Cheeseburger Gothic

A free book for you, and it's not even mine

Posted May 25, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

Steve Vincent is a thriller writer whose work I dig, so I was pleased to see him giving it away. (In return for the usual consideration of an email address and a tiny little piece of your soul. Seriously, a very small piece. You won't even notice the sting).

Steve's got a copy of Fireplay for you, right here.

And I have the prologue below:

PROLOGUE
A flash of lightning illuminated the cell with pale light for only a split second, long enough for Hewad Ghilzai to see his friend on the floor. Positioned unnaturally, he hadn’t moved since the American soldiers had left several hours ago. Hewad hadn’t moved either. He was too scared. He’d been hurt too many times.
Hewad held his knees to his chest and kept his back against the wall. His mind was empty and his tear ducts were dry. Only his grief and the smell of human feces kept his attention in this world at all. He awaited the next. He’d taken the fight to the infidel and ended up in a place worse than hell.
He’d done everything right. Had Allah abandoned him? On most nights the stars provided enough light to see the outline of his bed, the latrine pail and the grilled steel that penned him in, but tonight he couldn’t see an inch in front of his hand. The world was as dark as the heart of his captors, except when lightning lashed at the mountains.
Footsteps approached and a feint light lit the corridor outside his cell. He instinctively hugged his knees tighter and his eyes shot towards the door. As he waited the footsteps grew louder and the light brighter. He whimpered as the heavy door unlocked with a clunk and opened with a squeal.
“Evening haji.” The soldier’s drawl was unmistakable, even as the cell door slammed shut. “I thought you could use some company, what with the storm and all.”
Hewad said nothing. He hadn’t always been so passive and afraid. The blows from combat boots and rifle butts had started a conversion that mutilations and degradation had completed. He was a broken man, a spent soul trapped in a body that had nearly expired.
“Nothing to say?” The soldier sighed as he held the flashlight up to Hewad’s face. “You had some spunk, haji, but now you’re as lively as your friend over there.”
Hewad lifted his hands to shield his eyes as the soldier laughed at his own joke. The light felt like another assault after so much darkness, though it was nothing compared to whatever struck him across the side of the head. It staggered him. He fell onto his side, curled into a ball and tried to protect himself as best he could.
Blows rained on him and he felt himself starting to black out when he heard an earsplitting boom and felt an enormous shockwave. He rolled onto his back and opened his eyes, confused. The flashlight was on the ground, illuminating the chaos. The soldier lay still and half of the wall was missing.
Hewad blinked several times and his senses slowly returned. His pain was intense but in the depths of his mind excitement sparked. He looked at the soldier for several minutes, waiting for him to move. Finally he inched closer, paused and then scurried over and felt for a pulse. None. Allah had delivered him.
He shoved the man. When the body didn’t move Hewad’s eyes widened and he clawed for the man’s canteen, unscrewed the lid and drank deeply. Some of the water spilled to the sand as he sucked at it, gulping and coughing as he fought to overcome the most incredible thirst.
When the water ran out he glanced at the soldier’s sidearm. To take it would be to re-enter the fight, to forget the next life for the moment and take up arms again in this world. He stared at the pistol for several long moments and then looked at the hole that had been blown in the wall. He knew the will of Allah.
Hewad took the soldier’s pistol and boots and then staggered to his feet. He walked towards the hole in the wall, where the lightning had struck the steel window grill and fractured much of the poor quality wall. He hesitated briefly. To step through would mean death if he was captured, but to stay would be to spit in the face of Allah’s mercy. He spat on the soldier instead.
Hewad stepped outside.

13 Responses to ‘A free book for you, and it's not even mine’

Therbs would have you know...

Posted May 25, 2016
Done.
I also received an email with downloady links to "Protocol" and "Soul".
Cheers guv.

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Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted May 25, 2016
Done as well.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2016
Done! Does this mean I have two masters now?

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Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2016
I devoured his other three books (it was during one of JB's 'fallow periods'), I'd be happy to spend $ on this. I just don't have enough soul to spare.

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Surtac mumbles...

Posted May 25, 2016
Done here also. Free 'splosions are good.

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Moz of Yarramulla has opinions thus...

Posted May 26, 2016
Yeah, I got hooked at the prologue, so now I'm 1% less soulful. Or 1% more soulless.

It seems weird to me that someone would release free ePub but require a Kindle or iDevice for paid content. Maybe the assumption is that people like me don't buy books (which in this case is probably true, since I'm not coughing up for an otherwise-useless Kindle just to read one author). Yeah, it's my hobby-horse and I'm gunna ride it 'til it's dead. Then I'll flog it.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 26, 2016
You'll get your iBook, or Kobo, or whatever. I'm just having issues with iTunes Producer at the moment.
When the next Hooper book comes out it actually be exclusive to iBooks for two weeks.

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Moz of Yarramulla would have you know...

Posted May 26, 2016
Cool, so it's probably safe to start reading book one in a month or so, safe in the knowledge that I'll be able to get the rest of the books by then (I have all the patience of a chicken, I know).

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Steve P Vincent asserts...

Posted May 26, 2016
Quick thanks to everyone who's given Fireplay a go. The soul-o-meter is positively bulging.

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Gutz mumbles...

Posted May 27, 2016
Doneski, shall give it a berl? whirl? read?

BTW, belatedly finally extracted the keyboard pressing things to review Cairo. Not much on any in-depth analysis type stuff but i think i got the star thingo to give you several thumbs up?

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 27, 2016
Excellent, all I ask is unquestioning obedience.

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derek townson mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2016
You may regret taking a piece of this particular soul but thems the breaks fella.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 28, 2016
Oh don't worry. I've got your number. And your soul.

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Respond to 'A free book for you, and it's not even mine'

Starting to think this crazy plan might just work

Posted May 19, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

Cairo broke into the top 1000 of Amazon's global sales rank this morning. So thanks, again, to everyone who helped out, which is pretty much all of you.

Now, I just need to get rid of Stephen King and Philip K Dick.

They're always standing in my way, those bastards.

I'll be heading off to the airport in a couple of hours to take flight for Sydney. Hoping to get the final files for the Hooper ebooks before I go. It'd be nice to give them a push at the festival.

19 Responses to ‘Starting to think this crazy plan might just work’

Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted May 19, 2016
Have a great flight, and congrats, John.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted May 19, 2016
Damn, had the JB merch stand set up outside The Sheaf and the rozzers made me move on. Maybe I shouldn't have put a set of signature felafel bongs and a limited edition Dave coke knife and chopping board on the brown display couch. Prolly shouldn't have also been using them at the time.

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jl ducks in to say...

Posted May 19, 2016
The plan is working... your book is on fire! Under 1000 globally is amazing. If a plan sounds stupid or crazy but it works, then it's not stupid or crazy.

Dave W would have you know...

Posted May 19, 2016
Correct, it then fits into one of Baldrick's 'cunning plans- a plan so cunning that if I put a tail on it, it would be a rat'.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2016
Can we get a complaint from the religious extremists that the book is offensive to their religion. That's always good for a lots of 'frak you' sales from people wishing to prove them wrong.

Also if you could convince Games Workshop to challenge you on the basis that they have trade marked the term ' writer'.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2016
Something like comparing himself to the publishers of The Bible maybe? Sit back and watch the kindle stats fly.

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Sparty2 mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2016
Well both the Bible and AoT are always killing off popular breakout characters....

Sudragon puts forth...

Posted May 21, 2016
Not to mention the racier parts of the Bible... there's a lot of 'begatting' going on for a holy book.

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WarDog mutters...

Posted May 19, 2016
Congrats John.

Definitely try to get someone to try and have the book banned. Maybe Murph could complain to his congressman about how you destroyed America once and will probably do it again.

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted May 19, 2016
My main complaint about John's destruction of America is that he failed to completely destroy Kansas City.

However, we have light rail now, so all we lack is a beach. That is somewhat made up for by our excellent barbecue.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted May 19, 2016
A clever bloke said "Don't believe that which you most want to believe."

Who was that?

I would be planning on the floor opening up under your feet, a PalCon full of Pachyderm P!ss to fall on you or similar. Remember that your FGM job-shares with a psychotic practical joker.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted May 19, 2016
Huzzah! World domination can't be too far away

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Rhino mutters...

Posted May 20, 2016
Top 1000? What are we going to do to get it into the top 100?

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pitpat mumbles...

Posted May 20, 2016
Crazy brave works again. Well done. You get to go to Sydney and I get to go to Adelaide, hmmm. I reckon you win

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Aaron asserts...

Posted May 20, 2016
I just had a silly marketing thought, you could include a recipe for felafel in your books as an obscure reference to where it all began or say a recipe related to each one like a Kansas BBQ or Dave's fav thing (cocaine steak?) I dunno just a thought

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insomniac mumbles...

Posted May 20, 2016
I know you wanted controversy but having a plane disappear that was travelling between the title of your last book and the title of your next may be going a bit far.

Surtac mutters...

Posted May 20, 2016
I had a similar thought myself ...

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Rhino asserts...

Posted May 21, 2016
Off topic ... but this is awesome and I wished they had called it Skynet.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/05/us-navy-will-create-global-kill-web-of.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

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JG asserts...

Posted May 21, 2016
Congrats. You deserve it, JB. You were born with a lucky star, but the bottom line is that you not only have extraordinary talent. You work Damn Hard. As in 1000 times more than most. I don't know of a writer who has so many projects and long term goals going at the same time. I don't know how you do it. Raise a glass to yourself. May your indie publishing co prosper for a long time.
Cheers.

Joanna

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How to Be A Writer escapes into the wild

Posted May 18, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

It's not officially released for a couple of weeks yet, but you just can't contain this beast. It has escaped. You'll find copies in random bookstores, mostly indies, I'd guess. But for anyone looking to grab one online I've reordered the shelves at my private bookstore. For now the links go to preorders. Best way to get one immediately is the old fashioned way.

I'm in Sydney for the Festival from Thursday arvo, but they've got me running around a lot while I'm there, and doing gigs both nights. I'm more likely to be free for a catch up when I return in Jul/Aug.

In related news, Cairo is doing very well. It's hovering around the top five in the categories I chose for it (alternate history and time travel) with my path to the top blocked by Stephen King and Philip K Dick.

I can live with that.

33 Responses to ‘How to Be A Writer escapes into the wild’

James asserts...

Posted May 18, 2016
Ordered, but us poor Americans don't get to see it until August...

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon would have you know...

Posted May 18, 2016
Give me a greasy burger joint/time travel portal and i'll take them out for you so you reach the top. I can't guarantee that everyone will have forked lizard tongues by the time i get back though.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 18, 2016
No, surely not, If the King and Dick die won't that just cause a surge in their sales creating a greater challenge for Birmo's cream to rise to the top.

I think that metaphor could have gone somewhere unpleasant.

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Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2016
My brother has writerly ambitions & a birthday coming up - he'll love this. If the internet isn't lying to me, I have managed to locate a copy in a Melbourne bookstore. ** happy dance **

pi is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2016
Can you let me know which store?

Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2016
Readings Carlton, according to their website.

pi puts forth...

Posted May 19, 2016
Shweet. Will detour past there tomorrow.

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DaveC would have you know...

Posted May 18, 2016
Looking forward to this! Enjoy Sydney, and bring the hovercraft over to the Auckland Festival sometime! :)

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted May 18, 2016
Ordered, and surprised it's already in the discount bin. It will be my belated birthday present to myself.

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted May 18, 2016
JB - apologies if this is an inappropriate post - I understand if you remove it, but you've written now on a number of themes about being a writer/publisher/getting published, and you post the occasional link to the work of another...


In that vein, I want to spruick to you and Your Horde a (non-fiction) work of a friend and former work colleague of mine. His first book! A tale of perseverance and frustration of nigh on 8 years making.

But he recently got it published.

Nick worked for me primarily as a speechwriter. He was good at it, because he's a good writer.

As someone who wants to one day write, and more pertinantly, be published (self or otherwise) - I am in awe of those that pull it off.


So, I present to you "Spider Web: the birth of American anticommunism"


http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/67dhc4mf9780252040023.html

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balri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 18, 2016
I picked mine up a couple of weeks ago from Riverbend. It's a great read even though I'm not sure I'll ever be a writer

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pi is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2016
Hey JB, do you have any idea which bookstores in Melbs have it?

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Therbs asserts...

Posted May 18, 2016
SWF attendance equals Fortune of War pub, drunken stumble to the festy, refused admittance to chosen gigs, shuttle bus back to the pub then off to see a 'splodey movie.

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted May 18, 2016
Is that the writer or the readers?

Therbs asserts...

Posted May 19, 2016
Probably both, but that was my experience a few years ago.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted May 18, 2016
Abbeys in York St, Sydney has it in stock.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted May 18, 2016
Bugger. Was too lazy to check. Will now have to wait.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2016
Friday concept - post lunch pub crawl from Walsh Bay through the Rocks finishing at Harts pub prior to the Friday evening talk.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted May 18, 2016
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY. Oh, Booktopia did. FINE. I'll just wait for it to be posted to me then :)

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NBlob mutters...

Posted May 18, 2016
Mr Havock Sir would you be so kind as to ring the bells. We must discuss that Man Clumsy chap, the one with the pectorals. Yes him.

Rhino reckons...

Posted May 20, 2016
I think that the politically correct term is chesticles.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted May 24, 2016
That may be the case, but it don't alter the issue at hand. Man Clumsy is stinking the joint up with spoilerific spoilcicles, drizled with spoily jus and served on a bed of esingle source spoils.

We are a broad minded group, tolerant of differences, indeed we celebrate cake decorating and cetacean fanciers. But this continued flouting must be called to account.

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jl reckons...

Posted May 19, 2016
I just checked "Cairo's" status on Amazon- JB has beaten Stephen King!

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 19, 2016
Long live da King.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2016
Activating bat signal for my AUS - USA book procurement buddy. Must have !

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted May 19, 2016
It is not yet in the Griffith library collection.
Your minions need to correct this.

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jason would have you know...

Posted May 20, 2016
Purchased a copy from Readings in Carlton.
I now have:
Kernel of an idea
Good intentions
JB as my guide

This time next year I will surely have a platinum plated hovercraft and an ego to match.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2016
Yeah, I'll be getting an Oznians copy of this shipped to the bunker. Anyone have a problem with that?

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2016
Yeah, I'll be getting an Oznians copy of this shipped to the bunker. Anyone have a problem with that?

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted May 20, 2016
Abbeys - York St Sydney has only a few copies left. They've also put up a sign on the footpath outside advertising it. I think they must have read the "Pimp Your Book" chapter.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted May 21, 2016
Mine and Murph's copies will be here on Monday. WoooooHoooooo

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David S. has opinions thus...

Posted May 21, 2016
I don't want to boast (yes I do) but my copy was purchased & personally engraved by the man hisself at the festival thingy yesterday. Started reading it on the ferry going home and glad to see it's full of swearing and drug references - a real writer's guide!

Imagine if the sainted Hunter S. Thompson came back from wherever the heck he ended up, grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and said "Fuck son, this is the way to do things, bad things, and get paid for it." And then you woke up and realised it was all a dream, one you had to make come true or Cthulhu will come get you. It's like that only better.

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pi ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2016
Bought at the Dymocks on Collins St in Melbs if you wanna know where you can get it.

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Respond to 'How to Be A Writer escapes into the wild'

A well traveled copy of 'Weapons'.

Posted May 15, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

I had an email from Jason Lambright, a reader (and now a writer), who had some kind words about Weapons of Choice, which helped get him through his time in some of the dustier parts of the world.

He writes, "I always carried my Sony Ereader in my assault pack along with grenades, flares, extra ammo, etc. It was always with me until it got fragged in the Andarab Valley (adjacent to the Panshir) in Afghanistan. Here is a photo I took in a village by the Konduz river, you can't see it but my assault pack (and my trusty ereader with your books on it) was in the turret with me."

Jason came home (Huzzah!) and set to writing some sci fi (Huzzah x2!)

The novel is called In the Valley and you can hit up the text link or the ad below to grab it. It's old fashioned military sci fi. The Dirty Dozen on the final frontier. I'm going through it now, making some notes to send him. You can just buy it, read it and enjoy it. Then go give him some reviews.

Go on. It's the least you can do.

20 Responses to ‘A well traveled copy of 'Weapons'.’

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted May 16, 2016
Done! I'm looking forward to this, it sounds good :)

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted May 16, 2016
Double huzzahs are in order!

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted May 16, 2016
I too have purchased

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted May 16, 2016
Makes my whining about my copy of Tas Babes going missing for quite a few years seem a tad lame. At least it didn't get iced during run ins with beardy nutters.
I need another happy hour book and this the goods. By happy hour book I mean something to read in the pub after work whilst consuming the daily on tap specials. Beer 'n 'splodey go well together.
Off to the Bezos for me.

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted May 16, 2016
Purchased. In the queue on the ipad.

Slaking my current thirst for 'splosions with Neal Asher's new one, War Factory.

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jl reckons...

Posted May 16, 2016
I'd like to thank everyone at the Burger for your support, most of all JB. It is truly an honor.

I gladly carried the tenth-pound extra weight of the ereader in my rucksack, books such as John's were my sole escape in those forbidding mountains. A Chinese recoilless rifle finished off the ereader one fine day, and the incident contributed to my retirement.

On balance, things worked out- now I get to write books (the latest installment of the Valley series, "The Captain's Cauldron", should be out in early June) and hobnob with interesting people like you all!

Once again, it is an honor and a pleasure to be given the chance to entertain people. Thanks! Jason.

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted May 17, 2016
Hmm, ereader destroyed by a recoiless, my Nintendo Game Boy destroyed by a falling radio. We have things in common . . . well, I suppose there is a difference.

Welcome to the Burger. Ignore the dead cow in John's pool. That is Rhino's fault. Boylan's going to make him pay for the damages.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted May 17, 2016
Let's get our priorities straight here. Chinese recoil-less rifle tearing apart your e-reader? Big freaking deal.

Did you know that I had to wait almost 10 minutes this morning for the snooty MFA in Fine Arts Barista to make my venti, 2 extra shots, with cream Americano this morning. All the while he was giving me the stink eye for my JB is My Master Now in script above the cover of After America tattoo (It matches the "Yeah, I'm THAT Rhino" tatt. Passive aggressive douche wrote "Lover of plebian explodey lit" on my cup instead of my name. That, my friend, is the definition of real heroics and suffering.
Welcome aboard, Jason and hope that you can take the piss.

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 17, 2016
Fuck being a barrista. If I have to go back into customer service type shit, I'm gonna be a God Damned Bartender slinging Schiltz 'n shit.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted May 19, 2016
The eagle is circling. Check your emails.

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 17, 2016
Thanks for the welcome, Rhino! You're a better person than I- an encounter like that in a coffee shop would have reduced me to a gibbering, sub-functioning ball of goo.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted May 17, 2016
Sorry for the Off Topic, but todays Blunty photo caption editor* needs a kick in the fundamental. "Storrar wit [sic WITH] his ".

* Does Fairfax still have caption editors, or are they just getting someone's red-haired step-child to do it?

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pedrogb would have you know...

Posted May 17, 2016
Purchased, good luck with it all

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Halwes reckons...

Posted May 17, 2016
Thanks for the SMH column today John. Some very wise words there and the final paragraph is a great truth. Thanks again.

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Vovchara asserts...

Posted May 18, 2016
Reading the book now. What can I say? Pretty awesome.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2016
Seconded.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 19, 2016
Reviews reviews reviews.

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jl ducks in to say...

Posted May 19, 2016
Thanks, y'all. Feedback, for good or ill, is remarkably hard to come by. Just so you know, I have been pricing reasonable, modest yachts, no more than 200 feet or so.

Sudragon mumbles...

Posted May 21, 2016
Have you had a look at Russian Navy Surplus?

jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 21, 2016
Not thinking that far ahead yet, maybe I'll do that when I can afford my own army of minions. I'll leave world domination to JB, though. I would be quite content to putter around Aruba, maybe I could get him to deed it over to me.

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Thanks!

Posted May 12, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who left a review on Cairo. It pushed the book up the popularity ranks, which gave it enough visibility to get into the Hot New Release listing. I'm pondering how to reward y'all.

25 Responses to ‘Thanks!’

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2016
A tour of Brisvegas in the gold hovercraft? and not the crappy silver one either.

AuntyLou reckons...

Posted May 12, 2016
With beer!

KreepyKrawly mumbles...

Posted May 12, 2016
On the brown couch!!!

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 12, 2016
The hovercraft has bean bags, not couches.

AuntyLou ducks in to say...

Posted May 12, 2016
Pick up your game JB! Some of us have standards...not to mention old lady hips! The only way I am managing beanbags is if there are male bunny equivalents to help me in and out. And lots of alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

Anthony reckons...

Posted May 13, 2016
Silk bean bags?

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Barnesm mutters...

Posted May 12, 2016
as a reward you could write more books for us to buy.

WarDog is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2016
Yeah! Now it's a "hot new release" I want to buy it.
It must be good, Bezos says so.
I want to buy them all!

So pull your finger out John.
You have punters to please :-)

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Dave W would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2016
Some sort of pillow fight between the bunnies and the valkyries?

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2016
I'm accepting most of the credit for my pimpage efforts.

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pitpat puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2016
Good onya hope it translates to $

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2016
Portuguese custard tarts for all!

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted May 13, 2016
We want more 'splosions. In a book.

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davenq mutters...

Posted May 13, 2016
Hey bloke,
I joined this site just to see what you were doing.....I just bought The Dave series,,,1,2, and 3 ..now waiting on the rest ....just ordered Angels of Vengeance ,..because I thought it had finished..I don't do e=books ..but there you go...cheers
Dave

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 13, 2016
Dave, you've done enough. And the next long Dave will be available in paperback.

davenq puts forth...

Posted May 15, 2016
I don't even know enough ,...but ..holy shit ...you the "awthor" responding to one of the minions.......??? that is pretty cool (I am not worthy) ...your first book ..the falafel or whatever.......is it worth the read???...just asking....

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 15, 2016
You ever done share housing?

Peter in the bleachers reckons...

Posted May 15, 2016
Davenport, as JB muttered, if you have lived in a share house or two, it is well worth the read.

Therbs asserts...

Posted May 16, 2016
Avoid the film

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted May 16, 2016
Awww, the film ain't bad. Just different. Certainly it's not the book and shouldn't be taken to be part of the JB body of work.

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Rob Robinson ducks in to say...

Posted May 17, 2016
JB - I can tell you how to reward us: hurry up and publish the third book!

And while you are at it I would really like to hear what happened in postwar Japan, if you can somehow weave that into the story. I just re-read Final Impact and the new novellas don't address many of very interesting scenarios you created.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 18, 2016
No they don't, Rob. But I'll be returning to the mainline of the story in full length novels later this year. Including Japan.

Rob Robinson mutters...

Posted May 19, 2016
Thanks! I can't wait!

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Marc D mutters...

Posted May 18, 2016
If we are edging onto the topic of 'further twists to the AoT Universe' how about dropping further ships/aircraft through from the future? You could position the spot where the original fleet had its little accident as a semi-permanent tear in time/space - A brand new Bermuda Triangle style zone. That way could leverage new technologies and could allow the timeline to diverge all over again.

Just a wild thought...

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 18, 2016
I've often wondered what happened to those submarines that were part of the Fleet.

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Admiral Kohlhammer's beer fridge

Posted May 9, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

One of the things about going back into the Axis of Time series is the frustrating delight of contemplating all the technologies I missed. We didn't get fusion stacks. Instead of Posh we got Siri and Alexa. We did get flexipads, but we got them in the form of mobile phones.
Still, I don't see any point in slavishly adhering to the canon. So in Cairo we read a lot of detail about the mil-grade cell phones being used by Harry, Julia and Viv. I'm not sure flexipads are mentioned, and I'm certain that data slates are not. Nobody has complained yet.


So one of the things I'm enjoying as I return to the series is finding stuff that I can sneak in under the retcon radar. This bio-gel refrigerator concept for Electrolux, by Russian designer Yuriy Dmitriev is a great example.

Bio gel technology gets a few mentions throughout the original novels, enough to let me get away with putting something like this in the later books. Of course you can't build something like this with 1950s augmented technology – or at least I don't I think you can – but the nice thing about well-made refrigerators is that they run for years. And this bad boy doesn't even have any moving parts to break down. I can totally see Vice President Kohlhammer having a big green beer fridge just like this in his office. He couldn't keep his Heinekens in there, though. You'd never be able to find them.

19 Responses to ‘Admiral Kohlhammer's beer fridge’

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2016
yeah this reads like a great idea, someone in marketing pitches the idea to the CEO who then turns to the poor techy/engineer who is busy trying the get the latest 'brilliant' product to work as its meant to and is then told "this is a top priority'.

and what exactly is the design specification? "Demitriev notes that the cooling agents are the 'Bio robots' inherent in the gel use luminescence - light generated in cold temperatures (WTF? since when is that luminescence?)" Even in the article it says "Dmitriev doesn't really explain how it will work". REALLY.

This is why a lot of these designer types grind my gears. Systems that work best in nature tend to subscribe to the idea of form follows function, not ooohh lets build that, it looks cooooool.

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2016
Who's gonna care that it doesn't work in real life. If it's in a book it's gonna work in our minds, and it's gonna be cool (no pun intended).

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2016
I suspect Kolhammer is probably a beer snob. Heineken just won't do.

Does lead me to wonder how many garage brewing nuts came back through the Transition who leave the service and start up their own craft breweries?

Dirk asserts...

Posted May 9, 2016
I concur. As your Dutch advisor i would point out that Heineken over here is seen as regular. Grolsch or specialized Dutch or Belgian beers would be more appropriate. A few i like are the following:
https://www.speciaalbierwinkel.nl/bieren?id=403
http://www.biernet.nl/bier/merken/karmeliet-tripel
http://www.achouffe.be/nl

Apart from the fridge, a dyson handcleaner/blower would fit nicely in a mensroom, as would this:
https://medium.com/@maxbraun/my-bathroom-mirror-is-smarter-than-yours-94b21c6671ba#.7ertvoc2r

GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted May 10, 2016
I reckon Kolhammer would be a Grolsch fan, especially the cap seal bottles - I could see them also being used by Harry and Jules as a makeshift Section Six Molotov Cocktail ... or is that a Smedlov Slider?

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WarDog mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2016
I wouldn't write off fusion stacks yet.

I reckon there's about a 50% chance of something commercial coming of this in the next 5 years http://lppfusion.com/

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Marzuk ducks in to say...

Posted May 9, 2016
I love looking at the things you mentioned in the book and reflect on what we actually have. Clinton is running for president the timing my be off and then again since the US doesn't name ships after living people she has to get elected and then die in the next few years. Im still waiting for my inplant that releases drugs and meds. wonder if red bull would partner with them so it can just dump taurine into my system, instant redbull boost For that matter surely one of the ships at some energy drinks on board. VP Kol would totally be at the front of the line for augmented tech, trying to grab as much to get that feel for home. I imagine him as an import drinker. Something he picked up a taste for in a port he visited in his earlier career.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 9, 2016
I reckon Redbull would be all over your implants, once they got your credit card details.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien ducks in to say...

Posted May 10, 2016
Important beer-related thought -- If Munich is in Sov hands, will they still allow Oktoberfest? Obviously no visitors from the West.

Just as the East had a lot of Western guilty pleasures (Levi's jeans), does the West have Eastern guilty pleasures? I'm thinking of Baltika beer. Pretty decent stuff. Russian made but owned in OTL by Carlsberg (do the Sovs control Denmark too in AoT?), it sells pretty well on the European market.






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Guy mutters...

Posted May 10, 2016
It would be good to see a map which shows exactly which bits the Russians have occupied and which bits are still free? Perhaps at the front of SH:Paris?

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

Posted May 11, 2016
I second that. I love me a good map.

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Marzuk is gonna tell you...

Posted May 10, 2016
No Oktoberfest? Time to build Popes wormhole machine and travel back in time (again) with a new fleet and better prepared this time. Must save Oktoberfest!

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2016
That is an interesting question. Would they rebuild it? Could they do it using Temp/Augmented technology? Or will it be consigned to the circular filing cabinet of history?

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2016
They rebuild it, use it and.....end up in the Without Warning universe, where they are promptly accused of causing the Disappearance...and voila, we have our crossover.

Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted June 2, 2016
JB has hinted a big twist at the end of Stalin's Hammer: Paris. At first, I thought it was that Dan Brown would still be alive (and that still might happen), but another possibility is that a new time-traveler is revealed. After all, even if time travel is not rediscovered until several centuries after the 21st, someone can still travel back to the mid-20th.

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Marzuk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 11, 2016
Perhaps Stalin will think of this, since he knows his USSR fails and falls apart. Perhaps instead of destroying the world he will travel back and jump his technology decades ahead

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11, 2016
He does, ends up in Sydney circa 2000 something, one of his bioweapons accidentally gets released....and causes Here Be Monsters. I got more crossovers than Allen Iverson.

In all seriousness, how far back would he want to go? The October Revolution? Russo-Japanese War? The 1920 Battle of Warsaw? Peter the Great's Time? Mongol Invasions?

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted May 12, 2016


As long as someone goes back and stops Boney M's 'Rasputin' then all this mucking about in hyper-timelineyness-ness will have been worth it!

Anthony would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2016
And make sure Justin Beiber's parents never meet.

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