Cheeseburger Gothic

How to drink

Posted 8 hours ago into Lunch Time Video by John Birmingham

W from Brisneyland sent me this video, which I found rather droll. It is not safe for work.

2 Responses to ‘How to drink’

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted 8 hours ago
ROF FKN LMAO!... ITS NOT A FKN INTERNET CAFE!.....FKN GOLD!

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Bangar is gonna tell you...

Posted 6 hours ago
I'm Bangar and I approve this message.

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Siri on the autism spectrum

Posted Yesterday into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Really lovely article in the Herald (originally NYT) about a mother's discovery of her autistic son's burgeoning friendship with Siri. She makes the point that her boy might have grown close to any AI, and investigates some of the potential for software 'sidekicks' to help integrate those growing up on 'the spectrum'.

But whether Siri or Cortana or el Goog, it's a lovely piece.

Gus had never noticed Siri before, but when he discovered there was someone who would not just find information on his various obsessions (trains, planes, buses, escalators and, of course, anything related to weather) but actually semi-discuss these subjects tirelessly, he was hooked. And I was grateful. Now, when my head was about to explode if I had to have another conversation about the chance of tornadoes in Kansas City, Missouri, I could reply brightly: "Hey! Why don't you ask Siri?"

It's not that Gus doesn't understand Siri's not human. He does - intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realised this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. "So it can visit its friends," he said.

17 Responses to ‘Siri on the autism spectrum’

Therbs reckons...

Posted Yesterday
That last paragraph. Wonderful.

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday
I do wonder what friends it will make. The movie 'Her' suggests with simulated intelligences we may become very fond of these friends finding them much more patient, reasonable and undemanding than our human friends.

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Bunyip ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday
Oh. That was gorgeous.
Ta muchly JB.

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Dave W asserts...

Posted Yesterday
I know who I'd ask about tornadoes in K.C.. Just sayin'.

Respects.
Outer marches etc etc.

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Zombie_Balzac puts forth...

Posted Yesterday
That was a great read. You wouldn't think with something so positive that the "don't read the comments" rule would apply, but yeah.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted Yesterday
+1, a nice yarn.

Human relationships are hard. Especially for young men. There seems a trend of people disengaging from human-human interactions. People will always vere away from the distasteful and difficult. Less experience leads to even more difficulty, more hesitance, more avoidance.
Programming continues to produce user interfaces that are more intuitive, more personable.
What will happen to us when these trends intersect?

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
First, I think the parent is a shit for not having the conversation with the kid anyway and throwing it off to a piece of technology. It sounds like the sort of thing my parents might have done. Besides, one can have a far more productive conversation with Google's app than with Siri.

In relation to tornadoes, I've lived in the Midwest for most of my life. The gaps in habitation can be narrowed down to five months during the Gulf War and eleven months in South Korea. Throw in four to five more months for Basic and AIT in South Carolina/Georgia respectively.
So, I have never actually seen a tornado. The closest I have been to one is a particularly nasty storm which hit the area back in 2003 I believe. It is the one time I sat in a bathtub with a book since I lived in a brick, cockroach infested apartment building. I didn't realize it but apparently the tornado cell had passed over North Kansas City and landed in Kansas City North (further north), destroying a brand new housing development which included the just finished home of KMBC 9 News Anchor Kris Ketz.

We have storms. Just like everyone else does. We don't ride to work on horses nor do we kick the shit from our boots before we go into the general store. Cattle do not roam the streets, we don't eat BBQ every day. Most of the metroplex that has the name, "Kansas City," is actually on the Missouri side with the sister component in Kansas being much smaller (yet every Hollywood script writer puts the entire city in Kansas because they can't be bothered to look at a fucking map). And contrary to popular belief, the city is not inhabited by Larry the Cable Guy clones driving massive trucks tricked out with coal rollers and lift kits.

And I do not think I have ever owned a pair of cowboy boots.

This friendly rant is brought to you by the letter, "N." N is for Nostalgia.
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted 18 hours ago
But, what you do have in Missouri, is the State Animal is the mule.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted 15 hours ago
"passed over North Kansas City and landed in Kansas City North (further north)"

And you lot laugh at Mooloolaba, Woolomoloo and Woy Woy.

Zombie_Balzac reckons...

Posted 13 hours ago
To be fair, we laugh at them too. See "Simon's Grandad" and Woy Woy Downing. "You're from where?"

yankeedog would have you know...

Posted 10 hours ago
Don't listen to Murph. KC is a dusty cattle town where people eat barbecue every day, in front of the saloons with the swinging doors and the guys playing honky-tonk pianos right before the bar-fights start.

Zombie_Balzac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 9 hours ago
Careful y-dog! If you go to KC or KC North or North KC or Even Further North KC, Murph might jest call you out. Two men in the dusty main street, facing each other through the honking traffic.

damian reckons...

Posted 5 hours ago
We have Point Danger, Mount Warning and Mount Mistake in roughly a straight line

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Abigail mumbles...

Posted 14 hours ago

Loved the article! Beautiful story, and as a mother of two Autistic boys I can understand exactly where she is coming from.


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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted 11 hours ago
I also loved this article. Autism is frustrating, mysterious and frightening even for the very best parents. The fact that this child connected with this machine is nothing less than magic.

And Murph, stop lying. When a Kansas Citian isn't eating fried chicken they are wolfing down BBQ. Every fucking time I'm in KC and meet with someone its all "Hey, Paul! How about we get some BBQ?" Every time.

But I understand: it is somewhat delicious.

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Surtac reckons...

Posted 11 hours ago


What Abigail said.

I have two girls on the spectrum and I know exactly what that writer is talking about. Anything, anything, that helps my girls cope with the world is worth it in my opinion.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 9 hours ago

Thinking about it, how many of us at one time or another when talking with someone get exasperated at them for not understanding, or listening to what we are asking. (or is that just me). These synthetics will never do that.

Classic example when someone says something and we don't hear them clearly we say "I'm sorry speak up, or I didn't catch that" and they reply and once more we don't hear/get it but if ask them to say it again they get annoyed and give up.

These synthetic personalities will never do that, they will be patient, they will never raise their voice, or sound like they are bored or dismiss our random obsessions. How can we not become enamoured of them.

My experience is with the voice directions in the car. Imagine if a passenger was directing you using the street directory and you missed the turn off, or took the wrong street. I know of no one who would state 'Recalculating' in a calm and measured tone and then give you a new route.

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Waking in Sydney

Posted Sunday by John Birmingham

I'm having a brew on the deck of the apartment Jane and I stayed in for the weekend, looking out over the eastern suburbs, across the harbor to the north. It's beautiful of course. It always is here. I can see the Manly ferry cutting its way past on of the uninhabited Islands of the harbor, and the sun turning a train on the bridge into a long silver streak.

If I stay writing this Saturday morning column in the Herald I can see myself coming down regularly to keep on top of things in the city. I'll be one of those commuters they were on about this week. Being here does help. It reminds me of certain truths. For instance the way most people experience Sydney is not as a city, but as the village in which they live. There's a lot of them here.

I took a happy snap yesterday but it doesn't quite capture the magic of the morning light.

37 Responses to ‘Waking in Sydney ’

damian asserts...

Posted Sunday
Nice photo anyway. The old town certainly has its charms, it's been several years since I've spent any much time there. Must address that one of these days.

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Sudragon ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
As a resident, the village concept is a valid one, but that's true of any big city, isn't it?

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Halwes mumbles...

Posted Sunday

I was born in the council flats at Chippendale and lived in various parts of Sydney, mainly areas around the harness racing industry, until I was 12 and dad moved everyone to the bush in the early 70's. My great grandfather and grandfather were both SP bookmakers who fronted as barbers in George St and Charing Cross. Both were gentleman rogues, with numerous court appearances between them, and I met some of the great characters of the day in those shops like George Freeman and, at Randwick, Big Bill Waterhouse, Ron Quinton, Tommy Smith and, my hero at the time, Darby McCarthy. I was at Randwick when Darby won the AJC Derby on Divide and Rule and the Epsom Handicap with a great horse called Brokers Tip on the same day in 1969. The grandfathers won and lost some great fortunes between them and I can still do the odds with the best of them. I've lived there since for short periods but always with the view of getting the fuck out of the place as soon as possible. The number of people and the pace of life there is very hard to like especially if you did battle with the roads or public transport in peak hours. There is no doubt that, if you want to make money, Sydney is the place. Unfortunatley it takes all the money you earn just to live there. Apart from rent etc there are so many temptations. There is always a concert, football or something on. There is always a party. There is always something to punt on, legal or illegal. Fast motorcycles are a big weakness of mine and the numerous bike salesmen were always very persuasive as well. The last place I lived was in Newtown and there were three pubs within spitting distance of the house which was heavily fortified to keep the junkies out. If I have to go back for anything I usually just do a hit and run, see the friends, do the business and get out. Until recently when I was there with some foreign relations who were tourists so I thought I should do the right thing and show them around. We went everywhere and had a great time because I'd really forgotten what a great trip it is over to Manly, how the Hawkesbury River shines, what great beaches are there especially Palm Beach where we spent so much time camping as kids, the Capitol theatre with it's non stop shows and the restaurant / bar life. The only downer on that trip was, as I got off a train at Mascot station I was about 5 carriages from where a man had fallen down and was laying still on the ground. Everyone was getting off the train so there would have been 300 people before me that stepped over this bloke and kept on walking. I'd had a big night and was still pretty out of it and I'm praying "please someone stop and help this bloke before I get there. I feel sick" but no one did. I stopped, performed basic checks on him, put him in the coma position and no one helped me except one bloke. He had all his luggage with him and he said" can you watch my bags and I'll go and get help"? Now anyone that knows Sydney knows that they will steal the gold out of your teeth down there but this bloke was trusting me to look after god knows what. So now I'm starting to straighten up a bit. Monitoring the bloke on the grounds vital signs and trying to watch this blokes bags at the same time for what seemed an eternity before he brought the ambos back. Me and the bag man really connected on that day. His name was Ron and I'll never forget him. I'm not sure that I would have done what he did especially with the amount of trust involved and that people constantly tell me that I look like I just got out of Long Bay. Not sure what happened to the bloke on the ground He wasn't dead when I left him so I'll go with that.

NBlob mutters...

Posted Sunday
...,"Which was heavily fortified to keep the junkies out."
Visited a mate of a mate in Paddington a while back. Amazing bamboo'd sanctuary, surrounded by the most intense domestic security I've ever seen. Custom flush set (no-pry) bars, tensioned wire, cameras etc. I commented, @ Zompocalypse, he'd bunker down & let it all wash by. He replied Zed would be far easier to deal with than his current neighbours and showed me his steel front door that bolted horzontally, down & up into a concrete lintel, he said would probably take an rpg. His internal garage door was also damned near mil-spec as baddies have been known to hack garage remote frequencies.

Yeah Sydney rocks.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted Sunday

Everything you described appeals to me.

We live in such different worlds...

Halwes mumbles...

Posted Sunday

Get on the roof of that house in Paddo, lift a few tiles and get in through the manhole or just smash a hole in the ceiling. To beat them, you have to understand their desperation. I got talking to an old bloke, of whom I have an enormous amount of respect, called Tom Uren at a Labor function. Tom said that we should legalise heroin, introduce a maintenance program and the problem would be alleviated somewhat. I said " screw that. I don't want to pay for their dope" but Tom was pretty persuasive. I left Sydney and went to live in London where there was no visible heroin problem like their was in Sydney. The answer was that heroin had been decriminalised in the UK at that time and the black market had died in the arse.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday
@Halwes
+1
+1
And there's that thing about people dying due to inconsistent quality gear. I've lost several near & dear to the dark path.

@PNB, His ornate cast iron lace work went into a recycling skip.

damian puts forth...

Posted Sunday
The ACT heroin trial got killed by the (new) feds in '96 too. What I learned a few years after the fact was that it started with an internal Lib rumour campaign against Kate Carnell.

Which is just another way of understanding that our tories are fractally fucked up.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted Sunday
"fractally fucked up."
So regardless of the scale of investigation they are similarly fucked up.
Reminds me of the joke "What does the B stand for in Benoit B Mandelbrot? Benoit B Mandelbrot."

damian mumbles...

Posted Sunday
No, that's just recursion. Fractal is like that, but more so.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted Sunday
l know Sydney the way I know Los Angeles: a city composed of different and very distinct parts joined by often ethereal commonalities. And I must admit, I love the place and think of it often.

Especially since I've learned that one of my high school mates, David Robertson, is conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. If you see him, tell hello for me.

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mrbolano ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
I like the reference to uninhabited islands. At least we got that right.

But I mainly comment to let you know you’ve got a wickedly dirty sensor on whatever camera you took that photo with. Dust spots like the plague.

I’d avoid trying to take any potential Walkley award winners with that one until you get it cleaned/replaced.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted Sunday
Ha. Had to shoot through a window

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted Sunday
Sniperlike

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insomniac mumbles...

Posted Sunday
I work in Sydney but I choose not live in any of its villages. I agree that they exist, and I think that they both facilitate and hinder assimilation. They are a great starting point for new migrants for settling in purposes, but also can end up being an enclave of sorts. I'm not bovvered but there must be plenty of rednecks who are.

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MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday
It's a great place to visit but I don't know if I want to live there.
My daughter now lives there so I should visit it more often.
Going down there after Christmas. I hope visit some of the museums this time

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted Sunday
I only know Sydney through The Matrix and Mad Max.

Umm, is that a bad thing?

I felt like I knew NYC better even if that stereotype was far different from the pleasant reality I encountered when I visited the place.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Bunyip is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday
Grew up there. Had Brett Whiteley, and Dragon as neighbours. Ended up living in East Sydney and the Cross about the same time as JB was lurking down here.

Left when I was 29. Still visit on occasion because family. One thing that I like is that those villages can morph. East Sydney, Darlo, Surry Hills, heck, even Chatswood.

And the harbour. Used to sail on it as a child, and still love a long ferry journey anywhere, either towards the Heads or up the Parra.

Murph, it apparently smells and feels similar to Atlanta, Georgia.

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Zombie_Balzac mutters...

Posted Sunday
Still getting to know Melbourne and its villages. Drove to St Kilda, passing a red Lambo, black Maserati and blue Audi virtually in convoy. Young men of unprepossessing mien. Probably just got off shift at KFC.

Tried Sydney a couple of times but didn't like it. A busy and mercenary place, filled with corruption. Unlike the simple honesty of Brisbane.

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Sunday

Yeah Brisbane / Queensland is honest allright. Except for the rampant police corruption and little things like the most horrible murders imaginable and the Fitzgerald inquiry and Joh and Russ.

Zombie_Balzac mumbles...

Posted Sunday
Anti-Joh marcher/street protestor here. Old bastard should have died in jail where he belonged. Mind you the five (?) of his ministers who did time should probably have been ten. "Simple honesty" was very tongue in cheek. And it's all come back but this time they're a little more cautious. "Why shouldn't I make seven donations of $9999 under different names using $2 companies? It's legal. And there's no law against sharing a ******** with ******'s in-laws? And yes, my application was granted but that's because it was a good one - prove otherwise!"

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Red reckons...

Posted Sunday
Sydney is great, but some areas are nicer than others. You're right about cities having their own villages, Sudragon.

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Red reckons...

Posted Sunday

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Red asserts...

Posted Sunday
^ Sorry. Hope this posts. Last comment didn't show up. There's a different vibe in each city's villages. Makes city life interesting - a mix of people, urban cultures, cuisines, quirks, influences. I also loved living in the country at times during my turbulent 20s. I moved around a lot back then (ie Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Newcastle).Sydney's northern and eastern suburbs are lovely. I like Manly, Bondi, and Paddington. I have fond memories of Bondi Junction when visiting my Grandma there during school holidays. A good break from my (then) hometown of Canberra. I also used to live in Chippendale and Newtown, Halwes. I enjoyed its buzz at the time (back in my 20s - ie in the mid 80s), but I wouldn't want to live in inner city Sydney again, or in Sydney at all, even though it's lovely in its own way. Each city is different.

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Sunday
Speaking of 'Waking in Sydney'
On this Australian surfing internet forum I visit, there has been an impassioned debate about daylight saving. There has been a lot of good-natured, comic abuse and somewhat faux high feelings.
One of the contributors is Nick Carroll; a fine, professional writer who has mainly earned his trade as a writer about surfing matters. He is a former Australian National board riding champion.

Nick has been occasionally chipping in to the daylight saving debate with a 'who the fuck cares, you tools' type comment.

But he upped the ante with this quite lovely remembrance of waking up, in the 1960's, in Newport on the northern beaches of Sydney.


"OK look fcuk it I'm swinging for the fences.

The summers before daylight savings are deeply entrenched in my childhood memory, indeed they feel like part of my physical nature. I would wake up not long after the light had begun to colour the eastern sky, maybe around 4.30am, and wander the silent house, smelling the cool air, delighting in the human silence and the sense of being alone with the world as it is, not as we would have it be. We lived on a main road, but a main road that had one lane of traffic either way and no gutters, just a dirt verge - at times during a working day, ten minutes would pass without a car. In that silent early summer, you could hear nothing but birds and maybe the sound of the ocean just over the crest of the road above our house. Not that it meant anything to me then. I would tiptoe down the hall to the kitchen and dig out four or five Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits from the biscuit can, and tiptoe back to our bedroom and sit quietly nibbling the biscuits, and listen as the world slowly awoke to the sun.

Those mornings are as indelible a part of my life's accounting as any memory of a wave ridden. They live in a place inhabited by few other things, most of which have to do with my children or with sex or long barrels. Yet they feel to me like a kind of fluke, an unplanned thing, something I stumbled into as a very little boy, my mind still unformed, waiting for something as simple as an early summer morning to imprint itself almost casually into my flesh and still speak to me 50 years later, as I am sure it will on my deathbed. Christ I am so sad about the world, how quickly it will pass, I will die and it will all be gone, for all my cleverness and writerly skills my experience of it will vanish as if it never existed. And what am I or any of us but one among billions, here and gone, and the world goes on, which is the only thing that makes any of it bearable.

So yeah who really gives a fcuk about daylight savings."

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted Monday

I've lived in the burbs and a few "villages" in Sydney. I'm lucky in that I commute via a short bus trip and the Eastern Suburbs rail, I live a few minutes walk from two beaches and no longer need to own a rusting out car.

Rozelle and Balmain were fantastic places to do the felafel thing in the 80's and 90's. Sitting on the back deck of a converted boathouse in Balmain, pulling cones at midnight and observing "cigar" boats running no lights, pulling up to the big mansion on the point near Dawn Fraser pool.

Still, you walk around in various streets and feel the pulse of that neighbourhood whether it be boy racers drowning out lawn mowers; a mix of coffee shops and cute 2nd hand joints or converted warehouses sporting flashy glam and the hangover of spent disco biscuits.

Aside from that there's good pubs. nosh holes and currently a craft beer festival.

insomniac mutters...

Posted Monday
I swam in the Dawn Fraser pool once while I was working in Balmain. I was doing laps and touched something under the water which freaked me out - that and feeling sick as a dog for days afterwards. Parramatta River water doesn't agree with me.

Therbs would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
What you touched was probably jelly fish. We used to call that pool Dawn's Dirty Bottom. It was popular enough though. The water polo guys used to train there, made me think it was ok.

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Rob would have you know...

Posted Monday
I went to Sydney as a wee 12 year old on holiday from New Zealand. My Mom wanted to see the Sydney Biennale We visited expat kiwis living in Bondi and stayed in Kirribilli. Went skating with some cool kids around car parks. I had a great time. Such relaxed wonderful friendly people, unlike New Zealand which was uptight and a bit pov. So I always had a romantic view of Sydney, then I moved there in 97 as an adult and stayed in the western suburbs for 9 months until moving to Tasmania for Uni. Too expensive, couldn't get a decent job without a degree, full of nut bars. Trying to take my kids to the park and it's got guys fuking prostitutes at park benches. Decided to get out. But one weird thing struck me about Sydney. The friendliness of the people (even the police were nice). I couldn't stand in a shop queue without striking up a conversation with somebody regardless of their ethnicity or background. I was in a Hobart supermarket a few weeks back and this woman started talking to me about things, I was really taken aback about it. Turns out she was from Sydney and thinking of moving down here. Light bulb moment, aha, we don't talk in queues down here in the apple isle. Because we are basically unfriendly and a bit conceited regardless of what the government propaganda might suggest

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Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted Yesterday
I've lived in Sydney's East for virtually all of my life. As a kid near Maroubra Junction, then mainly Bondi from about age 11 onwards. In Sydney the furthest west I have lived as about 100m west of Anzac Pde near Kingsford... I lived up Tamworth/Armidale way for about 2.5 years at one point - and hated it. Some aspects were ok, but it was a bad time of my life, and frankly the country bored the shit out of me.

I know Sydney's shortcomings. Crowds, expense, dickheads...but they are evened out by the beaches, the conviences, the attractions. Even my beloved Scum Valley (what Bondi was called in the 80s) has loads of difficulties, but when you know what they are you deal with them. The weekend just past was a good illustration of why I love the place. Walk to the beach both days, water was clean and the surf up, surf club patrol saturday, kids nippers sunday...saturday night Wifey and I walked down the road to a new Italian restaurant for a rare child-free dinner...so nice!

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted Yesterday
Bronte was pretty damn good as well yesterday morning. New wog nosh in Bondi? Any good?

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dweeze mutters...

Posted Yesterday
Sydney-
A great place to visit
A better place to leave
Won't catch me living there ever again. Or any city for that matter.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted Yesterday
You feel that way because you've never been to Butte, Montana.

Anthony mumbles...

Posted Yesterday
I'd like to make a Butte crack, but I can't think of one...

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yankeedog reckons...

Posted 10 hours ago
Off topic, but I need some help from the ladies and gentlemen of the Burger jury.

I just saw the trailer for the game 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare', and if anyone can pull it up on YouTube, go to 0:52 in the clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSp8ZqIKEIM

Is it me, or does that guy have the appearance of a certain Australian author? Also has a bit of your Prime Minister, Heyyyyyaaabbbootttt, as well. It's Birmingabbott! Or Abbingham. Something like that...

Therbs asserts...

Posted 9 hours ago

Hey YD, Abbott is also an author. Had his book launch travel paid for by us and got away with it. Another reason we're hoping Putin ices him with some sort of secret ninja judo death hold at the G20, T20, i20 or whatever 20 it is those guys are soon having in Brisvegas.

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Respond to 'Waking in Sydney '

Just hammered the final nail into the copyedit of Dave II (Resistance)

Posted Thursday into Writing by John Birmingham

Both versions: Aus/UK and US. Below is the Australian cover.

I'll sign off the final proof pages of Dave 1 ('Emergence') on Monday.

And finish the rewrite of the second draft of Dave 3 (Ascendance) mid next week.

Then the Dave Hooper ebooks and a couple of Stalin's Hammer titles which are about three quarters done.

I'm in Sydney tomorrow but I'm with Jane and will have no time for burgering. I hope to be back in the new year to pimp the books, however.

I should sit down and write a proper essay about the advantages and otherwise of writing all the titles in a trilogy together. It's mostly good.

I have a feeling people are going to have an irrational love of this series and these characters. I still found myself laughing out loud as I did the final edits, and I've been through these manuscripts so many times now I can recite them.

73 Responses to ‘Just hammered the final nail into the copyedit of Dave II (Resistance)’

Naut reckons...

Posted Thursday
Looking forward to it.

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Naut would have you know...

Posted Thursday
Looking forward to it.

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Naut mutters...

Posted Thursday
Clearly I am REALLY looking forward to it.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
are you looking forward to these book Naut?

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted Thursday
Ha. Had to leave at least a couple

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
I feel an epic *squeeeee* of excitement coming on. Can't wait to get my hands on these.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted Friday
I see your *squee* & raise a * hands rubbing*

Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted Friday
LIKE

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WarDog would have you know...

Posted Thursday
John, what's the latency between signing off the final proofs and purchasing a copy in store?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
I think the Oz edition will sneak into the wild on Dec 23.

Nez would have you know...

Posted Friday
I final present for the wife to grab me just before Christmas. That makes her job easy.

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Red swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
Impressive covers. Love the way the design follows through from one to the other - ie directional flow. Great design.

What a feat. Three books--a whole series--in what... two years? Amazing. Well done, JB.

JG


John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
I think you're going to love the American covers more, JG

Red asserts...

Posted Saturday
How so? Love these Aussie/UK covers. Look forward to seeing the US covers. Trust I'll be wowed again.
JG

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Dick asserts...

Posted Thursday
Not a good look JB. This announcement of a certain blockbuster trilogy is clearly timed to tear the limelight away from Flanagan after he won the Booker yesterday. Lucky for him he got in ahead with the 'I'm ashamed to be Australian because of Tony Abbott' headline grabber. Otherwise his one piddly book wouldn't have stood a chance, even if it does have lot' of pages too.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Friday
FKN RIGHT

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Zombie_Balzac asserts...

Posted Friday
I had such hopes. But that guy in Tassie who has a copy of Emergence in his filthy selfish paws isn't answering tweets or FB request. I swear he's been nobbled by Ninja bunnies. Or Havock got to him first. All I wanted was to be the first burger to read it, so I could do the GLOATY DANCE (which involves waving my posterior in the direction of NBlob). Oh, and feathers.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
& tar
Please let there be hot tar.

Respond to this thread

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
Best covers I've seen in awhile.

These are going to be great.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted Friday
but can you judge a book by them?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted Friday
Sadly, no. I learned this when I was 12 and purchased a used paperback depicting a buxom young lady wearing very little in the clutches of a tentacled bug-eyed monster. Neither appeared in the story, and, due to that particular nascent stage of my existence, I wasn't sure which non appearance disappointed me more.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday

Odd

when I was that age I recall buying a book with a star field on the cover and a heroically posed female officer armed with a plasma rifle, but inside featured a women, repeatedly described as buxom, who bore no resemblemce to the woman on the cover and spent most of her time being divested of clothing by a tentecled demon from the sea.

Lulu reckons...

Posted Friday
I'm sorry that the cover of my memoirs caused you disappointment, Paul.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted Friday
I got over that disappointment three weeks later when, as I wandered through a used book store in Duluth, Minnesota, I serendipitously discovered a small black and white magazine entitled Naked Girls with Big Bugs (circa 1957) that feathered nude women being menaced by giant insects. At the time, it was all I could have hoped for - and it spurred a life-long interest in amateur entomology.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted Friday
Hasn't SyFy optioned that book for a TV series yet?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted Friday
I certainly hope not.

Respond to this thread

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted Friday
All good. Can't wait.

Am deeply interested in knowing whether one or two characters survive.

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted Friday
There was a barbecue party at the end of Book Three in Kansas City . . .

Shit. I wasn't supposed to say anything about that, was it?

Anyway, it was pretty tasty. :)


Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
Upon further thought, I'm not sure I want to know.

Murphy mutters...

Posted Friday
Why, yes . . . yes you were invited.

GRIN

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
Then my ultimate question has been answered, hasn't it?

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
All depends. Was it a BBQ run by Orcs? If so then I'd be a tad concerned.

Murphy would have you know...

Posted Friday
Well, Arthur Bryant's sauce was in the scene.

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
I've heard of Bryants bbq sauce. I'm not sure whether his so called "meat rub" is what I think it is. I'm kinda hoping so.

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
Mind out of the gutter, sir.

Bunyip reckons...

Posted Saturday
I hasten to point out that even though some people may get an invite to any event, not all manage to *cough* RSVP *cough*. Because, mortality and the fickle fickle nature of authors.

Also... I suppose it's a bit late to state that Therbs is the keeper of my moral compass. As in, I possibly swapped it for a shot of whiskey.

Respond to this thread

pitpat asserts...

Posted Friday
Congratulations, I hope you are amply rewarded with good book sales. Tough gig, thanks for sharing the grind of writing, re-writing, and editing. For me it has certainly let me appreciate the dedication and perservence required.

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted Friday


Having read the taster story 'The Demons of Buttecracke(sp?) County' many months back, I'm very much looking forward to these books. I'll be grabbing the first one as soon as I see it.

One minor concern from my perspective though, John. The first book shares a title with one of my very favourite SF novels from the early 1980s, Emergence by David R. Palmer. I highly recommend it as a cracking post-apocalyptic story.

So if you're going to reuse his title, your book better be at least as good. No pressure now. :)

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
Ha! Into the blood pots with the calfling Palmer!

Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted Friday

<grin>

I'm sure yours will have more 'splosions.

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted Friday
nice covers

Respond to this comment

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted Friday

I bought the AoT trilogy in one go from KMart. Hadn't previously been aware of their existence.

"Is that the Felafel and Leviathan guy?" I asked

"Yes! Yes it is." said the books, adding "Buy us!"

So I did and took them home that happy little book family. I also noticed the CBG web address and started lurking and commmenting on Havsy's FKN CAPS LOCK!!! FKN MUPPET CAPPING!!!!! and laughing along with the CBG ensemble cast.

Looks like I'll be nabbing another trilogy some time in the new year.

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Alan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
I'm looking forward to the series and very happy that you are writing them all at once. Be interested to see how that goes with sales. Whenever I find a new book I always check to see if the series is still a 'work in progress'. If it is, I wait until the author is done before starting it so I can pretty much read the lot back-to-back.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
I am so with you on this, Alan. When I discovered Balzac's the Human Comedy series I didn't start reading it until I was absolutely sure he was dead.

Zombie_Balzac asserts...

Posted Friday
Ahahahahahaha! Me are back!

Next installment of Human Comedy already at publisher number 2. Publisher number 1 lose interest after I eat his brains.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted Friday
I have the same policy with Confucian Analects

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
"Balzac's the Human Comedy" I am waiting for the movie from AMC. I found book III of the series Human Comedy: Fart Jokes the best of the series.

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MickH would have you know...

Posted Friday
So how do these books compare to the other ones you've written JB.
by that I mean in terms of writing, where they easier? harder? more enjoyable?. I won't ask you if its the best stuff you've written because you'd just say yes to that! :)

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yankeedog mutters...

Posted Friday
Looking forward to having these books in my grubby meathooks!

Also liking the cover art for 'Resistance'. Who did the cover art?

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Wolfcat mutters...

Posted Friday
ohhhh shiny shiny explosion goodness covers... will the books comes with white gloves so I don't get my sweaty mits on the awesome cover art.

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted Friday
Emergence - Resistance - Ascendance ... great titles JB, bout time you cranked out some more splodey goodness - Xmas timing perfecto.

Guess I'll have to rethink my aggressive response mode from ... 'what would Caitlin do?' to 'how would Dave handle this situation?'

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Rob mumbles...

Posted Friday
I really hope the whole world doesn't get a nuclear ass kicking again. Because I still find it shocking every time ole JB renders a third of the earth into post-modern radioactive sludge.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted Friday
Rob, one simply escalates to a point where the Higher Aswan is the only option.

Off topic veer.
Most excellent Podcast Dan Carlin commented recently: A nuke ain't That Big of a Deal. Except locally.
We've popped the top off hundreds in the last 60 years. In the air, underground, in space, under water & in beautiful coral atolls. Apart from a light dusting of Strontium 90 The World keeps on kicking on.

(Wiki: 1352 bangs, total yield of 90 Mt. )

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted Saturday
Yeah, but locally it is a very, very, very big deal.

Respond to this thread

DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted Friday
While I'm in the Bond/Fleming groove. In his 1962 article "how to write a thriller" Fleming said: "there is only one recipe for a bestseller and it is a very simple one. If you look at all the bestsellers you have read you will find they all have one quality: you simply have to turn the page."

You sir, at the risk of gushing, write page turners.

Respond to this comment

Sparty mumbles...

Posted Friday
Very exciting but geek in me has to ask?
I know its an F18 nearer the POV, but does look like an F14 Tomcat in the distance. Still around in this Universe or I guess it could be Iranian in a superpower anti demon team up!

MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
I think its just the angle Sparty, but it looks more like an F-15 Eagle to me since the rear stabilizes look parallel

yankeedog puts forth...

Posted Friday
Mick-the wings aren't quite right for an F-15. That's an F-14, or maybe a VF-1 Valkyrie from the 'Macross' anime universe (may as well get them in on this, too!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VF-1_Valkyrie

MickH mutters...

Posted Saturday
I can't zoom in close enough to tell

ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted Saturday
After looking at it, and comparing I'm thinking that the mid distance one is a F-14. The horizontal stabilisers are wrong for a F-18.

Respond to this thread

TeamAmerica mumbles...

Posted Saturday
Will the books be offered both in print and as downloads?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted Sunday
All formats, TA.

Respond to this thread

TeamAmerica has opinions thus...

Posted Monday
@JB- I belong to a web site called Ricochet, and another member of that site, with the screen name 'Seawriter,' reviews books for the Daily News of Galveston County, Texas, a paper whose circulation is 29,000. I recently had this exchange with him and I wanted to let you know that if he contacts you, he is a legitimate book reviewer:
Have not reviewed any of his writings. Normally I only review newly-released books (within the last 12 months), whether first release or reprint.

If Birmingham is still around, or his books are being republished, the publisher can send me a copy and I will read it. What I tell publishers and authors is I will read any book sent to me, but will not guarantee I will review it. What I will guarantee is if I review it, it will be a positive review. I try to recommend 50+ books worth reading to my audience.

Do you know author or publisher? If so, get them in contact with me and we can go from there.

——–10/19/2014———
As I recall, I spoke to you a while back about an Aussie sci-fi writer named John Birmingham. He’s written many books, not all sci-fi, but is perhaps best known for his Axis of Time trilogy which begins with ‘Weapons of Choice,’ which I highly recommend. By any chance, have you reviewed any of his writings?


John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
Thx, TA. I'll have the publishers add himn to the list.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted Yesterday
You'd do we'll to ad a Mr N Blob to that list of early release for review. Very influential reviewer. Short-track to Mann-Booker, Vogel, PM's, Pulitzer, Hugo, Orange & Jerusalem Prizes committees.
You may not have heard of him, he keeps a low profile as um privacy 'n stuff.

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TeamAmerica mumbles...

Posted Monday
Addendum: 'Seawriter's real name is Mark Lardas, and here is one of his reviews: http://ricochet.com/this-weeks-book-review-monster-hunter-nemesis/
(Ricochet has a readership in the hundred's of thousands, so his Ricochet reviews potentially would reach a large audience.)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
"Mark Lardas"

Bummer, dude.

Respond to this thread

TeamAmerica is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday
@Paul_Nicholas_Boylan- "" Mark Lardas" Bummer, dude"
Yeah, like Dick Butkis

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday
Another excellent example.

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Zombie_Balzac ducks in to say...

Posted 4 hours ago
Dammit! I finally heard from the guy that has a copy. I quote, "nope nope nope nope....ALL MINE". This is disappointing. Can anyone lend me a few Ninjas?

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Chicom Mick mumbles...

Posted 4 hours ago
Concur with Murphy - great covers. Looking forward to the contents also.

Great stuff JB.

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Respond to 'Just hammered the final nail into the copyedit of Dave II (Resistance)'

How to write about guns

Posted Wednesday by John Birmingham

Another useful How To post by Chuck Wendig, this time on a topic of acute relevance to me. Apart from throwing the occassional question to audience here (anyone remember "What's in the bag, Caitlin?") I tend to do my pew-pew research online or through Murph. Garth Nix once suggested I take myself off to a proper shooting range in the US when on tour and let rip with some of the artillery my characters use in the books.

Mmmmaybe.

Or maybe I'll just bookmark this useful blog piece by Mr Wendig.

Dr Thompson levels his argument.

Guns, man. Guns.

*flexes biceps*

*biceps which turn into shotguns that blow encroaching ninjas to treacly gobbets*

CH-CHAK.

Ahem.

If you’re a writer in a genre space — particularly crime, urban fantasy, some modes of sci-fi — you are likely to write about some character using some gun at some point.

And when you write about the use of a gun in your story, you’re going to get something wrong. When you do, you will get a wordy email by some reader correcting you about this, because if there’s one thing nobody can abide you getting wrong in your writing, then by gosh and by golly, it’s motherfucking guns. Like how in that scene in The Wheel Of Game of Ringdragons when Tyrion the Imp uses the Heckler & Koch MP7 to shoot the horse out from under Raistlin and Frodo, the author, Sergei R. R. Tolkeen, gets the cartridge wrong. What an asshole, am I right?

You can get lots of things wrong, but you get guns wrong?

You’ll get emails.

24 Responses to ‘How to write about guns’

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
And fkn so it should be, jugger authors have time, money and fkn bunnies galore to get this shit right. Haven't ya fkn heard it detracts from the through fkn story kine when you cluster fk the shit outta it by putting a .38 catridge in a .357

oops...thats right, you can actually do that. OK, when you have .50 cal rounds travel at 300 fps or any of the numerous fk ups that take place and WE have to fkn fix it for ya!.

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted Thursday
I was reading a historical novel set in London during the American Civil War which focus on a smuggling ring. The objective was to smuggle Enfield rifled-muskets to the Confederacy.

The problem? The writer stated that the weapons were useless because they lacked firing pins.

Umm, rifled muskets of that time period generally used a percussion cap which generated a spark to ignite the gunpowder. Not a firing pin.

That is a screaming error.

It doesn't just apply to guns. There is a notable author who had a scene with a humvee in it. This was a surplus military hummer owned by a civilian protag who popped the clutch, put the vehicle in gear and drove away.

Hummers don't have standard transmissions. They also do not start instantly, you have to wait a bit for the glow plugs to warm up.

Those are right up there with getting the capital of Alaska wrong and while there will be the ever so often mistake ones generated by lack of research are pretty bad.

It isn't just limited to guns, trust me.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Barnesm mutters...

Posted Thursday
hmmmm would we be aware of this notable author's work by any chance?

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
I can't seem to remember the author's name. Female, the novel was in paperback, I read it back when I was in grad school. It was pretty awful.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted Wednesday
"You don’t have to get masturbatory with details. Admittedly, some genres like that kind of masturbation, but it’s a detail you can tweak later."



FKN GOLD!

But oh yes you do!

Respond to this comment

dman69 ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday

I'm surprised you haven't actually headed off to the range yet as part of your research. Then again, the derp can be pretty strong at some of the local rifle ranges here.

The gunplay in your books that I've read (AoT, after America) hit the spot pretty well (pardon the pun!). I did like Wendig's point about keeping it simple... Zap 'em, keep the story moving along...

Looking forward to the new books !

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted Thursday
I generally provide John with a bit of guidance for those scenes.

Not much, just a dab here and there.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted Thursday
more a shot than a dab I would have thought.

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tqft swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Redirect the emails to Murph and blame him on twitter.
Problem solved.

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
Sure.

Respond to this thread

Maddoug has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Stephen King was a shocker for this in his early work. There's a scene in The Dark Half that has so many firearm errors its hard to credit.

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Nocturnalist mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
I notice my honourable colleague Aaron Dembski-Bowden has dropped by the comments there to note that you're just as likely to catch shit for getting made-up weapons wrong. I've been lucky enough to escape most of that from the writing point of view, but as a reader my suspension of disbelief is destroyed by any BattleTech story in which PPC blasts are red instead of blue.

Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
The appropriate Stackpolism is "Cerulean Blue"

Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
well pointed out oh scaly one

Respond to this thread

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
I'm reading Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International, now that research is mostly complete on the upcoming trilogy. There is a scene early on where the protagonist, recently unemployed by virtue of killing his werewolf boss, is having a job interview over pizza with a very attractive, Caitlin style woman.

Naturally, since sex is dangerous, the talk turns to her sidearm.

What follows is an incredibly technical, complex, jargon filled description of the weapon she carries. Normally it is the sort of thing that drives me insane because at the end of the day, there is only so much gunporn one needs to make the scene work.

Correia pulls it off. He does so because of the following:

1. He knows his guns.
2. He knows American Gun Culture.
3. He has an excellent sense of humor.
4. The nature of every piece of technical information he provides serves as a means to flesh out Julie Shackelton (I think I remember that name right).

My advice, one that I follow myself and one that I push on John, is pretty simple.

Don't write outside your envelope. If Caitlin needs a sniping weapon that can do CBQ in a pinch then give her an HK-417, heavier round, better range, not the best weapon but then we're not taking a bag of golf clubs with us. If you need to shoot someone in the story, do it quick and efficient. If you need to describe the wound, do a bit of research on the round and the type of wound it creates.

On the other hand, if you just need to shoot someone in the face and you are in a tunnel, just use a forty-five and get it over with.

In any case, with weapons, it is best to err on the side of caution. As I tell my students with their essays, I can't deduct points if you do not write down something you aren't sure about.

OTOH, if you make a mistake, then I most certainly will deduct points. Every time.

That is the model I follow and generally the one I encourage Birmingham to follow. Because at the end of the day, John is never going to be as enthusiastic about firearms as someone like Larry Correia is.

More to the point, he doesn't have to be.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted Thursday
Surely the firearm that writers most frequently get wrong is the that one first used by Russians in 1889 often referred to as Chekhonv's Gun. Some sort of pistol I believe.

Sudragon ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
Doesn't Chekhov usually carry a phaser pistol on away missions?

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Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
I've always loved what is called Chandler's Law: "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand". (Raymond Chandler, on writing detective stories.)

History is silent on the question of whether Mr Chandler got letters complaining about his accuracy in firearm details.


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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday

Have just finished re-reading The Stand and SK makes many 'mistakes' such as this.

From describing Shrikes as AGM's when they are anti-radar missiles so pretty useless in an environment when there's no radar being used, to troops guarding a nuke warhead store using BAR's.

To me it all is about research and some writers do it and some don't One thing I've noticed is that background doesn't always count.

For example Brian Lumley who served in the Royal Military Police used to make tons of 'firearm errors' in his Necroscope series.

Then again spy thriller 'supremo' Robert Ludlum was little better.


Respond to this comment

Zombie_Balzac is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
If I can extend this to TV, I just saw a good example. Without giving too many spoilers (watched via VPN and not shown in Oz yet) the first murder involved a gunshot off camera. The forensic crew rock up and the neat little wound is declared to be from a rifle at long range. Problem is, the sound was clearly a shotgun - as i commented to disinterested wife. But, what I thought was a careless sound effect turned out to be the clue to the whole murderous rampage that English crime shows deal with in every episode. So I had the solution half way through, wife says shut up, no one likes a smartarse. Nice to see them both get the details right and be fair in providing clues.

NBlob asserts...

Posted Friday
The momentary sweetness of being Right, is effectively soured by SWMBO observing "only a disturbed individual would know that."

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DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted Friday
In the Ben Macintyre look at Fleming/Bond "for your eyes only", there's a good description of how Fleming was contacted a few novels in, by an 'amateur firearms enthusiast' Geoffrey Boothroyd, who corresponds with Fleming, basically on why Bond wouldn't use the Beretta (he calls it a 'ladies' gun' a line used verbatim in Doctor No) but instead the S&W .38 or a Walther PPK. So convinced was he by the exchange he made the Services' armourer 'Major Boothroyd' "the greatest small-arms expert in the world". Thus making his correspondent forever immortal.

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted Friday
... and swapped Bond out of the Beretta into said other sidearms.

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Timbo puts forth...

Posted Friday
I enjoyed WWZ for the most part, but I cringed every time Brooks had someone say 'recharging a clip' or 'go for another clip' or the like. I kept picturing the SIR as a smallbore Garand.

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Respond to 'How to write about guns'

Alicia's FIFO life

Posted October 14 into Writing by John Birmingham

I follow a young writer on the twitz, Alicia Wanstall-Burke who had a lot of traffic through her blog today with this really well observed and very honest piece about life on the diggin's. Her serially itinerant lifestyle reminds me of my mid-20s Felafel period, although I went from couch to couch rather than mining camp to mining camp.

Mining, baby.

World-wide, it is an extremely transient industry. Not only do people move between jobs quickly and often, but they move across sites within the same company. They move between the different towns that service those sites. They shift interstate to work in different mineral operations, then overseas to work for different multi-national companies.

Yet in the the very same industry, employees are known to work for 30 or more years on one site, for one company. The vast chasm between these extremes is astonishing. And now thrown into this mix are workers travelling thousands of kilometres, flying or driving between home and work.

O/S Burgers, and possibly even inner urban latte sipping effete types like Havoc might enjoy Alicia's look into modern Australian frontier life.

It was very early in our relationship (as in, within days) that we decided we were a ‘mining couple’. We wanted to work on mine sites, live in mining towns and be feral little drunks who never did any laundry or dishes. Our first house was known across town as ‘that house with all the cars’, because we seemed to adopt Husband’s single male friends over the weekends, who subsequently sprawled across our furniture and sometimes wandered around without much on.

We’ve been extremely lucky to leave school and step straight into the biggest mining boom in recent Australian history – we are literally set up for life. We love it – the lifestyle, the middle of no-where, the arid beauty of the land, the sheer scale of the operations we work on, the extraordinary stupidity and lack of regard for personal safety some people are capable of and the amazing, heartwarming capacity of utter strangers to welcome you into their homes and hearts as their adopted family. These are things you don’t see anywhere else in the world, in an other industry.

Whole thing's here. Worth a look.

15 Responses to ‘Alicia's FIFO life’

pitpat mumbles...

Posted Wednesday

I've been in this game since 1988 and like Alicia have done the FIFO, DIDO, live in, and camp thing. I've had over thirty 'jobs' some lasting weeks some years. Often the ones you think are hopeless go the longest and others that you think are viable evaporate overnight. One company lost our exploration budget in one week :$20 mill in one week. Try getting a home loan with that kind of job security.

This is the third extinction level event that I have been through. The minerals industry as distinct from the coal industry quite regularly sacks most of it's exploration staff. During the 98-00 purge one large Aus based multi-national sacked 200 geos from one office in one day. Those 200 probably directly supervised over 1000 support staff.

For most of the young ones coming through this is the first time they will experience the underlying brutal nature of this industry. Probably for the past 10 years they have been told by the companies how important the staff are to the successful operation of the pit/prospect/company. But the reality is that like the rocks we mine the industry is ultimately indifferent to the individual. As I have learnt many times look after yourself, never think you are indespensible, and if possible squirrel away some cash because as sure as night follows day busts follow booms. Sounds like Alicia was quicker than I was to learn those lessons.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
It's amazing the difference in perception between standing outside a world, and in it.

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted Wednesday

Thanks for sharing this, John. I've always wondered what it was like on the inside of this - most commentary I've seen has been of the outside looking in kind.

I'll have a look at her presence on the twitterz.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
I hope she and her family get through this transition. I am sure those that make the decison to off load these people agonise over it.

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

Yeah multinationals agonise over their million dollar bonuses for shafting ordinary workers while they scoff champagne and caviar into their already obese stinking faces. I've been in the game 41 years and these people couldn't give a rat's arse.

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday

I'm sure Gina Riley tosses and turns in her sleep worrying over the fate of her miners.

Bunyip puts forth...

Posted Thursday
Why she can't sleep on a mattress, like a normal person?

Respond to this thread

pitpat is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

You are right Barnesm, having been on both sides of the desk during a purge there is no joy to be had. A lot of drinking -if you are lucky- but the end tends to be short sharp and brutal. There is no easy way of saying 'you have been made redundant/sacked/fired/terminated'.

One mine I was working at closed so quickly that the staff were not allowed to finish their coffee. The next shift flying into site were only told at the airport that the flight was cancelled and that they might be able to retrieve personal items sometime in the future. When, after a couple of years of closure, a new company came in they found a complete office setup with a fine layer of dust over everything, half written memos, pencils placed next to plans, plans still in the printer tray, desks with photos and momentos, kind of like they had all been disappeared.

I think it was during a period when I was nominally a 'boss' that I decided that it was better to jump than be pushed. Although in this current job and with the current conditions ( partner, children, get to go home every night,etc) I will ride this nameless horse until it dies.

Dave W asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Was that the Mary Celeste mine?

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
the dust image certainly called Mary Celeste to mind. I'd be more concerned about the fungus that would be spreading out from the half drunk coffee cups, after that long wouldn't it be near to achiving sentience.

Dave W asserts...

Posted Wednesday

Half eaten sausage rolls and 4 & twenties would be worse, methinks.

Hang on, second thoughts, could a mine worker leave a sausage roll or pie uneaten?

pitpat is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
It should have been called the Titanic but it was Selwyn. In juxtaposition when I was in Charter's Towers I was involved in the re-opening of some the old underground workings it wasn't uncommon to come across 'crib' rooms where the miners would have lunch. In one we came across perfectly coiled rope , a line of old boots, and old drill steels. One touch and they turned to dust. Must have been there since the turn of the 20th century. This also was reflected in the quality of their mining which had also stood the test of time.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
A: I'm holding a finger at you JB.

B: DAM, yes, travel...home away nad back. Its....soul destroying. FK YES!. And thats a far longer period than I did. I did12 months living away, getting home every second or third weekend, and bring the cheese and kissey up on occasion.

But it worked, it had too and ....well we are the better for it.

Whats the key, how to make sense perhaps. Well you take the good out of it, might take some time, but thats the cracekrs part. Looking back! and going...>FK ME!...Did I REALLY FKN DO THAT!


And no FKN CINO in a 150 tonne dumpy, though doing hand brake turns with the JAKE is fkn wicked on slippery haul roads!

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tqft puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Last year I did 6 months in Darwin just so I could get back into the workforce.

Separation, alcohol, boredom, midnight flights to get home. Stress, tears. and that was just six months, including one week with the other half visiting me up in Darwin.

Nah, single maybe. Not again.

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
God, was second prize 12 months in Darwin.? What a dump and police state the Territory is fast becoming. I don't go to Darwin unless I absolutely have to anymore. Greatest place in the world in the 70's. Singapore without the good bits today. FIFO out of Darwin would be hell on earth. The town is full of southern chancers all moaning about the heat and the cost of living and finding more and more ways to change the law to stuff our lifestyles with their predjudice and outrage.The local girl band have a song called fuck off FIFO because a lot go away to work in towns like ours and have a girl in each port. Pretty good lurk until the girls inevitably find out about each other then it's a blood sport. Guess whose blood? Did anyone hear Riotinto What have you turned us into ? on Australia all over last week. Pretty indicative of the mood surrounding the bullshit mining boom where only Gina, Clive and a lot of rich foreigners made money and ordinary aussies got their future generations resources ripped off.

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