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The Golden Minute pre-order

Posted July 27 by John Birmingham

Just pulled the trigger on the pre-order for THE GOLDEN MINUTE. It's available at iTunes exclusively. Not because I'm a hopeless Apple fanboi. But because I'm a ruthless dealmaker.

There is a discount this weekend. (Although there'll be discounts for book club members on other sites, obvs).

But if you read on iOS. Cady is waiting.

7 Responses to ‘The Golden Minute pre-order’

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted July 27
Tim Cook has taken a pre-order of my money. Now I have to wait three whole days to see Cady and Smith again. The outrage!

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Vovchara ducks in to say...

Posted July 27
patiently waiting for Amazon here :P

jl mutters...

Posted July 30
Amazon is live in both the US and Australia.

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Dirk has opinions thus...

Posted July 30
It's alive!
NL Bol.com: https://www.bol.com/nl/p/the-golden-minute/9200000096719595/

JB can send ya the link to the book peddlers in your region.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted July 30
Just got it on Kindle (Oz). Which means happy hour beers with Cady and Titanic after work.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted July 30
NEW FAVOURITE!

Therbs puts forth...

Posted July 30
I didn't wait. Knocked over the prologue and a bit more at lunch while chomping on bourbon chicken.

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"No puppet. No Puppet. You're the puppet!"

Posted July 18 into Politics by John Birmingham

I haven't yet read the indictments that Mueller filed against those 12 Russian military intelligence officers, but I was surprised at just how much detail is revealed by the filings.

This piece over at Politico, is kind of eye-opening:

An advanced investigation of an advanced hacking operation requires significantly more than just access to servers. Investigators want access to the attack infrastructure—the equivalent to a chain of getaway cars of a team of burglars. And the latest indictments are rich with details that likely come from intercepting command-and-control boxes (in effect, bugging those getaway cars) and have nothing to do with physical access to the DNC’s servers.

The FBI and Robert Mueller’s investigators discovered when and how specific Russian military officers logged into a control panel on a leased machine in Arizona. They found that the GRU officers secretly surveiled an empoyee of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee all day in real time, including spying on “her individual banking information and other personal topics.” They showed that “Guccifer 2.0,” the supposed lone hacker behind the DNC hack, was in fact managed by a specific GRU unit, and even reconstructed the internet searches made within that unit while a GRU officer with shoddy English skills was drafting the first post as Guccifer 2.0. None of this information could have possibly come from any DNC server.

With help from the broader intelligence community, the FBI was able to piece all these details together into the bigger picture of the GRU’s vast hacking effort. The complexity of high-tempo, high-volume hacking campaigns means that attackers can make myriad mistakes; Mueller’s latest indictments reveal just how successful American investigators have been at exploiting those repeated errors and uncovering more and more information about what Russia did.

It also puts into perspective the real tragedy of what happened at the Trump-Putin Summit. The US intelligence commuity handed Trump a loaded gun to point at the Putin. And instead the tangerine traitor stuck it into his own mouth and pulled the trigger.

Seriously, go read it.

6 Responses to ‘"No puppet. No Puppet. You're the puppet!"’

jl puts forth...

Posted July 18
Worst. Press. Conference. Ever.

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted July 18
But he misspoke, bigly, one line. That makes it all ok, doesn't it? As long as you forget everything else he said.
Not sure if Havoc will be along so here's a FKN Muppet for the Donald.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted July 20
Supposedly there is accountability in the position of POTUS. But will it ever be enforced while Trump stomps it around, drags his arse on it then buries it in the Rose Garden next to the detritus from last night's KFC MegaBucket?

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted July 22
Wow, just wow.

Ceramic asserts...

Posted July 23
That is my responce. Wow. Scary.

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted July 22
Though Trump is widely derided, it is odd to see Trump's large impact locally.
I think the Liberal Party has been enboldened by Trump's success. eg. big tax cuts for rich people.
And everybody, left and right, is using the term 'fake news' to describe often fairly well-sourced MSM stories that they don't like or have some deniability about. Whereas the term was originally coined to describe entirely sus non-MSM websites pumping out totally concocted stories like "Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President" and "FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide".

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Solo

Posted July 10 into Movies by John Birmingham

I know it's late but I finally got to the movies to watch Solo last night. I've missed all of the big releases in the fist half of the year. Haven't caught a single Marvel episode. So it was nice to finally find the time to get out.

I really enjoyed it. Solo is not a perfect film, but it's not deserving of the shit it's had heaped on it either. (Just this morning I saw somebody on the twitterz running it down as bland and pointless — but they were more concerned about the easy ride Alden Ehrenreich got compared to Kelly Marie Tran).

I like space opera. I like westerns. I like noir. And Solo was a mash up of all three. It was action-driven, but it's a space adventure, not a 12 hour character drama on Hulu or Netflix. I dont think Ehrenreich did nearly as good a job of capturing young Solo as, say, Chris Pine did with his varsity Jim Kirk.

But the rest of cast picked up the slack. Woody Harrelson was brilliant. Jane didn't dig on Emilia Cark's Qi'ra, but my problem with her was my own. I kept waiting for the Mother of Dragons to ride in on a wave of fire. It was only in the last part of the film when I relaised the sort of archetypal noir character she was playing that I began to understand Clarke's performance.

Only real quibble I had was the odd choice to wash out the colour palate. You can have a western with vibrant colours but this one seemed to be permanently soaked in sepia tones. It was distracting.

Still, I enjoyed the film and I'm glad I caught it on the big screen.

8 Responses to ‘Solo’

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted July 10
I enjoyed it much more than the pasting it got led me to expect I would. I did have a moment of doubt as the movie started, in which I wondered if I really needed to know Han Solo's back story (I'm looking at you prequel trilogy), but in the end I thought it was pretty good. All of the supporting roles absolutely smashed it out of the park, which I think contributed to Ehrenreich not quite achieving the Solo swagger, but overall it answered some questions I didn't know I had, and tied in nicely to a few things in the original trilogy that had me going "Ah! I see what you did there!" I thought Lando's suffragette droid co pilot was an absolute standout too.


I still feel Rogue One is the absolute benchmark on Star Wars spin offs, but Solo was a really enjoyable way to waste a couple of hours.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted July 10
Yeah. The droid was great.
Interesting thing about the Solo swagger; it's mostly on display in A New Hope. He's an old school Saturday matinee rogue there. In the later eps of the first trilogy, Han is a much more conventional hero. Ehrenreich's portrayal is faithful to the later Han.

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted July 10
That's a really good point! I always put the disappearance of Han the rogue in Empire and Jedi down to the growth of his character once he teamed up with Luke and Leia et al.


Maybe the swagger develops after the end credits of Solo, when he's got the Falcon and Chewie and is off to try his luck with the gangster on Tatooine? If it had been a huge hit I can see them shoe-horning in a sequel for some exposition that would lead directly into a New Hope.

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Bernie puts forth...

Posted July 10
I really enjoyed Solo, apart from the stupid space kraken, and my mate snoring right in the middle ( he claimed it was because his new GF had been shagging him silly, I recon it was just old man-itis), did I mention how stupid I thought the space kraken was?
It was pretty stupid.

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Bernie mumbles...

Posted July 10
Post Script,
Did anyone else think that Qi'ra may be well on the path to the dark side - I'd love to see her in a sequel as a sith lord.

Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted July 11
Yep. For most of the last act I thought she was just on her way to stepping into the now-empty crime boss' shoes, but then you get that closeup where the red sabre is reflected in her eyes - reckon that was in there very much on purpose.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted July 11
i keep forgetting to go see it. I might have to wait for a streaming service for this one. I also saw that tweet from what i usually consider a reasonably reliable source. Might have hit them on a bad day.

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Vovchara mutters...

Posted July 20
I guess it all depends on how you like prequels. I don't. I have something around 2k books on my kindle in addition to innumerable kindle unlimited books I've read in the last 7 years. And around 20 of them are prequels. And I didn't like a single one of them. They all lack suspense, most of them break the continuity, and even if they don't like for example "Manticore Ascendant" by David Weber, they still present a world where we know how it all ends.
And Star Wars universe is the worse when it comes to continuity or making sense in general. There is just too much stuff created in all those movies and books with no one taking continuity or world building serious.
There is only one exception - and sadly it's a fanfic - which creates a cohesive narrative, pays attention to lore and worldbuilding and subverts expectations in a meaningful way.
For those who haven't read it, I can only recommend to try it out. http://unitysaga.com/ by Charles Sonnenburg. Chuck uses canon and lore from both Star Trek and Star Wars in the way we all wish the original authors did. It's a true saga, with 6 books where everything we've ever seen from Star Wars and Star Trek used to it's best.
At least for me, after I've read it I couldn't watch atrocities Hollywood creates in those Universes anymore.

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Real time editing

Posted July 4 by John Birmingham

It's not very productive (quite the fucking opposite actually) but I do love the beta edit part of a book. It's like watching a manuscript become sentient as it appears to edit itself in real time.

On the other hand, getting your nose rubbed in your mistakes is no fun.

On the other other hand, it's better than having that experience in public.

9 Responses to ‘Real time editing’

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted July 4
I hope if I've rubbed your nose in a mistake I've done so respectfully :P
Any criticisms have come from a true fangirl place of loving these characters and the world you've created.

I really loved the Longmire mention. From the first book my head canon has Smith as a younger Robert Taylor, and I felt vindicated.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted July 4
I can't even remember the Longmire mention. I'll have to search it up. My fave from GM is an Outlander reference towards the end.

she_jedi mutters...

Posted July 4
It was a throwaway comment when they were arguing about all the stuff Cady was insisting on packing, but it was so perfect for Smith!

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted July 4
Ah yes, now I remember.

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 5
It has been an honor to participate. This book is amazing. Loved the vivid place settings and characters, as well as the all-too-human protagonists. Engrossing, really. Like the beta process so much I used it on "Immolation," and it made for a better end product.

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 5
Loving some of the little references e.g. the Unforgiven reference to being 'cured of wickedness!'

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 5
Ha. Yeah, every time Smith says 'my good lady wife', I recall Eastwood.

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thetick mumbles...

Posted July 5
When you reeeeeaaaallly want to read it, but you're not sure you can give quality feedback.

Like, just publish it already. :)

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insomniac reckons...

Posted July 5
I'm just offended no one liked my Jewish avocado joke

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The Golden Minute beta is up

Posted July 2 by John Birmingham

For those who want to get in early. If you haven't received an ivite and would like one, let me know.

16 Responses to ‘The Golden Minute beta is up’

Ted Chadd is gonna tell you...

Posted July 3
Officer Chadderton reporting for beta duty! (just started a short pseudo vacay - would love to give it a read...)

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted July 3
Email addy?

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pedrogb ducks in to say...

Posted July 3
Yes please

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 3
I did put my hand up - but personal life has fallen to shit since then so have to respectfully withdraw. Looking forward to the finished product.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted July 3
Sorry to hear this, mate. Hope things go well for you soon.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted July 6
Thanks. It's more issues for the better half but being in a support/bodyguard role (long story . . . families, they'll fuck you up) is taking my time away. Jealous i can't get involved this time.

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Robertkocsis would have you know...

Posted July 3
Would love to read this on my flight to UK :)

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted July 3
It's not a great format for plane reading Robert. It's broken up across three Dropbox papers that need constant internet connection. When are you going?

Robertkocsis has opinions thus...

Posted July 10
Went the next day. Thanks for the reply. Will catch it on the flip side. Reading the comments increases my anticipation. In the midst of UK World Cup fever atm

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she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted July 3
Would love to help out :)

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted July 3
Still at the iinet email?

she_jedi reckons...

Posted July 3
Yep, got it, thanks!

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Brother PorkChop would have you know...

Posted July 5
Am I off the list JB? I have the time ATM.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 5
I thought you were on the invite. What's your email?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 8
Sent

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 6
Bueno. Moy bueno

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So close

Posted June 28 into Writing by John Birmingham

I am so fucking close to finishing the first draft of THE GOLDEN MINUTE that it's taking all my focus to stay on the mission. This close, with the end in sight, the devil on your shoulder is screaming, "Take a break, it won't hurt. Just a little break. A drinky poo, perhaps. And a movie. Maybe some XBox. What does it matter, JB? You're close. This close. Go on. Give yourself a break."

This was my break.

And now I go back to the grindstone.

6 Responses to ‘So close’

Bondiboy66 ducks in to say...

Posted June 28
One part of me would like to crack the whip! Sensible me says 'take your time, pace yourself, do your best!'. Just don't go all George R.R. Martin on us, ok?

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28
Looking forward to it. My wife keeps saying things like, maybe you should put down the Gulag Archipelago and read something cheery like the Dave? Golden Compass will do. One thing about the Golden Compass that I like is that it reminds me of Alan Moore's time twister stories in the 2000ad comic. The twists on alternate earths and trying to reconcile it with reality. Plus it could be the New Buffy, 'you hear that Netflix, I said the new Buffy'

Rob ducks in to say...

Posted June 28
Minute not compass. But then the golden compass is a film too.

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Leftarc mutters...

Posted June 29
Type Monkey boy, Type!


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jason asserts...

Posted June 29
Get typing JB. Struggling to find something to hold my attention at the moment and I need content. Clearly my need to read trumps your need for mental health, sleep, happiness, family etc. etc.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 2
As a lazy man I recommend you take those breaks. As a reader I say get back to fkn work.

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