Review: Monster Hunter Files

If you don’t know Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series, this would be a place to start.Monster Hunter Files is an anthology written (mostly) by the best fantasy authors in the business

“Thistle” by Larry Correia
Owen and his team take on a new kind of monster in Arizona — It starts as your average, straightforward, monster-killing story. Then Larry does a twist at the end of this one that makes Rod Serling proud. I didn’t see it coming, but I should have.  5/5

“Small Problems” by Jim Butcher
MHI’s new janitor has to deal with some small problems — It’s Jim Butcher. Do I have to say this one was awesome?  It’s like he hasn’t recovered from all of his Roman legion research from Codex Alera … while watching The Secret of NIMH.  6/5

“Darkness Under The Mountain” by Mike Kupari
Cooper takes a freelance job in Afghanistan– The Chinese have dug too greedily and too deep… and that’s a line in the story. It’s almost a Monster Hunter procedural novel, with a soupcon of MCB BS.  4/5

“A Knight Of The Enchanted Forest” by Jessica Day George
(Trailer park elves versus gnomes TURF WAR!)– A straight up comedy from the first page, with the redneck elves, meets hippies.  4/5

“The Manticore Sanction” by John C. Wright
(Cold War era British espionage with monsters) — This one was dark. Very British. Also very Universal monster movie… the black and white version, not the new crap with Tom Cruise. This one was … surprisingly powerful. It left a mark.  6/5.

“The Dead Yard” by Maurice Broaddus
Trip goes to Jamaica on some family business— It was okay. It needed more meat to it. It was awkwardly paced, and over suddenly. I think it needed more room to work. 3/5

“The Bride” by Brad R. Torgersen
Franks wasn’t the only thing Benjamin Franklin cut deals with– BWAHAHAHAHAHAAH.  This one was awesome.  Brad writes Ben Franklin perfectly. I can hear the actor from 1776 when I read the story. Also, Franklin’s a badass. Though this one pissed me off … I wanted it to run another ten pages. Dear Larry: Can Brad write the novel on the Revolutionary War history of monster hunting? Please? 5/5

“She Bitch, Killer of Kits” (a Skinwalker Crossover Tale) by Faith Hunter
Jane Yellowrock teams up with MHI — This was okay. I honestly think that the author is more interesting than the story she wrote. Which is odd, because the inverse is usually the case. It just didn’t grab me. 3/5.

“Mr. Natural” by Jody Lynn Nye
an STFU mission in the 70s has to deal with plant monsters and hippies! — Hilarious. Fun as heck.  I deduct half a point for the bunny ex machina ending…. you’ll see. 4.5/5

“Sons Of The Father” by Quincy J. Allen
Two young brothers discover monsters are real, and kill a mess of them — Quincy is apparently a newb author, but I couldn’t tell from the story. It was very Supernatural, if they focused more on being badass than angst.  4/5

“The Troll Factory” by Alex Shvartsman
Heather gets some help from MHI for an STFU mission into Russia — Yeah, this was fun. A post-Siege story. It has a nice setup of a newbie hunter, and it has an awesome, awesome punchline. 5/5

“Keep Kaiju Weird” by Kim May 
A Kitsune may have already earned her PUFF exemption, but she’s not going to let some monster squish Portland — I really enjoyed this one. I was having flashbacks to the better episodes of Grimm, though. Heh. 5/5

“The Gift” by Steve Diamond
Two of the Vatican’s Hunters from the Blessed Order of Saint Hubert the Protector on a mission in Mexico — I wanted to like this one more. It felt like someone condensed a novel with a lot of backgroundinformation left out. Perhaps this would work betters as the first five chapters of a full novel.  4/5 stars… maybe 3.

“The Case of the Ghastly Specter” by John Ringo
while studying at Oxford, Chad takes a case — Was Ringo watching old Sherlock Holmes movies? There were moments when Chad sounds like Basil Rathbone. I might like this one better in the full novel of Sinners, as downtime in an action packed novel. But here, in this anthology, it just feels like the slow bit. The difference is jarring. It’s still good, so I mark it a 4/5

“Huffman Strikes Back” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Julie Frost
Owen’s vacation gets interrupted for some monster revenge– This was part comedy, park action scene. Either way, it was awesome. 5/5

“Hitler’s Dog” by Jonathan Maberry
(It is WW2 and Agent Franks really hates Nazis)– Do I even have to make comments? It’s Franks versus Nazis. But I think it needed a little more fleshing out. 4/5

 “Hunter Born” by Sarah A. Hoyt 
Julie didn’t get to go to her prom because of monster problems — This is narrated by a 16-year-old Jule Shackleford …. who sounds more like she’s 12 here. Maybe younger. Mercifully, this one is short, but poorly written. You can say “It’s narrated by a teenager” all you like, but so was Knight of the Enchanted Forest. Things that should be funny, aren’t. (Julie writes a summer vacation essay about killing vampires … how was this not funny?). The best lines in this story were, I’m certain, cribbed from novels by Larry. Poorly written. Amateurish narration. Heck, this has substandard prose compared to other short stories BY THE SAME AUTHOR. (Compare this to any of her Chicks in Chainmail shorts.) It’s even poorly placed in the anthology, coming near the end of the book, but it opens with exposition about MHI… in a book fully dedicated to MHI. It was so bare-bones basic, I saw what was coming a mile away. It is the Scalzi of this collection. 2/5

16 great stories, at a little over a dollar a story. You can’t beat this deal.

Astounding Frontiers Issue #4 is out now!

In Astounding Frontiers Issue 4 we bring you more of the pulpy goodness with stories from Julie Frost and Brian Niemeier as well as continuing serials from Ben Wheeler and Corey McCleery. We also have a new pulp serial, Hard Moon from David Hallquist as well as an article by Pulp expert Jeffro Johnson.

Please join us in travelling to Astounding Frontiers!

What’s In The Works At Superversive Press

Superversive Press has been hard at work behind the scenes getting ready for a bunch of new releases. If you haven’t been over to our website, go now. Check out what books we’ve already released.

In the last month Tales of the Once and Future King (anthology) and Gravity of the Game by Jon Del Arroz have come out.

MAGA 2020 & Beyond is being released November 8th and is available for pre-order now.

Here is a bit of what you can expect from Superversive Press in the coming months:

Planetary Anthologies

The Planetary Anthologies are a series of themed anthologies, one for each of the planets as well as for Luna and Sol. The first of these, Mercury, is planned for a January release with Venus to follow in February, Mars in March and Earth in April and so forth through the rest of the year.

Novels

We have a several novels in the works: a magical girl book, a tale of seven deadly sins, an intriguing tale of persecuted element-wielding children in a world where fallen angels walk the earth, and the next Book of Unexpected Enlightenment. 

Audiobooks

Marina Fontaine’s The Product is currently being recorded as an audiobook. Look for it to be out later this year or early next year.

Comics

Yes, there will be comics coming. Didn’t expect that did you? Issue 1, Flying Sparks by Jon Del Arroz. You’re not going to want to miss this. Just wow!

Astounding Frontiers

Issue 4 is almost done and should be out soon. There will be more to follow.

Superversive News or something like that

We’re working on putting together a mailing list for our followers to keep abreast of the latest happenings at Superversive Press as well as get insider info on review copies, submission calls, future releases, and more, before everyone else. Sign up now to get on the list, because I know there are a couple of announcements soon that you’re not going to want to miss.

 

OUT NOW – Tales of the Once and Future King

It is said that King Arthur will return in Britain’s hour of greatest need.

That time is coming.

Four travelers, searching for the Pendragon, are quickly embroiled in a plot to rescue the beloved of a banished forest lord. And while they concoct their desperate plan a Bard, the new Taliesin, regales them with stories: Tales of Knights, yes, but also tales of robots and vampires, music and monsters, airships and armies – tales to inspire heroism and hope. And when all seems lost, perhaps these tales will be their salvation.

This book is an anthology.
This book is a novel.
This book is a romance
This book is science fiction
This book is a fantasy

This is “Tales of the Once and Future King”

 

BUY NOW

OUT NOW – Gravity of the Game by Jon Del Arroz

Commissioner Hideki Ichiro is planning a field of dreams on the moon. The World Baseball League’s viewership has declined to some of the most alarming levels in the game’s history. To survive, baseball needs to expand to a new market, and the only place to go is out to the stars. There’s one hitch in the plan: playing baseball is impossible without Earth’s gravity.

Can Hideki navigate new technologies, angry owners, and the drive-by media before time runs out for both baseball and his own career?

Explore baseball’s future in the heart-warming novella by multi-award nominated science fiction author Jon Del Arroz!

BUY NOW

Airship Arthur, for Tales of the Once and Future King

Today’s blog post brings us Bokerah Brumley, short story author extraordinaire, on how she developed her short story for Tales of the Once and Future King, now out from Superversive Press (No, for the record, I will never refer to it as TOTOAFK — it looks too much like Dorothy’s little dog is not at the computer right now.)

Last year, I caught wind of a call for submissions that tickled my fancy. The idea called for all sorts of creative takes on Arthurian legends. When I sat down to brainstorm, I wasn’t quite sure what I would write, but I’m a contrarian that read a thread that struck me as a dare. I also like to do work oddness into the story somewhere.

Heck, I just finished a silly piece that included speed dating in space. Serious isn’t my thing. Weighty matters should be handled by much more knowledgeable folks. It’s easy to leave the historical pieces to others (like Anthony, Dawn, Declan, Jagi, Jason, and the other Superversive brilliants).

Beyond that, I’m a historian in the same way I’m a scientist–only if one includes all night Google-binge-cramming. I do it all the time since I mostly decide to live life balanced on the sword’s edge between epic procrastination and hard deadlines. Knowing that, I decided to leave the serious, historical fiction to others.

And if I was tossing serious to the wind, where did that leave me? What was the oddest thing that I could pull together into a story? In three days.

I told you. Apparently, I like the post-procrastination deadline madness.

Sword and the Stone was something I’d watched a handful of times as a kid. It made me sad to see Arthur at odds with his caretaker and then Merlyn, too, and I disliked that lavender witch. She scared the crap out of me as a little girl. I preferred Puff the Magic Dragon type stories, not that ugly, whiny, purple one the witch turned into.

I folded laundry while I brainstormed. Afterward, I browsed cover graphics on one of my favorite pre-made sites. And I found my young Arthur Pendragon.

In Airship Arthur, young Arthur Pendragon manufactures racing airships and leads a merry band of shipmates. I turned Bedivere into a breech-wearing girl that falls in love with the sneaky, pale Percival. The two of them make fools of themselves in mischievous and Arthur-irritating ways. Bors plays the part of a mechanic. Gawain is engaged to Nyneve, sister to the good woman Merlyn. Shenanigans ensue as the Ether Joy floats over the White Cliffs of Dover, lands at a castle, and then takes a jaunt down to Stonehenge to end happily ever after.

I’m sure I’m not the first to do such things to the tales and legends, but it made Airship Arthur a happy-go-lucky steampunk re-telling.

LIVE NOW.

What are you waiting for? You need some steampunk-happy in your life. DO IT.

SIGNAL BOOST: A PIUS MAN DEAL, LESS THAN A DOLLAR

So, book one of my epic thriller series, A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller, will be only $0.99 from now, this minute, until 11AM Eastern on Wenesday, October 4.For those of you who don’t recall what A Pius Man is about, the flap copy reads as follows.

Ahem.

Murder in the Vatican!

As the head of Vatican security, Giovanni Figlia must protect a new, African Pope who courts controversy every other day. The Pope’s latest project is to make Pius XII, “Hitler’s Pope,” a saint. Things haven’t gotten better since the Pope employed American mercenary Sean Ryan.

Then a body fell onto the Vatican doorstep.

Mercenaries, spies, beautiful women, international intrigue and ancient secrets – The Pius Trilogy has it all!

 

I won’t be pretentious and say that this is my masterpiece. If I had known what I was doing when I first wrote it, it probably would have capped a 12-novel series, and included everyone from Merle Kraft (from Love at First Bite) and almost everyone in the cast would have appeared in other novels as bit players. But it does have a love story, a spy story, an action adventure novel, a murder mystery, a techno-thriller, geopolitical war gaming, and the cast of the Lord of the Rings… Okay, that last part is a bit of an exaggeration

Though one of my goals was go make it look like every other “Catholic Conspiracy” novel out there, and then turn the cliches upside down and inside out. I have a really pale, silver-haired priest with combat skills (no, he’s not an albino, honest). There’s the standard “ultra-right-wing Pope”

I remember once doing an entire blog post where I was debating whether or not A Pius Man was pulpy. Jon del Arroz replied with “Dude, you had a bomb on page 5. Of course it’s pulp.”

Heh. Okay then.

Though as I look at the page for Pius, I see that people who viewed it also viewed: Forbidden Thoughts, and Carnage and Culture. Heh. That’s some … interesting company to be in.

Anyway, the book is up from now until October 4th for only $0.99.  If you were waiting for a price drop, this is your chance.

APM will be on sale for $0.99 from 8:00 AM PST Wednesday, September 27th through 8:00 AM PST Wednesday, October 4.

Buy A Pius Man