Cheeseburger Gothic

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 is gonna tell you...

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

Respond to this comment

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 ducks in to say...

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.

Respond to this thread

Lulu has opinions thus...

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 mumbles...

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

Lulu reckons...

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

pi puts forth...

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

Respond to this thread

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! :)

Respond to this comment

insomniac ducks in to say...

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

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

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

Respond to this comment

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

Respond to this comment

pi is gonna tell you...

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

Respond to this comment

Therbs would have you know...

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 asserts...

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

Therbs would have you know...

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

Respond to this thread

Therbs ducks in to say...

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

insomniac mutters...

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

Respond to this thread

Therbs puts forth...

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.

Respond to this comment

she_jedi reckons...

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 :)

Respond to this comment

NBlob has opinions thus...

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 has opinions thus...

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

NBlob puts forth...

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.

Respond to this thread

jl has opinions thus...

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

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 19, 2016
Long live da King.

Respond to this thread

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

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

Respond to this comment

Quokka mumbles...

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

Respond to this comment

jason asserts...

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.

Respond to this comment

Rhino mumbles...

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

Respond to this comment

Rhino would have you know...

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

Respond to this comment

Therbs asserts...

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.

Respond to this comment

Rhino asserts...

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

Respond to this comment

David S. mumbles...

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.

Respond to this comment

pi reckons...

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

Respond to this comment

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 :)

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted May 16, 2016
Double huzzahs are in order!

Respond to this comment

insomniac puts forth...

Posted May 16, 2016
I too have purchased

Respond to this comment

Therbs would have you know...

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.

Respond to this comment

Surtac mumbles...

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.

Respond to this comment

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 mumbles...

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.

Respond to this thread

Rhino puts forth...

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 reckons...

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

Respond to this thread

jl reckons...

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.

Respond to this comment

NBlob puts forth...

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?

Respond to this comment

pedrogb would have you know...

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

Respond to this comment

Halwes ducks in to say...

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.

Respond to this comment

Vovchara ducks in to say...

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

Respond to this comment

Therbs reckons...

Posted May 19, 2016
Seconded.

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 19, 2016
Reviews reviews reviews.

Respond to this comment

jl is gonna tell you...

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 has opinions thus...

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

jl has opinions thus...

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.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'A well traveled copy of 'Weapons'.'

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 mumbles...

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

AuntyLou is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2016
With beer!

KreepyKrawly reckons...

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 puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2016
Silk bean bags?

Respond to this thread

Barnesm mutters...

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

WarDog has opinions thus...

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 :-)

Respond to this thread

Dave W mutters...

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

Respond to this comment

Rhino would have you know...

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

Respond to this comment

pitpat would have you know...

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

Respond to this comment

Quokka puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2016
Portuguese custard tarts for all!

Respond to this comment

Therbs reckons...

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

Respond to this comment

davenq reckons...

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 reckons...

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 reckons...

Posted May 15, 2016
You ever done share housing?

Peter in the bleachers puts forth...

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 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 16, 2016
Avoid the film

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

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.

Respond to this thread

Rob Robinson asserts...

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 is gonna tell you...

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 puts forth...

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

Respond to this thread

Marc D reckons...

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.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Thanks!'

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 has opinions thus...

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.

Respond to this comment

insomniac has opinions thus...

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).

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

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 mumbles...

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 ducks in to say...

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?

Respond to this thread

WarDog is gonna tell you...

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/

Respond to this comment

Marzuk would have you know...

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 asserts...

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

Respond to this thread

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

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.






Respond to this comment

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 has opinions thus...

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

Respond to this thread

Marzuk would have you know...

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 ducks in to say...

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 puts forth...

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.

Respond to this thread

Marzuk ducks in to say...

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 mumbles...

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 mutters...

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 is gonna tell you...

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

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Admiral Kohlhammer's beer fridge'

Cairo on sale

Posted May 5, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

Cairo went on sale today. Not that I expect to sell many copies initially, having just given away a couple of thousand freebies. But I do have my schemes and plots and cunning plans.

Initially, the book will only be available on Kindle, specifically in the KDP Select program. This means the Beast of Bezos get’s a grant of exclusivity for three months in return for some promotional juice and a better royalty deal. (Although, to be fair, Amazon’s royalty split is much more generous than any trade publisher).

I figure that having given away so many copies I’m better off parking it in Select for a couple of months until Paris comes out. I can then drop the price from $3.99 to either a buck or even to free. Why do this? Because free downloads count towards a books ‘popularity’ which helps with its visibility on various lists and charts. If you climb those charts you can generate enough momentum to sell a bunch of copies on the downside once you put the price back up again.

I could go into eye watering detail, but I won’t.

I sent out an email asking for reviews to the first 300 subscribers on my mailing list, which basically means to the regular readers of this blog . Again, these help with the arcane business of working the book’s mysterious popularity rating (but not it's sales rank. That is determined only by sales). So if you see this before you get the email, or if the email ends up in your spam trap, feel free to do me the courtesy of a decent reach around.

You'll find it here and on the other end of this Amazon link... (Unless, like me, you have an ad blocker installed. I really must get around to white listing my own site one day.)

I didn’t get much writing done today. I spent most of the day either working on this, writing a quick one-off column for The New Daily, and doing an interview for Channel 9 about Australia Post. Hoping to get back to Paris tomorrow.

30 Responses to ‘Cairo on sale’

pmacleod mumbles...

Posted May 5, 2016
I received one of the freebies, thanks John as I really needed the fix. I rea enjoyed the story as it is as gritty and eatense and credible as all the others in the Axis of time series. The plot builds really strongly and we are faced with your incredible cruelty
To be continued. I realyy appreciate being in your bookclub. The Axis of Time Franchise is my favorite book series I would buy it as soon as it appears anyway

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 6, 2016
Thanks, Mac. Mochas gracias. Which is like the usual gracias, but with chocolate.

Respond to this thread

Sharpy has opinions thus...

Posted May 5, 2016
I have it stacked up on the Kindle ready to go this weekend. I've just finished writing the review on Amazon for you though. Just like most of my uni assignments I never really felt the need to read the source material before writing the task. I'm sure it will be just as good as my review says it will. Hopefully it keeps the Beast's little algorithms ticking along.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 6, 2016
Haha. This reminds me of that time at uni I got drunk with a girl I was chasing and had to write her essay on The Brother's Karamazov because she passed out. I had not then and have still not yet read The Brother's Karamazov, but I got her a good mark.
All I got for myself was a hangover.

Respond to this thread

KreepyKrawly is gonna tell you...

Posted May 6, 2016
Pimped at the beast, Have been telling friends, family and acquaintances of the great adventure within the digital covers that is Cairo.
Hope to see you in the new hovercraft soon... ß-Þ

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 6, 2016
I'll swing by in it and take you out for a spin.

Respond to this thread

Surtac mumbles...

Posted May 6, 2016
Amazon review done. I'd already pimped it at the SF message board I help moderate.

Have you seen the site k-lytics.com John? It supposedly does Kindle sales analytics and reporting. It may be worth a look - Damien Walter has been touting it on Farcebook as being potentially useful for indie authors/publishers.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2016
I'll have a look, Tac. There's a few of these tools around. Hadn't heard of this one.

Respond to this thread

Rhino reckons...

Posted May 6, 2016
Minion task completed, Master.

Respond to this comment

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted May 6, 2016
Pimped on Amazon and Facebook. Work work work. It seems that there just really isn't such a thing as a free lunch.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2016
Ha! The only thing you get for free is the back o' me hand!

Respond to this thread

Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 6, 2016
I see how this works - give em a free taste or two until they are HOOKED, then jack the price up for the addicts hanging for their fix. Too late JB, I'm onto your plan! I bypassed all that and got the habit ages ago! Oh wait....


An aside - I've been rereading Leviathan after a lengthy break of years from the first read...the chapter Only The Strong about Sydney property developers is repeating itself once more here. Only without any form of union opposition. Same old story about greed, government complicity, vested interests and wholesale destruction of icons against the wishes of the majority. Fuck its depressing. You could rewrite the chapter with up to date names and it would ring true.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 6, 2016
I could do that, but it would be hard work.

Respond to this thread

Don Bagert is gonna tell you...

Posted May 6, 2016
So through your post above, you are inviting those not in the first 300 to review? :)

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 6, 2016
Go for it. I'm dividing the mail up into a couple of segments because The Beast's algorithm prefers steady growth to a suspicious spike in sales and reviews. If you're on the list, you will eventually get your begging letter.

Respond to this thread

insomniac would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2016
This is probably more a critique of the beta editing process, or perhaps how I approach the task, but I have read Cairo so many times with such a focus on the individual words that I find myself with only a vague idea of the story, and little desire at present to sit down and read it properly as a novel. The cliche about not being able to see the wood for the trees is very apt.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 6, 2016
Ha! Welcome to my life.

Rhino mutters...

Posted May 7, 2016
One does not whine when one is part of the JBBRHCRC (JB Beta Readers Hard Core Reading Corps).

You will read the story slowly, once, to appreciate our Master's mastery of plot and pacing. You will not read it twice for story as that would be for pleasure and we are NOT in that business.

Then, you delve into looking for the very, very rare typos, plot holes, etc. Most of which are inserted by bugs in the word processing code as our Master is well nigh perfect.

Most of all, you will toil without fail; without whinging; without recompense; and, without acknowledgment. You will be grateful for the opportunity.

Now, get back to it and don't let me see you doing this again.

insomniac mutters...

Posted May 7, 2016
so I probably shouldn't mention the typo I found in SH: Rome?

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted May 8, 2016
that was a Rhino fk up NOT ME!!!

just sayin!!!>...

Respond to this thread

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted May 6, 2016
My liege the deed is done - Cairo review is up, stack of marking is down, Twitter is live and the Cheese is sweet.

Two Brother's beer awaits

Respond to this comment

Sparty reckons...

Posted May 6, 2016
Birmo - The Brother's Karamazov- and I bet you wrote that review purely off having watched the movie cause the Shat and a West world robot was in it....

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 6, 2016
How do you know so much about me?

Respond to this thread

pi would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2016
Hey JB, I learn so much about the whole publishing thing from you with these types of posts. It really is appreciated. The only dead-tree book I plan on buying for the foreseeable future is your how-to tome. Can't wait.

Respond to this comment

Jeats would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2016
I have a really dumb question - when purchasing ebooks, specifically in the epub format, will a need a specific reader or will google reader be able to handle it?

Respond to this comment

Rhino reckons...

Posted May 7, 2016
I gave you the double dip ... I bought it AND downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited.

The equivalent of a Publishing Reach Around.

You're welcome.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 8, 2016
This is why so many aspire to be The Rhino, but only one ever is.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm mutters...

Posted May 7, 2016
Bought an e-copy through Amazon last week when you posted the announcement on facebook. Will add a positive review once they send me the in email, 'you recently purchased Cairo what did you think..?' so it doesn't look suspicious.

Respond to this comment

AuntyLou puts forth...

Posted May 9, 2016
Reviewed as requested. Apologies for being tardy.

Respond to this comment

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien mumbles...

Posted May 10, 2016
Read. Enjoyed. Posted review.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Cairo on sale'

What would Slim Jim do?

Posted April 20, 2016 into Books by John Birmingham

One of my favourite scenes in Cairo actually takes place in London, as Harry walks through the city to his meeting at MI6. He’s drinking a cup of coffee, not tea. He passes by and around people lost inside clunky Walkman analogues, and takes note of the early model consumer electronic goods on display outside a couple of shops. He ponders the weather and the cricket and the news of the day, as anyone might, but it was imagining what might happen in consumer technologies that was so enjoyable in that brief section. I had to put away that speculation for the most part when the narrative engine spun up and we moved into the kinetic phase of the story.

One of the things I’m really looking forward to when I return to writing long form novels in this universe is having a chance to slow down and work these things out on the page. Slim Jim Davidson will reappear in the next book and he’s been doing a lot more than building boutique hotels in Cairo. Slim Jim has a street hustler’s eye for the main chance. He grabbed it in Weapons of Choice and never let go. That’s how he comes to feature as a player in Paris. Intrigued by the future career of Elon Musk, he was an early investor in the private space industry. He launches satellites for profit.

He tried to hire Professor Ernst Bremer once, but the German found him an odious character and judged him unlikely to be worthy of trust.

Slim Jim is just one of many in the corporate realm who has profited massively from the Transition. I’m still working out exactly what it is he’s into. It is easy to move Karen Halabi from a job with Hewlett-Packard’s Combat Optics division, into their satellite business. But someone like Slim Jim, he’d be into everything. He couldn’t help himself. This makes him a great character to explore both the technological and social changes wrought by the Transition after the end of hostilities.

I have a few ideas about what sort of investments his hydra headed omniglobal mega corporation might have got itself into. But I am open to suggestions. If he was into TVs, which would be a huge business in the 1950s, what sort of TVs would they be? He might start off with black-and-white, but by 1955 I imagine he’d be well into colour models, and looking to go flatscreen. Perhaps circuitry would not be miniaturised to the point where he could do that yet, but he’d know it was coming and he’d be hiring the best minds he could to make sure he got there first.

So, a Pepsi challenge for both Paris and the longer books which follow.

What would Slim Jim do?

49 Responses to ‘What would Slim Jim do?’

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 20, 2016
Many thanks for the Paris spoiler, but is he someone with access to the actual tech or does he just know what could exist? I guess I come at it with self-interest as from what you describe in the books it appears that there is a lot of non-technical information available ie historical texts etc, so that says to me, why wouldn't every patent application also be available, and we are talking tens of millions from 1950 to 2021, all right there to be taken up ahead of time, perhaps not with the finer detail, but enough to say let's make this thing, which is a bit more than remembering that you had a 40" flatscreen TV back up in the day.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted April 20, 2016
It's not a spoiler. I'm happy to tease roles for Slim Jim, Halabi, Kolhammer and Ivanov in Paris. But what they actually do, that's another matter.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted April 21, 2016
Now I must offer one thousand apologies because I am an idiot. I have mixed up Rome with Paris.

Respond to this thread

Dailygringo has opinions thus...

Posted April 20, 2016
Never letting go puts me in mind of Taibbi’s ‘vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity’ – Goldman Sachs. Slim would have a far better profile with his keen sense of PR (apologetic check to the granny he stiffed), but ‘too big to fail’ is an idea that would appeal to Slim.
Futuristic credit products, and the trendy technology that provides instantaneous access to them, is just Slim’s way of facilitating the American Dream. He might not have Apple Pay up and running, but the irony ofp thousands of American businesses having full faith in the credit of Slim Jim Savings and Loan would not be lost on him.

Respond to this comment

Stephen reckons...

Posted April 20, 2016
A look at the history of changing TVs from B&W to colour brings to mind that it's driven by what programming is available. I read somewhere that snooker got on TV because they needed some shows where colour was necessary, not just nice to have, to push colour TV.
So if he really wants to push colour TVs, I'm guessing somebody will be needing to make colour programs. There will be money to be made there somewhere, and I can't see him avoiding it.
I'm trying to decide if Pagers would ever be the status symbol they were for a while in our world, or would they skip straight to mobile phones?
There's a progression in tech - year one it sells for a premium, is OK and only professionals can justify the price, year three it is half the price but better (the bugs are gone) and all the big manufacturers make it, years 5-8 you're flooded with cheap, slightly lower quality versions in department stores, and by year ten you get given it free as promotional material. If tech is in fast forward mode, something that lasted for a decade or so for us might be outdated in two-three years for them - which means it might never get into the every family has one part of the cycle.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 21, 2016
I can't see Slim Jim backing Pot Black. Although, he doesn't have to because of all the content which arrived on the servers from 2021.I wonder whether that content would even work with the market of 1955 however. A show like Breaking Bad would probably be considered a threat to national security.

Respond to this thread

Dirk puts forth...

Posted April 20, 2016
"Make what the people need"

The western European wirtschaftswunder was fueled in the 50s and 60s on a couple of things
1. Mechanization of agriculture (combine harvesters were rare her before the Marshall plan, as was fertilizer) allowing more people to seek employment out of growing crops and milking cows and buy feeding them from own soil (autarky) with wholesome cheap food stocks. Think green housing also and renewable energy.

2. Rebuilding the industrial base that was bombed esp. in Germany and the Benelux for building: factories, small low mileage cars, bicycles, building and DIY stuff and implementing mass-production techniques (most german tanks were hand-built in the 40's for ex.)
3. Building a service sector with at its core banking (easy flow of capital) and later on leisure (holidays, camping, cheap sun-holidays in Spain, music, movies etc.)
4. the start of consumer electronics, kicking of with transistor radios, 8 tracks, tv and the first rudimentary video-games (pong) and household appliances (hoovers, coffeemakers, ovens, washing-machines, fridges/freezers etc.)
5. A government sponsored healthcare, pension, insurance and schooling system
6. A roll out of (a car based) infrastructure and repairs to the railways, with a start in commercial aviation. Also sanitation, electricity and running water.
7. Diversification as a trend in business, so make under one umbrella more kinds of products and or services. Wiki keiretsu for that.
8. Weariness of war and the first steps to making a European Union (EC coal and steel), NATO, WEU
9. The discovery of natural gas and oil

You could enhance the growth even more with a few political things that came later here:

a. a single currency
b. free travel (schengen)
c. unfied import and export levies
d. a unified European taxsystem
e. an integrated European wide banking system (IBAN was introduced here only in the 00-s)
f. standardization of items: one type of electrical socket and 1 type of voltage (220V) for example
g. standardization in communications (no more PAL/NTSC/SECAM but like nowadays 1 type of broadcast format; Ditto for phones (GSM), radios (FM/DAB) etc.) and logistics (ISO containers/ STANAG).
h. have building codes upgraded to include future upgrades of housing. For example by installing infrastructure ducts in streets so you can roll out cable or fiber in future for a fraction of the cost. Make roofing on houses face southward to implement solar paneling first for heating water and in the future for electricity (you know it's coming). Also make city-planning future proof in avoiding ghetto's and by adding more parks and recreation area's to it.
i. embed the colonies and a few others into the European union but impose strict oversight. It depends on what status some countries have in this timeline, but for example Israel, Spain, Portugal, Yugoslavia and Lybia spring to mind. Also India, Korea, south Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand should be invited

So onto your question: what is Jim's Spiel?
Have him build a consortium of many aspects. Entertainment, consumer electronics, shipping/logistics, energy, communications, retail. The concept of a one stop shop so to say. Command the whole production-chain.

But he will not be the only big fish in the sea. Ingvar Kamprad, Frits Phillips, Sam Walton, Albert Heijn and Howard Hughes for example will try to do something similar. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrepreneurship for more on that.

ntwinter puts forth...

Posted April 20, 2016
Whole production chain... like it. Brings to mind where I see Amazon heading.Switch that back to the 50's... massive warehouses on another scale, drone delivery, streaming TV, energy (gas/elec) purchasing. You may even be able to buy your favourite AoT book there too :)

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 21, 2016
Sweet baby cheeses, there's a whole book just in this comment.

Dirk asserts...

Posted April 21, 2016
Give me a cameo and i'll rip up the invoice :D

Respond to this thread

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted April 20, 2016
Pharmaceuticals.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted April 20, 2016
I came back to write this precise word. Think blockbuster drugs like the statins or proton pump inhibitors. Antidepressants. Billions right there.

Dirk puts forth...

Posted April 20, 2016
what about "the pill" the kind that girls have ...
or the blue variant :)

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted April 25, 2016
This is a good one, contraception was a huge catalyst for women's lib and making inroads into working life etc. You had a great female mercenary working under Viv, but she's still screwed if she accidentally falls pregnant.

Respond to this thread

Peter in the bleachers mumbles...

Posted April 20, 2016
Mining. Not just coal, iron ore and other base metals but the rare earths required for all the tech that is slowly being developed. All of the mining locations would be in the fleet files. On top of that he would add refineries and manufacturing industries in a vertically integrated supply chain. I'm pretty sure he would be involved in the odd coup or two in Africa/South America to ensure access to the products he needs.

Respond to this comment

Blake swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 20, 2016
The problem with the Musk slim Jim comparison is that Musk is an optimist whose projects have largely touched on making money off making the world a better place. Where Slim Jim is an opportunist who is out to make big bucks.
He might on the side do things that look good, (on the advice of his lawyer publicist( I'm behind on the AoT so not sure if she's still alive). But it's only for public perception.
He will undoubtedly be interested in space, but it will be to leverage off the military contracts to instate GPS and global comms before the others do.
But he will be playing catch up to the big old defence contractors that just inherited a pile of IP.
Tv Programming was mentioned above, but more than that. media. buy Murdoch's empire before he can, leverage public opinion.
Dirk touched on it above and I forget if it was mentioned in WOC. For the long game, buy up resource rich lands and mining grants.
I recall it being mentioned in WOC that he was being monitored and unofficially sanctioned by (I forget the terminology).
But at some point someone is going to want to bring a whole pile of antitrust law down on his head.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted April 21, 2016
"He will undoubtedly be interested in space, but it will be to leverage off the military contracts"
It's like you're looking over my shoulder as I write this thing.

Respond to this thread

DrewfromOz ducks in to say...

Posted April 20, 2016
Satellite TV Porn.
Slim would most probably would find a young Russ Meyer and show him some inspiration from his later work, crossed with a bit of Max Hardcore.

Respond to this comment

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien mutters...

Posted April 21, 2016
1) Vaping - you indicated there's a move to ban tobacco and vapor cigarettes is a lucrative alternative.
2) Auction-style buying (a la Ebay) instead of your average department store or ordering via Sears catalogs.
3) With better media coverage of sports - sales of sports paraphernalia. Jerseys/shirts, shoes, etc. A glance at sports events for 1955 on wikipedia lists the Cleveland Browns winning the SuperBowl, Newcastle beats Man City in the FA Cup, Syracuse Nationals win NBA, even national teams - France beat Wales in the Five Nations' Cup.
Also Adidas and Puma were both based out of Bavaria. No joy if the Soviets rule there, so Slim Jim should fill the void with ease.
4) Online dating. Big bucks right there. And the times are-a-changing.

Respond to this comment

McKinneyTexas mutters...

Posted April 21, 2016
He'd buy a ton of real estate in and around Napa/Sonoma CA, Houston TX and Manhattan.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 21, 2016
And now he has. Thx.

Respond to this thread

Rhino mumbles...

Posted April 21, 2016
One word, son; plastics.

Respond to this comment

jason mumbles...

Posted April 21, 2016
"Who controls the media controls the masses". I think someone said that or it could just be something i said that was unwittingly clever. Slim Jim would be all over newspapers and television stations to control the news and more importantly the advertising. Slim Jim doesn't just want to be rich, he wants to be famous and powerful and beyond the reach of the law. He could then use the media to build any enterprise he wants and destroy his opponents, both commercial and political. Eventually he will marry a Texan super model... oops reality just crossed over for a second.

Dirk mumbles...

Posted April 22, 2016
hmm: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanne_Herring ?

jason asserts...

Posted April 22, 2016
I was thinking more Rupert Murdoch media baron who recently married Jerry Hall.

Respond to this thread

FormerlyKnownAsSimon asserts...

Posted April 21, 2016
Incubator company? Seems to be a good place to be these days investing in and taking a massive slice if they get up. Everybody would have access to the future info but no cash to get up their ideas on the new and wonderful. Money making as well as being seen to 'help society'. You also have your finger in every pie that way. (i'm also a bit behind on AOT, cut my teeth more on Disappearance series, but making up for it). I've also been thinking of changing my handle to FormerlyKnownAsSimon seeing 'Simon' is a pretty generic name! Can i do this?

Respond to this comment

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 22, 2016
FormerlyKnownAs...did you know something that the rest of us didn't?

FormerlyKnownAsSimon ducks in to say...

Posted April 22, 2016
i swear guvnor i didn't touch it! My brother in law accuses me of topping off Bowie as well. We had a Bowie marathon when they visited and three days later the Bowie news broke.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted April 22, 2016
How much do you charge? Asking for a friend.

Peter in the bleachers mutters...

Posted April 22, 2016
I hate to ask but perhaps a Bieber marathon?

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted April 25, 2016
Or perhaps start taking an interest in politics?

Respond to this thread

DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted April 21, 2016
When is some bugger going to introduce Twitter? I've said it before - I'd totally follow Stalin (@progromsarefun) and Beria (@gogulagorgohome) on the Twitterz.

More broadly - I really want to see the exploration of the intertwining of the social with the technological, and how they will feedback on each other. Like the above re the contraceptive pill as just one example.

While the key focus of yours will always be be propelling the story forward - politico-military implications, I think some of the background colour might be the socio-economic/cultural impacts.
Women in particular will see the future and want to leap frog to it. Britain largely missed the chance to make this leap faster post-war: female labour participation fell back to something much closer to pre-war levels than it ought have, this could change. 1950s women will want equal rights, equal pay - heck, even the biggest sleeper issue that held women back in my view - lack of no-fault divorce saw them chained to/dependent upon complete fucktards for at least two generations too long. Remember, women in the civil services (at least in UK, Australia) had to resign when they married!! They'll want that gone. They have role models that have come back, but tey really don't need them, they just need to know what is possible.
I'm sorry the above is off topic - but to try and bring it back - Maybe a sleaze like Jim can see how to exploit this - he can become a rapacious robber baron, cloaked in the (self-generated) disguise as a champion of women's rights??



John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 21, 2016
No, it's not off topic. It's right on message. I use these comments to help frame the later books. And this is a good one.

Marccarno mutters...

Posted April 23, 2016
I think (female equality/'truly' egalitarian society implied by the up timers in AoT) isn't an easy play by any stretch of the imagination, as it requires societal catch up as opposed to manufacturing/technology introduction and as JB inferred often in all the books (most recently Cairo) women in particular resent up timer female emancipation, seeing it as a threat - which aligns to the more conservative culture of the times. As such I don't see anything that takes cultural change being of interest to Slim Jim although I totally get that this could be woven as a longer-running narrative thread.
For me Jim may well look at 'renewables' hybrid cars (just to tank the auto industry as he's always been inclined to give the establishment the finger) could go well in California and have potential, also 'clean' power - relatively easy to build and a good target for power-hungry post war Europe....as well as all those tasty South American 'tinpot Dictatorship' countries that could well be happy dealing with Slim Jim Enterprises and give him enormous power and influence in those countries - something that would appeal (being treated like a South American aristocrat) and simultaneously (because he can and he likes the up timers) doing a sideline in assisting the effective stomping on those escaped Nazis living it up in Argentina.....?

she_jedi asserts...

Posted April 25, 2016
I can see the generation of women who were late teens or adults at the time of the Transition resenting the up time women with all their equality and liberation, because they don't know any better (honestly, my BFF's mother in law recently said that women don't belong on the front lines in the military because they need showers, and therefore they can't deploy for weeks at a time in the bush. My BFF's fiance is in special forces at Campbell barracks here in Perth and he was horrified - he's very much in the "as long as they can do the job they belong there" camp. He likes to point out that a large proportion of the male population can't do the job either, so why assume 100% of women can't?).

However, I can see the next generation, the ones who were in primary school or not even born at the time of the Transition (and you touched on this beautifully in Cairo), adapting to a post transition world without batting an eyelid. And it's THAT generation that's going to be demanding equal rights, contraception, equal representation. And I think Slim Jim will surround himself with ambitious, ruthless young women to run his companies and sit on his boards. Firstly, because he would be aware of the studies that show that having women on boards and in senior management is directly linked to positive company performance and profits, but also because this is the generation that will be butting their heads against the boys' club of the 1950s and 60s, and Slim will hoover up all the best female talent available because all the contemporary misogynists in charge of companies and governments will ignore them. And then he'll use them to wipe the floor with the old school companies, inherited IP or no inherited IP. I don't see Jim as an ideologue, he's a ruthless pragmatist, and he'll use anything at his disposal that will get results. I can see large swathes of his companies being managed entirely by women.

Respond to this thread

Stephen Portelli mutters...

Posted April 21, 2016
Control global communication? Internet, news, etc. Kick start the net, provide the sat links & the tech platforms and make the punters pay. Hardware can be copied by any back street jobbing shop, but being the only tech service provider requires a huge start up wallet and a massive barrier to entry for competitors.
The diversification and spinoffs would be massive.

Respond to this comment

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

Posted April 22, 2016
1) Fast food - April 15, 1955 the McDonald's Corporation is formed in Illinois. Slim Jim can do burgers or some healthy variety. 'Course we gotta watch out for the copyright issues on Slim Jim beef jerky ;-)

2)Depending on how much information came down from 2021, would people be interested in what happens to them and their progeny in that particular future? Ancestor research is a big business in our time. Would "descendant research" be of interest/profit? Would 21 year old Betty Sue Thompson want to know who she marries, how many kids they have, etc, etc?

Macwin mumbles...

Posted April 22, 2016
Touching on the ancestry aspect I have always imagined something like an 'Office of future history' where peeps would trawl through every line of information from the future and put all the future 'influential' kids into a Charles Xavier type X-men type university.

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted April 22, 2016
He'd assemble a fkn team of FKRS like these and FK UP ALL who fkn stand in his fkn way!.
FK YEAH!
https://www.funker530.com/the-most-infantry-mission-brief-that-ever-happened/

Respond to this comment

Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted April 22, 2016
Finance. For a piece of the action every time. Venture capitalist to the max. His very own Shark Tank, say a committee of like minded sharks with his being the veto and final say. Then he would truly be in everything, he'd bring them to him, feed the punters some uptime direction and maybe tech and funding. It would all be about having his team of venture capitalists beholden to him and him alone. Then he's into the lot - media, banking, agribusiness, mining, software, hardware, even harderware like Krupps/Northrop/Grumman/etc., pharmaceuticals, entertainment, publishing, you name it.

Respond to this comment

Don Bagert puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2016
I'm assuming that Slim Jim is a sports fan and so can work with Maria O'Brien to be out front in this future multitrillion-dollar industry. Mark McCormack started IMG in 1960 with one client: Arnold Palmer. Maria and Slim Jim can work with him to speed up the expansion of the sports management industry. Or, realizing that Major League Baseball is going to stand fast against free agency, to start a new baseball league with an early expansion to the west coast, more recruitment of black and Latino ballplayers (Baseball Commissioner Judge Landis, a who was blocking integration of the sport, would have probably live beyond 1944 in the post-Transition world), as well as having better dealing with an earlier-emerging Players' Union with a long Marvin Miller as its head. And that's just baseball - there's so much fertile ground in the sports industry post-WW2.

Respond to this comment

sjg mutters...

Posted April 23, 2016
He would be involved with companies that provide materials to the nuclear industry, and the moment Maria O'Brien turned her back, he would get himself into trouble making shady deals with characters from countries subject to sanctions

Respond to this comment

Gutz asserts...

Posted April 24, 2016
Sharks with Frikken Lazsers!

Respond to this comment

JG mutters...

Posted April 24, 2016
I think Slim Jim would use advances in technology for gathering data not only about consumer behaviour, but also to blackmail highflyers. He'd use tracking devices and hack into people's TVs so as to observe their private lives. I think he'd be able to blackmail Bremmer and others.
Televisions could be used for Slim Jim's propoganda campaigns (via insidious means) and personal agendas, along with intelligence gathering. He'd be right into making the most of Big Brother, before downtimers knew the full capabilities of uptimer technologies.
Joanna

Respond to this comment

dweeze would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2016
What about lower down the food chain? Recipes for crank, meth, ice, ice baby etc would be available. How much of the war displaced populace would be ripe for the plundering from someone with a lust for cash and power? Maybe slip some extra addictive goodness into the McFatFood chains...

she_jedi asserts...

Posted April 25, 2016
This is a fantastic point; Jim could get control of the black markets in opiates before the cartels do. He could practically colonise Afghanistan under the guise of developing poppy farms for legit pharmaceutical purposes, then launder the heroin money via his legit businesses.

Respond to this thread

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted April 26, 2016
Corn syrup, in fact, grow a shit load of corn and using uptime technology take over significant segments of the global food market.
Be the man who took steps towards solving hunger, especially in the post-war environment.

Respond to this comment

Steve mutters...

Posted April 28, 2016
Don't get too far ahead of yourself on the electronics. There is no way they'll have flatscreens that soon. Classic TVs very more sophisticated at the end than you may think. The electronics (expect for the screen itself) were already fully digitalized. They were a far cry from their analog predecessors.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'What would Slim Jim do?'