Cheeseburger Gothic

Girl in Time, Act 2 beta is available

Posted October 26, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

I planned to hit Act 3 around the 60,000 word mark, but in the way of these things, it took me until 70,000 to get there.
Worth it, though.
Anybody who's reading the beta will see the change in perspective immediately. I shifted Point of View from Cady to Smith, partly to hide some of the narrative scaffolding away where nobody could see it, and partly because I wanted to spend a bit of time inside the head of my other protagonist.
Smith has a very different perspective, and a pleasingly arcane way of expressing himself.
It's now going to take me a day or or to get out of the habit of thinking like him.
Thanks to everybody who's been reading along and offering edits and suggestions. The manuscript is really tightening up. I found myself having to take a break from checking the edits yesterday because I was starting to enjoy reading the text too much.
Always a good sign.
I have the last Act sketched out, not blocked out scene by scene. The next couple of days will go towards that. I hope to have the final Act ready for beta by November 4.

10 Responses to ‘Girl in Time, Act 2 beta is available’

Steve swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 26, 2016
Not related to AGiT, but thought you would be interested in the following

I was watching a new NBC series called "Timeless", as a result of some WWII time travel, the heroes get back to their present and find out about an Ian Fleming book that was not in the original timeline.

The name of the book is "Weapons of Choice", clearly one of the writers is a fan.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted October 26, 2016
Hah, that is pretty cool.


John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted October 26, 2016
I am officially chuffed.

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted October 26, 2016
I guess your family worked out you were deep into character POV when you said tea was going to be ribeye, soda biscuits and grits.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted October 26, 2016
Amazing effort.

I was listing to the 'No such thing as a fish' podcast and did you know at a gala held in Agatha Christie's honor when asked how she was able to churn out so many books, Christie once called herself “a sausage machine, a perfect sausage machine.”

For many years she was on a tight schedule of two books per year, including one that was always released right before the holiday season, which was marketed as “Christie for Christmas.” Except one particularly prodigious year when she wrote four novels, a collection of short stories and two plays.

Don't know what made me think of that.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 27, 2016
the school boy in me sniggers at her comparison

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DarrenBloomfield ducks in to say...

Posted October 27, 2016
It's a thing of beauty. I'm finding it really hard to stop reading it for pleasure and fulfilling my beta function.

Also a good sign.

Can't wait for the "who will play Them in the movie version?" Thread.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted October 27, 2016
I'm having great fun writing it.

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Don Bagert has opinions thus...

Posted October 29, 2016
LOL, I went to correct a typo in your post, before remembering that I'm not reading the beta ;-)

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted October 29, 2016
This made me chuckle.

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AGIT Beta update

Posted October 21, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

Decided to split the upload into three. There's little reason not to let everyone have at the 1st Act later today. I have a chapter to finish writing first, but then I'll post the copy so it's avialble over the weekend.

12 Responses to ‘AGIT Beta update’

insomniac mumbles...

Posted October 21, 2016
Will the master alphas still get 2 weeks for each?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted October 21, 2016
I send it to edit on Nov 11.

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DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted October 21, 2016
I meant to respond in earlier thread. Personally i think the drop feed works best for me as a beta reader. Lets me focus on the task assigned and not get swept up/distracted by the story!

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Don Bagert would have you know...

Posted October 24, 2016
I'm still available :)

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted October 25, 2016
Invite sent.

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted October 24, 2016
Just finished my first full sweep through.

Hats off my friend. Hats off.

jl asserts...

Posted October 25, 2016
Agreed. JB has done something completely different with this work but the effect is the same as his other books- riveting reading.

DaveC mumbles...

Posted October 25, 2016
Majorly kicks arse.

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Robertkocsis swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 27, 2016
Well, I'd love to peruse this if still possible :)

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted October 27, 2016
Your invite should be in your email.

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Vallon Davis mumbles...

Posted November 4, 2016
Where can I access the AGIT beta post??

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A Girl in Time Beta is coming

Posted October 20, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

I'm still trying to decide whether to push hard and get this out before Christmas, or take a couple of extra weeks and release in mid Jan when things are very quiet with the trade publishers.

To give myself the former option, I'd have to do the beta in two parts. Releasing parts 1 and 2 (which luckily are quite self contained) and finishing Act 3 while the betas read them.

If I wait until January to publish, it's less of an issue.

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who'd like to see the early version, and particularly what they think of a two part process.

The first part of about 60-65K words will be ready in a couple of days. The second of approx 30K words, maybe a fortnight later.

Also, I'm thinking of calling the betas my alphas because they're that awesome.

15 Responses to ‘A Girl in Time Beta is coming’

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted October 20, 2016
if you want to add an extra beta/alpha, my timeline has freed up with the aligning of the planets. I'm trying out Damon Young's #nowhitedudes . . but . . . well there are always exceptions and i'm currently inbetween lovers . . . i mean books at the moment. A two part process shouldn't be a problem? The beta's would have the first 60k to get through anyway. I can only offer you my services as a reader of pure enjoyment not encumbered by the fine details of the laws of physics and credibility, although there is a point where that wears thin (i have done maths at uni) : )

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Leftarc mumbles...

Posted October 20, 2016
I was going to say take the time. This is not an agile project, throwing out iterations like nameless drugs to mad monday footballers at Surfers.
But I have re-read the question, and you have to ask yourself, do you want to be writing part three, knowing that there maybe some changes required based on the feedback you will receive in parts one and two.

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted October 20, 2016
Send it. I should have some time soon to read it.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien asserts...

Posted October 20, 2016
If you wish to entrust me to be a beta, I will gladly take it on. I will submit my CV and references if necessary ;-)


As far as the two-part process, I think it will work. We read 1, then 2, then you finish 3 and tie it all back together with the feedback.

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted October 20, 2016
Yeah, on further consideration, a little consultation with industry insiders, I'm leaning towards pulling a few late nights and getting this sucker into play before Christmas.
Anybody who'd like to be in on the beta, let me know via email.
My initials at jbismymasternow dotcom.

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Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted October 20, 2016
I have some time in my reading schedule, while I wait for Dave Hutchinson's 'Europe in Winter' to drop in a few weeks time. And I'm saving the new Peter Hamilton for my Christmas break.

So I might put my hand up this time.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 20, 2016
Personally I will have more time in December but if you command I shall deliver, even though 65K words in two weeks will be a stretch, especially while still being giddy at the thrilling, world record beating, largest ever margin victory by the mighty All Blacks over the hapless Wallabies.

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Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted October 20, 2016
I like the idea of pre-Xmas and I finally have some time I think. Beta away!!

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AuntyLou ducks in to say...

Posted October 20, 2016
Excitement! And of course you can call us anything you like...except master betas...

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted October 20, 2016
OH GOOD GRIEF!

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AuntyLou asserts...

Posted October 20, 2016
What?! Grandma can be rude too you know! She ain't all milk and cookies...in fact this one is more wine and vodka!

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Rhino mutters...

Posted October 21, 2016
Get it done before Xmas. Every day that it is not online is a day that you don't get money.

Ship it.

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Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted October 21, 2016
JB, I'd like to see the early version, and would suggest waiting on publication until January, since it seems you have so much in the pipeline right now.

DaveC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 21, 2016
Like Red Dead Redemption 2?

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she_jedi mutters...

Posted October 21, 2016
Ship it! I'm in project deadline hell at work at the moment (we're opening a new hotel AND re-lauching our loyalty program at the same time, so no pressure) but will commit to beta reading this one, as I failed so miserably on Cairo and Paris :(


And then I can buy myself the finished product for Christmas. Win win.

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STALIN'S HAMMER PARIS. Prelaunch sequence initiated

Posted October 4, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

The final version of Paris should be off to the formatting factory later today, after which I start pressing buttons and pulling levers to release it into the world.

Thanks are due to the beta team, who gave their usual best, and to everyone who's been contributing to the WW 3.1 threads below.

I finished Final Impact pretty much burned out with AoT, and the experience of traditionally publishing ROME didn't help. But walking the indie path with this story has reignited my enthusiasm for the whole narrative. I'm looking forward to closing out the year working on the first new full length novel in the series since the end of the main trilogy.

I do have plans to release the HAMMER as a complete set, and as an audio book. Probably as a print on demand title too. All that is for the New Year, however.

Before then, we have a date in Paris. I'll be dropping some freebies through the week, via the mailing list, here at the Burger and, God help me, over at the Book of Face. Tomorrow, there'll be a short story set in the Axis of Time, written by Mr Jason Lambright.

18 Responses to ‘STALIN'S HAMMER PARIS. Prelaunch sequence initiated’

sibeen reckons...

Posted October 4, 2016
*drums fingers*

I'm not sure I can forgive you for knocking off Viv, but I will give you hte benefit of the doubt.

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MarkatVAVS would have you know...

Posted October 4, 2016
SPOILERS!!!!

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted October 4, 2016
Sibeen wrote:

*drums fingers*

I'm not sure I can forgive you for knocking off ****, but I will give you hte benefit of the doubt.

(And I edited out the spoileriffic name) - JB

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KreepyKrawly asserts...

Posted October 4, 2016
Sweet, just finished Navigators of Dune . . . now something 'Splodey...

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Peter Bradley asserts...

Posted October 4, 2016
You knocked off ****! How could you? Just when...... oh the hell with it I'll just wait 'til I read who it was.

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Bondiboy66 has opinions thus...

Posted October 4, 2016
Oh jolly, straight to the top of my 'Read this' list!

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DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 4, 2016
Man I forget that some of us know more than others.

Well done JB - and thanks for the privilege of being on the beta team. I hope our usefulness outweighed our sheer bloodymindedness and frustration-inducing pedantry.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2016
How about actually being on the beta team and still not having any idea who **** is? I have a vague recollection of the death but cannot remember who. I know who it wasn't.

DaveC is gonna tell you...

Posted October 5, 2016
Indeed and agreed. Unless we're talking about the third goon from the left? The one with the Slavic features who practiced casual brutality? Yeah. The series will totes be the poorer for losing that goon.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted October 5, 2016
I loved that goon. He was my favourite.

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Dave W mumbles...

Posted October 4, 2016
Happy for the freebies, and also happy to contribute to the new wing of the bunny mansion.

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Dirk ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2016
Huzzah: Let it rip!

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Al is gonna tell you...

Posted October 4, 2016
It's with my pyro and dets course on the reading list. Tough times ahead!

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Joe mutters...

Posted October 4, 2016
Excellent - let the freebies roll. Just need to finish these assignments first...

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted October 5, 2016
There should be a sound track. We should pull a John Ringo and come up with a playlist that goes along with Paris.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien has opinions thus...

Posted October 6, 2016
Can't wait. Need something to hold me over between my birthday and Christmas - besides Halloween :)

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GUTZ reckons...

Posted October 7, 2016
I full applaud going the Indie route and saving a plethora of migraines and the like..HOWEVER....i would like to address the elephant in the room (yes his name is Stampy). I do not see how being ensconced in casa del Birmo pumping out words faster than a room full of proverbial monkeys, gets you out and doing the ' Birmos, i have released a shit ton of new stuff buy me drinks world tour'.
This tour, which no doubt would be Beatlesque in its ...er...well everything apart from the singing and maybe Yoko has been sorely missed.
Any plans for getting about amongst the great unwashed? You can even use the t-shirt idea if you want!!
GUTZ out.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted October 7, 2016
You raise some interesting points.

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Update

Posted September 15, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

No, I'm not dead. Just busy.

In the last six weeks I've written just over 80,000 words. I intend to keep going at this rate until mid-December. By that time I will have finished Stalin's Hammer: Paris, A Girl in Time, and the new, full-length AOT novel which kicks off the world War 3.1 series. (Oh, and the Dave Hooper fanfic project).

I'm not sitting up until midnight with my underpants in my head to do this, but I am working consistently, continuously and at a pretty intense level.

At a minimum I drop 2000 words into Scrivener every day. Most days I shoot for two and a half or three thousand.

As always, come mid-afternoon I crash back to the surface of Planet Parenthood for a couple of hours of kid wrangling.

That's why you're not seeing many updates around here. I'm prioritsing the books and by the time I'm finished for the day... I am fucking finished for the day.

I have been following the discussion in the World War 3.1 thread, copying and pasting the highlights across to my research files. I've also had some very useful OOB stuff sent to me by Dirk and JL. I'm grateful for the help.

Also hugely helpful, the beta readers on Paris. I've been gradually taking in their edits and suggestions over the past fortnight, and will wrap that up and send the finished draft off to the pro-editor in the next couple of days. The cover art was finalised a long time ago, and the formatting won't take long, so it will be published within a month.

I will have another topic for 3.1 which I will put up later today. But right now, I have those KPIs to hit.

12 Responses to ‘Update’

Dave W asserts...

Posted September 15, 2016
I thought it would be something like this.

I've not been much use in the Pepsi Challenge...what with knowing next to nothing about military strategy, materiel or history. My history major kind of focussed on the causes of wars 1 and 2, rather than the military consequences. It's been interesting but quite intense to follow the threads.

Look forward to the next update.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 16, 2016
"what with knowing next to nothing about military strategy, materiel "

Yep, same here. My only contribution would be '(a) supply lines? have you thought about your supply lines? Oh, and (b) don't invade Russia during winter, because, well (a)'.

Dave W reckons...

Posted September 16, 2016
Plus: Never get involved in a land war in Asia (tip o' the hat to the Princess Bride).

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Leftarc ducks in to say...

Posted September 15, 2016
Is that how you re calibrate the diesel emissions code in a Golf?

Dirk asserts...

Posted September 15, 2016
Naah that's easy :)

Well John bring it on!

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Halwes asserts...

Posted September 15, 2016
I just read your SMH article on the plebiscite. I was determined not to care about this issue until I had to but I think that time has come. The full enormity of how the debate will unfold has finally penetrated. As I listened to how the two sides would be funded I realised how this funding will be used by the homosexual bashers and I despaired. Most can handle it I reckon and will give as good as they get but what about the fragile and the young.? They are about to get a bashing that they will never forget. There is no way that there wont be serious collateral damage and lasting enmity. By the way, the line on the plebiscite carrying less legal weight than a fridge magnet poem was gold.

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jl mumbles...

Posted September 16, 2016
A little bit of staff work on our part frees you up to do what's important- writing. This is entirely selfish because the more you write the more I get to read, and it sounds like you've got some good ideas brewing down there.

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Rob puts forth...

Posted September 16, 2016
I love that gif so much.

JB send me an email about the cover image you wanted if you have the time. I have ...erm ,,,, more time that I know what to do with.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted September 16, 2016
You keep banging that keyboard. Me 'n H got this shit locked down tight.

I wanna get my mitts on that commie stomping opus you are working on ... So, if any a these mooks try to derail ya, well, that'd be bad.

All I'm sayin is, You don't get theses eatin' borscht and pettin Uncle Joe's pecker.

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DaveC would have you know...

Posted September 17, 2016
80 K words in a month and a half is pretty epic. Of course I'm drooling to read 3.1, but I'm also really looking forward to reading A Girl in Time. That premise has been bouncing around in my head and I can't wait to see where it takes them.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien ducks in to say...

Posted September 20, 2016
I am interested in A Girl in Time as well. I didn't submit a favorite time period for the story suggestion because I couldn't decide on one.

But for me the main show will be WW 3.1. I still hold on to my boyhood dream of getting Tuckerized into one of the novels.

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insomniac mumbles...

Posted September 20, 2016
We need a new post. The current one should be labelled NSFW in an open plan office.

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First Draft done

Posted August 25, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just put the last full stop in place and compiled the Scrivener file of Paris. 48 250 words. I'll give the Word doc a read thru this arvo and tomorrow, and send it out to Beta.

Publication in late September, I reckon, depending on the pro-edit.

33 Responses to ‘First Draft done’

jl puts forth...

Posted August 25, 2016
Always gives a feeling of accomplishment when you get to that stage. Well done, sir, take a micro break. Looking forward to reading your latest effort, revisited all of the AoT books recently so that I'm up to par.

Alister is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2016
Just like JL, I've trawled AoT over the last few days, and am back doing Stalin's Hammer. It's bloody awesome, and better than moping over having put my beloved on a plane yesterday and not seeing her until Dec.

BRING ON PARIS, JB! Watchu got?

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Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted August 25, 2016
Boom! Mic-drop.

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Peter Bradley is gonna tell you...

Posted August 25, 2016
Just a tad excited by this....just a tad.

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Marzuk would have you know...

Posted August 26, 2016
So excited, this can't come soon enough. Will make the wait till the new AoT stuff next year a but more bearable

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien puts forth...

Posted August 26, 2016
This just made my day! I will make myself one of those website countdowns that calculate it down to a second until arrival...

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted August 26, 2016
Choice bro!

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she_jedi would have you know...

Posted August 26, 2016
I can feel an epic *squeeee* coming on

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted August 27, 2016
I'm going to need an infographic and some reading time to catch up before spoilopalooza

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted August 28, 2016
Finished first read through on the beach.

All I have to say is, dammmmnnnnnnnnnn, dude.

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted August 28, 2016
No beta read this time?

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted August 28, 2016
Yeah. I'll just sending out the main round of invites now. Wanting to test the new platform with a smaller group first.

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted August 29, 2016
I hate to taunt, (read that as "sorry, not sorry") ... But this is some awesome stuff. Since AoT is what brought a lot of us to the table to begin with, there is great joy in seeing these characters again ... And so many surprises.

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DarrenBloomfield mumbles...

Posted August 29, 2016
I just read up to chapter 4 on my lunch break.

I'm just waiting for the shocking JB Universes cross-over reveal: Slim Jim to The Dave "I am your father". Kinda both think with the same brain.

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DarrenBloomfield ducks in to say...

Posted August 29, 2016
crap, posted in wrong thread, Soz

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jl mutters...

Posted August 29, 2016
Paris is fkn awesome! Highly recommend it to AoT junkies (like me).

DaveC puts forth...

Posted August 30, 2016
I concur with Jason. Paris be God damned righteous!

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DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted August 30, 2016
I just finished it at lunchthine. Awesome.

I now needto go back again, since I found the last 4-5 chapters so compelling I forgot to read for edits, you know, like he's paying us big bucks to do...

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Ron Schaffer is gonna tell you...

Posted August 31, 2016
where do i find the beta - I cant wait

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2016
Ron. Send me your email and I'll send you a link.

Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted September 2, 2016

NO! He doesn't get a link just by ASKING! Flinging betas out willy hilly and higgedly piggedly.That just isn't done. It has to be bestowed, after years of toil and meritorious Burger service.



Oh, who am I kidding? Come on in, the water is fine. If mostly beer and piss counts as fine.

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted September 2, 2016
um...did you tell him about the INITIATION FKN CEREMONY! or fkn what! cos I need advance notice to buy all those fkn leftovers!

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2016
This really needs to be on the agenda for the next meeting.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2016
I concur. Where is Man Clumsy, always banging on about an agenda, well here's something for his agenda.
Ahem " This house agrees that Beta Readers be no longer referred to as "exclusive" "discerning" nor "select.'

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2016
I think we say yes kinda and the CAP THE FKR!

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Sparty mumbles...

Posted September 1, 2016
still doing proofing - but story wise - bang on perfect! kind of all the good things of the Force Awakens...

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Nathan reckons...

Posted September 1, 2016
I'd love to give it a read

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2016

Nathan, quick question, How the hell am I supposed to be able to gloat about being a member of an exclusive club if everyone can be a member just by asking nicely?



Do you not give one whit of caring about my privelege?



What kind of monster are you?

DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted September 6, 2016
He's history's greatest monster. That's what kind.

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ShushKebab is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2016
Wouldn't mind reading the beta too. And before anyone asks - I've been bere for ages. Long time lurker. And before you ask, I still have my copy of WW2.3 paperback copy - a tad worn out yes, but only because I read it whilst sitting on the loo.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted September 6, 2016
YOU should be SHOT for that , fk me man, Its a Coulda been Nobel Prize winning fkn book if ol kb wasn't shafted. And you read it whilst on the shitter.

Adiry whips and Books, AoT dont go together in my opinion.

Loved a term I heard last night online.

" FECAL EXPLOSION" fkn wicked

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted September 6, 2016
no..sorry it was that he did a FECAL JACKSON POLLACK

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Marzuk asserts...

Posted September 7, 2016
Haha fecal explosion, i will somehow have to work that term into a conversation today.

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