Cheeseburger Gothic

Scrivener on the iPad. Finally

Posted July 21, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

It's here on iOS. At last. The crack cocaine of writer apps. It's US$20. Thirty down here in vegemiteland. And cheap at twice the price. As soon as it dropped yesterday, I started hitting refresh on the app store, waiting for the file to propagate. Bought it the very second it appeared.

If you're searching the app store, beware. There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names.

But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. And if you click this link you go right there.

I spent a few hours playing with it last night. It seems to be a rock solid 1.0 build. Not as full featured as the dektop app, natch, but still massively overpowered compared to a word processor. I'll do a full write up later this week but for now I am impressed. It's not just shovelware. The developer has spent a long time reimagining the user experience for mobile. It has that most desirable of all traits in the world of engineering: elegance.

I am excite.

9 Responses to ‘Scrivener on the iPad. Finally’

DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted July 21, 2016
I read this on wired.


http://www.wired.com/2016/07/scrivener-ios-means-can-write-zombie-novel-anywhere/


Is it possible there's more of a quid in making tools for writers than there is in writing?


John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 21, 2016
I know a space lizard who thinks so.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted July 21, 2016
does that mean if I want to be a writer I can just buy it and not a copy of 'how to be a writer'?

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted July 21, 2016
hmmm. Barnes. NOPE. I'm fkn living proof of that!

Respond to this thread

Veruca Babydoll would have you know...

Posted July 21, 2016
Do you not like Ulysses App, John?

Respond to this comment

Rhino mutters...

Posted July 22, 2016
Good reason to pick-up the keyboard for this iPad Pro this weekend. Been needing an excuse.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted July 22, 2016
I got my first big delivery of Bezos Bucks coming in a couple of days. Finding it really hard to imagine my immediate future without a fully tricked out iPad Pro in it.

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 22, 2016
It is sweet. I got the whole enchilada.

Need to pick-up the pen and keyboard now.

Respond to this thread

Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted July 22, 2016
+++There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names.

But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. +++

Hee!

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Scrivener on the iPad. Finally'

He's baaaack

Posted July 20, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

15 Responses to ‘He's baaaack’

ntwinter swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 20, 2016
Ah Slim - welcome back in all your uncouth glory :)
Looking forward to this SO much.

Respond to this comment

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted July 20, 2016
He is so unlikable...yet I like his appearances in the story!

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 20, 2016
yeah, not to shabby, bout bloody time I might add.

Its funny, but Slim Jim is the only Character that I do not like and really cannot emotionally attach to in ANY FKN WAY. Really fkn crawls up my nose. I would have had the mthr fkr capped a long fkn time ago.

Respond to this comment

jason mutters...

Posted July 20, 2016
Slim Jim makes me feel ashamed and jealous at the same time. I assume this is a character flaw on my part.

Respond to this comment

Therbs mumbles...

Posted July 20, 2016
Jimbo provides a focus for character hate. He's such an arsehole you expect a rival or victim to slot him at any stage.

HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted July 20, 2016
lol..true, its FKN VISCERAL!

Respond to this thread

Dave W reckons...

Posted July 20, 2016
Love to see the darkness and cynicism of a character who expects the worst of anyone else, therefore is willing to do the worst first.

Respond to this comment

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2016
Rat cunning has its roguish appeal.

How else would one explain Greybeard.

Respond to this comment

Don Bagert mutters...

Posted July 21, 2016
And that "fancy French restaurant" is in France - Paris to be exact, right? :)

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted July 21, 2016
It's like you're looking over my shoulder as I write.

Respond to this thread

Springfield Fats would have you know...

Posted July 21, 2016
I can't remember now whether Slim Jim was in with the quiet room gang or not now, but he's always struck me as the kind of person/character that, while he would cut his own throat to get a good deal going, he's going to be reliable when it comes to the 'good guys' winning and help where he can.

Just out of curiosity JB, how much harder do you find it to write characters who are meant to be unlikeable, but are good guys/heroes in the story? I'm thinking of Dave mostly as I read Protocol, but having just finished the latest season of Rake it's front of mind from that as well.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 21, 2016
It's not harder writing them, Fats. The danger is enjoying it too much.

Timbo has opinions thus...

Posted July 21, 2016
As far as I recall, Davidson was an unwitting pawn of the QR. Maybe he and the Kohlhammer will have sex, since the Hammer made him famous.

Don Bagert swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 23, 2016
JB, your comment reminds me of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, which was originally printed in the UK in the weekly periodical The Guardian. Lewis abruptly ended the very popular series abruptly in one final letter, later stating that it had become too hard to write the horrific demon Screwtape week after week (there were 31 letters in all).

Respond to this thread

Sudragon puts forth...

Posted July 22, 2016
The trick, I've been told, is not to giggle maniacally as you write them, hunched over the keyboard at 3 in the morning.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'He's baaaack'

I may have nudged the Beast of Bezos into action

Posted June 10, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

A minion of the Beast emailed me a week or so back to gently point out that I appeared to be selling A Protocol for Monsters cheaper on iBooks (Australia) than I was on Amazon AU. The minion was hurt, confused, upset, and most desirous that what could only be a terrible mistake should be rectified as soon as possibe.

Long story short, drop the price to $2.99 or we pull the book. Everywhere.

I explained to said minion that I'd been trying to do just that since launch, but Amazon's content management system wouldn't let me. A complicated interplay between royalty rates and territories made it impossible to charge less in Australia unless I charged less and dropped my royalty rate everywhere, cutting the money to be made from each copy sold from $2.80 to $1.00.

The minion agreed this was a suboptimal outcome for both the Beast and myself. Surprisingly, he said he would escalate this issue to see if the feature set for KDP (Amazon's publishing system) could be changed to allow authors and publishers to set differing royalty rates in separate territories.

I have no idea whether this will happen, but I was a little bit impressed that the Beast was so willing to even consider such a change.

I will of course take full credit should it ever come to pass.

Dealing with this shit, by the way, is now a daily occurance for me. I have to quarantine it to a couple of hours late in day otherwise it chews up all of my writing time.

17 Responses to ‘I may have nudged the Beast of Bezos into action’

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted June 10, 2016
In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance rack, an old buckler, a lean hack and a Labrador for company.

Is it possible, just possible, that the behemoth that you call The beast of Bezos is a harmless windmills?

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted June 10, 2016
No. Not at all. It is a Beast, with beastly large teeth for the gnashing and chewing and rending of all things.

Respond to this thread

FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 10, 2016
Every time you mention the 'Beast' i always imagine the Bloodbeast from the cover of Deathtrap Dungeon. Coincidence?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deathtrap_Dungeon

A Bloodbeast is large, at least four metres long, and so bloated it can never leave the pool of foul slime that supports its bulk. Its hide is tough and leathery, protected by thin spines and coloured a disgusting grey-green. Its head appears to consist of a myriad all-seeing eyes spread in a wide sweep above an enormous toothy maw, that also contains a long slimy pink prehensile tongue.
The species does not appear to have any limbs which are able to provide or aid locomotion, which indicates that the beast is a sedentary lurker, not an active hunter or migrator, and never leaves its habitat unless it is forced to. Another hint to this is the fact that a Bloodbeast's pool is always filled with acidic slime, quite likely secreted by itself, to aid in digesting its prey

Respond to this comment

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 10, 2016
Oh dear. Are you sure this isn't the first step by the Bezoids to lure you into increasingly time consuming distraction, setting up for a killer play?
They might be playing a long game to use you as an example. Be wary of the first parries, Their lower tier flaks may seem genuinely supportive while in the penthouse their controller snorts white powder off Icelandic mermaid virgins then orders hot smoked baby platypus with truffles.
"Dat Boimingham fella. Sets himself up as some sort of self publishing wise guy. Hey Vinnnie, get the boys to play nice with him for a while. I have plans for him. And send up some more of them truffled platykittens."

Respond to this comment

Dave W puts forth...

Posted June 10, 2016
Minion [on the phone]: Yes Jeff, it's about John Birmingham, he's a player down-under. We fix it for this guy and everyone else falls into line. [pause] I don't think you understand, Jeff, he's the whale. [pause] That's right, Angel of Vengeance, Weapons of Choice, yep, that Birmingham. [pause] Good, good, right, so he can set different royalty rates? Excellent.

[Later, now it's dark and Minion's ashtray is now full]

Minion [phone again]: It's fixed, Mr Birmingham, it took all day but we got there on the royalty rates. [pause] You won't be bothered again about this. [pause] No, no, that's right, no more arse-fuckery on a daily basis. Yep, you can go back to the bunnies and the writey-explodey stuff. Yep, you too, bye.

Minion hangs up, stubs out his last Malboro 25 and stretches back, contented that he has made the world a better place for another author in the Beast's stable.

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 10, 2016
FFS, what happened to the para breaks I put into this?

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted June 10, 2016
Same thing so that happens to mine. Apparently One
Should use (br) but sustitute pointy brackets like these <

Respond to this thread

jason swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 10, 2016
I am a glass half full kind of guy. This on the surface appears to be a problem but it is an opportunity:
How to be a writer Part 2: Dealing with the Beast.

Bangar mutters...

Posted June 10, 2016
An optmist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says it's half empty, an engineer says they made the glass twice the size the needed to.

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted June 10, 2016
ROFL.

No An engineer would be still be trying to determine if the risk is worth making a decision based on the risk!


Any engineers around here?

If memory serves me correct!

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted June 10, 2016
Its a slow fkn day when I write rhyming shit thats for fkn sure!!

This Beast you cry the modern behemoth, man’s Juggernaut of journalistic scripted endeavors, their devour er. The taker and maker of men, both mighty and meek, it’s sullen, fast but of bile it reeks.

The meek, minor partner whilst happy at times seeks solace in knowledge that time might provide. For the Beast, whilst Fast and of a reeking design, teeth gnashing, jaw crashing is slow to align, to any new construct or threat born of time.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm asserts...

Posted June 10, 2016
Hopefully the feature set in the KDP will be identified as the Birmingham Protocol.

Respond to this comment

Dirk ducks in to say...

Posted June 10, 2016
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

Respond to this comment

Peter in the bleachers would have you know...

Posted June 10, 2016
Stay the course oh fearless one. The beast may not be slain, it may however be tamed, perhaps, maybe, we can but hope.

Nocturnalist puts forth...

Posted June 13, 2016
I have it on good authority that even stabbing it with one's steely knives will not be sufficient.

Respond to this thread

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted June 10, 2016
Faced with the ravenous obduracy of the Beast, our hero JB cleverly suggested there might actually be money in it for you, you Monster. This irresistibly seductive statement immediately sent the Beast slithering back into his cavern, back onto his massive pile of gold, where he is frantically doing the numbers.

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted June 10, 2016
well a king slayer he certainly fkn aint!

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'I may have nudged the Beast of Bezos into action'

Writing update

Posted June 9, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

I've finally been making some progress on Paris after a month of distraction by publishing commitments – some of them mine, some occasioned by the launch of How to Be a Writer. I would say the manuscript will be ready in two weeks, but in one week I'll hit the wall of school holidays, and hit it hard. So probably not.

However, I'm in a pretty good space at the moment. I've learned a lot from the launch of Cairo and both of the Hooper ebooks. I continue to study the industry, the market and increasingly the craft. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about writing the last 10 or 15 years. I've mostly just been doing it and paying the bills. But having to rebuild the business has forced me to rethink it.

As part of that, I've been reading a book recommended by Ms Girlclumsy, Save the Cat, (Amazon link) by Blake Snyder, a screenwriter. (Sadly, he passed away in 2009. This makes me very sad).

I'm not about to turn my pen to screenwriting. That's not a skill I have or plan to acquire. But structure, character, and the revealing of character through action, these are the superpowers of the screenwriter, and well worth studying for their own sake. So I have been.

I have also been studying the e-book industry, of course. One of the arcane magics which most intrigued me is the idea of building a story to sell to particular readers. Some call it writing to market, some call it pre-optimisation, some call it selling out. I think the last is bullshit. Every storyteller wants to be heard. Every band wants to play to a full house.

I've had a couple of ideas for books floating around for years, but because they didn't align with the interests of my trade publishers I was never able to do anything about them. Revisiting some of these ideas, having learned the lessons of the last 12 months, I find myself more excited by the prospect of writing than I have been in a long, long time. In the last month or so, as I hurried from one commitment to another I've worked up ideas for half a dozen novels, none of which I would have been able to sell in the past. They weren’t the Axis of Time. They didn't revisit The Disappearance. The Dave was not involved.

Some of them were ideas for quite conventional thrillers, and I don't sell conventional. Others were closer to my original genre work, but not close enough for the business plans of risk averse trade publishers.

None of that matters any more. If I want to write these things, I'm going to write these things. Put them out there with my name on, with another name on, in any form I want. And the hell of it is, I'm pretty sure I'll sell a lot of them, because they're good stories that people will want to read.

I'd love to lay them out here for you to see, but that would be foolish. So I'm just going to get back to my keyboard, finish Paris, restart the main sequence of Axis, and very quietly keep pushing forward of these new books. They could be in the world of real things very soon.

22 Responses to ‘Writing update’

insomniac reckons...

Posted June 9, 2016
Writing to market is more like a loss leader than selling out. You'd use those books to drive people to your other worlds. Not that it would necessarily run at a loss; more the idea.
Maybe people would buy Axis etc before realising they didn't really want to buy them. It was funny looking at Ben Pobjie's other books on Amazon, one being The Guide to Handy Latin Phrases, where people bought it solely on the name hoping to learn conversational Latin. Boy were they upset.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted June 9, 2016
I cannot but help ROFLing at that story about Handy Latin Phrases.

Respond to this thread

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted June 9, 2016
Scribble madly, mad man. Scribble.

Respond to this comment

Therbs mumbles...

Posted June 9, 2016
Do you have dibs on Leviathan or does it belong to publishers? In a few years after Barangaroo is finished, public housing in The Rocks sold off and new tram tracks built there'd be strong material for an updated edition. Competing monied interests, public opposition and the big money winners. I'd like to see some of those winners don the old 18th Century Marines uniform to show things don't change that much in the Emerald City.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 9, 2016
The rights are still with Random House. I'd happily look at an update, but I'd have to be living in Sydney to do it.

Halwes asserts...

Posted June 9, 2016
I loved Leviathan and think that an update would be great fun however I'm not sure how commercially viable it would be. Hopefully very, especially with the rise of the historical crime tv series. The changing face of crime in Sydney would also be of great interest to me. I've been reading a lot lately. I got to 55 and decided that there were a lot of books that I needed to read before it was too late. And then my mad girlfriend gave me Ozzy Osbournes autobiography to read and that was the end of any intelligent reading agenda that I may have had! I think that writers need constant experience, some of the best bits of Leviathan are when you lived on the street at the cross, which is hard to get when there are bills to be paid and deadlines to meet. So come to the Territory and immerse yourself in squalor, government waste and corruption for a while ! Ozzys autobiography is hilarious by the way.

KreepyKrawly reckons...

Posted June 9, 2016
How about one on Brisbane (not just the sharehousing scene)... that should be good one.... Plus, you don't have to move. ß-D

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted June 9, 2016
Off topic but our PM finally admitted the seas are rising ( happening in the north of Australia very quickly now ) and that big storms are imminent. This is a big deal. Maybe it paves the way for new thinking. Tempting to dismiss it cynically I know, and for sure the deniers are in full control of everything for at least the next 6 years, but maybe this time we can get it right. Most of getting it right I suspect will be generating enough greenhouse gasses to sink a planet producing enough concrete to make dams and sea walls. Does anyone here remember the old Bronte baths / change rooms and the storm that took that away? I only saw the aftermath.

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 14, 2016
I think every Australian should have watched Four Corners this week. Re refugees from Syria

Respond to this thread

Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted June 9, 2016
This is the kind of thing I love about The Burger ... a look under the hood of how it all works. Devoured "How to be a Writer" in one sitting the other day.

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield ducks in to say...

Posted June 9, 2016
internet = narrowcasting

love the interweb.

Respond to this comment

Rick reckons...

Posted June 9, 2016
Any free copies available for struggling writers ?

Respond to this comment

ShaneAlpha ducks in to say...

Posted June 9, 2016
Don't forget editing the Dave fan-fic too!

Those voracious bloody readers must be fed and some tasty morsels written by suckers, I mean budding authors, can just hit the spot when your authoring finger things get a bit too sore and you feel like curling up with a largish rum and something to edit/throw out the window.

Respond to this comment

jl has opinions thus...

Posted June 9, 2016
That's what drew me to indie publishing- damn the publishers, you can publish your own story in the way you want to do it. Write, John, write!

Respond to this comment

pi would have you know...

Posted June 9, 2016
This makes me happy.

Respond to this comment

McKinneyTexas mumbles...

Posted June 10, 2016
"restart the main sequence of Axis"

Como? Que paso'? Did I miss something? What are you doing with Axis? Of all of your work, AoT stands out for the canvass on which the story was told, the research, the fine details, etc.

I still remember grabbing WoC in an airport somewhere, starting it and not stopping until I finished it. And then rereading it. And then stalking your ass on the internet until I landed at the Burger. I agree with Rhino, those were some mighty fine times.

So what is up with AoT? And why haven't I been asked to plot the story arc? Shit, I've had that one ready to go since forever.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted June 10, 2016
As soon as Stalin's Hammer is wrapped, I'm going back to do the Invasion of Hawaii as a standalone novel. Full length.

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted June 20, 2016
Didn't the Japanese try that once?

Respond to this thread

Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted June 10, 2016
Interesting to note the relative freedom I'm 'hearing' in your posts recently. To mix a couple of metaphors it sounds like you're feeling both unshackled and now largely free of the log-jam of traditional publishing.

Just an obversation.

Respond to this comment

Blarkon reckons...

Posted June 10, 2016
I remember reading an article that analyzed a number of recent scripts and they all fell into the "Save the Cat" paradigm - the problem being that because everyone was using it, studios were starting to look at it as problematic.

Respond to this comment

rick stieg mutters...

Posted June 14, 2016
Having just read the she/seawolf Smith girls sagas again, How 'bout a Left Coast/pacifica set of stories to continue the glow?

Harry Turtl***** did an "Invasion of Hawaii" gig a few years ago-betcha you can come up with 'better'.

Respond to this comment

Steve O ducks in to say...

Posted June 18, 2016
Any plans on fleshing out A Captain of The Gate?

I really enjoyed!

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Writing update'

Phillip Marlowe and Han Solo as character archetypes

Posted June 6, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

Introduced Thomas to Raymond Chandler this morning. Or rather to Chandler’s famous essay about the private detective as archetype. We were discussing favourite characters over breakfast at Brown Dog and I was trying to explain how all characters, in the end, are the same but different. They match certain archetypes.

I googled up Chandler’s famous ‘Mean Streets’ quote:

“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.

“He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.

“The story is this man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.”

He read it, grudgingly, and then I asked whether that description of an archetypal 1940s detective could apply to, say, Han Solo. (Spoiler, of course it can). The only point of departure is the matter of honesty. Solo would of course take a dishonest dollar from another rogue, but I don’t think he’d take one off an innocent. His need might tempt him, but his pride would not let him.

Character archetypes are much on my thoughts at the moment as I plot out not just The Cruel Stars but a couple of other projects. Chandler’s knight errant of the mean streets is not the only character type, of course. There are others. But I’ve always thought that short description captures one very particular type of hero very well.

15 Responses to ‘Phillip Marlowe and Han Solo as character archetypes’

Jim mumbles...

Posted June 6, 2016
Jack Reacher (obviously not the Cruise version) fits in with this

Dick ducks in to say...

Posted June 6, 2016
My thoughts exactly.

Respond to this thread

Lulu mutters...

Posted June 6, 2016
I've always loved Chandler & Marlowe.

And despite the (ahem!) plot tangles, I think the classic film of The Big Sleep captured that same heroic scrappiness. It helped that Marlowe was played by Bogart.

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted June 6, 2016

The similarities between the American archetype heroes of Marlowe, Reacher and Solo are manifest ... such as, when in doubt have the Millennium Falcon burst through a Sun flare all guns blazing to end the conflict with the bad guys pronto so Han Solo can get back home to a drink.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted June 6, 2016

Of course when I say 'home for a drink' ... its code for 'nail the Princess!'

Respond to this thread

Barnesm asserts...

Posted June 6, 2016
I am always amazed when I reread Chandler that one of the few items that jar me out of thinking it is contemporary story is when the prices for things are quoted.

It is only this that shakes me free, not the characters/or archetypes, or the betrayals or the self serving villains or noble heroes or the indifferent cruelty of the dominate businessmen.

of course Captain Malcolm Reynolds is even more a Chanldleresque hero.

"he read it, grudgingly' yeah, I hear you with that challenge.

of course the whole cyberpunk genre is full of these heroes. Though for a while the seem to be called anti-heroes. Io9 had a piece on this trend. Can't insert the hyperlink but it can be found here http://io9.gizmodo.com/383876/why-do-anti-heroes-rule-science-fiction.

Funnily enough I am re-reading Altered Carbon in preparation for the upcoming adaptation.

jl would have you know...

Posted June 6, 2016
Altered Carbon is a great book/concept. I hadn't realized there was an adaptation pending- cool that you mentioned that, I'll have to see it.

Respond to this thread

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted June 6, 2016
Would Lucas' characters be classified as archetypes or cliches? The cynical in me would say the latter, pooping on his legacy because . . . . well, i'm a petulant consumer dognabbit!

Barnesm reckons...

Posted June 6, 2016
Clictype or Arches?

FormerlyKnownAsSimon would have you know...

Posted June 7, 2016
Clictype: This lovable rogue won't kill baddies due to a high sense of self worth. You won't believe what happens next

Respond to this thread

Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted June 6, 2016
I think "Force Awakens" repaints Solo in a very different light. He's basically a schmuck. In the original trilogy you may get the impression he's a badass. But he's in hoc to a gangster for dumping cargo. His ship really doesn't work all that well. He completely fluffs the raid on the shield generator. By TFA Leia even says that he's no help whatsoever except once when he helped Luke out with the Death Star. The rest of the movie has one character saying that there was no one left in the galaxy for him to successfully con because he was so rubbish at it. He even completely bollocksed up being a parent to the point where his kid massacred all the other kids at the Jedi academy and, even then, when he tries to get his kid to come back, completely misreads the situation and ends up with a lightsaber through the chest.

Han Solo is like Fonzie. Seems cool until you think about it. Then you realize that Fonzie is a guy in his 20's whose office is a toilet used by teenagers at a fast food joint.

Therbs asserts...

Posted June 7, 2016
Usually the Marlowe archetype has to be good at his job, or 'calling' and fairly smart. Solo ain't too bright and as you point out his efforts are generally half arsed. I'm surprised Leis's scooby gang didn't secretly conspire to not rescue him from the carbonite. "Yeah, leave the idiot there. They can use him as a life size popsicle version of himself." It was probably that stupid howling brown flocati rug which made them do it.

Respond to this thread

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 6, 2016
and the Pile O'Shame grows ever higher

Respond to this comment

Blake ducks in to say...

Posted June 6, 2016
Working my way through 'Rouges' and anthology of shorts put together by George RR Martin & Gardner Dozois. Mr Martin makes a pretty strong case for the general love of the Rogue archetype in the intro. (he very articulatately voices the audible intro, i'm not sure why it suprises me that he would be so articulate...i might have to read those books at some point).

Its interesting in the way so many authors and genre's take on the archetype. Not everyones Rougue is a variation on Han Solo.
Joe R. Lansdale's Hap is very much the Marlowe archetype albeit less of a loner... the concept of western noir has blown my mind.... I'm going to have to go do some follow up reading on a pile of these authors.

Conversely Gillian Flynn's rougue is far from that model, but she revels in the shorter story, a lot less drag on the turnings of the mind fuck than in Gone Girl.

Respond to this comment

damian puts forth...

Posted June 7, 2016

I think I have mentioned James Crumley here before when we were talking about book club nights (whatever happened to that anyway?). I can't recommend his novels highly enough, especially to this crowd. Suggest The Mexican Tree Duck as a starting place (the older ones are more rambling). The others have some great, great lines though.



On Chandler, I'd like to think one would do better to read The Big Sleep before Chandler's writing about himself (or if you want that, make it The Long Goodbye). The reason is that when you come across a sequence like the following for the very first time, you should have the opportunity to have your own thoughts about it:



"I looked down at the chessboard. The move with the knight was wrong. I put it back where I had moved it from. Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn't a game for knights.”


Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Phillip Marlowe and Han Solo as character archetypes'

The importance of adjectives

Posted May 5, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

This Call of Duty ad copy just isn't as good without them. In fact, it makes almost no fucking sense at all.

13 Responses to ‘The importance of adjectives’

Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5, 2016
What about the dakka? Is there moar dakka?

Respond to this comment

Respond to this comment

dweeze mumbles...

Posted May 5, 2016
I fixed it for ya:

Call of Duty: Infinite FKN Warfare puts uninspired storytelling in a turgindly strained narrative. Infinity Ward (sic) breaks no new ground by exploring dead weight and its myriad responsibilities. In a time of little adversity, the unfortunate player, as listless Captain of their broken warship, must take command against an indifferent enemy. Dumb ass soldiers are thrust into hilarious circumstances that will test their crossfit training and reveal their alphanumeric character as they learn to lead and make stupid decisions necessary to valiantly achieve pointless victory. The dull and repetitive game also introduces bland environments, craptacular weaponry and worthless abilities to Call of Duty. The tedious campaign -from soporific combat to insipid fighters - occurs as an unstimulating experience with epic loading times and delivers 7-11 franchise moments that
imbecilic, naive and simpleminded fans love.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 5, 2016
Hmm, this does read a lot better.

Rob would have you know...

Posted May 5, 2016
Craptacular!

Respond to this thread

Lulu puts forth...

Posted May 5, 2016
This is what happens when accountants use Google translate.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted May 5, 2016
I've never played Call of Duty, this is the first time I've been tempted because it has spaceships.

Am I the kind of gamer that is the reason they are doing this?

Hope not, I'm hanging out for some No Man's Sky action.

Respond to this comment

Rob ducks in to say...

Posted May 5, 2016
OMG OMG OMG, jumps up and down in an over excited stupid way. COD:MW is being upgraded to HD and remastered! I don't give a flying fuck about grammar rules, wordage, spoilage, Rogue One and Disney Princesses. I'm going to go 3 grenade crazy perk followed up with suicide bombs, when you step over my lifeless digitised corpse. My PC is glowing red , waiting for November to come around.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted May 5, 2016
and of course they pull this crap for people who want the remastered game.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/05/you-cant-play-the-remastered-modern-warfare-without-buying-the-new-call-of-duty/

Respond to this thread

Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted May 5, 2016
They're good fun and as a parent now they appeal more than they used too because you can get straight into the action as opposed to say civilisation which requires many many glorious hours of world dominating goodness. Sigh...

Respond to this comment

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted May 5, 2016
Off topic but Stalin's Hammer:Cairo is up on Amazon.

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted May 5, 2016
That is weird. Even the first sentence, 'puts storytelling into a narrative. that's like saying, 'Our bakery puts cakemaking into a cake'.

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted May 6, 2016
Reads like a failed history student's sad attempt at an essay.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'The importance of adjectives'