Cheeseburger Gothic

Pepsi Challenge. London after the Wave.

Posted May 8, 2009 by John Birmingham
I've just driven Caitlin to London to begin her search for...

Well you'll have to wait to find out.

But London has changed.

I've been watching Children of Men with the voice over on, to get some ideas for how I might fashion a (sort of) post apocalypse City, but thought I might throw out a line here as well.

I'll give you  some tips. Very little private transport. Lots of rationing. High security presence on the streets. The south Asian population has been either ghettoised or deported. You can't run a business without the requisite forms from the Ministry of Resources. And even then it's pretty hard.

Think global financial crisis raised to the power of ten, and throw in the aftermath of race war.

Tories are back in power too.

100 Responses to ‘Pepsi Challenge. London after the Wave.’

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 8, 2009
hmm

Good thinks for 03:00.

Will get back to you

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted May 8, 2009
yeah, let me digest this a tad.

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Brian mutters...

Posted May 8, 2009
Where's the Royal familly? Can someone shoot Camilla? Can we posit Irish terrorists with strange francophile connections? Can we blow up the Chunnel? Where's the Australian Test team during all this?

The thought of refo camps on various sporting fields makes me happy.

I'll get back to you. Tweet conference.

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sparty mutters...

Posted May 8, 2009
Well you have south London sink estates – which would have all sorts of conflicts once the shackles were off,bit like Judge Dredd block wars – black gangs v black gangs or hoodies v black gangs or big anti asian violence (ie Muslim not the US definition) Chavs becoming an almost clockwork orange type force. Any or all of those combinations of conflicts could break out. I wouldn’t play the race angle up too much – focus more on just disperate communites having conflict that may or may not be different colours.

I’d push the whole “few imports” angle- particulary from the EU and would be tempted to have the Uk lean again on its commonwealth partners (OZ , New Zealand etc). Rationing but would people sit back and accept like during the war or has the nature of population changed.

Does London implode and government relocates or does the enw government drain resources from the rest of the country to prop London up? How does that effect Scotland and Northern Ireland both of whom have some sort of Devolution. Hard to imagine the idealistic side of the IRA (Adams rather than McGuiness not making a play for “total” victory).

JG Ballard wrote a great book about middle class uprising (Milllenium people I think). With a crewed economy what does the HUGE white collar population do.

Fear of the wave – mass migration from London?

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sparty puts forth...

Posted May 8, 2009
and unless there is a f**D up nuclear winter it does not snow in August:-)

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Naut would have you know...

Posted May 8, 2009
There would be a great anti-establishment underground music scene.

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DrYobbo mumbles...

Posted May 8, 2009
Sounds like a complete fkn shithole. Pretty much as now then.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted May 8, 2009
Here's one. Remember Hurricamne Katrina and the Superdrome(whatever) - posit the Millenium Stadium being used in such a fashion. Refo camp or deportee camp.

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted May 8, 2009
Themes would be full of floating humpies

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sparty has opinions thus...

Posted May 8, 2009
I can imagine army camp set up in Hyde Park etc (bit like having AA guns there during WW2), smuggling (people and stuff) out at Graves end etc with the Thames playing a much bigger role. Set pieces not at touristy iconic places but at old industrial places, the abandoned grounds of battersea powerstation, ruins / rebuiling of wembley - locatiosn such as Lords cricket ground repurposed. Again V for vendetta (movie rather than the actual comic) good source for inspiration.

I’m not a huge fan of the new doctor who but one ep “turn left” delat with an alternate Britain where the Doctor wasn’t around to save everyone- and captured a good post apocalyptic feel –subtle rather than being too dramatic.

Surburbs –do they thrive or go under – Guildford hoodies looting London or other way round?

And the biggie – quite a few guns around but in the hands of ,much narrower groups than in the States and might be highly prized.

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted May 8, 2009
Absolutely what Dr Yobbo said. Having lived in London I kept waiting for your departure point about how this London is so different.

It never came.

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted May 8, 2009
Squats would be huge.

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sparty mumbles...

Posted May 8, 2009
oh and Ken Livingston would still be mayor(he ordered a special supply of tamiflu to keep london infrastrucure going a few years back - and the new Mayor Boris Johnson has just "given" it to central government)and I can imagine him making a bid for independant power (cicl wra without the guns)now that radical politics (ie socialism) might be back on the agenda...

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sparty mumbles...

Posted May 8, 2009
and feeling of London (via Heathrow) of being gateway to the States?

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 8, 2009
Hmm . . . Chunnel. Nice way of getting rid of lots of people if you hold both ends. Intriguing . . .probably impractical.

No decent curry joints left in England.

FIFA would be done for.

Lots of empty Council housing.

Quite a few MP's would be gone because of their background. Red Ken would be in porridge. Lady Thatcher would have a significant post.

Amnesty International and Oxfam?

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sparty mutters...

Posted May 8, 2009
nah Ken would hold up like the last days of the reich in the Eagles nest and i reackon if Lady Thatcher came out of hiding someone would take a pot shot at her.

PS Gordon Browns nazi photo shoot was hilarious

http://tinyurl.com/cwst28

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 8, 2009
Keep it comin ppl. It's all good.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 8, 2009
Sparty, of the south asian popn, what's the hindu/muslim breakdown? And is there much meshing of those communities?

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mckinneytexas asserts...

Posted May 8, 2009
I'm not clear on whether what seems like martial law is sitting well with folks or not? Seems like, if it is, by and large, the room for an underground economy, etc. is fairly thin. I don't get why would government not want new businesses starting up. That seems counter intuitive.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted May 8, 2009
Hmm . . .bit dubious about GB being sealed - as in an Iron curtain type operation. The RN isn't what it was. I see leakage from the Irish Sea and Scotland. The Channel has a mind boggling traffic pattern. Then there are all the deep sea trawlers and the like. Fuel will be a problem. Likewise food.

London is unsealable. Its huge. Internal security can't be met with the standing forces. Britain is at the end of its tether trying to do Afghanistan and Iraq in the present day.

The current GFC highlights the financial meltdown in The City - expect a severe depressio . . . .ooops . . . .market correction. Deflation . . . .bad deflation.

There will be thousands if not tens of thousands of foreigners, displaced persons, stateless types ie Seppo's, Mexicans, Australians, Kiwi's . .. . .even French within Britains borders.

More as I think on it . . .

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted May 8, 2009
Well brick lane way (east end) you can get agro between Bangdeshis and Indians (Hindus). Although those communities may live in the same place they most certainly aren’t together. Monica Alis brick lane would be good background for that. I think about 10-15% of the London pop would fall under the Indian, Pakistani / Bangladeshi ethnic origin goups –with Indian being half that number. I could imagine a growing but not particularly successful militancy. Blood letting on any scale would be more likely between rival groups (ie bangaldesh v Indians) than muslim v white etc.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted May 8, 2009
Think its a fairly right wing govt. Think Jackboots and 'Show me zee papers' in a british accent.

But London is vastly different to the rest of England, always has been. I lived in London in the early 2000's it was on a knifes edge. When 9/11 went down we knew we could be next. In response duct tape sales were pretty much untouched while alcohol skyrocketed. It was a 24/7 bingeathon. After the tube bombings was even worse. Not to mention the train drivers strike, various electrical blackouts and the propensity of the tube system to collapse and leave millions stranded in pubs. Cheap alcohol was everywhere and drugs freely available if you knew the right tube stop to get off of. There is absolutely no doubt if we had just seen the USA obliterated by the wave then the first thing to go in London would be sobriety.

There were some ethnic tensions there. Particularly in the inner east with the large Bangladeshi pop in Tower Hamlets and Brick Lane. Further south in Brixton was a large Afro-Carribean population while a lot of the Arab population was around Bayswater and Queensway (sorry I'm reffing Tube stops here but its how I got around lol)

Spartys right about the gangs. Chavs are pretty much a clockwork orange like force already in some areas.

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sparty mumbles...

Posted May 8, 2009
"first thing to go in London would be sobriety" LOL!

Don't undersetimate how time of year would be crucial- a good summer would help violence kick off - if it all takes place in winter then I think Police state has an easier time of it

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Tech has opinions thus...

Posted May 9, 2009
Think Northern Ireland in the 70's with local army/police/millia units given badges and big fuck off guns, which atually happened.

Backyard amoured up vans and land rovers doing all night patrols non british citerzens living in government controlled ghettos. Kinda like the nazis in WWII with the jews but without the gas chambers. Rationed foods and all with identity cards. There just not allowed to own anything of real value like a house. Emplyed as toliet scrubbers and such. Marched into city proper them marched back to ghetto under heavy guard. Major UK cities are all like this civilain armies are welcomed by the white middle class as its there protection. Regular army intergrated to police force and secruity service. " UK Home services "

Everyone ID card carrier. No card no work permit no food card etc. NON brits decided by " UK home sevices " sop if your 4th generation but non white .. your not brtish. All media outlets govermenrt controlled all company assets now government controlled included private farms. NOn brits do all the farming. Immagration suspened. No one in no one out unless your connected. MASSIVE black market in EU USA CHINA goods comes in vis chunnel/ Ireland ferries light aircraft etc. Little radar coverage or shore patrols as there is no money or equipment to do so. Alchol drugs near free and legal. keep peoplem pissed they dont realized there opressed.

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Trashman puts forth...

Posted May 9, 2009
I enjoyed the first story and will definitely get the next book, but I'm still not convinced about the whole Festung UK thing. Why would there be a sudden crackdown? The Asian population isn't exactly a monlothic block either.

The wave patently wasn't a terrorist attack and most of the middle ease no longer exists. What, exactly, was the trigger? Did I miss something in the book?

If something like this kicked off in the UK without something explicit to cause the population to give tacit consent (that something would require massive civilian casualties), I don't think the government would be in power for very long. Think the Poll Tax riots raised by several orders of magnitude. I don't even know if the Police or Army would obey orders like that. They're volunteers remember.

Just my tuppenceworth.

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Tucker Dwynn mutters...

Posted May 9, 2009
'The Torries didn't take over in a power grab... They were the only party willing to try and pick up the pieces...'

Either that could be the sitrep, or that's the party line they use. Just thinking that with everything going to hell would the Libs (knowing just how bad off the UK is going to be) or Labour really have a chance to try and rebuild, or would they intentionally try to lose, so they could clam "Look how bad the Torries are doing!" When they want to try and stage a comeback.

just my 3 cents... I'm generous like that (/joke)

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Mark R. Whittington would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2009
Leader of the Tories at the time of the Wave woud be Iain Duncan Smith and, as I recall, was not very impressive. In OTL he was dumped in October, 2003.

I'm not sure that Maggie gets anything more than a ceremonial post, depending on when the strokes started to happen.

I can see someone rising from the back benches, in a kind of Francis Urquart style (g).

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2009
As a Brit I have to confess here that I'm with Trashman on this. I'll accept one incredible event (the Wave) but not loads of them. UK and France suddenly losing their minds is too weird. Especially because they couldn't afford to in such an uncertain world, the EU would stick together, things would become less democratic what with emergency laws etc.

Why go after the Muslims?

If there were any refugee camps they wouldn't be in the crowded south of the country; think Wales, Scotland or something. What's happened to Ireland? (Republic of)

Tories are the Conservative party don't forget, they want to conserve the UK not smash it, anyway Tony Blair would have been up for the challenge of the Wave, look at his speech he made immediately after 9/11. He wouldn't have let the Tories in, could see a government of national unity from all parties maybe...

Ken Livingstone might have done well out of it though, that rings true.

And armoured Land-Rovers, I like that. It needs Defenders with spotlights and grills all over them. That's just me though, I never need a reason to justify squared off utility vehicles.

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2009
Trashman: "I don’t even know if the Police or Army would obey orders like that." This. I shouldn't think they're any more likely to do this than their Aussie counterparts. Could you imagine them going along with this?

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
If there was a law and order crackdown then stupid, white trash would feel the brunt, as they are the majority of the annoying fuckers who get on people's tits. Outside of London at least.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 9, 2009
Ah, Francis Urquart is a PM I could support. :)

I suspect you'd see more bicycles and horses.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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mckinneytexas is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2009
I remain unclear: i don't see Americans, Aussies or Brits suppressing their own or the people putting up with it. I do see, for a finite period, the people going along with a fair amount of restrictions due to unavoidable rationing. but i also see these same people turning out to collaborate on mitigating food and fuel shortages.

I guess the Muslim angle is that, perhaps in response to 80% of the Middle East being obliterated, there is a bit of reactive surliness. Or, the Muslims simply went into revolt, or were feared to be heading that way, as an extension of events in France.

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sparty reckons...

Posted May 9, 2009
Yep- Trashman is right- not sure we'd have an extreme overreacton here race wise, but then where's the story!

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tygertim mutters...

Posted May 9, 2009
JB, what of the London Ghurka community? I'd love to see them doing something active, as I've a soft spot for them... I can just see a confrontation between them and some South Asians >:) wouldn't that be a humdinger of a match. I'd pay to watch. Maybe Prince Harry pulls them under his wing?

I dunno though, I can see an anti Muslim backlash... They've been active in enforcing their views of how things should be. I've read of a case where a nice old lady who collected porcelain pigs had it confiscated because Muslims could see it through her windows as they walked to Mosque and found it insulting. They took her to court and won, but she refused to remove the offensive porcelain porkers and the judge sent in the constabulary... I don't know how reliable this is as the source of information is the Gates of Vienna site... there are apparently a lot of little things like that that have been annoying the National Front folks... so there's your possible flash point... some of London's' more radical reactionary Clerics preach one fiery sermon too many and a riot develops? Or perhaps it's sparked off by a group of really devout South Asian youths whom throw acid into the face of a tarted up London teen on the bus? Or perhaps the radicals take the wave as a sign from Allah to act? It wouldn't take much in that sort of situation, where there is major anxiety and out right fear in the general population...

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 9, 2009
I like the idea of a nasty outbreak of ebola.

One of the Royals could bring it back from an orphanage in Zaire.

If not them then perhaps someone they're dating.

No good deed goes unpunished, right?

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tygertim asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
Here's a Challenge for you JB. Take all of my comments and make a chapter of it! The Ghurkhas come to the aid of the Teen Tart after a radical Cleric's sermon sparked a riot and that set off the Devout into action on the bus? I know you can do better.....

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tygertim asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
Ohhhhh, quokka, that sooo deliciously evil! I love it!

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
Then again on the practical side of things any disaster zone just ends up with diarrhoea. Its just that Ebola seems much more exciting than cholera and typhoid. Seriously, JB, I think you need to think about what happens in this scenario with disease control. You fuck up the infrastructure, people get sick. Not necessarily Stephen King The Stand type sick, but things do get ugly.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted May 9, 2009
Toilet paper shortage? And maybe some rationing. And then some black marketeering.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 9, 2009
Wait! Madonna likes plucking children out of orphanages. As do others on the pages of Who Weekly. And with no-one to stop them...yep. I take it back. The Stand, revisited.

Or maybe a batch of botox could go bad and foot and mouth could envelop the Polo Set.

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Matthew K asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
Tyger: There wouldn't be much Gurkha community in 2003 London as their right of residence is only now being noisily hammered out in public as Labour politicians are chased around the room with Patsy from AbFab snapping at their heels. And very entertaining it is too.

Apparently 77% of Muslims are loyal to the UK as opposed to 36% of the rest of the population. (!!) According to today's Times.

There was a very large black market in WW2 UK, if there were restrictions and shortages history would repeat itself. Britons aren't naturally orderly, respectful or law abiding and we have a long history of smart arse talking back. (They didn't ship ALL the political subversives abroad you know.)

Sounds like JG Ballard would be a good source of inspiration. I know I keep mentioning him, but these scenarios JB comes up with put me in mind of his stuff.

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andyf mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
theyre already on about identity cards.

any crack down would be carefully manipulated by HMG through the press,

the people would be clamouring for it.

Im thinkin the jihads-inspired by wave- threat would be suficient,

some mass attacks that were 'allowed' to happen, the Sun and Daily mail screaming for security..

oh yeah, it could happen here.

and the point about the guns..

in UK for a firearms licence you have to provide a good reason for a gun, and 4 passport photos.

1 in on the licence you get, 1 is obviously for police records,,

noone has a clue where the others are,

in any situation of widespread civil unrest expect a knock on the door in the first hours.

TA guarding the streets etc

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Matthew K puts forth...

Posted May 9, 2009
andyf: Sounds like the plot of V for Vendetta (film.)

Firearms are pretty durn rare here. I was thinking of applying for a .17hmr but as I was found in possession of too much hash in my youth... Shotguns more common.

Bottom line: HMG would keep most of the monopoly on the use of armed force.

Govt could get away with some shit I guess, and they could find idiots to do their bidding. But once their enemies united against a common enemy and got together there would be a lack of support. And guns can be manufactured. Think of the sten.

But more likely, the politicians involved would find themselves more and more isolated and one day their guards would become their jailers.

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Bondiboy66 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2009
Look up the old post-nuclear war telemovie 'Threads' on Google Video. That's some serious pommie post-apocalyptic vision right there.

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2009
Not to say I can't see a lot more officiousness, just not a full on dictatorship.

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
TygerTim I have never heard of The Gates of Vienna site before. But to judge it solely off the name it sounds like a fairly radical anti-muslim website.

Vienna, of course, was as far as the Ottoman empire got in its invasion of Europe in the 16th Century. The invading army got as far as Vienna which they besieged for over a year until backup in the form of Polish Cavalry swept down and expelled them. Interestingly in this conflict we had the first widespread use of explosives to attempt to bring down the city walls. The Ottomans would dig long tunnels under the Viennese walls and pack them with explosives. They used professional miners to dig their tunnels and ever since then military explosives used in that way have been known as 'mines' but I digress.

Anytime you hear an phrase implying the invasion and/or defence of Vienna its likely they are referencing the cultural touchstone of the the Ottoman invasion. Of course I may be wrong but the little old lady with the porcelain pig story does sound like classic fearmongering.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted May 9, 2009
With the lift in the block of council flats out of action again the old man with the cane takes almost forty minutes to get down to the allotment. He shows his identity card to the truculant darky at the gate and hobbles down to his little patch. He weeds his plots of carrots and notices the peas are coming along nicely. Six trips to the tap with the watering can and he's almost done. He tugs at one of the bushes and pull up a small bundle of spuds, "two more weeks and they'll be right" he mutters to himself "I'll sell a pound or two of them to the old Chinaman at the back of the pub, then I might be able to buy some of me heart medicine."

As he wraps his scarf around his neck and slaps the dirt from his gloves he hears a disturbance at the gate. He looks up to see an argument between the Darky Jonas, and a mob that are milling around outside the high wire gate. "That's all I need" thinks the old man. Then movement catches his eye, he sees four young men coming over the back fence, "pincer movement just like Belgium."

The old man knows that unless he and Jonas turn these Chavz there will be no Carrots, Peas or Spuds as this kind of raid has been going on across London for weeks now. He's heard that a pound of fresh potatoes are fetching more than a mans daily wage 'on the black.'

"Lets see if I remember my bayonet training" he thinks as as he neatly lays his coat and gloves on the ground and draws a four foot star picket from beside the compost pile and settles his footing.

"C'mon you little bastards, I'll show you old school."

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Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2009
LoL "Get off my Lawn" sounds a bit more intimidating when you're waving a star picket. Man, I've seen somebody get smashed with one of those... not cool at all. Fucking gruesome in fact.

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted May 9, 2009
Oooh. I LIKE that NBob.

Now am off to google star picket.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
Just a small item, have you thought about the North Sea and all those OIL RIGS up there!. where is the UK's refining capacity located as well.

I wonder how much of the RN would be detailed to keeping these babies in service..then add the chunnel issues of surface transit. I see a lot of sorta suitable vessels being converted to ARMED TRAWLERS, troops deployed on rigs as well.

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
OK some other items as well. Maybe OT a bit.

Infrastructure.

Gas and electricity, sewage, water and telecoms. All the networks need to be maintained in some fashion. Are people pressed into doing maint, are only small teams available for this, whats critical to be maintained.

Then toss in say ROAD maint gangs as well, paid, Voluntary or forced as well.

HEATING: BIG ONE, co's if services are out, then trees are it. Landowners are not gunna like that much, the rapid deforestation of their land, or will the gummit, detail certain areas for lopping.

Then you will have issues such as the Fire Dept, London is High density, what happens with a fire outbreak, people been doing HOME repairs etc and all sorts of stuff. MAYBE London burns to da ground again, or a large part. that then makes a lotta people homeless as well.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2009
Silver Lining.

9 weeks of martial law and closed borders had done for Jojo what four bouts of rehab had not been able to achieve - she was off the junk. As her head cleared and the pains & chills receded into a dim memory she took stock. Her years on the junk had ruined her body and face, but had not dimmed the rat-cunning that was her sole inheritance from First Law Lord Sir Wiliam Henderon-Lyons. Her years working street corners and phone box ads had given her a crystal insight into the baser tastes of men, particularly men of power. Now she combined the two.

She had acquired a nondescript 2 bedroom flat on Maiden Lane 2 blocks from The Strand, she had gathered a stable of eight working girls and had forged working relationships with a couple of men she considered "strategic business partners." In return for free executive services they provided her with the other crucial elements of the business - mobility & invisibility. A weekly official chit for 20 litres of diesel gave her 'round the clock use of a taxi. Identity passes for her girls in a couple of different names kept them below the radar. Fresh and tinned food kept her girls ahead of the scabborous scags practically giving it away on street corners. Her clientelle paid top money for top quality and Quality is what she provided.

As the borders had closed and Martial Law had come into effect many had been trapped behind what had come to be known as the Burberry Curtain. The Arab princess had fled in their lear jets leaving their entourage to fend for themselves, many Aupairs and Nannys had been flung out on the street, and the Eastern European girls - the work horses of the "escort business" for the last ten years had been left without papers.

Jojo had picked the cream of this crop and had set them to work.

Yep, the end of the world certainly seemed to have a silver lining for Jojo.

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Matthew K asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
UK does have a lot of coal Havock - look forward to London fog returning! And it's called the Fire Brigade over here, and I think they'd stay working.

N'other nice one NBob.

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2009
They tightened building regulations considerably after 1666 too so you dont see the types of fires and stuff that are common in American cities.

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lostatlunch mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
There are large marching music... spliffy uniforms almost germanic in stature.. the Poms are not above blaming "others" same as the germans did in the 50's and a crowd pleaseing charasmatic leader like Obama could take them down that path.

Someone else is to blame and the english are people who like a good queue. France went to crap and I can see the British people welcoming a firm hand to keep the country functioning... Even Phillip counseling lizzy to keep the right people in place.

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DrYobbo mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
Very minor point - while the Millennium stadium could be used as a Superdome style holding pen, it's in Cardiff rather than London. Which would probably make sending peeps there the cultural equiv of Guantanamo Bay. New Wembley has no lid. Wouldn't have been building Olympics stuff either given they'd not have won the rights to the games by Wave time. East end - as was.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
Mr Nahassaheemapetalon was justifiably proud of his home, his shop and his family.

His house was noticeably neater than the others in the street. His neighbours had joked with him, before the wave, that he must use a jig to trim his topiary as the corners were so perfectly squared. His shop, a mixed business was an off-licence that stocked some dry goods, a few dairy lines (they went off so quickly) and the usual newsagency lines of smokes & lottery tickets. His family consisted of his sainted mother, a withered bitter old crone of a mother-in-law, his wife and his youngest two daughters. His girls were the apples of his eye. God had not seen his way to bless him with a son, but his girls - what girls they were, enough to make his chest puff out every time he thought of them. The oldest was a programmer - not that he had any real idea what that required - but he knew she had blitzed her O & A levels, topped her class at university and had been courted by several of the biggest software brands in Europe. The second oldest worked in The City in business banking and was due to be engaged to that gormless clot from the temple. Mr Nahassaheemapetalon thought her suitor was about as bright as a ten-watt bulb, but he would provide for his daughter and grandchildren-to-be and his daughter seemed happy with him.

Mr Nahassaheemapetalon had voted Tory since he had arrived in 1967. He had always hated that insincere toad Blair and his party of sunshine & lollipops merchants. When the wave had fallen on America and the Israelis has erased the Arabs he knew the time had come for a strong man at the helm and the current Tory PM had not let him down. There was order in the streets of London unlike across the Channel where the Frogs seemed to be finding new & improved ways of killing each other every second day.

Each morning at five he walked the mile and half to his store, took in the papers, received the milkman’s grumbles and stock and set to work. Since the Wave & the Troubles on the continent many of the lines had become harder to restock and some of the prices he had to pay were outrageous. Those Trotskyists at the Manchester Guardian had blamed the new Government, not any longer. He hadn't received a Guardian in 3 months and doubted he'd be seeing it any time soon. The Sun and News of the World had the inside story. They knew what was going on & weren’t afraid to tell the public exactly who was at fault: the bloody Muslims & their towel-headed ilk.

This morning was grey and overcast with a light drizzle falling as Mr Nahassaheemapetalon set to his jobs for the morning. He was sweeping the floor and muttering darkly about the rubbish people tracked into his shop when he heard the bass rumbling of a mob coming down the street. This wasn’t the first civil unrest he had seen in the neighbourhood and he paused on the shop’s stoop wondering if he should close up, he decided against it. When the mobs milled and eddied past the shop he often got customers popping in for a couple of cans and a packs of smokes, it could make a big difference to his days takings. The vanguard of the mob turned the corner. They were carrying hand written & poorly spelled ‘Anti Paki’ placards and chanting “kick the Towel heads out.”

They did not march past - they stopped outside his store. Mr Nahassaheemapetalon couldn’t believe it. He was a good British Citizen. He’d been a fixture on this corner for 20 years. He had done all he could to blend in with the community. He was trusted. For God’s sake he was a Sikh not a Muslim.

The first rocks rained down on Mr Nahassaheemapetalon as he tried to reason with the mob. He heard his windows smash. He was driven to the ground by stones, boots, fists and axe handles. He saw the mob surge over him into his shop and loot the sparsely stocked shelves. The last thing he heard was one yob jeer as he ran past with an armload of booty

"Thankyou, come again."

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NBlob asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
Ok. Stopping now.

Damn you & your Pepsi challenges JB.

At 0300 I was staring at the ceiling thinking these 3 over & round & back & over again.

No wonder SWMBO gets p!ssy about my blogging.

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DrYobbo asserts...

Posted May 9, 2009
Know the feeling NBob, and it's only gotten worse - joined Twunter.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2009
Hmm . . .wonder what's happened to the European Common Market? The French have probably drunk their wine lake.

I also wonder about all the Brits who have pulled up their roots and are now living in Majorca and Spain.

Thinking about Brit security. The most heavilly surveillanced country in the world with all their CCTV's everywhere.

Hyde Psrk;s 'Speakers Corner' will be an ever so interesting place.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted May 9, 2009
Hmm it'd be like Thatchers Britain all over again but with CCTV camera, and instead of the IRA it'd be AQ inspired militias from finsbury park and leicester.

Of course JB you already said in WW that there were race riots. Sequestraion of the muslim asians, Afrocarribean communities thinking 'thank god it's them taking the can this time', The indian community helping the gov however they can, to stick the knife into the pakistanis.

Any form of speratism stamped down on the SNP attacked by scottish labour for trying the wreck thr country. the welsh assembly shut down duie to the emergancy. In ulster a hushed calm, waiting to see if the Prodies and Fenians have another go at each other.

Meanwhile white little england see the threat from asia and the middle east. Edgewhere road is like down town beirut with most of the cafe's and restaurants either sealed up or burnt out. 1 in 2 mosques burnt out those left have a guard for protection from the new 'Specials' a milita set up to help the police force with public order issues basically the SPG reaminated but with civvies not police.

In the countryside movement is regulated by pass papers farmers protect their land fiercly and trepassers are treated harshly. Townies are not welocme esp those who had second homes in the villages. Those that make it out to the country find their cottages either buirnt out or having been taken over thanks to the village council. ie better the place goes to a local couple not some rich townies who's never there except one weekend in two.

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CraigWA puts forth...

Posted May 9, 2009
You might have military putting checkpoints on all of the bridges. You've got at least 2 road tunnels, multiple train/tube tunnels and at least 1 pedestrian tunnel (south end of Isle of Dogs) under the Thames. Would you be controlling movement?

City of London and Canary Wharf aren't going to be the thriving hub of banking any more. The Square Mile is home to about 30,000 people but 300,000 people come to work there every day. It might be a bit of a wasteland inside London. Isle of Dogs probably isn't the same because there is a lot more new residential down there.

Have they done something interesting with the London Eye?

Oxford Street and Regent street would also be radically changed because nobody would have anything to sell.

During WW II, they had all of the parks turned into vegetable gardens. Depending on how long this has been going on, you might do the same. If you go to the supermarkets in the UK, the bulk of the fruit and vegetables come from overseas. Huge culture shock for people living here going back to 60s type locally grown diet.

As I moved to the UK in 2003 I have some clear memories of what it was like at that point. It was the era of the coffee shop with 6 different chains operating in London. There will be a lot of coffee shops that are boarded up, trashed or just closed because they can't get coffee and the business model wasn't working at that point because if 1 in 3 shops is a coffee shop, there aren't enough customers.

Wembley Stadium was being constructed and probably never got finished. The gherkin was also under construction at that time and probably never got finished.

All of the well to do's in London have probably evacuated to their second holiday homes in the country because when you get down to it, it's probably a nicer place to stay than London which is likely to be the focus of lots of race riots.

Things to do. Might come back and try to think of more later.

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2009
I'd expect to see some sort of national govt. propaganda campaign encouraging social cohesion to avoid events like NBob describes. The silent majority REALLY wouldn't mind seeing a mob of rampaging scum getting machine gunned to protect a Hindu corner shop. We like Hindu corner shops.

A spot of fully automatic riot control would send the right message: pour encourager les autres, as the French say. (Shouldn't that be discourage?)

And "Ordnung muss sein" as the Germans say. At the end of the day we don't mind people mouthing off but we do get irritated by disorder. And that's when things are going well.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted May 10, 2009
There is going to be a shortage of tea, I suspect, following on what CraigWA said about coffee shops.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Sweet Jane Says ducks in to say...

Posted May 10, 2009
England has endured Romans, Vikings, the French, the plague, the Spanish, Colonial resistance, WW I, an American divorcee, and WW II. I don't imagine she'd fall apart because the US is zapped.

J.

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lostatlunch mumbles...

Posted May 10, 2009
fear & panic are vastly under estimated motivators.

What any of us, on a personal level, would do after the psychological shock of the wave is hard to imagine.

What someone in power, like Blair, could do is hard to imagine. he is in as much shock as the rest of us.

What sort of influence could a regular knutjob like Pauline Hanson muster?

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted May 10, 2009
But will they have cable?

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Trowzers has opinions thus...

Posted May 10, 2009
I haven't read the other comments yet but - why not just watch V for Vendetta? (or read the graphic novel- they are not the same but both good). Sounds just like what you are describing :)

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Sweet Jane Says ducks in to say...

Posted May 10, 2009
Great Britain was alive before the US; Great Britain would live after the US.

J.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 10, 2009
I love Lobes' end of sobriety idea so much I wish I'd put it in the first book.

NBob, awesome stuff.

As for repression, and race based argy bargy, I'll tweak the copy in light of some above comments.

But I think we can assume there was some unpleasantness after Israel launched the Second Holocaust.

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sparty has opinions thus...

Posted May 10, 2009
SJ - and so say us all!

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted May 10, 2009
Thankyou sir.

Just do me one small favour?

No more than one Pepsi per month?

I don't know if my tired little brain can hack the (entirely self imposed) pressure.

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2009
Thank you SJ.

But... NO COFFEE! That's a riotin'. Lack of tea? Not so much. Not nowadays. (I had no idea the lack of a USA would lead to coffee and tea shortages, all the more for the rest of us I would've thought... )

There would be heavy handed and clumsy govt. and it wouldn't necessarily very efficient. Tories would try and shrink the state but not it's security apparatus. Labour would want to starve the security goons while working them to death and old Labour types would want the state in parts of the economy and society where it has failed before. We might see a resurgence of the old pre socialist type of utopian radicalism like the Levellers/Diggers/Chartists, some sort of attempt to build Jerusalem. ... ?

Trowzers: The graphic novel of V for Vendetta is much better, and does have exactly the austerity Britain vibe that JB has described, with a tatty, grey feel to it. I figure JB has read it already as this London scenario seems familiar.

Wartime Britain and the Austerity that followed it were characterised by rationing, a ubiquitous "fell off the back of a lorry" black market, a "make do and mend" attitude and weary stoicism. I reckon those things could return.

But one thing is different: Britons. My strong impression is of a much meaner minded nation in the '40s, this is where the whinging poms stereotype came from I think. I feel that Brits then were much more likely to be pursed lipped curtain twitchers with chips on their shoulders re class. (Not all, but many)It may just be that 6 years of total war had leached all the gaiety from them. (Aussie troops were regarded as being insolent and not nearly deferential enough. By officers.)

Point is; the culture has changed, Brits aren't nearly so deferential or resentful now, so how would we react to shortages of both freedom and commodities? Yes, there would be unrest. There would also. I feel, be a great deal of popular pressure on those in charge to be very, very good at their jobs and scant patience if they were less than brilliant.

(I'd meant to use the culture clash between mean minded temps and the 21C Brits as background in a bit of AoT fanfic but never got around to it.)

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The Great Destroyer asserts...

Posted May 11, 2009
Your assumptions are too optimistic.

You're going to get the race war, all right, but traditional Britain is going to lose.

Think blocks of rubble, no water or electricity, dead bodies left to bloat and rot, and Sharia law enforced across the city by roving gangs of male Islamists enforcing it via public torture and executions.

Think Lebanon circa 1982.

Think Liberia circa 1990.

That's your future.

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Arty mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2009
I hope that degraded standard of living doesn't spread to any civilized countries.

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Chuck Simmins mutters...

Posted May 11, 2009
Infrastructure. The miles of sewers beneath London, and the abandoned tunnels for them and the subway. Tidal barriers in river fail, or worse, stick in closed position.

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NukemHill mutters...

Posted May 11, 2009
I haven't much to contribute re: London, but I'm glad I found this site. I read Without Warning shortly after it was released here in the US. Looooooooooooved it!

I've got all kinds of interesting ideas about what happens here during the "Recovery". (Don't know what you are going to call it.) But there are so many reasons for pitched battles between the US Recovery Team(s) and the various International Vultures. How do you protect key scientific/military installations? (the nuke sites alone are too many to count) How do you reconstitute the farm lands? Will there be any effort put into discovering what caused the Anomoly? (I'm betting it was a research project gone wrong.) Does the US government keep control only of Hawaii, Gitmo, and the Pacific NW? Or does it try to enforce sovereignty from border to border? Does the government devolve into a loose Federation? And the international scene (which is what you're addressing in part here, obviously) can't really be anything less than a total meltdown (which was well on its way in the WW). Commerce as we know it, both nationally and internationally has to pretty much disappear on a macro level. Those of us who are libertarian-minded would see this as an opportunity to start the US economy from scratch, with huge restrictions on governmental powers.

I'm really looking forward to how you resolve some completely unavoidable situations.

Darn it! Why couldn't you have just written the whole damn thing at once?! I hate waiting for sequels....

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NukemHill mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2009
Oh, yeah. All the precious metal reserves have to be protected.

Yes, I've been thinking about this a lot. Why do you ask? ;-)

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richardb reckons...

Posted May 11, 2009
Symbols of British power are gutted. Westminster burned and looted.

Big Ben, a bent, blacken husk.

Tubes used for mass graves since fuel is scare.

Trafalgar Square still the scene of public executions of past British Labor politicians blamed for multiculturalism and pacifism in the face of Islam.

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Fat Man mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2009
Fascinating. You people cannot see what is in front of you.

A surveillance state straight out of 1984 and East German reality. You have the cameras on every corner, how soon are they in your houses?

Political correctness enforced by thug cops. Try warning people about the rising tide of jihad, or the global warming scam.

All industry and electricity banned to save Gaia. The return of plague and pox. The return of "pea-soup fogs" caused by burning "sea-coal" and wood, because electricity and natural gas are no longer avaiable.

A dictatorship of the proletariat run by Islamic militants who impose sharia and send women to purdah.

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dustydog is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11, 2009
Y'all got it completely backward. Britons are made of sterner stuff; a collapse of society will burn off the dross. London would be ruled by a king, with absolute authority and legal ownership of all people and property. Brutally efficient knights, intelligent pragmatic decision-making. Strong family bonds, right to work (i.e. to use state land or property to work) would depend upon trust. The people would love and support their king, and his representatives. Crime would be low.

Without regard for race, people refusing to accept the state would have been ruthlessly put down. Lebanon, Mogadishu - they are the product of a different culture.

If you need a government form, you'd be proud to have it, and would display it. People coming into your business would look at it and remark upon it.

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Wes S. mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2009
John, I just found this post via Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit. I bought "Without Warning" - largely on Glenn's recommendation - and loved it. (As a resident of the Kansas City area, I especially got a kick out of your descriptions of post-Wave KC, and did a double-take at your description of the bombed-out Quik-Trip on Armour Road in North Kansas City; I work in Northtown and had actually bought gas at that particular QT the week before "Without Warning" was released in the US.) I'm looking forward to the sequel.

My take on post-Wave England is that they'd have some of the same problems that NukemHill described the post-Wave US facing, although instead of "international vultures" you'd have internal factions tearing up the country. I'm not sure how much the British military could do to prevent the situation; Britain has really built down their military since the end of the Cold War and in the "Without Warning" timeline most of what they had circa 2003 was in the Middle East deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom...and is still there trying to keep a lid on what's left of the Middle East after Saddam's fall and Israel pushing the nuclear button.

So, with the British military out of the way, I think you'd have various armed gangs (criminal, racial, ethnic, you name it) running wild. I'd expect younger Muslims to do the same (much as you depicted happening in France in WW). I think nationalist and seperatist movements would further fracture the country (Tony Blair arguably started that process by setting up seperate Scottish and Welsh Parliaments).

And I'd think the fear and uncertainty of ordinary British citizens, who have already been largely disarmed, subjected to all sorts of infringements on their civil liberties and all kinds of intereference in their lives by bureaucrats, facing out-of-control levels of crime, and are increasingly becoming fed up with all of the above, would morph pretty quickly into rage if something like the Wave and the resulting chaos broke down civil order in the country.

And to keep order all the British government would have is what little of the military wasn't already deployed overseas and a largely disarmed police force...which I think would almost panic the government into some sort of martial-law crackdown that arguably might make things even worse...because ordinary citizens would see that they weren't really in control and might even see the government as just one more batch of thugs.

Oh yes: I think post-Wave London would look like a cross between "V for Vendetta" and "Mad Max." And if the UK ever did get things sorted out - they'd probably end up under some sort of totalitarian government - one wonders if they'd be one of NukemHill's "international vultures" trying to plunder what's left of North America...

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2009
Thank you dustydog, exactly what I reckon. Except we have a Queen here.

OK yes there would be unrest, and London would have it's Beirut like neighbourhoods, but there's plenty of non-white Brits who are as old school British as the Queen. (I know some of them.) So not every ethnic neighbourhood would need to be patrolled by armoured Land-Rovers.

I've Muslim blokes who fitted seamlessly into the working class environment of white vans, short cropped hair and steel toecap boots. It's a question of attitude: Muslims tend to stay "working class" as opposed to Hindus who are after for professional status from the get go.

London's big infrastructure components would be kept going because it would have to be, it's that simple.

You would have internal factions but those who choose extra parliamentary methods would have to be treated as traitors...

Access to firearms would skew things though, they are rare here. (Legal ones anyway). Those that had them would be in a position of power. But how difficult is it to manufacture guns in a country like this? Guns are not near as complicated as a car engine and the UK is full of blokes who can build those. You'd need a workshop and an engineer or two. (?) I'd think cartridges would be the problem.

Anyhow I would expect that people would insist on a right to keep and bear arms if the forces of law n' order couldn't keep the scum in their barrios.

And how long would it take to get the forces back here if it really was time critical? One month max, eh?

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2009
And Wes S: Our cops do have guns - G36s, MP5s and Glock 17s. Not every officer is trained to use them but there are a few. And then there's army stockpiles, I think there must be quite a lot of L1A1 FN FALs raked somewhere.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 11, 2009
Disturbs me that the prize is Pepsi. If'n it was somehing like : 20 minutes snatch and grab from JB's liqour cabinet . . . .yeah . . .

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NukemHill puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2009
How about a shadow/exile government being established "elsewhere"? Maybe in Scotland or Wales? Prolly not Ireland! The "Loyalists" would be a confederation of pre-Collapse British government officials, military leaders, and royalists. They'd be the ones aligned with the US.

It's pretty much assumed that the Internet as we've come to know it disappears, yes? That obviously has an enormous impact on communications. Is the international satellite network stable? If not, then even more communication breakdowns result. (You may have already started this process; I'm not remembering all of the details from WW.) I'd count on the undersea cables being cut, probably by pirates.

Even better, I'd have one of the Vultures (with a legitimate sea presence) focus on cutting off all land/sea-based communication networks to and from the US. And that could be a battle that Britain fights against their enemies, too.

Are you going to have any long-term environmental issues arise from Israel's nuclear attacks in the Middle-East? That would be some nice salt to pour on the wound, so to speak.

Someone mentioned Mad Max earlier. You're going to have to walk a very fine line in order to pull off anything short of total societal collapse, and have it be believable. The "Dark Years" could very easily be decades, or even more than a century, long in well over 75% of the world. And even those areas that manage to either avoid it, or pull themselves back out of it fairly quickly, will see ginormous setbacks for many years to come.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir!

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Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 11, 2009
NukeHill: "long-term environmental issues arise from Israel’s nuclear attacks "

True that. It's big thing to let off so many nukes inside Earth's atmosphere - Nuclear winter? (Or is that dated?)

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Guy asserts...

Posted May 11, 2009
Back in the 1970s ethnic minorities in the UK were usually described as "black" and "Asian". Nowadays the "Asian" category has disappeared to be replaced by subdivisions such as "Muslim", "Hindu", "Bangladashi" etc. Remember that many of these communities that were lumped together under the "Asian" heading do not like each other very much. The Indian/Hindu community has done very well economically by and large, while the Muslims tend to be at the bottom of the heap. Also, if the Blair government had decided to throw out the Muslims he would have made a great show of NOT throwing out the Hindus (just to show what a non-racist kind of chap he was). Given the very tense relations between Hindu and Muslim there would very likely have been many Hindus who would have supported the expulsion of the Muslims and the Government would have used this to their advantage.

Furthermore, with continental Europe going up in flames, the vast majority of British people, including Londoners, would be demanding heavily increase security measures to control rioting Mulims and others and to prevent the country being overwhelmed by refugees from the continent. The average Brit would have seen the BBC reports of the chaos, death and destruction in Paris and would support any kind of draconian security measures in order to avoid the same thing happening in Britain.

With America gone and most of Europe in turmoil, the British government would be looking to secure food resources from the Irish Republic, which has a traditional large agricultural surplus. The Irish, enjoying better relations with the UK since the Good Friday Agreement, and worried about their own security and keen to be able to continue to export, would most likely decide that it was in their interests to forge closer links with Britain.

The British would also look to Norway for oil and gas. The Norwegians were already supplying a good deal of both to the UK via teh already existing shared pipelines under the North Sea and it is likely they would be prepared to cooperate. They would want to have a closer relationship with the UK as Britain seems to be the major European power least affected by the massive post-wave instability. Norway has a small population and tiny armed forces. They would be grateful to be able to increase their security links with the British and to continue to be able to export their oil and gas to a (relatively) secure market.

It would be a very tense and unpleasant few years for the UK and for London, with very high levels of unemployment, shortages of virtually everything, perhaps even outright hunger but I believe that, compared with most of the rest of Europe, Britain would do relatively well.

The Tories might be back in power but it seeems likely that they would be leading a national coalition government. I doubt that conditions would permit a full scale general election.

The Government would be heavily promoting symbols of unity such as the Queen. There would be great propaganda efforts made to mould public opinion with memories of 1940, the threat from overseas, us against the world etc. Given the lack of anything else to do with curfews etc, the public would be watching listening to the BBC/SKY etc in record numbers and this would give the government a great opportunity to manage the public mood.

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2009
What Guy said. Especially a sort of north European band of Ireland, UK and Norway, and the other Scandos would come with Norway, they usually stick together. I could see much of the EU needing to do that sort of thing, but Holland and Germany would be right there I'd bet.

People would be poorer, but they'd would still have cupboards full of clothes left over from the good times shoes would wear out faster. Much more people trudging around in worn out trainers.

I think the air would smell of coal and wood smoke much more, and there would be the fast food smells of diesel engines burning used chip fat and veg oil to top up the Norwegian oil. Vehicles would be noisier too as people get rid of exhaust systems with gas guzzling catalysts and fit simpler straight through pipes.

A shortage of antiperspirant (and household heating oil?) and lots more walking and cycling means people would be smellier, a combination of smelly feet and sweaty pits.

To get into houses you would have to negotiate an obstacle course of handle bars, pedals and panniers; streets, alleys and hallways would be cluttered with bikes locked to railings etc. Bike theft would be a more serious crime and much more common. The streets would be full of the rattlings and squeaks of semi maintained bikes.

Markets would be popular as people looked to make money by selling off stuff and to pick up cheap food: Most towns have a market place, Tesco would be a duller place though - maybe they'd start some sort of farmer's market themselves to keep up?

People would routinely carry a bag or day pack just in case they find a bargain.

Diesel vans and utility vehicles would become sought after to haul firewood and salvage, people would hoard piles of scrap and lumber under tarps in their back gardens.

Scrap merchants would be rich.

Rubbish would really be rubbish, nobody will chuck something that can be reused or sold.

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Guy puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2009
Just to add to what I said before (and to what Matt has just written, which seems spot on)the Government has had for the last 60 years a special (and constantly updated) protection plan in place for key buildings in London and elsewhere that would be activated in the event of serious civil disorder. This would involve a proverbial "ring of steel" being put around Westminster and Whitehall for a start. Images of the Palace of Westminster gutted by fire might be good disaster movie fare but in reality the Palace and the Government ministries nearby would remain secure no matter what might happen elsewhere. Similar measure would certainly be in place at other key buildings such as the British Museum, the National Gallery, Kensington Palace etc.

Also worth adding that the Sikh community is historically even more hostile to the Muslims than the Hindus. They are a warrior people and highly likely to stand alongside the UK government in any action against Muslims.

It is also highly likely that the post-Wave emergency would strongly reinforce the Union between England Scotland and Wales. In a time of serious trouble, the Scots and Welsh would be much more interested in the greater security that would certainly come from being part of a United Kingdom rather than risking their safety by playing games with deveolution/independence.

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mckinneytexas reckons...

Posted May 12, 2009
Would it be possible that there is an element within the Muslim community that is disrespecting the UK's firearms ban and that, when the shit hits the fan, there is a well-armed, unhappy group of non-assimiliationists?

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted May 13, 2009
Yes, Mckinney. Seeing as most of the Pakistanis in the UK are Pathan (? Pashto) and of the same tribe as the Taliban. But home-made bombs seem to be more what our security services are worried about. But add in Jihadi training camps visits when back home plus East European guns...

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Steve G. mutters...

Posted May 14, 2009
Vermin - Nobody writes about how rats, mice, chipmunks or squirrels and their parasites might adapt to a new regime.

Espcially, I'd think that flies, fleas and ticks would increase with decreased living standards and decreased or absent cleanliness standards. Add to that the large collection of new food for them - dead, dying and unattended sick people - this would become a real plague.

Then the diseases they bear would reappear and rampage through the weakened population.

Those things would bring about quite a few changes in behavior.

P.S., love your books - write more soon!

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 14, 2009
Ah,Steve G. you missed it but we did do a long thread on this after the book came out. It helped me with the sequel. Glad you enjoyed the scribblin'.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted May 14, 2009
Is it time for some Dickensian squallor, work houses & Plague?

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Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 14, 2009
I reckon the govt. would invest in a lot of Keynesian style projects to keep people busy and kick start the economy, so there'd be a lot of people employed as rat catchers, street sweepers, neighbourhood wardens etc etc.

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Guy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 14, 2009
It's worth remembering that during the Second World War when german submarine attacks led to severe rationing of food and drink in Britain, the population was never more healthy. It's much better for you to eat vegetables and take lots of exercise digging your allotments and training with the Home Guard than it is to sit on your backside at home eating hamburgers and chocolate and swigging back the booze (although the burgers are likely to taste better than the swedes and turnips!) One beneficial by-product of the post-Wave upheaval for the Brtish would probably be that most people would become slimmer and fitter thanks to a better, if less satisfying, diet and more exercise.

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted May 14, 2009
For sure, and Britain has quite a lot of good farmland. Back to the old fashioned all pervading smell of boiled cabbage.

So, 21st C austerity Britain: smellier, thinner, shabbier.

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Guy has opinions thus...

Posted May 14, 2009
Dig for Victory!

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lotocoti asserts...

Posted May 15, 2009
Rather than putting the Tories in power, just run with Labour (which fits the timeline... the next election would have been 2005) an ousted Blair and a psychotic Brown with their (Labour's) appalling Civil Contingencies Act (1984 was the template)in force.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/en/ukpgaen_20040036_en_1

Which would pretty much crush the population, DDR style.

That opens the door to a lot of civil insurrection and especially capital flight.

Julianne's career as a Capital Runner would really take off then.

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Respond to 'Pepsi Challenge. London after the Wave.'

Ever had a dislocated shoulder?

Posted May 5, 2009 by John Birmingham
One of my characters just got one and I need to know what it feels like, how long to recover, how much mobility returns in what time etc.

52 Responses to ‘Ever had a dislocated shoulder?’

Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted May 5, 2009
Hmm buggered if I know - but if its anything like a broken elbow then I'd say Farken Painful, couldn't sleep lying down for a week due to the pain (despite beer and Panadeine Forte being gobbled like Smarties, mobility was virtually nil then gradually came back over a period of about 3-6 months. Still gets stiff 2 years later,crackles and groans often, and I'll probably never regain the ability to straighten my arm fully. Fun eh?

That delightful little anecdote may help!

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted May 5, 2009
Nope never (touch wood). I did bust up my ac once snowboarding. But thats a bit different, though I can say even a moderate shoulder injury makes driving almost impossible.

We had a winger once who had a really dicky shoulder. It was weak and he'd dislocated it numerous times. He could occaionally put it out during a game and then snap it back in and play on. But he was always reduced effectiveness afterwards and I never saw him do it twice in one game.

It depends on a few factors but Overwhelmingly the severity of the dislocation is most important. A first time limb dislocation is a traumatic experience. If it pops out and STAYS out you're pretty much helpless unless you know how to reinsert it. Adrenaline might get you a ways but you'll be less than 50% effectiveness at best. I saw a guy go into shock once over a knee dislocation (he wasnt on my team fyi)

If your character is an otherwise fit adult male and the severity and duration of the dislocation was moderate I'd give it two days for partial use, ~ a week for full range of movement and possibly a month+ for 100% strength. But in my experience dudes with dislocated shoulders have a lot of trouble ever getting back to 100% afterwards. Its one of those injuries where if you pop it once it just gets easier and easier each time.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5, 2009
Never Broke a shoulder, dislocated both but never broke the bone. While a dislocated shoulder hurts, so does 'popping' it back in.

From a couple of medical websites

The shoulder blade (scapula) is rarely broken. Of all bone breaks, shoulder blade breaks occur less than 1% of the time.

Scapular fractures occur more often in young men aged 25-45 years because of the activities and trauma they encounter. These occur with athletic activities, motor vehicle accidents, and other forms of blunt trauma.

If you are talking about a Clavicle fracture these are more common.

They can occur different ways. Some patients fall on an outstretched hand, others fall and hit the outside of their shoulder. Broken collarbones can also occur from a direct hit to the clavicle. In babies, clavicle fractures occur at birth during passage through the birth canal. ( I assume we aren't talking about that sort of injury?)

The symptoms of a broken collarbone, most often are shoulder pain, (who'd have thought it?) and difficulty moving their arm (no shit Sherlock) . Swelling and bruising around the broken bone are also quite common. After the swelling has subsided, the fracture is often easily felt through the skin.

At the doctor's office or in the emergency room, an x-ray will show the fracture. Your doctor will also perform an examination to ensure the nerves and blood vessels surrounding the clavicle are in tact. The nerves and vessels are rarely injured because of a broken collarbone.

And the treatment for a clavicle fractures? While I'd recommend massive quanties of drugs and hard liquor the medical websites recommend Treatment of clavicle fractures most commonly involves resting the affected extremity. There are several types of slings available; one commonly used is called a"figure-of-8" splint. This is a brace that wraps around the shoulders to keep them back--like a soldier standing at attention.

It is unusual for a clavicle fracture to require surgery, and most often an attempt at treatment in a sling is made. Surgery is required in some situations when either the skin is broken or if the fracture is severely displaced or shortened.

How long does it take to recover from a collarbone fracture? TOO FRACKING LONG Clavicle fractures should heal completely within 12 weeks, but the pain usually subsides within a few weeks. Often patients are back to full activities before 12 weeks has passed, especially with younger patients.

Hope this helps

As a general guide to return to activities, nothing should cause worsening pain. If not wearing a sling causes pain, wear a sling. If driving hurts the fracture site, don't drive. If throwing a ball hurts, don't throw. Once an activity doesn't cause significant pain, a gradual return can be attempted.

Recovery is usually complete, with a full return expected. Patients may notice a persistent bump where the fracture was (often for months or longer), but this should not be bothersome.

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Abe has opinions thus...

Posted May 5, 2009
Nope. Dislocated a kneecap in January if that helps?

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted May 5, 2009
Barnes? As your in the mood to be giving out medical advice . . . there's this little problem I got . . . .?

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Patricia mumbles...

Posted May 5, 2009
Um, I don't know if I can be of much help because my joints are hypermobile...so they pop in and out if the muscles around them are not strong. I tend to do yoga every day to keep them strong and hold them in, because the white tissue is loose around the joints. I've never fully dislocated a shoulder, only the arm socket...but I put it back in straight away. It's painful, but nothing like dislocating the femur out of your hip socket. Now THAT is pain.

But yeah, Barnes is your man, I reckon.

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted May 5, 2009
I'll ask a doctor bud of mine and get back to you.

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lostatlunch mumbles...

Posted May 5, 2009
Barnesm... can you have a look at this???...

same rule they have at the gentlemans club.

no touching...

I finally got my sister to read WW... she is more likely to read the heart warming tale of some kid with in some pyjama's in Poland in WWII with no glowing firefights, if you are going to have a book in WWII Poland, how can you NOT have a massive running battle as a theme of the book.

Anyway she loved it.. "Absolutely brilliant.. Want wait for the next one".. She has bough 5 copies for her friends, including sending 2 to the UK and one to the US.

Cheers JB, she loves your work. SHe also bought the last trilogy today.

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mckinneytexas would have you know...

Posted May 5, 2009
Okay, from Barry Nelms MD, Board Certified Orthopedic Surgery, Fellow Spine Surgery:

" A dislocated shoulder is painful, and usually renders the arm useless due to pain and deformity at the shoulder. The arm is held at the side, usually slightly away from the body with the forearm turned outward in an anterior dislocation, which the most common dislocation. The diagnosis is made with x-rays, most important is the trans-axillary view (pointing up at the armpit) to determine the orientation of the dislocation, that is, whether it is anterior (out the front) or posterior (out the back).

The treatment is to relax the patient with medication, either I.V. or local anesthetic into the joint, or both.

There are several maneuvers that can be used to reduce a shoulder dislocation--usually each physician has a favored reduction maneuver. In general, the goal is to manipulate the bones to allow them to slide back into position without causing further damage to the shoulder joint.

Treatment is immobilization of the reduced shoulder for at least 3 weeks, then gradual, progressive range of motion and strengthening under the guidance of a physical therapist, and frequent follow up with a physician. Recurrent dislocation is a problem after a dislocation.

Other issues sometimes confused with shoulder dislocation are: shoulder separation (this is where the collar bone separates from the shoulder blade), and shoulder subluxation ( a partial, or incomplete dislocation which may go back in place on its own)."

Let me know if there is anything else you need.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted May 5, 2009
Trinity's younger son had a dislocated shoulder but he is out at Pendleton. I'll see if she can't put in a call to him for some info.

Sounds like everyone else has covered it though.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Robert ducks in to say...

Posted May 6, 2009
Never dislocated a shoulder. Got a troublesome knee, though. Damn thing won't bend all the way. Continuous, annoying pain. Makes it difficult to walk the dog with any velocity of interest to a large dog. I've been favoring that leg and limping a lot as I stump about the neighborhood.

Mel Gibson did that dislocated shoulder thing in Lethal Weapon, no? I think that was a Hollywood injury, only vaguely related to an actual injury. Depends which character takes the hit as to how they react to the problem. Gibson whacked it against a wall to put it in place. I suspect most of us would seek the help of a pro and pain relief, although since you wrecked the world, docs and meds are probably in short supply...

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simon bedak mumbles...

Posted May 6, 2009
Popped my right once a bit when stinkily feeding cattle & they bumped me onto the ground. Magically popped back in before going to the hospital as I was in the process of spraying deodorant upon regularly stinky spots as wife was getting the car.

Lack of mobility, tooth-ripping pain, inability to correctly spray deodorant upon affected area until it pops back in

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andyf is gonna tell you...

Posted May 6, 2009
Ive had a dislocated shoulder- broke the neck of the upper arm bone too.

felt like a pressure inside the joint.pain etc

the quacks sent me home with opiate painkillrs and a sling,

i woke up in the morning lying on it. it had gone back in the night,

most of the pain was gone, just felt a bit like a sprain for a few days, was stil broken tho

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Oldsinger is gonna tell you...

Posted May 6, 2009
I've had several. My left shoulder would pop out of joint because of weak ligaments. The shoulder hangs out of the socket (usually with the bone end forward of the body). The longer the shoulder dislocates, the tighter the muscles that support the shoulder area will tighten (with much of the pectoral muscle exhibiting the most tightening). The longer it is out, the more difficult to reduce (relocate).

Really not that painful as uncomfortable and quite upsetting. The body will go into shock because of the trauma. I've had mine reduced at least six times using different methods...from me shrugging and shaking it back in place to having a team of six doctors and nurses hold me down with a sheet around my waist and others holding my legs and good shoulder while the doctor would scoop the bone back into place.

IV Demerol was the drug of choice when the team of six reduced my shoulder. gave me quite a hangover the next day.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted May 6, 2009
I've dislocated a shoulder or two over the years, but, after doing so, I never stuck around long enough to find out how long it takes to heal. All I can confirm is that it is a great way to immobilize someone.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted May 6, 2009
I did martial arts as a teenager and saw a few knees and shoulders pop during sessions. They instantly go into shock and are pretty much immobilized. They tend to recur. When I studied anatomy the lecturer said that you only ever get 80% tissue healing and the recurrence factor is a right pain in the ass. I saw some really big guys with second degree black belts go down like a sack of shit and they were pretty much out of action in training for weeks afterwards. Like most trauma injuries early treatment and TLC make a difference and acupuncture is a big help to the the healing time and the pain relief.

As a massage therapist I treated older shoulders that had been through the wars and their owners all said the same thing - they stopped doing whatever it was that was causing the injury to recur. Lots of probs with frozen shoulders (unable to elevate the arm above shoulder height) in later life. Not fun.

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Naut would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2009
I broke my collarbone right at the shoulder joint, did the ac as well, that hurt, A LOT!

From what I have seen the impact of a shoulder dislocation depends on how tight the ligaments are. If they are pretty loose it goes back in pretty easy and I have seen people continue playing football.

That said I know of one AFL footballer that used to regularly pop his shoulder and he had to go to hospital and a machine would force it back in.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 6, 2009
I've dislocated both knees and my self respect. The knees hurt like a MF and take about a fortnight to return to full function.

The self respect was suprisingly painless and the 30 pieces of silver came in handy.

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2009
Thanks all. Some very useful stuff here. I'll have to rejig some copy in light of it.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted May 6, 2009
Good on for going for realism. I come from a medical family and get really narked off when people get nasty injuries in the movies and magically jump up all better.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted May 6, 2009
Jb what about being a method writer and sufdering for your art?

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2009
Chaz - he did that for Felafel.

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'Roach reckons...

Posted May 6, 2009
Yep... not just dislocated but also a fragment of bone knocked off the top of my humerous

How it feels? First five minutes or so it wasn't too bad... simply still too buzzing from the adrenalin etc. to really notice the pain, but I did notice the odd feeling of having the muscles and tendons supporting my arm istead of the bone. Once the 'buzz' wore off the pain was quite bad.

Recovery time? I had my arm in a sling for the better part of six weeks and had very limited movement for a month or two beyond that. A little under 12 months later for all intents and purposes my arm is fully functional but I occasionally get the odd twinge of pain.

Well, anyway that's the last time I'm stupid enough to try cycling through an obvious patch of ice on the road.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted May 6, 2009
Therbs, and?

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NBlob reckons...

Posted May 6, 2009
Chaz

Ol' Leather lungs worked out that he can get others to suffer for his art.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted May 6, 2009
nbob, Yes we merry few

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savo would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2009
Strong tooth ache type of pain in the shoulder. Joint feels 'sticky' to move. Very limited movement and no strength. Holdingit tightly with the other hand relieves pain a bit but doesn't allow much more movement. Depending on damage it stays painful for ages.

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Respond to 'Ever had a dislocated shoulder?'

Escaping New York.

Posted April 24, 2009 by John Birmingham
Not much writing will get done the next two days because we have visitors, which is why I ranked it up a bit earlier this week.

Spent quite a bit of time narrative time in New York, which I hadn't really planned, but having filled it full o' pirates n freebooters and raiders and looters, it was kinda hard to get my characters out. Took a whole chapter just to get out of the building they were in.

Now I have to get them about fifty blocks up town, though a small war, and into a den of villains.

I was hoping that I could so in about two chapts, but it might blow out a bit. (The Transition scene at the start of WoC, for instance was originally supposed to run about three thousand words. It topped out at forty-seven thousand.)

Anyway, this is what I'll be pondering while I wrangle kids n visitors today.

How to get my guys through a post-Wave New York being fought over by baddies and the Cav.

I'm a big fan of bringing back the Cav.

67 Responses to ‘Escaping New York.’

Moko asserts...

Posted April 24, 2009
Off topic, soz. Hey, you know how you were asking for content ideas for this joint a few weeks back?. How about reviews for shit?. Books, movies, games, places, music, whatever?.

Havock's got some Wagner for the Cav if you need it. Good luck.

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted April 24, 2009
Subway tunnels? So long as no bright spark turns the bloody power on.

Speedboat? Dunno much about the geography of NYC.

Or... How many of those corporate towers have helicopters on top of them? Damn long slog to the top to find out though.

A wheeled loader or bulldozer to shovel through the wreckage? It'd take you form point A to point Z without having to go through the rest of the alphabet.

The slow bit would be finding your getaway ride and getting it going - old petrol or bleeding the fuel system, prosaic stuff like that.

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lostatlunch swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2009
hmm.. How is the city holding up? Mogadishu... or dregraded to Escape from New YOrk

Often speculated how a small well-armed & trained unit would go in a big abandonded city against a raving mob.. or indeed a group of well-armed, highly motivated and cautious amateurs

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jennicki swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2009
Nothing a little explode-y goodness can't fix.

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Naut has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
New York has to be the best post apocalyptic landscape ever. All those buildings, central park, water, subway, sewers, soooooooo much potential.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
New York is easy - if you can make it to the water. It is an island.

Scoped it out - when Birmo was asking for stories. Helipads - check. Central Park - check. What condition is the area around the former Twin Towers?

Here's a conundrum. Does anyone want to make entry into a skyscaper? If they're open any where - its one ginormous chimney. True. Windraft in those things is an architectural known.

Wagner . . . .anyone listen to the whole Ring Cycle? Once. Only once.

Then there are real spots.

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shifty-mcgee is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2009
I vote for a group of new friends. In combat helicopters. AIR CAV TO THE RESCUE!

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
Block by block it could be nasty lots of windows in tall towers for peopele with rifles to shoot out of. NY

post-apoc is sniper heaven

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lostatlunch mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2009
Ooops, my mob may not be raving, they are probably raging.

You may have an building to shoot from, but I have an RPG, or the air-cav have a blackhawk with a minigun..

I love the idea of a a small group ducking and weaving through Manhattan with a couple freelancer groups looting the city and the military forces also trying to secure an asset. What could that asset be?

Washington must be also a target for some of the nationaly significant items held there. These wouls be very important America must be trying it is holding on to a national awarness and dealing the the psychological issues with it's radicaly altered profile.

K. must occupy the white house as soon as someone has wiped Dubya's gloop of the big chair.

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Moko asserts...

Posted April 24, 2009
Blowing holes through walls of buildings will save exposure to the outside.

Well, it works on Battlefield: Bad Company. lol

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2009
Moko's right, and any person dumb enough to hot the pavement will be toast, talk about fire lanes along and the ULTIMATE from above, if like Chaz mentioned you are sniping.

The Cav simply rocks, even the US Cav, Chain Guns..mmmmmm. I'd also want plenty of smoke and frags.

Building clearance or general battle in a built up area...NOT FUCKING PRETTY!.

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
Darkman vey hard to track a sniper in a ruined urban environment

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Moko has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
Daring acts awesomeness on the roof tops?.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted April 24, 2009
Get a trusty canine to sniff out booby traps and bad guys. Gotta love an heroic dog story. Then if its Scooby and the gang you'd have the pirate ghost problem sorted out.

Yeah, get the Cav, with Havock picking the soundtrack.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted April 24, 2009
Hmm bridging actions accross streets at say the tenth floor that could be fun.

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Brian reckons...

Posted April 24, 2009
Imagine rush hour, bumoer to bumper traffic losing all the drivers. Its a slow motion bumper fest. Not like a freeway pile up. Some fires. Ground access won't be bad. Unless you factor in a few tower collapses due to fire - even then, not a Twin Tower event.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted April 24, 2009
Imagining myself as the leader of one of the Executive Recovery Companies.

What am I after? What is in NYC that is valuable in a post wave world? What has survived the 12 months exposure?

The looting of the Baghdad Museum - seemed a systematic operation with a shopping list.

The Gugenheim? MoMo?

How about Bullion?

Or IP like a simple manilla folder with the Coke recipe?

Rules of engagement for the Cav? Free Fire Zone or stop & search?

Transport would have to be Havocks 750cc 2Stroke offroad Noisemakers. (Can you imagine the tyre spray mark up your back of all the goop puddles? ugh) + small boats - again 2stroke - simple tech able to cope with less than perfect fuel.

You're not going to rehash the tunnel scene in The Stand are you?

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Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2009
All the subway tunnels in NY will be completely flooded within about 48 hrs of losing electricity.

Best place to base oneself would probably be central park. Getting around the city would best be done by circumnavigation on the river unless you had a reason to go down the avenues

Also bike paths. Any city with a dedicated bike path will have relatively unimpeded access along them. You could get a vehicle down most of those. Maybe a truck on some

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lostatlunch would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
Chaz in NY city with all the cover... hard to get a clean round off, there is so much cover. It is not an enviroment I want to be in, I would just prefer to be a runner than a camper..

On the other hand "The Darkman Express" (formerly a FEDEX 747 cargo) would be ticking over at La Guardia waiting for the crew to arrive back with a load of goodies from the National Guard armoury to retail to the settlers in the frontier states. Predators would be great for surveying the back 40, but boots and clothes and general supplies (even rations) would be gold worthy to those on the rush to claim land.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted April 24, 2009
NWBob ... I'll have you know that the formula for Coca Cola resides in the vault of SunTrust Bank in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USofA.

Heathen.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
Oh, and Birmo ... when does Havock baiting season start this year?

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
Lobes - bike paths would be congested with tangled masses of decaying slouchbikes, covered in slouchbiker goop. Eeeewwwww. No thanks!

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Moko swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2009
...but how much fun could you have with a ghillie suit in central park in a meltdown?.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2009
Lobes is correct about tunnels and basements. Every city substation I've seen has submersible sump pumps. Hmm . . could be ankle, waist or man deep depending.

NYC also has a number of underground rivers still flowing under the streets. Grenwich village has one.

Still we're only talking couple of years here.

Bike paths is a good'n. I'm wondering if bikes or even motor bikes aren't a way to get around.

Horses and bitumin roads aren't a good idea. Plays hell with their legs. Equine shin splints sorta damn thing IIRC - you need to check that out. Stevo was rather careful with his characters, horses and roadways.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted April 24, 2009
Tunnels will be flooded unless someone has restored the pumps. They'd be dicey to scuba through as well.

I gotta admit, I like the boat idea. Slip out to the river, pick up a boat (there are bound to be boats available) and effect your movement to the objective. Extraction might be difficult if the element is detected but then it depends on whether this is a military or a civilian element.

Per Central Park, if it were me, I'd place some sort of military unit there, US or otherwise. When Trinity and I walked through it during the Feb 09 trip, I kept thinking, "Those baseball diamonds would be a great place to put M-109 Palladins." Placed effectively, a Central Park firebase could rain steel down upon most points of Manhattan.

Boat. I like the boat. Or you go could the Whiskey Tango route with a Dodge Ram equipped with a Hemi, lift kit, quad fifty cal on the back and a massive audio system ready to play lines from Pride and Prejudice.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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aaron ducks in to say...

Posted April 24, 2009
use of an abandoned helicopter would be cool as a skin of teeth getaway after a pitched battle to get up to the roof.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted April 24, 2009
Or you go could the Whiskey Tango route with a Dodge Ram equipped with a Hemi, lift kit, quad fifty cal on the back and a massive audio system ready to play lines from Pride and Prejudice.

best thing said all day

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Brian asserts...

Posted April 24, 2009
Havocks got me thinking. Alleys and garbage trucks.

Cities got these small garbage trucks - they have to fit in alleys. Most of the car pile ups are in the mainstreets. But alleys would be relatively clear. A GT's got enough heft to plow through those property line fences. Fair metal protection. Runs on diesel. Odds are good to find one with fuel. Lotta space in the back. And they have the capability of ramming storefronts.

Several places around NYC you could put military forces. The obvious ones are Ellis Island, Central Park and the bridges. But they're relatively useless in the city canyons ie choppers that sorta stuff.

What part of the day all this suppossing to be happening? Hell . . .what part of the year? Night and winter? Could get big fogs into the old city.

A few imponderables.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 24, 2009
Need a cowcatcher on the front of the truck, just like that Dodge in the remake of Death Race.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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aaron has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
lobes you gave me a great idea. Bike paths + looted harleys ridden by soldiers with lots of firepower = awesome!

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2009
Murph. Never seen a garbage truck yet that didn't have a dirty big heavy metal front. Look at concrete corner columns in some cities - damn things are eroded by bumper contact.

Garbage truck is probably good for a minimum of 15 tonne. NYC have snow plows? Another possible.

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lostatlunch puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2009
aaron, I respect your vision of Harleys, soldiers and firepower, but you also need naked chicks.. where are the naked chicks?

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simon bedak mutters...

Posted April 24, 2009
Birmo baby, the best way to bust through anything is on Havock's mustering motorbikes driving 1,000 head of cattle through whatever's in your way. Just round up the cattle Lobes' would have grazing in Central Park and the sound of Murph starting up his cowcatcher will be enough to get them to stampede.

The idea of bulls running amok towards Wall Street causing mayhem'd be delicious. Not pork delicious, but something close..

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Sweet Jane Says is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2009
motorbikes, horses, boats, and bicycles

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2009
ot sure really I would want to set up in Central Park..Its a great FIXED location, spotted on all sides by Building I think and simply too god dam easy to target for hit and run shite....IMHO.

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2009
bedak..I d like the way your mind works..NOT SURE HOW IT WORKS..but the end results are fucking wicked..lol

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Ian mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2009
After watching the Doco 'Life without People' I would't want to be near NYC subways!

But an pitched battle along Broadway and Times Square, well it would be like the way it was in NYC in the 1970's! Hehehe!

Oh, as for Military units and locations in NYC, The waterfront, if you brought Navy Carriers or Amphibious forces, and or the airports. But the thougt of Abrams tanks in the city...No. Bradleys or Hummers maybe, and no to helicopters, in a skyscraper area they are toast!

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
Often speculated how a small well-armed & trained unit would go in a big abandonded city against a raving mob....

...just play Left4Dead.

as to a ghillie suit in central park look to a book called 'this park in mine' which was made into a pretty forgetable movie

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lostatlunch asserts...

Posted April 24, 2009
This is just confirming that the recovery of a major city... even without burnt or collapsed buildings is a lot of very hard work. it is the perfect place fr a rag-tag mob to work their way through the city collecting the premium salvage.

I am flogging the dark man express, locating a boston whaler and docking at Norfolk Virginia to fill it. If the USS Harry Truman is in port, she may be a useful bit of salvage.

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
Yep accordng to Weisman you can wave goodby to most things subsurface unless they are sealed or have tanking abouve ground level.

I know it's only been a year but I'd say there would be lot of glass on the streets lots of empty dead eyed holes in the sides of buildings plus how much was damaged due to fires after the during after the 'event'. Due to the cloud covern and weather effects at least there's minimal chance of any of the parks being burnt out during summer fires.

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Moko swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2009
I'll confer with Lord Google, B. Cheers!.

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Trowzers puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2009
I vote bikes (preferably motorised) and forget the bikepaths except for long runs out the 'burbs - sidewalks are the way to go. Just ask the bike couriers. Surely if anyone knows how to get around a city full of traffic they do (but then they aren't allowed to blow stuff up).

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Brian mutters...

Posted April 24, 2009
Broken glass. Not a big problem in a recently abandoned city ie 2 years say. Only get broken glass if there's been a fire.

Skyscraper glass has to withstand pretty substantial pressure differentials. Not to mention temperature and wind flex. Its 6 mm plus thick. hmm . . .wouldn't expect a lot to flex out. Look around any city. How much maintenance is done on tower windows? Very little if at all.

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simon bedak has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
Very very OT, but my Meat & Livestock Australia membership just sent in this week's pig report which is certain to be of interest -

"Pig trade quiet - 24/04/2009

Pig rates were firm to slightly cheaper this week as demand continues to be soft. The seasonally tight supply of pigs is making it difficult for rates to decline, however, there is sufficient numbers to meet current demand. Interest from Singapore remains steady as they try to secure adequate numbers of good quality pigs. Sow rates were unchanged this week."

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simon bedak mutters...

Posted April 24, 2009
PS havock...Get yer footy tips in..and thanks

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sparty mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2009
Hangglide from skyscraper to sky scaper (worked for Kurt Russel although i guess that was getting in, not out).

The Intrepid? (aircraft carrier museum docked on the west side, would make for a neta set piece).

The Stand does it so well, which is excuse the pun a tough standard to live up to...

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Big Bad Al would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
In another life when I was in the Army one of our exchange officers was a British SAS officer who had recently returned from tours of Northern Ireland. He taught us a lot of good stuff on patrolling, clearing and securing in high rise and urban areas.

It is probably one of the hardest tasks to undertake.

Every citizen is a potential enemy, every vehicle you pass is a potential bomb. You not only have to be aware of what is happening around you but also above (Rooftop Snipers) and below (enemy/bombs in sewers, subways and underground car parks). In high rise areas air cover is next to useless. Rooftop snipers will most likely hear any helicopter before the helicopter sees them.

It would not be much different in a post-Wave New York. Every person or group would be considered hostile. Open areas such as Central Park would only be useful for insertion and extraction. Same for the waterways.

However in a post-Wave New York you could most probably call in an air strike and level any building that was giving you trouble.

There are plenty of articles on the web relating to the degradation of cities if there were no humans.

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Moko has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2009
Al. Unless you're the Predator with the shoulder fired lasers, big knifie claw thingoes, an expandable spear, dreads, and a light bending cloaking device. Then you rule.

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savo reckons...

Posted April 24, 2009
This cries out of a Pepsi Challenge JB.

The Mini can be cleaned out and ready for action in a trice.

POV=FPS good guy or bad guy or vaguely neutral. 1 block.

Heavy use of google maps street level view.

How about it?

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2009
BBA - we're still only talking about a few years degradation.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
I;m hoping B, those Cav guys have access to a D9 or better, all armoured up, cars blocking the roads will be a bitch.

As for Urban warfare, we its a CAST IRON CERTIFIED BITCH. But the good news for the Cav will be that their equipment will be better suited to that terrain, as opposed to looters and ferals etc. They may well have gathered up Mil grade armaments, but without Doctrine, thats Mil training in Urban Warfare, they will be in a world of Hurt.

How many teams JB punching up those 50 odd blocks, and the bif Q is, do they want to HOLD the path they have cleared...then it gets very interesting.

My thoughts, well, glad ya asked. It would be push in with the Cav until opposition is met, then fix them in place if possible, drop Air Mobile units behind them, hit them from front and rear, you want to WIPE THEM OUT, not push them back to fight another day or snipe at you.

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Big Bad Al ducks in to say...

Posted April 24, 2009
Brian - You would be surprised how quickly things stop working. Studies indicate that the NY subways would start filling with water in as little as 48 hours. Backup generators would fail within 7 days due to the lack of fuel.

Some of the studies are more than theories. Extensive studies have been done using Chernobyl and Pripyat as a models. These cities that were abandoned "as is, where is." and has had little human intervention since 1986.

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hughesy mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2009
Saw a Nat Geographc film today that reckons that NY is built on the path of an ancient glacier, and that is why they were able to built it so tall - all except for a low section in the middle where there's a bit of a puddle of softer material (check out the skyline).

Don't know why I thought this might be important.

Probably isn't. But then again ...

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2009
Hughesy..rest assured I will cap the ase of the first cretin who thinks it NOT important...." Puffs out chest Puts on mean face"

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Matthew K puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2009
Horses would have some utility but nothing too fine bred, they would get leg problems. You want a plodding animal that isn't a fussy eater and doesn't panic so much. Trouble is with horses that they need care and attention even when they're not working, they panic and run at the drop of a hat and you can't just park it and walk away.

Really, in NY at least, it's gotta be motorised. A garbage truck with only one live axle might struggle for traction when pushing stuff out the way, (and when you get 2wheel drive trucks stuck you're really fucked - they can't recover themselves like a land-rover/cruiser).

I'd look for all wheel drive and something like a front loader with a snow plough on it that could both lift and shovel cars/debris etc. I note that farmers and front line Brit soldiers now use diesel pick-up quads, 4x4 and 6x6. other than that a Suzuki SJ is a super mobile little "jeep" and would get you round cycle paths and climb over obstacles.

As for the SAS in Belfast: They weren't there to wreck the place. The Cav in NY though would have a much freer hand, although whether that'd make snipers any easier to spot I do not know.

But still, the cavalry riding to the rescue? That's an iconic image!

Dropping out of the sky between the concrete canyons rather than riding over the ridge.

JG Ballard is dead. Anyone here read "Hello America"? Much inspiration and images that stick with you.

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted April 25, 2009
Theres a shitload of heavy equipment at Ground Zero. All of that stuff could be put to clearing streets asap.

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tygertim mutters...

Posted April 25, 2009
Kudos to BBA, Dude, you've got it! For some interesting info and photos goto

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=6&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kiddofspeed.com%2F&ei=HAHySYnBFoWytgOUubTUCg&usg=AFQjCNEpVQnOpc-SjuEkQIyAbFxxfflYcQ

Great Photos and an excellent research site for you JB.... Gives you a really good idea what NYC would look like... Perhaps not as decayed but a good reference for your visualization....

If it was me, and I was reestablishing control over NYC, I send in a fleet, with a jeep Carrier, mostly VSTOL and Choppers... A Marine Amphibious Assault Carrier would do. The whole thing would have to be a process, a set piece battle.... First Sniper/overwatch teams placed on high buildings in a grid pattern, using armed Preditors to extend their reach, they would provide intel and control intersections and line of sight streets... Set up a CP in Central Park after clearing of any unfriendlys, Access by Riverine Fast Boats... JB any chance of K "borrowing" a few SBS from the Brits?

Street clearance by approved contractors under the protection of the military would have high priority, and provide funding as vehicles are reclaimed or recycled...

The Fleet would control access to NYC, and any unapproved elements would be stomped flat without warning in any initial operations and then Manhattan would be cleared section by section.... Scouts would be the ones to run into trouble, and the nature of the city would defiantly present a LOT of "Blackhawk Down" problems, as far as ambush by unfriendlies carring RPG 7's... sniper battles for control of desired sections is a given and ops would be long and costly for the good guys... in other words a root'n toot'n wild East town.....

Whooooooo! Sounds excite'n don't it. Glad it's not me though...

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tygertim mumbles...

Posted April 25, 2009
Just reviewed the site again... JB the Photos in the section entitled "GhostTown" are especially relevant to AA.... Poignant does not begin to describe the scenes found in these photos. My link works, but http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html should do it as well.

Well worth the visit.

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted April 25, 2009
Just so long as the old "Ride of the Valkyries" cliché isn't used.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted April 25, 2009
BBA : I think you miss my point. I'm talking about the bricks and mortar infrastructure.

I saw the Chernobyl studies. Saw the show 'After Man'. Depends on the time interval as to how much damage occurs. ANd that we're guessing. Birmo's setting it just after the Wave event so I would think several years.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 25, 2009
Havock, if I had a firebase in Central Park, I'd almost surely have OPs on various high points in the city. Not only would I have FOs at the OPs but I would also have commo pukes up there as well.

Oh, just as a self pimping aside, The Limb Knitter will be reprinted in an anthology put out by Apex Magazine. Should be out late December. Here is the link.

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/news/2009/04/apex-magazine-antho-update/

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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El Coqui swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 26, 2009
Birmo and Guys:

Some travel music while we enjoy the Big Apple amenities post Wave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR9N1ia1RgU

(I want to be in the Cavalry by Corbin)

And remember Of you Ain't CAV, you Ain't Sh...!

Who knew that Cav was alive and kicking when he read about this cute but only five nothing female warrant officer aviator and cavalrywoman. That received a medal for valor by providing close air support to troops in contact. She did so by leaning out of the door of her little Kiowa Warrior and engaging the enemy with her M-4.

I know that Captain Nathan Bridges AKA John Wayne would have approved of her.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted April 27, 2009
Hey Murph,

Ball park estimate please.

How many warm bodies will you require to take & hold Manhattan?

Will you be demolishing blocks of buildings to provide clear fire lines? Or at least to deny sniping positions.

You're not up against a standup army, or even an insurgency - rather a dozen completely disparate groups of Executive Recovery Companies.

They will not want to engage with your conventional forces, rather scurry undetected through underground carparks and subway tubes.

They may want to take a shot at another ERC if they think they have been pipped to some particularly valuable goodies.

So if you were tasked with securing Manhattan (Yes I see the Irony) what would you need to take to the party.

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aaron ducks in to say...

Posted April 27, 2009
of course there are chicks - stripper grade with a flagrant disregard for wearing clothes.

another motorbike thing, they could ride them up the fire escape of a high rise ala T1000 in terminator 2. now thats way to get to the top!

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted April 27, 2009
Further thought.

Strikes me that currently AQ & Taliban etc trade on an ability to dissapear into a civillian population. You can't see the nut for the beards - if you get what I mean.

ERCs will stand out like dog's balls as there is (at first) no resident population. For the first period before legit resettlement if it moves it's a baddy.

Then as legitimate / authorised assesment & resource revovery teams move in there will be lots of opportunity for friendly-ish fire problems.

"But you said there was no-one in sector 4"

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tygertim asserts...

Posted April 28, 2009
@NB See Tygertim post 25 April 09 4:31 am post above.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted April 30, 2009
NBob, I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess with NYC. Depends on the size of the OPFOR, their capability and what resources I have to draw upon. If it is just a bunch of bandits, I'd want a full division, around 15K (I say this with some idea of what the CDR in NYC in AA has to work with). If it is something more organized, I'd want a full division of infantry, another of Marines and all the special ops I could get my hands on.

I think I might also want as much naval and air support as possible.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Respond to 'Escaping New York.'

With one convulsive leap he was free.

Posted April 15, 2009 by John Birmingham
For the past few weeks, possibly months, I've been wrestling with a major plot problem in After America. Can't get ito it without giving away spoilage but it has been kicking my arse something fierce.

Well, in the way of these things, I awoke at about 5.14AM this morning, staggered out of bed to chastise a noisy cat and 'Eureka!' I had the whole thing figured out. With one simple tweak all of the jigsaw pieces suddenly fit together.

I wonder sometimes whether these things are buried somewhere in the pre- or sub- conscious and it's just a matter of waiting them for them to dislodge.

Or whether I just got lucky.

Either way, into the breach!

39 Responses to ‘With one convulsive leap he was free.’

Orin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 15, 2009
Inspiration strikes at odd times - but 3am-5am seems to be when it most likes to put in an appearance. Luckily when you work from home, you just get up and go with it ;-)

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Lobes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 15, 2009
Did your plot development involve Navy SEAL snipers?

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jennicki asserts...

Posted April 15, 2009
It involves Vaseline, doesn't it? The answer always lies in the Vaseline.

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yankeedog would have you know...

Posted April 15, 2009
It happens that way sometimes. I've come up with good design ideas while in the shower or watching TV-any activity where I'm not concentrating on that particular task. Go figure.

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simon bedak swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 15, 2009
Congrat's on the Alf moment

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted April 15, 2009
Jen, I'd like to know more about the problems you are solving with petroleum jelly.

I had a problem with a metal fuel cap that was jamming in the throat of the alloy fuel tank. Vaseline fixed it.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted April 15, 2009
Glad it finally came together.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted April 15, 2009
The Flaming Lips

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted April 15, 2009
Jen, please be correct when noting hat an AUTHOR of NOTE, utilises.

Its NIVEA VISAGE... moisturiser ....

and now we need to find out hat that key is. I vote we operate on.mmmmmm..um...RHINO FIRST. I'll go get me hammer

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted April 15, 2009
Yeah, well, that is all fine and good for you writer types, but what about the rest of us, huh? What about the uninspired? For us, between 3am and 5am nothing happens. Well, that's not entirely true. Sometimes nature calls - but that is a far cry from the kind of epiphany that John described, Orin takes for granted and Murph casually congratulates. True, we, the uninspired, "get up and do it" too, but the result isn't nearly as satisfying as what John describes. The product of our 3-5 am catharsis may be occasionally impressive in a scatological sense, but, artistically speaking, even our best, most strenuous effort is nothing to be truly proud, nor something you would want to show others. Definitely nothing anyone would pay for.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted April 15, 2009
WHAT..its WHAt not HAT

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted April 15, 2009
Paul, mine was bucket loads of SOT t 5.00am this morning..I guess most would not what to know about THOSE sort of GREENBACKS...

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted April 15, 2009
AHH SNOT... not SOT

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted April 15, 2009
I was up at the crack of when a massive storm blew through. Made us cancel this mornings surf session :-(

With one convulsive leap I was back in bed.

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MickH mumbles...

Posted April 15, 2009
It always happens in the shower for me.

But I have to write it down immediately or it's gone!

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Ian puts forth...

Posted April 15, 2009
Know what you mean JB.

I have a mp3 voice recorder. When I get an Idea, I record it, download it, and pray that at three in the morning when I got said idea that I pressed the RIGHT BUTTON to record!

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted April 15, 2009
PNB, "occasionally impressive "

Roy & HGs Iskander Yoga anyone?

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Therbs asserts...

Posted April 15, 2009
At those hours of the morning, if I'm awake, its usually a cry of exultation that I could tell the cabbie where I live.

NBob - ROFLMAO!

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lostatlunch mutters...

Posted April 15, 2009
scammy stuff happens...

I know of a slightly dazed man looks back on the wreckage of his life jots down a few notes about some carcrash ex flatmates.. fills in the blank spots in his memory with some creative license and he publishes his first book.. and it becomes a cult hit.

beats being a wage slave if you ever get around the self motivation

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BrianC reckons...

Posted April 15, 2009
Yeah its scarry how the brain works, my guess would be for sudden cognitive realisation of pre-considerd subconcious ideas, and their rapid emergence into a non linear thought state.

Or put more simply, when you really think on something your subconcious works with you creating and dismissing ideas without them ever reaching you concious mind, when you enter a state of zero sum thought, like the zombie brain at 3 am in the morning, or hangover brain, or even engrossed in tv brain, you subconcious gains parity with the concious mind and things really kick it up a notch, and then sudenly BAM! theres your idea.

It could also be that _you_ didnt think of it, an alternate JB thought of it in a parrallell timeline, and because conciousness is a multispectrum quantum observence entangled into a non linear state(i.e many realaties one conciousness but many different memories) when he thought of it, it became your thought, and so you thought it so he could think of it, to give it to you!

It could also be that being awake at 3:00AM and seeing shadows and a lound pissed off cat, flickering lights and emotional wariness created a neural pathway that brought you back to an original thought long forgotten.

Maybee im thinking about this too mutch

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BrianC ducks in to say...

Posted April 15, 2009
oh and Orin you up for some hawx multiplayer?

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted April 15, 2009
Havock and how do YOU know what moisturiser the Scribe uses? eh?

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted April 15, 2009
Chaz, whilst some around here loudly sprout off about being in the CIRCLE OF TRUST!, some, being of a quieter bent could be in the INNER CIRCLE ...thats ONE STEP FUCKING CLOSER!..well?. or

It could hav come to me in a premonition?

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Chaz asserts...

Posted April 15, 2009
Hmm not sure you should be mentioning 'bent' in the same sentance as 'inner circle' but as we're a broad church here I'm sure the rest will let it pass!

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BrianC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 15, 2009
Heh

Havock wants to be in John's Innercircle... hey innercircle

heh

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Orin is gonna tell you...

Posted April 15, 2009
That could be cool - got a Saitek AV8R joystick for the 360 and have been going back playing Ace Combat 6 & Blazing Angels. Much better with a proper stick.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 15, 2009
good to see i don't have the ONLY sick mind....lol

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DrYobbo ducks in to say...

Posted April 15, 2009
I get the same things occasionally, though usually half-asleep in the shower (and no not involving any form of petroleum-based emollient - it's all about the lubrication, as the ginger chick from Mythbusters always seems to say.) We use bugger all of the available neuron grunt for most of the problems we come to in daylight hourse, let alone the spare parallel-processing capacity up there in shutdown mode. Hand the problem over to the subconscious for some of that de Bono style wacky-funster lateral thinkage. Problem solvered.

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Matthew K asserts...

Posted April 15, 2009
Mm Orin, the Saitek AV8R looks very cool. I've often thought I could totally own the airport shootouts on Xboxlive GTA4 if I could get one of those bloody helicopters to fly straight.

And aren't eureka moments supposed to happen in the bath?

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Abe puts forth...

Posted April 15, 2009
I keep pen and paper on the bedside table for writing down little inspirations in the middle of the night, as I would otherwise forget them. When I used to speculate in foreign exchange for a living, I thought up my best trading algorithm at 4am wrote it down and it was there waiting for me in the morning.

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DrYobbo ducks in to say...

Posted April 15, 2009
I also hate giving away spoilage. It's never a good look and a man of my social bearing shouldn't need to carry wet wipes with him at all times.

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Trinity64 asserts...

Posted April 15, 2009
Congrats on clearing away the dust! I really look forward on seeing what direction you went, hopefully not too much anal probing?! :)

Oh Jane, then all the Vaseline story line would fit in perfectly!

As always go in love & peace,

Trinity

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted April 16, 2009
Yobbo - I am a man of equal, if not superior, social bearing and I always carry wet wipes with me at all times. So?

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jennicki would have you know...

Posted April 16, 2009
I find inspiration strikes during at odd moments, like while watching American Idol or finding oneself sandwiched between two convicts on an elevator (the former occured yesterday, the latter this morning).

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jennicki reckons...

Posted April 16, 2009
...and when I say "sandwiched," I'm very nearly sure it wasn't sexual. It's hard to say in that kind of situation. If I'd dropped a quarter (sacred laundry money) I wouldn't have bent over to pick it up at that moment, for example.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted April 16, 2009
I dunno Jen, you could have made their day.

Think of it as a public service.

L there deliberately.

Speaking of felons, on a slight tangerine, you may have heard about a woopsie with some 25 ton of heavy fuel oil 'round these parts recently. Part of the clean up on our stretch of beach was done by low security prisoners from Woodford holiday camp for the mildly naughty. Anyway these blokes came down to the beach, laboured under a hot sun for a few days picking up oil then got loaded back into the mini bus & were returned to the big house.

Yes yes, I am getting to a point.

These blokes sweated for the public good, yet none of them were allowed to have a cooling dip in the Pacific after their labours. How UnAustralian is that? It's not like they were going to swim to New Caledonia with their ball & chains!

I couldn't believe it. Officious petty bastards.

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Brian asserts...

Posted April 16, 2009
NWB :" . . .It’s not like they were going to swim to New Caledonia with their ball & chains!"

Bob. That was the point. Salt water ruins the balls and chains. And then the prisoners just end up attracting sharks.

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tygertim asserts...

Posted April 18, 2009
I'm glad for you JB... I had that epiphany driving home from work the other day... Had a compete story (Involving Somali Pirates as it happens) and didn't get to the ole computer in time... Now I have only bits and pieces... Havock and the trireme, Mick and YD's Cohort and the Tavern, and Orin and the speed loader for the scorpion quoting Bellicus Galicus... The rest of you were all present, but I lost it... And what JB was doing with that lot of Somalian Babes? I just can't remember! It was great! And very funny... Arrrrgh!

some really great scenes... Do you suppose GC could script something out of the bits and pieces?

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tygertim mumbles...

Posted April 19, 2009
I faintly hear a woman's voice, possibly Domina Birmus' speaking rather sharply: " Iohannus Birmus! If you think I'm having the wash all those nappies, you've best think again! I'm not having it!"

That's the hell I'm in now..... just bits and pieces of scenes that made me cackle the whole way home....

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Respond to 'With one convulsive leap he was free.'

Looking at a May 31 deadline.

Posted April 8, 2009 by John Birmingham
A real deadline. One I have to keep. Mostly cos that's when I put my tax in and the bill usually follows a week later.

Had a weird moment the other day when I was writing a chapter in the Miguel thread, which is a very sort of post apocalypse Lonesome Dove thing. Miguel was investigating a general store in Leona, Texas (you can find it on google earth, go on), with a view to camping there, and resupplying. As I was writing, he began to get a little freaked out by the ghosts of the Disappeared.

It was one of those odd moments when the story takes over and you just run with it. What had been a one line observation by me:

He shivered as he re-entered the shop.

Became something much larger:

He shivered as he re-entered the shop. The remains had not bothered him the night before but now, in the light of day, something like a cold eel slithered up his spine, raising goose flesh on his arms and causing him to shudder with an unspecified sense of dread. He regarded the remains of those taken by the Wave with some trepidation, as though the empty clothes, stiffened and black with the leavings of those who had worn them might suddenly inflate with their spectres and rise from the floor to admonish him, or worse, for living when they had died.

Totally overwritten in raw copy, so I'll have to cut it back. But this 'encounter' with the Diasappeared went on for some time. And that night I dreamed the scene all over again.

Rest assured the Disappeared are not coming back, but for a little while there I had to wonder what would happen if they did.

29 Responses to ‘Looking at a May 31 deadline.’

Brian reckons...

Posted April 8, 2009
John, one reason I don't like writing. I can't shake the stuff once I crash out. Then when I get up - I'm still thinking about it.

Some one is going to have to do a continent wide exorcism I think.

Why? Whether you believe in spirits or not - other people assuredly do. Or will start to.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted April 8, 2009
They'd be hungry, that's wot.

Hungry for BRAINNNNNNNS.

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BrianC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 8, 2009
Bimo what are you turning in to Robert Jordan (aka James Rigney, may he rest in the light in peace, may he always be rememberd) or what. Massively long easily readible and space devouring description of the most minute thing, that the reader never gets bored of.

Ohh god, dont make this a 10 book series that you die in the making of. I mean you dying would suck... but i dont think i could stand go-ing through a jordanesque saga.

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted April 8, 2009
BARNES!,..BARNES!....CODE RED!...JB's bring back the dead!.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted April 8, 2009
See? Told ya.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted April 8, 2009
JB look wot U done...

On the plus side it means we can unpack the unlicenced nuclear reatocers and play with the proton packs!!

On another plus it means that Hugos little army will have to play with lots of cuban deadites in Gitmo!

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WalkingShaw reckons...

Posted April 8, 2009
The ghosts of the Disappeared would be scratching their collective heads saying, "I sure as fuck didn't see that coming!"

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted April 8, 2009
Marvelous.

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Moko has opinions thus...

Posted April 8, 2009
Yeah, I'm with Paul. That was cool.

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Orin asserts...

Posted April 8, 2009
Necessity is the mother of invention. The father is a deadline.

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lostatlunch reckons...

Posted April 8, 2009
Bucket, Mop and Boomstick ready.

Darkman is prepared for the undead.

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sparty has opinions thus...

Posted April 8, 2009
now this series is really starting to move up knotch - this next one will be the "Empire" of the trilogy (it is a trilogy right). And make it looonnng. (Stand long).

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savo would have you know...

Posted April 8, 2009
Mmmm ...

New and improved

Now with Zombie goodness.

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Abe has opinions thus...

Posted April 8, 2009
So seeing as how Blunty's up early, do the deadline gods give you a 1 day extension on your book?

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DrYobbo mumbles...

Posted April 8, 2009
Yeah, a trilogy in eleven parts Jordan style. That won't piss ANYONE off. No sirree.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted April 9, 2009
John and I have talked about this but one possible scenario is that the Disappeared show up somewhere else. Philip Jose Farmer provides an excellent example in his novel Riverworld. All of the humans that ever lived are resurrected on a distant planet after the destruction of Earth.

Perhaps that is where the Disappeared go.

Or maybe they end up as Kung Pow Chicken.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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El Coqui reckons...

Posted April 9, 2009
400 millions nude Americans? What they are going to live on?

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted April 9, 2009
Good thinking with the Riverworld thing Murph, I'd forgotten about that but was well into it at one time. That sort of thing could be one explanation for the wave, but it would make it into a deliberate act by someone rather than an accident.

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Robert reckons...

Posted April 9, 2009
:::This is an original FILK. For your enjoyment only:::

Maria DeJesus had migrated north as soon as she heard rumors that the Yanquis were returning. She had endured a tortuous route through the former Mexican capital, and north through the lands controlled by a sparse contingent of Federales and lower-tier drug lords. God, that drug war continued unabated as the trade swarmed into Mexico--filling a vacuum. And all on word that Yanquis had returned to El Norte.

Maria had survived and found herself employed in the upscale suburbs of Fort Worth. By day she cleaned the large mansion of a New Authority official and tended his young children, for schools had not yet been organized, and the settlers still had to work long days.

In the evenings, though, Maria was a ghost hunter. Her weapons were a pickup-mounted Honda generator, a bucket of Tide detergent and an athletic sock filled with quarters.

Maria was employed by the New Authority to enter into housing developments and apartment buildings to vanquish all ghosts in preparation for repopulation efforts.

It was easy to find a master key as she drove up to a complex-she would find the janitor's clothing and take the key ring from the belt loop. Then, she'd park outside the laundry room, run extension cords to the wash machines, and fire up the generator. It didn't take long to gather up the first load of clothing left behind by the disappeared. She scooped them into a laundry basket and hauled them to the washroom.

Using the pass key, she would enter each unit, scoop up the remains, always careful to pick up fillings, eyeglasses, watches, pacemakers and artificial hips. Then she would grab up the jewelry and whatever valuable items were on her list. And that list changed daily at her web site. One European had asked her to look for a collection of rare coins that he had tracked to the neighborhoods she worked. That type of thing she didn't bother with-leave it to the safecrackers in the cleaning crew-they would pay her a small percentage to collect the commission. She was a ghost-hunter, not a goddamned escoba!

Back in the laundry room she emptied pockets before washing the clothing. Cash and credit cards were useless, but people would still jack you for them. So she burned these things in a coffee can outside the door. The quarters she kept for the wash machines.

As the machines toiled, she would string clotheslines between trees out by the street. Load by load she would hang the clothing to dry. The immigrants knew a complex was cleaned of ghosts by the clothing hanging in front. And often this wretched refuse would be seen wearing that clothing soon after taking up residence.

Once done, she would drop off the pass key at the New Authority drop box, notifying them to send in that superstition cleaning crew. The same crew that would check Maria's web site for the list of prized items.

On a good night, Maria could clear out 50 or more units, making them ready for the new tenants who even now were on their way from around the globe.

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted April 9, 2009
But? Why clean the clothing, who would want it? There would be plenty of closets full of clothes that people hadn't died in.

Good point about the fillings and artificial hip joints etc.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 9, 2009
Every story can be improved with Zombies, even JB's stories although they can't be improved by much I will admit.

Thou the Rhino did take them to a new level, sorry Havock.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted April 9, 2009
"Every story can be improved with Zombies...."

Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women?" Yes! MUCH better with Zombies.

Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" with Zombies! YES! Even deep, considering the title character's own zombie-like behavior.

Marcel Proust's "Remembrances of Things Past?" HUGELY improved with the addition of Zombies!

"...I feel that there is much to be said for the Celtic belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior being, in an animal, in a plant, in some inanimate object, and so effectively lost to us until the day (which to many never comes) when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the object which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name, and as soon as we have recognised their voice the spell is broken. We have delivered them: they have overcome death and return to share our life. Hey! What the fuck it that over there? Oh my God! It's a Zombie!..."

Barnes, I've been looking for something like this for a very long time. Thanks!

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Therbs asserts...

Posted April 9, 2009
Now I'm starting to hang out for the book. Damn.

Paul - Proust with added Zed! Brilliant. What about those Russian writers, like Dostoyevsky?

"It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them ..." what sort of zed baiting is that?

Or "It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?" Definite zed loving tendencies there from old Fyodor.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted April 9, 2009
Wordsmith such as yourselves PNB and Therbs breath new life in to dead prose, however let us not forget the recently released Seth Grahame-Smith's novel - 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem'!

available from Amazon (already ordered) -http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudice-Zombies-Classic-Ultraviolent/dp/1594743347.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted April 9, 2009
P&P + Z made it onto ABC RN Breakfast this AM.

I almost cut myself shaving.

All very highbrow discussion of the role of Mash-ups in blah blah blah, but none the less Zed is going mainstream.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted April 9, 2009
Damn it, Barnes! I thought it was an original idea! "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is perfect - and I didn't think of it first!

Crap. I need a beer.

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Matthew K asserts...

Posted April 9, 2009
Have you all just heard of P&P+zombies? I thought I'd mentioned it here some time back.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted April 10, 2009
No No Mr Kieth, you did mention it and we were all in awe.

I was just suprised that ABC RN carried it. It'd be like BBC 2 reviewing the latest industrial German Pr0n. IE not a bad thing - just a tad suprising.

As for PNB, well you know what California does to a man, he was probably getting his teeth whitened or consulting his lifestyle coach on the day it was brought up.

Just joking Mr. PNB please don't unleash your mighty tort mojo or your legion of flying-monkey paralegals on me.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 10, 2009
"legion of flying-monkey paralegals" -

you have a legion of flying-monkey paralegals PNB?

That's so cool.

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Respond to 'Looking at a May 31 deadline.'

Watched Cloverfield last night...

Posted April 6, 2009 by John Birmingham
... and quite enjoyed it, even though I couldn't really sympathise with any of the characters, except maybe Hud, the doofus with the camera. (HUD, geddit?)

I thought this post Blair Witch use of the handheld cam trope actually worked really well as a story telling device, and I was suitably impressed with the destruction of NYC, having just been there recently.

With Jane away, the kids in bed, the Bose QC3's clamped on tight and a drink in hand, I enjoyed it muchly, but found to my bemusement that although there were any number of horror elements to the piece, the movie never really developed a horror atmos'.

I wonder if it's because of the Gen Y nuffs nuffs who were the story's focus?

34 Responses to ‘Watched Cloverfield last night...’

Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 6, 2009
My problem with the movie, though I enjoyed it, stemmed from the implausibility that the Armed Forces would deploy rapidly and with so much concentrated firepower. Virtually within an hour we see enough to equip a division of ground troops.

Given what I know, I find it highly unlikely that the National Guard troops in NYC would have the ordnance needed to deal with Cloverfield. A more likely scenario would have had Hercules Teams from NYPD dealing with the threat (basically SWAT teams). Airstrikes are feasible enough within the span of the story's framework but the rest of it doesn't hold up for me.

The other bit about a sergeant at the triage point knowing about a contingency plan to destroy New York in order to destroy Cloverfield didn't quite pan for me either. Nor did his telling the kids in the story.

I did like the film but mainly as a popcorn rollercoaster ride. After seeing an M-109 blasting away at the creature I stopped trying to make sense of it.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6, 2009
Yeah, I did wonder where all those tanks from. Looked good though.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted April 6, 2009
I have come to accept, that movies made in America, will undoubted;y have all sorts of shit getting blown up and volumes of fire power being delivered at short notice, no matter where the hell the incident seems to be. THAT, and the spooky bad guys are always willing to wipe a town off the map, eg, CLOVERFIELD, eg, OUTBREAK, eg, Alien V Pred, and almost as close was I am LEGEND.

This has the BIG Monster right, was there also some small scary creatures that attacked people in the subway, or am i thinking of a different movie on that topic. Either way, not bad, just not outstanding, IT was a while ago when I watched it though.

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gmpepprell asserts...

Posted April 6, 2009
I haven't Seen Cloverfield yet but with types of movies I try not to question things too deeply. It's more about the escapism and entertainment factor.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6, 2009
go get SHOOTER or TEARS of the SUN. The latter is much better, I am willing to be however JB, that you STILL, have not watched it. Tears of the Sun that is........

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted April 6, 2009
be , should be, BET!

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Chaz mutters...

Posted April 6, 2009
Shooter is good but then Tears of the Sun it does have Monica Belucci in it (who is the goddess who walks amongst us).

JB you're right very hard to sympathise with screaming Gen Y's our Gen did horror so much better.

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Orin mumbles...

Posted April 6, 2009
My problem with the movie, though I enjoyed it, stemmed from the implausibility that the Armed Forces would deploy rapidly and with so much concentrated firepower.

Though given the amount of times that New York has been the focal point of alien invasions, perhaps they should keep some hard hitting dudes on standby "just in case".

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 6, 2009
Havock, some places in the US desperately need to be vaporized. However, while I once would have included NYC on that list, my opinion of the place has changed since my visit this last February. A city full of incredibly nice people, good food and lively streetlife. Almost but not quite makes up for their political leanings.

In any case, I suspect the government would react to Cloverfield much the same as they did to Katrina.

Very slowly.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Flinthart reckons...

Posted April 6, 2009
So, Birmo -- in a nutshell: pretty to look at, fun to watch things go boom... but not very engaging.

That would have been my review precisely.

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Guru Bob puts forth...

Posted April 6, 2009
I quite enjoyed it, the Blair Witch POV type stuff worked quite well and it did have a hell of a lot of explodey goodness in it - my favorite scene was the stealth bombers unloading sticks of bombs on downtown NYC. The monster was basically a loud scary looking thing that was pretty much indestructible. As everyone pointed out - lots and lots of ordnance being thrown around at very short notice...

Screaming gen-Y eye candy all around as well..

Did you get to see Quarantine yet?

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Brian mutters...

Posted April 6, 2009
Murph - dude. NYC is a low rank target for destruction.

How many times has Tokyo been destroyed? Godzilla, Mothra . . . and then there's anime.

And the friggin Radio tower is always put up so they can knock it down again.

Gotta love the classics.

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Moko reckons...

Posted April 6, 2009
I liked it. Pretty much as it seems as everyone else. I liked the touch at the end with them on camera on that day out he had while they're on the gondola(?) and in the distance an object drops from the sky and lands in the ocean. Made it click. At the movies you'd felt like you were half way across Bass Strait on the Sydney to Hobart.

I really don't pick to bits the feasibility of an armed response when you've got a huge monster in the same story, ya know?.

I'll pick to bits something TRYING to be factual. Probably excluding things like if the soldier were toting AK-47's or something. Otherwise you may as well be arguing the feasibility for a huge blue bubble of doom turning everyone excluding old mates dog in North America to sludge. It's a story.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6, 2009
Ah Moko, you should train book reviewers.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 6, 2009
Plus the monster looked suitably Cuthuliod for me. The POV of people stuck in the middle of the monster attack i thought was a great idea. Also considering the armed forces rapid reponse I suspect the monster was extradimensional and arrived here by some experiment on our part. The army was ready to responsed because of the risk the experiment possed.

Wired had a creat post Cloverfield piece on "How To: Stop a 500-Foot Monster (Think Missiles, Not Bombs)" check it out at

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/02/monster-mash-ko.html

also I had absolutely no sympathy for the characters. Not ONE of them had bug_out_bag ready or even a half decent everyday carry (EDC).

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted April 6, 2009
Orin LMAO!!!

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BrianC mumbles...

Posted April 6, 2009
I dont know, the whole story seemed to be flat to me. I kept waiting for the monster reveal, thinking, OK.. When they reveal the monster, thats when it will get cool. And well it never really did. The monster was a sort of amorphus blob with little or no scaryness apart from its size and aparant invulnrability. The characters where bland and cookie cutter representations of american movie icons, the cheerleader, the jock, the sensative guy, the best friend, the stranger.

What i did like and i think is the best scene in a monster movie for a long long time, was the whole underground/subway into the store and the military scene. Well directed, well scripted. The characters really seemed to come alive in that scene and were more than their cookie cutter backgrounds would lead you to believe.

All in all the movie was meh. If you want a really scary movie. Wait till midnight, and when the kids are in bed and the wife has gone to sleep watch "Event Horzion"

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6, 2009
Brian, yep "event horizon' has it's moments esp the revelation that rescue vessels carry tac-missiles!!

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted April 6, 2009
Loved it. A big dumb monster movie (The movie Godzilla should have been!). What's there not to like?

although I dont like the current trend in Horror movies where EVERYONE dies - I like the idea that someone survives to tell of teh bravery or lack of it of those who didnt make it. Guess Cloverfield is an exception cause the video tape does just that.

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SweetSisterMorphine puts forth...

Posted April 6, 2009
I was just fascinated that the main character did not seem to have any unattractive friends. I wondered, at the time of seeing the film, whether he vetted them through some kind of modeling agency or something.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted April 6, 2009
Bums on seats SIS, its called economics, driven by the CROTCH

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Albion Love Den puts forth...

Posted April 6, 2009
I think reflecting on the movie so long after it premiered may mean it lost a little of its context. Like Blair Witch, the movie was as much about its innovative use of media (including a new direction with social media) to create a buzz and a hype. Only with Blair Witch, there was never an air of deception. This took movie marketing to a level which the Blair Witch project failed dismally (as it was centred on the audience believing the lie even after it was exposed).

Cloverfield never did that. It signposted fairly early on that it was a fabrication, yet allowed the audience to suspend its disbelief and be seduced by it even before it was released.

So the movie wasn't that great? Meh. The movie was a mere side-issue to the skewing of the traditional marketing scenario. Expect marketing of this genre to follow this path in the future, as its engaging an audience much as the old "smack across the face with the billboards and full-page paper ads and impressive 60-sec slots on prime time" campaign is making them limp with apathy.

Now the studios have just got to work out a way to translate LimeWire downloads into revenue... Bwwwahahahaha.

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drej puts forth...

Posted April 6, 2009
"I wonder if its because of the gen-Y nuff nuffs"

Agree, its hard to be sypathetic when they're getting spectacularly wiped out in movies I find.

Ok, Surreptitious Threadjack Warning :

I'm in the big smoke, Brisvegas, next week, want to catch Felafel maybe Friday night.

Any burgers at a loose end and yet to catch it along with a beer and a meal beforehand, by all means let me know. What better way to spend Kevs handout?

Heres lookin' at you Moko, NatV...

Thanks JB

Drej

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Leo euler swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6, 2009
I enjoyed the movie. Aside from what's already been said, I also enjoyed the backstory that was explained more on the Internet through viral marketing...apparently, the company that the main character worked for marketed a drink called Slusho. The special ingredient was something called "seabed nectar" which was mined from the ocean. The implication is that they woke the monster while they were mining the stuff. Something like that.

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Lobes mutters...

Posted April 6, 2009
Well the gen-Y nuff nuffs cop a lot of ridicule (deservedly so some would say) But they're still a much more worthy generation than the baby boomers. Look around at what the boomer generation gave us. Global war, environmental catastrophe and economic penury. Forever. What did Gen Y inflict? Oh yeah, fluoro T-shirts and electro music. Quelle horreur!

Saying that I havnt seen Cloverfield (flick passed it on showtime the other night) but have seen Blair Witch which was both rubbish and pretty good at the same time.

Blackhawk Down was a bit jumpy too IIRC. These three movies all have one thing in common - little in the way of plot and lightly sketched characters. Good for a scene maybe but not necessarily a whole movie.

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TheWah mutters...

Posted April 6, 2009
I thought the rapid deployment of the armed forces stemmed from the fact that they knew it was coming but hushed it up. They created the creature and it got out of hand. I have no idea why I thought that when i watched the movie

The only part i really didn't like was at the end when the creature somehow tip-toed up behind the camera man without him noticing.

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Robert mutters...

Posted April 7, 2009
WTF, Murph? "some places in the US desperately need to be vaporized." WW wasn't enough for you?

Or, maybe WW was INSPIRED by you. And the Wave was a huge fucking gob of Murphy's Oil Soap.

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Tucker Dwynn mumbles...

Posted April 7, 2009
My problem with the movie, though I enjoyed it, stemmed from the implausibility that the Armed Forces would deploy rapidly and with so much concentrated firepower.

Remember, the film from HUD's perspective happens in clumps.. its not all one shot. So there was more time for troops to get into town.

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AJ Denny ducks in to say...

Posted April 7, 2009
Didn't care much for the cast of Cloverfield - they seemed to have been grown in the same clone vats as the casts of Felicity and Alias, fitting final episodes for both would have been a nuclear-resistent alien monster coming to make sure no more episodes were beamed into space, the rest of NYC been destroyed so much collateral damage.

At 16 minutes, Cloverfield has what feels like the longest credits in history. I was an idiot and waited, thinking like Dawn of the Dead there was so much time left there was going to be a final twist at the end.

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jennicki asserts...

Posted April 7, 2009
I didn't like Cloverfield at all. I liked the idea of using the handheld cameras ala Blair Witch but thought it was executed poorly. I had high hopes because it was JJ Abrams production, and I am very impressed with his television show Lost.

It was kind of a letdown for me.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 7, 2009
Robert, if I had written the novel, I would have only vaporized the East and West Coasts.

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DrYobbo reckons...

Posted April 8, 2009
My problem with the movie, though I enjoyed it, stemmed from the implausibility that the Armed Forces would deploy rapidly and with so much concentrated firepower.

Though given the amount of times that New York has been the focal point of alien invasions, perhaps they should keep some hard hitting dudes on standby “just in case”.

They needed Jean Reno, crappy-newer-Godzilla style. He'd have stubbed a Gauloises out in the bastard's eye (or whatever it had) and kicked its amorphous arse in.

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Rayse asserts...

Posted April 12, 2009
Interested to know if anybody felt slightly sick from watching the movie.

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Boscolamb puts forth...

Posted April 15, 2009
I mildly enjoyed the movie, but I hated the handheld 'Blair Witch' camerawork. It makes for cheap, low-budget atmosphere. It was hard to cheer for the characters.

In what reality can one be pulled off of a steel bar (through ones shoulder) and then strenuously run around for another half hour (oh, and survive a helicopter crash)? That chick was pretty tough, eh?

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Respond to 'Watched Cloverfield last night...'