Cheeseburger Gothic

Fuck you, Amazon, I like hardbacks.

Posted July 22, 2010 by John Birmingham
I got the hardback AA from New York today and it feels like a completely different book from Pan Mac's version. Well, I suppose because it is. There were some significant structural edits we took into the Oz version that I simply couldn't translate across hard copy manuscripts, so they didn't happen in the US version. They're different enough to keep an honours student in thesis material for a year, at least.

But the arrival of Del Rey's hb means the US release is now very close. The back list has been selling well over there the last few months, with WoC going into it's 8th reprint overnight. It's all enough to give me some faith in the future of the industry. Especially with Amazon getting some much needed competition in the next 12-18 months.

British readers will get an ebook when the Australian e-book is released at the end of this month. I want to wait a little while longer before opening up the discussion threads, just to let some more of the US burgers get their copies.

84 Responses to ‘Fuck you, Amazon, I like hardbacks.’

Roscoe has opinions thus...

Posted July 23, 2010
Haven't commented in a while here but...

After a massive night out - big cheeseboard....stinky blue cheese sandwiches....

I had a dream that AA was out in stores here in Nuu Zuhlund - but I could only get it through a download from a dock at the counter!!

WTF!!!

But the cover art looked supremely awesome - light blue horizon over a distraught derelict city forefront....

Anyways, back to my nomnomnom kilo of feta....

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted July 23, 2010
It'll be interesting, comparing the differences between the two copies.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted July 23, 2010
My copy is awaiting me at home ... will be Leaving Las Vegas later this afternoon and will be hunkering down tonight.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted July 23, 2010
You

Lucky

Bastard

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted July 23, 2010
I have seen the future of publishing and it is the e-book. I can see you are one those who will be drag kicking and screaming in to the 21 century.

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Havock would have you know...

Posted July 23, 2010
I fear...no, actually I rejoyce in the knowledge that E/BOOKS will be accepted like taking a gun from my cold dead fkn hands, it aint never gunna happen, not whilst I have breath in my lungs and sure as fk not until they managed to make computer screens feel like paper, take abuse like a book, get copies in the middle of fkn nowhere, and never ever run out of fkn batteries.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 23, 2010
That's what I like about you Havock. You're a forward thinking, early adopter, New Age, Metro Sexual kind of guy. . . .and you probably use face conditioner.

E-Books. Being a techie of sorts . . .I hate anything that doesn't have a plan B. I got E-books and e-readers . . .guess what? I'm taking my latest Dave Weber, outside in the dark and in the rain to have a read and smoke. Don't need to wait for boot up, don't need to worry about cracking a screen, don't need to worry about the damp. Then I get to shut it, shove it and drop it into my bag before I toddle off. HC or PB is just soooo much more convenient . . . .if I want, I can get an author to sign it too.

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sparty would have you know...

Posted July 23, 2010
would love to know more about structual changes...

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Moko puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2010
Still wanna see AoT as a radio play type set up. Juss sayeen.

Oh how I love Amazon. It has given me SO MANY lovely things in the mail.

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Moko mutters...

Posted July 23, 2010
...and yeah, I'll go audio book WAY before ebook.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted July 23, 2010
I've never quite understood why there need to be any differences between an australian version and the US version. Can anyone explain it without using big words that might confuse me?

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Tarl ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2010
I've actually found e-books to be tolerable. Not as good as a hardcover, but when traveling or for some other reason the hardcover isn't available, a .MOBI file on my kindle DX (the large one) works fine.

And an e-book is noticeably better than a paperback. I can adjust the font to a readable size.

The fly in the ointment is DRM. I want to *OWN* my books, so I can archive and re-read them at will. With DRM, all I get is to rent the books, held hostage to the vendor's whim on when my book will evaporate. Sure, Amazon says they're selling me the book - but if they give up on Kindle, whenever my current hardware breaks, my collection of books from them evaporates.

As a result, I've compromised; I use Amazon's hardware, but the e-books I read come from other sources (.e.g, Baen's webscriptions) which aren't DRM-infested.

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Dr Lazlo Panaflex swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2010
I picked up an autographed copy last week from my local book emporium. I am 3/4 of the way through it already and it is infinitely better than Zoo Magazine, which is my yardstick.

I look forward to the next installment. Until then, Zoo Magazine awaits.

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Havock would have you know...

Posted July 23, 2010
Tarl, so essentially, the distributors are asre fkng you eight ways from christmas if you subscribe to the current arrangements. WELL FK'EM I say.

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Havock asserts...

Posted July 23, 2010
Brian, I use PONDS Moisturising cream..fkn WICKED

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Tarl ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2010
Doesn't that interfere with the Preparation-H?

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted July 23, 2010
My copy of AA has just arrived in the country, picking it up this afternoon, thankyou ABC!

Coincedentally i was recognised for the first time as a cameo in one of JBs books by a friend whos reading one. He sent me a message on Facebook quite unprompted. FRK YEAh IM A FAMOUS

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Havock swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2010
LOBES..lol..LMFAO!

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Havock ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2010
Tarl, it means the camo cream does not get stuck in the pores of my skin, GOD like complexions must be MAINTAINED!

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NBlob reckons...

Posted July 23, 2010
Moko your a dead set genius. For a Kiwi.

The market for spoken word books is growing. Previously it was exclusively the domain of the visually impaired but now Pod casting for commute or drive is booming - look at ABC.RN figures.

I'm an unreserved fan of the Jeff Lynn (spell?) production of War of the Worlds, Rocky Horror & BBC's Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. Damian made my month last year by posting a link to 'What's Rangoon to you is Grafton to me.'

I reckon that the tweedy old days of Radio Drama may be dead but Pod Drama may be about to arise.

There are lots of situations where eyes are busy elsewhere but the brain lusts for something to chew on. I reckon an Audio version of WOC would be Double A Aawsome.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2010
Moko is a Kiwi? Well, that's it for him, then.

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Moko mutters...

Posted July 23, 2010
NBob, thanks I think. lol

I've got a hard drive full of audio books. Love em. Andy McNab's ones, House to House was a GREAT audio book. Most are just spoken with cultured accents, but some the narrator does the yelling and whispering etc. Love it. I load em on the iPod and listen to em on the way to work etc.

I've been on at JB about it since book 2 of AoT.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2010
Anyone spoken to the fabulous Girl Clumsy about this? She has a stable of creative types.

Havoc, just dont get the Ponds & the Proctosedyl mixed up it makes your face numb and doesn't do anything for your butt. It can be worse, confusing Hemorroid cream for tigerbalm really puts a zing in your day.

Hmm, perhaps Preparation H is named for our man Havock, for the frightful pain in the arse he gives MUPPETS 'n FKN OXYGEN THIEVES.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted July 23, 2010
Actually guys . . .audio books are probably the sleeper in the whole mix.

Look . . .I got about 2 GB of Podcasts. I play then on the phone, the car and on whatever platform I'm using. I can walk with it. Work with it. And got to sleep with it. If I've got migraines . . . I can't read and I certainly can't watch stuff. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of audio books.

There was an MRI study done on the brain and computer work. Its a hardwired effect of our brain. Parts of the MRI light up when you read. Parts when you listen. Neither light up together at the same time . . .they just don't. Seemed a bit strange when you think about watching movies and the like . .. switching between dialogue and action etc But you can write that off as the brain multitasks. . . dips in and out of streams.

Crikey . . .wot, 10-15 years ago. The media was saying radio was dead? Lookit now.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted July 23, 2010
I've always distrusted Preparation H. I mean, it took them preparations A through G to come up with the one being sold. What happened to A through G? What the hell kind of side-effects did they have?

"Preparation G isn't what we were hoping for. The stuff still causes monstrous mutations. But let's try it one more time..."

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ConspiracyCat reckons...

Posted July 23, 2010
I like radio serials better than audio books. Just came across a CD of the '80's classic, Dr Poo "Knees Ahoy". And I still have some episodes of "How Green Was My Cactus" on cassette.

Most audio books I've heard are annoying, because the narrator changes the nuances (and therefore the impact) of the text, through inflection. Well, bugger off, narrator. I prefer my own fevered interpretations of the author's intended message.

Anyway, while Audio and ebooks may suit some, I refuse to take an iPad or iPod into the lav. So I'll still be buying my books in solid state. Especially the ones with nice, soft pages.

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Moko mutters...

Posted July 23, 2010
I prefer solid books as well, Cat, but with a quality effort audio surpasses written in many instances. Music, back ground noise, like walking and doors closing, it's a completely different experience. Like somewhere between book and movie where your imagination is still king but it's getting keyed but sounds of rain and other things that aren't necessarily in a book.

Those sorts, other than radio plays, are rare though.

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 23, 2010
Without Warning is available in audio. Felafel too.

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Moko puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2010
OMG REALLY?.....*zooms to iTunes*

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Tarl reckons...

Posted July 23, 2010
Last time David Weber came through for a book signing, someone had the audiobooks for one of his recent books (I think it was War of Honor) that they wanted David to sign. A package of *20* CDs. And (looking it up on Amazon) that was for an Abridged Edition of the book.

I can't image sitting through nearly 24 hours of someone reading a book to me.

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jennicki reckons...

Posted July 23, 2010
Don't let them tease you Havock.

I use Ponds too.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted July 23, 2010
Yes, but does WW come with explosions, missile shots, aircraft noises and the LIKES..if NOT..get fkn onto it will ya

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donna has opinions thus...

Posted July 23, 2010
I have the paperback, but i like the idea of the hardback, nothing like the tactile feel of a good solid hardback mmmm and whoa, how come its different, WTF? OK, I'll have to buy it just to find out!!

I have audio books as well, and I like them because I can listen while I'm driving, but give me a paperback and a coffee in the sun and I'm happier than a pig in sh..mud!

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted July 23, 2010
Yes Hvk and Jenn, apparently Ponds is very good and they say it's a myth that you need to use expensive skin care. I tried Ponds for a while but it was not quite rich enough for my skin type; I use Lancome Hydrix and Jurlique and/or Lancome day care moisturiser--all of which I thoroughly recommend.

Havsy, you mustn't be too susceptible to dry skin like we Canberrans in our climate. The sea breeze might hydrate your skin a little.

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2010
..and I wouldn't make fun of you Havsy; I like a man who can mention Ponds one minute and bullets the next. You're complex Havsy, complex.

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2010
and omg, I wonder who narrates Felafel? I wonder if they try and match the voice to the genre. We have audio of Wind in the Willows narrated by a good British Dame- I can't see a Dame narrating Felafel.

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Aaron puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2010
I love hard backs but think audio books are very handy, especially as relief for my eyes in todays world. Podcasts rock and I get to bypass shit commercial radio in the car as well.

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Abigail asserts...

Posted July 23, 2010
Audio books are great if the reader has the right voice.Some voices get irritating after 15 minutes.

Also, they can hijack whatever the book means for you; tend to work better for unknown books so you haven't had a chance to imagine the story teller's voice yet.

e-Books, nah, I don't even like reading newspapers on line--I think it's nice to have everything there in one hit. The splintering of reading material which the net creates is a real annoyance/ hassle / discourages reading an entire article for old Methusla here.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted July 23, 2010
My moisturiser is beer, my medicine is rum and my drink of choice when reading about magical Waves and time travelling ships is whisky. e-Books don't do it for me. Audio books are good for blocking out the screams of gished slouchbikers. Hardbacks if used at the correct angle and with sufficient force can kill Zombies and Space Lizards and can act as excellent platforms for cigar boxes.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted July 23, 2010
Or is that just me? you know , you find an article and you have no idea how long it goes on; you get to the end of the first page the there are the little pg numbers in the squares, but because you can't readily see the pages, and the content, it feels somehow like a risk. I didn't say it makes sense , I'm just saying that's the feeling I get out of the experience. Dissatisfaction regarding the design , I suppose.

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Big Pete ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2010
On the whole eBooks and audio books point. The Kindle has text to speech capabilities from what I read about it. I've no idea how good it is, or whether it sounds like you're being read to by a robot. I'll have to ask a mate of mine who has one, how good or otherwise it is.

While Falafel is being mentioned. I've been trying to find it on DVD from various video rental shops for ages with no success. The last place I would have ever thought of to look (The Local Library) has it in their catalogue. Now all I have to do is organise to borrow it.

And they say local councils aren't any good for anything.

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YB is gonna tell you...

Posted July 23, 2010
By Paul Nicholas Boylan, July 23, 2010 @ 8:25 am

I’ve never quite understood why there need to be any differences between an australian version and the US version. Can anyone explain it without using big words that might confuse me?

I have a summary example: "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone" was considered too difficult for the American audience, so they released it as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." It was believed the target audience did not know what a Philosopher was, and didn't have the education to pick up the classical reference.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted July 23, 2010
The movie really wasn't that good, nothing like the play and was a disappointing treatment of the book. The cast does include Sophie Lee and that's never a bad thing.

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Moko would have you know...

Posted July 23, 2010
Big Pete,

You local?.

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Moko puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2010
...or Amazon for 15 bucks.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2010
Yeah, okay. They think we're stupid. I get tired of that, but I don't blame them.

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Moko mumbles...

Posted July 23, 2010
NVM, decided to finish reading your comment.

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Big Pete swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2010
@Therbs

There is a short of the movie on YouTube which is all I have ever seen of the movie. I take your point on Sophie Lee being in it, always a bonus. Though I am a bit of a fan of Noah Taylor as well.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2010
Big Pete. That's unfair about local councils. They are good for stuff . . .just not if you're a local.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted July 23, 2010
Big Pete, give it a go anyway, its just my opinion. I must admit I was spoiled by the instructional bucket bong scene in the play.

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BruceGaryNigelson swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2010
Found a copy of the Felafel flick at JB for $6. Nothing on the book, but good for a few laughs. Sophie Lee is smokin'.

Audio books - wonder if, in the future, you could pick: whether you want it read to you via male/female, include sound effects, and if linked with an ipad or ereader, some illustrations or something to help along with the effect. Funny you are mentioning audiobooks here- was giving it a lot of thought the other day when i was sizing up an e-reader.

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BruceGaryNigelson mumbles...

Posted July 23, 2010
ps. Hav, I found the proactive range of products to be very satisfying.

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Guy mutters...

Posted July 23, 2010
JB - I hope you will wait until British readers have a chance to read AA before you start the discussion threads.

As for audio books, there is a British outfit caled Big Finish productions which produces excellent original Doctor Who audio stories (also Blake's Seven and others). I think they could so a fantastic job with the Axis of Time. They have a great track record in persuading leading actors to participate, so the next question is which actors should play the key AOT characters?

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jennicki mumbles...

Posted July 23, 2010
I've lent my Bridget Jones books out to quite a few people who told me they had a hard time reading a "British" book.

To me the language was totally part of the charm.

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Moko ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2010
Blakes Seven. Christ I loved that as a kid. Even remember the last show.

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sparty would have you know...

Posted July 23, 2010
absolutly off topic apart from being about books & shatner (who like zombies must be eternally on topic)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2010/jul/16/bizarro-fiction-terribly-good

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shatnerquake-Jeff-Burk/dp/1933929820

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savo mumbles...

Posted July 23, 2010
Alex Kingston (ER fame) as Lady Julia

Art Malik (True Lies) as Al Banna

John Birmingham (AoT) as Kipper

Terry 'Hulk' Hogan as Mr The Rhino

just don't know about Caitlin

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2010
I am home ... book is in hand. The HLDW is going to be soooooo ticked that I've just gotten home and am going to abandon her to the veranda with AA, gallons of tea and the stash of cubans I've been hoarding for just this moment. But she'll get over it.

I think.

Oh well.

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Rhino asserts...

Posted July 23, 2010
Savo ... Hulk Hogan is toooo blustery. Need someone like John Goodman ... or myself. I've been told that I have a great voice. But that isn't surprising is it?

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted July 24, 2010
OK .. 1 cigar and large cuppa down ... and all I have to say is WHOA.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 24, 2010
Got my copy delivered right to the door of the Pod, Apartment 104, at nine story loft building in NKC. Thanks, Birmo.

I think the finished product holds up pretty well.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Rhino asserts...

Posted July 24, 2010
On the actual topic thread ... I love me some hardbacks. But I'm also liking the ability to download and read something immediately on my iphone. Being able to pull up something to read whenever I have some inadvertent downtime - like waiting for an appointment, etc. Also, if I'm out of paper and can't get to the bookstore it is also nice to be able to instantly get something.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 24, 2010
On my way to the post office.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted July 24, 2010
AHH! Maybe tomorrow.

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Big Pete ducks in to say...

Posted July 24, 2010
@Moko

"Big Pete, You local?."

I'm not sure, is Deception Bay local?.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted July 24, 2010
I hate Deception Bay. Everyone there is a liar. Even worse than Mullumbimby.

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Big Pete ducks in to say...

Posted July 24, 2010
@PNB

it's not that we're liars up here at the Bay, we're just very deceptive. And you're wrong about Mullumbimby, damn hippies, they're far worse than us.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted July 24, 2010
I just made up the name Mullumbimby. I had no idea it is a real place.

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Moko is gonna tell you...

Posted July 24, 2010
Big Pete,

Yes, I was gonna send you a copy, but seeing as you hired it...

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 25, 2010
Another very large cuppa and two Davidoff Millenium blends ... god damn this is good stuff.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted July 25, 2010
Big Pete- Deception Bay?--That's such a cool name.

Then Queensland is a bit like that. For instance the town way up north called 1770. How cool is that for a place name?

Canberra has some of the WORST names ever. Try Downer -after that family of course. Fucking Downer for god sake. Now we have a suburb called Beard . I kid you not, Beard.

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Abigail asserts...

Posted July 25, 2010
I live in a suburb called Ainslie which always makes me think of John Gorton bonking his secretary--well, not that specific image, but still.

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Big Pete is gonna tell you...

Posted July 25, 2010
@PNB

"I just made up the name Mullumbimby."

Now that is just plain spooky.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mullumbimby,_New_South_Wales

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Big Pete is gonna tell you...

Posted July 25, 2010
@Abigail

"Big Pete- Deception Bay?–That’s such a cool name.

Then Queensland is a bit like that. For instance the town way up north called 1770. How cool is that for a place name?"

You're not wrong, we certainly have some strange names up here.

A bit of trivia about the Bay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deception_Bay,_Queensland

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Big Pete reckons...

Posted July 25, 2010
@Abigail

"I live in a suburb called Ainslie which always makes me think of John Gorton bonking his secretary"

that's not good. Now I have an image in my mind that I can't erase.

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted July 25, 2010
...aaannndd... Abigail ruins yet another life with the aside about Ainslie and Gorton. I'm .So. Sorry.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted July 25, 2010
OK ... Just finished. That completely and totally ::ENGAGE HVK DRIVE:: FKN ROCKED MY FKN ARSE OFF. MUPPETS GETTIN' CAPPED EVERYWHERE!!! RHINO KICKIN' ASS, TAKIN' NAMES, ETC.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted July 25, 2010
Rhino . . .yeah. Its particularly satisfying to see the unprompted and thoughtful reactions.

And mate . . . .that's why we waited for you. (checking watch) Murph should be turning up soon to talk about Kansas City I guess.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted July 26, 2010
Well, I know the Kansas City stuff is awesome. Ironic given that every time I write a story that features or mentions Kansas City, I normally destroy it.

True irony is that a certain nine story loft apartment building in Northtown is where I am living at this very moment.

And the BP reference as Kipper crosses the Chouteau Bridge? That is priceless. No way we could have anticipated the BP disaster in the Gulf. When you read the book today it feels like a very subtle dig at BP.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 26, 2010
That's all right Murph.

Look . . . someone even wrote a song about Kansas City. If that helps. :))

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Murphy asserts...

Posted July 27, 2010
Great, Brian. Thanks. That tune will be running through my brain while I try to lecture on slavery today.

Aside from Charles B Wheeler Airport and the Hawthrone Power Plant, all of the Kansas City components actually take place in North Kansas City. I happen to live here but that is not why I recommended it (or the metro area for that matter).

Everytime I looked at a map, given what I know or surmised from the first novel as to what was viable, Kansas City kept leaping out as a settlement choice. North Kansas City leaped out even further as the locus of that settlement given that it is concentrated with resources, transport, housing and is pedestrian/bicycle friendly compared to the rest of the region.

The other part, which was mentioned briefly, is the Crossroads/Crown Center area. After that what happens is that the region becomes to dispersed to utilize without sufficent vehicle transport, not a real problem given that it will probably take a couple of decades just to fill out the allocated sections of the city.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 27, 2010
I should also mention that the real "James Kipper" calls Kansas City home. I suspect somewhere in his fictional counterpart's background that KC is probably home as well.

And Birmo just friended and posted to Kipper's facebook page. You all should go harass him a bit. He'll like that.

But don't let that President thing go to his head.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian mumbles...

Posted July 27, 2010
Murph

Really? (big cheesy grin) We can refer all people with Kipper questions to a facebook page? Hmm . . .probably a nice guy and won't do it to him . . . . .yet.

Re: Kansas City. I'm just suffering from HomeTown Tribute Song Envy. (HTTSE). Can't think of a single song relating to an Australian Capital City. 'Road to Gundagai' is about it for me. . . it was a hit an everything . . .back in the '30's ISTR.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted July 28, 2010
Well, we had a Jazz Era here back in the 20s and 30s (the vestiges of which are almost completely gone today). I suspect that is how we got the song.

What annoys me about the song is that anytime someone in TVLand sets a story here in Kansas City, they drag that song out. Worse, Hollywood almost always films the scenes in flat locations.

Kansas City is many things, but flat isn't one of them. The flattest portion is the flood plain, which is what Northtown used to be before the built the levees.

Maybe you ought to nag Men at Work to come up with a city theme song. They've got some bills to pay, I hear.

As for Kipper, yes, definitely go drop in on him. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Respond to 'Fuck you, Amazon, I like hardbacks.'

Back into Melb tomorrow.

Posted July 13, 2010 by John Birmingham
Well, tonite actually. But I wont get in until late. Then in the morning I have media commitments before grabbing a few hours to tidy up my lecture for the Wheeler Centre on Wednesday evening. I'm gonna refine that bit I did about female action heroes a few weeks back. I'm up for a drink afterwards if anyone can get a leave pass, although I'm aware you may have used up all your brownie points last week.

90 Responses to ‘Back into Melb tomorrow.’

Brian puts forth...

Posted July 13, 2010
I'm out. Afternoon of pain and no gain AKA Dental appointment.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 13, 2010
Sheesh, nothing but tumbleweeds rolling through Melbourne for you tonight JB. They're all probably going to Channel 9 for a taping of "Hey Hey Its Tired and Unfunny".

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Naut mumbles...

Posted July 13, 2010
I have a distinct lack of brownie points at the moment. I am not sure I am even allowed out as far as the curb to put the bin out.

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NataliatheRussianSpy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 13, 2010
So what demographic will you be greasing on the Circle tomorrow Birmo? :D

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Havock asserts...

Posted July 13, 2010
well the BOSS LADY is back and I am in the good books, I however need some sleep......, BUT, I'm in Pucka tomorrow, If I am back early and in town I will ping ya,

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 13, 2010
I am at the State of design Festival launch over near the museum - may need to grab a bite afterwards around Gertrude Street if you head over that way.

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Brian asserts...

Posted July 13, 2010
SpyNat.

The Circle? If it'd been last week he could have chatted up Megen Gale.

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Albion Love Den puts forth...

Posted July 13, 2010
So, last time you were in town, it went like this:

- I got liquored up at the Burger catch up with a mate.

- Continued liquoring with a couple of rowdy hang-arounders (looking at you here Sibeen and Wolfcat)

- Continued even more liquirising with mate down for the night from Bris

- Rang ex-boss in the early AM (or still late the PM) to inform him of my inebriation

- Found myself having to apologise to said mate, ex-boss, wife, new flatmates and the dogs the next morning for my antics

- Failed to turn up to work at new office, failed to tell them about it. Got officially rebuked for such.

Sir, with the greatest respect to you, I am negative in the brownie points. And possibly shall be for some time. Enjoy my new town, please try to leave it as you found it.

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Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted July 13, 2010
So ALD a typical Burger get together then?

Me I'll have to see how the work day goes.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted July 13, 2010
ALD, if you nailed the dismount (eg with a spew in the new flatmates vase) that'd be a perfect 10.

Well Done Sir

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DrYobbo asserts...

Posted July 13, 2010
All I'm hearing is a bunch of fkn loser talk. Man up, Melbourne. You're living up to your stereotype.

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted July 13, 2010
Doc, it seems most have been sin binned, and I'm always subject to the vagaries of work. You know things break and I'm expected to fix them, NOW.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted July 13, 2010
Dr Yob? You been checking the weather forecast for Melbourne?

Its abysmal. Which for Melbourne is . . .pretty good.

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Albion Love Den would have you know...

Posted July 13, 2010
Yob - this is not the Roy n HG of book-tours: too much Birmo is very much enough. Peak Birmo, if you well.

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted July 13, 2010
Yobbo is all talk. He's like Boylan without the debonair sophistication and Havock without the Grunt. If there ever was a Burger get together on the South Island of NZ - they'd all be sitting around eating shortbread and drinking herbal tea talking about how FKN "pleasant" it all is before retiring at 7.15pm to watch their taped copy of Wheel of Fortune.

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Albion Love Den would have you know...

Posted July 13, 2010
The taped copy of Un Zud's finest episode of WoF: where the chick asked for "O for awesome". True story.

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Albion Love Den would have you know...

Posted July 13, 2010
Actually, it was David Tua on a celebrity episode. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaIZF8uUTtk

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted July 13, 2010
Didn't Wayne Gardner once buy a vowel on Celebrity Wheel

An R?

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Matthew K reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Apparently Brits love Brisbane so i thought this might interest the Brisbanites here. (Brisbaners?)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/10600464.stm

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FKNZippy mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2010
Debonair sophistication? Ever meet Boylan? He chews with his mouth open and blows his nose on his bare hand. Absolute slob, although reputed to be an excellent social host.

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2010
Boylan is so sophisticated that the Queen rings him up to ask which fork she should use to eat the bacony bit on the Oyster.

Boylan is so debonair that Ginger Rodgers always felt that dancing with Fred Astaire was like a cha-cha with a Redneck.

Boylan's suits are so sharp that emergency services crews use his cuffs to free small children from tangled automobile wreckage.

When Boylan walks down the street, the birds in the trees tweet Sinatra because it is FKN appropriate.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
Oscar Wilde was wrong.

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Brian asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
Ahh Paul.

Such love from your admirers. I think it was the Montana thing.

Oscar Wilde was a satirist . . .easy to get him out of context.

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YB swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
Boylan is so hip, he can barely see over his pelvis. (Always steal from the best.)

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NataliatheRussianSpy asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
Yes Brian I heard a dirty rumour on Twitter. Imagine a shot of AA wedged between Ding Dong's Ding Dongs?!?!?!

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NataliatheRussianSpy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
Have all the agenda items from the Paul Boylan Admiration Society been attended to yet?

Birmo. On. The. Circle. 'sgunnabegoooood!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
Okay, Brian. I will embrace this sudden attention as an homage to my magnificence. However, there is something about Blarkon - something reptilian - that I just don't trust.

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Guru Bob mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2010
ALD - I am truly impressed - such a great way to meet the Melbourne burgers... as for that Boylan character - I don't know if I would trust anything that Blarkon says on this matter I think I saw some very compromising photographs on the internet involving BOylan and a lizard like being - I was told that they were being forwarded on to the RSPCA, the FBI and the Men in Black for further investigation...

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Therbs reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Paul Boylan is so intelligent that he developed a genetically modified aloe vera plant which can grow in space ships so that space chicks can look after their skin.

JB on The Circle? Nice one.

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Wolfcat mutters...

Posted July 14, 2010
Once again I have planned ahead and left my liver at home so I can come out to the Wheeler tonight.

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Brian reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
PNB its not just homage, man. Its the pain of your circumstances. No book. Living in Montana. Its obvious you're not in the right place.

Y'know? There are rescue groups that could help you. Relocate you with a secret identity, deprogam your Montanish ways. You'd have to get an Australian accent . . .though you'd still sound vaguely Canadian. . . .or God forbid. Kiwi.

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Idim asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
Don't knuck Kiwi's. We put our punts on wen lig ut a time, jest like yew dew.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 14, 2010
Idim.

You're from the South Island then?

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Guru Bob mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2010
The Circle hey - there is a whole world of daytime television I know nothing about...

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Blarkon would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2010
's not as good as "Barnes Zombie Prep Hour" - which is sort of the Masterchef of preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

For some reason though his pressure tests all involve flamethrowers and chainsaws.

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2010
Afraid I am back on the solo parenting duties and given how late these burger get togethers go and being a school night i don't think I can drag the weapon out to the sort of disreputable dives I hope you burgers go to after.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
And there'd be constant cutaways of the contestants saying things like,

"It was the pressure test and I knew my time in Zombie Prep could be over. And then the door opens.."

"The door opens and Havoc walks in. I was excited."

"When I saw Havoc I knew this would be a tough pressure test."

"Havoc walks in and Barnes tells us that the pressure test would be recreating Havoc's "Cappin' FKN Zombie Muppets".

"I was worried because I'd never used an M4 before. I was okay with the flamethrower but the M4 was new to me. This could go badly."

"I was thinking of putting my own twist on this by using a pointed stick but Barnes wasn't receptive to the idea. He advised me to stick to Havoc's original ideas."

etc. etc.

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Brian reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
OMG Barnes!

You've been recruiting. Looks like acolyte material to me.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Brian

can never have to many prepared.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted July 14, 2010
I finally understand what peeps here meant by 'The Circle'.

I honestly thought it was maybe some sacred inner sanctum of burgers about whom we outlayers know precious little.

But. No. Daytime Television. lol.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
Brian - further valuable information can be found at the Zombie Squad website. Preparation is the key both to cooking and eliminating Zed.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
Aigail.

There is another 'Circle'. Sometimes called the 'Circle of Trust'. Rhino has something to do with it. So god damned hush-hush most of us can't figure out what it is.

One school of thought is that its like a super dooper Platinum Degree Masonic fraternity.

Another ( by far the most common) school of thought is that Rhino should quality check everything that 3rd World countries put into his stogies. . . .

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DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
I have no idea what the fkn Circle is, other than Golden Circle, who cut up pineapples and put them in a tin. I'm sure this Other Circle will amount to something a lot less fkn useful. Lemme guess with no actual information to hand - cut price knockoff of the View aimed at postmenopausal ovarianites?

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DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
The Magical Inter-Google reports that yes, it is indeed a cut price knockoff of the View. WTF to the power of FOAD. Which one is playing the role of Ms Hasselbeck aka Fascist Barbie then?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
Brian - I didn't mean to mislead you. I am temporarily in Montana, here to attend "orientation" - which lasts three fucking days - at the university my son has chosen to attend. We return to Northern California tomorrow - where I will undoubtedly continue to suffer from lack of preferred reading material.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
(embarassed cough)

Doc Yobbo. The story as I heard it. Woopi Goldberg was a fan of an Australian Show called 'The Panel' . . .also from Ch 10 . . the 'View' was Woopi's brain child. I thought, as you did, the Circle was a rehashed 'View'. Just about there . . .parallels fail.

As I said . . .the story as I heard it.

Personally 'The Circle' cracks me up.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
Paul.

The horror of it . . .Northern California? The horror of it . .

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Albion Love Den ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2010
Wow. I just assumed JB coming to Melbourne for the "circle" meant he was going to hook up with some fully siiiick mates in a late model Toranas to do lappies around Broadmeadows.

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Naut would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2010
The Circle sounds like some initiation ritual that boys private schools and rugby unions teams perpetuate.

Maybe we should ask Chaz or Lerm?

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Brian would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2010
Naut.

Ask Chaz. He's the hyphenated one.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Doc - just interwebzed meself. Ding FKN Dong. Says it all.

I thought it wuz gunna be all mandala like and zen, but nooo, its all FKN recipes, diets, exercise bikes and how to turn your empty nest into a magazine rack for calcium supplement catalogues.

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Orin reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Brian - The Panel started in 1998, The View in 1997.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2010
Sounds like the word 'family' should come in front of that circle.

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Bangar asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
Well I'm out, 8AM start, Ballarat.

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Guru Bob reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Brian - re: There is another ‘Circle’. Sometimes called the ‘Circle of Trust’

Just look up 'soggy sayo' and you will be on the right track about the so-called 'circle of trust'...

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ConspiracyCat would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2010
And here I was thinking The Circle was some sort of oblique reference to tentacle pr0n.

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Bangar asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
You should be able to find it from here (keep the http: and copy/insert)

//ten.com.au/the-circle-video.htm

JB did you shave?

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
Orin.

Thanks for that correction. Tell the truth "The story as told to me' seemed to go against the usual flow of mediatainement. Usual : States->Australia. Not: Australia->States. I shall take great delight in correcting my 'media consultant'. :)))

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Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
I actually watched an episode of the Circle. Once. And only because my B-in-Law was announcing his impending fatherhood. My mind still reels at the inanity of it all.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
Mr Boylan sir, did you refer to Oscar's "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about"?

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted July 14, 2010
DocY @ 2.14 on The Circle:

"Lemme guess with no actual information to hand - cut price knockoff of the View aimed at postmenopausal ovarianites?"

Yep, FTW.

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Abigail reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Umm, has anyone got an eraser to rub out all of our Circle- diss before his Majesty, Royal Lord Highness Baron Birmingham, you know,.... SEES IT ??

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2010
Sorry click entertainment then books.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
I reckon Birmo is tracking via his embedded Steve Jobs implant.

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2010
Of course he did Greybeard, that is a prime example of the man's wit and sophistication. He knows that he can throw an implied Oscar Wilde quote out into an audience consumed with topics of explodey goodness, FKN muppets, Zombies and Dr Yobbo's eclectic crotch enhancement lotion and that the chosen amongst his audience will interpret it correctly. He has mastered the Zen technique of making a witty forum comment without having to do all that crass typing and clicking submit.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 14, 2010
This is the horror of skimming, I have no recall of PNB quoting Oscar.

What did I miss?

'I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.'

Or was it 'A true friend stabs you in the front.'

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Abigail would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2010
While Paul Nicholas Boylan sleeps, his character will be played by everyone else.

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Abigail asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
Brian, lol, yes, agreed that he most probs does that. I'm sure they're That Close these days that JB allows his master to perform minor, semi-invasive brain surgery on him.

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Brian reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
Abigail . . .that's why he lusts after an IPad. It gives a portable visual interface so he can talk to his Master.

Hmm? Just realised. Are we certain Steve Jobs isn't Zed . . .the modus operandi looks the same.

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ConspiracyCat ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2010
I am reserving judgement on PNB's alleged awesomeness until I find out if he likes Red Dwarf.

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2010
Indeed Brian--I wonder what a "Birmingham app" would be like? and would it feature a pic of JB and Boss in Bromance possies chatting on the Special link up?

I try not to wonder what a Hvk- app would be like. Shouty, much?

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
Abigail.

There is a Havock app. But people cant decide if its run of the mill malware or virus.

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Abigail would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2010
Brian I can feel a headache in your near future.

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Bangar mutters...

Posted July 14, 2010
Abi,a lady of taste. "He's dead Dave, everybody's dead, everybody is dead Dave."

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sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2010
I'm not sure what all the excitement about this PNB character is all about. He's quite obviously an unlettered lout who misquotes Shakespeare and uses obscure quotes from Wilde (he probably heard their names mentioned on Red Neck TV), he uses vernacular expressions in a manner that a person of culture would never stoop to and worst of all he hasn't read the fucking book!

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Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2010
Really sibeen! You could not be more wrong. Prof Boylan is a lawyer for goodness sake! He is a man of letters (for which he charges by the word) and possessor of a most amusing website with resident uber-troll. His wit is exceeded only by his great personal charm and I look forward to meeting him in the too too solid flesh when he visits our sunburnt land.

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Brian mutters...

Posted July 14, 2010
Greybeard? He's doing some pro-bono work for . . . you isnt he?

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Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2010
Oh that. I assure you it has no bearing on the case at hand your honour, er, brian. Anyway, it could have been anyone in that photo.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2010
I thought they had DNA evidence?. . . .now that the wire tap was ruled inadmissable. 'Mazing what you can Photoshop these days.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2010
and any pig

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Mal mutters...

Posted July 14, 2010
Hey John. Haven't checked in to the burger for a while. Are you heading up this way to peddle AA?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted July 15, 2010
I admit knowing nothing of Wilde (I spelled his name correctly purely by chance). I admit inserting his name into this cacophony hoping Wilde said something that might fit the circumstance. I admit not knowing what cacophony means and used it here in the hope of distracting y'all from my true bogan nature. I admit hearing the name at a gun and doll show in Bakersfield where a red neck dismissed Wilde's work because Wilde was "a great big homo" but, in all honesty, I'm not sure if that is true.

And I admit ADORING Red Dwarf - especially the episodes with the black cat. He's black, and he's a cat. Get it? A black cat. Hahahah! I love it! It is so clever, and it isn't racist at all.

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted July 15, 2010
Damn, can't access The Circle interview in the states. Evidently they are filtering your outgoing internet too. (j/k).

As to the Circle of Trust ... I thought that I was quite clear on that - It is an organization whose membership does not include Havock. Other than that I cannot comment.

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Guru Bob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 15, 2010
So how did last night at the Wheeler Centre go? I assume the reason that we haven't heard from anyone is because they are all nursing monster hangovers?

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Guru Bob mutters...

Posted July 15, 2010
PS I just got an enewsletter from Borders and the first item was JB's After America for twenty bucks...

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Wolfcat puts forth...

Posted July 15, 2010
no... Bob... no hanger overs... it was all very sensible... a few beers a lot of food and early nights all round....

The speech was very good though.

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Guru Bob has opinions thus...

Posted July 15, 2010
The Wheeler Centre often record these things and post them on their website so I am hoping we can all watch it online sometime soon.

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted July 15, 2010
Totally OT for here but a suggestion for JB (if there's any point in revisiting this topic) http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/07/why-no-form-of-censorship-is-a-good-thing/ Nice little piece on how Turkey introduced a filter to stop child porn in 2007. Fast forward a few years and guess what?

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 15, 2010
Just trying to draw our attention away from the pig photo's eh?

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted July 16, 2010
NWB . re: photo's.

Depends. Is it a good looking pig? Some of them let themselves go and turn into real porkers.

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Respond to 'Back into Melb tomorrow.'

First Discussion thread for After America.

Posted July 10, 2010 by John Birmingham
Those who haven't finished, or started, be warned, there will undoubtedly be massive spoilers.

For the first topic I'm gonna turn the floor over to Beeso, who was muttering darkly on Twunter this week about AA's possible anti green bias.

I dont think there is one, but everybody reads a different book. There are characters who have issues with the Greens who have become a very significant third political force in Seattle, and one of those characters is Kipper, which might appear to lend sympathy to any Green view. However, I'd point out that all of that back story happens off stage, setting up scenario's for the final book, and Kipper has issues with everyone.

Because of the ecological effects and aftermath of the Wave there is fair deal of discussion and thought about environmental issues by the POV actors in the book, but they do so in character. If Sandra Harvey, the Greens leader, got a POV scene you'd read a very different exposition of the GM crop issue than you would in a scene narrated by, say, Miguel. There's no compelling story need to meet Sandra just yet and popping her simply in to 'balance' the politics of the book would be ... well... gratuitous PC bullshit. Insert rant by Murph here.

Anyway, I promised to let Beeso have first crack at any thread, so here 'tis.

120 Responses to ‘First Discussion thread for After America.’

Lobes would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2010
Damn, still havnt read it. Will bow out now for fear of spoilers. Have at it guys and dont bemuse the trolls.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2010
I haven't started because I haven't received mine yet, but I will comment as if I've read it. I desperately want to belong to a greater whole.

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2010
JB I'm closing my eyes so I don't read the text above; just dropping in to mention that I boughht WW the ohter night in an effort to make you a rich bitch and may I say, it is a fantastic thriller, not a genre I read normally. I am hooked and loving the sound of pages turned fast.

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Abigail swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 10, 2010
..so After America a must. Esp if there's cowboys; love cowboys, not enough of them in lit'film these days.

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Abe reckons...

Posted July 10, 2010
Too soon!

(I'm trying to make it last.)

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Shifty_McGee asserts...

Posted July 10, 2010
I was astounded by the killin' off of Miguel's clan, it was very... visceral. Although as the Curious Case of Cmdr. Daniel Black shows, NO ONE IS SAFE, EVER.

I was disappointed that the Gurkas didn't make an appearence, but their contract would have been well-expired by now, wouldn't it?

Also, how did the shark's boat get taken off Jules? Based on my weak, wikipedia inspired, knowledge of admiralty law, shouldn't it be theirs for the taking?

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jennicki asserts...

Posted July 10, 2010
There is an ANTI WAVE and everything REAPPEARS

mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted July 10, 2010
Abe, you and I are going to have to vet our peeks at cbg threads for a while!

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted July 10, 2010
Jenn, I think you just wrote the final book in the trilogy.

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Brian asserts...

Posted July 10, 2010
Tsk. We were waiting for Beeso.

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Tarl mumbles...

Posted July 10, 2010
I have the book, but real life has intervened and precluded reading it. Maybe this rainy weekend...

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2010
Don't see it as anti green per se.

If you have a nation to feed and get power for, as president you have to make harsh decisions. Pre-wave politics become luxuries really so considering re-starting brown coal power stations if even for a while is chicken shit to the ecological damage done the the wave. Same goes for Nuke power.

Green parties on the whole have more 'eclectic' manifestos because they don't have to rule and in reality they know that. In europe when the greens started to get a greater % of the vote their policies started to change. Same as our Greens will if they become powerbrokers in the senate.

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lostatlunch reckons...

Posted July 10, 2010
with an engineer, Kipper is just pragmatic about results.

Any other President or leader wants to be reelected.. The first "for the people" president in a very long time.

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Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted July 10, 2010
Shifty, the Aussies just took the boat because...well they could I guess. Yeah, shame the gurkhas buggered off too.

And I'm with Chaz - desparate times called for desparate measurs, and green sensibilities on things like GM crops have to take a backseat to getting people fed.

BTW, I'm only halfway through...but references to things like Bedak Whitetails, Abe Frellman's snags and Krist Novocelic have raised a few laughs!

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Brian puts forth...

Posted July 10, 2010
I'm with Chaz. For lotsa reasons.

Got hold of a book from Gutenberg about a bunch of American agronomists tooling thru China in 1904. Discussions about productivity, recycling . . .element measures . .potassium etc It was freakin' hard to do it in China . . .everything was recycled back into the fields. Chinese productivity was 5 -10 times higher than 1904 American . . . and it all came back to soil types,rice growing and a very well developed recycling system done by hand . . .recall 90 percent of the poulation was village based.. Unachievable anywhere else absent modern fertilisers and pesticides AKA 'factory farming'

Only people worth being called 'green' are farmers. Bedak is as 'green' as it can meaningfully get.

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Orin would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2010
Page 392 - "Encryption Sets" should probably be "Encryption Keys" as it looks like you are discussing the swapping of encryption keys prior to setting up an encrypted communication session. This is usually called "key exchange" - see the article "Key Exchange" in wikipedia for verification of terminology.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2010
Orin.

Point.

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Moko would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2010
Green issue?. If shit works, use it. Think they lost much of their brain trust to REALLY consider 'green' outside of growing yer own veges. Hydrogen engines and Miguel making his own solar panels might have to wait a fraction.

Convenience is the driver for technology with humans from now on. If I had been shovelling the family's shit and turning it into fertiliser for the fkn corn and then 'can-do Newman' came along and said, "Look, here's a flushing dunny and a packet of fertiliser but in order for you to have it you have to supply my family with spuds...", whatcha gonna do?.

You need power and transport, and you need it yesterday.

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beeso mutters...

Posted July 10, 2010
Look I completely understand the way the Green parties are portrayed in the book. There are still more loopy lefty types populating the party political then there are pragmatic hippies like myself, which is why I'm not a card carrying member of the greens.

What did jar with me was the use of GM crops on two continents. It just doesn't stack up. GM is more a profit driven company movement based in the US and all those companies are gone post wave. So who and why would be pushing GM.

Ok so I understand that this is fiction and that GM might work fine in the post wave universe but to me it would make more sence that with actual crop gripe being higher than profit motive that we would have gone back to very localized specialized crops rather than global GM ones.

Look I had the same problem with The Wire. Watched the first episode and the cops were typing reports on a typewriter. In 2001. Yeah right. Couldn't keep watching cause that just jarred at me.

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Naut swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 10, 2010
We have discussed characters having their own voice here before.

It is reasonable to think that for many, post wave, environmental issues would take a backseat to survival.

As JB states above, the characters are just expressing their view. I didn't see any anti-green agenda in the book and from discussions with JB , I don't think he has an anti-green agenda.

Anti slouch bike riding vegetarian agenda maybe.

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Brian reckons...

Posted July 10, 2010
OK. I get what Beeso is saying.

I think JB has touched on an interesting theme here with the Greens.

First green movements are predominantly urban based or are drawn from the urban classes. With the Wave the US Farmers lobby has to all intents disappeared so there's no counter balancing force. The rise of a green power bloc is quite plausible given that the rise of other obscure groups after a crisis. Very roughly the Reds in Japan after WW2, and the Nazis after WW1. The problem is now they have to make their agenda work. What we're seeing is a disconnect between cleaving to ideology versus 'this is way the world works now'. The people trying to make it work see the disconnects. Cultural Revolution springs to mind as well.. . ideology driving the urban classes out into the countryside followed by famine.

Not sure about the GM crops as a story device. Possible that it was sourced out of South America, South Africa etc (thinking of seed viabilty after 4 years) . . .that could take care of the back story. Given the high insect population, crops that could protect themselves would be important.

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Orin has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2010
Great take on GM crops in "Windup Girl" (Won this year's Nebula, may win the Hugo) - future where GM was adopted wholesale - reduced biodiversity - along come successive plagues that wipe out the non-bio-diverse homogeneous crops sold by the GM companies - global famine and wars to get access to seed banks that host original bio-diverse natural stock.

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beeso puts forth...

Posted July 10, 2010
Having reread birmos intro I'll just add this. I wouldn't want a green character POV to balance the book and I have no issue with Miguel or Caitlin having positive thoughts about GM because in the post Wave universe, it seems to work.

My problem is that GM crops up as a viable alternative, I just don't find it logical. But hey it's birmos world, he makes the rules.

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Havock asserts...

Posted July 10, 2010
I loved the GM issue in AA, but I see it as a separate issue to the prevalence of tree hugging unwashed need capping fkn feral muppets getting into American politics post the wave event.

For some reason, maybe it was gummite fact finding, maybe the tree huggers were in Europe living an alternate life style, but I’m willing to be they initially got elected on the back of the POST wave and during wave DAMGE and storms, kinda due to the hysteria and shit that came down., ya can just see them saying its a result of all the un- natural things we have done tec etc. Then, muppets, well first order muppets elect them in and BINGO, the wave recedes. Then all they want to do, is make America a fkn green zone...almost right really, except it should have been CAMO green as in MILITARY. I can see with great fkn clarity the lentil eating brigade impeding the whole fkn process.

CAP’EM...cap the fkn lot, better still, send’em down to TEXAS!.

As for GM, well given the climatic changes and growing requirements, I see it being viewed as a viable alternative, myself, I’m not a fan of GM...the down stream effects and all that and thats about as fkn unwashed as i am likely to get

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Havock reckons...

Posted July 10, 2010
AND..AND, I'm fkn sure there would have been B1 LANCERS stationed somewhere as opposed to B52's..fkn hell, talk about giving a bloke a T model ford ffsakes.

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Orin ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
Speaking of (possible) Tuckerizations - what happened to "Orin Thomas" - every other character mentioned in the cast list at the front got name checked when they died. I'm guessing dead from flood - but no mention of a body. Last seen working cattle with Adam ...

As for the greenies - remember the dude that put Birmo on this path in the first place, going on about how the world would be a better place without the US - wasn't he of the feral manky wilderness society greenie variety rather than the respectable Bob Brown greenie variety. Anyway - we don't have an explanation of the wave, but Birmo has hinted that at some point we will get one. What if some radically violent techno-greenies were responsible ... (it is that or the space lizards under emperor Blarkon)

... Would have been cool if the other B52 pilot's callsign had been "Space Lizard" instead of Eightball.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted July 11, 2010
I tried not to read this thread, but I just couldn't help myself. It is happening again, just like with WW. I am most unhappy.

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Havock has opinions thus...

Posted July 11, 2010
Yeah, I figured that there would have been a WIZZO, or weapons system operator somewhere, that would have been a current techno gizmo guru , prolly named Orion, Alas, .......well, its water under the bridge i suspect.

PNB....like a moth to the flame

I am also not sure that BOB BROWN gets the respectable hat either, I reckon he's a closet nutter greenie.

PNB.....In time my good friend..in time

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Moko puts forth...

Posted July 11, 2010
...but fuck I shone as a horse wrangling mormon.

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MickH ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
half way through, but i love the in jokes, Pirates and ninjas etc and Hey! Queen of the Seven Seas!! lol I wonder where you got that!

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
Orin, Windup is precisely the kind of book I am not going to waste my time reading. Besides, I've read that author's stories. He's just another Kim Stanley Robinson with his own bible to thump.

There is the insertable rant, if half hearted. Winning a Nebula hardly recommends it.

Anyway, the B-52 is, frankly, a more reliable aircraft with a greater bomb carrying capacity. I'm sure if I dug around that I might find some B-1s that were outside of the Wave area on 14 March but my gut tells me most of them were sitting on the tarmac or off on training missions. I suspect the same might be said for B-2s which were not at Diego Garcia or elsewhere.

I'm not sure how After America ends (I usually do not know how these novels end until I get a copy). I think I'm slated to get one but I have not seen it yet.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Orin reckons...

Posted July 11, 2010
Windup Girl's author is more deft than Kim Stanley Robinson - though if I had one criticism it is that his view of our future is so unrelentingly cynical that it can be a bit much to take. What I admire about his work is his ability to use flawed characters effectively - a lot like the writers of BattleStar Galactica did for a while. One moment they sicken you, the next you can relate to them. It is a skill that few authors have, with most characters being black and white, good or bad. Author's world building is also very good - a very reasonable interpretation of civilization muddling through post peak-oil. Of course I have a soft spot for third world futuristic novels - the new one about 21st century Istanbul by McDonald is on my shelf next after I finish Fuller Memorandum.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 11, 2010
The cynical view that we are screwed has always been that writer's problem, Orin. It doesn't help that even as pessimistic as I am about human nature I do not concur with that writer's projections.

I've not read a Stross project in awhile. He lost me with Glasshouse. I had Al Reynolds House of Suns laying around but I never got to it. That isn't Al's fault per se, teaching history chews up a lot of my reading time these days.

Anyway, I've always found Windup's author to be a tiresome writer. I stopped wasting my time on him years ago. But if Besso is looking for some politically correct commentary on post peak oil, I'm sure the Windup guy will provide it.

I think what is next on my list is Matthew Farrer's 40K Omnibus. I saw it at the bookmonger yesterday and as soon I get paid, I'm going to pick up a copy.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 11, 2010
Read the wiki summary just now. "American Economic Empire?" Bah, what crap. And it is set in Thailand?

Yeah, Besso will find what he is looking for and that Time magazine listed it only confirms my ponderings on the matter.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 11, 2010
You are slated to get one, murph. As is Prof Boylan.

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I_M mutters...

Posted July 11, 2010
Anyone knows of any online store that can ship it to USA?

Don't want to wait another 6 weeks or so.

Or maybe someone will be so kind as to mail it to me (I'll order it to be delivered to your address and will pay shipping cost by PayPal upfront). Anyone? Thanks!

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beeso ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
With all due respect murph, you know fuck all about my beliefs, politics or reading choices, so perhaps you could stick to commenting on the subject in hand instead of throwaway comments about what I would like in a book.

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Moko asserts...

Posted July 11, 2010
MickH, I saw the Queen of The Seven Seas in there. Thought, 'YES'. lol.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted July 11, 2010
I was about to opine on Beeso's beliefs (eclectic) politics (left of center) reading choices (cook books) and what he would look like in a book (short and shifty) but then I logged on and read Beeso's blistering rebuke (see above). I now feel it would be prudent to reconsider.

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beeso has opinions thus...

Posted July 11, 2010
Thanks for making me laugh Paul.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 11, 2010
SPOILY SPOILY SPOILERISERS Hot and Salty. If you keep reading past this point and haven't read the book yet it's your own freaking fault. Go on shoo! get off the 'puter & pick up the book.

All opinions are entirely my own, are probably not worth a pinch of sh!t and are based on 0.0 expertise, knowledge nor wisdom.

Ok, Here we go.

I've read it cover to cover twice and am now reading arena by arena, IE all of NYC then all of Texas.

I really like the way you gave Yosuf M a credibility, a rationale, a reason for being in the book. The back story may be referred to a touch more frequently than may be entirely necesary, but he is a strong character that rung like a bell on a clear day. He gave Al Banana the resonance that made that part of the story much more enjoyable.

When are you going to snuff that core-flute bitch Caitlin? Probably never given her ah romantic connection. I didn't find her convincing in WW and I now just skip her entirely on rereads of AA.

In contrast, The Kipper is probably the best character you have built. He is not sure, not an expert in everything and is troubled by the consequences of his decisions. It's like 2 different authors wrote these 2 characters. Without taking it too far Caitlin is a Wilbur Smith character The Kipper is by Kurt Vonnegut.

Beeso spoke about a credibility gap that interferes with the enjoyment of a story. How is it that the baddies in texas hoon about in pickups, yet the heroes are on horseback?

As for the Greens, well yes the Kipper does give them a bit of stick, but I didn't find that out of context or inappropriate given his priorities and personality. They form a bloc in the new government that must be managed to get his agenda through. I didn't pick up on an anti-green tone in the book, I think a suspiscion of the green movement is a meme of our times, like the resistance to wahabi-ist Islam, or a distrust of Multinational coprporations - as such JB refers to all of them.

What I found very interesting was my (entirely unreasonable) dissapointment with Miguels motivation. From the pre-release leaks I had a preconception of his conflict with the Texas authorities, not him running scared from the perpetrators of, well you know what. It's not to say that it isn't a reasonable and appropriate storyline, just not what I expected and that left me a little bummed.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 11, 2010
Thanks, Birmo. I thought I was but I had a brain cramp. Not the first time to be certain.

Beeso's a little touchy, aren't we? As it stands, most of my comments were directed at the Windup Girl writer, not you.

Let me ask you this, Besso.

Why do you think After America is an anti-green book? Let's start there.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
Trucks implies logistical support, NBob. Horses, on the other hand, would be more practical to someone who does not have a logistics train that stretches back to someplace like Fort Hood.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NBlob asserts...

Posted July 11, 2010
I understand that as a pointer to the deniable back channel support the villains are recieving from Fort Hood.

But In my head you can't have it both ways. Either Infernal combustion engines are working or they are not.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
Headscratch.

Why wouldn't they be working? Unless I'm missing something.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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beeso reckons...

Posted July 11, 2010
Read my comments murph, then I'll discuss it. I'm touchy when someone I don't know essentially tries to steroetype mr for no good reason.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 11, 2010
Besso, is it twitter or twunter? Turns out that I've not heard of twunter (slang?) and I have pretty much given up on twitter.

And again, a bit touchy, I'd say. That said, I'll offer a bit of a advice.

I get stereotyped pretty regularly, on the net as well as IRL. It is easily understood as I seem, on the surface, to present the image of a right wing nut. Pretty irritating.

And also probably worth getting over.

You could put the comments here where the rest of us could read them. I think that is why Birmo started the thread.

But do what you want. I'm going to bed.

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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beeso mumbles...

Posted July 11, 2010
I'll say it again. In the start of this thread are three comments about why I think AA is anti green. If you had read this whole thread you wouldn't be asking mr to explain. I don't know you murph, or your politics or beliefs, so I'm not going to say that you're a lefty that reads books about sparkly vampires. Not until I know you better anyway.

If you couldn't be bothered scrolling up, it was the use of GM crops post wave that I found strange and 'anti environment' coupled with a reasonable viewpoint from certain characters that the greenies were all impractical nutjobs

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beeso ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
Sorry

Should have signed off

Beeso

Off to shovel cowshit.

Lantanaland.

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Moko mutters...

Posted July 11, 2010
Milosz was my favourite character in the book. Fucken had me laughing. Known a coupla blokes that Milosz seems to fit the personality of both combined. They kinda don't mean to be blatant in their racist terminology but they just 'know' they can kick anyone's arse and their terminology of various races is more indicative of the warring version of these people versus the peaceful side side of them.

One bloke was called Armen and he was my security supervisor at one company. Straight out of Bosnia. Nuff said. The other bloke was a weapons trainer I had in security. Ex French infantry - not sure about the legion - but he spent time in Africa which kinda makes me think he was. He finished up in the Au military police.He didn't have anything nice to say about the men of any race he fought.

Anyway, Milosz's character rang with me.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted July 11, 2010
Reading back over the comments and thinking about the book . . .just as a book.

One disconnect was the London Echelon office with the female Q . . it was a caricature and jarring. Then reflecting on a few of the other characterizations I realised just what a complex piece of work the book actually is.

NoBeardBob touched on it by reading just the Texas parts then the NYC parts . . .there's 4 seperate, possibly stand alone stories going on. You get that sorta disjunctive effect when a few authors are working the same story arc from different viewpoints. For a single author? That's hard yards.

I quite liked seeing NYC getting trashed. Sorta traditonal. Probably the only reason I keep watching Godzilla.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
Brian,

NoBeardBob is a clever ploy used by my aged nemesis to discredit me. Any & all comment credited as such should be taken with a large dozer load of salt.

Speaking of Him. A little part of me died inside when he turned up as a Texan villain.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted July 11, 2010
Ahhh NWB . . (shakes head) . . .typecasting can be a bitch.

:)))

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2010
"Why wouldn’t they be working?"

We beat this to death 18 months ago or so. Petroleum / gasoline will degrade over time.

The story takes place in the ultimate cornucopia of salvage where anything with a capital ANY is just laying around waiting to be picked up and used. So if the villains can fire up a faded blue F150, why can't Miguel?

Without explanation the villains using motorised transport and Miguel on horseback could be interpreted as a fetish on JB's behalf.

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Havock has opinions thus...

Posted July 11, 2010
OR NBOB, it could be that ONLY the so called controlling SECURITY forces are allowed too, or that they dont want to draw attention to themselves.

I see plenty of reasons that TEXAS etc are screaming around, with little concern for the greater..bigger picture, where as the STATES as controlled by Kipper are dealing with the REALITY of the financial situation.

Wasnt the made munter in control of texas etc, selling gear off, giving rights and prolly more so than that, Aiding and abetting the pirates and every other thoird world fkn nut job as well, good cash flow but REAL FKN SHORT TERM, and THAT gets a mention in the book as well.

I think its been rather well thought out and thats not trying to blow sunshine up the furry rump of the author.

The ONLY bit of the book that was fkd up, was the B52 and I'm gunna blame MURPH for that till the day i fkn DIE!!!!!!! YA BASTARD!

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Havock mumbles...

Posted July 11, 2010
whats a real cracker and i'm reading between the lines is a small section where its mentioned that WE ARE TALKING TO THE AUSSIES's, Ill speculate that given the vast expanse of texas etc, that we will see skips in armour with US armour and a BIG ARSE FKN CLASH DOWN STH in the next book.....yeah. FKN BRING IT ON BABY!.

JB's been very sketchy on just what the aussies have done, what they have accumulated, what kinda deals were done...and that i reckon speaks fkn volumes for the THIRD BIBLICAL FKN INSTALMENT!

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 11, 2010
Bob, Miguel rides a horse because he has to. There is no choice for him. Only the major state roads have been cleared, or neigborhood byways like those in his valley. He has to escape with Sofia and if he hops into a truck, and yes he'd have one even if I didnt mention it, it'd be, oh, all of fifteen minutes before he was picked up by road agents or TDF. I suppose I could have included a line of dialogue to that effect, but I really didnt think it necessary. The fact that the agents do have vehicles should tell us something about their connections.

Brian, gerty is Q, but I don't see her as a caricature any more than Milosz is a caricature. Or Q, for that matter.

As for Caitlin. Most. Divisive. Character. Since. Julia Duffy.

I'll allow Miss Jennicki to defend her. Or would, if she'd read the book. Caitlin is one of my faves, but I recognize that not everyone loves her. The thing to bear in mind about her is that she has chosen to kill in cold blood and has been doing so for years. She's not Kipper and she's never going to be haunted by the sort of fear and doubt that plagues him. She could not be what she is if she questioned herself. That's why the 'meeting' between them was such an enjoyable scene to write.

As for GM crops, the, uh, topic at hand, you'll notice in the text they're a mandated program. You use them or lose govt support. Is it plausible to suggest that governments wouldn't institute a few ill advised, poorly thought out programs after the Wave? The crops don't have to work or be ecologically feasible. They just have to be politically feasible. In a starving post wave world, surviving agribusiness would have a lot of clout.

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Havock puts forth...

Posted July 11, 2010
Lets not forget the YIELDS that GM ( in the book) produce, its mentioned they are hardier, faster etc and I'll wager the bags per hectare are better as well.

Like JB mentions, Agri, wouldn't give a shit, its the SALE they are after and I'll also wager, countries like Aus, will be the culprits as well.

As for Caitilin, SHE fkn rocks. Its given us a vision of the UK, shows that scores always want to be settled and intertwines her in the whole ensemble IMHO.

As for her morals..well that now been mention above, she chose her path, then chose out of sorts and had the past brought back in such a way as to warrant her returning. Its quite plausible, if there was no attempt on her family, then the catalyst for her return would be something else..i'll wager much LESS plausible.

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Havock asserts...

Posted July 11, 2010
And to be brutally fkn honest, I found following her, more enjoyable than Miguel, maybe thats because Cat was a cary over, shes spanky and wenches and a fkn killer as well, who knows really, short version is I would JUMP her faster than Miguel..THATS FOR FKN CERTAIN!

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mckinneytexas is gonna tell you...

Posted July 12, 2010
Cannot wait to read and comment.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 12, 2010
Havock, I'll gladly take the blame for the B-52s. :) They are a perfectly serviceable bomber with a high capacity. To me it seemed that they were the best choice.

I'm assuming the planned carpet bombing of NYC transpired. I really didn't think B-2s or B-1s would be as suitable for the job. And I liked suggestion a Nam era type Arc Light mission to Birmo.

Besso, I found and read your comments up thread. On retrospect, I owe you an apology for not reading them. I had a long day yesterday and that is my excuse, for that it is worth.

In any case, my sincere apologies.

Per the trucks, I simply assumed that even if gas degraded that oil itself does not. There are still significant stocks of oil in Texas which can be exploited, especially given the reduced population. I suspect the gas came from a restarted refinery. It doesn't have to be a big facility but enough to provide for the vehicles in question.

That said, I suspect gas or any other fuel is difficult to get a hold of.

Finally, I don't see this as an anti-green book myself. It seems to me that the Wave will, just by sheer necessity, force a lot of sustainable technology forward. Furthermore, it will take decades to fully reoccupy the US (if it even remains the original 50 state region plus territories). Much of the infrastructure in terms of housing and what not is going to become unuseable. So I suspect new homes will be on the list of things which need to be built.

If I were in the Green Party, I'd be pushing for a sort of Greenville, Kansas on steroids approach to resettlement.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted July 12, 2010
Of the story lines, I think the Miguel POV was the most challenging. Caitlin seemed far more interesting to me this time around. I suspect the reason for that is because she is protecting her new family.

I also like the fact that it is the former Ranger that ends up looking like he was put through a meat grinder. That would not be the usual choice in books set in this genre. It is also something that the usual suspects in the PC Nazi movement will probably miss because they'll most likely not pick up the book.

Milosz is great fun to follow around. I really like his odd sense of humor which is warped by his struggles with American English.

That said, I think the book's best moments take place outside of the firefights. Miguel's issues with Sophia, Caitlin comforting Melton after the roadside encounter that nearly cost their newborn her life, and the agony Kipper obviously goes through when he learns of lives lost on his orders.

It would be easy to drift off into cliche with these moments but I think Birmo handles them pretty well.

My thoughts, based on what I currently know. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Fonzic is gonna tell you...

Posted July 12, 2010
Windup Girl is Bacagalupi's first book - how can you find someone to be a tiresome writer when you admit you haven't read their first book?

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Brian mutters...

Posted July 12, 2010
The scribe knows his craft.

I quite like Kipper because I can identify with the background. Sad to say, engineers aren't politicians. They spend a lot of time trying to work out why people don't do the sensible thing. Having said that . . .a lot of fighting generals have started out as engineers in America.

The Q thing? No one else twitched on it . . .so I'll put it down as just me.

The B52's? Not sure but were'nt some placed down in Turkey for GW2? Think there were some in the Pacific at one time. Real uncertain about that. The other thing is that there are probably more aircrews kicking around with B52 experience. All in all . . .I can follow the logic . . .not a deal breaker.

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Bangar puts forth...

Posted July 12, 2010
Writers don't just wrie books.

* "Pocketful of Dharma" (1999)

* "The Fluted Girl" (2003)

* "The People of Sand and Slag" (2004)

* "The Pasho" (2004)

* "The Calorie Man" (2005)

* "The Tamarisk Hunter" (2006)

* "Pop Squad" (2006)

* "Yellow Card Man" (2006)

* "Softer" (2007)

* "Small Offerings" (2007)

* "Pump Six" (2008)

* "The Gambler" (2008)

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 12, 2010
Short stories, sir. I've read his short stories. The People of Sand and Slag was probably his best but to be honest, he seems to write only on one theme. Sand and Slag isn't much different from the plot in the novel summary at wiki.

Brian, Diego Garcia and Guam are probable basing positions for the B-52. I suspect if I did some digging we'd find that B-2s were at both locations as well. That said, a significant number of bombers are probably still on the tarmacs stateside, slowly rotting away.

Besso, why not tell us what you'd do if you were suggesting crops for use in repopulating the U.S.?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 12, 2010
Speaking of Windup, I wonder if he is getting his royalty statements on time? Night Shade Books has been cheerfully screwing their writers for nearly three years now. They supposedly recanted this week and said they'd make things right but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Scalzi made the right call putting the publisher on probation.

Hell, I seem hellbent on a treadjack.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian reckons...

Posted July 12, 2010
Murphy re B52's

That's why I wasn't too concerned about them as operational aircraft. Apart from which a number would be mothballed for parts down in the Boneyard. Operational and maintenance crews would be current and given a number of aircraft based outside the States at the time of the Wave . . .its a no brainer.

There . . .put the thread back.

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beeso ducks in to say...

Posted July 12, 2010
Well, not GM crops for a start. GM crops are often engineered to have no or little viable seed, so you have to keep buying seed from the company. This is pitched as ensuring that the seed is always good seed true to the GM spec, but it also means you need two lots of plants, one for seed and one for growing the crop, and you have to be able to distribute that seed out.

Open pollinated seeds though, run truer to type, are more adaptable and you can save over some of your crop for next years crop. Every generation of seed will be more suited to the local conditions and as farming seems to be a lot more localised than before due to a shrinking transportation network, this would again become more useful.

Thats not even starting with how bees despise GM crops and side issues like that.

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Moko swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 12, 2010
I'm no expert by a long shot but I don't think 'terminator' gene is the rule in GM crops but I think hybrid seeds fail but there is a transgene which allows seed generation with GM crops.

Not saying it's the way to go, but it does make it a viable option within a theoretical scenario in a book.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted July 12, 2010
I'll defer to beeso on the GM crop issue.

But ISTR there's a problem with most modern crops. . . never heard of it before but you have to go trough 2 growing stages to get a food crop. There's a reason you have to buy from seed merchants to get a crop. John Ringo alluded to it in his book 'Last Centurion" . . .it seemed to make sense. I have no idea how widespread that particular problem is. ANy gardening I've done, always used seeds from the last vegie patch.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted July 12, 2010
I feel I should backpedal a bit.

I have, am and will continue to enjoy After America. Exactly the same as I do the WOC trilogy and Without Warning. I'm not one who can afford to buy a new book every week, so I have a stable of well thumbed favourites that I read and re-read. If that leads me to be a little trainspotter about them, well that's just the way it is.

JB threw open this wing of the Gothic for us to discuss After America. As he said everyione reads a different book.

So if Havock makes a tent in the doona whenever Caitlin is dispatching villains, Beeso got a hint of anti-green on the back of his palate and I wallowed in The Kippers angst I think that says a great deal about the quality of the writing. You just aint going to get that kind of nuance in a Tom Clancy.

So my concerns about the Technical divide between Miguel and the Road Agents did not stop me enjoying the book. Far from it. It was just a basis for rumination and the equivilant of kicking a can down the street in the echoing back corridors of this thing between my ears.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 12, 2010
NWB

Yah. I think we all enjoyed the book. We also enjoy the post mortems on the book.

And I agree about the nuances. See, you might not like scene A or character D but the writing still carries you past that point.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted July 12, 2010
The benefits of having a cold, or "manflu" over the past few days is that I had every excuse to lie up and read and thus finished AA on Sunday. My initial reaction is surprise that Miguel gets cornholed twice, once by redneck nazis and the second by a flash flood. Poor bloke can't take a trick but I hope something good happens in the third book. I did like the unravelling of his motivations and the same goes for Kipper. That conflict of the builder ordering destruction is a nice juxtaposition of personal values against the exigencies of multiple threats to the common good and I thought the author did a fine job with that. Caitlin is one cool "crazy ninja bitch with a boilersuit fetish". With her motivations moved from that of the hired assassin to that of a mother protecting her family she brings the day-to-day aches of being a mother to the nasty dark side of her job. It was good to see her frustration in not being able to finish off her nemesis shining strong in the liftoff chopper. There's some more nastiness lying in wait between those two. Is Brett for the chop?

Milosz is definitely a star - the "2nd ammendment trumps 1st ammendment" taunt after capping a "pirate arseclown" was classic.

Fave characters - Miguel and Kipper for the explorations of motives, Caitlin for switch of motives and Freddy Milosz for his comedy relief. The scattering of burgers throughout the book gives it a village feel for us and that is a good thing.

The greenie debate? I see the greens will lose popularity and votes as the emotions of post-wave blame dissipate and the reality of reconstruction begins. The official use of GM crops was most likely a panic reaction to the real threat of starvation, governments desparately accepting a magic silver bullet sold by honey-tongued agribusiness moguls. The cars in Texas? Well, they're supplied by Blackstone, funded by his pillage of the southern states. Remember he had access to military engineers and would be able to fire up a refinery. And using the fuel so that his red neck minions could carry out some ethnic cleansing sounds about right.

Overall comment - the dialogue is great, character development is well handled, particularly with Miguel. I like the wit, e.g. where Caitlin recalls some Shakespeare in context but shrugs it off by saying she could simply shut the fuck up, and Freddy referencing Dante's Inferno and The Towering Inferno in the same line.

I also like the separate story arcs, a couple of which seem to be inevitably coming together. Will we see the main characters in the same room? I can imagine Miguel and Sophia reuniting with Jules and Rhino either in KC or Seattle and meeting up with Kipper and Caitlin to share intelligence on the two main bad guys.

Can't wait to find out.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted July 12, 2010
NWBob, I've read it once and did a quick skim of the first book beforehand to get me in phase. Usually with airport thrillers I get through them quickly but with this one, it takes a bit more particularly where Miguel's and Kipper's story arcs meet some darkness. I liked the "road" story of Miguel going through both the physical landscape and his spiritual and emotional struggles when faced with the losses casued by both man-made and natural tragedies. A flood is always great symbolism and contextually ripe for Miguel's situation.

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Chaz asserts...

Posted July 12, 2010
I seem to remember rumors of B2's & b1's being in DG prior to the kick off of Iraq part deux. Also B1's get alot of useage in the 'stan.

But for sheer grunt work B-52s can be beat. Hence the reason they'll be in use for many years to come after the b1's go to the bone yard.

H's you don't get a b1 as you'd probably break it!

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Orin mumbles...

Posted July 12, 2010
Can you imagine the nosecone art on Havock's B52? Angry baby in a helmet with the phrase FKN MUPPETS coming out of its mouth.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted July 12, 2010
Orin - gold. Then a certain pachyderm type would overpaint a picture of a rhino kissing its bicep with the famour quote as a caption.

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Havock is gonna tell you...

Posted July 12, 2010
Therbs I shall ignore your momentary brain laspe OK!..just this once, Only time a rhino would be on the buff, assuming i can get it off the ground with the bastard on baord would be for me to drop the big git from 40K feet.

As for breaking shit..NO WAY, Lt Colonel, lotsa flight time, king of the wing and prolly qualified in just about everything, its a sign of this characters emergence that Kipper has him flying this mission, I can see later episodes where perhaps the big bird gets into trouble, maybe even crashed, Havock bails out, rescues his crew, caps a few muppets and continues on with the mission, later stages hijacking maybe an F15E and going after the made muppet in Texas, sinking and killing like never before, twisting turning and dog fighting the un tamed hordes trying to attack the US of A, first bloke in the POST wave era to become a Multiple ACE, downing Migs like no tomorrow, making Bader look like a pussie and Cunningham a big fkn girl.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 12, 2010
Good Dog.

JB's created a monster.

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donna is gonna tell you...

Posted July 12, 2010
its so hard to resist this thread....bloody spoilers. I'm only just shy of half way through, real life has taken over my reading time. I'm loving the rhino!!

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 13, 2010
The most likely story on Havock's character is that he was the senior available officer who was most likely grounded for pulling some really crazy stunt and thus survived getting killed in the Sandbox or zapped by the Wave.

Might have something to do with crossdressing though.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian would have you know...

Posted July 13, 2010
Strange when you think about it. Havocks only a minor character in the book while Rhino really does all the heavy lifting.

Not barracking . . .no . . .not me.

While reading the bombing passage, I had a flashback to Dr Strangelove . . .the scene where the pilot is trying to release the H-bomb. Y'know? The one where he ends up riding it all the way down yelling "YeeHah!"

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Guru Bob has opinions thus...

Posted July 13, 2010
Actually my reading of Havock's character was that he was some Walter Mitty style desk jockey who at the time of the wave suddenly found himself in a position where he can do some real damage due to disruptions in the chain of command...

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joe ducks in to say...

Posted July 13, 2010
Well.... Mr Birmingham.....

Thank you for a very entertaining, if unproductive housework-wise, weekend lost between the pages of your latest offering.

I'm sure I will have plenty of comments for you as the thoughts occur, these are just for starters:

Amazing to consider (20/20 hindsight) how much of AA I feel I have already read in draft form, simply by the occasional browse of this Cheeseburger Gothic Blog..... Sausages, fitness struggles, restaurant critiques and of course the action-novel Gun-Porn.....

There were many fantastic scenes, and enjoyable characters, but my favourite characters would have to be Milosz, Miguel and Kipper, in that order.

Some of the others... maybe not enough time/pages to make them thicker than cardboard cutouts, but fun regardless.

Cowboys!

Burger Cameos!!

Viking-Helmeted Gun-toting Privateers!!!

I almost woke the neighbours when I read about the possibility of Neutron-Bomb Walking Dead!!!! Lost opportunity, that.... :-(

B52's would be the bomb-truck of choice IMHO - nothing with radar would survive all those Apaches and A-10s on overwatch, so the carrying capacity and range is all that would be essential.

About that Greens thingie.....

I wouldn't say it was "Anti"-Greens... but Post-Wave Green-politics in AA seemed a concept that got invited to the Ball but didnt have any friends to dance with..... aside from some amusing observations of the likely farming ability of softskinned ex-Seattle-hippies when they actually get onto a plot of land.... surely the Environmentally Inclined would have a HEAP of remedial work to be doing - you know, the odd corroded/exploded chemical plant/waste storage facility/nuclear power stations...... I know a lot of that stuff just "burnt out" during the postwave pollution storms.... but there doesn't seem to be much reference at all to the likely urgent work that would have had to have been going on, only on character's opinions of the uselessness of those holding Greenie tendencies. The opinions seemed in-character for those holding them, but there wasn't much narrative about the actual challenges involved or those trying to meet those challenges.

I guess there was only enough pages for the storytelling essentials. Oh, and Gun-Porn. Wait, that's essential...

Economy? I would imagine a country with similar land-area to Australia, similar population after the Wave, would be getting a lot of it's wealth from minerals - the mines would still be around, you would just need the labour and skillsets to reopen - there is a place the Antipodeans could genuinely help out. Problem of course would be who to sell it to: the Chinese (didn't hear much from them this book... or the Indonesians, apart from one bit-part Jihadist) would need to sell their manufacturing product to someone, and there's a glut of salvaged American stuff hitting the blackmarket at rockbottom prices...

Against that, the world's Financial Capital (essentially the money businesses run with while trying to make more) was still about 50% American money back in 2003.... even after the ownership/inheritance struggle lost half of that to pay the lawyers in another 58 countries, not much explanation is given to exactly how America is so wretchedly poor, considering so much of the wealth was stored/generated by offshore operations... Must say though, I loved the "Newbies" slang name for the replacement currency.

Also missing from this episode in the series:

The Governor of Texas........

I am expecting to hear a fair bit more from him in the next installment.

His Goons certainly make for good Badguys, maybe we could get an inside-head view from some of them like we did with the Islamist African Child-Soldier?

A little surprised thermobarics weren't Kipper's first choice... and even more surprised he didn't delay things a little to give "crazy ninja bitch" a longer chance to whack the leadership - but I guess they gotta have a chance to make it alive to the next book eh?

so many questions..... now just dont get ur larynx busted down at the dojo along with your typing hand, this demanding reader finds it hard to wait!

but seriously, thanks again for a fun read.

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted July 13, 2010
Joe Said, "Viking-Helmeted Gun-toting Privateers!!!"

Yeah, he's my fave too. As soon as I get my copy which is on its way.

PNB, Murph, Jen and I are going to have our own US book club. Yeah, I said it.

R.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted July 13, 2010
Joe, that's a good idea about the Badguy POV down in Texas. I reckon the Green question will feature a bit more in the third book. I love the concept of Seattle hippies trying to decontaminate a nuke power station.

Rhino, good luck with the book club. No doubt we'll be making suggestions along the way. First up, may I suggest After America? Its a great read.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted July 13, 2010
Oh, you suggest After America? You say it's a great read? Fuck you, Therbs, for adding insult to injury. I am in Bozeman, Montana, with nothing to read.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted July 13, 2010
Oh hell, Paul . . .none of us knew, none of us . .

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted July 13, 2010
No Paul, just taunting. You haven't missed a thing by not reading it. May I suggest something a bit lighter, say hooking up the Xbox and playing Dante's Inferno, with particular reference to limbo? I'm sure Alighieri would approve.

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Havock mutters...

Posted July 13, 2010
PNB....Or you could simply venture on down to the supermarket and BUY a BOX of Tissues, hell, if that don't work, I would suggest looking for CSR readymix or their equiv over their and purchasing a cup of concrete, merely to harden the fkn up ouf course.

On the other hand.....Ahhh..no, I wouldnt do that too ya....lo..LMFAO!..I LOVE THIS SHIT!

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beeso would have you know...

Posted July 13, 2010
Not all greenie hippies are useless.

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Havock swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 13, 2010
Beeso is RIGHT I will have you all know.

They are combustible ..

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 14, 2010
I'm sure some greenie hippies taste pretty good once they are seasoned with barbecue sauce. :)

Yes, Rhino. Our own book club. Definitely.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Dante Alighieri puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2010
I do not approve of that fucking game. The graphics are disappointing.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2010
Havock

And compostable.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted July 14, 2010
Dante, so sue someone. Mr Boylan could help out there. Oh yeah, belated thanks for inventing words like pizza and spaghetti. Now take a dive buddy, like the rest of your soccer team, or go write a poem or something.

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
+++I think what is next on my list is Matthew Farrer’s 40K Omnibus.+++

Standing by to be chastened on how I mishandled the firefights :)

In the meantime, Canberra burgers, I'm signing at Mind Games in Civic on Friday night from six to eight, and at Games Workshop Woden on Saturday morning from ten to noon. Stop by and say hi if you're passing.

I'll try and think of something on-topic to say post-coffee.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2010
Matthew, I think it has been awhile since I hammered anyone over firefights. Besides, things are a little different now. There are more people with much more experience at firefights than yours truly. Wasn't quite the case five years ago.

Anyway, yours is slated for August reading before the Fall Semester. I'll need some good old fiction to wash a bit of history out of my brain before I dive back into it again.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Therbs asserts...

Posted July 14, 2010
Matthew, the Galaxy signings look like a go.

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Moko asserts...

Posted July 15, 2010
I love that we got the book before the Seppo contingent.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 15, 2010
Moko

Yes indeedy.

Time for another spoil . . .err . . I mean, discussion thread I think.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted July 16, 2010
Moko - I am pleased you spelled Seppo with a capital "S." It shows respect.

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sparty would have you know...

Posted July 16, 2010
Wave just hit UK....

Loved the young rag head story arc.

Caitlin has grown on me.

Laughed alot at Prime Minister Howard- he of something of the night.

And love the Lonesome dove feel to the western bits.

BUT,still think there is room for a feisty east european gang leader who takes his name from a bunch of revolutionaries who themselves take their name from someone who kicked some serious Roman arse....just sayin....

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Sadim is gonna tell you...

Posted July 16, 2010
Re: a percieved 'anti-green' feel to the book ... my take is that there are two word-views expressed by characters in the book.

Kipper, and his supporters (and I include Miguel in this group) say "Shit has happened - how do we make it better from here..."

On the other hand, the Islamists, the Greens, the loony-left of the Democrats, the'god-botherer' Republican rump, and of course Blackstone, are looking back saying "We want to return to the 'better time / better world' - even if that time or world never really existed.

Then of course, there are characters like Caitlin - who live only in the here-and-now.

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NataliatheRussianSpy puts forth...

Posted July 18, 2010
I don't understand why you think Caitlin is so 'Wilbur Smith' in conception Bob. I gather you mean she is plain old stock character? Tell the Spy more. Cos I'm in the love her to bits camp. Her turn of phrase, her unquestionable competence, the fierce lioness in her - take your pick. I nearly woke the neighbours with all the whooping early this morning when I got to the part where she gives Kipper a bit of lip...operating with leaky tits and a recently dug out brain tumour? The woman is a machine :-D You reckon that's too much to swallow? Too good to be true Bob?

John - the bit where Caitlin is riding in the car with Dalby and describes Albinoni's Adagio as 'music to eat your pistol by' made me laugh! I'm fond of saying certain radio stations in Brisbane play 'music to slash your wrists to' so I got a giggle out of your variation :-D

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NataliatheRussianSpy reckons...

Posted July 18, 2010
I kept thinking how a Dr Strangelove underground project for future repopulation might pop up! Wouldn't that be a hoot? The new enemy...the master race emerging from the depths...oh don't mind me.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 18, 2010
SpyNat, there has been more than one discussion about how deep the Wave actually went. Perhaps there is some super secret facility somewhere deep in the rock where a bunch of nutters worship a man in a wheelchair who can't quite control one of his arms.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 18, 2010
Nat, we will do a Women of Wave thread in a week or so, when the US burgers have their copies.

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NataliatheRussianSpy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2010
MURPH: Ha! The speculation runs wild!

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 18, 2010
Nat, I'm sure they have properly looked after their bodily essences and protected them from the dangers of flouridation.

I've always been a bit surprised (insert SNARK tone here) that the PC Nazis of the American Science Fiction Community haven't picked up on the very strong characterizations of non-stereotypical women in the Without Warning Trilogy.

Shakes head.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted July 18, 2010
A week? Another week? I will be in Ireland/UK again in a week and will be able to purchase my own copy before then.

Not that I am complaining....

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted July 18, 2010
Professor Boylan, your copy is probably waiting at home for you right now. But yes, you should be able to score at least an electronic version in the UK by the end of the month.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 19, 2010
Seriously, John, I'm not complaining. I am happy to get one when I get one. Any disgruntlement on my part engenders from my unhappiness every time Moko or Yobbo know something I don't. It prompts them to entertain an illusory sense of superiority.

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BoomerMMW would have you know...

Posted July 19, 2010
A gripping read, just finished the book this morning in the little library, (the only reading sanctuary from inane nagging in the house). Yeah, poor Miguel got the shitty end of the stick, rather sad, go back 200 years, read Appaches for road agents and you get the gist of the wild west. Birmo I dont know how far you have written into the next but as one of the correspondents on this blog mentioned about how the greens policies changed with more influence in European government perhaps you could touch on a similar effect of how Islam could be affected by coming into control of large educated western economies and how they would have to change to effictively manage them, a touch of irony perhaps?. Damm fine read, loved every word keep up the excellent work. Ps: like to know if Admiral Kolhammer is going to reappear in the near future?

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BoomerMMW swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 19, 2010
Hi Havock

Good point, however the B1's power supply stopped rendering their onboard tech useless after two years even with battery backup, the Buffs however even with old tinn Lizzie tech of the 20th century were still available to be fired up after being properly serviced. Hated to see the Big Apple wasted by them though, love the place, second home for myself and significant other esspecially Mid Town, still! dramatic licence,

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sparty puts forth...

Posted July 19, 2010
sadly once again Kohlhammer was probobly out of the country, while his misses got waved....

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Havock reckons...

Posted July 19, 2010
Boomer..good call. I think then I might have to be loaded out with TASM's and Harpoons, some hunting over water and then cluster munitions across TEXAS

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peessyauthede swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2010
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Posted July 27, 2010
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Respond to 'First Discussion thread for After America.'

Quick tour wrap.

Posted July 8, 2010 by John Birmingham
I gotta a coupla minutes before I have to head out to the airport for Melbourne so thought I might drop a note here to say thanks to everyone who's turned out this week. There's been some memorable moments, some of which I wont detail to spare t dignity of the slurring drunks involved.

The weeks efforts are going well with Pan Macmillan very pleased by sales that exploded from the get go, and media coverage which has seen AA as the most talked about book the last week.

That's all good, but for me the best part is atching up with everyone. It's been a bit weird at times seeing the various streams cross over, with burgers and tweetenvolk meeting for the first time, but it's also been massive fun. Last night in Canberra was the awesome, thank to the local crew who kicked on afterwards at dinner and drinks. Tuesday in Sydney was pobably even more ruinous. (How's the heads, therbs and bondi?).

Just about to pack and run to the airport for Melb. Will see some of the crew tonite at Dymocks and beyond, and the rest on Friday.

24 Responses to ‘Quick tour wrap.’

Abigail puts forth...

Posted July 8, 2010
Ok,I'll be the "lonelyguy" and be first to comment.

JB it was a real pleasure to meet you last night; you're so charming and lovely.

I hope that doesn't sound too 'cake decorating' for you.

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lostatlunch mutters...

Posted July 8, 2010
Thanks for your time JB. had a great one.

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted July 8, 2010
I should add...it's difficult to go along to have dinner with a room full of strangers because one never knows who will show up and how uncomfortable it can get. Part of me wanted to cancel dinner because I thought, will I be out of place? What if these are trigger happy randoms ( teen talkin') with Travis Bickle haircuts? I wasn't familiar with any Canberra names from this list except for Mr Frellman.

Nothing of the sort. Good, nice friendly people talking about lots of different things; excellent night considering I'd never met most of you ever :) Thanks again for organising it , Abe and to JB.

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Matt L puts forth...

Posted July 8, 2010
John, thanks for the amusing stories last night in Canberra. The lines were long so I thought I'd blog this story for you of meeting some people in your books...

Having bought the book "Off One's Tits" the day before going to Don Quixote when I book I advised Manolo the Manager (apparently he wasn't called 'The Don' by patrons) he was in a book in about their suckling pig. He asked for me to bring the book in and I did. He then proceeded to read the chapter to the whole kitchen and cooking stopped for at least 15 minutes. He kept the book, we got a free suckling pig and we didn't need a Whopper chaser.

Keep it up, Matt L

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Surtac mutters...

Posted July 8, 2010
JB, let me pass on my thanks also to yourself and to Abe for last night in Canberra. It was thoroughly enjoyable, the library session and the dinner both. It was nice to be re-acquainted with some of the Canberra 'burgers from the last tour, and to meet some more this time around.

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 8, 2010
'Slurring drunks'? Oi! I resemble that remark! I was a tad secondhand the next day I must say...more from the lack of sleep to be honest, but the booze didn't help. Twas a good night out though!

I'm only up to chapter 11 in the book thus far, but I'm getting a few giggles from some of the names popping up e.g. Frellman's Sausages in the markets, and the Bedak Whitetail cows! Bursting out laughing whilst reading on the bus does draw a few odd looks from the commuters...well, more than the usual odd looks anyway.

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jp ducks in to say...

Posted July 8, 2010
Yeah, that's all well and good, but what about this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIehtCNgvrQ

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aaron reckons...

Posted July 8, 2010
I am really looking forward to Dumpling Bar tonight but whats happening friday? if there is anything that would be much easier but I am still keen on tonight.

any chance I can bring a plus one (its a bar so i guess thats fine)?

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AgingGamer puts forth...

Posted July 8, 2010
Tuesday night was mind boggling AWSM and I too enjoyed meeting some of the other burgers. Good to finally meet bondi & therbs. I did not however want to be divorced, you know being my wedding anniversary and all, and stumble home rollicking drunk so my apologies for the early exit. (It won't happen again promise)

And damn Sir Birmo you've done exceptional well in the weight loss and fitness stakes! I must say your current 'ripped' state has given me more motivation to kick the last 10kgs in the arse!

I will be devouring a sizeable chunk of After America on the weekend by sending my Xbox away to a health retreat so there are no distractions.

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted July 8, 2010
Aaron, bring whoever you want. I believe there is a friday night meet up planned. More on that later.

MattL, I believe that freebie belongs to ME!!!

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted July 8, 2010
An excellent night was had by all, good food and quality company. Big salutes to the other Canberra burgers, and to JB for being the catalyst for it all.

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Loookeski mumbles...

Posted July 8, 2010
Thanks for the good time JB. Was great again to meet more of your Canberra crew. A lovely bunch of people. I will be tuning in to this blogoverse more regularly in the future. After America has slipped the bouncer a twenty and cut straight to the top of my teetering, house-sized "must read" pile. :)

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 8, 2010
A great night thanks to all and no dramas re organising.

And some Great NEWS!

Simon told me that he'll be hosting a big housewarming bash in the coming weeks to put the Tas Babes party to shame. Socks optional!

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted July 8, 2010
Oh that's great news about Mr Bedak's house warming; yes, twil be good of it's a Bedak production.

In fact, Mr Frellman, I was about to post you a message on fb to say I am sorry I never got a chance to sit and have a chat with you last night but it was pretty squishy and I was more or less entombed in my chair. Then I looked and you were gone. Next time.

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girlclumsy asserts...

Posted July 9, 2010
Bedak's having a housewarming? Cool!

I'm going to be in Canberra on 21, 22 of July, returning 23rd. I'll be at an impro convention most of the time, but would love to catch up with some Canberra burgers if there's a chance. Looking at you, Sausage King of Queanbeyean, and Squire Bedak.

JB, congrats on the tour and book sales - I'm enjoying it as I make my way through AA in between 4am shifts and impro shows. :)

I am also enjoying the Burger cameos - but I'm keeping a running tally on my favourite descriptions of bodies being blown apart during battles. I think my favourite so far is "pink gruel". ;)

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted July 9, 2010
Still suffering but that's down to manflu. Yeah, it was great to see the tweet/burger coalition forming an unrelenting party mass, defeating the forces of vegetarianism in a right royal me blowout at The Weeds, The Balkan and The Beauchamp. Beers, mixed grills, wine and whisky. 'Nuff said.

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted July 9, 2010
This has got to be a unique group set up.How many people form a motley but interesting circle around a blogwhich is run by a man called Havsy, oops I mean run by an author you grew up reading and who is completely normal,yet has gold hovercrafts in his gaden; everyone meets up,even fly interstate for meetings? It's like being part of a very wealthy Hollywood party jetset without the extreme wealth or the annoying plastic celebrities.Hollywood-light.

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Brian asserts...

Posted July 9, 2010
Abigaial . . .duno about that. You don't get out to many football matches do you?

As to Havsy . . .Bad news . . .Broadband rollout. Inner North Brisbane and Bachus Marsh . . .plus some others. Looks like a wide throat connection from BrisVegas to Havock Haven.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted July 9, 2010
Brian, " dunno about that...football matches"? sorry, I'm not following.. umm, therefore proving your assumption that I don't do football. :)

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Surtac reckons...

Posted July 9, 2010
Abigail,

It’s not unique. I’m a part of another such community, based around our mutual admiration for another author. Our usual interaction is via a long-standing messageboard, which I help moderate, but there have been multiple occasions where associates have met up in real life to interact with or without the author being present, and more are being planned. In fact, just last month, the third of a sequence of informal mini-conventions was held in the authors home town in the US and about twenty associates from various parts gathered together for fellowship (drinking) and various shared activities. Several of those activities were hosted at the authors own home, by her direct invitation.

Some of my associates from that community are coming out to Oz later this year and I’m planning to meet up with them then, at Worldcon in Melbourne.

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted July 9, 2010
What?? so we've gone from being a unique enterprise to dime-a-dozen floozies in the course of three posts? Life is cheap in cyber space my friend.

No, actually Surtac you have convinced me, without intending it, to get myself a business card drawn up : "Associate of John Birmingham, Awesome Incorporated"

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Surtac mutters...

Posted July 9, 2010
No - definitely not dime-a-dozen floozies. I have it on very good authority that this and my other Association are quite rare beasts indeed. :)

Btw, I do like the idea of such a business card.

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Damaso has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2010
Looking forward to reading AA but I wish it wasn't priced at nearly $15 for the Kindle! Any chance of convincing your publisher to lower the price. Otherwise I will just have to wait or worse yet get it from the library, denying you much needed bear monies!

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 10, 2010
Get it from the library Damaso. I still get paid.

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Respond to 'Quick tour wrap.'

Monday in Sydney

Posted July 5, 2010 by John Birmingham
Did the first day of the tour today, a couple of hours worth of interviews, lunch with my publicists and publishers, and some bookstore visits in the afternoon. I'm using the evening to catch up on some column writing before popping out to visit a restaurant mid evening.

I note below that Ariel is listed as kicking off at six, but my latest itinerary and the bokstore's website have a kick off at 7.

Perhaps it's drinks at six. At any rate, it's certainly drinks for us at six, or earlier, if you head to the 3 Weeds.

I'm a bit concerned about the number of people coming along via the magic of twitter and facebook. I dont know how many of them could fit into the Balkan if they wanted to kick on in the same way as Brisbane. Might have to put the publicity mavens on that.

20 Responses to ‘Monday in Sydney’

NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 5, 2010
Sure does blow chunks when you are too popular.

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Trowzers is gonna tell you...

Posted July 5, 2010
No plug for the 7.30 report gig on in a few mins? I bet I missed a plug on twitter ;) Darn, I'd better get with the times I guess.

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Nocturnalist puts forth...

Posted July 5, 2010
Not a bad publicity angle if you get so many fans showing up that you pack out a bar/restaurant/wherever.

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Trowzers is gonna tell you...

Posted July 5, 2010
Nice product placement :)

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joe is gonna tell you...

Posted July 5, 2010
I agree Trowzers, well done to JB for not only getting tapped by Auntie for a story on the Twitterati and other devilishly addictive social media... but for putting on the "commercial free" public broadcaster a massive new book title right there in Not-So-Subliminal-Space.

Top job sir, Top Job.

Oh yeh an u sounded all intelligent like and knowing yer topic 'an stuff.... I like that!

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Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted July 5, 2010
Yep first thing I said to Wifey - 'Hah! Look, he even got the new book in the background!

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girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted July 5, 2010
Have to add my compliments on the product placement - that was splendidly done! First thing that caught my eye! ;)

I love stories like that where there's not much vision they can use so it's all shots of computer screens and sounds of clicking keyboards! Awesome.

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted July 5, 2010
Yeah, what Matt F said.

(No, really that was exactly what I was thinking of saying).

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted July 6, 2010
Spotter report. Just an FYI that Without Warning is out in paperback here in Overland Park, Kansas. I've got to admit that I really like the paperback cover.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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fknvirty mutters...

Posted July 6, 2010
was that young birmin'am i saw last night on oxford st sporting a set of buttless chaps?

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lostatlunch swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 6, 2010
Virty, problem bnot the first time,... what happens on Oxford St, stays on Oxford St.. unless Today Tonight see you.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted July 6, 2010
If he chooses to sport a set of chaps, well dressed, buttless or otherwise, Shirley that's his business?

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted July 6, 2010
That's funny about the Balkan - I booked for 6 and there's gonna be a horde.

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lostatlunch ducks in to say...

Posted July 6, 2010
yeah, these enthused about dinner with a horde...

but people talk shite on twitter.. maybe a few extra blow-ins?

I expect all the twitterati would expect JB's publicity mavens to foot the bill.

BTW, nice piece in Fairfax pimping for their star blogger.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 6, 2010
I'll leave booking changes to the publicity crew. Crapped out on the iView 7.30 Report interview down here at the bureau. Grrrr.

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Abigail would have you know...

Posted July 6, 2010
Gosh that is funny about a horde of "the great unbooked" turning up for dinner, courtesy of the publishers?, lol, at a table for 6.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted July 7, 2010
Well, it was a fine collection of tweet peeps and burgers. JB was in top form, the Ariel gig was well attended and hats off to the Publishing, Publicity and Ariel staffers. A great effort.

We started off with drinks at The Weeds, more drinks at Ariel and then mixed grills at the Balkan. What else to do after that but saunter up to The Beauchamp for a few post prandial settlers. A fine evening indeed. Great to meet up with the tweesters and Savo, BondiBoy, AgeingGamer and Darkman.

To sum up, my head hearts but I'm not blaming the double Makers Mark nightcap. Must be a man flu or something.

Abe, JB survived the night so its up to you guys now.

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted July 7, 2010
Therbs, by the sound of his progress through Drink Week I suspect we'll be pouring him back on the doorstep of the Hyatt.

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Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted July 7, 2010
Yeah I was suffering a bit this morning too Therbs...much better now though! Twas an excellent night out, and great to put faces to names.

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lostatlunch is gonna tell you...

Posted July 7, 2010
sorry I piked, But I could not stay awake.

But there was some great company, i intend to catch up with.

I owe Therbs and Bondi a beer... it will be my pleasure to buy anytime.

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Respond to 'Monday in Sydney'

Oz review.

Posted June 14, 2010 by John Birmingham
Orin sent me this link last nite, which I tweeted up, causing a short but fascinating discussion about literary reviewing over at twunter in the burger stream. For the record, I enjoyed the review and even liked it as a piece of criticism. There's points I'd argue with, natch, but that's a good thing. Yoe rarely this level of engagement with genre fiction in the MSM lit pages.

If you read it critically the main issue the reviewer seems to take with After America isn't the quality of the writing or story, but the, uh, politics, and even that was kinda vexed, with acknowledgments of, say, Kipper's trad left mooshiness.

It's a pity the book is still a few weeks away so you could make your own minds up.

61 Responses to ‘Oz review.’

Nocturnalist is gonna tell you...

Posted June 14, 2010
Loved the masthead - you should buy that piece and use it as a bookplate or something.

I'm struggling slightly to recall anything I'd have described as "trad left mooshiness" from the first book, but as you say I guess I'll have to hang out and wait 'til the second one comes out.

Speaking of which, is there still time to put a hand up for the after-launch dinner in Canberra?

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Brian puts forth...

Posted June 14, 2010
That's a surprisingly interesting article from the Murdoch death-star.

He seems to have overlooked the fact that a few luminaries have done 'pulp fiction' . . . Mark Twain for one, Conan Doyle for another. Not bad company when you think on it.

Nor . . .that readership is confined to a limited demographic. Being lumped with teenagers, can at least mean that you have engagement across generational lines.

Jim Baen was always credited for one thing . . .dragging mil-SF back into the gutter where it belonged . . .and being resented for making a nice living out of it.

Not bad though . . .not bad at all.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted June 14, 2010
Matt, yep, plenty o'time, plenty o' room at the table.

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Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2010
I concur with my namesake re the masthead, very cool. Having only read WW I can't say for sure but i sort of agree with the bloke. I think I said at the time that I found the whole France-falling-to-bits-and-UK-going-semi-fascho a step too far credibility wise. I'm willing to suspend belief for the wave but not the rest.

That said I will buy it and tell people about it as I did for AoT and WW. Does that make me one of your "creepy teenage fanclub", that crack kind of irritates me tell the truth.

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Abigail mumbles...

Posted June 14, 2010
Jb, perhaps I will have to wait to read the book but I can't work out what the reviewer is trying to say--underneath it all, I mean. Just on intuition it comes across as though they are afraid of running into you. It keeps giving with one hand and taking with the other.On one hand you're a great prose writer, but actually...well actually what? I can't get it clear whether they are scornful or not , or how well thought through their criticism is, or is not. For a few reasons I find it an odd review.

For the record I think you're a very strong writer and I never take much notice of critics anyway--unlesss they make very cear what they are getting at, where they are constructive and and where no personal bias is evident.

This one seems personal to me, somehow. Perhaps I am mistaken.

Yes, Matt K, first time I recall a reviewer reviewing the readership--and so harshly; not that I care less but it sounds like his/her personal feeling, doesn't it?

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girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted June 14, 2010
God forbid a writer should think about his/her audience! :)

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Matthew K reckons...

Posted June 14, 2010
I guess I am a fan, but I'm not a teenager.

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Roberto Teixeira swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 15, 2010
That I was actually flattered to be called a teenager is probably a good sign that I'm getting too old... *sigh*

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Murphy asserts...

Posted June 15, 2010
Anybody bother to tell that guy that American soldiers . . . well, they do talk like that. In fact, the passage was pretty tame compared to what I have heard or has been related to me.

The illustration was first rate though and heaven forbid a writer actually be in the game for . . . something as banal as profit. Sheesh.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted June 15, 2010
Notice he didn't say anything about the sections featuring your beloved Rhino. Would've made the entire review superfluous as those sections are shining examples of literary perfection.

And the other stuff is pretty good too. Especially the part where ... oh, sorry, almost let that slip.

R.

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Sturt asserts...

Posted June 15, 2010
Dunno, I just read it as a variant on the standard form of political-literary discipline: You have sinned against orthodoxy and therefore must be punished with the disdain of your betters. Fiction as entertainment? Not at any price, saith Mr Williamson.

Also - 532 pages! Better book another week at the beach.

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Trashman mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
It sounds like the usual snobbishness about SF to me. You know, how some authors (not JB)claim they don't write SF, they write 'speculative fiction'. Most critics don't seem to see it as a valid form of literature - I would beg to differ.

Along with Matt K, I think I said at the time that I thought the UK going fascist was a step too far, it just wasn't the country that I live in - especially as it had not been directly attacked in any way.

I also would be flattered to be called a teenager now. I can just about remember back that far!

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Brian mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
Guys . .to be fair . . .some of us are comparative teenagers to a few other notables on this blog.

Always thought SJS was a crotchety old biddy for one.

Not sure about Rhino. He has these delusional episodes . . .makes me think the mind isn't what it was.

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lostatlunch mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
and Peter Carey got slammed a few weeks ago.. the martyrdom of those Australian authors who sell books by those that wish they could.

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jennicki has opinions thus...

Posted June 15, 2010
I still wanna beat the reviewer up.

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Thomas has opinions thus...

Posted June 15, 2010
How condescending of the reviewer to refer to your readers as a "teenage fan club" which would suggest immaturity. It would bother him, I think, that mature adults who consume and analyze news from varied sources enjoy your storytelling. (I admit to the creepy desires though.)

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
thomas, rofl.

and yeah, i think the biggest misfire in the review was the section about the readers. it was strange error from somebody who's the papers' chief literary reviewer. Cos I dont have that many teenaged readers at all.

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Matthew K mutters...

Posted June 15, 2010
I will not discuss any creepiness without my lawyer present.

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
This unruly mob are the oldest bunch of teenage fanboys I have ever run into...

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Brian puts forth...

Posted June 15, 2010
The 'teenage' tag amuses me greatly. If it was about offending people it certainly missed its mark. If it was supposed to be a factual label . . .well that was a miss too.

Overall, upon mature reflection . .it just came across us hopelessly provincial. In other words . . . not part of his tribe. Tsk, tsk.

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Surtac reckons...

Posted June 15, 2010
I must admit that when I read the review over breakfast on Saturday, my immediate reaction was “OK, so WTF has ol’ JB done to upset Geordie Williamson?” and eventually concluded that he was just jealous – how dare someone who writes so well on so broad a range of topics be so crass as to be commercially successful! That’s not the ivory tower postmodern literary way, don’t you know?

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
This is a prime example of the division in Australian writing, guarded by the pure literary mob who frown at popular work, often decrying it as the "McDonalds" of writing. Its not considered art as it doesn't ask us to produce a lot of skull sweat, just simply go along for the ride. Its interesting that book reviews do become entrenched along these lines but movie critics recognise the value of simply enjoying a piece which is designed solely to entertain, realising that posing the big questions and making the audience work to enjoy something isn't the be all and end all of that art form. Literary criticism should take note of how film critics acknowledge all genres, not just the "heavy" product. The division is why we never see reviews of Robert G Barrett yet he ships truckloads of books.

Where you've made the mistake JB is to seek to write to an audience and hopefully make a living out of it. You were meant to become the ex-cult writer who then dealt with the big issues of Australian life in angsty works about alienation and a protagonist's struggles to deal with historical cultural forces beyond their control. They hate the fact that you turned to the dark side of trying to make a living and this time they have chosen politics as their sword. Its also interesting that poor old David Malouf had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the critique. I'd expect the Matt Reilly and Tom Clancy references but Malouf, fine writer that he be, is always trotted out as the beacon of Oz lit. I wish they'd leave the poor bugger alone and stop using him as a shield in his advancing years. The fact is in After America you get a week's worth of entertainment for the price of two movie tickets. If I want to read something challenging I can pick up a Kafka or Dostoevsky at Chapters bookshop at five bucks a pop but in the meantime I'll be looking for people like Lee Child, Matt Reilly, James Phelan and John Birmingham when I want to get taken away somewhere for a good few hours. Sorry for the long rant but these literature tossers do get up my nose. They ain't as important as they think they are.

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Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted June 15, 2010
The question is, did the reviewer _enjoy_ it? Because that's generally why I read a book, whatever the genre. Life is too short for Patrick White. And I'd better enjoy this one or I'll be looking for my money back.

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jennicki mutters...

Posted June 15, 2010
When you get tired of ass-fucking a stick, move on to literary reviews.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted June 15, 2010
Ooooh . . .Jenicki . . .that's gotta be a comment of the day.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
Therbs, that's such an impassioned yet well argued comment I've sent it on to my publisher, who I suspect feels these slings and arrows more keenly than I.

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Scott asserts...

Posted June 15, 2010
Those who can write, those who can’t write reviews.

I think both Surtac and Therbs hit the nail on the head.

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Puma has opinions thus...

Posted June 15, 2010
"towelheads" I thought our guys called them "Hodgie" these days. Seriously, I doubt most civilians could stomach 5 minutes of real GI dialogue. That scene the reviewer included seems absolutely sterile by comparison. Just look at the reaction to Generation Kill or that Apache gun camera video.

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Guru Bob would have you know...

Posted June 15, 2010
Same newspaper - excerpt from Junger's new book WAR with real dialogue by real GIs.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/eventually-the-monsters-will-win/story-e6frg8nf-1225873423367

Maybe he should read his own paper before he gets started in on your dialogue?

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JP mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
JB - it's all column inches though, which is good. I learned that lesson with my first novel, which has so far had my only neg review, from the Aus's ugly sister pub the Herald Sun -- and, like you, I was working at Fairfax at the time...

It bummed me out a bit as it had been all fun and games until then. But, then a few mates emailed, then some more, saying they'd read the review and since decided to buy my book that they'd assumed would be too high-falutin for them to enjoy. It included the line: "Big on weapon details with a huge body count almost making up for the lame dialogue and daft plot." That was from the then lit editor of the paper, who's probably now selling $5 rim jobs somewhere while I'm seven books in and browsing for hovercraft.

:-)

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Therbs mutters...

Posted June 15, 2010
jp - a review such as this is precisely why I rarely bother with reading them. I'd say this is the first book review I've read for a couple of years and that was only because JB included the link. They're too predictable about anything which has explosions and/or car chases; and for high-brow or wannabe lit they simply wank on for the sake of it and don't add much value to the decision making process.

Speaking of explosions, reminds me I gotta catch up on that last Fox book.

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sibeen mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
Cos I dont have that many teenaged readers at all.

Except for me!

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sibeen is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
ooops

best get rid of that bold.

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Scott is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
Therbs, yeh, can’t remember the last time I bothered with a review. Most of my buying choices are influenced by sample chapters, referrals from people who like the same stuff as me or if I am not sure about the author I borrow the first book in a series from a library.

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Abigail mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
Yes, everyone here seems to have confirmed what I felt but thought it was just my imagination.

The guy is damning you with faint praise; at the least, using your strenghts against you while seeming to use them in your favour. I call that keeping double books.

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sparty reckons...

Posted June 15, 2010
Interesting that he used a Martin Amis comparison. Having been to a couple of talks by Amis recently, its amazing how so many people seem to will-fully mis-understand what he says (and he's a basically left leaning author who has the audacity to sometimes question the precieved correctness of the left agenda, and gets a "how dare he" in response).

Pity you're not touring UK (particulary with Uk bits in the book), would be interetsing to see the response here...

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted June 15, 2010
Sparty, totally with you on Martin Amis--was just saying as much to somebody about half an hour ago!

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
Yeah, I should prolly name check him in the third book.

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BrianC reckons...

Posted June 15, 2010
Fuck that who does this Muppet thinks he is. I notice that this review doesn't allow comments. Obviously I cant speak to the content of this book, because I haven't read it. But i can say that i have read everything you have ever written (i even bought a copy of the magazine called elevator at borders, you know the one that only had one issue)

These books aren't derivative and you should feel no need to hang your head. You know what they are. They are entertainment, with a semi-conservative message. This guys probably one of those wankers whos book shelf has a bunch'o'original editions of keats, joyce and yeats and the newest thing on there was written at the turn of the century. New fiction isnt bad fiction you effete bastard, our(my generations) stories are found in the here and now, there found in the girttyness of Guantanamo Bay, in stupidity of religious extremism, in the constant irony of our elected officials berating China for a lack of human rights, while taking ours away on the sly. We matured with Internet as our news source with our communities distributed and our friendships international. We laugh at the extreme and the crude because it true for us, more so when we see it every day.

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Orin mumbles...

Posted June 15, 2010
You were meant to become the ex-cult writer who then dealt with the big issues of Australian life in angsty works about alienation and a protagonist’s struggles to deal with historical cultural forces beyond their control.

It is coming. 's called "Cry Havock" - about a middle aged guy struggling with his working class upbringing and his need to make it as a ladyboy torchsong singer in the nightclubs of Bangkok.

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Orin asserts...

Posted June 15, 2010
It ends with him wearing a Richmond football jumper, a pair of pink stockings, holding a viking helmet while weeping into a cocktail with a frilly umbrella. Touching really.

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Abigail asserts...

Posted June 15, 2010
Orin -haha that is quite Gold.

"Cry Havoc" Richard Attenborough would totally be impressed by that, I'd say.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted June 15, 2010
Orin

.

.

.

.

.

.

You're an evil bastard..

.

.

.

.

But likeable.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
Meh.

Opinions are like bums, everyone has one.

If this clown is payed to reveal his lit tunnel vision then good luck to him.

Much more interested in why your interview about AA (that I only found via The MiniBurger) was only announced to the Twateratti, not the rest of us your loyal shocktroops.

I know it must feel a bit odd to pimp your own media, but I for one am interested in any discussion about an eagerly anticipated sequel.

Remember that some/many of us are not tweet enabled, sort of like assuming people have and answer a mobile phone.

Flabbergasterised indeed.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted June 15, 2010
Well, here's the thing. I'm doing so much pimpage at the moment, I sorta forgot.

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Stevo 73 mutters...

Posted June 15, 2010
@ Puma- Yes we still call them towelheads, ragheads and Hajis, also camel jockey is still getting rotation (care of Three Kings).

Talking to digs/GIs give you exposure to language that will turn your hair grey, and will teach youa little about nasty nick names that they have for each and every officer.

I thought the passage was a little tame but still pretty accurate.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted June 16, 2010
Puma, it was circa 2007 alternate, thus the older reference per Muslims. The Iraq/Afghanistan experience would not have been present to generate the slang from OIF/OEF. In fact, I think what is more probable would be a divergent slang based on the military's post Wave experiences.

In any case, it seemed safer to go with "towelhead."

I have to admit, speaking personally, I'm always a bit uneasy using such terms. They may be an accurate reflection of reality but here in the States we have a dedicated hard core brigade of busybodies that do nothing but lose their minds over these words when they apply to literature, or the classroom for that matter.

That said, I concur with Stevo73 that the passage was actually somewhat tame.

Figure this. The expletive "fuck" is often used as a verb, a comma, a hyphen, a semi-colon, and sometimes even a noun. This is before you get to variants and combinations of the word "fuck." Toss in the dehumanization which usually takes place during wartime, the attitudes towards neutralized opponents and what you'll find is a narrative that is not politically correct at all.

I might add, if you strive towards portraying any given modern military accurately and you fail to include The Repentant Soldier/Veteran (you know, the one who spends all of his time questioning what he/she is going, guilt ridden about their mission, etc) then you can rest assured that you are probably going to have trouble selling that story/novel to markets outside of Baen's Books, Del Rey, and the like.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Therbs asserts...

Posted June 16, 2010
Murph, I believe there'll always be those who believe that dialogue which demeans, demonises or dehumanises any group should never see the light of day despite its contextual framework. Its seen as a reflection of the author's own views as opposed to a charcter's P.O.V. They don't get the fact that the audience knows the difference.

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted June 16, 2010
Yeah, poor Steve Stirling used to take a lot of hits on that one, Therbs.

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Brian reckons...

Posted June 16, 2010
Hmm . . .so did Heinlein in his latter books. Some people put it down to his wife's influence. I tended to think it was more a reflection of changing social conditions and freeing up the censorship laws.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted June 16, 2010
Yes well can you imagine how neurotic things are going to get if Conroy's mind control, I mean net censorship legislation gets through?

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Puma has opinions thus...

Posted June 16, 2010
I was joking mostly. Most liberals you reference would find raghead offensive and Haji obscure. Friend of a friend going back for 3rd tour said recently "I can't wait to get back and kill more of those filthy savages". And he surely meant it. Doubt that sell many either.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted June 17, 2010
Puma, you'd never sell a character based on your friend to most short markets. Stirling and Birmingham, among others, have found ways to outflank the usual guards of political correctness (profitability helps).

And yeah, mention Stirling's name in the wrong crowd and they'll react as if you mentioned the Anti-Christ as a Southern Baptist Bible Revival.

Finally, and I spend a lot of time hammering this into the heads of my students, understanding something on it's own terms does not mean you agree, condone, or accept it. It just means you understand it.

One of my favorite busy bodies, on a completely different topic, basically said the job of fiction writers ought to be to improve the world, write about how the world will be better, rather than write about all the grit. Writing about the grit perpetuates the problem.

Which isn't that much different from the "teach peace not war" crap I hear all the time. Perhaps if one is familiar with the nasty side of things then one is better armed to prevent relapses.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Scott has opinions thus...

Posted June 17, 2010
One of my favourite quotations comes from either Larry Niven or Robert A Heinlein,

“There is a technical term for someone who confuses the opinions of a character in a book with those of the author. That term is idiot.” Gold.

As for authors culling the grit and just giving us light fluffy feel good pap, invite such people to make a living on it, see how long until they turn to the dark side.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted June 17, 2010
Scott, if it says anything, most of them publish in the short story markets and they STAY in the short story markets.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Orin has opinions thus...

Posted June 17, 2010
I'm not convinced on Stirling. When he's posted here to the Burger, his attitude and behavior have not exactly been exemplary. Everyone can get misquoted on the Internet, but his approach on the previous version of this site several years ago left one's willingness to be charitable in interpretation somewhat lacking.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted June 18, 2010
Stirling doesn't seem to suffer fools well, Orin. As for his conduct, well, given some of the crap I have seen out of others in the science fiction community, his behavior is pretty tame by comparison.

I still get cracked on the head for my previous behavior but when I point out that the Liberals in Science Fiction get a free pass on that score (up to and including accusing people of being something that ends with an ist, an ism, or a phobia without any actual proof) I'm basically told to shut up.

There is most certainly a double standard, Orin.

The general impression I get from the American Left especially, but the American Science Fiction in particular, is that Conservatives or anyone who is not a Liberal are supposed to behave as if they are polite, contrite and "willing to listen." Those three traits are, of course, defined by the eye of the beholder, not the conservative/non-liberal in question.

Having said that, I know Stirling mainly by way of his non-fiction postings on the net, not by way of his fiction.

As for exemplary behavior, frankly, I've seen a distinct lack of such behavior in the community over the last decade. It isn't generally known, but I didn't start out as a keyboard hammering, frothing manic. I did start out with a reasonable tone of sorts.

Over time, it seemed to me, that it was better to adopt the tactics of my opponents. It didn't seem to hurt their chances of getting published.

Turns out that I could adopt those tactics but ONLY if I wanted to expose Liberal views.

Well, turns out that I'm not a Liberal, at least by their definition. So I pay the penalty. Stirling's a little higher up in the food chain but rest assured, if they could find a way to hurt his income stream (as they often try to do with Orson Scott Card) they would most certainly do so.

Respects,

Murph

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Orin mutters...

Posted June 18, 2010
There is being provoked into being rude and starting out that way. When you announce yourself by tipping over all the bins to people who weren't even aware of your existence - you are perhaps taking the " big shot author who says what he wants" thing a little far. After he introduced himself by insulting anyone who held a view contrary to his, I did a little googling on his online presence and came to the conclusion that there wasn't any point responding to him because a lot of people really really really really hated this guys guts and nothing that I could say could possibly compete with the scorn and contempt that so many seemed to already hold him in. I've seen contempt for people on the Internet before, but this was a whole new level of hate. I find it rather difficult to reconcile Birmo's opinion of him, especially after he announced himself here by throwing punches seemingly at random.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted June 19, 2010
First, I do not remember the fracas you are referring to here at Cheeseburger Gothic. If we're going to hold such things against people then I'm probably in the same doghouse for some the rants, firefights and the like I have gotten into here (and elsewhere for that matter).

And I would not be surprised if people found it difficult to understand why Birmingham has anything to do with me.

Granted, when I state that I don't remember the arguments here, I am not disputing that they didn't happen. I'm sure they did (Stirling was involved in a firefight over at a blog where I had some trouble a couple of years back). Thing is, Stirling conducted himself with a great deal more restraint and bearing than I did.

As for why people hate the man, I think it is mainly due to the fact that he isn't a well behaved conservative science fiction writer. He is the type of writer who writes about how things really are as opposed to the politically correct way people think it should be portrayed and as such there is a dedicated, hardcore brigade of people in the community who make it a point to make life miserable for him.

Neal Asher often runs into the same trouble, if not worse. So does Card, Tom Kratman, and sometimes John Ringo does as well.

I respect the man, even though I don't agree with every view he has (I don't agree with everything Birmo says or does either, which doesn't impede my ability to work with him or be his friend). I can't really judge his writing because for some reason, with one or two exceptions, I just can't seem to get into his work. Something is missing for me and I'll be damned if I know what it is.

But if you want me to make a guess as to why Birmingham has a favorable opinion of Stirling, it would be this.

I suspect Birmo respects Stirling because they are both pros who know what the game is about.

1. Tell a story.

2. Sell a story.

3. Tell another story.

4. Sell a story

5. Repeat.

They don't let the horseshit get in the way of dealing with the reality of the field they are in. And I suspect they have much in common due to their interest in history and alternate history.

Anyway, if I had to chose between sitting at a bar with Stirling or some of the other writers in the field, I'd rather sit with Stirling.

At least I'd know where I stood with him.

Respects,

Murph

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Orin asserts...

Posted June 19, 2010
Generally you haven't waded in elbows up. You've said some stuff that has driven me batty at times, but you've not particularly been personal about it. Stirling started with personal attacks which is one reason why I own and encourage friends to read all Asher's and most of Card's books even though the authors themselves politically polar opposite to where I probably sit. I own only one of Stirling's which I purchased prior to his bin tipping episode here - politics doesn't really matter much, but Stirling irrevocably tarnished his brand by starting personal rather than engaging with the debate at hand. The Burger is mostly about having those debated without it getting (or at least starting) personal.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted June 20, 2010
Fair enough, Orin. I must have missed the firefight in question though.

As for saying things which drive people batty, well, that's my job. :)

Respects,

Murph

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