Tor.com posts a really positive review of Warbound?!

I just got home from book tour late last night. It was a huge success and I’m pretty sure this is the biggest release I’ve ever had. I’ll write up a recap of that and post tomorrow (with pictures!) but in the meantime here is a review of the Hugo nominated Warbound from Tor.com.

Now when you see that Larry Correia got mentioned on Tor.com you probably groaned and thought, oh what horrible thing did Straw Larry say now?

But it is really positive! http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/07/warbound-grimnoir-chronicles-larry-correia-appreciation-hugo-nominee  Huh?

This reviewer gets it.

The comments are fun too, because you can immediately tell the people who actually read it from the ones who are regurgitating narrative or the ones who Skimmed Until Offended. For the record I’ve never told writers not to write fiction with a message in it, just that the story and audience entertainment has to come first, but hey, whatever helps them sleep better at night. 🙂

72 Responses

  1. Congrats and about time.

    • Finally… a John Wright post where I don’t have to look up several words. 🙂

      • I consider my posts to be pellucid exemplars of lamprophony! Do you accuse me of being caliginous? The remark induces convulsions of excessive bruxism!

      • Mr. Wright, eschew sesquopedalian obfuscation.

        (obligatory humor tag)

      • “sesquipedalian”. Likewise, never use a long word where a diminutive one will do:-P.

      • Ha ha ha ha ha

        (starts laughing at Practical Mike’s post)

        (reads Mr. Wright’s response)

        Damn…just…damn.

      • The Syllables! They Burn us! They Burn!

      • Mr. Wright… I would never accuse you of anything… even if you did it, and I could prove it. 🙂 The fault is entirely mine… Going to get my dictionary now and looks some of that sh*t up.

  2. My read: the pinkshirts were having some success going after Vox, because he is, in fact, a political extremist.

    Then they went after John C Wright, bc he now publishes w Vox…but that was problematic, because he’s clearly more intellectual than any of them, and had already passed the Tor hurdle and had the imprimatur of “Good Literature”.

    So they picked a new target to tar, and they went after you (published by /Baen/, so CLEARLY trashy action).

    …and that’s when they bit off more than they can chew, because you ARE actually a good writer, and you’re NOT an extremist, and you’ve got tons of fans.

    …so now they’re doing a tactical retreat.

    Pinkshirt land is just like Airstrip One in 1984: you have to check the newspapers every morning to find out who’s the enemy-we’ve-been-fighting-forever and who’s the perpetual-ally.

    Congrats on having repulsed their attack and getting retconned in as a we-always-knew-he-was-a-good-writer!

  3. Clearly someone Lasala an appointment at MiniLiuv. It has been rescheduled.

    • Yeah, there was a small, mean, petty little part of me that wondered if it was significant that Lasala got the job of reviewing “Warbound” over, say, Liz Bourke.

      OTOH, Lasala genuinely seems to have approached the “Grimnoir” series with an open mind, and gotten blown away by it. And even a couple of the generally negative commenters over at the Tor discussion thread noted that one really had to read “Warbound” in context with the rest of the series in order to fully appreciate it.

      I just wish that Robert Jordan (peace be upon him) had already won a Hugo for Wheel of Time, so I wouldn’t feel obligated to vote for him and Brandon Sanderson over Larry this time around. Sigh.

      As it is, my Hugo list consists of 1) AMoL; 2) Warbound; and (3) No Award (because Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice” gave me a headache when I tried to read it, and because Strouss and Grant went out of their way to trash Larry and his fans over Sad Puppies, so screw ’em).

      • As it is, my Hugo list consists of 1) AMoL; 2) Warbound; and (3) No Award (because Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice” gave me a headache when I tried to read it, and because Strouss and Grant went out of their way to trash Larry and his fans over Sad Puppies, so screw ‘em).

        I don’t much care about an author’s politics, as long as s/he can write. That said, if you think “Ancillary Justice” is headache-inducing, it’s nothing compared to the migraine of “Neptune’s Children.” At least Leckie writes (mostly) in English. With Stross, it seems like every third word is completely made up, and includes a lot of pretentious pseudo-wit like ‘Our Lady of the Holy Restriction Endonuclease.’ I kid you not, that’s a direct quote.

        Grant, on the other hand, is very good and might even have beaten out Sanderson for second place, but for the fact I have fewer than 100 pages of “Parasite” to go on. This is barely 1/5th of the novel. I have no way to tell how well she handles pacing, whether she’s given to 11th hour ass-pulls, if she’s capable of bringing her plot threads together, etc. I was already mildly annoyed at getting a crappy PDF instead of a proper eBook, but okay, I can cope with that. To not bother to scan the whole novel, though? uhm … no.

  4. Well! That was… unexpected. Good for you, and good for Lasala.

    Favorite quote (speaking of Mr. Correia): “…he’s Red Bull mixed with Pop Rocks and shaken real hard.” Perfect.

    • Reminds me of a phrase I used a decade or so back in an heated discussion in an engineering group: “behold the power of a well shaken can of whoop-ass”. I think that pretty much applies to Larry. 🙂

      • 😀

        I’d think both of these apply nicely. The smart folks stay with the Red Bull, nobody wants the other can.

  5. It’s a pretty good review. I kind of find the bullet list offered a bit odd, as it’s a multi-cultural checklist rather than a list of awesome, but given the audience the author is trying to persuade, maybe it’s the best tool for the job.

    What surprises me about the comments is the whole “Grimnoir lacks philosophy” angle. It’s like they completely failed to noticed the whole “Can I take absolute power to do good?”, “What is my first, best, duty, loyalty to the state, or to the ideals for which my state stands?”, and “How does a society deal with the inequalities of natural ability?” Sure, the answers are,”No”, “The ideals”, and “Don’t be an ass,” but they aren’t easy questions to act on.
    Half the reason cultures pass on tales of heroes doing heroic and good things is so that we develop an instinctual knowledge of what to do when those questions come up. Stamp out all the stories of “Truth, Justice, and The American Way” and you shouldn’t be surprised when people don’t have a reliable sense of what those things mean, and can’t reliably act in accordance. People who scoff at the value of such stories as “shallow” or “simple” lack sufficient understanding of what it takes to build and maintain a culture of citizens that have an understanding of how to be good.
    Of course, the other half of the reason is that people like sword fights and explosions. You know, awesome.

    • People who scoff at the value of such stories as “shallow” or “simple” lack sufficient understanding of what it takes to build and maintain a culture of citizens that have an understanding of how to be good.

      Key phrase. The tradition of cultural stories has taken a beating of late, and so many people don’t know how to respond to them.

      • Denigration of heroic values has been going on for awhile now, but has always seen push back.

        Just watched “The Adventures of Baron Münchhausen” again. Can’t remember the last time I watched it, but I had completely forgotten about Sting’s cameo as the courageous captain who is ordered executed by the head bureaucrat because his example was, paraphrased, “making ordinary people feel bad about themselves.”

      • True. But I think in the context of the current SF/F debate the denigrators have had the upper hand (could be perception).

        I’m hoping there’s a little momentum behind the push back, now.

    • I was going to remark about the bullet list too. Praise because of Multi-ethnic good guys, AND a bonus because of evil American bad guys….

      Odd prioritization.

  6. Some of those comments are just hilarious. It’s clear a few of them want to try and rip Larry a new one, but since Tor came out in favor of him, they acted like they weren’t allowed to. Funny!

    • I took it as someone at Tor finally hired a baby sitter, and only the passable adults were allowed to contribute to the comments list (was 23 deep when I read through them, I have hopes the tone will remain even). I got the impression that Lasala’s interview was trying to speak slowly and clearly for some of the more rabidly pink Tor commenters, ahead of their vitriol.

    • Oceania is always at war with East Asia, (30 seconds later) Oceania is always at war with Eurasia.

    • I think this comment by Lasala in particular was aimed at the “Correia can’t write” crowd: “(Warbound) in particular demonstrates what seem to be the strong points in Correia’s wheelhouse: every goddamn thing.”

  7. My favorite comment in the pile so far was where it was stated to the effect that if Red Shirts deserved its Hugo, how could Warbound not deserve one as well.

  8. Wait. Redshirts got a Hugo? I mean, it was a fun bit of fanfic from the perspective from the sordid hoards of Fodder of Trek. But a Hugo? Really?

    Well. Allrighty then.

    • 2013 Best Novel. Considering some downplayed the Grimnoir Chronicles as being derivative of other works, one is given to wonder about shape and focus of their blinders.

    • That was exactly my reaction when I found out.

      I love Warbound. Wouldn’t have put it past my threshold for Hugo winners (which, admittedly, is calibrated to Heinlein and Bujold). But if Redshirts (which I did find amusing) is the bar to be cleared, Larry made it in a single bound.

      • If Trek fanfic is the bar to be cleared (and some is great fun) Larry has gotten that high as an involuntary reaction to a sneeze.

      • While some people may have enjoyed _Redshirts_, I couldn’t get through it.

        By the way to those who enjoyed _Redshirts_, YMMV applies here. [Smile]

        I also think it’s an insult to Star Trek fan-fic to consider _Redshirts_ Star Trek fan-fic.

        IMO to be true fan-fic, it has to show an enjoyment and/or liking of the original.

        To me _Redshirts_ was a sneer at people who enjoyed Star Trek and that sort of SF.

        While I haven’t watched “Galaxy Quest”, from everything I heard about it, it showed an enjoyment of Star Trek and that sort of SF. [Smile]

      • FWIW, Galaxy Quest is my favorite Stark Trek film.

  9. There really does need to be a movie.

  10. Hey guys. For the record, Tor.com is still just a blog, not an organized, closely-knit core of like-minded people who conspire against guys like Larry. 😉

    Once you’re on board as one of their bloggers, you simply have to pitch ideas of things you want to write about (though I imagine sometimes some individuals might be asked to write something). So you see, I never “got the job” of reviewing Warbound. I wanted to. And the curators of Tor.com were cool with that. That’s how it is.

    I genuinely wanted to. Ironically, since starting up with the Tor.com blogging gig, having a place to write about it was also the perfect excuse to read the Grimnoir Chronicles at last. Since reading MHI, meeting Larry, and hearing about Hard Magic, I’ve wanted to….but just had a hard time finding the time. This allowed me to MAKE the time. Totally worth it.

    • That is good to hear, and that review was quite well done.

    • I thought that it was an even handed review, more remarkable for its origin (tor.com) than the content. Thank you, Jeff.

    • Jeff, it was an excellent review. And most of us should be so lucky as to have a day job that *requires* us to read SF/F. ;P

    • Some mornings, Tor.com makes me want to grind my teeth in frustration. But every once in a while, it reminds me of why I like to visit it. 🙂

      • Feeling optimistic? I’ll help with that. Here is Alex MacFarlane’s latest review. Enjoy:

        http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/07/post-binary-gender-in-sf-2312-by-kim-stanley-robinson

      • Just read it… Holy shit. What the hell did I just read?

        I haven’t read 2312. Can’t comment on it, but the excerpts certainly make it sound… Hell. I don’t even know. It has post-binary gender and all sorts of sexual oddities but by golly the End Binary Gender Lady still thinks the author is doing it wrong. 😀

      • I love how she describes 2318 as “near-future”. That’s the 24th century. But of course, it doesn’t live up to her exacting standards: almost nothing she reviews does.

      • It’s interesting that the Warbound review there has 34 comments, mostly positive, while the 2312 review has 3, none of which are positive. Even the review of 2312 itself isn’t.

        So, if I were a newcomer having never read either series, which one am I most likely to pick up? It certainly wouldn’t be 2312.

      • Just read it.

        Should have waited until after breakfast. Maybe even lunch.

      • Liz Bourke and particularly MacFarlane are devoted intersectionalist supremacists and radical feminist ideologues. In real world lingo that means the straight white male is the lowest form of life on earth and responsible for all the world’s troubles.

        Here’s a typical recent blast of race and gender on Twitter:

        “1. Natalie Luhrs ‏@eilatan Jul 16 SFF peeps, kindly look at this list and the archives and tell me if you see what I see? http://www.mystgalaxy.com/Reviews-Patrick
        2. Kate Elliott ‏@KateElliottSFF Jul 16 @eilatan that’s a trick question. RIght? 😉
        3. Liz Bourke ‏@hawkwing_lb Jul 16 @KateElliottSFF @eilatan @jennygadget So. Are we all seeing a BAG OF DICKS?
        4. Kate Elliott ‏@KateElliottSFF Jul 16 @hawkwing_lb @eilatan @jennygadget Diversity now means ‘lots of books by different men.’
        5. Ann Somerville ‏@ann_somerville Jul 16 @KateElliottSFF @CoraBuhlert @hawkwing_lb @eilatan @jennygadget do any of those authors even have a tan?”

    • Well, I can’t read the minds of the folks who run Tor.com com but I can read a list of bloggers and editors at Tor and sales figures at Tor.com’s parent associate. Tor.com has some bloggers and editors who are straight up fanatic activists and ideologues. They despise people like Correia and Orson Scott Card and would end their careers tomorrow if they could.

      The problem there is hate isn’t actually selling any books. Card is a massive star at Tor proper and his race and gender detractors are far behind. The lesson is that contrary to what Tor’s activists push, no one really cares about gay folks and feminists pushing themselves. Where the problem comes in is in doing that and on every occasion making a boogey-man out of tens of millions of straight white men who haven’t done a damn thing to anyone. Naturally since some of Tor’s hateful bloggers and editors claim to represent all women, gays and non-whites, the pushback is seen as anti-women, anti-gay, and anti-non-white, when really it’s just “leave me the hell alone and get your narrow sliver of weirdoes off my back.”

      Had the central themes of SFF been race and gender supremacists 100 years ago, there never would’ve been an SFF. That means todays activists can’t actually create SFF anyone really wants to read. SFF is about fun, not hate, and fun can sell some books.

      As for Tor being just a blog, it clearly isn’t that, but it might want to consider being one. The future of SFF will always be one of fun, not some bizarrely reimagined American Nazi Party that falsely passes itself off as liberalism and feminism. So it’s just a question of whether what in the end is an actual business wants to be part of that fun or eventually marginalized into the swamps where all radical and uneducated madhatters like Liz Bourke and Alex MacFarlane belong.

      • Although I find Liz Bourke to be borderline intolerable, particularly after she wrote her attack piece on Michael J. Sullivan, she does promote the shit out of David Drake’s books on Tor.com, so at least she’s done one good thing.

      • Well, maybe I should just take this as a good sign and accentuate the positive. Time will tell whether this was an anomaly or the beginning of a trend to stop promoting or not promoting authors according to their race and gender. Frankly, the idea of promoting women authors on the premise someone is doing the opposite when no one is doing that is kinda crazy, and Bourke does have women-only posts. I don’t find Bourke borderline intolerable but a literature-killer and supremacist.

  11. Looks like fighting for that Hugo award was worth it! Suddenly reviewers have to actually read the book before trashing it. Then they discover they can’t trash it because it’s too good.

    Flawless victory!

  12. Congrats!

    I disagree, however, with the sneering sentiment of the blog post and many comments that everybody must either love your book (because it’s good) or hate it (because of shallow political reasons). Everybody’s taste is different, and some people just don’t enjoy this sort of stuff. That doesn’t mean hey are skimming to get offended.

    • Totally true, and by definition taste can’t be wrong.

      That said, it is usually really really easy to tell the honest just didn’t care for it reviews from the Correia sits at the left hand of Satan and everything he does is automatically bad reviews. 🙂

  13. When I read that my first thought was, “Ok, what’s the catch?” Also, I had no second thought.

  14. Love the review! I think he downplayed the awesome female teenage protagonist, which is so rare in fiction–I mean, there are lots of bland ones, but you rarely see a super-powerful female like Faye fighting on the “good” side.

    Otherwise, I agree with his reaction. And the audiobooks were fantastic.

  15. And now that I’ve read the review–just wow! It’s the type of review you frame and put on your office wall. Congratulations, Larry. Well deserved, indeed.

    • ..I still cannot believe that Redshirts got a Hugo. I mean, maybe not my cup of tea, but probably just awful.

      Grant is a good writer – and some of her stuff is quite competitive with Larry’s – neither better nor worse really… Stross, I like half his stuff, and can’t finish the other half. Sadly, he spends a lot of time writing books that are a bit too focused on being literature and tend to end up as pretentious, unreadable mush.

      Meh. I sorta think Larry is fighting a two front war. There are the silly liberals. That is front one. And there is the section of SFWA that wants to write literature. I think they do more damage than the liberals.

      Cause, yeah, I’m okay with barbecuing bankers in novels, but Redshirts is just a waste of time and electrons. I finished it thinking…it got a Hugo… It can’t be this bad all the way through…it was. And really, Stross is a capable writer…but…some of his stuff just isn’t particularly readable

  16. Oddly, the link still works, but if you look on Tor.com itself, the article is nowhere to be found. Huh?

    • Never mind ,it’s back now. Strange.

      • Yeah, many posts go up each day, so this one quickly got bumped to page 2. However, if you click on the Community menu option you’ll see which posts have the most recent comment activity.

  17. I found the bullet list near the end of the review rather telling, it’s like the reviewer needed to show people that the books somehow jumped though all the politically correct hoops. And I suppose given the state of things – he probably did, it probably kept a lot of the people who would have commented with out reading any of the books from making complete fools of themselves. I was pleasantly surprised that there were so few comments that simply dismissed the book because – Larry!

    So Larry – do you work from the PC checklist? Didn’t think so.

    • Here is Larry Correia’s Top Secret Author Checklist of Success:
      1. Is it awesome and the readers like it? Leave it in.
      2. Does it suck and the readers don’t like it? Take it out.
      3. GET PAID.

    • If you worked from the PC checklist, you’d never finish, because that thing gets updated every hour. 🙂

    • Actually, the bulleted list was nothing of the sort. You’re right, it ended up looking like they were about PC things. Not intentional! I was really just wanting to highlight, well, highlights to me. The fun stuff, each of which could easily warrant several paragraphs on their own. I wanted to talk about the Iron Guard, about Maddi, about Toru. But I couldn’t really go that long and no way would commenters (especially these!) have the patience for it.

      So yeah, those are literally just thinks I thought were awesome. Ain’t nothing “PC” about demon ink, in any case.

      • This is a review of your review.

        First, fair warning:

        I am a natural born “right wing thug” type person. I am also the inventor and founding member (only official member so far) of a whole new wing of the alphabet soup of the Cult of Victimology, the PUP (Person of Unpleasant Personality). Now on with the review of the review.

        What I read came across to me as an honest appraisal of the book put into your own words for your own reasons. Imo, you captured the prominent points quite well and accurately.

        At first read, your bullets did pull one of my many many many “triggers”, but after some consideration that reversed into a… “huh, didn’t even notice that stuff. Now I know. Cool.”

        So, thank you for the review. Not because you wrote positively about an author and a series I enjoy, but because I got some insight into the series I hadn’t picked up in my own reading of same.

  18. What really bug me are the reviews that claim the series is racist against the Japanese? What, seriously?

    • Most of it’s probably from people who don’t realize that the inhumane human experimentation units mentioned in the books are based on real life Japanese units during World War 2. Kind of like how much of the criticism regarding Correia’s Roosevelt ignores the things that the real life Roosevelt did.

      • Figured it might be something like that. History just isn’t their strong point, is it?

      • Just read an interview with one of the doctors who worked in Unit 731 during World War II. He got their actions perfectly. It was bioweapons instead of magical tattoos, but still.

  19. The key part of that review was recommending the audio book version. The book itself is very good, the audiobook…I wish all audio books were that good.

    • I have never listened to an audio book. I enjoy reading and imagining what the characters would sound like and I’m sure that most of the “readers” in the audio books won’t sound like my own impressions. I just listened to the sample linked in the review and I was convinced I should just keep reading as before.

      Melvin Purv is was a southerner from South Carolina. The voice lent to him sounds like he was from Chicago. Nit picking? Sure, but valid.

  20. The discussion in the comments there about FDR caught my eye, and I thought about it a little. It is message-preachy. I could see that exchange being in Atlas Shrugged.

    But, importantly, it advances the plot. Like some of Eric Flint’s messaging in 1632 – it explains why the characters are going to do what they do. (And this is why, despite being an anti-union guy, I didn’t resent the messaging in 1632.) And that’s the lesson most writers who sell their birthright for a pot of message don’t ever quite get.

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