It’s a cold, gloomy morning, the forecast predicted partly cloudy but right now it’s heavy overcast. The Lair is warm and heavily scented with this morning’s roast pork and yesterday’s bread baking. I don’t have anything social on the day’s agenda, nothing’s going on, just chickens and dog walks and Monster Hunter Vendetta.
I laughed. “Short version?”
Mosh gave me a dangerous look. “Break it down for me.”
Well, if he wanted to be that way… “Cool. Remember last year when my accounting supervisor turned out to be a serial killer? Nope. Werewolf. Remember last time we talked and I told you about my new finance job? Nope. Monster Hunter. These guys are some of my coworkers.” I waved toward Grant and Lee, then I jerked my thumb to the rear. “Those folks back there are orcs, but it’s all good, they’re on our side. That musclebound guy who got killed back at the overpass? He was my bodyguard, assigned by a shadow government agency that keeps monsters secret from the public. The things at the concert were mythical creatures hired by a death cult to sacrifice me to a giant space mollusk because they think I poked it in the eye with a nuclear weapon last summer … Any questions?”
Mosh glared. “You always were a dick.”
“You ready for the long version now?”
The first book in the Monster Hunter International series was (at least one of) Larry Correia’s first and it shows in some clunky bits here and there. Okay, he needed to work on sentence structure but he has a native grasp of dialog and character construction, not to say plotting and pacing, that some much more famous writers would have murdered him for when they were coming up. It’s just all really good stuff, not the usual Baen ‘armored super soldiers in space’ by the numbers crap, and reading it through has become a winter tradition at the Secret Lair. I really like this guy. I know he’s going to run the MHI series into the ground, he’s already doing collaborations with John Ringo, but the Grimnoir Chronicles was a proper (and excellent) alternate history trilogy and the Dead Six shoot-em-up books – also collaborations and not as good but pretty damned good – also promise to have a beginning, middle and end. Sue me, I’m old enough to remember when novels told complete stories rather than becoming industrial products like the mystery writers crank out. Sorry; pet peeve.
And I’ve got the first book in his new series, finally available in paperback, coming with the next Landlady visit. So let it snow.