Cheeseburger Gothic

Nespresso, the secret of my deadline success

Posted November 18 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

It's no secret that I've been cranking the words of late. But although I've tweaked a few things in my workflow, I credit this bad boy, the Nespresso Pixie, with keeping me at the keyboard and on my game a little longer each day.

I resisted buying one for a long time. Long enough that Jane eventually rolled her eyes and made the purchase anyway.

I was sceptical. But I have seen the Light.

I recall reading an article in The New Yorker a whole ago about how coffee making was ripe for automation, but having had the experience of campus coffee machines long ago, I didn't believe them. Turns out I should have. There is of course both art and science to brewing a perfect cup, but the art is rare and for most of us it can be replaced by the science. A good barista is a craftsman or woman of great skill, but making coffee is also a process that lends itself to being programmed. A controlled blend of coffee grounds, exposed to water of a specific temparture and pressure for a measured amount of time will deliver that same result every time.

Get those inputs right and your output will be unvaryingly sublime.

That's why a lot of restaurants sneakily, shamefully make your coffee out of sight now. They're using a Nespresso machine.

If you order an after-dinner espresso at roughly a third of the twenty-four hundred Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, you receive a demitasse filled with a thin drink that came out of small, thimble-shaped pod packed with five or six grams of coffee that was pre-ground a month or more prior. You are drinking Nespresso, which has quietly infiltrated restaurants all over the world in the name of convenience and consistency - The New Yorker.

For me, it's meant fewer trips to the local cafe. Much fewer. I still buy coffee while I'm out, but I'm even pickier and more dismissive of shitty brown water than I used to be, especially at $4 a pop. The unit cost of each Nespresso pod is about 70c. Plus I'm not having them with muffins or brownies, so I've cut out hundreds of sugary calories a day. I've lost weight using this thing! About a kilo and a half. (And grabbed an hour of time for myself that I've been using to write more).

The coffee is uniformly good and comes in dozens of different blends, some flavoured with natural oils to create chocolate or caramel aromas. I usually stock up on pods every four or five weeks and there's a lovely air of Jony Ive-style wankery to the set up at the Nesresso shop. In fact, the whole thing reminds me of the vaguely cultish experience of visiting the Apple Store.

So naturally, I approve.

20 Responses to ‘Nespresso, the secret of my deadline success’

sibeen mumbles...

Posted November 18
Yes. Had one for three years now. The morning visit to the bench has now become ritual.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted November 18
We've had ours for years, of course there was much wailing about costs when I got it!

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted November 19
Espresso. Tea. Bourbon. Gin. Heroin. Meth. Whatever it takes to get you to the desk and pumping out words.

damian mutters...

Posted November 20
Auden classified most of those as "modern labor saving technology" for writers, along with benzedrine but minus the meth which hadn't become popular by his time.

Lulu asserts...

Posted November 21
Didn't benzedrine do pretty much the same thing as meth? I read somewhere about David Selznick making Gone With The Wind on "bennies" - sleeping one day a week or something ridiculous.

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trib puts forth...

Posted November 19
Birmo! You're killing me.

Nespresso and its ilk are responsible for an insane amount of additional landfill because their pods aren't biodegradable. The coffee itself, fantastic compost, but it's locked away in aluminium packaging.

Aunty covered this recently on Lateline

Biodegradable pods are starting to emerge, so I encourage you to use those or a pod recycler. Details in aforementioned ABC story - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-24/former-nespresso-boss-warns-coffee-pods-are-killing-environment/7781810

insomniac mutters...

Posted November 19
What trib said

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted November 19
Indeed. If one was to set out to design a Worst choice, one might have lined the pods with foetal white rhino hide. But that'd be about it. I love coffee, I accept schlepping it from the mountains isn't exactly carbon neutral, but the pods are to much for me.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted November 20
They've got a recycling program now. The pods get reclaimed for the aluminium and the coffee grounds go to agriculture for mulch.

damian mumbles...

Posted November 20
Well I agree that automation is cool, however we're now into the 6th with our current coffee machine. Came with a free grinder of the sort where the grind goes directly into the espresso basket. Leaving the grind setting where we have kept it for years now, making a ritual of shaking, tapping and then applying a muscle-memory of tamping pressure delivers great results most times. We've so ritualised that we take the whole apparatus with us on holidays (one more milk crate size box in the back of the wagon, with space for some extra bits and pieces between stuff).

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Domestic Daze ducks in to say...

Posted November 19
I have yet to succumb to the heady delights of such black magic.
Although I get the feeling that it is only a matter of time, but with limited space in my kitchen........I guess I can live without the microwave after all.

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted November 19
I remember when you told us of your love for your Aeropress coffee plunger. Where did it all go wrong?

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted November 20
Still love the aeropress, but i'm running a production line now.

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insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted November 20
Isn't there some coffee based suppository you could use so you're not wasting valuable writing time making pod coffee?

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jason has opinions thus...

Posted November 21
I can truly trace back the best moments of my life to coffee (not as sad as it sounds) and I live in the coffee capital of Australia so your words are heretical to me. But I will forgive this obvious character flaw in favour of more flawed characters.

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Surtac reckons...

Posted November 21
A bunch of us (half a dozen) got together at work a couple years back and bought a De Longhi machine that uses nespresso pods. We buy the pods in bulk (multiple flavours and don't have to pay freight). The response was so good that our original investment was repaid in about six months.

It's still going. We charge $1 per pod (including milk and sugar) and that seems to work for us (iirc our average price per pod is about 87c and we run at least a dozen different flavours/strengths).

Some of us have referred to it as the only successful project our IT group has delivered in the past few years. :)

Unfortunately, I can't get one for home as SWMBO doesn't like the taste of the pods. :(

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pi mumbles...

Posted November 21
What I would do is encourage your young adult offspring into starting their career at nespresso. I suppose they give all of those free pods (hundreds a month) so that their employees become addicted to the coffee, but as a parent of said offspring, the coffee is varied and plentiful.

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted November 21
We have a commercial Nespresso machine at my new workplace (we got moved here a month ago). Makes decent coffee, better than the instant stuff, and cheaper than buying as its free! Problem is, whoever is responsible for ordering the pods is a bit slack, and we run out regularly. I thought I'd just buy my own private stock....but nooooo. The Nespresso shop near home informs me the commercial machine pods (which look sort of like a foil wrapped biscuit) can't be bought in a shop, only ordered from the manufacturer...argh!

So just nick a handful of the pods when they come in and keep them in my desk drawer.

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Dirk has opinions thus...

Posted November 30
It seems you can't stay of the Burger for a week, and people are starting to talk jibberish.

I just want to point to this baby, to show you your errant ways:

http://www.koffiediscounter.nl/img/eda1541c-1761-48c6-a075-fba9d456e50a/saeco-moltio-hd8769.jpg?w=&h=&q=80

Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted December 1
Agreed. I think I have the previous model in this range. It is the duck's nuts.

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Next book

Posted November 16 into Writing by John Birmingham

I started blocking out the plot and character arcs for The Cruel Stars this week. I'd been tossing up whether to write WW3.1 first, but Cruel Stars is due in New York in April next year and with the holidays coming up my productivity will soon fall off a cliff. We're scheduled to spend some time in Sydney during January (I will try to set aside a day for a Burger catch up) and the getting kids back to school is usually a week's worth of faffing around too.

Long story short, I'm going to knock over this traditionally published title first, then swing into 3.1 in February. That should see it released in April/May.

Meantime, I have the Hooper fanfic project to release for Xmas. It'll go free to everyone in the bookclub, then probably sit at two bucks in the stores.

Come January I'll release all of the Stalin's Hammer books in one volume. Including Rome. I can't release my own copy of Rome, because the rights remain trapped with the legacy publsihers. . But I can rerelease it as part of an 'anthology'. I think it'll make a nice one, and I'll do a print on demand version too. Audible have made an offer on the audiobook rights.

I'm enjoying the rapid fire project switching of the last few months. Paris, Girl in Time and now Cruel Stars are all very different projects and I've found each to be a pleasant change from the other.

Not sure whether to put Cruel Stars through the beta process. It really does improve the story, but I'm mindful of not overloading everyone and, to be honest, it's the publisher's job anyway.

Happy to take counsel on that.

Also keen to here from the beta crew how they found Dropbox Paper. Some hated it. Some liked it. I had one or two scarifying moments when it seemed to delete the whole project.

27 Responses to ‘Next book’

insomniac asserts...

Posted November 16
DB Paper was ok but that was highly dependent on the platform. Desktop/laptop were fine, the iPhone was also ok but so tiny I was crosseyed afterwards, and the Android tablet failed to provide me with a cursor on many occasions which made editing simple things difficult.
With the tablet I had a select all moment where I was not entirely sure what to do next just in case I deleted everything. I know you keep the original safely tucked away somewhere but do you occasionally backup the beta copy?
I'm happy to use either Paper or Docs.

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WarDog has opinions thus...

Posted November 16
I found the latency on DropBox, both via Desktop and Android tablet to be extremely frustrating. To the point that I almost didn't read through the final third.

I like the anthology delivery for Stalin's Hammer.

And I also find switching tasks every couple of months a much more relaxing way of working. I fond it gives me fresh perspectives on prior projects too.

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jl mumbles...

Posted November 16
What's the premise for "The Cruel Stars"? Sounds interesting.

Loved dropbox, I used it on my Mac and had no problems. Very intuitive and fun to work with. Considering using it myself for my next book, great way to get real-time feedback from your betas. I really enjoyed it.

Also, good concept releasing the novellas as an anthology, especially like the print-on-demand part. Electronic books are fine, but every now and then I do love a paperback.

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Surtac asserts...

Posted November 16
Yeah, what the sleepless one said.

With no prior experience of the product, I worked out how to use DB Paper relatively easily but its performance was highly dependent on the platform. Safari on iOS on iPad was unusable due to app latency times; Firefox or Chrome on a Windows 7 laptop was nearly as bad; the only decent response I could get was on Chrome on a Win 10 desktop. And I was using the same network infrastructure for all of these - VDSL2 broadband router hardwired to the two Win machines and wifi to the iPad.

Anyway, I was happy to be part of the process, and would do so again.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted November 16
Yeah, it does seem very dependent on platform, with mobile devices being the worst.

AuntyLou puts forth...

Posted November 20
Yep Android tablet was hard work. One thing that no one else seems to mention is that Google Docs allowed a much smoother experience for glancing through comments. I like seeing the thought processes of others...even if it is only to kick myself for missing typos.

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Don Bagert asserts...

Posted November 16
It's hard to complain about 3.1 being delayed when you're saying it should be finished by six months from now, and also be available to everyone at the same time! I remember that one book that was delayed so long in the U.S. (maybe Final Impact?)

An anthology of 3 novellas that just happen to all be in the same universe with a continuing story line. Sound good if the Paris publishers buy it. (This made me think of when this "anthology" of 8 previously published short-stories plus one new story was released a some time back. You may have heard of it - the Foundation Trilogy.) LOL

The DB Paper could be a little fickle in some places, but overall it was very useful. A Girl in Time was my first time with the betas, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't believe you think we'll be overloaded by this - we're getting to see John Birmingham working at his craft! Also, I don't know how your publishing editors have been but I've seen many books by others where it was obvious the editors didn't understand what was going on. Do you want the betas, after the book is released, to be telling you "Look at these continuity errors, JB! WE would have found all of them!" LOL

Finally, I'd also like to know a bit of what Cruel Stars is about :)

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Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted November 16
"Come January I'll release all of the Stalin's Hammer books in one volume"

Literally a volume, like on paper?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted November 16
Yes.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 16
Excellent!

dweeze has opinions thus...

Posted November 16
Come January I'd be purchasing such a volume then.
Yay.

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted November 16
1. DB Paper is worth sticking with - even though I'm one that used my ipad almost exclusively, and as above, yeah it's not without its frustrations.

2. We betas get at least as much in return for what we give. So I selfishly say go for it. But will understand if you don't (your publisher may also have a risk-averse view).

3. Lots on JB - well done. Is it safe to say in 29 days you will be rich?

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted November 16
I wouldn't go that far.

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insomniac mutters...

Posted November 16
I think there will always be enough alphas available at any one time to cope with any potential overloading. I feel like it's ok to dip in or out depending on our individual workloads, or is that just lazy slave talk?

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Dave C ducks in to say...

Posted November 16
Dropbox was good. There were a few fuggly moments using it on my android, as stated above, but generally it was excellent.
If you're asking whether to beta The Cruel Stars, I'd describe it like this; everyone's got their favorite bands, right? And their albums are the mint, polished, end-product. But come on, who wouldn't want to hang in their studio while they're laying the tracks?

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Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 16
Not a fan of the Dropbox Paper. I found it pretty maddening to work with.

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Jeats would have you know...

Posted November 16
Just out of interest you mentioned the rights to the audiobook... have you ever had interest for a movie? The time does seem ripe for a "Final Countdown" style movie - you know to make 'merica great again!

I am really looking forward to reading "The Cruel Stars" when it is released.

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DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 16
A girl in time is perfect for a netflix production. And the Dave for that matter (SFX budget might be a bit high!)

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Alastair reckons...

Posted November 17
What about a burger meetup in NYC? I'm in!

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien ducks in to say...

Posted November 17
Dropbox Paper took me a second to get used to, but overall it was good. As others said, it wasn't without its shortcomings, but it did the trick.

As far as doing beta for "The Cruel Stars," I would do it in a heartbeat. But it's totally up to you (and the publishers).

The anthology sounds good too, and I am sure all of us are looking forward to WW3.1.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted November 17
DP was rough on IPad Pro. One thing that I didn't like (or figure out) was how to bookmark my progress so that I didn't have to do that entire scroll from the top thing every time. Probably a PIFOK error.

I'm always up for a beta ... mainly because I can lord it over the untermenschen.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted November 17
We do not mention the untermenschen

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Ceramic mumbles...

Posted November 17
Never mind, just emailing you now.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted November 18
But. But. But ... the sounds they make when taunted are like music for the soul.

But, my Master has spoken ... no more more mentions of the U-word.

Sudragon asserts...

Posted November 18
They have become...

Untermentionables.

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Oldy puts forth...

Posted December 1
If you're worried about overloading the betas, you can always increase the pool...

...just sayin'

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted December 1
Old, if you want in, just let me know via the mailing list email.

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Marshal Smith needs a new gun

Posted November 11 into A Girl In Time by John Birmingham

Those of you in the beta would know thaty he carries an 1875 Remington pistol. Just Jason points out that this would need to be cocked after each shot.

For narrative spoilery reasons I won't get into here, this cant happen. So he needs a revolver that a novice can just point and shoot.

But it needs to be period appropriate.

Suggestions?

17 Responses to ‘Marshal Smith needs a new gun’

Stuart mutters...

Posted November 11
Colt M1877 (as used by Billy the Kidd amongst others) or the plus sized Colt M1878, which had a similar design but was upsized to use the larger cartridges.

Don Bagert is gonna tell you...

Posted November 11
Unfortunately, Smith is from 1876 - and the Colt M1877 and M1878 did come out in those years.

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Kim collard puts forth...

Posted November 11
Try the Gasser Model 1870 Army Service Six-Round Revolver .... it fires and reloaded on one trigger action. Rgds

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jl mumbles...

Posted November 11
I found a solution- it took some doing, DA revolvers were not common in 1876. Check this out-

http://www.antiquegunlist.com/index.php/home/manufactures/star/3859-starr-1858-d-a-army-44percussion-to-cartridge-revolver-early-1870s-after-market-conversion-to-45colt

The Starr was one of the only US DA revolver designs pre 1877, most were percussion revolvers used by the Union Army in the Civil War. I wasn't aware that any of them were cartridge conversions, but I knew such animals existed in other designs. So I googled "Cartridge Starr Revolver" and came up with a no kidding 1870ish example of a Starr that had been converted. Can easily see this being used in the West.

Problem potentially solved.

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted November 12
We carried the reproductions at the Civil War Sutlery I worked at in grad school.


They were notoriously fickle and unreliable. Prone to breakage.


Been years since I've dealt with the revolvers of that era, but a study of the shootists from that early might reveal what I vaguely remember, mainly that the bulk of them preferred a single action as opposed to a double action.


Perhaps a better, more historically accurate solution to the problem, would be to modify the scene in question to match the probable combat tactics of a shootist from the 19th Century, rather than dressing a 21st Century style pistoleer in 19th Century clothes.

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dman69 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 11
What about a Bulldog revolver? A british design, double action...

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien ducks in to say...

Posted November 12
Maybe the British Beaumont-Adams?

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted November 12
It was not uncommon, especially during the Bleeding Kansas build up to the Civil War and during the Kansas-Missouri Border War for folks to carry multiple revolvers. Perhaps as many as four to six on the person, plus two more, "horse pistols," in saddle holsters, usually a Colt Dragoon or something along those lines.


That said, I doubt Marshall Smith is going to go into a gunfight the same way Caitlin Monroe might. He'll use the tactics he knows based upon the limitations of his technology.


Oh, and I suspect the reason many of them preferred single action was down to accuracy and reliability.

jl mumbles...

Posted November 12
Murph, 100% agree that the vast majority of pistoleers in the 19th century preferred single action in America. The DA was popular earlier in UK, Europe. The S&W model 1899 (later model 10) made DA pistols popular in the US (there was a reason the 1877 Colt was known as the "gunsmith's friend"). And what you say is also completely accurate re: multi pistols, etc.

Simply trying to find a period correct DA pistol that was used in the Old West- the Starr was used by the Union Army, and some of them were converted to .45LC. Admit it is not a perfect choice, just period correct.

jl reckons...

Posted November 12
Gotta say it's tough 1876 and earlier. Single action, lots of picks.

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 12
The Starr is definitely period correct. Apparently the originals were far more reliable than the Pietta reproductions we carried.


I think there are two choices.


Modify the scene to match the limitations of a more probable weapons choice.


Decide how important it is to actually have a weapon that is period correct.


Option two would be easier to deal with in terms of rewrite. Option one would be more time consuming to rectify.

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Don Bagert swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 12
JB, what would be the impact of moving Smith's departure up a year in order to use the Colt M1877?

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Gutz would have you know...

Posted November 12
Um, i made some good stuff out of lego? but i have also been on the chug chug glug glug wowee sauce!

Why cannot he have TWO 1875 Remington pistol's and flip everything that is not tied down upside down using them?

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 13
I decided to go back to the original Colt. Why? BECAUSE SMITH IS A TIME TRAVELLER. HE COULD CARRY A FUCKING PHASER IF HE WANTED TO.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted November 13
Excellent choice.

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Kristophr has opinions thus...

Posted November 14
A Starr cap and ball revolver is a double action. It almost broke the company because people didn't like double actions at the time. When they made a single action version, it sold better, and made the company profitable again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starr_revolver

Another candidate would be the British Adams revolver:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Adams_%28handgun_designer%29

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Ceramic swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 17
Hiya,
If you're still looking for beta readers, i'm free and have a pc for dropbox.
You know what my special subjects are I presume.
Just in case, quantum physics, aspergers and god knows what else.
Just thought i'd put my name forward.

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First draft complete

Posted November 10 by John Birmingham

Just dropped the epilogue onto the end of the beta.

I'm very happy with this book.

13 Responses to ‘First draft complete’

DarrenBloomfield mumbles...

Posted November 10
So you should be, JB. So you should.

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Dave C mutters...

Posted November 10
To my mind, I could sense your enthusiasm with the story and characters. I REALLY enjoyed this book, John! Ridonkulously good even!

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted November 10
All his Janissaries would agree

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Ian Goulbourne asserts...

Posted November 11
A jolly good read (said Chumley) and I agree.

Is it just me, or is the whole Beta editing process much easier. Way less typos in this book than previous books
I suppose as a stand alone book that there is no baggage to bring along from previous books in the series and that JB just needs to be true to this one book alone.
Having said that, I do enjoy the comments from the other Beta readers/reviewers. It does add another dimension to the book. The 'Easter eggs' are also fun.

Dropbox paper is much better than Google docs, but I look forward to the next update when I will be able to do a search so I can quickly get to my last editing pause.

A Girl in Time would make a good tv series!

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted November 11
One difference with editing this, I let everyone make the minor subedits themselves. So you saw a fewer comments pointing out missing punctation or spelling errors and so on.
I also learned from Stalin's Hammer to do better inventory control. That's why Smith and Smith alone has the weapons, and not many of them.
As for the larger question, I did put a lot of time into prepping for this book. It was plotted out scene by scene. That probably cuts back on the edits necessary.

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 11
I too am finding fewer typos overall but more punctuation errors than usual.
No baggage also helps, both from a prior book sense and from easier inventory control because you left something behind.
Dropbox is ok to use, everywhere except in Android where I struggle to get a cursor.
But yeah, it's a good read (so far cos I ain't finished)

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted November 11
Is there an actual epilogue cos I can't see it ... there's no heading but I think I saw it earlier?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted November 11
I changed the name to chapter 38

insomniac would have you know...

Posted November 11
oh i see

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Guy asserts...

Posted November 12
I am a reader, and reviewer of your work on Amazon...how can I get this version of the new book? Do I have to wait much?

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien asserts...

Posted November 12
If WW 3.1 is only as half as good as this, you will have some very happy readers.

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Ceramic reckons...

Posted November 14
This book sounds interesting.
Aleays available to be a beta reader in future :-)

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted November 16
Ceramic, you need to email me via the email addy for jbismymasternow and let me know.

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Alphas, your beta is good to go

Posted November 9 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just loaded ACT 3.

I'm writing the epilogue today, and maybe tomorrow, but there's a complete story arc ready to go now.

Enjoy.

You can search the document for ACT 3 or for Chapter 26 to take you to the start.

7 Responses to ‘Alphas, your beta is good to go’

Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted November 9
Sir! Yes sir!

Will get to it this evening after work.

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insomniac mutters...

Posted November 9
Do we have a time limit?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted November 9
Early next week it goes to the production edit.

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Yank across the sea would have you know...

Posted November 9
Are you going to make any adjustments to AoT if Trump gets elected since in the novels Clinton was president in their future timeline?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted November 9
Well, it is an alternate history.

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Dave C is gonna tell you...

Posted November 9
Clinton hadn't quite been confirmed in the book though, had she? It was just assumed that Clinton would win. Sound familiar? Kinda liked it better as fiction.

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DaveC would have you know...

Posted November 9
AoT... D'Oh! Lost in the quantum foam.

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So no, not tonight, Betas

Posted November 4 by John Birmingham

I'm close, but I'm still writing the big pay off scenes. Probably two chapters worth, and I've hit that time of the day when I go from being a writer to being a suburban schmuck who has to chase around after the kids and get the house in order for the weekend.

I could upload 90% of Act 3, but that would be cruel to everyone who's been reading and commenting.

Better to get it finished and then file the lot.

Sorry.

4 Responses to ‘So no, not tonight, Betas’

insomniac mumbles...

Posted November 4
I'll be on a flight to Perth anyway, off to see the little human.

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jl mutters...

Posted November 5
All good things are worth the wait. No sweat, JB.

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AuntyLou asserts...

Posted November 5
I'm on holidays at Brunswick Heads so take your time! I was stressing magnificently about letting down my Lord & Master because of borked interwebs so whenever the final act drops will be good with me. Excited for the next bit. During the wait...????????????????????????????

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted November 9
Having no children, I feel completely confident in my ability to offer advice.

1. I'm sure that house has a nice walk in closet. Bait it with games and snacks. Lure children. Lock doors. Back to writing.

2. Hire help to take care of mundane tasks such as feeding, bathing, clothing, rearing of children. In their spare time they can be re-tasked to clean house, maintain lawns, etc.

I'm glad that I was able to help and feel really good about this conversation.

Please get back to work.

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