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Posts by Jonathan LaForce

Legends become Stories

I consider David Drake largely responsible for my ambition to write.  As an enthusiast of history, I am impressed by where he finds inspiration for his novels- from the annals of human events.  We need not try to conjure up something incredible purely off our own inspiration and energies. Great men and women have performed such deeds as stand paramount in recorded existence.  

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How to Talk with Veterans

Sit, kneel, bend. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. We gonna be here for a minute.

Last month, we talked about telling the stories of combat veterans as they really happened. Without whitewashing or varnish. Without embellishment. Without lies.
In the third-to-last paragraph, I make mention of sitting down and talking with veterans. Over the last month I’ve been looking around and realizing nobody has ever explained how to talk with veterans, as a writer looking for technical (and personal) knowledge about the profession of arms. Today, we’re gonna start down that rode.
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Write our story as we lived it.

This particular moment in the year is hard on me.  I, and many others in my profession whom I consider my closest friends, are drawn up in remembrance of those whom no longer dine with us, save in spirit.  This period of reflection (with its accompanying vigils held), is never easy, but it is our responsibility.

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Making the Most of It

I’m finally at graduation.   It’s an odd place. Lest you think I’m kidding, I’m typing this as I listen to the valedictorian speak.  He’s doing a nice job, quoting Theodore Roosevelt about who matters- the man in the arena and not the critic.  

Being the man in the arena is not unusual for me.  I wrestled (and lettered) all 4 years of high school, I earned my living and my pay as a cannon cocker on a gun line.  In these I am totally used to being the man in the arena. Such ventures prepared me for tackling a new arena- academics. Read more

Ruminating on Falkenberg’s Regiment

Ruminating on Falkenberg’s Regiment

At 19 years old, I discovered Jerry Pournelle’s work in a massive omnibus entitled The Prince.  I will vociferously argue that his CoDominium series with John Christian Falkenberg III, is a better, more enjoyable body of work than Janissaries.  Friends disagree with me about this, but I tend to ignore them.  Pournelle’s Falkenberg is an incredible character and one I can always more of in my library, hence my surprise when I learned that a new Falkenberg’s legion novel existed.  Hallelujah!  Then I read it… Read more

Reviewing David Weber

David Weber has been busy over the last year.  A new Honor Harrington novel “Uncompromising Honor” and a new Safehold novel “Through Fiery Trials.”  This, from the man who said he was slowing down to 500,000 words per year.

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Why Not Laugh?


Laughter is not the best medicine, but it comes darn close.  It’s the reason we remember particular events. For many, it’s the reflexive means of protecting one’s self- witness the self-deprecating and dark humor many veterans utilize. Clearly there’s money in quality humor, Pandora and Sirius both maintain comedy channels.  But how do we go about humor as writers? Read more