Cheeseburger Gothic

AoT pepsi challenge

Posted September 24, 2010 by John Birmingham
If you were looking at the three books in the Axis of Time series, and thinking "Hmm, they'd make a great movie," at this point I'd probably ask you 'why?'

What specifically would make them good for the big screen? What story elements, what characters, which narrative arcs would best suit a feature film, do you think? As opposed to, say, a miniseries.

And which ones wouldn't.

Don't ask why I'm asking.

I just am.

114 Responses to ‘AoT pepsi challenge’

Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
For the same reasons they made a popular book(s).

Nazis, futuristic super weapons, compelling characters. Clever plot developments (though that would probably need to be changed somewhat).

Off the top of my head I'd say the narrative arcs to concentrate on would be Kolhammer, Slim Jim, HRH Harry and maybe Julia Duffy and Paul Brasch in supporting roles.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted September 24, 2010
I think it would be important to focus on Admiral Ritchie. He is the core of the narrative, without him, the rest really won't hold up well. Through him you could see the conflicts many of the other characters encounter, notably Colonel Jones.

Halabi and Willet are two others. Halabi provides the most striking contrast between values of the year 2021 and 1942.

Though I have provided background and advice for Julia Duffy, she has never been my favorite. That said, a civilian perspective from 2021 would be needed.

By Final Impact it seems the story lines were whittled down considerably from Weapons of Choice. Perhaps that would be a place to start.

I'll have to ponder it some. My brain is off in the other trilogy right now.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted September 24, 2010
Umm, did I say Ritchie? I just read Lobes entry and it is Kolhammer.

Oops.

See what I mean about where my head is at?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Moko ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
Think you'd need snap shots from all of it.

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gtrof ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
The only way to do AoT justice would be as a Mini-series. I mean Imagine the Pacific and Band of Brothers, with the 82nd MEU blasting the hell out of Japanese positions and F-86s swatting Me-262s from the sky!

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 24, 2010
Definitely Kolhammer, Halibi, Willet. Slim Jim, Duffy and Harry more as cameo scenes. What makes it good fillum fodder is the stranger in a strange land effect combined with the familiarity of real historical characters and events. Then there's the explodey stuff and seeing heaps of Nazis get their come uppance.

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DNABeast asserts...

Posted September 24, 2010
I first heard about the novels when you appeared on 'Get This' and said "Prince Harry travels back through time and kicks Hilter's Arse". That's not a bad synopsis for an action film right there.

I would say to do it from the POV of Dan but then the last third of the film would be from INSIDE A FRIGGING BOX YOU MONSTER!! #stillhealing

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Shifty_McGee reckons...

Posted September 24, 2010
I would be entirely satisfied with a film that just went up to the end of the first section of the first book. The future is cool like snakes.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted September 24, 2010
I'd said miniseries rather than movie as the transition itself is easily an hour of fun.

I'd push the quiet room story line heavily as it has contemporary resonances.

using a miniseries you could take bits from each thetre starting off with a faux newsreel report and then moving to colour as the scene develops

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted September 24, 2010
Also Halibi story is a great thread when put in context of the Blitz and having the Trident sitting in the Wash acting as FAC & Goalkeeper

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
Seeing the Nazis and the Japs get their arses kicked by BIG guns wielded by all the sorts of people they hate - blacks, gays Jews! This alone is worth paying money for.

On top of that we get to see the "'Temps" get their heads twisted by the future shock; stuffy British admirals reduced to apoplexy by ethnic girl sailors speaking Strine, racist US marines confronted with a hard as coffin nails BLACK marine colonel. Excellent stuff and a real double whammy, it's the money back guarantee that maqkes it worth your while.

Characters are also fun; Kohlhammer, Jones and Halabi are what I would hope to see "in the flesh". The rest? Meh. Sorry, there were just too many of them for me to care about, might work better in a film/TV series. (But no way could a fictional Prince Harry make onto the screen. Change name maybe?)

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Timmo ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
I dunno about a film vs miniseries, but I think the cultural differences between the temps and the 21Cers provided some of the most interesting aspects of the book. I had never considered the idea of temporal xenophobia before. The scenes early on in Hawaii, once the dust had settled from the initial temporal event were interesting - particularly exploring it from the POV of "dinosaur" cops like 'Buster' Cherry, etc.

Of course, a drop-dead gorgeous, sexually confident/aggressive reporter like Julia Duffy is a dead cert to appeal to the teenage boy in all of us, too.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted September 24, 2010
I think in pictures & the immediate post transition explody goodness strikes me as the #1 reason for Cinema.

+

The IJN Aleution Islands task force encountering the Indonesian tub.

+

HRH Prince Harry's Rocket Farm raid.

Fave Story Arcs were Brasch including & The Indons & Kohlhammer VS Slim Jim VS Hoover for influence over the post transition society.

The strategic battle command level of 'temp allies vs 'temp axis trying to best prioritise, produce & exploit up time tech - but I can't seee it translating to a stand alone 98 minute feature so well.

Please Please Please get strategic advice on scene allocation of CGI budget. These days State of The Art CGI production is prohibitively expensive (and oh so obscenely luscious), but 5 year old is cheap as chips and will serve beautifully for all but the Money Shots.

For instance you could blow big wads O cash period-ising LA, but it wouldn't need it - just some bog ordinary Harry Potter 1 vintage tech.

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lostatlunch mumbles...

Posted September 24, 2010
Jones & Kohlhammer, inseperable and in a Patton style role.

Harry, gives the audience a relevant touchstone

Julia, can be foxy

can Clumsy play Julia? the sassy gung-ho journalist.

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Naut puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2010
I would have the first book as a movie and then the rest as an animated series. Think Clone Wars.

I don't like the idea of a miniseries as they rarely have the budget to do explody goodness properly. Cartoon explosions are cheap.

Why isn't explody in my spellchecker?

Also there are so many different potential threads and spin-offs that animation probably has the best chance of covering them.

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hornedog ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
It could not be one movie, would have to be 3, and lets face it, with the right director and producer could be a absolute classic.

To Hanks would give his left nut to be involved i suspect.

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mrblenny has opinions thus...

Posted September 24, 2010
The scene that sticks with me is at the end of the first book when a beat up old wwii fighter saves the Clinton from a suicide bomb with a 500 pound iron bomb. The shock of the old timers and the guilt of the up timers at the type of war they had bought back with them made for a great, if somewhat depressing scene.

This could be done in a movie ormini series though but I would have to say movie is preference. You need a big budget to do it properly and even the pacific with its massive budget only had passable cgi for the naval shots. Maybe the defence industry would chip in with some real f 22's and what not as a pr advertising stunt.

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Moko ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
As long a metal storm still creates 'human sludge', I'll be happy.

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Tarl would have you know...

Posted September 24, 2010
I think a two-parter would do it.

Part One, the uptimers arrive and kick ass. Nazis and imperial japanese take a beating.

Part Two, the uptimers on leave, showing just how hard the collision in societal mores is.

The scene from the bar in Hawaii, immediately followed by the guy who tried to assault Julia. Both cases where downtimers found out just how different the uptimers were.

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Mark R. Whittington would have you know...

Posted September 24, 2010
Aside from the blood and thunder aspects with high tech weapons on the loose in the 1940s, the one thing I found arresting about the books that might elevate a screen adaptation above the usual action picture status would be the culture clash between the uptimers and the 1940s people. The Greatest Generation is well deserved of the title for putting Nazism and Japanese militarism in the grave, but many of them had attitudes toward race, gender, etc that are very disturbing indeed.

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Aaron has opinions thus...

Posted September 24, 2010
From the point of view of Admiral Yamamoto would be cool (although not as marketable to americans which ultimately who you need to please for the film to a success). Yamamoto was my favourite because he understood the significance of what was coming with the 'Emergence'. Having his wise old accented english VO would give it a cool edge.

The alternative would be Wally Curtis (the young temp geek who first recognised what the missiles were). His 1940's wide eyed wonder would convey the significance of the events (but i have a nagging feeling his character died in the third)

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Aaron swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 24, 2010
the other option is make it all about duffys 1940's sex and the city adventures.

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hornedog mumbles...

Posted September 24, 2010
But to the real question: who would play Price Harry????

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Chaz asserts...

Posted September 24, 2010
'But to the real question: who would play Prince Harry????'

not too many good looking red heads out there of the right age for the book, but there is one in perth.....!!

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2010
Don't think mini-series people ... think movie franchise.

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SirPhil mutters...

Posted September 24, 2010
Are we talking one movie, or a trilogy?

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Spoonman is gonna tell you...

Posted September 24, 2010
A more enlightening question would be, what is it about these books that would NOT make a killer blockbuster movie trilogy? ummmmm..... Even the references back to main character's past (our future) are totally believable and credible. But so many great books never see the big screen. Think Robert A Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Would be tragic for 'Weapons' to suffer similar fate.

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StevoWA-HK would have you know...

Posted September 24, 2010
I'm thinking the key Characters are the Uptimers and the ordinary people 'Temps Like Dan Black. We know loads about Eisenhower and Roosevelt. Same with Kennedy. they would be smaller roles to be sure. But like an Impressionist painting all the small strokes are important for the greater image.

Prince Harry is a must do lead role. Sam Worthington to fill those shoes? If a Brit can be cast as our Mad max, why can't an Aussie be cast as HRH

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Daniel reckons...

Posted September 24, 2010
I reckon if it was a movie it would end up with them magically getting back to their original time or something equally saccharine.

A mini series would be pretty neat, plenty of different things to show for sure.

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Singo has opinions thus...

Posted September 24, 2010
Film schmilm. Tv is where it's at - where has the great work been done in the last decade? HBO, AMC and Showtime. Forget miniseries too - this is a full blown small screen epic. Tv is the novel to film's short story.

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StevoWA-HK ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
A Good miniseries could lead into an even better series A LA Battlestar Galactica...

Not too hard a bow to draw between the two. AoT and BSG both in the end deal witht he clash of civilisations and the right to survive. In the end its all about People. The real ending of the novels for me came with Brasch reunting with his Family and Willet finally letting herself release at the end in Sydney Harbor

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
Mini series - the books are about culture and technology clash and the EVOLUTION of that culture and technology. Showing evolution takes time. Particulary audience time not actual film time (needs to sink in).

Such as running out of modern ammo..

Uprating ww2 tech

Showing how the knowledge of the time line becomes less useful as things progress.

Also as a multiple POV books I think it needs multiple writers - (after a draft treatment screen play obviously by Birmo).

And it needs time to develop breakout characters (teh Dan Blacks of this world- but teh break out chracters might not be teh same as the ones in the books.

Finally its a geeky, crazy and at first bloody stupid premise which would probobly get slaughtered at the box office- but put it on TV and it might get time to develop teh fan base it deserves.

Finally so many of the charcters deserve to be story arced-can you imagine weeks of Harry and Skorzeny talking about what if they met etc and finally at a season finale they do!

Sadly I thik military set pieces will and should be decided by plot and budget although my personal favourite is Trident v Tirpitz and we HAVE to SEE Harry duel SKorzeny.

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2010
is this purely hypothetical or dare we hope?

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sparty reckons...

Posted September 24, 2010
sorry just saw the dont ask why.

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sparty puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2010
while on page to screen - interesting stuff on why Startrek insurrection turned out so bad

http://tiny.cc/sz71n

Whole doc here:

http://tiny.cc/d8toe

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Amerigo Vespucci mumbles...

Posted September 24, 2010
I don't think it'd translate well to the big screen. Too much ground to cover without it being slashed to pieces. You could do a pretty good adaptation, though -- the big battle scenes of modern weaponry against the great battleships would play well.

Focus in on either the British or Americans only to reduce the plotlines to a manageable extent, and the same with the theatres of war. Pacific or Atlantic only, to condense things.

You'd want to play up the tension about the Axis using their modern weapons to the fullest extent and push the social conflict ideas to the back burner in order to make it fit the blockbuster mold, which it does best, I think. You could fit it all in a nice 160-minute movie, but it wouldn't have the scope of the series.

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havock swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 24, 2010
oh ffsakes.

Its Julia Duffy.

Firstly, take a look at how well TOMB RAIDER DID, now tell me what has come out since then and with females and what are the similarities.

Duffy moves through almost every major series of scenes in the book, shes female so thats gunna appeal to the men and will also appeal to the women. She fights, shes a reporter, shes with all the MAJOR CHARACTERS, shes slightly fkn nutty, prone to jumpin ya bones..kinda I really do not see a better character in the book, good, bad, dark, sexy, witty, shooter, greens up and so forth. She kicks the arse of ALL the other characters by being all through out the book. Kholhammer on the other hand..is AMERICAN and Pacific based!....not a big enough spread.

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chrisd mutters...

Posted September 24, 2010
I'd think AoT would make a great miniseries. I think it's evermore likely someone trying to make a single movie from one book would end up with another mess like Battlefield Earth was. Great Book, one of worst movies of all time. Bad because it didn't capture the essence of the book at all. My vote 6 part mini series for each book. Can I be an extra!

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StevoWA-HK puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2010
Sparty,.. don't be all a crestfallen by the possible cost of set piece battles. The stuff they can do on CG these days is crazy. Look at BSG for battles. The RAZOR DVD movie batle sequences, esp the opening Pearl Harbor Like assault on the Picon shipyard. "Sanctuary" is pretty much all CG. Yet its regular series TV. Expensive to be sure but not anywhere near the cost of shooting TV Old school on 35mm. RED cameras and the new HD digital jobs from ARRI and Panasonic are game changers and can make a high end Aot TV series or film a reality

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Harry the Dog is gonna tell you...

Posted September 24, 2010
Hey JB

Are you suggesting that there may be a screenplay in the offing?

Da Dog =;-)

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sparty mumbles...

Posted September 24, 2010
StevoWA-HK - You're righ but BSG is in space so we suspension of disbelief is easier - aka babaylon 5 (although great cgi for its time)but bridge scenes need to be on real windswept decks - a cgi raptor strike on a v2 site CGI fine- but Kohlhammer on a bridge shouting "take them out of the sky" or Julia waving a propellor driven C47 transport off.. needs to be real(ish).

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sparty reckons...

Posted September 24, 2010
need to be series- so by season 7 and they have run out of ideas the studio can dust of a few mini burger stories;-)

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Brian puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2010
Movie Vs Miniseries.

Pro's and Con's for both. Movies have generated miniseries and vice versa.

I'm thinking Star Gate type action. There was a movie then a series . . .and the series went off just about everywhere.

I'd be talking to the Canadians. They seem to have a good handle on this stuff.

Hmm . . . how about Telemovie . . .like 'V'? Sci-Fi channel likes to bankroll a few speculative projects.

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AgingGamer mutters...

Posted September 24, 2010
I reckon neither film nor tv series; they'd make kick arse video games. Think of the scene in the very beginning of the 1st book where the two ships have melded together. It reads like a first person shooter where you have go navigate your way out of the chaos.

Then you could have vehicle and ship gameplay, missions as a war correspondent, & jungle warfare.

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Luke puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2010
It needs to be made. I'm not fussed who makes it or in what format (series/movie trilogy) but IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN. Don't leave too much out. Some of the nastier stuff around Bundaberg needs to be seen, as do the epic shots of the new d-day landings. The production values of LOTR would be nice. I've got a list of all the characters with possible casting from a while ago. I should look into that again. Screw getting an actor to play Prince Harry, get him to play himself.

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Matthew K mutters...

Posted September 24, 2010
Various people have mentioned Brasch. Good point actually as without good guys Germans and Japs the whole thing would look like a xenophobic "we hate Germans" hate fest, (which Brits are too prone to anyway).

It could also underline the serious point of how massively the culture of those countries has changed since the dark days. Yeah right, fat chance of that.

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sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 24, 2010
Yep Matt K is right- more conflicted axis characters and also need for a bit of Anti uptimer conspiracy (led by the nasty Brit sea lord or something).

get Victoria Beckham for Trident CIC computer - that would get headlines!

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Murphy asserts...

Posted September 25, 2010
The revised D-Day. You've got to have that.

Helicopters storming Calais. Priceless.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted September 25, 2010
It cannot be made into a movie any easier than Lord of the Rings could be fitted into one film.

You need to make Weapons of Choice into a film, and even that can't be competently depicted in one film.

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John would have you know...

Posted September 25, 2010
It needs to be as long as it needs to be. I've read the series three times now, the last two back to back, and it seemed as fresh and rich each time.

It would make a great series of movies, as long as there was *plenty* of no-holds violence, and some sex :-)

I would hate for the Soviet bits to be left out - the Stalin parties would have to be in there.

I hope it is filmed, and with someone good in the chair,,,,,

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Ausgaz has opinions thus...

Posted September 25, 2010
If it only comes out as 1 movie it will need to cover the emergence only briefly otherwise it will be compared with the 1980 film Final Countdown.

More than 1 movie required I think.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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OzarkOrc reckons...

Posted September 25, 2010
Becasue it's still OK to wack Japs & Nazis in Color and slow motion action.

Too bad theywouldn't let me incorporate Wehrmach Licenceing Inc. Just think- every time you say Tiger tank, CHING! the cash register rings.

Nuff said.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted September 25, 2010
Good point Ausgaz. Its going to be compared with the Final Countdown anyway. It needs to exceed it.

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WarDog puts forth...

Posted September 25, 2010
For me the compelling elements are

1) how the clash between 2 cultures separated by 8 decades is in a lot of ways greater than the classh between contemporary cultural extremes.

2) how 8 decades of tech progression is tantamount to magic from a 1940s POV.

3) What's the best use of 8 decades of hindsight/foreknowledge.

To lose these elments would be doing the books a great disservice. Scenes that come to mind:

- the force field like effect around the 2020 ships during the battle just after the jump.

- the co-ordinated battle info, especially around the Trident in the Channel and the D-Day invasion.

- the 2020 ground troops in comparison to their 1940 conterparts in Aus. Tech and behaviour.

- The creation of the Zone and its impact on the community.

- The immediate pogroms, especially in Germany and Russia with the aid of historical lists of spies, underground figures etc.

I would love to see this on film. Especially that force field like effect around the ships. Showing how simple ideas pushed down a technical path can really appear magical. That and the clash of cultures and the hope that done over it could be better.

Remember, from the perspective of the story we still have 10 more years of foreknowledge that can be acted upon. And while the characters are fictional, all of the problems they dealt with are real and the technology is extremely likely. A good movie would *show* the gulf between 1940/2020 but might offer the chance to make use of what we can of those last 10 years.

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Nick asserts...

Posted September 25, 2010
There's something for everyone. Sci-fi action in the form of weps that are just a pinch beyond what's here. Wry humor. Comical collisions of culture and cameo opportunities. Good cross-section of intriguing characters. Racial tension of the sort to make both Yanks and Brits squirm uncomfortably. I just don't see how it could miss. All we need is a couple of space lizards and you'd top Avatar.

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TC Forest swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25, 2010
Now all we need are actors...

Cate Blanchett as Jane Willet,

Julia Sawalha as Karen Halabi,

Lonesome Jones played by Christopher Judge and

Poh Ling Yeow as Rachel Nguyen.

Who else?

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted September 25, 2010
How would you deal with the redundant aspects of the storyline? eg the Hilary Clinton gets renamed USS Barack Obama, more focus on electronic warfare and psyops, metal storm replaced by beam/wave weapons.

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TJX would have you know...

Posted September 25, 2010
USS Barack Obama?? C'mon! Are you F*ing serious?? The man has yet to PROVE ANYTHING. It's bad enough that this guy gets the Noble Peace Prize before even lifting a finger in being POTUS.

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TJX would have you know...

Posted September 25, 2010
Back on topic, if AoT has to be adapted to film, then it needs to be three or more movies to get the story right and every element covered. Someone suggested the people that did Stargate to adapt it to a T.V. show, BAD IDEA! I don't want to see Basic Cable TV budget on this saga... EVER.

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted September 25, 2010
Well why would they name a carrier after hilary clinton when she hasnt even being president you fucking retard?

Let go of your partisan bullshit for one second and try and think of what makes sense for the plot of the story you fucking conservitard

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Sparty ducks in to say...

Posted September 25, 2010
I think it was reading that she'll have an aircraft carrier named after her gave her the courage to say that if Iran did anything to Isreal she would "obliterate them".

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Adrien Hopkins mutters...

Posted September 25, 2010
Anything short of a series of movies would not do the story justice, I'm also sure that a couple the characters name sakes would be available for cameos

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted September 25, 2010
It is entirely possible that Clinton could become president. I can't see Biden being a viable candidate in any timeline. He has too much foot in mouthitis and way too far to the left.

Aside from the fact that he is a fucking idiot. That motherfucker came to the campus where I teach a few days before election day and PROMISED my girlfriend that he'd get her boys home from the sandbox.

Umm, where are they at now? In the sandbox.

Prick. I hope he chokes on his foot.

My vitriol aside, Hillary could easily run if Barrack is defeated in 2012. There is the 2016 election to consider.

Further, we have named ships after more than just presidents. The storyline could be redacted a bit to compensate.

Finally, there are a number of little things, bits, details about Weapons of Choice that would have to be fixed. They aren't important to the story per se (which is why I liked the novel so much when I first read it) but the details would need to be fixed.

Oh, there is the USS John C. Stennis, btw.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_John_C._Stennis_(CVN-74)

Just sayin'.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NukemHill puts forth...

Posted September 26, 2010
Explosions. Lots and lots of explosions.

'Nuff said. I'm assuming you'd get Michael Bay to direct it. ;-)

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NukemHill mutters...

Posted September 26, 2010
Well why would they name a carrier after hilary clinton when she hasnt even being president you fucking retard?

Let go of your partisan bullshit for one second and try and think of what makes sense for the plot of the story you fucking conservitard

Nice.

The whole point of the naming of the Hillary Clinton was that she was so tough on the terrorists. It was in homage to her supposed presidency. Why in fuck's name would you simply replace her name with President Obama's? What has he done that would possibly lead you to believe that he qualifies to have a carrier named after him?

If you're going to be a partisan hack, at least be intelligent about it.

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Brad G is gonna tell you...

Posted September 26, 2010
Mini-series vs. feature-length movie? A movie would do better justice re the FX, but there are too many intersecting and divergent story arcs for a movie or movies to properly cover. There would have to be a lot of characters and storylines axed, such as Slim Jim. A colorful and entertaining character, but not really germane to the overall plot. The culture clashes were better served by characters such as Halabi and Duffy/Black. Unfortunately, a mini-series would have to tone down some of the earthier dialogue, unless it was done by HBO or A&E.

As for carrier names: Hillary could still be elected president before the timeline of AoT, and not all carriers are named after presidents. Two current and active Nimitz-class carriers were named after a congressmen, the Vinson, and a senator, the Stennis, so it is within the realm of possibility that they could still name a carrier after Hillary, whether or not she's ever elected.

One interesting note I saw on the Wiki page: The current schedule for Ford-class carriers has the next ship (after the GR Ford is to be commissioned in 2015) to be commissioned in 2019, and, according to Wiki, a petition has been set up to have it named Enterprise, after the current Enterprise is retired in 2013.

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Brad G ducks in to say...

Posted September 26, 2010
One other note: The internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. JB only mentioned in passing the possibility of interring the crew of the Siranui, but didn't raise the issue anywhere else. The first two camps were established in March and May of 1942, at Manzanar, and Tule Lake, respectively, both prior to the Transition. Both camps would have been in the Zone's backyard (California), and it would have been an issue that Kolhammer would have raised, especially with the treatment the crew of the Siranui received. Maybe this was something discussed in an earlier blog I missed, but I don't see how it could be left out of any potential mini-series/movie.

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El Coqui is gonna tell you...

Posted September 26, 2010
Does it have to be with live action?

Clone wars and CGI The Roughneck Chronicles would be a good start in what technology is available for our purpose. Maybe Involve Japan anime producers. Did anyone here had seen Zipang?

The story is about a 21st century Japanese Aegis Arleigh Burke type destroyer that ends up in 1942. Sounds familiar?

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TJX swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 26, 2010
Haha, I love how I'm suddenlly a hard line "conservitard" just for saying something bad about the "Dear Leader". All I'm saying is that it's much more believable and still is for Hilary Clinton to be president, and the fact that she's actually ACCOMPLISHED things in here political life makes it more appropriate that a warship be named after her than Pres. Barrack Obama Peace Be Upon Him. :D

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TJX has opinions thus...

Posted September 26, 2010
Also, i would look forward to a series of video games based on this. If the storytelling is done MW2 style it might be pretty awesome. Would also make a good RTS or even tabletop miniatures game IMO.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 26, 2010
Clinton . .Sminton . . minor thingie. A bit of market research and that could be a plus or a minus. Its tricky . . .Cons. could love it just for giggles. Dems could hate it because it maligns one of their annointed.

Simple really . . .ITS AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE! Hell . .A coupla alternate universes . . .things are different. Dont get it? Don't watch it.

JB has a lot of shots at a lot of things in AOT. Controversy to spare.

Like . .do we really want a film with J. Edgar Hoover in drag? I'm for it. Be a lot of people who'll want to sue, though.

SO long as there are no main characters called Havock and Rhino I can go with the concept.

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Scott mumbles...

Posted September 26, 2010
My impression from the books was that the war on terror got a lot nastier than what we are seeing now. Considering this Clinton could still end up as president. From the wiki article on the US Cabenit the line of succession goes Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate then Sec State. For this reason the cabinet doesn't all meet, a designated survivor is always kept in an undisclosed location.

So, Jihad nutters take out the us government leaving Clinton as the survivor and as JB states in the books becomes the most uncompromising President on the war on terror. Thus leading to such events as the invasion of Seria shown by Jones. Seriously, it would take a major event before any US president invaded another Middle Eastern country after Iraq.

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unpossible would have you know...

Posted September 26, 2010
Mate, as a long time fan, I reckon it would be better through the eyes of someone brand new, with all the established characters in supporting/cameo roles. Gotz to keep pushing the envelope.

Like Bukowski - the minor role 21c guy who Jones bumps into during the 1st scene and makes a big role during the luzon / changi raid. 'he got shot up pretty bad' is all you learn about his last scene.

Would weave in quite nicely with the books in a GTA-Liberty City kinda way.

-M

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El Coqui mumbles...

Posted September 27, 2010
Scott:

I hate to admitted it but as O policies seem to be pushing for another 9/11 incident. Your scenario is actually believable.

Irony, according to Woodward latest book, he thinks that we can "absorb" another such disaster.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted September 27, 2010
Jose, don't even get me started on that Woodward book. I read the Washington Post preview of it.

The depiction of the policy debates concerning the Enemy and Afghanistan were, well, chilling.

We can absorb another attack. I thought the guy actually had a few brain cells to rub together until I read that bit.

Now I'm convinced he is a fucking idiot, just like the last Democrat we had.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 27, 2010
I'd like to see the explodey stuff on the big screen, like HMAS Havoc's raid on the Japanese harbour, The ME262s vs Jane Willetts, the mass Ohka raid...

But I guess you couldn't just have 2 hours of explodey goodness, now, could you?!

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted September 27, 2010
Is anyone seriously suggesting the USA could not absorb another 9/11?

Of course they could. Would one more 9/11 mean that America would give up and let the Fundamentalist muslims take over and institute sharia law? I dont think so.

The reality is the USA has depths of wealth, industrial base and self sufficiency that even a dozen 9/11s would not scratch.

Granted their population is a bit panicky and prone to widespread ignorance with the political class a reflection of that but industry and the military would never let such a thing occur.

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Aaron has opinions thus...

Posted September 27, 2010
there's no reason why you cant update things as time progesses. Douglas Adams believed in updating his stories so the jokes stayed relevant. I like accuracy and attention to detail but we should all keep in mind its a SCI FI ADVENTURE IN SET AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE!!! Obama should be mentioned alone for the effect it would have on hitler.

A movie then TV series like stargate or Battlestar would suit it well and allow all the different POV's to breathe. And PLEASE don't cut out Slim Jim, if anything he is a contender for narrator - he was one of the few to understand and adapt to the events better than most. That southern hick drawl would be fantastc narrating say...operation sea dragon.

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Scott puts forth...

Posted September 27, 2010
Yes, America could absorb dozens of 9 11s, but at what point will Americans say to hel with it and drop nation building and exporting democracy and take off the gloves? In this Birmoverse America and Australia had a system of sanctions 1 through 5 for dealing with terrorists and folks who broke the rules and norms of war, a system which BO would never sign in to law. The tranzies at the UN would not aprove. So, for internal consistency we have to show the viewer how we get from where we are now to the dark place of 2021.

Am going to read the Woodward

book but I'm not surprised, hard to be disappointed by a man who was always a tranzie. Clinton lost it I believe when she made the Iran comment, she should have left it until she had the nomination and was facing off Mclame.

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pitpat reckons...

Posted September 27, 2010
Although I like a good explosion as much as the next bloke I reckon the closing scene should be of Elvis with Julia Duffy and slim Jim(?). Even better would be if they could be leaving a building ( say after signing a huge recording contract)and instead of "The End" it could then be " Elvis has left the building" roll credits.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 27, 2010
Lobes, the point is that we shouldn't have to, nor should we allow it to happen. That is why the Democrats have trouble connecting with a sizeable chunk of the country.

Could Pakistan, where many of these bastards hide, absorb twenty to thirty nukes?

I think we should cut a deal with the Indians and crush that country like a fucking zit.

A few more 9-11s and I guarantee you that the remarkable level of restraint we have shown the enemy will evaporate.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Lobes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 27, 2010
Murph I think its quite a stretch for you to claim Obama is suggesting its acceptable and he is willing to allow it to happen.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted September 27, 2010
Read the sentence, Lobes. Does it say that? No. That Obama even said something to the effect of absorb tells me a great deal about where his priorities lie.

Which is anywhere but security issues. And I think given his laissez faire fuck it attitude about it, we're probably going to get something like 9-11 again.

Not that I should really give a shit. The Enemy probably has the same impression of Flyover Country that most Democrats do. If there is another attack, it probably won't happy where I am so why should I care?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted September 27, 2010
Murph what did you mean when you wrote:

"We can absorb another attack. I thought the guy actually had a few brain cells to rub together until I read that bit."

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stephenwho mumbles...

Posted September 27, 2010
OK, to get the conversation back out of the current politics thread - yes, please.

Simple - movie, mini series, anime - whatever - just make it and I'll go. Actually I think it would work best in Anime, but I think but directed by Shinji Aramaki or Katsuhiro Otomo not Hayao Miyazaki. It needs aggression, not style.

The thing that did bug me about the books some of the time was the yank skewed "voice" but then I'm an old anti war protester, so perhaps I'm the biased on here. Or perhaps you were writing for the US market?

Having said that I'll throw all credibility to the wind and say the alt/tech would look good on screen.

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Guy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 27, 2010
Most time travel stories use the humour/strangeness of people from one time. relating to the technology, morality and customs of another The AOT trilogy did that very well indeed, with early 21st century femisnism and gay-friendly politics crashing up against 1940s homophobia and sexism. That element above all is the one that would be best used in a movie.

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mckinneytexas ducks in to say...

Posted September 28, 2010
Rather than name the carrier after Hillary or Barak and risk alienating part of your market, I'd pick someone like Al Gore who would be an awesome inside joke. Maybe John Edwards, also a great inside joke, although not as well known. If you want to stay neutral politically, name it after FDR and have Pres. Roosevelt have to deal with that.

Otherwise, Lobes has it right, pretty much. Has to be a series, mostly computer graphic stuff otherwise it's cost prohibitive. The temps' social values make a good comparison to the racism we were fighting and the uptimers make the right foil for both. HRH and Otto duking it out would be fun. Do Burgers get tickets for the grand premiere?

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 28, 2010
Lobes, I meant he is an idiot. He is an idiot because I think Berry means actually what he says and that he doesn't believe it to be a top priority.

That said, this probably isn't the thread for this and I am trying to cut back on these sorts of slugfests. Conceding the field on this score.

McKinney has it right, Algore would be a great joke.

Are we going to be expected to portray our tuckerized roles? If so I'll need to get back into shape. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Wayne has opinions thus...

Posted September 28, 2010
Steering this back to the topic at hand....the AoT series would make excellent televised entertainment because it shows how far we've come and it drives home the reality that the past is a different place and they do strange things there. Think about it. The Marines in 1942 were 100% white. The major US general in AoT was black, pure devilish genius. But, the books could not be done justice by film. It would need a miniseries. Give each book a five to six hour spread so you can truly push the envelope. I mean, how can you cut out the little scenes, like Slim Jim going to meet Elvis or discovering Marilyn Monroe? How do you cut QEII talking with her adult grandson? There are so many little moments that need to remain.

As for the Clinton battle group, it is fairly simple. Rename it the USS George W. Bush.

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mckinneytexas mutters...

Posted September 28, 2010
Not to hijack a good thread, and I'm no fan of our president but Obama's comments re: absorbing another terrorist attack are being taken out of context. Sure, in politics, that's fair game, but it is an objectively true statement. If we can't absorb another attack, we have real problems.

Wayne, I am warming up to the notion of then President Roosevelt having to deal with an aircraft carrier from the future named after him. It's clever, if I do say so myself, funny and noncontroversial. JB needs to sell shit, not stir it up.

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Guy ducks in to say...

Posted September 28, 2010
Wayne is quite right about the AOT books needing a miniseries - or rather a miniseries for each of the three novels. Only then could the main themes be properly explored. A movie would be too short to deal with most of the good stuff.

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sparty mutters...

Posted September 28, 2010
the point of the Clinton is to show just how much the world has gone to hell between now (well 2003 I guess) and 2021. Calling it Bush, Obama etc doesnt do that.

Personally if I was Kohlhammer and my ship travelled through time I'd pertition the President to get it renamed Enterprise.......

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sibeen reckons...

Posted September 28, 2010
I'd love to see Vivian Richards StClaire as a major character. A large sergeant of West Indian descent sticking up to the major toffs in the British Army, all with the tacit approval of a certain prince.

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zeniph reckons...

Posted September 29, 2010
I agree with all the has to be a mini-series/anim sentiment but unfortunately I think JB is specifically asking what bits would make a good movie to the exclusion of small screen options.

one of my favorite scenes for a movie sequence would be Brasch’s extraction from Paris by Prince Harry (you could make a whole action movie only using the PH scenes)

A stripped down storyline for a Hollywood blockbuster could be:

- The transition

- Initial concern that Axis of Time has been knocked out of whack and maybe we wont win WW2

- A bit of work on the social differences and the effect of injecting 21C into 20C culture

- Some focus on future weaponry taking out Nazis

- Some focus on hybrid weaponry taking out Nazis

- Cross to Germany / USSR alliance and the ominous potential

- Quick references to Japanese invasion of Aus, Japanese invasion of Hawaii, re-taking of Singapore, re-taking of Philippines

- Cross to D Day (Saving Private Ryan but with the Trident screaming past in the background)

- Build drama with the Russians nuking Poland and the nuclear facility in Kamchatka being developed.

- Finish with Yamamoto sending the kamikazes into Kamchatka and the nukes over Berlin

All sounds a bit boring laid out like that but Hollywood movies need a very simple story framework at the core to hang all the action and ideas off.

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archy would have you know...

Posted September 29, 2010
per mckinneytexas, 28 Sept: *** I am warming up to the notion of then President Roosevelt having to deal with an aircraft carrier from the future named after him. It’s clever, if I do say so myself, funny and noncontroversial. ***

Already done, in the film *The Final Countdown* when a U.S. Senator of the 1941 timeframe is rescued by aircraft from [and then taken aboard] The USS Nimitz on 07 December 1941.

Splash the Zekes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gChU-mGeBaM

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archy mumbles...

Posted September 29, 2010
per Lobes, 27 September: ***Is anyone seriously suggesting the USA could not absorb another 9/11? ***

Well, we could probably handle it okay if Washington, DC was nuked.

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K.Rabbit mutters...

Posted September 29, 2010
I am leaning more towards a mini series. With a movie there is simply not enough time and money to do all the battle scenes properly and develop the cultural tensions between the Temps and the moderns. But whatever happens whether in the theatre or HBO I will have my eyeballs glued. Tom Hanks to play Kolhammer and Ving Rhames for Colonel Jones

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Aaron mumbles...

Posted September 29, 2010
from the first book, the 'revised' battle of midway and the melded ships battle would be must includes for explodey goodness SFX budget priority.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted September 29, 2010
Like Zeniph says a mini series doesnt seem to be on the table here.

Everyone put your movie screenwriting hats on.

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Boscolamb mutters...

Posted September 29, 2010
For God's sake, please don't use SyFy channel-quality CGI! That would plain ruin it.

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted September 29, 2010
Anime, animation, no thanks. Its gotta be real, its better than a cartoon.

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sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 29, 2010
Surly if a studio took it on they would see it as a franchise? (ie multiple films )

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Robert has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2010
The first time they made this movie, they chickened out and sent everyone back through time, so don't do that.

I think the stronger elements are the culture clash, especially women's rights, management methods, jurisdiction, loyalty, instant communications. Watching the moderns suffer and adapt to the old infrastructure would play well. Not so much for the gee-whiz aspects of the new tech.

The new tech vs old tech battles will play well on screen, especially if you can capture scenes like that hillside battle.

And the skulduggery of people stealing or coercing to their own advantage would play fine on screen. In fact, that could be a key element, particularly as non-US governments snap up the new tech.

The anti-Muslim aspect of your story could be outdated by the time the flick is filmed--by then we'll be near a shooting war with China. At least over here real folks are fatigued by the anti-Muslim rhetoric to the point where it is only espoused by clownish politicians.

I think you should let someone rewrite all the relationships, though. Leave that to the Hollywood pros.

Generally, though, AoT could be a real blockbuster of a film worldwide, and I would like to see you honored in this fashion.

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Boscolamb swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 30, 2010
Please keep Peter Jackson and MGM studios from being involved (sigh)...

Their involvement would surely doom any big feature presentation of AoT.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2010
Everyone likes to hoist China up as the big Boogeyman. I sometimes think it is nostalgia for a Cold War world with a balance between two super powers that brings that to the surface.

It isn't going to happen. China and the U.S. are joined at the hip financially. For one to go after the other would be akin to shooting themselves in the head. Now granted, countries have done bone headed things in the past and there is always the unpredictable to factor in.

But if you are merely extrapolating on current knowledge to forecast the future, I'd say a war with China is about as likely as a French Army invading the moon. :)

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Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted September 30, 2010
"French Army invading the moon"

Finally, a battle they can't lose...

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Scott asserts...

Posted September 30, 2010
Aaron, I don't know they would find some way.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted September 30, 2010
*With thick French accent*

"Merde, what do you mean there is no air?"

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 30, 2010
With all the noise about Delhi & the Commonwealth Games in the MSM, I was contemplating PRC & The New & marginally Improved Republic of India teaming up as a future power bloc.

That'd fk 'em.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted October 1, 2010
NBob, not happening. They hate each others guts.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 1, 2010
I hear you Murph, but strange sh!t happens.

Would anyone in the early 1920's or late 30's have predicted Germany & France teaming up in an EU like structure? The idea of Poland & Russia co-operating on anything other than kicking the Balkans would have sounded like Science Fiction until after WWII, one could argue that Joe average in Poland didn't get much of a vote, but the Warsaw Pact did happen.

My mind was just free-spooling and came up with an idea by which a large % of the worlds population & means of production batting for the same side.

It's then a matter of wondering how it comes about; Islamic seperatists in Western China (Turkmen & Ouigas) funded & schooled up in Jihad by the usual suspects, Global Jihad moves north out of Pakistan & into China. In the face of this 'The Enemy of my Enemy' might just overcome any residual discomfort over the Tibettans.

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K.Rabbit puts forth...

Posted October 2, 2010
If the miniseries option is out then it has to be a trilogy. The first movie should definitely have the transition, the fused ships and the battle between Temps and moderns. The adjustment he moderns have to make should be focused on. I really hope it gets made

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted October 2, 2010
Oh and continuing from 30/9/10.

Don't forget the Naxalite (sp?) Maoist insurgency.

You could probably run up an scenario where that was successful. You know indemic corruption, rice harvest failure, charismatic leader martyrd...

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clubby reckons...

Posted October 3, 2010
MINI SERIES!

A 10+ episode miniseries would do far more justice than a piece of rushed crap which happened to Battlefield Earth.

Battlefield Earth was supposed to be 3 motion pictures which could have rivaled Star Wars, but didn't because of not enough of a budget, and not enough time in production, and only one movie instead of 3.

Please make either 3 movies of 3-hour + in length or make a 10+ mini series similar to Band of Brothers.

Please do not screw this one up, I have invested too much of my imagination and eyesight into reading the books :)

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Respond to 'AoT pepsi challenge'

Day trip to the big smoke.

Posted September 13, 2010 by John Birmingham
I popped down to Sydney today, to give a talk at the Hurstville library about Leviathan. I dips me lid to Unposs for dropping into the gig and saying hello at just the right moment. I really needed someone to help me fashion an escape. He'll know what I mean.

It was a pretty productive day all round. Virgin Blue canceled both of my flights in and out, forcing me to take an earlier flight down and the later flight home. That allowed me to squeeze in a couple of extra meetings, and a couple of beers at the end of the day. Although possibly one beer too many, because I thought my flight was 6.30, when in fact it took off at six. Thank God for the standard 15 minute delay on all Virgin flights.

I do have an invite to fly back to Sydney on Saturday for the opening night of Leviathan in western Sydney, but I'm not going to be able to make it to the Hurstville show. There's just too many clashes with preset commitments up here in Brisbane. But I'm hoping to be able to get to the launch of the show in Casula in October. Actually, October is looking like a pretty busy month for travel. I have another trip to Sydney to give a talk at some architecture conference (I think) which I'd quite like to do because I get to stay at Government House in the botanical Gardens.

Apologies for being out of contact over the weekend, but we took the kids and a couple of their friends away to uncle Lenny's beach shack at Fingal heads, which is a very 1930s experience. There's a small creek, full of fish, which runs right past the front door, and in which the kids are happy to spend hours at a time. There's the beach. The bait shop that sells the really nasty cheap bottles of wine. And not much else. I took my Kindle and got some reading done. I'll blog that up a little bit later in the week.

Bedtime for me now. There's another thinky blunty coming tomorrow, and I'll need my sleep.

9 Responses to ‘Day trip to the big smoke.’

Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2010
I hate thinky Bluntys.

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Domestic Daze. ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2010
I agree Mr Boylan, too much thinking first thing in the morning has to be bad for a person somehow.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 14, 2010
Actually, it is very good for a person; it sharpens the mind. That is why I am against it - at least for the uneducated masses. Thinky Bluntys breed Bolsheviks.

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Domestic Daze. mumbles...

Posted September 14, 2010
I would argue for some it is best to allow some their personal space and coffee before throwing thoughts, opinions and questions at them, unless the person doing the asking has an appetite for danger.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2010
My appetite for danger was satiated decades ago. Since then, I have consciously and patiently designed my life so that I never have to jump out of an airplane or conceal a weapon. But I confess to secretly enjoying depriving people of their personal space and forcing them to throw out thoughts and opinions unaffected by caffeine, engendering the kind of danger that fits well-within my current sedentary lifestyle. The consequential danger is a small price to pay for the resulting illusory sense of intellectual superiority.

And you?

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Big Pete has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2010
@JB

'Uncle Lenny’s beach shack at Fingal heads' sounds like the holidays I used to have as a child staying at my grandparents place at Wyong on the NSW central coast, their house was right on the lake. Fishing with Pop in the early morning, swimming and exploring all day, prawning at night.

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Domestic Daze. has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2010
Mr Boylan whilst always happy to challenge the good graces of those around me, I must confess to a deep and abiding love for personal space on waking. Hence I normally set my alarm to ensure that I have my small amount of 'quiet' time and my family whom I love greatly, also make it in one piece through to lunch time.

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unpossible mumbles...

Posted September 14, 2010
No worries dude. Glad I don't get the crown for being the creepiest fan :)

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 14, 2010
Ain't no creepy fans here, unpossible. Oh god, I saw some way creepy fans at a signing at a book store in San Diego yesterday. The experience totally weirded me out. I had no idea authors had to run those kinds of psycho-social gauntlets.

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Respond to 'Day trip to the big smoke.'

So, what IS going on in the rest of the world.

Posted September 3, 2010 by John Birmingham
There'll be a slight delay in the Geek going up today cos I wrote a long review of the Kindle, forgetting that I'd also a feature for the Oz about the future of publishing that tied into the Kindle release. So I put my review on the backburner and did a piece about gaming instead. It'll go up later.

For now though, I've been trawling through the comments in the AA threads and one of things that came out very strongly was a desire to see some of the next book set outside the US, to learn what is going on.

Well, I can give you some of the broad outlines as they're outlined or sometimes hinted at in the book.

Civil War in China.

Limited nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan.

Hell in the Middle east.

The rise of a South American federation of unspecified size and power under Roberto Morales (some may recall him as Miguel's offsider at the road block in Acapulco).

Widespread piracy in the Carribean.

Ditto the waters to our north.

Some sort of revolution in Indonesia.

A good deal of ethnic cleansing in Europe, of varying intesity and vioence depending on the locale.

Apart from that, it's all open. So, given what you know of the world, as pepsi challenge for the weekend, why dont you tell me where you see things going, geo politically-like.

115 Responses to ‘So, what IS going on in the rest of the world.’

Therbs would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2010
Let's look at Finland. It gets made fun of by Swedes and Norwegians. It has a titchy neighbour in Russia and its language is bizarre. It is also the home of some overrated architecture and populated by people who like forests, vodka, rotten fish, reindeer meat and fast driving. Overshadowing all of this however is the most important discovery in its history surpassing even that of reindeer steaks and rally driving. Two hundred year old drinkable beer has been found in a shipwreck in the waters off Finland. Now that's a story totally worthy of Friday afternoon drinks.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/03/3001443.htm

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 3, 2010
ooh yeah, that's it. You give good international ructions.

I reckon Piracy from both ends of the [resourced & professional] scale will flourish anywhere there isn't substantial force present to discourage it. 360 degrees around the African coast line. SE ASia & the Caribean of course. Would the piracy risk significantly change Singapore? How about the Eastern end of the Med? I'd guess the Suez is shut?

I kind of liked the idea of South Eastern Europeans fleeing back to homelands as they realise goat herding in Slovenia is better than being interred or starving in Edinborough. Back to the low-tech societies.

I have a clear image of a rural Bangladeshi on hearing about the 'End Of The Western World' saying "Meh, bothers me nil" and carrying on hand threshing grain, netting fish in the river and living his same life un interrupted.

Roberto of the black wife beater & sunnies? I took a shine to that lad.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2010
Or perhaps, because he has 1st hand experience milking, calving & butchering the previously spat upon Eastern European ittinerrant laborer becomes the Go To Guy in a Post Wave UK.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2010
Well . . . .they'd be no hoohah over Cricket gambling.

Hmm . . . .Sri Lanka will still be fighting the Tigers.

The approach to boat people will get a lot more vicious.

No mining boom. Australia will be in the economic doldrums. Agriculture may be in trouble. Assume butterfly effect. Could have droughts or flooding rains.

Timor could be gone.

Who are the major arms suppliers now? Russia?

South Korea could have attacked by the North absent American protection.

South Africa? COuld they have been swamped by refugees?

Several of these things require foreknowledge of where and when the States gifted their arms stockpiles and what alliances have been stitched together.

ASEAN could be interesting one.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2010
Japan would be the crucial player in Asia. I'd assume they'd take on a few U.S. military assets and boost their navy to protect trade routes.

Economically the ructions in China would mean that manufacturing would need to be geared up in Oz and other countries reliant on cheap Chinese goods. This has implications from heavy industry down to clothing, footware and plastic novelties. Despite the crackdown on refugees there'd still be a whole heap of them in Oz looking for things to do before going home or settling. So, manufacturing gets a guernsey and to feed extra people the Ord River irrigation farms would expand once more, there'd be a wind down of environmental legislation against land clearing and a ramp up on infrastructure.

Who else locally? Ah, the Kiwis. They'll still be whingeing about Greg Chappell and trying to figure out what a Kiwi fruit is actually good for.

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Brian mutters...

Posted September 3, 2010
Forgot one. Taiwan. You could possibly see some domino effects . . . .

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted September 3, 2010
Balkanisation everywhere. Bali, Aceh and West Papua splitting from Indonesia, India fragmenting (if you look at the degree of ethnic loathing between Indian states now it could even happen here). North Qld becoming Kattertonia, Western Australia becoming Mineralia. While some states might federate, there's hardly a nation on earth that doesn't have some region itching to split. Any loose US Boomers with a load of ICBM's would be worth a fortune. I could see us, South Korea and a lot of other US-shielded states bidding for their own nuclear deterrents.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted September 3, 2010
"Kattertonia"

Respect.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2010
There are places in Hell for people who do that.

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sparty reckons...

Posted September 3, 2010
@Brian

"Limited nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan" - what do you think that will be about!

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Trashman asserts...

Posted September 3, 2010
'Hell in the Middle East.' I'd be curious to know what's happened with Israel in aftermath of the strikes.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2010
@ Sparty

I'm always of the opinion that a good story can always be made better with a few nukes.

However @ Greybeard "Kattertonia" . . . .a new drink Katter tonic and ice.

@ Sparty

At first blush. Need more thinking on this. So first approximations only.

India and Pakistan. Israeli's whacked Iran. Spillover of Shia into Sunni areas of Pakistan. Taliban deciding its time to play. India could have had a pre emptive strike on Pakistans nuke areas in imitation of the Israeli strike.ie remove a threat while they could.

Meh.

Or

India would like to keep its stockpile intact if it saw the traditional invasion routes into India being used . . .just to interdict land invasion through the Kyhber.

Possible threats.

Iranian army units joining with disaffected Pakistani elements.

Chinese warlords deciding they needed a seaport. Or those 10-15 Divisions of CHinese troops in Tibet wanting somewhere to go.

Chinese civil war. Traditionally Chinese Civil Wars are generally a North - South thing. I'd expect a very similar evolution. Heck . . its even possible the Taiwanese could get involved.

Meanwhile . . .down in Burma . . .

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Scott mumbles...

Posted September 3, 2010
Middle East, Turkey wasn’t hit by Israeli strikes but is paralysed by the following-

Kurdish elements in both former Iraq and Iran unite for a Kurdish state without central control from the former Turkey gets to deal.

The tensions between the secularists and religious groups break out, without America providing aid and with EU membership imposible think France the military comes down on the Islamic parties, no Recep Erdogan.

Radioactive fallout add in refugees from shattered nabors.

If you wanted to get nasty throw in a Greek grab for Syprus.

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Stevo 73 would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2010
Where to start..........

What about the nutters in North Korea? Would Kim Il whoever decide that without the US to help the south, that it is now time to unite the peninsula? Or would China take the opportunity to get rid of the its internationally embarrassing neighbour, quietly, with a few nukes, and blame it on rogue US forces?

What about the grand caliphate to the north of Australia... Without the big brother US to help us did the Indos push south, retake East Timor , the rest of Papua and bring an entirely new set of boat people to Australian shores. This could be offset by the use of F111s (still in service back in 2007). They were bought because of their ability to bomb Jakarta and return to Oz without mid air refuel,..., maybe that would slow the push south.

How did Irsael go dealing with all the nuke fallout from its attack? Surely the land of milk and honey would not be the promised land anymore....Perhaps it would be all theirs now cause everyone else who survived the initial assault decided that the middle east really is a shit hole and decided to do the runner.

so much to think on....

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blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted September 3, 2010
One empire falls, another will rise.

What sort of totalitarian state would China be if it wasn't able to sort out the civil war toot sweet? The fall of China into civil war wasn't really sold in WW as a natural follow on from the disappearance of the USA.

I think the insanely scary thought for a lot of westerners would be the "fall" of the west as the dominant civilization - something that we've been since until just after the dark ages. By neutering China, the fear that the world would be remodeled in a totalitarian Chinese image is eliminated from the book.

The USA is perhaps fatally wounded, there is blood in the water, but in WW you stack the deck by taking out all of today's sharks. Isn't part of the argument about why the world needs the USA about protection from sharks? How they are the Jedi knights saving the rest of us heathens from the depredations of them wot are not like us?

What about the world's most awesome James Bond Villain President - Putin? Have you see the photos of the dude recently - riding motorbikes, doing Karate, riding submarines. Force for good? Force for evil? Last seen on water skis in the Black sea just about to jump over a tank full of sharks?

I was surprised that the greatest threat against the "New" USA in this new world was a bunch of poorly organized islamist pirates.

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P.J. mutters...

Posted September 3, 2010
I'd like to see more about what happened to Canada after the wave, and its standing in the New World.

You alluded to some things, noting Vancouver has become the HQ of Echelon and site of important political conclaves.

But as you may know, Northern Alberta's oilsands hold the second-largest oil reserves on the planet. And since the Middle East was nuked in Without Warning, that means Canada is the primary oil and gas producer in the world.

I'd like to see how the Canadian military and political authorities handle the disaster.

And it would be fun to see some Canadian characters who survived Edmonton getting sliced in half by the wave.

Perhaps stage some scenes in Fort McMurray, AB., site of the oilsands, and see how they plan to protect themselves.

By the way, I love your series. It's a brilliant look at one possible world.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted September 3, 2010
@P.J.

Oil sand development will be uneconomic. Principally as oil production probably will now exceed demand what with 400 million less vehicles on the road. Not to menion all the remainig oil and petrol laying around the place. Gas stations . . .fuel farms etc

Come to that . . .you can have the entire surviving US population driving ethanol or diesel or LPG vehicles. So a variety of fuels are possible . . .not simply gas.

Hmm . . .wonder what happened to the US strategic oil reserve. ISTR that they would pump oil back into wells for the reserve. Is that right? I know Japan has a number of oil tankers acting as theirs.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted September 3, 2010
I dont know that all the sharks are gone, Orin. Russia is still with us.

And if China was intact I'd have no option but to write a Chinese war story. It would dominate the narrative logic.

But I dont think they could remain intact, losing their biggest debtor and seeing the architecture of the world economy, on which the CP has punted MASSIVELY, suddenly collapse.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted September 3, 2010
Kinda curious about the Korean Peninsula.

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Amerigo Vespucci is gonna tell you...

Posted September 3, 2010
Brian, driving alternative-fueled vehicles isn't really practical here in Alaska. First, because of the lack of supply. Second, because they simply don't work that well in cold temperatures. Diesel engines gum up and require extensive warmups, and ethanol or biodiesel tend to separate into component elements under the cold.

Given the generally colder temperatures in the post-WW world, these problems will be magnified, as will the nearing exhaustion of the Cook Inlet natural gas fields. Of course, such a world probably would drive extensive development of the North Slope's natural gas potential as well as further development of its oil resources.

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blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted September 3, 2010
After RR is complete, are you going to hang around in this Universe or are you planning on journeying elsewhere? I'd suggest that there is a lot to "wrap up" - but you left the AoT-Verse pretty unwrapped, so nothing is given.

Of course Pratchett is up to 38 Discworld books ;-)

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Amerigo Vespucci mutters...

Posted September 3, 2010
I personally think Russia might make it out all right; Europe's demand for natural resources isn't going away, and with chaos in the rest of the world blocking access to other sources, Russia's importance will only grow. The lack of Middle Eastern oil/gas, forex, will greatly increase the importance of Russian supplies. The same might also hold true with rare earths and various metals.

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blarkon puts forth...

Posted September 3, 2010
Russia does have excellent Shark potential. Awesome potboiler ex-KGB ruler. The Russian economy has been raking in the megabucks in our own timeline as an energy exporter (Moscow is in the top 3 most expensive cities in the world and has fluctuated at number 1 for a couple of years) - given the Israeli spasm in WW in the middle east, that would make what is left of the industrialized world even more dependent on Putin's goodwill as Russia is left with the significant substantive oil exporting infrastructure that doesn't glow in the dark (Russia is currently 2nd highest oil exporting nation). Obviously Oil exports will play a part with the South American bloc as well.

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blarkon asserts...

Posted September 3, 2010
PJ - Canada exports around a third of what Russia does - and most of Canada got 'waved

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JdR is gonna tell you...

Posted September 3, 2010
Actually, I just liked that nappies were hard to get. I get that America provides some stability to the world. But I also liked that America makes and sells nappies.

What happened to global firms that were headquartered in America like McDonalds? Surely the Rhino would have had some views. Who's making entertainment without Hollywood (and Bollywood I guess)? London may have been grim on the ethnic and economic front, but surely the British celebrity scene would have been jumping. Maybe bleak French cinema has made a massive comeback.

But if I must play, what's happening in Southern Africa? Surely at least a looney like Mugabe is worthy of a throw-away line JB?

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zeniph ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2010
"Some sort of revolution in Indonesia." well you'll just have to send in a multi national naval task force lead by an American battle group with some type of research vessel in tow to sort that out....

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Murphy reckons...

Posted September 3, 2010
I do not think North Korea would do anything other than what they've been doing, which is sitting quiet. The South would kick the living dogshit out of them. Granted, it would be a ruinous war (most of the mentioned ones have been) but the South would probably come out on top.

I think the world would break down into regional pockets of stability. I can see Japan, South Korea and Australia getting together to secure trade routes in their area. They will have a mutual interest in maintaining security in the Pacific Rim.

Same with Great Britain per the Northern Atlantic. In fact, if I were the Brits, when the Wave goes down, I'd try to reconnect with the Canadians.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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mckinneytexas mutters...

Posted September 3, 2010
Korea, Taiwan and Japan seem interwoven. Japan would have to move quickly to secure food supplies. Ditto Taiwan. Those islands can't feed themselves. Don't know about SK. Look for Japan and SK to become the next martime powers: both have huge shipbuilding industries. There is real potential for conflict here. Look for Taiwan to move to the mainland--they have to, that's where the food grows. Japan well might do the same. Would N Korea go out with a whimper or a bang? It's one of the other. Murph, the status quo won't work because NK depends too heavily on the PRC for pretty much everything. It is not self sustaining. My guess would be an internal coup followed by rapprochement with SK. Further thinking suggests a lot of SK's, Chinese and Japanese would want to settle in the US once the wave lifted. The huge wheat production from Canada and the US are no longer in play and won't be for years. Net food importers have a very narrow window of opportunity to address an existential threat and the global distribution network is in the crapper. This is a high friction environment.

The piracy angle means every seafaring nation will need a navy and an armed merchant marine. Convoys seem the obvious defense move. Plenty of fodder for fanfic.

South America had stability issues before the Wave. Post-wave, it can't get better. Further, its industrial base, while not primitive by any means, is no match for the Pacific Rim or Europe. I don't think there is any shipbuilding capacity to speak of, which is THE transportation mode for the coming decades. Argentina, food production-wise, is the new Canada, if there are ships and petrol to get there and back.

Refining capacity. I believe I've mentioned this before. You can't run a car, a plane or a ship on crude. Our high end technologies call for a complex chemical and petroleum refining infrastructure that is the clear choke point for any country that isn't willing to revert to slash and burn, subsistence agriculture. Where is the refining capacity in the US? The Gulf Coast, Texas to Alabama. Blackstone has to go.

The three hot zones are the Pacific Rim, the US/Canadian zone and the Euro/Russian zone. The mid-east will be digging out for generations, it has no infrastructure. The mid-East, Africa and the sub-continent are the peripheries for the next several generations. Africa will starve, except maybe the very south. The subcontinent is geographically isolated.

The imperatives for a US/Canada/UK/Aus/NZ axis could not be stronger. Likewise, an SK/Japan alliance is as likely as the two being hostile. There is still a lot of ill will toward the Japanese. Maybe an SK/Taiwan alliance vs. the Japanese?

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Murphy mutters...

Posted September 4, 2010
Mckinney, the North Koreans have to know they'll be committing suicide if they attack the South Koreans. Even without US backing, the South Koreans will make it very expensive for them.

I'm not so sure about an internal coup in North Korea. In fact, I wouldn't want to make any predictions about NK at all. They are crazy, end of story.

Japan and South Korea are already major maritime powers or on their way to becoming such. South Korea already has a goal of establishing a true blue water navy. As for feeding themselves, that I am not sure about. I'd have to do some research.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Roberto Teixeira puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2010
I get the feeling that Australian got the best of it. Looks to me as though the aussies haven't been affected too much. Maybe a bit because of large immigration, but nothing drastic. Am I correct?

The UK seems to be getting back to some kind of normalcy. Continental Europe seems to be developing into the new Middle East and I'd expect it to blow up anytime soon.

I imagine Africa would continue its perennial tradition of periodic ethnic civil wars. Maybe the few functioning nations (South Africa, for instance) might have trouble now that there's no longer a world police. Other than that, no change.

As for South America, I can envision this South American Federation being at odds with whatever is left of the Brazilian military. There has always been a great deal of opposition between the Spanish-speaking Latin America and Brazil, the former being a lot more to the left of the political spectrum, especially where the military is concerned.

The brazilian government may be centre-left, but the military heads are definitely way to the right. The brazilian forces have long been planning for what they see as an inevitable face-off with Chavez & co. and they've already took power before when they thought the country was dangerously heading to the left. I imagine they'd do it again.

It would be Left Wing dictatorship against Right Wing dictatorship. Probably more of a cold war type of thing though, as neither side has a lot of firepower. But it would also in effect remove South America rom the world game as they'd have their hands full fighting amongst themselves.

Maybe after a few nukes here and there the heat might make Antarctica more habitable. Might be a future power ;-)

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archy would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2010
per Roberto, 04 Sept: ***I get the feeling that Australian got the best of it. Looks to me as though the aussies haven’t been affected too much. Maybe a bit because of large immigration, but nothing drastic. Am I correct?***

Oh, I wouldn't say that, there's certainly a potentiaol for something pretty nasty. You read any of John Marsden's output?

http://www.rsimpson.id.au/books/tomorrow/explore/invasion.html

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archy puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2010
per Murph, 03 Sept: ***Same with Great Britain per the Northern Atlantic. In fact, if I were the Brits, when the Wave goes down, I’d try to reconnect with the Canadians.***

If I were a pom, I'd abandon ship and head for Oz or Canada. BATT at Medicine Hat would be looking right attractive for 30 April.

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archy ducks in to say...

Posted September 4, 2010
per Birmo, 03 Sept: ***Well, I can give you some of the broad outlines as they’re outlined or sometimes hinted at in the book.

Civil War in China.***

Well, you've got your priorities straight. I suspect rolling over the *breakaway province* might not go at all as smothly as liked, and that neither the Nepal of 2007 nor Bhutan would exactly be pushovers either. And all that Chinese activity would keep the Soviet Un, er, Russian Federation a bit tied up with anticipation. And that once the US nuclear protection was absent, Japan would have a crash program for both weapons and delivery means right shortly.

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archy has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2010
per Birmo: ***Some sort of revolution in Indonesia.***

Which side is the Kumarian Raider Battalion siding with?

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Moko puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2010
LOVE that you let the fans get the chance to influence the book.

Standing ovulation for that.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 4, 2010
I've experienced indirectly a number of standing ovulation, each and every one of them either heralded or punctuated by my wife throwing something heavy at me, intending to make a dent. In my head.

I am wondering about the possible environmental fall out (so to speak) resulting from all the nuclear bomb activity talked about in the past tense in AA. Wouldn't thermonuclear explosions numerous and/or massive enough to kill so many people have a global effect?

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted September 4, 2010
Archy, the Kamarian Raider Battallion would be siding with the Musorian Forces to consolidate power in...um...the Musorian Confederacy. Or something.

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OzarkOrc puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2010
Re the US Nuclear Umbrella, it's still operative (Sort of); One purpose of the "New Manhattan Engineering District" (NMED?) is to continue to maintain/deploy that deterent. Kipper used one to "Warn" Chavez in WW; It's what gives the US/UK top table status in the world (No more of this nonsense about cancelling the UK carriers either; Becomes Priority #2 for funding, after keeping Trident operational).

Real World, the US/UK special relationship extends (somewhat) to nuclear technology. I know the UK was allowed to test some of their (indiginous) warheads at the Nevada Test Site.... (US Sold them the Trident Missles, they provide their own warheads).

And warhips become less high tech; Think Frigate Equivalent (FFG-7?), maybe with space/weight for Missle systems, but numbers of platforms have become key to stopping piracy. Electronics Suite, Helicopter Support Ability, and a couple of Medium sized Gun(s). Let the Koreans crank out the hulls, fit them with Electronics in Oz.

BTW (ITRW), Nuclear Capability also why Russia is still considered a Superpower. Sure, they could crush Georgia; A conventional offensive across the plains of Poland? Doubt they could bring it off. (In the real world, or the WW Universe).

Yeah, two separate threads here.

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Amerigo Vespucci ducks in to say...

Posted September 4, 2010
Paul Nicholas, I assumed the climate change seen in After America was partially attributable to the nuclear attacks. I didn't think of that whole cooler temperatures thing, but given the massive wildfires and atomic attacks after the wave, it only makes sense that all the soot and garbage injected in the air would do wonders to block sunlight and cool things off.

Couple that with the greatly decreased global greenhouse gas emissions from the global depression and disappearance of America, and it's pretty plausible in my mind.

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Leper reckons...

Posted September 4, 2010
I can imagine North Korea going the other way and launching raids into China for supplies, which have likely dried up since China's civil war began. Alternatively, as food supplies dry up, NK also suffers a civil war, which leaves South Korea with a timebomb next door.

Taiwan is in an interesting position, as both of their main foreign influences are mostly out of the picture. China's instability is likely to flow over to Taiwan though. Japan would probably have some interest in helping to stabilise Taiwan.

Russia comes out of this in a pretty good way. Oil and weapons will both be prime export markets post-wave, although shipping them anywhere will be problematic. A Russian story would be nice, although hopefully without cliched Russian bad guys.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2010
Kipper didn't fire the warning shot as he wasn't President. Ritchie, Franks and Musso did that outside of the protocols for the use of nuclear weapons. What they did, technically, was illegal.

And perhaps, just perhaps, not even possible. I spent a lot of hours trying to find out what procedures are if the National Command Authority is so completely decapitated. The best answer I could find was a sort of dead man's switch protocol. Given that the boomer CDRs do not have a target to retaliate against, I suspect most would cite line and verse of the protocols and refuse to take action.

But then again, Ritchie would only need one sub, three missiles . . .

In any case, Kipper didn't authorize that. In fact, given what I know of Kipper's character, I suspect he'd probably object to such an action prior to the events in NYC.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Robert would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2010
I dunno, Birmo, you've made such a mess of the world I'll leave you to clean it up.

But one thing I'd like you to try (without the kids in the car): next time you are on the road, and no one is behind you, try letting go of the wheel and taking your foot off the pedal at the same time. See what happens? You might want to back off the vehicle wreckage--I think you overplayed that by far, especially for vehicles traveling city streets at low speeds in the same direction.

And WTF? Car seats and stereos are more valuable than the precious metals littering the ground? Really?

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Sweet Jane Says ducks in to say...

Posted September 4, 2010
kiwi = flightless bird

j.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2010
Car stereos and seats are already processed, finished productions. Easier to move and sell. Precious materials not so much.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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yankeedog is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2010
Really could toss a curve by having the Koreas united-some sort of secret treaty or something.

Going with Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand forming an alliance to protect trade and pool resources.

And at the end, Rhino will be named Supreme Generalissimo and By The Grace Of God Defender Of The Faith of the entire world!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2010
Actually, in a Boylan perfect AA world, I would very much like to see Miguel put a bullet through Blackstone's head in the same manner that Bean put a bullet through Achilles' head - if you get my drift.

JB, please make it so.

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pitpat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 4, 2010
In a geopolotic I reckon that Aus and Indo will form an alliance possibly a bloc to control the in ground resource endowmnet and with a combined population of of over 300mill will have the critical population to suppport a strong domestic economy and thereby a strong military presence . Aus was alredy buying weaponary in both AA and I think WW. Indo are well versed in social turmoil and to date have had a remarkable abilty to come through it. Althought there may be sectarian divivsions aver time the southern bloc will porvide the world with an example of a working relationship.

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OzarkOrc has opinions thus...

Posted September 5, 2010
Australia/Indonesian alliance? Maybe a VERY loose one (Say somthing JB);

Where do you think "Boat People" come from?

And how developed is the Indonesian Economy (Or was it, May, 2003); Have they even finished first stage (Textiles/Light Industry) Industrialization?

Anybody can make AK's (Mostly stamped); But does Indonesia have an indiginous Small Arms Ammunition capability? Australia does I am sure, just not sure how large. Some kind of Mobilization base with low rate production.

AARGH ADD strikes again, latest seemed to require comment.

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Stevo 73 ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2010
An alliance with Indonesia beyond what exists today in our timeline is unlikely.

According to Janes (2009), Indonesia does have the capability to produce small arms ammunition, and low quality artillery ammunition, and some armoured vehicle capapbility.

Do they have their own small arms production, that was not stated.

We do still make our own small arms. Lithgow has been the centre of Australian small arms and munitions production since before WW1. Unforunately it now only produces the F88/F89s, 5.56mm ball and trace, and hand grenades Most of our artillery rounds are sourced elsewhere...

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R0s3mary is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2010
I just want the next book NOW!

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El Coqui mumbles...

Posted September 5, 2010
SK vs NK, no contest. NK is rotten to the core.

SK, Japan and Australia may form an alliance. Who bought the carriers that the liberals wanted to keep selling.

On the Caribbean, Puerto Rico becomes the linchpin for the remaining American power in the area. The deep water harbor the Roosevelt Roads becomes the largest still operational naval base in the Atlantic. Ramey Air Force reopens to serve the military aircraft inventory. A revamped Coast Guard equipped with Australian built Armidale class patrol boats try to keep a lid on the piracy problem. The American version is heavily armed to fight the close quarter battle that such mission demands. Puerto Rico based Spy and reconnaissance air-crafts and nuclear submarines kept an eye on the new South America Federation.

Due to the high unemployment, Puertoricans volunteer in droves to reoccupy key installations in Florida and southern states.

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RobinB asserts...

Posted September 5, 2010
I think it would be interesting to observe the breakdown of society in central Africa. The lack of any foreign aid coupled with the inherent instability, the high prevalence of HIV and TB means that there would be the rise of the warlord and return to tribalism, perhaps a lot of mini Mugabes would arise. Perhaps a few well run countries would be able to hold back the tide of anarchy but I doubt it given the inherent poverty. South Africa would have their own work cut out keeping their country together with the collapse of export markets for their minerals, gold and diamonds.

I think the rising power in the world would not be Australia but the United States of Southern America. There is considerable technology and industrial capability there. Remember most of the world's ethanol from sugar comes from Brazil and Venezuela is a very large oil producer. Colombia would be an interesting case study with the fall of the drug lords because their market disappeared.

The fall of the major market for illegal drugs would also impact upon the local peoples of SE Asia and Afghanistan.

Vladimir Putin would be a potent force in the world and I believe would play a larger role than we have seen in AA. It all depends on whether he sees this as an opportunity to expand in a colonial fashion to resource rich place like Nigeria or is content to watch the chaos from a Kremlin based comfy chair.

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nhamilton@iinet.net.au reckons...

Posted September 5, 2010
I see Indonesia trying to increase its territories, for resources and religious reasons. This causing conflict with Australia. Not sure what we would do about it without America to back us up. As far as the rest of Asia goes, they would have them wary of Indonesia's ambitions.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2010
Ethanol Shmephanol. Brazil = enormous deep water oil and gas deposits. W/o America, definite regional hegemon if not burgeoning global power.

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Stevo 73 mumbles...

Posted September 5, 2010
Agreed, with the drop in demand from the near obliteration of the US, ethanol would bite the dust for another few decades and that would place Brazil in an interesting spot. As the outsider country in South America (being Portugese speaking) they would have to be one of the buyers of ex US mil hardware to ensure their own security from their greedy little neighbours, of which there seems to be plenty.

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Don Bagert is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2010
Birmo, you strongly hinted that Israel has continued to be active by having Admiral Ritchie say the nuclear attack in 2003 was their "first strike". I would like to know about that. (Or were you using "first strike" as a term synonymous with "pre-emptive strike"?)

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Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted September 6, 2010
How about outer space? The disintegration of Columbia on re-entry just 13 days before The Wave has probably been even more forgotten by the public than it was in OTL by the Iraq War. Do we know if the International Space Station is still being used? Are some governments worried that The Wave was caused by extraterrestrial pheonomeona? Have there been suggestion to terminate any SETI efforts, in case that had something to do with The Wave?

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2010
First strike is usually a pre-emptive one. I suspect Israel emptied everything BUT the kitchen sink.

As for ISS, I wouldn't be surprised if the Russians took it over. I do not see how the US could possibly maintain a presence onboard.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted September 6, 2010
I agree with Murph re: Russian take over of the ISS. But would they arm it? It would make a magnificent weapons platform.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted September 6, 2010
I agree with Murph and PNB.

Except I dont think the ISS would be armed. There are probably enough weapons systems up there already.

I think Israel probably kept a couple of nukes as a strategic reserve. Hmm . . . .how far is Israel going to go to fill up her nuke bunkers again?

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KC Matt is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2010
Wow. As someone who just happened across WW, and then had to rush to the bookstore before they closed to get AA, I must say, your writing style, level of detail, and the fact that I can see in the distance, to my west, the IATAN power plant, I am so completely hooked. It is quite nice to see Kansas City in a novel, and also creepy, as I would be a pile of goo in 501's. With this being said, lets see the POTUS make KC the new capitol. I dont believe he would stay in the NW for a second(IMHO Its simply too strategic).

Also, you mentioned Whiteman AFB, I have some good stories about that place. Would be very important power projection

(think B-2's). SOOOO looking forward to the next installment.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2010
KC Matt, when I drive to my day job, I see the Hawthorn Plant in passing.

Kansas City has made a previous appearance in an SF novel. There was a novel about a Second American Civil War and a scene took place down at Crown Center. I can see the cover but for the life of me I can not remember the title.

And she made an appearance in a very bad SF movie called Asteroid with Michael Biehn as a FEMA director where they blow up Smithville's Dam. Funny thing is, I was born there. The dam doesn't look like a clone of the Hoover Dam to me.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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KC Matt swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 6, 2010
I remember that movie also Murph.....Very B-ish, lol.

And, then there is The Day After(1984). I was in 6th grade then, scared the living poo out of me, but it did impress on me the stratigic importance of KC on many levels(transportation, manufacturing, agriculture) and also allowed me to love the metro even more. I will search out the novel you speak of, sounds interesting. Hey John, what made you pull KC out of a long list of cities? To ppl. that dont live here, they almost ALWAYS have the wrong idea about this place. Your descriptions were dead on though.

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Guru Bob asserts...

Posted September 6, 2010
The China scenario I would expect is as follows:

USA disappers and with it the biggest market for Chinese goods. With no-one around to buy new plasma televisions and designer jeans, the Chinese economy goes into doldrums very quickly. The old-style communist rulers don't know how to deal with widespread unemployment as factories quickly empty themselves of workers, the wealthy/middle class become targets for violence and riots beak out. The edifice of a communist-based super-economy starts cracking and then what do you know we have attempted coups by generals looking to consolidate their power base against the Party - also to secure their own pockets - doesn't the PLA run whole industries on the side?? Add in a couple of corrupt regional governments and you have a quick recipe for civil war.

However the side effects of a civil war in China would be refugees on a scale which we couldn't even imagine in today's world. The numbers of displaced people would be enormous - imagine a conventional battle in a city like Shanghai? How many people would be left homeless and displaced?

Almost immediately waves of Chinese refugees would start affecting every country with land borders with China - that would lead to further destabilisation throughout the region - some countries would try to seal their borders, some would try and take advantage of them and others may try and do the right thing. Easy to see flotillas of boat people heading East towards the West Coast of USA and no-one in place to try and stop them when wave comes down.

This crisis would effectively paralyse most of SE Asia politically and economically...

On other fronts - unlike Murph I can't see NK sitting on its hands if SK's big protection is suddenly removed. The nutjobs would see it as a clarion call to action and would try something on. It would depend upon what happens to US forces based there? Were any of them sent away to Gulf deployment in teh first place? In any case I can't see Kipper leaving 30-50,000 servicemen sitting in SK when they could be back in the homeland after the wave disappears.

NK could do anything ranging from full-scale invasion to stepping up its crazy covert attacks to a constant state of siege. However NK would also be affected by Chinese refugees as well...

Russia would be consolidating its position in Europe and buying up technology like crazy. They would probably have a lot of money, and Putin wouldn't be able to resist bullying smaller countries and the whole EU to let him do whatever he wanted.

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sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2010
yep i agree with Don (even wrote some fan fiction over at the burger based on the space station). I know that for the sake of the book the cause of the wave may or may not matter and may or may not be revealed. But would like some attention to nations actualing dealing with the concept of something so unexplainable happening.. ie Russia might think they were next etc- so regardless of if WE find out the Sovs would be ding something...

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Stevo 73 mumbles...

Posted September 6, 2010
Guru Bob i agree reference NK vs SK the regime is so nutty I do not think they could help themselves, add that to the fact that they have over 1500 medium and heavy artillery pieces built into reinforced mountain bunkers that have been hardened and improved for 50 years, they may only get two rounds of fire for effect out before counter battery kicks in but even with conventional munitions, seoul would be obliterated.

Counter attack, who cares, the northern nutters would be happy to glass the parallel as soon as the thrust from the south began.

Certainly the south will win, but the cost to residents of the peninsula would be huge.

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Guy is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2010
THe US might have (mostly) vanished ut it may well be that the likely successors as global big cheese are nearly as badly off. Civil war in China, nuclear war in India/Pakistan which would likely leave the former badly wounded and the latter effectively destroyed. Russia might be in a better position but at the time they were barely able to maintain their territorial integrity and at best might have taken advantage of the situation to regain influence in the former Soviet territories - the 'near abroad'.

Europe is especially interesting. France has historically shown an ability to tear itself apart in civil war and then emerge massively stronger (eg Napoleon). Might that happen again? If so, would Sarkozy tolerate a large Islamic presence in Germany? I would imagine he would link up with nationalist elements in Germany to sort out the muslims there. Some limited cooperation with the UK as well, although Britain would have more than enough on its plate without getting involved in mainland European problems. I suspect that Britain would see an authoritarian Franco-German control of western Europe to be the least worst option available and they would be prepared to let the French get on with it.

Very interesting to see what's happening to Australia. A growing military power, armed with ex-US nuclear subs. I like the suggestion that Australia/NZ/Japan and South Korea would forge stronger economic and defence links to maintain some kind of regional stability.

We are told that Vancouver is the new centre for Echelon. The rebuilding of the US and Canada would be a vital interest for the Echelon powers, not least because if they do nothing there might be a new hostile Islamic state emerging on the US east coat. I believe the UK would be doing everything possible to assist the US to regain control of their territory. British troops in parts of th eeast coast, preparing the way for a wave of British settlers, perhaps supplemented by people from 'approved' European countries such Holland, and the Scandinavian states. Australians and New Zealanders doing the same in California. Yes, the ability of UK/Aus/NZ would be severely limited, but the potential rewards would be huge and the risks of leaving North america open to pirates and terrorists (and a threatening sounth American alliance looking north) would be an unacceptable risk for the future. I think the Echelon alliance - the 'Anglosphere' would be alive and well. Smewhat nastier than before the wave, out of necessity, but still the last, best hope for the world.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted September 6, 2010
We've talked peripherally about the effects of the Wave on the American rump population. We're now talking about what is happening outside CONUS.

How is the rest of the world reacting to the Wave? Not its effects but the fact that it exists.

First every remaining nation capable of putting a science together is going to head over to study it. The ISS is going to be studying it. Strategic analysts in the absence of a perp are going to go nuts wondering if the damn thing is going to be aimed their way and what to do. Probes will be going in. Theoretical physicists are to go nuts trying to find a methodology to explain it. The public are going to freak about this sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

Then the Wave comes down. Suddenly teams official and unofficial are going to be swarming Conus or Mexico for samples.

The public reaction will be what?

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Scott is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2010
What surprised me in AA was the complete absence of religious explonations for the wave.

Historically whenever something unexplainable occurs people blame the supernatural until science comes along to remove the mystery.

In the post wave I can see all types of nutters coming out to play, eco types Gaia/Earth Muther/Goddess punishing her rapists, evangelicals calling for a return to scripture and the bearded types claiming that Allah slew the Great Satan.

Unless or until a scientific explanation for the wave is given these groups will cause problems for the world. The very presence of the wave will be seen as proof for whatever bit of snake oil salesmanship someone wishes to engage in.

In this light Indonesia’s fall to theocracy is almost inevitable, with all the trappings of genocide thrown in.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2010
Okay first up South America.

At the time of the wave things were happening Argentina was in Deeeeep shite. brazil was moving to the centre left with Lula. uribe was starting to move against FARC and ELN was almost a side show. Only Chavez was thumping the anti yankee drum.

With the disapeerance of the US (effectively) alot of S America would start trying to readjust with the down turn in US investment on a plus suide it might do Argetnina some good as money flight would be less of a problem and Nestor might not get into power. The peronistas might be tempted to do a falklands esp with my mate hugo itching to hit someone after the seppos did those airburts to make him cease and disist.

Under Blair HMG would not hesitate to nuke Caracas if Chavez did help try and retake the falklands but would hesitate to hit BA.

Morales would find it fairly easy to form a popular movement against the yankee haters with the aid of the realists who were in power in peru, chile, Brazil and columbia. Also the collapse of the illegal drug markets would make life very hard for soem persons who would likely loose their lives in the post wave re-adjustment.

FARC would loose hughe revune which would make their conflict agaisnt Columbias democratic givenrment harder and the governemtn would not heistate under Uride to use more force to bring them to book. of course Hugho might try and involve himself.

Senor Morales might then be able to do a Bolivar agaisnt Hugo and then use the political power to bring together the S. american countries.

PRC next i think.

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El Coqui has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2010
I think that Chavez GITMO escapade and the consequent navy nuke demonstration was the straw that finally broke the camel's back. I suppose that we can all speculate about the matter of his demise but rest assure that it was not related to natural causes. The follow up regimen could be immensely worse.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2010
Turkey should be discussed. It is currently a resurgent regional power. In 2003 the Turkish government was still considered secular with the military still effectively in control. The Turks were still tight with Israel, which means it is unlikely Turkey got nuked, whereas the main populations and military centers of historical rival, Iran, would be radioactive glass. This would leave Turkey in a very good spot to expand its influence if not outright control.

I imagine with the US gone and no longer the great power protector for Israel, Turkey and Israel would enter into a stronger alliance, with Turkey offering security in exchange for technology. Turkey would also make alliance with Russia to secure its energy supply.

The first test of Turkey's new position in the world would be how Turkey handles the disintegration of Greece. Even in 2003, the Greek economy was dependent on government borrowing and spending. The collapse of the world economy would result in chaos in Greece - chaos Turkey would be forced to attempt to manage for its own security interests. I don't envision an overt Turkish takeover of Greece (the Greek people would put their many differences aside to create an endless insurgency) but the Turks might very well support various factions that would split Greece into three our four different political entities that would then compete against themselves with Turkey as the behind the scenes king maker.

The US/EU imposed peace in Bosnia would dissolve and the Balkans would be in turmoil again.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted September 7, 2010
Might go the other way, Paul, with Turkey. I suspect they would be a refugee rally point for the Middle East. It is also possible that the religious elements might push the secular elements of the military out.

If the Balkans are in turmoil again then Europe will be unstable. I suspect the Russians may want to have some say in out the Balkan mess resolves itself.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brad G is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2010
I'm curious about Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Would the collapse of the oil economy allow the Wahhabis (spelling?) to overthrow the ruling Saud family? The Israleis didn't nuke Mecca (or Riyadh), so wouldn't the more strident Muslims take it as a sign that Allah wishes for them to run the Sauds out on a rail? And without the Shias (their population centers pretty much got decimated) they are the only Muslim game in Arabia-town.

As an aside, Al-Banana's bunch seemed to hail from Europe and North Africa, and, from what I understand about JB's original blog, the revolution in Indonesia is likely based on the creation of a caliphate (similar to AoT). The world-wide jihadi movement isn't monolithic, so would there be competition between the surviving Muslim centers for establishing supremecy in the Muslim world?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted September 7, 2010
If Israel actually decided to nuke anybody, my guess is that they would go for broke and nuke Mecca, which would devastate the Muslim psyche. Other than that, there would be no real benefit for Israel to nuke any other parts of the Arabian Peninsula because to do so would render the oil production facilities there useless. Or, more likely, Israel may have made a deal with the Saudis to spare them, and maybe Mecca, too. If so, the oil market wouldn't necessarily collapse enough to effect the House of Saud's comparative post Wave wealth and influence. The House of Saud isn't threatened in any appreciable way by the Wahhabists, who are now being "managed" quite well.

But Damascus, Teheran, Qom, Bagdad, Najaf and the nuclear launch sites in Pakistan would be targeted. Not Cairo or Amman because they are too close geographically. But maybe Tripoli, Aden and Mogadishu

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2010
El Coqui: Chavez would use the nuke demonstration as an example of how bad the Yankees are and he has/had enough supporters who'd believe him.

However as I said if you have a new Bolivar/San Martin in Morales then Chavez tiem is up esp if Morales tries to move away from the caudillo style of government.

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Brad G swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2010
Well, in WW, the Israelis did nuke Cairo, as well as the Aswan Dam and targets in Libya. They did it after detecting bio-chem hanky panky in Iraq, which got nuked along with Iran and Damascus. I didn't really see the sense in doing the Aswan Dam, because the radioactive sludge from the flooding of the Nile Valley would have impacted the Israeli coastal waters in a bad way. I'm not sure if the oil infrastructure got nuked, but the removal of the US oil appetite would have removed a large customer, and with the Chinese economic meltdown and the European market downsizing (as was implied in AA), the market for Saudi light, sweet crude would have bottomed out.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted September 7, 2010
Was thinking about France and could see logic in Sarkozy declaring the formation of the 6th republic along with further strengthening of secular nature of the state with a raft of other policies to maintain the Republic

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Scott mumbles...

Posted September 7, 2010
The Saudi's are fucked, even if they weren't hit by Israel the collapse of the oil market will remove so much national income that the economy will implode. Remember that the majority of the Saudi workforce are guest workers. No pay equals no work.

Add to this that most investments whent from lots of ones and zeros to one big fat zero. I'd have to do a lot more reading to work out how bad the situation would get for them but it doesn't look good.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 7, 2010
Although I agree the Saudi's would be fucked under most AA scenarios, I nevertheless hope the Saudi power structurer remains intact because nobody can party like a Saudi prince. Believe me, I know what I am talking about.

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2010
Next the PRC.

with the seppos basically out of the way it tries to invade Taiwan after a barrage of IRBM's.

due to poor amphib capability it fails and thousands of PLA marines die plus pilots and PLAN sailors.

Obviously a drop in the ocean to the PLA but still a heavy defeat.

the CCCP blames southern troops for poor morale and executes some generals for failiure. This stirs up the southern Cantonese speakers against against the northern Mandarin speakers. At the same time the Uighers and tibetans revolt seeing the world events in a possible epoch defining moment.

Taiwanese sleeper agents release minor Bio-warfare agents causing max panic and successfully spread rumors of a plan by the CCCP to use said agents agaisnt PRC nationals to control them.

central control starts to shatter as city and regional bosses try and retain/take power.

Thw warring states return with an Iron Triangle based around Hong Kong, Shanghai & Nanchang facing off against Beijing, Zhengzhu and Xi'an

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archy ducks in to say...

Posted September 8, 2010
per PND, 04 Sept: ***Actually, in a Boylan perfect AA world, I would very much like to see Miguel put a bullet through Blackstone’s head in the same manner that Bean put a bullet through Achilles’ head - if you get my drift.***

I would bet not. If the unloved Henry Cesky was annoyed enough with Jules and the Rhino to arrange an elaborate trap with their demise in mind, just think how upset he must also be with Senor Miguel, who physically battered him and removed him and his daughters from the manifest of his planned escape vessel. Did Cesky also arrange for the massacre of Miguel's family? It would seem at least possible- and if so, Miguel's payback should both be interesting, and his choice of companions for that project might also involve some folks with whom we're familiar.

Indeed, if Blackstone upsets the applecart enough, I'd think someone like Caitlin would be tasked with the job, but she's now out of that line. Perhaps onetime GROM operator Freddy Milosz might fill her empty personnel space....

Stay tuned....

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Robert has opinions thus...

Posted September 8, 2010
Ha! Murph, you are a hoot. The refabricated USA is now in the business of selling replacement car seats and stereos? What part of the world has a shortage of either? And why not salvage the computer chips from cars? Surely these bring better returns.

Birmo opted for leaving gold, silver and stones lying in the leaves of NYC in favor of retrieving, storing and shipping bulky car seats and low-value stereos. And he left Fort Knox and a return to the gold-standard unmentioned. I guess Auric Goldfinger had no such trouble second time around. Tricky Dick Nixon's chuckling from on high.

What happens next? I guess instead of retrieving and selling high-value specialty vehicles like fire trucks, lifts, cranes, other heavy equipment used in a modern city, or electrical utility components like transformers, generators, distribution equipment, copper wire, or even phone switches (since shipping and storage appear to be no problem and there is already a worldwide demand for these items), we'll get the government-backed gathering and storage (in deep mine shafts, no less!) of vinyl record collections, car door handles, cash registers and souvenir trophies made of the rubble of NYC.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted September 8, 2010
Robert, I suspect Fort Knox is probably secured in much the same way the WMD is secured, with a sizeable brace of surplus weapons.

As for stereos and seats . . . you don't know much about cars or what people want for them, do you?

But I'll explain it for you.

The folks stripping the wrecks are veterans doing freelance work. That is in the narrative. They aren't there on a government contract or anything else. They simply go over the wrecks and pull the valuable, salvageable components.

If you've got a certain make and model vehicle with a specific stereo system and replacements are not being made, at some point you might need a new one, or a better one. Folks have been shot in this country for less.

As for the other items you mention . . .did you read the book, Robert? Maybe you ought to read it again.

Just saying.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted September 8, 2010
Robert . . .ohh boy!

Economics 101. You flood a market with any single commodity and the value of that commodity drops.

No?

Armaggeddon Scenario No. 1 (check your history books)

Black death. Not only did it wipe out a substantial proportion of Europe it also resulted in market crashes. First . .the survivors were the inheritors of all that landed wealth and bullion. Demand crashed out in everything except labor. Currency devalued. People were being paid in silver whereas before it had been goods or copper.

Armageddon Scenario 2

Thirty Years War in Europe. Germany. Europe once again was into a deflationary economic spin due to massive silver and gold imports from the Americas. The items of value came down to anything transportable . . .which was just about everything. The country Lichenstein was named after a fellow called Lichenstein who made his fortune in liquidating a lot of Germanys portable wealth.

Laws of Physics 101. Specific Density . . .mass divided by volume. Water is 1. Iron is 8. Gold is 19. Good luck moving a lot of gold quickly. Ditto silver and diamonds

Raw material value is always less than the value added value. Worked value appreciates as quantity dimishes.

On the whole . . . .car stereos returning removal and transport costs are probably a decent investment . . . .provided there's a market somewhere for it. Which I doubt.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted September 8, 2010
The Black Death resulted in market crashes???

At last, an objective reason to disapprove of pandemics that is consistent with conservative American values.

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Brian mutters...

Posted September 8, 2010
PNB

(laugh)

I got that titbit from an economic historian . . . history as seen by an economist requires a certain . . . .hmm? . . .recasting of one's thoughts.

Amusing really. No battles, no schisms . . .just market fluctuations coined in mine outputs, wool and exports of fabrics. Fustians woven from English wool was exported all the way to Byzantium via Venice. (Snap) End of trade more or less. Market crash.

The Black Death was also called the "Priests Disease" . . .priests seem to get sick first. Basically they were involved in export-import trade principally ivory. 'Patient Zero' conditions.

The conclusions seem to be somewhat valid . . .

The Black Death period was a beaut . . .you can look at as an economist or as an art critic. From an art point of view . . .its all horrible, pictures of death abound as well as punishements. Quite morbid.

The funny thing about the plague was how it went away. The best thinking at present was that the Black rat got marginalised by competition . . .principally the Scandinavian Brown rat. But there are other animal vectors involved. . . .ground squirrels in the US fr'instance.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 9, 2010
All jokes aside, thanks for the details. The "Priests Disease" phenom is beautiful. I have to find me an economic historian to have lunch with.

Kim Stanley Robinson wrote a very good alt history novel entitled The Years of Rice and Salt that begins with the premise that the Black Death didn't go away until it depopulated Europe. Highly recommended.

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Robert mutters...

Posted September 9, 2010
I'm enjoying this comedy show, guys.

Wow, Murph, I did read the book and not one mention of the world's gold reserves, and yet all you hear advertised these days is how the value of gold skyrockets in uncertain times. Bingo--what could be more uncertain than life AA?

The other fail on gold? Yeah--all those pirates scooped it up and moved it off. Why wasn't very dense gold too heavy for them to move, Brian? Because it is easy to smelt and purify. Not a high-tech task at all. Folks been doin' it for thousands of years. Why, even those who gathered their fellow humans into gated communities found it worthwhile to smelt teeth to extract the gold. The other secret to gold? They ain't mining much of it anymore--it's too sparse, so if you can scoop it off the pavement, you've saved an enormous cost. Besides, it doesn't decay, so if you snag it while the other guy is sleeping, you still have it when he wakes up, and you can dictate the price when he wants to buy some back.

Oh, but in AA the stone-broke USA can fritter its most valuable asset - educated humans - in the role of protecting people who salvage fine Corinthian leather and, what, HD radios, in the isolated netherworld metropolis of NYC. Do car seats wear out quickly in your neck of the woods, Murph? Maybe on a cheap Honda, but anyone with some gumption can be driving a beamer in AA.

So, yeah, those salvagers operated at the behest of the government. You'd think the place would revert to its former fishing village nature, but apparently the food just magically flows into that area--by what means? Who knows? And for the pirates, the massive salvage operation had no trouble moving large amounts of product abroad. Do you think their longshoremen were union? In 2003, the world's cargo travels on the ocean in container ships. Are you saying Maersk is operating north of Manhattan?

This for a country with no radio broadcasts. No fuel for vehicles, few living bodies to put into cars, and no infrastructure for moving massive quantities of large, delicate items like car seats.

So, I appreciate the song-and-dance, guys, but you haven't made the sale.

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Don Bagert mutters...

Posted September 9, 2010
Birmo, your book made a cameo appearance in my First Year Seminar class at Southeast Missouri State University! I showed them how to use the "Search Me" feature on Amazon by searching AA for the one instance of "Puerto Rico" in the book ROFL!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted September 9, 2010
I don't get it. Got, I hate not getting it...

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 9, 2010
PNB, yep read KSR's book when it came out. It is ... interesting

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 9, 2010
Read Icehenge? If not, do.

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sibeen mutters...

Posted September 9, 2010
PNB, yep read KSR’s book when it came out. It is … interesting

If by interesting you mean utter shite then I agree totally. I hated that book.

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sibeen asserts...

Posted September 9, 2010

Sorry.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 10, 2010
I'll tell Stan the next time I see him.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted September 10, 2010
Robert, I simply do not think you've read the book. If you did then you'd realize that most of the points you raised have been addressed.

Which is fine, if you don't want to read the book or finish it. I've done that, God knows. But in reviewing your posts then cross referencing a review of the Australian and US versions of the novel (more effort than I should have put into it) the only point I'd possibly be willing to concede is the gold.

That said, I suspect Fort Knox is probably secured with a brace of booby trapped nuclear weapons. And it is not like someone is going to be able to get it out of there easily. Nor is the current government going to be able to exploit the value there either.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted September 10, 2010
Murph.

Be gentle. Its been a while since we've had a high level troll.

I know you're a fastidious sort, but let us have time to play with him? We've still got unused body bags and everything.

PNB

Yah. Priests disease. The Church of the time was more like an International industrial complex than a religion.

Cathedrals were only one visible part. Huge investemnts.

Here's another titbit. Stone import. The Normans were fond of building castles . . .quit a few are faced in white stone . . .from Normandy. Gobsmacked when I hard that one.

Tower of London . .the White Tower. William The Bastards . . .Normandy stone. That speaks volumes for transport, logistics in the 11thC.

Lots of historical titbits in how many ships it took to move bullion in quantity. Non trivial exercise.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted September 10, 2010
You are right, Brian.

I leave him to the tender mercies of the rest of the Burger Stand.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 10, 2010
I think Robert is crying out for help. I feel his pain.

Brian - what cool stuff. No kidding. But it smacks of more than transport and logistics. It reveals incredible wealth.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted September 10, 2010
@ PNB

Yeah it us. When you start looking at history through economists eyes, some of the social effects start making a great deal more sense.

Plagues have their place as well. The Black plague has been traced back into Egyptian mummys. The presence of North African malarial strains in Italy. Both plague and malaria carried by shipping.

One of the interesting things about plague is its rate of progress. If quick . . .look for ships. If slow . . .caused by people trying to escape it on foot.

Meh.

Everything is connected one way or the other. One of the reasons I chuckle about the Fort Knox idea is that it requires seriously heavy lift capability. Planes and choppers wont do it.I remember watching 4 heavy tractor haulers hitched together to move an electricity rotor. Took 4 days to travel 180 kms. Before they did that it took 6 years to rebuild bridges and roads to take the load. The idea of a quick snatch and grab of Fort Knox's bullion is quite preposterous.

Kitchen math. 1 tonne water is a meter cube. 1 meter cube of gold is 20 tonne. A car weighs about a tonne or so. Only way you can carry a meter cube of gold is on a reinforcd steel girder pallet. Special fork lift. Special crane. And a special rolling body. SOmething approaching a heavy ore truck springs to mind.

SOmeone usually starts talking about an Abrams Tank carrier . . .sure . . .50 tonne spread over its tracks. Distributed weight is a lot less than 20 tonne per square metr. Else an Abrams would make collapsed furrows in any surface it rolled over.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 11, 2010
That's why my After America fan fiction piece is a story about a group of ruthless rough and tumble adventurers who attack Fort Jello, where America's aluminum reserve is housed. Aluminum is a lot lighter than gold, and, consequently, easier to truck away in a snatch and grab operation.

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archy puts forth...

Posted September 11, 2010
per Brian, 08 September: ***The Black Death was also called the “Priests Disease” . . .priests seem to get sick first. Basically they were involved in export-import trade principally ivory. ‘Patient Zero’ conditions.***

Indeed, And several researchers believe that one aspect of the *Black Death* was that it was not only a Yersina pestis outbreak, but also included the spread of Anthrax as a side 3effect of the spiralling plague. And the vector spread of Bacillus anthracis is indeed a component of the trade in ivory, which temptation impoverished and starving African governments are now succumbing- see: http://www.fas.org/ahead/docs/elephant.html

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Brad G has opinions thus...

Posted September 12, 2010
Nuke power plants. I admit I don't know much about 'em, but wouldn't Kip have rushed in to shut those things down? Both the Discovery Channel (or maybe it was the History Channel) and National Geographic had shows that theorized on what would happen if the human population were to disappear over night, 10, 100, 10,000 years in the future, etc. The Discovery/History show didn't touch on the nuke plant issue, but the NGS show did say that the nuke plants would melt down, though I don't recall the timeline it estimated. I recall that JB did touch on the subject in WW (a couple of plants melted down, didn't they?), but I don't recall him touching on the subject in AA. I'm reading it again; possibly I missed something, which is easy to do on the Kindle version - it's a lot tougher to page back and forth, but then I'm technology-challenged.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2010
Brad G:

They turn themselves off. That was one of the problems with Chernobyl: the operators overrode the automatic shut-down systems.

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SJPONeill would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2010
I've been somewhat absent for the last few months but in scanning through this thread, I wonder if we are simply setting ourselves up for a resurgence of a US hegemony once every other place on the planet rips itself to bits as old scores are settled and new (but tactical not strategic) power brokers assert themselves. In the absence of any force project capability to occupy the now vacant US, might the surviving parts of the US reassert themselves post-wave?

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Brad G mutters...

Posted September 14, 2010
Paul:

Good to know. Like I said, my question was based on that National Geographic show. I deleted the episode, so I don't recall the meltdown mechanism. I suppose if you're interested, you could find it on their web site. Kind of off-topic, anyway, since it wasn't rest-of-world.

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In or at: that is the question « The World According to Me… has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2010
[...] new ideas to develop the America-less post-Wave environment…the way things are developing in the latest thread on this topic, the rest of the world will write itself off in petty score-settling and an almost vacant America [...]

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Vallon Davis puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2010
With the increase in Piracy in Caribbean waters the newly formed Caribbean Federation Union (with original charter members Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, St. Lucia) puts together a campaign to deal with the problem. Having acquired a few ships and aircraft and other weapons and materials from the U.S. Navy Coast Guard, Marine Corps etc for accommodating and granting resident status to many displaced Americans following the Weave and those that chose to remain, the Security Forces of the CFU engage in search and destroy missions against possible bases from which the Pirates operate from. Some of which may be those Caribbean nations that refused to join the CFU, or whose links to their colonial governments are in great doubt and whose political situation has been in great decline since the Wave. While the majority of the men and women taking part in the anti-piracy campaign are from the Caribbean, there will be a collection of Americans, Britons, Canadians and Europeans serving in positions as technical advisers and leaders having resettled in the islands and not wanting to see their new good life get disrupted.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted September 16, 2010
I doubt there will be a resurgence of US hegemony given the scenario we are working with. Using history as our guide, I suspect the United States will occupy itself with resettlement, maintaining territorial integrity and trying to rebuild the economy. That does not preclude limited foreign interventions such as Jefferson's aggravations with the Barbary Pirates but the days of massive power projection overseas are probably over for the forseeable future.

That said, if allowed to develop relatively unmolested, it is possible that a resurgence might take place but that is probably decades in the making.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Respond to 'So, what IS going on in the rest of the world.'

Audible thoughts.

Posted September 2, 2010 by John Birmingham
An unexpected package arrived yesterday, a big block of CDs, the audio book of After America. I'd forgotten one was coming out. Probably because my author copy of the Without Warning audio book went missing in the mail. Anyway, a little curious, I popped the first disc into the player in the Swedish tank this morning as I drove down to get some muffins for the kids.

OMFG. I won't be doing that again. I almost crashed the car twice because I totally fell into the story this guy was reading. It was bizarre. By the time I get to the point of taking my hands off the manuscript, just before it goes to the printer, I can hardly bear to look at the fucking thing any more, let alone read it. My mind actually flinches back from the page because I've been forced to plow through it so many times. I put the disc in purely to see how the narrator, a guy called Kevin Foley, did the dialogue. Having done a bit of public reading I always find the dialogue a challenge. Do you try and assume a new voice for each character or just read it as neutral as possible? I've done both.

It was weird, totally weird, hearing the voices that usually live inside my head (I know, I know) suddenly coming from outside. And a little confronting at first. For instance Foley reads Kipper As much older than I do. But it still works. As I said, it works so well I've decided it's a bit dangerous having it on in the car while I'm supposed to be concentrating on traffic.

I've only listened to a couple of minutes so far, but already it's made me see the book anew. And I mean ‘see’ it. I'll try and explain. By the time you get to the end of your work on a manuscript you no longer see the story. It's a bit like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix; you see the core code, the warp and weave of narrative lines, the topography of the story, the structure of simple sentences and complex thoughts. But you don't really visualise the action anymore. Or at least I don't. I assume most other writers at the same.

But listening to Foley read After America this morning, it was as though I was passing through the story for the first time. Seeing and hearing everything the same way you do when you first crack open the copy you've brought back from the bookstore. Because you would never bit torrent a pirate copy oh no.

It was cool. Cool enough that I think I might save the experience for some long plane flights in the future. Although as I prepare to dive into book 3, Revenger's Reach, I'm also wondering whether it might be useful to devote a couple of days to listening to the audio book all the way through to get myself immersed in the story again.

40 Responses to ‘Audible thoughts.’

jennicki would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2010
Wow. That is really interesting! I never really thought about it before, but how bizarre to have a story in your mind pop out like that!

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Moko is gonna tell you...

Posted September 2, 2010
Audio books ARE the fucken SHIT....if read right. Got an iPod FULL of them. IF the author approves, then, imma be tapping that bitch.

IF you want a good one, get House to House by David Bellavia on audio book. FKN grouse. God, I'd pee myself on the spot if 'you' did AoT as an audio play.

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Big Bad Al ducks in to say...

Posted September 2, 2010
That would be the same with movies.

For example, Clive Cussler's Sahara... I read the book(s) first and had a firm mental image of Dirk and Al. The characters in the movie did not match my image of what they should be. I have since dismissed the movie characters as "ring ins" and continue to imagine the characters as described by the author.

On the other hand I saw the Jurassic Park Movies before I read the books. As I read the books the movie images of characters was imbeded in my imagination and although not as they are described in the books the movies characters prevailed.

As a young fellow I was a fan of the Biggles books. The ABC also had a radio serialisation of the books which, as I recall, was well presented. As with the books I would be immersed into the story and be right alongside Biggles as he flew of to his next adventure.

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eybeebe mutters...

Posted September 2, 2010
I've read the first three Harry Potters to my kids now, and they're working through Stephen Fry's reading of the fourth - he does a lovely job of it. I often wonder if I'm doing the munchkins a disservice, depriving them of the pleasure of creating their own internal view of the HP world.

Kinda like seeing a movie before reading the book - invariably bad news.

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Orin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 2, 2010
Revenger's Reach?

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Ian Kath asserts...

Posted September 2, 2010
Interesting.

It sounds like for you it's as though the read almost took you into that meditative state of consciousness where you became the story.

So did you fall asleep into the story or wake up into a new consciousness where you are part of the story?

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted September 2, 2010
Yep. Maybe RR.

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WarDog swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 2, 2010
Wow, I could really handle a slide into a story like that. How big is the audio in MBs? I'm thinking that it could make a great hit on the smart phone market. Even the fruity one :-)

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BruceGaryNigelson asserts...

Posted September 2, 2010
Is it just me, or do others picture Kip as a middle-aged, full crop of hair, fitness orientated sort of bloke?? Would be weird listening to him as anything other - well to me anyway.

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Scott mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2010
So WW,AA,RR hmm WAR how appropriate.

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Brian asserts...

Posted September 2, 2010
Well I'll be . .. .

Revengers Reach!!!

That's going to be providing talk fodder for a while.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted September 2, 2010
WW AA RR, What is it good for?

I'm a bit dubious on Revengers Reach, I still like Union Undone.

Havn't really got into the books on tape thing, although after Dad's stroke I have access to them but my BatPhone & The Bobettes hand-me-down) Ipod is chock full'o Podcasty goodness from ABC Radio National. Whenever they do boring art stuff or I'm out of range I'm into Boyer Lectures etc.

The only exception is grocery shopping where System of A Down, Primus &/or The HillTop Hoods are compulsory. It embarrasses the crap out of the Bobette as it appers I'm grooving to the shmaltzy Muzak.

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jennicki asserts...

Posted September 2, 2010
So in chapter 14 does he totally say my name?

(couldn't help myself)

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Orin has opinions thus...

Posted September 2, 2010
AA is available at Audible.com. I've had a subscription with them for 10 years and can download anything I've purchased in that time to any device I own - I'd highly recommend their service.

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Moko puts forth...

Posted September 2, 2010
Yeah, ditto on Orin. Audible is great. Apart from the Audible ads...but they don't last.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted September 2, 2010
Yes, Ms J. he does.

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warren would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2010
Hah! In my shop the writers must sit with a copy editor during the copy read, which means listening to the words followed by an outspoken punctuation mark: Apostrophe mark [capital L] Look at [capital S] Spot exclamation mark apostrophe mark said [capital J] Jane period. We are known for being Nazis though.

The real torture is the final copy read, in which the copy is read backwards: period [capital J] Jane said apostrophe mark exclamation mark [capital S] Spot at [capital L] Look apostrophe mark. While such copy editing is tedious to say the least it ensures fewer screw-ups in the final copy.

After enduring that the sound of prose being read is certainly rhapsodic.

Speaking of rhapsodic prose, what did you decide about going straight to digital and bypassing the publishing process? What about the reviews on Amazon for your latest?

Along those lines the Barnes & Noble mega-store on Broadway and 66th Street (Manhattan) is shutting down--they say because of high rent but it's really because of Amazon knocking the bottom out of prices and more people spending their time on the Internet...Also, Barnes & Noble is going on the sales block; that after having put all the private bookstore owners out of business. Look for a purchase and further liquidation of their big-box stores and further decline in impulse book purchasing.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted September 2, 2010
Revenger's Reach?

Ah . . . no. My vote is no.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2010
@ Murph

I think John is still having his Red Dead Redemption period. Give him time to work through it. Its a better hook than 'Book Mark 3'

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 2, 2010
Birmo's titles almost always change and I suspect this one will too.

Least I hope. I liked all of the other ones but this one leaves me flat.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2010
And he accidentally did a 'whoopsie'? Doesn't sound like the John we know . . . the devil . . .

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted September 2, 2010
I keep thinking "Revenger's Reach Around" ... but maybe if it had a cover picture of the seal of the USAbut modified sot that the Eagle wearing sunglasses and holding an RPG in one claw and a chainsaw in the other and is smoking a fat cigar and is wearing a viking helmet and with a leather jacket that had FKN FERLS on the side it ... "Revenger's Reach Around" might work.

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Matt Kitchin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 2, 2010
See, I'm the opposite. I LOVE listening to an audio book in the car. It gets me into less trouble then actually READING while I'm driving too.

Glad the narrator nailed it. The best stories can fall flat with a bad reader.

(Pretty much anything read by Peter Hosking is great)

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted September 2, 2010
And how do they do the explosions, machine gun sounds, , .50 fkn cals going off, rocket launches, wet thud of bullets opening up brains and cleaving great fkn holes in people..hey!..how does THAT get done!

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jennicki ducks in to say...

Posted September 2, 2010
*passes out in pleasure*

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sparty would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2010
The Mist by Stephen King was done with sound effects, I like books read by the actual author - Stephen King has done one and Donna Tartts done the Secret History- although accents can be jarring its nice to hear something read by the progenitor

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Ryan DuBois would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2010
Hello, just wanted to let you know that I thought the book was great. I've really enjoyed reading your work. Thanks for the character. All the booksellers I work with are blown away to read me in a book. Even if I am blown into three huge meaty pieces. Still working my arse off to sell your books! Cheers!

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Amerigo Vespucci puts forth...

Posted September 3, 2010
That "The Mist" audiobook was pretty good, but my favorite still has to be the "World War Z" audiobook. If only it had been the whole book ...

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted September 3, 2010
Ah, Ryan, I'm glad you saw that little cameo.

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gtrof swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2010
So is AA going to be an audio book Birmo? If so I'll dish out the money again and add it to my iPod.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2010
Uh, yes, gt. It is. That's what I'm talking about.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2010
They better get HAVOCK right or I will go fkn ballistic, I guess I really should get an audio book, have a listen and then speak from a small base of knowledge, then again, why arm oneself with accurate data!

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archy would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2010
per Birmo, 02 Sept: ***I put the disc in purely to see how the narrator, a guy called Kevin Foley, did the dialogue. Having done a bit of public reading I always find the dialogue a challenge. Do you try and assume a new voice for each character or just read it as neutral as possible? I’ve done both.***

You might think about the opinion of some of the real experts on the matter:

http://www.blindreaders.info/audiobks.html

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Don Bagert mutters...

Posted September 4, 2010
This guy Kevin Foley has done quite a few Books-on-Audio: http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1283553000/ref=sr_st?page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cn%3A%211000%2Cp_27%3AKevin+Foley&sort=daterank

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Bob would have you know...

Posted September 6, 2010
I was actually kind of disappointed with Tom Foley's reading of the book. I thought Kipper ended up having kind of a prissy Mr. Magoo feel to it, which was annoying. Yet, the story was good enough to get past it. I also thing it was weird, because another narrator, Tom Weiner, read After America, and you sort of get used to how a character sounds, then bang, their voices all change. I am having that issue right now with John Connolly's latest Charlie Parker novel, which the switched narrators, after Jeff Harding read like the past 8 or so. It's just weird, like all of a sudden someone else is narrating your thoughts.

On another audiobook note, I thought Jay Snyder did such an amazing reading of the Axis of Time trilogy.

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Guru Bob has opinions thus...

Posted September 6, 2010
So where did RR come from?

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Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted September 9, 2010
The only instance of "Revenger's Reach" that I could find on Google (besides this blog) is in a book about Hamlet:

http://books.google.com/books?id=K5cLMRPcJgMC&pg=PA112&lpg=PA112&dq=%22Revenger%E2%80%99s+Reach%22&source=bl&ots=oJsic-0umU&sig=vSm4Ir0FB_nHvTYeRRejwQ5Vl_c&hl=en&ei=qiCITMWgCci3nAeDyfyZCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Revenger%E2%80%99s%20Reach%22&f=false

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted September 11, 2010
I'm listening to a sample now. Oddly enough, this Kipper sounds very close to the Real Kipper.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 1, 2010
JB,

I have read (and bought) just about all that you have published in book form from flaffle on but when I went to audible they tell me that I cannot buy the axis of time series or AA from them as sales are not authorized for OZ. What gives? I would like to help keep you in cash, but alas they wont let me.

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Respond to 'Audible thoughts.'

Up late.

Posted August 25, 2010 by John Birmingham
I really don't dig on night work. Night time is for drinking, and watching teev, and kicking back with the Xbox or whatever. It's for all sorts of things besides sitting at my keyboard grinding out the pars hour after hour. But that's what I did last night, until I had enough of a feature article finished to zap it off to the eds at 1.03 AM, if i recall. At which point I was so fucking wired I had to sit up for another half hour, sipping mah whiskay and dialing down from the work rush.

Consequently, today, old JB's a bit groggy. No work for me I reckon. Took half an hour out to get the number one shears run over my bonce, and I'm gonna go pop into the city now to drop some boots off for repair and help Citykat out with story she's writing about Rolling Stone magazine. If there's time I might even go see Salt before picking the kids up.

Funny thing was, I checked my twitter feed after sending off the copy and it was, of course, completely different from the day time feed because everyone here was in bed, while my normally slumbering northern hemisphere followers were up and about.

I vaguely recall having some profound thought about that, which I meant to turn into a column. But it's gone now. Completely gone.

35 Responses to ‘Up late.’

Brian ducks in to say...

Posted August 25, 2010
Noticed a few writers tweeting in.

Is Scalzi stalking you?

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Moko reckons...

Posted August 25, 2010
YEah, I have moments of genius. They never last long enough to make me rich but.

I leave the combs off the clippers. Gives me an extra coupla days without having to tackle it again.

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girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted August 25, 2010
As you finished your final pars, I was finishing off After America. It's shameful it's taken me this long, but I've been getting through only a couple of chapters each night over the past few weeks, what will all the other things I do that keep me busy.

****Potential spoiler alert****

Loved the explodey goodness; assume I'm going to see more Caitlin super fight action in Book 3 ("Greater Good" is my title suggestion); but WTF at the end?!?!? Miguel has become one of my fave characters now, and I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU DID THAT. I almost wept.

****End of spoiler alert****

Anyway, thanks for a great read. Looking forward to more thread discussions now!

Cheers, Nat.

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Big Pete has opinions thus...

Posted August 25, 2010
@Moko

I'm the same as you Moko. I used to make do with a number one, but then I thought, what the hell, so I hardened up, chucked the number one guide back in the box and just rely on the thickness of the Clippers as a guide. It sure makes for a short haircut.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted August 25, 2010
As Eastwood said in Unforgiven, "Have another drink, kid."

Scalzi should sit at Birmo's knee and take notes.

Lots of notes.

Guess I ought to go check the twitter feed and see what is what.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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T2 asserts...

Posted August 25, 2010
JB, been meaning to say thanks for all your efforts. Thanks. AA gave me a few precious hours of not having to think about all the shit going on in the world, and in my own private life.

Guess I'll dig back into Stephen Sears's, Gettysburg now. It's not light reading, but it'll do for now.

Appreciate all you do.

Tim

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted August 25, 2010
Started @ 16:00 yesterday worked till @ 02:00 this AM & back on clock @10:00, just about to go home & hopefully to bed.

Did get a chance to try out my snowboarding thermals - worked a treat.

A double layer of balaclava + a neoprene face mask may have been seen as excessive, in fact my partner gave me sh!t for about four hours, until his teef were chattering too much. But not me I was toasty. Well as toasty as you can be in a small boat doing 20 knots up creeks @ holycrap O'clock.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted August 25, 2010
Totally agree on the evening whiskey thing. Nothing like that golden sippin' goodness, a bit of action on the teev or things getting explodified in a book.

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted August 25, 2010
Nbob wins.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 25, 2010
What's the prize, hypothermia?

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted August 25, 2010
I know what you mean about how different things are when you're up late working on the computer so you check in to your favourite social blog & all the Americans come out to play--it has a weird feel to it late at night. Especially when they cross over with a few Australian stragglers and there's this almost palpable cross-current of energy-flowing in two directions, receding and coming forward. Odd.

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Brian asserts...

Posted August 25, 2010
Don't know how the rest of you do it . . .I usually run an app that tells me what time where. When the Kiwi's wake up . . .so do the Alaskans. Some very strange conversations . . .

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NBlob mutters...

Posted August 25, 2010
Aunty Q.

Hypothermia is for the underprepared.

As mentioned above Polypropalene thermals wrist to ankle, boarding overalls, wet weather pants, long sleeve Tshirt, woollen jumper, lined bomber jacket, Stormy Seas (tm) inflating PFD, woollen balaclava & sexy silky liner, neoprene ski mask, Lace up boots & thinsulate lined deerskin gloves (thank you & Dog bless you Winona Minnesota.) Only thing I wasn't wearing was my possum fur socks - The Warmest Socks Ever.

I look like the Michelin Man doing a bank job and if I fall in the p!ss I'm going to drown but I'll be damned if I'm going to be cold up till that point.

All to talk to 4 netting crews.

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Abigail puts forth...

Posted August 25, 2010
*Hands Nbob a prize of his choice*

The things that go through my mind about what it is you do. It's fine I don't want to know --we've had that conversation before about how you don't say it in public which is good-- and it's more fun to fantasise.

At present you are the little underwater superhero that we all had in the 60s/70s. Little tiny flippers, little tiny face mask on your wee little plastic feet...

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Abigail mutters...

Posted August 25, 2010
umm, make that on your wee tiny face.

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ConspiracyCat asserts...

Posted August 25, 2010
What's that, Abigail? Did NowhereBob wee on his feet, or his Face? I'm confused.

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Robert swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 26, 2010
Birmo, look, since you have the day off, why not ring up your publisher and tell them what a great fucking day August 17 was to roll out your book in the USA.

It's the deep dog days of August, news is sparse, TV is shit, it's HOT, and I'm trying to come down from a StarCraft II jag. Gotta pick up cat food and Borders was in the neighborhood, and there, way in the back of the store was your book. So it was in stock. And it's got, what, crud-encrusted fighter jets on the cover-sweet! And it's not a 600-page backstory yawner that the others are cranking out as their second-of-three series.

True, the $26 price tag put me off because I hate to send that many hard-earned Yankee sawbucks overseas, but then I realized that you only get a fraction of that. So, done deal and I've got my end-of-summer read, thank you very much.

Congrats to your publisher for selecting 8/17. I mean, if they can't release the damn thing two days after your final edit, then 8/17 is next best.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted August 26, 2010
Hey, I done got me some fancy super script.

(TM)(C)

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Jerry Crawford swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 26, 2010
Hey John - while you're up late and can't seem to get anything done why not write a third book in the After America series. The way you ended it the story just begs for some closure.

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted August 26, 2010
You would not believe the insane weekend I had. I'm stuck with one character that fancies himself an F. Scott and another that thinks he out Hunters Hunter S. I emerged from a different reality yesterday.

Just thought I'd share that. You people seem to be the most "normal" in my life.

J.

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 26, 2010
Holy shit.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 26, 2010
Shh.

Jane's having quality time with Her People, remember?

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peterbowes puts forth...

Posted August 26, 2010
you are burning out birmo - not everybody loves you

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 26, 2010
Sooo . . .she's getting back in touch with her . . .roots? . . .by coming back here. We're her touchstone to reality?

Fck me dead.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted August 26, 2010
@ peterbowes

Got that arse about mate.

Should be 'you are burning out birmo - everybody loves you'

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Abigail would have you know...

Posted August 26, 2010
Brian, lol, yes,JB, you're not quite mentally dishevelled and emptied of all creativity , not quite intellectually bankrupt enough... yet.Keep your eye on the prize though; we'll tell you when you've hit rock bottom and have dinner to celebrate.

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peterbowes has opinions thus...

Posted August 26, 2010
read AA - lots of tosh matey - 150 pages too many - not good -

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Leo would have you know...

Posted August 26, 2010
Finished AA in a week-long reading sprint. Great romping read. Better than most thrillers out there. It put my mind in another place and that is good. Very good.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 27, 2010
I object to being outed as one of Jane's Roots.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 27, 2010
Aunty Q!

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Brian would have you know...

Posted August 27, 2010
God Q.

I never knew.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted August 27, 2010
This is Boylan's fault.

I told him, and told him, but would he listen?

No.

You dress up like Xena and roll around in a jelly pit fighting with a troll, and sooner or later it comes back to bite you on the arse.

I think she snapped an incisor that day.

I had to get shots for that.

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Abigail is gonna tell you...

Posted August 27, 2010
I now know sjs in a different context and there is a lot more to her than might appear. True, whatever decisions made here, by her, on this blog, have had an affect she encouraged.I'll only say, my opinion, and the way I have come ot see the other side is this: a woman who likes to downplay sentiment, or maybe feels uncomfortable showing it, but doesn't lack soul or heart and is actually a soft person--it's just very hard to see , here. (I appreciate that).

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted August 28, 2010
Abigail, Jane has mellowed considerably in the last 6 months or so. When I first turned up at the gates to the Gothic she was gibbering and snorting under the draw- bridge. She slagged off everyone, her disjointed & bile flecked rantings were tedious in the extreme. The low point for me was when she broadly sledged After America and anyone who enjoyed it while obviously not bothering to actually read it.

If her medication has been changed (or doubled) or she has discovered a remnant trace of courtesy then bully for her.

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archy is gonna tell you...

Posted August 31, 2010
***Nowhere Bob: Hypothermia is for the underprepared.***

The Norwegians say that there is no bad weather, only poor choices for the day's weather conditions.

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Respond to 'Up late.'

First sighting in the wild.

Posted August 18, 2010 by John Birmingham
Murph reported the first verified sighting of After America in it's natural home this morning, six hardback copies at a Barnes and Noble in Kansas City, not all that far from where some of the action in the book takes place. Other readers have been tweeting me with confirmation that there copies, bought from amazon, B&N and so on, have begun to arrive in the post. For all of the inconvenience of staggered publication dates around these here parts, it does allow me to indulge in the excitement of a second launch, even though I'm not there to do anything about it.

Anyway, I'll open the general discussion forums at last this weekend. It'll give those us in vegemiteville something to talk about other than the election.

For those so inclined, with amazon accounts, or B&N for that matter, the review button is now functional. Unfortunately you have to have bought something before they'll let you review, which is kinda sucky. I'm not sure whether downloading one of their free books counts.

41 Responses to ‘First sighting in the wild.’

brian mumbles...

Posted August 18, 2010
To quote BSG.

'At Your Command"

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Phil has opinions thus...

Posted August 18, 2010
Any idea when the audiobook is to be done/released - and please don't let them have that clown Scott Brick do it.

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gtrof reckons...

Posted August 18, 2010
Got mine this morning but there was only three copies displayed in the Borders I went to. Been reading it this whole afternoon, good stuff so far Bimo!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted August 18, 2010
I bought mine this morning, too. I haven't read far, but I must confess to a touch of disappointment. For some reason I had the impression that this sequel would focus on the tender story of a young girl coming of age. Perhaps next time.

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted August 18, 2010
As per Brian,

" RODGER THAT, WAIT OUT!"

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ConspiracyCat reckons...

Posted August 18, 2010
Could be worse, Phil. I hear Fran Drescher is looking to branch out from GPS voiceovers.

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lostatlunch asserts...

Posted August 18, 2010
Can we sign up the Zombie Charlton Heston for the audio book?

we can either edit out the call for "BRAINZ" or indead use it to add flavour to the resurected piles of goop.

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yankeedog would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2010
I've got a Barnes and Noble gift card with AA's name on it. I'll be picking it up this very weekend!

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Murphy mutters...

Posted August 18, 2010
The irony of the sighting is that in the Without Warning Universe, the Barnes and Noble I spotted the books in would be a grassy field with some trees in it.

Soon as Trinity gets paid we'll pick up some copies. She wants a copy for each of her sons and I probably need to pick one up for Gov. Schimmel.

I did give the U.S. variant a quick scan of some sections. Seems to me like the U.S. variant has details the Aussie version does not. Doesn't hurt the structure of the story in any way but I've got admit, I like the U.S. Variant better.

Maybe I'll think differently once I've read the whole thing.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted August 18, 2010
Be interested to see what diffs people can pick.

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted August 18, 2010
+++Can we sign up the Zombie Charlton Heston for the audio book?+++

Only when you jam the script into his cold, dead fingers.

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted August 18, 2010
Can we have a thread on the US / Oz differences and why?

And on the UK situation- kind of feel there is a whole book / novella in that.

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T2 mutters...

Posted August 18, 2010
I'm kinda pissed that my copy of AA didn't arrive yesterday. I thought Amazon had sent it out for a delivery on issue date, but no such luck. Maybe today? Hopefully.

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Dex mumbles...

Posted August 19, 2010
Reporting in that the Kindle iPhone App version didn't want to download at first but it finally came through.

(lights cigarette, hand shaking)

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Hercules40 ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2010
Oh, I'll review it soon enough. Walked into B&N on Tuesday morning, looked over the shelves and could not find it! Boy was I pissed! So, I go up to rep and say:

"Where is 'After America?' dammit" It wasn't that funny, I know. They still had it in the back room. She went and got it for me.

I am a few chapters in now. Should have a review soon (in my blog and elsewhere). I know I haven't followed the whole development storyline up to now, but I can't wait to finish reading the book.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted August 19, 2010
I loved your work in Hercules and the Captive Women (1961).

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Don Bagert ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2010
Yeah, at my B&N they still had the two copies of AA in the back room as well.

So, John, if there are differences in the multiple versions, which one is "canon"? LOL

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2010
I think it is spelled "cannon."

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Boscolamb swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 19, 2010
It is in the book stores here in the Detroit area. Unfortunately, none of the copies I ordered for the libraries I work at have arrived. With all of the budget problems, we'll be getting fewer copies too. Some branches might not get any copies.

Damn economy! I REALLY wanted to begin reading this by the weekend.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted August 19, 2010
@PNB @ 9:33

Unless we're being punny. :)

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T2 is gonna tell you...

Posted August 19, 2010
Holy f'ing, mother Mary and napalm loving Joseph! AA is off the chain insanely righteous! And, I'm only on page, 82.

JB, you are a sick mofo. Wow!!

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted August 19, 2010
See, Tim knows how to write a decent Amazon review.

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Trashman is gonna tell you...

Posted August 19, 2010
I got my copy from Amazon UK earlier this week. It gets started tonight. NO SPOILERS!!!

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted August 20, 2010
The main difference that I can detect is that the U.S. version has some small scenes that were cut from the Australian version. The other difference is that the U.S. version is heavier on small details which I think are missing from the Aussie version.

Both I suspect are canon as the overall structure does not seem that much different. Then again I'd need to read from start to finish in order to say. Either way, I find I like the U.S. version better.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted August 20, 2010
I am reading the LSD flashback scene and LOVING it! It is funny because it is true.

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T2 asserts...

Posted August 21, 2010
Damn, JB, you made me tear-up, quivering lip and all. AA is incredible.

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Leo euler reckons...

Posted August 22, 2010
Got it at Books-A-Million in Cookeville, Tennessee today.

Will read it and comment later in future thread(s).

Great job, JB!

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Wes S. ducks in to say...

Posted August 22, 2010
Actually, at least one Borders in the KC area (Crossroads Center in Lees Summit) had three copies of "After America" on the evening of Tuesday the 17th; that's where and when I got mine.

Just finished it this afternoon. Loved it. And - no spoilers - but Milosz just cracked me up.

(P.S.: In the BirmoVerse, one set of remains that Kipper's salvage crews scraped out of Ameristar Casino when they turned it into a dormitory would have belonged to me. Dare I hope that they at least said a prayer over the bits and pieces before they consigned me to Hawthorne Furnace #5?)

;)

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T2 would have you know...

Posted August 22, 2010
I twittered you on this. Mormons don't consume caffeine. They abstain from it, in all forms. Even Mormon cowboys. It's church doctrine. I dated a Mormon for several years and have known dozens of them. I even joined their church for awhile.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted August 22, 2010
D'oh! That's what I get for having non mormon editors. I'll have to see about a few line changes.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted August 22, 2010
No, no, it adds to the verisimilitude. I know Mormons who drink coffee. It is very possible that Mormon cowboys drink coffee, especially during the post-wave social reconfiguration.

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T2 asserts...

Posted August 22, 2010
Bull, Paul. I've known many Mormons and none of them uses caffeine. They think of it as they do alcohol. And when we're talking devout Mormons, no way they'd use caffeine. Ever.

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T2 mutters...

Posted August 22, 2010
Wait, ok, it's possible that some Mormons drink caffeine. Of all the Mormons I've known, and that is around 100, one family did indulge in caffeine. They were a family of Mormons whose patriarch was a US Marine. He and his wife liked to drink Dr. Pepper.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted August 23, 2010
Wes, if it makes you feel any better, they would have scrapped my remains off the corner of 10th and Main where I used to work security.

As for prayers? Open question really.

That is good that Lee's Summit has them. I had not dropped in to check there yet. I teach out at nearby Longview so it was on my list.

Additional spotter report. I saw a copy at the Barnes and Noble on the Plaza. I'm guessing other copies were purchased.

Per Mormons and coffee, I've seen both batches. We've got a pretty strong Mormon presence here in the Kansas City Area (particularly the Mormon Museum in nearby Liberty where a clown named Jesse robbed a bank once).

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 23, 2010
No I am not Murph. Just his mom who uses his blog to get too yours because I can't remember my password. I know I am late coming to the party on your books,but I wanted you too know that I just started to read this series and really enjoyed Without Warning a lot. Now if I can just make Steven hand over his copy of After America. I will get on with reading that one. I am giving you two thumbs up, because I really did enjoy the book. I am not easy to impress no matter who writes a book. I am impressed. Good read.

Ros Steven's mother.

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hemingdale swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 23, 2010
The B&N in La Mesa, CA had one copy of AA on the shelf (9/20). Snagged it.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted August 23, 2010
Uh, I'll drop After America off this week, Mom.

Your Son,

Steven

Here in Kansas City

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Ron Salisbury SA5108 puts forth...

Posted August 24, 2010
Read Without Warning and After America is there a third (4th 5th??? etc) in this series. I have the Need to Read so how long will I have to wait. Don't Break an arm!! Awesome Reading.

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Wayne has opinions thus...

Posted August 26, 2010
A bit late to the party, but then I am not quite done with the novel. Excellent work, JB. By far your best work so far, and I think that is saying quite a lot. I do have a few logistical questions, and perhaps they were not addressed due to length constraints. First, why is there no talk about consolidation of the rump US with the rump Canada? It would seem to make logical sense. Your population base is primarily Pacific Northwest with a sprinkling of Alaskan/Yukon and Hawaiian types. Canada has no ability to protect its eastern provinces as its military is laughable at best and surviving military likely non-existent.

Second, logistics, you will need roving bands of engineers checking every damn railroad and interstate bridge and overpass in the US. The railroad and interstate system just became the arterial system from which the US can rebuild. You were spot on that the railroad network from KC to Seattle would be of primary concern, but if the US is going to focus on reclaiming its territory it must keep the railroads and interstates open. That will require engineers to test their stability post-Wave and roving maintenance crews (if you don't know what I am talking about, look up Kudzu on Wikipedia, the deep South is infested with the weed).

Keep up the good work.

Wayne

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted August 27, 2010
Wayne, it isn't mentioned specifically but there is a brief mention of the influx of Indian rail crews into the US who are escaping the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear War of 2005. Those crews mostly likely include the roving bands checking infrastructure.

I suspect what would probably happen is that they would focus on one rail route for the time being, one that leads straight from KC to Seattle. While this leaves it vulnerable to interdiction (we see that as well) it is also probably the most believable, most achieveable and realistic.

As for consolidation with Canada, that was discussed around here in the early days of book two. While U.S. readers seemed to think that was a good idea most non-U.S. readers didn't think that would happen.

A more probable scenario for Canada as a Commonwealth Nation would be to seek some sort of tie with Britain. They would probably grant rights to the deserted eastern territories which I have no doubt the Brits would exploit.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted August 27, 2010
Thanks, Wayne. We may address these very questions in a stand alone thread.

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