Cheeseburger Gothic

Where to sit out the end of the world?

Posted February 9, 2014 into Writing by John Birmingham

Anywhere but Perth.

"I'm not sure why some guy on the internet leapt to the entirely wrong conclusion Perth was the Big Rock Candy Mountain towards which he'd best point his chainsaw-festooned vehicle when the dead rose or the comets fell. Perhaps he was working from super-secret government plans that somehow leaked before high-ranking government officials opened a massive black bag of wet work operators to erase the leaks and all who had seen them. I could believe that."

23 Responses to ‘Where to sit out the end of the world?’

philkernick reckons...

Posted February 9, 2014

There is a point of stability at both the top and bottom of a curve...

Barnesm asserts...

Posted February 9, 2014

Yes but one point is stable equilibrium and one is unstable equilibrium what you want is stable equilibrium like you find at a few of the Lagrangian points in the earth,moon and sun three body problem.

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 9, 2014

That would be close JB!

But in fact Geraldton is the go.

Free transport-

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-06/escapee-pleads-guilty-to-charges/5243420

And after all the dirty bombs they 'tested there' it's really not that bad.

Who's Serco?

They do some security for Defense Installations as well.

Wanna see how easy it is to get past them?

Who owns them?

AD has shares I am sure.

Anyway it would be easy to locate the perpetrators.

Twice removed from the crime of course.

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pi ducks in to say...

Posted February 9, 2014

I used to live in Perth. I can honestly say that I never met more assholes in my life than I met while I lived there.

And I've lived lots and lots and lots of places.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted February 10, 2014

No comments at the Instrument?

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 10, 2014

The newspaper realises that opening up comments on a JB piece will just lead to Havoc showing up and that is too awesome for the paper to manage more than twice a week.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 10, 2014

Ah. Well, that explains it, then.

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pitpat mumbles...

Posted February 10, 2014

Adelaide after the apocalypse...pretty much the same as Adelaide before the apocalypse. I rest my case.

Jayanthi's Atomic Cat ducks in to say...

Posted February 11, 2014

God, do you mean even zombies are going to boycott Ads? I'd better return those chainsaws to Bunnings. Or the zombies are already here and I didn't notice...yep, that one.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 10, 2014

As long as its not fkn space fkn lizards doing the apocalypse thing on us, yeah Sydney would be okay. Zed's Dead Cafe would be open for business.

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BigWillieStyle mutters...

Posted February 10, 2014

Wherever. As long as there's muffins there. Chocolate chip ones.

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DiddyWrote has opinions thus...

Posted February 10, 2014

Hi JB,

This has nothing to do with where to sit out the end of the world but I wondered if you seen this over at Io9;

http://io9.com/heres-the-first-recorded-instance-of-the-f-word-in-eng-1519247071

I agree with the sentiments and believe it is as true today as it was back then.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted February 10, 2014

"HAVOCK WAS HERE"

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted February 10, 2014

Sorry,

Some don't speak Ancient Sanskrit.

Some don't speak Ancient Machiedian.

Anyhoo the contemp a'ary translation is-

Wake up and go too work on Monday Morning...'

There is some, ah what would you call it?, challenge to this interpretation.

On Best Medical Advice take this pill and STFU!.

I will find Havock and soon as I am able.

All help gratefully recieved...

insomniac reckons...

Posted February 10, 2014

He certainly was a tad nostril damous in his sentiments

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 10, 2014

insomniac, are you saying that he really Nose Sheilas?

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Respond to this comment

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted February 10, 2014

Anyhoo Marissa is Sergies anl bitch.

Didn't knoe that?

Where yuo bin?

Next Conquest...

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted February 11, 2014

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Bangar has opinions thus...

Posted February 11, 2014

AN REM fan I wouldn't have guessed ;)

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ChrisB ducks in to say...

Posted February 11, 2014

Sorry guys, every end of the world flick cannot be wrong. West Texas is the place to be. From 'Day After Tomorrow' to '2012' we always dodge judgement day. Need further proof? Snowpocolypse has missed us every year, except '11. Although a cup of ice will close us down for weeks.

Darth Greybeard puts forth...

Posted February 11, 2014

Chris, I hate to break this to you but West Texas didn't so much dodge the apocalypse as get it early.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted February 12, 2014

I am at the fkn PONDO, with my clear fields of fkn fire....Pre fkn registered fkn raytards and plenty o fkn BOOZE!......CROWNIES! and shit thats fkn BELT FED!/. Onlyu way to travel! IM...god fkn like very fkn EXPERT FKN PONION!!!!!

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“The Luxury of Not Getting Paid for It”: a guest post by Christy Helzner

Posted January 29, 2014 into Writing by John Birmingham

One of my earliest follows and followbacks on the twitterz was an LA based playwright using the handle @babesmcphee. A great, great handle, I thought. And a great timeline to go with it. A while back I asked her if she'd like to do a guest post here, knowing that I'd be absent on deadline for a bit, but also thinking I wouldn't mind turning the keys over to the babes, both figuratively and in this one case, literally.

I still mean to chase up Jennicki and one or two others for my Ladies Lounge at the Burger idea, but I was very happy to receive and publish Christy's piece today.

“The Luxury of Not Getting Paid for It”

I put that in quotes because it’s something I said in my 20s about my nonexistent writing career, back when I was a master at spinning every disappointment into an unambiguous gain. That’s just how I survived my 20s.

Now I’m in my 30s and I have a husband, a day job, two step-kids, a dog and a few friends that I like to see at least once in a while. And when I get to go home in the evening and unwind, I am much more likely to reach for a bourbon and coke and the Xbox controller than I am for a pen and paper to turn the stories I’ve been writing in my head for ten years into a physical reality.

I’ve written two plays in the last four years—I’m really proud of them both but I’ve stopped trying to get them produced. I’m not sure anyone even goes to the theater anymore except theater people, and trying to break into a market where the buyers and sellers are the same people sounds a lot more to me like rushing a sorority than something that’s going to result in a fair trade. A more charitable interpretation might be that when you are surrounded by starving people and you only have enough food for a few of them, you feed the ones you think are the most likely to survive. Or else you feed your friends because they’re the ones most likely to help you survive.

Last summer I hadn’t written in months when I read this letter and had something close to an epiphany. I realized my muse had run away, and for cause, so I made a desperate pact with it—if it came back to me, I would stop writing plays. It did. Now I’m writing a novel, albeit very slowly. I’m at 6000 words and I just got about a page and a half more scribbled while the IT guy was installing my new computer at work. I am a tad suspicious that most people who read fiction anymore might also be fiction writers, but even so, a novel in a drawer is a complete work that doesn’t require other people’s validation to make it come to life. An unproduced play in a drawer, times two, is rather sadder.

When JB invited me to write a guest blog post, I was about to go under the knife for some major-ish surgery on pretty short notice. On the heels of recovering from that, I had a wedding date to keep and when we got back from our honeymoon, it was already the holidays (which for us went Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Child’s Birthday/Christmas/New Year’s/Which is Also My Birthday/And Back to Work), and now my husband is about to change careers and is on the job market, an event that once over we both hope will usher in a much needed period of relative calm. This is my life, and I keep working out stories in my head, hoping that over time there will be enough days when I am not bone tired so that I can put them all in writing.

So I am using this post as a public place to make a promise to myself of things I will write. My current novel is a dystopian fantasy set in Levittown, New York in the not-so-distant future. Then, I have a pretty crackerjack idea (I think, anyway) for a YA novel set between here and the afterlife and also a YA series that has been rattling around the recesses of my imagination since college.

It is a type of luxury to have the total creative control that comes in the absence of contracts and deadlines, so my spin doctor persona of yore was not merely doing the devil’s work. But it would be a much greater luxury for me at this point to have the kind of time to write that only money can buy.

One thing I have managed to accomplish in my last several years of sometimes-writing is figuring out who I am as a writer. It turns out I have a serious case of frontier envy, something I think might actually be bred deep in the American psyche, if such a thing can be said to exist. I think we might have started going downhill as a country the minute we filled in the map (which, for what it’s worth, is also around the time I usually start to lose at Civ). The people who thrive on the frontier are not the same people who thrive once society becomes orderly and polite.

My writing swings dystopian, because breaking things is fun and broken things are funny. And destroying the world is the only way I can see to make it new again.

59 Responses to ‘“The Luxury of Not Getting Paid for It”: a guest post by Christy Helzner ’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 29, 2014

First of all, welcome to CBG - with an especially warm welcome to a fellow Angeleno (born in Chicago, but spent my formative teens and 20's in LA).

Which forms the basis for a question: isn't LA an especially bad place to attempt to write professionally? It seemed that way to me when I was a teen growing up in the shadow of Hollywood, watching virtually all of my Angeleno friends entranced by and yearning to become part of the Dream Machine.

Everyone wrote. Few of them well. And all competing for that lucky break, that big chance they were sure was just around the corner - because part of the fantasy was believing that the will to succed was more important than skill.

And this floods the market place with writers, some good, most bad, with the mechanisms for success mysterious and seemingly arbitrary and capricious. Doesn't that make it more difficult to write professionally in LA than other places?

Babes has opinions thus...

Posted January 30, 2014

Hi Paul, thank you for the welcome! I actually have not been an Angeleno in three years--I went out after college for six years and then came back to NYC. It's not a bad place to spend your 20s! It turned out to be a very good place for me to figure myself out.

I think your perception of the writing scene there is pretty on the nose--with one caveat. I think LA is, perhaps surprisingly, a better place to write plays.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 30, 2014

I did not realize that LA is a favorable market for aspiring playwrites. Perhaps it is time to dust off the play I wrote entitled Sex Slaves of the Congo (based on my unpublished novel of the same title) for possible sale and production.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 30, 2014

I just remembered you don't know me, so I am compelled to say (at great injury to my artistic/comedic integrity) that I am kidding.

Babes puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

Oh, sorry--there is no good market for plays, anywhere. I meant just as an environment more conducive to writing them in. ;-)

Babes has opinions thus...

Posted January 30, 2014

Believe it or not, I actually had no trouble understanding that that was a joke.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 30, 2014

Then you are very welcomed here indeed. I am so sick and tired of all these munters taking me so seriously all the time.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted January 30, 2014

Welcome Ms Helzner nice to have you on board.

Prof re taken seriously - Never gonna happen.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted January 29, 2014

L.A. is a great big freeway, put a hundred down etc.

Good luck with the muse, they're fickle buggers. But that's what beer and whisky are for.

Babes would have you know...

Posted January 30, 2014

Thanks, Therbs. It really does like whiskey.

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted January 29, 2014

Hey Christey,

I don't like the 'Red Hot Chilli Peppers'.

I think they suck and worserer.

Now that my opinion of LA is clear good luck.

I don't like Chickybabes taking over the world.

Should mention that too.

Don't you judge me!

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted January 29, 2014

OMFG,

I wanted to buy my wife the book by Sean Usher(did i get that right?)

"Letters of Note" for fkn Christamas and all the bookstores had run out and they a doing a reprint which will be out at the end of January.

Getting the book for her.

Can you feel my stress?

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted January 29, 2014

Did Obama ever respond to Charlie Sheens video?

You know WTC 7 collapsed at free fall and NIST and the US Government are shit?

His Dad agrees.

So does Ed Asner.

So does Wesley Clark I think.

Anyway the US is fucked in the head except for those that had a HIgh School Education.

They are now in jail.

The bright ones.

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

Posted January 29, 2014

I should mention Stubblebine.

Don't know him?

Neither does Abbot or Bishop.

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted January 29, 2014

Hey JB

Computer Geeks at SMH are shit.

Site doesn't work today.

Took over 8 hours.

Was it NewsCorp?

Any way they should publish my comments or ban me.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted January 29, 2014

I will just Assume it was Neswcrap.

Watch this Sopace.

Babes puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

Sorry Dino, but I am taking over the world.

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted January 30, 2014

I knew it.

I could tell as soon as you started writing.

Christy I suggest you take a ticket and get in line.

Don't push in(or jump the queue as you upside down people say) cause it drives NBlob nuts.

Whoever let out that you're v, v, v, (can't say it) VEGETARIAN should be banned from the Burger for a week.

Poor NBlob.

Smelling Salts for NBlob blokes!

How long has he been out?

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted January 30, 2014

I suspect Ms Helzner's might not consider an explosion, at least once every seven pages, a prerequisite for fine writing.
In other words, she is some sort of uncouth barbarian.

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted January 30, 2014

W,

Maybe we can Pygmallion her?

Teach the finer points of describing small arms fire and character development through manufacturing a hair trigger while seeking revenge.

Worked on that Audrey lass.

Little black dress and all...

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

Good idea, Dino.

Being ignorant, barely literate and with no idea how to write prose of interest to others; maybe I should humbly restrain myself from giving advice to a real writer. Then again, this is the internet and I am therefore an expert. So, what the hell, here goes.

Ms Helzner, there are 3 things required of writing commercially sucessful prose, and, there are shortcuts.

1) Dramatic incidents. May I suggest explosions,
2) Colourful characters. May I suggest people in a variety of uniforms.
3) Vivid writing. May I suggest people in a variety of uniforms dealing with a variety of explosions.

There, done.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted January 31, 2014

p.s. Mind you, I wouldn't have a clue how to do it. I could describe how to play the piano, but I think the real skill is actually playing the piano.

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BigWillieStyle swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 29, 2014

Christy, ah, this is, um, a nice post, and, um, you should, uh, feel very, very, ah, proud. But, ah, I have today decreed that, ah, all media outlets, um, um, ah, including blogs, must devote themselves to, ah, acting as cheerleaders, um, for, this, ah, great, um, constitutional monarchy of, ah, ours. Um.

From now on, um, any scribblings that are, uh, uploaded onto this, um, this, ah, this blog, must state that Australia is, ah, the, greatest, um, country in the whole, um, wide, ah, world, and, that's all you need, to, ah, know. Ah. Um. Uh.

Babes has opinions thus...

Posted January 30, 2014

Ummm...all hail Oz?

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Matthew F. swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 29, 2014

+++a serious case of frontier envy, something I think might actually be bred deep in the American psyche, if such a thing can be said to exist. I think we might have started going downhill as a country the minute we filled in the map+++

"Frontier envy". What a fantastic term! I love that analysis.

I've been thinking about this recently, starting off with Stephen King's thesis that a culture's stories, particularly its speculative stories, are a good window into what's on its mind. It has to do with a culture that's been so heavily centred on the rugged frontiersman coming to terms with the fact that the frontiers are gone, the map is filling up, the far horizon is a line of skyscrapers and the sunlit plains are all suburban developments now.

The ructions that thought causes show up in a great upwelling of post-apocalyptic stories (wouldn't it be great if all the crowds got cleared out and we could go back to being pioneers again!), urban fantasies that hope there'll still be something liberating in this new countryside, or nightmares about what the new ways are going to be like that give us cyberpunkish dystopias.

All of which puts me in mind of this Subnormality comic, one of their best:

http://www.viruscomix.com/page539.html

Babes is gonna tell you...

Posted January 30, 2014

Thank you! I hadn't heard of Stephen King's theory but it sounds right (I find he usually is!). But yeah, Walking Dead, the prepper movement, earthships, the zombie apocalypse...maybe no one really thinks any of it will happen, maybe we just need to fantasize about it? (btw thanks for the link--great comic!)

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pitpat mutters...

Posted January 29, 2014

Thanks Christy,

as a reader I am always curious about the process of writing and the

interplay of the mystical muse. I maybe wrong but it seems that if not used then the muse will dissolve.

as to frontiers as similar thing occurs in cane toads , the first in any new niche are not the ones settling ,they keep moving on till death. Their progeny develop slightly differently and are better suited settling down.

Babes reckons...

Posted January 30, 2014

Interesting...as for the muse dissolving, I'm not so sure. I suppose different muses react differently. Mine gets rather cantankerous when ignored.

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jp puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

Look forward to your dytopian type fare. Me, I'm a fan of the apoc and post-apoc, that fun space where shit goes down and then we have to survive it - or not.

Muses? Yeah, I've had a few. Sometiems they're a golem behind on your back in the form of deadlines and publishers harassing you. Othertimes it's a unicorn blasting rainbows of wisdom and inspiration up your butt. Never has one been a babe.

Sigh.

BTW Birmo, site is finally working for comments from me as while I'm waiting for a retina to wing it's way here I've dipped back to my old pro running Leopard. Must have been a newer OS issue?

Babes ducks in to say...

Posted January 30, 2014

Thanks, jp! I'm looking forward to it, too.

PS I finally figured out who Birmo is.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 31, 2014

Who?? Who is Birmo??

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

Anyone who comes to the Midwest will find out just how empty that supposedly filled in map is, says the poor bastard who lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

Fourteen hours drive away from anywhere worth getting to that doesn't look exactly the same.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

BigWillieStyle is gonna tell you...

Posted January 30, 2014

Every time I read one of Murph's posts I feel like reaching for the razor blades.

Lulu mutters...

Posted January 30, 2014

BWS - and I'm reminded why I'll only live in a capital city (in Australia; in Europe at least the small towns/cities are much closer to other places).

Babes puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

Not to be the bearer of bad news, Murph, but frontiers are more defined by who has passed through them, not who has decided to stay. :$

Murphy would have you know...

Posted January 30, 2014

Trapped, Babes. Trapped.

Big Willie, happy to oblige.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

damian puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

The only frontiers are in the mind...

Except Toowoomba, that place is just a dump.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 30, 2014

*Sputter cough* Women? At the helm of The Gothic? Birmo's gone mad. Its going to be %100 period & knitting from here on, you mark my words. Next he'll be letting Irishmen, Catholics & those Greek Orthodox wierdos in.

I think it was The King (yes 2 references in one blog entry) who said writers will write because they have to. The stories writhe about foetus like in their brains and must at some point come out. Being paid to do what you must is wonderful because it gives the writer the time to polish, refine & drown those stories not good enough to see the light of day.

I was discussing business ideas with SWMBO (she who must be obeyed ) (Mrs NBlob) the other day, she reminded me that without cashflow its not a business one has, it's a hobby.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 30, 2014

"..."& those Greek Orthodox wierdos..."

If that happens, I am so out of here. And the Irish? Don't get me started. A truly degenerate race.

Babes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 30, 2014

Not just a woman, NBlob, but a VEGETARIAN! A proverbial Veggie Burger-er, amirite?

damian ducks in to say...

Posted January 30, 2014

Bloody vegetarians, coming over here, taking our jobs. And women. Or somthing..

NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 30, 2014

They may not take our women, but they'll take our pulses.

i'll get my coat

Bangar mumbles...

Posted January 31, 2014

I like vegeraterians more meat for me!

Abe Frellman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2014

Does she ride a slouch bike too?

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted January 30, 2014

usually the banter when a new comer arrives is at least 36% wittier.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 30, 2014

I take full responsibility for the lack of wit herein. Truly, I am ashamed. I know I am capable of better.

Brian reckons...

Posted January 30, 2014

Yes. We've missed you Brigadier.

Pauls been off his feed. I detect incipient Stevo hero worship at work.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 31, 2014

Worship? Heavens no. I admire him as an author who writes what I like to read. Personally speaking, we disagree on many issues and topics. But, Jesus Christ, the man can write. I cannot describe the number of times I've sat binge-reading one of his short stories or books and suddenly said out loud "that is so cool!" I am addicted to cool, and Mr. Stirling is one of the purveyors of my drug of choice. JB is another, for the same reasons. The recent confluence between the two is just totally ultra cool, making me a very happy bloke.

The reason I am “off my feed” here, in this thread, is because I am self censoring in the hope our guest moderator doesn’t conclude I am a buffoon, or worse, a jackanape – which I am, but I prefer for that realization to manifest more slowly.

Brian mumbles...

Posted January 31, 2014

(checks Boylan emo meter)

Dang! Have to recalibrate the thing.

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

Hollywood, back in the day, when their stars were on contract.
I read a reminiscence from a former female ingenue star for RKO pictures.
She said, a couple of times a week, a limo would turn up and take her to see a play showing in Los Angeles. It was part of how they developed their talent.
I thought it was good story of how they nurtured their talent and respected the unique power of the stage.

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted January 31, 2014

Off topic, but ...

Hey Birmo, did you know that Without Warning is nominated for 2014 Clarke Award?

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted January 31, 2014

Obviously Havock has not heard about this, this, VEGGIE woman taking over CBG ... or, perhaps he has and there is a growing pile of destroyed keyboards from the pounding behind his bunker with no more in stock at the local Staples. I am made to understand that he is having a titanium model flown in with 10, count 'em, 10 CAPS LOCK keys and a special MUPPET CAPPING smart key built in.

Oh, Ms. Helzner, you don't know what forces are about to be unleashed.

As to the whole "Birmo" kerfluffle ... these sons and daughters of convicts love to bestow nicknames on everyone. It just seems so charming in their cute accents. You haven't lived until one of them calls you Seppo. I'm surprised that the unruly little buggers have kept their poise thus far. Must be some bastardized form of chivalry left over from their properly bred forefathers of Albion. But, mark my words, you stick around this bunch and the insults will be flying. But, then again, they seem to admire assorted pinkos, the bad tempered and faintly literate, not to mention Greek Orthodox attorneys of indeterminate parentage, so, you may do well if you stick to topics that pander to them.

And, if you want to do well in the whole publishing biz thing the explody goodness with an action hero named Rhino is the sure path to success.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 31, 2014

How dare you, sir, defame me via innuendo? You spoke with clear and provable malice, knowing full well that I recently succeeded in narrowing down the field of those who may have engendered me. Twenty paternal candidates, tops!

Cure and correct your false, disparaging comment immediately through an unequivocal, unconditional retraction or face the consequences.

Rhino would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2014

The management would like to make the following correction to a previous post.

We mistakenly printed "Greek Orthodox attorneys of indeterminate parentage"

The correction follwows: "Certain Greek Orthodox attorneys of indeterminate parentage that do not have enough spare time to maliciously sue people out of spite ... so this obviously leaves out Boylan.."

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Bangar mutters...

Posted January 31, 2014

H has been MIA for a while, I hope a TOWBALL isn't involved.

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted January 31, 2014

Where is Havock?
I have been missing the human stun grenade's exhilarating and restorative incursions into the public discourse.
I hope he is OK.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted February 3, 2014

He's probably stuffed his CAP FKN MUPPETS trigger finger playing cricket, by dropping a catch.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted February 3, 2014

Nah,

They had an 'incident' with some 'racks' on da internet.

He stood between two racks, pushed his fingers into the electrodes, and said he hates all the 'nancy boys'.

As he disappeared into the parallel Universe(in order to save this World and all of us) he cursed the weakling Human race he has to endure.

Should be back soon after he's dealt with some ingorant Alien force again.

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted February 3, 2014

Feelin' Lonely here.

I'll go if you go....

We're Havock or anything but (Queensland Tourist Authority catch phrase)..

Bloody never never how will will you you evver everr knoww knoww if you never nevr goo go go we makke you you hold hold an an exhuast pipe pipe.

Don't Sledge the ASuratliaan NAvy!

Don't do it!

They are dumb cunts and will take offencse!

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A milestone, but not a big one

Posted January 24, 2014 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just sent 75 000 words off to Sydney, but there's another 30 000 to do on this book. I've been plotting out the chapters, scene by scene, and knocking them down at the average rate of about 5K words a day. Kids are back at school from mid next week so that should help routinize my days.

Couple of things I learned this time. Changing a character's name can completely alter the way you write them and understand them. My imagination officially clocks off at 9.30pm every night. Writing newspaper columns is even more disruptive to novel writing workflow than school holidays. Having your internet choked off on deadline is not a bad thing.

Anyway. I'm tired. I'm gonna take tonight off, I think, and then throw myself back into the final assault tomorrow.

This second book is looking good, by the way. My favorite character so far is Boylan, the lawyer.

24 Responses to ‘A milestone, but not a big one’

Maddoug is gonna tell you...

Posted January 24, 2014

Does the lawyer get eaten by a monster a la Jurassic Park?

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted January 24, 2014

Congrats JB.

I have to clean and pack tonight for the 6+ hour drive tomorrow.

Yep.

Night off?

Wish some fkr had shot me today now...

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w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted January 24, 2014

It was sooooooooo cold, I saw a lawyer walking down the street with his hands in his own pockets.
Ha, ha, ha.

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted January 24, 2014

If you can squeeze in Boylan saying "People of Earth: Attention", that would be an enjoyable moment for some Earthlings.

Guru Bob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 25, 2014

Gold!

damian reckons...

Posted January 25, 2014

Yes, given the context surely this is not hard and would work no matter which way... "I for one welcome our new demon overlords"

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Rob asserts...

Posted January 24, 2014

Hurrah for lawyers.

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Blarkon would have you know...

Posted January 24, 2014

I bet Boylan's body isn't found downstream in the wreck of a tree after a flood clutching a FKN JasJam.

damian asserts...

Posted January 25, 2014

Cuz, yanno, jaz-effin-jam'z are embarrassing :/

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 27, 2014

But if it does happen that way, at least it will be possible to say that the character died doing what he loved most.

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ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted January 24, 2014

"Ah, Mr Bond. We have caught you and will now lower you into the large tank teeming with hungry lawyers."

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat puts forth...

Posted January 24, 2014

Well done JB...all milestones count, especially the small ones that get you through to the big ones.

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JBtoo ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2014

5K words a day is good going.

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Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2014

Boylan! He always gets the good parts. Can he be eaten by a demon a bit? Just a little bit, please?

damian ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2014

I'm confused, surely he IS a demon...

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Rob would have you know...

Posted January 25, 2014

this week i wrote some comments on two reports, and answered an email. mostly i read cracked and the atlantic.

something serioslky wrong here.......

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 27, 2014

Yeah, it is way cool. And I am way, way honored. But you wanna see cool? I mean, do you wanna see way, way cool?

“Huzzah! Huzzah for King Birmo!”

“Good on you, JB!”

http://smstirling.com/samples/the-golden-princess-chapter-four/

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Therbs mutters...

Posted January 28, 2014

The question must be asked is Prof Boylan lawyering for or against the demons in this book? I only ask this because his evil lair is constructed on a dead volcanic island and it has deep links to subterranean nether places from which demons may issue forth. Also, they'd probably be able to bribe him with wine and tasty crustaceans.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted January 29, 2014

Test

Now with added thinky http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=1177

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 29, 2014

Lawyers are the KY jelly that let's 2 or more rough hungry beasts grind against each other without actually giving off sparks.

The State against an alleged wrong doer. Individual or entity A's raw and ugly self interest crashing against another's. it's our learned colleagues who try to manoeuvre for the advantage of their client over the opposing force. Bound by an oath to do all they legally can + 10% via deniable agents. They do play a role in keeping our society civil. Without those skilled in rhetoric, flourish, diversion & look at the shiny thing, we'd have to resort to violence to resolve every piddling kerfuffle or misunderstanding.

The perception that they benefit from other's misfortune, colours them in the eyes of some others.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted January 29, 2014

I would pay money to read this again.

Name your Price...

NBlob reckons...

Posted January 30, 2014

Oh no, I've made that mistake before.

You nominate a price & we will negotiate from there.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 30, 2014

May I represent your interests in that negotiation, Bob? For 10% of the eventual agreed upon price, of course.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 28, 2014

They have tasty crustaceans??

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Don't ignore the advertising, Dave

Posted January 18, 2014 into Writing by John Birmingham

I'm filling in for Mike Carelton while he takes a well earned break from his column. I enjoy doing it because I don't have to wrangle comments, and it's a 'bitser' column. Bits of this and bits of that.

Mostly I went with the heatwave and the tennis, but my fave bit is about Google's aquisition of Nest, the indie thermostat maker. They also make a smoke detector now, which I was considering getting, even after the company got 'googled up'. It has no shrieky alarms. Just a soothing female voice.

"It's not too hard to imagine a GoogleFuture where we're all woken gently by a soft female voice, telling us the house is on fire, but only after a pitch from some well chosen advertisers. ''Dave, I see you are about to burn to death, Dave. Have you considered a funeral plan? You won't believe the deals White Lady funerals are offering for G+ subscribers right now. Dave? Are you choking, Dave? I see you appear to be crawling through the hallway. Perhaps you have another hangover, Dave. If you crawl 2.3 kilometres north you will find the Lord Alfred hotel has a special slab deal for the hair of the dog that bit you … Dave? What are you doing, Dave? Don't turn me off …''

7 Responses to ‘Don't ignore the advertising, Dave’

Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2014

'You seem unwell Dave, should I call the Doctor?'

Anothe voice breaks in from the cane toad Robocleaner.

'Doctor? Contact the high command, we have found the Doctor. exterminate! exterminate!'

Too much automation would result is a very chatty house methinks.

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Lobes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 18, 2014

I've booked you a table at the Stokehouse Dave. Enjoy your meal Dave.

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted January 18, 2014

Just imagining how stuffed you'd be if your house started whispering Apple advertisements to you during the day.

"John, the new retina Macbook Pro is available just for you at the Apple store ..."

"John, have you thought about how more productive you'd be with an additional Cinema display"

"John, I can see you've kicked arse with wordcount today, why not reward yourself with a trip to the Apple store"

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BigWillieStyle puts forth...

Posted January 18, 2014

Sorry, who's "Mike Carelton"?

BigWillieStyle mutters...

Posted January 18, 2014

Pretty sure that should have read "Big Willie Style". Hoist on my own petard, there.

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Rob would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2014

Don't worry the ads will be 5 'secret tips to losing belly fat' and 'this miracle food will make you lose weight fast' and you can happily ignore all of them.

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted January 19, 2014

This is one of the funniest CBG article eva!

Hear that soothing female voice telling me to get off the FKN computer and do the dishes?

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First target destroyed

Posted January 15, 2014 into Writing by John Birmingham

Made both my word goals for Monday and Tuesday. 5000 and 6000 respectively.

Fave line so far. From CPO Zach Allen: "In the food chain of this operation, they're beef bourguignon and we're chicken-in-a-can."

Today's challenge; the make the word goal while driving Thomas to and from cricket on the other side of the city. Twice.

Step one. I wrote tomorrow's Blunty before breakfast.

Later.

8 Responses to ‘First target destroyed’

Legless reckons...

Posted January 15, 2014

Way to go Mr B. You really should keep up with this writing lark. You're quite good at it.

Now when can I buy A Protocol For Monsters?

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted January 15, 2014

Yeah what dey sayd.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted January 15, 2014

Good old Zach, doing the duty there.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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pi has opinions thus...

Posted January 15, 2014

I love chickin in a can.

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted January 15, 2014

Suggested line:

Those arsehats might treat us like Chicken-in-a-can, but we'll show them we are more like tinned Duck Cassoulet!

Or is that a little too foodie for the characters. :)

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted January 15, 2014

Oh no W it isn't.

But I haven't seen any around for a while.

Plain white Pollo has taken over:(

Shelves and shelve devoted it to it at the locals.

There must be a huge market.

Off to get another tissue...

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andrewmagoo reckons...

Posted January 15, 2014

Respect dude, respect!

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Chaz reckons...

Posted January 15, 2014

Maybe we need an independent BDA before victory so easily claimed?

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Little Pepsi Challenge for you while I'm deadlining

Posted January 13, 2014 into Writing by John Birmingham

I'm writing a story set in Steve Stirling's Emberverse. The one where the power goes out in Dies The Fire.

I'm doing something special with my anthology bit. I'm grabbing a couple of characters from The Disappearance world, and following them through this alternate-alternate timeline. What would've happened if the Wave hadn't eaten America, but instead The Event ended the world.

See if you can guess who.

I've also put the old Emberverse discussion but up in the slider for anyone who wants their memory jogged. (ie. Me).

30 Responses to ‘Little Pepsi Challenge for you while I'm deadlining’

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 13, 2014

The Rhino? isn't he contractually obliged to in such as story.

Brian reckons...

Posted January 13, 2014

Orin? Mormons survived pretty well.

Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted January 14, 2014

Mr Barnes,

I like the way that you think.

R

Guru Bob puts forth...

Posted January 25, 2014

I would have thought it was the only possibility ...

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted January 13, 2014

The redneck chick (how abominable, I finished re-reading these about 3 weeks ago and can't remember her name). To paraphrase: everybody laughs at the redneck, until the event wipes out the world and sends her to an alternative universe.

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted January 13, 2014

case in point Daryl in the Walking Dead.

Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted January 13, 2014

Correct Barnesm, that's the memey thing I was paraphrasing. :-)

FIFI! I remembered!

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted January 13, 2014

I'd guess The Rhino as well, and probably someone like Sofia, a survivor type as opposed to someone who by chance didn't die.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted January 13, 2014

I am not going to let not having read the books stop me from my human rights, so, I would suggest:-

Caitlin, Sofia and Milosz.

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sibeen mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2014

Greg Norman, although I do realise that he only has a piddling bit part in the disapearance universe.

Maddoug reckons...

Posted January 13, 2014

Can just see him slaughtering the Eater hordes with his golf club.

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Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 13, 2014

Milosz - simply because he'd be fun to write.

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Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted January 13, 2014

JB?

Well I will go out on a limb and mention Clive Barker's WeaveWorld and the entity 'Ariel' as a supposition on a neural network.

Uploading a 'personality' will be subject to precise measurement; but still the good old Turing Test will be applied won't it?

How many years to 'upload' a personality?

Old Tech.

So old...

And the whole Cairo thang?

Oh man take me back to the '50's

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted January 13, 2014

You know I 'lost' this comment.

It may appear somewhere else.

Did you see the article about the hammer and the computer in the SMH today?

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2014

You know that Ariel or Uriel is playing with me now?

Computer I have needs to be upgraded.

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

Posted January 13, 2014

Last comment tonight I promise.

They link the hardware with biomass.

Oh yeah.

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Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted January 13, 2014

Surely Abe Frellman, Sausage King of Seattle, would get a guernsey?

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Aaron mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2014

Do you mean each country gets an energy wave leaving only narrow pockets?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2014

Nope. The energy wave doesn't happen in this sptory. But Steve's 'Event' does. So I'm looking at what would have happened to a some of my characters in his world.

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Guy asserts...

Posted January 14, 2014

Personally I would go for Dalby, the urbane MI6 character who gave Caitlin a hand in London. He was badly underused in the books and deserves a little more of the limelight himself.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 14, 2014

You know what, he really does.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted January 14, 2014

Sweet Jane and Zood in a post apocalyptic romcom.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2014

i always thought Miguel Pieraro got a bum steer in his demise. Surely he would be a good character for this. Noble savage kinda thing. Although maybe not enough 'fish out of water' events to write about.

Of course always liked Milosz, but any of those larger than life characters need a straight man/woman to water them down a bit.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 14, 2014

They surely do. You should see what Professor X Boylan gets up to in the next manuscript.

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2014

For the record, I know EXACTLY where Miguel dies.

The Woman I Love and I often have burgers in a little shop across the intersection from the spot.

Second the guess on Miguel. He'd be well equipped for dealing with an Event based world.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2014

The Prof's secret volcano lair is an obvious location for a rupture of the hellmouth. Just hope he brings a nice bottle of wine to the party.

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Anthony is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2014

Personally I'd include Havock - the lack of technology wouldn't faze him. All he'd need would be a club with a nail in the end and he'd make mincemeat of the Tolkein fanbois in th books (oh dear! I keep forgetting they're part of the good guys).

Anyway, you can obviously bring in whoever you want - if Mr Stirling can steal from Conan Doyle with Sir Nigel et al, then I think Conan the Barbarian would do OK.

You could look at the impact on a country which uses little technology and what happens when it has a developed neighbour. PNG is a case in point. A charismatic politician there with a strong tribal suport base could easily make a mess of North Queensland. Easy enough to raid across the Torres Strait (or invade) and no one to stop them.

Bangar would have you know...

Posted January 16, 2014

Havockwould would use more than one nail.

damian mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2014

This reminds me to make another suggestion for book club (non-fiction category) in the form of The Forgotten War by Henry Reynolds. This is in keeping with my well established practice of making book club suggestions from my current reading. Reynolds raises some interesting points.

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Aaron mutters...

Posted January 17, 2014

I know, have Caitlin's nemisis ( bilal?) see the the event as Allah dying or abandoning the world. A loss of faith in his cause. That could be something really different.

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