Larry FREAKIN’ Correia!

September 11, 2012

Just got back from the book signing. Holy Cow. It. Was. Awesome!

First off, Larry is hands-down the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s real humble, down to earth, and always willing to chat it up with his fans (and pretty much anyone else too). He’s also hilarious. No lie, we spent half the time  laughing our heads off.

And it turns out it wasn’t just a signing, but actually a really big event. Larry filled us in on a lot of his upcoming work (cannot wait for MH Legion!) and took questions from the audience. And he answered every single one, and in great detail too. Didn’t brush anyone off, or give a quick-and-done-next answer. Even answered one of mine, which I gotta admit was pretty awesome.

Then the signing. He autographed every single thing that was requested, and yes I do mean thing: someone asked him to sign their Kindle. The whole time, everyone’s cracking jokes, telling wild stories, just generally having a good time.

And yes, I realize this post had devolved into rabid-fan-worship. I don’t care. I’m a rabid fan, and Larry is just that cool.

Speaking of Wild Stories, I met a fellow WeTheArmed.com member at the signing, goes by the handle of RevDisk. Now RevDisk has a habit of posting some pretty crazy stories on the forum that were supposedly true. Let me tell you, there’s nothing “supposedly” about them. They’re all true. And incidentally, I think RevDisk might actually be Skippy of Skippy’s List, aka The 213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to do in the US Army. I actually asked, as some of his stories sounded familiar. Now he won’t confirm or deny, but given his reaction.. Anyway, Skippy or no, RevDisk is another awesome guy, one who I’m glad to have finally met in person.

And finally, while I did take a camera, I completely forgot to even take it out of the bag, let alone get a picture of myself with Larry. Dangit! But, as proof that I did actually make it to the signing:

Larry, if you’re reading this, thank you so much. It was an honor and a pleasure to meet you, sir. But please don’t wait three more years to do another East Coast book tour!


REMINDER!!!!

September 9, 2012

NYT Best Selling Author Larry Correia will be signing books at the Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove, PA (102 Park Avenue
Willow Grove, PA 19090) this coming Tuesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. If you like pulp fantasy/horror, epic fantasy/alternate history, military thrillers, and/or guns, BE THERE!!!! Or else Agent Franks will come find you.

If you don’t know who Agent Franks is, shame on you. Get off the computer, procure a copy of Monster Hunter International, and educate yourself. Right now. Coincidentally, there will (almost certainly) be many copies of MHI available for purchase at the book signing.


Quick Grimnoir Chronicles Review

May 14, 2011

Sorry for the delay: this week’s been crazy. Between moving out of the dorm, prepping for graduation (which was this morning! I’m officially a college graduate!), and packing for vacation, I’ve barely had time to think, much less write the promised review of The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic by Larry Correia.

Okay, so, Ultra-Short Review: Hard Magic is an Epic Sandwich Smothered in Awesomesauce. Run to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy. Right now. You won’t be disappointed.

Now for the Not-As-Short Review: Larry Correia has outdone himself this time. I never thought he could top Monster Hunter International. Boy was I wrong. Hard Magic truly lives up to its claim of being an epic fantasy. The story is filled with deep, multi-dimensional characters, sprawling locales,  vivid imagery, magic aplenty, steampunk elements, and of course, lots of kick-ass action. Come to think of it, I think Larry’s invented a brand-new genre with this book: Fantasy-Noir.

Probably the best thing about the book is the villain: The Chairman. This guy isn’t your typical epic-fantasy villain. He’s evil, no doubt about it; in fact, he’s really evil. The thing is, he doesn’t think that he’s evil. No, he thinks that he’s doing the right thing. Sure, untold numbers of people will die, many more will have their lives ruined, but in his mind that’s a small price to pay for trying to prevent what he sees as an even greater evil. This guy makes Correia’s other villains –  The Cursed One and The Lord of Shadows from the Monster Hunter series – seem like choirboys.

Backtracking a little bit, I mentioned that Hard Magic is like fantasy-noir. I know you’re probably scratching your head right now, but that’s really the only way I can describe the book. The story takes place in 1932, in an alternate-history United States where magical powers began to appear at random in the world’s population in the early 1800s. The United States and Imperial Japan are the world’s two main superpowers, while what’s left of Germany is pretty much a wasteland. The USA is protected by a series of huge Tesla Death Rays, and zeppelins are the primary mode of transportation across the country and around the world. And a secret war is being fought by two factions of Actives (those with magical abilities) The Imperium, led by the Chairman, and The Grimnoir Knights, led by John Moses Browning and General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing.

It might sound corny, but Correia pulls the story off masterfully. There’s no popcorn anywhere in sight.

If you like the Monster Hunter series, you will LOVE Hard Magic. Like MHI, this book will grab ahold of your eyeballs on Page 1 and won’t let go until the last page. Seriously, if you like epic fantasy or hard-boiled noir, or even if you don’t, go pick up a copy from your local bookstore or download it onto your e-reader of choice. You definitely won’t regret it.


The Postman Was Just Here…

May 7, 2011

…. and he left something awesome!!!

My signed copy of Larry Correia’s new novel, The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic has finally arrived! And I have a confession: when the package arrived, I totally geeked out (and freaked Mama Raptor out pretty good in the process…) Yeah, I’m a huge fan of Mr. Correia, have been ever since Baen first published Monster Hunter International, and I cannot wait to read his newest work. The timing actually could not have worked out better: my last final was yesterday, and I am 100% free until graduation. So guess what I’ll be doing this week…

Also, I want to give a big shout-out to Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore, where I ordered Hard Magic from. Don Blyly and all of his employees are great people. This is actually the second time I’ve dealt with them; first time being when I ordered an autographed copy of Monster Hunter Vendetta (also by Larry Correia). Both times I’ve ordered from them, something has always come up with my credit card (neither time was Uncle Hugo’s fault, I think Big Credit Card Company doesn’t want me to read Larry’s books…) and both times Mr. Blyly himself has contacted me to let me know about the issue, and he and his employees have done everything in their power to correct the situation and get my orders out to me ASAP. I highly recommend them, and look forward to doing business with them in the future.

Anyway, I’m gonna sign off now so I can start reading Hard Magic. I’ll post a review as soon as I finish the book.


Finished

March 13, 2011

No, it’s not the Nest that’s finished, though given the fact that I haven’t posted in a few weeks might lead y’all to believe that.

Some of my really long-term readers, and by long term I’m talking about back when I started the Nest, then called *Insert Title Here* back in 2006, might remember a rather poorly-written novella I posted up here by the name of More Than a Job. I started posting a sequel called Codename: White Knight (which I eventually finished, but never posted the whole thing) shortly thereafter, but eventually took both of those stories off the blog. Yeah, I’m paranoid, whatever.

Anyway, I’d always intended to go back and re-work More Than a Job into a full-length novel, but stuff kept happening (real life, school, me writing myself into corners, etc.) and I never got around to finishing it. That, and I kept getting fed up with what I’d written and starting over. The story changed radically over the years, with different settings, characters, even the plot itself wound up getting altered dramatically. But one thing remained consistent: I never managed to finish a first draft.

Until now, that is.

About 8:30 PM, I finally finished the first draft of the novel-length version of the story, now called Dead Reckoning. It’s actually an almost completely different story: aside from the name and occupation of the main character, and the very basic premise, Dead Reckoning is pretty much a brand-new story.

I’m definitely going to submit Dead Reckoning for publication, though that’s a few months off: I have to go back and edit the draft, and that’s a secondary priority until I graduate in May. Yep, college is almost over! I’m writing another novel for my Senior Seminar Project (writing majors don’t write an actual thesis) which is (tentatively) entitled Blood Stones. That’s my Number One priority in terms of creative writing write now. I’m planning on submitting that for publication as well once it’s finally finished. I’ve got the story pretty much ironed out at this point, so it should only take me a few months to finish instead of the five years that More Than a Job/Dead Reckoning took.

Second up is a new story I’ve just finished ironing out. This one is set in the Post-Apocalyptic America created by Mike Kupari, AKA Nightcrawler, over on WeTheArmed.Com. Mike’s an active duty Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech in the United States Air Force (in other words, he’s a Big Damn Hero) and has little time for creative writing, and as a result he won’t he won’t be able to play around in that world as much as he’d like (though he is slowly churning out a story set there, Nevada Sunrise), so he’s opened up the world to the other writers on WTA.

My PA story is tentatively called A Restless Soul, and will be a Western of sorts set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Since it’s Mike’s world, I won’t be submitting it for publication; instead I’ll be posting it on WTA. I’m planning on posting the first chapter in a few days, but it’s secondary to Blood Stones, so I won’t be posting new sections on a regular basis until mid May. I will post the link to the thread when I do finally start writing it.

Anyway, just wanted to let y’all know where I’ve been lately (splitting my creative juices between Blood Stones and Dead Reckoning) and what’s up at the nest.

 

Peace,

-Raptor


You may now officially refer to me as New York Times Bestselling Author Larry Friggin’ Correia (via Monster Hunter Nation)

October 10, 2010

Can’t believe I forgot to post this!

Larry Correia’s newest book, Monster Hunter Vendetta, came out just about 2 weeks ago, and it’s already on the NYT Best Sellers list!!! Congrats, Larry!

Full review from me will be forthcoming…

Looks like I can now make it official:   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/books/bestseller/bestpapermassfiction.html?ref=books Monster Hunter Vendetta was number 27 on the New York Times Bestseller list. This is awesome. This is actually a really big deal in the publishing business. I didn’t think I’d hit the NYT anytime soon. It is really hard to make it on there, especially in fantasy. And usually you need to have written several books before … Read More

via Monster Hunter Nation


Monster Hunter International: Northeast

May 22, 2010

As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of Larry Correia’s novel Monster Hunter International. Well, a couple of months ago, I eventually decided to plunge into the world of Fan Fiction, and I started (duh) with MHI. I’ve been writing MHI: Northeast since last… October, I think?, publishing chapters semi-regularly over at We The Armed.

One of the reasons I’ve switched over to WordPress was so that I could post stories I’ve written online, and I figured I’d give it a try with MHI: Northeast. It’s nearly finished: I’m 29 chapters in and have maybe 6 or 7 more to go before it’s complete, so I’ll be posting the completed chapter up here every day or two until the whole thing goes up (I should have it finished long before I run out of chapters)

Chapter 1 is already up. I’ll post Chapter 2 sometime over the weekend. Until then, enjoy!

Oh, and please feel free to leave feedback. Constructive criticism is most appreciated!


Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood

May 21, 2010

Disclaimer: This wasn’t a planned part of my summer reading list.

Further Disclaimer: I’m not really a graphic-novel aficionado.

It happened like this: I went to the library today to turn in a volunteer application (still no luck with the job hunt) and pick up an item that I’d put on reserve (an old movie that I doubt you’d be interested in). As per my usual habit, I checked the new arrival stacks to see if anything looked interesting. By chance (okay, not really), I spotted a graphic novel called Outlaw The Legend of Robin Hood. Now, I’ve been a Robin Hood fan for as long as I can remember, so I decided in impulse to check the book out.

Now, like I said, I’m not much of a graphic novel aficionado. The only comic books I’ve read since starting high school (dating myself: 8 years) have been, in no particular order, V for Vendetta, 300, Watchmen, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, and a collection of graphic adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories. Actually, come to think of it, most of those have been within the last year or so. But I digress…

The graphic novel covers several of the most important moments in the legendary Outlaw’s life: his first encounter with an outlaw, the heartbreaking tragedy that inspired him to learn the way of the bow, his time fighting in the Crusades with King Richard, his return to England where he discovered his people oppressed at the brutal hands of the Sheriff of Nottingham, and his transformation from roguish nobleman to the outlaw hero of the people. And, of course, his fight against the Sheriff and Prince John to save the throne, and his budding love for the beautiful Lady Marian.

Now, as I’ve said (repeatedly), I’m not really into comics, and I don’t have much experience with them, but in my opinion, the artwork in Outlaw is nothing to write home about. With the exception of a scene’s “establishing shots” (for want of a better term), the backgrounds of the panels are incredibly simple, sometimes only one or two colors with little to no detail. Similarly, the character designs are often simplistic, making it difficult to tell certain characters apart. The use of shadowing on characters’ faces only makes this worse.

However, once the reader moves past the surface, Outlaw really starts to shine. The story covers several areas of the Robin Hood Legend that are almost never addressed (Robin’s childhood) or else were not covered in-depth until fairly recently (his service in the crusades). And unlike in many retellings of the myth, Outlaw‘s Robin Hood is a deep, multidimensional character, one who struggles with the consequences of his actions and is haunted by his troubled relationship with his father. Make no mistake, Robin is still the roguish, dashing outlaw we’ve all come to know and love, but that is only one side of his personality. Actually, come to think of it, all of the characters (or at least most of the protagonists) are multidimensional, but none so much as Robin.

The writers also did an excellent job of capturing the brutality of life in England in the Middle Ages, especially the reality of the tensions and open conflict between the Saxon people and their Norman overlords. At the same time, however, they also inject a goodly amount of modern(ish) humor into the story. I mean this in a good way: it really fits. The humor actually gives the story a little bit of a Firefly-esque feel. About a third of the way into the book, Robin, who is still recovering from a nearly-mortal sword wound, draws his longbow (not an easy feat even for a healthy man) on a spy, disables him, wounds him and sends him packing back to the Sheriff, and then delivers a rousing speech to the outlaws, convincing them to stop hiding in Sherwood Forest and take up arms against the Sheriff, Sir Guy of Gisburne, and Prince John. When the outlaws turn to Little John (who had been leading the outlaws until this point) what they should do, John says that he will personally join Robin in his quest, though he won’t force the other outlaws to follow him. The outlaws all agree wholeheartedly to join Robin. Robin says, “Thank you, John. And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to pass out.” and faints dead away. Doesn’t that seem like a Captain Mal moment?

Even though it’s a pretty quick read (took me less than an hour to get through), I thoroughly enjoyed Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood and highly recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the legend of Robin Hood and/or graphic novels. Or, if you’re looking to get into either one, this is a perfect starting point.

Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood was written by Tony Lee, illustrated by Sam Hart, and colored by Artur Fujita. It is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

And now that I’ve finished reading Outlaw, I realize that I still haven’t seen Ridley Scott’s new film yet. I must correct this oversight…


The Hunter Returns

May 19, 2010

Now that summer’s here (and my prospects of gaining employment appear dimmer by the day), I’ve decided to catch up on my reading list. This last semester was so busy that I had time to read exactly two books (not including assignments). Normally, even with school, I can read that many in a week.

The first novel I chose for my summer reading list was I, Sniper, the most recent novel by Stephen Hunter. Now, I’ve been a big fan of Stephen Hunter for several years, ever since I saw the film Shooter, which is loosely based on Hunter’s novel Point of Impact.  Hunter’s unique combination of incredibly visual, almost poetic writing combined with his pulse-pounding suspense and action scenes drew me in and kept me hooked.

Sadly, that hook loosened its grip as I started reading some of Hunter’s later works. The suspense and imagery weren’t as strong as before, and Hunter seemed to be losing the ability to write unique, distinctive characters (i.e. everyone seemed to be either a generic good guy or generic bad guy). That decline came to a head with Hunter’s then-newest books, The 47th Samurai and Night of Thunder. Samurai‘s plot was so absurd as to be implausible: Bob Lee Swagger, a former Marine Corps Sniper in Vietnam (and Hunter’s most famous character) who was medically retired from the corps after a bullet from a Soviet sniper rifle destroyed his hip has suddenly become a modern-day samurai, running around Tokyo dispatching vicious Yakuza swordsmen without breaking a sweat. And while Thunder brought Swagger back into the realm of plausibility, the story was, to put it bluntly, boring, doing absolutely nothing to engage the reader. Plus, Hunter magically turned Bob Lee into a deadly quickdraw artist with a pistol with no warning or foreshadowing whatsoever.

Still, I couldn’t quite bear to say that I was through with Stephen Hunter, but I, Sniper at first did little to restore my faith. The basic plotline is as follows: Four noted anti-Vietnam War protesters are murdered by a sniper, and Vietnam Veteran and legendary Marine Corps sniper Carl Hitchcock (a virtual clone of the famous Carlos Hathcock) is quickly acused of the crime. He commits suicide before the FBI can question him. However, FBI Agent Nick Memphis thinks everything is just a little too perfect in this case, so he brings in Bob Lee to take an outsider’s look at the case. The two quickly discover a far-reaching conspiracy that stretches into the halls of power in Washington D.C, and the conspirators will do anything and everything to silence Memphis and Swagger.

My first though when I read the synopsis was “Oh no, he’s just re-written Point of Impact.”

Well, I’m delighted to say that I was wrong. Not only is I, Sniper completely different from Point of Impact, the book has rocketed Stephen Hunter back to the top of the thriller game. Everything that I loved about Hunter’s old works are back with a vengeance. And let me tell you, the book is un-putdownable. I started reading it about 8:00 last night, and by the end of chapter one it had grabbed me by the eyeballs and didn’t let go until I’d finished all 415 pages of it (which happened right around 3:00 AM this morning).

Granted, the book does have a handful of flaws (Hunter still seems to have his recently-developed dislike of contractions in dialogue), but the book is so riviting, so well-written that they can easily be forgiven. It isn’t quite as good as Point of Impact, but let me tell you, it’s darn close. Definitely go to Amazon or your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy right away. The book is that good.

Welcome back, Stephen Hunter, welcome back.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 157 other followers