Cheeseburger Gothic

Nice review in the SMH

Posted January 24, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

By Cameron Woodhead, no less. Who normally likes his books impenetrably thinky.

14 Responses to ‘Nice review in the SMH’

pete puts forth...

Posted January 24, 2015
Woodhead. Forgive me, a random thought.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 24, 2015
Nice one. If you'd held a gun on me last month and forced me to write a review, this is pretty close to what I might have written.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 24, 2015
"Not original enough?"JB look away & waterproof your pockets.I've read maybe 150 history books. Never found one vaguely like Leviathon. Not in theme, structure nor narrative. I almost gave it up around P30 as it was So out of the ordinary.
I've read N articles on foreign policy, never one with the tanto-like cut through of Appeasing Djakarta.
HDWAFIHH describes grunge & slacker culture >10 years before Mud Honey. I still don't know of another text that acknowledges the important role of brown couches on late 20th century western civilisation.TBF, not so much.
WoC is for me a story about societal change while greed & self interest are the Fuel of any era, leavened with xtra choice 'Splodey. I've read the 1st battle a dozen or more times.
And who bought The Rhino to a world so desperately in need of one?
Pfft. Original?

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 25, 2015
Meh, I skipped that first sentence -- was halfway through a bottle of wine on top of 6 bright belgians and some cider when reading this last night. Agree with Bob's remarks per originality, pushing the boundaries of form (or genre) and all that.
Guess I was distracted by the Vogon reference: many of the younger crowd now are familiar with HHGTTG (rather than merely Harry Potter) so they come across as knowledgeable.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 25, 2015

I often suspect this blog would blow over .05 on a Friday or Saturday night.

How do the USAnians do it, walk the line, touch your nose, recite the alphabet backwards?

Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted January 27, 2015
NBob ... we do it with panache. That's how.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 27, 2015
I wouldn't expect it to be otherwise.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted January 25, 2015
Love the Vogon reference.

Now we just need a certain as yet unnamed Hunn to recite poetry while engaged in battle with The Dave.
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2015
Just got back from Sydney and my copy from Pulp Fiction was here waiting. I've devoured a couple of chapters and am loving it. Saw the book with a prominent display in Dymocks George St and at Mascot Airport prominently on the top shelf. Hope you are moving a few. Sydney is fucked. I visited quite a few old friends and all of them had some kind of ice horror story that had affected their kids or their kids friends. Man that stuff is bad. One beautiful little girl that I last saw 20 years ago when she was 8 was completely fucked on it and will never work again. All she wants to do is score and it's pretty cheap too which I suppose is the main attraction. You can't find pot easily but everyone wants to sell you fucken ice. I think we are in trouble and that's from an old anti prohibitionist like myself. What did we expect though.? We became so good at prohibiting the recreational drugs that our highly intelligent and resourcesful kids just went at made their own.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 25, 2015
I presume that "ice" is meth.

How horrible, mate. I am so very sorry to hear that it is doing to you what it did and is doing to us.

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted January 25, 2015
Yes I think it's the same poison. One mate spoke for two hours about what it had done to his beautiful family and it was a true horror story. He'd worked so hard to get those kids housed and educated and thought he was on the home straight to get them into work, relationships etc when his family was completely torn apart. I think I'll stay in the bush.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 25, 2015

What people seem to fail to grasp is; Ice / Meth was crafted, designed, engineered. As much as a BMW or a novel. It wasn't just laying around. Some Fcker actually invented it. Then the recipe spread through the western world.

But if you think meth is bad (destroying people, families, communities) you aint seen nothing yet.

The profound revolutions in neuroscience & the global dissemination of that information, the amazing developments in synthetic chemistry, + Non-state unregulated actors with nefarious porpoises and access to the knowledge and capacity are combining into a perfect storm of drugs of abuse.

Word I hear is that India, Bangkok & southern China are experiencing ODs, narcotic induced psychoses, and related behaviours like they've never seen before. Some of the Rape Culture in India can be attributed to this.

I know no better way to enslave someone than to get them addicted to a drug of abuse. Intelect, upbringing, moral rectitude nothing makes one immune from addiction. Information can help break down taboos & encourage users to seek help, but no-one ever gave up anything because of a brochure explaining the potential harm.

Now it would seem some Non State actors are deliberately setting out to develop the Next Big Thing.

Dangerous days ahead.

Halwes, until reading & listening about the above, I was as anti-prohibition as yourself. Now I'm just scared.

I strongly doubt poor old Guv-O-Saurus can respond in anything even approximating an effective way.

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Halwes mumbles...

Posted January 25, 2015
I'm glad I'm not bringing up teenagers anymore. I've seen seasoned pot smokers on the floor crying for their mother after smoking that Kronic shit so I'm sure your comments about synthetics are very well informed. This, as you point out, is pretty scary. I do think though that, if we didn't have such a harsh prohibition on pot, then people may still be just smoking that instead of the synthetic crap. I know there are people that say pot causes mental illness but it doesn't seem to do the damage that the synthetics do. The only problem I ever had with pot when I was a fun loving teenager was cops.

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Guru Bob asserts...

Posted January 27, 2015
That review was in The Age down here as well...

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Without Warning is book of the week at Googleplay

Posted January 22, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

Not to be outdone by iBooks, el Goog is giving away the end of the world for only $4.99

Megadeath and good times for less than the price of a cheeseburger.

Serving 'em up here.

3 Responses to ‘Without Warning is book of the week at Googleplay’

Rhino mumbles...

Posted January 22, 2015
Time to engage another generation of Rhino fans ... And some love for that gaggle of secondary, supporting characters as well.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted January 22, 2015
Totally!

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Bangar would have you know...

Posted January 22, 2015
How does that price affect the bottom line? Considering that printing the book is the cheaper part of it's price who is losing out?

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It's not often I share space with Tim Blair, but

Posted January 14, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

... The Dave did muscle his way into the Tele, today. I await my invite to drinks in the Columnists Executive Lounge.

8 Responses to ‘It's not often I share space with Tim Blair, but’

pitpat puts forth...

Posted January 14, 2015

That is fantastic. I have been waiting for the lit crit view where the book is called a misandrist diatribe with a responding article calling it a misogynists diary. With this piece I guess the wait is over, the Tele will surely explore the complex sub-text and the post modern paradigm shift that signals humanities existential angst in the perennial battle of the other that is so eloquently expressed in Emergence.

And if not I hope there is a noticeable increase in sales.

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WarDog mumbles...

Posted January 14, 2015
Congrats John :-)But where the fuck is the next one already ..

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Bunyip reckons...

Posted January 14, 2015
Drinks were made, but they disappeared after a mysterious figure in a ashen coloured robe wandered through the lounge. The glasses now all contain what appears to be traces of rodent droppings, and the mostly empty bottles now smell, frankly, of rats piss.

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Rhino asserts...

Posted January 14, 2015
OK ... looking for this on The Telegraphs site and zip, zilch, nada. 14,438 articles in the last weeks about JK Rowling and Harry Potter ... but no #TheDave. WTF?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2015
Hmm must be premium content.

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted January 14, 2015
Welll .. that's fucked twice tonight with no dinner. No wonder I'm feeling a stogie coming on.

Dick asserts...

Posted January 14, 2015
Lucky bastard

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peter in the bleaches mutters...

Posted January 15, 2015
I also tried to find it online at King Ruperts Sydney version of the truth and accurate reporting and could not find it. Any chance of a link?

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Smashdragons reviews The Dave

Posted January 12, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

One of the nicest reviews yet.

"So where do I begin… I fucking loved this book!!! It is evil… evil and hilariously entertaining. Birmingham has someone managed to craft a tale that is not only morrish and addictive but also hilariously dark and offensive at the same time. I can’t recall laughing as much as I did from reading Emergence (raging demon boners and Dave’s facebook statuses spring to mind as examples of humour… seriously… you have to read it to understand)."

15 Responses to ‘Smashdragons reviews The Dave’

Rob reckons...

Posted January 12, 2015

really loving emergence. Love all the in jokes and JB motifs running through the book. Especially the discussion with Dave and getting out the old persuader and the nurse.

I did in fact laugh out loud, when my wife asked what I was laughing about, I told her and she laughed too. So she will read it after I'm done.

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Sennafumi has opinions thus...

Posted January 12, 2015
For the lazy readers... Emergence audio-book version?
(and for the love of God, not Scott Brick - maybe Ray Porter, he does the smart arse hero thing well)

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 12, 2015
Couple months I reckon. I don't choose the narrators. I do like the guy who does Stephen King's The Stand.

Sennafumi mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2015
Getting off-topic but....
Who chooses the narrator?
And whilst I am thinking of it, who chooses the production company?
Do industry powerhouses like King have the power to rule in these decisions regarding their own work?

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Halwes mumbles...

Posted January 12, 2015
my copy had'nt arrived when I left home for Sydney for a couple of days. I am really looking forward to getting into this now. Sydney has taken on a whole new aura since I finished Leviathan recently. There are certainly some ghosts especially around the mass grave site at Wynyard where I'm staying There is a big Emergence display in the front window of Dymocks on Pitt st. Hope you are moving a few units there.

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Matte asserts...

Posted January 12, 2015
Dear John,
For entirely and completely selfish reasons ... have you ever considered (and would begging help) releasing ARC copies? I always loved John Ringo for that - there something undeniably sexy about having an 'advanced reader copy' and i am sure we loyal followers would be more than happy to reciprocate by passing on spell check issues ...
Aside from that - please let me add to the choir in saying how much i absolutely and utterly loved this book !!
cheersmatt

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 12, 2015
Matt, if I ever signed a deal with Baen, for sure. But my gatekeeper class old skool publishers would have kittens at the very idea.

NBlob asserts...

Posted January 13, 2015
Interesting "Gatekeeper class" publishers. Like Aegis Class Guided Missile Destroyers. What features of the Gatekeeper Class allow train spotters to identify them? Particularly prominent lunches, forward mounted Anti-Piracy systems, Close In Weapons Systems?

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted January 13, 2015

I think reviews of this sort would really benifit from a few other story metrics to go along with the "I fucking loved this book.." comments. For example before I part with the hard earned (well fairly low level effort earned, I have a white collar job) dollars would like to know:

  • what's the ratio of exposition/explosion(s)?
  • percentage of book devoted to deep reflection on the ulitmate futility of exisistance, the 'French Philosopher Factor. (yes I am looking at you Zone One, promise me zombie apocolypse instead I get a meditation on the human condition ppff!!!
  • snappy Whedonesque dialogue per major character
  • righteous payback on the bad guys/evil monsters/ alien lizards (Harry Turtledove shows how to write the smack on evil space lizards.

needless to say I have already bought the book Birmo, just not going to read it till all three books are out.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 13, 2015
Barnsey, ordinarily I am loath to disagree with you - primarily because I am afraid of you - but you should read it now. Half the fun is talking about it with your mates and the wait isn't really very long to wait for the next one.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 13, 2015

No I am afraid I cannot as

"I am constant as the northern star, of whose true-fixed and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament. The skies are painted with unumbered sparks. They are all fire and every one doth shire, but there's one on all doth hold his palce. So in the world. 'Tis furnished well with men, and men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive, yet in the number I do know but one that unassailable holds on his rank, unshaken of motion. And that I am he. Let me a little show it even in this."

A famous person said that once. I am sure it ended well for him.

<div class="original-line">

NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2015

Huzzah Sir Huzzah.

A beacon of temperance and solidity In this whipped-cream world of instant self gratification. A dose of abnegation is what this country, Nay this world needs.

More than ever, because we wallow with a surfeit of WiFi sylphs dripping serotonin-stuffed delights in a saturnalia of entertainment and comfort we should deny, straighten, Sparta-ise our existence. Periodically. Within reason.

Anyone want an XL hair shirt? Never used.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 13, 2015

Damn Straight!

and here I mean straight in a geometric non-perjoative rather than sexual/gender dynamic sense of the word,

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2015
This bloke is called Smash Dragons.
C'mon JB. You had this bloke's photo on your desk when you were writing this series. Every morning you muttered, 'My friend, this one is for you.' <insert maniacal authorial chuckle as the author's claws rattle across the keys>
Great review, though.

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The superhero moment

Posted January 7, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

The Evernote folder where I keep all my research for #TheDave is called Magic vs Technology. There are dozens of files in there, ranging from my publishers’ editorial reports, papers on autism and Aspergers, articles clipped from Militarytimes.com (“How the Nation is failing today’s troops and veterans”), to adverts for fire axes and splitting mauls, and a glossary where I keep track of the madness:

“Diwan; Sliveen priestess. Diwanum (pl)

Gurikh: warrior spirit…

Shieldwise, is on the right, because demons are all left handed…”

I maintain my own monsterpedia in there, with entries about the biology of threshrendum, the culture of the Horde, the evolution of demon mythology in Japan. There are Youtube videos of .50cal Beowulf machine-guns, infographics on oil exploration, and clips of text that I need to remain aware of for the purposes of continuity:

“It had been an age since the lord commander had called upon the Archivum Scolari. It was not far removed from his quarters, being directly accessible from the Lord’s Keep by any one of five bridges which reached between the two towers.” - from Ascendance.

Magic vs Technology is my personal Archivum Scolari, but it is misnamed is it not? The Brits, I think, got the truth of it in their series title. Dave vs the Monsters. Or, perhaps appealing to the power of archetype, The Superhero vs the Monsters.

As much as I set out to write a magic versus technology story (in part to address my frustrations with Dr Who, and in part to grin knowingly at the old SciFi vs Fantasy feud) #TheDave is less about dragons being shot down by heat seekers, and more of a traditional superhero story. There are plenty of dragons getting shot down by heat seekers, of course, and whole regiments of orcs destroyed by… well, you’ll have to wait.

But in all of this it’s telling the way Marvel has come to dominate the box office. Throw in DC and the virtual superhero series such as Bond and Bourne, along with the rise of the female superhero (often a spy or a soldier turned spy), and you’ll being to discern a deep and powerful tidal flow through our mass culture. Why are we drawn to these stories? I suspect for the same reason people were drawn to comedy during the Great Depression. For relief from our reality.

For an ordinary viewer or reader, the story of a simple and inevitably flawed individual, embiggened into heroic status is irresistible. It may be hard, if not impossible, to imagine getting out from under a crushing mortgage, or a terrible boss, but strangely easy and undeniably attractive to lose ourselves in a fantasy where we experience not just competence and autonomy but the most extreme forms of those states.

It’s not a wish fulfilment exclusive to superhero comic stories of course. I remember talking to Peter Corris about his private detective character, Cliff Hardy, and Pete quite happily admitted that in Hardy (whose stories are always told in the first person) he had a character who allowed him to be everything he was not. Hardy is tough as old boot leather. Hardy can throw and more importantly take a punch. Women are drawn to Hardy like moths to a flame, often to be burned.

Hardy, of course, comes out of a different tradition to someone like Dave, who postdates by many decades the social revolutions that made a lot of earlier heroes completely unacceptable to modern audiences. (Paging Captain Biggles!) Hardy is an heir to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and perfectly described in Chandler’s essay The Simple Art of Murder:

“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid… He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.”

This is a pitch perfect description of Cliff Hardy, but in many ways the antithesis of Dave, who is far from being "the best man in his world" and more than capable of being mean and afraid. He is neither complete, nor honourable, and certainly not by instinct. Is Heath any of the things Chandler wanted in a hero? Yes, all of them. Zach? Without a doubt. Emmeline? Even more so, because she, like Heath, transcends the conditions that might otherwise hold her back.

But Dave? Nope. Dave starts out a flawed and very small man who struggles to grow. Sometimes, as we’ll soon learn, he can’t even be bothered struggling. For me this is what makes him such fun to write. It’s not just the opportunity to break taboos (to kick them to pieces in fact, and drag them behind his pick up truck while drinking stolen beer and copping a hundred dollar blowjob with what’s left of his kid’s tuition fees). It’s a chance to see what happens when someone like that has a hero's responsibility forced upon them. And not just the average, tedious, grinding responsibilities of our daily lives. But the weight of the entire world. In this he shares something with thresh, as more than one of you have pointed out.

Neither of them are well suited to their fate.

64 Responses to ‘The superhero moment’

Blarkon mutters...

Posted January 7, 2015
D&D (and RPGs generally) have always had content based around Wizards versus Hi-Tech. The game Shadowrun is basically Cyberpunk Orcs, Elven hackers, and tech'd out Dragons. There are several D&D/Pathfinder games involving sword and sorcery types encountering the survivors of a starship crash. There are also inumerable steampunk technology meets magic settings (DragonMech involves gigantic steampunk mecha fighting dragons).

Where most of these fall down is that while the world building is interesting - the characters that inhabit those worlds and their narrative paths are often not.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 7, 2015
Have you seen the new Star Trek/Planet of the Apes comic? It's pretty good. Bought it last night.

Blarkon mumbles...

Posted January 7, 2015
Picked it up on your recco. First issue was strong (though dunno how the 1701 got to Qo'noS without a cloak and it's a little hard to see how the Klingon's plan will benefit them in the "original" universe.

Other Trek crossovers haven't been great - The Dr Who one was a bit of a wash. So I guess we'll see where this one goes.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted January 7, 2015

" It’s a chance to see what happens when someone like that has a hero's responsibility forced upon them"

another example of this I would recommend is David Wong's "John Dies at the End" but in particular I would point to the example in the sequel "this book is full of spiders" (alternatively titled 'John and Dave and the Temple of X'al'naa'thuthuthu') where Amy contrast the experience of how her boyfriend and his buddy deal with nameless horrors from another dimension in contrast with a bunch of wannabe zombie hunters when the real zombie apocalypse comes.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted January 7, 2015
Tom Hardy should play Dave.
He'd be perfect.
Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

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Blake would have you know...

Posted January 7, 2015
"It’s a chance to see what happens when someone like that has a hero's responsibility forced upon them...."
I get the impression BtVS tried to play with similar themes of forced responsibility, Buffy was always angsting about her missed teen life and all this forced responsibility, except that to be the tv superhero she had to underneath really be the right girl for the job, she just had to work through the teen angst issues to work it out. (kind of a cop out the way it ended given that theme)For the second attempt there was Faith who could play the bad girl, but they went down the path of reformer rather than revelling in the bad. In some ways you could say Firefly played with it as well, less responsibility/superhero but 'the wrong people doing the right things'
Its kind of ironic that the thing that interests me in heroes is their failings

Bunyip is gonna tell you...

Posted January 8, 2015
Agreed. Firefly / Serenity: "Now we're just people".

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GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted January 7, 2015


You've tossed the BirmoHorde a few bones JB with the reveals on the Sliveen Priestess, warrior spill-it and that left-handers are all demons, (thanks very much), not to overlook a nice array of heavy ordinance.

I think Murph has nailed the casting with Tom Hardy as TheDave, better prary Fury Road spirals down into Angst Lane, otherwise Tom won't be available due to scheduling clashes with the two sequels Dr. George is planning.

I also like the Firefly connection raised by Blake - scarred survivors trying to fly under the radar, forced by circumstances to face the old foe

... oh no wait, how 'bout Nathan Fillion as The Dave.

He's got the comic timing from all that Castling and we know he's got that anger and self-loathing from all that Mal, especially when he's wearing a little bonnet.

GhostSwirv over and out to review all 8 Eps of Firefly, oh as well as re-reading Emergence of course.


Sudragon reckons...

Posted January 8, 2015
Plus Mr Fillion has experience playing a superhero, so that's another point in his favour. He might have to get Hugh Jackman's trainer to get him into SuperDave shape though, last episode of Castle I saw that he's put on some weight since Firefly.

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted January 8, 2015

My point exactly, add a few more pounds to Castle, shave the head, 10 x day growth and there's TheDave.

Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 9, 2015
Then hold production for a while as a team of highly trained sadists whip him into SuperDave?

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w from brisbane asserts...

Posted January 7, 2015
" It’s a chance to see what happens when someone like that has a hero's responsibility forced upon them"
I really like that. It is kind of the point of fantasy fiction. The hero is ordinary but has magic thrust upon them, the magic often a baffling and unwelcome curse that brings the expectation of heroic action. Who me?!!
The magic meaning the hero can be very ordinary and not have secret ninja skills etc.
Bilbo or Frodo Baggins - just insular villagers
Thomas Covenant - The hero, a bitter and diseased man whose first action is to rape the nice young woman who first helps him.
etc, etc.

Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted January 7, 2015
And of course Rincewind, the inept and cowardly wizard from the Discworld books who longs for a safe, quiet and comfortable life and continually gets dropped into showdowns for the fate of the world very much against his will.

I can't find the passage, but there's that lovely monologue where he's brooding glumly as he gets ready for one such showdown that he's not cut out for this, it probably only counts as proper heroing if you go into it saying "Well, by jingo, we've got to save the world and there's no two ways about it!" instead of "Oh, shit, I am totally going to die".

JG has opinions thus...

Posted January 8, 2015
'BirmoHorde' - I like that, GhostSwirv. I'm also left handed ('left-handers are all demons': hey!!). Also red haired, so I'd probably have been burnt as a witch in the Middle Ages (cries foul). <font color="#333333">Dave - reluctant superhero - is fabulous because of his many faults. Who wants a shiny shiny man? Laughed so much at Dave being TheDave. </font>

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted January 8, 2015
Rincewind's motto, according to one of the illustrated guides to the Discworld (and perhaps Interesting Times), is "Stercus, stercus, stercus, moriturus sum"

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Pete reckons...

Posted January 7, 2015
yeah ... but he should get a grip on the ax, don't you reckon!

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Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted January 7, 2015
OMG - a trek apes cross oevr- how did i not know!
" Get (PAUSE) your (LONGER PAUSE) Damn sticking Klingon paws off me"

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Sparty asserts...

Posted January 7, 2015
oh and the pedantic nerd in me questions if James Bigglesworth DSO was ever a Captain, I think the Royal Flying Corp morphed into the RAF before he would have and the rank doesn't exist in the RAF. I think he topped out at Wing Commander.

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted January 8, 2015
The first Biggles story was the short story 'The White Fokker'. The second story was 'The Packet' in which Biggles is promoted to Captain because of his deeds in the ‘The White Fokker’. It is reasonable to conclude from the stories that these events occurred in 1917, making the rank of Captain quite feasible.

Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted January 8, 2015
I believe this was also mentioned in Biggles Takes It Rough which was originally titled Biggles Flies Undone. (NB: one of these is a real title.)

Anthony mutters...

Posted January 8, 2015
I just checked with my copy of "The Camels are Coming" and Biggles is promoted from Acting Captain to Major with effect from 10.11.18.

Anthony reckons...

Posted January 8, 2015
And, peaking of flawed heroes it's also where Biggles has taken to drinking whisky for breakfast and has had an affair with possible German spy (female of course) and is contemplating how to warn her abut an upcoming air-raid on the Chateau she's staying at.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted January 8, 2015
I find your story of the affair with a female spy implausible given the obvious sexual tension between Biggles and Ginger

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Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted January 7, 2015
There's that quote from Stephen King about how all fantasy fiction is about power. Great fantasy is about people who gain it at great cost or lose it tragically; mediocre fantasy is about people who neither gain nor lose it but simply wield it.

As I get older I get more and more suspicious of generalisations but I still haven't found a convincing counterexample to that one, and it seems to tie in with this conversation reasonably well.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 8, 2015
I've never seen that quote but it sounds very like Da King and very smart.

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted January 8, 2015

Its from his thoughts on horror Danse Macabre it also includes on what what your job is "Our job as writers ... The imagination is an eye, a marvelous third eye that floats free. As children, that eye sees with 20/20 clarity. As we grow older, its vision begins to dim...The job of the fantasy writer, or the horror writer, is to bust the walk of that tunnel vision wide for a little while; to provide a single powerful spectacle for the third eye. The job of the fantasy-horror writer is to make you, for a little while, a child again." once again Danse Macabre .

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 8, 2015
Third eye?? Yog-Sothoth save me — the three-lobed burning eye!

Which reminds me - I wonder if the Lovecraftian Elder Gods are going to make an appearance?

Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted January 8, 2015
Nup. We're busy.

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted January 8, 2015
Nonsense you are not busy everyone knows "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn".

Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 8, 2015
The Elder gods are all busy in pre-production for the next two books in Charles Stross' Laundry series.

Darth Greybeard puts forth...

Posted January 8, 2015
CODE NIGHTMARE GREEN. The three most beautiful words. And really, who wants to be stuck on a cold plateau under a moon with Hitler's face? Bring it on I say.

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted January 8, 2015
"How to tell if your neighbors are zombies and how to build a field expedient basilisk gun from two webcams..."

Nocturnalist puts forth...

Posted January 8, 2015
King goes to express the suspicion that said mediocre fantasy is intended as a vicarious trip for people who are short on power themselves: the pasty weakling who's afraid of being rousted by the punks at the bus stop can lose himself in the character of a mighty-muscled, sword-swinging barbarian slaying all who get in his way.

(I suspect it's not just fantasy that offers a strain of that.)

It's not a flattering observation, but I think King is documenting something he's felt as much as anyone. There are some in-character moments in his books that are too sharp. I'm thinking mainly of clumsy, dorky. fretful Thad Beaumont having to admit to himself that he's envious of George Stark's violent sociopathy because of how strong and simple it makes him. But there are others.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted January 8, 2015
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the best example of the "Accidental Superhero". It is of course Ralph Hinkley, a mild mannered high school teacher portrayed by William Katt in "The Greatest American Hero".

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted January 9, 2015

and the remake has taken another step closer

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 9, 2015
But Ralph Hinkley wasn't an accidental superhero. Aliens chose him to wear the super suit (they just forgot to give him an instruction manual). That isn't accidental - it is ironic.

insomniac mumbles...

Posted January 9, 2015
What is the ratio of accidental to nonaccidental superheroes?

Is Superman an accidental superhero? What if he ended up on a planet where he was significantly weaker and slower than its inhabitants?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 9, 2015
I never in all my life thought I would be involved in such a discussion.

Superman's parents sent him to earth knowing he would be a god.

Steve Rogers became a super soldier due to a treatment designed to create super soldiers.

Batman made himself into Batman.

The Silver Surfer chose to become Galactus' herald.

Accidental involves lack of purpose, design or volition.

Peter Parker got bit by a spider. It could have bitten anyone.

Barry Allen got hit by lightening at the same time he was bathed in chemicals. That accident gave him super speed.

The Fantastic Four got hit by unanticipated cosmic radiation - and Ben Grimm always considered his transformation to be a curse.

Some heroes achieve greatness. Others have greatness thrust upon them. Dave Hooper had greatness thrust upon him.

At least that's the way it appears right now. Who knows what this may turn out to be?

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted January 9, 2015
And some, like Tony Stark, build it in a cave, with a a box of scraps!

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted January 9, 2015

Thats a remarkably perspicacious obsevation on the nature of taxonomy of heroic archetypes.

Posting stuff like this makes me wish you had more time/desire to write.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 9, 2015
I hate writing. Writing is so obvious, so bourgeois, so boring.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 9, 2015
Oh how about hosting a late night television program then, extemporaneously.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 9, 2015
I did that in the late 1980's - the Paul Boylan Good Time Happy Carnival
Techno Boom-Boom Hour.

It was a disaster. No one took me seriously.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted January 9, 2015
I saw that once. Don't take this as overt criticism of your work, but I think pants would have helped.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 9, 2015
I hate pants. Pants are so obvious, so bourgeois, so boring.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 9, 2015
With pants come dignity.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 10, 2015
Bitter experience forces me to agree.

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Sparty would have you know...

Posted January 8, 2015
I stand corrected sir. (probobly). Depends which Fokker (Eindekker or DR7) was the white one. Hard to write a sentence involving Biggles with out some innuendo forcing its way in.....

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Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted January 8, 2015
Short on the time needed for a good coherent reply at length so some quick grabs will have to do.

+++strangely easy and undeniably attractive to lose ourselves in a fantasy
where we experience not just competence and autonomy but the most
extreme forms of those states.+++

Interesting anecdote from John Rogers about the making of his caper-thriller serial Leverage. He was worried that the scenes where his cast plan their elaborate heist/con/caper of the week were taking up too much episode time compared to the actual action, but when he did a bit of audience research it turned out that was one of the viewers' favourite parts of the show. They loved what he came to call "competence porn", seeing smart, capable people at the top of their fields do their thing, cool, calm and in control.

Of course, if they're never anything other than cool, calm and in control you don't have too much of a story, but the revelation was that those scenes were rewarding and enjoyable for the audience in their own right, as well as just exposition devices and ways to demonstrate the character's abilities so that their later setbacks had something to push against.

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Nocturnalist puts forth...

Posted January 8, 2015
+++a deep and powerful tidal flow through our mass culture... for the same reason people were drawn
to comedy during the Great Depression. For relief from our reality... It may
be hard, if not impossible, to imagine getting out from under a
crushing mortgage, or a terrible boss, but strangely easy and undeniably
attractive to lose ourselves in a fantasy where we experience not just
competence and autonomy but the most extreme forms of those states.+++

Pratchett again: there's a lovely, fiery monologue in The Truth about ordinary people stuck in lives mostly run by other people, and how they need to have something outside those lives to look out at.

I think that this overlaps with the appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction, or at least one ingredient or type of appeal. It goes for the same nerve point, inviting you to imagine yourself kicking free of all the stifling day-to-day crap and becoming the larger-than-life badass you're sure you ought to be.

Superhero stories (lapping for purposes of this point into Chosen One stories like Harry Potter et al) accomplish this by bringing in an extraordinary circumstance that lifts the protagonist up out of their banal life; post-apocalyptic lit gets effectively the same result by smashing everything else down so that the protag is made special by default, just by being alive.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 9, 2015
My superhero moment came yesterday when I read about this bloke in Brisbane attending a political rally wearing an "I'm With Stupid" t-shirt with an arrow on it pointing to his left, who got arrested for waving at the opposition and turning to point the arrow on his chest towards them.

That guy - whoever he is, wherever he may be - is my new hero. God bless you, guy wearing I'm With Stupid" t-shirt. Your heroism almost tops that munter in Brisbane a long time ago who got arrested for displaying a sign reading "free speech."

What is it about Brisbane that brings this out in people?

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted January 9, 2015
Some members of our police force feel an intense fidelity and protectiveness for politicians who sharply increase police powers.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 9, 2015
If there is any sentence that was said in every human language that ever existed, but extant, dead and yet to come it is the sentence you just typed.

I am hoping this guy appears in a crowd scene at the very least in one of the E-books that are sure to follow (although I've heard AoT E-book rumors for a very, very long time).

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted January 9, 2015
The gentleman in question has a Twitter account which he uses to taunt some of our most entitled young Conservatives. One of those was present when he did his t-shirt thing and while most of them smiled with him, that fellow had a look of undisguised hatred which you can see for yourself in the news shots. No doubt he also has more access than we peasants to whistle up 10 coppers and a van to arrest a non-violent middle class prankster. But that's Qld. Tough on humour, tough on the causes of humour.

Sudragon reckons...

Posted January 9, 2015
And we all know the police, especially the Queensland police have no sense of humour.

ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted January 9, 2015
I beg to differ, they do have a sense of humour, they're just not allowed to show it.
And it's a much sharper sense of humour then you would think.

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2015
And now we have it, from the above mentioned 'Not Campbell Newman' twitter prankster, the poignant last tweet:- "Fuckity bye !"

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2015
Fuckity bye, indeed. We will miss you, Not Campbell Newman - until you surface again through another persona. Your true work is far from done.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted February 2, 2015
Please do not tell my wife I commented here. She told me not to encourage you.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted January 9, 2015
Queensland. Cletusland one day, Cletusland the next.To be avoided. Yee haw!

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insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted January 13, 2015
It's a little OT but this is the closest thread at present.
Does anyone else think that Elon Musk is a real life Jeff Tracy from Thunderbirds, given stuff like this?

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Propnut mutters...

Posted February 2, 2015

JB, loved the book! really truly! Well enough smoke blowing up your proverbial. Spotted a tiny, minor technical error (dont know if its already been advised but...) on (I think - im at work & book is sitting nicely on shelf at home) page 315, 2nd paragraph from bottom - Cobra gunships do not have a <STRONG>door </STRONG>gunner. Yes they have a gunner for the mini gun / grenade launcher and nice stub wings which contain 2 weapon hard points per side but sorry no door gunner. To 99.95% of the human population not a biggie, just a detail to be spotted by military nerds.



John Birmingham asserts...

Posted February 2, 2015
Hi Propnut. You're not the first to spot that, which is annoying because I actually know the Cobra has no door gunner. It must have snuck in during the edit. We'll chop it in re-issues. It's very annoying.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted February 2, 2015
I put on a shirt the other day, and as I went to do up the buttons, the seam across the shoulders came apart. I am obviously, and up-to-now unaware of being, The Hulk.

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Respond to 'The superhero moment'

The blog where you get to tell me what you want to happen with #TheDave in book 2…

Posted January 2, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

... even though it’s on its way to the printers already, rendering the whole exercise pointless, but fascinating. And not entirely pointless. I’m hoping Dave will be around for a while, and reading about everyone’s reactions in the previous thread helps clarify the sort of things I should be looking at for future books. The first three novels are already written, of course, so there’s not much can be changed there. And not much I’d be inclined to change.

But the obvious lady-love for Emmeline as a strong character (the only strong woman in Emergence) has focussed my thoughts on what’s going to happen between her and Dave in future. For instance I've already zeroed in on Em much more closely while plotting the first ebook, A Protocol for Monsters. (Yay! Yes! I got that title back from the Editorial Dungeons) Their relationship is already set in narrative stone, but what’s not set is Emmeline’s relationships with the female characters who appear and become increasingly important as the story unfolds.

"Oh, I'm sorry Dave. Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?"

- Rosamund Pike as Emmeline, in 'Resistance.'

So, here’s a Pepsi challenge for Emmeline fans. A two parter. How do you think things will develop between her and Dave and, how would you like to see things develop. That may not be the same thing, of course.

In a wider sense, I’m curious about where everyone sees the overarching narrative going in the next two books. What happens to Dave and his Scooby Gang? What happens to li’l ol’ thresh? Will Captain Heath ever just chill the fuck out? Is it possible for a medieval fighting force to defeat a modern civilisation? When oh when will people just let Dave be Dave? Won't someone please think about The Dave???

Some of these questions can’t really be answered definitively because you’re not working with complete information yet. Greybeard asked some relevant questions down thread. The sort of things Compton might ask Dave, for instance, if Dave wasn’t too busy trying to get Emmeline to come upstairs to see his etchings.

Of his super dick.

Again, there’s two questions there.

Where do you think the story has already gone with Dave.

What would you like to see happen in Resistance and Ascendance? And beyond.

113 Responses to ‘The blog where you get to tell me what you want to happen with #TheDave in book 2…’

tqft swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
There is no reason why Em would fall for Staff Sergeant Fryderyk Milosz.
I think Em will be good for Dave in the sense of telling him what an asshole he is being when he acts like one.I would like to see Em kill something nasty and out super power Dave and show him what a nice super hero a person can be.
" Is it possible for a medieval fighting force to defeat a modern civilisation?"<font color="#333333">Which is which? The feudal oligarchy sacrificing cannon fodder driven by a need to dominate or the society with a place for everyone and the ability to share memories? </font>

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted January 2, 2015
Compton gets an uber jealousy thing going with Dave. How come some oil rig jock, showing no respect for Compton's smarts or position gets lucky with Maxwells Silver Hammer and becomes a mega hero? Compton should be the hero, ordering in the warbirds to wipe out the monsters. He's the one best positioned to figure out the intracacies of hangover gorilla society and culture and unlock their weak spots. But no, some redneck grabs Excalibur and becomes the world's saviour. Well fuck him, he's just gonna turn the world into a Hooters and that can't stand. How the hell can Compton get hold of Lucille and download all that monster lore and vanquish the demons? There has to be a way.Meanwhile the surviving thresh manages to get the ear of the bitch queen and hatch a plan.Emmeline realises that Dave is an arsehole but is tempted until Dave pulls another Dave and she turns away in disgust. A couple of the Scooby Gang get their beans cashed, replaced by others.Dave meanwhile uses his hero status to bad effect. Lucille doesn't like the groupies, sorta gets upset that Dave hasn't hooked up with Emmeline.But mainly it's about Dave battling more hangover gorillas.

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Dave is such a Hancock

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted January 2, 2015
It's like you're inside compton's head.

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
Why should the superfication only work on Dave? Surely amongst the carnage of Compton's ego-fueled attack there are wounded monsters? Maybe Emma, Igor or Allen could put a spear through one to see if they get powers plus a magic weapon? Awkward if one died while on the operating table though - "Behold my Mighty Forceps. All those who oppose me will get such a Pinch!"

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 2, 2015
I want to see more of the thresh. I want to see him/her/it become a liaison between Above and Below. I want to see the internal emotional and intellectual turmoil further contact with the human world causes. I want to see how the thresh resolves that turmoil.

I do not want to see any attorneys get eaten, especially by dragons. I can deal with many things, but not dragons.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted January 2, 2015
Attorneys getting eaten by monsters is SOOOOO Jurassic Park.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
There you go. Exactly. If they go out (which is not advised) it should be in a blaze of glory with a sword in their hand. In the third book.

she_jedi mutters...

Posted January 2, 2015
Just at the end of the third book, giving the surviving heroes appropriate time to mourn their lawyerly sacrifice in saving the world and then light their funeral pyre.

See JB? We've fixed your ending :)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015
Viking burial ala The 13th Warrior. Funeral pyres are so Troy with Brad Pitt.

Anthony ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
I'm making an assumption that the lawyers are safe. Even dragons probably have some notion of professional courtesy.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2015
Perhaps you are correct: it is certainly true for sharks; very courteous creatures.

Peter in the bleaches has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2015
Speaking of dragons eating people, I just finished Matthew Reilly's latest book and dragons eat people. Give it a miss P-N-B

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w from brisbane asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015
And, just continuing Therbs' train of thought.We are all hoping for the key intervention of some jovial, hairy footed, small people. Halflings, if you will. Lovable characters from some place they call The Shire.
Perhaps accompanied by a wizard, in a tall pointed white hat and a long white cloak and a silver scarf. With a long white beard and bushy eyebrows that stick out beyond the brim of his hat. A charming fellow, if a little irascible.
Yep, Therbs and everybody would love that.

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
This x 1,000,000. Though to avoid being sued perhaps they could be curtlings (Latin curtus 'cut short', ME curt 'short').

Anthony ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Demilings - it has a rather nice ring to it.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2015
Yep, those halflings would be useful against the demons. They'd bore them to death with descriptions of clouds. - "'Tis true. We saw clouds which were light grey on the edges and dark grey, almost black in the middle. We even saw some wot were almost white!' The Battle Master screamed in agony, turning to his legion and using his own battle blade to perform ritual suicide. The horde quickly followed suit, preferring the agony of blade, arrow and spear to this. The halfling turned to his companions, frowning, 'Why does everyone do that when I tell a story?' After witnessing this Death by Boredom, Dave removed his Sennheiser noise cancellers, saying to the halflings, 'You guys just have to meet my wife and her attorney.'"

she_jedi reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
That reminds me of a Mercedes Lackey novel where the hero was being interrogated by psychic bad guys, and to protect his mind from their telepathy he sang the entire discography of They Might Be Giants. The illogicality of trying to get their heads around having a piece of string to tie a rock around meant he went through three different interrogators because their minds burned out.

Therbs reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
Even Vogon poetry would be lyric genius compared to the soul destroying chunterings of Halflings.

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted January 2, 2015
Those Thresh teeth bother me. Running in tracks like a saw? Maybe there could be two parallel sets, each in its own track, each connected to a fast-twitching hyper-extensible muscle at each end. Left muscle contracts on set A, teeth run anticlockwise while right muscle extends. Meanwhile set B does the opposite so they work like one of those double-bladed electric carving knives. Yeah. I want more monster biology in book 2 but I don't think I'm going to get it.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015

La Frog Princess may be needed.


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Duchess Jo reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
Prof Emmaline's Asperger's informs her attitude to Dave, with or without his magic enhancements. She's curious about the effects of his transformation, and quite capable of investigating that when it suits without getting unnecessarily attached or worked up about his various leisure activities. No girly pining for her. Compton however is convinced that only he could be impressive enough to tempt Emmaline, and would lose his shit royally at the idea that Dave might succeed where he has long struck out.

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted January 2, 2015
Yeah Compton strikes me as one of those people who believes that only very very select few couple possibly be worthy of their attention, and Emmeline would be one of these. He's also the sort to be going "Look at the size of my intellect! Congratulations, I pick you!" while being completely oblivious to his myriad physical and personality based short comings.

It would drive him frothing at the mouth insane at the injustice of Dave to not only save the world but get the girl while he's doing it.

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Sparty2 ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
After all the big battles are done the horde princeling emerges to go man o Mano against the human champion. But try as he might, it can't be Dave for he has no "royal blood" - a real kick in the teeth for our working class anti hero. So step forward the planets most capable soldier with Royal Blood. ( it's not DC v Marvel so you can mix franchises) - prince Harry of Windsor... On a more serious note, if things balance out and the Threash gets the kind of knowledge update Dave got, I'd like to see a mixed team of sea monsters and sea Slithereen try and hijack a boomer sub...

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she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted January 2, 2015
So here is my thinkings on your questions:

1. Em and Dave. I'm quite taken with Em and Dave, and I'm looking forward to seeing how their relationship unfolds. But I think in the long term happily ever after sense then Dave is going to have to break out some intellect of his own in order to keep her interest. Once she's exhausted all her academic interest in his new powers, metabolism and super boner, and Dave is no longer a walking talking potential Nobel Prize in Medicine, I think she'll be all 'meh, I've got research to do on Thresh" and move on. And let's face it, for all that he's an emotionally retarded redneck douchebag, Dave does have 3 degrees of his own, and one a masters at that. He's not an idiot. Ok yeah, he's an idiot, but he's not DUMB.

And I think once their research into the Horde gets going, Dave's going to need to harness his monsterpedia and his intellect together and start coming up with more creative ways to fight the Grand Horde than DAVE SMASH. Em's going to catch up to him and be going "ppfftt, magic axe, I just killed that Drakon with my BRAIN." Her Aspergers super power isn't going to hobble her with unnecessary warm and fuzzies. Once he stops being interesting to her he'll be toast.

But I think in many ways this will be a good thing to Dave. His ex Annie is clearly a woman driven by her (vast) emotions and this clearly drives him crazy, and also drives a huge amount of his more destructive behaviours in response to it. Having a woman who will tell him point blank he's being a dick and not be emotional and needy about it could do wonders for him. It would certainly be novel for him to be the emotional needy one in the relationship.

2. The Thresh. The Prof is right, the only prescription for this fever is more Thresh. Was it Boylan who said it was the monster equivalent of Dave, deeply affected and changed by first contact with the other side? I so want to see an evolution of the Thresh in parallel with the evolution of the Dave. Sooo much potential there, now that it's had first contact with humanity, but also contact with the Low Queen's memories and race memories from the Times Before. The Thresh has so much thinkings ahead of it, I can't wait to see the role it will play in the upcoming war. I want an ebook devoted to the Thresh!

I think Heath will eventually chill the fuck out. Once the war is won or at the very least a binding truce is declared, I think he'll sit back and go "well fuck, now I've seen everything" and cease being uptight about things.

I want Compton to die a painful and deserved death. I haven't decided if that will be at Dave's hands, or one of the Scooby gang, or at the fangs of a monster. Maybe the Thresh? As a favour to Dave? It would be simply delightful irony if he were to die with a felafel in his hand. I dare you.

I also want to see how this plays out across the world. Do we end up with a European Dave, some big German knuckledragger with no sense of humour and who's pissed with his country having to carry the can for those lazy Greek fuckers who've torched their economy and want to retire at 45 while he'll have to continue smashing big rocks into wee little rocks until he's 80 to pay for it all? How would an Australian Dave play out? And do we get a female Dave? You've hinted that we get some superbabe who completely pwns Dave and gives him a schoolin'. Does she get changed by the monsters too and turns into superbabe, or is she a Caitlin style commando barbie type? (So loved commando barbie as a phrase).

I also want more monster lore, monster biology, and more monsters! What's the deal with the vampyri? Are they the prototypical vampires of legend, or something else? Enquiring minds and all that.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 3, 2015
You have such an eerily accurate understanding of Emmeline that I think I'm going to make you her flatmate in the ebook.

she_jedi reckons...

Posted January 3, 2015
OMG would you? Because if Emmeline were a real person I really feel that we could totes be BFFs. That would be.... I have no words for how awesome it would be. Wow.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2015
Then it will happen. DM me an email addy at the twitterz and we'll work out some character deets.

she_jedi asserts...

Posted January 3, 2015
Done! Excuse me while I slip into this corner and quietly have joyful hysterics.

NBlob asserts...

Posted January 4, 2015
Don't get too excited, going on past Tuckerisations, your likely to be et in the end. Or have your end et. Or something.

she_jedi asserts...

Posted January 4, 2015
Honestly I don't care if I last two pages and get eaten by a thresh. I'm a character in a Birmo book! I'm done for this year. Nothing can beat that :)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 4, 2015
What about leading virtuous - even though anonymous - life? Wouldn't that be better? Shouldn't that be better?

she_jedi reckons...

Posted January 4, 2015
Of course it should be better. That doesn't stop me from wanting my 15 mins of immortality right before a thresh eats me :)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2015
Oh, I disagree. I was taking the piss. 15 minutes of fame (more, whenever possible) is much better than leading a virtuous life.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 6, 2015
Virtue generally comes with less regret than some, many, most attempts @ fleeting celebrity.One of the enduring sources of joy in my life is my older brother's appearance on Bert Newton's New Faces Circa 1986ish. Not his duet with the fat chick, that was terrible, merely that he did it.

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted January 2, 2015
Oh oh, and what if an expert in Aboriginal Dreamtime legends suddenly looks anew at his work and realises that the rainbow serpent and all the other giant creatures they talk of are actually the Horde, and instead of being myths and legends they're actually our earliest recorded histories of the Times Before and the Sky Lords???

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 3, 2015
I love the idea, but it creates a few problems. John gives us some hints
of when the Sky Lords separated demons from humans. The Thresh learns
from the Queen's last memories of humans is that they used "soft
metals." So the banishment occurred after metal smelting (copper and
lead - soft metals) began (approx. 8,000 years ago at the earliest) and
the Bronze (hard metal) Age 3,000 years ago at the earliest.

The earliest art
of all is the Sulawesi hand drawings (approx. 40,000
years ago) and shows nothing remotely similar to demons. The Chauvet
Cave paintings in France date back to around 30,000 years. They are very
sophisticated, accomplished paintings. But they show no demons. The
Australian Aboriginal art occurred around 28,000 years ago, depicting
what could be considered attempts at memorializing demons.

So, if
Aboriginal art memorializes human contact with demons, demons had been
hunting and eating humans at night for thousands of years before the Sky
Lords intervened. And if so, why is there no Copper Age/Bronze Age art
reflecting human contact/concern with demons? All of that comes much
later as civilizations rise and, with them, complex religion is created
and used to obtain and maintain political power and economic privilege.

pi mumbles...

Posted January 3, 2015
Why is there no art... hmm... perhaps because they were eaten?

she_jedi reckons...

Posted January 3, 2015
Jeez Boylan, go and ruin everything by applying logic and accurate historial analysis to it :P

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 3, 2015
I made all that up. None of it is true.

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2015
Dammit! It sounded logical :)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2015
That's my special gift. One day, give me just a few minutes and I will explain why it is a very good idea for you to give me all your money. I promise it will make complete sense.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2015
It changed my life.

she_jedi mutters...

Posted January 3, 2015
I'm sure it would. The tricky bit would be having any money I could give to you.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 3, 2015
Anything you have that is valuable will do. The point is not the amount; it is the miraculous fact that it will seem like your idea.

Halwes puts forth...

Posted January 4, 2015

I was talking to a great friend of 40 years, an old Yolngu woman and one of the original signatories to the bark petition, and she said that stories of the dreamtime must have come from people smoking Weymi ( marijuana). Do you believe in giant snakes cutting valleys through the land? she asked. She converted to christianity a long time ago and the locals had had a huge amount of contact with the Macassans so pot would have been around. I said that some of the bible stories sounded to me like they were drug assisted as well but she is a fundamentalist and said that Jesus can do anything so I've never questioned the old girl and her comforting religion since. She has advanced dementia now and it's a crap life as it is in a remote community with such an illness without having your belief system challenged so late in life.

NBlob asserts...

Posted January 4, 2015
I always thought Wonambi barriei & Wonambi naracoortensis were excellent candidates for Rainbow Serpents in actuality. A 6m long constrictor python that hunts by stealth, would give me the willies & I may be tempted to give it metaphysical powers.

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted January 3, 2015
You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille
With four hungry daemons
A-nippin' my heels
I've had some bad times
Lived through some mad times
But this time your magic won't heal
You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2015
I love this. I wonder if I can use it without being sued.

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insomniac asserts...

Posted January 3, 2015
Dave will move back to his home town, settling down with a childhood sweetheart. She's no oil painting but she's a good sort. After they got married she let herself go, and all superboners are now considered to be inappropriate, except at Christmas, so Dave has taken to masturbating to an image of Emmeline on an old military security badge he swiped long ago. He gets a job at the town hall as an assistant clerk. The mayor is a total hardarse who rides his butt all day long. "Dave, have you saved the world today?" or "Help me Dave, help me" in a falsetto so good Dave wonders if he's gay. Alternatively, the mayor is the Thresh, still a total hardarse riding Dave's butt all day long, but now its funny because obviously Dave didn't saved the world.

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Trashman is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2015
Can't comment as it doesn't come out in the UK till April!

Where's the love JB???

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 3, 2015
My editors took it all

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Sam swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 3, 2015
What I want from the next books? Fuck off huge battles - seriously like the Battle of Leipzig + the Somme + the 2nd Battle of Kursk + Midway. Just orcs and A10s and dragons as far as the eye can see.
What I expect from the books was given away by Compton when he asked what the social structure of the Horde was. The Horde is obviously not just a pure destructive force like the 40k Orks. They have their own rules and strictures they will abide by. Ultimately there will be a political solution to this.
What I would like to see less off is 'Exposition Dave'. A lot of the tension in your previous books, like the Axis of TIme series, is the knowledge deficit between the sides. It's fine to tell the reader details about each side, but the real tension arises when we know something that the heroes don't. Having Dave just regurgitate all this knowledge strikes an off note.
Otherwise really enjoying the book - just hope the next one is longer (and more "splodey).

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 4, 2015
Oh, it's more splodey. I assure you.
The Exposition Question is a function having less points of view to work with. But that also changes from book 2.

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Halwes mutters...

Posted January 4, 2015
Without referring to the net or a dictionary, who knows what Flagitiousness means? Beating someone up?

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted January 4, 2015
The young thinky Thresh when it gets back down to see the Low Queen may have a few other problems. The Grymm won't be happy with the Thresh suddenly having more knowledge of Above and Men than them. That's their job and this thinky little critter upstages them. But it does have the protection of the queen. What will the Grymm do to put the skids to this meddlesome upstart? I can see them pulling a few stunts over time to discredit young threshy. Could this pressure and real threat to its existence eventually drive the Thresh to try and come to some sort of arrangement with Dave which is mutually beneficial?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 4, 2015
What a fascinating reading. We might revisit this in two months.

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GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted January 4, 2015

With Urgon's Horde-essence coursing through him Dave is gonna be able to recall a huge slab of UnderRealm knowledge and history but only through the shared experiences of the Hunn, this will make him a fierce warrior and negotiator until the Low Queen and the Grymm realises his advantage and change tactics by adopting strategies unknown to Urgon.
I still think that Compton is going to try to insert himself into the mix by offering a secret alliance with the Low Queen that elevates him but puts humanity at risk, with Emmeline as the prize for his co-operation.
I can see Heath or Allen, maybe Martinelli killing an UnderRealm creature and obsorbing their juju as well to enable them to fight alongside Dave.
So far JB hasn't revealed whether the Horde acquire knowledge from humans the way Dave has from Urgon, would be bad if some high-end military dude got toasted who knew the codes to the Football and where the right buttons to push where kept.
As for the origin of the Sky Lords - tempting as PNB suggests to never disclose their true nature, I'm opting for a drop your pants reveal, so if the Horde are Teautonic bastardoes with superiority eating complexes then I'm wondering that if we discount Aliens, and Greybeard's Star Lord, that Sky Lords are in fact Norse Gods - hence the relevance and power of 'Lucille' - and just when the Hell they think they might step back into the fray and if they too could cope with a humankind who's been Apple-tised, weaponised and Marvelised into believing that the Gods are simply an invention of Stan Lee and Jim Starlin, (with challenges by the estate of Jack Kirby).
GhostSwirv over and out - TheDave awaits and there is much knashing of teeth to do.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 4, 2015
I really like that Norse Gods thing. A lot.
But no.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted January 4, 2015
A shame we don't have that old fan fic site. Reckon a few burgerers would have some fun with this universe.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 4, 2015
That would be awesome and I may yet encourage the endeavor.

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 4, 2015
I agree with Therbs with great agreeishness.

Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2015
You mean this place?
http://miniburger.wordpress.com/

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted January 4, 2015
Now the Sky Lords are niggling at me. All we really know is that at some time in the bronze age (Dave's bronze age Prof Boylan, not ours) they intervened between the Horde and our tasty if somewhat stringy ancestors and banished the Horde to...somewhere else. Maybe the Hollow Earth of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar, Descent (the book) and the Ahnenerbe/Iron Sky? Whatever, they must be powerful. We could also speculate that they saw something in humanity that made us worth protecting from the Horde, at least for long enough for us to develop an advanced if self-destructive culture.

So who are they? Roswell Greys? The Black Monolith guys? Atlanteans? Time travelling burgers with Unobtainium power armour and plasma rifles? Dunno but I like the first and last options best. Will they reappear in book 2 or 3 as a deus ex machina? I seriously doubt it. But why does that banishment end now? Maybe the Baron rig just drilled too deep (The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum) or maybe the Sky Lords saw us trashing the planet and decided they'd made a mistake.

Maybe there's room for an ebook later to put some flesh on them. I kind of think that the Emergence could be a continuation of their original experiment and, unlike the Wave, they represent a conscious interference in our history.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 4, 2015
The Longreach was drilling the deepest exploration shaft in history. It broke the Capstone which separates our realm from theirs. But don't assume it's a purely physical barrier or that the UnderRealms are actually under anything.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted January 4, 2015
And this is why the Sky Lords could be from a magical, time travelling aircraft carrier. It really doesn't matter when the Splodey is on offer. Tolkien got himself into all sorts of Eric Olthwaite boredom with mythology shite. It ain't necesssary, been done before. The Sky Lords would be pan dimensional , aircraft carrier riding beings who could also have unwittingly set off The Wave. Yeah, it's All About Time. <cue theme intro>.

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted January 4, 2015
I now disagree with Therbs with equally great disagreeishness.
And did you know Therbs, that new shovel Howard Molson had, a Spear and Jackson No. 3? Well they don't make the No. 3 any more but this is just like it.
http://www.spearandjackson.com.au/products/SJ-CGSH1
It's a grand shovel, the Spear and Jackson...

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 5, 2015
Not during the Bronze Age - before the Bronze Age. The thresh, via the Queen's memories, remembers humans using "soft metals" - which has to mean copper or lead. Bronze is a very hard, tough alloy. Bronze blades can made sharper than any steel blade. Bronze was superseded by iron only because iron was more plentiful and, although inferior to bronze, can be used to more easily make weapons in greater quantity.

And who says the Wave wasn't the result of intelligent interference with human history? That, to me, is one of the best aspects of the After America series - we can speculate endlessly without any one answer ruining it all. Sort of like the ending of Inception. Did the top fall or not? No one will ever know, and not knowing is better than knowing.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 5, 2015
Not to say I don't welcome a really, really cool explanation.

Darth Greybeard puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2015
I take your point Paul, although I'd prefer to parry it. Bronze is indeed a harder metal than iron as well as resistant to corrosion. I have a three bladed Greek bronze arrowhead around here somewhere from around Marathon. Durable stuff! Steel OTOH is superior in strength:weight and edge-holding. But that puts the Horde into the Copper age. Otzi for example (about 3500 BCE) had a very pure copper axe amongst his kit and we're looking at no more than 5000-6000 years ago. This is fine as everything takes place in one of those alternate Birmoverses like the bazillion Marvel universes. My interest is a) nerdy and b) working out what would be necessary to make stories set in this universe canonical or consistent.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 5, 2015
I am not focusing in on the Horde's technological level when the SkyLords separated humans from demons; demons could have had higher technology than humans or lower. It doesn't matter because there is no way of knowing,

What we do know - or at least what Mr. Birmingham has allowed us to know is (1) the last demon memories of humans was a derisive observation that they didn't know iron and only used soft metals; (2) the Horde uses metal swords that are probably iron, but we don't know if demons know how to make bronze or steel; and (3) the Sliveen knap obsidian to make big-ass arrow points (when they could clearly use a hard metal).

All of this indicates that the Horde's technological level evolves very, very slowly, if at all. But it also provides a fairly clear time period when the SkyLords intervened - i.e., before the Bronze Age. But we don't know the Horde's level of technology when the split occurred.


NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2015

"the Horde's technological level evolves very, very slowly"

I'm loving the cultural interpretation of the Horde, neck-bearded sociologists aside. in small pieces.

The conclusions drawn in the book seem reasonable, as far as they go. My thinky takes them further. An extremely martial society (I believe 'Ol Mouldy mentioned the Meiji) with convoluted formalised to the point of lithic respect, hierarchy & social interaction would work.

I can see a master armourer being thrown into the blood pots for grievous apostasy, like say arming a Thresh where only the High born get to carry edged metal weapons, or similar. Like Heraldic Europe where low born could never, would never aspire to be a knight. These types of societies are notorious for culture bound stove-piped thinking and groups acting Only in ways set out in the scrolls. Individual moments of genius, bravery & desperation are met with industrial grade tut-tutting if they work & a quick trip to the blood pots if unsuccessful. Not a culture that readily embraces new developments in technologies or methodologies. A Thresh arguing against the Doctrine as handed down in the Scrolls will be fighting against his culture. Would soon find himself an outsider - like Dave, rejected by his Mob for his otherness.

The Grymm remind me of the entourage of the Imperial Chinese court, jockeying for position, back stabbing, building alliances against common foes, Machiavellian friend of my enemy kinda stuff. Imagine if one got hold of The Prince.

I see an ebook just in the palace intrigues, perhaps the Grymm seek to manipulate who sits on an Honours Council, which in turn advises the Low Queen on matters of War & State.

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2015
Plus, having been locked away for millennia, there's been no outside forces exerted on them to drive change and innovation. Their culture, technology, society and religion have essentially been frozen in time. Which means the breaking of the capstone and the reconnection with a far more populous and technologically advanced human race will drive massive, massive change for them. It really is a Darwinian adapt or die scenario for them.

NBlob mutters...

Posted January 6, 2015
I'd have to go back & read again, but I thought JB implied clan groups battling against each other.This'd provide a context for a Darwinian selection, the toughest, the meanest, the least troubled by losses would rise to the top, the less martial would end up in the blood pots, their wealth distributed among the victors.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 7, 2015
I did indeed imply something like that. But there's more beyond too.

insomniac mutters...

Posted January 8, 2015
Won't the Under Realms technology base evolve quickly now after exposure to modern day technology?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 8, 2015
Not without a lot of help from hired consultants. To me that is the real revolution the Horde is going to experience - i.e. the realization they can move forward very fast by trading with the Above. What, you don't think Halliburton, Monsanto or BP won't be eager to deal with the Lower Queen? Of course they will.

insomniac asserts...

Posted January 8, 2015
You are, of course, correct. It doesn't matter how it happens; humans shouldn't be thinking that all they have to compete with is Bronze Age tech. It could even be a little steampunk; crossing modern day weapons with old, long forgotten in the human world, technology.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2015

"Time travelling burgers with Unobtainium power armour and plasma rifles?" Although it pains me to say it I'd like to subscribe to your pamphlet. Please find attached 1X immortal sole.

Monster Morphology. Other metals in haemoglobin role produce new & interesting effects like delayed uptake & release of 02 - allowing for long breath hold described, dark colour - inchor, funny smell as it rapidly oxidises when exposed to atmosphere.

The Track jaws. I see rows, maybe 4 (2 per side) on semicircular tracks that follow the jaw line. Each set attaches to a quick twitch muscle anchored on spine, thus when "chewing" [nod to GreyBread] the sets track along each other like the action of a 'lectric carving knife. This would result in a jutting Mussolini Il Duce jaw but hemicircular & a hump-back, neck-less appearance. It would also account for the meat storm of flecks, chunks and giblets when attacking. No good for grinding grains & pulses, & likely to get jammed with bone chunks, may result in nauseating teeth picking social interactions - One imprints one's Thrall by grooming / cleaning like a wrasse or shrimp on the reef.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2015
Further, such a jaw system would likely severely limit neck rotation.

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted January 5, 2015
I like this. One can picture the Thresh and its late partner relaxing after a juicy minion and hooking bits of bone out of each other's tooth-tracks with their claws. A charming scene of domestic bliss from Her Majesty's UnderRealms. Fair makes yer eye-stalks stiffen with joy.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 5, 2015
The eye stalk description made me envision the thresh looking a lot like Jar Jar Binks.

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2015
I actually thought of that floating monster eyeball thing from Big Trouble in Little China.
Murph

Bunyip swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2015
But then, PNB, are the thresh binocular? I must admit, I kept on thinking of Samael, from Hellboy. Suitably gross in behaviour, and more eyes that you can poke a woodsplitter at.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 5, 2015
I think the thresh can be anything it wants to be - so long as it doesn't stray outside of the rigid socio/political system Nblob is imagining.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2015
Oh I'm not rigid. Perhaps not as floppy as GreyBread, but you know, It's not like I got a pole in my butt like some.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2015
Observation, not criticism. The system you describe has to be inflexible for the reasons you explain, which make sense.

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GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2015


Aaahaaa JB, so much cat-outta-dabaggery ... a Capstone separating realms is not physical & UnderRealms is not actually under anyfink.

Hmmm, still notihng apart from the obvious, pan-dimensions, time-travelling demons scaped from Dr Who, Wormholes, Black Holes, Warhols.

One thing that does stand out, even more than an Eye-Stalk from Big Trouble in Little China, is the nagging suspicion that PNB and JB are not wholly who they claim to be ... PNB has cleverly denied being an internet amalgam by proclaiming said parentage but with a slip of the type has revealed his true fondness for Jar Jar Jokes and therefore a truer identity as the John Birmingham persona himself!

This can thus be intuited that JB is the amalgam and PNB is the true Puppet-Master and JB his masterful Ur-World creation.

GhostSwirv over and out to rest my head ... already its been a long day.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2015
Put aside, for the moment, the question of whether or not I am a real person or - far more likely - a group effort. Look, instead at the composite PNB personality as a whole. If I were in charge don't you think Dave would have been depicted as a short, dark, bald attorney with connecting eyebrows, pleasingly long arms and a prominent, if not distinguished, sagittal crest?

GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2015


You may have valid point PNB, its just that the Binks Crack really threw me ... it seemed too much like a Birmo ... oh wait a minute I see what you're doing.

GhostSwirv over and out of range

Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted January 5, 2015
Oh dear GhostSwirv. Sounds as if you've been exposed to those old rumours that JB is the roistering journeyman "Shakespeare" to Boylan's brilliant polymath "Earl of Oxford"? We've heard all this before. "Could an Ipswich lad whose youth was spent in run-down, rat and hippie-infested squats have written such prose? Isn't it more likely that the actual author was Prof Boylan - a jurist and scholar of international repute (who formerly spent part of each year lecturing in France to actual French persons)?" But William of Ockham taught that "entities should not be multiplied
unnecessarily". Is PNB both a gestalt personality and the true author of JB's corpus? No. Once again the simplest answer is the correct one. PNB is a real, albeit astonishing person. JB is a writer. At least that's my hypothesis.

Therbs would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2015
Yes, Greybeard is correct. Some people have even seen both PNB and JB together in the same place.

Bunyip is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2015
I can attest to that.
Mind you, to this day I'm still not sure why they were jousting whilst riding flying pigs....

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 6, 2015
This juvenile attempt to confuse Mr. Birmingham with myself is unsettling. I am much better looking and, compared to John, my table manners are impeccable.

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JG would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2015
I like the Thresh. They're cute with all their wise thinkings and feelings, aversion to light, and being the little guys in monster world. Smart little dudes. Cute in a nasty, bitey way. Perhaps a few galliant Thresh will end up working for Dave. Traitors of the Under Realms.
I think Dave's ex and his boys will be threatened down the track. Possibly tension between Annie (seeing Dave in a new light) and Em. Got to have Emma(line) and Dave get together. Sexual tension needs resolving.
Perhaps Dave or one of the Doobie Gang get kidnapped and taken to the Under Realm. Rescue party, if any, get eaten. I look forward to Compton's demise. Pompous git.
Maybe Dave will become an Ur Dave for all after resolving the cultural differences Above and Below? Become a Sky Lord? No, too tidy. I think he'd have to stay human at the end of the series. Just pondering, thinking, feeling. Sure to be lots of conflict, treachery, and intriguing twists ahead.
My teeth seem to have grown pointy and sawlike since reading Emergence. Run away!

JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2015
Scooby... doobie... you get my drift. Although, after you've had a few doobies, the drift may be misplaced. Not for me anymore. Got a Scooby Doo doll from the Ekka a couple of years ago. Him, and Puss in Boots.
Must correct referring to Annie as Dave's ex, though. Rather, his long-suffering wife.
Can't say I'm that into any of the female characters as yet, so looking to the intro of a few more in Dave2, especially the dynamite character set to rock Dave. Emmeline is alright, although she could be annoying in real life: a bit uptight, prim and proper. The need to be right. An admirable mind, but somewhat clinical and pristine. I'd like to see her cut loose and lose control. Look forward to Dave getting a whoppin' and a schoolin' from her, but I can't see Ms Proper doing that.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 7, 2015
I believe a Dooby gang is somewhat similar to President Obama's Choon Gang.

JG puts forth...

Posted January 8, 2015
Yep. Back in the days...Anyhoo, I read back over a few sections of Emergence (must read it again) and realised that Emmeline (Emma to her friends) isn't a princess. She's not as prissy or prickly as I thought. I don't know why I got that impression of her. Jealousy? No.
Also, Annie is Dave's 'ex-wife-to-be' (p.61), although he tells others she is his ex.
Just one minor/anal editing error found (if another edition) - p.34, lines 12-14: refers to 'a glass of water' but then uses teeth to open the bottle of water. Might just be my reading of it.
So impressed with this book and the monster society you've created, JB. Was wondering what had happened to the original magic vs technology working title/emphasisbut you've explained that in your later blog post.

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted January 5, 2015
Firebases down Below just remembering that we're not dealing with Hadie...

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Peter in the bleaches puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2015
If this was a rom com I am guessing that Dave's ex would return just as Dave and Emmeline where about to declare their undying love for each other. After a period of time, Dave would realise the error of his ways and having just saved Emmeline from the Low Queen in the climatic scene of novel 2 he would declare his love for her. As this is not a rom com I assume and hopeJB has written something completely different.As for Compton, perhaps he becomes a quisling and sides with the horde only to meet an untidy end as a sacrifice for the low Queen.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 6, 2015
Yep. Completely different.

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Sparty asserts...

Posted January 5, 2015
Fan Fic competition please!

while on the fan fic topic, does anyone know when the book of Dies the Fire stories by various authors (including Birmo) comes out?

NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 6, 2015

Excited much?

Sparty

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Gutz ducks in to say...

Posted January 6, 2015
I will let everything take it's course. However.....if Dave's constant fucking annoying hunger pangs are solved by the Nutribullet 'tm'... I am outta here.. Just saying.

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Sparty puts forth...

Posted January 6, 2015
Stoked - if i was Dave i'd have a raging B*=%$ er

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted January 7, 2015
The Dave opens, wait for it . . . a sausage shop!

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 7, 2015
Hahahahahaha

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Ted Chadd asserts...

Posted January 7, 2015
While I cannot imagine where the development and exposition of Horde Society is going to go, I would like to see two great scenes/passages...
Number one: A very Obi-wan led, montage of Igor and Allen attempting to "train" Dave, with comical results... And much property damage...need to turn the cliche on its head though... Have the wisest advice come from an unlikely source... God forbid Compton...

Second, the Horde describes sulfur pools and humid hellish home life.. I would love to see them face the frigid death of a Canadian Cold front in January, met by arctic shock troops with flame throwers and large chain saws... Just sayin....

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 7, 2015
What you're just sayin' is fucking great and, at the very least, worthy of exploration in ebooks or fanfic that could lead to one or more ebooks.

I am imagining Hunn on the Canadian Front yearning for the sulfur pools of home.

Just sayin...

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 7, 2015
Way down south in Daemoniana
Just about took over Louisiana
In them ooold
Sulphur pools back home...

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