Cheeseburger Gothic

Realistic female superheroes.

Posted June 13, 2010 by John Birmingham
You'll have missed this at the Geek, as we slipped of the front of the web site. But it's totally worth a read.

Mint Slice proposed some new, PC female action types in the comments:

1. The Strap On Avenger - "Bev" a workplace access and equity consultant to the Road and Traffic Authority by day, seeks out middle managers accused of innappropriate sexual conduct in the work place. By night.she terrorises them with her bionic "appliance".

2. LUG Patrol - a team of crack female upper middle class arts/ law students on a mission to humiliate sexist academics with their superior knowledge of Catherine Mackinnon and Andrea Dworkin. Its a race against time, as each of their unique "superfeminist" powers may evaporate instantly upon graduation, when they cease being lesbians and marry men with an uncanny resemblence to their fathers.

3. The Department of Youth - a crack team of ethnically diverse young women - juvenile justice workers by day, assume their alter egos by night - seeking out to neutralise street crime wherever they may find it with their formidable arsenal of modern counselling techniques.

25 Responses to ‘Realistic female superheroes.’

Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted June 13, 2010
JB surely you're not serious? This is great. I love the second one.

Nah can't decide, they're all so good.

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Bondiboy66 ducks in to say...

Posted June 13, 2010
Bah, my comment evaporated. Anyway, I was said something about moving away from film and TV and suggesting literature, specifically Marion Alston and Swindapa in Stirling's 'Nantucket' trilogy, which I just so happen to be re-reading at present. Hot kickarse babes...they are a lesbian couple though, which doesn't leave much for heterosexual males such as yours truly though.

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koops has opinions thus...

Posted June 13, 2010
Wow! How topical! Somebody call Super Greer on her phallus hotline! She's gonna have a field day kicking your ironic ass!

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted June 13, 2010
I'm returning to second my own comment. This is therapy. Therapy , I tells you, for a Canberran. We're up to the rafters with PC. I so love this, but it was yours, not Mints? I saw Mint Slice's very funny comment at BI and I take it you've expanded on the theme.

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted June 13, 2010
Nah, it's all Mint Slice.

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ConspiracyCat reckons...

Posted June 13, 2010
If superheroes are so super, how come they wear their undies on the outside?

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Bangar would have you know...

Posted June 13, 2010
Know a better way to get attention? And superheroes are all about attention getting.

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Trowzers mutters...

Posted June 13, 2010
But why are all our superheros/villians so young? Have we forgotten the menace of the deliquent grannies that Monty Python warned us about all those years ago? Well those are just the villians! On the other side are the superpowered pink-cheeked cardy wearing elderly ladies who can silence a noisy teenager with a well placed glare, and can reform a train platform litterer with merely a disapproving sniff. Sure, not as sexy (unless you're into that) and maybe not as spritely as the younger gals, but who needs to leap around when you've got powers like that?

I'm sure everybody knows at least one elderly lady who scares the pants off us for no real apparent reason apart from attitude... imagine what they're like once they put their superhero costume on?

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted June 13, 2010
Unfortunately superpowered old ladies have a bit of an image problem that tends to see them getting burnt at the stake.

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Timmo has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2010
I'm sure SuperGran got a look-in there sometime in the 80's, so there's one aged super hero. Not exactly "smoking hot and kicking arse" more like "sipping tea and spanking bottoms"...

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2010
Hmm, most of these already exist in the American Science Fiction Community. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2010
Yes, sorry JB, I must have mis-read what you wrote in the above blurb.

I must say, Mint Slice is very very clever: his name, his barbed wit. You make a good double act--you'd co-write a killer good satire.

He just forgot about Fem Literary Theorists. By day they've come to rescue academia from the evil patriarchy. By night they use their words as actual weapons : beating everyone senseless with the works of Marilyn Lake.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted June 14, 2010
How about a 16 year old blonde who by day is a petulant, truculent, indolent and spotty teen with her socks scrunched down and an Ipod plugged into her ears. By night she is so vague that she forgets what she's doing halfway through changing into her B'Grrl costume.

Or perhaps a mighty amazon executive; By day she is sheduled, multitasked and blackberried to an inhuman level seeking synergies and partnerships, restructuring the triple bottom line and right sizing. By night the evil doers can go fck themselves as nothing is getting between her, Greys Anatomy and the last Tim Tam.

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Abigail has opinions thus...

Posted June 14, 2010
Nbob, ftw.

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Havock ducks in to say...

Posted June 14, 2010
Bah..its the house wife by day, who tends to the domestic chores whilst keeping everything neat and tidy, latte adventures with girl freinds and steadfastly ensuring the household is functional.

By night, its a Chardy drinking, very vocal spewing in strangers cars nutbag!, prone to telling the deserved what they really should be told.

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Havock reckons...

Posted June 14, 2010
Bah..its the house wife by day, who tends to the domestic chores whilst keeping everything neat and tidy, latte adventures with girl freinds and steadfastly ensuring the household is functional.

By adding a small line this changes to a new demographic.

Plus, complaining about how much work needs to be done, the gaining of weight and battles with it, as the spare time available is vast, the food blogging and reviews, matched with spots of jet setting and pissing and moaning, time on the xbox in SOLO mode, never wanting to confront others as the arse kicking would be oh so horrible. ( keeping the girly bit at the start of course).

DAM..reckon its an author!. By night its a we cant hold our grog, IPAD slave, steve jobs Bitch that puts dubious fkn characters in its books.

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Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2010
And the terrifying . . . PassAggro Woman! By day a manager who criticises underlings publicly and behind their backs, spreads discord, makes favourites and is never, never to blame for anything. She uses her superpowers to crush workplace morale and eliminate job satisfaction wherever she finds it. I don't even want to think about what she'd do at night.

As usual N-Bob has me beat. Can't compete with Super-Bobette's power to raise an evil-doer's blood pressure to the redline with a mere roll of the eyes.

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ConspiracyCat puts forth...

Posted June 14, 2010
Oh, Nowhere Bob, that is SO WRONG! A true superwoman ALWAYS has a spare packet of Tim Tams stashed away on Greys Anatomy night. Preferably Double Coat.

Sheesh! Men just don't understand Tim Tams.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted June 14, 2010
What this town really needs is a task force styled on the gold coast's Metre Maids but to bring them up to modern times they'd be trained as Ipod Police.

My vision involves conscripting the legion of European backpackers that are already so adept at cornering their quarry on street corners thanks to steady employment from local charities, and decking them out, boys and girls alike, in fringed red g-strings, whips, knuckle dusters, steel toed boots and crop tops with the DON'T YOU DARE FKN WALK symbol emblazened over the chest.

They could be stationed at 15m intervals along all the city streets that have now been reduced to a 40km limit in order to stop ordinary folk such as myself gunning down some skull vacant tech student that's singing along to Brittney Spears and Lada Gaga, and every time one steps into the path of an oncoming Pajero, the Ipod Police would yank them back, thump them up, kick their ipods into outer space with their steel toed boots and send them all packing on the bus back to Indooroopilly with a leaflet on Hector the Safety Cat, and a stern warning not to go out in public again until they've mastered his lessons.

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Brian mutters...

Posted June 14, 2010
John Ringo had a nice little heroine in his 'Princess of Wands' book. Straight God fearing woman who gets recruited for supernatural kickarse. Her prime talent being a gun tottin' Annie Oakley type who tended to freak out Wiccans. Long drawn out scene at a shooting range demonstrating the benefits of righteous firepower.

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Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted June 15, 2010
The question came up on the other thread about whether it's possible to have an action heroine (or action protagonist in general) who doesn't do violence. I've been considering this and the closest I can get is Terry Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax, who can do violence when she needs to but generally doesn't, at least not in the biff-pow-blam sense that most of the conversation was about. Anyone else?

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted June 15, 2010
Theres a character from the Marvel Comics universe called The Sentry. Amongst his powers he has the ability to radiate a calming aura that causes a feeling of peace and well being to whomever he focuses it upon.

As such he is one of the few characters who is able to prevail against the Incredible Hulk.

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NataliatheRussianSpy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 15, 2010
Firstly, I remember all that Babs-lovin' 'round at the Burger and it surprised me as much as you. I think the clincher was the scene in which she battered her eyelids and flat out lied to defend her 'man'. Maybe her unshakable loyalty and dependability is what men find appealing. (aren't all men secretly afraid their wives would auction them off in a heartbeat?)

Secondly, I think all you blokes secretly harbour adrogynous fantasies. Dontcha reckon Dolph would look great with a pair of jaunty double Ds?

As for me, Sarah Connor will always stand out because her sexuality wasn't contrived, nor did she use it as part of her manipulative weaponary. She was like an angry lioness. The mix of fierce mothering instincts and those gorgeous upper arms of hers won me over.

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Skunkworks is gonna tell you...

Posted June 16, 2010
Reminds me of Millie Tant from Viz comics.

Millicent Buckridge Tant, known as Millie Tant, is a character in the British comic, Viz. A caricature of the militant feminist mentality, Millie, who thinks of herself as a champion of "Wimmin's" rights, is actually so self-centered, dismissive of the feelings of others, and (it has to be said) masculine that she usually ends up being part of the problem rather than the solution.

Despite the fact that she often exhibits signs of bisexuality, most of her time is spent expressing her infinite hatred of men, whom she often refers to as either "phallocrats", "potential rapists" or just "rapists".

Millie is a lesbian (except for when the punchline requires her to secretly be heterosexual), and insists on referring to other women as "fellow lesbians", regardless of their actual orientation. Most of the storylines seem to indicate that sexual frustration, amongst other things, is the root of her problems. It can even be assumed that she is a self hating heterosexual who expresses her self loathing by castigating men, suggesting this is internalized misogyny.

She often complains that various phenomena are actually metaphors for the suppression of women: for instance, she once declared that fireworks are actually 'big explosive penises' that 'skewer and rape the virgin female sky'. During such rants, she raises her fist in the air and literally foams at the mouth. The epitome of dogmatic, humourless political correctness, she once refused to make a snowman, instead offering to make a snow-black lesbian rape victim in a wheelchair. In another adventure she plays a card game with an old woman, but ends the game by calling her a homophobe — just because she said she had a "straight flush". Millie also had a baby using donated sperm to artificially inseminate herself with a veggie burger baster (as a vegan, she refused to use a turkey baster) but despite having planned an all-natural home birth she ended up in hospital, using pethidine, and begging the nurse to call the father to come and hold her hand.

At the end of each comic strip, Millie Tant invariably forgets her feminist stance and is shown to be a hypocrite, e.g. asking a man to get rid of a mouse while she is standing on a chair, or knitting baby clothes with a simpering look on her face.

She is also usually mistaken for an ugly man.

From wiki

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Abigail swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2010
Skunkworks, gold.

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Respond to 'Realistic female superheroes.'

After America book trailer.

Posted June 4, 2010 by John Birmingham
What else is there to say.

After America trailer

32 Responses to ‘After America book trailer.’

drej08 mutters...

Posted June 4, 2010
Mighty AWSM indeed. Does it remind anyone else of the BSG episode trailers ?

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Tarl puts forth...

Posted June 4, 2010
And here I was expecting to see a truck trailer loaded with books. With at least one ready to sell to me.

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Guy has opinions thus...

Posted June 4, 2010
I can't wait for it to hit the bookstores so I can steal one...

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted June 4, 2010
S'okay. I still get paid for that.

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Moko mutters...

Posted June 4, 2010
Grouse.

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Bondiboy66 is gonna tell you...

Posted June 4, 2010
So when is this movie out at the cinemas?

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 4, 2010
AWSM!

Yes Drej, I agree - was waiting for Tricia Helfer's voice to purr... "Previously on Without Warning."

Actually if you decide to dub in her voice JB, I totally reserve my rights...I'm guessing $10?

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mrblenny swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 4, 2010
Nice one, will have to get a signed copy on release!

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mckinneytexas mumbles...

Posted June 5, 2010
Fricking awesome! Excellent! Damn, can't wait.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted June 5, 2010
Did anyone else see the guy with the amazing biceps in that one scene? Awesome... very awesome.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted June 5, 2010
Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!

That is what we have needed for a long time. A FRAKIN' BOOK TRAILER!

Trinity loved the trailer too.

Rhino, I was distracted by that strange crossdresser with the machinegun. Wasn't his name Havock or something? :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Koops puts forth...

Posted June 5, 2010
Does this trailer mean that Roland Emmerich is directing the movie?

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted June 5, 2010
That's some pretty cool sh!t right there

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted June 5, 2010
did you see me commanding the LEGIONS of the righteous..I was on the building..All general like

FKN WICKED!

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donna ducks in to say...

Posted June 5, 2010
AWSM!!!!! Cant wait to get it in my hands woo hoooo!!!! Good one JB.

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MickH puts forth...

Posted June 5, 2010
WHOA!

Where's the movie?

totally awesome

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lostatlunch mutters...

Posted June 5, 2010
MWAAAAAA MWAAAAAA

people need shiny expolsive thingies

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BrianC is gonna tell you...

Posted June 5, 2010
I liked it, or as Hav's would say FKN AWSME.

Usually I think "Book Trailers" are an exercise in authors self procreation, but this hit just the right tone.

Well Done that man

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted June 5, 2010
Needed more Rhino, but other than that AWESOME

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Abigail mumbles...

Posted June 5, 2010
JB, that's terribly exciting!

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joe asserts...

Posted June 6, 2010
I'm not "In" enough to get it I guess... I laughed at the President Kipper bit.

But it looks pretty slick.

Seeing as the TV miniseries might take some legal wrangling..... can I sign up now for Beta-Testing the PC version of the video Game? PLZ PLZPLZPLZPLZPLZ??

Anyhoos: Print it, I'll buy it.... have just run out of thinkybooks and am torn between going and ransacking Borders, and stealing off with some derivative teenyfluff from the relos.

Nice to see y'all still here doing ya thing... whatever that is.

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T2 ducks in to say...

Posted June 6, 2010
I've never seen a video book trailer before. What a great idea. I'm gonna post it on my FB page. Congrats, JB.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted June 6, 2010
Nicely done.

I have to ask.

Was yesterday's UFO sighting over Redcliffe part of the promo or was that just another failed attempt by the US military to shoot SJS back into space?

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Brian mutters...

Posted June 6, 2010
Shoulda had people on bikes (as you can't get past all the car wrecks) getting Napalmed. Abrams rumbling over trashed SUV's. Women with tattoo's . . .General Havock doing a Patton in front of the flag . . .

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El Coqui mumbles...

Posted June 6, 2010
Bravo!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted June 7, 2010
Damn! How fucking great is that?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted June 7, 2010
I gotta watch that again.

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TeamAmerica reckons...

Posted June 8, 2010
Glad to see that your sequel will be out soon. It looks like your publisher didn't respond to it as negatively as the one in Michael J. Astrue's poem does:

" he aims at a kind of sardonic comedy, as in his “Rejection Note for Paradise Regained,” imagining what John Milton’s publishers might have said to his follow-up to Paradise Lost:

Loved that first book—it’s got no equal—

but, Johnny, we don’t love your sequel.

If you would only take a chance

on self-help or a gay romance,

we’d let you keep your last advance.

Phony conspiracies would do

if you could find a hook or two—

like someone famous who won’t sue.

Marketing knows you’ll see the light,

and thinks Da Vinci is just right."

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TJX would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2010
It's a shame that Hollyweird will probably find this saga too politically incorrect to be a movie or mini series.

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TJX ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2010
QUOTE -"By drej08, June 4, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

Mighty AWSM indeed. Does it remind anyone else of the BSG episode trailers?"

BSG sucks, it was a piss poor PC attempt at Military Sci-fi. There I said it. :D

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Oxygen Plant swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2010
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful and beneficial to your readers.

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Gutz asserts...

Posted June 12, 2010
All i can say...is...the wait is almost over!

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Post Wave Economy

Posted May 19, 2010 by John Birmingham

I vacate the lecturn to make make for my learned research Prof. Murphy, this evening. Murph, as most of you know, works for me as a researcher on the books, mostly on military matters, but not exclusively. He's also been of invaluable help blocking out combat scenes and even trying his hand at drafting the first pass of a couple of bits and pieces.

He sent me an email the other day which I reproduce with his permission, pondering the economic landscape of a Post Wave America:

I've been reading up on economic history over the last four months, partly because I need to for my classes but also for the third book in the series.  It seems to me that the book will be as much as economic power as it is about anything else.

Again and again I've tried to picture what a post Wave economy would look like and I keep coming back to the same conclusion.  Granted, this is not my area of strength but I think I'm on track here.

In Eric Flint's series, the folks in Grantville frequently discuss downgrading their technology level to something they can easily produce.  Rather than produce M-16s, they produce rifled flintlock muskets, transition to steam technology, etc.

It seems to me that the economy of the remaining United States of America will need to do the same thing.  The massive Federal Regulatory Structure that exists today would need to be stripped down, simplified.  In doing so, it would probably be best to turn to a national bank.

We have something like that with the Federal Reserve system now (not a system I fully understand).  That said, the Federal Reserve system is designed to service an economy powered by 300 million plus people as opposed to 15 million.

I think what is needed, therefore, is a National Bank.

I probably sent a write up on this a few months back but you could model a national bank on the Hamiltonian model.  This would mean changes in the third novel.  Right now the US is not paying any of its' debts as I understand it.  It would have to set up a means to do so in order to obtain credit.

Hamilton argued that all foreign debt should be repaid.  I suspect US foreign debt circa 2003 is going to be too large for the remnant to service efficiently.  Given that China is in the middle of a Civil War, I think the US can be chosey about who it pays back.

Thus I'd set up a bank that serviced the debts of the most powerful remaining national economies.

If I reckon correctly, these are the biggest remaining players.

United Kingdom

Germany

Japan

South Korea

Australia

Russia

Saudi Arabia

I'd make it pretty clear as a matter of US economic policy that debts held by these countries will be serviced.

Some of this debt can probably be serviced, at least initially, by salvage of some sort or another.  We've already indicated some of this in After America with stocks of US military surplus going to places like Great Britain.  My concern is that there might eventually be a glut of this stuff on the market and as such, the US will not be able to obtain the windfall which is hoped for.

There is also the fact that Russia probably isn't all that interested in most US equipment, carriers being the exception and it is unlikely the US would sell such to Russia.

The rest of this debt, however, is going to have to be serviced by investment of some sort.  Hamilton solved this problem by offering shares of the First National Bank up for purchase.  They did relatively well partly (as I understand it) because people believed the economy was going to grow.  It also served to tie the rich to the success or failure of the Federal Government.

Kipper needs something similar.  He needs a way to tie folks like Cesky (the nasty construction magnate Jules left behind in Acapulco) to him for more than just revenge and short term gain.  Otherwise I can see folks like Cesky running off to Texas.

As for staples of the new US economy (because salvage can't last forever), I've got some thoughts.

Tobacco.  We produce a lot of it obviously and Missouri plays a role in that industry.  I suspect tobacco will become a very valuable commodity in the post wave economy.  Given that we have established Kansas City as a center of restoration, tobacco could become KC's big crop.

Pharmaceuticals.  I think we've covered this previously as well.  Puerto Rico has a pharma industry and given the post-wave situation, viable medicines are going to be a hot commodity.  I could see a situation where someone tries to make some sort of grab for Puerto Rico.  You probably can't work it into the third novel but it is something to consider.

Alcohol.  Especially bourbon, but also medical grade alcohol.

Corn in general, people have to eat.

Wheat, same thing.

Ironically, as I ponder here, you could see a Hamiltonian based financial system supporting a return to Jefferson's vision of an agrarian republic.  Our first strength was agriculture and I suspect that is the nation would restore itself.

That said, I think ground work should be laid for a return to some industrial capacity.  As such, Seattle would probably be the center of such activity.  With corporations such as Microsoft and Boeing headquartered there, they could provide the seeds for a rebirth.

There could also be a salvage tariff. I think we've discussed this before.  Of course that could be fueling the fighting on the East Coast since the losers don't want to pay the tariff and there is a shortage of people to collect it anyway.  That said, on the West Coast, which is accessible to Australia, Korea and Japan, the salvage tariff might be extremely profitable for the US government.

I have one additional thought.

Many see the US economy as one solid, unified block.  It is worth pointing out that it is a collection of regional economies.  It was this way in Hamilton's day and it will most likely be this way in the post-Wave economy.  As such, there will be tension between the various sections of the United States.

I keep thinking about Blackstone's Texas. (Yes, that is a little peek at what's coming up. - JB) He is able to get credit in the second novel and I suspect part of that is due to resources he has at his disposal, mainly salvage of weapons, technology, etc, and a willingness to help maintain the militaries of places like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

That said, it could possibly be that Blackstone has set up a Republic of Texas bank which is servicing the outstanding debts of the State of Texas.  He could be servicing those debts quicker than the US government is able to and as such is able to get credit quicker.  He may have investors who are growing increasingly tied to the success of Blackstone's government.

He, of course, also has Texas' own oil resources to draw upon.  That could also help fuel his economy.

Some random thoughts as I close out finals.

101 Responses to ‘Post Wave Economy’

Moko reckons...

Posted May 19, 2010
Probably need to be a lot more socialist too. Natural resources - like what we were talking about the other day at Flinty's - would be government controlled. Privatisation would be nearly non-existent, excluding drugs and guns...

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Abe reckons...

Posted May 19, 2010
Hmmm. My only comment is that banks don't "service" sovereign debt, the sovereign does, secured by it's capacity to tax. An exception is where the sovereign is sitting on resources that can be readily exploited - eg: the Confederacy issued 'cotton backed' bonds during the civil war, so that they could give foreign investors confidence that even if the confederacy could no longer raise taxes or inflation rendered the confederate currency worthless, they'd get their pound of flesh in the form of cotton. Of course this made keeping the ports open absolutely crucial. I'm guessing Murph's big toe's knowledge of US history runs to about ten times mine, so I'll stop the history lesson there.

But my point is that banks intermediate between investors and borrowers with different horizons and have a role in expanding the money supply but they really dont service the public debt. If you have access to shit that people want then the banks will beat a path to your door to sell your bonds to investors.

So if the tax base is fucked, I'd suggest that the stuff in the ground will be plenty security for investors. But the stuff in the ground will also make you an attractive ahem takeover target for whoever uses a lot of that stuff in the ground.

But I agree that you wouldnt need a Fed Reserve 'system' - a more traditional central bank charged with maintaining the currency, perhaps by converting the proceeds of the resource wealth into hard foreign currency would make sense. See what Timor Leste is doing for instance. They got some experts in who used to work for the Norwegian Petroleum Fund to help get their reserves and an oil fund established.

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Guy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 19, 2010
In post-Wave America economics would be the other side of the coin of national security and reconstruciton. In the 19th century the single most important factor for the US was the frontier. During that century it slowly marched west with wild lands being transformed into territories, with basic law and order allowing settlement and then finally, once the population, economy and infrastructure had reached a cetain level, the territory would apply for admission to the Union as a fully fledged state.

This would be repeated post-Wave, with the frontier being pushed east and south from Seattle. Of course modern transport and existing infrastructure would ensure it went much faster this time, with new settlements in Kansas City and Miami etc being quickly established and recolonising the surrounding areas.

The Seattle government will be looking at bringing in new immigrants from overseas and clearly they will be looking to countries with similar cultures to provide them (ie UK/Australia/New Zealand). It seems to me that the US could kill two birds with one stone by offering land/infrastructure/settlement opportunities to these favoured countries as part of the US debt repayment. The new British/Australian colonies on US territory would provide a financial return to the mother countries in the short and medium term but would be established with a strict understanding that they would eventually be fully incorporated into the United States. This system would allow for new American settlemets to be established as fast as possible together with guaranteed trade links to friendly countries which would have economic incentives to support and protect the US. This protection would be ever more important to America as sooner or later China, Russia and other countries will get over their internal disputes and see a fat, rich and largely empty continent just waiting for any powerful player to grab a share.

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Orin mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2010
Frellman is like the Batman of economics. You should recruit him and bring him in to the "circle of trust". He's also always prepared for a BBQ.

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Scott mutters...

Posted May 19, 2010
Guy, it will take China and other likeminded countries some time to get over internal problems.

Let's not forget that both Canada and America are major food producers. I don't remember how much of Canada was effected but with a large segment of the planet's food production removed places like China/India will have other problems than considering land grabs.

It wouldn't surprise me if a large part of the US economy returned to the barter system. A China civil war would be . . . ugly. Make the French breakup in the first book look pedestrian in comparison.

Looking forward to getting my copy. By the sounds of this you already have book three planned.

Btw ot but just finished The Warded Man, exerlent read well worth ordering the sequel, thanks for reckomending it JB.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted May 19, 2010
We definitely need an economics specialist as this sort of thing is way outside of my balliwick. And Abe, I was not aware of cotton certificates issued by the Confederacy but I will go look it up now. Thing is, I wonder how valuable those certificates really would have been given that there was a cotton glut in 1860, which is part of why their King Cotton Diplomacy strategy didn't work out.

In any case, on matters economic, I readily admit a weakness but one I am willing to rectify. Not only for the Birmowerks material but also for my own professional development.

As for tax revenue for the US Gov, I suggest a salvage tariff. If a salvage operator pays a tariff on what they find and ship it out of a legitimate port, then they can salvage whatever they want within reason. Some nations could be given Most Favored Trade Status or some such. The other side of the coin is that if you don't pay the tariff and are trying to salvage illegally, someone could come and drop some bombs on you, interdict you, sink your ship on the way back out across the Pacific/Atlantic, that sort of thing.

Granted, you'd never catch everyone doing the illegal work. We can't today (see Arizona). But you can create a situation where it would make better sense to pay the tariff.

Moko, I can't see how socialization would be enforced on the frontier regions. I can definitely see the need for a command economy in the intermediate period in order to stabilize the government, the economy and restart industry, but I can't see how someone is going to be able to enforce that a thousand miles away from Seattle.

There will, I suspect, be some torque toward a laissez-faire economic system. For the record, I am not in favor of such a thing (either in the real world or in this scenario) but the pull among many with private capital will be there. Perhaps Abe could comment on that.

I think the big thing is agriculture at first while maintaining remnant industrial capacity in Seattle.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Vallon Davis mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2010
There would be a major need to safe guard and secure valuable resources and technology, because with a much reduced population and security forces outside factions would see the United States after the wave as a treasure trove of goodies that would usher in the biggest rush for said treasures. The need to safe guard these would mean requiring more boots on the ground, on the ships at sea and in the air. The New U.S. Government could make an offer to the new wave of immigrants which would involve serving in the Armed Forces for somewhere between 4 to 8 years, at the end of which they would be granted resident status (like how it was done in the French Foreign Legion, at the end of their term of service they could accept French citizenship or return to their country of origin), and a choice of where they would like to settle. The same could also apply to potential immigrants with skills/knowledge attained from tertiary level education to be a part of the rebuilding efforts for a certain period of time, at the end of which they could be granted resident status.

Looking forward to reading book 2!

Respectfully

Vallon Davis

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 19, 2010
I suspect the military is going to shrink, at least the active duty components of it will.

I think a Homesteading Act might be a more viable option for bringing immigrants into the country. That said, Vallon is on target. There will be a need for immigrants to replenish the ranks. They will come here anyway (especially if the rest of the planet is torn up) and as such, it would be better to have them with US support.

That said, immigration provides its own headaches. It gets right down to a core question which is constantly being asked in this country.

What is America?

A book worth reading is Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. In fact, I've got an older edition sitting next to my chair as I type. Takaki illustrates how various ethnic groups assimilated or not into the American fabric. It is worth reading for ideas if nothing else.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted May 19, 2010
As an aside, this is Birmo's blog but I have a suggestion.

In the past it has been the habit of these discussions to digress in the direction of matters military. Granted, those are important issues (it is why I am on the payroll) but I believe there is a quote worth remembering.

Money is the sinews of war, to paraphrase Cicero. Without the money or a stable economy, there will be no explodey goodness.

Just a thought. Now I'm off to the gym.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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sparty mumbles...

Posted May 20, 2010
have we talked through the amount of uncertainty that will be present. ie "will the wave come back?". Though to invest in a country / world that could get "waved" any moment?

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Guy asserts...

Posted May 20, 2010
You have a point Sparty, but human nature being what it is, I doubt that fear of another wave would stop people getting involved. After all, millions of peple have moved to California when everyone knows we are overdue for a massive earthquake.

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mckinneytexas ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2010
Good topic. I agree with Murph that focusing solely on the military doesn't answer the larger question of how the economy will shape up. Here are some thoughts:

1. the pre-wave national debt--wipe it off the books on the grounds of force majeure and move on. The pre-existing debt cannot possibly be paid. Further, there will be so much ongoing national restructuring, it is a fair bet that identifying the true creditors will be highly problematic. In specific instances, and for compelling reasons, a renegotiation of some obligations might be in order.

2. The first order of business in any economy is to eat, so you'll need an agricultural base.

3. The second order of business is keeping what you have. The new US would be best served by blending the colonial militia system with the Swiss model. The US should become more and not less of a maritime basis. The most efficient means of excluding unwanted visitors is to prevent them from landing in the first place.

4. Mining existing urban and industrial sites is the transitional phase to laying the basis for an industrial/technological grounded economy.

5. With its much reduced population, the US can be a huge net exporter of raw materials. The limited ability to harvest renewables, e.g. lumber, will let reforestation get a good head start. This is for the out years.

6. One key factor will be how to intelligently repopulate and to determine in advance what the ultimate population goal is via immigration.

7. If someone besides the good guys have taken over Texas, it needs to be taken back. Too much oil and refining capacity to let go lightly.

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mckinneytexas would have you know...

Posted May 20, 2010
My son, an economist/MBA type, being somewhat familiar with WW, has these observations:

As to what the economy would like. Starting with the basics of supply and demand - what can the USA provide at a lower margin versus other countries.

Food would be number one. We would need oil for energy, and would have the expertise "offshore" to get oil producing again, although we could probably get the oil from Canada who in turn would need our food crops. The price for oil would prob plummet though since the USA was formerly the largest demand at 25% but not a big producer itself.

Shipping the food (transportation) would be a big industry along with railroads.

We could produce pharmaceuticals but so can the Europeans and Asians (they would probably just expropriate our patents on current drugs) and most of our pharma scientists in NJ and NY are dead so that's out. Manufacturing drugs is easy. Generic drug companies in India and China would flood the market in a few months.

The USA would still have all the capital manafucturing capacity, presumably in decent working condition. So bring back the americans abroad and then lots of immigration from english speaking countries - America recolonized again but with a big headstart in know how. Would take years (decade or two) to get everything back up and running probably.

The technology industry in Seattle would be useful but would have to address more basic technological needs than they do now. Automation and robotics might be important to mitigage the lack of manpower - could trade foodstuff to Japan for help there. Japan has very little in the way of natural resources or food production.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted May 20, 2010
McKinney in that last post brings up a point about robotics and labor. I've been thinking about comparable historical models per the post-Wave economy. The best one I can come up with is Great Britain after the Black Death in the 1300s.

It can be argued that the Black Death effectively undermined the traditional relationship between feudal lord and serf. Once there was a labor shortage, the remaining workers could demand improved conditions and wages for their efforts. If the Lord did not grant these conditions, it was possible for the workers to pick up and leave. Further, the countryside being somewhat deserted, it was possible to set up shop somewhere else in an area already processed as it were for production.

Another example to draw upon might be the loss of life among Native Americans during the early Colonial era due to disease. Some research indicates as high as 90% (which seems a bit high to me but we'll roll with it). Early European settlers would arrive on former village sites, already processed for production, thinking it had been cleared by the hand of God.

My point is that it seems there is the potential for a revolution (small "r") in how labor is used. Anytime there is a severe labor shortage we see massive changes in how things are done. Perhaps what might be seen is a Third Industrial Revolution, driven by robotics designed by Microsoft/Apple and Boeing along with any number of start up companies.

Another point is that I suspect there will be a need to maintain some sort of commercial air fleet for operation within CONUS. Boeing's Seattle location could serve as the HQ for operations, maintenance and training. Further, if we maintain our air infrastructure, we could possibly provide repair services at a reasonable price to other nations.

How much oil industry expertise is up in Alaska?

As for getting "waved," given that no one knows what caused it I think an argument can be made that no place on the globe is safe. You could be waved anywhere it seems. As such, why not go back to the US?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NukemHill has opinions thus...

Posted May 20, 2010
Given that China is in the middle of a Civil War, I think the US can be chosey about who it pays back.

Did I miss something, or is "spoiler alert" a little too late here?

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NukemHill asserts...

Posted May 20, 2010
Microsoft/Apple and Boeing along with any number of start up companies.

The Apple portion of that equation no longer exists, for the most part, as it is based in Silicon Valley. Maybe JB'll "get lucky" and have Jobs, or Jonathan Ivy, or some other Apple big shots with big vision "at a retreat" in Europe or Seattle, or some place not affected by the Wave. So that the brain trust behind Apple is preserved. Otherwise, and this really applies to a vast percentage of America's current "big thinkers", the people most needed for advancing our civilization post-Wave were vaporized with it.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 20, 2010
Steve was mentioned in a throw away line in Without Warning, which is why I posited an involvement by Apple.

I believe China's descent into chaos was also covered in the first novel.

As for advancement, I think that depends on how you define it. We are not looking at advancement so much as stabilization and preservation. That said, production still needs to take place.

Consider agriculture. You need farmers but a lot of the work is basic scut work. What if you had robots and automatic systems which could do that work? Further, what if there was a profit motive/need to increase productivity?

I can easily see a series of radio controlled tractors and robots working wheat and cornfields for weeks at a time without too much human intervention. We don't do that now because there really isn't any need to do so. But with a population loss, the need would exist.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NukemHill is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20, 2010
By the way. I just finished the WoC trilogy. Loved it. Took me a while. I finished the first book months ago, and then picked up the second one. But my hectic life precluded me from really getting into it, and I was having a hard time finding the threads to grab onto and really ride. But I think JB found his voice about a quarter of the way into the second novel, and it really jumps from that point forward.

Congrats on a job well done, John. Your "big-picture" grasp of the historical ramifications were fabulous, and the directions you went in were delightful to watch unfold. I think a post-WWII treatment would be fascinating.

Back to this thread--I think a decentralized government, with a laissez-faire approach to managing the economy, would be the most effective long-term means of tackling the issues. But a short-term more centralized economy may be the way to go to handle the interim emergencies.

Probably the most efficient points to focus on are what has been mentioned already: managing our commodities, including food stuffs, mineral and land rights, energy sources, etc.; setting up property sales; rebuilding the transportation infrastructure; and of course the military.

I really like the idea of offering land to immigrants in trade for military service. I think that has great potential.

The interesting (and obvious) point that I take out of this is that there is a tension between what the "nation" wants, vs. what the group of individuals wants. I don't think they are necessarily the same. This comes back around to a previous thread and the point that I was making about the apocalyptic nature of the "destroy the central government and start fresh" approaches many authors have taken over the years. If you take this as a "time to start over with a new set of rules" exercise, then that tension can be the focal point of the novel.

Which may be what you've been saying all along, and I'm only just getting it.

Do you need a National Bank, or do you charter regional banks with the rights to print money and manage international exchanges? Are the regions organic, or are they imposed/created by the national government, and does there arise a tension out of that, as the "artificial" region's structures are potentially at odds with the more naturally occurring structures arising out of the needs of the locals? Can a "not quite command" structure be more of a responsibility-delegating central authority, but allowing for the natural efficiencies of a growing market to get the jobs done?

Transportation is much quicker now than it was even 50 years ago, as is pointed out above. And we also have a highly functional communications network. Between those two, we have an infrastructure that allows a great deal of power and knowledge distribution and decentralization. How can that be used most effectively? Actually, control can be as centralized or as distributed as you wish. Is there a way to optimize it so that what needs to be centralized can be, but what would be more effective in a distributed architecture can be handled that way?

This is actually a rather interesting AI exercise. I spent some time in grad school studying robotics and distributed systems, and dealt with it a bit in my thesis. This type of tension was one of the central points of discussion. My belief is that you want to maintain some centralized control. But in the end, you want as much of the "decision making" done in the nodes as possible. Look at the U.S. military, as compared to some other militaries around the world. We push decision making as far down the chain of command as we can. We want our platoon leaders to be making decisions that would normally be made by a Major or even a Colonel in other more centralized military structures. We trust our men to act correctly and think for themselves. The big picture is still managed higher up, but we also try to give as much of that big picture to the grunts as possible (without overwhelming them), so that they can be intelligent about their actions.

Is that kind of approach appropriate in the post-Wave world? That's the tension. That's where the magic is in the third book. Now, you could make it a treatise on economic theory, and you'd sell 5 copies worldwide. So I'd suggest you avoid that! But you could also embed some economic theory in the larger story line, without getting too pedantic, and actually teach people while entertaining them. Is it possible to discuss Marx and Lenin, and Hayek and Friedman, and Keynes and Krugman, without putting your readers into a catatonic state? Probably. It makes for some fascinating possibilities, if that's the approach you want to take.

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NukemHill mutters...

Posted May 20, 2010
can easily see a series of radio controlled tractors and robots working wheat and cornfields for weeks at a time without too much human intervention. We don’t do that now because there really isn’t any need to do so. But with a population loss, the need would exist.

Many aspects of our economy could be much more automated than it already is, but unions have fought very successfully to preserve jobs. Because the thinking is obviously that automation is a job destroying exercise.

Given the clear point that we are suddenly facing a dearth of workers, automation becomes a huge focal point. Advancements and implementations of robotics and automated systems is an obvious win. And the big winners will be the people who can learn quickly and/or see and exploit inefficiencies in the systems. Bureaucrats will be roadblocks in the new system. Anyone who is perceived as a pencil pusher or cog in the system, rather than an efficient and necessary part of the machine, should be ostracized.

Hmm. Will there be a system for exiling "dissidents"? Has that already been discussed? That seems to ring a faint bell, now that I think about it.

Empire builders will have to be dealt with, as well. And, there are different types of empire builders.

I'd forgotten about Jobs being mentioned, as well as China. As I said in the comment prior to this one--I just finished WoC. So I've probably got some story lines jumbled together. I'll need to re-read WW to get re-familiarized with the salient plot points. But having Jobs around is good, so long as the cancer doesn't come back....

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McKinneyTexas5 mutters...

Posted May 20, 2010
Hello Murph, I'm the son of McKinneyTexas.

As someone else alluded to, one of the first actions the USA should consider taking is reestablishment of a new currency. Bartering is very expensive in its inefficiency. A fiat currency in this scenario wouldn't be viable so the new currency should be linked to the gold reserves held at Fort Knox, federal reserve bank, etc. Worldwide, fiat courrencies would probably be worthless. Most international banks and sovereign government holds billions of US treasuries and would be insolvent the day after the wave, although it might take time for the general masses and capital markets to realize this. New currencies would have to be established everywhere and the US probably wouldn't want to accept payment in anything but commodity backed currency. Even today, we can barely assign a consistent relative value to the Euro which has gone from $1.45 / $1 USD to $1.22 in the past few months.

For immigration, Ireland, UK and Australia and english-speaking people from mainland Europe are all good choices. They are used to living under a democracy, and operating under "rule of law", respect for and protection of private property. We could repay outstanding loans, if desired, with 99 year leases on USA land / infrastructure (asset backed repayment).

A National Bank is a good idea, but other private banks should be setup (there's probably some regional banks in Seattle) for efficiency of business management and loan decisions. The national bank could provide their initial funding through the gold-backed currency, monitor the true value of other countries' currency (its one thing to declare a currency backed by gold or silver and another to actually have the metal), and provide loans to the US govt.

A big difference between Hamilton's National Bank and the Federal Reserve today is that US is no longer on the gold standard which gives the Fed a lot more power to manipulate the economy nowadays (i.e. print money). One of Hamilton's argument for repaying the debt was so that the USA could borrow money again in the future. However, countries like Argentina and Mexico, which went bankrupt recently (in the past 10-15 years) can still borrow money today. Once the US re-established its economy and a viable currency, borrowing wouldn't be an issue.

Not to harp too long on the establishment of currency but it might be easier and more credible if the USA post-wave established the new currency in conjunction with another country, the UK for example, and simply contributed its gold for a fair share of the new currency.

Alaska would have the oil expertise. Also, the big oil companies have significant operations abroad (Africa and the Middle East for example). While the national Saudia Arabian oil company owns the oil produced in Saudia Arabia, its the French and US oil service companies that provide the technological support to maintain production. That expertise would be very valuable in the future. Example, Venezuela's oil production plummeted after kicking the Americans and Brits out.

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McKinneyTexas5 puts forth...

Posted May 20, 2010
On the farming issue, it doesn't take much manpower to run large farms due to the automation that already exists; less than 1% of the USA population supports farming today (960K people). The issue is finding people who know how to run the equipment, rotate crops, etc. Probably wouldn't be many people in Seattle who know how to do it.

The military ranks might need to be combed for "priority" skillsets like farming, ranching, running utilities (water purification plants).

How many Amerians are alive after the wave? Assuming 30 million in Seattle, Alaska and abroad, and looking for 1/3 of old production (which would still provides lots of surplus), approximately 300K farmers needed.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 20, 2010
Oh, but what if bimetallism rears its ugly head?

I'm kidding, I hope. I have a hard enough time explaining Hamilton's First Bank of the US to my students. I've given up trying to explain bimetallism.

A gold based currency makes sense to me. We do have reserves at Fort Knox so I suppose a priority would be for someone to go secure it.

MKT-5 wrote: Not to harp too long on the establishment of currency but it might be easier and more credible if the USA post-wave established the new currency in conjunction with another country, the UK for example, and simply contributed its gold for a fair share of the new currency.

Hmm, a coalition of English speaking countries tied together economically through a common currency. I wonder what that currency would look like? Would you call it a pound or a dollar?

I have often thought that there would be a military purpose for such a coalition, mainly to keep the trade lanes open. A common currency might be another reason.

If you have a common currency, then what about government? Go with an EU style system, something like a Confederacy (not to be confused with the Confederate States of America but more like a stronger variant of the Articles of Confederation) or something else?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted May 20, 2010
A barter system seems unlikely. Its never been used by any civilization at any time in history. Theres probably a reason for that. The USD would lose its status as the global reserve currency to be supplanted by what though? My guess is the Euro or possibly the Yen. You would need to invent a new American currency eventually but what would you call it? Also Tex Jr mentioned the gold standard i think. Anyone want to have a stab at what the price of gold would be ina post wave economy? (For the sake of clarity we should probably use contemporary USD's when indulging in such speculation)

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Abe is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20, 2010
Murph: Check out Erlanger Bank - the French Bank distributing them. I believe the price of cotton soared as the war approached because of concerns about supply. So what better way to cash in than to issue the cotton-backed bond?

Orin: You're too kind. But I've always thought of myself more as the Spiderman of Public Finance than the Batman of Economics. I met the Batman of Economics once - he's a much smarter guy. Better with the ladies too.

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McKinneyTexas5 ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2010
A common currency doesn't necessitate a common EU style government. When countries were on the gold standard pre-Bretton Woods, the exchange rates fluctuated based on the amount of gold underlying each currency. Because a Centralized Bank would be tied to the gold stand, there is less policy work required of the central bankers.

Some management would be required though. As London would effectively replace NYC as the center of global finance and there would already be American bankers already there (Citigroup, Bank of America's european hq are in London) plus representatives from Australian banks, that would be a good location for it. A select group could serve as managers of the National Bank for awhile, and they would immediately have the expertise to run it.

Establishing a common currency with credibility behind it would be a huge positive for the English speaking nations. Financiers throughout history (Medici in Italy, Rothschild of France, etc) have been the catalyst and source of economic success for countries. Effective capitalization of new companies, global trade, etc can't exist without a credible currency and whoever fills that void first makes a ton of money off of it. Free trade (similar to NAFTA) and mutual military support agreements would make sense though.

In my opinion, merging governments or creating a new one for Enlish speaking countries wouldn't be a good idea. The needs and functions of the post-wave US government would be vastly different than that of Australia or the UK; it would be too inefficient, even by govt bureacracy standards.

Taxation for the US government would be an issue. The salvage tax might work if it could be enforced. A lot of the salvegable stuff is going to lose value pretty quick, no? With no manufacturing or human knowhow to repair the stuff.

Asset backed leases (similar to like the 99 year Panama Lease canal which just expired) might be easier to tax. Lease large plots of agricultural land to UK and Ireland and then tax the output (you know where the land is so taxation is relatively easy).

The US government could also take minority ownership positions in farms and oil production, like China does right now. Long-term its not efficient or desirable but would probably work initially with the intention of divesting the position in 10-20 years. Investors may not mind the government role at first either, and may welcome it, given that they will need the government backed money to fund the venture and support of the navy to protect the exports. This would be similar to the European governments funding the colonization efforts in the 16th,17th, and 18th centuries.

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Justin reckons...

Posted May 20, 2010
Quick question...all the animals died...how might this affect food production in the US? I know wheat and other grains don't depend on insects spreading pollen but what about other crops that rely on pollination? Would the US just focus on wheat production? also, what about the environmental effects of Nuke plants being unattended for a year+? Did the cooling ponds evaporate resulting in a melt down/dead zone across wide swaths of the US?

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20, 2010
My original thought was what about things like real estate, gambling or tourism? Most banana repuplics seem to use tourism or selling off assets one of the main platforms for their economy. I could see secure enclaves of wealthy tourists in certain areas paying through the nose for the privelege of 'adventure tourism' in the dangerous post wave America. Of course the population woudl also be targets for unscrupulous entreprenuers who want to cash in on the money floating aroudn with salvagers - most 'frontier' gold rush scenarios wouldn't be complete without saloon, casinos, brothels and corruption.

Of course the big concern would also be pollution - have we looked at the ongoing effects of teh Wave on things like nuclear power plants running unattended. I don't see a big market for radioactive grain or other foodstuffs from the post-wave USA after several Chernobyl type events scattered across the conUS - see this map: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/map-power-reactors.html

There is also the effects of uncontrolled oil disasters - we are currently seeing the effects of one oilrig explosion off New Orleans and the huge roll out of manpower required to just try and keep it under some sort of control. Imagine the effects of several of these (+ supertanker crashes etc) left uncontrolled for over 12 months pumping oil into the environment. Fixing just one of these events requires a huge inverstment in manpower, resources and money.

The new USA will be going to other government's with its begging cap in hand to try and raise the revenue to cover the costs of getting its own environment back to habitability. Let alone looking the economic impact of the long term health effects upon anyone who ventures into these areas.

There will be some very big bills to pay...

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Moko mumbles...

Posted May 20, 2010
Murph, wouldn't suggest it'll be Socialism, I'd suggest it'll be a lot more LIKE Socialism within the sphere of influence of the gubbermint. But you've got an inside heads-up about the dynamics of AA over me...so no idea really.

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Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2010
By the way I like Murp's analogy with the disappearnace of the native Americans - but the big difference is that when they disappeared they would have left a nice empty clearing. When the people disappear from a modern city they would leave a disgusting polluted uninhabitable mess.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20, 2010
Murph

Lots of surprising stuff about the Black Death economically. A decent enough paradigm.

Europe had a population around 50 million or so . . .the largest since the fall of the Roman Empire (which incidentally is well worth a geek at economically). Its internal economy was a factor of ten or more that of its external trade economy. It basically ran on gold, silver and agricultural products.

Bang! The Black Death effectively kills half or more of the population. The survivors inherit the remaining gold and silver. After a long period time . . .most of the productive land(looking for heirs mostly). Deflation sets in. Wages rise . . . plenty of money, not enough hands to do the work.

What else happens? Killed off English adventurism in the 100 Years War. Killed off international trade . . .Why? The Plague was originally coined as 'The Priests Disease'. Clergy were great importers as well as on-sellers of luxury goods . . . notably ivory . . .as a group they got hit pretty bad.

Actually . . .the more I think on it. Britain after the Roman pull out is probably a better model. Lots of interesting parrallels. The Late Roman Empire was more socialist in nature than people think. Most industry in Britain was done by the Legions. The economy flowed around Imperial payrolls, luxury goods were based on gold and silver. The Legions pulled out . . .after 400 years and Roman Britain folded . . ..devolved back to agricultural economy. Cities were abandoned. Treasure hunters find Roman hordes all the time from the time of the pull out. Interestingly there are several other well known horde periods . . . .the English Civil War and the Black Plague.

What's this got to do with Post Wave America? Lots . . .people have done the self same things before. Abandon cities. Revert to agriculture and horde bullion. Congregate into self sufficent communites that spring for common defence.

Economically . . . .Post Wave America has to have a thriving internal economy. A purely export driven economy is a banana republic or resource model aka Australia. Vulnerable and subject to the whims of buyers. International players who were usng the Yankee Dollar as a 'safe haven' got hit badly . . . .mostly the Arabs. What's the new international standard? Oil? Price o oil got slashed with half of the market being killed. Gold? Devalued to some point as there's now gold reseves from a nation with a 50th of the population. Agriculture? Biggest player just got knocked out. Futures market is cacked.

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20, 2010
As someone who has only read the first book quite a while ago (damn that circle of trust) I can't recall what happened to Mexico? Did most of it survive the wave or was it disappeared as well? Otherwise the immigration push from the south will make the complexion of the government in Seattle and Murph's question of 'what is America' pretty irrelevant.

A fully populated USA can't control the flood of immigrants over the border in our world - let alone in a post-Wave depopulated environment.

The references to something happening in Texas indicate that there may more of a confrontation down there - but as someone once said - God is on the side of the big battalions - and no matter how much tech is available there will be a lot more people wandering around in the South.

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20, 2010
hmm, just a quick note. ref RADIO controlled tractors. YEAH..NOT! as long as my arse points to the ground..lol. ok, seriously, the fact that possibly several thousands of tractors will be sitting at now, largerly unoccupied dealerships will be that good old tractors are readily available, plus the issue of parts etc can be addresseed.

remote control involves tech and mores the point an operator. To effectively have a fully automated vehicle stripping or sowing your crops requires a lot more tech than people think.

As an option, lets call it A). You need RF markes in each corner of the paddock so that the automated and installed system on the vehicle can always determine its location within the rf grid. These things require not only creation, but programming, maint and power.

lets try option B). thats done via satelite navigation and the GPS receiver unit need to be intergrated into the vehicle, a fully operation SAT NAV system in space with coverage of the area you are operating in as well.

ALL good so sfar. Well then we have issues with the likes of combines ( harvesters ). the comb or bit in the fron which happens to srip or cut the crop needs to operate at a given distance from the grouns, if you were to pre set this at a specified level thats fine, so long as your paddock is as flat as a pancake or else you will start harvesting dirt and all sorts of shit. Lets also remember that stuff has a tendancy to go and DIE in crops as well and adding the odd cow, deer or christ knows what to the stripped mix typically does not bode well for the product, let long the mess it tends to make of the comb on the front of the combine. just some thoughts.

Now the issue of TEXAS, one thing is for sure, that any state which is left unchecked to do as it pleases will only get stronger and that will be a significant issue for the PREZ, its an item that would be actioned on his task list as soon as he was confidant enough to take them on an win.

Noted item about going back to FLINTLOCK weapons. well people will tend to be conservative and given the vast quantities of ammo that would be available for some time and that ammo unless its left in the open does not degrade rapodly any suggestion we will need to head back to the musket era is wrong in my opinon.

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Brian mutters...

Posted May 20, 2010
Havock. Ignore Flintlock weapons - it was being used as an example.

What will be used will be the most widely available and re loadable cartridge size. Despite vast armories chock a block with ammo - the big problem is moving it around. I would guess shotgun, .22, and .38. Bird and rabbit guns, long range sporting calibres - close in people stoppers. Stuff you could find in almost any town with a gunshop. NOT FRIGGIN MA_DEUCE CALIBRE.

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Guru Bob asserts...

Posted May 20, 2010
Look at the numbers 111 million Mexicans and 41 million Central Americans all just south of the Rio Grande and looking north and no-one and nothing to stop them wandering up and helping themselves to whatever they want.

It will take a long time to get gringo boots on the ground in any effective way and even then - there won't be so many boots anyway...

Let alone looking into the question of how many US soldiers are already of Spanish American cultural backgrounds and so may not be ready to open fire when ordered to shoot at 'looters' who really are just families trying to make the most of an opportunity to improve their lives.

After all the real owners are now just piles of muck and goop aren't going to miss their SUVs, Plasma TVs and other stuff anymore...

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted May 20, 2010
I for one would SEAL the BORDER to Mexico..er..the whole fkn south American thing. 10-50 NUKES in a nice neat little line oughtta do the job I think, then if any more STH Americans get an idea about coming NTH NUKE those fkrs too. its preservation, and I would have the biggest fkn gun still on the block.

BRIAN..lol. YEAH, re read it..easy, no stress.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted May 20, 2010
Yes think i need a refresher too. What happened to all the international treaties the USA was signatory to? Are they xarried over into kippers government, is the UN still in existence?

Think we covered the south amerixan immigratiom question in previous threads. I am also of the opinion it will be relentless and the majority of North Americans shall be Spanish speakers in very short time indeed.

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sibeen would have you know...

Posted May 20, 2010
Guru Bob, I'm fairly sure that most of Mexico got wiped out with the wave stopping just north of Acapulco, so Mexico city got taken; so there is not many Mexicans left.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted May 20, 2010
Guru Bob. A hunk of Mexico got caught in the wave.

Economics. What economic value does America hold when essentially everything is devalued?

What is going to attract large numbers of people to immigrate into America? Recall : essentially all the infrastructure from the ground up has been trashed or inoperable. People have to eat and to make a living. If they have more of something they sell it.What's marketable?

The idea of hordes of people invading is rather a stretch. Any colonisation effort has to include farmers. One off resource grabs are possible - but if the assets immovable and there's not transport its essentially useless ie oil fields.

Moveable assets like ships are attractive. If you have trained crews and maintenance staff else they end up looking like the forlorn Russian Black Sea fleet after a few years ie essentially floating junk.

The real asset is land. SHoot . . . .people want to make money, lease an abandoned city to a multinational for 10 years. Let them mine it for valuables, get it running, have the headache of marketing salvage. It'd be like the original Wild West with . . . 'There's Gold in them thar Cities'

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted May 20, 2010
GB, most of Mexico went with the Wave.

Havock, point taken on tractors. That said, I think locating parts stockpiles and stripping equipment in general for parts against a rainy day is another activity the US should be engaged in. I don't know if Australia has this but here in Kansas City we have something called "U Wrench It," which is basically a large lot of junked vehicles. You pay an entry fee, go find your vehicle, strip the part, pay for the part and off you go. I can see the government sponsoring far more systematic "U Wrench It" ops where you stockpile parts.

As for ammo, well, you've got Lake City Ammo Plant just outside of Blue Springs, Missouri. They produce the ammo for the US and NATO allies. I suspect getting that up and running will be a priority.

Per Latin American immigration, I do not see much difference between the Wave Universe and our current one. The US Latino population is projected to reach majority status by mid century. Personally, I think if offered the right deal and treated fairly, they'll assimilate.

That said, I can see the traditional objections rearing their ugly heads as well.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Guru Bob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 20, 2010
Murph - that is pretty close to where I was heading with the whole Latino thing except that 'assimilate' takes on a whole different meaning when you are talking about starting out with a white anglo minority from day one. I mean - even in the largest surviving conUS city - Seattle there isn't a huge number - the demographics are as follows (according to Wikipedia):

The racial makeup of the city in 2004 is 67.1% white, 16.6% Asian, 10.0% black, 1.0% Native American, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. 6.3% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. Amongst the city's white population, 11.3% were of German, 9.1% Irish, 8.1% English and 5.0% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000.

Plus (according to the same source) Seattle's population is 563,374 people - which would make it about the same size as Newcastle.

But then again Oregon's population is listed as being 93% white out of a total of 3.6 million. I am starting to see an estimate of 15 million USA citizens left in the post-wave world as hopelessly optimistic myself...

According to this website there are around 6.6 million Americans living abroad at any time http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/living/living_abroad/living_abroad_by_country.shtml

Given that this number was definitely smaller (apart from US forces in the Gulf) at the time of the Wave - the numbers would only add up to an American population around 12-13 million?

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Abe ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2010
Murph - re the salvage tariff, I think it would work.

But call it a 'royalty' or a 'Salvage Resource Rent Tax'...it's all in the framing. (See today's Blunty).

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Chaz reckons...

Posted May 20, 2010
My five cents worth.

Forget about a 'world economy' for at least 3-5 years.

-Because of the negative weather results thanks to the wave and the loss of at least 2 harvets in the CONUS there will be no interational food trade as everyone will be just scraping by on what is produced at home (this of course will mean technical famines).

-Israels actions after the wave will basically mean the end of the mid east as a oil production area. The area relies on foreign workers and they'll bug out asap after the first bombs drop.

-It would not be unbeliveble for either a big petrochemical firm to sequistrate some oil fields or...

for Israel to do this.

-Thanks to civil wars in France and China and probable anarchy in italy and greece it doesn't leave alot of refining capability likely to be operational.

-So we're looking at little bulk transport being available and also few buyers.

Basically the US is on it's own when the wave comes down.

The scavaging of the CONUS will also be seen as an easy option by African nations with any sort of merchant marine capability.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2010
Murph, you just gave me an idea for the third book. An alliance of English speaking countries would be baulked at by the Kiwis on the basis of their no-nukes policy. That would give us another reason to invade them. I'm sure there'd be a couple of USN littoral assault ships up for grabs and some trained guns for hire. Then there'd be all the paewa fritters they can eat and their choice of Marlborough region sauvignon blanc, Hawkes Bay reds or DB Draught.

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Scott mumbles...

Posted May 20, 2010
Chaz, global population will take a major bodyblow.

Remove a substantial portion of the planet's agricultural production and starvation will become widespread. Europe will not be able to pick up the slack as France has to recover from it's internal strife, add to this the toxic pall caused by burning cities to the northern hemisphere and Europe may lose one maybe 2 growing seasons.

Don't have the time to research how much of global food is produced by the US so won't estermate losses but figure it would be huge. In otl we had civil unrest in some countries in 06-07 when food inflation hit. That is probably one of the major contributing factors in a Chinese civil war.

To paraphrase an old saying only 3 meals between civilisation and barbarity.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted May 20, 2010
Therbs, I know at least one person in NZ that would welcome such an invasion. I also know one person that would resent it.

That said, I can't figure those folks out. I guess when you are on the ass end of the planet you can act as if you live in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Abe, I'd think we'd want to avoid a repeat of what happened to that island Flint is using as his example. That said, I can see something like that working out.

I also like the 99 year lease concept.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted May 21, 2010
Economics.

Lets consider the loss of the States as a consumer market. Most production of high end goods is at an end. The Asian Tigers export most of their gear to the states. Ferrari, Rolls Royce etc are cacked. The electronics industry is cacked. Consider . . . .you have plants geared to produce stuff for a 400 million mass market which has dissappeared. The world is facing an over supply in production capability. The ship building industry is cacked . . .most tonnage comes out of China or Korea for European and American firms. The market for resources is cacked . . . .apart from coal and oil.

Sidenote : Nokia reputedly knocks out a million phones a day. Seems absurd until you figure out product lifecycle and world wide demand. I would suggest mobile phone companies are also in big trouble.

Lets look at steel. The new US will sell off as much of its floating stockpile of shipping as fast as it can . . .else it will rot at the docks. Keep in mind all those USSR fleets in places like Vladivostok and the Black Sea. China bought a carrier that had to be towed back home for little more than scrap value. . .that's what will happen to all those ships. Mostly they'll go to breakers yards like India or Bangladesh . . . .else . . .towed out to sea and scuttled. Ports and water ways have to be cleared.

On the primary Industry side . . .resource exploitation beyond coal and oil would be at a virtual standstill. Food production is a key factor.

Weapon export would be at lower levels. Why? The States is one if not the biggest arms exporter in the world. New hardware won't be appearing. Spare parts are unavailable whilst they're behind the veil. Hmm . . . .canon and rifle barrels wear out. Canon cockers have to replace tubes. . . and all the producers and secondary tier industries are kaput.

Murphs example of Eric Flint's 1632 series is not a bad one. There has to be a wind back in technical capability as the economic and industrial capability is missing.

The key industry is agriculture. Followed by transport. I don't see much room initially for a leisured urban consumer class. Cities are either transport/support hubs or end points. East -West corridors are vital.

Example : Detroit was an end point for coal and steel. Its output was cars. There is an oversupply of cars and raw steel . . .every where. What point in restarting Detroit? Los Vegas specialised in gambling . . .it produced nothing . . .what point Los Vegas? Hmmm . . . .. Sacramento?

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted May 21, 2010
Brian, just reading your last burst another item came to me. In very short order people should be looking to the future and potentially what plants or Tech would be required down the track. Call it the re modernisation road map. Once this is done, then I could see a TEAM (s) being formed to almost Mothball certain facilities / plants.

For whilst they may not be required immediately, if identified, then preservation of the asset as best than can could save mega bucks and time down the track.

this could also centre around what localities have clusters of capabilities, as opposed to numerous stand alone sites.

As an example.

A City might have, Battery manufacturing, small steel production / fabrication, tyres?, food processing plants of sorts. I'm thinking off the top of the head here.

But essentially clusters of manufacturing / production so the centres are self sustaining, but with an ability to supply further afield.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 21, 2010
You might also repurpose manufacturing centers/facilities for salvage ops.

For example, use a vehicle assembly plant to bring salvaged equipment for cannibalization. The parts could be warehoused for later use.

Another example might be to use an aircraft maintenance facility to break down jet engines and other parts for future use.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Guru Bob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 21, 2010
Brian - Re: "Ports and water ways have to be cleared."

At any one time there must be thousands of ships and planes underway around the USA as well as thousands of aircaft, hundreds of trains and millions of vehicles. As the wave was instantaneous thsi woudl mean that all of these would immediately lose control and crash - so as result, waterways, ports, roads, railways and cities were subjected to thousands of tons of metal and fuel crashing all over the place, burning out and then being left un-tended for a long period of time.

Given that a large proportion of these vehicles and aircraft would have been military in nature - there would also be amounts of unexploded ordinance scattered amongst the debris and accumulated rubbish as well. I would assume that rather then huge parks of military equipment sitting waiting for the first person to turn up and claim it - after the wave disappears there would be quite a dangerous mess to clean up - before anyone could really get into the whole growing food activity.

Add to that the effects of mather nature over that time - tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, storms and squalls - and add in the effects of electrical malfunctions, fires, pollution, contamination, lack of maintenance and cleaning etc.

It ain't a pretty picture for our new settlers.

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Brian reckons...

Posted May 21, 2010
Murph, GB and Havock.

Sorry about the bursts. . . but its all interconnected one way or t'other. Its untenable to hold that entire territory with the remnant population. You're facing massive manpower shortage problems. You can't denude the remaining States to try and secure the ones you just got back. Its a question of controlling choke points ie major river mouths, symbolic centres ie Washington, national transport corridors. Quite frankly there aint enough people to block the South let alone the Atlantic and Pacific Seaboards, so . . .you've got to get newcomwers to do it for you. And you've got to get those newcomers reliant on the infrastructure you can supply ie food, spare parts, security.

You've got to keep Alaska strong or it could revert to Russian ownership. You could make Louisiana attractive to French immigrants on the idea of it was previously French teritory . . . .not give it to them! 'Reestablishing . . .French cultural base . . .'Ditto Poles and Irish . . .in fact . . . .they'd be a Polish invasion if you'd offer them a chance. I wouldn't be averse to Spanish immigration into the South West.

Economics.

Transport. You have to move thousands of tonnes of whatever. At first blush . . . .road. Excepting the national traffic jam and probable destruction of fuel farms for trucks from one end of the US to the other. Trains and ships are what you're after. Freebooters can salvage what they want, without heavy lift capability they're screwed. No-one wants to buy a coupla hundred tons of copper . . .they want several thousand tonnes of salvaged copper and that has always meant trains and ships.

Ships aren't a real problem unless they've sunk but the US Armed Forces hasn't had a dedicated railway unit since WW2 . . .anyone knowledgeable about it are either in the remaining states or dead. You pull the railway guys outa the remaining States without replacements you screw those states. Like I said . . . .manpower problem.

So . . .first item of trade are warm bodies. Trained warm bodies can write they're own ticket. But . . .those bodies ain't going to move unless there are some very attractive incentives. Untrained warmbodies are important as well . . .but they're not going to be city folk. Quite frankly . . .any Mexican peasant you can lay your hands on will be worth their weight in gold. Ditto Chinese. The sheer grunt needed to clear wreckage is going to be staggering.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted May 21, 2010
GB, per military installations, that depends.

For instance, if you zapped away all of the people at Fort Riley back when I was out there in 1992, chances are pretty good that when you went to check the installation out, you'd find motor pools filled with tanks, artillery, hummers, etc.

As a general rule, the ordnance for these systems are not kept in the motor pools and I doubt SOP has changed much even with the current wars in progress.

So it is not an unreasonable expectation to find military bases with a great deal of useable ground equipment. There will have been some wear and tear from weather but that happens anyway since vehicles are normally left exposed to the elements.

Aircraft might be a different matter mainly due to their being more maintenance intensive. For instance you are probably not going to find readily flyable Apaches at Fort Riley but you could probably scavenge them for parts.

Having said that, some regions are probably going to be more haphazard than others. An Army Fort like Fort Riley, Fort Hood or Fort Carson is probably going to be in salvageable condition.

Then there are National Guard Armories, which are strewn all over the country.

I suspect what one would find are patches of the US that are torn up and burned out due to the conditions you describe. Perhaps the weather conditions were right for a lot of burning and damage. In other places, perhaps not so much. The Midwest for instance is a very wet and cold place in March of any given year sometimes prone to snow.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian mumbles...

Posted May 21, 2010
Military bases are a given point of re-colonisation.

Point 1. Historical. They're usually near points of military interest chokepoints or defence ie West Point, Fort Bragg etc

Point 2. They're self sufficient townships in the sense they can button up and be independent of civilian infrastructure.

Point 3. They're hardened or parts of them are to usual disasters . . .fire and war spring to mind. Those are he strips I'd be targetting once the wave came down. Very doable for the military to restart.

Despite all the above. A picture remains in mind of a USSR base in Poland after the collapse. A mountain of abandoned Soviet equipment . . .literally mountains of rifles waiting to be crushed. The picture was in relation to the Russian Mafia selling this stuff on the black market . . .it was on one hand, so easy to come by, on another incredibly useless where it was. No stockpiling, no mothballing . . . .trash for cash.

Beyond a certain point. There's just no way given the various taskings for the military that every base is going to be mothballed or de-weaponed. Priorty will be to nukes, radar, naval, missile and stockpiles.

One thing I'm certain of . . .no one is moving a battalions worth of canon, tank and ammo from . .say Utah? To a port for export. Ditto for stealing the crap. You need an MEU ship to move it, not to mention road and rail capability.

Another picture springs to mind. Underwater shot off an island in the pacific . . .hundreds of feet of dozers, planes and tanks. At the end of WW2 the Americans simply loaded all their bases (less personnel)on ships and dumped them off the island. It was more cost effective that way.

You can have acres of vehicles . . .without people to drive them, guard them, maintain them or even to have a purpose for them? Effectively you'd be better off keeping them out of unfriendly hands and trashing the lot.

The premium point of trade at this point is people. Setting up communities. providing places for retiring military to go. Think . . .Roman forts along Hadrian's wall.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted May 21, 2010
Sorry about the info dumps. But folks have to get over the pack rat mentality . . .its about people not equipment. People make value, value is meaningless without people. Trade is people.

On that note ta-ta till Sunday. Orf to Gippsland.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 21, 2010
The info dumps are handy and Brian, I agree completely with your point that the big need of the US is to get more people onboard. It is definitely about people, not equipment.

As for strategic points in North America, the French Indian War and the Civil War provide pretty clear indicators. One will need to secure the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri River Valleys. Rivers will probably be the highways of commerce and transport until the railroads can be fully restored.

Two interesting books I am reading right now.

One is Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. The other is Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams, The Politics of the Enlightenment by Darren Staloff. Both are worth pondering.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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El Coqui reckons...

Posted May 22, 2010
For warm bodies. Encourage Puerto Ricans to move to the mainland. If too successful, it may allow someone that make a play for the island as proposed for V3, sort of a corollary of the law of unintended circumstances. Having to fight it out with the PRARNG could make a great story.

I go to use military bases as initial recolonization centers.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted May 23, 2010
I wonder what the dynamic will be between agricultural interests and industrial ones? There will be folks, I suspect, who will see the post-Wave US as a clean slate. An opportunity to avoid what they consider to be mistakes of the original US. There may well be a push to avoid industrialization and focus on agriculture along.

I suspect that means there'd be two different schools of thought (at minimum) on how to handle restoration, probably more. These schools of thought will have their own pet theories on how a post-Wave economy should evolve.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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El Coqui mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2010
You mean Libtards and Conservatives? It definitively will add some drama.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted May 23, 2010
I was thinking Hamiltonians versus Jeffersonians with a deep strain of Green Party politics. Throw it all into a blender and see what comes out.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian would have you know...

Posted May 23, 2010
Back.

Without getting into political labels. I reckon what you'd see are two strains emerging. The dominant will be conservative. The type of folks you want as pioneers are going to be conservative thinkers - risk takers in a sense but planners to minimize risk (points at farmers). You're also going to have the idealists . . . a few groups like Amish can fall into that category I guess. In the sense they're following their ideals but still be deeply conservative about it.

The left wing nuts like PETA etc will either have to get with the program or go under. Civil Libertarians are going to have problems. The new immigrants won't understand or even care what the CL's are about. Hmmm. . . .tribal conflicts along the lines of "Gangs Of New York' is inevitable. There's not enough surviving American cadre to dilute let alone stop tensions. The only recourse there is to spread 'em out.

Given that the country is awash with firearms . . .quite a few cherished ideas are going to go belly up . . .ie. open carry will be become the norm, restrictions in major urban centres for public safety to personnal weapons only ie no assault weapons. Hmm . . . .militias? Duly federalised . . .hmm? . . . .maybe the resurrection of private security firms like Pinkertons or Well's Fargo . . . .more likely Blackhorse.

There is one thought. Introduction of a national ID system. Perhaps along the line of those subdermal thingies vets use. (Holds hand up) It's being used in Holland to allow people into nightclubs and to charge them . . . .no cash changes hands. Quick way of getting blood type too. This presupposses enough non English speaking immigrants . . and a mark of US citizenship. . . after all the national fingerorint bank has gone with the wind. . . .not to mention blood banks.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 24, 2010
No, no, no and no on the subdermal national ID, Brian. I'm right of center and I swear on my own grave that if some asshole tried to push that plan I'd take up arms against the government.

If a business used something like that then I would take my business elsewhere. I'm not a big privacy nut but there is a limit and I'm afraid that would cross the line.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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El Coqui swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 24, 2010
Murph:

Query. I support and understand your rationale for such measure in the real world. However, what about Birmo universe and his special set of circumstances?

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Brian mumbles...

Posted May 24, 2010
Murph.

On the whole I'd agree with you. Here and now there are plenty of alternatives that give you the same coverage.

But .. as a cleavage point in the story line . . .its a pretty good one don't you think? Old Line Americans will fight it tooth and nail . . .immigrants? . . . .private security firms controlling territory? . . . .

An alternative would be mobile phone tracking. If you want to be on the network . . .you'd better have all the right codes . . . its trivial to add a few more lines to that code. ID markers, blood type etc etc Gotta remember the Internet is Kaput, so some kind of broad band wireless networking will probably evolve. Most cell towers would have survived, while most serverfarms wouldn't have.

Economics.

I'm thinking some kind of indentured servitude might have a part to play as well. I'm not arguing for it . . .but it exists even today in the West in some form or another. One form are the illegals that work to send money home to pay off family debt. . . .or to pay back Coyote's . . . Indentured labour of that form Has one neat control. The workers are going to stick around lest trouble befall family back in the Old Country.

These things are going to crop up . . . .

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 24, 2010
I like this term: Old Line Americans

But the reality will be that they will be a minority from day one - the new population won't have the same racial, political, economic or cultural baggage as today's Americans. A lot of what is taken for granted as 'American' or the 'WASP' culture of today will be relegated to museum displays alongside the Romans, Aztecs and Incans. The issue for the goverenment will be how to reflect the new composition of the country's population while still trying to stay true to a set of cultural and political values which have no real relevance to that population.

Remember even those Americans who were expatriates in other countries may have little regard for some of the 'family values' expoused by the government at the time of the Wave (ie Bush Jnr). I think that you would find (possibly apart from the armed forces) that Americans living abroad (especially in Europe) may tend towards the more 'liberal' end of the political spectrum? So up to half of your returnees may have a very different view of American culture than was the mainstream on the ConUS.

Add to that the need to accept the new USAnians...

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Wherever they come from they won't have the same rose-tinted glasses as born and bred seppoes when it comes to 'American culture'...

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Guru Bob mutters...

Posted May 24, 2010
Brian - a couple of other pictures spring to mind:

The barracks building at any American base - all of the lights left on when the people disappeared - after 6 months a circuit somewhere flashes and a fire starts... multiply that scenario by hundreds - there would be a lot of electrical equipment that would just be up and running with no-one to tend to it. That would inevitably create some sort of problems.

A freight train travelling along a railway - suddenly all of the people disappear and it travels along the rails out of control for a while before derailing. thousands of tonnes of debris, locomotives, carriages and fuel are scattered across the rails and surrounding countryside. After the fires burn out the wreckage sits there rotting.

Removing just one derailed train is a huge job requiring skilled technicians, specialist equipment and easy access by road. Removing hundreds of them woudl take years and years - I don't see the railways getting up and running except for very localised efforts (eg around part of a city) for quite some time. Tunnels and bridges would be especially hard hit if out of control trains hit them.

And like you said roads (especially in cities) will just be a huge half burnt out decayed traffic jam.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted May 24, 2010
GuruBob.

Total agreement with all that you say . . . I guess . . that's why you're THE Guru. That's why I keep stripping the thing back to economics . . .while I appreciate Murph's sensibilities on the subject. . .the fact remains . . .the cultural, conservative core has been ripped out of America. The dynamic of the returnees is going to be radically different to what went on before. They know they have enemies, they know in their bones they're going to have to use force. . . .I'm not proposing an American Reich in this. . . .but elements will arise.

One danger is of an Old American ruling class emerging. And that would be a side effect of the economics.

As for the traffic jams . . . what's more expedient? Clearing or diverting? The interstates would be clearer. Most of them parallel an existing secondary road system . . .'flyway' country. In cities . . . leave it. . .the critical points are ports and rail. As to rail . . .IIRC, railway companies in WW1 would repeteadly lay track up to the trenches over log corduroy. . .small trains however. . . . .a light rail system is doable with salvaged track laid directly on to road surface . . .rolling stock is as simple as pickup truck bodies chained together . . . Lord knows the country isn't going to run short on truck bodies any time soon.

Agriculture.

Spanish experience in SOuth America. Escaped and released stock swelled into the millions in about a century. Cattle, horse, ass. A horse was cheaper than a slave in Brazil. Cuba got rich as a stock transferral point. There is probably a good market for livestock of every sort to be sent to the US. Heh heh . . .wonder what happened to the Ostritch and Emu farms down Texas way? Kentucky fried Emu?

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Guy mutters...

Posted May 24, 2010
The culture, language, ethicity and religion of the new wave of immigrants will be crucial. For all sorts of reason the most desirable to the remaining 'old' Americans would be WASPS from the UK/Australia/NZ but there would be no real problem with catholics from Ireland or elsewhere (Christian of whatever denomimation will do) but English speakers from comon law countries will be top of the wish list, with Scandinavians/Germans etc a close second. There would be a great and continuing fear of Hispanic invasion from the south (whether openly with an army or just with thousnds of illegal immigrants) especially as Chavez and his allies have shown themselves to be deeply hostile. Fear of China and others would also be a factor. I'm not saying it's right, but I believe this is the way it would pan out.

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El Coqui mutters...

Posted May 24, 2010
So to address the above point. How many Armidale class patrol boats, the Australians would be willing to trade for one Arleigh Burke destroyer?

We need to reinforce our coverage of the Caribbean and the Mexican Gulf while Australia need to provide the coverage in the Pacific that the US Navy did before the event.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted May 24, 2010
Guy,

It would be wonderful if that was the case . . . but . . .not really. The historical migrations of Germans, Irish, Poles etc weren't upper class, educated city dwellers . . .they were rural lower class, leaving something worse to get to something better.

History lesson. Spanish conquet. Settlers left . . . they were forbidden to return. Some did . . .but the deal was. . .get as much gold and silver out one way. . . bought goods and labour came the other.

The British did the same thing with their convict ships. The slave trade was built on the premise. . . however quiet . . .that Europeans were not going to slave their guts out in far off places. It was all about labour . . .

Ratchet forward to the 20thC. Iraq. 70's Saddams massive building spree was built on oil (duhh!), what's forgotten was that Iraqui's supplied little or none of the labour to do it. A friend of mine worked for a British firm down there and described how boat loads of Chinese labour came in, Saddam's people collected their passports and then let them loose to do the grunt work. Ratchet forward 30 years . . .Dubai . . .the whole place is supported by a massive pool of labour from India, Pakistan, Philipines and China. They are basicly indentured labour with no rights under law in that country.

Now. . . Americans returning from such places. . .in many cases, dealing with, having contacts for and knowing where to get such labour. I would put it to those here, it would be one of the easiest things to arrange . . . .particularly in privatised cities.

Hmm . . .I put money on the Phillipines . . .they speak Spanish and English. . . .have a nodding acquaintance with a presidential form of government and . . .like the 'Ricans have historical ties with the States. They'd be happy to bleed off some of their urban population.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted May 25, 2010
GB, google earth Fort Riley sometime. The post has changed since I was out there in the early 1990s but one thing remains the same.

The barracks, the motor pools, the maintenance facilities, are all spread out. Way out. I'd argue that even if there was a catastrophic series of fires at someplace like Fort Riley that destroyed 80% of the assets, there would still be enough salvageable material to make it worth the effort.

In the case of Fort Hood, it isn't just one base but FOUR and each of those installations are spread out as well.

Also, given the time of the Wave and the weather conditions in the Midwest, I don't think there would be the same level of destruction as there was elsewhere. At Fort Riley I can tell you exactly what would have been going on at around 8:30 or so in the morning.

Folks would be at breakfast. Some folks would be on clean up detail in the barracks, running floor buffers and the like. Floor buffers of the type used by the Army won't run without a human holding the handle down. There will most certainly be coffeepots running and while they are a fire threat they are not the big bugaboo that some make them out to be.

There would be some vehicle traffic on post which would result in the standard World Without Us vehicle wrecks, but again, the post is incredibly spread out. These vehicles are just as apt to run off the road into nothing as they are into something valuable.

As for ammunition, most of that is stored in bunkers on post, away from the equipment. Granted, something bad couple happen there and it'd be pretty nasty but it wouldn't affect the rest of the post.

As for the evolving nature of the Americans in a post-Wave world, well, I'm not as concerned about it as others are. Frankly, the United States has always been in flux in terms of ethnic composition. Current demographic trends indicate that by the middle of the 21st Century Americans of European descent will be in the minority.

And there has always been tension between older, more established lines of American families and the newer immigrants. I do not see that changing.

What I suspect will remain the same is the basis of government for the United States of America. I seriously doubt that anyone is going to want to mess with it too much. Perhaps change policy, sure, but change the structure? That isn't going to be tolerated, no matter who tries it. We saw as much in Without Warning when the military tried to carve out Congressional Seats.

A big question worth asking with this trilogy, aside from economics and matters military is this.

What is America? It was a central question in the American Lit II class I took a couple of semesters ago. I can't reveal spoilers but I suspect it will be an issue in the next two novels.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted May 25, 2010
Brian, I'd argue the opposite with regard to conservatives in the post Wave world. First off, there will be a very large repository of such people in the Armed Forces, especially among the officers. Without OIF and OEF to change their perspective, they will very much be conservative.

Second, Alaska is hardly the land of Liberal progressivism.

Third, one of my fellow history adjuncts was stationed at Fort Lewis for a number of years. While SeaTac is very liberal, the surrounding area of Washington State most definitely is not. In fact he argues that the outlying areas hate SeaTac with a passion.

Fourth, frankly, I don't buy that every expat is a liberal argument. I suspect if one were to look in the overseas oil industry that they'd find plenty of conservatives.

Finally, this all assumes that conditions on the ground will not prompt political conversions in some people. I know that I wasn't always right of center (oddly enough, college changed me, not the Army, where I was one of the lone liberals in every active duty unit I served in).

The conversions could go any direction. Some more liberal, some more conservative, some off in some other direction entirely but to assume that the political dynamic will remain the same as it was during the pre-Wave era is a bit naive.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 25, 2010
Guy, I think the standards for immigration should be as follows:

1. Do you speak English or are you willing to learn it?

2. Do you have a valuable, useable skill set?

3. Are you willing to give your loyalty to the United States?

I think all other concerns are secondary. I wouldn't be worried about the racial composition of these immigrant populations. If I could get a million engineers from India to restore the railroad net and they were willing to become American citizens then I'd take them. If I could get a half million Chinese immigrants who had valuable skills then I'd take them too.

In the past, when we've really needed labor for something, we have set our scruples (or in the case of the Transcontinental Railroad, our outright racism) aside.

That said, there will be tension and resistance to such a policy.

Again, for those wondering what that tension would be like, I'd recommend reading Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian mumbles...

Posted May 25, 2010
Murph.

Re. Conservative America.

Catastrophes reinforce conservatism rather than promote liberalism(note small capitalisation).

What I'd be seeing is a conservative streak emerging very like the 19thC. Labels are a tricky thing. Modern conservatives would mostly be seen as left wing types in 19thC terms. Core conservative values are going to be set by the military and the new immigrants. Hmm . . .modern America is loyal to family, friends and country. Most third world societies are loyal to family, clan and ethnic group. Both groups can be conservative. . .but both will have serious issues with one another.

A returning military with the exigencies of rebuilding a country would revert more to core values than a returning civilian population. On the whole . . .the military is going to be way more realistic in terms of survival issues then the civilians.

Demographics . . .most AMericans outside CONUS (excl. the military) will be from groups who were reasonably happy to be away from America. Most of the demographic will not be drawn from the Middle American Bible belt for example. Most of the ex-pat group probably won't return until things have normalised. I don't see a former company executive and family homesteading - they don't have the skill or mindset for the job.

Murph. I have no problem with the mindset you're promoting. What I do have a problem with is the idea that it will be majority mindset. I forsee shifts and dilutions. Acculturation works both ways, y'know. In this case from the bottom up.

It will be a new America. . . but not America as you knew it. Whitebread it won't be.

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Nick L asserts...

Posted May 25, 2010
(First post here - really enjoyed Without Warning and the Axis-of-Time series)

Regarding economics: the whole servicing-debt-to-some-countries thing won't work. US Debt is a tradeable commodity (and would remain so), and if it is worthless in some countries then it will flow in countries where it has some value.

I think the US would have to declare bankruptcy, and then start again. People would still provide credit, based on two things: (1) US Military Power and (2) US Land.

There are a number of countries which remained relatively well-off, but exist on the edge of chaos. Japan, Scandanavia, the UK, and maybe Singapore would all buy New US Bonds in return for protection. Japan is a key here - they seem to of escaped pretty well so far, but are right on the edge of the Chinese chaos. They have a lot the US needs (money, industrial goods), but need their sea-lanes protected for food supply.

Secondly, countries would lend money based on the Lend-Lease model from WW2. I could see a really interesting subplot revolving around a Japanese offer to lease Hawaii for 99 yeas. Would the US give it up? How about Guam? Or Wake Island? Then there is Alaska...

Regarding immigration - perhaps we could see a French immigration influx to Louisiana? It would certainly complicate the "English-Speaking Alliance", but some parts of the US might prefer it to a flood of Mexican immigrants. You could have the Texas based government encouraging it as a counterweight to Latino influence in the south-west. Or perhaps it's just that the irony of the Texas government encouraging immigration by non-English speakers, and Seattle trying to close the border appeals to me.

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Guru Bob reckons...

Posted May 25, 2010
Re: new population - something like the Middle American Bible belt will be extinct apart from any returning refugees from military or expats.

I don't see the new US population coming from UK/Aus/NZ - the tendency there will be for people to hunker down and wait the new troubles out. Things would have to get really really bad at home for them to want to leave their security blankets behind and migrate to a new frontier and I just don't see it happening - instead they will rationalise their new austerity/security measures and stay at home like good little sheep - listening to John Howard and Tony Blair tell them what is good for them.

The same with the Tiger economies of Asia - the populations there will just hunker down under whatever tinpot dictators they end up with. Think about the old days in South Korea or last weeks events in Thailand. Student or democratic unrest would be quickly taken care of and then they would try to get on with business as usual. I am not sure who they will be selling their electronic goods to in the post-wave environment but they would quickly work out some sort of regional way of dealing with issues.

The new migrants/refugee waves will come from the places most affected by turmoil, conflict and instability - my bet would be parts of Afica, what is left of the Middle East, China and South Asia (India and Pakistan).

Think about the waves of refugess that have come from just one small conflict in Sri Lanka and then multiply it...

The issue for the new government will be how to inculate the core values of American democratic government into such a population, who would have a greater experience of tyranny, dictatorship and despots.

And by core American values I don't mean 'Greed is Good' stuff like owning SUVs and plasma televisions, bearing arms or eating junk food. The stuff which has come to be associated with Ameerica in our timeline.

I mean life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...

But then again I don't really see that happening - do you?

On another line of thought -where was Sarah Palin at this time - as she was in Alaska she would have gotten through the whole Wave intact - was she Governor then? I would see a clash between her and our boy in Seattle would be inevitable...

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Guru Bob would have you know...

Posted May 25, 2010
By the way Nick - I don't see the new US government leasing away intact populated areas like Hawaii - any leases would be on the unpopulated mainland.

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Nick L has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2010
@Guru Bob - yes, I think the US Gov would prefer that. But who'd want it? I guess Canada might be interested in some and could pay. Mexico might be interested, but I doubt they could pay. Who else? Maybe Florida could be of interest to Cuba or some South/Central American countries.

The US needs food for a couple of years (I'm assuming most crops are destroyed by fire and/or toxic rain). For that they need money, quickly, and grain will be expensive (yes, there are less people in the US, but the US had pretty productive farms)

"Realistically", I could see a land-for-food swap happening with Canada, and maybe Pacific Islands for money with Japan. I agree Hawaii or Alaska are unlikely, but it would depend how bad the food situation got, and what else the US needed.

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Nick L is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25, 2010
Food production figures are available from http://www.fao.org/. A good example is Maize: http://www.fao.org/es/ess/top/commodity.html?lang=en&item=56&year=2005, where the US produces nearly 40% of the worlds production (and China around 20%).

Wheat figures are here: http://www.fao.org/es/ess/top/commodity.html?lang=en&item=15&year=2005

Starvation might not be as sexy as a M16, but it can kill a lot more people, and I think avoiding it could be just as difficult as dealing with hostile governments.

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Brian asserts...

Posted May 25, 2010
Economics.

Food.

Predominantly . . . green things. Coolstore's of fruit . .kaput. Maize and wheat crops . . .kaput they need people to fertilize, pollinate and grow them. Hay and silage . . .how viable after x years? Yep . . .silo's around. Look at silo's and note the whirly things and temp control gizmo's . . .basically to kill vermin and to stop fungus attack. Production chains from field to table . . .kaput.

Now. . .I don't recall if cattle, deer and pigs survived. . .lets say . . .not. Birds survive. . .turkey, emu and ostritch. . . .hmm . .throw in gators as well. Sounding a bit . . .hunter-gatherish to me.

While its comfortable to say that military stockpiles will save the day . . .the raw base stock have to come from somewhere.

The present day American day is predominantly beef, pork, wheat,dairy, chicken and corn. I see 5 out of the six . . .gone for the time being.

Food self sufficiency . . .the genetic stock has to come from somewhere, as do the farmers, transporters and processors.

Given that new immigrants wont share the same culinary tastes . . . a marked shift in diet is going to come about. The new immigrants wont be Western tradition dryland farmers in the main . . . their main interests will be in rice, pork, chicken and goat. This may be a hallmark of the early years. Making burrito's instead of bread is a whole lot easier than a burger with the lot. Hmm. . .the blandness of the early diet will place a premiun on making it tasty . . .spices. There'll also be an increase in the popularity of home bottling.

Sugar and coffee will be expensive. Wartime and deperession stuff.

How about Coca Cola? Only two people knowing the formula probably got waxed by the Wave. Israel will not be happy.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 26, 2010
You are not going to get veterans to give up the right to bear arms, especially in a post-Wave World, GB. I do not see that happening at all. There'd be a revolt and you'd get your coup de tat. Besides, such a move would play right into the hands of assholes who backed General Blackstone.

As for getting away from the "greed is good," thing. Well, I'd back that but one persons greed is another persons necessity. Who is to decide how much is enough? The Government? Tax the excess income? That will not work here either. It doesn't work anywhere else for that matter.

Wasn't it The Rolling Stones who bugged out of Great Britain after being slapped with a 94% tax bill?

Besides, we have a constant influx of immigrants into the United States. We are a nation of immigrants for crying out loud. How is it we are able to subvert all of these different cultures to our model? And did the Wave really change the conditions which causes that subversion?

Brian, I'm not sure where you got the impression that I was implying that it'd be a white bread America. It isn't a white bread America now and demographic trends indicate it will be less so as time marches on. I suspect all the Wave will do is accelerate that trend.

In other words, I'm not bothered by the fact that a post-Wave America will probably be one where European-Americans are in the minority. We are on the road to that path now.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted May 26, 2010
I don't see the right to bear arms going away - otherwise where will Birmo get his explodey goodness from? However it may not be as entrenched in the culture as it is now? Re: GB I think a lot of people would put up with the tax bill if it came down to a choice betwen paying taxes and living in a cold place being shot at and working your arse off most pommies will take the taxes...

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Brian asserts...

Posted May 26, 2010
Murph.

I wasn't having a shot at you. But for JB to get his story he has to have the logic trains in place. Some of the stuff has to be figured out from basics and trends as well as from basic human nature. Some one, somewhere is going to have a pet preference . . .and a few assumptions need to get looked at.

Case. The US could now be considered to be a fading if not dead superpower. Parallels with present day Russia spring to mind. The last military parade consisted of very well maintained Sov era hardware . . .Russia has lost its capability of making its own hardware . . .current Russian shopping lists for ships etc are to be sourced from places like France.

The Russian nuclear stockpile. . .who knows? Though. It was interesting in the last round of cuts, Barry was talking about using the mil nuke material for civilian reactors . . .I suspect the Russians had to go the same route. The New America is faced with a nuke deterrent that needed an economy of 400 million to make and maintain it . . .that is now gone. That hardware is pretty darn useless if it isn't maintained. There are a finite number of people able to remove nuke material from warheads . . . that number is now infinitely smaller and resides within the remaining US military. US theatre weapons don't count.

Hmm . . .reality test. Gulf War 2. Iraqui power plant . . predominantlty French and British buy. . .generators were barely maintained. After the war, existing plant was scrapped for largely American build . . .political and economic realpolitik at work. The French didn't sign on to the war therefore they were'nt getting a cut of the pie. American infrastructure, American build. . .infrastructure gone, builders dead. The country is under the hammer to get power up . . .what's faster, fly in generation from military stockpiles or . . . fly in plant, builders and maintainers from Europe or Japan. . . A problem with the latter scenario is that plant is not "off the shelf'. . .at present there is about a 10 year wait. . . this is where 'Just In Time' inventory works against you . . .probable scenario are ship board generation from Naval units. Not a big stretch . . .turbo generators were 'modular' capable of being dropped in and out during refit . . . same general principles as a Jumbo jet engine . . . hmm historically . . .one of the DC 9(?) family.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 26, 2010
GB, if I have an M-16, sufficient ammunition and a good position, I can keep most Johnny Come Latelys away from my goodies. Count on that.

Got to figure that gun culture in the US is tied to our original frontier past. I do not see that changing if there is a need for people to defend themselves, especially given the probably need for a smaller military.

Brian, fair enough. You don't have to worry. There will be plenty of ethnic diversity in the coming novel.

I think using Russia as a model is prudent. That said, Russia still builds and produces things today. They also produce new equipment and technology today. Granted, their ship building capacity is iffy but then that has always been the case.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian reckons...

Posted May 26, 2010
Murph.

Funny enough, not worried about ethnic diversity as such. Just which cultural memes will persist, be reinforced or be swamped.

We're world building here. Some reader is going to query such and such . . .usually a small thing. . .and its small stuff, the differences that get'em.

Here's a couple. The American Conundrum . . .the oscillation between Isolationism and Expansionism? How's the Munro Doctrine going to play out in the New World? Is America still the dominant player in the America's? The biggest population centres are now Brazil or is it Argentina?

Will GB in the interests of the Commonwealth take back some of its Caribbean assets? The Canal is a strategic resource after all said and done as are the Gulf oil fields. Come to that . . .will France offer some deal with Haiti for military bases for the same reason.

Stuff like the above are an interesting puzzle in and of themselves. Again like the USSR, Russia loosing control over her old Warsaw Pact allies and client states.

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Guru Bob reckons...

Posted May 26, 2010
Murph - the stereotype of the gnarled veteran sitting in his homestead whose gun needs to be wrestled from his cold dead hands - is different to the actual needs for organised security in rebuuilding a community. The challenges are for the government in trying reconcile that attitude with new communities based upon different 'cultural memes' as Brian put it so well.

There are lots of guns in the hands of the populations of Iraq and Afganistan - but it doesn't add to the security of the overall community.

But that is a different argument for another time. We all know that Birmo wants lots of guns in lots of different hands so that there will be lots of bangs per page...

Re Brian's conundrum - the clash between the 'cult of the individual' as exemplified in today's USA and the more extended family focussed and oriented cultures of the new Americans who will be moving there from Asia.

Another response to Murph's comemnt: "How is it we are able to subvert all of these different cultures to our model? And did the Wave really change the conditions which causes that subversion?"

That is based upon the assumption that the immigrants moving into the country were always joining a larger mainstream population and culture that was based upon American values and ideals. The post-wave-world turns that completely around - the surviving American values and ideals will now be the minority point of view from day one.

This will lead to clashes and the group who can compromise the most with the realities of the new world will be the ones who prevail.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted May 26, 2010
Guru Bob.

Well put.

The classical American meme is going to be put to the test. The American Dream. The classic one is that any one can grow up to be President. How's that going to work with the proviso that you must be American born. Most Americans will be immigrants and their say will be limited to Senate and Congress. The Presidency will remain in Old Line American hands for at least a couple of generations.

What you'll see emerging are Senate and Congressional blocks based along immigrant lines. Why not? You have the Black Caucus in modern American politics, historically slave-owning South versus Industrial North . . .right across Party lines. What has to be avoided are the blatant family patronage systems common in the Phillipines or South America. American politics has its political dynasties . .ie Kennedy's, Bushes etc . . but it was a muted affair.

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Guy has opinions thus...

Posted May 26, 2010
I think that Guru Bob has hit the nail on the head. New groups of immigrants moving into an empty America will not assimilate into mainstream American society because most of the mainstream Americans will be long dead. That's why I believe the new US government (and the Canadians as well) would be ultra-keen to bring in as many immigrants as possible from UK/Aus/NZ and places like Scandinavia/Germany/Netherlands as these people are culturally and linguistically closer to what remains of the American population. If you dump millions of people from, say, Bangladesh into an empty America then that territory will quickly become a larger version of Bangladesh. The population would have completely different language/religion/values/culture and would be hostile to most of what American stands for. In other words they would be a serious obstacle to reuilding America, not part of the solution.

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Brian mutters...

Posted May 26, 2010
Guy .

This is why I went to such pains as to lay out the scenarios. New America could be argued to be racist or discriminatory with such a practice. And what they'd be attracting . . .would be a managerial class rather than a working class. . . more importantly not an agricultural class.

While its a cute idea to invite all those Zimbabwean White farmers over. . . they're still essentially farm managers. . . not field workers. Theres' no organizational pyramid without a base. . . and even here in AUstralia we can't get native Australians to fill out our agricultural base . . .we use backpackers, Kiwi's, . . .there was even talk of bringing in Filipino's. . . That right there is the problem. You're not gonna get the right people from the same demographic as what went before . . .its just not there . .

brian

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Nick L swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 26, 2010
Regarding Demographics...

I think Guru Bob/Guy/Brian's point about the lack of labor is important, hence my point about French immigration to Louisiana.

It seems to me that white-dominated, English speaking America has been killed by the Wave, assuming that voting laws remain the same. There just aren't enough white English speakers left in the world to immigrate to America to refill it.

One thing that seems to be missing from this discussion is that modern farming methods require an industrial base (for machinery), and that they work best at large-scale. It's not clear to me how that works with the "homesteading" ideas suggested in the thread.

I'm rather assuming that regaining food independence will be a priority for the government, so they will at least make some attempt to encourage highly productive farming rather than subsistence living.

Regarding Tax, quoting Murph: "Tax the excess income? That will not work here either."

If taxing excess income doesn't work, then how the hell is the US going to pay for its military, let alone anything else? Is it just going to rent it out to anyone who can pay?

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 27, 2010
Nick, how do you define, "excess income?" That is one of the core issues in American politics today. One persons excess is another person's necessity.

You've got to have taxes, on this I agree. But if you crush everyone with excessive taxes then you'll crush any desire to contribute to the society.

GB, let's look at some basic assumptions.

1. The post-Wave US population is probably around 15 million.

2. There is a massive disruption in the transportation network globally.

I think one problem with pre-Wave cultural views becoming the minority is the assumption that the 15 million won't grow of their own accord. There is a pretty clear historical record for population growth here in the United States stemming back to the Colonial Era. If the food is there, I suspect the remaining 15 million will grow.

Second, I suspect some effort would be made to ensure that the immigrant populations did not outstrip the remnant original population in terms of sheer numbers. If it were me, I'd run it on a one for one basis. One immigrant for one remnant.

This would enable the remnant to impart the cultural values we want without allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed.

Now granted, even at one for one, it is probable and likely that immigrant population will still become the new majority. It is a certainty that they will change the overall culture but the fact remains that the US has a long history of assimilating other cultures into her own.

Per guns and security, the type of security forces you are talking about require money and a lot of it. I suspect the US will revert to a militia based system (see McKinney's comments) with a small, highly trained, professional core.

Even with a military maintained at pre-Wave strength, the US is simply too large for it to be everywhere. Settlements will most likely have to look to their own security concerns, which is what prompted the Second Amendment and the town militias in the first place.

As for ethnic groups, I have to admit that I personally do not care which culture or group they come from. They just would need to meet the three standards I listed in a previous post.

Finally, and this will not be politically correct, but the US also has a history of dealing with internal security threats and cultures/populations that will not assimilate. An ugly truth is that if pressed to the wall, the Remnant will crush anyone who doesn't get with the program.

Or perhaps a faction within the Remnant will crush anyone seen as taking America too far away from what they perceive to be her original values.

Something to consider.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian puts forth...

Posted May 27, 2010
Murph.

Reality check, if you please? Where does most of the 15 million reside post-wave? IIRC most of that population base are permanent residents of Hawaii, Seattle state and Alaska.

I really don't see a significant proportion of that group pulling up sticks and moving into the post-wave area.

Lotsa reasons for that position. Most people aren't going to move from their existing homes, jobs and families. The remaining states have to remain functional as well. On the other hand . . .there will be significant job losses in those states as they no longer service a larger US economy ie trucking firms. But . . .the people you want to be pioneering? I'm still seeing low levels.

For the sake of argument. Back of envelope. 15 million. CHildren, very old . . .take off 50 percent. 7.5 mill. To support one person you need a logistics tale of some sort . . . roughly 5 people to send 1. So about a million available, in 3 very different places . . . to fill 47 states. . .20 thousand per state . . . .roughly 4 towns worth per state. Definition of town size . . .5,000 people . . that's English and for pre-industrial revolution . . .seems fairish for a self sustaining set-up.

Hmm . . .ISTR that if 10 percent of a population is in revolt . . the revolt will be successful . . some handbook on urban warfare I read somewhere. . .

I have to say . . .I see problems

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Guru Bob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 27, 2010
Guy - re: bring in as many immigrants as possible from UK/Aus/NZ and places like Scandinavia/Germany/Netherlands

I just don't see the appeal to anyone from those countries in leaving the comfort of their own countries to migrate to a new country which has pretty much zero infrastructure, contaminated food and water supplies, lacks basic security and lifestyle comforts, and prey to political and financial uncertainty. And lest not forget about the ghosts - real and imagined - we will be talking about an entire population that will effectively be trying to deal with some sort of post traumatic disorder, grief issues and an epidemic of depression and mental illness.

While there will be a minority of gungho cowboy types and some do-gooders who are attracted to the potential of making a quick euro (the dollar won't be worth shit) and they are probably the type who will create more problems than solutions.

The majority of the population of deevloped countries will go to ground at home, no matter what the local political upheaval is and trust their own politicians and armed forces to look after them, believing whatever lies their local media tell them.

The people who will be on the move are the ones who will find the above scenario (contaminated food etc) much better then where they are now - probably because of conflict.

The other thing everyone assumes is that the 'US Government' in an underpopulated continent will be in any position to pick and choose who comes and who stays. Unless ethnic cleansing becomes the official policy of the Seattle government - they will have to find ways to acculturate and assimilate whoever make stheir way into the conUS.

Murph's point about the smaller population base repopulating is probably on the mark - but that takes decades to really take effect - unless we are looking at child soldiers in the US military?

The other point is that the 15 million US citizens spread aroudn the world will all want to return to a devastated country populated by ghosts. Some will want to stay wheer they are, other smay be taken hostage by governments anxious about what they will see as a nuclear armed rogue state that doesn't seem to feel bound by its previous responsibilities as a superpower and some will see little point in identifying themselves as Americans any more. Of course others will cling to the dream that the once great USA will be reborn through their enedeavours and will want get straight to work, and some will be turfed out of wherever they are located. Some will be the victims of pogroms and mob violence - the USA is already blamed for everything that goes wrong around the world - the US expats will be easy targets to blame for domestic problems now that the big stick has gone away . The new version of the jewish diaspora rebuilding a homeland. The Seattle government won't be able to toss a nuke willy nilly into every country where a mob torches their embassy or lynches US citizens and expats.

I have been looking for historical parallels for the population issue - one that comes to mind is Rhodesia where a minority of white farmers tried to keep a majority under the thumb unsucessfully despite a clear military and technological superiority. But then again they didn't have an ideology to try and convert the black inhabitants. But I could see something like that happening in post-Wave America where groups of 'patriots' try to maintain their American way of life based in ponderosas or settlements relying upon a working population of Hispanic, African or Indian refugees...

Maybe another analogy is Fiji where the indigenous population who contriol the political and military apparatus has been overwhelmed and outnumbered by economic migrants from India, who are essential to keep the economy going but are a continuous source of friction - which has resulted in political instability, frequent coups and general lack of social and cultural cohesion.

On another one of Murph's points - I see militia working in some places - private security, mercenaries and warlords in others...

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Guru Bob mumbles...

Posted May 27, 2010
Brian - some other stats re: population

Hawaii 1,295,178

Alaska 698,473

Oregon 3,825, 657

Puerto Rico 3,967,288

Guam 178,430

US Virgin Islands 109,825

US Mariana Islands 88,662

American Samoa 65,628

So a total of just over 10 million out of 15 million Americans are already at home - why would they move anywhere? That just leaves a potential mobile population of 5 million - mainly comprised of already displaced expats/refugees and military - which may cut down your figures even more?

And coming back to the point of ethnic composition the largest single group of Americans will probably be ethnic Puerto Ricans? Followed by whitefellas and then Hawaiins... even the Inuit would have a lot more piolitical clout as a significant proportion of the entire population!

Another thing about leasing Louisiana back to French - why would they want it - after a year of uncontrolled oil spills - the whole state will be flamable...

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted May 27, 2010
Thanks for the figures GB.

That's the sort of thing I was getting at.

Let's roll with Murphs 15 million for a minute and think military. The size of your military is geared to your population and economic base. The sustainable limit. The AMerican military has to now function at a level like the Australian . . . . really, really small. Force projection capability is degrading and degrading with time.

Now. . . someone around about now will point out things like 'tech edge', superior training, superior whatever . . .none of which makes a difference, if you don't have a civilian base to support it. Parallels with the Soviet Union spring to mind once again. Abandoned overseas bases. Abandoned equipment.

Lets look at where people want to go rather than where they ought to go. First : wherever the military is. Primarily bases, seaports, rivermouths . . .where they landed, where they can get seafood and sea supply. Capitals . .Eastern seaboard and California. That sucks a lot of people up and leaves most of the rest of the country . . . bare.

Start figuring on agriculture restarts close in to new population centres. Economics, proximity and security. Restarting a corn and wheat operation in Iowa is not going to happen.

The danger with this scenario is that people can set up shop anywhere and not have governmental oversight. Using satellite imagery is fine . .if you have the gear and people. . .getting someone down there to 'show the flag' and have folks be impressed by it is going to be difficult. Get enough unknown immigrants turning up and you've nickel and dimed your force strength.

And then we have a force recruitment levels to consider . . . wait a tick . . .JB went to some length to introduce us to those Poles in WoW . . .perhaps he's going to using the same trick as the American Revolutionaries did with the Hessians. Hmm . . .Lafitte's forces as well . .

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Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted May 27, 2010
I am also thinking beyond just military stuff - your entire education system is completely destroyed - only a couple of (lets face it) less significant universities left in Seattle and Hawaii, but the country has lost most of its high powered brains trust - there will probably be some academics abroad on sabbaticals, conferences, research trips etc and there will be other researchers in the provate sector who will be in similar positions. But how do you keep a technological lead when there is no-one left to do teh thinking behind it? Within five years other countrie sthat have kept their university systems relatively intact like Russia, China, parts of Europe, SE ASia etc?

Will also have lost most school teachers and support staff and systems - I know US schools system seems pretty dysfunctional in many cases (especially in The Wire series 4 which I am currently watching) - but its sheer mass and size must make up for that in our world. But education and self improvement is one of the critically appeal factors for new migrants wanting to change their life. The lure of a violent half-savage frontier society on mainland USA post-Wave won't be able offer a lot of self-improvement/educational opportunities to your average punter. Even if we see a decade of international turmoil after the Wave - most developed countries will still emerge from that academically miles ahead of USA...

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted May 27, 2010
What you said GB.

Tripped a few other thoughts in my head. The 'brain drain' after WW2 was to AMerica from Europe, and there's been a steady flow ever since. That intellectual capital is gone, with little hope of the flow returning. In fact there's going to be a reverse flow. Academics heading for whatever haven they can find.

As to intellectual capital. What chance has the New America of enforcing its copyright on the rest of the world? The States has enough problems here and now stopping copyright piracy . . . .in the new paridigm, its now open season on all opensource American intellectual property.

Take an example. Microsoft operating systems. Every PC has to pay a toll to Microsoft . . . .how's that going to work now? Who's collecting royalties?

A lot of standards and defacto standards are enforced by people like the FCC, Microsoft, the Fed. Drug Administration, General Motor's etc etc . . .gone . . .the ripples get wider and wider.

And those are economic issues every bit as important as food, ammo and people.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2010
Speaking as a college history instructor at a local community college who spends most of his time trying to repair nearly 13 plus years of educational malpractice by our public school systems, I say that wiping out most of the public education system is a GOOD THING.

I will say this.

There will be a pull for a utilitarian bent to whatever education is offered in the post-Wave United States. That is just a fact of life. Students in the public schools are going to be expected to learn about agriculture (something that isn't taught in most urban schools), mechanical arts, skills that will put food on the table.

As a product of a family that is all about the "If it doesn't put food on the table then it is useless," philosophy there will be a strong pull away from the concept of learning for the sake of learning.

Or consider this. My students frequently ask this question.

"How is this class in History going to help me get a job?"

So you might see intellectual stagnation in the post-Wave United States.

And not every academic is going to leave the US. Granted I wouldn't mind teaching American History or Western Civilization in Australia but if I had an opportunity to create a brand new community college or even a university in the post-Wave United States, I'd grab it and run with it. I'd be able to impose my vision of what I think is needed for a successful institution, set high standards and do away with a lot of the academic cultural crap that serves to impede the actual pursuit of knowledge.

I think a lot of academics would jump at the chance.

I know I would.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Guru Bob asserts...

Posted May 28, 2010
Murph - my point exactly - the emphasis will be upon 'practical' education - eg tech skills etc. But without the high end thinking and research that happens at the big campuses, there won't be any platform for future technology developments and applications, hard science etc. This will all stagnate for several generations in the USA. Unfortunately the humanities and arts (including history) probably won't be high on anyone's priority list.

Also re: And not every academic is going to leave the US.

Sorry that wasn't my point - the academics who are still in the USA at the time of the wave have all been turned into piles of pink goop. You had better hope that there were some good minds sitting by a beach at some conference in Tahiti or somewhere if you want to put together any sort of brains trust for the future. All of the big world class US universities are completely gone - probably forever.

Re: school system - when you are putting together your expedition to get repopulate Kansas City - how highly would you rank the necessity of including a teacher in the party?

However as you point out there will be opportunities to start from scratch a new education system working with the smaller population base and maybe fund and resource it properly.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2010
Economics.

International debt.

A few things.

The US currently owes a lot of money around the world . . .in this case, Treasury bonds. The biggest debt owners are China, Japan and I daresay the Gulf States.

Either all debts are forgiven or trades are going to be involved . . .probably resources of some kind.

Side note : Japanese economic downturn. Two main classes in layoffs . . .Korean, and ethnic Japanese from other places . . predominantly Brazil. That's a sector worth watching.

Debt owing to the US, predominantly South American debt. Either that is forgiven or the New US can retire it in favour of animal stock or material trade. Unless the South Americans decide to stiff them.

The IMF is gone. So is the UN. So is the World Bank.

International currencies. While it may be easy to put the Euro up as a replacement world currency . . . .(points at the current situation with the PIIGS). . .Germany and France look like dominant Eurozone currency players. The Japanese look like Asia's biggest player. Hmm . . .I forsee the Japanese Daibatsu getting back into the arms trade with the US as its biggest customer for the time being. And arms trading is a significant world commodity.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2010
GB, speaking as a soldier and an educator, a teacher is going to be top priority.

I suspect there will be a great deal of multitasking. Someone might be a journalist, English teacher, and perhaps a member of the local council.

As for innovation? Well, innovation comes in many forms. Given the labor shortage, that may spawn innovation (and not just technological but perhaps political/social).

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NBlob reckons...

Posted June 4, 2010
Consider the demographics of the waves.

Those 15 million will not be reporesentitive slice of todays America.

For starters there aint no schoolkids or Grannies in the defense forces, the consulates, overseas placed academics nor the offshore industries.

As I understand Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, US Mariana Islands, & American Samoa are all heavily biased <30 age group.

Traditional government $pend in Education & oldies care would be much reduced. Unemployment benefits would completely disapear.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted June 4, 2010
NWB

That's where I was heading. There is a significant imbalance in the age demographics. Likewise . . .educational background. Its one thing to say . . .'The cultural dynamic is this . . .and will remain so . . ' - that's absurd when the dynamic is different for each age group. A middle age adults thinking is quite different to a young adults for example. A culture is group-think over an entire spectrum. In this case most of the spectrum is gone.

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Off topic, but important information for whiskey drinkers.

Posted May 14, 2010 by John Birmingham
Savo posted the following comment in the Claret House thread below. But I thought it was worth a stand alone effort.

I had a ‘vertical’ tasting of singles a week or two back. I chose a whiskey I knew I could get a good spread of ‘year-age’ on and one that I knew the majority of my entourage enjoyed. A year or so ago we had a tasting where, amongst other things, we sampled 12 y o Glenfiddich against a 12 y o The Glenlivet and The Glenlivet was miles and miles ahead, so I bought a 12, 15, 18, 21 and 25 year old The Glenlivet - a smidgen less than a $1000 worth of booze for the one sitting.

We did the tasting as we have done the previous years and came up with the result that the $600 25 year old whisky is not particularly or even noticeably better than the $220 21 y o, in fact the majority preferred the 21 year old. It was a H U G E disappointment to me as the organizer and the person who had spent all of my friends money on a spirit no one particularly liked! But it went further, the $120 18 yo was as good as the 21 y o.! The 15 wasn’t really in the race and regardless of how good the 12 y o was in a field of other 12 year olds, it did not rate at all in this group of runners.

I’m pretty sure this has nothing to do with the particular topic but … shit … that is nothing unusual for the Cheeseburger.

So if you are in a position to buy a $120 bottle of THE GOOD STUFF, buy an 18 year old The Glenlivet. It sounds pedestrian but do not mock the popular brands, they are popular because even their lowest common detonator IS GOOD.

30 Responses to ‘Off topic, but important information for whiskey drinkers.’

jennicki would have you know...

Posted May 14, 2010
I think I did some horizontal tasting back in college. I don't really remember.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted May 14, 2010
Not being much of a Scotch / Irish Whikey drinker, I'll volunteer what I know about.

I am very happy with my recent Duty Free bottle of Makers Mark, but I need it to drown my sorrow at the apparant demise of Stolichnya Crystal.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted May 14, 2010
Interesting,and very informative Jb thank you.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted May 14, 2010
Irish Whiskey I am allowed to have. However, Trinity said, "No More Scotch."

I agree with her. Scotch does not agree with me.

That said, I recommend Bushmills. When I get paid this week, I may try a bottle of the black label to see what that is like.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Medway swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 14, 2010
'burger + Ontopic = Oxymoron = Faff

I lol'd the other day when i saw a number plate "321 FAF"

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Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted May 14, 2010
In me younger days (shut up Bob) I liked Glenfiddich better than now. Either it's changed or I have but I agree the Glenlivet is much better. Had some Glenmorangies a while back, one matured in Sherry casks and one in Port. Throw in a couple of others and it made for some fine tastings. Laphroaig is still my favourite. I love the peaty, almost seaweed kind of taste. Bruichladdich is on the menu as well the noo. They seem to make about a dozen varieties but we picked 3D-second edition. It's good but I think I'll try a different one next time. Sigh - so many scotches and only one liver.

And Black Bush is a fine drop as well Murph.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted May 14, 2010
Murph, "Scotch does not agree with me." unfortunately it would seem that Rum agrees with no one, often violently and that hasn't stopeed most people drinking it.

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sibeen puts forth...

Posted May 14, 2010
*splutters*

$120 for a bottle of scotch, you've got to be fucking kidding me.

*Takes calming sip of Rochford Basket Press Shiraz*

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted May 14, 2010
Murph, Bushmills is an excellent drop. Pity I only get to drink the stuff when I visit my parents - my father is a big fan, having gone so far as to visit the distillery whilst on a trip to Ireland. My disposable income, such as it is, doesn't stretch to bottles of whiskey unfortunately...perhaps when the weather gets a bit colder though.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted May 14, 2010
The Balvenie 12yo Doublewood FTW

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Jyggdrasil mutters...

Posted May 14, 2010
Lagavulin when I can, otherwise its Laphroaig.

In my xp, $100 - $120 is the sweet spot when buying scotch. A cheaper bottle will very noticeably taste as such, while much more expensive bottles will taste only marginally better (and subjectively 'better' at that).

Anything below $50 should be used for starting the BBQ.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted May 14, 2010
Bondi, If I may expand.

A friend and I have been talking about this for years, my example is his five grand TV. Where does functionalism meet a taste for the finer things?

A clapped out old Datsun (car, not Geoffery) will get you from A to B exactly the same as a Ferrari will. Same same, I can see the same ABC news on an old trinitron as JBs "love that may not be mentioned" Bravia. I'd really like an late 70's Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner, but a friend with a $3K Tag Huer makes me roll my eyes.

So, when does good taste become an obscenity?

I like good quality Vodka and Bourbon and will pay $50 or even $60 a couple of times a year, but like you I can't see myself forking over a hundred bucks plus for a bottle. To me it doesn't really matter how much better it is, a $5000 bottle of wine is a wank.

I doubt there is a benchmark or agreed tripping point, but it is (mildly) interesting to ruminate on.

Before I get sledged, I absolutely get & appreciate Savo's guidance that best does not equal most expensive when it comes to Scothc.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted May 14, 2010
Sh!t sorry Bondi, that was supposed to be @ Sibeen.

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Abigail mutters...

Posted May 14, 2010
Medway, Snap for words forever linked to one source! I can't see the word "Faf" or "Faff" w/o thinking of JB.

And, I thought Scotch *was* Whiskey. I really thought I'd seen it written down as "Scotch Whiskey"

meh.

Clearly not a drinker.

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Bangar mumbles...

Posted May 14, 2010
I'll admit to buying some of the better bourbons on occasion, otherwise I drink "improved" and coloured water.

NowhereBob, buy cheap vodka and put it through a water filter (jug type) a couple of times, though don't leave it in the jug put it back in the bottle.

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Moko ducks in to say...

Posted May 14, 2010
I like Makers Mark. Haven't bought one for awhile coz I'm only a sipper. Can't remember if it was 50 bucks or 80 bucks a bottle. Well wroth it though. Fucken delicious.

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Alan has opinions thus...

Posted May 14, 2010
This is very interesting indeed! I've always eyed off the older years when buying the Glenlivet 12yo and felt like a chump. I don't feel so bad now.

The 15yo Jameson however is definitely worth the extra pennies.

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Medway mutters...

Posted May 14, 2010
@Greybeard: "In my younger days"... before jesus rode dinosaurs across the earth, using his lightsabers. Right?

@Abi: Words association is terrible. Fingers crossed JB doesn't die from Typecast.

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted May 14, 2010
Et tu Medway?

Incidentally, Gaius Julius (or "Gay as" Julius as we called him behind his back) actually said: "Et tu Ornusbarba?"

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Trashman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 14, 2010
If you're buying whisky it's got be Macallan. 18 year old or better.

I got my Dad a 30 year old for his birthday a few years back that I'm hoping to inherit one day as there's never a good enough reason to open the bottle!

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roki is gonna tell you...

Posted May 14, 2010
Hi from a longtime lurker and very rare commenter.

One that hasn't had a mention here, but is worth it, is Highland Park. Top points to JB for mentioning it in one of his novels, I tried some recently and was surprised by how full of peaty character it was for a Highland whiskey.

Also, I visited the town of Bruichladdich years ago and stuck my head through the gate of the distillery at about 5:25 pm.

I said "I know you're about to close, and I'll be taking the tour tomorrow but couldn't resist sticking my head in for a look."

They said "Come in for a dram!!!"

I like Bruichladdich very much. Their 15 year old is stellar. I rated it as better than their 18.

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savo mumbles...

Posted May 14, 2010
The 25 y o came in the most ornate presentation box I've come across http://www.theglenlivet.com/xxv/ . Whilst tracking it down, I found an advert for it with the words "contents incidental" which was a bit of a worry. I first started doing the tastings partly because someone asked me what would be a good whisky to buy their boss. I now know. At this one, we got to try a bottle of booze none of us would ever, under normal circumstances, buy and drink. I'm not even sure it was meant to be consumed.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 15, 2010
Bondiboy, I actually find a bottle of Bushmills to be rather economical. At $20 per bottle, I can usually stretch it out over a two week period (which was standard in the Uniguard era of security work). This last bottle I got (my first in nearly three years) made it through most of the month of April.

I also find that two fingers of Bushmills is not as ruinous on my waistline as the 12 pack of Dos Equis, the six pack of Founder's Pale Ale, and the other beers I've had over the last two weeks up to the end of finals.

So when I get paid tomorrow, I'll get a couple of bottles. Thing is with summer upcoming, Irish whiskey isn't the typical beverage of choice. I suppose I could switch back over to bourbon of some type but I'm not a Jack Daniels fan anymore (drank too much of that in Korea and it seems like I'm sipping tea).

NBob, I have a horrible rum related story from my year in Korea. When we meet in person, I'll be sure to tell it to you. It was not a shining moment to be certain.

Maker's Mark, which I bought a bottle of back in 2005, seemed like it was a bit too spicy and sweet to me, like it was laced with cinnamon. I didn't care much for it.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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lostatlunch asserts...

Posted May 15, 2010
so... the 25 year old goes better with coke?

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted May 15, 2010
OK, looking good for tonight.

I'll be busy until 16:30ish, at that stage I'll head for this mana bar.

Although I'll be a bit pised off if it's actually a Man bar where someone has set Havock up to meet a "well dressed young men."

SpyNat, do you still have my mobie #? I'll text you so you can advise of last minute changes in plan, alibis or required PPE.

GC, if you call in can you pop a row c ticket under the counter for Bob N? If not I'll just take my chances @ the door.

Medway. Nice one brother!

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Abe Frellman ducks in to say...

Posted May 15, 2010
Dont rate Sullivans Cove guys.

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BruceGaryNigelson mumbles...

Posted May 15, 2010
Hey - off topic and a bit late but anyone want some free tickets (2) to the Tassie Babes show tonight? Not feeling 100% so unfortunately am going to miss it. Spring Hill pick up. Number is 0418158549. Cheers.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 17, 2010
Roki, I am just starting in on a new bottle of Highland Park. It is the bomb.

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 17, 2010
Struth Murph, I wish I could get Bushmills for $20 a bottle! More like around the $60 here for the 10 year old (with thanks to boozle.com). Haven't had Makers Mark for ages either - I got some at Christmas one year from my boss at the time. I do rather like Wild Turkey when going for bourbon also.

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted May 17, 2010
Thanks Savo and JB for expanding my flippant request of Abe to review Sullivans Cove. Abe, I'm glad Bedes helped you out and thanks for being my proxy on tasting the stuff. Hope Bedes didn't swear tooooo much. If the SC its similar to some of the Speysides then I know what to expect (or not bother with). i think it was a Speyburn which was my intro to the singles. I was impressed but then tasted better.

Lobes - thanks for the tip on The Glenlivet 18 y.o. I'll be looking for something when my bonus gets up and that sounds like a fair option.

NBob, Moko - nothing wrong with Makers Mark, its one of my standby bourbons. Usually one of the chains runs it at discount, I usually pick it up for about $50, sometimes down to $45.

I notice Highland Park, Mcallan and Laphroaig getting mentions for the singles and fair enough too.

Murph - Bushmills isn't bad at all. A venerable Irish which would make a handy standby.

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Gotta luv the merch.

Posted May 12, 2010 by John Birmingham
I'm in a kind of limbo at the moment. Tomorrow, probably late in the day, I'll send the last edits off to New York for the US edition of After America. I've already taken my hands off the Australian version and will play no further part in its production. From now on I move out of the gentle, somewhat smoky 19th century gentleman's club atmosphere of the editing departments, and into the hard, brushed steel and polished concrete killing house of marketing and publicity.

This is actually one of my favorite bits of the whole gig. I love sitting around with the marketing mavens thinking up new ways to get the media to run stories on my book instead of somebody else's. I love blocking out the dates for the tour and working my way through the schedule as it's presented to me. I love the merchandising. You gotta love the merch.

I'll post the tour dates as they become available. But for now it looks like there might be two trips to Melbourne and even the slim possibility of a couple of days in Perth.

I'll be interested to see what I can do with twitter and Facebook for this tour. Twitter in particular played a large part in helping me get the book written, what with my regular updates screaming about how many words I was going to write that day, and occasionally posting my fave line of the day. (None of which Sweet Jane liked. Go figure).

I'll be doing a talk at the Wheeler Center in Melbourne, and am thinking of structuring it a little like a lecture. Something about the use of social media in the creative process. As part of that I'll be going back through some of the threads we ran here, pulling out your comments and suggestions about stuff like how to travel across post-apocalyptic America, or what the ecology of the US might look like a couple of years after The Wave.

For now, I'm looking for an illustrator to knock up some greeting cards with scenes from the book and a single line of dialogue underneath. I want them done old-school, like they've been ripped straight from the pages of a Boy's Own Annual circa 1953. I reckon that will look fucking awesome.

52 Responses to ‘Gotta luv the merch.’

Stacey0 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 12, 2010
Totally rad. Where's Sydney's gig though?

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Ian Kath would have you know...

Posted May 12, 2010
Like a 21st century image of Lewis and Clark looking West over the great open pasture that is the U.S. with out man.

A new version of manifest destiny.

I like it a lot.

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted May 12, 2010
Boys own idea is great - infact I tried to do some AoT fan fiction like that- but realised my drawing skills of Raptors and Panther tanks has lapsed somewhat in the last 30 years....

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Jason Ensor would have you know...

Posted May 12, 2010
A visit to Perth would be very welcome indeedy and AustLiterature Twitter would certainly play its part in promoting the dates of your visit. I thoroughly enjoyed "Without Warning" and look forward to "After America" very much.

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BrianC mutters...

Posted May 12, 2010
'course you love this bit, its the rock star bit.

As for ideas on how to pimp the book. Take a page from John Ringos book and use Facebook to your advantage. You should have a fan page for you under your control. If you don't go do it now, ill wait.

All set up great.

This is what you do release snippets of the unedited proof one a week for the 6 weeks leading up to the release of the book. Get your publisher to note on its webpage that you are, note that you are in your blogs. Post the sections as "notes" not status updates, make a status update about the note. This way people can come back easily and read it.

Post random lines from the book on twitter.

And this above. Live like the rockstar gonzo journo you want to be cause in 6 months you have to start writing the sequel.

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girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted May 12, 2010
Let me know if I can be of assistance Facebook/Twitter wise - I love doing promotional things for creative works. Had a reasonable amount of success with the plays.

I often wonder if I should've gone into marketing and PR. For books/the arts/charity etc - it must be a lot of fun.

The illustrations sound great.

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EnjoyMedway puts forth...

Posted May 12, 2010
Ohh, so my suggestion was far from the desired. Right. Gotcha.

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Abigail ducks in to say...

Posted May 12, 2010
Will be only too happy to promote the book on my page by posting links/flyers.

Great news!, glad you enjoy this part of it. I hope you'll get to Sydney otherwise I'll go to Melbourne...but Sydney's, you know... soooo much closer... ;)

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Orin has opinions thus...

Posted May 12, 2010
Hey Havock - can you organize my seat at the Wheeler? You did a FKN AWSM job last time.

Next book - Without Warning / After America Facebook Game. It is like Mafia Wars, but with Rhino and Boylan.

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Moko is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2010
If you need security on this expedition let me know.

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Matthew K mutters...

Posted May 12, 2010
WW and AA obviously tap into some sort of zeitgeist, a long standing fascination with being The Last man On Earth plus a a fear of mass extinction, some sort of societal angst, probably stems from the love of ruins inherent in Romanticism.

There was this American faux documentary that somebody mentioned on the burger, it was about if mankind disappeared, and then there was the Omega Man - that one goes back a bit.

Anyway this is obviously an idea that constantly bubbles under the surface of late 20thC/ early 21st C society.

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted May 12, 2010
Whoops, posted too early, didn't cut down. Was just thinking out loud. Don't tell the merch guys all that cod philosophical bollocks JB!

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted May 12, 2010
"For now, I’m looking for ..."

Far Fkn out! You are harnesing other creatives to your wagon. A pleasure in the past only enjoyed by magazine editors and the like.

You have a vision in your head that you need to desribe to the publishing marketing mavens. It's a good thing you are a trade qualified Describerer.

I like the idea of 10 designs of post cards [simple graphics, primary colours, a catch line and a link] in 50 coffee shops in 50 major cities around the world marketing tactic myself. But then again I'm not up with the twiteratti thing.

A CBG demographic study would be interesting, but you'd never trust half of us to give straight answers to any questionaire. And Jane would probably eat hers.

Orin, A Red Dead Redemption kinda engine running maps of the battles in NYC (and others we are yet to read) would be mind-bendingly cool. I'd sugest JB is way ahead of both of us already.

How much would the H man sh!t if he had to play as The Rhino?

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted May 12, 2010
I'll send you some of the sketches we knocked up of me, BRANDISHING A FKN BIG GUN and the limp dead fkn carcass of a RHINO, that aint pettin any fkn kitty cats any fkn more at the base of a smokin fkn ruin I just created in NEW YORK CITY. WICKED, FKN GOD LIKE actually

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted May 12, 2010
NBOB..if, IF and that a fkn rather large big arse fkn IF i might fkn well add, the RHINO got set up as a character, IT WILL BE A COLD FKN DAY IN HELL before it made its way into my machine. MORES like the DISC would become a CLAY, well not so clay, TARGET

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted May 12, 2010
ORIN..YES, but this time i'm demanding TWO fkn AWESOME TOP OF THE FKN LINE RESERVED FOR DEAD SET FKN LEGENDS seats

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NBlob reckons...

Posted May 12, 2010
Excuse my while I have a litle nerdgasm.

I first thought when reading the Paris extraction in F.I. that the scenes had a spatial feel like a first person shooter. Very um mapped? [15m turn right, 40 m, right through doorway, left up the staircase...] I had the same experience reading a couple of Caitlyns battles in AA. Like JB had it all drawn up on a big whiteboard and paced us through it.

The question is A: did JB write with a possible future game in mind, B: did his gaming dictate his imagining then writing, or C: am I full of crap ?

Either way how cool would team playing the contested boarding of the Aussie Rules be.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2010
Gotta get a Book trailer online, all the authors are doing it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1JdPvyy93I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X58RPS665V0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou1s3t6q2Q4

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 12, 2010
I use google maps to plot ut the fight scenes. That's why it feels that way. But FPS aesthetics do come into as well.

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Timmo has opinions thus...

Posted May 12, 2010
Matt K,

I think you're right on the whole "last man on earth" zeitgeist/angst/fear thing. The concept's been around for a long time, it's just the mechanism that changes, reflecting the issues of the time e.g. 1950's to 80's it was kind of the nuclear winter scenario, reflecting post-WW2/cold war issues and fears; long before that I imagine there was the whole avenging God scenario.

Lately, we seem to have moved into the post global warming apocalypse scenario.

I seem to have been exploring lots of post-apocalyptic stories of late - I just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy (though it never goes into much detail on the cause of said apocalypse, just the aftermath). I've also been playing Left 4 Dead 2, in a zombiepocalypse, and I watched The Book of Eli and a C-grade zombie flick called Evilution on the weekend.

So, next on the post-apocalyptic agenda is WW (once I've finished Final Impact). Other suggestions anyone?

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2010
Per battle scenes like Caitlin in Paris, a few comments.

I think one of Birmo's great strengths as a writer is that he is able to describe, exactly, how such fights evolve. It is possible, I suspect when he is using a real location, to go to that place and walk the route of the fight.

In most other novels and stories, even those written by people with military experience, it is difficult to figure out exactly what is going on. A lot of trigger pulling and spectacular kill scenes of cardboard characters we don't care about.

I also like the fact that Birmo works (a typo had "Birmoworks" hmm) very hard to make certain the fights are tactically plausible.

And if you actually care about the characters involved (as many care for Caitlin), your sense of unease that she might get popped increases as she works her way through the fight.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Leo euler is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2010
I am looking forward to the book coming out.

I was not able to see John when he came to America last year; however, I was able to get the Australian version of Without Warning. Since it seems both books are coming out at the same time this time (more or less?) maybe I'll make an extra effort to see John next time he comes over.

-Samuel C.

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Tucker Dwynn puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2010
Look forward to reading AA.... Any mention of what happens when the Indonesian Tsunami hits on 12/26/2004?

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Moko asserts...

Posted May 13, 2010
What's the difference between the Ocker and Seppo versions?. Just the 'u's and stuff?

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jennicki would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2010
Y'all talk differently then us, Moko. I've lent my Bridget Jones's Diary out to lots of people, and have gotten a lot of complaints that they couldn't follow the way the English talk...that's actully one of my favorite parts of the book in my opinion!

You can't have a book with America in the title and not come to the US. It's anti-American. These colors don't run. So, you know, you'll have to come here. Preferably to Chicago, they don't read in Detroit.

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lostatlunch mutters...

Posted May 13, 2010
I still have some leftover WW merchadising including with the 8 foot inflatable Rhino... very popular with the Darkwoman.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted May 13, 2010
No criticism intended.

I agree with Murph %100.

In JB's back catalogue most engagements have significant friendly casualties. This is important for me to suspend my disbelief. A crew of 20 surviving an entire campaign (apart from the bookish cute one for dymanic tension) always struck me as unreal.

I'm looking forward to JB's promised bleak, grim & dark in AA.

ScoobyDoo endings suck donkey balls.

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Boscolamb swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 13, 2010
Detroit got the big screw last time JB came up here. It would be nice if he could come by. I'm sure he has lots of fans in the midwest. I've purchased multiple copies of his books for the Libraries I work at. They must be popular as I rarely see them on the shelves.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 13, 2010
For promotional stuff we're here to be exploited. Word of mouth goes a long way. e.g. with the AOT series I lent Weapons of Choice out to a couple of friends and they ended up buying the other two. That's how I got into Matt Reilly's gear, a friend recommended Ice Station to me. Once people are hooked on an author they keep an eye out when book shopping. The choice in bookshops is so vast that it overwhelms consumers, hence we develop "brand loyalty". That's how I got into AOT in the first place. I'd never heard of it until I saw the whole trilogy at K Mart, double blinked at the author's name, checked that it was the same guy I'd read before and bought the trilogy.

Love the "Boys Own" concept, its a cracker. Anything quirky or gimmicky is worth a shot to bring the brand to the forefront of readers' minds. In Sydney, try giving out a BBQ King duck pancake with each purchase. I'm sure BBQ K would love to contribute to a joint promotion.

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jennicki has opinions thus...

Posted May 13, 2010
Boscobob this is very true. My library had a long reserve list for JB's books, I ended up joining another district library so I could get my hands on them! And I should thank him profusely, my new library is way more awesome then the old one.

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jennicki mumbles...

Posted May 13, 2010
Is After America available for pre-order yet in the U.S.?

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jennicki swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 13, 2010
BoscoLAMB I mean, soz, there are too many bobs!

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jp ducks in to say...

Posted May 13, 2010
JB - postcards are a great little ad to drop into cafe's to mix in with all their arty-farty ones, especially if they're designed as you say... but then with a little quirk, eg your boy's own nostalgia with the added bonus of a blot of bright red where a .50 cal popped a head. Reminds me of HOT FUZZ when Nick Frost's character shows Peggy what he's drawn in his notebook: a sweet little flip-book of a guy -- f*ck it, just check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBgCLZFWAIA&feature=related

My two cents is to hold a competition to have your readers design their own book trailer and upload it to a dedicated youtube page that links here. The Burgers can vote for a fav (call it, say, the Pervert's Choice Award), and you can pick the top three. They can win signed first editions or somethin'. See my pub's example for my apoc series, going live end of the month:

http://www.a-lone.com.au/

BTW, I'm picturing this drawing of Hav as having him look like Ned Flanders sans shirt. Am I right?

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NukemHill reckons...

Posted May 13, 2010
You are planning a U.S. tour, yes? Right? Right????

If you are going to be in the DC/Baltimore area, dinner's on me.

F*ck me. August 17th for AA in the U.S.? That sucks rocks....

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2010
This so rocks ... Rhino in full cigar chomping glory on a greeting card with the line, "No siree, Mr. President, you don't get these pettin' kitty cats."

I'd like 15 dozen boxes pre-addressed to Havock's Pondo, please.

I liked my blog/photos of "People reading WW before Havock" that I did for the first one. May have to do that again.

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Rhino asserts...

Posted May 13, 2010
Darkman ... and I know that you appreciate that the inflatable Rhino is durable and water proof as well.

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2010
Orin ... I always did like the cut of your jib. Need to get the code monkeys working on that.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted May 13, 2010
'even the slim possibility of a couple of days in Perth' yeah probably about 2 micron thin!!

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Naut would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2010
Rhino, I loved your “People reading WW before Havock” series. Aside from porn it is probably the best use of the internet I have ever seen.

Now waiting for the sex scandal photos of Warnie, two naked Pommie chicks and the inflatable Rhino.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted May 13, 2010
FKN brilliant - an inflatable Rhino in every bookstore to promote AA. Get video of Hav unkowingly walking into a shop populated by one of those cigar-chomping replicas. Okay, we need to cost these things out and set up a distribution schedule to coincide with the launch of AA.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2010
Rhino at Wheeler Centre. Gotta have more headroom then a bookstore . . .excepting some of the Borders I guess.

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Naut puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2010
I intend to have an inflatable rhino in my window at home.

It will be a better security device than a photo of Dolph Lundgren.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1173697/Burglars-tie-woman--flee-house-realise-shes-married-action-hero-actor-Dolph-Lundgren.html

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jennicki would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2010
Aww, your book comes out when Medway's here, we'll have to by your book together!

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Orin would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2010
If you are clever - Medway can bring you a copy directly from Oz as it is released here a month earlier.

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jennicki is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2010
Ooooh. But that would mean I'd have to be clever!

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted May 13, 2010
An Inflatable RHINO will make a great Figure 11.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted May 13, 2010
I'm looking forward to my entree into the Macy's Christmas Parade ... America's newest ACTION HERO - THE RHINO as a 25 foot tall balloon float.

I hear they are thinking about removing the Spiderman float to make room for my avatar. That is the amount of hysteria they are anticipating.

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Boscolamb mutters...

Posted May 14, 2010
Jen, K'zoo has one of the nicest looking libraries in the state of Michigan. It has received nation-wide recognition when it was renovated. Glad to hear JB's books are equally popular there. I have a long patron hold list for his newer titles. He's my favorite Oz writer.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted May 14, 2010
Rhino, I was in NYC for the thanksgiving parade '91.

The prospect of dozens of marching bands, hundreds of batton twirlers, and phalanxes of teenage cheerleaders under a giant inflated Rhino is a bit too close to the Golden Bull worshipers as mentioned in the old testament don't you think?

I can easily imagine one disgruntled Bachus Marshian sniping from a roof top, muttering "I'll give you fkn pussy cats."

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted May 14, 2010
Hey JB, don't we get a photo of the finished MS ?

I always had an image of you laying back against pillows, looking smug, smoking a cigarette and with the MS beside you on the bed (discrete placing of bedclothes covering it's nudity.)

With the caption "Well, I fkd that puppy."

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jennicki mumbles...

Posted May 14, 2010
Boscolamb, Kalamazoo really does have a gorgeous library. All of them, actually--Central and Oshtemo are really cool. The architecture is sweet.

I also have cards for Parchment District and Portage District libraries. Because the like 6 libraries in Kalamazoo aren't enough for me.

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Alan is gonna tell you...

Posted May 19, 2010
Still need an illustrator? Email me if you don't have anyone doing it yet. I'm a professional based in Sydney. I like the idea.

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Respond to 'Gotta luv the merch.'

Day trip

Posted May 5, 2010 by John Birmingham
Moko will be pleased to know that it wasn't all free games and drinkies for me in Sydney yesterday. I also managed to pick up a cold, probably on the flight going down. Still, totally worth it. I spent most of the day in at Rockstar Studios, watching a play-thru the first couple of hours so I could get an impression of the game world they've built -- which was amazing, a real fucking joy just to pass through -- and then a couple of hours in the afternoon playing a few missions myself. I also did quite a bit of talking about games narrative, as it's an area I'm thinking about getting into in the future, and a specialty of Rockstar of course. But that's not something I bother writing up here, since it'd be kinda dull. I am going to write up the trip for Fairfax, probably later this week, so I won't give too much away now, but I can say that the two things I was most concerned about turned out not to be a problem at all.

Firstly having played so much GTA IV, and having been impressed by Liberty City as such a dense and layered, almost Matrix-like creation, I was worried that Red Dead Redemption would have trouble re-creating the same rich gaming environment in what is effectively a wilderness. After all the space between the small frontier settlements occupies what looks like about 98 maybe 99% of the playable area in the game. I couldn't help but think back to earlier versions of Mechwarrior where you spent ages in transition across empty wastelands when moving from one action sequence to another.

Not a problem.

The wastelands in Redemption are incredibly rich both in their artistic realization and the gameplay possibilities. Even the ecology is fantastically detailed and complex and a major factor in gameplay not just every now and then when you stumble across a tripwire setting off a pre-programmed action sequence, but rather in every single moment you are out there. Nor is it just grizzly bears and rattlesnakes and packs of wild dogs you have to contend with, there are any number of two legged critters out there looking to do you harm. There are hunting challenges, treasure to find, and a seemingly infinite number of randomly generated side missions to distract you from the main narrative arc.

The other thing I was worried about was the combat. Because of the era in which the game is set there won't be any plasma cannons or grenade launchers. How could they possibly make the combat even fractionally as intense as a shooter like Modern Warfare? Well they can, and they've done it without trickery or bullshit. Even the smaller firefights in the lesser side missions are totally fucking intense in this game and there is an optional Fallout 3 style targeting system that is enormous fun to use, and occasionally very, very necessary.

I'm very much looking forward to playing this when I get my review disc in a couple of weeks.

And sorry Moko. I got a show bag too.

20 Responses to ‘Day trip’

Orin reckons...

Posted May 5, 2010
Started playing Fallout 3 GOTY edition - lots of wandering around a fairly well populated post-apocalyptic wasteland. A few burgers recommended it back when it came out - glad I checked it out.

Did you end up finishing Mass Effect 2?

StarCraft II soon. AWSM.

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted May 5, 2010
Hang on a FKN MINUTE.

Firstly, I'm failry certain that numerous people are still waiting for the BFBC2 smack down and we constantly get the WE ARE TOO BUSY SHITE or the THE STORM FRIED ME GEAR, or the KIDS broke me gear, OR the HEAD SET AINT WORKING or the AH its fkn QLD and nuffin fkn works fkn excuses to playing with the rest of us GODs who happen to populate this planet and PROP UP your Bunnyfied fkn ego.SO.

YA bloody effin mongrel, GET ON LINE, FK the REDDEAD dump mob, bit of shit and get connected before somebody accidentally caps YOUR FKN CARCASS...SHEEZ!.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted May 5, 2010
HEY!..where did all the comments fkn go!

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted May 5, 2010
AHH...they are back again. Just got tapped and told by the machine that I am posting comments toooooo quickly and need to slow down some. SEE, HAVOCk is faster than a computer or servers etc etc

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Moko swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5, 2010
OH NO YOU DID-ENT. lol

I grew up reading George G Gilman (pseudonym) and his 'Edge' series of western books that defined 'The West' for me and were described as "The Most Violent Westerns In Print". I fucken loved those books. This game has got me thinking about that series again. I soaked them up like a sponge. This is one reason I'm REALLY looking forward to RDR. Even considering the third person aspect which gives me a rash. Nothing worse than standing at the door way of a building and you've only got like 50 degrees of view into the room and the depth of vision is blocked by roof eaves and top of door frames. How did they go with that?.

I saw a cool cover system in one vid where he skids up to boxes for cover. Nothing worse than being AT cover and the fucker won't duck or some shit.

So what was in the show bag?.

You KNOW I've been waiting for this write up. lol

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TJX is gonna tell you...

Posted May 5, 2010
Slightly Off-Topic, but I gotta ask - Why arent you a PC gamer?

Also, you should really ditch MW2 and give Battlefield Bad Company 2 a try. It's like MW2 for grown ups. :D Not saying you're one of those immature FPS console gamers, but I find that MW2 attracts too many of those kinds of players.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted May 5, 2010
TJX... some of us, like me and you and moko and chaz have the capability to play BFBC2..other!...well, lets just say that stiffness of internal structures is not ....there!

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TJX swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5, 2010
I have to admit though, the look and feel of MW2's single player storyline/campaign makes me think of what a movie of Without Warning should be like. Epic, cinematic, full of military mayhem and a soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. :D

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 5, 2010
There'll be plenty o' multiplayer in Redemtption, Havsy. We didnt really get into it yesterday, but it looked awsm too. Up to 16 online and the entire map to roam over.

TJX, i try to keep games off my 'puter. Bad for deadlines.

Moko, you're going to love this game if you loved those books. It's great. In the showbag I got lotsa tee shirts, a GTA coke spoon, the soundtracks from San Andreas and Vice City, a copy of Bully, stickers, and bar of Redemption soap (fer cleanin grime an' bloodstains).

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AgingGamer swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5, 2010
I'm now officially excited about this game as I too played GTA IV to death and loved it. It will be interesting to have a sandbox to play in that isn't Sci-Fi, fantasy, or gritty urban environment.

GUN was one of my favourite Wild West sandbox games from a few years back but was lacking in the substantial side quest department.

Sir Birmo I think it might be prudent to organise a multiplayer night for the bounders club to prevent them getting unruly and drinking all the good Whiskey. BFBC2 sounds like the front runner at this stage.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 5, 2010
Ooh, and just found a copy of Midnight Club LA in my show bag.

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TJX swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5, 2010
Ah, one of those people that likes to keep playtime off their work machines, lol. I understand. Well BFBC2 is available on all consoles as well.

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Orin reckons...

Posted May 5, 2010
Try to keep games off my computer .... right ... so what's happening when Diablo 3 comes out ... will THAT be kept off the computer?

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NBlob reckons...

Posted May 5, 2010
Oh god how I miss freebies.

Lovely lovely freebies.

I used to work in conferences & events, I used to get showered with allsorts of goodies (My favourites are the seagate camelback & Petzl.)

Now as a humble public servant it's considered uncool.

Bastiches.

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TJX asserts...

Posted May 5, 2010
@ Orin

Heh, the only thing that distracts me on a computer during work is my Internet browswer.

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sparty mutters...

Posted May 5, 2010
Looks a Fantastic game- the wild bunch come alive...

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Orin reckons...

Posted May 5, 2010
JB plays pure about the deadlines, but when Diablo becomes available he's basically toast.

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Moko reckons...

Posted May 5, 2010
I loved the Wild Bunch. Takes pride of place in my DVD collection.

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Toxteth O'Grady reckons...

Posted May 5, 2010
Ah well, as long as you Burgers are distracted, I'll feel safe leaving this (Mechwarrior 4 released for free) here without worrying about you getting your dirty grubby fingerprints all over it.

As for Red Dead Redemption - (from wikipedia) "Every multiplayer game, both free-for-all and team based, will begin with a Mexican standoff" makes me giggle like a japanese schoolgirl. Now where did I put that Ennio Morricone soundtrack...??

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Murphy mutters...

Posted May 6, 2010
Maybe at some point in the next five years I can get a couple of gaming systems of my own, then I'll have a clue about what is going on with the gaming world.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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