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Smashdragons reviews The Dave

Posted January 12, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

One of the nicest reviews yet.

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

15 Responses to ‘Smashdragons reviews The Dave’

Rob has opinions thus...

Posted January 12, 2015

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

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

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Sennafumi would have you know...

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

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

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

Sennafumi puts forth...

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

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

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

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Matte ducks in to say...

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

John Birmingham reckons...

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

NBlob asserts...

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

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted January 13, 2015

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

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

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

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

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted January 13, 2015

No I am afraid I cannot as

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

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

<div class="original-line">

NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 13, 2015

Huzzah Sir Huzzah.

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

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

Anyone want an XL hair shirt? Never used.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 13, 2015

Damn Straight!

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

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w from brisbane mutters...

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

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Respond to 'Smashdragons reviews The Dave'

The superhero moment

Posted January 7, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

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

“Diwan; Sliveen priestess. Diwanum (pl)

Gurikh: warrior spirit…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neither of them are well suited to their fate.

64 Responses to ‘The superhero moment’

Blarkon is gonna tell you...

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

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

John Birmingham mumbles...

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

Blarkon ducks in to say...

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

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

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Barnesm mutters...

Posted January 7, 2015

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

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

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Murphy ducks in to say...

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

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Blake reckons...

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

Bunyip has opinions thus...

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

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GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted January 7, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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


Sudragon puts forth...

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

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted January 8, 2015

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

Sudragon ducks in to say...

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

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w from brisbane asserts...

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

Nocturnalist reckons...

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

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

JG ducks in to say...

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

Blarkon puts forth...

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

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Pete has opinions thus...

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

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Sparty is gonna tell you...

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

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Sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

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

w from brisbane mutters...

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

Darth Greybeard would have you know...

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

Anthony ducks in to say...

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

Anthony swirls their brandy and claims...

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

insomniac would have you know...

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

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Nocturnalist would have you know...

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

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

John Birmingham would have you know...

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

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 8, 2015

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

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

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

Darth Greybeard reckons...

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

Barnesm reckons...

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

Sudragon has opinions thus...

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

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

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

Sudragon is gonna tell you...

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

Nocturnalist puts forth...

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

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

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

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Therbs mumbles...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

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

insomniac puts forth...

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

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

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

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

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

Batman made himself into Batman.

The Silver Surfer chose to become Galactus' herald.

Accidental involves lack of purpose, design or volition.

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

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

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

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

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

Sudragon puts forth...

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

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted January 9, 2015

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

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

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

Barnesm reckons...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

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

It was a disaster. No one took me seriously.

insomniac would have you know...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

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

NBlob reckons...

Posted January 9, 2015
With pants come dignity.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

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

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Sparty asserts...

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

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Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

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

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

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

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

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Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

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

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

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

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

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

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

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

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

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

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

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

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

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

Sudragon mutters...

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

ShaneAlpha would have you know...

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

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

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

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

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

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insomniac would have you know...

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

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Propnut mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2015

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



John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

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

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insomniac reckons...

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

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Respond to 'The superhero moment'

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

Posted January 2, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

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

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

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

- Rosamund Pike as Emmeline, in 'Resistance.'

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

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

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

Of his super dick.

Again, there’s two questions there.

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

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

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

tqft ducks in to say...

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

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Therbs reckons...

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

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted January 2, 2015
Dave is such a Hancock

John Birmingham reckons...

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

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

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

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

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

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

she_jedi mutters...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

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

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

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

See JB? We've fixed your ending :)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

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

Anthony mumbles...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

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

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

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

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w from brisbane reckons...

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

Darth Greybeard would have you know...

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

Anthony swirls their brandy and claims...

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

Therbs reckons...

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

she_jedi ducks in to say...

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

Therbs would have you know...

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

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Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

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

NBlob asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015

La Frog Princess may be needed.


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Duchess Jo puts forth...

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

she_jedi would have you know...

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

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

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Sparty2 would have you know...

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

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she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Birmingham mutters...

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

she_jedi puts forth...

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

John Birmingham would have you know...

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

she_jedi has opinions thus...

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

NBlob mumbles...

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

she_jedi would have you know...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

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

she_jedi mumbles...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

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

NBlob is gonna tell you...

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

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she_jedi asserts...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

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

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

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

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

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

she_jedi would have you know...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

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

she_jedi asserts...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

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

NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2015
It changed my life.

she_jedi puts forth...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

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

Halwes reckons...

Posted January 4, 2015

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

NBlob mumbles...

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

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Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

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

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

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

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

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

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Trashman swirls their brandy and claims...

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

Where's the love JB???

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 3, 2015
My editors took it all

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Sam mumbles...

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

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

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

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

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

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Therbs mumbles...

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

John Birmingham puts forth...

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

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GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted January 4, 2015

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

John Birmingham asserts...

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

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Therbs asserts...

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

John Birmingham asserts...

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

Darth Greybeard reckons...

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

Bangar ducks in to say...

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

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Darth Greybeard mutters...

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

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

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

John Birmingham mutters...

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

Therbs puts forth...

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

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

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

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

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

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

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

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

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


NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 5, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

she_jedi mutters...

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

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

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

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

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

insomniac mutters...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

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

insomniac reckons...

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

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 5, 2015

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

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

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

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

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

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

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

Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

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

Bunyip mumbles...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

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

NBlob would have you know...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

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

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GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted January 5, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

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

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2015


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

GhostSwirv over and out of range

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

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

Therbs has opinions thus...

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

Bunyip mutters...

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

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

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JG mumbles...

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

JG asserts...

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

NBlob mutters...

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

JG has opinions thus...

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

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

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

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Peter in the bleaches puts forth...

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

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 6, 2015
Yep. Completely different.

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Sparty reckons...

Posted January 5, 2015
Fan Fic competition please!

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

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 6, 2015

Excited much?

Sparty

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Gutz mumbles...

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

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Sparty mutters...

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

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Murphy has opinions thus...

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

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 7, 2015
Hahahahahaha

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Ted Chadd asserts...

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

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

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

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

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

Just sayin...

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

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

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

Emergence. The Dave's first spoiler thread

Posted January 1, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

The time has come to throw open the sluice gates on Spoiler Dam. If you haven’t finished Emergence I’d advise you to stay the Hell away from the next couple of blog entries.

It’s been a week since The Dave arrived amongst us and the most pleasing thing for me has been the number of readers who’ve finished the book in just a couple of sittings. A few even ploughed through it all in one go on Christmas Day.

I didn’t set out to write a page turner this time. Seriously, I didn’t. What I wanted with this series was to write a fantasy book that I’d like to read. I’ve left behind my infamously ignorant dislike of any stories with magic in them, or at least I hope I have. I still mostly read SF or non fiction to relax, but Steve Stirling and later Peter V Brett have given me to understand that a little slice and dice action with a smattering of magic can be enormous fun. Peter F Hamilton seems to have gone the full mash up in his later Commonwealth novels.

With Dave I wanted to play in that field but also do a few other things. A couple of years ago I tried to interest my publishers in an updated ‘Flashman’ style character. I failed. But that failure sent me back to my note pad in effort to understand why and to come up with a character who could embody all of the best worst elements of George McDonald Fraser’s anti-hero, without falling afoul of what some call modern political correctness, but which I think of as merely being modern manners.

Dave is my Flashman.

He is also, as I said in the acknowledgments an attempt to reframe one of the greatest frustrations I have with both SF and fantasy - the idea of the unslayable monster. Dr Who, especially in the Lethbridge-Stewart era, exemplified this. You had UNIT, a specially designed special forces outfit, tasked with fighting aliens and monsters. They had all of the killing power then available to an advanced industrial civilisation. And not once do I recall them even scratching one of the big bads.

Not good enough, Doctor. Simply not good enough. This whole thing reached an apotheosis for me with Reign of Fire. I went into that film expecting to enjoy two hours of dragons being torn apart by heat seeking missiles. I left gravely disappointed.

Dave is my answer to this.

And finally, Dave is the book I should have written when I first decided to write thrillers. It’s funny. Deliberately, calculatedly funny. It’s been a pleasure to see how much people have enjoyed laughing their way through this book. The next two instalments are even funnier.

I started out as a comic writer, at least in books. It’s what I was first known for, and to a lot of people it’s what I should have stuck to. But that way lies stagnation and boredom. I had to take the business of thrillers seriously, before I could relax enough to start being funny again. I also needed to find the right voice tell that sort of story.

Dave has that voice. And there are a few more coming to join him.

123 Responses to ‘Emergence. The Dave's first spoiler thread’

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1, 2015
It becomes a page turner. For me it started slow, even with Dave killing Urgon on the rig. Even the lols were spaced apart. At about the halfway mark it started as accelerating in action and lols. I read the last half in one sitting. I like the parallels between Dave and the Thresh. The sole survivor aspect, the font of knowledge regarding the opposition, and the leading the pack but not leading thing, being pushed to the front albeit reluctantly. Using the language of the blog, blunty, popular culture brings a plain englishness simplicity and beauty to the writing as well. It is so hard to pull off but you have done it and done it well. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and wish the next wasn't so far off. ThanksI also found a couple of typos if you are interested. I believe the candy stripper should be a candy striper, and a Fangr is missing an r on p227.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted January 1, 2015
I am so glad you picked up on the similarities between Dave and the thresh. I actually didn't until I'd written half the book, but when I did, that link revealed itself as a whole subtext that could underpin the series. It becomes very important in the later books, the next of which you'll be able to read at the end of Feb.

Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted January 1, 2015
Oh damn. Knowing Dave I thought she really was a candy stripper.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 1, 2015
I have a fever. And the only prescription is more thresh.

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Mayhem has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
Confession time! I wasn't sure I'd enjoy this book, and to start with I didn't. I tend to visualise what I'm reading, and frankly, I don't enjoy blood and gore.
However, unlike some, I persevered! I was intrigued when Dave woke up in the hospital with nary a scratch. I was hooked when it became obvious that he had been physically and psychically altered by his encounter with, and defeat of Urgon.
I also wanted to know what happened to Dave's crew mates. Good to know that Vince and J2 and others made it out. I'm hoping that their roles will be expanded in the forthcoming sequels?! Of Dave's new posse, I'm only hating on Compton at the moment, so hopefully he'll be sliced right through the neckbeard.
Then there's Lucille! What an awesome name, though I'll admit to a brief vision of Ricky Ricardo bouncing around singing "Loooossssiieee I'm hoooommme". Feel free to blame that on the lateness of the hour, and my medication. Nonetheless I have decided that my new Robomaid will be named Lucille! (You have to name them, it's in the instructions). Back on topic, there's obviously a lot more to Lucille than meets the eye. I'm sure that we'll learn more about her in time??!!?
If I had a complaint, just a teensy niggle, it's that I hate when writers use tongue twister names. Htoth, for example. How exactly DO you pronounce that. OTOH, that's the only one that really annoyed me, hopefully, there won't be too much more of that in the sequels.
Overall, once I got past my initial squeamishness, I found the story a lot of fun. I like Dave, warts and all. Even a hero needs a bit of hookers and blow to wind after a hard day battling the Horde.

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
Try sneezing it. "h'TOTH!" (bless you)

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1, 2015
Yep, the Beard got it

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 1, 2015
And hate on Compton all you like. I have something special planned for him. You will literally never guess.You're right about Lucille, too. There is a lot more to her than meets the eye.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 1, 2015
I'm hoping Compton gets eaten by the Low Queen.

Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted January 1, 2015
So she's an autobot?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 1, 2015
Are you referring to the Low Queen or to Lucille?

Mayhem is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1, 2015
Goody! I may literally never guess what's going to happen to Compton, but could he maybe Die with a Felafel in his hand? Horribly?

tqft puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2015
I am hoping Compton holds out on necessary info so dave slices him to suck all the knowledge out

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 1, 2015
I detested the comedy, as a person of my dignity and bearing must admit. It distracted me from the implicit sex and the explicit violence. I primarily read this thing in airport lounges, car rental queues and courtrooms waiting for my case to be called. Every time I laughed out loud involuntarily it resulted in social - and, when in court, professional - embarrassment. One judge in LA asked me if I wanted to "share the joke with everyone." I said no.

Notwithstanding my personal distaste for Mr. Birmingham's attempts to be "funny" I do have some favorite lines, including but not limited to:

“Damnedest thing I’ve ever seen,” he said again and again. “And I grew up in Baltimore.”

“It was a Hunn. Some sort of soldier beast or demon or something. Orc’s close enough, I guess, if you really want to get sued by the Tolkien estate.”

“He knew the difference between appropriate and inappropriate boners.”

“Secondary source material yields answers with ease to those who are functionally literate.”

“Listen to Professor Compton, would you? He’s a professor and he has a neck beard. You don’t so he wins this round." [This is the one that almost got me cited for contempt of court.]

“Be very quiet. Hunting wabbits. I know. I’m on it.”

“She smirked, all ham and wry.”

“His problem is he never gets laid, Dave thought.”

“Hello, Hooper. I see you’re still hanging around like a fart in a telephone booth.”

“She had her autism to make her a little scary.”

“Better to just take off and nuke them from orbit,” Dave said.
“Only way to be sure.” Igor grinned.

“Monster first. Hotties later.”

“Yeah. Be cool. Super Dave’s got this.”

“Talons screeched on tiles as the creature scrabbled for purchase.” [A fucking piece of poetry.]

“He was just a casual chocolate-lovin’ mother- fucker, was all.”

"Cock-punching an enormous monster penis was among the most unpleasant things he’d ever had to do in his life.:

“Dave roared his own shkriaa as the great wedge of American steel sliced through the BattleMaster’s armor, hide, sinew, and bone, bisecting him diagonally from shoulder to hip in a geyser of blood and horror.” [More poetry.]

And my favorite –

“Maybe a lawyer would be better.”

I have a personal observation: the most important character in the whole book is someone we didn't see even once - Annie's douche bag lawyer, Vietch. It was Dave's hatred for this guy that pushed him over the top, providing him with the mojo Dave needed to charge at and kill Urgon. If not for Vietch, Dave would have been killed and eaten.

insomniac asserts...

Posted January 1, 2015
In attempts to talk to my ex about the kids, I understand the pent up rage Dave experiences. You know how people joke about not being able to hang up a cordless phone; phone meet edge of coffee table is an effective method, often resulting in the purchase of a new phone.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
Hahaha. I forgot some of those.

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
"...where the broken seat spring speared into his butt like the shrimp fork of an angry little vengeance demon."
That was my first laugh out loud really loudly moment. I also loved "penile biohazard".

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
I can't remember the first time I laughed out loud. I started highlighting stuff that jumped out after quite a few pages fairly late in the book.

Actually, my favorite laughs were realizing that the "red-roofed stone temple" was a McDonald's and the "ruined village" was a construction site. I've never read such strong POV. Most authors give hints that allow the reader to know what the non human characters encountering human works and culture are looking at. Not this time, and it was great. Really powerful demon POV. Every time the demons were present in the book.

pitpat has opinions thus...

Posted January 2, 2015
' He knew that the way he knew that burgers needed beer'

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Yes!!!! I remember that one but couldn't find it.

Although, I don't know if I can place my lips on a bottle of Old Persuader any time soon...

Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2015
Couldn't help but trot out the Old Persuader, eh?I read purely for pleasure, and there was plenty in this, thank you. It was one of those reads that I read only at that time with very little retained so I am actually looking forward to a re-read over the next 3 weeks sometime.I look forward to learning more about the monsters as well - I guess you can often do more with them than the humans.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted January 2, 2015
Ole Persuader is a character in his own right!
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Mayhem swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
As is the Blubber Eel.

Duchess Jo puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2015
That was my first lol too she_jedi, and I believe the first Whedonism of the book.

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted January 1, 2015
The humor has always been there. When I picked up WoC, one of the things that kept me reading was that there was a humor behind it that was sorely lacking in SF/Technothrillers - which always took themselves so *seriously*.
The experiment with the politically incorrect hero will be an interesting one. My feeling is that the "gatekeepers" of SF/F today are more concerned with a work's progressive credentials than they are with plot, characterization, and style - and that they will attack the work based upon the character's attitudes (rather than the authors).
(There was an interesting study that I saw referenced that showed that even when an audience sees that someone in an experiment is asked to argue a viewpoint that they personally disagree with, the majority of the audience ascribes that viewpoint to the person. Which may explain why authors are believed to have the same opinions of their characters)
Of course as you're aiming at a mainstream market, you may neatly sidestep all the confected rage suggesting that a flawed fictional character represents the subconscious predilections of the author.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted January 1, 2015
Yeah, we've discussed this. Murph will probably side with you, but I don't expect it to be a big deal. I don't move in those circles and these books are meant to be sold at Walmart. Interestingly, the publishers were alive to the issue. There was an entire character arc I had to remove from Emergence because it revealed Dave to be a casual racist. Guilty about it, and defensive, but still a congenital bigot beneath all of his 'modern manners', such as they are.It was, in draft, a hugely important element of the tension between Dave and Heath. The publishers accepted that. Acknowledged it. And still asked me to take it out, because of the reasons you cite.They were my US pubs. The Australians cared less about that than they did Dave's homophobia. They dialled that back too, although it is still there and becomes a crucial element of book 2. The problem with having a 'perfect' unflawed hero is that he or she has nowhere to grow.

Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 1, 2015
Hope it isn't an issue as you don't deserve the crap.
As someone recently said, social media has acceleratedthe "death of context" - where as snippet is posted and outrage expressed with few going back to the source to understand the context of the snippet.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 1, 2015
I would have welcomed Dave as a casual racist. So many Americans are and don't realize it. It would have added another flaw to an already delightfully flawed character. Dave is appealing because he is flawed, because he is human. And it would have made for some interesting introspection with the potential for change as the story evolved.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1, 2015
My point, 'zactly. But the editors, probably wisely, took Orin's instead.

Mayhem reckons...

Posted January 1, 2015
What PNB said.

damian mutters...

Posted January 1, 2015
The introspection and transformation thing - I reckon it's there anyway. But yeah, totally. The cool thing is having the characters' flaws draw out the readers', and then their growth provides an avenue for the reader to grow too, not directly confrontational and that is the way people do seem to work on being better people. Not that this sort of book should be didactic as such, it's just an interesting side effect of good humour and anti-heroes.

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted January 1, 2015
It won't matter that the references were removed. Someone will infer them where they do not textually exist anyway.
And if the novels end up at Wal-Mart, as some of the Stross novels have, then you have won. They'll sell. Trust me.
As for the Tempest in a Teacup, Anxiety Annie Brigades, the less one invests in them, the better.
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 1, 2015
Return to a comic voice - very welcome. There are already too many serious things in the world.

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Berto puts forth...

Posted January 1, 2015
Yes Compton/Harold ( from neighbours ) does deserve a kick in the nuts but without him starting a war we wouldn't get another two books.I can't say I have really warmed to any characters yet as I did with the Rhino or Jules but I do like the Thresh he is Gollum like in his sneaky self serving ways.

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Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
So if Dave is your Flashman, John, who's your McAuslan? :)

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Therbs reckons...

Posted January 1, 2015
I agreed with Compton getting the gunships to chop up the horde. They were never gonna go back and tell their bitch queen what happened without her sending more of those damn hangover gorillas back into our world.The thresh is gonna come up with all sorts of sneaky shenanigans. I can see it becoming the demons' Time Magazine "Monster of The Year", the talk of the bloodpots.Lucille, Dave's circuit to demon lore, massive hunger and monster size boners. What a gal.And dragons. Fkn firebreathing oversized flying lizards. Interesting to see if any F35's go up against them. My one criticism is that this book seemed too short.That's it, time to go and get rid of my own NYE hangover gorillas.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1, 2015
It is shorter than the previous books,by about one whole Felafel. Partly that's about Amazon's algorithms. Partly about the franchise character format. With Dave as the only (human) PoV you just don't get the multiple story arcs that fatten up the previous series. That's both a good and bad thing. I found the first 12 months on this series really hard work because as often and as desperately as I begged the publishers to let me to the supporting cast in PoV, they said no. These are Dave's books.It meant I had a lot of trouble understanding the other characters. It wasn't writing them so I wasn't getting inside their heads. It was a particular issue with Emmeline. In the end I had to redo some chapters in their voices, and write other unpublished chapters from their PoV just to find wtf they were thinking. As an upside, all that work means ebooks! None of them from Dave's perspective.

Abe Frellman mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
As I was reading your response to Therbs, JB, I thought, 'Surely that would lend itself to ebooks from the perspectives of each of the Scooby Gang?'
Huzzah!

Therbs would have you know...

Posted January 1, 2015
I originally thought about waiting a few months and getting all three at once but,well, screw that. Interesting about the cuts and writing the extra POV's. E-books ftw.Also I reckon it seemed short because it flows well which means quicker reading.

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted January 2, 2015
The monsters are almost the most interesting characters to me. They've been penned up down there (and how big is "down there"?) for about 10,000 years yet there are hints that some of them may remember the surface, not just through inherited or race memory but in person. Despite their vaguely gorilla/baboonish appearance, their internal organs and eye-stalks etc argue something utterly different from and perhaps unrelated to any other earth life. And all that pales before their society. So many nerd questions...
  • There are no (obviously) female ur Hunn though from the junk-punching (snicker) they display sexual dimorphism. How do they reproduce? A bee-like queen producing eggs for Fangr, Hunn, Threshrend etc? That would produce an almost all-male society (boring) which, if they had human attributes, might explain the hunting/fighting obsessions.
  • They seem to have a pretty rigid code of honour, samuri style. That, as in medieval Japan, might act to stabilise a feudal type society, along with long lifespans and the two-edged sword of race memory.
  • And what are their lifespans? How about technology? They have some metallurgy but is that it? Do they ride those dragons? Do they have written language or is that unnecessary in a culture with psychic communication, even between different castes. Such questions, so nerd.
And Therbs, while I see that Compton's attack was necessary as a plot device, I disagree that he should have done it in practical terms. Given what we know about the Daemons, they might very well have stuck to the bargain and pulled back permanently. Bushido and all. But now we're oathbreakers, enemies without honour to be defeated, degustated and defecated in that order.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
All good questions, good points. I, Boylan, approve.

But you left out possibly the most important question: what the fuck is a "Sky Lord" and do we really want to know? I am damned curious, but, deep down, I hope we never find out. Like the cause for "the Wave" in the After America series, it can and possibly should be a means to an end that creates a mystery that will never be solved.

Because it cannot be solved to anyone's satisfaction. The mystery is powerful and endless. The answer would be inescapably trite, a inevitable denouement.

Unless it isn't. Maybe John can pull it off. If he goes that way, I sure hope it isn't super powerful alien protectors of Mankind.

Unless it is Zenu. That would be fairly funny.

pitpat mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2015
And what about when the sun comes up ?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
Then the monsters fry. My guess it is ultra violet sensitivity.

Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2015
Perhaps the mysterious Skylords caused the WAVE? I wouldn't put it past John to hint at a link.

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2015
Clearly anyone who does not know who "Sky Lord" is has missed the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Groot vs the Daemons?

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted January 2, 2015
Skylords are from a time travelling aircraft carrier.

tqft ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
SkyLords was going to be my question.
I have an idea though. Given that the physics of planets doesn't really allow for the Thresh to be below. Some transdimensional shenanigans needs to be happening. That makes it amenable to magic (Thresh) and tech (humans).

pi puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2015
I gotta admit, I was thiking about it from Compton's point of view at the end. Why have a truce? Why not try and kick their ass?

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Duchess Jo mutters...

Posted January 1, 2015
I loved it. Devoured it in two sittings, and that's not something I do much these days. Loved the mix of humour, action, personality, and a paucity of detailed description that nimbly avoided clashing with my imagination.
I have a thing to say though. It took me a while to find words for it. I'm anticipation blowback, but I'll plough ahead whatever and if you don't like it you can take it out on whatever alien life form makes itself available.
I'm female, and that's probably not your target audience. Fine - I'm used to that - can't please everyone - etc. But my enjoyment was hampered by necessarily identifying with the female characters. They got to say a few clever things, get unwittingly (perhaps) close to a superhuman boner and then not have any fun with it, muck about with iPads, and throw a punch (woot!). So my reading experience was the kind of fun you get watching other people have a great adventure, while you sit there feeling kind of clever (Jargon Lady - lol) with an unrequited lady boner. Sigh.
Thanks though - it really is a fab book : )

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
Nah, I get that. Two things. Think of Emergence as Part 1. There is another female character coming at the end of Part 2 who so dominates and constrains Dave that most of the copy edit in Part 3 involved making her less awesome.There's also an important Emmeline arc in book 2 that starts to frame Dave's women problem are something a little more serious than just being a douche bag.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 1, 2015
Oh, and that female character is getting her own ebook.

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
I agree somewhat with the Duchess; same issue, being a female reader my perspective is slightly different to the target audience. I skew toward more "masculine" style entertainment in my movies and books, so I'm used to having only one or two female characters in a sea of testosterone to relate to, and when those female characters begin to kick arse it's all the more enjoyable for their scarcity, however much I want them to be in the majority.
I think the difference for me, having followed the gestation of Dave so closely on the blog, is reading it in the knowledge that this was part 1 of the trilogy, and its role is to set the scene, create the conflict, and introduce the main players. So I accepted the constraints this placed on the first book and appreciated it for the role it has to play in order to bring us parts 2 & 3. If Emmeline didn't get more page time and more opportunities to unleash that epic intellect of hers in the next one I would have been disappointed but you've reassured me. Also I would have been deeply shocked if you had gone full boys club in this one, after Caitlin, Jules and the smorgasbord of strong female officers in Axis of Time.
One of the things i enjoyed the most in the Axis of Time trilogy was the contrast between the 21st century women and the 1940s men, and the shock, outrage and fear that this produced on either side. It really showed how far we've come in the last 50 years, even if sometimes it feels we've not come far enough.
Anyway, getting back to the Dave, I enjoyed the evolution of my affection for Dave. It went from mild pity and repulsion at the beginning, where he really demonstrates how deeply flawed and self destructive he is, to fully cheering the dawning of his new self awareness and the emerging potential of his redemption. I found myself hoping his kids end up with a functional father they can be proud of. You captured that guilt, defiance, and self contempt of a failed parent really well, but didn't smack us in the face with it every time we needed to be reminded that Dave is a douche, but just had it threaded gently throughout the story. This enabled me to simultaneously agree that Dave was a douche, cheer him on his evolution, and hope for Emmeline's sake she gets to go full academic on his superman boner at some stage.
That's some feat of balancing different elements of story and character, and really really clever writing. I really loved this book. I shotgunned it in two days because I had work commitments, but now I'm re-reading it in the analogue version more slowly so I can appreciate it properly this time. I can't wait for the next one. I'm so grateful that I only have to wait a couple of months for the next installment, and not a year+ the way publishing schedules usually seem to work.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
I know, I know - your screen name is indicative, but I thought you were a bloke (with a strong feminine side).

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
They way it's working at the moment in book 2 Dave thinks his super hero embiggening is going to free him from all the women who wouldn't Let Dave Be Dave. By the end of the series... Not so much. Can't really explain without getting into big spoilers, but Murph will confirm that Dave gets a schoolin'

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1, 2015
All right, I'm looking forward to Dave getting a schoolin'!

Professor Boylan, I'm strangely tickled that you thought I was a bloke with a strong feminine side :)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
I'm glad you are delighted. It makes me feel very out of touch.

Murphy reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
Dave receives a fair bit of compulsory, unwanted education and not just from strong women.
It tends be very much akin to water upon a rock with The Dave.
Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

pedrogb ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Ok, so a couple of places back JB mentions Dave being embiggened. JB, is there, by any chance, any cromulate performances in the 2nd coming of Dave? Cause that would make my year.And I read Emergence twice before end of Christmas Day,(cause I have one of those jobs, picture Homer at his control panel, 7 hours work on Christmas eve and a few Xmas day meant I got lots of reading done and my favourite new expression is "cockchafer"I was laughing out loud at the panel, the person inside the chamber was questioning "what was going on out there?"Can't wait for No.2

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted January 2, 2015
You will just have to wait, Pedro. But not for long.

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morrie has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
Was great. Went thru it in three days, even with relos from the east and kid wrangling. Really liked the context issue that came up - the seals had trained but not for this context.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted January 1, 2015
I greatly enjoyed it. More than anything else I've read with *Magical Themes* in a decade or more. Prof Boylan nailed some but not all of my favourite lines. The return to Birmo Laffs is very welcome. Must be hard not to cut a line on the 4th or 5th read when all the laughs have worn off.
More to come but my 1st offering.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 1, 2015
Take 5Required excessive tweaking, as cut & posterised from Ifondle notepad. If this don't work imagunna freak.

NBlob reckons...

Posted January 1, 2015
Fk this.The Wah you just made the list.

NBlob mutters...

Posted January 1, 2015
Negative ghost rider, I am crisped up like a sourdough crouton. The Arsehat Armada are out in force.I'm trying to post, but for some reason the Gate Ghoul is bouncing me. Either by consuming my layout or rejecting it all together.Let's try again.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
Nope.Is there a maximum number of *return* in a post? I'm trying to post lyrics. It ain't happening.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
Are you pasting from Word? That won't work.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
Nope, note pad on fondle slab

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Something odd has happened with returns not producing line breaks. You can force a line break by inserting br between < and > at the end. (I can't just type
because that's what it does.)

she_jedi mutters...

Posted January 2, 2015
Yes! That's why my neatly formatted post on the female perspective ended up as one long rant and not carefully considered paragraphs. Although I've discovered if you enter twice it'll add a single line break. Go figure.

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Abe Frellman has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
Really enjoyed it, especially the clever use of voice. (Just magick.)
I did have a question about the minions, but the good thing with iBooks is that you can run a search and it turns out that you'd already answered it when the minion eaten by the Thresh was introduced.
(ie: Minion do indeed seem to be subordinate to the same queen as the rest of them.)

Abe Frellman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 1, 2015
PS Yay for us... Nobody has mentioned the 'lady boner'.

Abe Frellman mutters...

Posted January 1, 2015
D'oh!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 1, 2015
I didn't mention the 'lady boner" because there is no such thing. It is a cruel and mean spirited myth.

insomniac mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
That's what someone who hasn't been on the end of one would say.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 1, 2015
Thank you so much for making me feel sexually inadequate/inexperienced.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted January 1, 2015
No problemo

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
I asked my wife about that "lady boner" thing.

What are you, sick or something??

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
That is an interesting response. She may just be answering your needs as a man.
Whenever I go to the doctor, ie I'm sick, and my wife asks what the doctor said, I always respond with, "He said we have to make love vigorously every day". She cares not for the opinion of medical men, but it seems your wife might.

Brother PorkChop asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015
I worked with one particularly crude but very funny female who referred to it as a "wide on.".

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 2, 2015
Oh! A Wide On. Why didn't someone say so sooner?

Now I feel socially awkward.

pi ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Jeez... get with the program. I've known that one for 25 years.

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Anthony mutters...

Posted January 1, 2015

I didn't think of Lucille in term of Lucille Ball (although she does have a very red head when Dave gets through).

I immediately thought of BB King's guitar and the Little Richard song "Lucille, why can't you be true?" and I'm always suspicious of magic weapons. E.g. Terry Pratchett's King or Michael Moorecock's Stormbringer (although all Stormbringer really wanted to retire as a ploughshare).



Anthony has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
That's the sword "Krang" not "King" - I blame this damned possessed evil tablet!

Surtac mutters...

Posted January 1, 2015
"although all Stormbringer really wanted to retire as a ploughshare"
Have to disagree. Iirc Stormbringer and Mournblade wanted to kill ( and eat the souls of) everybody.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
You immediately thought of BB King because Dave did, too.

“B.B. King named all of his guitars Lucille. I’m thinking of naming this baby here. Lucille would work.”

Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Stormbringer has one purpose to bring as much evil into the world, hence its little speech when Elric dies.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 1, 2015
I was a little confused by the hierarchy of the Thrall.Where does the Threshend fit in?
Also in the Boss Battle, do Apache have door gunners? Or doors?

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
There is no reason for the word, "Apache," to appear anywhere in Book One. The aircraft that should be there are Seahawks, Osprey, Cobras, and if memory serves they were trying to get A-10s up.
If it is there, it shouldn't be. It isn't in any of the documents I have and I would have flagged it immediately.
And to answer your question, no, Apaches do not have door gunners.

By way of possible explanation, Dave works very hard to remain militantly ignorant of matters military. He may, as some often do, call something by the wrong name. Without a finished copy at hand (in some ways, I am just as much in the dark as others) it is hard to say.
My fear is that someone other than John and I may have flipped a word for some reason. I hope that isn't what happened.

Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

Chaz asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015

That's what I liked about the bookas a lot is form daves POV it is his perception so the techbabble is low.

Now obvious mistakes I could see. :))


NBlob asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015

My mistake, Cobras not Apache.

Should teach me for nit-picking without the source material in front of me.

P315

"Three cobras were working the kill zone now. Miniguns, rockets, and door gunners were churning up the field."

I read it as WOG not Dave's Mil-ignorant perspective.

Murphy would have you know...

Posted January 2, 2015
Well, the sentence holds up. The Cobras probably aren't the only thing working over the field. Though that follow on sentence should say as much.
Lot happier that it is a minor edit rather than a major mistake.
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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WT Gator would have you know...

Posted January 2, 2015
Warning: Spoilers!
Phrasing is very important to me when I read. There were several phrases in the book that made me mentally clap my hands on glee. "Elegant sufficiency" was one of them. My mother taught us not to say that we were stuffed after dinner but that we had "elegant sufficiency of enoughness". She was a funny woman. This is a funny book.
I picked this up expecting a thriller. The first chapter almost made me throw it away, it was so testosterone laden. I mentioned that in Twitter. I'm so happy I persisted. As soon as the monsters appeared, I just became a grinning, drooling fangoil. And so I remain.
Loved the final chapter. You shot the fucking dragon. How fucking cool was that. Die, Drakon, die. Yeahhhhh. Very satisfying.

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coota swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
Loved it. Finished it in two days while watching the cricket and kid wrangling, love Christmas in Sydney.
I'm not going to write a lengthy review, suffice to say, I enjoyed the lols, really enjoyed the single pov, grew to like Dave and keen to see what happens to Allen (Daves super soldier wing man perhaps). Well done JB on another page turner!
PS Harry Flashman is one of life's great anti heroes and my favourite character of all time.

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Chaz asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015
I just want to know when you're going to change that publicity photo as its a bit old now.......

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2015

Take 6. Copied in from MS Notepad.

As I tried to say Above, Prof Boylan* picked some of the Cracker 1 liners, But not the one that stuck in my head. Below is what resulted from many tedious hours @ work + Birmo's brain worm.

* How easily I can see him in the cheap seats at the back of the courtroom, furrowed brow & highlighter pen, occasionally bursting out in inappropriate laughter. "A humorous deposition counsellor?" "No your worship, a cock-punch."


Hello nausea, my old friend
I’ve come to ride with you again.
Like a fool I was grinning
'Till the room started spinning
And the liquor that I planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of excess

And with luck I staggered home
Apart from regret all alone
‘Spite the halo of a streetlamp
It was harder than BootCamp.
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a coppers light
That split the night
And showed my stream of excess

And in the naked light I saw
I'z pissing on a church wall
I legged it without even speaking
I cleared a fence that was badly listing
My button fly was open to the world
I didn't care
The head-long run of excess.

“Fools” laughed I, I made it home
Stained, bleeding & no phone.
I made tea and switched on the TV
I watched Rage for a while see
But the world started spinning like a unpleasant ride.
I headed for the toilet

Now to the porcelain I pray
I wish the room it wouldn't sway
My gorge it is totally rising
Bile, beer and a kebab surging
Peristalsis is 'supposed to be one way
Avoid getting any on the walls
And hands or floor halls
And whispered please for mercy”

© 1964 Words John Birmingham & NBlob, Music by Paul Simon

NBlob reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015

Well FMD.

It appears to have worked.


tqft reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
The helicopter nausea read like first hand experience - Murph?

Murphy asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015
Hah! Sadly, I never got to ride in a helicopter when I was in the Army. In fact, I did not get a ride in one until Christmas 2013 when my Mom got us a flying tour of KC as her present to us.
About the only thing I noticed about the experience is that the wind likes to shove against them as opposed to airplanes which slice through.

Also, I didn't get hangovers until my mid-thirties and even now, rarely.

Maybe JB had such an experience . . .

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Indeed.

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pi mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2015
I read the last half of the book after getting home from an all day new years day concert at the sidney myer music bowl by Above and Beyond. How's that for dedication.

Gripping page turner? I'm thinking... yes.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 2, 2015
The rest of you are dropped. Pi is my new favourite

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
Yes but did Pi stay up to 1am reading it for a second time?? I think not :P

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 2, 2015
Pi is dropped. She-Jedi is my new favourite.

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pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
Fair enough really.

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she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2015
Something that occurred to me while thinking about the choose your own adventure with The Dave thread above, is that I'd forgotten to mention a really nice scientific touch you put into the book. When the minion was chowing down on a nice chubby gangbanger, it was marveling at the sweetness of the man meat because it's race memory was really sure our Paleolithic and Neanderthal ancestors were a lot stringier and chewier. I also loved how this time around we were marbled with lovely lovely gluttony coma inducing fat. Almost as if we'd evolved in Wagyu humans.

Which made me wonder if that was the reason Neanderthals got sexy with our early human ancestors? Because they were getting eaten by monsters and had to band together for survival of the species?

Greg, Dan, what are your thoughts? Oh! And I nominate an SE2KB / The Dave crossover episode to discuss this!

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted January 2, 2015
Wait! That's, that's genius! Comedy timing, physically...well not so impressive but he could work on that. A lot. The Wah should absolutely play Dave. I think it was the Wagyu human idea that did it. Tasty marbled Greg...

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2015
This is bizarre. The column I filed yesterday made a joke about bankers being human wagyu.

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Sparty2 asserts...

Posted January 2, 2015
great voice. And the real return of humour really welcome. To be honest it was the humour in the first half of the first axis of time that Mrs end think it was more than another "dumb techno thriller' ( which it wasn't anyway!). I think it will read really well as one complete volume once dave completes his character journey. Oh an I know it might get be a Dave incomplete knowledge POV issue but tick in chopper rather than collective?

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sibeen is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2015
I searched high and low for a Juneau moment in this book, just for bragging rights, but, alas I couldn't find one. Well edited. I think there was only one sentence in the book that seemed to jar with me.


Now I may be talking through my arse here, but I feel there should be quite a few kudos hurled Murph's way. In JB's previous tomes, where the military was involved it always read to me as 'wrong'. Not the tech, not the explosions but the interaction between military personnel. The way the ranks treated each other always felt stilted. I did 9 years wearing a funny green uniform for a living, albeit a very long time ago and the way the military characters connect with each other reads truer.

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted January 3, 2015
Hmm, I remember reading Weapons of Choice and feeling that one of John's great strengths is that he did get the interaction right with the military. The problems generally tended to be technical.
Ask me to sort out Australian Army Regiments sometime and see what kind of luck I'd have with it without the help of someone like Havock or others.
In this trilogy I think Readers will notice a decided deemphasis on what I generally refer to as, "milporn details." I think that is a good thing.
Oh, we worked VERY HARD to make sure we got the State Capitals right this time. :)
Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

sibeen is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2015


The problems generally tended to be technical.

And they're ones that I'd never get involved with. I left the Oz Army at the end of '87 and have had nothing to do with the military ever since. I'd know as much as your average civvy wallah about Mil tech as your next goombah. So wouldn't even attempt that.

What the fuck was the Apache / Cobra brouhaha about above?

:)

NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 4, 2015

That'd be me.

One of the things I love about Birmo / Murph works is; they are like sinking into a bath - a full immersion. That was one of 3 (from memory) sentences that jarred, like a cake of soap in the small of your back, that made me go back & read the paragraph again.

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GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2015

I'm a little late to this party, having just returned from the sun-kissed wilds of Apollo Bay, nestled amidst the Otways with the Great Southern Ocean as a backdrop ... but by Odin's beard and Thor's hammer JB you have hit a Thresh right out of the ballpark with this tome.
I loved every bloody morsel of Dave's transformation from an 'Everyman Dirtbag' into something new, someone his kids could finally look up to, and not just because he was leaping from one Sliveen rooftop encounter to the next, but because Dave was getting the job done under the very worst of circumstances with the most likely concoction of a strong sense of disbelief and personal outrage imaginable.
JB, for me you set the tenor on page 17, line 24 - when Vince tells Dave that the monsters on the rig are eating people.
Not Greenpeace, then, Hooper thought. Vegetarian softcocks, the lot of them.
Pure unadulterated Birmingham-infused anti-PC Texas Tea ... I love it!
Like many co-respondents I read Emergence in two sittings, it was a gift for Xmas, but family protocol dictated I couldn't open it till Boxing Day morning - even getting on the badside of my beloved cos I was too busy rooting for Dave and not getting ready for the Boxing Day Bash with my rellies.
You know the usual, not showered, not shaved, not dressed or oh yeah, not even knowing the actual address of the party - but I did know that Dave had lovingly named Marty's maul 'Lucille' after BB King's guitars - more than anyone else at the Boxing Day gig knew.
I was smug in my Daveness, ... sadly or maybe lucky for some I did not receive any wood-splitting implements from the Kris Kringle exchange.
I'm about to sink my teeth into a second reach around and slowly devour Dave to grok more of his sparkling personality and to figure out how best I'd like Compton to kark it ... may be trying to negotiate a deal with the Low Queen, like Burke woulda tried in Aliens if only another Alien hadn't bitten his corporate head off first.
But more importantly whether, when, how Emmeline and Dave get it on, Barry White I trust, cos they seriously deserve to.
Finally before I relaunch myself back into BirminghamLand I'd like to say JB that its great you've resurrected and reimagined the whole oft-feared, DNA seared Teutonic Terror in the form of the Hunn ur Horde.
By linking the history of the UnderRealms to human mythology of Ancient Forestry Plantations you've tapped into a powerful vein of dark story-telling, its gonna be a real hard wait for late February for TheDaveToo.
GhostSwirv over and out and still bloody marvelling over Emergence.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 3, 2015
Ghosty, this is one of the nicest write ups I've read. Very personal and all the more touching for it. Thanks.

GhostSwirv ducks in to say...

Posted January 4, 2015

Tanks JB - you've really hit on a great character in Dave and his battles with the Horde - looking forward now to seeing how Emmeline further develops and their Close Encounters.
GhostSwirv over and out - too much Danger 5 last night, not enough sleep.


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Ceramic puts forth...

Posted January 4, 2015
Hey JB, I liked Emergence #1, it had more humour than I thought it would.
Re: Emmeline (the questions you asked originally in the post) I think other females could think she’s rude for not engaging in constant small talk at work, and after meetings. But why would she talk about latest hair styles when there is a frikken monster’s biology to explore! She’d need times to recharge after talking to others, which could be interpreted as not being a game-player.
Apart from assuming Dave and Emmeline will get together, I have no idea what their relationship will be like. Looking forward to seeing what you've created.
It would be interesting to see if she responds to his lust with being overwhelmed /frightened by the intensity of his gaze? I’ve heard a few women with Aspergers say this. I wonder if she therefore sets up boundaries for their physical relationship like ‘ask each step of the way’. Nice work JB :)

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 4, 2015
Thank you, Ceramic. I like your ideas about Emmeline's relations within OSTP and that's something I want to draw out in the ebooks where we finally see some points of view besides Dave's. I'll make a note of your note.

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Bunyip swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2015
Read it, and then lent it to a genre fiend of mine. 48hrs later (which is impressive, given her 5 yo twins) got an SMS from her:
"Finished The Dave. He's fun."

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JG has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2015
Happy new year, JB and Burgers! Just finished Emergence. A fabulous book, JB. Congratulations! I was enthralled and immersed throughout, and loved your writing, characters, twists, humour, pace, space/time/realm warps, cultural clashes, dialogue, worlds built... everything about the book. A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read. A marvellous feat of escapist adventure cum sci fi and fantasy. An intoxicating mix. Just... rave and fan love. I look forward to the next two books in the series.
Tempting to think Ur Dave could be your ultimate super alter ego, JB. A great antihero made badass superhero.
Still to read comments above and last post/threads re Emergence. Later.
Congrats again, JB. I had a lot of fun reading this. Fabulous.
Joanna (changed back from 'Red' to my initials JG).

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted January 5, 2015
Thanks JG, but probably best we don't mention how closely the worst aspects of Dave might be found in a certain writer not a million miles removed from this thread.

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Sparty puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2015
fan fic competition please!

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Respond to 'Emergence. The Dave's first spoiler thread'

While you wait for Spoiled Dave

Posted December 29, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

There's a few bargains to be had over at the Booktopia annual sale. 95% reductions on some good shit (Len Deighton, Ian Flemming etc).

Yes, I get a cut of this too.

As soon as Greybeard and Prof Boylan have caught up, we'll begin.

45 Responses to ‘While you wait for Spoiled Dave’

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted December 29, 2014
Definitely should take a casting call for a Hollywood movie. I'm thinking Boylan could play Boylan.
Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted December 29, 2014
I did wonder if we could do a cat call without spoilers.

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted December 29, 2014
Given the nature of the cover art I think we can probably at the very least take casting for The Dave.
Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

Therbs would have you know...

Posted December 29, 2014
The Brit cover art lent itself to Jason Statham as Dave but the accent would be an issue. Peter Jackson in a cameo as a dead monster.

damian puts forth...

Posted December 29, 2014
Deffers Bryan Cranston is a shoo-in.
If he's too old, then the guy from Modern Family. (*googles*) Ty Burrell.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted December 30, 2014
Dude, hell yes!

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted December 30, 2014
Can Owen do restrained, laid back?
Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 30, 2014
Yeah. Owen Wilson.

WarDog puts forth...

Posted December 30, 2014
?? I thought it was autobiographical.You can play yourself JB.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 31, 2014
Prof. Ashbury = Emily Blunt
Vietch = Christian Bale

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted December 31, 2014
Dave = Sam Worthington
Swindt = Dolph Lundgren (too old?)
Prof Ashbury = Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham in Fringe)
Scaroth = Ron Perlman

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Halwes puts forth...

Posted December 29, 2014

I'm still ploughing through Leviathan again. Man that book should be required reading for all NSW schools. They never taught history like that when I was at school in the 60's.

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted December 29, 2014
I have Leviathan on my shelf. Sadly, I suspect I would need a more in depth reading of general Australian History in order to comprehend it. Someday I'll get to that.
Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted December 29, 2014
You don't need any historical background to read Leviathan.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted December 29, 2014
Context never hurts.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted December 29, 2014
Some of the primary material is pretty cool, but I think Birmo did a decent rendering of some choice passages.
I think Bligh is still controversial - the majority still seem to want to condemn him, while a handful of passionate supporters still make his case. I'm sort of in the middle, though that would make many see me as a closet Bligh fancier. My view is that anyone capable of the first-of-a-kind technical feats he managed to pull off, not to mention the leadership involved in that 3200nm open boat navigation after the mutiny, make him a significant historical figure and worth the odd favorable look. I guess he comes under the "not a people person" category though.

Halwes asserts...

Posted December 30, 2014
I've been reading Leviathan a bit like a textbook this time as opposed to reading it in a couple of days previously. The behaviour of the settlers prior to the first elections, pretty violent and sad, is something that I'd never heard about. I'd also never heard about settlers paying aborigines in grog to fight to the death in the streets. I'd have ago at this book Murph just because so many of the stories would have universal appeal. It's not written like a history book. As a Sydney slum child myself, I can picture the scenes and geography fairly well but I've read American history and can imagine the way the land lies pretty well. Our history has been airbrushed big time. As a child I did wonder where all the aborigines were. There were no aborigines in any school textbook that I had. One, of many , outstanding quotes comes from Governor Denison on page 313 "What a state would you be in if you were to throw political power into the hands of such an ignorant and vicious population as existed in New South Wales?" Nothing much has changed there in 200 years!

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Abe Frellman would have you know...

Posted December 29, 2014
Ready to rock and roll. Great read. Have a question about minions when the time comes. Otherwise, holding fire.
Murf: American history is more interesting than Australian, IMHO, so I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry.
And in a totally non spoilerish way I'd vote for Joaquin Phoenix for The Dave, Gary Dourdan for Heath, Patrick Wilson for the Californian SEAL dude, Emily Blunt for Emma and David Ogden Stiers for Compton.
PS I enjoyed this book even more than the last trilogy. Thanks JB.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted December 29, 2014
Dave for Dave. Just saying.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted December 29, 2014
Clicked on the link above and it says Safrai can't find the server, so I am sorry but I can't check out the booktopia sales.

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted December 29, 2014
Ditto. I just get "This web page is not available." Also chewing up the Dave, despite 6 hour family lunch.

Lulu would have you know...

Posted December 30, 2014
I'm getting the same message. I've wasted silly time browsing through their sales listing, but I'll hold off on ordering anything in case this link is fixed tomorrow & I can give JB his cut.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 30, 2014
I'm heading bush with work, so will not be able to participate as fully & freely as I'd like until I return.I'm chock full 'o questions & comments, or something.A cracker JB. I dug it like a particularly diggy thing.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted December 30, 2014
Someone stayed up until stupid o'clock to finish it and I hear he's not sorry and he'll do it again.

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Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 30, 2014
You just need a place to hide (and 36 hours)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PdrpVXCL7I#t=37

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted December 30, 2014
I'm in a hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. A fine place to hide, and read.

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Madmaximus is gonna tell you...

Posted December 30, 2014

Hi JB. Been lurking here for a year or so and have ordered me some Dave as well as a rather affordable copy of Leviathan.


John Birmingham reckons...

Posted December 30, 2014
And this is why you're my new favorite.

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tqft is gonna tell you...

Posted December 30, 2014
I could play the pre-effect Dave pretty well. Dodgy knee and all.

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Halwes puts forth...

Posted December 30, 2014
Emergence dispatched from Pulp Fiction in Brisbane yesterday. They were very helpful and took credit card over the phone which is becoming rarer and rarer due to fraud. It gets harder to live remotely because of this.

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Sparty asserts...

Posted December 31, 2014
….Well I now feel like Dave and his energy bars - I need another one NOW! No spoilers but I feel some Axis of Time / Dave slash fic coming….

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Mayhem would have you know...

Posted December 31, 2014
I'm ready! I have questions!!! I also posted a review on Amazon.

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted December 31, 2014
Hey that Peter Bowes review was a hoot. 'I bought it, I didn't read it, I didn't even notice what person it was written in or guess what kind of story it was but some of you guys were mean to me so yah boo sucks, One Star!!!!!' I guess it's part of the now familiar Amazon custom of giving one star reviews to other authors.

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted December 31, 2014
Who the Fark is this Bowes cockmole anyway?

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted December 31, 2014
Okay, I'm done. I don't have questions, but I do have a collection of favorite lines, and a favorite character - the Thresh.

Guru Bob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 1, 2015
Aren't thresh something from a John Ringo book?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 1, 2015
You are possibly confusing the Thresh with the Dreen. But even if you are not, it is a well-accepted truism that imitation is the sincerest form of copying.

I love this Thresh bloke. Bottom of the heap, but smart and fast, rising up, breaking through class boundaries. I hope we see him/her/it again.

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insomniac mumbles...

Posted December 31, 2014
Also done.Now to finishing ploughing through the serial serial just so ms insomniac has someone to talk to about it, you know - happy wife, etc etc.

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Guru Bob asserts...

Posted January 1, 2015
Got a copy at Readings in Carlton and ploughed through it very quickly...

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Respond to 'While you wait for Spoiled Dave'

Shall we open the spoiler threads tomorrow?

Posted December 27, 2014 into Books by John Birmingham

Or should we wait for Greybeard? In his dotage, he has fallen somewhat behind.

55 Responses to ‘Shall we open the spoiler threads tomorrow?’

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted December 27, 2014

I say wait for Greybeard - Merry Christmas JB and to one and all, both above and below and those souls somewhat trapped between.
Been off-site due to interminable failure of portal connectivity - but have spent the past 30 hours consuming lashings of Boxing Day Family pork, turkey, Red Back & Bulleit bourbon between blood spattered Xmas-gift morsels of TheDave, ploughing dutifully through until I encountered the sad end of Emergence, strangely satiated.
But Christmas cheer seems empty now ...
GhostSwirv over and out - perhaps if I started re-reading very slowly I can stretch the daze until Resistance in March?

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Therbs mutters...

Posted December 27, 2014
Maybe during the lunch break at the cricket tomorrow. GB is rugged up in the southern cold, dreaming fitfully of hobbits feasting on baked hams, mulberry pie and mead.

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Spanner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 27, 2014
*shouts: Yeah let's wait for Greybread!
*whispers: and wait for me cause Mr14 hasn't finished yet.



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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted December 27, 2014
How will Greybeard ever better himself if his weaknesses are constantly coddled, if he is saved from the consequences of his failings?

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted December 27, 2014
Social Darwinist!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted December 28, 2014
Quite the opposite, at least in part. I, of course, revere Charles Darwin as a demigod (what sentient human does not?), but I really don't like people much, and so can accurately be characterized as antisocial.

NBlob asserts...

Posted December 28, 2014
So more of an antisocial Darwinist.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 28, 2014
That's a good way of putting it, yes.

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted December 27, 2014
Don't (cough) wait for me chaps*. Just (groan) go on without me. Tell the Colonel, well, tell him I've always loved him....
(*of all genders)That's kind but I'm easy. No great effort to avoid spoilers for a few days and I'm actually thinking of picking up another copy tomorrow. As a gift for a nephew you understand. And as a responsible uncle, I'll have to read it first, eh?

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted December 27, 2014
Spoilers! Surely not yet. Emergence is not even available internationally, is it? I actually intend to wait until Dave 3 comes out before I start reading Dave 1. I prefer to read the whole story in one go.
But, spoil away.(Spoil - To impair or destroy the value or quality of; ruin.)But I reckon you should wait until the whole story is told and available internationally.
It doesn't worry me that much personally. I am good at turning my eyes from spoilers, but I firmly am in the anti-spoiler camp. I want to be surprised. I want the author to be telling me the story, not some blabby bloke on the internet.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 27, 2014
" I actually intend to wait until Dave 3 comes out before I start reading Dave 1."

What are you, sick or something?

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted December 27, 2014

... 'I want the author to be telling me the story, not some blabby bloke on the internet.' ...
Surely you've read the stuff the JB puts out online?

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted December 27, 2014
Sick? That's what I'm trying to avoid. I just don't have your guts. The night after night, little eyes peering over the bedspread, clutching on to teddy, worrying about what is going to happen to Dave. Unlike you guys, I just can't live that life anymore. Oh no, I'm going to wait.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 27, 2014
#TheDave

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WarDog has opinions thus...

Posted December 27, 2014
Steady on. I just over my Boxing Day hangover.

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted December 27, 2014
I am hoping to receive my copy, cruelly posted at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve, on Monday, but due to family commitments will be unable to read more than a teaser, so either spoil away or distract ms insomniac for a time.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted December 28, 2014
That's such an interesting and important topic that it will practically write itself.

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JG mutters...

Posted December 27, 2014
I shall avert my eyes and avoid any spoiler threads. Still to start reading Emergence what with Christmas and all. Might start lazily tomorrow.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted December 27, 2014
1. The correct spelling is GreyBread, an ancient & proud lineage, with many a bastard & grey sheep. Ahem.2. Wait for him? What madness is this? I ache for a troika, snow & pursuing wolves to throw him to.

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted December 27, 2014
Oh yes please can we start the spoiler discussions? I have to write a 1000 word source analysis on what funerary art and architecture reveal about Roman social issues for Uni by 5pm Monday and I'll need something with which to procrastinate :)

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted December 28, 2014
Since GB has relocated to the cake & cheese district of southern climes he is now more appropriately known as GreyBroad.Since his dotage involves doting on the Grand Evil while her mother visits Ikea I propose that you show no mercy & tread him under foot.

Anthony reckons...

Posted December 29, 2014
As the Grateful Dead once sang "Every silver lining has a touch of grey"

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Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted December 28, 2014
You know, the only people who are nice to me on this blog are the ones I haven't met yet. I guess I've just been really unlucky and met the wrong ones, eh? Yeah. That must be it.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted December 28, 2014
Erm, is that just on this blog GB or elsewhere?

Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted December 28, 2014
Oh that's right, bring my family into it.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted December 28, 2014

correlation / causation? It *Could* be an coincidence. As my Momma always told me; there is a direct ,mathematical relationship between the number of trams that cross the Grey St Bridge & the number of gallons of water that flows under it.

A: It shows how old my Mum is, Brisbane hasn't had trams, on the Grey St bridge or otherwise, for 40 years.

B: Just because it has a mathematical link, doesn't mean one causes the other.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted December 28, 2014
Finding patterns is something our brains seem to be optimised to do, and meaning is the thing we bring to our perceptions, a side effect of the need to string a narrative from rather imperfect snapshot state samples that seems to be the way our consciousness functions. So the temptation to ascribe meaning to patterns is deeply ingrained.
That's one way of looking at it. You get almost the exact same result if the subject only has association rather than a concept of cause and effect, and from outside you can't tell if the latter is even in play. There's a good argument that most people don't even get cause and effect, but ascribe to it stuff that only works for them by association.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted December 28, 2014
"Finding patterns is something our brains seem to be optimised to do"

Speak for yourself. My brain doesn't seek patterns: it seeks jokes. Preferably funny jokes.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted December 29, 2014
Paul, your definition of Funny redefines idiosyncratic.
Damian. Heard a anti-pokies campaigner one time talking about exactly that. He suggested that a deep & ancient part of a "players" brain is trapped in pattern seeking. Was it those lights then that jingle before the payout or was it this jingle then the other lights. Fascinating stuff.I've tried to explain misplaced assumptions of causality to dozens of friends. Many of whom have un-friended me shortly after. The best tool is Lisa Simpson's magic rock that keeps away tigers. "You don't see any tigers around do you?"

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GhostSwirv ducks in to say...

Posted December 28, 2014

Remember GB I like Redback, Bulleit and Shiraz - not necessarily in that order or combination.
GhostSwirv over and out to change my network settings - wish me luck

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted December 28, 2014
And poor GhostSwirv was never seen or heard from again. Can we send out a search party?

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Jon ducks in to say...

Posted December 28, 2014
Can i buy all 3 parts? if not ill wait it out. Didnt like your english cover by the way probably cause it had a pale useless englishman on it. chat later

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 28, 2014
You'll have to wait until April to buy all three at once.

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MickH mutters...

Posted December 28, 2014
Well I'm just finishing up the book but I'm off on a 2 week cruise tomorrow (Voyager of the seas, Fiji & NZ) :)
So I can't ask a couple of questions I have until I get back. Internetz cost on board the ship cost the GDP of Jamaica, so I have to wait. And the boss..er..Mrs has said she will cut me a new one if I go anywhere near anything webbed, (I think that includes ducks but I'm not sure)
Damn

Bangar mutters...

Posted December 28, 2014
Enjoy your trip Mick,if you go to Suva ... well it's a cruise you've all ready paid for your food eat on board.

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Anthony would have you know...

Posted December 28, 2014

I got the Kindle version on pre-order and read it in almost one sitting... I want more! I want to know all the answers to all the questions I have.


I also got the new Matthew Reilly (with a slew of other books) for Christmas. Interesting comparison.


Matthew Reilly has lots of splodey bits - and dragons and heat-seeking missiles. Possibly even more splodey bits than JB. But nowhere near as good. Fun and entertaining but not a patch on Dave. Reilly tells a good story - JB immerses you in it.


Just an aside - I wonder if the next Starwars could feature a Dave Maul character?

I will say that I expect the NT Times to rate it well above Emergence - it's got saltwater crocodiles in it and Dav doesn't. And everyone knows that the NT Times is saltie besotted.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted December 28, 2014
Matthew is accelerando. I am basso profundo.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted December 29, 2014
Finished the Dave yesterday, so getting all spoilerific would be fine by me. Of course, this means I've gone back to reading Mike Carlton's book about the HMAS Sydney and the Emden, a thread about that would work for me too (history books come pre-spoiled I guess).

NBlob would have you know...

Posted December 29, 2014
Don't tell me, my money is on Muller; experience+ 10 X 4.1" guns with Zeiss optics & well managed fire control, 2 torp tubes, a top speed of 23+ knots Versus 8X6" guns, 2 torp tubes + change and English optics & a fire control system the equivalent of "Wot Ho chaps, have at the Hun."

NBlob reckons...

Posted December 29, 2014
Goddamn I love the interwebs.http://ww1blog.osborneink.com/?p=3692

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MickH mutters...

Posted December 29, 2014
My Grandfather was a stoker on the Australia during the battle Damian. I used to love listening to his stories as a kid

Anthony would have you know...

Posted December 29, 2014

By a strange coincidence I was talking about the Emden with my brother-in-law the other day. His grandfather was on the Sydney for the battle and went on to be wounded at Gallipolli - he was one of the sailors rowing the troops ashore.

He then went on to serve on the Australia.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted December 29, 2014
Massive FanBoi of Dan Carlin Podcasts. http://www.dancarlin.com/ Thinky & 'splodey, with BBQ'd sacred cows & a sharp kick to the preconceptions.He released a massive multiple episode WW1 show, with a most excellent segment on the battle of Jutland. If you have a boring commute It is Teh Shizzle.

damian puts forth...

Posted December 29, 2014
I'm still waiting for Ep V of Blueprint for Armageddon. I'm drumming my fingertips on the dashboard and still waiting.
Not that I mind, mind :)
Which one had battle of Jutland? I listened to them in a binge a few months back... after your recommendation as I recall.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted December 29, 2014
Have I mentioned wanting Eskine Childers for bookclub?

NBlob would have you know...

Posted December 29, 2014
The one full fat, full cream naval battle. Where in the German fleet had its T crossed twice. I was particularly taken with his take on how fast State of the Art became redundant, and how the opportunity cost of using/ not using such high priced platforms may have helped push the Central Powers towards war. <div style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(26, 26, 26, 0.296875); -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(175, 192, 227, 0.230469); -webkit-composition-frame-color: rgba(77, 128, 180, 0.230469); ">IE You've spent a bazillion marks / pounds building these mighty platforms, the pride of the fleet and they have a shelf life like yogurt 5years after launch they are superseded, 10 years after launching they can barely keep up, 15 an archaic death trap. Any amortisation of value would say "declare war the day sea trials are complete."<div style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(26, 26, 26, 0.296875); -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(175, 192, 227, 0.230469); -webkit-composition-frame-color: rgba(77, 128, 180, 0.230469); ">As battle fleets were transitioning from coal to oil, huge improvements in gunnery- both hardware & process and fleet air assets were making this a particularly fast evolving context may exaggerate this trend, but if anyone made it back after engaging a ME 110 in a Halifax, they'd tell the same story. If they made it home.<div style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(26, 26, 26, 0.296875); -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(175, 192, 227, 0.230469); -webkit-composition-frame-color: rgba(77, 128, 180, 0.230469); ">
From memory in Russia Vs Japan, engagement @ 8 miles <2% shots fired hit. 20 years later at Jutland; engagement @ 18 miles >10% shells fired hit.

damian reckons...

Posted December 29, 2014
Oh, familiar with the battle. Just don't remember which episode of Blueprint for Armageddon had it. I was drinking beer and wallowing in Liege, Ardennes, Somme, etc (minor bypass to Gallipoli).
Noting that Carlin, like Carlton, doesn't forgo the odd opportunity to put the boot into Churchill.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted December 29, 2014
Book is here! Bye now.

NBlob asserts...

Posted December 29, 2014
Large print edition one presumes.

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Moko ducks in to say...

Posted December 29, 2014
Audio book?

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted December 29, 2014
Contract signed. Probably in production.

Moko has opinions thus...

Posted December 30, 2014
Outstanding

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GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted December 29, 2014

Hey Darth Greybeard I'm back ... Darth are you there, Grey - don't leave me hanging man, not with this Horde!
Audio book - voice of TheDave - did anyone spring to mind JB when you were conceiving Earth's champion or is it always your own voice you hear when battling demonic Orcs, Greenpeace and divorce lawyer types?

GhostSwirv over and out

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted December 30, 2014

Just amazed that Emergence has actually made it out here.

lucky the office is very very quiet!

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Bunyip is gonna tell you...

Posted December 30, 2014
Managed to make it to Chapter 17 before RL and Planet Parenthood intruded.
The questions... oh, the questions...

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Respond to 'Shall we open the spoiler threads tomorrow?'