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Eulogy

Posted June 30 by John Birmingham

Many of you will already know that my dad passed away last week after long and terrible illness. I wrote about him for BT, but this is a more personal tribute that I'd like to leave here. The eulogy I gave at his funeral:

An old folk saying has it that when a father dies it feels as though half the sky has fallen. This speaks the truth of it.

Our father was the sheltering sky, the wide vessel of our universe.

Beneath his mild firmament no storm ever raged, no hard rain fell. His nature was as gentle as the fallen world is harsh.

All our lives he was both counterpoint and bastion against the trespasses of ill fate and the predations of the ill-intended.

Dad was a gentleman in the literal sense of the word. A gentle man. I don’t recall him ever raising his voice, let alone a hand against anyone. And I am sure we gave him ample reason.

I know the world did.

I have two memories, separated by ten years, but bound together by my father’s hand.

As a boy of five I am walking home from school attended by the grey phantoms of misery and fear. I know that up ahead a bully waits in ambush, as he has waited for me every day, to drink deeply from the intoxicating well of the terror he inspires.

This day is no different, until it is, for when my tormentor suddenly appears, so too does dad, unbidden, unexpected and unhoped for in my abject woe. He made things right. Where before I had slunk along beneath lowering clouds, I could now unfold myself, stand up and fear no more. For there he was, like the sky, gentle blue and mild and infinite, forever watching over me.

Ten years later and I am running home from school. I am covered in bruises and welts, given me by a poor excuse for a man, a Christian brother, who’s own poor excuses and wretched justifications for his behaviour will not spare him the prison cell he will soon occupy for much graver wrongs than he ever did me.

Soon. But not soon enough for dad.

While I do not ever recall him raising a fist in anger, I do believe he would have done so that day had circumstance placed him in the path of this bloke. He knew how to raise a fist. He was a boxer in his younger days. But he unmade his fists when he married and raised children. He effected my rescue, again, as he effected all things in his life. Quietly, simply and with a faith in the rightness of what he must do.

He was a man of strong faith, but gentle nature, and he could no more betray his faith or nature than the sky itself could fall.

It is only now he is gone, that we look up and find half the sky gone with him.

It is customary upon days such as this that we take the measure of a man by recounting his works and listing his victories, public and private, great and small. Dad had all of these, but what he did counts for so much less than who he was. Husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

To everyone he loved, he was the sheltering sky.

You were safe beneath his gentle light and warmth. It feels as though half the sky has fallen, but that cannot be. If you look up it is there. It is always there. Like dad.

35 Responses to ‘Eulogy’

Dave W mutters...

Posted June 30
Thank you for sharing this with us, John.

My words are not up to the challenge. I feel like all I have is cliches, and that's not what I want to say.

All my best wishes.
Dave

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Bondiboy66 has opinions thus...

Posted June 30
I too say thanks for sharing the eulogy. My deepest condolences to you and your family for your heartfelt loss.

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dunnandrus ducks in to say...

Posted June 30
Vale.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted June 30
Money is free but love costs more than our bread
And the ceiling is hard to reach
When my son is a man he will know what I meant
I was just trying to leave something behind
I was just trying to leave something behind

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted June 30
I hope you're happy. You made me cry in a burger joint.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted June 30
Turn about is fair play, mate.

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Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted June 30
Lovely words, John.

Again, my condolences.

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David Shapcott asserts...

Posted June 30
Thanks John. My father Bob Shapcott passed away in October and so much of what you have written could have applied to him. He was an Ipswich lad. Maybe it is something about this town. It seems to breed big quiet gentlemen in the truest sense of the word. It also breed a cheeky sense of humour. Though dad spent nearly 20 years dying from strokes dementia and assorted ailments he was a larakin until the end.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted June 30
A couple of sets of really emotionally thinky words, three if you count Boylan's.

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pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 30
Sorry for your and your familys loss JB. My condolences.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted June 30
Man. That's undone me for the end of the week. I must have missed the various other notices. I'm heading to the pub before i catch the bus home. I'll have a beer for your dad and one for mine.

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Jim KABLE is gonna tell you...

Posted June 30
John: Short - and oh, so sweet - your words re you father. Pause for further thought - for me. Your good fortune to have had your father for so long. Clive James never got to see his; Germaine Greer's returned from war a stranger. As for me - it's a kind of conundrum I've spent much of my life trying to figure out. My father was a passenger - killed in a car accident - the car driven by his favourite big brother who survived. Coming down the then unsealed slope into Willow Tree. The place forever marked for me by the peppercorn trees. I was just two. No conscious memories of him - though there are some remarkable memories from just after that disappearance from my life.

When at home from work he carried me around - refusing to place me into the outreaching arms of aunts - not so usual in those far-off days for men to take charge. It was a warming image when my mother told me this a mere decade or so ago. He was a remarkable sketcher of portraits, he wrote love poetry to my mother - some were rendered into songs - he played an array of instruments - harmonica, piano and piano accordion, trumpet and violin and guitar - he was an energised powerhouse - in the surf, in the mountains - plucky is a word which springs to mind.

And not having him alongside during my years of growing up was a loss - in your terms, John - of the entire sky. And I have spent much of my life - especially from age 11 searching the world to flesh him out. I visited him just two weeks ago - he lies in the cemetery at Quirindi. A communion of sorts takes place each time I call on him - as you might imagine. Anyway, John - I found very moving your eulogy - just wishing, as I read it, that I had had a similar kind of chance to do likewise for my father! Thank-you.

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StevetheH mutters...

Posted June 30
John, that sent me into tears.
Now I'm remembering my nan.
She held up half the town I lived in - not just with food, but love.

It's the departure of the gentle ones that hits us most.

Take care mate - hugs from all of us

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted June 30
Beautiful photo, John. That's your son I'm assuming. So much love.

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CathieT asserts...

Posted June 30
No words.

(Hug)

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jl would have you know...

Posted June 30
Requiesce in pace.

Jason

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Kerry has opinions thus...

Posted July 1
Beautiful

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted July 1
My thoughts go out to you and your family.

H.

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Trent would have you know...

Posted July 2
John,

A beautiful tribute to what sounds like a wonderful man. Can feel your pain and admiration in your words.

Hope you are doing ok. Time doesn't heal all wounds but it does make them a bit easier to live with as each day passes.

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pedrogb asserts...

Posted July 2
Sorry for your loss.

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jason puts forth...

Posted July 3
Your loss reminded me that we should never leave our words of love and praise unspoken. I have been negligent in not telling my daughters how proud i am of them
(and i truly am, they have already exceeded my dreams for them). I am sure they always knew it but now they are sure. Sadly I am still not sure how to tell my parents how grateful I am for everything they have done for me. It's not the way in my family.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted July 4
Respect

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Gilligan mutters...

Posted July 4
Beautiful words that somehow coincided with the office getting all dusty.

Much love to you and yours, good sir.

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Oldy would have you know...

Posted July 5
Beautiful words, John. Thanks for sharing them.

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Dirk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 5
Hang in there my friend.
D

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Aaron Campagnone puts forth...

Posted July 5
I feel for your loss. We are not friends, we are not even acquaintances, but still I feel I know you through your writing and your blogs. I lost my mother 8 years ago now, and so I understand the grief and pain you feel, that your family feels. I will tell you one thing I learned over the last 8 years. Its a hard lesson, but it is one that has brought me peace. It does get better. People will say, the hurt will go away...it does not. It always hurts to think of your missing parent. What does change is that the pain lessens. It takes time, but you will be able to look back on your memories with a smile. I know that for the first months any thought of mother nearly broke me, but over time, I was able to look back on the good times, the fun times, the little things that make a person laugh, and you will be able to do that again as well. While time does not heal all wounds, it gives them scar tissue and does dull the pain. Give yourself that time, and focus on the good, the happy, the fun times.

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Quokka reckons...

Posted July 6
Beautiful. You were very blessed to have him, JB.
Please accept our condolences for your loss.
xxxx

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Dave C ducks in to say...

Posted July 6
I'm very sorry for your loss, John. He sounds like a hell of a Dad. I have no doubt that the world was richer for his presence, and shall be poorer in his absence. Like ripples from a stone tossed in a pond, though, the positive effects from one good man can spread far and wide, and span generations.
Best wishes.

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Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted July 6
Sorry John. I've been away and am very sorry to hear. Lovely words. Its coming up to 10 years since my Dad left us and I feel it every day.

Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted July 6
Someone put me on to an essay by CS Lewis called A Grief Observed. I don't know if you've heard of it but it helped.

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AuntyLou mutters...

Posted July 6
I have been wondering what to say to you. We don't know each other but my feelings for you in this time are sincere. I lost my mum some years ago and I will miss her forever. She was my best friend and we buried her the day before I married my sweetie. Hard? Yes, but she will always be with me. John, your dad will be with you always. In the quiet moments...in the times when you are unsure...when you need his steadfast wisdom or kindness - I think you will find those things in yourself. Keep making him proud.

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Unpossible ducks in to say...

Posted July 7
Touching pair of stories.

I hope that your old man was in a good state when you published the dave trilogy.

One of Dave's worst stories was how he handled the kid who bullied his son.

It seems like that story was modelled on the exact thing your dad didn't do.

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damian asserts...

Posted July 9
Very much share your feeling here. My grandfather, similarly, modeled this form of kind, gentle but nonetheless strong as iron masculinity for me. He passed 3 years ago last Wednesday, at 89, so I suppose they're not quite the same generation, but clearly there's a similar background ethic.

I personally can't abide men who display their masculinity as a sort of presumptuous arrogance, the notion that "a gentleman knows what he wants". The ideal version of masculinity doesn't really even have the words "I want" in its vocabulary. It has the commitment to work hard your whole life to make things right for your kids, or even without the kids just to make things right. The acknowledgement that thankless tasks are still worth doing, that leaving a slightly better world behind is its own reward.

Even that gentleness is its own reward.

jason swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 10
The greatest compliment I have ever been paid was by my wife who told me when I deal with my kids I remind her of Atticus Finch.

I always saw him as the perfect role model. Gentle and caring not boastful but strong and powerful in protecting others.

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matt everitt has opinions thus...

Posted July 11
beautiful words John, thank you for sharing your heart.

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Respond to 'Eulogy'

Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!

Posted June 22 into Raven On by girlclumsy

Bless you, HBO. Bless your glorious cotton socks. Delivering us a heart-pumping, loin-girding, ab-touching cracker of a trailer right on the Winter Solstice.

Of course it’s the summer solstice up past the equator, but we here in the Antipodes need no imagination to picture the depths of chilly misery they must be now enduring in Westeros. In Brisbane alone the temperature has been dropping to 11 or 12 degrees at night (roughly 54 in that ridiculous Fahrenheit), and that’s so arctic I had to put on slippers.

Not unexpectedly, the payload in this piece is a heck of a lot bigger than in last month’s HUGE WAR ROOM FLOOR MAP trailer.

The war room floor map doesn’t make a reappearance, but I’m not surprised. As I mentioned back then, that trailer focused on the human relationships, threats and alliances, with not much attention paid to the supernatural threat beyond The Wall.

By contrast, this one lets rip with battles and skirmishes and beat-ups galore, and slams the apocalyptic reality of the White Walkers right back into our gaping, drooling faces.

So let’s do a quick breakdown of the voiceover sequences and then hone in on some key flashes of “WHAT” and “WAS THAT JUST” and “HOLY CRAP” from the montages.

We start with a tracking shot of the Lady of Winterfell, walking past a weirwood tree in what we assume is the Godswood. Strong, determined, unblinking, she is taking her cues from 2009-era Beyonce. She Is…. Sansa Fierce.


"Uh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh, oh, oh oh oh"


But whispering, always bloody whispering, in his stupid bloody whispering voice, is Petyr Baelish:
“Don’t fight in the North, or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always in your mind.”

If we assume he says this in person to Sansa, it’s an interesting focus on the internal struggle that must be won before any victory in the field can be had. It’s about removing the physical constructs of each battle and placing strategy, confidence and belief first and foremost. With the greatest match still ahead of Sansa, the Starks, the North and essentially to humanity as a whole, Littlefinger is starting to sound like a sports commentator. I mean, what I call him certainly rhymes with Rex Hunt.

Meanwhile I must find out where to obtain a copy of that introductory cello-with-choir underscore. I want to download it to my iPhone so I can walk around in slow motion with the music playing in my ears, pretending I’m an epic hero about to face danger and battle and stuff when really I’m just about to face feeding the foster kittens.

Other images seen in those opening moments: a long shot of Meera and Bran at The Wall, giving hope they will find some security with the rump of the Night’s Watch; Daenarys and her table top gaming board; Arya on a horse; Baelish in the shadows (maybe a dungeon?); and that weapon being sharpened again like a character on the “Who Shot Mr Burns?” episode of The Simpsons.

There’s also some shots that add weight to the idea we could be going to Casterly Rock this season, with the Lannister banners hanging in a stone keep filled with smallfolk seemingly welcoming somebody in, and Jaime seen from behind in armour striding around a battlement. It could be the King’s Landing, but perhaps not? There’s also a low-key beach landing, and later on, a glimpse of Grey Worm in a helmet approaching a rocky cliff - could it be Unsullied troops looking to take The Rock?


Good luck with that.


The second voice we hear is Jon’s:

“For centuries our families fought together against their common enemy. Despite their differences… together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive. Because the enemy is real. It’s always been real.”

The first half of this grave declaration runs over shots of Dany walking along the beach at Dragonstone, then pulling down what looks to be like an old Targaryen banner, possible revealing a throne, or maybe some sort of family secret/inheritance. We see those magnificent dragons tearing it up like teenagers on a Contiki tour, and Tyrion looking pensively out over the sea.

Other characters pop up: Theon looking grim as usual; Brienne and Pod look awesome as usual; a flash of a snowbound Hound. There’s a series of shots involving Lannister soldiers, with Jaime and Bronn overseeing a team of archers, in what can only be described as a bromance-turned-bowmance.

There’s also a glimpse of a wheelchair-bound Bran (possibly with Bloodraven, the old dude from the cave, watching on) warging just as a bunch of ravens fly over a battlefield, seemingly sparking the interest of the Night’s King. As Jon’s voice sounds out “The enemy is real. It’s always been real”, there is a pause, fade to black, and then THIS MOTHEREFFING SHOT:


BMF.


Holy flipping heck, it’s Beric Dondarrion carrying a flaming sword! But as we remember, it was Thoros of Myr who carried a flaming sword. SO WHERE IS THOROS? WHY DOES BERIC HAVE HIS SWORD?

A bit further on, there is another shot of my beloved fighting on a bluff (he can fight on my bluff anytime etc) and LOOK THERE IT IS AGAIN:


So the Brotherhood Without Banners (and possibly now Without Thoros of Myr) will at some point team up with Jon, Tormund and co. for more adventures fighting...wights, I assume? Unless Jon’s foreboding talk about coming together to fight the evil was aimed at other houses who have yet to sign on to the new reality of winter life and the coming icy apocalypse. They all seemed to acknowledge him as the “White Wolf” King in the North at the end of last season. But who knows, there could still be some hold outs.

That final montage before the Sansa voiceover contained a plethora - yes, El Guapo, a plethora! - of frames/shots/glimpses/sightings/moments that had my heart beating against my chest like a Looney Toons character looking at another Looney Toons character in drag. Moments like this:


Jaime Lannister racing on horseback across a field of fire, lance in (remaining) hand. This surely must involve the stampeding Dothraki army, with dragon accompaniment, as seen in other sections of the trailer. But who is he aiming for? A human… or a dragon? And could he fell a dragon? We know historically Jaime was a fine jouster at tournament, and it’s a credit to his thighs that he can still seat his horse so ferociously with the reins in his golden hand, while his left hand grasps his mighty spear OK wow I have totally distracted myself and need a moment.

I loved seeing Jon standing sexily next to Ser Davos almost as much as I fretted seeing him fight off one of the head honcho White Walkers; I did a little dance seeing Missandei plant her linguistically deft lips right on Grey Worm; and of course seeing Tormund Giantsbane lunge at anybody is delightful (and hopefully with Brienne, consensual).

There’s the Greyjoy fleet approaching King’s Landing, Yara and Theon looking at fireworks/fire, and a glimpse of old mate Euron getting ragey as ships burn; and as he accompanies the Dothraki warriors, a close-up of Drogon so severe you can smell his lizard breath.

But there’s also some things that weren’t clear to me. For example, is this Theon looking wrecked on a beach? Or Euron? Or an Unsullied?


Oh gods, it's Gendry, isn't it? He finally got out of the boat.

And this guy. Who is this guy?


WHO ARE YOU MYSTERY MAN


As we see a sole rider hot-hoofing it away from camera, the voiceover concludes with Sansa throwing up some Grade A metaphor and/or allegory.

“When the snows fall, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies…. but the pack survives.”
And we get this breathtaking shot of our King in the North, from one of his greatest angles:


His back hump looks so soft.


Now I must admit, when I first heard that phrase, my immediate response was “LONE WOLF WHAT ARE YOU REFERRING TO JON IS THIS INSINUATING JON COULD DIE NO NO NO”. Please understand I’m a little sensitive when it comes to the mortality of my beloved.

But it’s more likely Sansa’s singing from the same song sheet as Jon - that all petty human squabbles have to be put aside to ensure victory, that the time for individual glory is over. Indeed, Jon has been proof of that over and over again - his early days of wanting to be a kickarse Ranger are long gone, and he has become one of the most well-rounded (and #junkmounded) diplomats in the series. It wouldn’t surprise me if their dialogue here occurs in the same scene.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the sartorial splendour of our King in the North? Decked out in designer whites, he’s practically Fursace. Or Furberry. Or Salvatore Furragamo. He’s also really embraced that man bun. I mean, it makes sense - all of those luscious black curls would get in your face while fighting, not to mention getting wet and sticky in all that snowy weather. Of course I long for the return of the mop top, but for the moment I can live with the “Jon Snowcone”.

Well, kittens, that’s about all I’ve got for now, but if I have any strokes of genius about this trailer I’ll get back to you. We’re closing in on a month out from S7, E1 - will we get a third trailer before it hits? Whatever happens, I will be here for you, my beloved Throners, always your devoted recappespondent and ab connoisseur.

A special shout out this week to all my Patreon subscribers for your generosity and loyalty, including Tarryn K, Jamie E, Cath G, Alison M and Elana M. If you want to find out more about my Patreon campaign, and why I ask people to consider paying $1 per recap, head over here.

Valar morghulis!



4 Responses to ‘Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!’

Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted June 23
I am allowed to go 'Squeeee!' I don't care - I'll do it anyway.

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Abbey has opinions thus...

Posted June 23
"Oh gods, it's Gendry, isn't it? He finally got out of the boat."

Snorted. Loudly. Still chortling haha

I only listened to your podcast with Stu talking about this the other day and I'm still picturing Gendry going round and round and round and round and round ..... you get the idea. So funny.

spankee would have you know...

Posted June 26
There's a podcast?

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Seakla mumbles...

Posted June 25
Here's a link to that piece. It's "In the Light of the Seven", from the previous season.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pS-gbqbVd8c

I also love this piece :-D

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Respond to 'Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!'

Holy blazing dragons, it's the Game of Thrones S7 trailer!

Posted May 25 into Raven On by girlclumsy

War! Homecomings! Stabbings! Nude Grey Worm!

The Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer contained so many delights, that of course I must put pen to papyrus and recap the seven hells out of it.

But there was one thing in that 1 minute 35 seconds of glorious GoT bounty that thrilled me more than any other.

“Oh, yes, here she goes again, ranting about Jon Snow like a sad obsessed cat fancier,” I hear you say.

NO!

I mean, yes, I am obsessed with Jon Snow in a sad, cat fancier kind of way. And we’ll get to our beloved King in the North later.

But the cutaway in that trailer that gave me the most joy was...

THE LANNISTERS’ HUGE WAR ROOM FLOOR MAP!


Jaime is all at sea.

I have been waiting seven years for this, and it’s everything I ever wanted and more.

I have now placed a call to a home decorator to rip up my large format charcoal grey tiles and install a FANTASY MAP OF WESTEROS in my living room so I can walk over it pointing and plotting tactical army movements and supply routes because I am a FICTIONAL QUEEN OF EVERYTHING.

Oh, it will be grand. Setting up the foster kittens to represent the different warring families, instructing them on when and how to attack each other, STOP RUNNING UNDER THE COUCH MICAH YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE TULLYS OF RIVERRUN AND HAZEL GET DOWN FROM THE SCRATCH POLE DOTHRAKIS DON’T LIKE HEIGHTS.

It will be epic times at my place, people.

But back to the trailer. Let’s make like biodegradable shopping bags and BREAK IT DOWN, starting with everybody’s favourite super villain, Darth Cersei. Her voiceover goes as follows:

“Enemies to the east, enemies to the west, enemies to the south, enemies to the north. Whatever stands in our way, we will defeat it. We are the last Lannisters. The last ones who count.”

This is delivered while shots of the Lannisters’ many enemies are spliced in with a tracking shot over a 3D map of Westeros (and the WAR ROOM MAP!). Did anybody else notice that when she said “enemies to the south” it passed over the Vale of Arryn, which is totes NORTH of King’s Landing, but then you don’t want to ruin the momentum of the shot, do you?

The enemies pictured are Grey Worm (not yet nude and at the head of Daenarys’ army), a large sailing ship in the gloomy mist (Iron Islanders, either Euron or the Yara/Theon alliance?), an axe being sharpened (really could be anyone), and ARYA FRICKING STARK.

There’s a brief glimpse of marching Lannisters flying the golden lion, and then a throne room sequence, with Jaime standing by his murderous usurper sister lover lover (mmmm). Cersei has always been scary, but the underlying mismanagement of her grabs for power have always grounded her in some reality. Now that seems to have gone, and she appears utterly terrifying. YOU GO GIRL.


Darth Cersei with some dark side of the force hand moves.

I loved the fact that immediately after we hear Cersei saying “We are the last Lannisters”, it cuts to a shot of Tyrion. “The last ones who count.” ZING. Of course Tyrion has more than a few things that make him count in the great game - there’s his faith in his new Queen, Daenarys, and her reliance on him as her Hand. Then of course there’s those enormous dragons, we which see slicing up through the air beside the cliff Tyrion is seen striding towards (more brilliant advertising for Northern Ireland).

We transition to hearing Dany’s voice, as she gazes on the opening gates of what we assume is Dragonstone, her birthplace, and formerly the seat of Stannis “Fewer” Baratheon.

“I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms,” she intones. “And I will.” Strong Churchillian language there from Our Dany, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Wearer of Less Revealing Clothes This Season, Somewhat Disappointingly. We see her touching the sand (Kevin Costner’s return to Dover in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves remains the gold standard of touching the sand, best movie ever, no arguments please), and sitting on her angular, rocky throne.

It’s sad to think we won’t have the luscious Maario Doharis standing by her, quietly flexing, and as for Ser Jorah, there was no sign of him in this trailer at all. Hopefully he’s finding that cure for Stoneman’s Disease - I would hate to find out halfway through the season that he just turned up dead at the Oldtown docks and nobody noticed because he looked like part of the jetty. For devotees of the “Ser Jorah is Azor Ahai” theory, it would be positively disastrous.

There’s also what looks like a raid on the Red Keep - or at least I assume it’s the Red Keep, given all those archways are giving it much more of an Alhambra vibe than in previous seasons. We see some helmeted heavies fighting in a courtyard and on a balcony. This is about as much analysis as I can do on that one:


Next up it’s time for MY SWEET SWEET BELOVED JON SNOW WHOSE ABS SHOULD BE PRAISED AS GODS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT.

“King in the North!” comes the resounding cry as we flick past Jon’s beautiful, brooding face in the Winterfell Great Hall, Sansa and Brienne watching from behind, and a flash of what looks like a war council of Northern lords. You can just about make out the side of Lyanna Mormont's face. SO keen for more of her, please.


Then it’s time for Mr Snake in the Grass himself, Petyr Baelish, to get all Wormtongue or Wormtail (but not Grey Worm) up in Sansa’s grill. “Your father and brothers are gone, yet here you stand - the last best hope against the coming storm.” I know his control of the Vale knights saved Jon and co in the Battle of the Bastards, but I do wish Littlefinger would go away. Or at least get a clue and realise there’s no point in playing his stupid power games anymore.

Luckily at that point we hear Littlefinger’s total opposite in character chime in, and once again, it’s Davos Freaking Seaworth who brings the true emotional punch to proceedings. “If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die,” he says. “And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”

PREACH. Once again Davos represents the everyman, the pragmatist, immune to the trappings of power and much more concerned with basic survival. If you did a poll of most loved characters in the show, the Onion Knight would have to be up there, which means of course they’re probably going to kill him off this season and I WILL CRY ALL THE TEARS AND THREATEN VIOLENCE.

It’s at this point of course that the trailer builds in speed and pace and frequency of shots included. Here are some of the things I noticed:

*Jon Snow outpacking Tormund in a snowbound steeplechase.


*record scratch* Yep, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got into this situation.


*Kate Bush looking quite sad in a castle somewhere, watching soldiers go running up that hill, or rather, ramparts. It looks too nice to be the Iron Islands, and not nice enough to be Dorne, so where could it be?

*Jon Snow grabbing Littlefinger and shoving him up against a wall, in a totally non-sexual but still highly sexy way.

*Ellaria Sand snogging Yara Greyhoy in a totally sexual and highly sexy way.


Just make sure she took her lippy off first, Yara.


*Missandei ripping off Grey Worm’s shirt. Finally, some action in their relationship beyond courtesies and low-level chit chat.

*A burning ship, bodies falling into water and Theon Greyjoy surrounded by licks of flame - an attack on the combined Targaryen/Greyjoy army, or perhaps a dragon fart with follow through?

*Arya all alone and making a fire - come on Nymeria, you come back now, good doggo.

*Cascading packs of rampaging Dothraki.

*Rugged up northerner types running away from something, and forming a circular guard.

*The Mountain, helmeted, but I’m pretty sure it was him.

*Dany and Tyrion checking out Stannis’ old tabletop role-playing board on Dragonstone.


"Has this been disinfected? Anybody?"


People we didn’t see in that trailer include: Sam and Gilly (on SWOTVAC), Ser Jorah (MIA), the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners crew (revenging), Bran and Meera (defrosting), White Walkers (ice cold), Olenna Tyrell (cheese, bitch) or any flashbacks to Ye Olde Times Like Twenty Years Ago.

The crescendo of music builds until we see a majestic wide shot of barrelling Dothraki on horseback, with the stupendously huge Drogon carving up the sky above. It’s the greatest fly-by since Top Gun.


After this, a quick game of shirtless volleyball.


But then we fade to black, and my beloved’s sonorous words remind us of the *snort* gravity of the situation.

“The Great War is here.”

Final thoughts? GARRRGHHHHUUUUMMMBBAAARGGGGHHH WHY CAN’T IT BE ON NOW.

For me the focus of this season is Daenarys’ transition from hot weather slavery-busting conqueror to winter homecoming queen. She has never stepped foot on Westeros; is it ready for her? Does it want her? She seems all-powerful, but her father’s rule sparked revolution and there may not be the appetite for the Mad King’s daughter. Cersei is nobody’s favourite, but then she’s proved time and again how resilient she is. Can she consolidate her power in King’s Landing and prove that a Queen Regnant can do what so many King Repugnants couldn’t?

Jon Snow is being heralded as King in the North, but is it a job he really wants? After his whole death-and-reanimation experience, he’d kind of given up on being in charge. But like Monkey, Jon Snow’s nature is irrepressible. He can’t help being a good guy, even if he has the odd sulk along the way (let me comfort you and your abs, beloved).

This trailer definitely seemed more focused on the Great War of families, rather than the Ever Greater Holy Crap War Against Monstrous Armies of the Undead. I kind of want them all to win, in my own special way. But of course there’ll have to be some losers. As long as they don’t KILL anyone, I’ll be fine.

OH GOD I’M DOOMED.

See you on July 16, beloved Throners!

28 Responses to ‘Holy blazing dragons, it's the Game of Thrones S7 trailer!’

Nocturnalist would have you know...

Posted May 25
You have a point. If HBO and GRRM haven't got a merch deal for huge Westeros-mapping carpets ready to go when that trailer dropped then someone's asleep at the wheel.

(Anyone else think "wait, they're going to settle this with a game of Azad"?)

Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted May 25
Yes. Where's Jernau Morat Gurgeh when you need him?

:)

Terry asserts...

Posted June 23
Oh please oh please let there be a swordfight there so someone can reprise one of the greatest lines of movie dialogue ever (from Dr Strangelove): "You can't fight here. This is the War Room!"

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Sousy Wench mumbles...

Posted May 25
Could the place with the lions and dead Lannisters be Casterly Rock?

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted May 25
"Your suppose to be the Tully's...." brought it all back to me - I miss the Blackfish.

Needless to say if the trailer is any indication the series 'living at home with Grey Worm and Missandai' is going to need an adult raiting.

I also want to see more of my favourite witty banter between Varys and Tryion.

Surely your war room map can be next to your library with the clockwork model of the 7 kingdoms.

Outstanding recap and can only imagine how much more awesome it will be once you start doing the episodes.

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Sam Clifford mutters...

Posted May 25
I suspect the Alhambra Lannister place is either Lannisport or Casterly Rock. I don't think even Cersei is vain enough to paint a golden "L" above an archway in King's Landing. There's a handful of Lannister cousins left, but yeah, none that matter.

Half-man! Half-man!

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girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25
Good pick-up on the Casterly Rock/Lannisport observations, peeps. We've never seen it, so it didn't occur to me initially that they might actually place some action there. Also Cersei is clearly in the Red Keep, as evidenced by her sitting on the Iron Throne.

Back in the day, Robb Stark's plan was to GO WEST (life is peaceful there) and beat the Lannisters on their home turf. Maybe Jon, or Dany, is going to try that strategy?

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Tony Leggett reckons...

Posted May 25
Wow. Such prose and analysis from less than two minutes of footage.

This will set high expectations for your recaps, Mother of Kittens.

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Tony Leggett puts forth...

Posted May 25
Followup thought bubble:

I think the screenshot showing what looks like a raid on the Red Keep is more likely just a raid on the (probably only lightly defended) Casterly Rock.

IMHO anyway...

Tony Leggett mumbles...

Posted May 25
...and guess who went "tl;dr" when scrolling through the comments.

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The White Witch would have you know...

Posted May 25
Oh how I've missed these recaps - almost (I said ALMOST!) as much as I've missed GoT, and the Beloved Abs-man! But I must confess - I have a dirty secret! I find Petyr Baelish rather sexy, in a sleazy, velvet-voiced way! I don't want him to die or go away, but to turn into a kind of nearly almost nice guy! A nice sleaze, if you will! Oh dear - I fear there is little hope for me!

girlclumsy mutters...

Posted May 26
YOU CAN'T CHANGE HIM, WHITE WITCH!

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Ken Father of Dire Wolves is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25
Look at the armour, the spears, the fighting style. The helmeted heavies are the unsullied, expressing their distress at being unmanned by unlifeing the Dragon Queens enemies.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted May 25
Yep, I've just abandoned my dreams of jarrah parquet flooring and I've totally moved on to GIANT FLOOR MAP as the jewel in my interior decorating crown. Bring on 16 July!

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floki snow reckons...

Posted May 25
Geez the Lannisters are coping a good old thrashing, early season wins are not always a good sign.
And who's dragonscale arm was poking out of that jail cell?

floki snow mumbles...

Posted May 25
greyscale i meant greyscale

CatDragon ducks in to say...

Posted May 25
Ser JM of course! Looking grim.

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted May 26
Yeah, someone else showed me that as well, and I'm pretty mad I didn't pick up on it. BRING OUT THE SHAME BELL.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted May 25
and given the magnificent prose of Ms Bochenski stretched to 1,728 words for this piece from a trailer 1minute 48 seconds long. That means for the average 55minute episode were are going to get 52,000 witty and erudite words per episode.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves puts forth...

Posted May 25
Excellent. May the gods, old and new be praised.

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted May 26
OH GOD I'M GOING TO DIE

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Graham C ducks in to say...

Posted May 25
"...the Onion Knight would have to be up there, which means of course they’re probably going to kill him off this season and I WILL CRY ALL THE TEARS ..."

Well, duh! You always get "all the tears" when ....

You cut onions!

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted May 26
BOOOOOOOOMMMMM

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Heidi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 25
Great to read your recaps again Queen Nat. SO looking forward to this season! In countdown mode now! Bring on July 16! Woo Hoo!

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JBtoo has opinions thus...

Posted May 25
So good to have you (and GoT) back

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Morts would have you know...

Posted May 26
Nat

I think your kitties are better thought of as the dragons (just as hard to control) which makes you Dany and you know she's going to hook up with Jon at some stage. Also you could direct your 'dragons' by throwing raw meat on your Westeros map on where to attack and you get the added bonus of realistic blood splatter.

Morts

PS Are there VIP packages for those who want to contribute more for the recaps? Maybe we could get them 30 mins before anyone else. :)

Anyway really looking forward to the start of GoT and your rundowns. You're the extra spice that goes into a Walder Frey pie.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted May 27
These recaps are the hot pies of my soul.

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jl reckons...

Posted May 31
I do love these write-ups. Keep 'em coming, girlclumsy.

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Star Trek Discovery trailer

Posted May 23 by John Birmingham

Looks great. Makes me think that if they can get a strong multiseries story arc out of first contact with the Klingon Empire (I assume that's what's happening here) it could provide a platform to do something very Game of Thronesy.

11 Responses to ‘Star Trek Discovery trailer’

tqft is gonna tell you...

Posted May 23
It's trek, gonna watch it no matter what, thank you netflix

On the subject of trailers, saw the spiderman trailer when waiting for gotg2 . First spiderman film i actually want to watch.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted May 23
Indeed thankfully we will get to see it on netflix in Australia in the US they are using this series as a draw card for CBS new streaming service.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted May 23
Hitting all the right buttons for me, I has hesitant when I heard the Walking Dead Alumni Sonequa Martin-Green was joining ST:D (sorry but thats going to be how its abbriviated) but seeing her as First officer Burnham and Michelle Yeoh as Captain Phillippa Georgiou really looks great.

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted May 23
Looks cool. Seems the Klingons have evolved a bit more from just skin colour and forehead protuberances.

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted May 23
First contact with the Klingons happened long before Discovery. Archer was dealing with them in Enterprise (which is about 100 years before Discovery). Enterprise is set in 2151. Discovery in the 2240's.

Bangar would have you know...

Posted May 24
I saw the title and already knew who'd beaten me to the correction ;) First Ep from memory, please check memory is now an unreliable subroutine.

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jason ducks in to say...

Posted May 24
I haven't watched Star Trek since William Shatner set the world record for holding your stomach in while fighting with Styrofoam aliens. Do i need to be across all the other spin off shows to get this one or is it possible to watch it in isolation?

Barnesm reckons...

Posted May 24
from what little has been revealed, looks like it could stand on its own. I myself hold out for a cross to the mirror, mirror universe from ST:TOS.

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Don Bagert puts forth...

Posted May 26
I think the main thing to realize is that even though everyone is saying this is a prequel to the original TV series from 1966-69, the trailer's look (e.g. uniforms, ship interiors) is like it's part of the Kelvin timeline that was created by the new movie series which started in 2009. So if you do want to get an idea of the look and feel of Discovery, it appears that the three most recent Trek movies would be the best way to do so.

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RambleAus ducks in to say...

Posted June 6
Come onnnn, not too Game of Thrones ish. I want this series to have a coherent plot, consistent characters and not try and be dark for the sake of being edgy like some emo teenager who's just found his sister's eyeliner pencil.

Trek needs to be realistic but optimistic. In Trek humans can overcome whatever the universe throws at them, whereas the overwhelming message of GoT seems to be one of acedia, the world is shit and so is everyone in it and if you aren't shit then you will die a horrible horrible death.

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Welcome to EN151. Literature for the Easily Triggered

Posted May 22 by John Birmingham

From ASB. Probably not the sort of thing I can do at Fairfax:

Here in the Faculty of Caring About Everything we understand how important it is that students be taught in a way that never, ever upsets or challenges them because as our school motto reminds us, “That’s Not Cool.”

Students enrolling in EN151 will study the classics of western literature safe in the knowledge that the texts have been scrubbed of any and all graphic or horrifying images, confronting ideas, difficult characters, upsetting situations and unpleasant dialogue. Be assured the faculty has consulted with world class empathy specialists and traumatic risk managers to ensure that you will not be discomfited by these dangerous screeds or put in a situation that threatens even the most ridiculous of your half-baked sensibilities.

aliensideboob.

3 Responses to ‘Welcome to EN151. Literature for the Easily Triggered’

Surtac asserts...

Posted May 22
Good article. Lots of snark.

Reminded me of a lot of the PC / SJW shit I see coming into my twitterz feeds these days.

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Miss Maudy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22
I so agree with that entire post. Words from my brain in your email and all that.

I don't understand why people get so damn worked up about unpleasantness. Shit happened. And still happens. There's one book I read a while ago, triggered the fuck out of me about issues I didn't know I had. I still finished the damn book though. And learned something about myself that I could deal with or not as I chose. (It was Coraline, which is a kids book. I also screamed all the way through Bambi. Apparently, I have abandonment issues.) But that's me, and I am a grown up and I still love reading Neil Gaiman.

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dersk mumbles...

Posted June 22
On the other hand, I don't understand why people get so riled up at the idea of giving someone a heads up.

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Immolation launched

Posted May 11 into Books by John Birmingham

Friend of the Burger, Mr Lambright has released the final volume of his military sci fi trilogy, The Valley. Best cover so far, I reckon.

You can check it out here (universal link), and read the extract below.

For those on my mailing list I'll be sending a blast out later today when the whole series goes free for a day.

But you should really think about crossing Jason's palm with a few coins anyway. I will be.

30 Responses to ‘Immolation launched’

Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted May 11
Yep. Just purchased via the Beast.

Timing is good - I had just got around to reading the second book a couple weeks back.

Happy to send Jason a few shekels.

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jason asserts...

Posted May 11
I read this in Beta and I highly recommend you get around it. Great mix of gritty reality and fantasy. The twist in the tail is great.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted May 11
Nabbed it. I liked the first two. A lot.

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she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11
I've just put all three onto my to-read list. Can't wait!

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted May 12
So glad to see the last part of the trilogy is out! I've been hanging out after buying the first two last year. I've grabbed Immolation via Kindle Unlimited, so 'free' to me, But I hope JL gets a few coins through that arrangement.

jl ducks in to say...

Posted May 13
Darren- KOLL does pay the author, so thank you much, sir. It's an honor.

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Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted May 12
Thanks for the link! Books downloaded and added to the reading list!

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jl has opinions thus...

Posted May 13
I'd like to say a public thanks to the people here at the 'Burger, and especially JB. Immolation's launch was a success, you all made it so.


Thanks much for reading my stuff!

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted May 13
If it is good, it gets read. This is some good stuff.

jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 13
Rhino, you have to drop in and chew the fat with me at "Confluence," the sci-fi con in Pittsburgh this summer. I'll have a table there in the dealer's room.

Rhino mutters...

Posted May 13
Jason ... I would love to ... but I'm a Damned Yankee now ... moved south of the Mason Dixon in 1993. Make my home in Atlanta now. But, I do miss the Burgh, but not the weather.

You need to set your sights on LibertyCon in Chattanooga.

For those of you that don't know ... A Yankee is a northerner that visits the south and leaves. A Damned Yankee is one that visits and stays.

jl is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13
Got it, missed you by a mere 24 years!

Seriously, though, everyone moves south- few remain in these little coal towns. I've thought about moving too. Six months of OK weather, six months of hell. Winter is good for writing, though. It concentrates the mind.

I'll look into LibertyCon.

Rhino asserts...

Posted May 17
I'll tell you what concentrates the mind - not needing a snow shovel.

Oh, and seeing women in shorts until the middle of November. I mean, I don't look, of course. Unless there is a medical basis for doing so.

Rhino puts forth...

Posted May 17
Meant to also ask ... do you live in the Burgh?

jl mumbles...

Posted May 17
Nah, I live fairly close by, though. Go to the VA there, and of course shopping and so. Another advantage of living in Atlanta you may have forgotten- no more Fort Pitt tunnel.

To paraphrase JB, the love of women in shorts is the root of all suffering.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 13
Purchased 2 & 3. I got part way through 1 but couldn't continue. Not because it was no good. It was too good, too real for me. I'll try again.

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Graham C puts forth...

Posted May 25
Serious question, if I may .. do authors get anything out of Kindle Unlimited?

For a skinflint like me, 50c/day for pretty much all-you-can-read is a great deal - but I worry that authors don't get royalties (or not many)

Oh, I know that not all books in series will be on KU, and I'm likely to pay for those that aren't included if I like the series enough - but is there any money in it for writers?

jl reckons...

Posted May 26
Hey Graham. Kindle does compensate us a small amount per page read. I am always gratified to see the "blue graph" on my stats page trending, it gives me a real-time view on how many pages of my books were read on a given day. So by all means, "buy" books on KU. If the books are good and they actually get read, we get paid.

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted May 28
Finished it yesterday. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Got the impression the series may have been quite cathartic to write.

In that sense, it reminded me of David Drake's 'Redliners'.

jl is gonna tell you...

Posted May 29
Thanks! Yeah, it was quite the journey finishing up the trilogy. Time to move on to other stuff.

Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted June 2
I'm about half way through the third book now - I have to say that reading the second book before bed was a mistake...I had too much adrenaline flowing to get to sleep! Got a few chuckles so far too - conscripting all the supply pogues into grunt jobs was excellent! Got a laugh out of Brigadier Birmingham too! Thanks for throwing in the Anzac units! I'm trying not to throw out spoilers here...

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Therbs asserts...

Posted June 5
Reckon you would have finished it off on the week-end BB. I thought the twist in the solution was pretty cool. I started reading it at Easts one day over $4 happy hour beers. Luckily my kindle is immune to occasional beer splatter.

jl reckons...

Posted June 5
Being fairly new to this whole author thing, I am amazed by all the places my books have been (like the bar that Therbs frequents). Yeah, I did some traveling in the past, but regrettably I never made it to Australia. One of these days I'm going to make it down there. When I do, I'll give y'all a holler.

Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 6
Please do! Love to shout you a few fizzy drinks!

jason has opinions thus...

Posted June 7
Include me in for a catch up if you ever reach these shores.

jl reckons...

Posted June 7
Maybe not this winter, but it's going to happen. Always wanted to check it out, and now that I'm retired, there is nothing to stop me. I'll keep you all in the loop.

Therbs puts forth...

Posted June 8
Hey, BB - the ode at North Bondi RSL. And beer, but don't warn him about drop bears.

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Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted June 9
My lips are sealed! The RSL is of course de riguer.

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 10
I'm curious about the local brews- years ago I lived in England and on the continent, and it seemed that every town had a local favorite. Unsure if the same type of situation prevails down there.

In regard to the local fauna and flora, I'll stay on guard.

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted June 13
It used to be like that but the larger brands took over a lot of the smaller ones. There's still some division between states but more interestingly a whole heap of smaller craft breweries have sprung up, a couple now eating into the major business.

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