Cheeseburger Gothic

Meet the Defiant

Posted March 15 into Books by John Birmingham

I think I'm going to like this ship:

Like all the interstellar-capable warships of the Royal Armadalen Navy, the Defiant was bigger on the inside than out. Not impossibly so. Its relative internal volume was only three times greater than the external dimensions of the stealth frigate, and a third of that was given over to the hyperspace buffer between the outer hull, a thick protective shell of exotic dark matter, and the discrete pocket universe of the vessel proper; the crew quarters and amenities, the engineering, command and combat decks, and stowage.

Hardy had served on HMAS Daring, an older ship of the same class, during the Javan War, and she was quietly pleased to see the improvements made since then. She had a cabin to herself for starters, an unheard of luxury during the war, even on the navy’s capital ships, the dreadnoughts and titan cruisers that sortied from Armadale System and fought their way into the heart of the Javan Empire.

27 Responses to ‘Meet the Defiant’

Bondiboy66 is gonna tell you...

Posted March 15
You have whet my appetite further! I do like a Space Opera, me

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Coriolisdave swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 15
I totally read that as "HMAS Darling" and got hopes up for blackadder

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted March 15
Yeah, me too. I will have to change it.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 16
It's now HMAS Resolute.

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Dave C would have you know...

Posted March 15
Tardis absolutely ridiculous!

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted March 15
"Exotic" dark matter. Sorry, I wouldn't trust that stuff. It sounds foreign.

Sudragon puts forth...

Posted March 15
Is it made locally, or imported from the Han Peoples Republic of Stars?

Barnesm reckons...

Posted March 16
The is some math using Einstein's Field Equations and general relativity that physicist Miguel Alcuberrie has developed propose space time can be warp to compress on one half and expand on the other thus driving a starship. this has been called the Alcubierre drive. These calculations have posited a negative energy density and thus relied on 'exotic' particle to produce this effect.

So its not a bad science concept for Birmo to employ for his star drive.

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Spanner puts forth...

Posted March 15
Shut up and take my money.

(I love the reverences to the the RAN and now the Daring class destroyers. The tour of the Vampire at Darling Harbour is well worth the price of entry.)

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted March 15
Yeah, but it sounds better than " Fecal Screed" thats for fkn sure!

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Vovchara has opinions thus...

Posted March 15
What happens to people in pocket-dimension when whatever allowes it suffers battle damage?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted March 16
Wait and see.

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 16
Without Warning gives a clue.

Mad Yank Andy asserts...

Posted April 16
I imagine the pocket universe goes "Slurp!"
Only in vacuum, no one can hear the "Slurp!"

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Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted March 16
Oh thank God this project is next.

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trib asserts...

Posted March 16
Been hitting the EVE Online hard, JB?

This sounds interesting.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 16
Inspired by Deep Space Nine's The Defiant

"Development on the Defiant began around 2366 in response to the Borg threat to the Federation. Officially classified as an escort vessel, the Defiant was nothing less than Starfleet's first design of a warship designed to combat the Borg. The vessel featured minimal equipment for scientific research and was not designed to accommodate families. (DS9: "The Search, Part I")

The Defiant did not perform well in its initial trial runs. The vessel was overpowered and over-gunned for a ship of its size – so much so that the Defiant nearly shook itself apart when the engines were tested at full power. Ultimately, these design flaws, combined with the Borg threat becoming less urgent, led Starfleet to the decision to abandon the project and place the prototype in storage. (DS9: "The Search, Part I")


at Memory Alpha
http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/USS_Defiant_(2370)

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted March 16
The is some math using Einstein's Field Equations and general relativity that physicist Miguel Alcuberrie has developed propose space time can be warp to compress on one half and expand on the other thus driving a starship. this has been called the Alcubierre drive. These calculations have posited a negative energy density and thus relied on 'exotic' particle to produce this effect.

So its not a bad science concept for Birmo to employ for his star drive.

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Surtac reckons...

Posted March 17
I'm really really looking forward to this one and so far it's raising none of the red flags I expect from what I've been calling the New New Space Opera books I've been seeing in recent years.

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Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 17
Love me some spaceship art. Perhaps as you begin to virally market this book, you might spin up some sort of Terran Trade Authority style work to whet your adoring audience's appetite for the material.

Blarkon mumbles...

Posted March 17
Or maybe even engage the services of some of those guys that create 3d models of well known spaceships and then critique the design to build some high quality 3d models of the ships from this series and then do some discussion videos on the ships.

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted March 20
and then print them out on your own 3D printer

Blarkon asserts...

Posted March 21
I do have a Rocinante kit on order. Lets face it, who doesn't buy an SF book that has an awesome spaceship on the cover?

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Guru Bob reckons...

Posted March 21
I much prefer the Armidale system over the Armadale system...

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted March 21
I cannot help but think, you should really utilise a naming convention such as M for the ships. You know:

Maudlin
Magnificent
Melancholy
Magazine
Mayhem
Madness
Morose
Macabre
Malignant
Miraculous.

M Class Ships, second only to H class ships I must say.

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted March 21
How the hell did you, of all people, when coming up with a list of things that start with "M" leave off "Muppet"

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HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted March 21
ROFL---yeah. FKN THOUGHT ABOUT IT I TELLS YA!!!!!!

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Happy Boy Review

Posted March 14 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

"The best vegetarian dish always comes with ground up pork."

10 Responses to ‘Happy Boy Review’

insomniac reckons...

Posted March 14
Isn't that the Asian thing though? Anything but beef can go in a vego dish.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 14
Haha. This was supposed to be a placeholder entry, not to be published until I'd done the full review. Still, that one line sums my thoughts exactly.

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jason mumbles...

Posted March 14
Get back to work Birmingham

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Barnesm mutters...

Posted March 14
I believe vegetarians are a dish best served cold

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted March 15
Vegetarian food fets served with a side of incredulity.

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Lulu mutters...

Posted March 15
Sounds like they were eating mapo tofu.

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Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted March 15
You don't win friends with salad

Sudragon reckons...

Posted March 15
You don't win wars with salad.

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Peter in the bleachers asserts...

Posted March 16
Isn't the answer always bacon?

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stevetheh mumbles...

Posted March 16
Had a mate who once served up a dish of Tofu made from the lard bits at the bottom of his BBQ pan (pork roast on spit done the night before).
Was done as a joke for us meat people...problem was it looked damn close to the real thing, guy was a frackin artist with this stuff.
Enter one Vego who was a bit peckish...
Literally before anyone could do/say anything grabbed a slice and gobbed in.
That look of complete and utter horror will stay with me forever.
Thank Glod (TP) the garden was only one doorway away...

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That beer jihad yesterday

Posted March 14 by John Birmingham

I didn't really understand why everyone lost their shit over the debate but not the product placement. From Blunty:

Well, that was weird. Having feasted on the lulz last week while compulsively hitting replay on that Department of Finance recruitment video, you'd think that as a nation we'd had our fill of bizarro YouTube moments.

But nope.

A tie-up between Coopers Brewery and the Bible Society of Australia has prompted this spoof. From The Feed on SBS Viceland, 7.30 weeknights.

Because here comes the Bible Society and a beer company, and two white blokes in blue suits talking about marriage equality. And hot on their heels, the savage backlash to the Bible Society and a beer company and two white blokes in blue suits talking about marriage equality.

Maybe it was just my Twitter yesterday. Maybe this didn't break out anywhere else, but it did break out all over my timeline, with angry barmen throwing stubbies of Coopers into a rubbish bin, and angry beer drinkers posting carefully composed pictures of more Coopers going down the kitchen sink, and lots and lots of angry tweetenvolk letting Coopers have it for that thing they did with the two white blokes and the Bible Society and the beer.

Continues.

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Mission Impossible: Spycat

Posted March 13 by John Birmingham

My thanks to Karletta for giving me this idea yesterday. Hard to believe this program actually existed, let alone cost the equivalent of US $142M.

I also included a couple of extra links in today's ASB. As I'm noodling around the net, looking for stuff to write about, I come across some pretty funny stuff. I thought it'd add a bit of value to serve up a couple of those links too.

Today's included this great Ben Thompson analysis of the BBC expert interupted by his daughter mid interview.

The Boob, however, is all about cats. Spycats.


These are not happy times for the CIA. Outplayed by a former Soviet intelligence agent in Vladimir Putin. Answering to a current Russian intelligence asset in Donald Trump. Force-fed roflberry pwncakes by a sub-Bond villain rapist albino and his enabler-minions at Wikileaks.
Where’s the respect?
Where’s the love?
Where’s the hundred and forty million dollar research projects on weaponised kitty cats?
Before anybody can Make America Great Again, America’s institutions will have to be remade if they are to recapture their former glory. And there is no glory so former as the Central Intelligence Agency’s ‘Acoustic Kitty’ program.
Launched in secret—possibly due to fear of intense mockery—by the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology in the 1960s, the project intended to release an army of stealth cats on Soviet embassies, and even the Kremlin itself. It cost more than $20M - over $140M in current terms. Agency surgeons implanted microphones and radio transmitters into selected pussies, possibly not the first time such a procedure had been tried, but certainly the first time it was tried with actual cats...

3 Responses to ‘Mission Impossible: Spycat’

she_jedi asserts...

Posted March 13
Spycats was fantastic! Clearly the CIA, in the YEARS this program ran, did not consult any actual cat owners during their research.


And that Ben Thompson breakdown of the BBC video was simply glorious. Thank you for sharing.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 13
Yeah, I really like the idea of adding value with other people's hard work.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted March 13
I think the government would call that an efficiency dividend :P

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The 1440-minute news cycle

Posted March 10 by John Birmingham

Some thoughts about the president's Twitter addiction. From aliensideboob.com:

According to Russian folklore you do not question a dancing bear. You marvel that the bear can dance at all. Likewise, perhaps it’s time for the world to stop marvelling at the tweets of a massive unsheathed zoo penis, and marvel at the fact that we live in a world were a glistening zoo penis of unusual size and fragile psychology is even allowed to tweet in the first place. Because it seems to me, three months into Donald Trump’s unpresidented reign of error, that the big mistake wasn’t a minority of the American people electing him. The big mistake was not hiding his fucking phone as soon as they did so.

This week the pantsless bear really worked the pole in the strip club of our modern polity by busting out a couple of early morning grievance tweets about former President Obama wiretapping his phones. (And about Arnold Schwarzenegger leaving Celebrity Apprentice because “the time for trivial fights is over.”)

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A sample chapter before I go: The Cruel Stars.

Posted March 8 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

The rock turned silently within hard vacuum and the young woman with it. She pressed her nose to the porthole which fogged with her breath while she waited for night to sweep over this part of the base again. It would come, dark and frozen, within a few minutes, revealing the star field of the local volume, the vast blue-green pearl of the planet far below, and the lights of the nearest Hab, another naval station, like this hollowed-out moonlet, but not.

Lucinda waited for the stars. In the right mood, in a rare abstracted moment, she sometimes wondered at the way they wrapped themselves around you, seeming both intimate and infinite at the same time. As she wondered, dusk came pouring over the small mountain range to the east, advancing in a wave of fast shadows and lengthening pools of inky blackness. She could not see the darkness coming for her on this part of the rock, but she imagined it now swallowing the local area point defences and the gaping maw of the docks. The entrance to the port was always illuminated, but the lights would soon burn with a severe brilliance in the accelerated night.

She was not floating, but she still felt light and only barely in touch with the deck in the standard quarter-gee provided by the moonlet’s mass here at the surface.

“Lieutenant Hardy?”

Surprised out of her reverie, she jumped a little, reaching out reflexively to nearest wall to arrest herself before she could take gentle flight. She was embarrassed at being caught out so.

“Yes,” she said, her voice catching just a little as she turned away from the view, reorienting herself to the spare, utilitarian lines and angles of the transit lounge. As grim as were the outlines of the RAN base and the lunar surface from which its outer shell emerged, the transit lounge was altogether less pleasant to contemplate. At least she thought so after the third hour of waiting here. The glow strips on the carbon armour walls were old enough to need replacing months ago. Rows of hard o-plastic seating looked bleached and brittle under the weak lighting. She was the only other officer in the space. The only other person for the last hour. This part of the facility was restricted and foot traffic was thin.

“Sorry for the delay, ma’am,” said the young man, saluting. He was a second lieutenant, just out of the Academy she guessed from his age and eagerness and his eyes went a little wide as he took in the campaign ribbons on her jacket. He wore dark blue general duty coveralls and carried a sidearm low on his thigh. Lucinda, in her black and white dress uniform, felt awkward in spite of her advantage in rank and experience.

She returned his salute and tried to ignore the feeling that seemed to steal upon her with every new posting, that she was simply masquerading as an officer and would soon be found out.

“You have the advantage of me, Lieutenant…?”

He stared at her blankly for a second, amplifying that sense of dislocation and fragile pretence. Then he smiled.

“Oh. Sorry. You’re not plugged into the shipnet yet. Bannon, ma’am. Lieutenant Ian Bannon. Junior Grade.”

They shook hands, close enough in rank for the informal gesture. His eyes flitted briefly to the colored rows of decorations again, but she could forgive him that. He wore no decoration beyond the stitched half-bar on one collar tab.

“Sorry,” he said, when he realised she’d caught him checking out the fruit salad, but he smiled as he apologised. He had a boyish grin that Lucinda imagined had been getting him out of trouble his whole life. He looked very practised in its use. “They told me you fought in the Javan War,” he said, catching sight of her duffel bag under the front row of seats and reaching for it before she could. Lucinda almost told him not to. She preferred to look out for herself. But Bannon held the lesser rank and it would have been a slight to her if he had not offered. He lifted it carefully in the low-G, testing its mass. Nodding when had the measure of the load.

“They said you were promoted in the field,” he said, leading her toward the exit. “From ensign to lieutenant.”

His enthusiasm was getting away from him. Not looking where he was going, he banged his knee into a chair and cussed, then apologised for cussing. The bag floated up slowly, like an improbable novelty ballon.

“Whoa there,” he said, adjusting his grip and stance and nearly tumbling over while he wrestled the duffel bag and his own mass back under control.

“Damn,” he grinned. “Been in spin and ship grav too long.”

He shrugged off the moment where she would have blushed fiercely with embarrassment.

Lucinda found she could not help but like him. But also, she could not let him go on.

“Thank you,” she said, nodding at the bag. “But I went into the war as a baby Louie, just like you. And I came out a fully grown LT simply because it went on long enough for my turn to come around.”

Bannon, unconvinced, gave her a theatrically dubious side-eye as they exited the Spartan surrounds of the transit lounge.

“No. The Chief told me you were promoted in the field. And the Chief is never wrong. He told me that too.”

She shrugged and essayed a small uncertain smile.

“I would never want to correct a Chief Petty Officer,” she said—and she was not lying—“but the first promotion, from ensign, that wasn’t in the war. It was nothing, really. Just a small engagement during a counter-piracy patrol.”

“Okay,” he grinned, as though he knew she was hiding some greater truth. “If you say so.”

They walked down a long, wide corridor. The passageway twisted like an elongated strand of DNA, and curved down into the body of the rock. She could feel their descent in the slope under her feet and in the increasing pull of gravity. There were no more portholes to the surface, only screens carrying data feeds and imagery from around the base. At first they passed by no other personnel, but the traffic in automats and bot trains was moderate to busy, and once an Autonomous Combat Intellect floated past. They saluted the black, ovoid lozenge. It pulsed in acknowledgement, turning briefly purple, before a male voice, said, “Lieutenant Hardy, Lieutenant Bannon, good evening to you both.

The Intellect drifted on serenely.

They watched it disappear around the twisting curvilinear passage.

“Those guys,” said Bannon, shaking his head. “So chill.”

The corridor spiralled down for another five minutes. Lucinda’s duffel bag grew visibly heavy in her colleague’s hand. She did not so much make conversation as ride it downslope. Bannon, unlike her, wasn’t shy of talking about himself. By the time they left the long spiral passage they had completely inverted themselves relative to the surface and stood in a secure reception bay, enjoying one Earth-standard grav, provided by the moonlet’s power-assisted spin. She also knew all about Bannon’s family (wealthy but not yet ennobled), his service (just beginning), and the ship’s command group (pretty chill, except for…)

“Except for this guy,” he muttered out the corner of mouth.

“Bannon! Where the hell have you been?”

Hardy started at the barking voice, as much at the accent as the volume and sharpness. The rich, stentorian tones of someone who grew up at court on the Armedalan home-world were unmistakable, especially when the speaker made an extra special effort to gild their speech in gold leaf.

The reception bay was a small area, not much larger than the transit lounge where she’d spent so many hours. The walls and ceiling were bare rock, save for a thin but obvious coating of sealant, shining under the glow strips. Three of the four security checkpoints were closed. The fourth stood open and a man in day uniform stomped through. He wore the insignia a First Lieutenant and Bannon snapped to attention. Hardy stood at ease. The man did not outrank her. Not in any military sense.

His expression turned dark as he took in her lack of deference.

“Lieutenant Hardy?” he asked, giving her the impression that it was an onerous and unwelcome duty to even say her name.

“Yes, Lieutenant?”

She left the question open. For the merest second he had almost elicited a ‘Yessir!’ from her, his long experience of assumed privilege conspiring with her trained obedience to the chain of command to force a submission to which he was not due. Not while he served in uniform.

“You took your time, Lieutenant,” the officer complained.

He did not offer his name. Perhaps she was supposed to know him, or know of him?

“I was waiting at surface level transit, as per my travel orders… Lieutenant,” she said, annoyed by how much his tone of voice seemed to compel her to call him ‘sir’. Bannon, she sensed, remained at attention beside her.

Lucinda guessed herself to be in the presence of some minor scion of the Royal House, serving his three years before taking up a directorship on one of the Habs or possibly even down on the planet below. He was a First Lifer, like her. Like all of them. Junior officers were always First Lifers. After all, who would go back for a second bite of that cherry?

The anonymous princeling, or count, or whatever he was, lost focus while he consulted his neural net. A lieutenant, she reminded herself, he was just a lieutenant, like her, possibly with even less time in service. He stared through her and Bannon, who was still standing rigidly to attention and saying nothing. It was the first time he’d shut up since she’d met him. Lucinda was tempted to grab an image cap of the nameless officer and run a personnel search while he made them wait. See if she could track down his ‘legend’, the public record of his naval service. See if he’d been the sort of second or third tier wastrel who kept the scandal services and gossip archives busy before he had to sign on.

But she kept her interface shut down and her expression neutral. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. He seemed to getting altogether too much satisfaction from Bannon’s discomfort and her irritation.

His eyes came back from searching the middle distance and he smirked.

“A charity case, eh?”

She felt her cheeks beginning to burn and knowing that she was blushing only made it worse. Lucinda stared at him, refusing to drop her gaze. Her anger growing. Beside her, Bannon remained as silent and still as the hard vacuum outside.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “Did Naval Records get it wrong?”

He made a show of checking his neural net again, although she doubted he even bothered pulling it up. He simply pretended.

“It’s says you were recommended for officer training school by Habitat Welfare because…” again, the play of consulting records, “…because your father was transported to a debtor colony.”

The still anonymous lieutenant sucked air in through his teeth. “I wouldn’t go lending money to this one, Bannon,” he snorted. “Would you?”

Bannon took just half a second too long to answer.

“Well?” asked the Lieutenant, sensing more fun to be had in that moment of hesitation. “Would you?”

Still at parade ground attention, Lieutenant Bannon seemed to be struggling to lift a great weight, as though Lucinda’s kit bag, which he still carried, had somehow increased its mass tenfold.

“If Lieutenant Hardy was in need of a loan, Lieutenant Reence,” he said at last. “I would be happy to help her. As, I’m sure, she would do for me.”

Lucinda smiled. She knew who he was now. Or who his family, at any rate. House Reence. And that was the same thing really.

“Of course I would, Ian,” she said.

Reence did not smile. He seemed about to double down on whatever game he was playing when he suddenly came to attention as rigidly as Bannon. Lucinda followed his lead. Something or someone behind her had brought the young man’s theatre of cruelty to an end.

“Ah. Excellent,” said a gruff male voice. It sounded bearish but kindly.

Lieutenant Reence performed a textbook salute.

Lucinda and Bannon followed suit as the eerily glowing, spherical jewel of an Autonomous Combat Intellect floated up at chest level. It was smaller than the Intellect they had passed on the upper levels. That had been oblong in form and at least a metre in length.

This entity was much smaller, a ship’s Intellect, rather than a Fleet Level adept. About the size and shape of a baseball, it looked like nothing so much as an itinerant blackhole, turned sentient and footloose.

“Is this our new tactical officer?” it asked, although it knew full well who she was. The Intellects knew everything. “Lieutenant Hardy? Welcome aboard, young lady. I’ve heard marvellous things about you from Admiralty, and from the Intellect 4717, who was with you during that spot of bother with those dreadful pirate fellows in the Archon System. Come along, Reence!” The Intellect scolded. “We have a genuine hero piping aboard. I hope you’ve seen to the supper arrangements. Captain Dickinson will expect the silver service. It’s not every day we welcome a Medal of Honour winner to the wardroom. Remind me again, Reence. Do you have a Medal of Honour? I can’t quite recall you winning one, which is odd, because as you know my memory is virtually infinite and actually infallible.”

The Intellect moved off with regal grace, clearing a path through the security barrier and humming a tune Lucinda thought she recognised from a musical she’d seen back on Armedale, during a rare weekend off from the Academy.

“You didn’t tell me about the medal,” Bannon stage whispered as they fell in behind the merrily humming super-intelligence. Lieutenant Reence stalked ahead of them, but behind the Intellect.

“The records were sealed,” she said.

The Intellect should not have known, and if it did know it should not have revealed that it knew.

But the Intellects were like that.

You never really knew that the hell they were thinking.

44 Responses to ‘A sample chapter before I go: The Cruel Stars.’

EMM swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 8
Benevolent asshole AIs? Sign me up!

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WarDog reckons...

Posted March 8
Oooh, I'm going to like this one. How long do we have to wait?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted March 8
Who knows!?! It's trade published and I'm submitting in about six weeks. Could be later this year. Could be next.

Jerre asserts...

Posted March 12
HELL YES!!!!I like the sample...a lot.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted March 8
I'm thinking that Reence gets his beans cashed in the maw of a Space Lizard's laser cannon set on full auto. Globules of Reence floating in zero g.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted March 8
I'm guessing Reence is a reference to Reince Priebus, of Trump's admin fame, who reminds me of Christopher Pyne, so yes, I agree wholeheartedly to the bean cashing and more.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted March 8
I do love Reince Priebus as a villains name. And Reence is too close to that. But maybe Reinz?

insomniac asserts...

Posted March 8
I dunno, but this is why you need us

she_jedi reckons...

Posted March 9
Yes you should totally get us to choose your villain names for you :)

LOVE THIS! Can't wait to see more.

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Surtac asserts...

Posted March 9
I'm loving this already. Want moar. Now.

<Goes to wait (im)patiently in the corner.>

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Jevon Kasitch asserts...

Posted March 9
Very good fun. I like the world building already. Excellent character definition in so short a space.

Typo on the bottom of page 6: "He wore the insignia a First..."

I assume that should be "...of a First...'

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Gutz puts forth...

Posted March 9
Coming from someone with zero writing chops and better suited to a Steve Buscemi style comic relief, i say Schwing!!

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Oldy reckons...

Posted March 9
Possible typo?

P2
"...reaching out reflexively to nearest wall..." should it be "the nearest wall"?

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted March 9
Nice little appetizer! Looking forward to the main course!

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Surtac asserts...

Posted March 10
Oh, and should it be 'what the hell' rather than 'that the hell' in that last line?

(Just had to re-read it this morning.)

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Gilligan mumbles...

Posted March 10
Super excite. The "Cruel Sea" audiobook was a staple of road trips in my youth (that and "633 Squadron"). I'm also loving the clear world building and 40s/Napoleonic mashup of tone re; officer class, etc..

For my devalued 2c, I'd suggest Reinz reads a bit easier and is nice and punchy. Will he be a Bennett, all shirker and bluster, or do we get a grudging respect 'cause he can actual do stuff?

10/10, would military sci-fi again.

Spanner puts forth...

Posted March 10
Brilliant. I read the Cruel Sea as a kid many times. J.E. McDonald's Gimmie the Boats.

Imma go download these to listen to again.

Gilligan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 15
Several of the audio books we used to listen to Canberra-Sussex Inlet and 1CAMD-Sussex Inlet (both about 2-3 hours, depending on traffic) have particular passages that have stuck with me.

"Cruel Sea" has a post-torpedo description of dealing with casualties that includes a seaman holding an arm "flayed from wrist to shoulder by scalding steam", and the interaction between the new toff-y officer and the more experienced officers discussing Bennett and his use of the phrase "do not come the acid with me".

And all the Hitchikers' Guide audio book versions with partial soundscapes and a bit more production value than just some guy in a studio. And ready by Stephen Moore, so Marvin was definitely Marvin.

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Dave W mumbles...

Posted March 10
I very much like.

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Spanner reckons...

Posted March 10
Shut up and take my money.

Oh wait you did that already.

Refunded it.

Dammit now take my money again.

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted March 10
There's space lizards and splosions coming though right? Character development kinda has to be there I suppose, but splosions and space lizard turn Space Opera into Space Literature.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien would have you know...

Posted March 11
I'd like to know more about the Javan War...I love little side notes like that. Needless to say, I'm hooked.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted March 11
Good.
Tricky to put human scale drama in a very spacious neighbourhood.

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Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted March 11
Physics problem.

The base is spinning to produce 'gravity', with our protagonist 'not quite floating' in a quarter G (mass of rock gravity) at the outside edge of the asteroid and walking in one G (spin gravity) at the reception bay deeper within the rock. This is backward. If the spin produces one G at reception, the transit bay would have the windows in the floor and be running at more than one G, not a quarter.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 12
Would it, though. It's not just under the surface, or 'shell' of the moonlet. It's ON the surface. A quite conventional moonbase. That's why they have the DNA loop to turn you upside down as you go int the interior.

Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 12
Is the whole base spinning...or just an internal structure?

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 12
It's a hollowed out moonlet so when they do the DNA thing are they now standing on the inside of the shell? Like an easter egg perhaps. I'm no physics genius but that works doesn't it? You're being pushed onto the "floor" by the spin, whereas on the surface you're being held by conventional mass gravity, although you have removed a lot of the mass now. The more mass you remove the weaker the gravity, and you'd need a pretty big moonlet to get quarter g. Earth sized maybe.

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted March 12
Hokay.

Using spin to make 'gravity', you have minimum radii you can use to prevent side effects from Coriolis forces (basically..things falling in curves from the viewpoint of the people spinning with the vessel. It's going to make Cricket interesting in the big habs, but I digress). One of these things is pressure gradients in the plumbing. (Human body...lots of plumbing...Bad Things happen)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_torus
1 rpm at 900m equals approximately 1 G. Outside edge of torus is moving at 2*pi*r per minute

thats 5655m/minute or 1.5m/s. 5.4 km/h.

Let's look at 'surface gravity' One quarter 'G' is about 2.54 m/s^2, putting the base in a body between the size of the Moon (1.62m/s^2) and Mercury (3.7m/s^2)

Surface gravity of Ceres, biggest local 'rock' (not counting Pluto) is one fortieth of a G (.27 m/s^2) and it has a diameter of 945 km.

I am not an astrophysicist. Or a rocket scientist.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted March 12
Agree on the moon/mercury g thing but that's the mass you need. A hollowed out moonlet would have to have a larger radius to achieve the same mass, and resultant quarter g.

insomniac asserts...

Posted March 12
All that plus
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrarium_(space_habitat)

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 13
Insomniac gets the gold star.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted March 13
I will proudly display it alongside my next greatest physics achievement: a C+ in an open book physics 101 exam.

Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 13
A question, if I may? Does our erstwhile Author confer with Military types concerning details of military attitudes, weapons and tactics?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted March 14
Sometimes. Mostly with Murph. IN this case though, because the series is so far in the future, I can just make shit up.

jason mutters...

Posted March 14
Jason Lambright is my go to guy for any weaponry and tactical advice. Just reading his books gave me a good education in that sphere.

sharky asserts...

Posted March 15
When is it supposed to be, in an Earth timeline like 2645 AD, or just "once upon a time, a long way away"?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 15
It's about a thousand years from now

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pedrogb ducks in to say...

Posted March 11
You guys are so thinky.
I enjoyed it, looking forward to a good read.
Splodey is good.

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Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted March 12
Space opera?

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted March 13
Get in my Kindle!

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jl has opinions thus...

Posted March 14
This is the type of stuff that drew me into sci-fi as a kid and never let up. When it comes out, I'll put more pennies in the Birmingham Bank.

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Dave C is gonna tell you...

Posted March 15
Finally had time to read properly. Like much.

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted March 15
FKN YEAH BABY!. Not to shabby at all bimminghum. She reminds me of a younger version of Jane Willet! yummy, very very fkn yummy!

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Varley would have you know...

Posted April 13
Thank God another book from John, I can't find a decent thing to read and am reduced to trolling through the sci fi section at amazon.

Cant wait for all of the projects you mentioned.

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Respond to 'A sample chapter before I go: The Cruel Stars.'