Tag Archive: Larry Correia


Son of the Black Sword 1A few weeks ago, I finished Son of the Black Sword, the latest book from Larry Correia. I’ve been delaying on writing blog posts, so this review isn’t the only one on my to-do list; but the thing is, if you like fantasy that’s a little bit different, you need to read this book. You’ll thank both me and Larry later.

Son of the Black Sword is the first in a new series for Correia. It’s also marketed as the first in a new genre; that’s not really true, since he’s been writing Iron Kingdoms tie-ins, but when it comes to his original fiction he’s known as an urban fantasy writer. He’s most famous for his bestselling Monster Hunter series, a contemporary story about a group of contractors whose job it is to hunt and kill the monsters humanity would rather pretend don’t exist. Second to that (and my personal favorite) is his Grimnoir Chronicles, an epic-scale alternate history/fantasy set in an alternate Great Depression where magic exists and the West is in a cold war with Imperial Japan. (Also, there are airships and Tesla superweapons.)

Compared against that, Son of the Black Sword is definitely something different — and not just because there isn’t a single gun to be found. It’s an epic fantasy, of the sort that might normally be described as “traditional fantasy” until you read through the first chapter. Son of the Black Sword is set in a world that heavily draws on South and East Asian concepts, in terms of society, politics, philosophy, and even the fantasy itself. But that’s all mere backdrop, however well-painted, supporting a story with three major twists, five minor twists, and a story where you’re not sure quite what’s going on but you’re hungry, starving for more.

This is epic fantasy at its finest. My favorite epic fantasy remains David Eddings’ The Belgariad and The Malloreon, despite such personages as Brandon Sanderson redefining and expanding the genre. Larry Correia is now approaching a rival for Sanderson, and after this start I would not be surprised if he starts rivaling Eddings for me on pure enjoyment.

Spoiler Warning

As you might expect, minor spoilers ahead. Only minor ones, though, so if you want to read more you should be safe.  Continue reading

It’s been a few weeks since my last post on the Hugo Awards. I haven’t had much to say, because my only concern in this matter is on the subject of writing. I’m not interested in responding to every little thing that pops up, such as news articles that repeat lies, Big Five editors who make up new lies, fans who leave one-star, one-word Amazon reviews on Hugo-nominated works . . . I’ll leave that up to others. Sure, it gets me great traffic, but I’m interested in writing, reviews, and fun stuff to share. The Hugo Awards are too serious, yet too inconsequential in the long run, to just keep harping on the same points over and over and over and . . . you get the idea.

Joker Hugo Awards

(Actually, if you want over-the-top Hugo humor, check out my friend Declan’s parody of the Sad Puppies people encountering SWATing and Worldcon. I make my own appearance in the latest installment. Apparently my house is made of Lego. I don’t find this repugnant.)

bullshit-asymmety-principleAnyway, long story short, I’m writing another Hugo post. This is because someone decided to leave a long comment on a previous post that requires a few more counterpoints than is easy to do in an answering comment. As such, I’m doing a full-on fisk, and invoking Brandolini’s Bullshit Asymmetry Principle.

The commenter’s name is pocketnaomi. As such, I’m assuming this person is a woman named Naomi, and will be addressing her that way. Continue reading

PowAvengers 2 comes out this weekend. Well, Thursday, in many places . . . which means you might wind up with a lot of geeks missing work on Friday. Me? Ha! I get paid for this stuff!

Well, no, I actually don’t. This blog is a 100% free resource, and I can’t get paid for reviewing Age of Ultron. I can, however, potentially get paid for talking about superheroes in general. (Mind you, I can neither confirm nor deny any involvement in the development of a multi-author shared-world superhero setting. Hush, now. I don’t know how these rumors get started.)

Superheroes have, arguably, been around as long as science fiction or fantasy, at least as separate genres with somewhat dedicated followings. They’ve always seemed a bit separate, however, because they use what I call the fourth medium of print: visual art. (The other three are prose, poetry, and script.) Superheroes have rarely done well outside of comic books, in large part because the visuals have dominated the storytelling so completely that it’s difficult to have the same effect in pure prose. It’s only been recently that film technology has advanced to the point that the big screen can live up to the promise of hand-drawn art.

That, however, is a stylistic difference that more people are accepting these days, and it is entirely because of indie publishing.  Continue reading

This weekend marks a particular event which pilgrims from all over the world have been waiting for. It’s a highly-anticipated event every year, and tomorrow evening, as darkness gathers, groups of the faithful shall come together, united by one desire.

I speak, of course, of the Hugo Awards nominee announcement. Easter’s the next day. Also, Easter involves less shouting, though admittedly it’s associated with at least one dead body.

The Hugo controversy is a hot topic every single year, and it’s only gotten louder in the last several cycles thanks to the campaign known as Sad Puppies. In case you missed my explanation from earlier this week, here’s a shiny and well-crafted link. That post details what the Hugo Awards are, why they matter, and how the controversy started. Or rather, the current controversy. As I said in that previous post, I was voting in the Hugos years ago, before I ever heard of this Larry Correia guy. Disputes happened a lot. That’s okay; I’d actually get worried if everyone was happy about the nominees.

The current dispute over the Hugo Awards boils down to this: books should be judged on their own merits, and good writing rather than ideology should win out. Any push for a book based on its politics, or the politics of its author, is to be treated with suspicion or even outright rejection.

The most interesting thing about this dispute is that both sides are saying the same thing. Continue reading

When I was studying at Christendom College, I had to read a book called Piers Plowman. It was part of the core curriculum that all students had to study, a set of 24 separate classes (plus the math, science, and language requirements) that comprised the entirety of the freshman and sophomore years, as well as some of the junior year. This might sound a bit heavy, but it was actually very efficient and allowed a lot of information in both the lower and upper courses. All professors knew what their students had covered, and so little to no time was wasted on remedial material. This meant more in-depth study of a type normally seen only in graduate courses. With a few exceptions, we were rarely bored.

Piers Plowman was one of those exceptions. The only reason it isn’t a cure for insomnia is because of the torturous pain we suffered by studying it. In fact, in a student parody film based on 24, the villain tortures someone by tying him to a table and reading aloud from Piers Plowman. The actor’s screams were, no doubt, not entirely faked. Continue reading

Book Prices

World-famous, multiple-time New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia recently posted a rant. This is nothing new; he rants a lot, though the difference between him and your average Internet Joe is that his rants are educational snark and not simply complaints. (Well, other than stuff like complaining about government bureaucracy, but hey, if my wife were treated that way, I’d be ticked off too.)

This particular rant was about something I talk about a lot too: the pricing of books. You can click here to read what Correia wrote (language warning), but the gist of it was that someone posted a review of one of his novellas without reading it, simply so he could complain about the price. It seems that a 30,000-word novella written by a very big-name author in a moderately big-name IP (Warmachine), with full-color illustrations and accessible to people who know nothing about said IP, is not worth the huge, huge cost of . . . five bucks.

Similarly, there’s a member of a Facebook writing support group I’m in who has said multiple times that he won’t bother reading any ebook priced higher than $3.99, because “That’s how much mine is and I doubt anyone worked any harder than me.”

Continue reading

You may or may not have heard the latest faux controversy about J. K. Rowling. No, it has nothing to do with her characters. Instead, it’s a Huffington Post writer named Lynn Shepherd complaining that Rowling is such a good author that she’s crowding out everyone else. She tells Rowling that she should just stop writing and give other people a chance. If you don’t want to click on her article, here’s the summary: Rowling has too much of a market share, which means every book she publishes is a book overlooked from another author who hasn’t become famous yet.

There has been a lot of pushback so far. I won’t post more than one link, mainly because the BBC’s article has more than enough links from successful authors who say this is ridiculous. I wasn’t even going to do more than link to that article, because every single point has been refuted multiple times by the authors linked there, and that’s just a small sample so far. What could I add? Continue reading

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