Cheeseburger Gothic

When Caitlin fights...

Posted August 17, 2011 by John Birmingham
... this is what it looks like.

Kinda scary how close this is to her fight scenes as I've imagined them. The Gina Carano character even seems to have the same relationship with her dad as Caitlin Monroe.

I write this knowing that Caitlin is far and away the most divisive character in the Disappearance series. Most loved and most hated, with that reaction almost perfectly divided along gender lines.

Not sure why.

In sorta related news, the first review is up, with a nice cover shot.

 

31 Responses to ‘When Caitlin fights...’

JG has opinions thus...

Posted August 17, 2011
beautiful cover. I like Caitlin. She's one smart, tough bitch. I don't sympathise with her as much as admire her grit.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted August 17, 2011
Echelon alway recruit the best, always...

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted August 17, 2011
Wow, that was some review. As for Caitlin, she's definitely one to avoid unless you like getting dead. Nevertheless she's a great weapon and a strong character. Sounds like there's some Jules action as well as an expanded role for Barbara Kipper. Funnily enough the review never mentioned Havoc.

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Steve is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2011
Most loved and most hated, and almost perfectly along gender lines?

I wouldn't say she's my most loved (that'll be Rhino), but I do think she's pretty awesome. Does that put me with the guys or the women on Caitlin?

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drej swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17, 2011
Yep, I always picture Caitlin as a more desheveled version of Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux. But this movie certainly looks better.
So, there are advance copies of AoV around already? Can't wait!

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abigail has opinions thus...

Posted August 17, 2011
Congratulatons, JB, on getting such a great debut review.

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donna reckons...

Posted August 17, 2011
Really great review, congrats are definitely in order over that!
I cant wait to read it, so i'm reading the others again while i wait.
Oh and will it be coming out in Kindle format cos i'm loving the kindle app on the ipad?

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MickH reckons...

Posted August 17, 2011
So when is it published here JB?

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Sir Snagger asserts...

Posted August 17, 2011
Completely agree! Looks awesome! Publishing date please (even approximate will do me for now!)?

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Orin ducks in to say...

Posted August 17, 2011
Aspirational V Relatable archetypes. Few women glom onto superheroes and Caitlin is a Batman level of arse kicker. Some women do glom onto superheroes, but it's more the exception than the rule.

I *think* it was Nick Hornby who said "almost every man believes, deep down inside, that if he had the resources and training, he too could have been Batman".

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yankeedog mumbles...

Posted August 17, 2011
Me want book NOW!!!

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girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2011
I love Caitlin, she's awesome. But then I also adore Jules. Jules also gets to hang out with the Rhino.

So is it the boys or the girls who hate Caitlin more?

Congrats on the review!

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girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2011
Oh, and just to add.... that review gives me giddy hope that we're going to see a lot more of Sofia.... squeeee....

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drej mumbles...

Posted August 17, 2011
Like the James Rollins quote too.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted August 17, 2011
So is the movie Haywire Caitlin's Authorized biography in a parallel universe that never had the wave?

Looking forward to the book, great review.

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted August 17, 2011
Wouldn't say I hate her, but don't find her a particularly compelling character.

There are more interesting personalties in the series. She's a bit cartoonish IMO.

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Tom would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2011
I think Caitlin is awesome.

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Murph would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2011
I saw this trailer a couple of weeks back and almost thought it was an AoV trailer.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted August 18, 2011
I love me some Caitlin.

That trailer was cool ... will have to see that. Odd that I haven't seen any geek buzz or mentions of it elsewhere.

I'm very, very curious to see how this ends. In the review it sounds like there is a lot of closure ... I hope so. But I also kinda' hoped that it would go further. I'm going to miss this world.

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Big Pete would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2011
At the moment I'm about 20% of the way through 'After America', with any luck I should have it knocked over by the time AoV is released. After thinking about some of the characters I'd have to say that Caitlin would be up there as one of my favourite characters. I think it's the 'no remorse', Terminator quality of her character that I like. I also liked Pete the pirate and Fifi (damn you JB). Rhino, although good, always seems to remind me of Popeye, don't get me wrong, I do like Rhino's character, it's just that he seems to come across as the muscle behind Lady Julianne.

All the major 'non-evil' characters seem to be quite well formed and likeable from Miguel on through.

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pitpat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 18, 2011
nice cover -more I M Banks-but not as kick arse as the first one not sure if Caitlin would/will approve.

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BruceGaryNigelson swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 18, 2011
What happened to the explodey cover? US release only?

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Abe would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2011
Are there sausages?

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An Idle Dad mutters...

Posted August 18, 2011
Amazon has release date of April 10, 2012. Sigh, such a long wait!

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Kat ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2011
There are people who hate Caitlin???!?!?! Who are these fools?

A bit scared to read the review, haven't read AA yet (SOON!), spoilers?

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Kat is gonna tell you...

Posted August 19, 2011
Ok, got a few lines in, I will read after I read AA.

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savo has opinions thus...

Posted August 19, 2011
neat

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted August 20, 2011
That's the US date, Idler.

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DrStrangelove mutters...

Posted August 20, 2011
Caitlin is HAWT enough to marry. :-)

Doc

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 21, 2011
Damn! Looking forward to the book and the movie. Damn.

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Matty mumbles...

Posted August 22, 2011
Pumped!
Hope it's released in the smaller paperback version soon after initial release!
I have an issue with all sets having to be the same design, but I cannot wait!

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Cold Chisel liner notes.

Posted August 10, 2011 by John Birmingham
This will doubtless be mocked by the whippersnappers, but I was excited to be asked to write the liner notes to the long awaited digital release of Chisel's back list albums earlier this year. (Well, long awaited by some of us).

I used to work for Rolling Stone, but rarely wrote about music or bands. Never, in fact. So this was an interesting exercise.

Here 'tis.

 

 

 

The past is a different country. They rock out differently there. Caught up in music so familiar to us it feels as though it’s been coded into our meat, it can be hard to remember just how foreign was the past out of which Swingshift comes to us. MTV hadn’t launched when Cold Chisel’s epic double live album first dropped. Nor had compact discs. FM radio was the newest of new audio technology. These 17 tracks mostly reached us in the form of black vinyl platters, played at a scratchy 33 rpm, and as cassette tapes which were hugely convenient, until the thin brown ribbon of hard rockin’ goodness unspooled in your cheap Casio tape deck, or melted on the dashboard of your unairconditioned EH Holden.

In 1981, while Chisel were touring the album, kicking nine kinds of hell out of the charts, doctors at the Centre for Disease Control in America were scratching their heads over five patients, diagnosed with a strange and deadly form of ‘pneumonia’ that appeared to attack the immune system of gay men. The wedding of Charles and Diana in July was still a fairytale. And nobody anywhere had yet bought an IBM as their first personal computer. Computers were for moon launches. And they didn’t talk to each other. Phones were heavy lumps of plastic and wiring that sat in one place forever, usually on a small special table. The Stones could tour without a sense of irony. Nobody worried about Michael Jackson’s nose, or his skin or mental health. He was young and at the parties I went to the woman smiled when his music came on and admitted that thinking about him made them warm and a little… gooey.

Chisel didn’t make anyone warm. There was nothing soft about them or their music. There was heat, but it was the hard, brutal, machine heat that came from stomping the pedal to the metal and driving thousands of punters in their audience out past the redline. Music that came compressed between dense of layers of aesthetic aggression was nothing new. Punk had been with us for a while by then, horrifying the same sort of professional panic merchant nowadays liable to go into a smoking tailspin at the latest first person shooter release or Lady Ga Ga costume change.

But while Chisel’s sweaty, two-fisted and aggressively uncompromising energy might have owed something to the tear down efforts of the punk backlash, it had something extra; credibility rooted firmly in artistic merit, rather than calculation and marketing, and an authentic basis in a culture not often thought of in cultural terms – the tough minded working class world of Australia’s outer suburbs.

In Swingswift we get the trials, small horrors and rare dizzying triumphs of that world laid out for us in some of the strongest performances and finest writing that Australian popular culture has ever delivered. That they come to us ‘live’ is not just a bonus, it’s a pre-emptive repudiation of what was about to happen to popular music when the first, anarchic assault of punk was absorbed by the music industry and the overarching commercial culture, and assimilated for their profits. The studio engineering of the performances Swingshift was nuanced and brilliant, but noticeable largely for the way the producers just got the hell out of the way and let the boys kick it out of the fucking stadium.

The band smashed these tracks down almost perfectly when they played the tight, hard hitting sets in 1980 at Sydney's Capitol Theatre and Melbourne's Festival Hall, from which the album was drawn. And then mostly from Sydney, as befits a work that details the lives of its fans there so well.

Because in tracks like Breakfast at Sweethearts and Star Hotel we get social history and geography with our music. For a long time it was impossible to walk through Kings Cross and not hear a backing track performed by Chisel, either inside your head, or out, punching down on you from the speakers of a strip club or bar within spitting distance, actual spitting distance, of Sweethearts café. While the shout-outs might have been geo-tagged to the harbour city, however, the appeal was universal. Any one of their listeners could find themselves, or have a mate, trapped the same hell as the narrator of Four Walls, and at least half the audience would, at some point in their lives understand exactly the accelerating rage of freedom that drives that poor bastard out the door, faster and faster in “Goodbye”.

Because the band’s five core members hailed from all over the continent, and all the way back to the UK in the case of working class migrant kids Barnes and Prestwich, they enjoyed a deep understanding of life as it was lived wherever their music was popular. The tungsten hard alloy of Chisel was forged from those base metals, but tempered by the artisan skills they all brought to stage and studio. A deep love of the blues roots of rock pounds out of these tracks on One Long Day, while a mastery of the classics is here parlayed into some very old school titles borrowed from Dylan and Jerry Lee.

In the end though, no amount of cultural deconstruction or unpacking the layers of meaning beneath one of our great bands can get beyond the irreducible truth that they were just really fucking great when the crowd roar spooled up, and Jimmy howled out the first notes of whatever ballad, or primal shriek or simple hard rocking tribute sat at the top of that night’s set list.

32 Responses to ‘Cold Chisel liner notes.’

Rob Hosking mumbles...

Posted August 10, 2011
Loved this version of 'Conversations', a version of which kick's off Swingshift.

http://tinyurl.com/3qdb8sk

'Now some of us are driven to ambition
Some of us are trapped behind the wheel
Some of us will drift away,
Build a marble yesterday,
Live for every moment we can steal...'

Don Walker's declaration of intent.

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Rob Hosking is gonna tell you...

Posted August 10, 2011
Damn redundant apostrophe. Should have been "kicks off Swingshift".

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Mayhem's Mum puts forth...

Posted August 10, 2011
Mr Birmingham, Sir, now you have shown your true colours, and I fear they are the blue and green of a flannelette overshirt and the beige of moccasins.

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Orin has opinions thus...

Posted August 10, 2011
By 1981 computers were talking to one another.

Computers were networked from ARPA beginning in the early 70's (15 sites by 1971), Ethernet was invented for local area networks at XEROX PARC in the mid 70's, and was commercially available in 1980.

TCP/IP v4 (which we still use today for networking) was released in 78.

Still cool intro ;-)

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted August 10, 2011
Jeez, pedantic much?

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Bunyip swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 10, 2011
Thanks JB, you've taken me back 30 years. In amongst the wasteland of Sheena Easton et al, the mods, skinhead and Oi punks, there were little pockets of Antipodean integrity. This was one.

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Mayhem has opinions thus...

Posted August 10, 2011
Mum, get back in your box... sheesh Greybeard, you need to upgradenyour security!

Actually hoping to grab tix for one of their upcoming shows... will make a great birthday present for The Man In My Life :)

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Mayhem ducks in to say...

Posted August 10, 2011
Greybeard - Upgrade your security... or sic Colin on the Old Bat!

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Orin asserts...

Posted August 10, 2011
Wasn't the genesis of this blog pedantry? ;-)

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nhamilton@iinet.net.au mutters...

Posted August 10, 2011
So true and yet the reason I won't buy tickets to see them now. Worried watching a band of old men could never live up to my memories.

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Flinthart reckons...

Posted August 10, 2011
Respect.

I was never a big fan of Chisel. Still don't much care for their music. But I recognise their influence, and the stamp they laid on their times, and yes: their authenticity.

You've done well, Mr Birmingham.

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yankeedog reckons...

Posted August 10, 2011
There was a wave of Australian acts and performers that made it to the States in the late 70s/early 80s- Little River Band, AC/DC, Air Supply, Rick Springfield, and of course Men at Work. And don't forget the likes of Helen Reddy and Olivia Newton-John, who sang our country music better than most American performers did.

Cold Chisel never did dent the charts up here. Rather a shame, since what I've heard from the band is pretty good stuff. Kind of basic working-class rock, but certainly worth listening to.

You hit 'em out of the ballpark with those liner notes, though. Captured the times perfectly!

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JG puts forth...

Posted August 10, 2011
I'm not a big fan of Cold Chisel but this is a beautiful piece of writing. You capture perfectly the spirit of the 70s and 80s. This makes me sound old (No! I'm only 48!) but thanks for the memories. I can taste the past reading your article. Thank you, John. Joanna :})

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted August 11, 2011
Icehouse is the Australian band which often comes to mind, followed INXS, which I listened to during the war to keep me from going nuts.

Cold Chisel, I'd probably recognize the music if I encountered it.

None of which matters, the liner notes are great reading, John.

Thumbs up.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted August 11, 2011
I am ambivalent. On the one hand, I have no idea what any of that meant; but on the other hand, it sort of confirms I am no whippersnapper. My whip-snapping days began and ended in the 1980's.

As for Australian bands (and this says a great deal about me that I am uncomfortable revealing) my lasting favorites (in random order) are Goanna (Solid Rock) Howard Devoto (Rainy Season) INXS (One of my Kind), Divinyls (Touch Myself), the Church (Under the Milky Way) and, God help me, Chumba Wumba ( all of Tub Thumper).

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Havock is gonna tell you...

Posted August 11, 2011
Cool, hard, accurate and has my flannel stamp of fkn Havock approval!, even when in unzud!

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Melbo reckons...

Posted August 11, 2011
Lovely work JB. Sent it to my cousin who is a fan and needs a cheer up.

Yankeedog, the interesting thing about Cold Chisel is that they only appeared to be basic working class rock. The lyrics and subject matter of many of the songs are way beyond basic. But they always had appeal to any working class kid purely because of the raucous front man's sense of style. He did later go on to do some solo stuff that IMO was very basic working class rock but the early Chisels is still gold I think.

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Timmo mutters...

Posted August 11, 2011
Nice writing, JB.
There's definitely a particular and evocative voice that goes with nostalgic rock tributes. I remember reading the liner notes to Chisel's greatest hits album and Easybeats anthologies which had a very similar feel to them - evoking a perhaps simpler, probably rougher time and cultures and places that no longer exist.

Just one more touch of pedantry, though...
As a digital release doesn't technically have a liner are they still called liner notes?

For interest's sake, as an ex-Novocastrian, the Star Hotel was very much geo-tagged to Newcastle rather than Sydney. Despite living there at the time, I don't know much of the story of the Star Hotel riots - perhaps as it was not the uppermost concern in the mind of a 7 year old. It was definitely part of the vaguely dark history of the town I became aware of as a teenager though.


PNB,
More pedantry and correction :),
ChumbaWumba are very much a British band - the term "tub thumping" being the British equivalent of our "hitting the tiles", "bending the elbow" or "sinking the piss" (i.e. drinking large quantities of beer).
I too loved that song, but have never heard the whole album.

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SpringfieldFats reckons...

Posted August 11, 2011
Yankeedog, they tried to break the US in the late 70's/early 80's but kept running into record execs that didn't really get it. They wrote the song 'You got nothing I want' as a response and pretty much gave up trying to break in there. Which is a pity, get a hold of their farewell concert dvd Last Stand and you'll see why.

Went back and listed to their back catalogue a while back and was reminded about just how good their albums were, the radio songs almost fade into the background at times because of songs like Four Walls.

It's sad that they became a bit of an uncool cliche off the back of Khe Sahn being sung by pissed bogans right before they punched you, as their songs are as solid as any produced in this country. And they could fucking rock.

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Big Pete would have you know...

Posted August 11, 2011
An excellent piece of writing that captured the times perfectly. As a Ugg boot and flannelette shirt wearing yobbo back in the 1980s. This piece really bought back the feel of the 80s for me, I can almost taste the Bourbon and Cokes that I used to consume in large quantities when I went out.

Now, the only thing missing is a fight in the car park.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted August 11, 2011
I thought that slipping chumbawumba in there was actually sort of funny. Pearls before swine, man. Pearls before swine....

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Timmo reckons...

Posted August 11, 2011
Oh no!
I've outed myself as a Chumbawumba fan when you were only pulling our legs?
The shame, the shame!

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted August 11, 2011
I just flashbacked to the heady odours at Selinas, a combination of, sweat, joints, Winnie Blues and spilt VB.

"Gonna tell the man I don't want no more
Pick up a fast car and burn my name in the road
One week two week maybe even more
Piss all my money up against the damn wall
First thing you know I'll be back in Bow River again"

Great liner notes JB, brought it all back.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 11, 2011
Yes. Shame on you, Timmo. Shame! I bet you are a secret Air Supply fan, too.

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Timmo ducks in to say...

Posted August 11, 2011
Nah, not that poncey stuff - I always far preferred the BeeGees :)

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 11, 2011
Ah, Selinas. Memories. Well, the holes were memories would be.

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DrStrangelove has opinions thus...

Posted August 11, 2011
My hormone-driven teen years were in the late 70s/early 80s. Back then I was listening to Van Halen, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, and Ted Nugent. As Yankeedog says, I don't think Chisel ever made to the Texas airwaves. I just might have to look them up.

Nice piece, JB.

Doc

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NataliatheRussianSpy mutters...

Posted August 11, 2011
Birmo you can't not mention Mossy...he wrote most of that gear.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted August 11, 2011
Maybe they snuck him in with an edit.

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stump reckons...

Posted August 11, 2011
I remember Chisel appearing at my high school social back in 75 or 76. They closed the show with "we'll see you back here next year"........

Last year I gave all the vinyl albums (and I had them all) to my much younger brother who had the joy of discovering the album tracks all over again, having never heard any of their songs.

My two boy's have loved the live version of Astrid since they could talk.

But I just can't listen to the old blokes rock - too scared that Jimmy will continue to parody himself.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted August 12, 2011
Odd coincidence - I've found myself tinkering with a couple of Chisel songs lately, half-toying with the idea of working up cover versions. Only the most obvious, of course: 'All my love', 'Khe Sanh', 'Flame trees'...

Like Flinthart, I wasn't into Chisel back in the day, nor ever much of a fan. The interest in more in their place in pop culture, and history.

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BruceGaryNigelson has opinions thus...

Posted August 12, 2011
Good stuff. Was in mid teens when Chisel were hitting their straps. People found it confusing that I could like my Oi and other punk/alternative stuff and also enjoying this at the same time - meh. Now being a doddering semi-cashed up 40 something, am enjoying the reunions. No problems with any band cashing in on nostalgia - go for it as I think i would find it hard to write a seminal album - The Who at BEC a couple of years back was absolutely mind and ear blowing and happy to part with the 200 big bananas for that one. The Business are touring again shortly. Bad Manners about 2 months ago. Died Pretty reunion gig at the Tiv a couple of years back. Now if The Church would just tour the "Starfish" album. Didn't get tix to Chisel but not fretting too much - just spewing Diamond Dave and the might Halen won't be here - or any of the banks like Hole and Danzig for Soundwave.

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Proofs

Posted July 27, 2011 by John Birmingham
I'm doing my final read-through of the Australian version of Angels of Vengeance this week. The final proofs, we call them. In the olden days this would've meant leafing through a massive stack of A3 photocopies. Now I do it all on the iPad. The publishers send me a copy edited PDF and I mark it up in something like Goodreader. Just one more nail in the coffin of the old way of doing things.

It's good but. One of the things I like about proofing in this way is being able to wander around the house, moving from chair to chair. It sounds crazy, but it really helps. I'm now so familiar with the manuscript that it is impossible to look at it with fresh eyes. To avoid glazing over completely I find it helps to read a chapter in one chair, take a 5 min. break, and move to another chair. By the time I have to proof the American version, even that won't help. I will have to read it backwards, paragraph by paragraph.

Once this job is done, I have a couple of weeks reading ahead of me. Final research before I sit down to start drafting out the next book in the new series. Having said that, I did score an enormous stack of George RR Martin books for the essay I just finished writing, and it'd be cool to make my way through them all the way to the end of the latest installment, Dances with Dragons. As you would know, I've never been much of a fantasy fan, but these things read more like Barbara Tuchman than JRR Tolkien. They're impressive enough pieces of work that I'm thinking of Kindle lending my copy of a Game of Thrones to Murph. Even he might like them.

27 Responses to ‘Proofs’

CathieT is gonna tell you...

Posted July 27, 2011
I was going to suggest you read it backwards, but I see you already have that trick in your repertoire.

Hope you enjoy the read (Angels of Vengeance that is) the previous two installments of the trilogy are purlers!!

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 27, 2011
I'll be interested to see this essay when/where it goes up.

And interested to e-read Martin also. Got Iain Banks queued up at the moment, working through slowly and pleasantly surprised at the accessibility.

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Stevo 73 ducks in to say...

Posted July 27, 2011
I love GRR Martin but have decided to wait till the final books are out before rereading from the beginning, as the time between books was huge, and my lizard brain was forgetting way too much.

I just finished PF Hamiltons Void Trilogy, damn can that made build an awesome universe!

And 'bout how long till the release of AOV in Australia?

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BrianC asserts...

Posted July 27, 2011
If you like Sex, Graphically inappropriate violence, deceitfully delicious plots, then you will love Game of Thrones. It is literally a stand out.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 27, 2011
November, Stevo.

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Legless mutters...

Posted July 27, 2011
As a programmer, I have similar, but different problems regarding proof-reading. Only we call it testing. Testing your own software is incredibly difficult as you have preconceived ideas about how the software should work and this means that you tend to test how you *believe* the software should work and that may or may not be the way it *actually* works. So I use the missus.

"Test that!" I'll say emailing her a copy of the latest draft.


"Broke it!" she'll say brightly. Usually within 10 minutes....

cheers

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robert would have you know...

Posted July 27, 2011
When you mentioned that Martin reads like Barbara Tuchman her book The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam sprang to mind. You are so very right, he does. Not only that, his characters often succeed despite themselves; and, for either the best or worst of reasons, they often blindly and doggedly pursue a catastrophic course of action that is not in their own self interests.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2011
Yeah, it's such a good comparison I'm wishing I used it in my feature.

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Bangar reckons...

Posted July 27, 2011
It's on my list, if Murph likes it, it probably needs to go on the blurb.

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pitpat ducks in to say...

Posted July 27, 2011
Have bitten the bullet and have a kindle winging it's way to me as I type having gone through the whole Ipad vs Android vs Kindle internal arguement . Will add both Martin and Tuchman to the list. Thnxs
Will need a paper copy of AoV cos of the cover tho.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted July 27, 2011
I guess that means you will be sick og reading Lt Colonel HAVOCK saving the same, blOWIN shit up, capping muppets and STABBING THE ODD GOD DAM FKN RHINO TOO!.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted July 27, 2011
This would be me at JB's doing PROOFING with him. A god at the HELM....

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted July 27, 2011
Fine print: All books proofread by Havock are supplied with double spaced lines, extra wide margins and a box of pencils. Some reassembly required.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted July 27, 2011
Je Ne Pas Touche!
Je Ne Pas Touche!

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Unpossible would have you know...

Posted July 27, 2011
Legless;
Am I right to understand that grand theft auto was started by playtesters who just poked around with a 'outta control cop' glitch?

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 27, 2011
Per Thrones, it is always possible I might like it. You never know.

I'm presently reading Dereliction of Duty by H. R. McMasters (currently Brigadier General, U.S. Army), which details the political infighting and dysfunction of 1960s Vietnam policy. Frankly, it is the first book I have read on the topic which took an even handed approach to the subject matter without the standard issue ideological hyperbole.

Much akin to the Australian accounts I received from Bangar a few summers back.

Anyway, I've not finished McMaster's book but it has my recommendation.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Orin mutters...

Posted July 28, 2011
My proofs/pages have always been in PDF - I've never done it any other way (and that's now 10 years). The KindleDX is pretty good for PDFs, but I prefer to do proofs on the screen (I also do them on a per chapter basis).

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Scott ducks in to say...

Posted July 28, 2011
Okay, silly question time. Why do you need to do proofs for the American addition? Surely the publisher could email a copy of the proofs you have just completed for the US printers? What am I missing?

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted July 28, 2011
Orin, how do I change the font size of a PDF file once it is on kindle to fit the screen? I loaded a batch of my lecture notes and the font came out microscopic. I don't relish scrolling all over the screen trying to find something either.

Do I simply make the font bigger in the PDF prior to loading it to the kindle?

Thanks.

Spelling conventions are one issue, Scott. Sometimes a turn of phrase or two need modification. Other times there are things which make one edition which do not make the other. After America is probably most notable in that regard.

In any case, there are slight variations which will need tending to.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted July 28, 2011
I think I wait for the TV series, oh wait its on.

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sibeen ducks in to say...

Posted July 28, 2011
Murph, I use a program called Mobipocket Reader. This will convert a PDF file for the kindle so that you can change font sizes etc, the same as for any other file loaded onto the kindle.

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Orin puts forth...

Posted July 28, 2011
I use a Kindle DX, which uses a screen that's big enough to read full page PDF. If I need to zoom in, I can switch from portrait to landscape - that displays half a page across a fairly big space, but even with docs that have small fonts, the Kindle DX's screen has the resolution to make them readable. Larger font PDFs like most tech publishers use look very nice.

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Big Pete swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 29, 2011
@Pat
"Have bitten the bullet and have a kindle winging it’s way to me as I type"

You should be quite pleased with it. I'm quite pleased with mine, it does what it was designed to do extremely well. The text quality on the screen is sharp and easy on the eyes. As well, it integrates into Amazon's website brilliantly. I finished reading 'Without Warning' a few weeks back, after the last page, my Kindle displayed 'Other Titles From This Author', I highlighted 'After America' and pushed the OK button, the screen changed to display information on this title, I clicked Buy, and around 10 seconds later I had 'After America' sitting on my Kindle ready for me to start reading, It's that simple.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted July 30, 2011
Yeah, but as much as a Kindle DX costs, I could just pay a little more for an iPad.

Oh well.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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JP puts forth...

Posted July 30, 2011
Proof pages are my fav time of the editing process, as it's clear that beast is now a book. That said, it's the slowest going as I mull over ever sentence and work right up until the last minute I have to send it off. Must say though, despite all the back and forth edits on-screen, I insist on at least one pass at the end on paper, as I find I can see/find/notice more. Here's book 9, arrived in the post yesterday and am turning around over the week head:
http://twitpic.com/5y2056

And talking spec-fic thrills, anyone heard anything about this:
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/universal/battleship/

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Scott reckons...

Posted July 31, 2011
Thanks Murph.

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted August 2, 2011
My God, Big Pete, I have an erection after reading that.

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Respond to 'Proofs'

Reading chair.

Posted July 20, 2011 by John Birmingham
Had some leftover greenbacks burning a hole in my pocket when we got back from the US earlier this year. We took care of that by buying a new chair for the library. You know sometimes how you have a spot in a room that is just crying out for one more chair? No, neither did I, but that just goes to show how little I know about these things.

Previously, for serious reading, I would drop myself down on the soft couch and pluck a tome from the shelves just behind it. It was an agreeable arrangement with one minor problem; the lounge was too comfortable. It wasn't unknown for me to fall asleep when I should've been reading.

Enter the new chair. A simple club style armchair, more than comfortable enough, but not necessarily the sort of thing you fall asleep in. It has become my favorite new reading perch. I think it's the arms. They are at just the right height to rest your elbows on, especially when reading on an iPad or Kindle. I've been checking the final proof pages of Angels of Vengeance in PDF on the pad, mostly while sitting in this chair. I have another, larger and comfier leather recliner in my office, but it suffers from the same drawback as the soft couch. It's all too easy to recline into slumber.

It's funny how certain chairs can become invested with significance like this. I still remember my previous favorite chairs, all of which got sat on so hard for so long they eventually succumbed. Especially after I was married. There's just something about the ladies that makes them intolerant of shabby old furniture. Makes me worry about becoming too attached to this new armchair. Because I know eventually we must part ways as well.

28 Responses to ‘Reading chair.’

Big Pete would have you know...

Posted July 20, 2011
My favourite chair, and for that matter the dogs as well, was/is an old recliner. It's covered in nasty stains, complements of the dog, no honest, the dog did it. It also has the magic ability to send you to sleep in record time, not good when there's something you want to watch on TV.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted July 20, 2011
There is a leather chair at Restoration Hardware called The Professor's Chair. It is comfortable without bringing one to the point of wanting to fall asleep. And it runs about a thousand bucks.

If I had it to spare, I'd buy it.

As for ratty furniture, my futon has about had it and the current love seat has a ragged seat cushion which truly annoys Trinity. The futon I can part with, since it has been used, hard. The loveseat on the other hand, is getting a slipcover from Pottery Barn at some point.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2011
The trick is to get antique chairs - because they won't get rid of that. Of course Herman Miller doesn't make antique lounges ... http://www.hermanmiller.com.au/Products

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Nacho Borracho is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2011
Now you're just showing off your newly discovered trick of sticking pictures in the blog.

My favourite reading chair, sadly, is no longer with us. RIP 1998-20010. We had some good times together.

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abigail mumbles...

Posted July 20, 2011
Very attractive chair, JB. Those kinds of chairs, unfortunately, make me feel imprisoned because of the arms, so it's interesting you like them for reading in. You've got to be exactly the right height for the chair you favour reading in, otherwise, everytime you turn a page, its arms get in the way of yours.

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WarDog is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2011
"There’s just something about the ladies that makes them intolerant of shabby old furniture."

You'd better watch that John. I hope those were you're words and not a paraphrase of Jane's. Furniture is a well-worn euphemism for husband.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 20, 2011
Miss Abigail, in this new fangled iDoover world one doesn't need to be troubled with turning irksome pages.

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BruceGaryNigelson is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2011
My following comment horrifies most people that I tell.
I am a voracious reader and usually read about 3 things at once and plow through those in a week - 2 weeks (books, sport mags). My choice of chair - the commode.
Why? - it fits all criteria - enables a man to do 2 things at once, I am not interrupted, it is quiet and it is not subject to the foibles of women (throwing it out etc). I even have a small bookcase in there. Condemn me if you wish.

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Kat ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2011
Beautiful chair! Love the floorboards, too.
I like to read in bed.
Or I pull out a reclining chair on our balcony, especially autumn or spring about 3 or 4 in the afternoon, the sun is perfect. and if it gets cold, I get the doona from the bedroom and nestle into that on the balcony - bliss!

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melbo would have you know...

Posted July 20, 2011
Love the chair and if whoever does your housework can come and do mine, I would be eternally grateful.

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abigail puts forth...

Posted July 20, 2011
Nbob, what's that, sonny? I couldn't hear you from my little plot of land here in 1972.

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted July 20, 2011
There used to be a place called Relic in West End where I bought an old Moran armchair with ottoman for a reading chair. Fifi didn't like it much at first (70's tan colour?) but I cleaned it up & treated the leather and it doesn't look too bad. Guess whose reading chair it is now? Next to a window with her warm blankie rolled up for chilly evenings.

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Sparty ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2011
I just can't get comfortable on the sofa reading the latest HUGE and HEAVY George RR Martin - I think your right its supporting arms which would help....

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Moko reckons...

Posted July 20, 2011
Papasan Eff Tee Double Yoo.

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 20, 2011
Our place isn't big enough for a dedicated reading chair. But our one lounge has just about had it and is due for replacement. It'll be the next decent sized household puchase methinks.

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nhamilton@iinet.net.au has opinions thus...

Posted July 21, 2011
The best chair for reading in my house is the toilet, the only place I can read without getting interuupted or having to hear about the latest "drama"at work.

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spokenoise has opinions thus...

Posted July 21, 2011
I had a comfortable 'Birmingham Brown' (*ref-falafel) couch that was the perfect reading couch for many years prior to marriage.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted July 21, 2011
You call that a CHAIR? Pfffft. Maybe for one of you tiny people clustered thereabouts on the center of the height bell curve.

We Rhinos require something a little more, shall we say, substantial.

I think that the next reading chair for the Chateau Rhino library and cigar spa is going to be a replica of the king's throne from A Game of Thrones.

Now that's a chair worthy of The Rhino.

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Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted July 21, 2011
"a replica of the king’s throne from A Game of Thrones." Yeah, I guess that would work if you, you know, had a hide like a rhinoceros.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted July 21, 2011
Yes, Hamilton. I find that if I want to get serious reading done, the toilet is about the safest place to try it.

Oh, I do so tire of the drama trauma.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted July 21, 2011
Murph "Oh, I do so tire of the drama trauma."

Please excuse my lack of compassion, but Murph try living with a cute, tall, blonde, 17 year old daughter.
I want to get an old barometer and replace "Fine" & "Change" with (in fancy Olde Worlde caligraphy) Crises & Catastrophe.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted July 21, 2011
What a cool chair! How far off is it from the television?

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Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted July 21, 2011
NBob, you have my sympathy (chortle). No, really (snicker, choke, guffaw). Bobette - you go girl!

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 21, 2011
17 Leagues, Professor. The House of the Burning Ham is large.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 21, 2011
NBob, what you have in concentration and constant exposure over time I receive in mass quantities in my two professions. As the Sovs used to say, "Quantity has a quality all her own."

Besides, that is why the taser was invented.

I must ask, where is the beanbag which held He who died with a Felafel in his hand? I suspect that'd be a well worn bit of comfy kit about now.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted July 21, 2011
There izzz... a houze... in old Briz-Vee...
They caaaaalllll the Buuurrrning Haaammm...
An' it's beeeen tha rooon of many a poor Burger,
An' such a Burger I am.

Well my mootherr was a tailor,
She sewed a bathrooobe for meeee...
My faaaather waaas a comments troll...
Down in o'l Briz-Vee.

Oh NBob, tell your daughter,
Not t'be daaaamned as weee are daaaamned...
An' spend her laaahhfff in sin an' mizreee...
In the Houze... of the Buuurrrrning Haaammm.

(Keyboard solo)

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Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted July 22, 2011
(silence except for crickets chirping. audience too stunned to applaud?)

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted July 22, 2011
I don't usually kill threads, but when I do, they don't come back.

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Respond to 'Reading chair.'

AoT & Disappearance trilogy, the untold stories.

Posted July 14, 2011 by John Birmingham
It's a big ask, since you haven't seen Angels of Vengeance (unless you're Murph, and he hasn't seen the final proof copy yet), but I've been wondering what back stories, and offstage tales, and meandering narrative byways people would have me revisit, if they could.

Were I to return to either of these series after the last page, with which characters, and at what point in their development would you prefer I started.

I have my reasons for asking of course, but I'm not going into them for a while yet.

Nor am I talking about starting up whole new franchises, like the long mooted 1950s AoT. That's still a possibility. But I'm also thinking about in-fill stories. About what happened to characters who popped out for a cup of tea and didn't come back for a long time, if at all.

Dan Black is an obvious choice there. Or Sgt Milosz in the Disappearance series.

Just wondering.

72 Responses to ‘AoT & Disappearance trilogy, the untold stories.’

Orin has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2011
I always liked the more "zoomed out" stuff - concentrating on the impact of what happened and how a new global order forms - 10 - 20 - 50 year down the track stuff.

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Sir Snagger mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2011
Kholhammer for President! And I was curious about Dan Black too, amongst other characters. I'm the sort of person that wants intricate details on characters AND the more "zoomed out" stuff as mentioned by Orin. Could read this stuff endlessly! 'What if' stories are some of my favourites.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2011
More Rhino,
perhaps some of the early years as to how he came to be such a magnificent example of all that is good and noble.

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Analog Penetration ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2011
Edmonton.

The idea of a whole city being split in half by the wave left me wanting to find out more.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2011
Ooh. Nice one Analog.

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Sir Snagger mutters...

Posted July 14, 2011
I likey that one too! I'm curious about the split up of american military hardware to the different nations (namely ours) and how else we might be influencing world events over the coming years. As one of the more stable and secure countries with an obviously larger military force (after america series obviously) surely we've started using our significantly larger back hand in places that in the past have been "diplomacy only" options?

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DrStrangelove puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2011
Shoot. I was going to say The Rhino. I didn't get these by pettin' kitties, either. *kisses biceps*

As for AoT, the social dynamics that came about due to introduction of advanced technology. Will teenagers be walking around with headphones jacked into iPods in 1950? Will the early days of Rock come about earlier thereby creating new pioneers while original timeline legends (like Elvis) never happen? Will the civil rights movement happen 15 years earlier? I'm a history buff, so think about these "what ifs" are kind of fun.

Doc

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Mark Duffett ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2011
Caitlin. I'd still like to know more about how she got from an innocent little girl with a reasonably conventional upbringing, to be the way she is.

And of course the big one (if it's not in Angels of Vengeance): the science of The Wave.

With AoT, I've always wondered what transpired in the world the taskforce disappeared from (i.e. our future). Did it cease to exist as its history was changed (i.e. no multiverses allowed)? Or did someone eventually work out what happened and try to replicate (suitably tweaked) the experiment?

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Moko reckons...

Posted July 14, 2011
Senior Mormon horse wrangler. Just saying.

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tqft is gonna tell you...

Posted July 14, 2011
Looks like I will have to stop buying books and start reading them.

Mind you the Unauthorized HAVOCK might be a better read

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WarDog asserts...

Posted July 14, 2011
I'm with Orin. Zoom out.

The economic and political ramifications, in blurbs centred on differing areas and periods. Kind of like the here/now blurbs from Stross's Accelerando.

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Abe ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2011
I want to know about how the sausage king of seattle manages his supply chain.

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2011
BAAAAH fkn hell. Commander Willet of HMAS Havoc ffsakes. She mentions tangling with a Chinese Warbow..and christ knows what else before the time jump.

Then we know that Harry and Viv kick arse in Surabaya and god knows where else. I wanna see some before the event shite from AoT

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Naut mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2011
The events that lead to the build up of the task force at the start of the AoT series.

Also what happened to the Gurkhas after they left the Aussie Rules. From memory you mention something, I'm sure it could be examined in more detail.

So I am thinking a Clone Wars style animation series?

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 14, 2011
There's that whole Mossad backstory for the search for the Coca Cola formula. There's a factory in Spain that needs to fill coupla million classic bottles.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 14, 2011
Ick. Accelerando was a Stross I did not like.

Naut, the Gurkhas are coming. Have no fear.

I've got to admit that I'd like to see more AoT stories with an Australian role. We see increasingly less and less of Brigadier Barnes and Captain Willet as the trilogy moves along. I'd certainly like to know what the Australian 2nd Cav is up to.

In fact, a greater emphasis on the Southwest Pacific Theater in general seems to be in order.

Also in the AoT vein, I think there is a great deal of room for covert operations type work with potentially new characters, given the size of the Multinational Force. Scenes like Prince Harry going after the rocket scientists in Final Impact come to mind in that regard.

And what a great firefight that was. There were some good ones in Final Impact. Nice, tight scenes with a lot of tension. It is hard to maintain that sort of thing once you expand beyond the squad level.

The one great flaw of extrapolating in Alternate History is that the further you get from the divergence point, the less real the narrative seems. It begins a slow, steady degradation into total fantasy. There is also a marketing issue.

Speaking as an historian, the logical track in the AoT series post World War II would be to focus on domestic and social concerns within the United States and elsewhere. There is a trilogy per part of the world depending upon where you focus with the usual topics, gender rights, fighting against racism, etc, etc. Since I've been teaching that sort of thing over the last four years, I'm actually better prepared to help with the research on that score.

OTOH, speaking as a consumer of the genre, frankly, there is no shortage of material in the genre which goes on and on and on about gender rights, fighting against racism, etc, etc. There is also the problem that a significant element of the AoT readership is probably more interested in the action, the explodey goodness and the weird ideas than they are the social history of this alternate universe.

And it is worth pointing out that Turtledove has tried something similar with a couple of his trilogies over time. It seems to me that the moment they move out of any given war, they seem to get weaker instead of stronger. Then again, that could be a reflection of the writer. God knows there were reviews which damned After America for going combat heavy towards the end. Yet structurally, I do not see how the combat scenes could have been avoided.

They were technically and structurally correct, but something always seemed off about them. I could never for the life of me put my finger on what it was.

I digress.

There is the issue of dealing with Hawaii and the two year gap between Designated and Final. Plenty of room in there for stories.

More thoughts as they come to me. I'm a bit worn slick of late.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2011
Oh, more naval engagements.

Definitely more naval engagements.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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McKinneyTexas is gonna tell you...

Posted July 14, 2011
AoT is the richer, wider canvass, IMO. The Disappearance trilogy is fairly straightforward--US disappears, for the most part, world falls apart, life sucks out loud. I like Disappearance just fine, but with AoT the future is just so much more vast. You could go 10-15 years out with a lot of look-backs to fill in gaps. Also, since you asked, what I really liked about AoT was the POV's from national leaders as well as everyday citizens. I am not so sure I'd pick up with minor characters. You had a great ensemble throughout AoT and it would be fun to see how they, and the world and particularly the US/UK/Australia part thereof, morphed with the influence of the 21st century folks.

The sooner you get started on this, the better for me. Thanks. (smiley face goes here)

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Durand has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2011
I want to know what happened to the physicists from the first chapter. Particularly the one of whom you wrote "This was not the first Snickers bar he'd encountered". If a nerd genius with an appetite was dropped into the historical past, would he end up the right hand man of the emperor? Or would he be ignored by the powers that be, only to bravely strike out on his own and be eaten by wolves?

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 15, 2011
Lovin me the Rhino love here. ::sniff:: I'm not sure which athlete said it but it bears repeating, "I love me some me."

I need to think about some other stories/characters I'd like to see.

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Mark Duffett is gonna tell you...

Posted July 15, 2011
"The one great flaw of extrapolating in Alternate History is that the further you get from the divergence point, the less real the narrative seems. It begins a slow, steady degradation into total fantasy."

Absolutely, dead, spot on, Murph. I was just about to say something similar myself.

Oh, and maybe I asked the wrong question above. Should it have been 'the theology of The Wave? Eschatology?

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Sturt mutters...

Posted July 15, 2011
Time for me to revive a thought from the journalspace days .....

What happened in the 21st century, after Kolhammer et al disappeared? After all, that took place the weekend before a Presidential inauguration.

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Fredrick would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2011
I would enjoy a nice prequel to AoT trilogy on the lead up to the jump back in time. Halfway through the book you could switch from Kolhammer and the multinational task force to the folks at home, and how they are coping with it, and how they are trying to figure out what happened. Then if you wanted you could write a final ending to AoT and maybe have another force jump back in time to find the multinational task force and possibly bring them home? It could end up being a debate of conscience. They came and messed up they timeline and now can they truly leave an not have a conscience battle with themselves? however they also want to go home and see their family. So that would be pretty good 2 books for ya to write I know I would buy them. Also for a bit of action you could have some groups that are trying to kill the 21st century people and have hoover and such try to get them out of their timeline. I would like to see hoover come back to try and get his hands dirty again.

Then for your new series we all know what happened before the wave but what happens to the things that happened since '03 in our timeline. Osama bin laden getting killed quicker? or slower? or him losing his fame? Also I would like to see what happens with N. Korea and nations that hate america would they attack the US?
Well thats my 2 cents hope it helps.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted July 15, 2011
I suspect North Korea would simply implode, leaving the South Koreans and the Chinese to pick up the pieces. That said, given that the Chinese imploded as well, that would leave the South Koreans to deal with the mess, perhaps in conjunction with the Vietnamese (there are two odd bed fellows considering their recent past).

The North Koreans, I might add, are on the verge of imploding anyway. The South Koreans have had to refocus their strategic thinking back toward their own corner of the world after contemplating a greater role on the global stage. It might not be a bad idea to nudge, kick, shove and push them off into the abyss. The sooner the better, especially for the poor brainwashed bastards that are slowly starving to death in that funny farm perversion of Stalinism.

Per the Wave, I tend toward a Marxist attitude per matters religious myself. That said, it seems to be one of the great untouched themes in the trilogy. It seems to me, and I'm not the first to say this, that there would be some stark raving lunatics running around setting up all sorts of cults with new religious interpretations.

On the Mormon side of the house, it seems to me that efforts would be made to reclaim Utah as well as significant portions of the Kansas City Area (particularly around Independence and Liberty, which are two bastions of Mormon strength in the area).

I'd love to talk about what is coming in Angels of Vengeance but I can't and as Birmo says, I've not seen the completed copy. For the record, I see the completed variant when everyone else does, which suits me just fine. I like to find out how it ends the same time everyone else does.

As for time travel in the AoT, I think it would be a horrible idea to recreate the technology that effected the Transition from a story telling point of view. Time travel should be used sparingly. Once you have regular access to it then you run into all sorts of plot problems, many of which are cliched.

One thing which would interest me is an AoT novel set a hundred years after the original. The new history could be the backstory for something completely different. The only thing you'd need is some sort of plausible conflict for an alternate 2044.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Aaron would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2011
I've always been a fan of Ali Moertopo's story and his rise to guerilla leader / governor.

The Japanese taking of hawai - A POV of someone hiding out and observing the take over, maybe forming some sort of resistance and intel gathering and eventually, the re taking of the island.

Yamamoto - I loved his musings on the conflict and the ramifications of the emergence. he seemed to understand it the most. Any 'zoomed out' stuff from him like his debates with his peers over what japan needed to do would be most awesome.

The secret operations the Soviets conducted behind the curtain could be expanded on from the POV of Beria.

I could go on but I definitely prefer the big picture stuff. That's the stuff you remember the most once the explodey stuff fades.

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Naut asserts...

Posted July 15, 2011
I also want to see a book that starts "I never believed these stories were real... until it happened to me". You did used to write for Penthouse after all, time to return to your roots.

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted July 15, 2011
Like Orin I'd like to see a progression of what hppened after in the AoT.

Uncle Ho kicking Stalins Ass in Vietnam

a redux also of the Korean war.

The effects of the emergance on central & south america esp with regards to brazil, mexico & argentina

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BrianC ducks in to say...

Posted July 15, 2011
I'm with Orin and Murph

I'd love to see a story told around 50 years after the end of the AoT book.

In my mind Japan gets divided along the 38th parallel with the northern half going to Russia and the southern half going to the Allied nations. Tokyo is split in half like Berlin was, but is contained with the allied part of Japan. The allied nations after a brief (10-15 year occupation returns the governance of Japan to the Japanese. The Russians keep their half as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Japan , an "Independent Nation of Communism in Asia"

Due to the Quiet Room the Russian's are fighting a a continual war against internal insurgency.

Germany was occupied by the Allies and was handed back to them after a necessary rebuilding period. The Germans become staunch economic and military allies to the allied nations, seeing the threat of communism.

California split into to states in the early 50's. Newcal(Socal?) is the name of the new state, the majority of Kollhammers American people settle here in Newcal whose constitution and law reads as an exact copy of the US constitution and law of the United States circa 2021. The African American, and Gay Lesbian population of Newcal naturally explodes as does the scientific community as the Newcal becomes the centre for further development of 21st technology in contemporary times.

Australia see a massive influx of immigrants from both Britian and main land Europe. Prince Harry retires to Australia and becomes the Governor General of Australia, serving in that capacity untill his early death due to a motorcycle accident. While alive harry oversees what he believes is necessary changes to Australian Law and the constitution, providing Australia the means to buildup its military. National service of some sort becomes a requirement for all persons and a prerequisite for immigration. The fear of communist Japan is all pervasive in Australia.

... not that i have thought about it much or anything.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted July 15, 2011
"return to your roots"
+1 for Naut

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Striker would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2011
AoT, I'd love you to look at 1950s Elvis! That young kid with all those record, now 10 years down the track and massively famous...

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BruceGaryNigelson has opinions thus...

Posted July 15, 2011
I would contribute but don't want the author to steal my ideas and convert the mega$ into expanding his ponderosa. I will point out though that less HVK would be commendable.

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Scott would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2011
I would like to see what happens uptime. An intire multi national taskforce disappearing would have the world shitting itself. Who did it? Who's next?
With no one to stop the ethnic cleansing in Indonesia does China get involved? I recall that they were threatening to.
Would the disappearance encourage other Jihadi groups? Allah's will and all that pap.
The whole south Asian area goes up in a religious frenzy.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted July 15, 2011
I would like to see the Slim Jim story line completed and I want to know the fate of the Special Administrative Zone.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted July 15, 2011
Some great ideas here. It frustrates me no end that I can't really explain where I'm going with this for another month or so, but believe me, the comments are very useful.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted July 15, 2011
God, I hope so. It is the reason I came this way in the first place.

But I stayed because of people like Bob Ellis. Big fun at no cost. What's not to like?

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Aaron mumbles...

Posted July 15, 2011
ooh ooh, a short story on an alternative young bob ellis getting his arse beat by a jiu jitsu trained girl with 'new fangled wowser feminist ideas' after some attempted grab ass.

Instead of learning his lesson, he grows into a bitter old right wing journalist.

Further proof that some things are fixed in time...

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Aaron swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 15, 2011
P.S. And yes,. lots more Slim Jim adventures. He deserves a franchise of his own.

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted July 15, 2011
If willet and harry aint involved PRE the bloody ZAP back in time I'm gunna fkn CAP YA!

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NBlob reckons...

Posted July 15, 2011
I'm intrigued by the psycho-social causes of a grown man fixated on his biceps. I wondered if he was in fact a child of a late 60's new age sociologist who failed to instill any concept of gender self image in his overly-sensitive bookish son, resulting in years of steroid abuse and many hundreds of hours "pumping iron" in a forlorn attempt to regain the masculinity denied him in childhood. In a deliscous irony instead of becoming a great basalt outcropping of a man that women want and men fear, he instead becomes an icon fetishised by the waxed-chested of Mardi Gras celebrants around the world.
Not pointing fingers or making value judgements just thinking.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 15, 2011
I'm with Murph - the naval stuff is cool.

Just started Iain Banks' Culture series. I might be some time.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted July 15, 2011
Oh and Pete.
Lots and lots o' Captain Pete.
Sort of like an anti-culture Maimi vice, but slower and with good beats & fat numbers.

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Sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 15, 2011
leave Dan Black as it is- don't water down the whole effect of what happens at the beginning of the third book (avoid Aliens 3 syndrome which actually makes watching the last third of Aliens a lesser experience).

Harry v Skorzeny, i liked how you just referenced the final fight in the last book but would be good to revisit a couple of off screen incidents with them.

Oh and the ECM weapons officer on the Trident Lieutenent Sparty needs fleshing out (as in need to appear!)

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Sparty would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2011
and and what Stephen Hawking thinks happened to the AoT fleet

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Aurelian mumbles...

Posted July 15, 2011
I was quite happy to accept The Wave as a given. I was enjoying the characters and the action too much to worry about the mechanism or the cause.

I found the Arabian incursion into the eastern US a fascinating and entirely plausible development. The demographic implications of the series have been absorbing and I look forward to seeing how it all pans out in "Angels of Vengeance".

Sgt. Milosz has been very entertaining, as has Jules. Miguel Pieraro's story has been very involving -- particularly fine work.

You keep writing them and I'll keep buying them. Thanks and best regards.

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Orin mutters...

Posted July 15, 2011
Ooo I'm guessing separate ebook series ;-)

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Stevo 73 puts forth...

Posted July 15, 2011
Ohhhhhhh so much to comment on, and so much great stuff already mentioned.....

For me it is definitely the pre event AOT world, the Caliphate, Australia and hell the rest of that world.

I had that book on the must read shelf in my toilet (where all my best work is done), and those opening chapters won many friends into reading AOT.

The small exposure to that world made it very real, and interesting and I would love to read more of it.

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McKinneyTexas mumbles...

Posted July 15, 2011
Murph wrote, Then again, that could be a reflection of the writer.

Turtledove seems to be on low speed auto-write. He did a great job on his American series with the POD being a Southern victory at the battle of Camp Hill followed by European history repeating itself in America over a series of 11 books. Great stuff. Since then, though, he's really not done very well.

A franchise character, or characters, runs a major risk of too much stuff happening to one person or one small group of people. After 2 or 3 life shaking, bad ass encounters, it becomes formulaic and 'too much of a bad thing'. No one is that pivotal. The Flashman series worked so well because Flashy was typically more of a witness to major events than the fulcrum. Plus, GMF had his history down solid and a writing style that will remain unique for some to come.

I've always regretted not seeing the US Civil War novel hinted at in many of the other books.

Stirling does franchise series very, very well, but he shifts the heavy lifting to different characters over time. Only one (Rudi) carries the big load in every book, but then, he's been developed in the story line to be hyper exceptional.

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McKinneyTexas ducks in to say...

Posted July 15, 2011
for some to come. Shit.

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McKinneyTexas would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2011
for some TIME to come. Shit again.

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Sparty asserts...

Posted July 16, 2011
"A franchise character, or characters, runs a major risk of too much stuff happening to one person or one small group of people. " well Lucas made that mistake with R2D" and C3P0 in the sequels- it made it seem like a small world rather than a big galaxy- but the escape clause for AoT characters is the fact that they ARE exceptional -Duffy you feel is always going to be at the centre of events - Harry is always going to be top of the team sheet when you need a hero. Coming from the future practically makes them Mythic anyhow....

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Fabian would have you know...

Posted July 16, 2011
I also would like some"zooming out". More specifically, I would like to hear more about what happens to Israel. How does the country deal with itself, with its own sense of guilt and with the aftermath of a nuclear war? In After America, the only hint that we get is that it opened a consular office in Texas. Also, respectfully, I do not think After America did a good job in describing Latin American developments after the Disappearance: Brazil becoming a nuclear power, that's plausible; but how does exactly a former member of a Colombian right-wing paramilitary group ends up ousting Chavez and subsequently becoming the leader of a South American Federation? First, Colombia and Venezuela are in the political antipodes, so there is no way that a Colombian right-wing guy can get close to Chavez to later back-stab him. Second, in the aftermath of the Disappearance, chances are that Latin America would further balkanize, and not that it would become a federation.
When is Angels of Vengeance out anyway? I am really looking forward to it.

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robert mumbles...

Posted July 16, 2011
I agree with McKinney that AoT is the richer, wider canvass. That series really spoke to me, especially because of the disconnect in trying to graft a higher technology and different set of sensibilities onto a society that perferred to cherry-pick which innovations to adopt and which to deplore. I think you could do almost anything in the AoT timeline and it would be wonderful.

McKinney's observation on "too much stuff happening to one person..." also jumped out. I seem to recall that was one of the major criticisms of Little Big Man (Thomas Berger), which was arguably a genre precursor to Fraser's Flashman Papers.

Re: McKinney's comment on Stirling's franchises. I tend to pick and choose what I like of his work, though without a doubt my favorite was the stand-alone novel Conquistador. Here again what I appreciated was the disconnect, but in this case it was an environmental disconnect. An environmentally pristine California with a bridge to today's concrete-and-asphalt California. Sort of a Richard Dana's Two Years Before the Mast on time-travel steroids.

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DrStrangelove ducks in to say...

Posted July 16, 2011
Hey, my father was a U.S. Marine of the 50's and I NEVER took steroids!

Just sayin'.

Doc

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Legless is gonna tell you...

Posted July 16, 2011
AoT.

A book called "Prisoners".

Tell the story of the lost, the British who were captured and then tortured to death by Stalin and the brave French, captured by the Nazis, who sabotaged the cruise missiles.

I think there's enormous scope for a tale of villainy and heroism.

Cheers

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted July 16, 2011
Heed the words of Robert. He is wise.

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robert mumbles...

Posted July 17, 2011
@DrStrangelove: LOL so he is you? By the way I always loved the scene in Dr. Strangelove where Slim Pickens saddles up the atomic bomb and rides it down to Moscow. Yee Haw!

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Mark Duffett would have you know...

Posted July 17, 2011
Probably the nearest thing to an American enclave currently in Australia is the several hundred strong contingent running the communications and satellite surveillance Joint Defence Facility (and ECHELON ground station) at Pine Gap. I always wondered how they got on post-The Wave. By the time of After America, the GPS and spy satellite constellations would be starting to need some serious maintenance. Would they be trying to get things going at Cape Canaveral, undertaking a crash redevelopment of joint Australian space capability at Woomera, or (possibly most likely) trying to co-opt whatever is left of the European Space Agency as France falls apart?

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Sir Snagger is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2011
Good thoughts the from mark about Pine Gap and the space agencies. Just think of it this way...With NASA gone and Europe and China in shambles, it would leave Australia in a prime spot with a huge influx of people, skills and money to take advantage of this void in global dominance. Who rules the skies (aka GPS & Satellites) has superior power. Remmeber the good old days when Uncle Sam deliberately made GPS unreliable to give them the upper hand?

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Stingblade reckons...

Posted July 19, 2011
I've really enjoyed the Disappearance books. My favorite part has definately been the Caitlin and Sergeant Milosz segments. I laughed really hard at the "Ranger Awesomeness" speech given to the militia.

With that said I have some thoughts dealing with the books that I'd like to see addressed:

-I agree with mostly everyone who has posted previously. I'd like to see more international consequences to the disappearances. Especially in Africa and South America. Also I'd like to see what happens if the UN dissolves. One thing I'd be certain about is the US would no longer be obligated to defend South Korea because the US was only there due to a UN Security Council Resolution. However with most of the Mormons in Missouri or Utah when the wave hit I fail to see them as a significant problem-especially in the face of Blackstone.

-The vibe I got from a passage mentioning Sarkozy in After America is that the French Civil war ended with a split nation or isn't over yet.

-Russians sold the United States Alaska and has stated in propaganda for years that the US stole it. I'd like to see how everyone's favorite President deals with Sarah Palin rallying Alaska to defense.

-I see a huge scandal coming on in the current administration when everything's said and done with Cesky. Jules testifying in Congress will do more to scare the heck out of the current administration than anything else except perhaps a bin Ladin/Salid teamup (that too should totally happen).

-Mr. Lee is mentioned in passing in After America, but only as a memory before the wave hit What happened to him in the events between the two books?

-I like where you've taken Kipper over the course of the books. He reminds me of George Washington in terms of a reluctant leader destined for greatness. My one problem is his behavior towards Caitlin. He's so ready to condemn her for her career choices yet his reluctance to commit to fighting in Manhattan resulted in the deaths of thousands. I really wish someone point that out to him.

-Since Puerto Rico, a dependency of the United States fell outside the wave, what is its political status after the wave?

-Since there is no actual state called Heartland, was it carved up from Kansas and Missouri in the name of their states' interest? Since the Federal government has been following the Constitution pretty close what caused them to do it?

Hoped I was a help. Looking forward to Angels of Vengeance.

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Guy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 19, 2011
I much enjoyed both series. Hopefully the 1950s AOT books will turn up one day...

Personally I tend to be most interested in the wider picture and the way countries, societies, regions, and continents change as a result of the loss of America or the appearance of a fleet from the future.

Like Fabian I'm keen to find out more about the Middle East and South America now that most of America has vanished. A major nuclear war in the Middle East is as key to the future of the world as the loss of the USA but gets far less attention. The rise of a powerful Australia is interesting - what about New Zealand? Apart from a reference to the treaty of Vancouver we've heard virtually nothing about what remains of Canada.

I'm keen to hear much more about China and Russia. Falling apart or preparing to take on a new imperial role?

France after the civil war? What about the rest of continental Europe?

I'd like to know more about the Polish Special Forces guys by the way! What happened to them after they got home?

We got a taste of life in the UK but it would be interesting to see how far Britain would be able to fill the vacuum. The country is in a desperate state but still better off than most, it seems. The security of what's left of the West seems to be largely in the hands of the Brits and the Aussies, with both of them trying to get thier hands on American military goodies. Much more about this please.

I have similar hopes for more 'zooming out' in the AOT series. The battle for Western Europe has major potential. What exactly were the final boundaries between the Soviets and the Western Allies? Did the Americans and French manage to stop teh Russians from reaching the Atlantic? A map would be good.

What about the Med? The Russians have captured mainland Greece but the Britsh in Cyprus and Egypt might have been able to grab Crete and some/all of the Greek islands both in the Agean and the Adriatic (operating from thier new conquests in Eastern Italy?) Perhaps they installed the Greek king in Cyprus as the ruler of a 'Free Greece'? Perhaps some of heh more sensible German commanders in Crete and elsewhere decided to arrest the most fanatial Nazis and hand over thier islands/territories to the Allies?

What about Finland? Might the Germans have surrendered to the Anglo-Americans and kept out the Russians (who were putting their main effort in further south, apparently?)

It would seem that despite the much greater Soviet advances in southern Europe that the Allies might have done better in the North? If they got Finland (including the bits that the Finns were forced to surrender to the Russians in OTL?) did they also get more of Germany? The Russians were stalled in teh north of Germany by the SS nerve gas, which would allow the Anglo-American to advance further east then in OTL? If they advanced further east in Germany would there even be an East German state after the war? Berlin is a massive nuclear crater after all. If the Soviets felt the need for an East Germany was a political imperative then perhaps the Poles would be given a smaller share of former eastern German territory than in OTL?

What about Asia? Did the Communist forces get as far as Vietnam? Or did the American support for the Vietnamese ensure that Vietnam becomes a pro-Western bastion in a largely Communist Asia? After all there always has been an intense Chinese/Vietnamese rivalry. Perhaps the Vietnamese would form an alliance with Thailand, strongly backed by the Americans and Australians in a new SE Asian anti-Communist Alliance?

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 19, 2011
Jeez Guy, awesome ideas and questions. Makes me feel I'd better get cracking!

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted July 20, 2011
Per the Mormons, it is worth pointing out that a significant number of them are on missions across the planet. It is probably also worth pointing out that while Utah and Missouri are concentrated enclaves of Mormonism, they are hardly the only places were Mormons exist.

As per George Washington, I've got to say that in reading several texts on the man, it is something of a myth that he was a reluctant leader. If anything, he was incredibly ambitious and definitely desired to rise to the top. However, it was considered unseemly and ungentlemanlike to openly display such naked ambition. We can probably forgive Washington's ambition due to the fact that he did very much believe in the cause of severing ties with Great Britain in order to create a new nation.

Not the best general by any means, he did have a habit of remaining relatively cool in the face of a complete clusterfuck, often one of his own engineering.

James Kipper (the fictional president, not his real world counterpart), certainly conforms to ideal of the reluctant leader. In many respects, his views are similar to Washington's on the surface. Of course, Washington believed in a republican form of government (small 'r') and was very much a cynic about mobocracy/democracy. Kipper, on the other hand, certainly seems to believe in the power of the people at first. It'll be interesting to see if that changes in the final novel.

Puerto Rico's status is hinted at in After America for those that are reading very closely. There is a reference to Senator Clavell, a reference to Jose Clavell who first raised the issue of Puerto Rico's five million citizens. His point certainly ended ponderings for surrendering control of the Eastern Seaboard and drawing a defensive line at the Mississippi River.

Heartland is a reference to a conglomerate state in the miniseries Amerika which was made up of the Midwestern Four States plus a number of others. It seemed to me, and I suspect Alexander Hamilton might agree to a degree, that with the slate wiped clean, an opportunity existed to consolidate a larger amount of territory into more manageable blocks. I also suspect that folks will probably use Missouri, or Kansas, interchangeably with Heartland for a least a generation or two.

In any case, Heartland is designed to aid in the consolidation of the American Midwest and serve as a buffer zone against possible trouble with Jackson Blackstone's Texas.

The Republic of Korea, also known as South Korea, possesses a first world military capability based upon the notion that they may well have to defend themselves without U.S. support. Contrary to popular belief, while a North Korean attack would be incredibly destructive, it is probable that South Korea could weather the attack, execute a counterstrike and fight back against the obsolete, starving forces of North Korea.

That said, as I pointed out earlier in this thread, North Korea would most likely implode, especially without sustainment from China.

As for Alaska, Russia can't even bump off Chechnya. They certainly do not have the power projection capacity to get across the Bering Strait. If they did, they'd probably live to regret it.

Birmo, any thoughts?

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Unpossible puts forth...

Posted July 24, 2011
I think I said it somewhere before, but I always, always wondered what happened to private Bukowski (sic?) - the really really minor character who Julia D shadows during the big prisoner breakout in the climax of WoC. If you were doing a video game of the Weapons trilogy, that's who I reckon ought to be the protagonist. Following major characters is cool, but it's the minor ones who really fascinate.

And as for the axis of time, maybe, you could hang a spin off novella on the Jewish pilot who blows up the dam near Cairo. In fact, you could probably make a whole Mad Max crossed with George Romero trilogy based maybe 20 or 30 years after the AoT 'holocaust', set in Iran.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted July 26, 2011
I wonder what happened to the cryonic corpse-icles when the wave fell.
It'd be sweet if their liquid nitrogen slumber somehow protected them from goopification, only to slowly thaw & puddle.

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CathieT mutters...

Posted July 26, 2011
I would love "prequels/backstories" for:

Rhino, Caitlin and Pete and Jules .... and what the hell (or heaven) the Wave was/is??
I could be wandering round blindly a little here - only half way through After America.

Perhaps Milosz .....

Oh - and I've read none of the AoT ...(yet) ..... and will of course need to read Angels of Vengeance - so there's no rush!!

Hope I've helped a little ...........

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Vallon Davis ducks in to say...

Posted August 2, 2011
I may be a bit late to add my two cents, but better late than never. Okay with The After America books, as someone who lives in the islands (Trinidad & Tobago) it would be interesting to hear how things turned out there both during and after the disappearance. Maybe their could be a story about an American family that was on vacation there when the Disappearance occurred and they go about making a life for themselves there, till the energy field goes away and they debate if to return to a far different country than what they left or if to remain in Trinidad? Then there could also be the perspective of a T&T national educated in the States who lost a lot of family and friends when the event occurred. When the energy field goes away and moves are made to repopulate the U.S. He joins the Armed Forces to gain residence, knowing that the pay will be low and the risks will be great; but still he willingly undergoes the training and is in the thick of the fighting for NYC.

As for the AOT, definitely more on the marriage of Dan and Julia and the events leading up to his death. Details on the battle to retake Hawaii, how Kolhammer and company deal with the killer of Captain Anderson, and the final showdown between Harry and Skorzeaney.

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MillaaMercer would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2011
'One thing which would interest me is an AoT novel set a hundred years after the original. The new history could be the backstory for something completely different. The only thing you’d need is some sort of plausible conflict for an alternate 2044.'

I think this is a really good idea, I personally am so enthralled by the sociological consequences and also the technological aspects of a fusion of WASP-esque 1940s culture with the neo-liberalism of the 21C, such as the entertainment industry redeveloped and the production of new films with both US and Aus perhaps leaders, with a bevvy of new kids on the block with post-modernist names and attitudes, and the creation of a new Australia... with clean energy - fission, nuclear, solar, hydro, wind and similar in yankland. Along with the style and I guess class of the 1940s and 50s atomic era.

Sociologically with the massive immigrant population to the Antipodes, with Soviet invaded countries refugees, 25 million people to the shores of Australia – buildings, infrastructure works, trains/railway/trams larger and more effetive networks, roads/highways cross country, airplanes hypersonic speeds and large airbuses, modernist apartments, vertical gardens and sprawling pleasure and botanic gardens, entertainment industry where stars are carefully micromanaged keeping up a facede of glamour, hybrid and clean cars with all the mods and specs, and factories are created at a maximum level of productivity, allowing for a diversity of people, assimilation through tolerence and 'enlightened acceptence' and stimulation of ideas and concepts. By 2000 - 88 million peeps live in ol mother Oz.

Establishment politically of a Youth Party(?) run by one of the Multinational Task Force peeps, leading eventually to a Westminister-styled republic and complete indepedence, many cities in Australia soon become a marvel of clean power, clean transit, and community gardening, same in the USofA..co-developement with New Zealand, strongest economic and military power, becomes comparable to the Japan of 21C..Along with sweeping social liberties in many Western countries: legalised abortion, Dutch style euthanasia, LGBTIQ rights - marriage, adoption, gender varients, etc.., soft core drug use - hash, e, LSD, steroids, prostitution and brothel rights with strict regulation and black list - govt operated and regulated, universal free medical care in style of the NHS and education systems which become among the most liberal and wide-ranging in the world.

Infrastructure works in Australia like trans-Tasman tunnel linking Mallacoota with Haast in New Zealand, government assisted programs such as the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme, the National Irrigation Project, Simpson Desert Solar Farm and the Wind Farm Island Programs.

The U.N sets up solar panels in the Sahara desert which gives power to 90% of Africa by 1956-71 which allows the stop of the extreme poverty of 21C, as well as further centralising democratic governments across the African continent which is highlighted with the construction of the Bridge of the Horns which connects Yemen (Middle East) to Djibouti (Africa) c 1960-66.

By the late 40s - 1949, a man on the moon: U.S, Aus and Britain collective?
The Internet comes online on January 4, 1967 to the general public, exploding globalisation and the sharing of ideas and lifestyles.

In the time, a new character perhaps: Remy Vautier, an androgyny/queer uptimer who was visiting his brother on USS Hillary Clinton, rich businessman and former internet celebrity - had entered politics in post-Transitionville, one of the central leaders of the new Oz republic and created the party from his base in St Kilda, Melbourne, now a glittering example of the 21st century in the mid twentieth, world renowned as the Monte Carlo of the Pacific... Having grown magnificently rich and ambitious, wanting to help re-define Australia in the post-WWII world, ruthless, cheerfully amoral and eccentric.… During the 1940s he managed to make St Kilda into both a youth Mecca - with amusement parks, shops, and other digital age seductions and also a place where intellectual and artistic people and works could flourish making the former suburb into a zeitgeist - Dali, Duchamp, Pollock, Warhol in-residence. New food ideas and cuisine - Blumenthalesque(?), opening ‘future’ clubs and theme bars catering to the growing movements such as the punk, goths, hipsters, disco queens, BDSMs, Castro clones, emos, ravers, juggalos, metalheads, vampires, radicals, mods, rockers, bikers, geeks, hackers, indies, hippies, yuppies, and greasers who have started to take to the streets and unify with the increasing awareness and knowledge of the future, the youth revolution starting forty years early. In the dance clubs they listen to their new favourite music, imported from decades in the future and blasted over makeshift stereo players for their post-wartime patronage developing alternative parties which gained a wide patronage for their all acceptance, populated by fringe groups, homosexuals, heterosexuals and everything else in between.. Whilst others set up communes, intentional communities & ecovillages, nude beaches, the practising of Eastern religion practiced by some Western converts into faiths based in East Asia and South Asia, like Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism and also neo-pagan religions the biggest being the Followers of Isis and the Holy Athenian Church, along with Wicca branches like Gardnerian, Dianic, Feri and Alexandrian, the Minoan Brotherhood, the growing Reconstructionism and also the starts of New Age travellers, and following the economic ethics of vegetarianism/veganism, meditation, reincarnation and feng shui.

2044 c. - obviously space colonization of some sort, mining projects on the Moon and asteroid belt? getting uranium, iron ore, gold, diamonds, etc USA, Aus, Russia, China and Brazil(?) have monopolys over the different areas making them extremely and seemingly infinitely wealthy nations, much like Antarctica - each owning different areas of the Moon and Mars... Communism is still alive and well, although with each passing year many more people are fleeing to the 'lifeboat' nations of Britain, Australia, Northern America. Isreal never created, but instead being established on the Azores a Jewish state. The Middle East is collapsing into a largely poverty-ridden, internally feuding region. A "brain drain" ensues, as it falls back into relative insignificance with the West finding other sources of fuel and energy. The main players in the world today are the USA, China, the EU, India, Australia, Russia and Brazil. By now, traditional Western news corporations no longer exist. News gathering, analysis and distribution has instead fragmented - shifting to millions of creative individuals, bloggers, citizen journalists and small-scale enterprises. Each of these works cooperatively and seamlessly, utilising a "global commons" of instantly shared knowledge and freely available resources. This includes information retrieval not only from cyberspace but also the real world; embedded in everything from webcams and personal digital devices, to orbiting satellites, robots, vehicles, roads, street lamps, buildings, stadia and other public places. Sounds interesting, maybe Julia turns into one of the pioneers of this new journalistic lifestyle.

...Or something...

Hope ya guys loike moi ideas...either way Im wiriting fan zines and would love anyones lil stories or contributions to my little series. Which Im finding as Im writing it is more about the social and technological consequences of the Transition, especially in our big island. Making it more fancy that it is. Anytoots, that nuff for now.

P.S - JB love with an undying passion the AoT le series. Just wanna honour it and keep it, marginally 'real' :)

-M-

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Stingblade is gonna tell you...

Posted June 16, 2012
Just finished reading Angels of Vengeance and I thought it was great. Milosz gets my vote as the best character of the Trilogy. If a movie is made from it I hope you push for Sascha Baron Cohen to play the role.

The only questions I have left are if Sofia, Kipper and Caitlin are going to meet in a room in Kipper's last minutes of his Presidency and how much access to Brazil's Uranium Ore does Morales have?

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web page puts forth...

Posted February 14, 2013
It's amazing in favor of me to have a site, which is helpful in support of my know-how. thanks admin

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Celia would have you know...

Posted February 28, 2013
My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on a
variety of websites for about a year and am concerned about
switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about
blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress
content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!


Here is my web blog Celia

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted February 28, 2013
Curious spam

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted February 28, 2013
PTSD,
Maybe,
Or a 6 to seven layer cypher.
Part Human part computer.
Disturbing in it's message and delivery.
Why cannot 'Celia' speak clearly?

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Respond to 'AoT & Disappearance trilogy, the untold stories.'

Survivors.

Posted June 8, 2011 by John Birmingham
Been watching me some Survivors. It's a post apocalypse (superflu) TV series out of the UK. Sorry, can't recall which channel. The first episode, which runs movie length, is a pretty good multithread narrative, pulling together the stories of about half a dozen survivors of a viral outbreak that seems to kill off as many people as the bug in Stephen King's The Stand. And just like in King's novel, it appears to have originated in a secret government laboratory.

I liked the deft way in which the script writers managed to take the world apart in 90 min. before tying together the stories of the central characters in the last scene. It's a miniseries, really, with only six episodes a season, and as far as I can tell only two seasons. So I'm rationing myself. Five episodes of The Wire to one of Survivors.

UK burgers might have some thoughts on this, but I was struck by the John Wyndham style drawing room realization of this apocalypse. The focus was held very tightly in on the central characters, rather than sprawling all over the world. Saves on special-effects budgets, and makes for some very compelling character development, but I did get to wondering last night whether there might be something cultural in it as well.

I can well imagine the characters in an American version of the show heading straight to the gun shop in the first episode. Hell, that's what my characters would do too. But a crucial plot point in the early part of the series revolves around the fact that our survivors have neglected to arm themselves, and find themselves prey to a group of ne'er-do-wells. It was in character, I suppose, these being basically ‘good’ people. In fact the whole subtext of that episode was whether or not people's nature is basically good or bad.

But I couldn't help wondering why it hadn't occurred to any of them, particularly the tougher male character–an ex-prisoner–to grab a couple of shooters.

83 Responses to ‘Survivors.’

Sir Snagger has opinions thus...

Posted June 8, 2011
It was quite a good show when it was still coming out, and I won't give out any spoilers, but it seems that the story was left in a position that cold be put similar to SGU - finished enough to leave, but not enough to keep fans happy :(

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted June 8, 2011
Cause Poms be poofters.

Just sayin'

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2011
To me it is perfectly understandable that the survivors you describe would overlook the possible need to use deadly force in self defense. In societies like Britain where there aren't a lot of guns, the thought of them are not as ever-present as they are in the minds of those who live in places where guns are more common. People solve their problems and resolve disputes with guns less commonly in London than they do in Detroit.

There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000. I can't find statistics for the same period for the UK but I suspect it is a bit lower.

(However, just to avoid argument, I firmly believe the problem isn't guns. Guns don't kill people. The problem is stupid people. They shouldn't own guns. And they shouldn't be allowed to vote.)

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
girls...big effing girls....SKIPS they sure as fk aint!

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted June 8, 2011
Paul is correct, the only right stupid people should be allowed to have is to be SHOT!, or targets if you want!.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted June 8, 2011
RHINOS right, hes in the same camp as me,


OH

And be warned, I am not feeling very gracious today!

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted June 8, 2011
I enjoyed Survivors, unsurprisingly being a fan of all things apocalyptic. Its a remake of an 1975 series written by Terry Nation (who invented the DALEKS, yes that one). The British such as Terry Nation and John Wyndham's ends of the world are part of the 'cosy catastrophe' tradition.

I think it is because Britain has a longer history of not having fire arms so ubiquitous through out their culture. Updating the series from the earlier 1975 series the more recent writers while trying to stay true to some of the earlier stories simply failed to consider that 30years later British society would be more likely so seek out weapons in an apocalyptic scenario.

"But I couldn’t help wondering why it hadn’t occurred to any of them, particularly the tougher male character–an ex-prisoner–to grab a couple of shooters".


Oh its occurred to Tom don't worry.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted June 8, 2011
I enjoyed Survivors, unsurprisingly being a fan of all things apocalyptic. Its a remake of an 1975 series written by Terry Nation (who invented the DALEKS, yes that one). The British such as Terry Nation and John Wyndham's ends of the world are part of the 'cosy catastrophe' tradition.

I think it is because Britain has a longer history of not having fire arms so ubiquitous through out their culture. Updating the series from the earlier 1975 series the more recent writers while trying to stay true to some of the earlier stories simply failed to consider that 30years later British society would be more likely so seek out weapons in an apocalyptic scenario.

“But I couldn’t help wondering why it hadn’t occurred to any of them, particularly the tougher male character–an ex-prisoner–to grab a couple of shooters”.

Oh its occurred to Tom don't worry

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
No need to head to a gun store.

If it happens over a period of weeks then chances are the government will have attempted to respond in one fashion or another leading to the deployment of the National Guard. Once the plague has run its course it would be a relatively simple matter to walk up to the nearest corpse, pick up an M-4, run a function check, take the basic load off of the nearest three soldiers and off you go.

What is more likely is that I'd head to either the hardware store or a camping store. Barring those, perhaps a Civil War reenactor store called a Sutlery (of which, there are not many actual brick and mortar type establishments, I worked at one of the few). I'd pick up a canvas tent or perhaps a shelter half, some wool blankets, candles (as many as I could get my hands on), a good knife, a hatchet, shovel, canvas water bucket and maybe an infantry/cavalry great coat for when the cold weather hit. I suppose I'd go ahead and pick up a good muzzle loading rifle with enough lead and powder to keep me in game for the next couple of years.

Otherwise, the smart thing would probably be to pick up gardening, something which I know little about. It would probably be better to hit the seed stocks and gardening supplies than it would to hit the gun store.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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ausgaz would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2011
JB

Gun culture non existant in the UK.

In the US you can find guns in just about every store whereas i would guess that gunshops in the Uk are few and far between (and probably more secure).

Same would apply here in Aus I would guess. There are only a few gun shops here and there and obtaining a weapon would probably not be that easy.

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WarDog ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
Hmm, I've got quite a different take on this series. I really liked the concept, enough to watch the first 2 episodes that have been shown on free to air in Aus.

But I found the writing really grating. And in fact, last night I removed the series from our recording schedule.

The writing: With trillions of dollars in space hardware used to get them there apparently they turned their backs on it all on planet fall and now have zero communications or surveillance capacity. Huge leaps in advancement in some areas (space, deep brain visualisation) but they are using late 20C firearms. Fugitives that no-one can find hiding in plain sight of the city walls. And ALL the characters seems to preternaturally take the worse possible decision at every moment, it's almost an absurdist comedy.

Its a shame, because it brought to mind John Wyndham for me too. More the Day of the Triffids than the Chrysalids. But I also wondered what it would have been like if some real writers had been given the concept. Over to you know John, I want rewrites by Monday and we'll start shooting end of next week.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted June 8, 2011
I enjoyed Survivors, unsurprisingly being a fan of all things apocalyptic. Its a remake of an 1975 series written by Terry Nation (who invented the DALEKS, yes that one). The British such as Terry Nation and John Wyndham's ends of the world are part of the 'cosy catastrophe' tradition.

I think it is because Britain has a longer history of not having fire arms so ubiquitous through out their culture. Updating the series from the earlier 1975 series the more recent writers while trying to stay true to some of the earlier stories simply failed to consider that 30years later British society would be more likely so seek out weapons in an apocalyptic scenario.

“But I couldn’t help wondering why it hadn’t occurred to any of them, particularly the tougher male character–an ex-prisoner–to grab a couple of shooters”.

Oh its occurred to Tom don't worry

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mrblenny puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
Is this different from that other British show where some people got frozen on a train for 50 years just as a asteroid hit the Earth and wiped most people out?
MsBlenny didn't mind that one but I got annoyed at the parade of stupid mistakes they kept making and the whole show lost me. No one even trying to get some guns makes me think this show might be the same. Kind of like "The Walking Dead", zombies have taken over the world and you are just going to "trust" that the dead body is dead. ARGH! So frustating!!!

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted June 8, 2011
BARNS...THINK CACHE!.....yeah baby!

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
Thanks Havsy, that explains it.

and Wardog, I think you have surivors confused with another British series just released here 'Outcasts'.

mrblenny Survivors it is different to the one you refer to, it was called The Last Train ( Cruel Earth in Canada and America) I have heard of the show you refer to, but never seen it in Australia

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2011
Thanks Havsy I will

WarDog I think you haev Surviors confused with another British TV show just aired on ABC called 'Outcasts'.

mrblenny, the show to which you refer is also another series called 'The last train' (the Cruel Earth in US and Canada) which I have heard about but never seen on Australian TV.

Still waiting for the FRAKIN WALKING DEAD SERIES ONE TO BE SCREENED IN AUSTRALIA its enough to drive a man to less than legal avenues.

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damian mutters...

Posted June 8, 2011
The immediate problem is how to get set up for self sufficiency, no? So defence is very much a secondary issue that centres on one question. What sort of trouble can you reasonably expect?

I'd have thought the bigger issue is how you communicate with other survivors, how you get news of what is happening and how you spread that news. How you remake a community with what's left.

And it's not about whether people will work together - that's almost a given, even the miscreants appear as a group. It's about how fast in-group dynamics lead to out-group aggression. At what point does a group compete/contend with other groups rather than join them? At what scale?

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Mark Duffett puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
I believe only the first season of Survivors has been on free-to-air in Australia. Anyone know different, or if the second season will be broadcast at all?

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted June 8, 2011
We're nine meals away from a Hobbesian state of nature, Damian. So yes, while setting up for self sufficiency and seeking out like minded survivors are top priorities, you couldnt afford to ignore the reality that some of the people you'll meet in your exciting post apocalyptic landscape are gonna be Andrew Bolt readers, with Andrew Bolt world views.
Gun up.

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2011
Maybe it's the company I keep or those distant years teaching high school (think Lord of the Flies), but one of my first priorities would be defense. Isn't there some saying about any civilisation being three meals away from anarchy?

My feeling is that a super-flu apocalypse which quickly reduced the population to, say, 1% of present levels would leave plenty of preserved food, medication and tools in the short term. Later on though, I reckon we'd shake out into makers and takers. The makers would be people throwing themselves into farming, old-style steam generators for power, biodiesel & the like. I guess the takers are obvious. Makers would be naturally cooperative (?) and want trade, barter, communications and so on. Takers would help themselves, thus the need for Farnham's Freehold style defensible trading posts, farmhouses and so on.

The first place I'd loot would be the Steam Museum at North Pine markets. They have working steam tractors, generators, river boats and much more. Even something that looks like a half-track crossed with a semi. Pedal radios as used by the School of the Air would be gold. Wonder how many are still around? I think I still have the crystal set I built as a kid, if anyone was broadcasting on AM - no battery needed. Oddly enough I can't see much immediate use for the forge & anvils. Enough Bunnings stores to supply a small population for years. Getting carried away here so maybe I should just go and resharpen a couple more swords.

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Big Pete swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2011
I found the Survivors series, both one and two, to be quite good. Although I watched the series via other means, I think Channel nine has shown season one before, perhaps they are re-showing it, as well as the second series?.

If it was me in that situation. My first stop would have been the camping store for equipment, portable two way radios and last stop the gun shop. Then on to the supermarket for a few supplies.

@WarDog.
I think you might be thinking of the series Outsiders that is being shown on the ABC at the moment. It was a bit of a disappointment, as the first series of eight episodes resolved nothing, then the network cancelled a series.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted June 8, 2011
When you put it like that... :\

I do think concern over people's intentions would be the biggest obstacle to communication, even in the short term, and that a lot of weapons would complicate that further. But I take your point. I wasn't suggesting it's not a concern, but it's a matter of relative priority. For the first months we're talking about conflict being mostly between co-looters over resources, and this would ramp slowly with the passage from abundance to scarcity.

I think the nature of the apocalypse and how it unfolds is really the important factor here. We all seem to talk as though it happens overnight, but really how and for how long it plays out directly controls how communication and group-forming can work.

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sibeen asserts...

Posted June 8, 2011
Cause Poms be poofters.

Methinks the esteemed Rhino, Esquire, has been hanging around too many Australian internet sites.

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Legless is gonna tell you...

Posted June 8, 2011
So all Poms are poofters, eh?

Bend over and take it, JB, you know you want to. (As JB was born in the UK, that makes him a Pom....)

And, to save you the bother of watching, they all die in the end. 2nd wave of flu that they're not immune to gets 'em.....

That'll teach you to call me a poofter.

Cheers

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Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted June 8, 2011
Mr Rhino, your views intrigue me and I should like to subscribe to your pamphlet.

Me, I'd be heading straight out to tool up with firearms. I don't trust anybody. Defence first, then sort out the food, water and shelter situation.

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted June 8, 2011
Can't be bothered to read all the posts. But I'm sorry JB you're wrong. the excon had a FN Browning in his stash bag which he loses in the first episode. the lack of guns is very telling esp when you consider how many military bases there are in the UK plus the amount of police armed response units as well.

As for lack of gun culture well look at armed crime stats for london, bristol,manchester and liverpool and you'll find some interesting stats.

I remember when this was first run last year and felt curiously underwhelmed by the storylines. Maybe because I remember the original series from back in the Day. Its a real shame as they again have amassed a range of good actors and given them a pretty shite script.

My only fave bit is when the former Health secretary had to execute a looter herself. Showing more backbone than many real life pollies!

It tried hard but just didn't make the grade.

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted June 8, 2011
Speaking of tightly-focused non-sweeping stories of viral apocalypses, JB, did you get to read Red Queen? If so I'd be interested to know what you thought of it.

I think there's a very interesting study waiting to be written about the particular way the post-apocalyptic scenario works as a Rorschach blot for writers and readers. Speculative fiction is good at this in general but it's particularly interesting to look at how different people respond when they're asked to imagine civilisation being trashed and remade.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
Whilst still in the mother country my potenitial post apoc bug out sites were the old castle sites.

So Warwick castle. Tower of London, Peckforten Castle (and its associate Beeston castle). Conway & Caernarvon.

good space for growing your own veggies. accomodation plus good water sewer & water supplies.

My Fave was always Peckforten and Beeston as between them they could control alot of prime farm land. Beeston acting more as a fire base.

But maybe thats just the way i think.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
No, Chaz, I remember Tom bagging that pistol, and losing it. Which just raised the question of why he didn't replace it. Even a suburban cop shop would surely have gun locker.

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2011
Ahh sorry, you just didn't mention that he had tooled up at the start of the series!

Lots of guns in police stations, accross the country you just have to find them (and that the official ones and not the ones captured during day to day police operations). Bedfordshire police for example bought MacMillan .50 sniper rifles.

I remember when they showed the armoury of SO13 (back about 10 years ago) lots of mil-spec goodies including MP5K's.

To be honest I believe the lack of firearms in the show was because there is a general meme in British TV shows to 'deglamourise' guns and so they rarely appear. This is a general sociololigical response by producers accross the board.

What is interesting though, is when they remade "The triffids" (with dougray Scott), firearms were liberally sprinkled through the programme.

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2011
Hmmm ... The comments reveal a telling difference between Seppo land and Oz /Perfidious Albion ... you guys think in terms of acquiring weapons AFTER the apocalypse. That's your first (and probably last) mistake - the need to go anywhere else but your personal armory to get your weapons. If you gotta leave the house (read: tastefully fortified compound) to weapon-up you are a dead punter walking.

Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted June 8, 2011
Oh yes, Rhino. I, myself, am armed to the teeth and have the capability - if pressed - to make explosives.

The apocalypse isn't about survival, folks. It is about winning. Survival is a happy byproduct.

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WarDog swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2011
@Barnes @Pete you're correct, the crap show (IMHO) is Outcasts.
I'll have to give Survivors a look in.

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Legless has opinions thus...

Posted June 8, 2011
Actually, picking up weapons in the UK after an apocalypse would be relatively easy - if you knew where to go.

Army armouries. - lots of army and airforce bases dotted around the UK and relatively easy to find and break into. Their mostly brick and not concrete .

Gun shops. Every city and large country towns have at least one.

Farmhouses. Never met a farmer yet who didn't have at least one shotgun.

Territorial Army depots. - In every city and most large towns. Also a nice source of armoured vehicles.

With a little thought, picking up weapons would be easy. The brown-trouser bit would be the time before you got your forst gun. Entering a farmhouse without being absolutely sure the occupants were dead would be entertaining.

Cheers

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2011
Legless, in the orignal series there was a group of scavangers who used ex military vehicles including a Scorpian ARV.

But yes easy to obtain weapons in the UK assuming an infectious disease outbreak.

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Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
+++But yes easy to obtain weapons in the UK assuming an infectious disease outbreak.+++

This makes the writer in me want to tailor an apocalyptic outbreak to negate that option, and see what happens. In the book I mentioned above, for example, the contagion can linger on touched objects for a frighteningly long time - the story is set at least a year or two after the worst of it and entering any population centre or handling anything that's been handled by someone infected is still a death sentence. Suddenly you can't just grab the ammo and kit off that body by the roadside any more, not unless you know for a fact that it was an uninfected person who died of something unrelated.

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Damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2011
On weapons - I have to agree with the yanks on this. Without knowing how the apocalypse is going to come about, the only sensible plan is to already have your own armory. At least on a personal scale.

Failing that - in Brisbane the only two I know are a) the gun shop in Red Hill opposite Enogerra Terrace and b) Gallipoli Barracks. For a), unless the superbug has taken down the staff while open for business, you would need to first commandeer a vehicle capable of taking down one of the walls. For b), there's the very interesting question of survivors who are serving military still at their posts. Do you approach making as much noise as you can and demonstrating your intentions and wish for any such to join your band, or do you treat it as hostile, on the assumption that others with the same idea may not like the competition? Many ways that could play out in fiction, not sure I'd much like to try it in life.

Then there's the question of what threat you do expect to encounter. In the early stages of abundant loot-able material, perhaps it's relatively straightforward... you just want to be armed well enough to discourage and perhaps see off the occasional individual miscreant. But what happens later? Say a ute with an attended mounted 50 cal comes up the drive to your compound. Surely you wish to be able to draw on overwhelming force as best as possible.

So it does depend on the nature of the catastrophe. With a superbug, there's the extra level of doubt: have people survived due to immunity or due to some dynamic that has meant the pathogen simply hasn't reached them? What's possible depends a lot on details that may not be readily apparent.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
Guns - and can openers. Very important. Everyone is going to stock up on cans. But mark my word, many will forget to stock up on can openers. I have a hundred simple, non electric can openers cached away. When the apocalypse comes, I am going to make some big money on those can openers (or whatever passes for money).

It's the American way.

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Damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2011
Paul, I've had to show people how to use a non-mechanical can opener when it was the only sort available.

This seems oddly appropriate too: http://xkcd.com/909/

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted June 8, 2011
A quick and dirty guide to how to survive a pandemic. Note due to my circumstances I have adopted a Sit in Place strategy which will permit a three month stay to outlast the disaster. After that reassess to decide if remain in place or relocate to secondary long term base (an alpha site if you will)

Map out a set of triggers for points for actions so that as the Pandemic unfolds you know where you are at, these are MY set points for MY situation. For a more general guide to surviving a pandemic and using a Sit in Place Strategy I would recommend TVs ex-Navy SEAL Cage Courtley’s Surviving Disaster: Pandemic.

Stage 1 Chief Health Officer of Victoria Issues an alert, I begin to record absences due to sickness at work and school, begin stockpiling food, batteries and other items needed for a three month sit in place. (list previously prepared)

Stage 2 absences at school/work hit 50% go to hardware store purchase heavy duty tape, clear plastic sufficient to cover all windows and doors and to create separate room in house that can be sealed with two sets of plastic curtains (an airlock) this is a sick room to quarantine any member of the party who develops symptoms. Don’t have to build room just have the materials.

Buy as many Gloves, disinfectant, bandages, medication, spare thermometer, etc since these will be cleaned out as the pandemic proceeds.

Buy sufficient fuel for stoves, hot water systems, batteries for lights to last for three moths. The really good prepers have diesel generators and a truck load of fuel (I have already found one within walking distance of my house).

Stage 3 work and schools closed. If the infection is airborne seal house and construct quarantine room. If Spread by contact isolate family and adopt barrier protection when dealing with anyone outside family.

Begin inspection of previously identified sources of weapons and vehicles to see if abandoned by staff. Recommend arming yourself at this point and arranging a bigger vehicle capable of relocating family and stores. Leave name and some from of ID unique to you (not your address) and state you have taken this material and will reimburse when order is restored as this will assist in preventing you getting charged as a looter IF order is restored.

Note anyone in the party how might be infected and isolate in the room if they display symptoms. Remember if they recover they may be an excellent source of anti-serum. If they die be prepared to clean, wrap in double thick plastic, label and move to an outside location. Then disinfect and strip room.

Stage 4 After three months the virus should have run its course and everyone has caught it, and either survived or died.

More problamtic if it is persistant in the soil, definite time to relocate to other climes.

Begin rebuilding civilization.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted June 8, 2011
I will charge a modest extra fee to provide training in the operation of non electric can openers.

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2011
Are you serious Paul? Cans still need openers in America? Ours have been self opening for years.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
Mtthew. Thats a nasty idea and I like it. Sort of like a super anthrax spore.

Think I might steal it!

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
A quick and dirty guide to how to survive a pandemic. Note due to my circumstances I have adopted a Sit in Place strategy which will permit a three month stay to outlast the disaster. After that reassess to decide if remain in place or relocate to secondary long term base (an alpha site if you will)

Map out a set of triggers for points for actions so that as the Pandemic unfolds you know where you are at, these are MY set points for MY situation. For a more general guide to surviving a pandemic and using a Sit in Place Strategy I would recommend TVs ex-Navy SEAL Cage Courtley’s Surviving Disaster: Pandemic.

Stage 1 Chief Health Officer of Victoria Issues an alert, I begin to record absences due to sickness at work and school, begin stockpiling food, batteries and other items needed for a three month sit in place. (list previously prepared)

Stage 2 absences at school/work hit 50% go to hardware store purchase heavy duty tape, clear plastic sufficient to cover all windows and doors and to create separate room in house that can be sealed with two sets of plastic curtains (an airlock) this is a sick room to quarantine any member of the party who develops symptoms. Don’t have to build room just have the materials.

Buy as many Gloves, disinfectant, bandages, medication, spare thermometer, etc since these will be cleaned out as the pandemic proceeds.

Buy sufficient fuel for stoves, hot water systems, batteries for lights to last for three moths. The really good prepers have diesel generators and a truck load of fuel (I have already found one within walking distance of my house).

Stage 3 work and schools closed. If the infection is airborne seal house and construct quarantine room. If Spread by contact isolate family and adopt barrier protection when dealing with anyone outside family.

Begin inspection of previously identified sources of weapons and vehicles to see if abandoned by staff. Recommend arming yourself at this point and arranging a bigger vehicle capable of relocating family and stores. Leave name and some from of ID unique to you (not your address) and state you have taken this material and will reimburse when order is restored as this will assist in preventing you getting charged as a looter IF order is restored.

Note anyone in the party how might be infected and isolate in the room if they display symptoms. Remember if they recover they may be an excellent source of anti-serum. If they die be prepared to clean, wrap in double thick plastic, label and move to an outside location. Then disinfect and strip room.

Stage 4 After three months the virus should have run its course and everyone has caught it, and either survived or died.

Begin rebuilding civilization.

Damien
you need to think a little outside the box even in Brisbane there are firearms, think police stations, and prisons.

Paul Nicolas Boylan
Firearms can be can openners.

Mathew F
Do you have anymore details on the book you are referencing, the red Queen I can't find it and I'd like to read it?

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DrStrangelove ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
Can-openers. Reminds me of an old Opus cartoon series where the characters were sure the pinko commies were invading (this was back in the 80s). They all grabbed their pre-packed survival gear and headed to the hills. A week later, after it was discovered the invaders were merely migrating toads, one of the "survivalists" was discovered half-starved banging a unopened can against a rock mumbling "No can-opener!"

Doc

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted June 8, 2011
From memory The Stand was 99.3 % kill.
A friend once said "After all the shit luck I've had in my life there's no way I'm making those odds."

Seven per thou survive.
Bris pop 2043185 (2010) = 19 thou +/- survivors.
Can you beat them to what you need?

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted June 8, 2011
*applauds Barnesm*

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted June 8, 2011
Barnes, here's Red Queen's page on the Penguin Australia site:

http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670073894/red-queen

I had a quick look at Minotaur, since as I recall you're in Melbourne, but it didn't show up on their site. I shall leave it to you to seek it out by whatever channel is most convenient. Very good book though, won the Aurealis last year.

(Chaz, that's the book I was talking about with the infection that hangs on and on.)

Your pandemic preps are interesting. My SO works for the Audit Office and got the job of auditing Australia's pandemic preparedness a couple of years back. She went all around the country touring these huge warehouses full of antivirals and watching quarantine exercises at airports where they had to isolate an incoming passenger who'd been reported as showing symptoms*. Lots of interesting stories.

*And when I introduced her to another friend on a recent visit to Brisbane it turned out he'd been the guy playing Patient Zero in that very exercise. Small world.

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damian would have you know...

Posted June 8, 2011
Brilliant, Mr Barnes.

Only one quibble - in Brisbane, at least, correctional facilities are a long way out of town and at least as complex to approach as barracks. And if you're rebuilding civilisation one stage at a time, you'll eventually be raiding the local barracks anyway.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
I'm really pissed off this series only ran two seasons. What was the BBC thinking?

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Guy has opinions thus...

Posted June 8, 2011
I'm old enough to have seen the original Survivors series on the BBC in the mid 1970s (that's REALLY old - I was born a couple of months before JB!) and I was hooked on the whole idea of apocalyptic fiction. I urge people to seek out the DVDs of this original series which is better than the remake as it doesn't feel the need to fall back on the old cliches of secret government laboratories and other conspiracies to sex up the action.

JB is quite right to see the influence of John Wyndham in both versions of the show. Essentially 'Survivors' is 'The Day of the Triffids' without the triffids. Terry Nation realised that trying to survive in a world where almost everyone has died would make for a truly horrific story that doesn't need man-eating plants to add extra thrills. Of course the makers of '28 Days Later' also reworked 'the Day of the Triffids' but replaced the Triffids with zombies.

As others have noted guns would be easily available to British survivors as every police station has an armoury and there are dozens of military installations scattered around the country for those who felt the need to tool-up. It's just that unlike the USA, we in Britain (and I think in Australia as well) don't provide automatic weapons free with packets of breakfast cereal.

I am, as I said, a real fan of apocalyptic fiction and I would really enjoy seeing what JB could do with a Survivors-style scenario. Perhaps this might be his next project after the Without Warning series has come to an end? (although having said that I would be even keener to see more books in the Axis of Time series. I want to see how events develop now Stalin is in control of most of Europe...)



JB is quite right that

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Guy has opinions thus...

Posted June 8, 2011
JB - I meant to say that the original 1970s version of the show had three seasons so there's more jolly post apocalypse fun to be had if you can find the time.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 8, 2011
I wonder if it's torrentable somewhere?

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tqft reckons...

Posted June 8, 2011
There is a gun shop on the corner of Beaudesert rd and Mt Lindsay Highway (ie Browns Plains/Logan).

Why does everyone seem to forget to put toothbrushes on the list of stuff to acquire?
A big stash of toothbrushes good for your teeth and for trade. Light, easy to stash and readily tradeable.

My bug out strategy is Lamington National Park with camping gear by bicycle. The main problem with riding a push bike is that we will be valuable enough to kill for.

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damian mumbles...

Posted June 8, 2011
This all reminds me I need to reread Day of the Triffids. I keep misremembering snippets, and have no idea how long it's been. I recall something about putting sugar in diesel tanks...

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted June 8, 2011
Pfft. You dont need to revisit the novel. Just google up the most awsm blunty topic ever. Triffids vs Zombies.

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Bangar has opinions thus...

Posted June 8, 2011
The colony docu/drama is worth watching as well.
PS make sure soap is on your list.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted June 8, 2011
Thanks Mathew F will track the Red Queen down post haste.

JB its available on Quicklix so don't think its too hard to find

http://www.quickflix.com.au/Catalogue/Boxset/SurvivorsTheCompleteCollection/4637

now last train thats a challenge.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted June 8, 2011
did the triffids shoot darts of some fkn sort or what, its been a fkn long time, I aint as OLD as JB

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Matthew K mutters...

Posted June 8, 2011
Odd I was just thinking about this series just yesterday, and thinking just the same things as you guys.
Overall it is just not credible and I couldn't watch it as the stupid was too strong.
The problem is that much of the BBC (and the rest of the UK) is run by twattish urban middle class people and reflects their ignorance and prejudices. A nice middle class lady seem surprised when I remarked on the stupidity one character abandoning his Audi supercar because it ran out of petrol. On a street lined with cars. That is beyond Doh! She could not understand that the immediate aftermath would be a very resource rich environment.
Basically stuff like this requires a suspension of disbelief similar to watching a horror movie, one has to ignore the fact that the protagonists are 'tards that have apparently wandered away from their carers.

Yes there are enough guns to go around in the UK if 90%+ of the population is dead. Police and army for the best, (G36s, MP5s and Glocks) but gun shops for hunting rifles and shotguns.I would probably take a JCB and pneumatic drill to an army barracks, saves time farting around looking for keys.

And it showed the streets of London as eerily silent, actually I think the real sound would be the howling of starving dogs locked in houses. (After they'd eaten their masters).

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McKinneyTexas puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
I can well imagine the characters in an American version of the show heading straight to the gun shop in the first episode.

JB, most of us just reach into the closet for what we need.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted June 8, 2011
Good point.

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Nocturnalist reckons...

Posted June 9, 2011
+++did the triffids shoot darts of some fkn sort or what+++

The bell-like bloom at the top of the stem held a stinger that could lash out a bit like a frog's or chameleon's tongue. In the book it was a tight coil that flicked out, in the TV series (the definitive one from the early 80s) it seemed to work more like a tongue. The longest ones could hit something several metres away.

The impact itself wasn't much more than a slap but the venom was pretty nasty if it hit open skin and lethal if it hit around the face where it could splatter into the eyes. You could cut the stings out but they'd grow back over a couple of years or so, and on the commercial triffid farms they left them in because intact triffids produced more and higher-quality oil than de-stingered ones.

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Harry the Dog mumbles...

Posted June 9, 2011
Bit harsh MK, it was OK given the rest of the reality dross that is now Brit TV ;-)
However, in the dim and distant past I do remember 'The Last Train which was quite amusing.
Cheers all
Da Dog =;-)

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damian asserts...

Posted June 9, 2011
Any excuse will do to revisit a favorite old novel, Birmo. And it's $9 for a 2008 ePenguin Kindle edition with a wordy introduction. Which I think is pretty neat, though I skipped the introduction.

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted June 9, 2011
Fair comment H Dog, and I suppose I have been known to overstate things... ahem. anyway thanks for the Last Train link - Which I never heard of before! I musta been out the country then. Looks like more Hobbesian stuff though.
I get that fiction needs conflict but I don't think mankind is more than 20% Hobbesian at most, not to say I buy into the whole Romantic "Noble Savage" bit either, I'm somewhere in between.
In a "Survivors" scenario there's little to fight over, resources are plentiful, it's only women who'd be a scarce commodity.

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Big Pete swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 9, 2011
@HAVOCK
"did the triffids shoot darts of some fkn sort or what"

They had a stalk thing that stuck out the top which had poisonous barbs on it. If you got too close they'd use it like a whip and hit you across the face.

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Big Pete asserts...

Posted June 9, 2011
@tqft
"Why does everyone seem to forget to put toothbrushes"

I forgot about toothbrushes. This will mean I will have to give up my electric oral B and go back to a manual job. Damn Apocalypse.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted June 9, 2011
Birmo, the original Survivors is on YouTube if memory serves. I watched bits of it a year or so ago.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Murphy asserts...

Posted June 9, 2011
Actually, here in North Kansas City, I've got two choices.

I can go across the block to the police station. Takes two minutes to walk across. Now granted, I'm not entirely sure where the armory is but then I'm sure I'll run across a cruiser or a dead cop with a full load still intact.

Or I can go down to what used to be Denny's Guns (they've changed the name but the store is still there) which is near CVS Pharmacy a block north of Armour Road. Therein lies heavier ordnance. In fact, when I need to actually see something for research purposes or lay hands on it, I head to Denny's.

FYI, barring Denny's, there is a guy who works at the Lake City Ammo Plant near Blue Springs who can answer many of my more serious questions.

I think the big thing to secure may well be the Boulevard Brewing Company's infrastructure. Someone who has the key to making alcohol holds the key to a lot of things.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Murphy mutters...

Posted June 9, 2011
Oh, toothbrushes. You need at least two.

One for your teeth.

And one for your weapons.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted June 9, 2011
Is true. Don't most auto rifles have a little cleaning compartment with that stuff? I can see that some AKs have a cleaning rod underneath.

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El Coqui has opinions thus...

Posted June 9, 2011
Over on the States, we are waiting for the new TNT drama Falling Skies. Think about Iraq with us as the Sunnites and the aliens as US Troops. Guerrilla warfare while trying to survive on the wilderness.

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Timmo ducks in to say...

Posted June 9, 2011
Thanks bangar,

Just the other week I was trying to remember what this warehouse docu/drama/zombie/apocalypse reality show was that I had watched a while back. The Colony it was...
...now if only I can remember what the other comedy/zombie/apocalypse show with a similar name was, and who I was discussing it with.... :)

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abigail mumbles...

Posted June 10, 2011
Damian, are you referring to Triffids where you said "its available for $9 on kindle"?

(if so, yes such a great book)

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abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted June 10, 2011
...meaning I think it's time to invest in an e-reader of some kind and triffids is a must have.

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damian asserts...

Posted June 10, 2011
Abs - yes, that's Triffids.

There's a larger range of e-readers than you'd think. The Kindle itself is great. For the 3G model, Amazon have agreements with ISPs that mean for you, the connectivity is free. The WiFi only models would be fine if you only use it at home, or only update its cache of books at home. Note that if you do, for instance, use the Kindle app for a phone to read on the bus (and they are around for iPhone/iPad, Android and Windows phones), so long as everything has network when you use it, the page you are up to gets synced automatically. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a surprisingly enabling little trick.

The screen on the Kindle is astonishing, even when you are expecting it. I thought there was a sticker covering it when it came out of the box. Orin has said the same thing, here, I seem to recall.

Other options range from iPads down to things like cheap Android tablets, and take in other ereaders using the same screen technology as the Kindle's. All worth investigating to an extent.

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abigail swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 10, 2011
Thanks Damian, that's very much appreciated!

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Big Pete ducks in to say...

Posted June 10, 2011
@Abigail
"Damian, are you referring to Triffids where you said “its available for $9 on kindle”?"

When I saw the price of nine dollars mentioned, I thought "that can't be right, I only paid $7.50 for JB's Without Warning in e-book format", so I went and checked on Amazon. 'The Day of the Triffids' is $9.49 in e-book format. It sounds like a bit of a rip to me, seeing as it's such an old book. I remember reading it as a school novel back in the late 1960s

Mark me up as another one impressed by the quality of the Kindle screen. Every time I switch it on I'm impressed by the quality of the text, it's got to a point where I prefer to read the Kindle to real text on paper.

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Scott reckons...

Posted June 11, 2011
Last Light by Alex Scarrow is also worth a read. What I found interesting was how people reacted, it seemed that no one thought ahead or even worked as a group.
Don't waste your time with the follow on, After Light. The stupid just hurt to much.

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nhamilton@iinet.net.au mumbles...

Posted June 11, 2011
Timmo Was it the English series with the Big Brother contestants surviving zombies? Dead Set I think.

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Guru Bob mutters...

Posted June 14, 2011
Wyndham wrote a whole range of post-apoclypse books - there wa sone where the waters rose up (similar to global warming really) and another where there was a new ice age. All of them were particularly good and haven't dated too much.

Survivors was pretty good - I saw it late at night on ABC last year.

Barnes and I are both waiting for Falling Skies - I think there have been some obscure teasers on cable tv last couple of weeks...

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Bangar has opinions thus...

Posted June 15, 2011
No worries Timmo, there's a second series and a third on the way.

Quick question what tools does your bug out bag have? Does it have any? A multimeter?

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Respond to 'Survivors.'