Aw, The Guardian’s Village Idiot Remembered My Birthday!

Aw, the Guardian’s Village Idiot Remembered My Birthday!

At least I assume that’s why I showed up in the pages of the pathetic Brit newspaper/bird cage liner The Guardian again on Saturday. Either because it was my birthday–and Damien knows I love piñatas–or it might have been that poor stupid Damien Walter needed the uptick in traffic again. The only time his goofy little opinion pieces get any traffic are when I make fun of them.

Or it could be that last week I wrote an article about the sorry state of the US media, and the Guardian took that as a challenge.

For those of you not familiar with Ace Reporter Damien Walter, you are in luck. Just go up to this blog’s search engine and type in “Village Idiot”, and a whole bunch of fiskings of his goofy/snooty ramblings will pop up. Every time I say something about how modern sci-fi fandom has gone so PC that it has shoved its head up its own ass, and some person thinks I’m exaggerating the state of things, along comes another Damien column, and that person is like “Damn, son. It’s worse than you said.” Truly, Damien is the gift that keeps on giving.

Since the Guardian is falling apart financially and laying people off, I can only hope that Damien is able to cling to employment. Ha! Who am I kidding? I doubt the Guardian actually pays him! He should be safe.

I might not bother fisking the whole thing, because poor dimwitted Damien’s latest jackassery is even more pedantic and boring than usual.  It’s another article where he pretends to have read books before reviewing them. I’ll just hit the highlights.

Here is an archived link to the original.

Basically, Damien read some Wiki synopsis or the first few pages of various books, and then put on his Wannabe Literature Professor hat. Because those who can do, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t even do that take grant money from the British government to write a novel and then run off to Thailand to chase Lady-Boys.

Original is italics, my comments are in bold.

Hugo awards: reading the Sad Puppies’ pets

The rightwing lobby are gunning for books to win the sci-fi awards that match their ideological project. They really don’t care about writing well

By Damien “Never Had a Proper Male Role Model and Is Still Very Upset Someone Made Fun Of His Hair Cut In Middle School” Walter.


For the last few years, the Hugo awards for science fiction have been campaigned against by a group of writers and fans calling themselves the Sad Puppies – mostly male, very white, and overwhelmingly conservative.

In true Olympic spirit, Damien is off to a great start by cramming several lies into the opening line. It isn’t mostly male. In fact, it was run by three women this year. The Sad Puppies don’t care what color anybody is (ironically in the USA, I’m supposed to check the Latino box, which is annoying because I think checking any box is stupid). And last but not least, I’d say most of us are probably more libertarian than conservative. 

Unhappy with sci-fi’s growing diversity, the Puppies have deliberately block-voted for certain titles to get them nominated for Hugos at the expense of a wider field.

Another lie. If by “diversity” Damien means the year I really got going on this topic the winners were 14 white liberals and 1 Asian liberal, and people like him hailed it as a “triumph of diversity”, sure. Run with that. 

They say it is their goal to “poke the establishment in the eye” by nominating “unabashed pulp action that isn’t heavy-handed message fic”.

Yeah. I just couldn’t handle any more dying polar bears or robot rape.

I say it is to sponsor awful writers.

And Damien is an expert on awful writing.

The Puppies have two criteria for what they deem excellence: does it turn a buck? And has the author dared to say anything, ever, that they disagree with?

Nope and nope. Two more lies.

Never disagree with? SP1 and 2 was mostly me throwing some stuff together that I liked, and I nominated works by several people who I disagreed with politically. Damien conveniently forgets that part where one of my novella nominees was a liberal democrat, who was immediately set upon and attacked as a “racist neo-con” because I liked his story (Remember, back then the WorldCon crowd wouldn’t actually come out and admit the whole thing was political, which was the point I was trying to prove).

If you look at the SP3 nominees, they are clearly all over the board politically, philosophically, racially, sexually, or by any other metric you come up with. SP4’s suggested nominee list was put together out in the open, democratically, with input from anyone who wanted to participate. And to put a cherry on top of how obviously idiotic this accusation is, a few of those nominees “disagreed” with us by dropping out due to political pressure from Damien’s friends.

Scratch that. Damien’s side. Damien doesn’t actually have “friends”.  

Making a buck? Well duh. It’s a FAN POPULARITY AWARD, moron. When books nobody ever actually buys are winning your fan award, that should be a warning you’ve got a problem.

This, paired with their conspiracy theories about some big sci-fi publishers, means that they tend to champion mostly self-published authors.

One more line, two more lies.

In an award system where a category came into existence simply so Patrick Nielsen-Hayden could finally get a trophy, somebody with clout and reach got a dozen media outlets—who never covered the Hugos before—to run matching stories about sexist/racist invaders in the same 24 hour period, but conspiracies are absurd! – Says the reporter who somehow knew I was a finalist before the announcements were made.

And the vast majority of SP nominees have been traditionally published. I do believe however that we were the cause of the first ever nominations for self-published or shockingly, media tie-in works.

Which tells you a lot more about the snobbish nature of the Hugos than it does about us.

Nothing about quality

Lie. In fact, going back to the very beginning I was saying that the quality of any given work had become irrelevant compared to the author’s politics or ass kissing ability.

 – though you don’t need an in-depth knowledge of sci-fi to understand that a short story called Space Raptor Butt Invasion (yes, really) has not arrived on the Hugo lists because of its calibre.

Another lie. Space Raptor Butt Invasion was not a Sad Puppy nominee. It was nominated by an offshoot group which started during SP3, called Rabid Puppies. They have different goals and methods. Damien, and everybody who has paid a lick of attention, knows this. They just like to confuse the two whenever it is convenient.

Oh, and Space Raptor Butt Invasion is still more award worthy than If You Were a Dinosaur My Love… Because Chuck Tingle is hilarious and love is real.

With this year’s Hugo awards coming on Saturday night in the US, I thought I’d read some of the authors championed by the Puppies. (Don’t ever say I don’t do anything for you.)

Judging by how pathetic these reviews are, trust me, he still hasn’t done anything for you.

If you find meaning in straight-to-video Dolph Lundgren films, then Larry Correia’s novels will be your kind of read.

Wait… Is he comparing me to Dolph Lundgren, the ripped 160 IQ chemical engineer, turned Red Mother Fucking Scorpion, Ivan “I Will Break You” Drago, and all around bad ass… as an insult? 

Correia, accountant-turned-author-turned-Sad-Puppies-creator,

He left out the turned Machinegun Dealer part, which is what if I recall correctly, was what caused Damien to begin wetting the bed about me to begin with.

kicked off his Monster Hunter series with Monster Hunter International, about an accountant whose boss turns into a monster.

News flash. Guardian Book Reviewer reviews an author’s debut novel seven years late.

So he shoots him. In fact, much of the Monster Hunter series relies rather heavily on people the hero doesn’t like turning into monsters … so he can shoot them.

Another lie, but it just demonstrates that Damien merely skimmed the first chapter so he could fake a review.

The bit about the series relying heavily on people the hero doesn’t like turning into monsters so he can shoot them? I found out about this article when somebody shared it to the MHI fan page on Facebook. Nobody there could think of any other cases over five books where somebody the hero didn’t like turned into a monster so he could shoot them. The closest anyone could think of was the opposite happening.

You know what they say about assumptions, Damien? They say when you in particular make them you’re probably going to be wrong, because you’re a dope.

Speaking of assumptions, this is the same guy who published that I was a sexist/racist/homophobe, who when confronted for evidence, then crowd sourced a witch hunt of all my copious political writings to find something bad I’d said. And the best thing they could come up with was my teaching free self-defense classes to women (so they could shoot rapists in the face) was “victim blaming”. 

Sadly, Correia’s books are not quite awful enough to be good. They’re just mediocre.

Isn’t it a little weird that Damien chose to talk about my debut novel from 2009, rather than my 12th novel, Son of the Black Sword, which would have been the book eligible for this period? Because that book was picked as one of the best books of the year by the LA Times, Buzzfeed, and the Science Fiction Book Club, has gotten critical and even academic acclaim, and has been a finalist for the Audie, Gemmell Legend, AML, CLFA, H. Beam Piper Memorial, and Dragon awards. 

Go figure.

That’s fine – Dolph Lundgren movies are also often mediocre, but plenty of people like them.

And more than anything else here, that one sentence demonstrates why Damien is a fucking tool.

Damien? Never heard of her.
Damien? Never heard of her.

But did Lundgren’s Masters of the Universe deserve to take the 1987 Oscar over Oliver Stone’s Platoon? I don’t think so – and in that same way, Correia’s novels in no way merit consideration for the Hugos (thankfully, he only made the 2014 longlist).

Actually, dipshit, I made the 2015 longlist also, but immediately asked them to remove me from the list, and then I recused myself from all future Hugo nominations, so that you mopes couldn’t carry on your ridiculous narrative that Sad Puppies was all because I personally wanted a Hugo.

Dave Freer’s Changeling Island, shortlisted for this year’s inaugural Dragon awards, is all about story – which is fortunate, because sentences as thoroughly mangled and amateurish as Freer’s won’t be winning any prizes (at least I hope not).

Compared to Dave’s writing, Damien is finger painting with his own poo.

Open with a strong start, they say; now read Changeling Island’s opening:

It had been the most terrifying, miserable day of Tim Ryan’s whole miserable life. He’d just done it to show Hailey. Because … because she said he was too scared. He was. Every time he tried anything it always went wrong. Horribly wrong. And he wasn’t a thief. Well, he didn’t want to be. It was one of the few thing things his dad ever really got angry with him about. And then he’d only been a little five-year-old kid helping himself to a chocolate bar in a store. But Hailey … she said … and he’d do anything to get her.”

Editor hat on (and unlike Damien, I’ve actually edited stuff people have paid money for). The purpose of an opening line is to serve as a hook to make you want to read more. It makes a promise. This is a YA book, aimed at young adults. We meet a character, and from the voice/tone, we can see it is a kid, he’s nervous, and he lacks confidence. Now the reader wants to know why, and reads the next sentence. And the next. If they made it that far, they just bought the book.  

Mission accomplished. Except for Damien, because apparently Dave didn’t write that to hook the Sanctimonious Fucktard market.

Funny Damien didn’t pick the opening line of MHI for some reason.

On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.

Damn right. And that opening line has probably made me a million bucks now. I bet Dolph Lundgren would love that opening. If Damien had put that in the Guardian, with its readership numbers, I might have sold another one, maybe even two, books!

In fairness … to Freer … pick any passage, from. Any Puppy author like Brad Torgersen or Sarah Hoyt and you will find … sentences … as mangled as these.

Oooooh, this working author used too many ellipses in a paragraph to indicate a young character was hesitant and correcting himself! says the knobtosser who has only published a handful of short stories (to such a pathetic reception that I can’t even find them on an Amazon search).

But at least Damien skimmed one whole chapter of my first book before writing a review. Dave only got one paragraph!

By the way, Sarah Hoyt started out writing “LITERATURE”, and got a lot of critical praise, but switched to stuff people actually like to read because the pay was crap. Brad’s background was in short fic, where he kept winning that Analog Reader’s Choice award, and before his badthink politics came to you guys’ attention SFWA thought he was good enough to nominate for a Nebula.

Within the Puppy movement, John C Wright is considered to be its resident intellectual colossus and was nominated three times for the 2015 best novella category (which eventually went to no one).

Objection, your honor. The prosecution is conflating the two puppy movements again, because this article is supposedly about Sad Puppies, but only one of those nominations were from the Sads and he knows it.

Sustained. One more outburst like that, Mr. Walter, and you will have to look upon this photo of Dolph Lundgren in order to dwell upon your own pathetic existence in comparison.

I will break-- Never mind. It appears you are already broken. Please, Damien, stop crying. You are making me uncomfortable.
I will break– Never mind. It appears you are already broken. Please, Damien, stop crying. You are making me uncomfortable.

He is hugely influenced by the Inklings, particularly CS Lewis. But in comparison to Lewis, whose metaphysical investigations were built up from wide-reading during a lengthy education,

Uh, actually Wright got an education, graduated law school, was an attorney, then a reporter, then a newspaper editor, and back before he became known as a staunch Catholic he was so beloved by the literati they nominated him for a Nebula (an award which only SFWA members can vote for).

Funny how Brad and John were both *real* writers before their politics became well known…

Wright reads like a first-year humanities undergrad who refuses to read beyond a small pool of comforting favourites, writing essay after essay (or novel after novel) only to demonstrate how much he knows.

I was wrong earlier. Damien has one friend. Projection.  In this case the “essay after essay trying to sound smart” part, because Damien is way too incompetent to get his novel finished.

Consider this dialogue from Wright’s The Phoenix Exultant:

Rhadamanthus said, ‘There is a tension between the need for unity and the need for individuality created by the limitations of the rational universe. Chaos theory produces sufficient variation in events, that no one stratagem maximises win-loss ratios. Then again, classical causality mechanics forces sufficient uniformity upon events, that uniform solutions to precedented problems is required. The paradox is that the number or the degree of innovation and variation among win-loss ratios is itself subject to win-loss ratio analysis.

Oh, look guys, Damien picked a dialog paragraph with no context from a book. You have no idea who the character is, or what they’re talking about, or what that paragraph is supposed to convey. Is the character actually smart? Trying to impress someone? Is the information meant to confuse someone else? Who is he speaking to? Have these ideas been discussed previously?

Well there you have it, folks, books have beginnings and page numbers for a reason.

That random sampling of one paragraph is a bullshit review method. You could do the same thing to Dune, Hyperion, or Cryptonomicon, and cherry pick some information dense, confusing when out of context paragraph too. It doesn’t mean those books aren’t fucking amazeballs.

That is why we have Book Reviews and not Paragraph Reviews (unless it is the Guardian, because we should just be thankful those lazy socialists show up to work at all).

Though this reminds me of an incident with the Imbecile Stalker Troll Clamps, where he was all hung up on what were author’s best lines, and his was something about globes of light floating like fish semen or some bullshit. I said my best line was The End, because that meant I’d finished another book and now I could get paid for it. Wannabe artistes get hung up on individual lines. Working authors tell stories.    

This goes on, for page after page.

Actually, no it doesn’t.

The characters are no more than ciphers for Wright’s ranting, and what story exists is only glimpsed in momentary fragments between diatribes. After long enough reading Wright, you start to suspect that he, like most of these authors, simply can’t help himself, vomiting on to the page whatever passes through his head.

Maybe you should try “vomiting” stuff onto a page, Damien. Then you might actually finish that book and quit ripping off the British tax payers with your book welfare. Whatever your current method is doesn’t seem to be working.

But the funny thing is, for those of us who have read Wright, we know that his stories vary a lot in style depending on what kind of effect he’s going for. Sometimes he does big brain sci-fi, other times he writes borderline Narnia. Personally, my favorite is his Nightlands stuff. 

At this point, we must be reminded that these are amazing times for science fiction and fantasy storytelling.

Something I agree with, but for entirely different reasons. Back when gatekeepers controlled what made it to market, jock sniffer wannabe pundits like Damien actually had a small measure of power. Now they are increasingly irrelevant.

We have Ted Chiang’s sublime short stories making it to the big screen in Arrivala new book from China Miéville, Alan Moore’smagnum opus Jerusalem coming next month. Claire North is topping bestseller lists, while there’s an exciting debut from Laurie Penny and a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods following in the footsteps of Game of Thrones …

Good for them.

I could go on.

Not really. That’s what Damien found in ten seconds of Googling. Anything more exhausting would require him to take another mental health holiday.

And the hack writers and sloppy sentences championed by the Sad Puppies deserve no place in that picture; for their politics, yes, but also their sheer shoddiness.

I love when they slip up and admit that it is actually all about politics.

But the Sad Puppies don’t want any of their books to end up on bestseller lists or TV screens.

That is quite possibly the stupidest thing Damien has ever written, and that’s saying something.

First off, all authors want our books on bestseller lists and TV screens.  Duh.

Second, I’ve optioned the rights for an MHI TV show to Entertainment One (the Walking Dead people). They teamed up with Sky Network and brought in a team of screen writers. We just renewed the contract this year. It is in development. Knock on wood.

And third, last week the latest MHI novel was the #1 bestselling fantasy hardcover in America on Nielsen Book Scan (the most accurate of all bestseller lists).

So literally, while Damien typing up this dreck about how we don’t want to be on TV or bestseller lists, I was on a bestseller list and cashing option checks.

You can’t make this stuff up.

And I’m not the only SP nominee to be a bestseller or have optioned stuff for movies. SP3 and SP4 nominee Jim Butcher is a #1 bestseller and already had a TV show. We nominated bestseller Kevin J. Anderson, who has written for like a dozen movie and TV franchises.

Shittiest. Reporter. Ever.

It’s the same frustrating paradigm that British MP Michael Gove hit upon when he said that people were sick of experts, or what Donald Trump plays upon when he rails against “professional politicians”.

I don’t know what the fuck lame ass comparison Damien is trying to draw here. But he thinks comparing me to Dolph Lundgren was an insult… so thanks?  I guess?

We’re seeing the Dunning-Kruger effect played out on a mass scale, and the Sad Puppies are just a speck in that wider problem.


Oh wait… Dear Lord. He’s serious. Sometimes I can’t tell if Damien is such an ideological shill that he is compelled to say stupid shit, or if he’s actually as mentally defective as he comes off.

Regardless, for those who aren’t familiar with Dunning-Kruger, that’s the phenomena where the less you know about a particular topic, the stronger your opinion tends to be, with the truly ignorant being the most opinionated. The more you learn about the topic, the more uncertain you become, until you achieve actual expertise, and then your confidence in your conclusions increases.

The subject under discussion is WRITING BOOKS PEOPLE WANT TO READ. On one side, Damien cites me, Dave, Sarah, Brad, and John, who between us have published like 40 million words of paying fiction, as being shitty writers. On the other hand, we have a clueless wannabe dilettante hanger-on who has failed to publish anything, who is so certain he knows the market that he can judge entire careers based on a paragraph.

Dunning Damien

Yeah… Draw your own conclusions about who goes where on the Dunning-Kruger graph.  

Projection is truly Damien’s only friend.  


EDIT! Because this is too awesome not to share, this was pointed out on FB while I was putting this up, Damien’s first short fiction sale was in 2005. In 2008 he attended one of those fancy expensive writer’s workshops. That means that Damien has been trying to be a professional writer LONGER THAN I HAVE.


Last Chance. Voting For The Dragon Award Closes Soon
My Thoughts on the 2016 Hugos

286 thoughts on “Aw, The Guardian’s Village Idiot Remembered My Birthday!”

  1. With a name like Damien one would think he’d be more awesomely evil and devilishly handsome. Life is such a disappointment.
    I so much want to see an MHI tv show. Please let it happen one day.

    1. It’s like all those life losers who play at being vampires. The “awesome” vamp names can’t mask the acne, taped eyeglasses and pencil necks…thus with “Damien”…

      1. … for some reason when I think of someone named Damien, I get that pathetic nasal whiny vampire LARPer image stuck in my head. In this case, C.S. Lewis (A writer whose politics surely means Damien secretly HATES him with the impotent passion of a thousand burning SJWs) wrote the ideal line… “There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it”

        1. I picture a 28 years old fat guy nick-named DEEDEE who keeps ruining his old truck by mis-installing cheap quick-shift transmission kits in it that he buys at Autozone, forcing him to drive the Honda FIT his mom bought him.

          1. I can’t see it. Damien would burst into an impotent pout the instant he touched a wrench, much less got grease on his hands.

          2. I picture a white version of Tom from Parks and Rec- a hipster toff who doesn’t have a single opinion, hobby, or any other activity that isn’t calculated to impress the right sort of people. A man without a single real friend.

      2. I named one of my sons Damien, after the saint. My brothers worried that he’d be born with 666 somewhere on him. (It’s also a rather common name in Australia.)

          1. Heh, I wish he’d had he chance! Sadly, he was stillborn. He would’ve been 3 years old this 5th of September. I reckon he and his younger brother Brandon are giving their granddad the run for it in heaven.

          2. And before you fret – no, you didn’t upset me, hon. Losses are as much part of life as joy. I still reckon he’d have been the Mischievous Middle child, gleefully pissing off the youngest (who, honestly, seemed to be a Churchill, judging from the scowl he used to give us.)

          3. My condolences regardless. I knew you’d had miscarriages; I should have considered the possibility.

          4. *hugs* Thank you.
            Two angels; Damien having been stillborn in 2013, and Brandon through SUIDS April 2015. That doesn’t stop them from being beloved children.

            I refuse to give up hope.

  2. So, there our little Damien sits, with the appearance of being well-connected in literary circles, on top of a little sinecure at the Guardian, the recipient of a grant for a novel that he has never actually delivered … as we say in Texas, “Bless his heart.”

    I swear, he’s like the eunuch, strutting up and down in front of the door to the harem, loudly telling EVERYONE how it ought to be done.

    1. Hahahahaha. Now that I’m thinking about it, I have more books published then does Damien Walter. And I’m a little apprentice Web cartoonist who isn’t even trying to be a professional offer at all.

    2. *blink*

      *I* even have more published work than this wank. And I’m not even trying (got a day job, a floating job, and various charity stuff). That… is just damned sad.

  3. I use the first line of Monster Hunter International in my “Hooking the Audience” talk for both classrooms and conventions. I’ll be doing that one in a few weeks on a college campus. Maybe I’ll have one of the students take a picture.

    1. Honestly, it’s second only to

      “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”

        1. C.S. Lewis has to be one of my favorite writers for his ability to wield simple language to such effect.

          Damien would secretly hate him, whatever he said…. unless he didn’t actually know about his catalog of apologetics.

          1. Not only that, but the range… from Mere Christianity and the Screwtape Letters to the Chronicles of Narnia and his Space Trilogy. Off the top of my head I can’t name a single author with that kind of distribution.

          2. Damien hates Kipling too. Kipling didn’t call soldiers mindless brainwashed murderers, and celebrate when they died.

          3. And that’s Lewis’s ‘popular’ stuff. He also wrote well-respected academic books on English literature (_The Allegory of Love_, _A Preface to “Paradise Lost”_).

            I just read Damien’s book _My Lovesick Zombie Boy Band: & weirder tales_. The worst of Lewis’s novels, imao, is _The Magician’s Nephew_. It is far better than the best of what Damien has produced, judging by his book.

            I can see why he was #1,054,919 Paid in Kindle Store, before it got dropped. Meanwhile, _The Magician’s Nephew_ is #13,684 Paid in Kindle Store.

            I can also see why he hasn’t ever produced his novel. Novels require plots. Of the nine word patterns in his book, only three have a plot, and that’s being a bit generous with the definition of “plot”.

            But if he ever learns what a story is, and how to tell one, he might make the ranks of mediocre midlist writers. Can’t see him ever quitting his day job, though.

          4. My favorite work by Lewis is TILL WE HAVE FACES, a re-telling of the myth of Eros and Psyche from the POV of one of Psyche’s half-sisters. It’s quite possibly one of the finest fantasy novels of the mid 20th century, though it seems quite obscure these days.

        2. It has some rivals, too. “There once was a boy named Milo who did not know what to do with himself — not just some of the time, but always.”

          1. There are many good opening lines. Larry’s may take the cake for action and interest.

            One of my favorite opening lines is: After an eternity, it was beginning to end.

            Kudos to anyone who recognizes it.

      1. I’m a big fan of “In the night-time heart of Beirut, in one of a row of general-address transfer booths, Louis Wu flicked into reality.”

      2. I still like the opening Shirley Jackson wrote for The Haunting of Hill House:

        “No live organism can continue for long to exist under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

  4. “there’s an exciting debut from Laurie Penny ”
    You couldn’t make LP exciting with the combined money and tech know-how of the Fortune 10 list.

        1. You’re not missing much. Short bus riding young English feminist who writes for the Guardian and some other libtard sites.
          The patron saint of daddy issues-red/green/blue hair-facial piercing-feminist Tumblr account holders.
          Based on her Twitter feed, she’s decided to try her hand at Sci-fi with Tor.

          1. If she does get a book contract out of this, James May is going to have a field day. Laurie beats Damien out for village idiot hands down.

            Some choice quotes:
            “I happen to believe in dismantling the social and economic institutions of marriage and family. ”

            “I am quite content with the fact that my work, my politics, my community and my books are just as important to me as anyone I happen to be dating… I live in a commune, I date multiple people, and I’m focused on my career. ”

            “Romantic love is a systemic lie designed to manipulate women into lifelong emotional labour.”

            “Those with a stake in the mythology of the garment now focus on its namesake island as a tropical paradise, but bikini ideology is poisoned with the cultural fallout of the mid-20th century in more ways than one.”

            “Mums and dads of the baby boom generation: get real. Violent hypermasculinity doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it’s a symptom of poverty and desperation and hopelessness, and you made us.”

            “From boardrooms to the streets, women’s anxiety to keep our body mass as low as possible is based on legitimate fears that we will be punished if we attempt fully to enter patriarchal space. No wonder so many of us are starving.”

          2. Wasn’t there some book review saying a certain book shouldn’t be thrown away it should be thrown with great force?

          3. “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Attributed to Dorothy Parker.

            It is also said of Ms. Parker that when working at a newspaper, she found the day boring. So she changed the sign on the door to read “Men”, in order to attract visitors.

          4. Perhaps not her herself, but any works she actually gets published will probably be able to be called “Penny Dreadfuls” quite accurately.

          5. Like Damien, she’s got progressively more loopy over the past two or three years. I remember an article she wrote about hairstyles entitled “Why The Patriarchy fears scissors”.

            She tops my list of leftists most likely to flip out and reappear on the far right.

          6. I thought they’d have praised her for it; what with their love for snipping off balls as much as hair. What, pray tell, were the other feminists angry about? Flaming idiocy?

          7. Anybody want to make any bets, that regardless of how good her book actually is, the Twitter feminist lady gets nominated for the Campbell?

          8. “One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken. Then this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of this brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not accept this bet, because as sure as you stand there, you’re going to wind up with an ear full of cider.”

            I’d take that bet before this one.

        2. Of course you don’t. She writes left-wing political screeds, not science fiction. It’s just she’s announced she’s going to start writing science fiction left-wing political screeds.

          Damien thinks it’s an ‘amazing time[s] for science fiction and fantasy storytelling’ because we have the privilege of having a far-far-far-left feminist political commentator grace us with her work, “a short story about a fallen angel who ‘fucks’ mortals and seems to enjoy it.”

          She’s a political screed journalist, writing non-fiction message fic. She’s now making a foray into fiction. Anyone want to place bets on whether this too will be message fic?

          I’m not going to take your money; she’s admitted that’s why she writes. (See

          One last utterly awesome quote from her (though I doubt she’d agree as to why I think it’s awesome): “Most leftists do have an idea of the sort of world they would prefer to see. Many of us have several. It’s just very hard to get us to talk about it, for the simple, human reason that we’re worried we’ll be laughed at. ” There’s good reason we’re laughing at you, Laurie.

          1. It has got to kind of suck for the liberal yet actual professional authors who just lumped in there with her. 😀

            Because as we see yet again, the quality of your work never matters, just that you say the right things. China Mieville may be a godless heathen communist but the dude can certainly write well. Yet in the eyes of the Damiens of the world he is equally as worthy a writer as Twitter feminist’s debut story.

            Same reason why GRRM broadly pronounces that award winners MUST SERVE THEIR TIME IN FANDOM HARUMPF HARUMPF while ignoring people like Zahn, Anderson, and Stackpole, but giving debut novel Ancillary Pronoun all the awards.

          2. “Hey, I didn’t get a Harumph outta that guy!”
            “Give GRRM a Harumph!”
            “Watch it or you’ll end up an extra in Game of Thrones” *OMMMMMINOUS THUNDER*

          3. Even worse. You’ll be a virtuous main character.

            And lol. For GRRM it’s punishment. For Larry it’s a raffle.

          4. Any given character in GoT has what? A 70% chance of being raped?

            And I don’t red shirt people I don’t like. I raffle them off for charity and raise money for things like kidney transplants (and the next raffle looks like it will be to help pay for someone’s spinal surgery).

          5. FWIW, I’m a godless heathen communist (by this blog’s standards, at least), but I feel the same way about China Mieville as Penny Arcade does.

          6. This. This is so true. One of my favorite sci-fi writers, Claire North, is mentioned in the same row. She describes herself as a feminist, so when she wrote a book about a dude re-living his life over and over during the 20th century, an interviewer asked her why she didn’t write it from a woman’s perspective. Her answer?

            Because the story she wanted to write required a person able to move freely during the early 20th century in any culture, and a female lead would’ve realistically had so much difficulties with that, that she would’ve been forced to write about feminism a lot. And in her own words: that would’ve made the story she wanted to tell in this particular case a lot less good.

            It pains me to see her getting lumped in with the same people that do not understand that even if you think your politics are good, good politics do not automatically equal good storytelling. Or, in a lot of genres, any politics at all. And that’s coming from a guy with a degree in political theory, so it’s not as if I never enjoy reading about it. But it just doesn’t fit in everywhere, at any time and context.

    1. I was wondering what the violation of community standards was. I guess it is making the blogger look like an idiot. Though it isn’t enforced very well, as they’d have to take down 1/2 the comments if they did enforce it.

      1. Looks fixed now! I’m sorry I didn’t check back here earlier. I’m always forgetting to check that little notification box too.

        Excellent work on the blog, Jack. Sorry for the OT comment.

  5. Damien: It’s the same frustrating paradigm that British MP Michael Gove hit upon when he said that people were sick of experts, or what Donald Trump plays upon when he rails against “professional politicians”.

    Larry: I don’t know what the fuck lame ass comparison Damien is trying to draw here.

    Me: I’m not sure what the Trump one is about but the Michael Gove comparison is deliciously ironic. Let me explain.

    In the Brexit campaign there were many many “experts” who were happy to predict all sorts of doom and gloom if the Brexit vote should pass. Most of their predictions were laughably dire that they were completely ignored by anyone who wasn’t a credulous moron like Damien. In the last few days of before the vote Gove, who was one of the leaders of the Leave campaign, was in an interview where he made essentially the point I’ve just made about the idiocy of these dire predictions and he was roundly condemned for it by all left-thinking people. We’re now a couple of months post-Brexit and the only prediction to have come to fruition is that the pound sterling has declined somewhat against other major currencies. All the others – unemployment, lack of investment etc. – have been completely wrong, as Gove predicted and as the experts didn’t. Just as the poll-reading experts completely failed to predict the Brexit vote itself come to think of it.

    1. Yeah, I thought Britain was supposed to be a Max Max style apocalyptic wasteland by now.

      Quick funny note of something I just thought of because of this post. When I was in Britain it was funny how many people apologized about the Guardian to me. 😀

      1. The good thing about the UK is that the majority of national newspapers are significantly less lefty. In fact IIRC the 3 biggest circulation ones – the Sun, The daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail are all right of center for European values of center

          1. They are more right-leaning; if nothing else because they’ll actually publish opposing opinion/POV articles on a more frequent basis than other outlets these days.

  6. Personally, my favorite is his Nightlands stuff.

    Here I’m going to have to disagree (YMMV, and all that). I don’t like the Nightlands stuff. This whole “x years before the final extinction of humanity” bit just rubs me the wrong way.

    That said, the writing within it is phenomenal. Pure artistry. And that, by itself, pulled me through to the end of the collection “Awake in the Night Lands.”

    I wish I could write half as well.

  7. Gawd what an asshole this Damien thing is. Need to add a fourth law to the three laws of SJW’s (they always lie, they always double down, they always project). The fourth law? “SJW’s are always assholes.” Just a suggestion….

  8. Happy Birthday!

    The takedown on the Dunning-Kruger effect was too easy. Hilarious, but way too easy for a man of your talents.

  9. This was an enjoyable read, Larry. Thanks! Now … on to “Grunge”! 😀 By the way … would Dolph Lundgren be a reasonable choice as Owen Pitt? Or has he grown a tad too old for something like that? I seem to visualize actors in novels. *shrug* So sue me. 😀

    1. Too old and too Scandinavian looking.

      Though I wrote the character of Anders in the Dead Six series, played by Dolph Lundgren in my imagination.

        1. I honestly always pictured Adam Baldwin as Franks. He would NAIL that role.

          Dolph would play a really good STFU agent, me thinks…

        2. I always picture Ron Perleman as Franks. And, even though no one cares, my picks are Guy Pearce as Harbinger, The Rock as Pitt, Jason Mamoa as Mosh, William Fichtner as Myers, and (ever since I watched Fringe) Georgina Haig as Julie.

          1. Ron Perlman would only work if Franks is CGI, and Perlman is just the voice/motion capture performer. I say Adam Baldwin as Franks, maybe still with some CGI help. I always thought of The Rock for Pitt too, but now that you mentioned Jason Mamoa, I think he would actually be a better choice. James Franco as Mosh (no, I’m not completely insane for casting him as Jason Mamoa’s brother. Look at their pictures side-by-side. They might have to throw in a line like ‘he takes more after mom’, but it could work). I picture John Slattery as Myers. I want to say Gina Carano as Julie, but I’m not sure she could pull it off. Julie Benz as Hollie, maybe? Omar Miller as Trip? Ian Hart as Martin Hood. Matt Lanter as Grant Jefferson. I’m having real problems with Earl since I always picture him as Charles Napier, who’s now 80 years old and dead.

          2. Telling you, you might look at Guy Pierce for Earl. He’s got the personality down, and he’s got that grizzled but not ugly look about him.
            Check out Lockout. He’s basically Space Snake Plisken.

      1. What about Dominic Purcell? He’s a large intimidating man. Not too “pretty”. And a good actor. I loved him as Heat Wave in Flash and Legends.

          1. Sorry, yeah as Franks. He’s just got that look of “Don’t fuck with me” about him.

          1. He doesn’t have any acting in his past, but what about Marcus Lutrell as Owen Pitt? He is tall, kinda big boned, and not very pretty. Most of all, he has manned-up when he needed to, and he really is a real life Monster Hunter.

  10. The Guardian is against poverty, war, injustice, good journalism and copy editing.

    There is no greater swamp of proglodyte groupthink out there in the world.

  11. Though this reminds me of an incident with the Imbecile Stalker Troll Clamps, where he was all hung up on what were author’s best lines, and his was something about globes of light floating like fish semen or some bullshit.

    There’s also the classic, “What are your names, wayfarers?”

    1. Oh, that was quite possibly the worst thing ever written.

      Maybe Damien and Clamps should team up and do a collaboration?

      1. Larry, that idea is straight out of the Old Ones…Outbreak of zombies in London from reading it and the resultant IQ loss…

        1. Best place in the world for a zombie outbreak. Zombies can’t swim for spit and if they get out of hand the Scots will run through them like bad haggis.

      2. If they did, it’d probably take them the time it would take the rest of us to write twenty novels to put one together.

        That’s assuming that they don’t kill each other first over the most petty of disagreements, like grammar and spelling.

      3. I hate to have to say it, but Damien’s fiction writing is more or less competent. The sentences aren’t laugh-out-loud funny, and the intended meaning is usually clear.

        It’s just that he has nothing to say. Fortunately, he keeps the not-saying fairly brief.

    2. When I read the part about the village idiot skimming the first chapter and then basing his whole opinion of the book from that, thought, “So, he’s getting writing tips from Clamps now?”

  12. Poo flinging monkeys could make a better poo painting than Damien can.
    On his best day.
    After eating pea soup.

    1. Interjecting some politics: Note that in the UK, there is already an assault on “knife culture,” complete with vaguely-worded bans. Similar efforts have begun their first tentative efforts over here.

      Vision of the future… which is bleak.

  13. I have to think at this point, fisking Damien has got to be more chore than triumph. Like cleaning up after a hyperactive shih-tzu that’s defecated all over the floor and chewed up some newspapers. But it’s gotta be done.

    Happy birthday!

    1. It’s kind of like Pee Wee Herman vs the Hulk. Not sure why he keeps taking shots because everybody knows it’s going to end badly. He’d be all sorts of squished and broken before he got the full Loki.

    1. Larry could make a book of them, sell them, and in doing so move more books than Damien ever has in his entire career.

    1. Hey now, not only does Arnold Rimmer have a successful alternate universe version of himself but he grows and learns. At least until he is resurrected with nanobots and so loses all the growth that happened as a HL hologram. There is no universe in which Damien would be successful and it’s pretty clear that there has been no growth on his part since he first started stalking Larry.

  14. It’s your birthday and Damien got you a pony?

    (With all the horse manure his article has, there’s GOT to be a pony in there somewhere.) 😉

    1. The pony had but one thing to contribute to this discussion and that was the intra-article manure. It went straight back to Equestria and is hiding there. :p

      1. At this point,I forward the motion to designate one 18-wheeler load of horse manure as a “Damien.” That way the benchmark for measuring insipid SJW article yield can be conveniently expressed in kiloDamiens, as in, “Anita Sarkeesien’s latest TED talk had a gross yield of five kiloDamiens.” We could use kD for short.

  15. What surprises me the most is the straightforward admission that he believes the politics have “no place” in ranks of respected/anticipated fiction. Wow! Straight up, no BS, stare-you-in-the-face-and-spit admission. And the brazenness!?! No shame exhibited at all in admitting this. Few things irritate me more that the smug moral preening of left-wing snobs.

    I’m happy to entertain a multiplicity of conflicting viewpoints, both in my daily life (e.g. among friends and coworkers) and in my entertainment choices. As long as the story is good and captivates me, I’m in. But please! A little reciprocity is deserved. I’m so weary of the persistent attitude that my beliefs and values are so noxious they don’t even merit recognition.


  16. Would’ve been funnier if he’d tried to rope David Weber into his random sampling attempt at sneering. Knowing his luck he’d pick:



  17. I’ll look it up later (no I won’t because I’m too lazy) but who was the “liberal democrat” novella author “who was immediately set upon and attacked as a ‘racist neo-con’ “?

    1. Dan Wells. Though he probably thinks he’s a moderate democrat. 🙂 I nominated the superb Butcher of Khardov novella (also, the first work of media tie in fiction ever nominated for a Hugo) because it is simply EXCELLENT. Politics aside, Dan has more talent in his pinky than Damien, and Butcher is still one of my favorite novellas I’ve ever read.

      By the way, his novel I Am Not A Serial Killer has been made into a movie starring Christopher Lloyd and will be out soon. I’m very much looking forward to it. (so there goes another one of those Sad Puppy nominees who is a bestseller with a movie! I didn’t even think of that at the time.)

      1. I’ve tried several of his novels and while they were not to my taste for various reasons, they were solidly written, and I am Not a Serial killer was…. disturbing.

          1. As thomashewlett says, Advance Reader Copy.

            Basically, free copies of a new book made available to select groups (publishers, journalists, and some others) prior to mass publication.

            (Baen has weaponized them, in the form of eARCs [obviously, eletronic ARCs, not physical books], giving readers who don’t mind not having the final editorial publishing to get the new work ahead of its official release date. Not my thing, but popular with a lot of Barflies.)

          2. Wait, the next books in the “I Am Not A Serial Killer” series are about to kick off? That’s awesome!

            I watched the movie On Demand last weekend and it was well-done. A bigger special effects budget would have helped, though, as would more consistent use of dark humor. The dark humor was good, but far too infrequent and so fell flat for me.

      2. Let’s hope they didn’t screw up _I am Not a Serial Killer_, a great novel.

        But if they did it even half-way right, it’ll be awesome.

  18. 1. Happy belated birthday!
    2. Excellent fisking, as always.
    3. I really did try to find Walters work on Amazon. I was unable to do so. I spent more than 10 seconds looking. I tried googling it. Finally found it. How can you say you’re an author like that and not have anything at all on Amazon. I’d say i’m flabbergasted but Damien wouldn’t get what that word means. I’ll just go with “resigned and unsurpassed in my lack of unsurprisededness” (can I make up a word? is that ok?)

    Though I guess Damien would indeed be the example for: Those who can, do, those who can’t “critic” about it.

    Hope you got some quality WoT time in, or just a good visit to the new property and some trampling of foliage while making sure that the rifle range will be set up just right… off the back porch. Front porch?

    1. His book was on Amazon, it was #1,054,919 Paid in Kindle Store, before it was removed.

      I’ll send a free copy to anyone who wants it, as he gives permission to do so.

      Warning: it’s not very good, and not terrible enough to laugh at.

  19. Dolph Lundgren is easily my favorite actor because his life story is a Hollywood B-movie script.

    Genius chemist becomes movie star in America after dating supermodel/rock star while being a professional bodyguard in Australia.

    If you were to write about a character like that Damien would whine about the total lack of reality.

    1. Also, while he used to star in direct-to-vide moves, it’s in the past since The Expendables; he returned to the big screen.

    2. He’d need sidekicks: Long Tom, Monk, Renny, Ham and Johnny… Actually, Lundgren should team up with Travis Taylor for some collaborations. The background material would be awesome and I suspect Dolph’s English is better…

    3. Sometimes I wonder if “Buckaroo Banzai” was a Dolph biography that was horribly miscast ala Starship Troopers.

    4. All due respect to Lundgren, my favorite story is:

      Austrian champion bodybuilder MBA real-estate millionare who became the biggest star in Hollywood and governor of California…

      And I was at the Hugos, Larry (last time, can’t do it again). It was worse than you think. All you described with a framing from Pat Cadigan that made David Gerrold look like Stephen Fry…

  20. A couple of years back I used to quite enjoy Damien’s articles, and we used to exchange posts on Twitter. I didn’t always agree with him, but he was often entertaining and thought provoking.

    Then he just completely went off the deep end a couple of years ago and morphed into the Damien we see today. He had a meltdown on the comments section of one of his own Guardian blogs (possibly he was drunk?) and the mods had to delete a lot of his own comments.

    He’s got me blocked on Twitter now.

    1. I’m guessing he isn’t the most sane and grounded person around.

      I know! Let’s give him a newspaper column where he picks fights with professional wordsmiths! Brilliant!

      1. If you’re looking for some entertaining schadenfreude, this makes perfect sense. Are we entirely certain this all hasn’t been a brilliant and fairly subtle trolling?

  21. Bonus error: DW got John C. Wright’s influences wrong. IIRC the one solid Narnian bit in any of his books is a single chapter in (my favourite) The Last Guardian of Everness. DW undoubtedly googled JCW’s novellas and picked up on the fact that most readers assumed it was a straight-up return-to-Narnia tale.

    It’s not. It owes as much if not more to Nicholas Stuat Gray, John Garner and Joy Chant. The magical cat is the clue. JCW is the only guy I’ve ever met who’s as well-read in British children’s fantasy as I am.

    1. I should add: Obvious influences are Jack Vance. Olaf tapledon. AE Van Vogt. Gene Wolf. Not sure whether DW realizes these writers aren’t Inklings.

  22. Guys, I figured out why Damien keeps writing articles about Mr. Correia. He is acting like a girl in kindergarten that has a crush on a boy and wants his attention. Clearly the best course of action is for Mr. Correia to have a talk with and tell him it is never going to happen. Problem solved.

        1. No, the village idiot is a yandere. Tsunderes have nice sides and are more like defrosting ice queens. Yanderes start ‘nice’ then go psycho.

          Though I’m not sure the idiot was ever ‘nice’ to Larry so I’m not sure if its counted either.

  23. I mean, yeah, this guy is obviously an idiot. Still:

    Michael Bay’s movies are very popular, and they make a lot of money. I personally hate them, but I am not arrogant enough to conclude that, just because I hate them, everyone else must hate them too. Still, I believe that movies other than Michael Bay’s do deserve recognition, despite being objectively inferior in terms of their mass appeal and earning potential. I fully admit that this belief is motivated by my personal desire to see more movies I enjoy.

    Similarly, I think that there’s merit in the idea of recognizing science fiction books — perhaps, with some sort of an award — for something other than their sheer earning potential. In the past, IMO the Hugo was exactly this kind of an award. Obviously, the Hugo is no longer relevant in any way (seeing as it’s just a political seal of approval), but I hope we don’t use this sad state of affairs to conclude that any book that didn’t make it onto a bestseller list is automatically garbage, or anything like that.

  24. “And the hack writers and sloppy sentences championed by the Sad Puppies deserve no place in that picture; for their politics, yes, but also their sheer shoddiness.”

    This “quality” argument appears to be the new paradigm the CHORFS are going with. I’ve been having this discussion with the “people” at Crapestos Snarkatron, who have decided to go with the whole “quality of writing” thing because “politics” makes them look bad or something. Even though Damien Walter even says POLITICS in the frigging sentence, for F- sakes.

    So for the next week we’ll probably keep seeing the soon to be unemployed hipster dicks of I09 etc. braying about the political victory for women that the Hugos were this year, and then they’ll all shelve that and continue to pretend this is all about “quality”.

    Because anybody who could actually enjoy MHI or Jim Butcher is clearly a knuckle-dragging racist idiot. ‘Nuff said.

  25. Damien just made a little more money for each of those authors he maligned in his article.

    I am going to purchase a work from each one of them. Any suggestions?

    1. I haven’t yet read anything by John C. Wright or Brad Torgersen, so I can’t give you any recommendations for their books. (Which is an ENTIRELY different sentence from “I can’t recommend their books”. 🙂 I’m sure their books are good, but I can’t speak from personal experience.) For the other authors:

      Dave Freer – Changeling’s Island. Damien hates it, so you know it’ll be good. And more to the point, I’ve read it, so I can personally assure you that it’s excellent.

      Sarah Hoyt – Darkship Thieves. The first book of her Darkship series, of which there are currently four, if I’m not mistaken in my memory. They do need to be read in order, because major plot points from the first book will be spoiled in chapter 1 of the second book. She also has a book in the Baen Free Library, called Draw One in the Dark, which is also the first book of a series (different universe). That one won’t directly fulfill your goal of giving money to the authors Damien maligned, but it’ll probably get you hooked on that series and cause you to buy more of her books, so I’ll recommend that one as well.

      Larry Correia – Can speak for himself. 🙂 But I’d recommend Son of the Black Sword, because if you buy it within the next six days, you’ll be able to vote for it in the Dragon awards. (That’s assuming that you finish reading it within the day after you buy it, but I can almost guarantee that. I can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to sleep until you’ve finished the book, but I can almost guarantee that you WILL finish the book within 24 hours after you buy it.)

      CS Lewis – Doesn’t need money any more, but if you want to enrich his heirs, buy the Narnia books. Start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; it’s not the first chronologically, but it was the first one written, and so it introduces the world of Narnia much better than The Magician’s Nephew does.

      I think that’s all the authors Damien mentioned. If I missed any, let me know.

  26. Aww, happy birthday, Larry, and I hope your MHI TV show dream comes true. I for one will be queueing up to see how it turns out.

    1. Producer’s note: “Lose the redneck shit and cast the team as young millenianals with an edge and it’s bound to be a hint. Oh, and can we make them all women?”

      1. You know, if I was someone who could produce movie scripts (I haven’t the money, connections, or skills for that task), I’d be incredibly tempted to do something with a touted all-female team… and then have them all killed off five minutes into their mission because they didn’t have the abilities needed to perform the job, then replaced with a team of fat beered-up redneck males who get the job done.

        Oh, the howls that would get! >;)

        1. I would think Julie, Holly, Susan (before she got turned) and all the other MHI chicks might seriously resent some of the implications behind your statement. Heather Kerkonen might also like a word with you.

          Nothing wrong with an all-girl team so long as it’s appropriately trained and equipped (and scripted, of course, LOL). I know the point you’re trying to make, but you’re driving that particular nail in way crooked, dude.

      2. I suspect (or at least hope) Larry’s got clauses written into the contract to prevent his creation being shat on like that.

  27. Damien finally accomplished something useful with his writing. I didn’t know any of the YA slate for Dragon, but based on that opener I gave my vote to Changling Island. .

  28. Instead of snidely cherry-picking from books people actually like, I feel like Damien Walter would benefit from a game I call “Why is this popular?” Take a popular book (not necessarily critically-acclaimed) that doesn’t appeal to you and try to figure out why so many people paid actual money for it. Zero points for answers like, “it had short chapters” or “it’s just a bunch of action scenes.” Sorry, if it were that easy, we’d all be millionaires. And you automatically lose if you say “I could’ve written that if I wanted, but I have too much self-respect.”

    Finding a way to “turn a buck” with your writing isn’t some cheap trick or impenetrable voodoo. How many books you sell may not be a perfect proxy for whether a book is “good,” but it does a pretty good job of pointing out a writer’s main task: the extremely difficult act of balancing a book’s accessibility (the intellectual investment you require of the reader) and payoff (the reader’s return on investment). Oh, and those things vary by genre and target market, so have fun with that.

    In other words, yeah, if you write a YA novel, there’s going to be some ellipses. But that’s hardly a free lunch. You still have to deliver on the reader’s expectations, which can vary from the perils of dystopia to the fun of being adored by a sparkly vampire.

    It seems pretty clear that Damien doesn’t grasp any of this…any wonder he’s not exactly prolific?

    1. One thought on ellipses, punctuation in general, and “choppy” sentences.

      I do really well in audiobook. I mean, extremely well. If I could do in regular book what I do in audio I would be on top of the world. Listening to my own books on audio has helped me become a better author.

      One reason why I do well in audio is because when I write it is with the idea that it is going to be read out loud by someone. My grammar and sentence structure isn’t designed to get an A in English 101. It is to sound cool when narrated. I don’t know if Dave does the same thing.

      1. In your first two MHI books, it makes sense and works. It’s Z’s narration. In my yet to be published novel (and anyone want to be beta readers?) I had a Runyonesque racketeer and an upper class British public school toff narrating. The odd thing was that, though being culturally closer to the gangster, he was harder to write in his voice than the twit of the year.

  29. I’m re-listening to MHI Nemesis and picturing Vincent D’nofrio as Franks. After seeing him in Daredevil, I think he’d be perfect.

  30. Happy (belated) birthday, Larry.

    I never thought anyone could give Brandon Sanderson a run for his money on how fast he finishes books, but I just realized I have 5 of yours on pre-order:
    Alliance of Shadows (book and Audible)
    Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners (and I’ll snag it on Audible as soon as it’s available)
    The leatherbound version of MHI
    The Tom Stranger CD

    And dang, I almost forgot I need to order extra copies for Christmas presents.

    1. I’ve found myself geting the eARCs at Baen as soon as they’re out. I’m not all that patient when it comes to new installments in a series, so if I can chop a few months wait off, an extra $7 seems like a good deal.

      (Also Alliance is a great wrap up for the series)

  31. A Monster Hunter series has been optioned for t.v.? I may need to consult with my physician for the wood I’m sporting right now.

  32. Perhaps you are, or are not counted among the complex and sophisticated. A bloggy sci-fi fantasy pop-culture opinion column in the Guardian is not where you would go to find that sort of thing out, in either case.

    1. All I know is, people can’t shut up about Ernest Hemingway and he wrote at a 4th grade level most of the time about dudes being dudes for better or for worse in weird situations often superficially resembling those sorts of things Walter Mitty daydreamed about in Jame’s Thurbers humorous magazine filler story.

      Who knows, there might even be some kind of point about snobs and snootiness in that blob of thought salad I wrote up there with the famous names dropped in it.

      Whatever. I’m gonna go order some gundam models off of amazon now.

      1. Well, the man did write a scene with somebody machinegunning a shark.
        If Hemingway was alive today, the SJW’s would hate him with a hot hate.

      2. Hemingway wrote far, far above “a 4th grade level.” He’s so good, he makes it look like it’s fourth grade level–but somehow, when you try to imitate him, it doesn’t work.

        1. “Fourth grade level” doesn’t refer to writing difficulty. It refers to reading difficulty and is generally driven by sentence length, grammatical complexity, and average word length (a proxy for how much obscure vocabulary is used).

  33. Larry, I have to disagree. Chronicles of Everness was and is my favorite Wright work. It was so far out there, and imaginative, the only thing I can compare it to is a Roger Zelazny plot as written by Jack Vance.
    I actually wrote an email to Mr. Wright expressing my unabashed fanhood of his work… he responded within several hours in a personal email thanking me for my letter and support. Quite rare in this day and age. And just like, I buy everything he writes.

  34. Several years ago I was at a panel where the topic somehow turned to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series.

    One particular author (sorry, don’t remember the name) on the panel went on and on about how he had “problems” with The Dresden Files and couldn’t understand why it was so popular. Then he got onto his own series, which evidently covers similar ground to Dresden but (paraphrasing) “in a more mature, serious way.” And you could just tell from his diatribe, his real issue with Dresden wasn’t its content but the fact that it was popular and his series was not. (again, paraphrasing) “I talk about real issues and real world problems that are important. He talks about riding zombie dinosaurs. Why are people buying his stuff and not mine? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?!!” He sincerely just didn’t get it.

    The Damien’s of the world… just don’t get it. They can’t even grasp why it is their ponderously dreadful tomes don’t sell. They have a stunted, cauterized view of what “good” writing is, and all the things that make authors like Larry Correia, Jim Butcher, Kevin J. Anderson et al popular are not it. And unless they figure that out, they will always be dilettantes at writing.

    1. The late Diana Wynne Jones had some very scathing things to say about writers who “write about REAL issues and problems that are IMPORTANT”….she mostly wrote for the children/YA audience. She said (paraphrased) that if the best dream she could offer the reader was the vague chance that someday they sort of, kind of, might possibly smirk in bemusement as they half-hop a few inches off the ground, then her story -deserved- to be thrown away for a book that tells them what it’s like to reach for the Moon and gain the Stars.

      The audience knows fantasy isn’t real.

      But hope and dreams are VERY real. And far more in demand today than miserable screw-ups bitterly failing as they angst about ‘DA ISSUES ever will be.

      1. Neil Gaiman: “Fairy Tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten”

        C. S. Lewis: “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

        1. Gaiman was cribbing off a much earlier source.
          “Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. ”
          –G.K. Chesterton

          1. In “Coraline” Gaiman attributed the quote to Chesterton. This may be a case where the internet plays “Telephone”. (I’ve lost count of the times “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” has been attributed to Kurt V. instead of Larry Niven.)

  35. I would feel sorry for the idiot if he weren’t such an asshat. I have no doubt he will have read this article by now, given his habit of googling himself obsessively.

  36. I can’t wait until Monster Hunter: Guardian comes out and it takes Damien a few weeks to realize that it’s not affiliated with his paper in any way.

  37. just wanted to leave you this comment, becasue it just so happens a friend of mine started reading monster hunter books the other day. and the very first line of the very first book? got her completely hooked. like.. she had to leave her kindle at home, because if she didn’t, she wouldn’t get anything done at work . it really is a fantastic first line.

    1. I used to think that Harry Harrison’s SSR books had good opening hooks, then I picked up Monster Hunter International…

    2. I gave the book to my husband to read while being the guy on base duty (they could read if they were not doing anything/had no tasks.)

      He rang me up at 3 am, saying “I can’t sleep. I have to finish this book. This is your fault. I thought you’d like to know that. <3 "
      Me: "I love you too, my darling."

      1. pretty much the same experience upon giving the book to MY husband 😛

        that said.. I still adore SSR books to pieces, they were my intro to Harry Harrison (and I learned English reading them and Bradbury, so.. )

        1. Muahahaha~
          Sadly, Rhys has even less time to read these days, so I’m getting him audiobooks. I discovered that The Book Depository has Larry’s stuff on CD-ebook for a decidedly affordable price. Christmas pressies, check!!!

      2. I inflicted the same pain on damned near the entire authors slate at an Orycon, a seriously CHORFoid con if ever their was one.

        This was back when only gun nerds new about Larry. We scrounge a stupidly expensive copy from Powell’s rare book section, and it got incredibly dog-eared by the end of the con. And damned near ALL of the authors were nearly asleep at the panels for the rest of the con …

  38. Belated Happy Birthday, Larry! Hope you got lots of miniatures!

    Finished Grunge a few hours ago. First words out of my mouth were “I want the next book already.”

    Absolutely LOVED it.

  39. I fucking hate when people try to turn writers into a popularity contest or try to bully and trick people into reading someone’s agenda when they have a fucked up view of the world. I’m seeing more of this when it comes to books. Trying to control what people read is no better than the society that burned books in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. I guarantee that novelty is lost on a guy like Damien who let’s face it, would have supported Stalin’s Great Purge. Especially since Larry, Brad, and Sarah would have been some of the first writers round up. Damien is the epitome of why freedom is so important, not just in politics but in the voice of reading and writing.

  40. More from Frau Butthurt:

    “Meanwhile, Larry Correia has finally found Damien Walter’s Guardian article savaging his writing and has the predictable meltdown. Ironically, neither Larry Correia nor Dave Freer realise that by pointing out how many books they have sold, they’re actually confirming Walter’s point that for the puppies, sales figures are the only metric that matters. Never mind that they apparently haven’t heard of the “Never respond to reviews, no matter how wrong-headed they might be” dictum either. Like his fellow puppies, Correia is also still hung up that Damien Walter got a writing grant from the British arts council once. Honestly, what is their problem with that? It’s not as if any of the puppies would be eligible for that grant anyway, by virtue of not being British.”

    How do you say “clueless” in German?

    1. Their issue is not that Walter got the grant, their issue is that he took it, didn’t deliver, and still purports to be an expert on delivering.

      Like how a professional pizza delivery man might feel about a poser who brags on their CV, which consists of someone once giving them $200 to go get pizza, then never actually making it to a place that has even heard of a pizza.

    2. Why would she want to say it in German? And as for clueless, consider her example from which you just posted. Yes, sales figures are the metric that matters. It’s what tells you (and the world) that what you’re writing is pleasing to its intended readership. An arts council grant tells you nothing more than that the recipient probably couldn’t sell his work on the market and talked some bureaucrat into subsidizing it.

    3. The fact that she wasn’t the audience Larry targeted with this post kinda flew over her head. Anyone who is not a hopeless SJW found this post hilarious.

    4. Little does she realize that this “meltdown” has had more readers than anything Damien or her have ever written.

      What’s wrong with Damien getting an art grant? Because when people pay for something, they don’t like getting ripped off. Poor Britain.

      I love how she thinks she is so wise. Well, we did the stupid shit we always do, and Larry made fun of us again! That was expected! Well, derp, Frau Butthurt. Derp.

      1. Did Damien Walter really get a grant to write a book and fail to deliver? I thought it was a joke about his apparent incompetence.

        If that is true do we have any idea on what the book was supposed to be about?

        1. A) It’s true.

          B) Judging by his book of short word patterns, _My Lovesick Zombie Boy Band: & weirder tales_, it wasn’t about anything.

          C) He may well have finished it. Judging by his book, nothing he does at novel length would be publishable.

          1. Huh, they give money to anything these days.

            I am going to look this grant up.

            So, I decided to read through the grant application for the arts, and I don’t think he qualifies. I mean it says the person has to have a prior example of talent, and needs to present them….. are we sure he is not lying? I mean the records before 2015 (yes I checked) are unavailable. He might be lying about receiving the grant. Also, it seems unlikely anything he writes would be beneficial to the people of Britain. Unless, the grant was an exception and he was paid to not write anything. That probably would be beneficial to literature as a whole not just fir Britain.

            Joking aside, it also says that this project cannot be intended to making a profit… huh his negative comments about books turning a profit are making more sense now.

            Wow, the more I read the grant’s guidelines the more I think he lied at certain parts. Target audience, how to reach them, how much you think it would cost, heh… how much money do you think you would get from this project (ignoring the can’t be intended for profit).

    1. Are we talking traditional (Sailor Moon), heavy-mecha-in-human-form (Nanoha) or proto-Eldritch Abomination (Madoka)?

      1. *Nerd hat on* “Keep in mind that after reality was re-written in the series finale thanks to a certain wish, the nature and fate of Magical Girls in the Madokaverse gets a significant revision.” *nerd hat off* 😉

      2. Sailor Moon isn’t, strictly speaking, purely a traditional example of only the magical girl genre. It is also an example of the battle team genre.

      3. Go down the line. Traditional Magical Girl (Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura) then Nanoha, then Madoka types.

        Though, since both Sakura and Madoka sort of warp reality as part of their powers… there might be overlap?

        1. I’m heading into spoiler territory here….people who haven’t seen the show and don’t want to be spoiled, you’ve been warned!



          ….from what I can tell (and things Kyubi hinted at), it’s not so much that Madoka had the power to warp reality so much as Homura unintentionally spawned so very -many- alternate timelines and realities by attempting to save Madoka’s life/avert her Fate, all these universe created because someone was trying relentlessly to save just one person…that “karmic destiny” of countless parallel worlds got bound up in her. It meant that by the time the Madoka of the show’s reality finally made her wish, the pent up energies and potential outcomes were much, much, MUCH more vast and potent than they were with any of the other girls the Incubators made a deal with.

          Plus, Madoka worded her wish very carefully. -She- wanted to be the one who oversaw its implementation. Explicitly with her own hands.

          That much unused fate and that “A Rules Lawyer Would Be Proud” wording resulted in a wish powerful enough that she was able to break the Witch cycle and rewrite Magical Girl Physics in her and every alternate version of her universe.

          True, this resulted in her losing her mortality and in being erased from (almost) everyone’s memories. To do something she’ll have to keep on doing for all eternity. But hey, Madoka just had that much hope. 🙂

          …if anyone was intending to watch and read the spoilers anyway, my apologies. :/

          1. *grin* I’ve watched it, so I know what you’re talking about. I LIKED what they did with the opening music too. Talk about painfully poignant.

            I was, however, referring more to how magical girls/witches got to alter reality on a local scale, as it were. Especially since they clearly defy normal physics. In the case of Sakura though, she’s explicitly stated to be a magic user more powerful than Clow Reed (who was classed as reality warping already from just the classic Card Captor Sakura manga; then you get a bit more of how powerful he was when you find out about the reason why Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic (particularly Watanuki) happened.)

            I still haven’t gotten the new xxxHolic though. *sadfaces at her budget*

        2. For sufficiently encyclopedic knowledge of magical girls, the number that would qualify for PUFF is non-zero.

      1. Short answer, per Grunge, yes, for certain types of magic. Making or calling certain things, certain spells, or hiring monsters to kill people makes you qualify for PUFF.

  41. Damien Walter’s “article” feels like someone a brat and a wannabe would post on a discussion board, not like someone would expect to find in a paper.

    This whole thing about the Hugos and the puppies has also showed not only who is on charge of the Hugos, but also who is in charge of the tabloids in general. Is there any example from the “serious” media that has actually done some actual work and digging?

  42. The first time I heard of the the Dunning-Kruger effect, I immediately started wondering if I was actually better than I thought I was at some things in which I considered myself to be poor-to-mediocre. That in turn made me wonder if, as the Dunning-Kruger effect became more well-known, people who *correctly* rated their own skills or knowledge as poor-to-mediocre would convince themselves that their own doubt was evidence of their increasing expertise, and then the surge of confidence that thought gave would convince them they had in fact attained mastery of their subject.

    Therefore, you would have a situation where *knowledge* of the the Dunning-Kruger effect would, in itself, increase *incidence* of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    I think Damien just proved me right.

  43. Well, it turns out Damien has published a whole book of short . . . ‘pieces’, I guess I’ll call them. Three of them were actually stories, though the other six weren’t.

    Evaluation: if he ever has anything to say, he might produce mediocre work. As it is, he hasn’t reached that level yet.

    1. I had that on my Amazon wish list on the off-chance that he would offer it for free. He never did, no way in hell was I going to give that cretin any of my money, and it’s gone from Amazon now. There are, however, examples of his stories on his site, for anybody who wants to bask in his unique talent:

      SPOILER: They are shit.

      1. Find me on Facebook or Twitter, where I’m saintonge235, and I’ll send you a copy. He gives permission to share it.

  44. This book is another exhibit for my contention that the problem with modern newspapers isn’t bias, the problem is they hire people who cannot freaking WRITE.

    In Mencken’s day, papers hired people who could do the freaking job, and told them what their bias was. If they were unable to conform to the paper’s editorial policy, they got fired. Modern newspapers hire according to a laundry list of ideological litmus tests, and hope that those hired will be able to write.

    This has not constituted an improvement.

  45. Gee, on the MHI TV Show, can Owen toss Damien out the 14th Floor window? In UKnistan, that would the 13th Floor.

    Note: to Damien and any of the other humorically challenged, I’m not suggesting physical violence, merely making a joke. Besides, everyone knows the Grauniad probably couldn’t make the rent on a 14th (13th) Floor office.

    1. By Salon. Totes credible source.

      Have you heard? The National Enquirer says that Chelsea put Hinckley up to it.

    2. Well, it is Salon. Where their writers can’t have an honest job because they are too dumb to operate a fry cooker.


    Damien seems to be embracing the adage that those who can’t do, teach. I think he actually makes a good start of it… until he spirals off into something about caverns.

    Still, that’s at least three paragraphs in a row that make sense (possibly a personal best?) Figured folks around here might like to see his latest effort. Judging from the lack of comments there, he could probably use the extra traffic.

  47. “It’s another article where he pretends to have read books before reviewing them.”

    But Larry! How can he read your books when he can’t read, period?

  48. Found this article when looking up a history of your stuff being optioned
    “Since the Guardian is falling apart financially and laying people off,”

    Unfortunately it hasn’t fallen apart in the last 6 years. Someone is still funding it.

    1. Which is super disappointing. 🙂
      But they still laid off my favorite reporter, so I call that a win!

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