The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Monsters And A Mystery

Posted on | May 27, 2014 | 49 Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

I confess to having failed the Loyal Readers by not mentioning that I’ve finally gotten around to reading the first two Monster Hunter novels by International Lord of Hate Larry Correia, which were conveniently packaged in The Monster Hunters along with the first one I’d read, Monster Hunter Alpha, which is itself an excellent tale of modern horror set in a small Michigan town. While you can certainly read the Monster Hunter novels in any order, I think your appreciation of them is definitely improved if you read Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta first. To sum up for those who haven’t read them before, the Monster Hunter novels are about Owen Zastava Pitt, an accountant who finds himself volunteering for the secret war on vampires, werewolves, and other things that go bump (and slash, and chomp) in the night after barely managing to kill his boss, who turned werewolf and decided Pitt would be a good late-night snack. Mysteriously, Pitt doesn’t himself become infected with lycanthropy – narrowly avoiding death at the hands of the Federal Monster Control Bureau – but gets a job offer from legendary monster hunter Earl Harbinger and Earl’s lovely daughter. The offer is to join Earl’s company of hunters, kill monsters, and get filthy rich collecting the bounties. Of course, Owen accepts, and the result is (so far) four novels chock-full of ultraviolence, cliffhangers, massive property destruction, and other entertainments. I am definitely looking forward to Monster Hunter Nemesis, wherein the MCB’s Agent Franks goes off the reservation – and you should, too.

Larry Niven is famous as the author of Ringworld, of course, not to mention The Smoke Ring. He’s at it again with Greg Benford in Bowl of Heaven, wherein a human ramscoop en route to the Earthlike exoplanet Glory comes across a gigantic half-Dyson sphere using its sun for propulsion – which is also headed for Glory. The bowl is inhabited, of course, and ruled by the long-lived, gene-manipulating Astronomers, who remind me more than a little of the fithp from Footfall, and the Astronomers are uncertain whether they want to “adopt” or exterminate the newcomers. Interesting read; nowhere near as good as Ringworld, but it has its charms.

Last in the list of books I’ve read this weekend is This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies, a nice little noir mystery by Renee Pawlish which is entertaining enough if you like noir, and hey – the price is right!

In the wider world of science fiction, apparently the increasingly irrelevant SFWA picked their Nebula Award winners recently, and excluded all the bad, evil, cismale patriarchal oppressors from the winner’s circle. Sarah Hoyt has a few things to say about that. As for the clash between Hachette and Amazon, Vox Day has pertinent comments.

Like Stacy, I’m going on the road next week and will be in Las Vegas from June 3-6. Since I’m planning on visiting both the Heart Attack Grill and In-N-Out Burger, there will be burger posting in addition to the usual Live At Five posts.


49 Responses to “Monsters And A Mystery”

  1. commonpatriot
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    via @rsmccain: Monsters And A Mystery #tcot

  2. CHideout
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    Monsters And A Mystery: – compiled by Wombat-socho I confess to having failed the Loyal Readers by not mention…

  3. MrEvilMatt
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    Monsters And A Mystery: – compiled by Wombat-socho I confess to having failed the Loyal Readers by not mention…

  4. WeRResistance
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    Monsters And A Mystery: – compiled by Wombat-socho I confess to having failed the Loyal Readers by not mention…

  5. Citzcom
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    Monsters And A Mystery: – compiled by Wombat-socho I confess to having failed the Loyal Readers by not mention…

  6. Lockestep1776
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    Monsters And A Mystery: – compiled by Wombat-socho I confess to having failed the Loyal Readers by not mention…

  7. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

    I thought wombats were vegetarian…

  8. JeffWeimer
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

    I wasn’t interested in the Monster Hunter series because it really wan’t my cup of tea – I like Space Opera and that kind of stuff. I picked up Monster Hunter International purely out of spite for the clowns screaming over his Hugo nomination.

    Dude’s got chops. In two weeks I read all three – couldn’t put them down – and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment. I’ll have to try Grimnoir, the latest (Warbound) being his Hugo nom.

  9. Bradoplata
    May 27th, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

    I might pay full price for Vendetta when it comes out instead of waiting for it to get cheaper.

    I never do that.

  10. joethefatman
    May 27th, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    I’ve never read the monster hunter books and won’t. Just not my cuppa. I occasionally read Correia’s blog and I follow his twitter feed for the thumping he’ll dish out to a troll on occasion though.

    I will probably get the Niven/Benford book soon. They are two of my favorite authors.

    As for what I’ve been reading, I finally got around to reading Freehold again and the Darkship books. As most know, they are worth the read. Especially Freehold.

    I tried reading Dark Space by Jasper T. Scott. I can’t recommend this series. There’s just a whole lot of absolutely nothing in the book.

  11. Professors Engage in Anti-Semitic Rhetoric on Secret Listserv | Regular Right Guy
    May 27th, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

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  12. Wombat_socho
    May 27th, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

    I’ll have to wait for the Kindle edition on account of storage space issues in the current burrow.

  13. Wombat_socho
    May 27th, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

    The North American variety is omnivorous, which is why you can often find me at the local McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A.

  14. Wombat_socho
    May 27th, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

    Thanks for the warning.

  15. Dinsdale Piranha
    May 27th, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

    Benford is one of my favorites, but Niven has left me cold a long time ago. Niven thinks that you can breed in “Luck” somehow, which makes for tremendously boring stories. The latest one from Niven I read, which is dating me, was about how the luckiest person in the Universe (Teela Brown) was the product of generations of winners of the reproduction lottery, so she has permanent good luck.

    Niven couldn’t imagine where meat-space ends and non-quantifiable “luck” would begin, or even try to explain how DNA would somehow produce “luck” in every aspect of life.

    I don’t know if Benford would be able to bring Niven back to reality, but why fight it at all? Niven has lost his attraction for me, especially with his instinct driven protagonists.

  16. JeffWeimer
    May 27th, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

    I’m sorry – read all FOUR in two weeks.

    I should have paced myself.

  17. Zohydro
    May 27th, 2014 @ 6:49 pm

    Dija know wombat faeces are near-perfect cubes?

  18. Steve Skubinna
    May 27th, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

    Ah, I was going to suggest you have at least one Chick-Fil-A while on the road. Be good if you can manage to get some Barilla pasta as well.

    You know, for that sweet, sweet hate.

  19. JeffWeimer
    May 27th, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

    It’s out now as a $15 ARC at Baen.

    I’ll wait.

  20. Julie Pascal
    May 27th, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    I started one and figure I should go back to the beginning and start at the start… and I’m really interested in the Hard Magic ones after reading a quoted scene in a review…

    But the reason I hadn’t read them before was just that… not really my cup of tea, monsters. Bleh. Just say the word “vampire” and I’m all… “Look! is that a new not-a-vampire Historical romance over there? Wait! This one has a spaceship on it! And no vampires!”

    I should have realized that killing the monsters was a completely different sort of thing.

  21. laura_PH
    May 27th, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

    Likewise. I’m more of an Elizabeth Moon fan. (Another great conservative author!) I bought The Monster Hunters (the first three books) because I liked Correia’s blog and hey, $10 for three books is a great deal. And even if I hated the books I’d still feel good about giving the left the finger by supporting a writer they hate. As it turned out, I tore through those books – barely slept for days because I just could not put them down, then bought Legion and tore through that too. It’s killing me, waiting for the next one. I don’t like urban fantasy but Correia’s writing just grabbed me.

  22. JeffWeimer
    May 27th, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

    Me, I was penny wise and pound foolish: bought the first three individually.

    (sigh) Live and learn.

  23. laura_PH
    May 27th, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

    At least your largesse went to someone standing up to the leftist thought police; hope that takes some of the sting out of your purchases. 🙂

  24. JeffWeimer
    May 27th, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

    It does.

  25. g.b.
    May 27th, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

    You do know that the e-book edition will be available June 16, 2014 and the print edition will be out on July 1, 2014. I have read the e-ARC of Monster Hunter Nemesis and highly recommend it.

  26. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 27th, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

    Eat more chicken!

  27. More summer science fiction reading from Wombat | Batshit Crazy News
    May 27th, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

    […] Wombat: Monsters and a Mystery […]

  28. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 27th, 2014 @ 11:20 pm


  29. richard mcenroe
    May 28th, 2014 @ 12:33 am

    “Good evening… I am an occult fiend from the pit…”

    “Hi there! I’m calling in a 155 time-on-target.”

    “A what?’


  30. Wombat_socho
    May 28th, 2014 @ 1:48 am

    Yes! And it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as you might think! 🙂

  31. Wombat_socho
    May 28th, 2014 @ 1:48 am

    Those WP rounds sure do a number on the undead, don’t they?

  32. Wombat_socho
    May 28th, 2014 @ 1:49 am

    Guess I better start saving my bottles and cans.

  33. Wombat_socho
    May 28th, 2014 @ 1:51 am

    Yeah, after reading a couple of ARCs, I’m just as happy to save money while not having to put up with all the typos and other errors.

  34. Wombat_socho
    May 28th, 2014 @ 1:52 am

    Can’t please everyone. I thought the trap of perfectly lucky people having no free will was well portrayed, myself.

  35. Zohydro
    May 28th, 2014 @ 6:27 am


  36. joethefatman
    May 28th, 2014 @ 8:21 am


  37. ThePaganTemple
    May 28th, 2014 @ 9:10 am

    But beef is so, so good.

  38. ThePaganTemple
    May 28th, 2014 @ 9:15 am

    I might give it a try, but really-the main characters surname is Pitt? Is he by any chance a somewhat middle-aged man with rugged yet boyish good looks?

  39. Gahrie
    May 28th, 2014 @ 9:19 am

    I believe there is a Tommy’s Original burgers in Sin City now…you should hit them up too….

  40. Wombat_socho
    May 28th, 2014 @ 11:38 am

    Nope. Young, handsome fella.

  41. richard mcenroe
    May 28th, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

    Willie Peter makes you a believer.

    “Napalm sticks to little goooblins…”

  42. richard mcenroe
    May 28th, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

    Who makes friends really, really well…

  43. K-Bob
    May 28th, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

    I put Niven in my “must read” category, but with all of that, a few of his books look like they were edited by running them through a thresher. I know nearly every author ends up hasting out a half-baked story sometime in their lives, but I just don’t see scrimping on the editor function.

  44. K-Bob
    May 28th, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

    Always eat at the top of the food chain.

  45. joethefatman
    May 28th, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

    Happens to all of them at times.

  46. darleenclick
    May 29th, 2014 @ 12:38 am

    Don’t know if “Monster Hunters” will gain my attention; but I absolutely plowed through the Grimnoir series. Great balance of sci-fi & Chandleresque-hard-boiled-30’s fiction.

  47. Scott Alfter
    May 29th, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

    There’s no Chick-Fil-A in Vegas, unfortunately. The closest ones I know of are in California…either Ontario (near the 15 & 10) or Upland (off the 210, a few miles west of the 15); which one’s less out of your way depends on where you’re going. Neither of them are particularly close.

  48. Wombat_socho
    May 30th, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

    I can get all the Chick-Fil-A I need here in Springfield.

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