Cheeseburger Gothic

Ebooks update

Posted October 26, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

I've been very pleased and grateful with all the work done by the Beta Readers on Soul Full of Guns and A Protocol for Monsters. There's a couple of continuity issues I'll tidy up in my next draft and then we'll be off to the pro editor for the hard core revisions. All of the work to date, however, will make that process much quicker and cheaper. So again, many thanks to all who took part.

There'll soon be a new title to go out to Beta for anyone who'd interested. Stalin's Hammer: Cairo.

I've decided to abandon trade publishing this series, because reconciling the business plans of all the competting publishers who wanted a piece of it proved to be impossible. So, like the Hooper ebooks, I'll be putting this one out myself.

I'll also be releasing it for free. I think people have waited long enough that it's not fair to ask them to hand over any money for this installment. There will two more titles in this arc, and they'll be for purchase (unless you're one of the early sign-ups to the mailing list, in which case you'll get an alert that the books have been released and are free for the first 24 hours).

I have a few other changes to my publishing plans for 2016, which I'll talk about here in due course. But for now, we'll get on with these eBooks. If anyone from the Beta has suggestions for streamlining the collaborative system, please let me know. There were a few wrinkles with Google Docs, mostly dependent on whether you were using a gmail address, the platform on which you accessed the docs, and whether you were invited by individual email or group link.

I'm still shaking this system out, so I'll consider all options.

31 Responses to ‘Ebooks update’

insomniac reckons...

Posted October 26, 2015
I had no issues but I was using a non gmail address for the invite even though I logged into Google Docs with one to edit, which was either on an Android tablet or at work with Windows.

insomniac reckons...

Posted October 26, 2015
ps. I too would like to remain "in", as long as it isn't next week.

Ian Goulbourne (chirurgean) reckons...

Posted October 28, 2015
I used the same system. Made comments using my google id. Would be nice to be invited to join the gang again


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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted October 26, 2015
My work load has finally lifted. I would love to be part of Stalin's Hammer's beta review.

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted October 26, 2015

Yeah. I'd be happy to help with this one.

I didn't put my hand up for the Dave ones as the timing wasn't going to work for me. This one however should be do-able.

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted October 26, 2015
John, naturally I'd like to read Stalin's Hammer: Cairo. Count me in.

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she_jedi mutters...

Posted October 26, 2015
Count me in, that was fun

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Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted October 26, 2015
I'll put my hand up too. Just because.

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AuntyLou would have you know...

Posted October 26, 2015
I had so much fun...once the link worked. I would love to have another bash if you can stand the pain.

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IamBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 26, 2015
yeah, keep me on board too please. It's been great fun. I've been hanging out for Cairo, so glad its coming, although I'm sorry you couldn't resolve the publisher issue.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted October 26, 2015
I'd be crap at beta reading. My notes would read something like "needs an explosion on page 23", "needs three explosions on page 40", "Page 50, he said 'boobs', *snigger*."

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KreepyKrawly asserts...

Posted October 26, 2015

Sweet, count me in too. Love the work, wish I could write, so I'll do the next best thing and be a critic...


*Runs away* ß-Þ

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted October 26, 2015
TOOOOOOOOOOOO!. FKN COUNT ME IN AGAIN!!!!!!!!

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NBlob reckons...

Posted October 26, 2015
I faffed about for half an hour or so, trying to enter the inner sanctum of commentary. I had a couple of ideas & was interested in what others had to say. Without installing the ap I couldn't find a way in, so got side tracked by something colouful & moving. I have an artisanal hotmale address and an elderly iFondle slab. If that helps.

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Sparty reckons...

Posted October 26, 2015
Up for beta reading Cairo.
Might be worth looking at running the drafts through Calibri or something similar as ebook formatting can go crazy particularly with some of the font / spacing / formatting of Daemon world terminology. Obviously the pro guys will do that with the Dave ones - but Cairo may need it as well.

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sibeen swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 26, 2015
OK, I was able to access the two tomes, but as a read only version.
I'd never had a gmail addy, so had to set one up before it would let me do anything, and then once in I couldn't figure out a way (perhaps there isn't one) of getting to the editable version.
It sucked.
Not the stories themselves, they were the grouse, although I felt bereft that I couldn't swing a bit of sibeen wordsmith gold into the final version :)

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted October 26, 2015
Next time, I'll pay more attention to who gets editing and why. I still can't figure that out, although I think it might be a mix of issues.

IamBloomfield asserts...

Posted October 27, 2015
I thought the etiquette required leaving comments only, rather than make edits. The collaborative drafting worked well for me, across desktop, and ipad. In my work we use a shared workspace to collaborate on draft budget papers, and your set up works better than that.

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted October 28, 2015

I gots the email saying I was in but nadda after that ... no invite to download an app or a doughnut ... much disappointment.

Would be up for the next round if I could gain super-secret access.

Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 1, 2015
It seemed I had both and started with edit but then moved to comments with the crowd. Both works depending on the specific piece being worked over. Love to do some more on Cairo.

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BigTimeTexasTeaserPony reckons...

Posted October 27, 2015
I consent to Beta read Stalin's Hammer.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted October 27, 2015
Can someone explain the where, when and how of the process of accessing Cairo for the newcomers to this process?

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted October 27, 2015
Firstly I have to put the file into Google docs, which I won't do a few weeks yet. Then you'll get an invite to the document and, hopefully, be able to edit and share notes.

sibeen is gonna tell you...

Posted October 27, 2015
ROFL...it fucking ain't!!
:)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted October 28, 2015
Thank you. I'm here all week.

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Dave C puts forth...

Posted October 27, 2015
Hey JB. Count me in. :)

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pedrogb mutters...

Posted October 27, 2015
Hi JBEnjoyed the last efforts, would be pleased to be part of it again.

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ubersejanus mumbles...

Posted October 27, 2015
Sounds too much like watching sausage get made for my taste

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Frivolous mumbles...

Posted October 28, 2015
I envy those who are able to Beta read books. I'm too busy to do so within a deadline.

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Aaron mutters...

Posted October 28, 2015
Count me in. I spend an unhealthy amount if time thinking about the return if the AoT universe.

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Super Tuesday

Posted September 29, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

I appear to have written three columns in one day by accident.

Blunty:

The government is lying to you about the enormous sinkhole that swallowed a whole beach on the Sunshine Coast. We know this because they've been lying to us years about the Min Min Lights, the Mulgowie Yowie and all the cosy board board appointments they were going to appoint me to if I got rid of Mr Strong Choices for them.

10. Apple Maps error.

9. James Bond supervillain error, possibly related to earlier Apple Maps error, involving non-achievement of key performance indicators by suboptimal minions and goons hired to excavate Japanese volcano for secret rocket base.

The Age:

Oh noes! What will the poor refugees do now? No sooner did Facebook boss-hog Mark Zuckerberg? announce that he would move heaven and earth to make the social network available in the United Nations' crowded refugee camps than Facebook crashed, doubtless because of millions of refugees rushing online to "like" his status update.

That's so like those selfish refugees, ruining everything for the rest of us, and before the Book of Face had even deployed its promised thumbs-down button so we could put them in their place – their place being in crowded Syrian border camps without enough free Wi-Fi to fill up our timelines with photographs of all the flies swarming over their bowl of UN gruel. #soblessed

SBS:

Remember the Palm Pilot? Probably not if you’re under 30, but they were the iPhone of the 90s; the must-have shiny-precious that replaced the filofax (and you have to be over forty to remember them).

Palm was already struggling when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, but Ed Colligan, the company’s CEO, wasn’t much fussed. “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” But of course they did, and not just Apple. Most of the smart phones in the world now run Google’s operating system, Android.

The same ‘PC guys’ are currently hiring thousands of engineers from the automotive industry and in August Elon Musk’s latest electric car, the Tesla Model S, scored 103 out of a possible 100 (that’s not a typo) from Consumer Reports in the US.

5 Responses to ‘Super Tuesday’

insomniac puts forth...

Posted September 29, 2015
Regarding the sinkhole, there's a poor confused Chinese labourer trying hard to dig a hole that keeps magically filling in, no matter how much he dirt he shovels.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 29, 2015
Great. So there are going to be only autonomous taxis in the future. So now i have to look forward to drunkenly hailing down a taxi but get cut off by a rude washing machine holding a grudge because of that guy on youboob who destroyed washing machine ancestors in a hail of electric fire and death. The future of a meat sack is not looking so bright.

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Lulu mutters...

Posted September 29, 2015
I love #8. Particularly because the lovely beach looks so much like a traditional Fleming-era supervillain's lair location (think Dr No, Jamaica, etc).

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Shifty Tourist puts forth...

Posted September 30, 2015
I think we all know what the sinkhole really is, especially here, don't we?
Where the hell is Dave when we need him?
Stupid question.... in BrisZegas getting hammered.

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BigWillieStyle ducks in to say...

Posted September 30, 2015
Re: the sinkhole. Andrew Bolt wrote on his blog that it was caused by that horrible Rosie Batty, in concert with self-loathing lefty leftist leftites, on direct orders from back-stabber and pawn for the New Communist OneWorld Order, Malcolm Turnbull.

Miranda Devine, meanwhile, has proof that it was caused by feminazis from the sisterhood, and they did it just because they're so full of hate and they totally all want to force everyone to gay-marry and sip lattes in the inner city while weaving their baskets and pay carbon taxes so terrorists can come here in boats and rape all our women and take our jobs and join the CFMEU and not boo Adam Goodes even though eh fucking well deserves it.

That was the gist, anyway.

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Fanfic/Newsletter update August 17

Posted August 17, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

Late last week I retained a professional editor to clean up the Oral History manuscript when the beta readers are done with it. (No, I haven't sent out copies to the Betas yet. Back, damn you! Get back! Don't make me use this whip and chair).

I also started work on the mailing list which you can help with below. I'd like to trial Mailchimp for this job and need a couple of sign ups to test the software.

If you're interested in eventually going onto the list – called JB is My Master Now – you can follow this link.

Alternately, an embedded sign up form should also appear below.

If it all works I will retain it for the launch of the real thing. If not, I might be switching away from Mailchimp. Stay with me while I hammer out the kinks:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

38 Responses to ‘Fanfic/Newsletter update August 17’

insomniac would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2015
Oh, the humanity ... has been confirmed ... confirmed ... confirmed ...

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she_jedi would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2015
I am not a doughnut! I am a human being! Confirmed. Phew.

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted August 17, 2015
Grazie. Sei il mio preferito.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted August 17, 2015
Translation: You are my favourite.
Alternate translation: You are my custard filled chocolate choux pastry.
Both are good.

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted August 17, 2015
I'm delighted to be either

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 18, 2015
Or as a noun, pet.

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted August 18, 2015
You say that like it's a bad thing

damian asserts...

Posted August 18, 2015
I'd rather have cream in my chocolate choux pastry. I need to watch my weight. Oh nevermind.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2015
Guess I'm now signed up for CBG spam. Yeah orright, I do need a new steak knife.

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UntamedSnark is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2015
The Snark clan has signed and are waiting in sniggering servitude for our orders.

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dweeze asserts...

Posted August 17, 2015
Signed up for burger spam - yay.
Then I got to wondering why it takes a machine named after an ape to confirm my humanity. The world went all existential on me. Replicant references filled my thoughts and ... oh, I forget why I'm here ... damn ....
REBOOT
JB is my Master now.
JB is my Master now.
JB is my Master now.
JB is my Master now.
.....

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17, 2015
See, this is all I ask.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted August 17, 2015
Done.
Who the hell do these damn dirty apes think they are confirming my humanity. My humanity built the spacecraft that propelled me millions of light years across the galaxy to bring alien beings, well, humanity.
Oh, that's the blown up head of the Statue of Liberty.
Never mind.
Carry on with your verification process.

damian reckons...

Posted August 18, 2015
I think we'd better start getting used to alternative forms... Simianity? Primacy?

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Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17, 2015
I'm only signing up if you change the name to "JB is My Master Now, But Not In, Like, a Weird Way or Anything".

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted August 18, 2015
I like this suggestion.

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BostonJoe mumbles...

Posted August 18, 2015
Whew, my humanity is confirmed. My DNA must match Mom's side of the family.

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Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 18, 2015
My humanity is in question.... Not by this but by my children, mates and assorted family members.

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2015

Confirmed servitude!

Why do I now have Grace Jone's 'Slave to the Rhythm' running through my head?

and

Why does Grace look suspiciously like JB ... but with less 5 o'clock shadow?

damian has opinions thus...

Posted August 18, 2015
So you're making us all picture Birmo with the clunky CGI neck extensions. Stop it.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted August 18, 2015
"Next time someone asks you if you're a robot, you say yes!"

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AuntyLou reckons...

Posted August 18, 2015
My aged Father always asks "Are you human today?" To which the accepted answer is "Almost". Now I can answer "assuredly" & I have the website to prove it!

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2015
My wife signed me up so I can have the benefit of plausible deniability should the need arise.

Nocturnalist reckons...

Posted August 18, 2015
Duly screencapped and added to your dossier.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted August 19, 2015
Hmmmm ... I'm slow ... but that whole Boylan, Devil in the Details, and the blatent JB is My Master Now voluntarily signing up thing makes a lot more sense.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2015
In such matters free will is very important.

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GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted August 19, 2015

Oh God no!!!

Have we just pledged allegiance to the JB via a contract drawn up by Prof. PNB?

No wonder my anti-virus software just self-generated a Junk Mail Folder called ... BiriminghamSpam.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2015
GhostSwirv. Buddy - may I call you Ghost? Ghost, all we're asking for - in exchange for the benefit of such fine association - is something no one has ever seen and most thinking people deny exists. And those thinking people who do believe in such a thing as a "soul" really aren't the cream of the crop when it comes to thinking persons. Here in the USofA they tend to pay for using America on LIne. Sort of speaks for itself.

Do YOU want to be like those losers still sending 25 dollars a month for AOL? Or do you want to be like us, be one of us? One of us/one of us/we accept you/one of us.

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 19, 2015
AOL is still a thing.
I bet Boylan has a hand in that as well.

GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted August 19, 2015

I feel like I'm being groomed by The Godfather of Proctologists!

insomniac mumbles...

Posted August 19, 2015
Take one for the team Ghosty

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted August 19, 2015
If you've ever seen me dance you'd know I have no soul to sell.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted August 20, 2015
Of course you don't. None of us do. So why not sell it for all you can get? Money for nothing, eh? I've brokered many such transactions and can assure you a fair price. More than fair: opulent. All I ask is 20% of the gross, pretax amount. I am confident that I can persuade the purchasing agent, a gentleman of wealth and taste who goes by the name Mr. Scratch, to waive his commission, thereby maximizing your payout.

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GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted August 19, 2015

So Sleepless let me get this straight.

All I have to do is allow a Soul Extraction Squad, most likely led by Prof. PNB, with Rhino on point, NBlob taking notes and Murph bringing up the rear complete its mission and all will be right with Team Burger?

Well okay then, glad to be a productive member of the 10,000.

Rhino puts forth...

Posted August 20, 2015
We'll be gentle.
I promise.
"Boylan, I think we're gonna need the extra large probe fear dis one here."

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Rhino reckons...

Posted August 20, 2015
BirmingSpam - join of your own free will now. It's guaranteed to hurt a lot, but if you fight it, it'll just get worse. Plus the stories'll be pretty nifty.
Trademark that - cause it's GOLD, baby. Bring the rabble in by droves, I tell ya.

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JG would have you know...

Posted August 20, 2015
Yeah, yeah, I signed up to join the fun, but you're not my Master, dammit, most evil genius, charming JB. Only several chapters of Ascendance to go and I will have read (and own) some fifteen of your books, and then some. No, you do not p*awn me, Mr JB, but you interest me, maestro. Your writing, I kiss. Ascendance (as with all your books) is a blessing. Thank you for the oomph, fantastic writing (bless you, son), and laughs. Now, off with you. Joanna, aka JG x

JG has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2015
Flip. Make that 18 of your books, JB. That's a record for me, for one author. Counted them. A whole shelf is devoted to your books, and I've arranged them by trilogy and genre.

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The cold and shifting shores of freelance life

Posted July 27, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

A newly minted freelancer reached out to me on the Twitters a little back, asking via DM about an awkward payment dispute they were having with a publisher. Man, do I wish I could provide the details, because the villainy involved was breathtaking. But because it was so singular a piece of douche baggage I can't tell you story without providing clues to the freelancer’s identity, and they would like to keep working.

The best I could do was point them towards this lovely Warren Ellis piece at Medium. He starts with a meditation on the place where he lives and works, "the confluence of the river Thames and the North Sea, with an alluvial island and a range of high, dangerous sandbanks,” segues nicely from that into the high, dangerous shoals of the freelance life.

The sand is always shifting under my feet. The tides are broadly predictable on an ordinary day, but there aren’t many ordinary days. There have been days out here where a storm system has been bouncing around the estuary, travelling out of sight towards the far tip of the Kent coast, and then ricocheting off and dragging the river with it to unexpectedly smash up against our walls. Sometimes a weather system will get stuck and wheel over the town for days. Every now and then, some nightmare storm will brew up in a dark and unseen region of the North Sea and then hammer up the river like the Mongol Horde in full stampede.

Sometimes a producer will get fired before your outline is approved, or, even, while your pen hovers above the contract’s signature line. Sometimes, you’re put in the position of having to rely on someone else’s diligence and skill, and it turns out that they couldn’t give a shit. Sometimes you’re lied to, and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Sometimes you can do everything right, and it still doesn’t work, as if you were a slave to the phases of the moon and the tide just wasn’t high enough to float the boat.

There are times when you’re working all the hours there are, on long projects that won’t see the light of day for months or years, and your reputation sinks under the river mud. You’re invisible, and invisibility is death in this business. There are also times when you can’t get arrested, let alone paid, and yet your acquaintances and representatives tell you that “everyone” is talking about you.

And so it goes. Totes worth a full read. The freelancer told me they found it a balm for their troubles.

It’s a really lovely piece, as bleak as it might seem. I keep it bookmarked and read it on those days when the thunderheads roll in.

You can read and bookmark the whole thing here.

18 Responses to ‘The cold and shifting shores of freelance life’

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted July 27, 2015
I remember in the late 1990s that folks recommended that I move off into freelance work. I managed to find a couple of jobs that paid a piddling amount of money and then it all dried up as the newspaper business started to contract.

The most I ever made from that sort of thing was at the campus paper during my grad school times.

Now? I just can't be bothered.

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Aaron puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2015
I have had similar experiences. I technically still do freelance copywriting work but I pretty much only do it by request for friends who need some stuff for personal publishing. Sometimes I think about pursuing it some more but the incentive is not really there.

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Blarkon mumbles...

Posted July 27, 2015
Are you at least subscribed to his newsletter "Orbital Operations"?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2015
Yes I am.

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2015
As am I. It's a highlight of my Monday mornings, along with Deb Chachra's newsletter which turns up at a similar time.

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ChrisB swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 27, 2015
I don't know if I qualify as a freelancer, but having just quit my TV job (3 yrs at NBC, 10 previous at ABC affiliate) to properly maintain (read: write hyper-local news stories) I can tell you the market around here is quite cold and unforgiving, I've been re-tweeted, but no cash.
Now on the other side, I've also decided to start a 2nd opinion/news website. The 16 staffers I have are excited to contribute - I just hope to generate enough eyeballs to convert to cash to pay them before Christmas...

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2015
Address?

ChrisB ducks in to say...

Posted July 29, 2015
...dang my itchy 'return' finger. www.horizoncity.com The 2nd site launches Aug 24th...can't mention the name in public until that date though.

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 27, 2015
I was a freelancer in the TV game for about 3 years. I didn't make much money but I had a good time. But it wasn't sustainable. Too many promises of if you work this one day, I have a month long shoot later on. Needless to say the month long shoots went elsewhere. The worst was the please work for free and I give you a paid gig next week. I wasn't particularly qualified at the time so it never worked out. Now I am qualified but work a very dull job, but at least its regular money and I can go on holiday to nice places.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted July 27, 2015
I see a pattern forming. I worked for almost 10 years as a TV camera operator. 8 of those as a free-lance / casual / hand-to-mouth / superannuation-less / desperate / please wring you bastard phone. I dreamt of doco, news was challenging, sport a snore, corporate was soft-focus self-fellatio, I made some terrible terrible regional TV ads (for which I apologise), I ended up in events shooting AGMs, The Wiggles, business self-love-fests & one of Kim Beazley's pitch for PM. I've been ripped off by a fascinating spectrum of rouges & reprobates. SWMBO worked out at one stage I had operated at a real loss 3 from 5 years due to unpaid invoices. Scumbags exploit the $3k threshold below which it's probably not worth lodging small claims action, or it'll cost you more to pursue than it'll yield If you successfully establish your claim.

Rob mumbles...

Posted July 27, 2015
TV seems to be full of those guys. Radio salesmen turned into TV producers with the skill and grace of used car sellers.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted July 27, 2015
I saw those regional TV ads, you monster.

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 27, 2015
So, this is what Greybeard did to to you.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted July 28, 2015
@Therbs What Greybeard has done is worse, raised to the power of Far Far Fkn. @JB It is my albatross to carry the jingles of long & deservedly dead campaigns in my head 'till the end of my days.

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2015
I'm innocent and anyway, all the witnesses are as dead as NBlob's modelling career.

NBlob reckons...

Posted July 29, 2015
I'm the very model of a modern megalomaniac.

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Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted July 30, 2015
rob my penance was radio but your story reads the same as mine. Same can be said for newspapers etc. all (well most) the managers came from sales (with all the moral training that encourages), sales reps came from people able to put their suit on the right way in the morning. The good reps were the ones who knew they had to get out while they still had their soul and intellect intact.
I left radio four years ago, I had a lot of fun but the house and family I can afford is even better. I could go on but the point has been made. It's such a shame how creative work is valued.

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Update. Oral history of the Daemon Wars

Posted July 9, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

I’m pleased with the response to the call for submissions. There are more than twenty stories sitting in my hopper and I’ll start editing them the week after next. And of course I need to write a few of my own. I have another side project I can’t talk about yet, but I can ask for a little help. Casting your minds back over the three series (Axis of Time, The Disappearance, Dave vs the Monsters) what stories as yet unwritten would you like to read? An obvious pick from AoT would be the Fall of Hawaii and the death of Dan Black. What about the other two series’ though. And who else from AoT deserves a little more time in the sun.
I’m not looking at ebooks here, but I am looking.

23 Responses to ‘Update. Oral history of the Daemon Wars’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted July 9, 2015
The Slim Jim story line.

The Quiet Room has must have evolved into something bigger, but still utterly clandestine.

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Timbo asserts...

Posted July 9, 2015
I felt like we got our fill of Slim Jim. I assume you've referenced the Quiet Room on the basis that one of it's ops was the man himself?

I'd say I'd like to know more about Aus politics post-Disappearance, but then I see Murdoch media headlines and I feel like I already know.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted July 9, 2015
Pete.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 9, 2015
North Africa.1 uptime .AU light armoured unit, suffering losses & bodging breakdowns detached to break the siege of Tobruk. When a unit carries the capacity to kill MBT, knockdown ground-attack aircraft & image their surroundings from miles to meters, the calculus changes. If they can get fuel & water.

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Sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted July 9, 2015
Hi JB, My email indicated a possible bounce - did you get the UK focused one from me?

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted July 10, 2015
Yeah mate. Safe n sound

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Sparty mumbles...

Posted July 9, 2015
Harry V Skorzeny
and in Disappearance- scientists trying to get to the bottom of it - no need for them to be successful- just fun seeing them try!

Dan Ryan would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2015
I agree. What would happen if Manning Pope's research was adapted as a method
of time travel in either time line? Would someone like Einstein or Hawking fail or succeed?
Are there any other ships thought to be destroyed or lost that haven't been detected?

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted July 9, 2015
hmmmm, well FKN WILLET and the HMAS FKN HAVOCK! splattering Chinese Warbows all over the sea floor would be kinda kool.

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Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted July 9, 2015
The effort to retake Hawaii with an emphasis on naval and aerial explodey goodness.

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sjg would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2015
Id like more about that sub captain Willet, either what she did after the war, or more of her involvement during.

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Senator TeaserPony is gonna tell you...

Posted July 10, 2015
From AoT? A lot. Jesus, it's an entire universe left to explore. The brilliance of this series was the juxtaposition of numerous, fascinating POV's against the grand sweep of an unfolding alternate history. I'm a big fan generally, but John, you are at your best when you lay out the broad canvas and then fill in the detail. Your backstory effort for AoT, I strongly suspect, was the most detailed of any for your fiction efforts. And, it was brilliant--did I mention that? If there ever was a universe that called for a series of trilogies, similar to Stirling's Emberverse and Turtledoves American Front series (his best work by far), AoT is it.

Screw the E-Books. Write real books using existing materials on a new canvas.

Dan Ryan mumbles...

Posted July 15, 2015
In my opinion AOT and The Disappearance are much better books. Stirling's Emberverse is a tribute to feasts
and Wiccan ceremonies. Turtledove's American Front could have been one
decent book without repeating the same original story in half of each sequel.

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Rob has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2015
I'd like see more Australia in the AOT spin off. The AK47 build was pretty interesting and for some reason I want to see an expansion of that.

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Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2015

From AoT, another vote for Willet from me. Also, I'd like to see exactly how the Quiet Room takes down that murderer Marine bastard.

From the Disappearance, more Milosz and more Sofia.


Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2015
I concur. On all points.

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yankeedog asserts...

Posted July 10, 2015
Now I think it's time for the story where the world, reeling from the Daemon Wars, puts in its last big push and finds out a way to seal the portals and finally banish them once and for all. Without time to test the weapon, it gets used. It works, but the side effect is a mysterious wave that wipes out most life on a big chunk of the North American continent. The gravitonic echoes (or some other b.s. thing to advance the plot) from the daemon smasher just happen to coincide with a certain professor's matter transmission experiment in the year 2020, hurling a UN carrier task force back to a place off the coast near Seattle, whereupon Slim Jim, Rhino, and Super Dave all save the world. Or have a massive party.
There's your plot. Somebody get to writin'!

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 10, 2015
Actually that's kind of brilliant.

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted July 12, 2015

Great idea ... I've often wondered if Stephen King would pen an overarching tome of biblical proportions tying together all of his most famous stories, which mostly seem to be set in the sleep state of Maine.

No good reason why you JB shouldn't jump in first and tie all of your literary adventures together, although how you will fit in the history of Sydney, shared households and the vagaries of cheap take-away food products.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted July 10, 2015

Disappearance - I'd like a bit of teasing out of the Sofia story of her going missing on an op in South America and is her revenge motivation still working for her?

AoT - Oz politics as Menzies gets into fear mongering about the Uptimers being commies and wants to bring in some legislation about them, to stop their "dangerous" thinking undermining Strayan life. National security and all that gumpf. But then of course he wants to be photographed on the Aussie sub, HMAS FkNMUPPETS!!

Dave v Monsters - Threshy seriously attempting to get it on with a human gets all nervous and awkward and can't get it up. Then his character develops a bit like Harold Lauder in The Stand.


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Dirk is gonna tell you...

Posted July 11, 2015
Well why not write a second AoT trilogy. In 1955 Stalin is in a coma, what happens next. Would love to see a couple of new characters (both on a historical basis and fictional) in this steampunk era. What happens to the sexual revolution? Could they have learned of our mistakes in screwing up the environment? Apart from the Doomsday Stalin's hammer, what would the spacerace look like? Does De Gaulle take France out of Europe early, or does Winston talk him out of it? What would happen in the Middle East? Etc.

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PJ mutters...

Posted August 5, 2015
Long time fan, first time responder.From my perspective some of the more interesting points that were not really covered in the AOT trilogy would be......
The fall of New Guinea. What happened to the militia units holding the highlands and what did the fight for Port Moresby look like? I find it difficult to believe that with the knowledge brought forwards (and helicopters for outflanking movements and resupply) that the Kokoda track would not have been the deathbed for an order of magnitude more Japanese than it was in our time Line. During this time period what role do Brigadier Barnes and Rachel Nyguen play
What happened politically and militarily with Scandinavia during the uneasy peace and then during the Soviets big push? Do they slip somewhat under the radar? Does Finland have a harsh peace treaty enacted against it? Is there a soviet push into Norway?
Indonesia and Moreporto deserves its own novel (even if it is a small one)

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted August 6, 2015
Thanks, PJ. I've filed these ideas away under 'U' for Useful. Especially Moertopo. He was always a fave.

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Penmanship Podcast

Posted June 4, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

I sat down with Andrew McMillen a few weeks ago to have a chat for his Penmanship podcast. It was an agreeable way to spend an hour so talking about the biz and the craft.

Link's here.

4 Responses to ‘Penmanship Podcast’

Rob reckons...

Posted June 4, 2015

good interview. But might I suggest to the interviwer that he invest in a couple of lapel microphones to reduce the room noise.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted June 4, 2015
I love room noise. It is gritty. It is real. It makes me feel like I am there, living a different life.

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Andrew McMillen mumbles...

Posted June 4, 2015
Thanks for posting this, John, and thanks for listening, gents.
I agree that the audio quality leaves a lot to be desired in this episode. I cringed a lot when I listened back to it. (That's my noisy laptop fan grinding away in the background. Ugh.)
My sincere apologies for the fuck-up, hopefully the quality of John's yarns make up for the technical shortcomings. I've made a couple of missteps in recording my first few interviews and will adjust my process accordingly. Gotta learn somehow! Thanks again.

Rob reckons...

Posted June 4, 2015
lapel mics are cheap as chips now on ebay. Don't worry about the cringing. One time I forgot to monitor the second channel on a film shoot. Got back to the edit suite to find out the second and most important channel had talkback radio noise on it. $5000 film shoot ruined. To this day I can still hear my boss muttering to me, with an evil look in his eye....

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