All posts by Jack Wylder

The End is Near

Larry shared this on the book of faces today…- Jack

I’m nearing the end of the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior.

So I had to split the finale, Graveyard of Demons, in half because it got so damned big. The rough draft of the first book is done (I’m just waiting for a couple Hindi translations) and it is 5,000 words LONGER than Tower of Silence. 😀

So yeah, this would’ve been by far my longest book. But luckily it works out that there is a perfect logical cut off for the end. And having just read through it again… damn, I am proud of this series.

In the final scene of part 1 I get to explain something that I’ve had planned since the beginning, which totally explains why one of the major characters is the way he is, and once I explain it, the reader is going to go oh man how did I miss that? And it’s friggin’ rad. 😀

So yeah, cutting this one in half is the way to go, and it gives me a bit more room for other important characters’ resolutions in the second one. Which hopefully won’t take me very long to finish, so we can have a pretty close release.

The other day when I put up that list of everything I’ve written, somebody on Twitter said sure, you’ve written 25 novels since GRRM’s last GoT came out, but his are longer. Yeah, he writes 800 page doorstops while my fantasy novels are 400. But honestly, I can’t stand that meandering, bloated, nonsense that plagues fantasy where authors have to describe the ingredients of every meal and what every dress looks like, or fixate on characters that nobody cares about who do things that ultimately don’t matter. That’s the kind of stuff that I get bored and skim when I read epic fantasy. I figure if I don’t care, the reader really doesn’t care. I get bored writing that kind of fluff. I put enough description to provide a basic visual, and then let’s get to getting.

And I don’t like to spend time on minutia. Nobody cares. I’ll drop enough about the world to make it feel fleshed out, but the fact that the Capitol has fractional reserve banking, though fascinating to me, is utterly irrelevant to the stuff readers care about. So no, George, nobody gives a crap about Aragorn’s tax policy. (though I might stick one line about Devedas’ tax policy in there, just to be a dick).

One of the things I’ve been enjoying about the pro reviews of this series (which I’m FINALLY starting to get, ten years late) is them marveling how this is a fantasy, but it’s plotted more like a thriller. I think that’s fun that people are getting that, because when I set out to write this series it was to make the kind of story I wanted to read. It’s a throw back to the fantasy I read in my youth, with lots of action and adventure, intrigue, and heroes and villains, but I still wanted quality and depth, so there’s a point to all the hacking and slashing… just without the navel gazing and pointless nihilistic meandering that’s invaded the genre.

I had one dork troll on twitter (who hadn’t read my stuff, but it is funny when they try to guess) go all “hur dur, you’re a writer? Son of the Black Sword? sounds super HEAVY.” because these morons excel at sarcasm. But then all the responses were from fans going, doofus, it’s about genocide and caste systems.

So yeah, I get to write about fantasy Judge Dredd turned George Washington and play with heavy stuff like religion and the nature of government and legends vs harsh reality, and I get to kill lots of stuff with swords and blow crap up.

I have an awesome job. 😀


Larry shared this on Facebook about something he thought of while on TwitterX, so I thought I’d put it here on the blog. -Jack

Because I’ve been arguing with morons today on twitter who don’t know anything at all about history, it brought to mind this memory.

As a kid I was a massive history nerd. I devoured books, a few a week, and the best thing in the world was library loan. I went to a shit tier rural public school K-8 (my 8th grade class of 20 kids, half of us could speak English, and only half of those could read), but that didn’t matter because I read so much on my own anyway that made up pretty much the entirety of my early education.

When I went to high school (I lived so far out in the sticks that was an hour and a half bus ride every morning, which was actually awesome for me, because that was time I didn’t have to work with cows, and could read more books) I was actually super pumped for history class… and they all turned out to be super lame, because we’d spend 45 minutes tops talking about a topic that I’d already read an entire book about.

And the other kids were friggin STUPID. Like holy moly, dumb. Yes, this was the California Public Penal Academy For Gifted Drive By Shooters, but still. Nobody gave a crap. They paid no attention. They were bored. They just didn’t care. Fuck school. Let’s get high. (my high school also had the second highest teenage pregnancy rate in America my senior year, so we had that going for us too)

Thirty something years later and I get to watch these exact same mouth breathers bitch on Twitter about how they didn’t learn about (topic X) so clearly that’s a conspiracy by the man to keep them down.

Most of the history teachers I had knew less than I did about most of the topics and it was pretty obvious they were just phoning it in because their real job was coaching. Total waste of time.

I had one amazing history teacher though. Mr. Guerra. Great guy, actually loved history, was obviously totally burned out by teaching listless dorks the same thing over and over for twenty years with them being too dumb to listen, but he tried. I loved his class because he actually knew stuff and liked to research the stuff he didn’t know.

Every Friday Mr. Guerra would have a trivia game about the topic of the week. He’d break the class into two halves and we’d compete Jeopardy style. Winning side got bonus points for the test.

How much of a nerd was I? After the first few sessions he had to make a new rule. Larry can’t answer every single question. He can only answer every other question. When that was insufficient it was Larry can only answer one out of every four questions. Eventually he just gave me permission to just skip class and screw around on Fridays.
One of the best educational experiences I actually had in high school was the few days we had on the war in the Pacific, but not because I learned anything about the topic. Instead, Mr. Guerra recognized that was my favorite nerd fixation at the time so he asked me if I’d like to actually teach the class for a few days. I jumped at the chance… and realized that wow, high school kids are fucking stupid and apathetic, and it shattered any illusion I ever had that I might want to be a teacher… which was has been great for me long term. 😀

Correia Mocks Your Major

Hey all- Jack here, with a blast from the past. This was actually from a comments section on a post on the Book of Faces from 2020. Someone brought it up recently over there and I realized it had never made it to here. Submitted for your amusement- Correia Mocks Your Major -Jack

Econ, Finance, and Accounting. The people who have to actually understand how money works in real life, are the least likely to favor socialism. That’s what a trained criminal investigator might call a clue. 😀

I’m surprised they found that many accountants who actually like socialism, but then again, I worked with a few idiots. They were usually total morons who never advanced beyond whatever entry level position they started at, and were usually miserable to work with.

Good accountants need to be clever, think critically, have a finely tuned bullshit detector, do research, and solve problems on their own. Do any of those things sound like things socialists are known for?  

Those 26% of socialist econ majors will be fine. They’ll all get university or government jobs.

The philosophy majors will all be unemployed anyway, so they won’t matter. 😀 

I think the only way to get a good paying job with a philosophy degree is to go to law school afterwards.

The 28% of criminology majors? Those want to be the Stasi and have a pair of brightly shined jack boots in their closet.

The English majors will all be too busy working at Starbucks. They’re just bitter because they got all those student loans to teach them how to be terrible writers. I know hundreds of successful authors and I can count on my fingers, of probably one hand, how many of those got English degrees. They want Bernie to redistribute the book deals. 😀

When I went to college Sociology was for the dumber football players who needed a super easy major to coast through with a high enough GPA in order to maintain their eligibility. So half of that 57% thought they’d better guess socialism was good because the word had social in it.

Nobody has ever cared what the music majors think about anything. They’re just angry the most successful musicians are just regular dudes who started a band in their garage. Now Bernie needs to redistribute the gigs.

What the fuck is an International Relations degree? 😀 Gimmie a break. Go get a real degree where you’ll actually be useful enough to get hired at a company that does business in another country, and learn that language. Maybe this is for state department people? Beats me.

Oh snap! I forgot Anthro! 😀  Who cares what they think about politics? Every society they know about died. The last anthropologist anyone paid attention to was Bones, and she’s imaginary. 😀

Yeah, I’ve crushed too many Phil majors in debates to have even an iota of respect for the average quality of that degree. 

The Phil class I was required to take, I spent most of the time being berated by the angry feminist professor, and then used my wife’s art history knowledge to flip one of her dumb assignments and make her look like a fool in front of the class. I got a terrible grade. Good times. It was supposed to be a logic class, but it was mostly angry feminist 101. The book was excellent though. I actually learned a lot from it. So I learned quite a bit, but mostly because I used the textbook we were required to buy yet never used, to pick out the dozens of logical fallacies the teacher had in every lecture.   

And then one day she was going through classical art for some reason, and how it was all about feminism(?) and she showed us this painting of a woman violently sawing off a man’s head, and explained how this was from a female painter who was loathed and despised by all the men despite her great talent, and she painted this to strike back at the patriarchy. Oh yeah, and the teacher guessed the passion in this art was because the artist must have been sexually assaulted at some point. (remember, this is a LOGIC class) 

I told my wife about this (who was getting an art history degree) and she said bullshit, that’s Artemisia Gentileschi. Who was successful and rather famous in her day. And the painting is of Judith killing Holophrenes (sp?) from the Apocrypha. And then my wife showed me a dozen other paintings by MALE painters of the same era, showing the exact same event. Armed with a fat art history textbook and a whole bunch of notes from my wife, I went to class the next day and THREW DOWN. 😀 I pointed out her multitude of logical fallacies (citing the $50 text book we never actually used!) and made her look like an idiot, until I got the inevitable “Mr. Correia, sit down or you will have to leave!” (which ironically enough, I heard a lot in college!) 

I think I got a D. 

Oh yeah. I’m a huge fan of “education”.

This thread has morphed into Correia Insults Everyone’s College Major. You know what? I’ll keep going. Throw out your major and I’ll say why it sucks. BECAUSE THEY ALL DO! I worked at my college’s bookstore for 5 years. I saw every stereotype!

Above somebody said Poli Sci. Political Science was for kids who hadn’t yet realized everything the government does is bullshit to take for a year or two and then drop out, socialists, and the rest of the football team who needed something super easy to coast through with a high enough GPA to keep playing football. I’m not joking about football either. Not mocking football players in general (because that includes half my family) most of them are average, and many of them are smart, but colleges also recruit some really dummies, who have no business being in college beyond the fact they could run fast with a football.  If we had a jock come into the bookstore (we could tell because their classes were always printed on these little orange cards) and said jock was totally incoherent, possibly stoned, didn’t know what was going on, and was obviously dumber than a brick… all the books we picked out for them (because they couldn’t figure out alphabetical order!) were for Sociology or Political Science. EVERY SINGLE TIME.


Accounting majors, my people… Lack social skills? Want a job where you think you won’t ever have to talk to other human beings? Are you autistic? Do you have fixation issues? WELL WE’VE GOT THE MAJOR FOR YOU! Oh yeah, except we lied. You totally have to talk to actual human beings all the time. Sorry, you awkward nerd. On the bright side, this is one of the few majors where if you start talking about how socialism is good, all the good professors (all of whom held real accounting jobs before becoming professors) will yell at you.

Ag Science! It’s like getting a regular science degree, only with less math! Except you will have to put your entire arm inside a cow, but that’s still better than having to take calculus.

For Brian Lee Durfee, ART MAJORS! Can you draw really good? Are you passionate about painting? Do you pour your soul into your creation? Do you polish your craft and try to constantly improve your skills? Are you willing to spend hundreds of hours laboring over a project, trying to make it as beautiful and perfect as possible?  Then you’re gonna hate Art, because after you spend hundreds of hours creating that piece of beauty, you’re gonna get a C from a professor who can’t draw for shit, while the motherfucker who splashed some paint on the floor for two minutes gets an A. 

Go get a business degree so you can have a real job that actually pays money, and keep painting on the side until you can make a living selling that shit to rich people.

Art History (as explained to me by the Lovely Mrs. Correia) is for people who love Art, and want to be Art Majors, but can’t draw.

FORESTRY! Do you like the great outdoors? Do you like to play hacky sack? Are you a white dude with dreadlocks? FUCKIN’ A BRO! LET’S GO CAMPING! But that was 20 years ago. I’m assuming now this is just another division of Global Warming Class.

HUMAN RESOURCES – Do you hate people? Do you enjoy making people miserable? Would you like to spend 80% of your career filing meaningless government paperwork that no one will ever read? Are you unhappy and think that everyone else should be just as unhappy as you? Then HR is right for you. Here at the Human Resources Department, we pride ourselves in sucking all the fun out of business. UH OH! Those employees are having fun wrong! We’d better have a 16 hour mandatory Power Point presentation on the dangers of sexual harassment! In my entire business career I had one HR person who was a happy, decent human being. I don’t know how he slipped through. They vowed to never let that happen again.

Here at the college of Engineering, we pride ourselves in taking all the students who were too autistic for even the Accounting department. We also pride ourselves in being the hardest major, because fuck you is why. Basically we have a lot of pride, because we fucking earned it. Our books cost $500 each. We punch you in the face with math. And you’d better like it, maggots, because now have some more math. And when we’re not doing math, we’re making fun of all the chuckleheads in lesser degrees, because we think they’re all pussies. The College of Engineering isn’t on this chart, because this chart is for pussies. Engineers don’t care about socialism, because we have ascended beyond your petty partisan politics. The universe is made of math, and I’m gonna build a motherfucking spaceship. Also, we make six figures as soon as we graduate and get all the bitches. Peace out. (but he does not drop the mic, because he understands that will damage the sensitive audio equipment)

For Joshua Hill, History Majors. 

History is of vital importance. We must understand the past so that we can understand the future. It is the story of who we are. Join a fascinating and appealing major. It’s also pretty easy, so you’re gonna be surrounded by a bunch of pot smoking dummies. Oh yeah, and there’s not any jobs when you graduate. Sorry. You’ll be lucky to get a job teaching apathetic morons in high school, where you will get to teach the same ten lessons over and over and over and over again to people who don’t want to be there, until you die of a self inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 56, and you still haven’t paid off your student loans. And the saddest part wasn’t the alcoholism or suicide, it’s that you had to go back to college for two more years to get an education degree before they’d even let you get that shitty high school history teacher job. So you’ll probably want to get a job doing something totally unrelated to your history degree. Oh, yeah, and instead of spending $40k to have a grad student read from a history book to you, you could like read the book yourself for free or something. So we’ve got that going for us.

Rogue Stars: Purgatory

I’ve been plugging the Tower of Silence audiobook release, but I’m going to take a minute to plug a friend’s new release. Remember when I plugged Dead Acre and Cold as Hell, the weird west series narrated by Roger Clark from Red Dead Redemption 2? And you guys all enjoyed those. This is one of those writers with a new sci-fi.

Rogue Stars: Purgatory

A fight for survival at the edge of the galaxy.

In the depths of space, far from the watchful eyes of Lenzaaban government, lies Prison Station 12, or as it’s fearfully known, Purgatory. It’s here that Commander Predaxes, a hardened former Marine, faces his most daunting mission yet. With only a wormhole linking them to civilization, the isolation of PS12 is palpable; the danger, imminent.
Enter Samea Malik, the latest addition to PS12’s population and a man with a target on his back. As the son of the Minister of Justice, Malik is a pawn in a galactic game of chess where the stakes are life and death.
When an assault on the station forces the crew and inmates to flee, they find themselves crash-landing on Faebos—a world as deadly as it is beautiful. Abandoned mining colonies whisper secrets of the past, while the planet’s native creatures lurk in the shadows, ready to strike.
Stranded and surrounded by peril, survival hinges on the uneasy alliance between guards and prisoners. As Commander Predaxes and Malik navigate this alien landscape, they must confront not only the beasts of Faebos but the ghosts of their own pasts.
From the mind of bestselling author Jaime Castle comes Rogue Stars. A tale of survival, redemption, and the thin line between captors and captives, this Military Sci-Fi adventure is packed with high-octane action, cutting-edge technology, and a world that will captivate and terrify in equal measure.
Prepare to be thrust into the heart of the unknown, where every decision could be your last. Welcome to Purgatory, where the battle for survival is only the beginning.

‘You Should Be Writing’

-Jack here. Larry has been saying much the same thing for a long time now…
(Edit: to clarify, this is something Larry said on the Book of Faces. I archive things here for him so they don’t get memory holed. This is his blog, not mine- I don’t write these.)

I was on another author’s page in a post where they were announcing the release of a new book, and some dude rolled in to whine about how he shouldn’t be writing this new book, but should instead be writing more books in the other series that this guy likes better instead. When the other fans told him that was a dick move, he doubled down, and proceeded to pontificate about what he thought that author’s problems were, and what he would like totally do if he was the author… Now keep in mind, this is on the author’s personal page.

This was my response, and I’m posting this here in the hopes that others might learn and not do this kind of stupid shit to authors they supposedly love. If you want more stuff from them, shaming them in their own living room ain’t gonna make them write faster.


(name redacted) you may think you are helping. You are not helping.

In fact, guys like you, and your endless ignorant pontification of what’s going on in writers’ brains is the opposite of helping. You are an active hinderance to production and creativity. You are the introduction of pressure into a system which is already overwhelmed with more pressure than you can comprehend. When guys like you come along and make authors feel guilty, it creates a negative feedback loop that causes even more production issues.

Part of the problem is you think you are just you, but you aren’t. To the writer you are the thousandth time they’ve heard the same whining complaint, which if the writer knew how to fix, they would have already fixed.

The single most valuable thing for author creativity is their enthusiasm. If they are enthusiastic and talking about that project in public that means they are creating. They are feeling it. They are talking about it.

Then you come along and fucking shit all over that creativity, and demand that they stop feeling that joy and instead focus on your needs and desires instead, by turning their attention back to the other project that they’re stuck on or can’t work on for some business reasons you aren’t privy to, so they feel guilty for letting their fans down, which utterly crushes that joy, which is more negative feedback that makes them less productive.

And most authors are too fucking nice to tell assholes like you that you are being a destructive selfish asshole.

You want to complain, you are free to do so. Do it in your own space. Do it on neutral pages. Doing it on the author’s own page in the comments of a post about where they’re talking about something they’re excited about to shit on it and tear down their enthusiasm is a fucking dick move, as would be recognized by anybody with an ounce of self awareness or humility.

Then when other fans point out that you’re being a douchebag, doubling down on the douchiness and entitlement doesn’t help sway them, and it sure as shit ain’t gonna make the author you supposedly love write any faster.
So take it over to your page or some book page or goodreads and whine away. Shitting on the author’s livelihood in the author’s living room while that author is making an announcement to sell a new product so they can buy groceries and pay the rent is crass.