series, can’t remember.

      2. Say what you will about Doc Travis’s writing. It’s NOT “War and Peace”, and doesn’t try to be. It’s full-up high-tech Space Opera, and a blast to read. I just wish Travis and John would start on the next one already, but they have more pressing projects. . .

      3. “It’s NOT “War and Peace”

        Ugh HS flash back. War and Peace was an interesting read, but the report… The teacher randomly drew the type of assignment out of a hat (full report, oral report, whatever else type of report.). After I had finished reading the entire freaking book she announces to the class. “This assignment will be a half page essay written in class on the book you just read.”. How the hell does one sum up war and peace in a half page essay!?

        Bad times.

        As for the space opera you mentioned, I’ve never read one and have wanted to for some time but there are so many out there. What one are you talking about and why is it a “blast to read”?

    2. Warp Speed and The Quantum Connection have strong scientist characters. Great books and I highly recommend them.

  11. Vox’s description of the SF/F Community makes it sound like a high school literature club somehow took over. Depressing.

    1. > Vox’s description of the SF/F Community makes it sound like a high school literature club somehow took over.

      That’s not fair.

      Having been on the high school literary magazine, I can tell you that there was SOME diversity of opinion.


  12. Clamps: so in other words “only his fans read his books, so he’s not a real author”???? What the hell kind of logic is that?! Until you publish a book and make money, please don’t try to argue anymore….though it is hilarious to see you smacked down over and over agian.

      1. Then if he’s got 40,000 of them, he’s doing extremely well!

        I don’t think you even have the most basic fundamental clue of what it means to be a writer! If you’ve got 40,000 consistent fans, you’ve got a career. Doesn’t matter who they are. If you’ve got 1,000,000 sexually frustrated housewives who watch Oprah, congrats, you’re now the bestselling author in the world. Get a clue.

      2. That means there are 40,000 people who share his opinions on women and non-whites and that is not a good thing.

        1. Oh good, and now an unsubstatianted charge of racism and misogyny. You are moving right down the lefty checklist there, Clampy.

          I don’t know Vox, haven’t read one of his books, but you’re about as trustworthy as spam advertisting penis enlargment, and at first you didn’t think he was a real author, then he wasn’t a good author, and now he’s a racist rapist… Uh huh…

          1. And somebody asked me a while ago why I don’t enable posters to edit their comments… Because of days like this when we get to watch them dig the hole deeper and deeper. 🙂

      3. Or everyone who reads his books reads his blog? Sounds like his books inspire quite the following. Got ourselves a genuine troll here. Unfortunately, it’s pretty terrible at it.

        1. Some of the bestselling sci-fi books in America this year were based on Halo… But those are only bought by the people who play Halo! Yes. Which is awesome for the people who publish those books. And Game of Thrones is selling like hot cakes because it has a show on HBO. All writers want a following, and if you’ve got one, you are golden.

          You think we blog for kicks? 😀 (okay, I blog because I like making people angry, so I’d probably do it even if I wasn’t selling books, but I like to GET PAID).

      4. He’s not necessarily a rapist, but he is an apologist for rape and he did say that women working is worse than rape and that marital rape doesn’t exist.

      5. And all that has any bearing on if he is a “real writer” or not? It sounds like your hang ups with him are of a personal nature. I disagree with Anne Rice on many things, but I still like her vampire chronicles. Her Memnoch devil character is very well written.

        Her politics leave much to be desired though. My disliking her politics doesn’t have squat to do with if she is a “real writer” or not.

        I’m sure there are things I disagree with Larry about, maybe even strongly disagree with him. He still gets my money every time a new book comes out.

      6. Congratulations Clamps! Your participation in this thread just sold at least 1 of Vox’s books. I’d never read his blog till Larry linked to it, but anyone that irks a dipshit like you has my business

      7. “The thing is with Vox, only people who read his blog read his books.”

        Actually, my book sales are remarkably low considering how many people read my blog. As it happens, most of those who come for the economics, the philosophy, or the ideology have zero interest in my fiction because they don’t read fiction, or even when they do, they don’t like fantasy.

        Although some of those who do very much like Larry’s stuff, which is how I stumbled across his blog in the first place.

    1. By definition, it is mostly one’s “fans” who read one’s books. Why would those who didn’t like one’s stories bother to read them? And why would such readership be valued?

  13. I have to hold my tongue when I am at the premier of a Play I’m about to review. Not everyone down in Hollywood hates libertarians or conservatives. Most are quite nice when you get to know them, but the tone of the room makes me think if I opened my mouth I might burn future bridges.

    After watching a particularly bloody Play though I did over hear an interesting conversation. Someone mentioned while auditioning years ago they had a knife on them and it was serendipitous because someone had gotten caught in some rigging just off stage. Someone listening to them stopped them(put a hand on the speakers arm as if in shock) and said ‘Wait you had a knife on you!? How ghastly, why would you have such a horrible thing.’. ‘Oh yes I was helping someone move and forgot it was in my coat, I don’t make a habit of carrying around such vile weapons’. I had to cock my head to the side and wonder how they could have just have seen a very bloody performance(full of multiple violent murders), but think carrying a knife was a horrible crime. I had to wonder if they realized I had no less than 3 knives on my person(as is my custom, Pa said a man alwasye carries at least one knife) at the time would they scream, faint or call the cops… I simply made sure I wasn’t noticed and circled away from that corner and to someone from the Playhouse to ask a question about the performance. Thankfully slipping away was easy as I didn’t know the people speaking, and they didn’t show any interest in speaking to me.

    So yeah, I try to avoid conversing about any deep topics. Not that there aren’t people who would engage in civil discourse. I just don’t want to rock the boat since I’m still green in terms of being a critic. It would just upset them to realize I’m a Libertarian, well Utilitarian actually, but that gets into philosophy…

    I do have to question the author saying “squee” is a sign of a left winger. I’m an all around fan boy and I’ve been known to jump up and down in excitement(in the privacy of my home) and let out a “squee” or two when a new book comes out. The original writer being quoted though is an idiot. “squee” is a sound not a “mode of enthusiasm”. Fanboy, and fangirl are the modes. I freely admit I’ve gotten so excited about a new book, I’ve appeared to be crazy.

    1. Heh. Had some senior Administrivial folks down from the West Coast and Crystal City (NoVA) come to talk to us lowly engineer types. Some HR drone needed to cut something, asked if anyone had a knife in their office or something.

      Half the office (including our 40-something “tweeds and horses” MILF HR/office admin type, AND a visiting VP type in a London suit who was a retired USMC COL) had our assisted opening knives out and snapped open before she finished the sentance. The other half had their hands full. . .

      1. Seeing the look on the HR drone’s face, I was tempted to start singing, “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way. . . ”

        Luckily, I had an attack of filters, so I strangled the urge.

      2. This is getting off topic, but I really hope that the Flight Attendants union doesn’t get their way when it comes to lifting the ban on knives on airplanes. I keep a leatherman in my purse, and I regularly have to fly to another city for work trips (I’m a sysadmin). I always have to remember to pull it out so they don’t confiscate it at the airport, and when I’m int he off-site data center, invariably, I’m wishing I had it with me to work on something. You can provide a lot more torque on a screw with a leatherman with the handle open at 90 degrees than you can with a regular screwdriver.

        And yet, with that mass stabbing in Texas the other day, I’m just waiting for the cries of we need to regulate knives and institute knife control.

      3. Cousins have had new girlfriends over for birthdays at whatever restaurant chain will take 20+ people. Someone opening their gift and can’t undo the ribbon and said “knife?”. All the men stood and pulled out knives. The new comers eyes grow very wide and a look of fear crosses their face. An aunt says “All Cotter men carry knives.”.

        I found a loophole at my campus, knives are frowned upon(not banned but strongly frowned upon), but I’m a Physics and Mechanical Engineering major. “This isn’t a knife officer, it’s a multi-tool. Never know when you will need various tools.”.

      4. Julaire: Leatherman tools will not be allowed. Nothing that locks open, nothing over 6cm, nothing with a shaped handle, nothing with a guard. The classic small (2″) Swiss Army Knife is what they show on the chart.

        EVENTUALLY they may change that, but don’t hold your breath.

      5. Yeah, I was at a review for a DARPA project – someone needed a knife – project manager turned to me and said – you’ve got a knife, right?

      6. Julaire, I feel you on the leatherman. I carry a SOG with me at all times. I felt naked without it when flying recently. First thing I did when I got my luggage was strap on my knives. Then I went and hailed a taxi.

        Sadly my SOG blade is .14 inches too long. Your utility tool might just have the same specs as my SOG, so you still might not be able to use it. Not to worry, I’ll just take another knife from my equipment. Worst comes to worse, I’ll go out and buy the best knife that fits their allowed specs and make it my flying knife.

        I hope they relax the standards over time.

      7. “Sadly my SOG blade is .14 inches too long.”

        That is easily cured with a little application from a whetstone. My pocketknife is over a half inch shorter now than it was new, due to sharpening it so much. On of these days I’m going to have to get a new one, but honestly I prefer the shape of the blade now to what it was new.

      8. bearcat, my blade is due for a sharpening. I won’t take off more than is needed though. I’ll just use this as an excuse to buy a new blade that fits the rules/regulations. You can never have too many good blades. Plus the concept of having a blade specifically for flying strikes my odd sense of humor just right.

    2. I’ve used squee since I read the Johnny The Homicidal Maniac comics.

      “Where the fuck is the bactine!?” heh.

      I always love the room-full-o-knives reaction.

    3. I’ve got a blog post on this coming, but to put it briefly, it is my considered opinion that no man should ever squee or use the phrases “OMG”, much less “ZOMG”. As a general rule, if it sounds like a teen girl would use it, or do it, the wise man will tend to avoid it.

      On the other hand, there is a reasonable case to be made that any man who carries that many sharp objects around with him should be deferred to on the basic principle of argumentatio ab lammina. In which case, by all means, squee away, sir.

      1. I generally only do so in the privacy of my home or among my uber geeky friends. In public or around my Fraternity Brothers I’m more reserved.

        🙂 I would carry more blades, but at a certain point it becomes a hassle and I can just resort to my 2.5 pound cane that I bought specifically for self defense(read face smashing). Everyone alwayse compliments me on how cool it looks; when I tell them I got it at a weapon store the back up a little. I’m a Utilitarian, if I need a cane I might as well make a weapon out of it. The cane will become redundant once I move to a state that allows concealed carry.

        Speaking of knives(now that they are legal on planes again), the next flight I’m going to take I’m bringing a block of wood and my carving jack. I’m going to sit their whittling just to freak the sheeple out. Hopefully someone can video tape it. 🙂

      2. I agree that “squee” is an extremely unmanly thing. Of course, even if I had the urge, I can’t get my voice high enough to make such a sound. I just stick to “f—ing awesome.”

  14. I can honesty say that between the commenting on the Vox and of course the always excellent Larry Correia I am again glad that I found Baen books and its stable of offbeat and awesome authors.

    I dont care what idiots like Captain Clap err Clamps or his ilk have to say.

    May your powder always be dry sirs!

  15. Reblogged this on Writing and other sporadic stuff and commented:
    Following the commentary was a blast this afternoon. The person known as Clamps should be wary of attacking others on the internet. The net is hardly anonymous anymore. I imagine perhaps, someday he/she (Clamps) actually sold something and started a career in writing, they might want to keep the money rolling in. So being on your best behavior might be a good thing. Just in case Anonymous targets you for some reason and put out your dirty laundry with your real name attached.

    1. John,

      Say what you want about clamp’s bad writing, he at least managed to get a few private lessons on writing from world class authors. At no charge.

      I’d guess his blog hits increased by an order of magnitude as well. And he got to have fun as a troll. He is somewhat famous now. I hope he enjoys his 15 minutes.

        1. Clamps, I only tolerate trolls as long as they entertain me. You are boring me. If you post again, it better be something interesting or I’ll just block you (and that is a rather short and illustrious list of morons to be on). You seem to be one of those trolls that thinks if they get the last word in, that somehow proves they won… Except this is my blog, and I’ll just stomp on you when I get bored enough. Then you’ll be limited to posting to your 15 followers, and that’ll just make everybody sad, so your best bet is when you run out of things to say, to just skulk away.

          And I’m sure you’d define World Class as whatever you feel like anyway, and it would probably be some verbose bullshit. I think World Class is a meaningless made up term, but you can read my novels in French or Chinese too if you are so inclined. 🙂

      1. “What world class authors?”
        You really don’t know how to give up do you? I’ll say this for you, you’ve got moxie kid… Your head is screwed onto the wrong end, but you’ve got moxie.

  16. Larry, i am facing a peculiar problem . . I live in Bangladesh, and we can not use online purchase due to a central Bank prohibition . . . I do so want to buy hard & soft copy of all your books, specially the new one (Warbound…. i think)….. can you please tell me how people from our part of the world buy your books ?

    1. If you can’t get it online, I’ve actually got no idea. I’m not familiar with your local bookstores, but any place that imports Simon & Schuster should be able to get them.

  17. Wait, this Clamps chap is Will le Fey? Will came around my blog for a short time about 2 years ago. I always wondered what happened to him.

    Suffice to say that literary writers who are marooned in the supreme agony of their day jobs — forever hating on and railing against writers who make money — are a dime a dozen. As Eric Flint says, good writing just isn’t that common. “Good” being defined as enjoyable prose that a significant number of people like — to the extent these people will reliably buy the author and pay the publisher enough money such that the publisher will keep bringing the author back for more stories/books.

    People who have boutique tastes and boutique styles should not be shocked when they wind up with boutique careers — or not having a career at all. There are beautiful niche writers who do beautiful niche writing who rake in the awards, yet who will never see even a tenth of the income of someone like Larry. I think it all comes down to choices. Who you want to be and what you want to do. And as long as you’re not going to be bitter about it, and can be a big boy and live with your decisions, well then there shouldn’t be a problem, right?

    1. Considering the writing sample linked herein, I’m not sure that Clamps is a “boutique” writer so much as he’s just… terrible.

    1. Pleased to hear it. I hope you enjoy it despite its complete lack of machine guns. In the immortal words of Disturbed, “All the people on the right wing… rock”.

      “Wait, this Clamps chap is Will le Fey?”

      He is indeed. Also Dan, Luscinia Hafez, and Yama the Spacefish. Among others.

      1. “also bought Throne of Bones, will read it after i finish rereading Cordwainer Smith”

        May I suggest the latest Laurell K. Hamilton novel as a palate cleanser? I suspect that will do my book a little more justice than coming at it fresh from Smith….

      2. “…the latest Laurel K. Hamilton…”
        What- has her main character found some new paranormal species she HASN’T humped yet?
        Seriously, her first three Anita Blake books were cool but at this point I’m just trying to figure out how she avoids having to ship ’em in plain brown wrappers.

        1. Hey, Laurel is awesome. She’s found a niche, found her customer base, and she gives them the product that the want. They might not be your thing, but she’s got hundreds of thousands of fans who absolutely love her stuff. That’s something all authors should aspire to.

          Plus, she’s really super nice in person. The first time I met her we were on a panel together at DragonCon, and we packed a 500 person auditorium and those 500 people weren’t there to see me! (that was the first time I met Johnathan Mayberry too, and he’s a stud). And despite the fact that the line to get her autograph wrapped around a block and mine all fit in front of my table, she’s humble, kind, and as friendly as could be.

      3. Larry, I wasn’t criticizing her personally or her popularity, just her tropes. I’m sure she’s a great person and she sells a lot of books, and like I said her first three AB books were cool as a frostbitten penguin ( and they also basically created their own genre, and not many other authors could say that)… but I’ve read most of her stuff and she’s basically transitioned from ‘contemporary-paranormal storytelling’ to ‘paranormal porn’. Which is okay if you like it. but I prefer my F&SF without.
        When even webcomics (Skin Horse) make fun of your tropes, they’re pretty obvious.

      4. don’t have Hamilton any more. will cleanse palate with Howard Zinn, or something equally inane. And yes, Hamilton’s developed a good niche, I just can’t crawl in there anymore.

      5. Yama’s actual name is Andrew Marston. Though he claims it’s not “Andrew,” so I could by wrong on the Christian name part. I think he’s also some kind of Muslim convert, so he may have taken some silly name by now.

  18. I don’t like left wingers, right wingers, or moderates. I love guns, adventures, etc – and I just finished Monster Hunter Vendetta, and tho ready to order the third, I made the mistake of checking out this blog and learning about the political views of the author. And now I’m totally turned off. I’ve made this mistake with left- wing authors too, with the same result: it ruins the whole experience for me, and I never buy any of their books anymore. Ever.
    I don’t give 2 hoots what your politics are – but I WAS willing to trade my money for your great stories. Before you polluted your product. Too bad for.you – lost income, total loss of respect for you as an author. Too bad for me – lost books (until I hit the bookstore again and find another author who isn’t short sighted enough to add a hundred pounds of their own b.s. for every pound of story they sell).

  19. Damn! I wish I would have known how utterly epic this thread would have been before I clicked on it — I would have tossed some popcorn in the microwave. Though, in hindsight, it’s probably good that I didn’t. I probably would have burned the popcorn, and then the kitchen (and probably the living room) would just reek of burned popcorn. Besides, my dentist really doesn’t want me eating popcorn 🙁

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