Cheeseburger Gothic

Butte Crack open for business

Posted January 6 into The Dave by John Birmingham

The retail copy popped up on Amazon overnight. I'm not going wide with this one. Not expecting to see much in the way of sales activity either, since there's a big warning at the front of the book that it can be had for free at the bookclub.

But, if anyone is inclined to drop a review on it, that will help with discoverability.

It's right here.

Or cut and paste this bad boy: http://amzn.to/2j9wUMx

If it should sell a few copies I'll try separate the specific amount from the rest of my operations and maybe see about getting some Amazon vouchers for the contribs. Don't count those Bezos bucks yet, though.

74 Responses to ‘Butte Crack open for business’

nick is gonna tell you...

Posted January 6
about half way thru at the moment , props to all the contributors , favorite so far is the dog chapter !

Rob mutters...

Posted January 9
I thought the dog chapter was tops. He needs to be Dave's super dog. https://youtu.be/MDVLiuto5Ec

Ceramic asserts...

Posted January 10
Yep, the dog was pretty cool. Fire-breathing was a nice touch.

Respond to this thread

Peter Bradley mutters...

Posted January 6
Count those Bezos bucks?!?!?!!? Are you kidding me. I am so chuffed to have been included. I felt sure my story would not make the cut. Thanks for the opportuity JB! That is all! Thanks!

Respond to this comment

jason asserts...

Posted January 6
With reference to Bezos bucks; I am happy to forgo any largess on this occasion. Please contribute my share to the JB Hovercraft restoration fund. I hear the gold plating is starting to tarnish.

Respond to this comment

insomniac mutters...

Posted January 6
but ... but I already quit my job

Rob would have you know...

Posted January 6
Oh me too.

Respond to this thread

jl mumbles...

Posted January 6
Reading through the book in addition to writing like mad (up to about 70k words on latest), fun, good stuff. Congrats to all the contributors!

Respond to this comment

Rhino mutters...

Posted January 6
Review done. Boylan beat me to it this time.

A sincere thanks, JB, for taking time to put this together. It really means a lot.

Of course, rereading my entry, I'm cringing. Can I get a do-over?

jason would have you know...

Posted January 6
I don't think a do over is required. I thought your entry was most excellent.

Rhino puts forth...

Posted January 6
Thank you, kind sirs. That is much appreciated.

Respond to this thread

Spanner asserts...

Posted January 6
Mutter mutter, something about Greybeard, terrible vengeance, mutter, I've been slandered, mutter.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 7
My suggestion would be to make the entrance to the buffet via bollards set 1m apart. That'll stuff him.

Respond to this thread

Sparty2 mutters...

Posted January 6
Everything I've read in John Birmingham's Butte Cracke so far has been excellent (loved the Millwall story), really chuffed to be in.
(sorry just watched Deadpool and started speaking like him...)

Respond to this comment

Morrrie puts forth...

Posted January 6
JB you are cunning. Grinding out the good works to keep us hooked! Being a minion has some perks.

Respond to this comment

ShaneAlpha mutters...

Posted January 7
So Butte Crack is currently #132 on Kindle fantasy anthologies.

Which, I presume, is kind of like being in the top 10 for poetry, "Dude! you're in the top 10 for poetry books?" "Yeah, Mum bought a copy."

ShaneAlpha is gonna tell you...

Posted January 7
Only 33 more places to go and we can push https://www.amazon.com/Five-Magic-Spindles-Collection-Sleeping-ebook/dp/B01GIJBMRG/ref=zg_bs_158577011_100?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=M9EPV2CT1WDWYR3HT639

out of #100

jason ducks in to say...

Posted January 8
We are now 55 with a bullet ( bullet may be fictitious). At what point are we allowed to affix the "best selling author" tag to our business cards?

jason has opinions thus...

Posted January 8
21st position as I type. I would seriously love to have a #1 best seller. Sure there will be an asterisk at the end of the sentence but I can liquid paper that out at a later date.

ShaneAlpha is gonna tell you...

Posted January 8
Ok, need to clarify here.

Currently #99 on amazon.com and #26 on amazon.com.au in the fantasy/collections and anthologies.

And nowhere on U.K or Japan

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 8
I said I'm on it. But don't push me. I've got enough aggravation.

jason would have you know...

Posted January 10
Well bugger me we are now at #12. Keep working your magic Prof.

jason is gonna tell you...

Posted January 11
Just broke into the top ten best sellers*







insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted January 11
How does that other crap get to be number 1? I'd like to know how it stacks up against our magnificence except I don't think it's worth the 99c to find out.

ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted February 3
Aaanndd. the Boylan magic has worked.

Butte Crack is now #1 in Collections and Anthologies on Amazon.com.au

https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/2537821051/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kinc_1_5_last/354-7670961-4949565

Respond to this thread

Therbs would have you know...

Posted January 8
Just finished reading the collective effort. Some good storifying in there.

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 8
The thing I'm most enjoying about this is the feeling that we're somehow getting away with serious fraud.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted January 9
Ern O'Malley and Helen Dimedenko showed us the way.

Peter Bradley mumbles...

Posted January 9
Maybe "not so serious" fraud. Is there a category called flippant fraud?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 10
In California there is an infarction called "perceptive fraud" that has the following elements: (1) the perpetrators believe they may have defrauded a third party; but (2) this belief is based on low self-esteem engendering the feeling they didn't deserve success that wasn't earned meritoriously.

Respond to this thread

Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted January 9
I've just been grinning like a loon all weekend at being described as a 'minty-fresh published writer'.

I'm sure I'll get over it at some point. Eventually. :)

Respond to this comment

Peter Bradley swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 9
So do we need to refer to you as "His Holiness" now?

Therbs reckons...

Posted January 9
That's a fart joke, innit Paul? Something about gloriously passing wind?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 9
Therbs - exactly.

Peter - "His Holiness?" Heavens, no.

Call me "Sir."

Respond to this thread

Dave W mumbles...

Posted January 9
Fantastic work, it was great to read all those contributions and marvel at just how much talent there is here.

In terms of multiple first-person narratives, I was reminded very much of World War Z, and I thought it was very much equal to or beyond that standard.

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted January 9
(Butte) cracking read! Well done to all concerned.

Respond to this comment

Ceramic puts forth...

Posted January 10
Congrats to you all.
I really liked the Kurdaitcha Man. That grandpa was kickass.
Boylan, your truck story made me smile with satisfaction. Nice to have some resolution, no matter how offbeat.
Stuck in my mind still are the stories of the monster truck rally and the man-vacation.
Nice to read your stories :)

Respond to this comment

jl ducks in to say...

Posted January 11
Hey everyone, finally had a chance to read the entire book (I just finished writing my latest, the final book in the Paul Thompson series, "Immolation"). I left my review on Amazon. Some really excellent stuff in there. Congratulations, all authors!

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted January 11
Looking forward to that one. When should it be out?

jl mumbles...

Posted January 11
Hey Therbs, thanks for your review. I appreciate it. Been looking for an opportunity to say so for a while.

I'm in the beta/refining phase now, the book is on track to be released in June.

Respond to this thread

Pete is gonna tell you...

Posted January 11
I'd just like to let you all know that I have resisted reading ebooks for years. Always preferred ink on paper, for a whole bunch of reasons (not the least of which was spending a coupla decades in the print industry breathing deeply of the isopropyl alcohol laden atmosphere every single day). Finally relented to read this bad boy. Now I'm a convert. Thoroughly enjoyed Every. Single. Story.

Give yourselves a pat on the back. JB give yourself two.

NBlob asserts...

Posted January 14
+1
Ludditism has its drawbacks

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 14
Yeah, but the social life of a Luddite is spectacular. They had that going for them.

Respond to this thread

Peter Assfalg swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 12
Morning John,
Just started The Demons of Butte Creek County - not by way of criticism, but by way of observation - Sheriff Robertson would have a tough time locating a safety catch on a Glock pistol let alone releasing it - safety is in the trigger only. Equally, muscle memory from training would make a rookie mistake very unlikely, especially from someone who graduated 3rd in their class! Just sayin.

Peter

Respond to this comment

DaveC would have you know...

Posted January 12
Just dropped my review. Respect people's. Bad-ass tales brilliantly told. Im'a gunna wade through my responsibilities, crack open the keyboard, and endeavour to join your illustrious company. On ya JB, for sharing tides in the hovercraft!






Respond to this comment

DaveC would have you know...

Posted January 12
Rides on the hovercraft, damn you again spell chucker!

DaveC is gonna tell you...

Posted January 12
I shouldn't complain about auto-correct. You've gotta love all the fangtastic technology (except for that overly effective CSI shit, am I right?).

Respond to this thread

Peter mumbles...

Posted January 12
John,

Why is Ann Coulter any scarier than Hillary Clinton or Gloria Steinem? Why do negative references to conservative figures feature so heavily in your books? Whilst everyone has an opinion, some balance may be nice.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 12
Peter, do you really imagine two New York gay guys are gonna find Hillary scarier than Coulter?

Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted January 16
That Milo guy might.

Peter puts forth...

Posted January 17
I don't think I'm alone in finding Hillary scary! I suspect the New Yorkers would be scared of this behaviour and attitude!

View of Secret Service Agents:
BILL & HILLARY CLINTON: Presidency was one giant party. Not trustworthy — he was nice because he wanted everyone to like him, but to him life is just one big game and party. Everyone knows of his sexuality. She is another phony. Her personality would change the instant cameras were near. She hated with open disdain the military and Secret Service. She was another one who felt people are there to serve her. She always tried to keep tabs on Bill Clinton.
View "Clinton Cash" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LYRUOd_QoM

The mystery of Hillary Clinton, milk-carton missing on election night, appears solved.
A Tuesday of catharsis for Donald Trump voters turned into an evening of rage for Hillary Clinton. The Democratic presidential nominee, anticipating the postelection reaction of many of her supporters, began shouting profanities, banging tables, and turning objects not nailed down into projectiles.

“Sources have told The American Spectator that on Tuesday night, after Hillary realized she had lost, she went into a rage,” R. Emmett Tyrrell reports. “Secret Service officers told at least one source that she began yelling, screaming obscenities, and pounding furniture. She picked up objects and threw them at attendants and staff. She was in an uncontrollable rage.”

The appearance of campaign chairman John Podesta at Manhattan’s Javitz Center, and the dematerialization of his heretofore ubiquitous charge, perplexed in the first hours of Wednesday.

“They’re still counting votes, and every vote should count,” Podesta declared to a sad and stunned hall. “Several states are too close to call, so we’re not going to have anything more to say tonight.”

As Podesta recalcitrantly refused to recognize reality early Wednesday morning, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump to offer congratulations. The juxtaposition of the campaign chairman publicly vowing to fight around the time the candidate privately conceded the election left observers scratching their heads.

Tyrrell’s reporting indicates that Mrs. Clinton’s mental state made it impossible for her to address her supporters on election night as custom requests. So, instead, Podesta gave a rah-rah speech on a boo-hoo night to cover for the absence of the first woman president, her fireworks, and her victory speech shout-outs to the mothers of the Black Lives Matter martyrs.

“She is not done yet,” Podesta claimed. Tyrrell’s reporting indicates that, indeed, Clinton remained far from done.

“Her aides could not allow her to come out in public,” he writes. “It would take her hours to calm down. So Podesta went out and gave his aimless speech. I wish we could report on Bill’s whereabouts but we cannot.”

Bill appeared the following day at Hillary’s belated concession speech wearing a purple tie but, thankfully, no purple marks about his face, suggesting experience dictated avoidance the previous evening.

“People say they’re amazed Bill’s marriage survived,” Tyrrell noted to Breitbart. “I’m amazed Bill survived his marriage.”

Tyrrell’s reporting remains a thorn in the side of the Clintons more than two decades after the American Spectator published its Troopergate stories detailing Bill Clinton’s escapades as told by his Arkansas security detail, stories that first referenced Paula Jones and pushed the president on the road to impeachment. Nearly 19 years after Hillary Clinton imagined a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” out to get her husband, the cabal’s charter member again relies on the accounts of the Clintons’ long-suffering security to unmask the public faces worn by the power couple now out of power.

“In the ’90s, we published several pieces that documented her throwing lamps and books,” Tyrrell tells Breitbart. “This happened pretty often. She has such a foul mouth that the Arkansas state troopers learned a thing or two from her. She has a foul mouth and a good throwing arm.”

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 17
Nothing published by or affiliated with Breitbart is credible. Same is now true for Huff Post, and for the same reasons.

Peter reckons...

Posted January 17
Paul,

That seems a little judgemental! It seems the liberal left is full of love, acceptance and tolerance until you disagree with them and then you become a gun toting, racist, denier, homophobe and antithesis of political correctness - that highly deluded and mistaken theory championed by the popular press and left wing chardonnay sipping intelligencia and associated bleeding hearts in society who believe that it is actually possible to pick up a steaming turd from the clean end!

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted January 17
Chardonnay sipping? Pfft. So 90's. Try pinot grigio or an artisanal pear cider. Keep up with the times.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 17
I only drink distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol.

Lulu puts forth...

Posted January 17
Peter, if the 'left' has a lot to learn about 'love, acceptance and tolerance' (particularly in the face of disagreement), perhaps you could point us to some role models on the 'right' side of politics.

Dave W mutters...

Posted January 17
Credibility is objective, not judgemental. Check the sources, then check the sources' sources. Why assume that some people sip chardonnay- where are the references for that?

Personally, I prefer an organic barbera or temperanillo, but hey, live and let live, right?

jason mutters...

Posted January 17
This has seriously strayed from the trivialities and foolishness that I am used to. On the bright side I will now be able to make semi intelligent commentary when next surrounded by people who have actual knowledge of things rather than opinion based facts like I normally use.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 17
I regret the comment that invited Alt-right discussion. Won't happen again.

Pete mutters...

Posted January 17
I'm just looking forward to seeing the awfully long wall Donald Trump promised to build. Because when the revolution starts, an awfully long wall is always useful to have around ...

Respond to this thread

foreverwar mutters...

Posted January 13
Excellent book - well done to all contributors/editors/reviewers.

First review on bezos.co.uk just gone up.

Come on, fellow Brits, let's make Australia great again...

Respond to this comment

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted January 16
Finally finished it; there was some amazing writing in there, congratulations to everyone who contributed, I loved all the stories.

Respond to this comment

unpossible has opinions thus...

Posted February 6
Hi JB - i havent commented in years. Remember when that crazy lady bailed you up in Hurstville, NSW on that book signing?

Anyway loved Butte Crack, inspired me to write my own story if theres any follow up. I'll keep an eye out for casting calls. Thanks for fan support!

Respond to this comment

jason reckons...

Posted February 10
Well folks, I have been keeping an eye on it and Butte Crack is still in the top ten* on Amazon Aust after (with my bad math) 6 weeks of release. Made it as far as #2 as far as I could tell.
Perennial best seller.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted February 10
This is somewhat amazing

Respond to this thread

Bleeps001 is gonna tell you...

Posted February 14
It looks like the issue at Butte Creak is much bigger than we thought. It is going to become Butte River is things go pear shape.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-14/california-crews-rush-to-relieve-dam-before-new-storms-hit/8268374

Respond to this comment

jason is gonna tell you...

Posted February 27
And the periodical check in on the greatest fan fiction anthology ever shows:
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Collections & Anthologies
#47 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Urban

Holding on to that top ten spot.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Butte Crack open for business'

Butte Crack comes alive!

Posted January 5 into The Dave by John Birmingham

I just hit send on the mailout and created a dozen or so new minty-fresh published writers. Huzzah.

From the Introduction:

My first book tanked. At first anyway. And then it went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, and to be adapted for the stage and the big screen. He Died With A Felafel In His Hand was first published in 1996. The internet was a thing by then, but not much of a thing. Book publishing was still an old world business, yet to be disrupted by Amazon, the torrentz and the Great Recession. I sometimes wonder what might have happened to that book if it was released now.
Nothing good, I suspect.
I was lucky to be published by a small, independent house. Michael Duffy, the publisher, literally bet his own house on the business. A couple of months after release, with only a handful of copies sold, it must have looked like a bad bet. Happily, it did eventually pay off.
A couple of readers picked it up here and there. They told a couple more. Word spread slowly, and then quickly. After about six months it was suddenly an overnight sensation.
I’ve always remembered that. I wrote that book, but the readers made it. All writers live and die by their readers, but not all of them remember that. I try. This book is me, remembering. Over the years I’ve always been open to my readers playing in the story-worlds I make up. I created those worlds because I wanted to see what happened in them. For me, reading a story in my own imagined space, but one which I didn’t write, is a special sort of revelation. I love it.
So, I’m an unusual writer who actively encourages fan fiction. Or ‘reader fiction’, as I prefer to think of it. I’ve read some cracking stories set in all of my fictional universes. It was only this year, dipping my toe into indie publishing, that was I able do something more than just post these pieces as an entry on my blog.
The book you hold now is the first of many more to come, I hope. In that way, it’s a rough draft for the future. I’d like to do more, and I’d like to get better at doing them. If you’d like to try your hand at spending a little time in the worlds of Prince Harry, The Dave or Caitlin Monroe, feel free. If you’d just like to read more stories set after the Transition, the Wave or the Emergence, that’s cool too. So would I.
The stories that follow have been written by some of my blog regulars. I’ve edited lightly, but it’s not a highly polished commercial release. It’s just for fun. And for members of my bookclub, it’s a little gift to say thanks for your time and attention.
I hope you enjoy these stories.
If you’d like to write your own, let me know.

15 Responses to ‘Butte Crack comes alive!’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 5
Well fuck. Is it too late to correct one typo. My fault if no, but if yes:

Page 62 of the draft I have: "These were college kids." Change to
"These were not college kids."

But other than that, you made me look good, mate.

If you are up to it we all gotta do more of this.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted January 5
Mate, you will be the death of me. I tells ya.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 5
Sorted.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 5
I promise to make it up to you, in grand style.

Respond to this thread

Therbs asserts...

Posted January 5
Good timing, I till have a few days off so I can leisurely read the output of the Burger Collective. Had a quick look at mine and cringed a tad. Have a better one worked up but its at least double the word limit.
Love the concept, great stuff JB.

Respond to this comment

Bernie mutters...

Posted January 5
I bought a copy of Felafel back in 96, and when I got to the section about the hallway golf I had flashbacks, I used to be a motorcycle courier in Sydney back in the day and I'm sure I attended a few parties in that house.
I've been a fan ever since.

Respond to this comment

foreverwar would have you know...

Posted January 6
thank you, kind sir.

In the spirit of Pay It Forward, I've bought a copy of Felafel for my son to read on his flight back to Oz (he was over there from the UK for a year, came home for Christmas, and flies back to Melbourne (well, Albury/Wodonga, actually, but he lands in Melbourne) at the end of January for a couple of years.

Keep up the good, nay, great work, JB

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 6
Cheers guvnor. Hope Felafel doesn't put your kid off the outside world.

Respond to this thread

jason reckons...

Posted January 6
And it's a big thanks from me for making me feel like a real writer. Sad about the couple of stories that didn't make the cut but amazing to see my stuff in a genuine publication.

Gotta say I loved reading everyone's contribution.

John thanks for letting us play in your world for a little while.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 6
Jason, the only reason I had to cut a couple of yours was it looked weird that HALF THE STORIES IN THE BOOK WERE WRITTEN BY ONE GUY.

There'll be more books for them to go in.

Respond to this thread

jason mumbles...

Posted January 6
No problems John. Figured that might be the case.

The down side is i promised myself I would get a tattoo as soon as I had any sort of publication. Looks like I am off to the needle shop pretty soon.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 6
How about a large American flag waving in the just and free breeze? That's the tattoo I would choose if not for the instruction in Leviticus mandating death for all who defile their bodies with a tattoo. If not for that I would have a picture of Old Glory on my chest right now.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted January 6
I would like to make two points.
1. My wife is not that old, and
2. Why would you have a tattoo of her on your chest?

Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 6
maybe get an old persuader tattooed on you, Not me though I stick to pin up girls, fish and Picasso.

Respond to this thread

jason mutters...

Posted January 6
Predictably I am looking at a typewriter on my forearm. Symbolic and aspirational. Also Old Glory would be inappropriate as (based on this thread) it represents another man,s wife or a country that I don't happen to live in.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Butte Crack comes alive!'

Grab an advance copy of Butte Crack

Posted January 4 into The Dave by John Birmingham

I haven't settled on the final copy yet, but this is pretty close. I'd like to,send it out tomorrow. If you have a story in there, give it the once over for any howling errors that might have crept in.

Copy available here.

Or just cut and paste this link:

http://dl.bookfunnel.com/xvn69bofer

It took a lot longer than I'd hoped because of formatting issues. Looking at you, Sparty. I also disinterred a bunch of fan fic from the blog which I was tempted to run, but didn't. Maybe a second volume.

I'd like to do more of these in future, now that I know what's involved.

Anyway, if the contributors have changes, let me know below.

15 Responses to ‘Grab an advance copy of Butte Crack’

Sparty2 mutters...

Posted January 4
Bows head in shame.
Spotted some mistakes (mine ) I'll send on asap.

MUST focus on work (and not goofing off to read this ) -the entire book looks really good - really pleased to see it up!

Respond to this comment

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5
Loving it. The world of "the Dave" expanding outward.

Respond to this comment

sparty2 mutters...

Posted January 5
Great story Boylan- this constant reader enjoyed it

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 5
Thank you. I had significant help.

Respond to this thread

jason mutters...

Posted January 5
Looks like my afternoon suddenly became booked out.

Respond to this comment

Jevon Kasitch has opinions thus...

Posted January 5
Not sure if they count as typos, but in your own story you use British-isms to describe the car parts 'tyre' 'bonnet' 'boot'. For story set in the US with US characters they seem a touch jarring. My apologies if this was intended.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 5
No, it's not. What are the US terms? Wheel, hood and trunk?

Respond to this thread

Jevon Kasitch reckons...

Posted January 5
Tyre = Tire if you just mean the rubber part. Wheel for general coverage of the Rubber and metal rim together.

Bonnet = Hood

Boot = Trunk

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 5
Cheers.

Respond to this thread

insomniac mumbles...

Posted January 5
I've got a double "enough" in my story somewhere.

Given I dashed these off basically as a first draft I now see the great value in a second rewrite and editing. Thanks for adding a few deft touches to my story.

Respond to this comment

Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted January 5
Ok, just checked my contribution. It's a little different in some places to what I submitted but not substantially so and I think I can understand why the editorial changes were made (happy to discuss John if you have a spare five minutes sometime).

I note the Firefly reference came out, but the Neal Asher one is still there. :)

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 5
Serious fun, dudes and mates. I am honored to be included in such a talented crowd.

Respond to this comment

Rob mumbles...

Posted January 5
awesome. I knew the ending wouldn't stand as originally written. Otherwise the continuity of the Dave would be wrecked.

There is a typo. "lotto panel damage' should be 'lots of panel damage? '

That story was bought to by the Tasmanian Government, sponsors of wannabe artists pretending to work (but really writing short stories and dicking around on the internet)

Respond to this comment

ShaneAlpha mutters...

Posted January 5
JB's magic blue pencil excised some utter crap from one of mine (thank god.) Ended better and also removed a whopper of a mistake that I didn't pick up on until I read the published version today.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Grab an advance copy of Butte Crack'

"SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" -- A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back

Posted January 3 into Funny by John Birmingham

This may be their finest work yet.

5 Responses to ‘"SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" -- A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back’

Rob has opinions thus...

Posted January 3
how good are puppets? so good. CGI just isn't the same.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 4
Damn, haven't laughed like that since Trump won. Thank you, John.

Respond to this comment

pedrogb is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14
I was introduced to this on Boxing Day by friends in Sydney. My kids watched it over and over. They now like to sing it in the car. Hilarious.

Respond to this comment

DNA Dunc is gonna tell you...

Posted January 15
Seems like some people have too much free time on their hands - which is just as well, or we wouldn't have class nuggets like this. Brilliant. Laughed like a drain

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 15
These brilliant artists are doing this for profit.

Take a look at "Bushes of Love" by the same blokes.

Respond to this thread

Respond to '"SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" -- A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back'

2017

Posted January 3 into Blunty by John Birmingham

First Blunty.

So far 2017 is off to a cracking start. It hasn't killed any meme-worthy celebrities. Donald Trump isn't president. And I'm not even scrambling through a post apocalyptic wasteland fighting for rat meat and potable water. So, yeah. Good times. This is a great year so far.

I was going to do piece on this Centrelink datamatching fiasco, but the more I looked into it, the more I needed to look into it. So I might do that in a week or two.

Today's column was a simple and silly return to the keyboard while I sort out my shit for the year. There is a lot of shit to sort.

4 Responses to ‘2017’

Quokka would have you know...

Posted January 3
Happy new year JB, & the rest of you lot.

Respond to this comment

ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted January 3
Another book project there for you JB.

JB's Rat Du Jur, 25 fabulous recipes for cooking in a post-apocalyptic Trumpenesque wasteland.

Surtac mumbles...

Posted January 3
As long as it includes the delicacy Rat-onna-stick.

Happy New Year to all!

Respond to this thread

Don Bagert is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3
JB, I wonder if you've noticed that Trump is scheduled to still be President (although a possibly lame-duck one) on January 15, 2021 - the AoT date of the Transition.

Respond to this comment

Respond to '2017'

NYT on bringing Peter Cushing back for Rogue 1

Posted December 29 into Movies by John Birmingham

SPOILER WARNING. Seriously. Stop now if you haven't seen the film yet.

I heard Cushing had been digitally reborn for R1 just before I saw the film. I wish I hadn't. I couldn't help but watch his scenes with a hypercritical eye, looking for the contours of the uncanny valley. I don't know that I'd have noticed much if I hadn't already known.

The New York Times has an interesting piece about the process of bringing Grand Moff Tarkon back to life. As the producers point out, it wasn't something they could avoid. “If he’s not in the movie, we’re going to have to explain why he’s not in the movie,” said Kiri Hart, a Lucasfilm story development executive and “Rogue One” co-producer. “This is kind of his thing.”

From NYT:

In striving for a balance between a digital figure who seemed real and one who looked precisely like Cushing, the “Rogue One” creators said seemingly minor tweaks could make significant differences — and these details were tinkered with constantly.
For example, the original “Star Wars” film (also known as “A New Hope”) was lit differently than “Rogue One,” raising questions of how to adjust the lighting on the character.
Hal Hickel, an Industrial Light & Magic animation supervisor, said that lighting him “the way he was in ‘A New Hope’ improved his likeness as Tarkin, but it worsened the sense of him being real because then he didn’t look like any of the actors in the scene.”

13 Responses to ‘NYT on bringing Peter Cushing back for Rogue 1’

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted December 29
I don't see what would have been wrong with digging up Cushing's corpse and draping it over some sort of robotic skeleton.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted December 29
I didn't know in advance and I thought it looked amazing. Sure, if you look close enough you can tell Cushing was CGI, but the uncanny valley has narrowed significantly.

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted December 29
What I noted, after playing both the original and CGI on YouTube after I saw Rogue One, was that they did pretty good with the face. However, Guy Henry's voice is just a notch off. Henry's voice has a bit of crackle in it, especially when he says he want to speak with Lord Vader.


Cushing's voice always rolls, and sounds as smooth as silk, even when he is menacing.


But that wasn't enough to wreck the moment, anymore than the CGI did. However, Princess Leia looked downright creepy. Her skin too flawless, too translucent and milky. Carrie Fisher does, if you look, have some texture to her even at 19.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon asserts...

Posted January 4
With you on that synopsis Murph. I was pretty impressed with the job they did on Cushing - not so on Leia. I had to google to see if they just got some look-a-like for her role and mashed the makeup on good and proper.

Respond to this thread

MordWa puts forth...

Posted December 29
Peter Cushing was always sufficiently creepy - odd even, in the way Hammer Horror icons always seemed to be - that having him as CGI didn't bother me. I'm not sure it would work for anyone else; with the obvious exception that Yoda has of course been CGI for 20 years, and no one seemed to care...

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted December 29
I haven't seen the movie yet, but regarding the Peter Cushing CGI and prejudicial judgements etc, I read an interview with the Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia. He moved to America and worked hard on the audition circuit but struggled to be cast. He presented as an Australian but was sure his American accent was spot on. The casting people would say, we like you but we don't think your American accent is quite right. To overcome this, he decided to tell them he was American and all problems with his accent disappeared. He ended up with seven years as the lead actor in the very successful TV show, 'Without a Trace'.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted December 30
That is the exact reason why I've stopped telling people that I can read their minds.

Oldy would have you know...

Posted December 31
Well of course I knew you were going to say that

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted December 31
You are totally creeping me out, dude.

Respond to this thread

McGuffin is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1
I suspect much of the uncanny valley effect has to do with fore-knowledge. My wife and a couple of other people I've talked to weren't especially aware of Peter Cushing, or the fact that he's dead, and didn't notice he was a digital creation.

Respond to this comment

Don Bagert asserts...

Posted January 2
It really was good to see the lengths they went to make this movie "Star Wars, Episode 3.9" (or is that III.IX lol) - they wanted to make it reasonable for future generations to watch "Rogue One" followed by "A New Hope" with as few differences as possible.

Now, it's good that Carrie Fisher has already filmed her scenes for Episode VIII - I hope that they can write around her death so they don't have to CGI Leia again for Episode IX :P

Respond to this comment

Rob mutters...

Posted January 2
I think I'll wait till the dvd to see it. My star wars fandom has lost its shine (and you should see my toy collection) , plus my TV is great as is my new stereo. I'm pretty sure there is nothing that is going to spoil it for me.

I got bored with reading the Star wars novels because they essentially just rehashed the first 3 movies in each novel. Yet another Death Star/suncrusher/darksabre and not enough R2D2.

The young Han Solo novels were Ok and gave him some extra depth. What we really need is a return of Jaxxon the Rabbit, now that's a character!

Respond to this comment

Aaron swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 3
I could tell there was some sort of effect but didn't really care, they are trying to tell a story and the original actor is gone. I would prefer they cast real actors with make up or something. They did a fantastic job I felt like I was watching a movie not a prequel.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'NYT on bringing Peter Cushing back for Rogue 1'