Cheeseburger Gothic

Amazing ski vid shot on an iPhone being twirled around a madman's head

Posted Saturday into Lunch Time Video by John Birmingham

Emergency Room's everywhere await a sharp uptick in business from the popularity of this maniac's video.

6 Responses to ‘Amazing ski vid shot on an iPhone being twirled around a madman's head’

sylmobile has opinions thus...

Posted Saturday
superb

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted Saturday
How tired would his arm be?!!

Respond to this thread

Macbisho reckons...

Posted Saturday
He's a kid. He probably hasn't got the swathes of willing fans to stroke his errr ego, that you have, John. ;)

Respond to this comment

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted Saturday
Feeling a little bit disoriented and a little afraid to stand up right now

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
I just tried that move while sitting on the couch scrolling through Twitter with a James Squire Golden Ale in the other hand - my iPhone flew out the window and fell into the spa - I'd call that an emergency!

Respond to this comment

NBlob mutters...

Posted Yesterday
Mr Frellman. Paging Mr Abe Frellman.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-06/butchers-vie-for-australia's-best-snag-in-sausage-competition/7146210

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Amazing ski vid shot on an iPhone being twirled around a madman's head'

Viewmaster reborn as VR

Posted Saturday into Awesome by John Birmingham

I used to love these things as a kid and find myself unable to resist the lure of an undoubtedly craptacular reboot as a cheap child-friendly Virtual Reality toy. A young lad of my aquaintance is not far off a birthday and I suspect he'll be getting one, even though he'll probably respond with, "What the hell is this piece of crap? Where's my CoD5 disk?"

"That crap is my history, son. And you'll enjoy it or you'll get the back o' me hand."

Apple has just started offering these things in its online store, which is why there's suddenly a rash of stories about them, but Amazon has the last, somewhat dinkier model for half the price. I'm going with dink.

3 Responses to ‘Viewmaster reborn as VR’

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted 23 hours ago
Hmm. If it had some shots of ancient ruins across the world I might find it worth my time to buy one and pass it around to my students. Much to their everlasting aggravation.

Respond to this comment

pedrogb is gonna tell you...

Posted 12 hours ago
Sadly, I remember the viewmaster. A couple of siblings had different versions, and the second version had the sound discs attached. Those were the days. Can't remember what was on them.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted 12 hours ago
3-D photos of Yosemite.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Viewmaster reborn as VR'

Japan's stealth fighter

Posted Thursday into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Two articles over at the Lowy Interpreter, one wondering if the F-35 might not be so bad after all. (Reminds me of the Simpsons joke about Springfield Mall, "Where teeange gangs aren't such a problem any more"):

The assumed rules of air-to-air combat may be shifting from speed to sensor capability and payload. As a report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments found last year, 'advances in electronic sensors, communications technology, and guided weapons may have fundamentally transformed the nature of air combat.' Other than its stealth capability, these are attributes where the F-35 boasts significantly advances. It seems the stealth characteristics that were the big selling point of the F-35 may become second tier, and its sensor and communication capabilities could make it the plane for our time.

And a longer piece looking at Japan's ATD-X, currently just a technology demonstrator, but a potentially 'friendly' rival for the F-35 and not so friendly for China's J-20 and J-31.

It is 'a testbed platform for multiple technologies', including next-generation electronically scanned array radar, multi-dimensional thrust vectoring, an indigenous low-bypass turbofan engine and radar-absorbing composite materials. Production of an 'F-3' fighter will not begin until 2027, at the earliest. It is likely that this plane could turn out to be so expensive — a single F-3 could cost US$200 million or more — that Japan may never buy more than a handful.

If successful, the ADT-X/F-3 could shift the centre of gravity in the fighter jet industry from the North Atlantic closer to the Asia-Pacific. If Japan decided to market this fighter to overseas customers — increasingly likely, as Tokyo is quietly watering down its near-total arms export ban — then the F-3 could seriously challenge the West's predominance in this highly lucrative business sector. That, however, depends on the cosmic alignment of a great many technological, economic and political factors, a 'harmonic convergence' that is hardly assured. Japan, despite all its advantages, will continue to struggle in building and maintaining a state-of-the-art aerospace industry.

9 Responses to ‘Japan's stealth fighter’

Aaron puts forth...

Posted Thursday
Japan might see arms exports a good shift for it's high end manufacturing industry considering the increased competition in auto industry.???

Respond to this comment

Aaron mumbles...

Posted Thursday
The fighter would be perfect for ending up in an alternate timeline in japan circa 1942...

Respond to this comment

WarDog is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday

Having had significant industry exposure to this field and the sensor field over the last couple of years I can safely say that the capabilities of REDACTED far exceed the F-35 and it's REDACTED sensor array with range REDACTED, frequency REDACTED and REDACTED spatial resolution provide no hiding spots for either the F-25 or proposed F-3.

But most importantly, REDACTED capabilities REDACTED REDACTED of REDACTED cohorts mean that the REDACTED will provide superior firepower until at least REDACTED.

Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted Thursday
See, it's so stealthy even internet posts about it are partially obscured.

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted Friday
Well played WD.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted Friday

and in other stuff happening I see China reached another milestone with the Y-20 heavy transport and Type 901 replenishment aircraft.


As Omar Bradley said "Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics".

but logistics are so DUUUULLLLLLLLLL.

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted Saturday
Decades behind.

Decades.

Respond to this thread

Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
Doesn't transform into a mech. Get your shit together Japan.

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted Friday

Japan should forget about stealth tech and pore all of its defence budget into developing a Jaeger Program.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Japan's stealth fighter'

The 100 Jokes that shaped modern comedy

Posted Wednesday into Funny by John Birmingham

For anyone interested in the artform, this is kind of amazing, even if the authors admit the limits. (One joke per comedian, and only American gags).

I don't get some of the early ones, which just goes to show how much of our humour is contextual. Worth a long read on the weekend. I can't help but feel that Professor will study this closely.

Example:

1937 ‘Take My Wife … Please.’ Henny Youngman

It’s hard to say with authority exactly who invented the one-liner, but Borscht Belt comedian Henny Youngman (the man Walter Winchell called “the King of the One-Liners”) is arguably responsible for the most famous one ever. Just like how Groucho's moustache, eyebrows, nose, and glasses became synonymous with “comedian,” “Take my wife … please” is the Platonic ideal of a joke. The format is one that is still mimicked to this day: using a familiar phrase to draw people in, then taking a sharp left turn. And though the joke is seen as shticky and hacky at this point, structurally it is deceptively elegant, as the setup is hiding inside what seems like a transition. Despite writing tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of jokes in his life, legend has it that Youngman’s most famous one was the result of an accident. When he first started working on the The Kate Smith Show, Youngman's beloved wife, Sadie, brought a bunch of her friends backstage with her. Annoyed, Youngman brought his wife to the stagehand and said, “Take my wife, please.” The rest is history.

22 Responses to ‘The 100 Jokes that shaped modern comedy’

BigWillieStyle would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
I couldn't see "Coal is good for humanity" on the list anywhere.

Respond to this comment

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Are you familiar with the term 'facilitator' as it relates to addiction? What did poor Mrs Professor Boylan, their charming son ever do to you? Why would you cause them such pain? You may not have lit the fire, but you've handed a known pyromaniac the accelerant and a bic lighter.
For shame sir.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted Thursday
And I am itching to burn down the argument that those jokes shaped "modern comedy" - if there is such a thing. Funny, yes (Robin Williams' joke about cocaine is fucking hilarious). But influential?

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted Thursday
PNB, I don't know if you are joking, but most professional comedians are very knowledgeable about the history of funny. They love listening to other comedians. They study them. What is the funny idea, what is the rhythm used, the word selection, the number of syllables etc. Is someone doing something new? Why is that gag funny, why is that gag not so funny. Pro comedians will say how Woody Allen's gag telling style is taken from Bob Hope and explain why. I think the history of joke telling is very influential, not always for thinking up the idea behind the gag, but for the toolkit of how to get the laugh.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted Thursday
I was serious because it is funny to be deadly serious and analytical when discussing humour. When I was younger I instigated violent arguments over what is and isn't funny. My mantra was "comedy is serious business."

There is an incredibly funny group of very well thought out and reasoned scholarly papers that came out of a psychology conference on humour back in the early 1980's. Very dry. Very bland. Discussing things like "glee factors" without any glee at all.

What could possibly be funnier than that?

BigWillieStyle would have you know...

Posted Thursday
I can't think of a comedian who wasn't influenced by those that came before. Jerry Seinfeld grew up studying Bill Cosby and Robert Klein. Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock were heavily influenced by Richard Pryor, who in turn was influenced by Cosby and Lenny Bruce. Jim Carrey was influenced by Jerry Lewis. Michael Richards' slapstick turn on "Seinfeld" was a nod to Lewis and Laurel & Hardy. WC Fields used a cigar as a prop, and Groucho Marx, George Burns and Milton Berle did likewise.

Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider, to their credit, have steadfastly refused to be influenced by anybody, and their commitment to being relentlessly unfunny for their entire careers is to be applauded.

dweeze asserts...

Posted Thursday
"Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider, to their credit, have steadfastly refused to be influenced by anybody, and their commitment to being relentlessly unfunny for their entire careers is to be applauded."

Now, that is piss funny.

Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
"most professional comedians are very knowledgeable about the history of funny. They love listening to other comedians."

w, I'm assuming you know about the English comedian Ross Noble who lived here for a while. He spent years collecting an entire tradition of English comedians (on tapes, vinyl etc etc), and built up a huge library, some of the material apparently quite rare.

Then, AFIAK, lost the lot in the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Adam Sandler is a comic genius. Little Nicky is one of the best films of all time. I have to agree with you about Rob Schneider. He is mixed race, and that is never funny.

Respond to this thread

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
I want to spend the rest of the day reading this. It's reminded me of my teenage love of Mae West & the Marx Brothers.

Respond to this comment

insomniac mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Man, that 'Nobody' joke is a cracker.

Respond to this comment

KreepyKrawly is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
As a young'un, I grew up on the Goon show and British comedy... Reading those 100 "Jokes" is like going to the pub, ordering a beer and getting metho...

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
I got ready to read it, already primed to be pissed off that it was Seppo-only.
But then as I read it, I realised that this kind of list really needs to be country/cultural-specific. I'd love to see a similar one for the UK (or British Isles) : Goons, Python, Morceambe and Wise, Sellers, Moore and Cook, etc etc.
And Australia? pretty much covered on the ABC recently in "stop laughing, this is serious" but Roy Rene through to Barry Humphries to Kennedy to ...


Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted Thursday

Springtime for Hitler is my favourite - Brooks is a anarchic genius from Bialystok & Bloom, KAOS v CONTROL, Froderick and Egor to ... "how did he do such fantastic stunts with such little feet?"

PS - PNB ... someone should rip off Big Bang Theory by creating a sitcom of academics arguing over the science of what constitutes the essential funny elements necessary to generate comedy - their mortal enemies could be a phalanx of twitter followers hell bent of ridding the world of academics who ruthlessly appropriate humour and break it down into its unfunny sub-atomic parts.

Respond to this comment

JG has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Terrific stuff. Thanks for the link, JB. There's a lot to read and view, so I'll savour this a few gags at a time. True that comedy is a serious business, PNB. Punch lines are often born of tragedy, cutting against normality, the unexpected, and shock value. I love absurdity and comedy gold. Laugh and the world laughs with you... laughter is the best medicine. I think comedy has an important place in changing and recontextualising thoughts about oneself and issues in tha world both big and small. Funny that many comedians come from a place of truth that touch on fear and suppressed desires or urges. Neh. Too serious about the funny stuff. Just laugh. Release. It's instinctual. I think all animals laugh.

Respond to this comment

BigWillieStyle swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
Two of the most successful TV comedies in recent years are "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory". If this constitutes "modern comedy", then we're already in the seventh circle of Hell.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted Thursday
If you are alluding to Dante, I think the Fourth Circle is more appropriate. Not judging. Just sayin.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm mutters...

Posted Friday
and may I present the world's funniest joke. One of my favorites they had in their "Gentelmen you can't fight in here this is the war room". from Dr Stranglelove.

DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted Friday
A man goes to the zooIt only had one exhibit, a dog.It was a Shih tzu

Respond to this thread

Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted Friday
Aspiring comedians should also study Dave Allen - in fact go look up the plethora of his stuff on youtube yourself!

DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted Friday
"Goodnight, and may your God go with you"
The man was a genius. I used to watch - mesmerised - his (short-a-fingertip) hand, trapping a cigarette and fondling his whiskey glass, while spinning a yarn...

Respond to this thread

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted Friday

Can anyone imagine any of our home-grown comedians being hard core enough to cut off a fingertip to emulate #TheFunnyDave?

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'The 100 Jokes that shaped modern comedy'

Why the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary matters

Posted Wednesday into Politics by John Birmingham

From PNB, in the thread below. Worth extracting:

They matter because they are the first states where real people have to make an actual decision, and because of something elusive and possibly illusory that is coveted by the political class called "momentum" - aka "the Band Wagon Effect."

The people in Iowa who find Ted Cruz appealing are fundamentalist pseudo christian neo fascist under educated corn farmers who want nothing more than to replace American civil law with Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Ted Cruz pretends to be an fundamentalist pseudo christian neo fascist who wants to replace American civil law with Leviticus and Deuteronomy. And he pretends to admire corn farmers.

9 Responses to ‘Why the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary matters’

BigWillieStyle ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday

Ta Paul. So, essentially, Ted winning the Iowa caucus does not automatically result in him getting Iowa's vote at the National Convention. More of an opportunity for him to gain momentum, raise more money, and possibly call for the firebombing of a couple of abortion clinics.

Don't know a great deal about Iowa, other than it's where Bill Bryson comes from, and he seems fairly normal. Mind you, it's also where Kevin Costner heard voices emanating from his cornfields, so he decided to raze his crops to the ground and build a baseball field instead. Maybe that gives an insight into the mind of your average Midwest farmer. Ted's ascension makes a lot of sense now.

What is it about conservative parties elevating prehistoric, fundamentalist, zealot nutbags? We gave one of them Australia's top job a couple of years ago, and the country's been wandering around in a daze ever since.


Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
No, it does mean he gets Iowa's delegates.

The Republican and Democrat national conventions are something of an illusion. For the most part the delegates are not free to vote as they wish: their votes are set by the state and regional primaries. This started in the 1970's with the intent that it allow for more democracy. Before that the candidates were selected at the convention through an amazingly beautiful and complex system of deal making.

In Iowa, the popular vote totals are interesting, but not really important. Delegates to the National Conventions are awarded based on who wins at each of the many caucuses and the number is different for Republicans and Democrats.

For example, at this last Iowa caucus extravaganza the Democrats awarded delegates as follows:

Candidate Percent Delegates
Hillary Clinton 49.9% 22
Bernie Sanders 49.6% 21
Martin O'Malley 0.5% 0

The Republicans did it this way:

Candidate Percent Votes Delegates
Ted Cruz 27.7% 51,649 8
Donald Trump 24.3% 45,416 7
Marco Rubio 23.1% 43,132 7
Ben Carson 9.3% 17,393 3
Rand Paul 4.5% 8,478 1
Jeb Bush 2.8% 5,235 1
Carly Fiorina 1.9% 3,483 0
John Kasich 1.9% 3,473 0
Mike Huckabee 1.8% 3,344 0
Chris Christie 1.8% 3,278 0
Rick Santorum 1.0% 1,783 0
Other 0.1% 119 0
Jim Gilmore 0.0% 12 0

So you see that Donald Trump only has one less delegate to the national convention dedicated to him than Ted Cruz has dedicated for him. And Bernie Sanders is only one delegate less than Hillary Clinton.

This is why Ted Cruz bolted for New Hampsire to campaign. The current opinion polls have Trump a comfortable 20 points ahead of Cruz in New Hampshire. And Bernie Sanders is comfortably ahead of Hillary Clinton there.

The both parties award delegates pro rata based on percentage of vote.

It is widely said that "Iowa picks corn; New Hampshire picks presidents (people in New Hampshire say that all the time). Right now it is a horse race. The smart money is betting on Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders moving sharply ahead in total delegate count.

The New Hampshire primary will take place on February 9th.

Respond to this thread

Madoc mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Always nice to see how folks outside the US completely buy into whatever hysteria our media is spewing about things here in America.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Are you saying that Americans here at home don't buy into it, too?

Other than you and me, of course.

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Anyone actually bother to get the opinion of someone who is living in the Midwest?
Oh yeah, I forgot. The Midwest equals Dumbfuckistan in some corners of the world.
Nevermind.

Respond to this thread

DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
I thought the blogging at 538 offered insightful analysis. They're jumping to the end (or the beginning of the end) - they see the GOP nomination as palying out like pretty much all that have gone before it - Cruz v Rubio, with Rubio winning. Because all GOP nominations end up being between a maverick (Cruz) and an establishment candidate. With the establishment (Rubio) usually winning the nomination.
And this, verbatim.
<div class="livepress-meta" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; margin: 0px 10px 0px 88px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 17px; line-height: 17px; font-family: ArnhemPro, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; vertical-align: baseline; width: inherit; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">Maybe Iowa Is More Important For Democrats<div class="livepress-update-inner-wrapper lp_avatar_shown" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 17px; line-height: 26px; font-family: ArnhemPro, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; vertical-align: baseline; float: right; min-height: 100%; width: 575px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">

Respond to this comment

jennicki would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Onya, PNB!!!

Respond to this comment

NBlob asserts...

Posted Wednesday
1 - Please explain 'Super Delegates' and their relationship with the "establishment" of both parties.
2- I read that Cruz was *relatively* unpopular in Iowa, due to his scepticism RE: mandatory ethanol content in Gazoline. Is he likely to gallop away with the nomination now he's out of the Corn Belt?
3- if he doesn't get the nomination, is Trump's threat of an independent campaign real? Would it split the Republican vote sufficiently to get the Democrats the presidency?4- What's the non-partisan* grass-roots feeling RE: house & senate? Any chance of an actual budget passing, this decade?
All we seem to get here are the opinions of partisan hacks expressing farcical levels of confidence.

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Frankly, not a single one of the candidates appeals to me.
I'm not going to waste the pixels on Hillary as I know anything I say will simply be akin to pouring water on a rock in some corners. Bernie seems like a nice guy to have a beer with, take a college class or two from, a total idealist.
In my professional opinion, there is nothing more dangerous in the White House than an idealist. We don't need anymore of those and especially not an older, further to the left version of Jimmy Carter.
As for what is offered by the Republicans . . . I find it hard to see fault with PNB's characterization of the current batch. The saner ones, not that any of them are truly sane, are polling down in the toilet while the worst of the batch is at the top of the polls.
If I had to guess as to the cause?
Well, I'd say it is down to a complete loss of trust in the concept that the Federal Government can be an agency for good. I can think of others but again to air them would simply be akin to pouring more water on so many rocks.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Why the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary matters'

First of the freebies roll out

Posted Tuesday into Writing by John Birmingham

After test firing the system early this week, I pushed the big red button on the mailing list today. Everyone who signed up for it should be getting their first letter with a link to a free copy of Here be Monsters over the next day or so. The release is staggered because Mailchimp's software decides when you are most vulnerable to my approach.

It's nice to see the book out in the wild, even though the story has been published before. It's not just a tease for the mailing list. Monsters was a test run for me, to shake out the process of releasing titles without a major publisher behind them. I learned something at every stage.

The next big step is to release Cairo. I'm looking at mid-March for that and then monthly releases of the other Stalin's Hammer titles and the new Dave Hooper books through until September.

I do have some real anxiety about this.

Not so much about the whole scheme failing. I have readers. They buy my books. I love them with a deep, physical intensity for this. But I also have trade publishers who are important, and I hope they can see the sense in me walking this path. By building the list I build a marketing machine to sell their books. By publishing new works in the original trilogies, they'll sell more of their backlist too.

And bottom line, I just couldn't make ebooks work across multiple contending publishers. The slot machine only pays out when you have one title released by one publisher, globally, simultaneously, at the same price. It really wasn't fair to my local ebook publishers either. Momentum, the Pan Mac imprint, would do all the work on a manuscript, take all the risks and then find themsevles locked out of 97% of the English language market.

I felt guilty even sending them manuscripts.

So, bottom line, there are new books coming in all the old storyworlds – Axis of Time, the Disappearance, Hooper – but I'm doing them myself, to industry standard, while still working on mass market trade published fiction.

Anyone who hasn't signed up to the list and would like to, can do so here: http://eepurl.com/bxdqjP

And anybody who feels like writing a review of Monsters has somewhere to go now.

59 Responses to ‘First of the freebies roll out’

balri is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
I read the first few pages and I like where it's going

Respond to this comment

JG would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Thank you very much, John.
Very generous of you. I'll read Here Be Monsters over the coming week or two. Ta also for the link to post a short 88-word review at Amazon, which I'll write pronto, once I'm done reading.
Cheers.
Joanna




JG ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
Done and dusted. Review posted.
Joanna

Respond to this thread

Jbtoo puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
I am not worthy, but I am appreciative and I will read and review

Respond to this comment

Surtac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
I have successfully deployed the weapon in this theatre of operations but gmail wouldn't let me reply to tell you so.

Btw. I loved it. More at some stage would be good if the schedule allows.


Respond to this comment

peter macleod mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Ripping yarn. I would not normally read a zombie story but this was great. Almost like a Hornblower novel with a bit of scifi. Keep sending out teasers like this and I will buy the ebooks immediately you post them for sale.Thanks for a great read.PM

Respond to this comment

Sharpy mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
System worked well. Cheers Guv

Respond to this comment

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
I can feel an epic *squeeee* coming on. Apparently Mailchimp thinks I'll be most vulnerable to your approach at 10am while at work, which oddly enough is pretty accurate.

I'm looking forward to fleeing my workplace and consuming this bad boy, then I shall write an 88 star review per my Master's instructions. Thanks JB!

Respond to this comment

ShaneAlpha puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Still a whacking good read. ( I have the original bookmarked in my browser)
I actually never expected the next part of this universe to be about their escape from Sydney.
I always imagined a longer novel where American rebels sneak into Sydney to try and find some future tech or knowlege to fight the British Empire with so that they can be independent again. Perhaps with some French supporters.

ShaneAlpha mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
and obviously Rhino and Boylan are involved.

Rhino asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Obviously

Respond to this thread

Peter in the bleachers has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
All good through the dreaded IPad. Gmail said it arrived at 12.59 am. Bit early to start reading at that time! Thanks for trying something new JB. Looking forward to Cairo. Any chance of Branch McKinnon ever re-appearing in one form or another?

Respond to this comment

insomniac mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
All good downloading to the heathen Nexus 7 into the Kindle app. I'll try to read soon and also come up with an appropriate set of 88 words, although my pile of shame is building up, if such a thing is possible on a tablet as it doesn't increase in height. Still have my Dan Carter biography to start, and if that can't get me going, what will?
Actually I have a vague plan to obtain, if possible, a set of biographies for numbers 1 to 22 of the 2015 world champion All Blacks.

Respond to this comment

Sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Forgot how good the "voice" and framing device in this story is. Review left. Steampunk next?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Why not? Stoke the boilers!

GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted Friday
My lawyers are watching closely for any appearance of a U-Boat.

Mind you when I say 'my lawyers' I mean the guy PNB recommended knew their way round alternative history copyright lore.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted Saturday
My influence on the Scribe is nill. I forcefully instructed JB to depict Professor X Boylan as a tall and handsome babe magnet. I was quite firm in my demand. It didn't happen.

Respond to this thread

Rhino asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Received.
Read.
Reviewed.
2 reviews shown on Seppo Amazon as of this morning. Mine was first (of course) and a second 5-star appeared overnight.
When you review don't forget to pimp the mailing list.
Birmo - action item for you is to get a link to sign-up on CBG. Probably in the works.
Waiting with breathe abated for #TheDave fanfic. Should do something similar for The Disappearance for late 2016. I need an excuse to return to Rhino, Agent of Echelon. LOL.
And does anyone want to read the continuation of Mutph's nuptial weekend ... The continuation of The Bachelor Party?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted Thursday
I would. But only if I appear as a character in the story - a handsome, tall, sexually attractive gentleman with a full head of hair obscuring his otherwise pronounced saggital crest.

And I need to smell good. That is very important to me.

Respond to this thread

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
I have read and reviewed oh Captain my Captain! If only Amazon would allow ratings of more than 5 stars. SOOO limited Bezos, get your act together!

Respond to this comment

Surtac asserts...

Posted Wednesday
A technical question about the book John if I may.

Does it have an ISBN or ASIN or some other pesky cataloguing id? It would make it much easier to add to Librarything if it did.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
It has both, 'Tac.
ASIN B01BBJPZI0ISBN: 9781311903174
Both numbers get assigned after submission, which is why you don't find them in the book.

Respond to this thread

Therbs would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Enjoyed it again. Love the Tench voice.

Respond to this comment

BigWillieStyle mutters...

Posted Wednesday
OFF TOPIC - can PNB or Murph explain a couple of things? Why do the caucuses in Iowa & New Hampshire matter? And what is it about Ted Cruz that people in Iowa would find so appealing? Ta.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
They matter because they are the first states where real people have to make an actual decision, and because of something elusive and possibly illusory that is coveted by the political class called "momentum" - aka "the Band Wagon Effect."

The people in Iowa who find Ted Cruz appealing are fundamentalist pseudo christian neo fascist under educated corn farmers who want nothing more than to replace American civil law with Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Ted Cruz pretends to be an fundamentalist pseudo christian neo fascist who wants to replace American civil law with Leviticus and Deuteronomy. And he pretends to admire corn farmers.

Respond to this thread

pitpat has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Thanks JB, crazy brave hope it all works out. Unfortunately I am one of the very few who uses kindle app on a windoze phone as my primary digital fiction device and after faffing around with it for a couple of minutes realize I will need to get a third party app. Not a biggie, I will sort it out when after I get through some work. Might just be the excuse I need to get a half decent tablet. Cheers and Beers ( or rum in this case)

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
You're that guy?! I wondered who that was.

pitpat puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
I just like to support the little guy who is being monstered.

Respond to this thread

Gutz is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Was going to write something insightful but only the word pisscutter comes to mind!

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted Wednesday
"What Hell is this, sir?"
Sydney.
I knew it. I FKN knew It!!!
Darren (in Melbourne).

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Jeez, the exchange rate is crap. I put in 88 stars at Amazon, and only got 5 up on the site.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
I blame Vargas Llosa.

Respond to this thread

jennicki has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Just signed up for my copy!
*evil laugh* Smithers, grab the crochet blanket with the least amount of holes, and some sort of chocolate delight. It is time for the zombie lit.

Respond to this comment

NBlob puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Huzzah

Huzzah for the scribe. Only criticism; far to short. I was just getting into the swing and it was over. Like when a hooker or therapist says "times up." I guess one doesn't get much in exchange for one's immortal soul these days.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Not your soul anyway.

damian reckons...

Posted Wednesday
It's sad really. There was a time when you'd get good drinking money for NBlob's immortal soul.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
Don't listen to them, Blob. I can get you top dollar for your soul, and my commission for arranging the sale will be very reasonable.

Respond to this thread

dweeze ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
I read it. I enjoyed it heaps. I went to post a review. And got this:
"To submit a customer review: you need to use an Amazon account that has successfully been charged for a purchase."
I'm so tight that I never fed the beast of Bezos before...and I aint gunna start now. But, I will promote the link elsewhere.

Respond to this comment

sibeen ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
I find it nearly beyond comprehension this attempt to butter me up with with freebie. Look, I know this would work on bottom feeding scum, that Boylan for instance, but an upstanding member of the community like myself - I feel sullied.
Note this may be as I'm in Canberra this week on an urgent job. I just don't have time to be faffing around, and won't get to this until next week.
SOB.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Being bottom feeding scum has its perks. I got a free book! And today I'm going to get a free lunch when I tell my mate that I "accidentally" left my credit card at home.

Respond to this thread

ChrisB reckons...

Posted Thursday
Got my email this morning. Been smiling all day. Thx JB!

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted Thursday

"A thing that might be dreamed of by a Wren in the grip of opium"

JB you are a genius ... and using the Coat Hanger as a zombie bungee-jumping staging post was just delightfully inspired.

Much more please ... Captain Tench is my new favourite.



Respond to this comment

Miss Maudy would have you know...

Posted Thursday
Ahhh the serendipity... I'd just closed the Kobo on my last read and was pondering what to read next, when what should pop into my inbox but a missive from JB. Click here and your reading decision is solved. Excellent work and timing, sir.

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted Thursday
I'm really curious as to why Mailchimp decided to send Miss Maudy and ChrisB's letters 24hrs after everyone else. Resumable it's firing these things off according to some algorithm.

Miss Maudy puts forth...

Posted Thursday
Oh, it arrived Tuesday I think. I was forced to do housework on Tuesday night because my minions had no clean undergarments meaning no playing on the internets for me. It wasn't until last night that I discovered it - it went to my real-life email as distinct from my futzing around on the interwebs email.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted Thursday
@ Miss Maudy - best comment yet. Beautifully evocative. Sincerely. Please don't ever imagine your existence is mundane. We are made richer that, when you play on the internets, you spend some time here.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted Thursday
JB, that's what happens if you get Tony Abbott to do work for you ... oh, sorry ... wrong male chimp.

Respond to this thread

she_jedi reckons...

Posted Thursday
I will confess to a fatal to felines level of curiosity about how Captain Tench managed to woo and wed the kickass chick he rescued from the Opera House. How on earth an upright 18th century gentleman from a time where universal suffrage was the stuff of dreams and women were merely property managed to reconcile his upbringing and societal values with a gun toting 22nd century feminist would be fascinating to discover.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
Yes. Yes it would.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
Mz She-Jedi, I can only speak from personal experience but I'd guess it went something like;
This chick is So Fricken Awsm that I will lay down everything to have her at my side.
What I'd be more interested to work out is what He "brought to the table" that wooed her. I hope it isn't something as mundane as a high status protector for her & Thomas, but you know chicks are often more calculating when it comes to the care & protection of offspring. I also hope she doesn't have a *thing* for Mr D'arcy & Jane Fricken Austen.

GhostSwirv swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
The only way we'll ever know how Captain Tench captured the heart of his good lady wife Jennifer and the trust of her son Thomas would be for someone like She_Jedi, JG or ShaneAlpha to put their not so delicate thoughts into words.

Or JB you could just get PNB, Havoc and Rhino to ghost-write it like you usually do.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
NBlob I heartily agree on the high status protector thing, AND the laziness of a Jane Austen fetish. And that's writing as someone who has developed a Pavlovian response to Colin Firth in a wet shirt from the first time I saw that version of Pride and Prejudice.

GhostSwirv, I had not choice but to accept your challenge. I can't begin to write in Tench's voice, so I had to take a more neutral narrative. Hope this helps:

Captain Tench was staring at his mother again. Thomas felt sorry for him; the captain usually stared at his mother with a look that could only be described as baffled admiration. “Poor Tench,” Thomas thought with slightly malicious sympathy. “He’s got it bad.”

“Do you think my mum’s hot?” He sidled up and asked the captain innocently. Right on cue a look of instant concern crossed Tench’s face as he turned to look at Thomas.

“I... Is the heat distressing her?” Tench asked doubtfully, swinging back to look at Jennifer, who looked considerably cooler and unruffled by the suffocating heat of Sydney in January than did the captain, clearly dissolving in the heavy wool and linens of his uniform. “Perhaps she’d like a parasol to shade her? I’m sure one of the ladies would have a spare.”

Thomas started to laugh at the misunderstanding, then sobered at the politely baffled expression on Tench’s face. “Not, hot, as in the weather,” he explained. “But...” and here his ten year old vocabulary started to fail him. “You like her, right?”

Tench’s face brightened. “Oh yes, I admire Madam Jennifer greatly. She’s an extraordinarily brave and resourceful woman. You must be very proud to be her son.”

“Um, yeah. She’s awesome.” This wasn’t going quite the way Thomas had expected. He WAS proud that his mum was a total kickass gun toting super babe, although that dive into the harbour with an army of the walking dead after them may have taken ‘total kickass’ a tad too far. It was Thomas’s turn to brighten, as inspiration struck. “Even before the zombie apocalypse, all my friends thought she was a total MILF.”

“A what?” Tench gave Thomas that look that adults do, when they don’t know the meaning of the lingo, but they know there’s something suspicious about it.

“Oh yeah,” Thomas was warming to his subject. “That was a couple of years ago though. She appreciates a man who thinks she’s still got what it takes to be one. You should go talk to her about it.”

“Oh.” Tench looked apprehensive. “A... MILF, you say?”

she_jedi asserts...

Posted Yesterday
And part two:

Jennifer had finished cleaning her gun and was scrounging through a bucket of spare bullets to reload it, when a shadow fell over her. She looked up, to find Captain Tench hovering at her elbow with an open parasol that was suddenly shading her, and proffering a hip flask. She reluctantly took the vessel from him and took a cautious sip. It was water, which briefly disappointed her, although she’d swear she tasted a trace of leftover rum.

She raised an eyebrow at the captain, wondering what this latest bout of chivalry was about. She knew he meant well, but damn this boy had some strange ideas at times.

“Master Thomas was concerned that you were feeling the heat,” he explained, waggling the parasol in explanation. “And I tried to get you some milk, but the goats still haven’t recovered from the journey. Although, I’m not sure how milk would assist with relief from the effects of this weather....”

“Milk?” Jennifer repeated in astonishment. “What made you think I’d want milk?”

“Well, Master Thomas said that even before the advent of the Scourge, all his friends thought you were.... now what was the phrase?”

Jennifer froze as a sudden wave of rage overtook her. “He didn’t say ‘MILF’ did he?”

“Why indeed! I believe that was the phrase.” Tench stopped at the look on her face, and took a step backward as Jennifer got to her feet and advanced on him.

“Tell me EXACTLY what my son said to you,” she demanded.

“Er...” Tench clearly knew something was up, and clung to the bro code a second too long before he quailed at the look on her face. “He inquired as to whether I believed you to be ‘hot’....”

That meddling, shit stirring little twerp. She should have tossed him in the harbour and left him there.




Tench stared in baffled astonishment as the murderous look on Jennifer’s face suddenly lost focus, and she turned away.

“THOMAS!” She called for her child in a shout that would have done a Highland Grenadier sergeant proud, in that it carried clear across the encampment, with just the right mix of a summons and an inherent threat of extreme violence should that summons be ignored.

“Will you excuse me Captain?” Jennifer asked, taking the parasol from him and closing it. In her hands it suddenly acquired a more sinister shape. “I need to talk to my son.”

“Of... of course, Madam,” he replied, bowing to her, and then executing a retreat that was definitely bordering on hasty, but not yet tipping over into undignified. He took back all the instances that he ever thought the women of his own time were baffling enigmas. They had nothing on the mystifying Gorgon that a woman of the 22nd century was capable of becoming.

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted Yesterday

Excellent prose She_Jedi ... how indeed will Tench overcome a meddling Thomas to win the heart of fair maid Jennifer?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted Yesterday
Filed under U for Useful.

Respond to this thread

Steve asserts...

Posted Thursday
I was hoping Samuel Marsden (the flogging parson) would make an appearance. Nothing like a good dose of violent sadism for those thrice-damned zombees.
Love your work.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
He's a good pick for the sequel.

Respond to this thread

nick mumbles...

Posted Friday
i loved it , although i can imagine writing in the voice of Tench would make life hard for you.be very interesting to do the story from other characters view points , almost like a oz version of world war z , uptimers , aboriginals , french explorers who may sail past ect . perhaps lotsa opportunities for fan fic , although i would not horrify you with my spelling / grammar....again thanks heaps

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield mumbles...

Posted Friday
I really enjoyed it. Thanks.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'First of the freebies roll out'