Cheeseburger Gothic

Starting to feel like a real book launch

Posted November 24 into A Girl In Time by John Birmingham

Just sent A Girl In Time off to the proof reader. Early next week it'll go a typesetter in Scotland for print layout. I could launch the ebook next week, but I'd like to have both print and digital ready to go together. Once it's sold a few copies and gathered some tasty 5 Star reviews, I'll get my agent to sell the audiobook rights.

Thanks to everyone who helped out in beta. It was great going through the final copy edit, seeing how much the original ms had been improved by your contributions.

I commissioned my old editor and publisher Joel Naoum (now at Critical Mass) to handle the print, and to put together a small press package for the book. I wouldn't normally bother for an indie title, but since this will probably be the first novel published in which Donald Trump is President, it seemed a reasonable outlay.

As soon as I have a final corrected version, I'll run up ebooks for all the betas. I'm using a piece of software called Vellum, which beautifully automates the process, but because this is the first time I've used it, I want to make sure it does the job as advertised.

I haven't settled on price points yet. The print copy will be the same as any trade published paperback, simply because of the costs involved.

The ebook with be five or six dollars full retail, but half price for bookclub members.

4 Responses to ‘Starting to feel like a real book launch’

Therbs mutters...

Posted November 24
Just in time for some lazy summer reading. Looking forward to it.

Respond to this comment

Dave W mumbles...

Posted November 25
Definitely a contender for the hardest working person in fiction. Apropos of your fairfax article earlier this week, it seems like a well-deserved beverage is in order.

Respond to this comment

Don Bagert has opinions thus...

Posted November 27
"Once it's sold a few copies and gathered some tasty 5 Star reviews..." That's us, right? LOL

Also, sorry to let you know this but here's an e-book released on May 20 with Trump as President https://www.amazon.com/We-Knew-They-Were-Coming-ebook/dp/B01E6EPAR8/

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted November 27
Damn it.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Starting to feel like a real book launch'

Science is horrifying

Posted November 23 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I'm not sure how I'll use the terriftying details of this New Scientist story about the "dinosaur-killing asteroid that turned planet Earth inside-out", but I suspect they'll turn up somewhere in The Cruel Stars.

How could they not?

By analysing the depths and compositions of the rocks, the team reconstructed a timeline for the impact.

First the asteroid blasted through almost all of Earth’s crust, propelling rocks from the bottom of the crust and lifting them 25 kilometres within 10 minutes. At the rim of the newly forming crater, a mountain range higher than the Himalayas lifted and collapsed within three minutes, leaving a halo of basement rock in a geological feature called a peak ring. At the centre, a massive peak of rock splashed upward, fluid-like, before collapsing again – much like the splash of a sugar cube in a cup of hot tea.

About 10 minutes after that, the rocks stabilised and stopped flowing like a liquid. The titanic forces of impact sent shockwaves through the planet and caused earthquakes that would top the 10-point Richter scale, rattling the ground with greater force than any existing fault is capable of producing.

13 Responses to ‘Science is horrifying’

jl would have you know...

Posted November 23
Harrowing reading. Imagine aliens or future humans doing it with deliberation while parked in orbit.

Nocturnalist reckons...

Posted November 23
Check out "The Forge of God" by Greg Bear, which concludes with exactly that. There are some pretty harrowing scenes from the PoV of some of the people caught in the middle of it.

(The book as a whole is less catastrophically actiony, but the long slow buildup is worth reading in full because it makes the ending that much more effective.)

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted November 23
Sounds like something Havock or his descendants would be up for

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted November 24
You know that anything worth doing is best done FROM FKN ORBIT!!

Respond to this thread

pitpat puts forth...

Posted November 23
Hey John,
Thanks for the link. As a bit of a rock doctor on the other side of the world I'm looking at rocks of similar age which have textural features that are similar but are related to explosive events derived from magmatic or batholithic sources. I would expect some vigorous discussion in the next couple of years. They might even get some more funding to drill another hole ( the hole they drilled probably cost between 1 and 10 mill) but more than likely they won't.

Either way it is a nice story in these times of post-modern science. As for big geology events it probably isn't in the top ten. If you drive from Brisbane through to the Whitsundays you are driving - in large part- across volcanic terranes- extruded during the late Jurassic/early Cretaceous that have volumes measured in millions of cubic kilometres. Probably not a great place for a beach house.

Any hoo Thanks for all your published work so far this year, have bought it all and loved it all even if I disagreed with some of it.

Respond to this comment

Spanner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 23
Was there an earth shattering kaboom?

(Marvin the Martian reference)

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted November 25
Oh goodie! My Illidium Q36 explosive space modulator

Respond to this thread

MordWa puts forth...

Posted November 23
*puts on Sid James leery voice*

"-That's still less 'ard than I'd hit Barbara Windsor give a tuppence chance. Amiright? Hehehurh"

Respond to this comment

John Petherick would have you know...

Posted November 24
Sounds like home!

I live in Sudbury, Ontario. My house is just south of the southern rim of the Sudbury Basin and I work up on the northwest edge of the rim, so I drive across the basin twice a day. The basin, however, has been deformed by tectonic forces so it is now an elliptical / ovoid shape rather than circular, further complicated by a second, smaller impact crater.

Sudbury breccia has different colours but looks very similar to the core in the article. Mind you, the drill only went down 1335 metres, barely scratching the surface (mind you, it was underwater, too).

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted November 24
Sudbury! Stopped in there whilst on a ratsacking adventure through North America a few lifetimes ago.
Was heading west to east and had stopped at Sault St Marie then Sudbury before hitting Toronto.
Liked it. Had a fun pub, Peddlars? Was good.

Respond to this thread

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 24
That neatly describes Greybeard getting into a bath

Gutz is gonna tell you...

Posted November 26
That made the ginger beer i was drinking shoot out my nose!

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Science is horrifying'

Harry is off to Audible

Posted November 22 into Books by John Birmingham

Just signed a deal to give Audible the rights to do the entire Stalin's Hammer series as an audio book next year.

I'm not sure how long it will take them to produce, but I'm very much looking forward to hearing the finished product.

I've been researching print-on-demand options for the collected series. It looks like I'll go with Amazon's CreateSpace in the US, but with IngramSpark everywhere else.

Doing print-on-demand is hella complicated compared to ebooks. And expensive. These things will retail at the same price as any trade published title. And I'll make less on them than I would on a much cheaper ebook. As soon as you start moving atoms around, the costs pile up.

But there are people who prefer print. I guess we'll see whether they're willing to pay for the preference. My guess is mostly not, but it's worth a look.

At the moment I anticipate an early to mid-December launch for A Girl in Time, and if I can ever get my head around the vagaries of IngramSpark, the hard copy should be available for Xmas too.

I'll release this title everywhere. I experimented with Amazon exclusivity this year, and although it does confer some advantages, I don't think they compensate for the lost readers who just won't come at the Beast of Bezos. I seem to have more of them than usual. (Interesting and possibly related data point - over 60% of subscribers to my bookclub are on iOS).

Anyway, I'll let you know when I hear anything about a release date for the audiobooks.

11 Responses to ‘Harry is off to Audible’

DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted November 22
I'm IoS and my preferred platform is ibooks. But I also procure via Amazon for my Kindle app and even Kobo on rare occasions. I'm slutty that way.

Respond to this comment

WarDog has opinions thus...

Posted November 22
"over 60% of subscribers to my bookclub are on iOS"

The zombie hordes are zeroing in on you John.
Oh, wait you're already one of them :-)

Respond to this comment

Rob mutters...

Posted November 22
After moving house I like my kindle even more then I did before. So many books to pack, store and cull.

insomniac mutters...

Posted November 22
I have to move shortly and I have a stack of books to pack, probably to add to the collection of boxes of books unseen for 5 years. I can never bring myself to cull any books, except in extraordinary circumstances such as when I found out the author of a book I had bought had been sending dick pics to women who had registered their email address on his website.

Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 22
I didn't realise how prolific I had been with the painting until I stacked and packed the bigger works. They are now stacked in my new studio, I did have a chuck out of some of those too. Weird watching paintings hit the crusher at the tip.

Respond to this thread

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 22
Kindle or iBooks works for me. Prolly use the Kindle more these days.
I was given a David Sedaris book a few months back and only yesterday finished my e-Book backlog so I could start on this thing made of paper and ink. It doesn't backlight nor does it have adjustable font and you need to physically mark where you've just finished reading.
Unbelievably primitive.

Respond to this comment

KreepyKrawly is gonna tell you...

Posted November 22
Thakyou, Thakyou, Thakyou, Thakyou, Thakyou, Thakyou, so-on and so-forth... Do not like Bezos, prefer kobo... would have liked microsux to have kept the .lit format, but what do you expect from those numnuts.

Respond to this comment

Sparty2 is gonna tell you...

Posted November 22
Well this is timely-

"Harry- get your arse to Tokyo" for
Hirohito's Hammer: Tokyo
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37928806

WarDog mumbles...

Posted November 23
Oh dear, the cataclysm from Day of the Triffids has shown up as a toy.

Respond to this thread

Peter in the bleachers mutters...

Posted November 22
Kindle app on iOS works every time. iBooks is ok but has less options. Can't wait for A Girl in Time.

Respond to this comment

David Kennedy has opinions thus...

Posted January 10
As a trucker Audible is my friend. So thank God Stalin's Hammer is on the way. Print - in any form - is OK at home but I can load up the iphone with a 100GB of audio and I'm set for the week.

It would be nice to get the next instalment of Dave on audio and, while we're on the subject of wish lists, Here be Monsters shows a lot of promise; more please.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Harry is off to Audible'

Nespresso, the secret of my deadline success

Posted November 18 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

It's no secret that I've been cranking the words of late. But although I've tweaked a few things in my workflow, I credit this bad boy, the Nespresso Pixie, with keeping me at the keyboard and on my game a little longer each day.

I resisted buying one for a long time. Long enough that Jane eventually rolled her eyes and made the purchase anyway.

I was sceptical. But I have seen the Light.

I recall reading an article in The New Yorker a whole ago about how coffee making was ripe for automation, but having had the experience of campus coffee machines long ago, I didn't believe them. Turns out I should have. There is of course both art and science to brewing a perfect cup, but the art is rare and for most of us it can be replaced by the science. A good barista is a craftsman or woman of great skill, but making coffee is also a process that lends itself to being programmed. A controlled blend of coffee grounds, exposed to water of a specific temparture and pressure for a measured amount of time will deliver that same result every time.

Get those inputs right and your output will be unvaryingly sublime.

That's why a lot of restaurants sneakily, shamefully make your coffee out of sight now. They're using a Nespresso machine.

If you order an after-dinner espresso at roughly a third of the twenty-four hundred Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, you receive a demitasse filled with a thin drink that came out of small, thimble-shaped pod packed with five or six grams of coffee that was pre-ground a month or more prior. You are drinking Nespresso, which has quietly infiltrated restaurants all over the world in the name of convenience and consistency - The New Yorker.

For me, it's meant fewer trips to the local cafe. Much fewer. I still buy coffee while I'm out, but I'm even pickier and more dismissive of shitty brown water than I used to be, especially at $4 a pop. The unit cost of each Nespresso pod is about 70c. Plus I'm not having them with muffins or brownies, so I've cut out hundreds of sugary calories a day. I've lost weight using this thing! About a kilo and a half. (And grabbed an hour of time for myself that I've been using to write more).

The coffee is uniformly good and comes in dozens of different blends, some flavoured with natural oils to create chocolate or caramel aromas. I usually stock up on pods every four or five weeks and there's a lovely air of Jony Ive-style wankery to the set up at the Nesresso shop. In fact, the whole thing reminds me of the vaguely cultish experience of visiting the Apple Store.

So naturally, I approve.

20 Responses to ‘Nespresso, the secret of my deadline success’

sibeen mutters...

Posted November 18
Yes. Had one for three years now. The morning visit to the bench has now become ritual.

Respond to this comment

Chaz would have you know...

Posted November 18
We've had ours for years, of course there was much wailing about costs when I got it!

Respond to this comment

Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted November 19
Espresso. Tea. Bourbon. Gin. Heroin. Meth. Whatever it takes to get you to the desk and pumping out words.

damian reckons...

Posted November 20
Auden classified most of those as "modern labor saving technology" for writers, along with benzedrine but minus the meth which hadn't become popular by his time.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 21
Didn't benzedrine do pretty much the same thing as meth? I read somewhere about David Selznick making Gone With The Wind on "bennies" - sleeping one day a week or something ridiculous.

Respond to this thread

trib mutters...

Posted November 19
Birmo! You're killing me.

Nespresso and its ilk are responsible for an insane amount of additional landfill because their pods aren't biodegradable. The coffee itself, fantastic compost, but it's locked away in aluminium packaging.

Aunty covered this recently on Lateline

Biodegradable pods are starting to emerge, so I encourage you to use those or a pod recycler. Details in aforementioned ABC story - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-24/former-nespresso-boss-warns-coffee-pods-are-killing-environment/7781810

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted November 19
What trib said

NBlob would have you know...

Posted November 19
Indeed. If one was to set out to design a Worst choice, one might have lined the pods with foetal white rhino hide. But that'd be about it. I love coffee, I accept schlepping it from the mountains isn't exactly carbon neutral, but the pods are to much for me.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted November 20
They've got a recycling program now. The pods get reclaimed for the aluminium and the coffee grounds go to agriculture for mulch.

damian mutters...

Posted November 20
Well I agree that automation is cool, however we're now into the 6th with our current coffee machine. Came with a free grinder of the sort where the grind goes directly into the espresso basket. Leaving the grind setting where we have kept it for years now, making a ritual of shaking, tapping and then applying a muscle-memory of tamping pressure delivers great results most times. We've so ritualised that we take the whole apparatus with us on holidays (one more milk crate size box in the back of the wagon, with space for some extra bits and pieces between stuff).

Respond to this thread

Domestic Daze ducks in to say...

Posted November 19
I have yet to succumb to the heady delights of such black magic.
Although I get the feeling that it is only a matter of time, but with limited space in my kitchen........I guess I can live without the microwave after all.

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 19
I remember when you told us of your love for your Aeropress coffee plunger. Where did it all go wrong?

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted November 20
Still love the aeropress, but i'm running a production line now.

Respond to this thread

insomniac would have you know...

Posted November 20
Isn't there some coffee based suppository you could use so you're not wasting valuable writing time making pod coffee?

Respond to this comment

jason reckons...

Posted November 21
I can truly trace back the best moments of my life to coffee (not as sad as it sounds) and I live in the coffee capital of Australia so your words are heretical to me. But I will forgive this obvious character flaw in favour of more flawed characters.

Respond to this comment

Surtac reckons...

Posted November 21
A bunch of us (half a dozen) got together at work a couple years back and bought a De Longhi machine that uses nespresso pods. We buy the pods in bulk (multiple flavours and don't have to pay freight). The response was so good that our original investment was repaid in about six months.

It's still going. We charge $1 per pod (including milk and sugar) and that seems to work for us (iirc our average price per pod is about 87c and we run at least a dozen different flavours/strengths).

Some of us have referred to it as the only successful project our IT group has delivered in the past few years. :)

Unfortunately, I can't get one for home as SWMBO doesn't like the taste of the pods. :(

Respond to this comment

pi mutters...

Posted November 21
What I would do is encourage your young adult offspring into starting their career at nespresso. I suppose they give all of those free pods (hundreds a month) so that their employees become addicted to the coffee, but as a parent of said offspring, the coffee is varied and plentiful.

Respond to this comment

Bondiboy66 ducks in to say...

Posted November 21
We have a commercial Nespresso machine at my new workplace (we got moved here a month ago). Makes decent coffee, better than the instant stuff, and cheaper than buying as its free! Problem is, whoever is responsible for ordering the pods is a bit slack, and we run out regularly. I thought I'd just buy my own private stock....but nooooo. The Nespresso shop near home informs me the commercial machine pods (which look sort of like a foil wrapped biscuit) can't be bought in a shop, only ordered from the manufacturer...argh!

So just nick a handful of the pods when they come in and keep them in my desk drawer.

Respond to this comment

Dirk reckons...

Posted November 30
It seems you can't stay of the Burger for a week, and people are starting to talk jibberish.

I just want to point to this baby, to show you your errant ways:

http://www.koffiediscounter.nl/img/eda1541c-1761-48c6-a075-fba9d456e50a/saeco-moltio-hd8769.jpg?w=&h=&q=80

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 1
Agreed. I think I have the previous model in this range. It is the duck's nuts.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Nespresso, the secret of my deadline success'

Next book

Posted November 16 into Writing by John Birmingham

I started blocking out the plot and character arcs for The Cruel Stars this week. I'd been tossing up whether to write WW3.1 first, but Cruel Stars is due in New York in April next year and with the holidays coming up my productivity will soon fall off a cliff. We're scheduled to spend some time in Sydney during January (I will try to set aside a day for a Burger catch up) and the getting kids back to school is usually a week's worth of faffing around too.

Long story short, I'm going to knock over this traditionally published title first, then swing into 3.1 in February. That should see it released in April/May.

Meantime, I have the Hooper fanfic project to release for Xmas. It'll go free to everyone in the bookclub, then probably sit at two bucks in the stores.

Come January I'll release all of the Stalin's Hammer books in one volume. Including Rome. I can't release my own copy of Rome, because the rights remain trapped with the legacy publsihers. . But I can rerelease it as part of an 'anthology'. I think it'll make a nice one, and I'll do a print on demand version too. Audible have made an offer on the audiobook rights.

I'm enjoying the rapid fire project switching of the last few months. Paris, Girl in Time and now Cruel Stars are all very different projects and I've found each to be a pleasant change from the other.

Not sure whether to put Cruel Stars through the beta process. It really does improve the story, but I'm mindful of not overloading everyone and, to be honest, it's the publisher's job anyway.

Happy to take counsel on that.

Also keen to here from the beta crew how they found Dropbox Paper. Some hated it. Some liked it. I had one or two scarifying moments when it seemed to delete the whole project.

27 Responses to ‘Next book’

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 16
DB Paper was ok but that was highly dependent on the platform. Desktop/laptop were fine, the iPhone was also ok but so tiny I was crosseyed afterwards, and the Android tablet failed to provide me with a cursor on many occasions which made editing simple things difficult.
With the tablet I had a select all moment where I was not entirely sure what to do next just in case I deleted everything. I know you keep the original safely tucked away somewhere but do you occasionally backup the beta copy?
I'm happy to use either Paper or Docs.

Respond to this comment

WarDog would have you know...

Posted November 16
I found the latency on DropBox, both via Desktop and Android tablet to be extremely frustrating. To the point that I almost didn't read through the final third.

I like the anthology delivery for Stalin's Hammer.

And I also find switching tasks every couple of months a much more relaxing way of working. I fond it gives me fresh perspectives on prior projects too.

Respond to this comment

jl is gonna tell you...

Posted November 16
What's the premise for "The Cruel Stars"? Sounds interesting.

Loved dropbox, I used it on my Mac and had no problems. Very intuitive and fun to work with. Considering using it myself for my next book, great way to get real-time feedback from your betas. I really enjoyed it.

Also, good concept releasing the novellas as an anthology, especially like the print-on-demand part. Electronic books are fine, but every now and then I do love a paperback.

Respond to this comment

Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted November 16
Yeah, what the sleepless one said.

With no prior experience of the product, I worked out how to use DB Paper relatively easily but its performance was highly dependent on the platform. Safari on iOS on iPad was unusable due to app latency times; Firefox or Chrome on a Windows 7 laptop was nearly as bad; the only decent response I could get was on Chrome on a Win 10 desktop. And I was using the same network infrastructure for all of these - VDSL2 broadband router hardwired to the two Win machines and wifi to the iPad.

Anyway, I was happy to be part of the process, and would do so again.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted November 16
Yeah, it does seem very dependent on platform, with mobile devices being the worst.

AuntyLou is gonna tell you...

Posted November 20
Yep Android tablet was hard work. One thing that no one else seems to mention is that Google Docs allowed a much smoother experience for glancing through comments. I like seeing the thought processes of others...even if it is only to kick myself for missing typos.

Respond to this thread

Don Bagert swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 16
It's hard to complain about 3.1 being delayed when you're saying it should be finished by six months from now, and also be available to everyone at the same time! I remember that one book that was delayed so long in the U.S. (maybe Final Impact?)

An anthology of 3 novellas that just happen to all be in the same universe with a continuing story line. Sound good if the Paris publishers buy it. (This made me think of when this "anthology" of 8 previously published short-stories plus one new story was released a some time back. You may have heard of it - the Foundation Trilogy.) LOL

The DB Paper could be a little fickle in some places, but overall it was very useful. A Girl in Time was my first time with the betas, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't believe you think we'll be overloaded by this - we're getting to see John Birmingham working at his craft! Also, I don't know how your publishing editors have been but I've seen many books by others where it was obvious the editors didn't understand what was going on. Do you want the betas, after the book is released, to be telling you "Look at these continuity errors, JB! WE would have found all of them!" LOL

Finally, I'd also like to know a bit of what Cruel Stars is about :)

Respond to this comment

Lulu mutters...

Posted November 16
"Come January I'll release all of the Stalin's Hammer books in one volume"

Literally a volume, like on paper?

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted November 16
Yes.

Lulu mutters...

Posted November 16
Excellent!

dweeze puts forth...

Posted November 16
Come January I'd be purchasing such a volume then.
Yay.

Respond to this thread

DarrenBloomfield mumbles...

Posted November 16
1. DB Paper is worth sticking with - even though I'm one that used my ipad almost exclusively, and as above, yeah it's not without its frustrations.

2. We betas get at least as much in return for what we give. So I selfishly say go for it. But will understand if you don't (your publisher may also have a risk-averse view).

3. Lots on JB - well done. Is it safe to say in 29 days you will be rich?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted November 16
I wouldn't go that far.

Respond to this thread

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted November 16
I think there will always be enough alphas available at any one time to cope with any potential overloading. I feel like it's ok to dip in or out depending on our individual workloads, or is that just lazy slave talk?

Respond to this comment

Dave C mumbles...

Posted November 16
Dropbox was good. There were a few fuggly moments using it on my android, as stated above, but generally it was excellent.
If you're asking whether to beta The Cruel Stars, I'd describe it like this; everyone's got their favorite bands, right? And their albums are the mint, polished, end-product. But come on, who wouldn't want to hang in their studio while they're laying the tracks?

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted November 16
Not a fan of the Dropbox Paper. I found it pretty maddening to work with.

Respond to this comment

Jeats puts forth...

Posted November 16
Just out of interest you mentioned the rights to the audiobook... have you ever had interest for a movie? The time does seem ripe for a "Final Countdown" style movie - you know to make 'merica great again!

I am really looking forward to reading "The Cruel Stars" when it is released.

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted November 16
A girl in time is perfect for a netflix production. And the Dave for that matter (SFX budget might be a bit high!)

Respond to this comment

Alastair swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 17
What about a burger meetup in NYC? I'm in!

Respond to this comment

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien ducks in to say...

Posted November 17
Dropbox Paper took me a second to get used to, but overall it was good. As others said, it wasn't without its shortcomings, but it did the trick.

As far as doing beta for "The Cruel Stars," I would do it in a heartbeat. But it's totally up to you (and the publishers).

The anthology sounds good too, and I am sure all of us are looking forward to WW3.1.

Respond to this comment

Rhino puts forth...

Posted November 17
DP was rough on IPad Pro. One thing that I didn't like (or figure out) was how to bookmark my progress so that I didn't have to do that entire scroll from the top thing every time. Probably a PIFOK error.

I'm always up for a beta ... mainly because I can lord it over the untermenschen.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted November 17
We do not mention the untermenschen

Respond to this thread

Ceramic would have you know...

Posted November 17
Never mind, just emailing you now.

Respond to this comment

Rhino reckons...

Posted November 18
But. But. But ... the sounds they make when taunted are like music for the soul.

But, my Master has spoken ... no more more mentions of the U-word.

Sudragon mutters...

Posted November 18
They have become...

Untermentionables.

Respond to this thread

Oldy ducks in to say...

Posted December 1
If you're worried about overloading the betas, you can always increase the pool...

...just sayin'

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted December 1
Old, if you want in, just let me know via the mailing list email.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Next book'

Marshal Smith needs a new gun

Posted November 11 into A Girl In Time by John Birmingham

Those of you in the beta would know thaty he carries an 1875 Remington pistol. Just Jason points out that this would need to be cocked after each shot.

For narrative spoilery reasons I won't get into here, this cant happen. So he needs a revolver that a novice can just point and shoot.

But it needs to be period appropriate.

Suggestions?

17 Responses to ‘Marshal Smith needs a new gun’

Stuart reckons...

Posted November 11
Colt M1877 (as used by Billy the Kidd amongst others) or the plus sized Colt M1878, which had a similar design but was upsized to use the larger cartridges.

Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted November 11
Unfortunately, Smith is from 1876 - and the Colt M1877 and M1878 did come out in those years.

Respond to this thread

Kim collard reckons...

Posted November 11
Try the Gasser Model 1870 Army Service Six-Round Revolver .... it fires and reloaded on one trigger action. Rgds

Respond to this comment

jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 11
I found a solution- it took some doing, DA revolvers were not common in 1876. Check this out-

http://www.antiquegunlist.com/index.php/home/manufactures/star/3859-starr-1858-d-a-army-44percussion-to-cartridge-revolver-early-1870s-after-market-conversion-to-45colt

The Starr was one of the only US DA revolver designs pre 1877, most were percussion revolvers used by the Union Army in the Civil War. I wasn't aware that any of them were cartridge conversions, but I knew such animals existed in other designs. So I googled "Cartridge Starr Revolver" and came up with a no kidding 1870ish example of a Starr that had been converted. Can easily see this being used in the West.

Problem potentially solved.

Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted November 12
We carried the reproductions at the Civil War Sutlery I worked at in grad school.


They were notoriously fickle and unreliable. Prone to breakage.


Been years since I've dealt with the revolvers of that era, but a study of the shootists from that early might reveal what I vaguely remember, mainly that the bulk of them preferred a single action as opposed to a double action.


Perhaps a better, more historically accurate solution to the problem, would be to modify the scene in question to match the probable combat tactics of a shootist from the 19th Century, rather than dressing a 21st Century style pistoleer in 19th Century clothes.

Respond to this thread

dman69 would have you know...

Posted November 11
What about a Bulldog revolver? A british design, double action...

Respond to this comment

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien is gonna tell you...

Posted November 12
Maybe the British Beaumont-Adams?

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted November 12
It was not uncommon, especially during the Bleeding Kansas build up to the Civil War and during the Kansas-Missouri Border War for folks to carry multiple revolvers. Perhaps as many as four to six on the person, plus two more, "horse pistols," in saddle holsters, usually a Colt Dragoon or something along those lines.


That said, I doubt Marshall Smith is going to go into a gunfight the same way Caitlin Monroe might. He'll use the tactics he knows based upon the limitations of his technology.


Oh, and I suspect the reason many of them preferred single action was down to accuracy and reliability.

jl is gonna tell you...

Posted November 12
Murph, 100% agree that the vast majority of pistoleers in the 19th century preferred single action in America. The DA was popular earlier in UK, Europe. The S&W model 1899 (later model 10) made DA pistols popular in the US (there was a reason the 1877 Colt was known as the "gunsmith's friend"). And what you say is also completely accurate re: multi pistols, etc.

Simply trying to find a period correct DA pistol that was used in the Old West- the Starr was used by the Union Army, and some of them were converted to .45LC. Admit it is not a perfect choice, just period correct.

jl asserts...

Posted November 12
Gotta say it's tough 1876 and earlier. Single action, lots of picks.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted November 12
The Starr is definitely period correct. Apparently the originals were far more reliable than the Pietta reproductions we carried.


I think there are two choices.


Modify the scene to match the limitations of a more probable weapons choice.


Decide how important it is to actually have a weapon that is period correct.


Option two would be easier to deal with in terms of rewrite. Option one would be more time consuming to rectify.

Respond to this thread

Don Bagert swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 12
JB, what would be the impact of moving Smith's departure up a year in order to use the Colt M1877?

Respond to this comment

Gutz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 12
Um, i made some good stuff out of lego? but i have also been on the chug chug glug glug wowee sauce!

Why cannot he have TWO 1875 Remington pistol's and flip everything that is not tied down upside down using them?

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted November 13
I decided to go back to the original Colt. Why? BECAUSE SMITH IS A TIME TRAVELLER. HE COULD CARRY A FUCKING PHASER IF HE WANTED TO.

Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted November 13
Excellent choice.

Respond to this thread

Kristophr mutters...

Posted November 14
A Starr cap and ball revolver is a double action. It almost broke the company because people didn't like double actions at the time. When they made a single action version, it sold better, and made the company profitable again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starr_revolver

Another candidate would be the British Adams revolver:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Adams_%28handgun_designer%29

Respond to this comment

Ceramic ducks in to say...

Posted November 17
Hiya,
If you're still looking for beta readers, i'm free and have a pc for dropbox.
You know what my special subjects are I presume.
Just in case, quantum physics, aspergers and god knows what else.
Just thought i'd put my name forward.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Marshal Smith needs a new gun'