Cheeseburger Gothic

Almost there

Posted February 16, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

Just hit save on the second last chapter of Stalin's Hammer: Cairo. At least I hope it’s the second last chapter. I’m pretty sure I can kill everybody who needs killing and blow up all the things in one chapter. As long as Prince Harry doesn’t get lost tracking that German rocket scientist across the city.
Assuming he’s cool, the draft should go to beta this week and to full edit next. Then the part I really like about indie publishing; commissioning the artwork. Although in this case I’m a little constrained because this is the second book in a series so I’ll have to stick with the design language chosen by Momentum for the Stalin's Hammer: Rome.
Luckily, their cover is pretty cool and lends itself to iteration. I’m thinking a yellow ochre colour scheme with old Joe Stalin peeking out of silhouettes of the pyramids and the Sphinx.

28 Responses to ‘Almost there’

NBlob would have you know...

Posted February 16, 2016
Huzzah! Huzzah for the worldsmith.

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ShaneAlpha puts forth...

Posted February 16, 2016
And just in time for JB to kick back, beer in hand and enjoy Daredevil season 2 on 18 March.

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Sparty mumbles...

Posted February 16, 2016
at last- I thought we were going to get to 2021 first.....;-)
will be interesting to see exactly how dystopian the world is when we get to the date they went back in time in the book. (if Trump gets in, I can probably saner that question right now....)

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Peter in the bleachers swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 16, 2016
Well done sir. I imagine it's like running a marathon and seeing the 1km to go sign. Looking forward to reading it.

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insomniac mutters...

Posted February 16, 2016
I hope you are saving your work more often than when you get to the end of a chapter. I'm looking forward to reading it slowly, word by word. That was fun.

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Dirk ducks in to say...

Posted February 17, 2016
I have this spinning already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlrKETxwRvM

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Surtac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 17, 2016

Looking forward to this. Definitely time to go back to that universe.


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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted February 17, 2016
*hits imaginary "like" button*
(ignores imaginary 'heart' button)

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Therbs mutters...

Posted February 17, 2016

Seems a long ago time when I first scooped up the three AOT books and hoovered them down in a week. Been a lot of CBG'ing since then.

Guess its a case of 'Get 'er done'.

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BigWillieStyle puts forth...

Posted February 17, 2016
OFF TOPIC: Just went and had a Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake at my local hipster café. Quite possibly the greatest invention ever.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted February 17, 2016
Toasted marshmallow you say, in. a. milkshake?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted February 22, 2016
what an age we live in

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Thessair mumbles...

Posted February 18, 2016
Excellent news! I am very much looking forward to delving back into this world.

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Alister Taylor asserts...

Posted February 18, 2016
Last week involved sitting on my tod sick as a dog, reading all 3 AoT novels, Stalin's Hammer, and waiting... waiting...
You legend JB!

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Spanner is gonna tell you...

Posted February 18, 2016
What about Constable Bob?
The long suffering Art Mullen? I mean who would want to be Raylan's boss?
Dewie now there was a dimwit.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted February 18, 2016
Are you drunk, Spanners? Drunk and pantsless? Its ok if you are, just a bit concerned is all.

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Spanner mumbles...

Posted February 18, 2016
I have pants! Pants and dignity. These are things that I have.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted February 21, 2016
Did you hear about the new therapy for In Patients with severe cognitive developmental issues ? They sing while drumming rhythms on fruit. Amazing results, It's called the moron tap an apple choir.
Is this thing on?

NBlob puts forth...

Posted February 21, 2016
That's because you are a terrible person. But context is everything, in normal company you'd be the worst person in the room. Here you are no more than one standard deviation from the mean.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted February 23, 2016
maybe two

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted February 23, 2016
But I don't want to deviate from the mean. I am so tired of being "different." I want to live! I want to belong! I want to be part of the whole, not separate from the main. I want to be recognized for the creative genius that I know, in my heart, I can be. When I carefully craft exact miniature classic automobiles using my own poop, I want it recognized as art and not as another sign of mental illness and/or a gross abuse of prescription pain killers - depending on which doctor you're talking to at any given moment.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted February 23, 2016
The Bugatti is art.

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MuttsInc reckons...

Posted February 24, 2016

Dear Sir, I have a question, one asked in a serious and well-modulated tone of voice, not flippant, nor when wearing the visage of a smirk.

Do you ever get angry at your syntax?

When television became reality, I turned it off; now it gets wiped for dust once a week. I have a terminal fascination with the written word, and as often happens (I'm thinking porn here, mayhap not the best example) when we see something we like, we're tempted to try it.

So, in fits and starts, I scribble some words; more starts, less fits, you could say. I introduce words to each other, get them interested enough in each other to form a sentence, hope they evolve into a paragraph and the movement grows into something substantial. Then I go away; leave them to ferment before adding the sugar.

When I come back, invariably they're dead. Just flat on the page, and no amount of defibrillation can jolt them back into life. It's frustrating; all the organs are functioning and healthy, yet no matter how I poke and prod there appear (in my view) no signs of life. Just a carcass in need of burial. This would be fine if my intent was to establish a funeral home; it wasn't, and I'm tired of being unable to resurrect all these dead things laying around the place.

So, in all sincerity, do you - as one who is (self) employed in the craft - ever get the shits with your own words?

Perhaps want to kill them, even though - or because - they're already dead? (this presumes you never write a recalcitrant word, something I refuse to accept; anyone tells me they never hit backspace or delete? I don't believe them)

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 24, 2016
Mutt, by the time I'm on the third draft of a book those words make me want to vomit hot blood.I also find it difficult to read a column I've just written. I use the Mac's text to speech function instead.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted February 24, 2016

I activated the text to speech function on my Mac and it read back PNB's last post as if it were Peter Cushing lamenting the destruction of Alderaan.

MuttsInc reckons...

Posted February 24, 2016

Excellent to hear (not the visual stimulation of you projectile-puking hot blood - therapy can subdue that mental scar).

I've started small (5-10 thousand word short stories) and even at that amount, I'm never sure I've drafted the final product sufficiently or, as I strongly suspect, I simply cannot bear reading it one more time. How you cope with an entire novel (several times over) is beyond me. Beer, perhaps? (not swallowing that brandy swirlin')

As to the Mac's text to speech function....umm...I got Word; tells me when I gone and done spelled wrongly.

If you told me - after you've finished writing (and reading) the quantity you do - you then relax with a good book I would have to admit confusion; if I write 5 thousand a day, I almost watch television (if the farmer wants a wife, I should care?).

Almost, but not quite.

Thanks for the response, it's appreciated.

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My ('splodey, stabby) summer reads

Posted January 27, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

One of the small pleasures of summer I always look forward to is cracking the spine, or hitting download, on a new Cliff Hardy story. Peter Corris has been cranking these out since I was a teenager. I still remember reading The Empty Beach for the first time, and going back to it again and again, drawn by the pastiche of Hardy’s gallows humour, the uniquely Australian voice (well, it was unique at the time) and Corris’s way with transplanting the best elements of the hard boiled school to the bright golden shores of the harbour city.

I still have this year’s release – That Empty Feeling – to read, but just finished Gun Control (iTunes) as my bedside book. Cliff ages gracefully, but he does age. He’s a grandad now, still on medication for his heart attack a few years ago, and all around him his contemporaries are retiring from the game. He gets into fewer brawls and tends to take back up with him when he’s expecting one.

Back up in Gun Control comes in the form of an unusually temperate bikie gang leader, looking to establish his rule after the death of his former pack leader, a shady lawyer and crooked cop. Sydney is as much a character and player as ever and feeling my own understanding of the city fading with every day I’m away, I was taken by how well Corris stayed in touch with the place after moving to the north coast a few years ago. Then I found out, he’d moved back. Sucks for him I guess, but yay for the rest of us.

As always the maguffin in Gun Control is a client; a businessman who pays Hardy to investigate the death of his son. The coroner ruled it a suicide, but nothing is ever simple. Hardy is soon mixing it up with bikers, cops good and bad, dodgy lawyers and a couple of unfortunate muggers who chose the wrong granddad to have a go at.

A world away from modern Sydney, Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom (iTunes) is set in England between 866 and 876, during the age of the Vikings. It had been sitting in my pile o’ shame for years and I’m not quite sure what made me pick it up. Maybe seeing the TV series was coming up on Netflix or Stan. I thought, wrongly, that it might have been Cornwell riffing on the King Arthur saga, but it seems to have been based on an actual historical figure.

The narrator is Uhtred Ragnarsson, born a Saxon but taken by Danish raiders who killed his father when he was ten. Uhtred is raised by the Danes as one of their own, setting up a long series with a vengeance motif at its heart.

I tried to like it. It’s a good story, well told, but for some reason I just didn’t find it compelling. That says more about me than Cornwell. I couldn’t help thinking what this book needs is a gunned up platoon of 21st century SAS hard men somehow pulled back in time to kick Viking arse.

Hmm.

That gives me an idea. Excuse me a second while I rejig my writing schedule.

Anyway, would I recommend it? I guess I would, if you’re a fan of historical fiction set in that period. Cornwall is a great story teller, and hugely popular. It’s not his fault I didn’t get into the Kingdom.

My other summer read was the latest in David Weber’s Safehold series; Hell's Foundations Quiver (iTunes). If you haven’t been following the series, I can’t help you. We’re deep in the narrative woods now and as happens with a lot of these long arcs, if you haven’t been there for the whole thing, it will make no sense to you. I have been there, and at times it didn’t make much sense to me because there are now so many characters and plots and sub plots that I found it hard to remember who was doing what.

Still, it felt a more polished effort than some of the earliest titles. Weber has a few quirks that really grated on me as I rushed through the early novels one after another. We’ve discussed them before; his characters are forever chuckling for no good reason; he loves putting two men in a room to chat about nothing but exposition. Hell’s Foundation isn’t free of these sins, but they happen much less frequently. And the premise off the series, a sentient AI in a combat chassis thrown in amongst religious bigots to set off a holy war is as much fun as ever; i.e., heaps.

33 Responses to ‘My ('splodey, stabby) summer reads’

Surtac mumbles...

Posted January 27, 2016
" I couldn’t help thinking what this book needs is a gunned up platoon of
21st century SAS hard men somehow pulled back in time to kick Viking
arse."
Stop. Hasn't this been done by Keith McArdle with 'The Forgotten Land'?

I'm sure I heard bout this from you and have downloaded and read it and enjoyed it.
Please get back to Cairo and the next Dave stuff. Or I will be very upset.

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Sparty puts forth...

Posted January 27, 2016
Haven't read last Kingdom, but the TV series was well made. However the lead was such a whinney brat f%*k wit he made Dave look mature! and forced me to root for the Vikings over the Saxons!
Again like Birmo, the fact that I found that a barrier to really enjoying the series is on me - strange because I hate it when book agents say things like "you need easily relatable, likable characters".

I think he was meant to be a bit of an unreliable narrator who matures later - just suspect we need episodes book-ended with the "mature version".

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SZF mumbles...

Posted January 27, 2016
Speaking of historical fiction, Vlad: the Last Confession by Chris Humphreys is worth a gander. A (very) bloody account of the man who inspired Stoker's Dracula.
Your SAS hard men would want to make sure not to miss if they tried to f*ck with Vlad though. The guy kept a lot of stake makers in business...

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 28, 2016
Yes, but Vlad only retained the services of stake makers who were passionate about their art.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 29, 2016
You know you've found yourself a serious stake making craftsman if they refer to themselves as a "Maker of Stakes."

NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 29, 2016
That, or their Marketing consultant said "everyone likes assonance."

Lulu reckons...

Posted January 29, 2016
Or they used the words 'bespoke' and 'artisan'.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 29, 2016
Artisan stakes: a soft start with notes of pine or oak (depending); a clean finish; aged to perfection. Gluten free.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 29, 2016
See no not everyone like assonance, some find it immensely irritating but by a strange quirk of fate many who appreciate fine stakes AND have disposable income are bandits for it. That is the genius of marketing.

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WA n'ker mutters...

Posted January 27, 2016
SAS squad back in time sounds good Birmo, but what happens when they run out of ammo? Perhaps the "Philadelphia/Axis" type chronological quantum transposition event sends back the entire London Australian Embassy building? This would obviously include all the staff and equipment; secretaries, ex-SAS security staff with their cache of weapons, Defence Signals Directorate staff (including that weird guy with a doctorate in Ornithology), computers, back up generators, fuel supply, defence attache with honours from Oxford in the appropriate history and languages, foreign affairs and economics/trade people, and a good supply of Hill of Grace, Grange and Victoria Bitter.

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Guy has opinions thus...

Posted January 28, 2016
I've read all the Last Kingdom novels and they are truly excellent. Much recommended if you like that sort of thing. From the man who brought you the Sharpe novels.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted January 28, 2016
I started watching the TV series last night. Brutal. But good. I'll probably stick with it.

Squid swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 28, 2016
Yes I've read them all also.

I really enjoy them although he pumps them out a bit like Lee Child (who I also enjoy) with similar plot devices, but there has been some story progression in recent books that I have appreciated.

I think I feel an affinity for the story lines with my family being from the Old Country and having lived there for a few years. The family legend goes we are descended from the Vikings but that's likely complete bunkham.

Yeah that and the blood and guts and general disregard for the Christian church.

Guru Bob mumbles...

Posted January 29, 2016
I watched the whole series after Christmas and enjoyed it a lot. Haven't read the book (or is it books?) yet, but Cornwall is probably the definitive historical military fiction writer these days... I have read his books set in Napoleonic era, American Revolution and Civil War, medieval times and others. Usually pretty good reading...

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted January 28, 2016

" is a gunned up platoon of 21st century SAS hard men somehow pulled back in time to kick Viking arse." There are now even more modern army against ancient army tropes thanks to an excellent Axis of Time series.


One of my favorites at the moment is GATE a Japanese Anime about when modern Tokyo is invaded through gate by a couple of thousand Roman legions from an alternative universe, which include mounted flying dragons after a couple of hours of havoc the Japanese's Defense Force wipes the floor with them then goes the gate and establishes a 'special region' so the JSDF can operate there.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 28, 2016
Sounds totally cool. Gotta find it. Gotta see it.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 28, 2016
I will eagerly await your erudite ruminations on this anime.

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Schweaty asserts...

Posted January 28, 2016
Hi all, long time lurker, first time commenter. Or second? Anyway. Have any of you read the Cormoran Strike books? The ones by JK Rowling under the name of Robert Galbraith? He's another PI who manages to find himself in the middle of the investigation. I've just finished the third. Characters are interesting, stories move along at a cracking pace. Enjoyable!

WA n'ker mutters...

Posted January 28, 2016
Danke, Schweaty der lurker. I had no idea JK had written under a pseudonym, I'll check 'em out.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 29, 2016
Her first pseudonym was Andre La Plume. Fairly good Gothic romances.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 29, 2016
I had to read/review the first one for the Bookshow. Pretty sure I then reviewed it here somewhere.

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted January 29, 2016
I've read the first 2 Comoran Strike books. I thought they were excellent. The two things I look for, character and atmosphere, are both superb. I haven't read the third one yet. I believe J.K. is planning 4 or 5 more. Best to read them in order. The development in the professional relationship between the two main characters is going to be a big theme in the series.

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted January 29, 2016
Cliff Hardy - sort of like the Royal on Bondi Rd which has seen a few fights, is feeling its age but still knows how to do cold beer through clean lines and an edible pub feed.

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Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted January 29, 2016
I've been meaning to read The Empty Beach for some time...being as how its set in my area and all.

Regarding the SAS/vikings thing - someone put out a thought bubble about a Marine force ending up in Roman times and how they would fare...google it I guess. Of course the main contention was they'd kick major arse until they ran out of fuel/bullets/etc. Still a cool idea though.

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Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 29, 2016
"Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen" by H. Beam Piper. The original (well, apart from Twains time travel story) and still the best.

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2016
Does the story actually move forward in the latest Weber?

Sudragon asserts...

Posted January 30, 2016
It's moving faster than The Wheel of Time series.

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GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted January 30, 2016
I read young upstart hot on JB's heels James Phelan's The Hunted and Kill Switch over the hols ... no #TheDave to distract me, after reading 'bout Corris' new Hardy I've a mind to re-read Peter Temple's Jack Irish novels - being a Melbourne boy I just love the atmosphere and the darkness of the stories.

dweeze would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2016
Haven't read the books but can highly recommend the ABC film versions of Jack Irish - but I may be biased, having spent the bulk of my life in Melbourne too.

GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted February 1, 2016
Really like the ABC telemovies ... some of the best book 2 tv adaptations I've ever watched.
Can't wait for White Dog to be realised - I hope its the next telemovie they release.

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DarrenBloomfield ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2016
To my eternal shame I've never read Corris/Hardy. But, well, because JB is my master now, I have the ibooks version of "the dying trade" cicada 1980. So I'm away!
The foreword by Charles Waterstreet in this edition fills me with hope. Last year I hinge read another crime series I was late too: Jack Reacher.
I enjoyed that, but fallible that guy ain't. CW suggests Mr Hardy may Mr more mortal. And more likeable for it.
And then this "When we read Corris, we see ourselves, we laugh at ourselves, we cringe at ourselves, and finally we understand ourselves a little better".
I'm in! See you in 35 years/38 novels.

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Respond to 'My ('splodey, stabby) summer reads'

Dominion, by CJ Sansom

Posted January 15, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

Don't know how I missed this this, but when I get out from under my current deadline, I'm gonna check it out. Dominion, by CJ Sansom, an alternate history of Britain under the Nazi jackboot.

The Guardian writes it up thus:

... one of the thrills of Dominion is to see a writer whose previous talent has been for the captivating dramatisation of real history (in his five books about the Tudor sleuth, Matthew Shardlake, and the Spanish civil war novel Winter in Madrid) creating an invented mid-20th century Britain that has the intricate detail and delineation of JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth, though thankfully described in better prose.

The big historical sweeps seem credible guesses: the newspaper tycoon Lord Beaverbrook – an isolationist, pro-German equivalent to Roth's President Lindbergh – is prime minister, with the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley as home secretary, while Churchill is the leader of an underground resistance movement that occasionally daubs V signs in public places. In America, Adlai Stevenson has just won the 1952 election. In recorded history, Stevenson was thrashed by D-day hero General Dwight Eisenhower, but, in this version, there hasn't been an allied victory to gild Ike's reputation and so he hasn't even run for the Republicans.

Sansom is equally impressive in the depth of the background colour. Air-raid shelters – never, as it turned out, needed – are items of poignant incongruity. Conversations glancingly reveal that what we know as the London and Helsinki Olympics of 1948 and 1952 took place in quite different countries because of the alterations in the geo-political situation. Leading British authors of the period – EM Forster, JB Priestley, WH Auden – have disappeared ominously from view after criticising our political masters in Berlin. A massive picture of Hitler hangs in the lobby of the National Portrait Gallery.

10 Responses to ‘Dominion, by CJ Sansom’

Surtac asserts...

Posted January 15, 2016

I read this a few years back, and can happily recommend it.

It's a very good book and a fine addition to the subgenre.

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted January 15, 2016
downloading ebook NOW

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she_jedi asserts...

Posted January 15, 2016
That sounds amazing. Will track it down immediately.

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DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted January 15, 2016
Ever since I first visited Spain in the early nineties, and saw how The long-lived Franco regime still echoed in the collective there (and Salazar across the border).
I'd read "Fatherland" of course, and also knew from history that Democracies in Europe were fading, even before the war.
I always wanted to write an alternative history novel that saw Europe avoid WWII, and what Europe in the 80s would look like if, like Franco and Salazar, Hitler and Mussolini had've ruled for decades.
Its why I loved the amazon Man in the High Castle take.
I guess it's a crowded space, too crowded for me and my novel!
Might have to rush out a space opera, get in first...

she_jedi reckons...

Posted January 15, 2016
I really loved Fatherland, and The Man in the High Castle just blew my mind. I love the whole "what if?" sense of alternate histories, particularly around WW2. You should give your novel a crack anyway, see how it goes :)

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Spanner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 15, 2016
Is it available on audio? I've got audible credits to burn.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted January 15, 2016

Looking forward to it, but I don't agree with the reviewer's "one of the thrills of Dominion is..." that's not a thrill.

A thrill is a fistfight with Nazi Zombies whilst on a hovercraft failing through a crevasse in Antarctica while a nuclear weapon ticks down - thank you Mathew Reilly.

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GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted January 16, 2016
I love the 'what if' - alternative history scenario, Dominion sounds verrrrrrry interesting.

James Herbert wrote an alternative WWII history yarn called '48 about the Nazis raining down on London a V2 missile containing a Black Death virus ... pretty sure if the real Nazis had something like that they woulda used it.

Some survivors have to flee infected zombie-like Blackshirts - Nazi sypathisers - who want to drain their blood for their fearless leader.

I'm going after the Dominion ebook before the nuke clicks down, now if i can just remember where I left my maghook?

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DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted January 18, 2016
I'm 20 per cent in to Dominion now, and it is very good.

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Rob reckons...

Posted February 23, 2016

I bought Dominion. Its OK , if a little slow going. So I put it down for a week or two and I read a Zombie book which was also OK. But yesterday a copy of 'Look who's Back ' arrived , and by about midnight last night I really had to put it down and get some sleep. Its the alt-history time travelling novel we never asked for, but got all the same. Brilliant.

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Here be Monsters cover art

Posted January 4, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

In a couple of weeks the mailing list will go live and those who've signed up will get an invite to grab this bad boy for free. Some of you contributed to this story, as I recall. It's since been redone and edited. I'm stoked to see it getting a day in the sun.

The cover art is by Will Heavy and I love it. It captures the best of the story in one image. I ran a contest at 99 Designs to get this result, and there were a couple of other really excellent offerings. I've noted the artists and will offer them some paying work later this year when the other books go into production. I'll also write up an entry about the 99Designs process which should hopefully be helpful to anyone thinking of using them. Not everyone loves the 99 model, and I do understand the critique of the contest process, but that process fast tracked me into a design marketplace where I can now source artists for commissioned work. I get art assets. They get a pay day. 99D takes a cut.

The first two HOOPER ebooks will be out late Feb or early March and again, early sign ups will get an invite to grab a free copy. I plan a soft release of each book, letting early subscribers have it free before bumping the price to full retail. And if early subscribers felt like leaving a glowing 88 star review... well, who would I be to say no.

31 Responses to ‘Here be Monsters cover art’

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w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted January 4, 2016
I can't help but have a fondness for the zombie at the bottom left. He might be a murdering, cannibalistic, reanimated corpse; but at least he seems a patriot. In fact, I think I met him once at the cricket.

insomniac mumbles...

Posted January 4, 2016
Yes, I think he was caught on the big screen tucking in to someone's skull. The media dubbed him 'Brain Boy'.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 4, 2016
I'm, er, not sold. It reminds me of the unicorn slash titles a few months back. Don't get me wrong, I'm up for some alt.time zombie stomping, the art just lacks, something. Menace?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2016
Just the right touch of menace. Promises lots of fun.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2016
Not even close, Blob.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 6, 2016
Not the first time. Remember when I said 'The Daemons of Buttecrack County' was an insightful allegory on Australia's troubled relationship with Jakarta.
Oh how you laughed.

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Sparty asserts...

Posted January 4, 2016
where did the chick come from?
The guy looks like across between Han Solo and the Scottish bloke from Outlander (The TV series, not the movie with the other scottish bloke).
it does look a bit slashy- but somehow that seems right (slash as in genres / time zones rather than slash as in Kirk /Spock).

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2016
That is the idea.

Sudragon puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2016
Needs more sword to be proper slash fic...

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 5, 2016
And the sword would have be a dildo

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2016
Well, of course. That goes without saying.

Sudragon reckons...

Posted January 5, 2016
I'd say pork sword...but that would be adding to the ham problem.

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DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted January 5, 2016
do thiose of us that signed over our soul (full of guns or otherwise) for the editorial experiment need to re-up for this, or are we pre-conscripted?

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2016
The Beta-reading crew is separate, but related. I can't legally add you to my mailing list. You must give me your soul by your hand. The links up top will take you where you need to go.
[evil chuckle][wait][did I just do my evil chuckle out loud?]

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2016
Yes, you did. And it was so cute. The way a newborn calf is cute as it stumbles around.

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted January 5, 2016
thanks John.
On a related topic, at the MWF you repeated something |I think I've read here - that you had filed away a stat about how few days food supply was on hand in major cities. And that you'd call on that fact one day.
My spouse gave me a Chrissy present that might be a good research tool for you: "The Knowledge: how to rebuild our world from scratch". Its a few years old now, but it's a cracking read. Might be of use to an author in a certain genre...? Here's a link to a review:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/03/knowledge-how-to-rebuild-our-world-from-scratch-review

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2016
That cover is from a story you wrote in Tench's voice I reckon. That seems a while ago now. Nothing like some capping of Zed.

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Rob would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2016
I really like it.classic pulp scifi art.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2016
That water colour aesthetic was exactly the look I was after. I can imagine it on an old torn hard back in the attic.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted January 5, 2016
OK, a little lost. Is this the short that was included in that anthology a couple of years ago? Has it been expanded here?
That was my first little effort at contributing. Fond memories.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2016
It is the same short, with a slightly expanded ending. I'm going to be giving it away for mailing list sign ups. In a year or so when I have more of a back list, I'll swap it out for something longer.

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HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2016
OK, Ill come out and say. WHAT THE FK!
The grip ( fore grip ) is too long on her ..er machine gun, WTF is he shooting...is it a sawn off shottie...???? if so why the two handed grip for s lide driven fkn auto and the colour... YOU GONE FKN SOFT OR FKN WHAT! AND....FKN...A N D .. the assault Riofle is bloody BLUE or is that a softer hue orf you FFASKES MAN get ya shit together!

Therbs mutters...

Posted January 6, 2016
He'd be using a flintlock pistol being from the late 1780's.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted January 5, 2016
Oh, just so that there be some sort of clarity around what I might be saying, it could do with a weeee bit of tinkering around the edges! IMHO

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted January 7, 2016
Am I the only one that expanded the pic to get a better look at the chick's boobs?
Looking at you Boylan.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 7, 2016
Not I. But I am confident Monster Yuppy did the same.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted January 7, 2016
Is inappropriate to ask how TheDave universe fanfic thingy is going?
Cause, if it is, I don't want to be appropriate.
Not that that's ever been a concern really.
I apologize if you were expecting something different and didn't get it.
See what I did there? I crossed the post streams or something.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 7, 2016
Nope, it's not inappropriate. I'm looking at a mid year release. I'll write something up for a separate post. Gimme a few minutes.

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Shane ducks in to say...

Posted February 8, 2016
No wonder so many people actually plan what they will do when the zombie apocalypse comes!
Regarding the Hooper novels - just finished reading Ascendance (paid full price for the E books! Damn). Thought all of them were great, but the ending of Ascendance left a lot of questions open - can we expect further Dave Hooper novels? I'm sure you have been asked that before but have just found your blog

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Kindle Cover Disasters

Posted November 24, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

I have to send the books off to art in the next few weeks. It's an exciting prospect. I only hope I can find something as tasty as the many fine entries at Kindle Cover Disasters.

Magnificent beasts like this.

And this.

20 Responses to ‘Kindle Cover Disasters’

KreepyKrawly mutters...

Posted November 24, 2015
What has been seen cannot be unseen!!!!!! ARGHHHH! Where's the mindbleach!!!!

insomniac mumbles...

Posted November 24, 2015
I know. I looked at way way too many for my psychological well being. There are some sick bastards out there.

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Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted November 24, 2015
I can't help but think that these Kindle Covers were intentional.

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Spanner reckons...

Posted November 24, 2015
I'm not sure which is more disturbing the twink and beastiality with BDSM overtones or the Tenticle pr0n.
Excuse me while I go scrub my eyeballs with bleach.

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Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 24, 2015
Ow ow ow ow!!! My EYES!

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trib puts forth...

Posted November 24, 2015
There seems to be a bit of a theme with these...

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted November 24, 2015

Saved on this occasion by my work cyber defence and cyber censorship regimes.

I only had to look at the two examples our Lord and Master explicitly showed us

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GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted November 24, 2015
The expression on the Catman's face reminds me of how I imagine Professor Boylan must look in TheDave series.

A look of serene confidence married to a dastardly PNB knows best what's good for humanity visage - especially if all the good flows to PNB first.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted November 25, 2015
Truth be told, the cover featuring men in kilts with tentacles rings truer for me. Something to do with my father worshiping Cthulhu when he was a lad. Something like that.

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted November 24, 2015
I don't think I have read any Scottish sci-fi, but I've obviously missing out. The series certainly has an intriquing premise. The eight part series certainly has an intriguing premise.
<font style="color: rgb(69, 69, 69); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 19px;"><font style="font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue-Regular, Helvetica; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">The group of burly men who lived and worked as soldiers in the Scottish highlands manning a remote military installation had a secret: they had all developed tentacles during a freak accident with a hyper-dimensional energy generator that made a rift in the fabric of space-time. Now, they hide their tentacles as best they can, but they can’t hide them forever. What happens when they go home? In the first book, Dan has a girlfriend who is going to be very surprised! </font>

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted November 24, 2015

To be fair there are a lot of disasters in non kindle books covers. Of course none of yours Brimo.

Its an amazing publish niece the Cryptozoo porn gig. Bigfoot, lizard men, werewolves and tentacle horrors are all part of the broad church I think called Monster porn which one of the big names was Ms Viginia Wade and her 16 book run which began with 'Cum For Bigfoot' until the recent manufacoversy over monster porn.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted November 24, 2015
Mr Barnesm. That link. I may never look at Sasquatch the same way.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted November 24, 2015
The blurb from 'Human Rights'

After landing in the pound after being abandoned by yet another family,
Ewan is convinced he's too old to be adopted out again. For a pet like
him, the only fate left is to be put down. But when Sir Jiat—of the City
Guard, no less—visits the pound, he goes straight to Ewan. Jiat prefers
the more mature pets and treats Ewan better than he's ever been treated
by any previous owner. Ewan sleeps at the foot of his master's bed, not
on the floor or outside; he is given toys and other pets to play with
and plenty of room to run; and he's fed on a schedule and eats very
well. But Ewan's love for his master begins to change, to become
something else, something more.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted November 24, 2015
Eew... Not that there's anything wrong with that.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted November 25, 2015
Is it still bestiality if initiated by the cat?

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted November 25, 2015
make you look at cat from Red Dwarf in a whole new light.

Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 25, 2015
To say nothing of characters from Skyrim etc...

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted November 25, 2015
Can you imagine the size of cucumber you'd need to fuck up a cat that big?

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 25, 2015
That was a lol and a half ... most excellent funny.

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Respond to 'Kindle Cover Disasters'

New covers; Felafel and Babes

Posted September 13, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

Next year would have been the 20th anniversary of the founding of Yellow Press, which became D&S, which in both imprints published my early share house novels. Michael Duffy decided to get out of the publishing biz while the gettng was good, though. He was always much smarter than me. Because those books still sell, they needed a new home and I wasn't quite ready to self publish them.

So, they are now with Momentum, PanMac's indy/ebook outfit. To mark the move, each got a new cover.

Chapter One also got renamed, for the US market.

22 Responses to ‘New covers; Felafel and Babes’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted September 13, 2015
Call me old, set in my ways, and resistant to change - being more comfortable with the long-time familiar, but I don't like either cover.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 13, 2015
Your time has passed, old man.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted September 13, 2015
God, I hope so.

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ShaneAlpha mumbles...

Posted September 13, 2015
So if JB wrote Falafel now would it still be a Falafel? Or would it be some sort of hipster nosh? He died with an artisanal goat cheese wrap just doesn't have the same ring.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 14, 2015
It has a wonderful ring to it. What a great idea.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 14, 2015
He died with a pulled pork slider? He died with a single-origin pour-over drip coffee?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2015
Yep. Exactly. Felafel and Tassie Babes are snap shots recording a specific moment in time. And that time is gone, replaced with something else. I think it would be fascinating to perform the same time/place/culture analysis that engendered Felafel and Tassie Babes on the Australia of today. Perhaps including some of the same characters. Who knows? Dirk could be a master of the universe today.

JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 14, 2015
Perhaps, He Died With An iPhone in His Hand.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted September 13, 2015
Hmmmm, will my copies on kindle update?
<snort>
I crack me up.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted September 13, 2015
People in book publishing know so much more than me about book publishing, but what is that black map of Tasmania doing dominating the Felafel cover? I really want to know. I want to learn and be better.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2015
The map of Tasmania, black or otherwise, features prominently in Felafel. It is the Tassie Babes Fiasco's mcguffin.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2015
And babes routinely deforest Tassie, so it resembles an isthmus. Or at least that is what I've learnt from Pr0n.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 15, 2015
I am not going to dignify that veiled obscene reference with a response, other than to observe that your comment seems to have a Brazilian aspect.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted September 16, 2015
No, that's just how I pronounce isthmus, it sound Portuguese with a strong German accent.

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balri puts forth...

Posted September 13, 2015
Will there be printed versions? Where can I get them?

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Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted September 13, 2015
Not a pube to be found.
I remember getting my copy and thinking, "Someone drew this on here with a bic pen." After a few minutes down in the dock office on 1000 Walnut I realized, nope, it was part of the cover.

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spokey has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2015
What makes a cover JB? I noted with the different covers for Dave that different markets get more 'splodey etc.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 14, 2015
Great question, Spokey. And one I could answer at length, but I have a column due and a plane to catch. I might respond in a separate entry.

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Rob puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2015


I first read parts of the Tasmanian babes fiasco in Playboy magazine I think, when I moved to Australia. Probably the only time I read a magazine of the calibre for the articles. I think my brother in law gave it to me because it had an amazing cut out of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars in it and Pamela Anderson. Pamela Anderson became a motif at art school. While everyone painted Rothko styled swooshy gestural abstract paintings. I painted Pamela Anderson wrapped in American flags because you know, its art school.

Looking forward to buying a new print of the babes fiasco.

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Halwes would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2015

only a sicko like me wants to buy a book with the underside of a cockroach on it. Tasmanian Babes would go like a scalded cat if it had some maps of tassie on it.

dweeze has opinions thus...

Posted September 15, 2015
...or a balded cat by NBlob's call above! Sickos indeed.

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Halwes mutters...

Posted September 15, 2015

And the winner is ... The Liberal party for the next ten years! I just hope that the poisonous, deluded, little churchy grub, Kevin Andrews, is relegated to having no influence

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