Cheeseburger Gothic

And a great cheer went up

Posted 6 hours ago by John Birmingham

From the epilogue to Stalin's Hammer: Paris.

3 Responses to ‘And a great cheer went up’

Respond to this comment

insomniac puts forth...

Posted 6 hours ago
Well he would say that, wouldn't he.
but I digress ... woohoo

Respond to this comment

robW has opinions thus...

Posted 5 hours ago
Whomever, JB. Not whoever. I seriously aspire to be your copy editor, JB, but equally seriously I am writing software for the Amundsen-Scott Antarctic South Pole Station. If I don't deploy down there to install the software in October then I will be buried with other software projects (for counting penguins, counting edges of snow flakes, counting icebergs and measuring the occasional Doppler effect or wild-assed fantasy sterile neutrino). If I do deploy I will be seriously bored while rotating at the axis of the earth like a flea perched on the spindle of a record player. If that's the case, I shall let you know of my availability. While I won't be able to drag my Oxford English Dictionary with me, I can certainly access it online. ...just say'n...

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'And a great cheer went up'

BALLS.71 F**k you Kitty, we're gonna spend the night outside

Posted Yesterday into Sport by beeso

With Beeso off chasing his kids round northern NSW, guest host Adam returns to get things laughably wrong about sport (worth listening just for the olympic basketball prediction), why we suck at Test Cricket not here, olympians behaving badly and a cost benefit analysis of every gold medal.

Have a listen here or search for The Balls Podcast with Beeso and Dr Yobbo in your fine podcast player of choice.

Be the first to respond to ‘BALLS.71 F**k you Kitty, we're gonna spend the night outside’

Respond to 'BALLS.71 F**k you Kitty, we're gonna spend the night outside'

Paris progress

Posted Monday into Writing by John Birmingham

Just passed 40K of a planned 45K final word count. Unless I am suddenly siezed of a madness that demands I add a couple of last minute chapters, I should have this bad boy ready for beta in a couple of days. I'll probably send it out at the end of the week. I'll need a day or so to go through the compiled manuscript and do a light edit.

I could push on today. I got plenty left in the tank. But I've adopted the practice of finishing up when I hit my word goal for the day, even if I finish early. It's one of a couple of tweaks I've made to my work flow and it's helped a lot. I'm writing more consistently over the course of the week by not thashing myself every day.

11 Responses to ‘Paris progress’

Surtac mumbles...

Posted Monday
Huzzah!

Respond to this comment

insomniac mumbles...

Posted Monday
Out of interest, how many words are in one of the original trilogy books? ebooks make it hard to get a sense of the relative heft you get with a dead tree book.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted Monday
They ran to 160K. When I do the long form AoT booklet in 1942 and 1955 next year, I'll shoot for 110K, which was the length of the Dave novels.

jason reckons...

Posted Yesterday
I adopted the idea of a word budget from "how to be a writer" and I love it. I hit the word budget before lunch last Friday and was floating on air for the rest of the day, ended up almost doubling it which made up for only just making it in the previous week.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted 22 hours ago
There is no finer feeling than being in surplus by lunch time.

Respond to this thread

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
That'l do bunnies. That'l do.

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted Monday
Looking forward to seeing it.

Respond to this comment

DaveC would have you know...

Posted Monday
I'm preparing my steepled fingers, and well loved catch-cry.

Respond to this comment

Dave W asserts...

Posted Monday
Saw your Digital Preservation talk thingy on the Nat Library website today. Very interesting.

Respond to this comment

jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
Sweet, beta reading! If I'm not on the list, pretty please put me in there, sir.

Respond to this comment

Chirurgean reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Good news. Will you be using an iPad friendly collaboration app so I can lie on the couch and type in comments to my heart's content? Dropbox Papers (in Beta)? An article on your worflow in writing books would make interesting reading

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Paris progress'

Star Trek Beyond

Posted Friday into Movies by John Birmingham

I did manage to catch this one for my birthday. Took the fam. We all liked it. I'd post a review but, you know, writing books.

I'm not sure why it hasn't done as well as the others. I though it was better than the Wrath of Khan remake.

Now, back to writing books.

5 Responses to ‘Star Trek Beyond’

Sparty asserts...

Posted Friday
Into Khan did well cause people liked the first one. Ironically the better film (Beyond) is reaping the ill feeling the second generated. Could really see Simon Peggs influence -although constrained by the blockbuster template. My main criticism would be that Kirk again won through the power of his fists -in the series he would have lost the fight but won the war something like "So Idris Elba, you think you've won? but ...on EARTH we have a little EMOTION we call LOVE, Now turn off the mad computer / genisis device / guardian of forever and lets go home and kiss"

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted Saturday
I thought it was doing better. I had a rare moment when watching the film. They actually impressed me with the design of Yorktown Base. That hasn't happened to me in a very long time.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted Saturday
My thinking too, I liked it more than .....into darkness. It seemed a call back to Trek's optimistic vision. Even a fan of the 'we are stronger together over text. Laughed out loud at the 'seems so ...episodic" comment from Kirk.

Respond to this comment

Sudragon reckons...

Posted Sunday
Nice use of classical music.

Respond to this comment

Mark Clarkson reckons...

Posted Monday
Saw this a couple of weeks ago and loved it. Yorktown Base was spectacular to the point that I suffered from a bit of motion sickness i when they returned there to battle Idra's cronies(sorry cant rememeber the names. Simon Pegg's influence was there with some well placed humor

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Star Trek Beyond'

Writing update.

Posted August 17 into Writing by John Birmingham

Yes, it's been very quiet around here hasn't it. That's because I am a deep in a massive structural re-engineering of Paris. The e-book, not the city. It was something I kept putting off and putting off, trying to convince myself I didn't have to do.
But I did.
So please forgive my tardiness in not keeping things regularly updated here. There is a reason. I want this book to be really good. With this last episode of the Stalin's Hammer sequence, I want to restart the entire series, both the original 1940s-based narrative arc, and the new one I'm setting up for the 1950s.
I feel a little bit like I did that time I had to shut down the Burger in its original form at journalspace. I just needed to concentrate on AoT and nothing else. I haven't done that this time, and I will resist doing it, but I will also maintain my focus on the manuscript alone for at least another two weeks.

31 Responses to ‘Writing update. ’

dweeze swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17
I, for one, say "GO FOR IT, SON". Do what ya gotta do to make the bestest book. We all got lives we can get on with while you are massaging the beast.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted Friday
He said 'massaging the beast' !!!

Respond to this thread

Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted August 17
All good - the finished product will be the confirmation of the correctness of this decision

Respond to this comment

Surtac mutters...

Posted August 17
Do what you need to. I'm happy to wait.

Respond to this comment

Gutz ducks in to say...

Posted August 17
No worries Guvnor, wot them other blokes said. I think i heard this from somewhere? "with great power comes great responsibility"... So get to scribbling your words down and we shall amuse ourselves around here. Anyone got a bag of marbles? I seem to have lost mine.

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17
I come for the blog. But I stay for the books. Or some shit like that

Respond to this comment

KreepyKrawly would have you know...

Posted August 17
Don't worry about us, we'll just sit in the corner waiting for the jewels of your intellect to arrive... ß-Þ (Cracks whip)

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted August 17
FK Me I nearly bought a ticket north for SAR for you ya muppet! JUST gibe me the fkn keys will ya and ALL WILL BE SPANKY FKN OKAY DOKAY!.....HONEST!

Respond to this comment

DaveC mumbles...

Posted August 17
The question isn't why you had a pause from the blog to write a book on this occasion - but rather - how the fk do you you maintain the blog while writing all those other books, the rest of the time? My multi-tasking abilities are so poor I need to pause Netflix while I scratch my nuts.

Peter in the Bleachers ducks in to say...

Posted August 17
I'm with Dave C. keep at it JB, we the minions will wait.

Respond to this thread

David S. would have you know...

Posted August 17
Damn, I was so hoping you meant the city. It could use a good restructure you know, what with all those silly arrondissements, and the bridges; don't get me started about those darn bridges! Anyway your book, if it needs a good restructure then that's what you must do, so good luck with that.

insomniac reckons...

Posted August 17
Paris (the city) is fine, except for all those fucking French people of course. They bring the tone down.

Respond to this thread

SZF reckons...

Posted August 17
I just figured you wuz watching the 'Lympics. My bad.

Sudragon reckons...

Posted Sunday
At least it's not Pokemon Go, like some other famous authors lately.

Respond to this thread

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
I figured if you go quiet for a bit it's for a good writing related reason, so keep on with the "some of you will die, but that's a risk I'm willing to take" discussions you're no doubt having with your characters. We can wait.

Respond to this comment

Dirk puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
What they said ... Looking forward to it though :D

Respond to this comment

jl mumbles...

Posted Thursday
All good things are worth the wait. I know when I'm writing I go into a semi-fugue state and it's hard to take a shower or walk the dog, let alone maintain a blog, etc. I am amazed by what you do. BTW, picked up "How to be a Writer" while re-reading "Designated Targets" for the millionth time. I am learning from a master, JB.

jl mutters...

Posted Thursday
Finished "How to Be a Writer". Brilliant.

Quokka puts forth...

Posted Friday
Ditto.

Respond to this thread

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
JB, looks like you are close to solving the Riddle of Steel....can't wait to read it.

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
Spent an hour and a half on a time line issue this morning. No writing. Just thinking and moving shit around in my head.

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted Thursday
thats a fkn lot of free space within which to lose shit i reckon!

Dirk ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
We tend to be good at problem solving ...

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted Sunday
Confucius say: empty attic attract possums.

Respond to this thread

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
If you get busy you can throw us a Burger-Lite confession hour. I've found a new source of Portuguese Custard Tarts & a new low in self-control. Not the best combo, but one our resident Scribe will understand.

Respond to this comment

Sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
looking forward and intrigued by the thought of new 40's (and 50's) AoT.

Respond to this comment

Joe reckons...

Posted Friday
Any AoT is worth the wait!

Respond to this comment

Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
The best part of the new series will be the introduction of a younger, more virile (if that is even possible) Rhino. Sorry, Birmo, if I stirred-up a hornet's nest and distracted you. Not my intent. Just wanted to stimulate some JB love as the comments were going dormant.

NBlob mutters...

Posted Friday
A capital idea. But I wonder, will his metaphorical gonads the size of basketballs be any substitute for the elder Rhino's nuanced grasp of strategy and geo-politics?

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
more HMAS HAVOC...who fkn wouldn't love that shit!- and WHITE FKN DWARFS on skanky arses. well 70's versions or so

Respond to this comment

Aaron would have you know...

Posted Friday
I could imagine Stalin contemplating the 'restructuring' of paris via the hammer and leaving it as a warning a la reynes of castamere.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Writing update. '

Jason Bourne returns

Posted August 4 into Movies by John Birmingham

I also quite liked this piece in Rolling Stone on the return of the Bourne franchise. I've always liked the sleeping assassin genre. The first line of Without Warning is a nod to it. The Bourne films are the apotheosis of that particular literary trope – although Robert Ludlum would hardly literary.

This piece by David Fear is worth a read for any fans:

No one knew that the War on Terror was just around the corner while folks developed the blueprints for the Bourne movies in the early aughts, or that the talented lad who cried in Robin Williams' hairy arms had an inner MMA fighter lurking within. Play poker against an Oreo-licking, scenery-chewing John Malkovich? Totally. Sweep the leg of a guy with a machine gun who just crashed through a window, crack his limbs and stab the dude with a pen? Did not see that coming.

That's the Identity scene that really sells the idea of Damon as an agile action hero — or more specifically, that his lean, mean, government-trained killing machine could be the template for an entirely different type of action-movie hero, one more suitable to the moment than the traditional steroidal he-man. The Stallone/Schwarzenegger model wasn't necessarily going to cut it now, nor, for that matter was a dapper agent with a martini in his hand and witty quip on his lips. (To say that the Bond films changed tact, and wisely so, would be an understatement.) What was needed was someone espionage-savvy who played dirty in a dirty-bomb age even if he seemed as superficially whitebread as a Midwestern all-state wrestler. Someone smart enough to have read a book and lethal enough to then use that same book as a weapon.

32 Responses to ‘Jason Bourne returns’

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted August 4
I read an interview with Matt Damon years ago about first getting cast as Bourne. His career was a bit dead. His last couple of movies had not been commercially successful. He was not being sent scripts. He was worried. Then he got invited to lunch with these filmmakers. Didn't think much of it. That's what happens in Hollywood he said, you get invited to lunch. Not much usually comes of it. But they pitched Bourne to him and they seemed keen for him to do it. He was puzzled by their interest. He said to the interviewer, look at me, my face is naturally boyish and a bit smirky. His said his first job after being cast was to stand in front of the mirror and find the Bourne face.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted August 4
Ha, great story.

Respond to this thread

Stephen M. Stirling asserts...

Posted August 5
God, but I wish the CIA were as ruthlessly omnipotent in real life as it is in the Bourne movies.

NBlob reckons...

Posted August 5
Because the CIA has such an impeccable record of helping, being right and making things better?

Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted August 5
I don't think the CIA can find their ass with a road map.

Sudragon ducks in to say...

Posted August 5
Isn't that because Russian moles have swapped all the maps?

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted August 5
Most likely. Like no one noticed the soft spots in the lawn at Langley.

NBlob asserts...

Posted August 7
It must be odd, significantly & jarringly odd to work in an agency publicly tasked to undertake industrial grade shenanigans. In a Military context sir yessir, but civilian with footy-tipping and the new A04j(15)-Approval of New Form form which is submitted to the form approval unit, not the old A04j(11).

Respond to this thread

Therbs reckons...

Posted August 5
I reckon the Bond franchise needs to go back to Fleming's work and re-imagine it in a darker world. Either that or realise that shark jumping is not best practice.

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield mumbles...

Posted August 5
I bunge (re)read all the Bond books from go to whoa last year. Hadn;t read them since I was a teenager, I was inspired to do so by the excellent "For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond" by Ben McIntyre (regulars will have heard me bang on about this many time before here at the Burger).\ I was shocked at how *bad* they were, Any decent (dark or otherwise) Bond reimagining needs to be at least as removed from the source novels as the Craig versions...

Lulu reckons...

Posted August 5
Darren, have you read "The Man Who Saved Britain: A personal journey into the disturbing world of James Bond", by Simon Winder? It's hilarious, while also saying some quite astute things about why Bond appealed to post-war Britain.

DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted August 8
No, but I will. Thanks!

Respond to this thread

Rhino puts forth...

Posted August 6
I'm conflicted. I generally like the Bourne movies and Damon as an actor. Seems like a likable dude. I can't decide whether or not he is a major hypocrite for having his career revived, and pockets filled, by playing a character (multiple times) that uses guns, etc., and yet he calls for disarming everyone. I generally let that stuff slide ... but I'm conflicted here for some reason.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted August 6
I haven't seen the new movie, but the series does not present guns as a desirable lifestyle choice. Bourne is constantly miserable and the only nice people he encounters do not seem to be carrying a weapon.

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted August 6
real WTF. 'but the series does not present guns as a desirable lifestyle choice. Bourne is constantly miserable and the only nice people he encounters do not seem to be carrying a weapon." There a lot of people in TEXAS and elsewhere that would really fucking disagree! IF FACT!...One of my most hapiest and recurring fkn events is when I have a GUN IN MY HAND!!!......BOTH for those with dirty moinds and Killing bambi and ducks and I would wger FKN BAD GUYS!.

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted August 8
Aside from lifeguarding saves the closest Zen moments I've ever had come from time spent with an M-16 or some other type of weapon. Frankly, I think Damon is a first rate hypocrite. Then again, he isn't alone in Hollywood in that regard.

Respond to this comment

LCC puts forth...

Posted August 12
JB... my heart swoons a little just writing your initials!! I lived for Felafel and just caught the news about 66 York Street. That book was such a gem in every way. I still live in Brisbane and often think of its various characters. Thanks for having the balls to get it out there. Also.. just wondering JB, had you ever had time for The Sopranos etc?

Respond to this comment

Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted August 12
I do enjoy the Jason Bourne movies...but every time I see Matt Damon on a screen or in print I instantly think of Team America - World Police.

Jon would have you know...

Posted August 13
"I'm so wonely" damn you now I have to watch that again!

Respond to this thread

Rhino asserts...

Posted August 15
I know that this blog isn't a money generator and I'm damned glad JB is busy, busy with paying gigs. But, I'm a spoiled Rhino. Anyone else feeling JB withdrawal symptoms?

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted August 15
You are not alone, Rhino.

Respond to this comment

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted August 15
Testify, Rhino.

Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon would have you know...

Posted August 15
there is a lot of derp out there taking up his attention methinks. Trump, derps dressing like a bunch of footy players for a theme night on the turps (turpsderps) and sermon bombing a church (turps derps at church), Trump, and Trump. Plus that story from a couple of weeks ago about zombie nazi reindeer rising from the melted depths of the siberian tundra has got to take anyone's attention . . . . . okay maybe not nazi but it was from 1941!

Respond to this comment

NBlob mutters...

Posted August 15
Rumour Control.
1. JB is not quelling a Bunny uprising.
2. He is not consulting with Presidente Dueterte re-writing the Phillipino constitution, substituting a time-traveling brown coach for where it currently says ya de ya fair & speedy trial.
3. Nor negotiating a fair price for the Spratleys.
4. He is not competing @ Rio in the Double overhand spliff roll. His competitive days are past. (An irreparable metacarpal blowout in 03.)

NBlob mutters...

Posted August 15
Fkn auto correct *time travelling brown couch *

Dave W mumbles...

Posted August 16
Shouldn't have drawn attention to it, N, now it's all I can see and it wasn't noticeable to start with. Anyway, worst case scenario is that JB has been called upon to ghost write Senator Lleyenholm's memoirs, Liberty For Most, and keeps getting instructed to redraft, but with 'more 'splosions, dammit!'

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted August 16
Besides - a time travelling brown coach can fit more people in it. Couches can maybe fit 10 max.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted August 16
There is that.

Respond to this thread

jason would have you know...

Posted August 16
Where is JB you ask? Did no one notice the planetary alignment this week (literally not metaphorically). JB is out there planet hopping as part of the research for his new space opera. By now he is halfway to Uranus.

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted August 16
http://www.gifbin.com/bin/052011/1304618376_tumbleweed-gif.gif

Respond to this comment

NBlob reckons...

Posted August 16
Sources GLOMAR (neither confirm nor deny) JB was Kevin's fly in The UNSecGen Oyster. While some contend aledge &/or imply JB wants the slot for himself, others better informed suggest he is backing the Mrs Lee candidacy, just hasn't worked out how to tell Havoc.

Respond to this comment

NBlob puts forth...

Posted Friday
Taptap pause tap pause taptaptap.
Either JB is being held prisoner, or the moron tap an apple choir is rehearsing

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Jason Bourne returns'