Cheeseburger Gothic

George R.R. Martin has writers block and it's your fault. No kidding. It is

Posted January 3, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

Oh man, I feel for George R.R. Martin. He’s just fessed up that he can’t finish The Winds of Winter before the next Game of Thrones season airs on TV. It won’t affect HBO much, if at all. The producers have been working closely with Martin and should have no real problems pushing on with the narrative. It’s a helluva thing for the author to deal with though, watching somebody else tell his story before he’s even finished it.

DId he kill Jon Snow in A Dance With Dragons? Maybe, maybe not. But if Snow comes back, it'll be the show runners Benioff and Wiess who perform the miracle. That's gotta burn.

All of the books in the series are huge and complex and take years to write and edit under ideal circumstances, but the pressure which has piled on Martin as the TV series exploded in popularity make for circumstances which are a long fucking way from ideal. His statement is heavy with the shame which will be familiar to all writers who must live their profession in public; the shame of not delivering.

“I won’t make excuses,” he writes. “There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO. It’s on me. I tried, and I am still trying.”

Oh man. I know that feeling. If you write, so do you. It sucks like the cold vacuum of space. Martin blamed the slippage on busy scheduling, distractions, and most tellingly on writer’s block. You never, ever admit to writers block. It’s like confessing to impotence. It's naming the devil. It's perdition and damnation.

Props to him for his honesty and bravery, but it won’t help. Unfortunately he’ll now have write into the teeth of a howling gale of entitlement, selfishness and fan anger. (Fan anger, which is a real thing, is where I got the idea for the fangr in HOOPER, just as an aside. I was pondering the phrase, and it became ‘fanger’ - an occasional term for vampires - and then fangr. The undifferentiated id monsters which are all teeth and terror, barely leashed in by a Hunn dominant are my private joke about the sort of readers who harass authors like Martin because they’re worried he’ll die before finishing ‘their’ book. Not so private any more, I guess.)

GRRM has undoubtedly added to his own woes. We all do. But the main culprit is the weight of our expectation, our fangrrr, which I suspect is crushing the creative life out of him. I also suspect the only way he’s going to get his mojo back is for the whole world to just step back, give him some space and say, “Whenever you’re ready, George. No rush.”

21 Responses to ‘George R.R. Martin has writers block and it's your fault. No kidding. It is’

Steve puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2016
The book will be ready when it's ready, and it will still be awesome. And I'll read it.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 3, 2016
Spoken like an author excusing another author. What about us? What about the readers? What about our needs? Don't any of you realize we are like hungry children and you authors are like the parents we look to for sustenance?? Mothers and fathers go out every day and slug it out with the world to bring home the bacon so their kids can eat. They hate their jobs, too, but they get the job done. They don't say "I'm not really feeling up to it today. They go and do it. And Martin should, too.

You know what it is? You want to know what is at fault? It is the American Southwest. It makes you soft. It saps your strength. It makes you want to sit back and relax - even if your kids are starving.

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2016
The home of fan anger is sports. I remember the story of Mark Viduka when he was playing soccer for Leeds. He was their highest paid player, on about 60,000 pounds a week, and he was a focus of fan anger whenever Leeds were going poorly. Apparently, angry fans were lined up beside the players car park after a loss. As Viduka walked to his car he was loudly harangued. One fan kept yelling, 'I pay your salary Viduka, I pay your salary Viduka'. Viduka's head turned, he then pivoted and purposefully strode to the fan and said, 'Let me shake your hand then because you must be a fucking rich cunt.'

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Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted January 3, 2016
Lucas. Martin. That curious bloke. Fans hate a George.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 5, 2016
I hate the Man in the Yellow Hat more than Curious George, although I hate that monkey, too.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted January 3, 2016
Neil Gaiman has a wonderful response to the question of reader entitlement, and whether or not George R R Martin owes anything to his readers:
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html
I'm with Gaiman; I'd rather read a complete book by a contented author, and I'm happy to wait for it to come out when it comes out. Of course JB, this does not give you a leave pass to faff about for 5 years on the next season of Dave. There are limits. Just sayin'.

LeSyp asserts...

Posted January 3, 2016
Best comment. Ever.

KreepyKrawly swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 4, 2016
+1 ß-D

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WA n'ker asserts...

Posted January 3, 2016
Oh, the Misery of it all!Our Annie will not be amused.

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Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted January 3, 2016
#FirstWorldProbs
#TheStruggle
#Wahburgerrighthere
#shouldyounotbewriting
#WTF
#OMG
#Getscribblinbitch

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Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2016
On a serious note, maybe if he hadn't spent so much time in junkyards looking for hood ornaments to convert into shoulda Hugo Awards at his last Hugo-Not Hugo Flying Anus Party, maybe he'd have the fucking book done by now.

#NeverWasAGRRMFan

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2016
Hash, dude.

PS - many thanks to the powers that be that you didn't partake of the VA system in Missouri.

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted January 4, 2016
Well, the HIV mess was in St. Louis, but that didn't make me feel any better about it. I've heard too many stories and had too many negative experiences at the KC VA medical center over the years.

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Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted January 3, 2016
Arthur C. Clark wrote 2001 as Kubrick was filming it. Called it 'the most expensive way to write a book he could think of...'

That turned out all right didn't it?

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ChrisB asserts...

Posted January 3, 2016
So, am I missing something with Mr. RR's (and HBO's) stories? Big yawn-fest for me.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted January 3, 2016
Interesting how Kirkman and the Walking Dead deal with the TV series catching up to the comix with regard to narrative, but no comparrison with the shear work of a novel such as GRRM is producing.

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ShaneAlpha would have you know...

Posted January 3, 2016
Can't we lock him into a small room with food given to him through a flap until he finishes?
Goddamn it George, learn to say NO! The time thieves are everywhere, stealing your precious writing time by having you do things that are not writing. (Unless you're Issac of course. That man only missed days when he was quite literally dying.)

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DiddyWrote asserts...

Posted January 3, 2016
I think Martin prefers to be a free form writer, throwing new characters into the mix and then allowing them and their motivations to move the plot line along, often in wildly different and unexpected ways.
You can see this in the early books as he expands his universe. Characters crash into the narrative. Sometimes they last, sometimes they are quickly dispatched. This gives the books a sense of depth and the enjoyment of the unexpected.
I suspect Martin enjoyed writing like this, as he could strike off in tangents as fancy took him.
The problem is that the success of the books and the expectations for it all to be finished off neatly with a bow is proving insuperable. Martin knows what the end looks like but doesn't know how to get all the characters to the finale and the whole thing has turned into a depressing logistical slog. All in all it's probably killed off all his creative enjoyment in the project.
Somewhat sad I suppose but he has made a lot of money and HBO will efficiently finish the project come what may, although not necessarily as he may have wished.

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Randall Flagg would have you know...

Posted January 4, 2016
Unfortunately he’ll now have write into the teeth of a howling gale of entitlement, selfishness and fan anger.

It's a lot worse than that.

What he now has to write into is indifference to the books. Look around, the internet is, as of the announcement, chock full of die-hard book fans who were determined to read everything first and who are now saying, "fine, let the show finish it, I don't care anymore." It isn't fully appreciated how fast people's attention will just move on. At the moment it's all ahead of us still, and we think we'll care. But once it's behind us, when the tv show actually reveals the ending to the whole thing, only the hardest of hardcore fans will stick around for the books, years and years and years after the shows have ended. The books were already becoming a slog, but you push through because you want to know how it all turns out.

I've read and enjoyed the Ice and Fire books so far, but once the show has concluded and revealed the ending, that'll do pig. That'll do.

George knows this all to well. That's also why he's so down. He knows he just lost the majority of his audience. Sad for him, but what do you expect. The audience is not your bitch.

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GhostSwirv ducks in to say...

Posted January 4, 2016
Not much of a Thrones fan messulf - always amused when peeps I know are surprised then annoyed that I don't watch it or read it ... so I won't be losing any zzzzs over who slays whom in GRMMs latest fairie tale or whether or not the Big Guy finishes his own original story.

As far am I'm concerned HBO should hire the services of Damon Lindenof to finish off the series - that should keep everyone happy.

Oh and JB, I love the Fangr reference to your many not-so-adoring fans, clearly not those of Gothic Cheese, else they'd be called Burgrs, but I was taken by your use of GRRM to decribe the Big Thrones Guy ... I thought for a moment it was reference to your GRYMM ... were they inspired by George RR Martin?

I'm just asking for a friend.



John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 4, 2016
Alas not. Just a coincidence.

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Two men down

Posted December 18, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

Phil Abraham was my editor at Penthouse when I freelanced there in the early 1990s. He was the first editor of a glossy, grown up magazine to commission a story from me, although not the first story I sent him. With Greg Hunter, the features editor at Penthouse, and later the editor at Inside Sport, Phil was largely responsible for turning me into a working magazine writer. I heard today that he has died in a surfing mishap.

Greg proceeded him into the great silence a few years ago. Both gone before their time. The circumstances of Greg Hunter's passing were especially sad, but I don't feel free to discuss them here. They reflect very poorly on certain prominent figures.

From Greg I learned a lot about writing. He was in the habit of handing new freelancers a photocopy of Tom Wolfe’s introductory essay from The New Journalism. All eighty pages of it. “Read this and do it,” he’d say.

From Phil I learned about reporting, about chasing a story and not letting go. I also learned from him that the story you most want to write is the story of which you should be most skeptical. He was a brave and conscientious editor who frequently took risks on young, untried writers. There are a whole stable of us who owe our start in the business to him.

And now he is gone.

I shall pour one out for him tonight. With a chaser for Greg.

13 Responses to ‘Two men down’

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted December 18, 2015
I remember enjoying Phil Abraham's writing when he worked for Tracks surfing magazine in the late seventies.

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Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted December 18, 2015
May they both rest easy now.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted December 18, 2015
The best - perhaps the most - any of us can hope for, truly, is that our mates will lift a glass in our memory and say a kind word or two.

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bodypolitics reckons...

Posted December 21, 2015
I met Phil in 1971 at the Canberra College of Advanced Education where we were both doing the professional writing course and selling weed. I think we may have even co-edited an edition of the College's paper with Morris Glietzman. Later I wrote political stories for Andy Cowell and Phil at Penthouse before going on to edit Simply Living magazine and Matilda mag.Phil was a very cool dude who was universally liked. He was one of the most understated people in media that I ever knew. The circumstances of his passing, although sketchy, appear heroic and should be published - although no doubt his family should be consulted first. There are lots of people out there who are just finding out about this. There are half a dozen writers and editors who knew Phil well enough to put together a meaningful obit. What about it John? Between yourself, Andy Cowell, Corrine, Verna Simpson and a couple more that I don't know about....we could probably pull together a yarn that Phil would be proud to own.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted December 21, 2015
Happy to add in some deets about my time at Penthouse, mate, but that was a long time ago. He's done a lot since then, especially in the surfing press. I'd say someone who worked with him more recently would be better placed to pull it together. Greg Hunter would have been great but... you know...

bodypolitics puts forth...

Posted December 21, 2015
...you're right. Hopefully someone from that scene sees this. From a writer's perspective you've said it all anyway. Thank you for that. I didn't know Greg had gone as well...that blew my mind for the second time in a few days. I'm thinking maybe an ayahuasca retreat might offer some sense of it all.

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bodypolitics reckons...

Posted December 21, 2015

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Andrew McMillen would have you know...

Posted December 22, 2015
Sorry for both of your losses, JB. I'm sure both men were enormously proud to watch your career unfold.

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Graem Sims mumbles...

Posted December 22, 2015
Hi JB and Robbie. Many folk still in shock at Phil's tragic end. He was indeed a giant (albeit a skinny one) of the publishing game in Australia who influenced a legion of writers and editors to produce their best work. I appreciate your personal sense of loss but I can tell you there is absolutely no connection here with Greg's exit, and feel safe to assure you that there is no one on this planet, prominent or otherwise, who need feel anything other than profound sadness and grief at news of this or past events. gs

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Graem Sims has opinions thus...

Posted December 22, 2015
Hi JB and Robbie. Many folk still in shock at Phil's tragic end. He was indeed a giant (albeit a skinny one) of the publishing game in Australia who influenced a legion of writers and editors to produce their best work. I appreciate your personal sense of loss but I can tell you there is absolutely no connection here with Greg's exit, and feel safe to assure you that there is no one on this planet, prominent or otherwise, who need feel anything other than profound sadness and grief at news of this or past events. gs

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Kirk Willcox reckons...

Posted February 4, 2016
Phil was a good man and it was always great to run into him, with his big smile and gentle, unassuming way. At our random encounters, we always had a conversation of some significance - whether it was the state of the surfing industry, the political issue of the day, the media landscape, or Kelly Slater's continued dominance of world surfing despite a then-receding hairline. Phil died tragically of course, but he was doing what he most loved - having gone for an early surf down at Bombo and still intently chasing that perfect wave. We have a Mason Stewart Publishing reunion coming up soon and we will most certainly toast Phil's life and legacy. Vale old mate - speed on through the light.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted February 4, 2016
Pour one out on my behalf. He was the man.

Kirk Willcox swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 4, 2016
Will do for sure John. Thanks for your post.

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"Paying it forward – writers helping writers". Guest Post by Steve Vincent

Posted December 15, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

I've been staying away from the screen after starting the day with a very exciting migraine. Luckily, to mark the publication of Nations Divided, his latest tome, Mr Steve Vincent has stepped in with a few timely words.

I'll post a separate entry with some info and maybe an extract from his book tomorrow.

Paying it forward – writers helping writers

It all started over beers. As it usually does.

I’d been offered a three-book deal for my Jack Emery series with Momentum, Pan Macmillan’s digtal-first imprint and I happened to be in Sydney. Emails were swapped, offices were raided and beers were thrown my way. It wasn’t quite lunch at the Park Hyatt, like I know JB gets when he’s visiting shadowy publishing industry figures, but it was pretty good for me.

At the meeting I got chatting with Joel Naoum from Momentum and Haylee Nash from Pan. We talked about a few of their other authors I enjoyed. I raised JB’s work, told them how much I enjoyed it and to pay him all the money. I’d like to think that my endorsement got an extra zero on the Hooper Trilogy advance, but I can’t be entirely certain.

Then, a few months later, they told me they’d asked JB to blurb my first novel, The Foundation, and he’d accepted. Better still, the blurb that came back was pretty damn nice. Though I’m not sure book blurbs make a jot of different to sales, especially to ebooks, it was a nice milestone for a new writer to get some kind words from one of my favourites.

This was only the second nicest thing he’d done for me. Months earlier, when I got the offer to publish with Momentum, I’d shot JB a message asking for some advice. The reply I got was both short and immensely valuable, and I ended up signing with them the next day. Eighteen months and three books later, I can confidently say I made the right decision.

These two things, though fairly small, were a bit of a buzz and an immense help, respectively. In a tough industry, a couple of small favours or bits of advice were hugely valuable. This was from a guy whose writing I respected and enjoyed, but who owed me absolutely nothing. We’ve now met shared a few beers and a chat around the festival circuit – where a few laughs and more advice has followed.

This support – from JB and a few other writers that I’m privelidged to know – has shown me the importance of ‘paying it forward’. That doesn’t mean I’ll read your manuscript, or introduce you to my publisher, or anything else that takes up way too much time or compromises me professionally. But I do my best to give advice when asked, buy Australian authors and give others a ‘nudge’ when I can.

Many of us – published writers, those who are working towards it and those who dream of it – are all climbing a mountain. Some never get any altitude at all, some make it a part of the way up and give up. Others fall. Very, very few make it to the top. Some see it as a contest, and will kick you down the mountain. Others will give you a hand if, as long as you’re not putting too much weight on them.

A few at the top get to enjoy the view, but most of the rest are just working our way up or trying not to fall. All we can do is keep working, hope readers enjoy the result and give each other a hand where we can. Now, with the release last week of my third book – Nations Divided –and the initial three book deal in the bag, I’m working on a few other things.

There’s no certainty at all, but I’m still loving the climb. Having others beside me to share it with just makes it all the more fun.

Steve P. Vincent is the author of the Jack Emery series of political thrillers – The Foundation, State of Emergency and Nations Divided. Connect with him on the web, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

11 Responses to ‘"Paying it forward – writers helping writers". Guest Post by Steve Vincent’

KreepyKrawly has opinions thus...

Posted December 15, 2015
Well if our lord and master has blurbed your books, we better give them a try... BTW Amazon has the prequel and first book in the series for nix... And I'm all for supporting Aussie authors.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted December 15, 2015
I thought only serial killers & assassins used Name Initial Name*.
Nice one JB, I love it when talking & drinking beer actually help. But it's not like you vaccinated a dam or something.
* & Presidents.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted December 15, 2015
& Well played Mr Vincent. Damn well played.

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted December 16, 2015
Wrong again NBlob. I also go by Name Initial Name, at least on financial correspondence. Your lamentable so-called theory is thus utterly disproved.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted December 17, 2015
I'd suggest it proves it.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted December 16, 2015
Forgive my hubris, but I believe the legal profession is similar to the profession of writing; both involve as much art as science, rely on inspiration and passion, and cannot really be successfully practiced alone. All of the professional writers I know are more than happy to provide advice to those attempting to join their profession. The same is true for attorneys, and for the same reasons, and not merely because a favor made is a debt unpaid.

But there is still an element of luck involved. You got lucky, Steve, in choosing to approach JB. Imagine what would have happened if you decided, instead, to seek out Dean Koontz?

NBlob mumbles...

Posted December 17, 2015
You say collaborative & supportive, I say a cabal supping on the essence of conflict & personal horror.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted December 17, 2015
Blob, why do you hate professional writers?

NBlob mutters...

Posted December 17, 2015
Mostly jealousy, but partially for those stupid haircuts.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 18, 2015
Not to mention their penchant for emuing loose change on the pavement.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted December 16, 2015
Looks like some more books to be had. also noticed that james Phelan has the third Jed Walker book out, Kill Switch.

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Neil Gaiman interviews da King

Posted December 14, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

I dips me lid to Guru Bob for this link. Neil Gaiman's long chat with Stephen King about the craft, being broke, being rich, and preferring Waffle House to fancy New York restaurants.


“I never think of stories as made things; I think of them as found things. As if you pull them out of the ground, and you just pick them up. Someone once told me that that was me low-balling my own creativity. That might or might not be the case. But still, on the story I am working on now, I do have some unresolved problem. It doesn’t keep me awake at nights. I feel like when it comes down, it will be there...”
King writes every day. If he doesn't write he's not happy. If he writes, the world is a good place. So he writes. It's that simple. “I sit down maybe at quarter past eight in the morning and I work until quarter to twelve and for that period of time, everything is real. And then it just clicks off. I think I probably write about 1200 to 1500 words. It's six pages. I want to get six pages into hardcopy.”

9 Responses to ‘Neil Gaiman interviews da King’

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted December 14, 2015
Well worth reading. Best line relates to the strange practices of a giant tortoise.

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted December 14, 2015
I've recently started reading 'On Writing'. It's all very interesting and sounds so simple, but I bet it ain't.

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Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted December 14, 2015
Sigh, that used to be my life before teaching. Write from seven to about eleven. Then I left Uniguard for teaching.

Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't go back to private security work. I definitely feel better when I write in the mornings.

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted December 14, 2015
Thanks for sharing. Very interesting. I'll look forward to Dr Sleep.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted December 14, 2015
I didn't realise how old this was until i read the part about the Shining sequel. Its out, done and dusted.

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted December 15, 2015

Yep, and lots of other stuff besides. Damn prolific.


If anything, I'd say that King's writing has improved since he went clean. It's more mature and the characters are more interesting.

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she_jedi mutters...

Posted December 14, 2015
Oh wow, that was magnificent.

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JFresh swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 15, 2015
I've read some SK books.I'll bet he smokes a lot of weed.

Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 15, 2015
He certainly used to. There's a story in Danse Macabre about how he almost laughed himself into a hernia watching Robot Monster while stoned. He said he was convinced that if the film had been about twenty minutes longer he'd have laughed himself to death.

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I am tempted to spin up a whole book, just out of this one image

Posted November 23, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

Although, MickH arguably beat me to it.

28 Responses to ‘I am tempted to spin up a whole book, just out of this one image’

Therbs would have you know...

Posted November 23, 2015
A magical time travelling sailing ship? is that an East Indiaman or a frigate flying the Tricolore?

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coriolisdave swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 23, 2015
in the world of the time-travelling pirate zombie, wind power is king.

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WA n'ker has opinions thus...

Posted November 23, 2015
Hopefully its the HMAS Repulse in the background about to lay a few incendaries into that French ship trying to help the rebels from the thirteen colonies. There by ensuring victory in the Americas for the Empire!

WA n'ker reckons...

Posted November 23, 2015
HMS Repulse, that is.

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted November 23, 2015
Yes! A time travelling frigate. With zombies. You know you want to.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted November 23, 2015
I think Taylor Anderson beat you to it with his Destroyer Men series.

Surtac mumbles...

Posted November 23, 2015
And with added dinosaurs iirc ...

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted November 24, 2015
And Dennis Silva.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted November 23, 2015

a sort of more extreme axis of time. If you consider time as an X axis and instead of moving a later 21C event moving along it in a reverse direction to the battle of Midway a more contemporary vessel is sent back to the age of sail.


I imagine a much sort narrative. Less opportunity for the early time line to leap frog, though you could introduce concepts such as hygiene, antibiotics, information theory, etc..

Therbs puts forth...

Posted November 23, 2015
And a lot of moral and political arguments. Prolly end up worse than the QandA twitter feed.

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GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted November 23, 2015

Although some literary and cinematic geniuses have already released the WOTIF two types of warships from differing time periods engaged in battle scenario I have also been developing a little taster of mein own.

I imagine the Endeavour, en route to the Great South Land, caught in a matrix triggered by the transit of Venus, transported to a strange unknown sea, where she encounters a 1916 U-Boat.

A bit Sky Pirates I know - but it sounded so much better in my head.

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SZF mumbles...

Posted November 23, 2015
If M. Tricolour throws down, it might be a short book... :)

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 23, 2015
The sailing ship is a replica of The Hermione, the French Frigate that became famous when it transported General Lafayette to the United States in 1780 in support of those ingrate pommy bashing rebels and their American Revolutionary War. Earlier this year it sailed to Boston to recreate that voyage. The modern French anti-submarine frigate Latouche-Treville came out to welcome L'Hermione on its return to Brest.

GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted November 23, 2015

Damn you facts person ... damn you all to Hell!

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted November 23, 2015
Umm, errr, that is just one theory, of course. Anyway, time portal fans might also enjoy this photo of that mystery vessel.

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted November 23, 2015
Ooooohhhh ahhhhhhh - a squadron of bright young Breitlings.

Did I mention that my U-Boat has a catapult launch capability for a Fokker bi-plane, no ... well it does now.

NBlob mutters...

Posted November 23, 2015
No catapult required, for a Zeppelin.

GhostSwirv ducks in to say...

Posted November 23, 2015
A Zeppelin ... okay that's pretty cool ... but if we're going to up the ante then the Endeavour gets a Cloaking Device.

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bawpcwpn asserts...

Posted November 23, 2015
Reminds of Empire Earth battles where I would've advanced civilisations ahead of the enemy, and attacked their medieval warships with modern frigates and aircraft carriers. Good times.

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MickH has opinions thus...

Posted November 24, 2015
You still got that manuscript John?

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MickH ducks in to say...

Posted November 24, 2015
I don't know how many of your current readers would remember "Queen of the seven seas"

Therbs mumbles...

Posted November 25, 2015
Was that in the old fanfic site? It had the Trident landing back in the 19th Century amidst war with the French?

MickH mutters...

Posted November 26, 2015
That's the one. I actually wrote a novel about it.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted November 26, 2015
I don't have a copy, Mick. That was four computers ago. You still got one? I'd like to see it again. Reasons.

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damian mumbles...

Posted November 24, 2015
That's an image that makes me think of playing Civ again

DrewfromOz asserts...

Posted November 25, 2015
Yeah, nothing like a tank taking on spearmen. :D
Gee I miss the sarcastic advisors on Civ II.....I used to deliberately set them off just to watch them argue.

Mikael Roos swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 2, 2015
Nothing like playing vanilla Civ 1 and losing a bomber to a fortified phalanx on a mountaintop.

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JG reckons...

Posted November 26, 2015
Nothing of substance to add, but just touching base. First impressions? Narnia - ie Prince Caspian and the Dawn Treader. Aslan was my hero. What a lion. I sort of had an Aslan (and Astro Boy) crush for a while during my childhood.
The war ship in the pic cuts through the Narnia impression. Writing of a time warp and clashes between two worlds and times would fit in terrifically with Dave's world or techno vs sci-fi and magic/fantasy writing. Sea monsters (black eels), treacherous humanoids and mermoids. Yes.






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Soul Full of Guns returns from edit

Posted November 20, 2015 into Writing by John Birmingham

Got the manuscript back from Deonie, my grown up editor, last night. It's looking pretty schmick, thanks in part to all the fine efforts of the Beta readers. I'll take another run through, addressing all of the notes and queries, and then send it out to proof reading and art.

Once the final proof is done and the cover art selected I'll repeat the process with A Protocol for Monsters. The edit for that will probably be done in a fortnight.

The text and image files then go to a bureau which formats them for electronic release. I could probably publish in January, but before I do that I want to take the mailing list from its current status – 'under construction' – to full public release. Dan has also been coding a storefront for me so that my favourite readers can demonstrate their love in the only way that matters; with an extra 7% royalty for JB on retail purchases via affilaite link.

After years of not much happening, you're going to see a lot of ebook activity from me next year. Partly because I've decided to give up on getting my various trade publishers to play nice together. Partly because I'm going to use the ebooks to build my own marketing channels. Publishers increasingly expect us to do more of this work as their own marketing budgets contract and focus on a handful of tentpole releases. There's no point bitching about it. The smart player adjusts his game.

So 2016 you'll get a couple of Hooper ebooks, a completed Stalin's Hammer series and a couple of surprises.

None of this is free, of course. Editors, artists, code monkeys, they all gotta pay the rent. A professionaly produced ebook of about 30K words like Soul or Protocol costs about $1500-$2000 to release, but it would be even more without the assistance of everyone who helped out with the early read and comments. A cleaner read drastically reduces editorial costs. So I am very greatful for that help and thinking of ways to reward my special favourites.

10 Responses to ‘Soul Full of Guns returns from edit’

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted November 20, 2015

Does that mean you also have a not so grown up editor?

And for those special favourites you mention what possible reward could be greater than knowing they helped you get the money for a new Hovercraft?

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 20, 2015
You make a good point.

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Axle reckons...

Posted November 20, 2015
Well done JB the right business strategy for changing times. I for one will be purchasing.

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Axle mumbles...

Posted November 20, 2015
I was not mumbling

Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 20, 2015
Well, that didn't work.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted November 21, 2015
I'm not sure if I am on the mailing list. If not, how do I get there?

NBlob mumbles...

Posted November 21, 2015
JB has outsourced this to Reader's Digest. Just send them a note asking to be put on the mailing list. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted November 22, 2015
Readers Digest published two "Adventures in Real Life" stories written by my father. At the time they paid fairly well.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted November 23, 2015
They rejected my "Life's Like That" offerings. I thought the one about the crazy youth hostel manager and his zany axe work in the Rhineland Palatinate was quite amusing.

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damian would have you know...

Posted November 21, 2015
Apologies and I will read/review the draft when I can. Appreciate that it's probably way too late: busywork/life getting on top of me again and all that.

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