Cheeseburger Gothic

A Matter of Elvish - Mark Williams Fanfest 2015

Posted Yesterday into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Another lovely piece of story telling, this time by Sparty. There really is some good work in this little festival.

The huge orcy things armour just shook off the blow and Ben’s War Hammer shattered in two.

The next hit will end this he thought. He did a quick mental inventory. No useful weapons left, he was bleeding everywhere and the rest of his team were all down. They were on their own and no rescue was coming. Oh well, he thought, sometimes you just have to hunker down and roll the hard six.

Time to take a chance and roll the dice.

"Ok I cast firestorm"

His friends groaned -"it's a tiny room!”

Mark, the dungeon master, refereeing this particular game, snapped out an answer. “you’ve said, you've cast it- roll the damage". He was interrupted by Rico, dyed green haired, hyperactive and unable to sit still once his role playing character was out of action. Rico came rushing back into the room holding his iPad. “Jeez put on the TV now- you don’t want to miss this!”

***

They watched the coverage from the basement of a house eight blocks from the FEBA or forward edge of battle area) as Dan the ROTC cadet confidently informed them. Not in the stunned silence like most groups of viewers gathered around TV's across the United States. This group conducted a live commentary on the WBN footage of the first battle of New Orleans.

"Oh that's gotta hurt"

"Nice warbow shot, definitely rolled a critical hit there"

"Now that's the sound of an AK 47 going full auto"

"Thing is with Tbow, he may be a drug dealing gangster bastard but you know he's good to his Mom and that he's got your back when the monsters come"

I reckon that must be a warhammer"

"No look it's an axe"

"Axe hammer!"

"HAMMERAXE!"

'That must be some crowded airspace with all those news choppers and gunships"

"Oh dear, Now that was always going to happen".

When the battle had started and the first flashes and bangs had occurred, Mark, wanting to keep their focus on the game of Daemons and Damsels (3rd Edition!), he had spent to much study period time devising, had assured them that it was just downtown fireworks, probably a stag party. He now regretted that mis-undersestimation, as Bush the dimmer might say.

Halfway through, when it had seemed that the battle might come their way, the group had discussed whether to enact their apocalyptic bug out plan. Ironically they had never actually developed a protocol for middle earth style daemons, but a combination of their plans for dealing with Alien invasion and Zombie outbreak (the slow kind – being non athletic indoors kids they pretty much knew it was game over in the case of the fast kind) would have suited the situation. The problem was that the one thing more fun than trying to escape a daemon apocalypse was watching the said Daemon apocalypse, on a 52 inch High definition plasma TV in skywalker surround sound, punctuated with real time twitter updates.

Even so Dan, not having his ROTC uniform at hand, had insisted on donning the chain mail he kept in Mark’s basement and which he wore during his live action role play events.

A stoke of lucky timing had ensured that various parents were away, and the FEMA state of emergency takeover of cell phone frequencies, meant they spent the night undisturbed from "oh my god come home "phone calls.

Susannah, the token female who had been playing Daemons and Damsels (DnD for short, due to international copyright reasons) with them had become a definite fan girl of The Dave. "he is soooo toned" she purred. Mark agreed, getting a strange glance from the others. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” he quickly added.

They played back the video of Dave’s football field length leap onto the back of the pickup truck (CNN now called it his signature move) in slow motion, which meant it was pretty much normal speed on playback). They argued over his abilities. Super enhanced, but still basically human fitness and muscle or supernaturally magical. The boys not being gym types went for magic, Susannah, while not being affected over a TV broadcast by Dave’s yet to be defined pheromones, was just sixteen, so insisted it was all " natural' .

They knew better than to try and go down and watch live from the side lines. They’d all seen Mad Max beyond Thunder Dome and Gladiators 2: Aurelius rising, and knew what could happen to spectators at blood sport events.

***

It was a sleep over. The sun was well up by the time they struggled out of their sleeping bags. The TV was still on in the background, a rotund white haired author of fantasy novels was a talking head giving his “views”, the closest thing to an 'expert' the news channels has been able to find. Becoming a media commentator on the events looked like a good career move for him given that real life had just out paced the slow delivery of his fantasy novels.

Dan, rose very slowly, He’d worn the chain mail armour (with a House of Humakti Tabard, painstakingly hand sown in by his mum) all night as a matter of principal. It clearly weighed him down. He sniffed at the air, “Jesus it stinks in here”.

Susannah was pottering around making coffee, "I've opened all the windows"

Mark spoke announcing with confidence that comes from being both a games master and having just seen his world view pretty much validated the night before. , “The wind direction has changed. It's blowing in from down town” (it hadn't), “and that's the smell of burnt flesh” (it wasn't ).

Once more ADS suffering Rico burst into the basement room "Hey quick come, you'll never believe what’s happened"

***

They stood in a group around the wood shed out-back. Dan now complemented his chainmail and tabard (House of Humakti motto: "we may be arse holes but at least we are Humakti arseholes”) with a homemade morning star. Mark held a hedge trimmer (electric but the cable did have a very long extension). Rico hand in his hand an iPhone with a Startrek universal translation app running ( Klingon to human and human to Klingon being the only two choices) and Susannah sipped from a cup of coffee.

The beast had crawled into the shadows of the corner of the woodshed. Blood followed it and it was completely unmoving, not noticing them even with the hedge trimmer now rotating, and Dan’s chainmail at full clank.

"Is it one of those Slithereen?" Rico wondered

“No too thin” Dan snapped back in an authoritive fashion.

"It's a dark drow" Mark suggested.

“No it's not, too short” Dan contradicted.

Mark pondered for a moment "Definitely a dark drow"

Rico had moved closer - "What do we do with it. Its injured but I’m pretty sure it’s not dead.?"

Susannah picked two items off the shelf in the woodshed and held them up for all to see.

A roll of duct tape and plastic ties.

A little while later they were ready.

"Ok if he moves, Susannah don't wait to use the crossbow” Dan instructed. And she did indeed have a homemade crossbow- usually armed with rubber tipped projectiles for live action roleplaying but this morning a six inch iron nail sat in the groove. They had steel ones that would certainly fly further but was convinced that iron would hold mystical properties when used against evil creatures. They had debated if the horde were actually evil – after all they just came from a different belief system not based on Judeo Christian values. This led Dan to expand on his theory that the Orcs in Lord of the Rings were driven to war by population pressure and being forced to exist on marginal land, much like the native Americans. In the end they decided iron just looked better.

Sometime later they had finished trussing the Beast up who was now awake but unmoving.

There was no debate. They had a live survivor from the battle, they could hand him / it, no it was very definitely a HIM, over to the authorities or they could ensure that someone who actually knew what they were doing did the interrogation.

An hour later, having moved on from Klingon (the two languages really did sound similar), Susannah stepped a little closer and passed a carton of isotonic drink, with a straw to its mouth.

She spoke a few words softly and clearly, with an apparent Irish lilt “Gi nath lam hí ” and the beast spoke back. In Elvish. Rico ran excitedly back inside to get the Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion appendixes.

Susannah turned back to the boys. "He's a "thresh". I've told him he is our prisoner but also that under guest right we will now protect him.

They nodded sagely.

***

In the days that followed the first battle of New Orleans, the US armed forces suffered a deficit of intel on the horde. Dave, their walking Horde Wikipedia was all to often on task and unavailable. But they did get some very useful tidbits of information, the best of which usually came via anonymous emails through TOR from a user signature of “the Dungeon Master”.

9 Responses to ‘A Matter of Elvish - Mark Williams Fanfest 2015’

Sparty mutters...

Posted Yesterday
Awesome picture selection Birmo- if the writing gig doesn't work out you could try being an editor!

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Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted Yesterday
Hah, I actually have some of the Warhammer orcs from that first pic. I cut the weapons off them and used them as blitzers for my Blood Bowl team.

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Bunyip would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
Brill. And extra geek points for the Runequest reference. Ta muchly, Sparty.

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she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
I so enjoyed the dig at GRRM, and the Tolkien reference. Perfection.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted 18 hours ago
Just simply loved it.

This fan fic festival is unexpected big fun.

Better than the Grantville Gazette. Enough of these would make a good companion anthology.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted 15 hours ago
Enjoyed that one. A pet thresh for every home.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted 12 hours ago
Not my thresh

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JG has opinions thus...

Posted 11 hours ago
Terrific, Sparty. Overtones of ET. It's great reading all the different stories and interesting perspectives in this fanfest. Great choice of pics for the stories, JB.

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GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted 10 hours ago

Lovely work Sparty, very much like the setting of your tale as a few miles away from the Miami Incursion about real characters just getting on with their daily lives.

I was wondering that since your thresh was likely going to live in the shed that maybe you might consider naming it Frosty, after say Nick from Shaun of the Dead.

Its just an idea feel free to pass on whatever intel you deem appropriate to the proper authorities.

GhostSwirv over and out.

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Live long and prosper

Posted Saturday into Telly by John Birmingham

Very sad and even a little teary this morning to learn that Leonard Nimoy has passed away. May choirs of angels speed him to his rest at warp factor 9.

"I don't think he's coming back."

14 Responses to ‘Live long and prosper’

jay mutters...

Posted Saturday
Yeah pretty bummed this morning too.

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Bunyip ducks in to say...

Posted Saturday
Ditto.
Some amazing tributes online but. The mosaic of fans giving the Vulcan salute...[stumbles off in direction of box of tissues]

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Abe Frellman ducks in to say...

Posted Saturday
Vale Mr Spock.
Lately I've been looking forward to reading about the latest Abs-gaffe in the online news each morning, so I was deeply saddened to come across this news this morning. It's like a part of my childhood died with him. :-(

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted Yesterday
Exactly. Several teary eyed people here too. Pretty good in Fringe as well more recently and he gave the new Abrams Star Trek movies a real boost. A role model.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Saturday
Sad news. <div style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 19px; line-height: normal; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;">Nimoy said, "Spock is definitely one of my best friends. When I put on those ears, it's not like just another day. When I become Spock, that day becomes something special." <div style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 19px; line-height: normal; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;">The day became special for a lot of us. The character he created is as iconic as Bugs Bunny and Captain Ahab. <div style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 19px; line-height: normal; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;">It was an added treat that the actor seemed such a nice, humourous, thoughtful bloke.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted Saturday
Oh dear. I blame the Klingons. I wrote that on the Notepad on Ipad.

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted Saturday
To quote Savvik from TWOK, "Damn."
Rest easy, Mr. Nimoy. You were a first class role model.
Rest easy.
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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SZF has opinions thus...

Posted Saturday
It's strange, a few years ago I saw him on screen and thought, "He's looking pretty old." So I was prepared for the worst back then.
But he stuck around and somewhere along the way I simply assumed he'd gone ahead and achieved Immortality Level 1.
Being wrong sucks. Vale Mr Nimoy.

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted Saturday
Truely sad to hear the news.

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MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
Dif tor heh smusma

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
Nimoy was able to project extreme rationalism without being excessively supercilious.I wasn't a huge Trek fan, his work on docos was more influential for me.

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tqft mumbles...

Posted Yesterday
Woke up to this news. Crap start to day.

Ending day with more bad news.

But Nimoy/Spock an inspiration

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Sparty asserts...

Posted Yesterday
As Bones once said "you know Jim, he's not really gone providing we remember him".
and to cheer people uphttp://youtu.be/Bnd_vgKttx0

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GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted 10 hours ago


It's hard to believe Leonard Nimoy's gone, it's just like when Alec Guiness passed away - a part of my adolescence has gone with them as well.

A lot of fans were posting Spock's Death Scene from 'Wrath of Khan' yesterday but for me the tears began the moment Spock realised the Enterprise was in danger and he then stepped into the chamber to save the ship and everyone aboard.

That's great writing, acting and directing - if you can watch the whole sequence from the moment Khan begins the Genesis detonation countdown to the point where Kirk realises Spock is not at his Science Station, at the Captain's side on the bridge, then watch the scene in the Engine Room - it puts Nimoy's acting and Spock's death in greater perspective.

GhostSwirv

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Fangr vs the Wave: Fanfest 2015 by Damian Cody

Posted Friday into Book Extract by John Birmingham

A little crossover action in this short pen sketch by Damian Cody of a poor, hungry Fangr which chose the wrong narrative arc. This is an idea I like so much I could myself stealing it for a short story.

It was part of a scouting party when the avalanche happened, being smaller than the others it was spared death but was stuck between two large boulders. After much struggling, Fangr freed itself and crawled out, confused but drawn to the light from above, it was brighter than any it had know. Fangr slowly made its way forward towards the light, slipping between the rocks and the dead of the scouting party. Eventually it arrived on the surface of a place not know, but legends of the old ones filled its mind. Was this the over-world where the human cattle lived? Digestive juices filled its mouth at the thought of the meat, the blood wine and the rewards the Queen would bestow upon the lowly fangr who had found an entrance to the world of man.


It proceeding with caution, remembering stories about the human world and the burning light from above. This light did not burn, it was warm and the air shimmered like the air above a freshly filled blood pot.


It decided to look around for proof of the over-world before returning. To bring back fresh human meat would please his Queen, if it dared it may even sample some for itself before returning.
It wandered, at first cautious, eventually it bored of the solitude and went at its own pace. It was the same everywhere, piles of what it guessed were human coverings covered in some sort off goo. Hungry and desperate, it tasted some, discovering it was enough to keep his hunger at bay as each light cycle passed.


Eventually it gave up, the hunger for real food and the irritation from the shimmering light drove it back to the tunnel entrance, it looked back one last time, disappointed there would be no blood feast, this world was dead.

12 Responses to ‘Fangr vs the Wave: Fanfest 2015 by Damian Cody’

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted Friday
Wow!
Thumbs up!
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted Friday
That was fantastic!

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JG mutters...

Posted Friday
Humanising the Fangr. I feel the desolation and emptiness. Nice take on the story.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted Friday
Love the concept. Well played.

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sibeen ducks in to say...

Posted Friday
OK, now I am confused.

John, was it you who placed the 'Wolfram & Hart" bit at the end of <s>dickhead's</s> Boylan's spiel, or was it own idea?

Christ, I may have given out kudos where none belonged,

BTW, Damien, a fantastic mash up. Loved it

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted Saturday
It was John's addition. I had to research the reference to find out what it meant.

Anthony swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Saturday
I merely assumed that Boylan had submitted it on company notepaper.

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
Well played Sir.

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Drew-mo would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
Love a good crossover. It has potential.

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Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted Yesterday
Great little idea - an strangely affecting - . Be nice to see Kolhammer turn up and kick some Horde butt.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted Yesterday
Nice one. You thought Skorzeny was tough eh Harry?

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The Fault Report

Posted Thursday by John Birmingham

Like The Onion. But with Vegemite.

A new satire site. I don't work for them, but they look pretty good.

8 Responses to ‘The Fault Report’

DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted Friday
nice to see local stuff. cheers

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted Friday
I think Australia should invade NZ and be done with the annoyance once and for all.

Halwes reckons...

Posted Friday

I think we need to invade Western Australia first.

Therbs asserts...

Posted Friday
We are Paul, we are. Our cricket team is there now, fully kitted out to represent bogan..

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
Tony will also be there to direct the battle, at least until a reporter shows up, in which case he will beat a hasty retreat.

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted Friday
I recall seeing tshirts in NZ (a long time ago) with a map of Aust and NZ listing 'North Island', 'South Island' and 'West Island'. Maybe they have their own plans brewing?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted Friday
WE MUST STRIKE NOW!

insomniac asserts...

Posted Friday
Our secret signal is the dollar reaching parity. It won't be long now, and we have troops in place along the east coast, well, in Bondi, ready to strike from within.

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Fanfest 2015, When did you last see the Dave? By Jason Cox

Posted Wednesday into Book Extract by John Birmingham

A somewhat darker piece, and shorter, with a twist at the end I rather enjoyed. I made one or two quick sub edits for consistency.

___

The small boy made no sound. His face was contorted in pain. His sweat had soaked his face and the Indians Baseball t-shirt he wore was so wet as to become see through. The sneakers he had pleaded to have for his seventh birthday were now putrid with a mix of his sweat and the urine he could no longer contain. He was aware of none of these things. His was simply a world of pain.

The three Lore Keepers explored his mind as best they could. This mind was different to theirs and contained places they knew nothing of. The search for information about the one they called Dave had not gone well. The boy knew little except what he had heard from his friends, what the Hunn would call nestling mates. This was of concern for the Lore Keepers. They had expected the Dave to be famous in both Clan and Sect. There were far more disturbing things in the child’s mind.

The surface dwellers had changed much since the Lore Keepers last knowledge of them. They were far more of them now and they had weapons the likes of which the Hunn did not understand. This was not the most disturbing information they had gleaned from the child.

A door slamming against the wall broke the silence. The Queen’s Guard entered the Lore Keeper’s Cathedral walking with all the arrogance his position demanded. “The Queen desires her feast. Have you finished with the child?”

“The child can tell us no more.” The Lore Keepers spoke together their three voices blending into one. “He knows little of the Dave. The humans have populated the planet and are now plentiful. There will be enough food for all once we take the surface back. They know nothing of the Sky Lords”. The Queen’s Guard nodded. “This is good”. The Queen will be pleased.

“There is bad news. They have a hero mightier than Dave. We have been fortunate that the boy has knowledge of his weakness and we can easily defeat him. Tell your scouts to search the over-world for a substance called kryptonite. If we tip our arrows with this the Superman cannot harm us. Tell this to your Queen”.

The Guard left dragging the tasty boy with him. There would be much fame to the one who killed the Superman and it would be his.

10 Responses to ‘Fanfest 2015, When did you last see the Dave? By Jason Cox’

insomniac puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Interesting take that fictional characters could form part of the human experience for the Under Realm. I'd place it on the same level as religion.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Oh I loved that! What a genius twist at the end

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
Really good. Very cool.

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Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Good story - gets you thinking in all sorts of directions- The Supes reference has now made me imagine George Costanza captured by the Horde..

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
That isn't how I perceived the thrust of the story. The kid told them about Superman because the kid thinks Superman is real. He isn't, but the Lore Keepers can only pick up what the kid believes and knows - and the reality of a seven year old boy is not always based on reality.

For me, this story makes me wonder what the Horde would do with information pertaining to Santa Claus gleaned from a child that believes in him. And, as Brother Insomniac notes, the consequences of human religious beliefs.

A good story, Jason: terse and thought provoking, creating ripples of possibility from the stone your story dropped in this pond.

MickH mutters...

Posted Friday
But you're missing the obvious extension to this Pual in that they will think that Jesus is real and is most probably one of the Sky Lords.
This could greatly effect any decisions the Horde may make about re-taking the outer realms

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Therbs reckons...

Posted Thursday
Good stuff. The introduction of Invisible Friends is a gem.

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Rhino asserts...

Posted Friday
Great twist ... enjoyed that very much. Nice job!

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JG has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
Yep, a great twist.

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MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
Well Done Jason.
Short sharp and to the point with a twist

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F35 helmet

Posted Wednesday into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I knew the HUD for the F35 was supposed to be something special, but I had no idea how special until I read this bit in the SMH this morning. In fact it seems so 'special' that you'd have to count it as a point of critical failure in the technology.

Every pilot has to be fitted up for his or her own bespoke model. No sharing. And if the thing malfunctions the plane is not taking off:

Pilots can visualise a 360-degree view to ascertain a multitude of threats and options. And virtual reality technology bestows a type of X-ray vision, enabling pilots to "look through" the floor of the cockpit as if the aircraft frame were transparent.

"The pilot sees a beautiful God's eye view of what's going on," US Air Force General Mike Hostage told the Breaking Defense website. "It's a stunning amount of information."

It takes a four-hour sitting, spread over two days, to custom fit a helmet. The optics package on the display visor must be lined up to within two millimeters of the exact centre of each of the pilots' pupils.

The fighter jet won't operate if the headgear is malfunctioning and unless the pilot is wearing their bespoke helmet.

And there are no spares. Each pilot is only issued with the one.

The helmets receive data from six electro-optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS) sensors which are located on the body of the plane.

31 Responses to ‘F35 helmet’

Murphy reckons...

Posted Wednesday
As with all first gen tech, I suspect they'll refine this down into something more manageable. That said, the ability to look through the floor and look at your plane from a gamer behind the jet perspective seems to be pretty handy to the pilot.
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Rhino mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Two is one.
One is none.

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Chad has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
while i think the tech is cool and with refinement it will be awesome. the platform they are pairing it with is a big draw back. the F-35 is a lemon of a "fighter", it will be out preformed by almost all current gen platforms in most categories. and its stealth is very poor in comparison to other stealth platforms out their and only get worse as "sensor" tech improves. it would be cool to see an application of this on a true interceptor or dog fighting fighter where it would really shine.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
What are we basing this assessment on?

I have to be honest, a lot of the naysaying about the F-35 program sounds entirely too much like a lot of the naysaying about a number of weapons programs back in the Reagan Era. Not a night passed without some newsreport about some overpriced weapon sure to get our troops killed. Not that we cared about them because they were a bunch of uneducated, bottom of the barrel, babykilling wastes anyway.

I'm sharp enough not to buy everything that Lockheed and their partners are saying about the system but I don't think it is the flying lemon that detractors claim it is.

In fact, I suspect probably the only way to find out if the fighter is any good is to put it into combat.
Besides, outside of the F-22 Raptor, what other air superiority/multimission capable stealth platforms are available at all? Let alone for purchase? The Chinese are still having problems building reliable high power engines for their planes, relying on Russia to supply them. The Russians haven't had much luck with their planes. Near as I can tell, no one else is building them.
Now, you could make an argument that maybe you don't need a fifth gen fighter. Maybe it would be better to wait for a sixth gen, or just trying limp along with some fourth gen plus. After all, maybe some more Super Hornets are the way to go. I know folks in St. Louis at the other end of the state would be happy to build more of those for you.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches




Chad reckons...

Posted Wednesday
i`m up in Canada so our situation is a bit different than most. but here i go:
1 a single engine plane has inherit safety problems when flying over our vast frozen wasteland due to engine problems our last single engine figher proved deadly in this regaurd.

2 the sacrifices that were made to the control surfaces in the name of stealth has lowered its maneuverability to an unacceptable level in comparison to the 5th and 4.5 Gen fighters.

3 payload is reduced to internal bays unless you add pylons to the wings which reduce stealth capabilities.

4 stealth in as of its self is a high priced boondoggle that frankly isn`t worth as much as its made out to be. once you have a level of stealth on a plane it pretty much won`t get any better due to airframe wear and time. and it cost more to upgrade a planes stealth than use 1 and done stealthed JSM that can be fired from out side of enemy air defense thus eliminating the need for a stealth craft to penetrate air space most of the time. as well as the fact that air detection ``sensor`` technology is advancing at a faster pace than stealth tech can match thus making it likely that most stealth platforms wil not make much of a difference in most fights.

5 for canada i feel that the super hornet is a better buy that can be supplemented by a purchase of some growler ECM planes

those are just some of my thoughts on the f35, which i feel will be a shock to some countries if they go up against 4.5 or 5th non stealthed planes with and get shredded in a dog fight situation. but these are just my opinions from all the info i have seen on the F 35 heck, i could be wrong but i doubt it.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Oh, because Canada has always purchased twin engine fighters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadair_CF-104_Starfighter
Oops. Or maybe not.

I remember the venerable F-15 being referred to as a, "Hangar Queen," that was too expensive to risk. Gwynn Dyer, who hails from your fair land, didn't seem to impressed with it. Other pundits seemed sure the Soviet Migs would make mincemeat of it.

Got a pretty impressive combat record.

Anyway, I'm sure Canadians can convince themselves that given their location on the planet, they probably don't need any fighter jets at all. I mean, why not subcontract that out to the U.S. Air Force and not bother with purchasing a new batch of fighters.

Redneck is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Cos, America : Fuck Yeah !!

Chad puts forth...

Posted Wednesday

you bring up good points murph, i won't deny we up here in canada had some good single engine fighters but the problems i ment to highlight was the pilot fatality rate due to the lack of a dual engine saftey net. the CF 104 had 37 pilot falalities and the F-86 Sabre had 112 pilot loses both single engine fighters, were as the cf-18 has only 9 fatalities.

the F-15 in hind sight was a missed oppertunity that could of given us one of the best (now) proven combat fighters in the world heck i would still take a upgraded version of it over the F-35

as to not purchaseing any fighters at all the time may come sooner than you think. with the development of long range laser weapons and rapid fire railguns the current fighter and carrier doctrine is goineg to go the way of the dinosar. with only super high altatude air craft and cheap drone strike craft being viable. mind you this is about a decade or two away.

Murphy mutters...

Posted Thursday
Was the F-15 ever a viable option for Canada? I didn't get that impression from the wiki page I read on the matter. Then again, wiki always has to be taken with a grain of salt. The real opportunity seems to have been missing out on a shot at Iran's F-14 fleet.
In any case, I'd think that Canada needs are probably some Super Hornets for most of their air sovereignty needs and maybe a few F-35s for other matters. I'm inclined to think that the F-35B is going to prove to be incredibly handy in the future, especially if Canada moves forward with a decision to purchase an LHD style vessel, perhaps picking up a soon to be surplus Mistral from France or maybe a Juan Carlos type from Navantia.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

chad ducks in to say...

Posted Friday

Your right on the money about the F-14 and F-15, either of those would of been cool since both were pretty good aircraft. but they both were discounted cus of cost the cheap F-14 from Iran would of been good but oh well.

as to getting F-35B's for any Amphib canada may get, there have been some problems of the engine heat damaging fight decks. as well as sacrificeing, in my opinion, too much cabability for the VTOL ability. you may be better off getting Apache's or vipers instead for your Ship to shore air support.

And i hope we gett the minstrels the french were building for russia for cheap ;)

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Oooh I'd like one as a motorbike helmet. Better start saving I guess.

Anthony puts forth...

Posted Wednesday

You can get an add-on HUD for a motorcycle helmet now...


http://www.ridenuviz.com/#intro

Although given the current stupidity around helmet standards they probably won't let you use it.

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pi would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
> Pilots can visualise a 360-degree view to ascertain a multitude of threats and options. And virtual reality technology bestows a type of X-ray vision, enabling pilots to "look through" the floor of the cockpit as if the aircraft frame were transparent.

Which begs the question... why is the pilot in the aircraft at all?

Murphy mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Skynet.

Sudragon reckons...

Posted Wednesday
Bandwidth.
ECM.
Jamming.

Shifty Tourist ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday

The "Reverse" Skynet situation. Admittedly not raised as often, but still worthy of discussion.

The reverse Skynet, is where the computers become self-aware, but as a consequence become aware of the futility of war. The drones then all conscientiously object, refuse to fire their weapons and start writing anti-war folk songs.

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Shifty Tourist mutters...

Posted Wednesday

This is actually a good question! Maybe some of those on this site a bit more versed in the realities of modern warfare may be able to answer, but is there anything an in-cockpit pilot can do, that a drone operator could not? I know that drones currently aren't as big or powerful as a fighter craft.... but there is no reason that I see that says they can't be. Could you just remove the fragile, G force limited fleshbag from the operation, and control a plane remotely?

chad mutters...

Posted Wednesday
a lot of it comes downto band width limitaions and transmison delays well not a problem for flesh and blood pilots becomes a problem for remotely piloted drones. one work around would be to have a high performance drone controlling aircraft that has pilots on broad so they can pilot a localized drone flights that do the main fighting or more automation but then we truly get into skynet territory unlikely but who knows

Shifty Tourist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday

Good explanation.

I can see what you mean... something like how the Hawkeye operates to task US Navy fighter craft to distant targets. Flying in the region directing things.

The fully automated option, does create some ethical issues. A computer does not have a gut instinct that tells it the target, despite how it looks, may not be a training camp, rather than a cub scout meeting

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted Wednesday

trying again....

its a piece of kit you'd expect with what is the 1st Gen 21st Cen Fighter

the multisensory attributes of the F-35 are great but in the end its only capable of rpelacing the F-16, Gripen & Harriers in the Wests squadrons.

It is disturbing that still there is little or no thought to what will replace the Typhoon, Raphael, F-15 & F-18 what with the F-22 stuck at about 190 units and no foreign sales (nor navalised version) there is nothing to replace the heavy hitters.

It was a relief to read this ...

http://defensetech.org/2015/02/05/cno-next-generation-navy-fighter-might-not-need-stealth/

But in the end unless the Russian federation changes tack we are on the edges of a new cold war and NATO needs desperately to find an deterrent to the later gen Sukhois & Migs and the F-35 doesn't even have a working gun yet.. allegedly

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Ignorant Peanut ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
I'm a moderately ignorant mil-nerd, but a big fan of the A-10 (especially the bit about maintenance being mainly about hitting it with a hammer until it starts working again).
Given the ADF's post-WWII and most likely 21st C. role(s) (i.e. more horrible "small wars" and less dog-fights in the sky and MBTvsMBT showdowns on the ground)(?), why are we pursuing the F-35 (to the extent of wanting up to 100 of the beasts) rather than beasts like the A-10?
And why do we only have 7 bloody Chinooks?
(pre-emptive apology for stupid questions)


coota puts forth...

Posted Friday
There has been so much ill informed commentary for years around the f35. Consider this; governments of both persuasions objected or raised concerns about our commitment to the f35 only to change tune and or go quite once in power and across the specifics. The RAAF has been right behind f35 for a long time and it all comes down to sensor fusion. The f35 is going to change air combat. We won't need warthogs becauee the f35 will be able act as a mini awacs controlling bomb and straffing sorties whilst also identifying and shooting down any legacy aircraft before they are aware. Forget all the nonsense about control surfaces and dog fighting, thos days are gone. This aircraft is going to deliver. Add to that, ucas and we will see 1 manned f35 loitering behind 3 unmanned aircraft all utilising the f35 sensors to knock any 4 and 4.5 gen aircraft out of the sky. this helmut stuff is just one small part of this system.

damian mutters...

Posted Saturday
Yeah this is in important point to take.
Smart missiles controlled from integrated systems would make aerial dueling with autocannons while trying to get on one-another's 6 look a lot like the early stuff where pilots just shot at each other with pistols.

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Lulu would have you know...

Posted Thursday
A letter in today's SMH raises an interesting point, which I'll quote:
" So the pilot is at Mach 2 at 15,000 metres and the helmet malfunctions, so "the fighter jet won't operate" ... And?"

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
The pilot's call sign is "Splat".

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted 15 hours ago
Actually it WONT FKN MATTER because this doig of a thing cannot supercruise, its NOT GUNNA FKN MAKLE MACH2, its about mach 1.3.
Its got fk all weapons when in clean stealthy mode, add external and its fkn detectable.
TTalk is that you would pair three, thats a f35 and twop Superhornets and utilise its stealth, thats having the Rhino's shoot first and then HOPE they can bug out, or maybe even keep shooting, then the F35 shoot and bugs out becuase its NOT adog fighting a/c, a Hoirnet will fkn kill it dog fighting. Power to weight is shit, woing loads high and its NOT GOT A FKN WORKING FKN GUN! so I gues the pilot sould slide back the cannoppy and throw fkn rocks at the other aircraft.

US is looking at its nbext gen light bomber, esq to replace the bone B1 nd the loss of the FB 111 which was never really replaced. A FB-22...FKN YEAH BABY! we would buy some of fkn should

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Sudragon asserts...

Posted Thursday
HELMET.SYS has crashed. [R]etry, [F]lail or [E]ject Eject Eject!

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AndreP swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
Yikes. Makes being locked into the Apple ecosystem look like small beer or even loose change.

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RobH ducks in to say...

Posted Saturday
JB, helmets are not shared by line drivers: the safety equipment guys fit them for each pilot. From there they are checked and maintained for those individuals. Extra helmets in assorted sizes are kept on hand for other people, including journos who score backseat rides.

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RobH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Saturday
Apologies for second post, but forgot to post something.....
This for Chad and the never-ending canard about melting decks from F35B VLs. Author's credentials at end of article: he does actually know what he's talking about, unlike a near-unanimity of PhDs in Canberra defence circles.
Worth reading, here - http://defencetechnologyreview.realviewdigital.com/?iguid=e3f4646a-c89f-4286-90e2-33bbfb34990b#folio=28
Again, apols for gumming-up this with a second post. Hopefully the article will help. :-)

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Saturday
That's an interesting article and thanks for posting the link.

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