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anddiamssemicolon ([personal profile] anddiamssemicolon) wrote in [community profile] ffawiki_backup2016-08-15 10:40 am
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Larry Correia

Photo taken by John D. Brown

 

Larry Correia is a former accountant, gun salesman, and firearms instructor who currently writes fiction full-time. He is primarily known to meme as the instigator of the Hugopocalypse, an event in which several right-wing authors put together a slate of works and then used bloc voting to fill up the 2015 Hugo Awards ballot with slate nominees. However, Correia has also participated in several other fandom wanks and imbroglios.

 

Fiction

 

Correia has written about 12 books as of mid-summer 2015. A brief synopsis of his works follows:

  • Monster Hunter: A series of 5 books (as of August 2015) about an elite force of humans who hunt B-movie style monsters. The heroes are very well armed with a variety of firearms and heavy explosives, which Correia describes in loving (some might say exhaustive) detail, and the monsters are scaled-up in strength to match. It's also emphasized that the private monster-killing firm is of course much better than the bloated federal anti-monster division (with the back cover even listing 'belligerent federal agents' as one of the foes), because, well, Correia is right-wing.
    • A few nonnies discussed the first book in the series, Monster Hunter International, and found that, despite its unusual status as a bestselling self-published novel, it still wasn't very good. They specifically took issue with blatant exposition/info dumps and poorly-written female characters. Also worth reading is an Escape Pod review detailing other problems with the book. An excerpt of the review:

 

"The characters are flat. The prose is stale and repetitive. The plot reads like something intended for a weekend of tabletop gaming, complete with prophetic visions from the storyteller to keep the protagonists on track."

 

    • However, this novel also earned Correia a nomination for a Campbell Award, a Hugo-like award for Best New Author. It's safe to say opinions vary on the quality of MHI.
  • The Grimnoir Chronicles: A trilogy set in the 1930s. In this series, magic is real and many of the main characters have powers of one kind of another. The basic plot is that a private investigator who can control gravity finds himself dealing with a variety of factions in a magic war. It uses standard noir tropes (constant betrayal, backstabbing love interests, etc.), and also features digs at Franklin D. Roosevelt... because, well, Correia is right-wing.
  • Dead Six: A trilogy co-written with Mike Kupari. It's about a bunch of mercenaries and assassins trying to kill each other as part of complicated political maneuvers. 
  • Iron Kingdom: A trilogy set in a grimdark magi-tech environment. 

 

Sad Puppies 1 and 2

 

(For a very brief summary, see this post on meme.)

 

In 2013, Larry Correia announced an effort to get one of his novels on the Hugo Awards ballot. The Hugos are among the most prestigious awards in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, and are awarded by popular vote in a two-step process. First all the nominators (anyone who pays a small fee to Worldcon, the organization that owns the Hugos) nominate works that were published in the past year (or people that produced works in the past year). The nominations are sorted into several categories (such as Best Novel, Best Short Story, Best Editor, and Best Graphic Novel), and the five works in each category with the most nominations are put on the Hugo Ballot. The nominators can then rank their ballot preferences, which determines the award winner in each category. However, while anybody can vote, Correia insisted that, in practice, a small clique of like-minded, left-wing individuals tend to dominate the results, with the effect that mediocre left-wing fiction written by friends of the clique win, and stellar right-wing fiction written by people the clique's never heard of won't get a fair hearing. He also said that self-promotion by people like him was frowned on, while self-promotion by left-wing authors was encouraged and celebrated.

 

(Incidentally, while discussing a post by Seanen McGuire about how she's blasted for over-promoting her own work but male authors aren't, a nonnie agreed that Correia tends to get criticized for his promotional efforts.) 

 

Correia decided to change this situation by getting his own novel, Monster Hunter Legion (the 4th book in his Monster Hunter series), on the ballot under Best Novel. So he wrote a few blog posts, called his effort the 'Sad Puppies' (as in, 'Puppies will be sad if good right-wing fiction continues to lose Hugos to left-wing junk!) and urged his fans to nominate his book. 

 

Unfortunately for him, this effort failed and his novel did not reach the final ballot.

 

Undaunted, Correia tried again in 2014 with Sad Puppies 2. This time, in addition to recommending his ownWarbound (the 3rd book in his Grimnoir Chronicles series), he recommended several other works by his conservative friends. These included two stories by Brad Torgersen, who would go on to run Sad Puppies 3, and one by right-wing fanatic Vox Day. He nominated twelve works and authors in total, and while a few were ruled ineligible due to a vetting screw-up, several got on the ballot. But yet again, the Puppies were denied Hugos; they were crushed in the final vote, and non-Puppy works won all the awards. Vox Day's execrable Opera Vita Aeterna even finished behind 'No Award.'

 

Author John Scalzi noted how bad of a decision it was to put Day's terrible work on the ballot, thereby tying Correia's reputation with Day. (Meme).

 

Sad Puppies 3 and the Hugopocalypse

 

In 2015, Torgersen took over the Sad Puppies campaign while Correia took a backseat--though his novel Monster Hunter Nemesis (the 5th book in his Monster Hunter series) was on both the Sad Puppies slate and the companion Rabid Puppies slate (the latter produced by Vox Day). Though it made the ballot, Correia withdrew it to demonstrate that the campaign was not (as many claimed) just a vehicle for him to get a Hugo, but was rather about the broader goal of giving right-wing authors a fair shot in the awards. Despite this gesture, several dozen slate works made the ballot, resulting in the majority of non-slate nominees being pushed off (Meme discussion when rumors began to swirl about the Puppy sweep, after the sweep was basically confirmed by insiders, and after the ballot was announced).

 

This did not, however, mean that Correia was no longer involved in the campaign. Far from it: when George R. R. Martin wrote a long post questioning Correia's claim that the Hugos were politically biased, Correia wrote a long postof his own arguing that the Hugos were under the sway of a corrupt leftist cabal and that the Puppies were trying to save them from themselves. Martin responded (at great length), and Correia issued yet another rejoinder, insisting that the Puppies were fighting a legitimate problem of bias in the Hugos awards. Correia was also interviewed by Breitbart, a right-wing news site, about the Puppies, and he threatened to sue Entertainment Weekly when they wrote about the Puppies and said they were just trying to boost white male authors. This latter effort didn't work out. (Mememockery of Correia's lawsuit threat).

 

Later, Correia tried to separate himself from Vox Day , insisting that the Rabid Puppy slate was unrelated to his and Torgersen's Sad Puppies effort. Author John Scalzi called this out  for the nonsense it was, noting that Correia and Torgersen had cheerfully worked with Day until he became politically inconvenient. He also wrote that the entire purpose of the Puppies was Correia being upset at losing the Campbell in 2011:

 

Also, can we please now stop pretending that this whole Puppy nonsense began for any other reason than that once upon a time, Larry Correia thought he was going to win an award and was super pissed he didn’t, and decided that the reason he didn’t had to be a terrible, awful conspiracy against people just like him (a conservative! Writing “fun” fiction!), as opposed to, oh, the voters deciding they just plain liked something and someone else better? Can we stop pretending that a fellow who practically begs people to nominate his work three years running, hiding the begging behind an oh-so-thin veil of “let’s stick it to the SJWs!” doesn’t desperately crave the external validation that he thinks the award will bring? Can we stop pretending that this is anything other than a grown up child stomping his feet, screaming look at me, look at me, loooook at meeeeee? Because, come on, folks. We’re well past the point of genteel here. Let’s call it for what it is.

 

Meme noted how absurd Correia's efforts at distancing himself from Day were.

 

Correia was also caught out trying to enlist Gamergate, a twitter mob with many documented instances of harassing women, to help the Puppy efforts. 

 

As the Hugo Award Ceremony approached, Correia continued to write the occasional article in support of the Puppies. Many of these were 'fisks', in which he copied an entire article or comment and then wrote his own thoughts every few lines (example).

 

 

Other Wanks 

 

Correia is a fierce advocate against gun control, going so far as to argue after the Sandy Hook massacre that armed teachers is the best way to stop school shooting, and also that guns are the only way to stop hate crimes and other crimes against marginalized individuals (e.g., the 'rape wouldn't be a problem if all the women were packing heat' argument.) See his arguments here and here. Many people have rebutted his arguments; see here for an example.

 

In early 2014, Winterfox-stan Alex Dally Macfarlane wrote a post for tor.com arguing that science fiction should be more representative of people who do not fit the gender binary. Correia felt this was liberal nonsense and wrote a 4000-word blog post stating that Macfarlane was demanding quotas, whereas real writers should only care about good stories and should include the characters needed for those stories, so if a given story doesn't happen to need a trans character, there shouldn't be any. An excerpt:

 

Okay, so I write a book, and let’s say that it has 20 characters in it. What is the acceptable percentage of them that should be transgender? How many boxes must I check in order to salve a blogger’s liberal angst? Let’s see… Only like 1 in 50,000 people have sex changes performed. So at 20 characters a book… If I have one character who has had a sex change show up every 2,500 books I write, I’d be statistically accurate.

 

Jim Hines deconstructed Correia's rant here, and meme talked about it here. (Later, when Macfarlane was outed as one of Winterfox's supporters, Correia posted that he'd heard bad stories about her.)

 

Later, another writer named Damien G. Walter penned an article in the Guardian along similar lines. Correia 'fisked' this article as well. In that fisking, he noted that Walter is currently on a grant which is funding his novel and mocked the British government for offering such grants (no word on whether he thought J. K. Rowling's writing grant was a bad idea too). The two continued the feud in subsequent posts, with Damien mostly writing at the Guardian and Correia writing in his own blog. (Walters' next post, Correia's next post {part 1}, {part 2}). (Feud discussed on meme here).

 

A writer named A. A. George wrote a post about how he didn't feel comfortable at GenCon because it was so heavily dominated by white people. Correia called him a racist nut. Later, N. K. Jemisin subtweeted this by saying that a PoC at GenCon called Larry a jerk, and Correia then responded in his usual angry manner (meme discussion).

 

In mid-2014, Correia helped Agilebrit, a right-wing Utah-based author who repeatedly defended Correia from charges of sexism on the basis that Correia was personally friendly to her, get a book deal. Meme discussed the nepotism.