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She is one with the Force

Posted December 28 into Movies by John Birmingham

By sad, unplanned coincidence we chose A New Hope as our first pick of the front yard outdoor cinema season last night. I wasn't thinking of Carrie Fisher when we settled on that. I just thought it'd be cool to revisit the story after Rogue 1.

However, watching it a few hours before the news that Fisher had passed away, I was struck by how much agency her character enjoyed, and how well she played a 1930s Saturday matinee tough grrl, updated for the 1970s. Other things occured to me as well, including how much the film owes the classic war movies of the 1950s and 60s. But Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia stood out.

I'd say she was an amazing character for that time. But given the way things have gone, she'd be pretty fucking amazing if she turned up for the first time tomorrow.

I might go read her books.

6 Responses to ‘She is one with the Force’

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted December 28
This one has hit me hard, I think because I refused to believe she could succumb to that heart attack. Princess Leia was an incredible character for any era, andCarrie Fisher was simply incredible. I definitely think I need to read her books and find out about all the wit and wisdom that has just returned to the Force. Vale Carrie :(

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted December 28
Princess Leia is a great character partly because Carrie Fisher brought more to it than was on the page. Nice to hear that Carrie was a joy to be around. It is a special person to 'have personsl issues' but still be consistently great and nourishing company.

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WarDog mumbles...

Posted December 28
She wrote one of my favourite movies "Postcards from the Edge". Vale

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Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 28
Carrie Fisher and Gary the Dog used to like my tweets. Top chick.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 29
Personal sadness on a surprisingly profound level. She stood for, represented so much more than I realized until I learned that she died.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 29
And there goes her mum to join her. Vale Debbie Reynolds.
:(
The Force must be FKN superpowered by now after all those who've returned to it in the last year.

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Merry Christmas and a better new year

Posted December 26 by John Birmingham

Delayed season's greetings to you all, excpet for those of you trapped in the past by a cruel and unforgiving international date line. For you, I'm right on time.

Spent the day slowly bloating with alcohol and roast goose.

Will spend today recovering.

9 Responses to ‘Merry Christmas and a better new year’

jl would have you know...

Posted December 26
Being on the other side of said date line, still coming to terms with a delicious Christmas meal and. Ah, prime rib roast and Merlot. Amazing. And I still had some time and sobriety left over to do a little writing on the latest and check in here. Happy holidays to everyone here at the 'burger.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted December 26
Merry Christmas JB, and to all the other burgerers. Hope you're all recovering nicely from Christmas indulgences, or for those on the wrong side of the dateline, I hope you're in the middle of epic Christmas indulgences from which you will need to recover :)

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Oldy has opinions thus...

Posted December 26
Merry Christmas JB, hope your 2017 is packed full of win

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jason reckons...

Posted December 26
I am currently enjoying the best day of the year, Boxing Day. Family commitments all over, cricket on the telly, plenty of leftovers to eat at my whim and the nap window is open all day. May even indulge in a quiet one or three tonight. Batteries fully recharging for my tilt at world domination next year. It doesn't get much better in my world.

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted December 26
What Jason said, and Merry Christmas to all

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Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted December 27
All the best to everyone, and thank you John.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted December 27
Peace. Such a little word. A single syllable with syllabance and a plosives bow. Yet it features in every tradition, Buddhist to Orthodox Judaism, at a Catholic Mass one shakes the hand of the stranger beside you and wish them peace. If there is anything we need at this time of year it's peace. The peace of reconnecting with family over shared table and traditions. The peace of taking time to think of those who we've lost.
I wish you a peaceful season.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted December 29
The cynicism I've learned over the years tells me that peace is an illusion at best and a condition imposed upon those vanquished for reasons of realpolitik. But the optimistic idealism programmed into me sincerely thanks you for your wish and remembers Robert Browning's beautiful resolution of cynicism and idealism when he wrote "a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?"

Peace to the World, goodwill towards all.

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MickH has opinions thus...

Posted December 30
Merry Christmas & a happy new year JB
I hope this is a successful one for us

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Casting call for 'A Girl in Time'

Posted December 23 by John Birmingham

I'll probably open the spoiler threads for the book later today, but Jo MacD commented on Twitter this morning that she imagined the writer Laurie Penny as Cady.

I can totally see that. Great pick.

But she's not my version of Cady. As usual, I'm not telling anybody who I cast in the various roles. But yes, the character files in Scrivener do have extensive notes and photographs of all the main players. I find it helps with keeping the characters true to themselves.

So, keeping it spoiler free for now, I'm curious about who you cast to play Cady, Smith and friends in A Girl in Time.

34 Responses to ‘Casting call for 'A Girl in Time'’

Abe Frellman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 23
Emma Stone.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted December 23
Nice.

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WarDog mumbles...

Posted December 23
Ruby Rose

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 23
You've all grown soft since I've been gone. And provincial.

Lena Dunham
Anum Fiyyaz
Miranda Kerr

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted December 23
yeah, fkn PUSSIES!!!!

More like Kate fkn Beconsale

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted December 23
Too old, but still good.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 23
Smith should be someone grizzled, and they need a good drawl. Billy Bob, maybe Matt Damon

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JoMacD swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 23
I may have missed a reference to it in the text (no spoilers please, I'm only a third of the way in) but I'm having trouble placing Smith's age. Have a feeling he would look and act older than his years due to cultural and environmental factors. At the moment my mind has him lazily played by Matt Smith as he appeared in The Impossible Astronaut- Stetson and all. In fairness, he needs to be played by someone at least as attractive as the female lead, or else it's just not fun for us male-attracted people, Nathan Fillion would do nicely thank you.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 23
He's about 29, but looks older because he's lived hard. Fought in the Civil War. Lives on the back of a horse.

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jl is gonna tell you...

Posted December 23
I'd go with Tom Selleck from "Quigley Down Under" for Smith.

Cady- a girl I knew in the service who none of you would know, so I'll describe her. She was blonde, had a pretty, sharp looking face with a nose ring, and a quick wit. She had too-short hair that got her into trouble at times with dress regulations for a woman. Lots of attitude and she could focus on a task like a laser.

Chumley- Jim Parsons.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 23
Controversial choice! He'd need to bulk up for the third act.

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted December 23
Even though the future lawyer that got them out of the DHS cell wasn't named Boylan, I retconned him into being Boylan.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted December 23
He is not Boylan. Boylan has had his moment.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted December 23
You promised me more one-liners than the Rhino. By my reckoning, the scales have not yet balanced.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted December 23
We could do a Dave / Girl crossover and have Boylan appear in the Trump as Pres timeline. Although there would be more entertainment value having him serving in the Trump camp, trying to bring down the administration from within.


Actually, that's probably where you went wrong Boylan, and now you're down in Mexico building the wall :P

Blarkon mutters...

Posted December 23
's time travel. There can be multiple Boylan moments. Protagonists can even go back and relive the best ones.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted December 24
@SheJedi building? With those hands? Ha ha ha ha

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 24
I am enthused about the possibility of Trump building a wall between Mexico and the United States. I am investing in a business with the patent on a new, lighter, taller, less expensive ladder that will be made in Mexico.

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AuntyLou mutters...

Posted December 23
Cady = Hailee Steinfeld
Chumley = Russell Tovey
Smith....well I am still having trouble with him. Why couldn't you have made him Nathan Fillion's age!

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JBtoo mumbles...

Posted December 23
Adelaide Clemens

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted December 23
Cady - Claire Foy
Smith - Tom Hardy
Georgia - Hayley Atwell
Chumley - Matt Smith

I'd also do an honourable mention for Norman Reedus as Smith too

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted December 23
OMG. Reedus is a great left field pick

AuntyLou ducks in to say...

Posted December 23
But he is too old...and ugly. And I am willing to say that being even older and arguably uglier!

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Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted December 23
No. Not Laurie. Great attitude but the hair is all wrong. You described Cady as a long hair blonde early on and that is what stuck in my head.

My pick would be a blonde version (dye or wig) of Hayley Campbell (yes Eddie's daughter). Check her on the twitterz - she has attitude to burn.

Smith - I have no idea. I see him as a fair bit older than Cady but I just can't pick it.

So it goes.

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AuntyLou puts forth...

Posted December 23
Is Cady blonde? Long thick hair...maybe I just went black/brunette because I knew a super smart kickarse chick years ago. Hence Hailee Steinfeld...she was in the True Grit remake.

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted December 24
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Casting them might be a little problematic though.

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Norsey mutters...

Posted December 25
Brianna Wu as Cady

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 26
This made me smile.

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jason ducks in to say...

Posted December 27
I may be a bit late (family can seriously eat into my reading time).
I think Michaela Bannis (upper middle bogan - Aussie tv show) is a winner. Her swearing is on a par with anyone's. Smith, Hugh Jackman would suit and wouldn't hurt the box office. Left field pick is Dr Chris Brown. At least my wife would come to the movie with me of one of them eadt the lead.

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Rob mumbles...

Posted December 29
Hex from Good Game as Cady.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 29
Ha. Perfect.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted January 4
i know that to cast a movie it would have to be people in the here and now but do you approach the character looks as anyone from time or just the current crop?

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david ducks in to say...

Posted January 5
for smith sam worthington

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Streaming music and rebirth of the album

Posted December 23 into Music by John Birmingham

From the New York Times...

John Seabrook’s book “The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory” delved into the 21st-century pop that resulted from concentrating on single tracks: We got songs that were fabricated as masterpieces of instant gratification, full of technological sizzle and concocted by a surprisingly small clique of professionals for a highly competitive A-list of pop stars, who added some small personal garnish to the committee efforts. The same people write for (and with) Taylor Swift, the Weeknd and Adele; they knew the secrets of radio play, which is still seen as the best guarantee of mass success despite the occasional online breakout.

Streaming, instead, encourages curiosity. With streaming rather than downloads, access replaces ownership and the commitment is of time, not money. That’s still significant, but it doesn’t feel so irrevocable. Where downloads and playlists favored the lone song, streaming gives the artist and the album a fighting chance again. Anyone interested in a particular artist, from die-hard fans to novelty seekers, can listen to a whole album repeatedly — not just song samples, not just YouTube choices — and let subtler material sink in. Musicians don’t need to think so exclusively about what sounds, beats and structures the radio gatekeepers will allow; they can get poetic, political, sonically weird or all of the above. While big and glossy still works, it’s just possible that odd and heartfelt will, too.

Couldn't agree more with the argument that 'streaming encourages curiosity.' After years, probably decades of stagnating taste, I've got dozens of new artists and groups in my playlists now. And sure, they tend to be alternative rock acts, or hip hop, which I've always listened to. But I would never have found them in the download era. Because after a while you just stop trying. But with streaming you don't have to try. The platform serves it all up for you, no matter which service you use.

One interesting factoid from the article. It takes 1500 plays of an album to match the income from one paid download. That looks bad, but then I was never going to download any of the albums I've been listening to since getting Apple Music, and Rdio before that. And with some albums I would come close to 1500 plays after a couple of years.

2 Responses to ‘Streaming music and rebirth of the album’

mick g has opinions thus...

Posted December 23
Exactly. I'm listening to music on Spotify that I'd never buy, but if I and a few million others are doing the same worldwide then surely that benefits artists who would never be making money from my buying their music in traditional formats.
Im hoping it also leads to the downfall of miserable human beings like Chris Brown (the r&b douchebag,not the tv vet). Fingers crossed.

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Helical swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 24
I don't like streaming for multiple reasons.
I spend a large portion of my time away from mobile reception (plus I have limited data) so I don't want to be tethered to a data connection. My music lives on my mp3 player's 120GB hard drive.
Streaming does not help newer bands or niche bands as they need such huge numbers to make any money. A local and successful progressive metal band, that tours internationally, showed their income off Spotify last year, a handful of change, enough to buy a cheeseburger.
Finally, I want to still be able to listen to my music when the zombie apocalypse comes. So while you lot are searching for an internet connection in between getting your brains eaten, I'll be out bush headbanging away.

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The Butte Crack cover

Posted December 22 by John Birmingham

I'm not sending this one out to commerical production. Ity's just me, GraphicStock and Pixelmator.

10 Responses to ‘The Butte Crack cover’

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted December 22
I could be talked into darkening the background behind the time of the letter 'A' in the subtitle. And maybe the letter 'J' in my name.

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jason reckons...

Posted December 22
Agree with the A in the subtitle but I reckon the J is okay.

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Surtac asserts...

Posted December 22
I agree with Jason.

Holy sh*t. I made the cut. Will be very curious to see what the Blue Pencil of Doom did to the story I submitted.

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insomniac asserts...

Posted December 22
You can save the A with a thin black or maybe dark blue in this case on the lettering, if possible

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted December 22
line...thin black line

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted December 22
Include my middle name and I'll make it worth your while.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted December 24
Did you consider comic sans?

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ronS mumbles...

Posted December 26
Where do I get it?

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Ian Rangel swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 30
Yes!!! I can't wait!

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jason mumbles...

Posted January 4
No pressure John but I checked the bottom of my Christmas stocking and there was no Butte Crack (except mine as I leaned in, obviously).

Have i missed something?

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Fanfic author details needed

Posted December 21 into The Dave by John Birmingham

I'm just pulling together the fanfic ebook. Some of the submissions don't have names or titles on them. I'm happy to think up titles, but really, I can't wing it with names.

If you submitted a chapter, let me know with a proposed title and whatever name you want credited.

26 Responses to ‘Fanfic author details needed’

Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted December 21
If its in, then the title could be Gozilla Eat Your Heart Out
with my CBG tag or Simon AKH. Whatever suits really.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted December 21
That's the one set in Japan?

Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted December 21
Yes

Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted December 21
Godzilla maybe? Missed the 'd'!

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insomniac reckons...

Posted December 21
Can't remember if there was a title. Let's go with 'insomniac' but it has to be lowercase.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted December 21
And which story?

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted December 21
I was greedy and submitted two of you recall. The one with two guys in a room and the one driving in a car.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted December 21
Oddly enough there was two 'car' stories, but I remember Boylan's referenced Stephen King's 'Christine'.

insomniac reckons...

Posted December 21
Now I feel like I should have tried harder. If you look very abstractly you might see a reference to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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jason ducks in to say...

Posted December 21
It goes a little something like this...

Loch Ness monster story is 7th Guardian
Soccer hooligans story is F Troop
Paranoid guy is Inner demons
Indigenous one is Kurdachai Man
Suicide bomber one is The Fedayeen
Terrorist running away is White Caves
Attack on the church is The Church
Truck driver is Revenge
Militia one is Fightback.

As far as names go. Jason Cox works for me.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted December 21
Hahaha. I had no trouble remembering yours. You're half the fucking book!

Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted December 21
I hope the soccer hooligans are the Millwall lads. Especially after their actions during the last London/UK riots.

jason asserts...

Posted December 21
You are 100% correct. The Milwall lads carry the day.

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MickH ducks in to say...

Posted December 21
John,
feel free to use my Q7S classic

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MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted December 21
Do you still have it?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted December 21
I probably have a very old version, but we should definitely talk about this separately, now that I've decided to take a fuck you approach with this IP. Email me, would you?

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ShaneAlpha has opinions thus...

Posted December 21
A Place of Angels pts 1, 2 & 3,
An Early Tale,
Dying of Embarrassment
State of Origin
Put them all under my name: Shane Stapleton

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted December 21
Is it too late to submit something?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted December 22
I'm sending it out tomorrow!

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted December 22
Oops, nevermind! :)

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Sparty2 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 22
mine was
"The Home Front"
the "Extract from shooting script of the BBC 13 part documentary series “The Earth at War”, narrated by Sir Kenneth Brannagh.
Credit either

Sparty (perferably)

or Mark Williams

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Surtac asserts...

Posted December 22
Mine was the one about monsters in Parliament House in Canberra.

Yes, I know. Irony , right.

As for a name, Surtac or Sten Duncan will work for me. If you need a real-life name, ping me at surtac at gmail dot com or dm me at twitter as @OriginalSurtac.

Curious as to whether I made the cut.

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted December 22
Oh yeah, title. I'm not good at titles. Whatever you reckon works.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted December 22
I did one, I think titled "A Different Day". Was a bit shite so prolly no need to bother about it.

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Rob mumbles...

Posted December 22
I can't remember what mine was,

Maybe Hobart Land of Lumpy White People? Oh I digress, Hobart is a kick ass town .

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NBlob asserts...

Posted December 24
DangNabbit! Stupid dumb work. I was away, then a dog ate my homework and I hadn't been feeling very well. I guess if I made the cut, we'll roll with Harry vs the Dragon. NBob.

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