A case study featuring Larry C and mad auditing skillz

At the Monster Hunter Nation blog, Larry Correia has a post on how authors should deal with being spammed with one star reviews or similar kinds of attacks: https://monsterhunternation.com/2021/05/12/writer-advice-how-to-deal-with-review-assassins/

As is not uncommon with what Larry writes, some of it is good advice, some of it is advice that obviously works for Larry but is very much tuned to his public personality and some of it is is confabulated nonsense. I wont pick out which bit is which because you are smart people and can read it for yourself if you feel like.

What caught my attention though, was a specific example he cites. This example interested me because of something I’ve been discussing within the Debarkle. The paradigmatic example of the issue is the oft-repeated claim by Larry that his Campbell nomination was greeted by lots of critics attack his work and specifically that a reviewer said “if Larry Correia wins the Campbell it will end literature forever”. Now, I’m more than satisfied that this quote was wholly made up and that this whole mythology was based on a bad-but-fair review of his book by Nicholas Whyte who said nothing like the quote above (or variations on it). However, that is nigh on impossible to prove because maybe somebody did write something like what Larry quotes but somehow 1. deleted it 2. Larry didn’t comment on it at the time 3. nobody archived it 4. nobody else commented on it, quoted it, repeated etc at the time either.

But there are other cases where we see Larry get either mild criticism that he then exaggerates or strong (but cogent) criticism that he misrepresents. This then gets added to a ledger of grievance which gets repeated and detached from its original context. In the post linked above, Larry doesn’t explicitly advise people to do that but he does describe how to use negative criticism to help promote yourself (which is not unreasonable advice).

However, there is a neat example of Larry’s process in this recent essay and I’m sort of pleased to see one of these start at the ground floor, so to speak. Firstly a quote early on that sets up the point he will make a few paragraphs later:

“Plus, Goodreads is a cesspool of SJWs. I always have one star reviews trashing my books as soon as they are listed on there. Well before anyone has read it. Sometimes including me because the book isn’t done yet.

It don’t matter. The harder the attack, the more energy you can use to turn it around on them.”

I’ll concede that Goodreads can be a cesspool, indeed I’ve pointed out some of the severe problems it has with fake reviews, including of unpublished books. https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2020/01/10/goodreads-aftermath/ – although those fake reviews were not from “SJWs” but from trolls who are probably unconnected to Puppies but were happy to use Puppy-talking points. Be that as it may, Goodreads genuinely has problems, so I’ll grant a point to Larry.

Now to the bit I want to highlight:

“Heh. I never look at Goodreads because it is fucking trash.

I just checked. Monster Hunter Bloodlines already has a bunch of one star reviews. It doesn’t come out until August.
I’m pretty sure those morons didn’t purchase the eARC.

(note on this one, best one star was somebody whining that the cover was too sexy and blah blah blah feminism evil male gaze and whatnot. The character in question is a literal succubus!) 😀”

Joy! An actual current thing that we can look at in-situ contemporaneously with Larry complaining about it! Off to Goodreads, grab a link, archived the page. https://web.archive.org/web/20210512172910/https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54437644-monster-hunter-bloodlines

As of that Archive snapshot, the book has THREE reviews and 20 ratings. The eARC was available from late April this year (https://web.archive.org/web/20210512172910/https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54437644-monster-hunter-bloodlines ) So let’s see how cruel those SJWs have been to it on Goodreads.

Ratings first. There are only three ratings from 2021 and only one rating since April 2021. So, the only possible rating that is from a disinterested customer is the one from May 8, 2021 with five stars. That lends weight to Larry’s claim later in the comments:

Bruce Strange GR has MHI Bloodlines at 3.95 stars now. Proof positive of your point
correia45 Yep. The actual eARC buyers have been giving it 5, and the SJWs give it 1 because I exist wrong.

I mean, “buyers” should be “buyer” but we’ll be generous and not needlessly nitpick.

What about the rest? There are only three one star RATINGS (not reviews per-se). Two are from 2020 and from accounts that have little visible history. Safe to regard these as trash reviews and do lead credence to Goodreads having issues but don’t lead much credence to Larry being spammed with lots of 1 star ratings. The other one-star rating is from March 2021. This account has previously rated six other Larry Correia books:

Heck, they hate Larry so much they have given him FIVE five star reviews in the past!

Of the other ratings of MH:Bloodlines (without reviews) 8 are FIVE stars of which 7 are from 2020 and 6 are FOUR star reviews (all from 2020). The large majority of pre-eARC star ratings are four or five star reviews. Larry doesn’t have a one-star review problem on Goodreads, he has an inflated star-rating problem on Goodreads. Now, that’s not unique to Larry (Goodreads really can be trash) but it is not the picture of persecution he portrays.

Let’s get to the reviews. There are THREE reviews. One is just somebody flagging the book and the series. One appears to be a genuine review of the eARC from this may and is another five star rating. That leaves the more negative review Larry notes above which criticises the cover.

This review is NOT a one-star review. The reviewer makes no claim to have read the book but has listed it as ‘to-read’. The criticism is specifically of the cover:

“*sigh* So we’re going full boobs-and-butt in slinky one-piece on this cover, are we? Guess I’ll get this one from the library or something. I just don’t want to support this kind of blatant sexism anymore. My tolerance for it is not what it once was. (And I’m sure the author and people who dig this cover will insist that it’s not objectification because she’s some kind of badass monster, but … no, that’s not how that works. Funnily enough, this is the same series that takes pot-shots at Twilight because, “Vampires aren’t sexy, dumbass! They’re monsters! Monsters aren’t sexy!”)”

Yeah but look! It complains about sexism and stuff so it MUST be a Correia-hating SJW attack! Um…nope. Again, Goodreads can be trash but it isn’t uniformly trash and some of its features are useful and many of the people who use it to track their reading, leave reviews and discuss books are genuine readers who get a lot of value out of the service. What’s more, we can literally check! Is this a fake review or is it genuine? In this case, we can find out. Here are screenshots of ALL the ratings this reviewer has given Larry Correia over eight years:

TWENTY ratings.

  • Five stars: 5
  • Four stars: 10
  • Three stars: 3
  • Two stars: 2
  • One star: 0

The evil SJW attacking Larry? That’s actually a long term reader of his books who has been giving favourable star ratings to his works since 2013. If only Larry knew somebody with even basic auditing skills to maybe check the data before jumping to conclusions?

To summarise:

  1. Yes, Goodreads can be trash
  2. There are bullies, trolls and timewasters who give books fake one-star ratings, often for books they haven’t read
  3. Goodreads still lets people give star ratings for books that aren’t published yet because see point 1
  4. Yes, yes, I know why Goodreads does point 3
  5. Larry Correia isn’t getting a pile of one star rating for his latest book
  6. Criticism of books, even criticism the author think is misinformed or stupid can be genuine and can come from readers who have loved your work.

60 thoughts on “A case study featuring Larry C and mad auditing skillz

  1. It fascinates me that LC has invested a substantial amount of energy in believing that “SJWs” are out to get him. As someone who could be in that category, I could care less about LC! This is the first time I have devoted any time and attention to him in a long time. I have a life to live and LC’s career is about near the last item on the list? I guess this is a delusion of grandeur, the type of thing that you develop a taste for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s all entwined with his politics and personality. He is combative – that’s his brand…but he lives an utterly comfortable and secure existence. He did get a lot of pushback for Sad Puppies 2 and…then quit leading Sad Puppies for 2015 and then stepped away from it completely in 2016.
      So, basically two years of some significant internet heat and that’s it.

      So, he has to pretend he’s bravely fighting off hordes of SJW trolls.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Sort of a sad, but unfortunately typical story about a person who simultaneously cannot tolerate any disagreement and requires conspiracy theories to explain why they don’t have the power and status that they believe they deserve. An interesting case because of its commonness in some circles.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I mean, it’s not like he doesn’t have power and status — as his followers constantly tell you, he owns a mountain. His books have been best-sellers. He’s won awards. And doesn’t he own his own business?

        He just can’t tolerate any dissent from those he considers his inferiors. How dare they, how very dare they.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. What, he sold it just when gun sales were spiking thanks to people like him being all worried that the nerdy family man law professor was suddenly going to be a Commie Marxist Socialist Muslim Atheist who would destroy mom, apple pie, and Chevrolet because he was half-Black?

        Not a very good business decision for his mad auditing skillz.

        (I don’t know how Obama feels about apple pie, but he was/is very close to both his mom and his mother in law, and he bailed out General Motors, so…)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. And now I wonder how he’ll spin this post as an evil attack by evil SJWs.

    I also wonder if the guy who criticized the cover is a big enough fan to read LC’s blog and, if they do, if they recognize themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Honestly as one of the malignant (Critical Theory reading) EssJayDoubleyous who were actively encouraging people to put Correia’s books below “no award” in 2014-2015 I don’t really think about him at all these days except when I’m reading your Debarkle series.

    That said, LC and I would find common ground that Goodreads is a cesspit that no sane author should look at ever. LOL.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. LC’s blog posts used to be mirrored on Goodreads — his own contribution to making it a cesspit. I thought it was bad enough he libeled me on his own site, and pointed out six instances of it to Goodreads admins asking they be taken down. They were.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. That whole post depends on being, sorry, a pugnacious asshole like Larry who can engage with nasty people and “fight back,” as he says. Not everyone can or wants to do that. He calls not being able to do that “being a victim,” which says a lot to me about his empathy (or lack thereof). 🙄

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Most writers learn very early on that you don’t argue with reviewers or respond to reviews, no matter how idiotic.Nothing good ever comes from responding to bad reviews, so you just ignore them. If bad reviews upset you, don’t read them. In fact, it’s probably better for your mental health if you don’t.

      Making fun of reviewers in public, meanwhile, is the best way to show everybody that you’re a jerk.

      Not to mention that as far as Larry Correia is concerned, anything less than a glowing “Wow, this is the best book ever! The ammo scenes were so hot” review is a grievous affront.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I have seen people make exeptions for personal stuff that is wrong and I remember Chuck Wending addresing the general reviews and it was fine.
        But I is a small slope. The best sentence I heard is “not everythink is for everyone”. Every work will get bad reviews, some of them will be very bad, but others are just cases that your book was the wrong book for that reader.
        I do think it is about who you are as a person. Feedback is normally somethink you want but it may upset you. It depends on the reviews, some one-stars are funny, some make you angry in the right kind and some will hurt. (Reading 3-stars reviews helps perhaps more)
        Now if are very thinskinned or belive you are the best writer ever, not reading negative reviews is probably better for everyone involved.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I have never seen any evidence that LC actually has any auditing skills. He is apparently a CPA, but that’s not the same thing as an auditor, and every time he’s hand waved about “being an auditor”, he’s displayed complete ignorance of how to do that job.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You know, the important thing about an auditing firm is GETTING PAID. That’s why in all the many dozens of corporate tax shelter cases I worked on there was literally only one corporation whose auditing firm had waved a red flag at what they were doing. Because what corporation wants to pay an auditing firm that’s going to get in the way of letting them do exactly whatever they want to do? Auditing firms understand that.

      I figure Larry had the same priority as an auditor that he does as a writer.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Yup. He doesn’t present data and doesn’t present as being particularly numerate (he might be a maths genius for all I know but his post aren’t mathsy) Now his gun posts and even his writing posts have content beyond the bluster but stuff about auditing or finance or taxes or numbers in general? It’s mainly bluster or uncritically recycled from other sites.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. As Mike so ably pointed out, “has worked as an auditor at some point” is a pretty sorry-ass substitute for any actual showing of skill at analysis. That having been said, as someone who once worked in Mr. Correia’s (former) accounting-biz profession, I’ve never even once seen him do or say anything that would suggest even auditing-industry levels of analytical skill. E.g., his blunders with probability in his blustery rants have been dreadful enough that I actually felt sorry for him, briefly.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. To be clear about this, being able to call yourself a CPA requires (1) passing the gruelling nationwide multi-day CPA examination after qualifying for it by (in most US states) taking a minimum number of qualifying college-level courses on relevant subjects. (I did that and passed the CPA exam, even though my degree is in mathematics rather than accountancy or finance or law.) (2) (In most US states) completing a significant amount of specified relevant professional work experience. In California, for example, this involves two years of professional audit work, or any of a number of set of experience deemed equivalent. (3) Taking continuing every year, sufficient to keep one’s licence current.

      I cannot lawfully to date call myself a CPA despite having overcome the greatest obstacle (the three-day Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination) for lack of enough months of professional audit experience (because after all that, I bailed on the profession and went elsewhere). But California’s Board of Accountancy has my name on file as “guy who passed that exam”, so, if, at any time, I do put in about 20 more months in the auditing salt mine, I can grab those letters.

      Anyway, my larger point is that anyone who is or has been actually a CPA has definitely been an auditor in a simple functional sense of that word. Honestly, though, the Big Five (who were still the Big Eight when I sat for and passed the exam) and the large regional CPA firms basically use their lockhold on the auditing business and that specialty’s importance to hungry young accountants to deploy gangs of the latter to client sites to put in their time doing painfully tedious “audit”-related drudge work that isn’t even very profitable for the CPA firm: The value proposition for them is mostly to study the client to find more-remunerative consulting opportunities, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That all sounds like a lot of hard work, which we know Puppies are allergic to.

        I bet Larry was *never* a CPA, just one of those horde of young accountants sent to do drudge work.

        Like

      2. I am a CPA, and I hated auditing. I switched to tax work as soon as I could. Plenty of people seem fine with it, though.

        Accounting firms do vary. Firms I have been with have refused to approve clients doing their reports questionably. I think it must be harder in the largest firms, with their very large clients. It’s both harder to see the whole picture, and a much bigger loss if you have to fire the client. I’m not sure how to fix that.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Larry’s got a certain image and someone on Goodreads complained about the cover art, so therefore it’s a horde coming at him of irrational feminists. Reality is just a building block of imagined status for someone of his world view.

    What’s always funny about these things is that negative reviews have next to no impact on fiction authors, especially established, bestselling authors. The bigger name the author, the more negative reviews there are and the more people ignore them if they are even aware of their existence. Seventy, seventy-five percent of the fiction reading audience are women and they tend to be the ones who bother doing reviews and looking at reviews on Goodreads. Larry doesn’t like women and certainly doesn’t publicize to them, so negative reviews on Goodreads should mean nothing to him. And indeed, he claims that they don’t, but he’ll use them or imaginary versions of them for outrage marketing.

    Authors cannot “go to war” and fight against negative reviews. It is marketwise impossible to do. Readers discount any whining a fiction author does about negative reviews as whining, which can dissuade them far more than negative reviews. While an author may be able to go to Goodreads and complain about fake reviews and personal attacks and have those taken down, otherwise the author has no ability to do squat about negative reviews on Goodreads or anywhere else.

    But Larry can use negative reviews to solidify group identity and express the fantasy of himself as a buff warrior expressing outrage against unfair and martyring persecution from inferiors. Most fiction authors don’t do this because again it just sounds like whining to most readers. Instead they take the good reviews and use them as publicity when and where they can. But when you also have a personal political goal where your image is connected to decrying marginalized people seeking equality as being out to get you, which makes other people who feel insecure feel better, then that can, these days, give you a core group of readers who will buy your stuff on your claim that you are engaging in a fake war against the marginalized. (And those marginalized folk are just jealous of you anyways, so there.)

    And that’s worked for right wing authors as a solid niche while the remainder of Larry’s readers have no idea what his politics are or at least aren’t aware of his outrage at any “SJW” critics. And that strategy depends almost entirely on exaggeration and inflation. Which is certainly a skill Larry honed doing the Sad Puppies.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Imagine thinking that people who advocate for social justice care about a blustery, right wing SFF writer with a persecution complex who has absolutely no influence in or knowledge of police brutality, health care, housing, LGBTQ+ rights, or any other social justice cause whatsoever.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Does the series really push “monsters aren’t sexy” line? Because if it does, what is a “literal succubus” doing in it? (Aside from being a sexy monster).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The cover he’s talking about is another one of those horrid Baen covers, crossed with the old urban fantasy style covers Jim Hines used to make fun of–all butts and bulging breasts. I don’t care if the character depicted is a succubus, it’s just a terrible objectifying cover and I can see why the person objected to it.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’m not doubting that the cover is awful and the “succubus” defence is lame.. But I am interested in the apparent contradiction here. I think that “monsters aren’t sexy” is a worthwhile take on the genre, and it would be valid to dislike it’s abandonment.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I read Monster Hunter: International, the first of the series, last year. It’s not bad, though I won’t be picking up any more cause it’s not for me. It has a decidedly sexy vampire who nearly does the hero before he figures out that she isn’t who she seems to be.

      And by “does” I don’t mean kills.

      So I’m gonna say the answer to your question is no. Some of the monsters are very sexy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There are many authors where one can detect an improvement in their writing ability over time.

        Having read most, though not all, of the Monster Hunters series, I think that holds for the first three books and then drops somewhat. “Not bad” is about where it peaks. I have been reading quite a lot of self-published work in the last year; MH comes in around the 75th percentile of that.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. It’s monsters shouldn’t be sexy like Twilight, i.e. you can have all the sexy woman monsters you want, just don’t have sexy man monsters who give women palpitations and don’t have anything that isn’t “manly” like man monsters who have their own built-in body glitter.

      So what we can see from that reviewer whose review Larry then tried to exaggerate into a prudish horde of SJW’s out to get him for existing wrong is that the reviewer, as a fan of Larry’s books, is also into posturing. The reviewer knows that Larry’s books have sexy woman vampires and sexy woman succubus, which the reviewer enjoys, and so knows that Larry’s declaration that his monsters aren’t sexy is false. And yet the reviewer wants to cling to what Larry said about his books even though it wasn’t factual and the cover disrupts that too much for the reviewer. The reviewer can’t claim that Larry’s books are superior in their monster portrayal if the book cover shows to anyone that the claim is false.

      The important thing is the image, even though it’s false, that Larry’s books are better and more manly monster romps than some icky romantic vampire book by a woman because the series avoids “sexy monsters.” Larry, a manly right wing man, writes superior novels and women authors write fantasy books wrong in inferior fashion. But hey, that’s not political, right? Except it is. It is a completely political stance and it’s built on fakery for the sake of identity and status. The reviewer who Larry tried to paint as a SJW was actually complaining that Larry was undermining his own right-wing political fakery about his work.

      Which really has nothing to do with math unless we count irony as mathematical.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve read quite a lot of paranormal romances and urban fantasy novels featuring “sexy” non-humans. Even the average run-of-the-mill paranormal romance/urban fantasy is better than anything Correia ever wrote.The top titles are lightyears ahead of Correia’s output.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Larry’s series initially got attention because they were considered humorous fantasy novels. The reputation was that the books were pulpy, jokey fun with monsters. Which, you know, is fine and as I said, I had planned to check it out on that basis before I learned the guy was full of hatred for two thirds of the planet. I like things like Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt series or Peter McClean’s Drake series that are in the same territory. Jim Butcher has done extremely well with his series.

        But it’s an area where women authors also found a lot of publishing opportunities and a lot of the big names in that sub-field are women, and some in the comic fantasy sub-field as well. And because we have discrimination, a lot of those women’s series are labelled as romantic and having girl cooties, just because they have woman protagonists, standard love interests for het or bi women and sometimes the man equivalent of the femme fatale. And so it is not uncommon for the more insecure of the men authors writing contemporary fantasy, especially if they are using noir elements, to start tearing down women in the field as drippy romantic inferiors in order to somehow build themselves up as the “good” writers, like it was sports teams.

        And by the standard practice of discriminatory bias, one woman’s work can be used to dismiss a lot of women in fiction. Twilight is a coming of age YA romance meant for teen girls. It became a phenom seller, debuting as it did just as the surge of YA growth and new readers was really getting going. And it makes a lovely target because it is a romance series. There’s no reason for Larry to compare his work to a teenage romance novel instead of other contemporary fantasy novels instead. But doing so lets him pretend that he’s the main one having sexy (lady) monsters and scary, gross proper men monsters while ignoring the thousands of other contemporary fantasy novels that do the exact same thing, sometimes in the exact same way and sometimes in reverse.

        If you want a series that is funny mystery thriller and with monsters, I have also enjoyed Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid novels and sometimes commentator here, Laura Resnick’s Esther Diamond series which is heavily farcical but in a lot of fun ways.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Yes, I also recall that the Monster Hunter books were initially presented as a fan and pulpy urban fantasy series.In fact, that’s probably the reason I first ran across Larry Correia, because I used to read a lot of urban fantasy at the time. Of course, it quickly became obvious that Correia was an awful person, compared e.g. to Jim Butcher, who blurbed lots of other urban fantasy novels, many of them by women, and used his popularity to lift up others.

        And yes, there was a strong “Eww, girl cooties” element to the blanket dismissal of urban fantasy and paranormal romance and not just among the manly men on the SFF right either. The dismissal was just as strong on the left, whether it was one author complaining that he doesn’t know why anybody reads “such formulaic crap”, while demanding respect for tie-in writer or a critic saying that “romance is like a stomach virus, it turns everything it touches to shit”. Even Jim Hines’ initially well intentioned cover parodies eventually came close to sneering not just about the covers (and while there were awful urban fantasy covers, a lot of them were not and Hines’ inability to do some of the poses had to do with him not having a cisfemale body), but about the contents as well.

        Like

      4. “why anybody reads “such formulaic crap”,” — Let me guess, that author either writes science fiction and doesn’t like fantasy or writes secondary world epic fantasy where authors are regularly defensive because of how many people rag on that sub-category for being formulaic LOTR crap. 🙂 In fact, quite a few fans who only like to read contemporary fantasy are highly dismissive of secondary world fantasy because they see it as formulaic fairy tales. When you have picky preferences, for some reason many such fans feel the need to justify their preference by trashing other types of stories as inferior. And bonus of course if it’s a woman-centered or romantic work of fiction because obviously that will be inferior to the cerebral wonderment of men writers.

        The main problems back in the oughts were first how women are treated and packaged as authors in the SFF field in the first place and second that there was a perfect storm of growth surges in several sub-categories of SFF at once from the late 1990’s to around 2010 — SFF YA as the main part of the YA giant surge, horror, paranormal romance and contemporary/urban fantasy. A lot of women authors went into contemporary fantasy in the 1990’s and early oughts because publishers were buying them there and they had a better shot at a deal than in secondary world fantasy where men fans and some authors tended to defensively guard what some of them saw as “their” territory. (And the same in YA.) And when they did well in contemporary fantasy, fueling a growth expansion, even though many men authors were also doing well with it, that success by women was resented as was the fact that many of them had women protagonists, which many men find threatening as a development. (And worse, they might then win awards or get nominations for women protagonists! With feminism and women finding men’s butts attractive instead of men protagonists finding women’s boobs attractive!) This was very similar to what happened to women in mystery and thrillers in the 1980’s-1990’s time period when women authors were getting bestselling series and declared to be taking over suspense.

        And since paranormal romance was also expanding along with contemporary fantasy and some authors did both, it was very easy for critics to just lump everything together — women written/protagonist YA romantic and non, paranormal romance, contemporary fantasy and even historical fantasy as that started a growth surge too a bit later, and declare them all girl cootie books written by the women so that the contributions and success of the women authors could be dismissed and called inferior, due supposedly to horny women fans (not an accurate rep of women romance fans or the much larger fan base for paranormal romance.) It’s just the regular systematic sexism.

        And publishers catered to this systemic sexism with very weird notions of packaging. Women authors with women protagonists, no matter what the category of SFF, tend to get sexist covers that are either ultra “feminine” with lace and floral images or — and that’s the one that puzzles everyone — hypersexualized book covers with a woman in an impossibly twisted body position reminiscent of some styles of comics art. Men do not usually get the twisty women covers except when they’re surrounding a man protagonist and the women authors and others are at a lost as to who publishers think they are appealing when they do the twisty women covers for women authors with women protagonists. Best they can figure out, the publishers think that men will find such covers appealing and be willing to read a woman-written story in the hopes of hot sex scenes or something. But most men hate the covers and use them as evidence that the story is inferior and women written fiction should be avoided. (And this is what Larry’s cover hating fan was whining about.)

        Hines didn’t pick out most of the covers he did. Instead, many of them were from the women authors on whom they’d been inflicted asking him to use theirs. The point was that the women’s books were being dismissed due to sexist covers that got a sexist interpretation. And of course eventually a lot of people just continued to sexistly blame the women authors for the book covers they had no control over and dismiss their work, proving the point. Guys inevitably believe that meany feminists are coming after the men’s book covers for sexy babes (as Larry complained,) when most of the men’s covers don’t have sexy babes and the criticism is by and on behalf of women authors who’ve gotten useless twisty women covers or ultra feminine ones — the “woman’s” cover.

        I remember, in fact, when Kameron Hurley was revealing the book cover for The Stars are Legion and crowing about how she also got the “man’s” cover with a planet and spaceships, instead of a woman’s one. And that’s because it showed that the publisher was serious about the book and supporting it to all SF fans. This is a real and pressing issue of discrimination that women authors in SFF deal with on a regular basis (and elsewhere as well.) It’s the exact issue that members were trying to explain to Resnick and Malzberg about the SFWA Bulletin material. Women authors are still not taken seriously, get feminized packaging even if it doesn’t have anything to do with the text, get less publicity and marketing support from publishers, less interest from booksellers, get fewer professional reviews from SFF and other media, get harassed and discriminated against at conventions, get dismissed as romance when not doing romance and as porn when doing romance, are routinely declared inferior, frivolous, unrealistic, talky, etc. because they are written by women and especially if about women. Never mind that women are proportionately the most successful fiction authors and that women are the major block of fiction readers; the important books are what men write and what sexist stereotypes of manly men are supposed to like.

        Because otherwise men will just shrivel up into a corncob apparently.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. The author in question was a British author of secondary world fantasy of the grimdark type who briefly was the up and coming hot new thing approx. 10 years ago. His career has since stalled and he doesn’t seem to have had anything published since 2014.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I find it mildly amusing that Larry, like so many of his ilk who make a fetish of self-reliance spends so much of his time trying so hard to be a victim. And doing it so transparently falsely, too.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I’ve known a lot of writers who get depressed or angry about bad reviews. Your book is a part of you, and so it feels as if an attack on your book is an attack on you. Some writers will read a great review with one minor caveat and just remember that caveat. Some have a policy of not reading reviews at all.

    The thing is, nearly all writers learn how to put this in perspective, how to make it not feel personal. No one is “out to get” Larry. His experience is the same as every other writer, even terrific writers who should only get accolades — there will always be people who don’t like something. He’s one of the few (Anne Rice is another) who haven’t learned that you look like an idiot when you address a bad review.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Of the three — just three — one-star ratings which currently exist for this book:

    One of them is by a privacy-locked profile which has given 346 ratings, of which 8 were one-stars. So it’s possibly a grudge rating, but there’s no way to tell.

    One of them seems like it might be a grudge rating — but the rest of that user’s listed books are by Brandon Sanderson. So maybe the user got a Correia recommendation from another Sanderson fan, tried it, and didn’t like it, and it’s a genuine rating.

    Another has given several one-star ratings, not just to Correia’s book but to The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and Rocannon’s World by Ursula K. Le Guin. So it’s definitely not a grudge rating by an SJW.

    But then, facts have never been Correia’s strong suit — in fact, they’re not even in his wardrobe. 🙄

    Liked by 5 people

  13. So someone who’s a long-time fan of Larry’s is suddenly an SJW? Bwuh?

    And they have a point — at this point, his covers could be less bimbo-esque and the usual readers would still buy them, and hey, maybe it wouldn’t put off new readers. Win-win. I’d think he’s a big enough deal for Baen he could ask them to put more monsters and kewl guns, fewer butts and boobs on the cover. He might get even more sales!

    But he couldn’t whine and fulminate about that, and he does so love to falsely claim to be persecuted.

    I guess he completely gave up math when he quit accountancy. Or it quit him.

    Writers always come off worse when they make a big deal about bad reviews. People who never heard of/don’t care will suddenly read the bad one and that will form their opinion. And answering/calling out the person who gave the bad review only makes the writer look both pathetic and a bully.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I guess he completely gave up math when he quit accountancy.
      All available evidence suggests that you’ve got the cause and the effect reversed here.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Like I said… “or it quit him”.

        I mean, he must have been able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and do percentages at one point, but his grasp of statistics is… not.

        Like

  14. @Lurkertype:

    I bet Larry was *never* a CPA, just one of those horde of young accountants sent to do drudge work.

    In fairness, did Larry ever claim to have been a CPA? I’m really not sure. [Late edit: Yes; see his About page.] I know he’s been said (e.g., on Wikipedia) to have gotten a degree in accounting from Utah State U. and to have then worked as an accountant for several years and then opening his gun store as a side-line, eventually being able to transition to being a full-time writer (and good for him, being able to pull that off!). None of the described accounting work necessitates a CPA credential (not much does), and I’m not sure he’s claimed to have ever had that licence. Of course, if he did, that’s also perfectly fine, and I don’t in any way doubt he could do it, personally.

    Larry may be guilty of economising on the truth from time to time, but I don’t at all think he’s lazy. Rather the contrary.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Very early in my involvement in the Puppy Wars (summer 2015 or later), I distinctly remember reading a post by Larry in which he said that because he was a CPA, he was good with numbers, and that, having read the Hugo nomination rules, he saw that there was a big vulnerability there. It was the only thing I ever saw to suggest that the Sad Puppies weren’t taken by surprise by their huge success in the 2015 nominations.

    But I have searched and searched for that quote for five years now, and I have never been able to find it again. I’m wondering if it was posted by someone else who was just quoting Larry. Or if he just deleted it at some point.

    Liked by 3 people

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