Cheeseburger Gothic

My digital publisher drops digital

Posted April 1, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

Just got the press release:

In a shock announcement sure to make waves in the Australian publishing industry, Momentum, the digital-first imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia, has announced that they will no longer be publishing books digitally. Their entire back catalogue will be converted to print, as will all upcoming books.

Momentum’s publisher Joel Naoum said, “While we’ve had an extremely valuable experience working in digital, we’ve had to make the decision to go to a print-based model. We’ll still be publishing the same kinds of projects, but we’ll be delivering them via an exciting new system.”

The second part of the announcement was that instead of sending print books to bookstores, the books will be delivered to individuals via drone. This follows the death of an extremely wealthy relative of Naoum’s, who bequeathed the publisher an undisclosed sum.

“Printing each title on demand and delivering them via a fleet of drones with my face painted on them has always been a dream of mine,” said Naoum, as he prepared to drive a monster truck over a Porsche. “It’s effective and great for the consumer,” he continued, while lighting a cigar with a hundred dollar bill.

The drone system is inspired by Amazon’s recent announcement of drone deliveries, although Naoum claimed he had thought of it first. Each drone will have Naoum’s smiling, winking face painted on the front and sides, with Banksy being commissioned to hand paint each of the 100-strong fleet.

The new range of Momentum print books will be priced between $15-$30, with a drone delivery fee of approximately $10,000. For those who want the books without drone delivery, Naoum said “get with the 21st century, man” before diving into a pool filled with champagne.

The changes to Momentum will take place today, 1 April 2014.

16 Responses to ‘My digital publisher drops digital’

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted April 1, 2014

I see what you did there.

BigWillieStyle puts forth...

Posted April 1, 2014

Me too. Laugh? I thought I'd never start.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 1, 2014

Pfft.

You've got to get up earlier. The builder already tried it on me by announcing they will be here at 6.30am sharp to commence new deck & dungeon installations at Casa Q.

Bwahahahahahahahahaha yeah sure.

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Surtac reckons...

Posted April 1, 2014

Right ... tell me again after mid-day and I might consider believing you. :)

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insomniac reckons...

Posted April 1, 2014

It seems like a wAIST of the tECHNOLOGy but I GUESS the tablet's going in the BIN ... thanks a LOT!!

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 1, 2014

As I've seen some crap (& completely illogical) decisions made by publishers in my time you had me until the 2nd paragragh :))

Nice go though.

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MarkatVAVS mutters...

Posted April 1, 2014

You had me going for minute.

Well played Good Sir

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 1, 2014

and I presume the US publisher will be anouncing this tomorrow

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted April 1, 2014

Forgive the indelicate inquiry, but is this yet another example of what you munted fuckers call "taking the piss?"

Because if it is, it isn't funny. Not a bit. Nearly went into AoT withdrawal.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted April 1, 2014

oui

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 1, 2014

Is that a subtle pun? Because if so, it isn't funny, either.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted April 1, 2014

just like when ms insomniac says i'm not funny, i say "that's right; i'm not funny ... i'm hilarious"

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 1, 2014

non

Respond to this thread

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 1, 2014

You haven't been married long, have you?

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted April 1, 2014

Now I see why my first marriage failed. All this time I thought it was because she was a cheating lying insane bitch, but it was really just me.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted April 1, 2014

Thanks.

I'll put my AED away then.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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The Hardy Boys Dark secret revealed

Posted March 22, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

The author was a committee!

Franklin W Dixon is the name on the spine, but that was a convenient cover for hungry writers press ganged into churning out the multimillion selling titles for less than a hundred bucks a pop. There was one guy in particular, Leslie MacFarlane who wrote a lot of the early titles and did his best to introduce some literary merit into the series - all to no avail. He hated the books so much he would never even refer to them by name.

It's a great story, told by Jeff Stone over at Whenyouputitthatway.com, and I dips me lid to Beeso for the heads up:

Leslie McFarlane kept voluminous diaries. His family has them. He wrote in fountain pen, in elegant strokes that squirreled up a little when he was touched by despair or drink. In these diaries, “The Hardy Boys” is seldom mentioned by name, as though he cannot bear to speak it aloud. He calls the books “the juveniles.” At the time McFarlane was living in northern Ontario with a wife and infant children, attempting to make a living as a freelance fiction writer.

Nov. 12, 1932: “Not a nickel in the world and nothing in sight. Am simply desperate with anxiety. . . . What’s to become of us this winter? I don’t know. It looks black.”

Jan. 23, 1933: “Worked at the juvenile book. The plot is so ridiculous that I am constantly held up trying to work a little logic into it. Even fairy tales should be logical.”

Jan. 26, 1933: “Whacked away at the accursed book.”

June 9, 1933: “Tried to get at the juvenile again today but the ghastly job appalls me.”

Jan. 26, 1934: “Stratemeyer sent along the advance so I was able to pay part of the grocery bill and get a load of dry wood.”

Finally:

“Stratemeyer wants me to do another book. . . . I always said I would never do another of the cursed things but the offer always comes when we need cash. I said I would do it but asked for more than $85, a disgraceful price for 45,000 words.”

Statemeyer said no.

21 Responses to ‘The Hardy Boys Dark secret revealed’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted March 22, 2014

I've never read a Hardy Boys book. I've seen them, but I thought they were thinly disguised gay erotica.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

insomniac asserts...

Posted March 22, 2014

As in "Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys"?

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 22, 2014

& the sleepy one wins the intermanetz, again.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted March 23, 2014

"The Hardy Boys Dark secret revealed" we planted those drugs.

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Trashman asserts...

Posted March 24, 2014

When I was young I read both The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books. They were so similar in style I always thought they were written by the same person.

However, the best series I read back then was the 'Three Investigators' series that was 'written' by Alfed Hitchcock. I picked up one out of nostalgia a couple of years ago and I still en joyed it enough that I picked up the rest via abebooks over the follwoing few months. Great stuff - far superior to the Hardy Boys.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted March 24, 2014

It was a simpler time, now there would be some marketing genius who would be pitching a cross-propmotional book where their investigations would cross over.

and don't even consider what the slash/fan fiction would be if these series were written today.

anyone else remember the TV series they made of the Hardy Boys?nancy Drew mysteries back in the 1970s?

Lulu puts forth...

Posted March 24, 2014

I loved the Three Investigators.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 24, 2014

Yeah, they rocked.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted March 24, 2014

Okay, if we are gonna get all nostalgic about this stuff, The Mad Scientists' Club by Bertrand R./ Geer Brinley (1965) did it for me when I was of that age. Mystery solving bunch of precocious small town American kids.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted March 24, 2014

I was a big fan, I seem to recall reading some of the stories in copies of the American Boy scouts magazine that were around the scout hall. Went to track them down in book form. A much ahrder task in those days before Amazon.

BigWillieStyle is gonna tell you...

Posted March 24, 2014

It was snotty little British kids for me. The Secret Seven. The Seven were constantly solving mysteries before the Chief Inspector had the first fucking clue what was going on. Now that I think about it, he was either (a) totally incompetent, or (b) on the take with the local ruffians and crime lords. If it was (b), he probably would've had the Seven rounded up and sent them to sleep with the fishes. This never happened, so I'll go with (a). A clear example of a public servant promoted once too often.

insomniac mutters...

Posted March 24, 2014

And who can forget Encyclopedia Brown?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 25, 2014

It seems like I have completely forgotten Encyclopedia Brown.

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S.M. Stirling ducks in to say...

Posted March 24, 2014

I read 'em when I was about 8, 9. Then I progressed to Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Frazetta covers, anatomically impossible though the women were, didn't hurt.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted March 24, 2014

Didn't hurt? For me Frazetta was the reason I initially discoved Burroughs. I entered for the Frazetta. I stayed for the Pellucidar.

As for his Mars stories, yours are better. (No, NBlob, I'm not kissing ass. They are better - even if, as is likely, the man is unwilling to admit it.)

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 24, 2014

*** Warning. I try to maintain a MA15+ level, so as to support a welcoming & friendly ambience, but this may dip below the navel***

It cracks me up when *people* use the terms "Unrealistic portrayal of women" or "anotomically impossible." For the slow kids in the back of the room; It's Fantasy Art Dumbarse! Did you critique the muscle masses on the Hydra or the wing span -mass ratio of the faeries? No because they are Fantastical creatures. Just like the Buxom Barsoomian princesses. Who by the way often had dimply butts and boobs that were easing towards thier armpits, eminently realistic from my *ahem* limited experience of looking at such. Far far far more realistic than Any of the women's Mags on the newstand. And while we are at it, who the righteous Frack thought that Conan's "walnuts in a condom"* biceps were realistic?

I don't know what impact Mr Frazetta had on yoof's body dismorphic conditions, but I know, with a dull aching certainty, the impact he had on my pants.

Purely in the name of research I urge you to point your peepers @ http://frankfrazetta.org/

@PNB SIr While I disagree with your ass-kissing, I will defend To My Death, your right to kiss any & every ass may wish to kiss.

*TM Clive James

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted March 24, 2014

As a post script;

After further research I now have a more clear understanding of my fascination with Big Strong Girls.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted March 24, 2014

You know Frank did a song about Frank-

"You Make Me Feel so Young"

Don't go to the inferior versions by modern 'Artistes'.

How can a Canadian Production Company fuck up so many good songs?

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted March 24, 2014

any fans of the series True Detective out there, here it is as filtered through the Hardy Boys books.

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The Cost of a National Obsession

Posted March 21, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

James Brown is a former army officer who commanded a cavalry troop in Southern Iraq, served at Task Force HQ in Baghdad, and went onto to Afghanistan to serve with the special forces elements there. He's also a very thinky bloke who's written one of the best books about the creator/destroyer mythology of Anzac that I've read.

A particular bugbear is the canonization and commericalisation of Anzac worship. The extract below gives us a brief taste of that. But the book also contains the sort of granular detail of the commitment to Iraq and Afghanistan that governments of both persuasions spent a lot of time suppressing. Totally worth a read with The Day approaching.

32 Responses to ‘The Cost of a National Obsession’

BigWillieStyle swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 21, 2014

Thanks for this, I just reserved the book at my local library. Will stroll down to collect later today.

The crass nationalism that Anzac Day cloaks itself in has been a bugbear of mine for years. Might start my preparations now to be either out of the country or perched up a very tall tree when the centenary rolls around next year.

I've often wondered - how would Straya feel if there was a spot on the coast of say, Queensland, where Japanese troops went ashore in WW1, suffered massive troop losses, and have treated the site as sacred ever since? If Japanese citizens, in their thousands, made a pilgrimmage here every year, to mourn their forebears who were intent on slaughtering our forebears?. Would we treat them with the good grace and tolerance that the Turks do for us in Gallipoli? Would we hell.

S.M. Stirling swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 21, 2014

Lots of Japanese visit Pearl Harbor every year, by the way.

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S.M. Stirling mutters...

Posted March 21, 2014

All nations need their myths.

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted March 21, 2014

The sacrifice of soldiers is used by governments to inspire the populace to overlook their own narrow personal interests and gallantly submit to the narrow personal interests of the ruling classes.

S.M. Stirling would have you know...

Posted March 21, 2014

Dude, that is such bullshit. You run across it all the time, and it invariably masks intense selfishness with a pretense of cynical wisdom. Though charitably, it may just be deep ignorance.

All nations have ruling classes, always have and always will. Revolutions generally just substitute a new (and worse) ruling class for the old one.

More often than not, and particularly in foreign affairs, the interests of the nation as a whole and the interests of the ruling class actually are pretty much the same.

They certainly were in Australia in WWI, where the spontaneous reaction of people of all ranks to support Britain and the Entente reflected an accurate appraisal of both their own national interests and the broader world's.

Germany started the war, and a German victory would have been an utter disaster. Not quite as bad as in WWII, but still very bad. Read the Treaties of Brest-Litovsk or Bucharest that Germany imposed on Russia and Rumania, or Berthman-Hollweg's "September Program" of war aims in the West for a sampler. They make the much-reviled (especially by Germans) Treaty of Versailles look like a Gandhian love-feast.

Incidentally, one of my brothers came down here from Canada and volunteered for Vietnam; another went to Royal Military College; another was a fighter pilot; I was in the militia; my father was a professional soldier for 25 years; my grandfather was gassed at Passechendaele and died of it in 1939; -his- father fought at Omdurman and in the Second Boer War; and according to unverifiable family legend, -his- father was at Maiwand and/or Ulundi.

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 21, 2014

Dude, there is not much you said that I disagree with.
I was more talking about how national 'myths' (to use your term) are so often so enthusiastically promoted by governments during peace time. I thought that was on topic.

There was no irony when I started my comment with 'The sacrifice of soldiers'. Nor was it a comment on WWI or WWII. I would broadly agree with your comments there. Though perhaps not all wars in history can be so persuasively defended. What about from the German perspective? In retrospect, were the decisions of their government in the interests of the nation as a whole. I have great respect for the soldier.

Incidentally, I have never been in the military, however, my family has many people who have served. I won't list them all, but my grandfather fought in WWI with the Fifth Light Horse. Two of my uncles were wounded on the Kokoda Track during WWII. My brother's son served in Afghanistan very recently.

Funnily enough, of the people I have met, my two wounded uncles were the ones who were most angrily dismissive of Anzac Day.

Rob asserts...

Posted March 21, 2014

My experiece of returned service men is the same. Some very angry grandparents in the mix. They fought so their kids didnt have to. and they didnt want anything to do with militarism afterwards.

S.M. Stirling is gonna tell you...

Posted March 21, 2014

"I was more talking about how national 'myths' (to use your term) are so often so enthusiastically promoted by governments during peace time."

-- well, of course they are, and a very good thing too. That's a big part of a government's -job-. It's like repairing the roads.

It's a bit late if you wait for a war, and there's always going to be another war.

National consciousness is built up in time of peace, and drawn on in war. It's sort of like establishing a cash reserve.

The main reason Russia came apart in WWI, for example, was that the degree of national consciousness in the average Russian peasant was rather low. "Russia" just meant "the world". His main loyalty was to his village and, if anything beyond that, his neighborhood. Note that in that period it was the peasant armies that broke under the hammer of industrialized war, and the advanced countries that fought to the end.

Human beings are instinctively (in the literal sense of that world) tribalistic, but the "natural" tribal unit is small and based on close blood relationships. The "natural" way to regard people outside that is with intense suspicion easily tripping over into muderous hostility, and then you're back to clans and blood feud.

Something as big and distant and abstract as a nation-state requires construction and maintenance on an ongoing basis, if the average person's sense of close idenfitication is to be maintained.

You can't wait until it's -needed-. That's much too late.

Hence bonding rituals -- oaths of alliegence, July 4th, Anzac Day.

Back when I was in secondary school, I was already an atheist; I had been since I was a little kid.

But I went to chapel every morning and sang hymns with enthusiasm. It was part of the symbolic rituals of the tribe I was in, linking us with each other and with our predecessors, and to attack the symbols is to attack the thing.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted March 23, 2014

"the interests of the nation as a whole and the interests of the ruling class actually are pretty much the same."

I could not disagree more. They are frequently mutually exclusive. This a bald faced lie sold to the populace by those with the most to gain.

I'm not anti-commerce. One must accept the beast for what it is: a dynamic engine of self interest. Every business seeks to maximise profitability.

The interests of the Ruling Class are to minimise competition, costs & tax, while maximising workforce "flexibility" & access to markets. The interests of the nation state is to maximise the value of the population's toil & the tax take so as to provide services to the population.

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S.M. Stirling would have you know...

Posted March 21, 2014

Considering that the Turks spent a lot of WWI massacring about 1/4 to 1/3 of their own population (and have spent the time since denying it and trying to trash anyone who points it out) it's not surprising they've accomodated Australians and Kiwis about Gallipoli.

Gallipoli was a clean encounter between uniformed fighting men, fought with ruthless determination on both sides but on the whole honorably.

The Armenian Genocide, not so much, so by contrast Gallipoli is something Turkey has no problem with, especially since they won. Even the Allied soldiers who fought there (the Anzacs were a minority, most of the troops and the dead were Poms) came away with nothing much bad to say about the Turks.

Neither side has anything to be ashamed of, and a good deal to be proud of.

The attack was a monumental cock-up of course, but as Claustewitz pointed out, 'in war everything is very simple, but the simplest things become very difficult'. Critique by hindsight is easy. World War One was full of situations that simply didn't -have- any good solutions, and Gallipoli was one of them.

You're just as dead whether it was a disaster like Gallipoli or a triumph like Vimy Ridge, which fulfills the same role for Canadians, albeit in a more modest way.

NBlob mutters...

Posted March 23, 2014

That would explain the cenotaph in every backwater Australian town celebrating the Hounorable Lost of the Armenian Genocide.

Guru Bob has opinions thus...

Posted March 25, 2014

Gallipoli was also part of the founding myth of modern Turkey, the main Turkish leader who held the Anzacs back was Ataturk who later became their first President. Over here we don't learn much about him or his acheivements, but his role in our defeat became the event which made him stand out.

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MickH would have you know...

Posted March 21, 2014

As a 20 year vet, I have felt increasing isolated in my feelings about what ANZAC day should be about.

I don't get it.

Sure I get the memorial thing and the whole ' Lest we forget' dogma but the rest?

No!!

Gallipoli was a disaster, organised by a callous British Army as a canon fodder exercise. We shouldn't be celebrating it.

The whole commercialisation of the centenary event disgusts me to the core!

S.M. Stirling puts forth...

Posted March 21, 2014

"Gallipoli was a disaster, organised by a callous British Army as a canon fodder exercise. We shouldn't be celebrating it."

-- this is a complete myth.

No serious historian of the period has taken that "lions led by donkeys" or "chateau generals" stuff seriously for decades, though it clings on like a shambling undead zombie meme.

I suggest you take a look at some recent works, like Hew Strachan's.

The British commanders were mostly competent military professionals doing their best in a situation with very few good options.

All combat in WWI involved heavy casualties, and nobody was surprised: everyone involved had been predicting that for years. Everyone knew that modern weapons would be very destructive and that attacking dug-in defenders would be hideously expensive.

They had the lessons of the Boer War, the Russo-Japanese War and the Balkan Wars in front of their eyes, all of which were intensely studied.

The career soldiers were told to go out and win by the politicians, and did their best.

They weren't "callous" either, they were just doing their jobs in a field in which casualties were a cost of doing business.

74 British generals died in action in 1914-18; you had to get above lieutenant-colonel before it wasn't more dangerous to be an officer than an infantry private. And the junior officers most at risk were quite likely to be the sons of the senior commanders. Several British generals lost their only sons in the first couple of months.

The problem was that the only alternative was to surrender.

If anyone's to blame for Gallipoli, it's Churchill, who forced through the operation against Kitchener's repeated warning that the odds weren't good.

In both World Wars Churchill had a tendency to let romantic fancy and a gambler's attitude to risk to take precedence over sober professional advice; see Greece/Crete in 1941.

Churchill was perfectly ready to put his own precious pink personal buttocks where his rhetoric was, of course; he'd fought on the NW Frontier and in the Sudan (he charged with the 21st Lancers at Omdurman) and was a battalion commander on the Western Front for a while.

MickH reckons...

Posted March 21, 2014

It was Churchill I was referring to. Maybe I should have mentioned him.

And as to it being a complete myth, that is your apinion, I still hold to mine.

My Grandfather was a stoker on the Sydney and he told my father an entirely different story.

S.M. Stirling would have you know...

Posted March 21, 2014

"My Grandfather was a stoker on the Sydney and he told my father an entirely different story."

And my grandfather was gassed at Passchendaele; his lungs were scarred, he was never really healthy again, and he died slowly of pneumonia 22 years later. His opinion, according to my parents, was that it was a dirty job but that there was no easy way to beat the Germans, so it had to be done, and Haig had done about as good a job as could be expected.

So?

What sort of perspective on a war as a whole do you get from being a stoker, or for that matter an infantry subaltern like my grandfather? Every battle is a disaster from a grunt's point of view.

And as anyone with legal training could tell you, there's absolutely nothing more completely unreliable than eyewitness testimony.

It takes a century or so before a really major war can be considered objectively.

ShaneAlpha mutters...

Posted March 21, 2014

Have to disagree here.

Major General Alymer Hunter-Weston was a raving loon.

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S.M. Stirling is gonna tell you...

Posted March 21, 2014

On a more general level, keep in mind that human life is not a melodrama. It's not White Hats and Black Hats, for the most part. Nor is the presence of evil the result of Bad People doing Bad Things to drag events away from the course of Natural Goodness (or -potential- Natural Goodness).

Human life is a -tragedy-. We exist in a world not made for us, and as members of a species whose evolutionary imperatives have absolutely nothing to do with individual happiness.

The intervals may have a lot of humor, but as the man said, "the last act is over, a little dirt upon our heads, and all is done forever."

insomniac mutters...

Posted March 21, 2014

In this country it is all about Tony's "goodies" and "baddies"

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S.M. Stirling has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2014

The strategic -aim- of Gallipoli was perfectly sound; establishing a shipping route to the Black Sea and the Russian ports was desperately necessary.

The lack of it was a large factor in Russia being knocked out of the war, and that put the Allies in desperate peril. It very nearly won Germany the war, and if it hadn't been for their own stupidity in wantonly driving the US into belligerence, it would have.

The -execution- was deeply flawed, but nobody knew the full difficulties of a large-scale amphibious operation under modern conditions until it was tried. Kitchener did warn the political leadership that it was a very risky proposition, but he was overruled.

And remember that the Anzacs weren't going to sun themselves on the beaches of Egypt (or catch VD in the souks of Cairo) much longer.

The alternative was going to the Western Front to chew on barbed wire and breathe chlorine.

NBlob asserts...

Posted March 21, 2014

Wow Mr Stirling. You're like some kind of savante.

I wonder which kind?

ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted March 21, 2014

The land campaign was a half-arsed desperate attempt to capture the Dardenelles Forts after Churchills retarded attempt to force the straits using only the Navy and small Marine detachments went tits up with heavy losses.

There were so many mistakes of so many kinds on the Allied side in this operation it hard to pick any one and say that this was the reson it failed.

BTW, Kitchener was way past his use-by date by the time of WW1.

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Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted March 21, 2014

(Tin Foil Hat Alert-Contains Science and Facts- Creationists and Cretins look away!)

I wanna start with da last War that the Australian Politicians sent kids to die and get maimed in- Afghanistan. Look up the causulties now if you don't know them.

Seriously look them up and come back here when you know them off by heart.

OK Good.

The reasons Politicians don't hold the Flag at the Frontline?

Don't get me wrong I am all for a good War and will get to one eventually but I want to start with the last one Afghanistan.

'We' went there because Skyscrapers fell down almost at free fall into the path of most resistance. Fact.

The third Building WTC 7 did in fact fall at free fall for some of it's collapse.

WTC 7? I hear you say. That's not in the Media very much I here you say. Anyway it has been proven by Scienztists and the MSM that OBL did it from in a cave.

Check out Russia's gift to the 9/11 Memorial. It is a droplet, a droplet of molten metal, a very large droplet to show the USA and anyone else no one with half a brain believes in the Phoney 9/11 story and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan.

And start me on Iraq.

Ask Gwyneth Todd about Iraq etc.

Mr Stirling you should really study Ezra Pound(AKA Gandalf)

sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2014

Clean up in aisle four...stat!

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted March 23, 2014

I just found this quote on a website I have never seen before.

The quote is cool-

http://americanfront.info/2012/04/02/ezra-pound-on-modern-warfare/

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damian puts forth...

Posted March 21, 2014

Australia's transition from colonies to Commonwealth was a culmination among many peacefully achieved social advances of which we, speaking on that nation-building level, could be appropriately proud. There was no real need for weirdly fatalistic military adventures to create a national identity: it unquestionably already existed. If anything ANZAC damaged Australian identity, certainly the hoopla leading up to the centenary will do. The only salvageable story from Gallipoli is Sampson and his donkey (itself almost certainly mostly mythical).

On commemoration: we have a terrific opportunity to advance reconciliation now by acknowledging the military history of our own war of invasion, occupation and the eventual eradication of resistance that continued for more than a century. Historians are able to name individuals who engaged in organised armed resistance. These people can be recognised and we have much to gain by celebrating their heroism and rare successes. Many people think that the Australian War Memorial ought to embrace this work. The recent book by historian Henry Reynolds I was pushing for bookclub the other week has some pretty good material on this topic.

I haven't drunk enough yet to engage Mr Stirling on his own level, so I shan't. I do see one notable combination of "no true scotsman" with a straw man, a few strident calls to biology (vaguely reminiscent of Hayek), a slightly orthogonal reference to Clausewitz (Moltke might have been a more apt quote) and a circular argument about the value of nationalism. Maybe later: I have plenty more to drink. Best not though, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2014

Dude, that is such bullshit.

I think someone may have used that quote earlier.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 21, 2014

Yeah maybe a couple more drinks :)

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Bangar reckons...

Posted March 22, 2014

D Simson and his donkey.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted March 22, 2014

Bah, Simpson. Calling it "mostly mythical" is probably an overstatement too: it would be more accurate to say "often exaggerated".

It's always interesting to see where it comes up in Gallipoli celebreation when people are talking about honorable foes and warrior mystique and all the other bullshit that goes along with that. The type who enjoy talking like that don't usually have much respect for the very human reaction to the stupidity and horror that the Simpson legend embodies.

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yankeedog puts forth...

Posted March 23, 2014

I didn't know James Brown was in the Australian Army. Last I heard he was Living In America:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6_o03YOm18

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Guru Bob reckons...

Posted March 25, 2014

A lot of people in the history trade have a big problem with how the government has imposed the 'Centenary of Anzac' branding (25 April 1915) upon what should actually be called the Centenary of WWI (1914-18).

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George R.R. Martin's dog ate his manuscript

Posted March 20, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

At least that's what it feels like in this interview snippet published at the AV Club when he was asked about the TV series catching up with his books. I love this because it sounds just like slightly panicked voice in my own head as deadlines loom.

GRR: I’m hopeful that I can not let them catch up with me. The season that’s about to debut covers the second half of the third book. The third book [A Storm of Swords] was so long that it had to be split into two. But there are two more books beyond that, and A Dance With Dragons. A Dance With Dragons is itself a book that’s as big as A Storm of Swords. So there’s potentially three more seasons there, between Feast and Dance, if they split into two the way the did [with Swords]. Now, Feast and Dance take place simultaneously. So you can’t do Feast and then Dance the way I did. You can combine them and do it chronologically. And it’s my hope that they’ll do it that way and then, long before they catch up with me, I’ll have published The Winds of Winter, which’ll give me another couple years. It might be tight on the last book, A Dream of Spring, as they juggernaut forward.

11 Responses to ‘George R.R. Martin's dog ate his manuscript’

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted March 20, 2014

Fantasy . . .

Man, for the life of me I just can't get into Fantasy.

As for this series, if they'd take the height challenged guy and string up a series of montages of him on YouTube, I'd watch that over and over again. Or better yet, just make a stand alone series with that dude.

The Woman I Love and my mom, on the other hand, love this series. But then they like that Abbey thing too.

Respects,

Murph the Grouch

On the Outer Marches

Babes ducks in to say...

Posted March 21, 2014

My husband and I love the show, so I bought the first book but then wanted to poke my eyes out every time it was Sansa's chapter to the point that I stopped reading.

I guess in general I prefer watching fantasy, so I don't have to keep track of all the crazy names of shires or whatnot and exhaustive descriptions of odd places and creatures or learn made up languages as I go.

Murphy puts forth...

Posted March 21, 2014

Yeah, you never have to worry about made up names and languages in fantasy.

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20, 2014

And for the Bad Idea of the Day* we have a possible GoT movie mentioned on the BT site. Most books suffer when made into movies but a series like that? Appalling.

*other contenders were "I'll just see what that is hanging out of Moko's shorts" as described on Facebook, "I'd better see what Nowhere Bob thinks" and a special mention for Enjoy Medway and Jennicki "Why don't we get married".

NBlob would have you know...

Posted March 20, 2014

On yer bike wrinkly, we don't need your type 'round these here parts.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted March 20, 2014

I think Marto gets a bit more done at this time of year, as the Gridiron isn't on.

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Miss Maudy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2014

Chaos (aged 11) would like to be reading the series. However, he's not keen on kissing books, let alone shagging books. There's a chance that by the time he gets over his dislike of kissing books, the whole series will be written and he doesn't need to wait for years and years and years like his mother does.

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tqft mumbles...

Posted March 20, 2014

The Stark's are going to have to start breeding if the meme above is true.

I suspect there is too much industry/ecosystem around this now for it to ever die completely.

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Coota puts forth...

Posted March 21, 2014

He isn't looking to crash hot, what happens if he keels over before he's finished!

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted March 21, 2014

I'm sure I read somewhere that the guys producing the TV series have been given the borad brush strokes of where the whole thing will end up, and will be able to finish it off if GRRM carks it before he's finished. He's at least aware of the risk and put a sucsession plan in place.

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Jarrod asserts...

Posted March 21, 2014

If I had made as much cash as GRR I might be inclinded to put my feet up and tell everyone to just piss off.

The books are great but soooo bloody long.

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Hey! Look what I found in my post box!

Posted March 19, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

I didn't even realise Flinthart had a book out! What's more, it came out in September last year, so the slovenly laggard is due a sequel!

Haven't even cracked the spine yet, and I'm thinking I might buy myself a Kindle or iBook version (assuming there is one of the latter) because the cover feels like it was made from human skin.

I assume that was done on purpose given the write off:

Michael Devlin is the first of a new breed. The way things are going, he may also be the last.

Being infected with an unknown disease is bad. Waking up on a slab in a morgue wearing nothing but a toe-tag is worse, even if it comes with a strange array of new abilities.

Medical student Michael Devlin is in trouble. With his flatmates murdered and an international cabal of legendary man-monsters on his trail, Devlin's got nowhere to hide. His only allies are a hot-tempered Sydney cop and a mysterious monster-hunter who may be setting Devlin up for the kill. If he's going to survive, Devlin will have to embrace his new powers and confront his hunters. But can he hold onto his humanity when he walks the Path of Night?

Who cares? As long as he kicks arse!

I feel kind of creepy posting two Amazon links in a week, but damn it, people.

THIS! IS! FLINTHART!!!

20 Responses to ‘Hey! Look what I found in my post box!’

PaulC reckons...

Posted March 19, 2014

Indeed there is an iBooks version. $7.99.

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damian would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

I read it on Kindle. It's fun, and reads like the start of a series.

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Anthony swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2014

I found it on Amazon a while back. At the time I didn't realise it was our Flinthart.

It's not a bad book actually. I've paid more money for books I've enjoyed less and it's got lots of kick-arse action and blood and guts and no more plot holes than you'd find in most novels.

Definitely a recommendation..

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

Be careful when you post reviews. When I wrote a review which directed quoted from the book (you will no doubt guess from which bits) Amazon didn't allow it to be published.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted March 19, 2014

Here is my unexpegated review that I tried to post on Amazon

[5.0 out of 5 stars] Not at all sparkly, November 4, 2013
By Michael J. Barnes (Melbourne, Australia)
[(REAL NAME)]
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Path of Night (Night Beast) (Kindle Edition)


The recent Zomgeist has been shadowed by a reassessment of the vampire, updating and inhabiting the modern world of the 21century. Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s eminently filmable Strain Trilogy (The Strain, The Fall and The Night Eternal), the UK’s Channel 4’s Ultraviolet (never to be confused with the unwatchable 2006 film) and Justin Cronin’s literary The passage trilogy (The Passage, The Twelve and The City of Mirrors) are joined with the first in what is hoped on-going series.

The same elements which made those updated reflections of the Vampire so engaging are all there: a viral/medical basis for the ancient vampire; hi-tech solutions and myths combine; Tetrodotoxin & silver; specialist human agents charged with dealing with monsters who must become monsters and a hidden global conspiracy. Though at one point someone says “not one person in a million who knows what you have already heard about” which would put that at around 7100 people in the world who know about these mysteries.

At least in this story they use the word Vampire, though it follows the current fashion of using other descriptors. Most of these other modern tales seem to consider using the V-word as gauche as though over a hundred year literary tradition never happened.

The treat for Australians is the local settings, if you can call a tale spanning the eastern seaboard ‘local’. Mr Flinthard successfully evokes the Australia locations, revealing his previous talents as a travel writer in his descriptions.

“Darling harbour was a decent place to meet.. At one time, at one time the place had been a working, heavy-industry harbour full of forklifts and longshoremen, decorated with concrete and chain-link fences and cargo containers.. ‘Now it was a tidy monument to the transformative powers of money. Broad concrete boulevards edged the turbid waters. The convention centre was another concrete and glass confection, a space-age cylinder rising over the waterfront like the middle finger of a Godzilla-sized investment banker”.

His insights are not confirmed to Australian Architecture

“For the bogans themselves it was a matter of pride, but for pretty much everyone else, bogans were a tragic embarrassment, like and inbred cousin with toilet-training issues”.

His accomplished use of Australian vernacular will raise a smile.

“So really, I don’t give a flying fu*k in a fartstorm what you want, you turd-ugly piece of raper-mangled ar*se meat”.

and full of wry observations by the hero that will resonate with Australian readers

“if his life had been reduced to a set of Cold Chisel lyrics, he was truly in deep sh*t”

But mostly what comes across is that this book was fun to write with a joi di vie and so a similar joy to read.

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WarDog ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2014

Happy days. But Flintheart you're in big trouble for keeping this to yourself. We still have assets south of the strait.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted March 20, 2014

Gonna put that on the Summer Reading List.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2014

Excellent. The bloke has been commuting to work via train, an hour each way, so he's finally worked his way through your books, JB, and a few of Matthew Reilly's, and another of Richard Flanagan's. I will load this up on the kindle for him, now that Khan Greybeard has kindly fuxed it for me.

Don't ask. You know I'm the kiss of death to technology.

God damned Tech-Destroying force field.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2014

Ms Q, let me also suggest Matter by Iain Banks. It has some oddities and it's one of Banks stranger and darker works, but some elements may appeal to Mr Q's sensibilities

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Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2014

Tried to comment using my galaxy s2 last night, to no avail. Unsupported tech already?

Anyway, how did I come across this a few months ago, if it wasn't from a recommendation from you or the other nice people here? It's a good 'un and I can only hope that it a) gets a wider readership; and b) that it is #1 in a series.

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Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted March 20, 2014

It was a great read get to it folks.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted March 20, 2014

It haz been kindled. The Bloke was very happy with that news so thanks to Mr. Flinthart for all future distractions he offers from the lint-pickers of Coomera.

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Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2014

I only read it about 3 months ago due to some comments on a thread here. Enjoyed it and looking forward to the next one.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted March 20, 2014

Yep, he's not bad at the scribbling caper is Mr Flinthart.

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sibeen ducks in to say...

Posted March 20, 2014

OK, I've just purchased this tome and it is winging its way down the wires to my kindle as I type.

What does impress me is the surname of the major character. It is a manly name, a name you could find comfort in. A name just oozing debonair, sophisticated, charming, intelligent and obviously very brave.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2014

That's why I name all of my protagonist male characters Randolf Mantooth.

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sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2014

OK, about half way through and thoroughly enjoying it.

I do have a minot quibble. Why don't authors, who have never had any military experience, get someone who has worn a funny uniform for a job to do a quick read over any chapters that involve the military.

Standing at attention in the scrub...FFS!.

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sibeen mutters...

Posted March 21, 2014

OK, finished that one, when is the next one due out?

One thing I particularly enjoyed was the way Mr Flinthart had the good sense to bring in Brmingham as a character, and rip his throat out very shortly afterwards. This contrasts wildly with a certain unnamed sycophantic writer who brings him onstage and makes him fucking royalty.

All in all a very enjoyable read...despite my ranting quibble over matters military.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted March 21, 2014

James Phelan had him captured, tortured and killed. Think it was in "Fox Hunt".

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted March 22, 2014

Is John Birmingham destined to become the Australian Joe Buckley?

Stay tuned!

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David Weber’s Safehold series

Posted March 18, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

Safehold

Continuing with our series of JB’s deadline reading picks, I wanted to write a little about a series I’ve been enjoying hugely even as one recurring fault annoys the bejesus out of me. The Safehold series (First three titles: Off Armageddon Reef, By Schism Rent Asunder, and By Heresies Distressed. There are more).

I’ve been listening to the first two on Audible, but will switch to iBooks for the third because the narrator changes for some reason and I can see from the reviews that everyone lost their shit. Doesn’t mean the stand-in narrator is bad, just different and with audiobooks that can be enough to bump you out of the imagined world.

I picked up Armageddon Reef because I liked the name.

There, I said it.

Weber is a prolific author, and I’ve always meant to read his Honor Harrington series because space ships and sexy space ship captain.

But for some reason I found myself drawn to his other main sci-fi series – there’s another five or so besides Safehold. Reef started ‘zactly as I expected and wanted, with an enormous and unstoppable fleet of star faring space lizards bearing down on gallant little humanity and…

Destroying us utterly.

Wait!

What?

That’s not the book I bought. I wanted to see those space lizards carved up into handy bite sized casserole chunks. By laser beams!

But no. They defeat the hell out of us and a small convoy of ark ships scuttles away to rebuild the human race somewhere in farthest reaches of the galaxy. Okay. That was cool, I can wait a few books for those space lizards to get what’s coming.

But no!

I won’t go into plot spoiling details but the ark experiment goes a little off beam and next thing you know you’re reading a … fantasy novel. And not just a fantasy novel, but one set in a medieval theocracy with a rather uncompromising chapter dropping you right into the middle of some arcane point of Church politics. Verily did it vex me.

But stay with it. As jarring as the transition is, and as much I didn’t want to read a fantasy novel set in a medieval theocracy, the Safehold story does become so compelling that more than once I’ve found myself driving a few extra blocks to finish a chapter of the audiobook.

One surviving representative of old high tech Earth… er… survives. A woman, whose mind state is uploaded into a very, very lifelike android, which she has to reformat as a male android because, you know, medieval theocracy. Armageddon Reef then becomes the story of ‘Merlin’ (geddit?) guiding the young monarch of a tiny kingdom in revolt against the hoopleheads of the Church of God Awaiting.

Lots of splodey, lots of running around with swords, and lots of very enjoyable scenes of bad guys with swords getting carved up by a robot moving at inhuman speeds with inhuman strength. It asks the same questions that frame so much of the AoT books: how do you bootstrap technology and can you even do it if you don’t first change everyone's world view.

I will read the whole series in one form or another, even though I can now see it might take a long time to get back to those damned space lizards. I have but one qualm. A writer’s tic that afflicts Weber’s prose so much it actually jolts me out of the story a couple of times a chapter. It’s also personally cringe-making because it’s something I do enough in my own writing to feel very uncomfortable calling him out on it. (In fact, having identified what was annoying me so much in Armageddon Reef I went back through the manuscripts of all the books and ebooks I’m currently working on, wielding a very sharp knife).

It's characters laughing when they should just be talking.

And chuckling, when they should just be talking.

And smiling, when they should just be talking

And smiling when there’s no reason to smile because that tells us the character is being all ironic.

ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING LAUGHING AND CHUCKLING AND IRONIC SMILEY FACES, DAVE!!!!

Gah!!!

Elmore Leonard was a bear for this sort of thing. He said the only verb a writer needs for dialogue is ‘said’.

That’s a bit hard core for me, but if I could go through the Safehold books (and presumably all of Weber’s work), and make one small change that would amp up the awesome to 11, I'd do this one thing.

No character would ever smile, or chuckle or laugh unless they were sitting in the front row of a very good comedy show.

Other than that. I love these books. You should too.

This linkypoo goes to a hard copy sale page, not Kindle.

29 Responses to ‘David Weber’s Safehold series’

DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted March 18, 2014

*chuckles* and says "see what I did there?"

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insomniac reckons...

Posted March 18, 2014

The space lizards thing just seems like a set up for the medieval thingo, which also sounds a bit The Sparrow-y as well as Merlin-y.

"Let it go; they're gone", he smiled.

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w from brisbane asserts...

Posted March 18, 2014

"No laughing, smiling or chuckling?" he chortled.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted March 18, 2014

Excellent. The planets have aligned - i just finished a book and was looking around for something to read. Check my library, and wow, four books listed under Weber. Even better, the books are the ones in the series. . . . . but then my arch nemesis raises his oversized ugly head. All borrowed. Not due for . . . . 2-3 weeks? There goes my theory he was a fellow Burger reader getting in ahead of me. Just some nerdy guy ahead of the curve. We could even be friends seeing they have some common interests, except for that little thing of always borrowing ahead of me (i refuse to entertain the notion that it is more than one person borrowing books in a smallish town library. Much prefer to think of them as some shadowy pimply guy dressed in a trenchcoat and wears a big hat to hide a misshapen face)

JB are you perchance slipping any pre reading info to someone living in Bathurst?

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Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted March 18, 2014

I would have preferred "Armageddon Reefers". (Waits for smiles, chuckles, laughter. Not a sausage. Armageddon outta here.)

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted March 18, 2014

Those terms 'he chuckled' etc are called "said bookisms" and they do warn against them. They particularly advise against the use of "he ejaculated".

However, it is interesting that John " mutters, asserts, puts forth, reckons, mumbles, mutters, has opinions thus, would have you know, ducks in to say, is gonna tell you,
swirls their brandy and claims" Birmingham has come out so strongly against the practice on his excellent blog.

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JBtoo reckons...

Posted March 18, 2014

There is a journo (alleged) on my paper who writes like this. I always sub him back to said. He hates me.

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Phil reckons...

Posted March 18, 2014

Maybe I'm overcome with excitement about something new to read, but I can't find any link to the book above.

Of course I will google / search amazon myself easily, but if a few cents from a JB affiliate link would be a painless way to put something back to this blog

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted March 18, 2014

You don't get the little Amazon advert?

damian mutters...

Posted March 18, 2014

Phil, if you run the adblock plugin, just click on the red stop sign and pick "don't run on pages from this domain" in the menu, then click "Exclude" on the popup window. You will then see Birmo's infrequent, topical and appropriate handful of Amazon links.

Phil swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 18, 2014

Yep, you sprung me, thanks for the tip. I have disabled Adblock for this site, and now see the link. Birmo, you could check in with Renai over at http://delimiter.com.au He put some cleverness in over there that borked the layout if you were running adblock, just the kind of reminder ingrates like me need to remember that some sites deserve the ad displaying support.

Bunyip has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2014

Seconded thanks, Damo.

Was wondering why I couldn't see anything. Techno-laggardness strikes again.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted March 18, 2014

I believe that Blarkon, should he still exist, is our resident expert on alien space lizards. What with him being Galactic Lizard Emperor and all. Though I must say that I found his human disguise quite unconvincing.

Bunyip is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2014

Wolfcat and Orin assured me he exists, but he's just got really good chameleon tech on his spacelizard battle armour. Which is why we never actually see him at any physical burgerii events.

But I think he had a hand in getting me home once after an unfortunate accident involving a bottle of whiskey and Therbs.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2014

Blarkon once saved me from a mob of angry hippies somewhere in the vicinity of St. Kilda. I will forever be grateful.

Anthony has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2014

St Kilda hippies! Just yuppies wiht pretensios.

They only have pretend ones there. You need to come to the north of Melbourne for serious industrial-strength hippies.

Ours are so tough they wear stinging-nettles in their hair. And that's just the women.

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Legless ducks in to say...

Posted March 18, 2014

Read them all - including the one just published. Enjoyed them...

You can get the no-DRM ebook, in several formats, from Baen books.

http://www.baenebooks.com/p-601-off-armageddon-reef.aspx

Cheaper than Amazon.

As the books progress they get more and more 'splodey and the battles get bigger and bigger and the neat twists of the plot get twistier. Can't recommend these books enough.

Cheers

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Peter in the bleaches mumbles...

Posted March 18, 2014

I haven't read the Safehold series but have read the Honor Harrington series (11 books to date). Lots of good splodeys and tech. His core characters get a bit predictable by book 7 however this is offset by the introduction of new characters. Some of his other series with other authors also have interesting story lines and splodeys.

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S.M. Stirling would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

"I shall try them," he chuckled with an ironic smile.

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2014

Yeah, the Rhino harummphed, I started out loving these books too but stopped reading the serie. Though, I still look at them longingly whenever they appear in my Amazon recommendations.

But by the 4th one I just kept thinking, C'mon Dave, can we move it along here a little bit? Are we ever going to see The Next Generation(s)?

I kept doing the "pace of the story" + "Weber's age" + "Weber's committments to other series" arithmetic and decided that we'll probably never see the end of the story.

Almost as if he fell so in love with this set of characters that he just can't let go.

I wanna laugh ... but there is no joy in this.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted March 19, 2014

Didn't Dave Weber once comment here without anyone recognizing him until King Birmo pointed him out?

Or was that John Ringo?

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2014

I thought that was Max Weber.

Anthony reckons...

Posted March 19, 2014

That was John Ringo I think. Another good 'splodey writer whose politics are totally wrong but whose books are bloody good.

The Weber series ae also damned good. If you want another good series, try the "Destroyermen" series by Taylor Anderson. Another series where ships go though a portal to an alternate world. his time an old destroyer to a seriously differnt world.

It's a genre that I'm particularly fond of and while JB is one of the best, you could try The "Lost Regiment" series by William Forstchen or even "The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream" by GC Edmondson (a Nebula Award nominee back inthe 60's).

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2014

Alt History is my favorite genre. I am a big fan of the Destroyermen series and, Along with the Emberverse and Axis of Time, I hope it runs forever. I'll check out the other two you recommend.

Guru Bob has opinions thus...

Posted March 26, 2014

Ringo is totally addictive reading but his politics are horribly wrong on so many levels. Haven't they collaborated on a couple of series?

Quite enjoyed Weber's Hell's Gate series but still waiting for a conclusion.

The alien invasion book Out of the Dark was also really, really good until some characters inexplicably developed super powers... I think he had written himself into a corner on that one.

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Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2014

I tried the first Harrington book some years ago but was put off by the pivotal space battle being conducted in two dimensions only.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted March 21, 2014

I read most of the Honor and Offer series as it was about 10 years ago. The battle tactics derive from it basically all being a kind of tribute to C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels. All the worldbuilding physics, the applied phlebotinum and handwavium lead to space battle tactics being exactly like 18th century naval tactics (except Weber seems to lack the concept of the weather gage, so you would have have to say it's exactly like *his understanding* of 18th century naval tactics... you should read Patrick O'Brian if you are interested in novels actually depicting 18th century naval combat tactics well). Then he moves on to wanting to replay the way aircraft carriers superceded battleships in WWII.

Having said all that, he seems to do bildungsroman quite well and is pretty good at character in general, only going wrong in his earlier novels where he tries a sort of political caricature... he lays it on so thick that unless you share his (in the early novels markedly right-wing) views it becomes basically incomprehensible. It's a common problem with writers getting used to being able to say whatever they like, I think with the good ones who eventually understand this effect and learn how it works with their writing... they generally end up changing their politics in the left direction markedly too.

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