Now here is a Hard Magic review that gets it 

I’m telling you guys. I get written off as “pulp” and not “literary”, whatever the hell that means, but there is no reason that a book filled with action and adventure can’t be deep. All of you WorldCon attendees need to nominate Hard Magic for the Hugo.  🙂

15 Responses

  1. The reviewer DOES get it – and it’s great to see the story reviewed on its own merits rather than as compared to some other non-applicable genre.

  2. Excellent and accurate review!

    The only bone I have to to pick with the reviewer is that I totally disagree with his assessment of the cover art. I think it matches the contents of the book superbly.

  3. I said it once and I’ll say it again, best read of the year. If it can evoke emotion as well as it does, THAT is literary value.

  4. If only that reviewer had a proofreader.

  5. Larry, I think you have it backward. Except at the top levels ‘literary’ is an epithet, and a rather nasty one at that. The ‘literary’ writers have, in the last several decades, descended into naval gazing and neurasthenia. Their work is damn near unreadable, and while it dies get reviewed by the Times, it usually thereafter vanished without much of a trace. Pulp is where Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ray Bradbury, and Cordwainer Smith came from. Even badly written Pulp can be good storytelling (see anything written by Edgar Rice Burroughs). Badly written ‘Literary’ writing is impossibly awful.

    Good ‘literary’ writing can be lots of fun; I grew up on Thurber, White, and Perelman, and discovered Mencken in my twenties. I respect Willa Cather, James Joyce, John Steinbeck, and so on, but second rate imitation Steinbeck is just poisonous. Second rate imitation Heinlein can actually be pretty entertaining. Ditto second rate Lovecraft, or many others. Even third rate pulp can carry you along for an evening or two. Please God stay a first rate Correia. The world has too many fifth rate John Updikes … including John Updike.

    • Around forty years ago, I came to the conclusion that “sophisticated literarity” meant an impenetrable style.

      • Not necessarily, but if you were sampling from stuff written in that period I can certainly understand why you’d think so. Try some H. L. Mencken to take the taste our of your mouth.

    • Excellent post, Schofield, and I agree wholeheartedly, especially about ERB, who I grew up on and who probably shaped my teen psyche more than any other writer save Louis L’amour.

      And the fact that you used the word neurasthenia in a blog post makes you the winner of the Internet for today. 🙂 That’s definitely tomorrow’s word-of-the-day at work. Gonna have to learn how to pronounce it, though…

  6. “The 1930′s was an era of charm sophistication. The world was just coming out of the great depression….” -From the review

    The story is set in the early thirties when the depression is just getting started and would actually get worse before it got better. Charm and sophistication is a moniker more deserved by the 1920s though both decades had their charms.

    Otherwise I liked the review

  7. Wait, how is that review better than the guy on Amazon who has left all the chapter-by-chapter reviews of your books? I like his reviews because I can just go onto Amazon and basically read your book for free. Plus, I don’t have to wade through all the “opinions” that other reviewers try to put in. It’s just straight-up data dump.

  8. Or they could have just quoted my 11 yo grandnephew :

    “Larry Correia is the best author EVER!!!!”

    (He’s read all 3 MH & was just finishing up Hard Magic … the bouncing
    is because he’s ADHD & tends to be a bit excitable)

    • (blasted software TRIMMED my post – should have read: )

      Or they could have just quoted my 11 yo grandnephew :

      “Larry Correia is the best author EVER!!!!”

      (He’s read all 3 MH & was just finishing up Hard Magic … the bouncing
      is because he’s ADHD & tends to be a bit excitable)

  9. I thought I’d bring this up to you, Larry, since there aren’t many other reviews I like more than this one. Yes, I’m probably biased (it’s my brother here) but he is a smart cookie. I think overall you’ll like this one.

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