Lex Talionis is now up to eleven reviews on Amazon, and still hovering somewhere in the 300s-400s in its category. This review in particular caught my eye. This is the kind of thing authors like to hear; it means we did our job and put the reader into the middle of the action. If you haven’t checked the book out yet, hopefully that will convince you to give it a shot. And if you have, be sure to leave a review!
The 35th Life, The Universe, and Everything conference, my second, has come and gone, and it was a blast. I got to sit on a few panels, hang out with Larry Correia, Jim Curtis (OldNFO online), and a few others, chat briefly with James Minz (executive editor at Baen), and along the way let the gears turn, leading to several new ideas, refinements of old ones, and possibly get some new, or new-ish projects rolling. (There should be audio of Kill Yuan forthcoming in the next few months, for instance.) Most of the panels I was attending (as opposed to being a panelist), I was sort of half-listening, half letting the gears turn. That’s how the back-cover byline for Lex Talionis changed halfway through the “Hook” panel. Originally intended to be “The Hunters Have Become The Hunted,” which fits, but has been used before, it will now be “War And Politics Have Consequences.” There were a couple of weird parts. There was a member of the “Writing Action Scenes” panel, who will remain nameless, who asserted that video gaming provides the real experience of being in a fight. (I may or may not have seen Larry twitch toward a double-handed
Some reflections on this subject have started, in part because of how long it’s taken me to get into Lex Talionis, in part because of a few of the reactions I’ve gotten to the announcement that the fifth book in the Praetorians series will also be the final one. After all, my primary audience seems to be focused on the Praetorians, so why not keep telling stories about Jeff and Co.? There are a few reasons. For one, when I started the Jed Horn series with A Silver Cross and a Winchester, I found that I just needed a break, a different outlet for my mind. That need hasn’t gone away, which is why I’ve been alternating between series and genres for the last couple of years. I’ve also made the statement that I’ve put Jeff and his boys through some pretty harrowing stuff over the last four books. I was starting to touch on how it was wearing on Jeff as a man (not a Mack Bolan superman) in The Devil You Don’t Know. That’s coming out in spades in Lex Talionis. Most real-world shooters only have so many years of running and gunning before they either go contract
Presented without further comment, a poem by my Recon Brother, Bryan Moulton. Dedicated to those who have given all that they can in the defense of our nation, I offer my own humble tribute: Morning rays, a golden hue, give to your pale visage Shadows, banished by the day, lurk in angled lines and draws I lie in peace amidst dew-dropped curves and blades on which you lie A blanket, born of heavenly breath, warm and safe beneath the sky An echo, a mourn, not seen but felt, a memory long ago A flash of light, a flash of sound, age-faded but crisp and bold Loving assault upon senses, dulled, these memories to the fore O’ershadow the triumphant trumpets’ call to a friend in need no more Eyes lift from the green to the playful draught, teasing brilliant stripes with ease Starry night turns starry day, watched by timeless guardians, freed A dance in the wind, the fabric plays, with its furl and snap of cloth Watched over by beams of radiant gold, free of want and grief and wroth Wondrous gaze falls to alabaster skin, in blessed relief, stark By warmed touch, your closed eyes have kept me through
It’s taken a while, but given the milieu of The Devil You Don’t Know, I’ve been interested in seeing Sicario. (It usually takes a while for me to get around to actually seeing a movie.) I’d heard mixed reviews, but given that the trailers for Sicario, Narcos, and Ghost Recon Wildlands, all of which deal with Latin American Narcos, came out right about the same time as The Devil You Don’t Know was released, it got on my radar. I’m not well-known enough to be able to say I set a trend with talking about the Mexican Drug War again, but the coincidental timing was interesting. Anyway, the other night, I gave Sicario a shot. And, as you can probably tell from the title of this post, I didn’t make it very far. It’s bad. The movie opens with an FBI raid on a house in Arizona. Now, the CQB tactics and weapons handling are atrocious, but it’s Hollywood, so that’s kind of to be expected. Annoying, but not necessarily a deal-breaker. It’s the rest of the scenario where the wheels really start to fall off. For all the little cinematography tricks that they use to build up how ominous
They didn’t lead us to the sheriff’s department, as I’d halfway been expecting. Instead, we headed back toward the interstate, and pulled off in the truck stop at the exit. Craig parked the cruiser back by the semis, then got out and waited. I looked over at Eryn, shrugged, and got out to go join him. He was leaning against the hood of the cruiser, his arms crossed in front of him. “What do you know about Chrystal Meek?” he asked as I walked up to him. I shook my head. “Bupkis,” I told him. “She’s a name that Blake gave us to find if we couldn’t meet up with him. That’s all we know.” Craig frowned, looking down at the asphalt as if to gather his thoughts. “Chrystal’s…well, she’s been through a lot. I’d almost say she’s the one decent person in that blight of a town. A lot of people have tried to get her to leave, but she’s always been the type to say that it’s her home, that she can’t leave, you know? She’s stayed for her mom. Lord knows why. Her mom’s an abusive addict, nobody knows who her dad was, and she’s had a
Gravel crunched under my truck’s tires as we rolled up Ray’s long driveway in the dying light of the next day. Eryn was half asleep in the passenger seat, her head lolling against the window. It had been a long day. There had been a lot of questions in the Forth Police Department. A lot. And no surprise, really. They had a missing kid, bleached human bones, a weird pile of ash and greasy rags, three very traumatized teenagers, gunshots, and two people from out of town who weren’t terribly forthcoming as to what they were doing there with the kids or what they’d been shooting at. Any cop worth his or her salt would be inclined to throw everybody in jail until they had answers. Fortunately, we were saved a lot of time and heartburn by a curious side-effect of the hag’s spell. While the kids had appeared comatose, they were in fact completely aware of their surroundings the entire time. Hags are cruel creatures.
Eryn sniffed the air as we stepped inside the entryway. “Do you smell that?” she asked. I couldn’t very well have missed it. The stench, like a mix of mold, formaldehyde, and rotten eggs, had slapped me in the face as soon as we’d opened the door. “Oh, yeah,” I said. “Hag. Crap.” I took a deep breath, redolent of the stink, and steeled myself as I closed the creaky door behind us. “I just hope it hasn’t fed yet.” The house could have been on a “Haunted Houses R Us” poster. Three stories, abandoned, with the porch sagging off the front of the house, all the paint peeling off, and not an unbroken window in sight, it was, of course, a prime attraction for the teenagers in Forth. The locals had stopped even bothering to try to lock the place up, since every padlock they put on the door ended up getting cut off with bolt cutters. Even if it hadn’t, the ground floor windows didn’t have any glass in them, so there really wasn’t any keeping people out, without putting a 24/7 guard on the place. Eryn and I had gotten the call about this one because there
Okay, anybody who knows me knows I’m a big Larry Correia fan. I started reading his stuff with Monster Hunter International, and haven’t slowed down since. Larry, callsign “Monster,” in the Praetorian books is an homage to him. So I’m pretty stoked at this. Take a look on the right sidebar: http://monsterhunternation.com/
OD Green and Tan hats are both back in stock! Also, the draft of The Walker on the Hillls just passed 10,000 words.