Cheeseburger Gothic

The Next Year Here

Posted March 7 into House keeping by John Birmingham

I think I've figured out what I'm going to do with the Burger, for the next twelve months or so, anyway. I've been feeling guilty and anxious about the amount of time I'm not putting in here. So guilty and anxious that worrying about it has been taking up even more time and energy than simply posting would have.
It's all down to time and energy, and how much I don't have any more. Family commitments aside, without the safety net of big publisher advances I have to earn every dollar that comes in. The last 12 months have proven I can do that, but it's hard work. Good work, and fun, but hard. I'm looking at my whiteboard right now, where I have my major projects for the year listed. All of them 100 000 word novels.
The Cruel Stars.
World War 3.1
The Golden Minute. (The sequel to A Girl in Time).
Sleeper Agent. (A conventional thriller).
Stronghold. (Dave Hooper 4)
In addition to this, I have my remaining media commitments and my new investment in Alien Side Boob. That turns out to be a lot of work, writing a private column to a standard that people are willing to pay for. There's also the fanfic collections, a couple of collaborative projects I'd like to work on, and a screenplay for A Girl in Time.
It doesn't leave a lot of time left over from blogging. And yet I'm not willing to simply close down the Burger. As I explained in a comment in the entry below, I trust this place and the people here in a way that I don't trust, say, my 3000 closest friends on Facebook. I can put out a call for beta readers here and know that the manuscript isn't going to turn up on BitTorrent 24 hours later.
But I don't have time to run a full service blog any more. Not for the next 12 months anyway, while I get my indie publishing business up to full speed. Last year was just proving the concept.
So what I've decided to do is keep the Burger open, but basically as a link blog. Mondays Tuesdays and Fridays I'll put up a link to and an extract from whatever column I have written that day. That will mostly be it. I won't be writing book reviews or movie reviews or even personal entries unless something really strikes me. I just don't have time. As more of the fanfic entries come in, I will publish extracts from them. And as my own books come due for release, I'll drop sample chapters here, but also at Medium, FB etc.
That should be enough to keep the place ticking over, but not so time-consuming that I hesitate to even open the page.

18 Responses to ‘The Next Year Here’

Bangar is gonna tell you...

Posted March 7
Food on the table is what's important, you've been more than indulgant with us fans/friends and we appreciate it. Your work and time has to pay for itself in a timely fashion. So continue as you think is best. Bangar

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sharky reckons...

Posted March 7
Well done JB,
What a truly Solomon like compromise.
perhaps there could be a way for Burgers to submit a link or article to help keep the place ticking over???

Cheers

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Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 7
I don't surf the net much and was initially drawn to CBG because I'd reread Falafel and wanted to find out what else you were doing. My point being that without CBG I probably wouldn't have known about much of your other work nor been drawn to it. I've read five of your books that I wouldn't have probably even known about without CBG. I have always read your newspaper stuff and enjoyed it immensely. I'm loving ASB because it's so much more irreverent than you'd be allowed to be in a mainstream newspaper. I think that CBG may play more of a role in your book sales than you imagine however I fully understand how much work it must be to maintain.

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jl is gonna tell you...

Posted March 8
500k words is a whopping big chunk. I've written 290k over a four year period and I thought that was a lot- young grasshopper bows to the master!

Think of us here at the 'Burger as your backbench- if there is a tough nut to crack, just holler and we will produce.

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Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted March 8
Decommissioned and froze The Pondering Tree years ago. It was simply proving to be too much of a time sink. Where it once seemed to be at the intersection of the internet it now feels like a backwater bypassed by other social media services.


I do far more networking and market research using FB, as well as building a potential fan base. Something I was never quite able to do with The Pondering Tree.


It is what it is.

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she_jedi mumbles...

Posted March 8
I think you've hit on the best strategy; you've invested a heap of time and energy into building the burger into the trusted community it is, and it would be a shame to mothball it. Leverage the best elements of the community you've built here (the beta readers, word of mouth referees for new works via sample chapters, fanthology contributors) and focus on the things that we chose to stick around for - 'splosions, occasional monsters, time travel and thinky, and more 'splosions. If I had my druthers I'd rather have Burger Lite and get 5 new JB novels this year :)

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Surtac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 8
Sounds like a sensible plan to me.

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Oldy asserts...

Posted March 8
Ditto she_jedi.

Between FB, ASB and the Instrument I'm getting bulk JB updates. And that's a big whack of work you've got ahead of you. Blogging on top of that, other than announcements and shit, is a big overhead (oh wait, you said that already).

Blah blah support blah blah focus blah blah on your team*





*Millennial members: just substitute # for blah blah...

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Gutz ducks in to say...

Posted March 8
Hey, whatever keeps fuel in the hovercraft!

Plus i am lazy, i have found your books and this place...i am in no great rush to go anywhere else. i have even managed to bookmark so it saves me some carpal-tunnel.

If you build it we will come. no wait..we are already here...um..

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Bondiboy66 is gonna tell you...

Posted March 8
Set on 'idle' is good. Its easy to increase revs if required.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted March 8
as long as you don't let havoc get a hold of the keys to the burger it should be here when and if you want to get back to it.

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted March 15
OI FKN. Thats prolly the best FKN IDEA I HAVE HEARD ALL FKN DAY!

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Don Bagert has opinions thus...

Posted March 9
Thank you, John. Best wishes to you, and I'm glad that WW 3.1 is high up on the list!

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Dave C swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 9
Burger lite sounds good. Do what you need to do to get those awesome new stories out, JB.

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Dave W reckons...

Posted March 9
Sounds like a plan.

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jason mutters...

Posted March 9
Just did a quick bit of project management for you. 500,000 words worth of novels, plus columns (let's call that 50,000 words). You have two options, stretch time (which comes with it's own issues) or buy at least two coffee machines.

Tough schedule.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted March 11
Do what you've gotta do.
It's been a hoot.


(Greybeard smells like old newspapers.)

NBlob mumbles...

Posted March 12
Silence = assent

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Respond to 'The Next Year Here'

The long, slow dying of news

Posted March 18, 2016 into House keeping by John Birmingham

I realised yesterday, with a strange, contrary mix of emotions, that I now have more people subscribed to my book club than Fairfax has journalists on its payroll. A lot more, actually. The latest round of layoffs, another 120 jobs to go out of an already shrunken newsroom would have landed as a heavy blow in Sydney and Melbourne. I have no idea what effect the cuts will have in Brisbane, but I can’t imagine we’ll dodge the bullet again. It’s not just the newsroom, of course, the freelance budget has also been slashed. You can expect a lot more opinion pieces on the op-ed page to be written by politicians, lobbyists and the various urgers and bagmen pimping for vested interests and what they used to call in the 1930s “the money power”.

My Saturday morning column in the Herald was cut two weeks ago, although there was no announcement made. Wendy Harmer spilled the beans when they gave her the arse as well. It was gratifying to be a trending topic for a couple of hours as readers vented their anger, and then moved on to the next outrage-of-the-moment. As the media world contracts, I can feel my own acceleration away from it gathering pace. This has been coming for years, and I’ve been preparing for it for a long while now, but of course doing everything it just the right moment is a matter of timing.

I sat down to do some schedule planning yesterday morning, before the Fairfax announcement, looking at which books would be finished when, and even more importantly at what point they might start turning a profit if they’re ever going to. It looks like Cairo should be ready for distribution to bookclub members by mid April. It’ll be free and exclusive at jbismymasternow.com before dropping into the online retailers. But it’s not really meant to make money directly, simply to drive subscriptions to that mailing list.

The first real pay day comes with the launch of the two Hooper ebooks, A Protocol for Monsters, and A Soul Full of Guns, most likely on May 30. Given the way ebook payments work, I’ll probably see a return from them in September. Before then, of course, I have to cover the costs of production from my own pocket. Each novella length title, averaging 30-35K words, costs about two grand to drop into the channel. Stronghold, the first full length novel I’ll publish myself will probably top out at $3K+.

I have no idea what happens next at Fairfax, or whether I’ll have any part to play in it but I’m pretty sure that ten years from now my media commitments will be zero.

That’s why I’m sucking up the pain of building an independent income stream through my own ebook line. It is painful and difficult to do while managing the collapsing business models of old school media and book publishing, but the prospects for turning it into a sustainable business are a lot better than simply sitting in place and wishing for the best.

I’ve been pondering where the Burger sits in all this. It doesn’t have the firepower of Twitter or Facebook for channelling traffic and generating sales, but it does have a role to play. It’s a kind of complicated role, actually. In one sense it’s a simply place to retreat, like the bar in Cheers where everybody knows your name. We have a lot of social capital invested here, a lot of trust built up. That’s why I’m comfortable calling for Beta readers here, for instance, but nowhere else. If I did the same thing anywhere but the Burger, I am certain the raw drafts of those ebooks would be in the wild within days.

The Burger also gives me somewhere to write things that need more than 140 characters, on topics that would make most readers outside this joint scratch their heads. The people who follow me in the wider realm of social media have no interest in discussing things like naval strategy or a submarine program – not unless it’s to complain about all the kindergartens you buy for the cost of a Collins boat.

Finally, the blog can and does work to build the mailing list and provide a place for me to sell books directly, or at least via associate links to collect a little extra cream off the cover price. I’m talking to Dan about redesigning the site to foreground this stuff in the near future. He’s done yeoman’s work in the background getting a store set up. I’m not ready to cut the ribbon yet but for anyone interested you can have a look here.

36 Responses to ‘The long, slow dying of news’

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted March 18, 2016
I am saddened, and angered by the latest cuts at Fairfax. Also bewildered - it's as if they don't want my money. Really, really, really don't want it. I'm an old-school person who WANTS to pay for my media, and they're doing everything possible to turn their product into something nobody would want to shell out for.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted March 18, 2016
Ditto that, Lulu.
I actually subscribed BECAUSE I think that if I want real news, I should be prepared to pay for it- in the same way that when I wanted real news back in the good ol' days, I was prepared to go to a newsagency and, y'know, buy a newspaper.
And yep, cuts mean that I look at the byline and decide whether I'll read it based on whether the author is a vested interest on it.
BTW- the bookshelf looks nice and shiny, look forward to seeing the giant novelty scissors come out on grand opening day.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted March 18, 2016
The bookshelf does indeed look shiny, but who is the figure in the favicon? I only ask because it looks like it has hair.

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Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted March 18, 2016
I'd say the Burger's primary role is to serve as the focal point for all of your other efforts. Those who become greater fans will eventually come here to the Burger to see what is going on.

One thing that might help in that vein might be to have more discussion topics, maybe one or two a week, on the type of things we used to discuss years ago. I think the Alternate 707 thread is a pretty good example of how that type of thread can be entertaining and useful.


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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted March 18, 2016
We get the media we are willing to pay for. Internet Utopians like Tim O'Reilly keep telling us that there is a business model - but there isn't.
The destruction of all that middle class income has just made a few people who live in office parks south of San Francisco rich.
Silicon Valley convinced everyone that "information wants to be free" - but real knowledge is expensive, and wisdom is priceless. Get people hooked on piracy and convince them that intellectual property is worthless. By the time the house of cards collapses, they won't notice that their sources of information are about as reliable as the water sources around Flint, Michigan.
The near future is an endless stream of interns generating click bait and calling themselves journalists. It's a short future - those interns will be let go and their job replaced by software that can do the same thing for essentially no income. The audience is used to pap without substance, and a machine can do that better than any grizzled veterans of the fourth estate.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 18, 2016
I tried to argue on Stross's blog that the problem is the passionate belief in one's convictions and the willingness to do anything in their name, even kill. Some there admired this quality even in their ideological enemies. I got redcarded for my troubles, but that is by and by.
I still think you tend to the extreme on this issue (but are a pretty good egg from most directions otherwise). I think you have called me a pirate for saying I wouldn't be watching something, and therefore didn't want to pay for it. I think you leave rationalism behind on this issue every time you say anything about it.

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AKM. mutters...

Posted March 18, 2016
I have to say I am enjoying watching your evolution and adventures, from up here in the nosebleed section of the stands- you are giving great insights into the process for us mug punters. Thanks.

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pi reckons...

Posted March 18, 2016
We get The Age delivered for us on weekends, and have the electronic subscription. It's both good and bad that there's still a fair way to go before they reach the complete bottom.

I wish I knew of a solution to this problem. Hoping that people will pay their fair share doesn't seem to be working.

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted March 18, 2016
your books brought me to the burger (url printed inside the weapons of choice books??) And Twitter entrenched me here. Along with the content. I like the expansive nature of the topics, it does kind of feel like Cheers. Can I be Cliff? I also like that it doesn;t try (too hard) to sell me stuff. I mean, I buy it anyway, but like that this isn't an explicit retail space. I understand the need to do both of course, but don't overegg it I suppose.
Re fairfax. I'm sorry - and this won't be a popular view here - but the Age is a bad newspaper, full stop. And its now in a self perpetuating death spiral. Falling subscriber base because the content isn't very good - leading to poorer content, leading to ...
Life is going to be very tough for all trad media I suspect. But The Age's problems aren't exclusively because of that.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 18, 2016
The Fairfax papers will disappear within two or three years I'd say. Newscorp will gloat but their rags won't be too far behind as most newspapers get online and behind paywalls.They might do a 'print to order' premium subscription service for those who can't give up the fish wrappers. How many journos will they need? Less than they have now, because no-one will really be breaking stories; pounding leather on pavement, working the phones, hitting the pub after filing copy. Heaps easier to mine social media and lift things from other sites. Tricksy, thinky columnists and their damn hovercraft addictions won't be welcome because they want proper money. 'Interns' can be bought cheap.

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JBtoo reckons...

Posted March 18, 2016
This has been happening to the Fairfax rural and regional papers over the last two years. It breaks my heart to see the travesty that my local paper has become - it used to be a genuine community resource, providing information that wasn't covered by anyone else - and it was profitable! But in the brave new world of Fairfax, one size fits all. Our editorial staff has been halved and they have stopped publishing circulation figures. Meanwhile we are bombarded by daily emails from Sydney-based execs on 6-figure salaries telling us how great life is and how the company CAREs.My position was made redundant last November. Local managers, finally recognising disaster, have worked around the Sydney rules to extend me to the end of Jan, the end of Feb, the end of April...There aren't a lot of employment options in the regions, so what do you do? Well I'm moving to real estate marketing, because, you know, mortgage.


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Duce mutters...

Posted March 18, 2016
I've been writing UFC content for BT, for free, for about a year now. I thought I was playing the long con, doing it for free in the hope that eventually UFC would reach critical mass and Fairfax would need someone with the base knowledge to cover it, so hell why not throw some cash at the guy doing it for free already?
Well, I guess I can throw that idea out the window. Which is a shame, because everyone I deal with at BT is a pleasure to work with and they do really go out of their way to accommodate my yarns. I doubt I'll stop doing it any time soon, but if there's not going to be any long-term payoff - and given recent events, that seems extremely doubtful - I'm not sure it's worth it to just keep on plugging away.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 19, 2016
I am regular reader of your work, Duce. In fact I'll take some credit for it, having suggested many years ago that we should get some specialist bloggers in. I did also suggest, however THAT THEY GET PAID.

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jennicki mutters...

Posted March 18, 2016
This makes me so sad.
I subscribe to BT way over here because it helps keep my husband in contact with the local news back home.
It's worrisome and sad for the future of writers.
They did the same staff cuts here at our local newspaper a few years ago. They raised the price if subscriptions but now you can only get your paper delivered twice a week, and most of the op-eds have been outsourced from the national newspaper. The loss of community is deeply felt.
As for publishing, I fear for new writers trying to get on their feet. I've been getting serious about working on my books, and they may never have the opportunity to see the light of day. I know I'm not alone in this.
To put it simply: it sucks.

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted March 19, 2016
Pretty much what happened here in the States about twenty years ago. The last of the freelance newspaper stuff dried up right about as I left grad school.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted March 18, 2016
1. Lots. You can buy lots of kindergartens, you can change the student : teacher ratios, you could keep open the early intervention for disabled kids schools, for the price of one Collins II.
2. I believe, with very little evidence, that people do want quality journalism. Not the finger-pointing hyperbolic crap of ACA, but real quality long form work. The person who works out a means of extracting $ for it will replace Rupert as media mogul to the Nth power.
3. I expect as content producers seek leaner production models, the quality will fall to a point where an appreciable % are prepared to pay.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2016
Re. No1. Or you could force multinational corporations to pay their tax and you could have all the things.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2016
Curse of the BYT.
Regardless of the structure, system, rules or codes, those with assets with employ throngs of Bright Young Things to find the loopholes.
For so long as they are more worried by the shareholders than the local plod it shall remain so.

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Jevon Kasitch has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2016
The regional newspapers here in the US have been suffering the same decline. You can watch the rot work it's way up from the smallest towns, to the small cities, and eventually to the huge ones. Staffs cut, pages cut, content becoming Press releases, AP wire copy, and advertisements. Local TV is still doing real reporting on Things That Matter but even that is mixed with a swirl of infotainment that is hard to stomach.
My own boss used to write a chess column for the local paper (he'd done it for 20 years) and he was cut three years back as 'too expensive', they were kind enough to tell him they would still be thrilled to publish his column for free though. So thoughtful!
So I feel what you have gone through.
On the topic of what CBG is for; It's your hub. The media platform closest to you that YOU control 100%. You can use it to build a community, to test ideas, to vent writing that you need to get out to an audience for feedback, to inform us of projects and so on. Warren Ellis covered this ground about a decade back with his 'Engine' site, and very convincingly made a case as to why it's a valuable thing for a self-publishing free lance writer to have. If only for the continued ability to directly speak to ones readers with no one else getting between you. A priceless thing.
I also think it's fantastic that you are investing in your own e-Book distribution network. Though pricy, in the long run I think it will prove profitable to you. It will allow you to get your media out with no idiocy regarding zones, and so forth. Again, priceless. It's work, but it's work for yourself that will pay.
As a reader, and a fan, I appreciate that I can directly get your work from you, and know you get the majority of the cash from me. And that I might even be heard if I have a comment or idea that touches on something you ask about.
Onwards into that brave new future. (In the 70's they promised me a flying car, robot butler who'd make me dinner, and vacations to the moon. Instead I got the internet and more porn at my fingertips then I could ever view. Ah human priorities.....)

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2016
Thanks Jevon. Thoughtful comments and I appreciate your taking the time. I'm going to dig up this Ellis pieces because I find him to be very wise in these matters.

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DarrenBloomfield ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2016
Newspapers are like beer. Thirty years ago I drank Cascade because I lived in Tasmania. In fact I drank Cascade because I was in southern Tasmania (north of Campbelltown they drank Boags. Like some kind of Neanderthals. I bought and read The Mercury, and they The Examiner (north) and Advocate (NW) for the same reason.
Same all over the country. Now I have a range of global tastes and styles at my fingertips. NY times? Why not. Heinekin. Sure. Nine Heinekin and I'm maybe going to download a little illicit newscorp...

All I'm saying is that exposure to the world has expanded choice, and a preference for quality ( or quality adjusted price) will overcome parochialism at some stage. Be it beer, news, movies, white goods, cars, and the list goes on. Painful? Of course, and I'm not trivialising the job losses. But choice is good.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20, 2016
This is a very strong point. I subscribe to the NYT. I don't subscribe to any other news sources.

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GhostSwirv ducks in to say...

Posted March 20, 2016
I'm taking a short break from marking New Media reports my 16 yr. old students have submitted - most on powerpoint, a few on prezi and a Weebly website blog on the hot topic of how changes to production, distribution and consumption of media content has changed the industry and the society we all inhabit.

I take a long view on these changes encouraging them to investigate a chosen media form, such as print, cinema and television and track the technological changes over the past century to the present - linking the use of these media to significant historical events such as Goebbels Nazi propaganda via radio, print and cinema on the German people, televisions portrayal of the Vietnam War, Armstrong on the Moon, Tiananmen Square and 9/11.

They have grown up in a world where the internet, (of most things) is as ubiquitous as electricity and running water - social media for them is a natural way of life - getting everything they want from an app. is the norm and most importantly paying nothing for everything is to be expected.

I agree with those who say quality media content will win out - but the challenge nee problem, is that quality means commitment and commitment means time which equals cost in $.

Sadly most media outlets today don't want to invest in the cost of commiting human resources to generating valuable content, especially when another outlet or oligarthic search and engulf engine simply posts a link for free, thus rendering the intrinsic value of the original content zero bytes.

I don't like The Age anymore - I haven't for a long-time - I used to belong to CineTopia, before I discovered Cheese Country, but something in the way it was being shafted and its eventual demise heralded more problems to come.

My wife always used to complain about my stacks of papers that I used to say I was getting around to scrapbooking articles that I'd like, not any more - not for ages. I don't like it for its format, I don't like it for editorials, I don't like Paul Sheehan and his ugly Sydney-view of world affairs - mostly I don't like Fairfax because it has tried to follow the path of NewsCorpse - adopting policies and styles that were once an anathema to its readers and subscribers and its workforce of journalists, oh no sorry content providers.

The managment of Fairfax should ask themselves how is that Guardian Australia appears to be flourishing in this market - what are they doing right to attract a readership?

Think long and hard about that one Fairfax and you might win me back - you've lost my students though, they don't get anything from metropolitan dailies - in fact you never had them in the first place.

And finally we've all heard how the Oz branch of NewsCorpse looses money hand over fist compared to its overseas operations - will that continue under new, younger management whenever Rupe vacates the penthouse - I know that they don't pay tax but does anyone think Head Orifice will continue to the fund the likes of Chris Kenny and Paul Murray ... god I hope not.

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2016
"I used to belong to CineTopia, <snip> but
something in the way it was being shafted and its eventual demise"

Oh, hai! <waves> Me too. I still miss it.

GhostSwirv swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 21, 2016
I miss our fellow CineTopians - some of whom have found salvation amidst the burgers - I don't the snark.

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jason mutters...

Posted March 21, 2016
As far as the role of The Burger goes. I started reading your books a while ago. Just another author I liked (no offence) then I started reading The Burger and taking part in the conversations. I now feel like the guy who got to go backstage and hang with the band. I know when the records are coming out and I cant wait to get them on the turntable. They also mean a lot more as I understand more of the process and the inside story. I now have an allegiance to JB (as noted in me signing my soul over to him recently).

I also have a suggestion. I am happy to pre pay for my books (possibly at a slightly discounted rate). You use the cash to keep the gold plated hovercraft fueled up and send me the book when it is finished. Your costs are covered and the post publication sales are all gravy.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2016
I wouldn't be averse to going down that road.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 21, 2016
This Jason chap, he has ideas. May be worth inviting him to one of the Map Room meetings.

jason reckons...

Posted March 22, 2016
Jason has many ideas but no knowledge of what a map room is or any real idea about how to use (doesn't even know the name of the thing he is typing in to) this chat thingy.

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madmaximus asserts...

Posted March 21, 2016
Hi JohnKeep up the Burger, it's good stuff. I got here through the blurb in one of your books quite some time ago. I live in Victoria but read your BT articles (hopefully the page hits help!) and enjoy the stuff you post here.I also order your books through whatever link you recommend here, so hopefully you get some financial value out of it. I also believe that writers should be paid and tire of the terrible free amateur content and PR written rubbish that is sucking away professional journalism and writing.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted March 22, 2016
Thanks Max. It's always nice to know I'm not just typing into the abyss.

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Abe Frellman would have you know...

Posted March 22, 2016
My oldest started a writing degree this year. She wants to be an editor or publisher, which makes me a little nervous for her long term job prospects. But how the hell would I know what sort of jobs will exist for the next forty years - weren't accountants meant to be replaced by computers by now anyway? What I ended up saying to her was this:1. Being able to write well is a great skill to have. I've been with my current employer for over a decade and I have noticed that the writing standards have fallen over time. Each year we lose one or two old hands who write beautifully and replace them with youngsters who, well, don't. So there is a scarcity value attached to it. Or there should be.2. As an employer, I find it easier to teach and explain the finer points of what we do than how to write. If you can work out how to write by induction when your paper comes back from me covered in red ink, great, but I'll never feel comfortable standing up at a whiteboard in front of a new cohort explaining how to write, while I'd happily do that every day if the subject matter was our raisin deeter. Case in point, I nearly hired a music graduate who could write well over a maths grad who couldn't, but the rest of the panel wouldn't have it. (Sausage making requires a remarkable level of numeracy by the way.)3. Book publishing and newspapers may not exist in even ten years in the way we understand them today and the technology will mean that suddenly everyone who thinks they have a book in them can e-publish it for less than they'd spend on a dirty weekend at Byron Bay. Regardless of the fact that said e-book only cost them a dollar, readers will still need a way of filtering the crap from the good stuff, as their time is limited. So maybe there will still be a market for editing all of this content. Maybe even good freelance editors will get a name for themselves and a following; who knows?4. You're the oldest and your youngest sibling is 11. Plus you don't eat much and occasionally help around the house. So don't sweat it too much if you're still here in ten years. But here's the thing, while you're here, could you help me convince your brother and sister to do a trade like plumbing? People are always going to need to shit.

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Rob mutters...

Posted March 22, 2016


The burger is the only forum I like (just the right amount of smarts and snark) and it inspired me to try my own blog, which has been fun. (writing what I want to read is my mantra and TV I want to watch on my channel) and the burger and JB rescued my art practice.

I did harbor thoughts of being a journalist, but by the time I got to Uni that had dried up, my sister is working still in London as an editor but its for a corporation not a paper. She's been made redundant a few times and done well out of it. But I think newspapers owners will have to fight to stay alive, google has devoured the advertising streams, and the internet has killed Saturday classified advertising, but at what price? Google has become a massive anti competitive competitor, if it wins, we (as society) are the losers. We will have lost the professional filter.

An artist who makes art but doesn't sell it and/or is not held in esteem, is not an artist. I truly believe you need to sell and earn to give it the quality and kudos it deserves.

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JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 22, 2016
Sorry to hear about the latest cuts at Fairfax, and the loss of your weekly Sat column from the Herald, JB. It's a shame that so many journalists, sub editors, photographers, and freelancers are (or will be) out of work.

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Hewy reckons...

Posted March 23, 2016
No real surprise regarding Fairfax job losses.They've painted themselves into a corner where they are courting the same audience as a massively funded public broadcaster on one side and a cashed up (i.e. loss covering) trust on the other side (Guardian).There was only one result possible there, and we're seeing it.
Still, keep up the insightful posts on the publishing industry, JB. Always great to read. Best of luck building a Publishing 3.0 business model.

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Dirk would have you know...

Posted March 25, 2016
Yes the times of paper in journalism are fading helas. You might consider this though: https://blendle.com . It works on a Itunes music model but then for written pieces. It's online here now for 18 months and business is booming. They are doing a beta now in the US so it will go global.

Nice thing you are doing about "tha shoppe" ... in a version 2 i would go for a few second tier shops also (Bol.com- you are sold there too now https://www.bol.com/nl/c/algemeen/john-birmingham/257194/index.html?lastId=2540 - in the Netherlands - you'll need a dutch bankaccount for it though, or one of these http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/avoiding-amazon-the-5-best-alternatives-to-the-online-bookseller-giants-10458698.html ) but i think for now you have the bases covered.

And the distribution of your own ebooks (or signed copies of the paper kind) is also an option. Cut out the middle man so to say. I'm working with a friend of mine here who does the latter.

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Respond to 'The long, slow dying of news'

Wrote four columns today

Posted February 15, 2016 into House keeping by John Birmingham

I probably shoudn't have done that. I probably should have written the second last chapter of Cairo instead. But they backed a truckload of money up to my door.

What could I do?

*tears our last of hair, rends sack cloth*

WHAT COULD I DOOOOO?

15 Responses to ‘Wrote four columns today’

Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 15, 2016
Well, now you can afford sackcloth with a higher thread count.

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Dirk mumbles...

Posted February 15, 2016
And leave us in agony waiting? Wasn't valentinesday yesterday torture enough? :)

AuntyLou ducks in to say...

Posted February 15, 2016
Being patient...*weeps silently*

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LeSyp puts forth...

Posted February 15, 2016
Yeah, but the article you wrote in The Age about Brownless and Lyons was effin' awesome. Poignant, and to the point. And hopefully read widely before the tabloid media goes into full saw-toothed sado-orgasmic meltdown over this (as you so succinctly put it) septic mess. Whilst they are media personalities, and part of the social contract of fame is for disection of one's personal life, I feel deeply sorry for all involved, as their individual and collective hurt will not be any less. Because after all, they are still just fallible humans like you and me.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted February 16, 2016
That was a hard one.

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Sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted February 16, 2016
You do know that its entirely possible that the second in line to the throne may be waiting on you for his next set of adventures?

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted February 16, 2016
If you delayed writing the second last chapter, does that mean you haven't written the last chapter either?

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted February 16, 2016
You could always ask the aliens to help you out. Warney seems to be on top of it. : )

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 16, 2016
Write five columns in one day and you will impress me.

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Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted February 16, 2016
Have a drink and reconsider all of the choices you have made over the course of your life?

GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted February 16, 2016
Is that one drink per choice and how far back should one start the drinking?

Just asking for a friend I once chose to hang out with.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 16, 2016
Difficult question to answer. Some choices require more than one drink. Sometimes many more than one. For example, my decision to approach a southern cassowary (big emu, right mate?) to pet it on its head. Five drink minimum just to compensate for the social embarrassment associated from running from a giant predatory chicken while screaming like a little girl. That thing wanted to kill me.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted February 16, 2016
I was once attacked by a peacock while trying to take one of his non-predatory chicken girlfriends for fresh egg purposes. Blood was drawn but I still got the girl.

ShaneAlpha mumbles...

Posted February 16, 2016
I have a theory that Cassowary's are the only birds that remember being dinosaurs, and they are really pissed that they aren't giant lizards any more.
It would explain their penchant for kicking the shit out of absolutely everything.

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted February 16, 2016
I'll send you my address. Next time the cash truck backs up you can redirect it down here and get on with your work in peace.

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Respond to 'Wrote four columns today'

You win this time, Zuckerberg. (Shakes fist)

Posted February 11, 2016 into House keeping by John Birmingham

I'd been putting off a return to Facebook for a long time, but I'd known for at least a year I'd have to slink back there with my tail between my legs. It's the advertising. Increasingly online ads are served up by either the Book of Face, or el Goog, or nobody.

Building a mailing list, I had no choice. Facebook's creepy omniscience makes it too powerful to ignore. It is the stalker at all our windows.

Still, I can try to control things. I've set up an offical JB Books page where I wont be posting cat videos or personal info. It's all about the merch.

Go like the page. They tell me that's important.

I've been testing out the advertising back end, which is insanely powerful, but which has a bit of a learning curve. It's chewed up a couple of mornings now, putting me behind schedule with Cairo. I've got the Page working as I want now, however, and can get back to the book, which is two chapters from done.

35 Responses to ‘You win this time, Zuckerberg. (Shakes fist)’

robW is gonna tell you...

Posted February 11, 2016
Looks like you're doing great and not taking Facecrack seriously yet. You know you're lost when you sit on the sofa after work for hours and use your index finger to spin through the latest Facecrack listings on your idiot phone, like playing your own personal slot machine. Your eyes glaze over, a slight drool appears on the left side of your mouth, and you cackle when the spin lands on a video of dancing cats, which you immediately want to share with everyone and really, really like.
Meanwhile, you are oblivious to your partner sitting beside you, who is filling out divorce papers.

Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted February 11, 2016
Or watching reruns on television.

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she_jedi would have you know...

Posted February 11, 2016
So I've liked the page, stalked you on the DMs as requested, and even invited a friend to come like your page. Super Fan Girl(tm) Achievement Unlocked I think. You're welcome :)

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted February 11, 2016
Look at the bright side: now you - just like everyone on earth - will be able to see the many, many, many pictures of my dog that my wife posts on Facebook.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted February 11, 2016
It's a fine lookin' dog

NBlob puts forth...

Posted February 11, 2016
And I'm not sure "My dog" is entirely accurate? I believe that under Ca, Az, Tx, Idaho, Washigntom & Luisiana Common Property statues a dog, be it latent, extant or theoretical is %50 Mrs Boylan's.
Wouldn't you agree counsellor ?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted February 11, 2016
Truth be told, Mitzie is my wife's dog. I am tolerable only when Lori isn't present.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted February 11, 2016
I like your wife's posts, Paul.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted February 12, 2016
Lies with an adorable puppy: the modern spoonful of sugar.
If Islam had featured adorable puppies in art, instead of stupid tessellated patterns it would have taken over the world.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted February 13, 2016
That didn't happen because Mohamed (blessings be upon him) was spiritually inspired but culturally typical of his time and place, i.e., obsessed with cleanliness*, considered dogs filthy, and therefore didn't like dogs.

*"clean" is a subjective term that varies depending on the availability of water.

NBlob reckons...

Posted February 13, 2016
If cleanliness is/was directly proportional to water availability, wasn't pretty much everything between Alexandria & Chad (the country, not the star) unclean?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted February 13, 2016
No - and that's the beauty of it. You were "clean" if you performed the proper purification rituals. Cleanliness was spiritual in nature and could be magically endowed.

As I said, the concept of cleanliness is subjective.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted February 14, 2016
"Magically endowed" conjures troubling images.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted February 14, 2016
A poor choice of words, perhaps.

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Blake is gonna tell you...

Posted February 11, 2016
Well that was harder than it needed to be.1.click link: fb complains that im not logged in on the browser (feedlys internal one, too much of a pain to fire up the password manager)2. No worries ill search in the app....3. Which brings up the autogenerated page or the old jb person account.4. Search again... What was the link called? Jb books... Hrmmm no that just brings up some random person "jb booksmuggler" 5. Actually look at link.. Hrmm john birmingham books. Ok i can do this6. Search that. Ah here we go not a link the the page, but a link to jb person who posted a link to page7. Three clicks later...
Admittedly laziness on my part back at step one...but howvhard does searching have to be?

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Surtac mumbles...

Posted February 11, 2016
Liked the page as requested (with my farce book user name) and left a comment decloaking to my Burger name. Let me know what else is needed.


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ShaneAlpha mumbles...

Posted February 11, 2016
Like the post about the docutext finals. Says the guy who scored a uncorrected proof copy of Resistance at the last Lifeline Bookfest for $1.00(totes not boasting at all) :))

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 12, 2016
I miss Journalspace all the time.

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted February 12, 2016
Me too.

Bangar would have you know...

Posted February 12, 2016
Me three

Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted February 12, 2016
But you set such a fine example to follow Prof!

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted February 12, 2016
I've been off FB (and twitter) since 23 December - with one exception. Two, now.

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GhostSwirv ducks in to say...

Posted February 12, 2016


I have resisted the suck of the Zuck for a long, long time now - my distaste for supplementing a corporate income without any appreciable benefit coupled with my disinterest in knowing - slash - sharing the latest visual feast of baby vomit and/or drunken misadventure has kept me off the FB.

I have much preferred to venture into the Twittersphere and the warm, fuzzy surrounds of this congenial brains trust of humanity's last best hope ...

But as a loyal member of the 10,000 - (#1,659 and climbing), I will follow you JB into the Gates of Hell ... and reactivate my FB account!

I know this is a test of my resolve and capacity to bend to the will of the molasses, er masses but if you JB deem it a necessary prerequisite for our continued existence in this universe then who am I to argue.

It may only be me - but I think the announcement this week JB of your return to FB and the discovery of evidence of Einstein's Gravitational Waves - not to be confused with Morality's Negative Waves - (see Kelly's Heroes ... I'd try to paste a video link but I don't want to do a Lulu) is more than just a coincidence ... planets are aligning, SkyLords are awakening and Barnabee's are a happening.

Never been a more exciting time to be a member of the 10,000!

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 12, 2016
You are my new favourite.

dweeze would have you know...

Posted February 12, 2016
And I am not. Strike me from the Christmas card list pronto. I has me limits.

Surtac mutters...

Posted February 12, 2016

Morality? I thought it was Moriarty.

Doesn't matter. Kelly's Heroes is a film I rewatch often.

"You win a cookie."

GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted February 12, 2016

From this day forth you Sir Surtac shall be known forever as Crapgame.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted February 12, 2016
Kelly's Heroes is one of my all time favorite films.

Oddball: Hi, man.

Big Joe: What are you doing?

Oddball: I'm drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know.

NBlob reckons...

Posted February 12, 2016
No one wants to "do a Lulu."

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted February 12, 2016
There is only so far this relationship can go. I will (and have) spruik(ed) your stuff on a street corner (well okay it was a bbq) and as a result some audio books were bought for tradies spending long times on the road. Even the one that confused the order of the Axis books still went ahead with the others. But farcebook is the line!

dweeze ducks in to say...

Posted February 12, 2016
Word, bro. The JB is a cool master but Zuck's Buck Book is a step too far. And as for holding hands in public...that shit got old when Dino's rooled.

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pi mumbles...

Posted February 12, 2016
My only issue with facebook is this one :

https://cdn.boldomatic.com/content/post/z_aIEg-d6c946f3e24868bd65a643f9312e139bee5b37dbb45e65caf0f8b02f06595e0c/Just-found-this-new-app-that-tells-you-which-of-yo?size=800

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Respond to 'You win this time, Zuckerberg. (Shakes fist)'

Newsletter 2

Posted August 19, 2015 into House keeping by John Birmingham

Thanks to all those who have signed up so far. The spam factory is running around the clock and will soon extrude the first glistening pink tube of industrial grade processed meat product.

Mmmm... delicious direct marketing goodness.

I'm waiting until I hit a set number of sign ups from the Burger, however, for a good reason. The same reason I haven't mentioned this project anywhere else because I want the initial subscribers to come only from here. The Burger is my stronghold on the web. It is where my Centurions gather.

From you I will draw the murderous, blood thirsty champions of the campaign I will fight to ensure world domination when...

Er...

That didn't come out right.

Let me try that again. I want to build out my ebook business next year. Finish (finally) Stalin's Hammer. Start (finally) a return to The Disappearance. And open up some new storyworlds, including a classic space opera. Not all of these will happen under the aegis of my trade publishers. (They're not much interested in long form space opera, for instance).

The newsletter, as a marketting channel I can control, will be a big part of all this. If everything just rolls along, and Season 2 of HOOPER comes out sometime next year with Pan Mac and Random House and Titan, the newsletter will help sell that series. If I decide to take more control of my own business (or I ever have that decision thrust upon me) the mailing list I'm building now becomes even more important than serving as simple channel for a newsletter.

I'd be looking for Beta readers for more than The Oral History of the Monstyr Wars, for instance, and I'd be looking for them here. Not on Twunter or Farcebuck. The mailing list provides an immediate pool of trustworthy candidates because the first couple of hundred names are all long time Burgers. When it came time to pimp the books, everyone who signed up first and was interested in coming along for the ride, would get sorted into a small, bespoke, and highly fucking exclusive list for free Advance Reader Copies.

You wouldn't be reading these freebies to help me with editing. They'd already be edited. You'd be reading them for fun. And because, if you liked the books, upon release you could hit the online stores en masse and shit out sparkling 88 Star reviews like a herd of Unicorns with explosive magic diarrhoea.

Who wouldn't want that?

You can sign away your soul and all associated property rights here.

54 Responses to ‘Newsletter 2’

FormerlyKnownAsSimon asserts...

Posted August 19, 2015
okay. I signed up. But I can only offer a secondary allegiance. First goes to my other half, The Minister for War and Finance.

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Drew-mo has opinions thus...

Posted August 19, 2015
That was so hard- Pancakes? Road signs?

Wouldn't accept any of my answers- I almost went Dave on i.....until finally it took pity on me.

Maybe I shouldn't have been counting on my pee-pee. Anything past 1 is a challenge.

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Nocturnalist is gonna tell you...

Posted August 19, 2015
Fine. Fine. I subscribed. My price is that you have to have this playing when you send it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REnk67IFQBc

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TheWah swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 19, 2015
I signed up and honestly had difficulty choosing all the pics with playgrounds in them. The software encoded by my Alien Masters is starting to bug out. Which is no surprise, what with all the oxygen in your atmosphere! Oxygen! In the Atmosphere! It's corrosive as hell, donchaknow!?

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 20, 2015
I am a paid spokesperson for Hormel Foods Corporation. Therefore, I am an unbiased, trustworthy source of information and objective opinion on the topic of Spam, the wonderful, comparatively nutritious, food-like canned meat product that is mostly meat. If you haven't tried Spam, then you have no idea how terrific it is. I love it. And you will, too. Try it fried or grilled, by itself or on a bun with your favorite condiments. Or try it right out of the can with a spoon. Take it from me, when you are really, really, really hungry - the kind of hungry that happens when you are a civilian in a war zone hiding in the pile of rubble that was once your home - a can of spam is heaven.

And did you know that Spam has no expiration date? It's true. Spam is a miraculous perpetual lunch meat - perfect for doomsday preparation enthusiasts.

So try some today. Or when the world ends. Either way, I am confident you are going to love it.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted August 20, 2015
Is there any truth to the rumour that the "meat" portion of spam is cow's arseholes, and that the "non-meat" portion is worse?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted August 20, 2015
How dare you disparage this fine and wholesome food product with the insinuation that part or all of it derives from bovine anal sphincters? How dare you, sir?

The proper referent is "porcine."

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 20, 2015
PNB - you needed to end that with:
"Good day, Sir."
"I said, Good Day, Sir!"

insomniac would have you know...

Posted August 20, 2015
Thank you for correcting me on the true source of the "meat" portion of spam, however you lost me when you described it as a "food product".
As an aside, and as one would know, spam eaters are a happy lot, wearing what might both figuratively and literally be referred to as a shit eating grin. Shizzle, as the young people say, was mentioned in the Bible, somewhere towards the back, in reference to a low quality meat foodstuff eaten exclusively by the Gentiles, which in hindsight is obvious given it's source.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted August 20, 2015
I am pointedly ignoring Insomniac - because he is clearly a Godless Communist - and responding to The Rhino thus: (1) yeah, I should have used the Tootsie "good day" line; (2) are we gonna do NO or Atlanta for steak and cigars? Your choice. Either way, I got guest speaker gigs to pay for it all.

insomniac reckons...

Posted August 20, 2015
I am distraught over the cruelness of your words. Godless I can proudly accept; Communist is also ok because I feel like I could be such from time to time; but your use of the uppercase I in insomniac when I clearly only ever use the lowercase form is totally unacceptable.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted August 20, 2015

May I remind you, in the words of Rhino Esq., Good Sir, that you have recommended my good self 'take one for the team' ... a far greater threat to one's humanity than the deliberate misuse of a case in font.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted August 20, 2015
"<font color="#333333">They're not much interested in long form space opera, for instance" did the laugh, I am sure they laughed. Will show them, wwill show them ALl, THEY WILL ALL PAY. MUHAHAHAHA. </font>

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted August 20, 2015
What is the cut off for this a-list? I don't want a lot of unwashed rabble forcing their way past the door security just because you announced how exclusive membership is for we early supplicants, errrr, early adopters.
Besides, I would laugh my ass off if Havock got stuck outside. Oh, the torments I could dream up.
I throw in another perk - anyone that signs up that comes to Atlanta gets to enjoy a steak and a cigar with the Rhino*
*double secret probation, unpublished rules written by PNB, esquire apply to this offer.

beeso mutters...

Posted August 20, 2015
Not that i'll be travelling any time soon, due to the horde, but you realise that some of us are unwashed hippies right?

GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted August 20, 2015

Dear Rhino, is that a Spam-Steak and a Spam-Cigar?

Never mind ... for wholistic health reasons my Spiritual Advisor has warned me not to visit Atlanta until the legal status and known whereabouts of Prof. X AKA - PNB are resolved.
They suggest I continue on with my True Detective Series#1 Crime Scene Locations Tour instead.

Its much safer.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 20, 2015
The list cuts off at 100 members.

dweeze asserts...

Posted August 20, 2015
B. " you realise that some of us are unwashed hippies right? "
I resemble that remark.

R. Would you settle for a lentil burger and clove ciggie?

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted August 20, 2015
Steak, Rhino? Cigar? I'll pop for a few beers and whiskey to add to the mix.

Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted August 20, 2015
Get thy asses to the ATL!

Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted August 20, 2015
My wife is a vegan. I know all the good places. Where values of "good" are subjective.
I believe in BYOM in those instances.
Nothing wrong with hippies that a fire hose and wire brush can't fix.

dweeze would have you know...

Posted August 20, 2015
BYOM - Bide Your Own Missus?

Funny enough, I have washed down a hippy mate with a fire hose. It was fun. Oh how I wish now that I'd thought of a wire brush.

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Grand Admiral Thrawn ducks in to say...

Posted August 20, 2015
is the link above the same as the earlier ones or is this a new start one?

Grand Admiral Thrawn swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 20, 2015
never mind figures it out by myself. just being a idiot.

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ChrisB asserts...

Posted August 20, 2015
Oh heck ya! Time to crank up me writing musckles. Looking forward to lending a hand and word or two.

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Spanner is gonna tell you...

Posted August 20, 2015
Fine then take my soul. I just have to get MrsS to sign the release form for it. She took it for safe keeping so I didn't do anything stoopid with it. This isn't stoopid is it? I mean what could go wrong with JB owning my soul?

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 20, 2015
I thought GB owned your soul.

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted August 25, 2015
I'm only interested in his right knee, and only if the ACL and cartilage is intact. Mrs S keeps his soul in a Kinder Surprise egg, in her "random crap" box.

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Dave W asserts...

Posted August 20, 2015
Wonderful spam, wonderful spam.Spam spam spam spam spam spam spamWonderful spam, wonderful spam.
I think I signed up for this. I know I had to prove I was a human. So obviously that means I get the spam. Wonderful spam.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted August 20, 2015
Anyone who channels the Pythons is okay in my book.

Don't let it go to your head.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted August 20, 2015
A can of Spam sliced twice & fried makes a happy Hawaiian. Or so I was led to believe.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 23, 2015
You left out the Golden Circle pineapple rings and the Supafry

insomniac reckons...

Posted August 24, 2015

damian mutters...

Posted August 24, 2015
That's possibly the most frightening thing I've seen here

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JG asserts...

Posted August 20, 2015
F*ing spam. Oh please. Release the bushelled kale, please. Where is Havock [sic]? And SJS, and all the oldies? Come back! I cannot do green eggs and Spam! ;P

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2015
ok i signed up, when can I get my old avatar back pls

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted August 22, 2015
If I am not very much mistaken, I believe I acquired all rights to your old avatar. I It conveys the dignity of my station.

Lobes asserts...

Posted August 23, 2015
well in that case I demand the porn parody of my old avatar as the next best thing

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted August 23, 2015
Are we supposed to be expecting some sort of email as a result of these shenanigans?

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pi mumbles...

Posted August 24, 2015
I failed the first captcha. Does that disqualify me?

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Rhino asserts...

Posted August 25, 2015
Reading back through these comments. And it hit me that It is entirely within the realm of possibility that PNB really is a paid spokesperson for Hormel.
He has his tentacles, errrr fingers, in so many things.
Just another reason to be happy he is on my side.

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TeamAmerica would have you know...

Posted August 25, 2015
I applied for the Beta and newsletter, but got no confirmation email. Guess I missed the cutoff due to being late to apply.

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TexasTeaserPony puts forth...

Posted August 25, 2015
I signed up too. Several hours ago, in fact, and yet no fanfare, no glowing announcements that JB had landed the big one. WTF?

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted August 25, 2015
You have both made it on. I let the VIP list blow out to 200 subscribers. The Teaser Pony just snuck in.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted August 25, 2015
Also, it amuses me greatly that Lobes has set his email up to address him as 'You Legend, Lobes.'

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted August 25, 2015
I'm in. Sod the rest.

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BigTimeTexasTeaserPony mutters...

Posted August 26, 2015
Actually, Darth, *I'm in*, lucky you, sod the rest. You too, Legend. Lucky everyone, really. Particularly JB, your new master. Who baited everyone in with his promise of previewing his work. Baited. Yes, he's your master baiter.

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted August 26, 2015
Fuck it. Go for 300. More appropriate as
THIS! IS! SPARTA,

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted August 26, 2015
Wonder how many of the old JSpacers are on the list? FKNHavsy prolly missed out which is a shame 'cos there'd be countless opportunities to get all FKNSHOUTY and CAP Fkn MUPPETS!!!

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted August 26, 2015
There are some fascinating emails on that list.

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Invested Ivana asserts...

Posted August 27, 2015
"...shit out sparkling 88 Star reviews like a herd of Unicorns with explosive magic diarrhoea."
OMG, John! Sign me up for the explosive magic diarrhea! :) LOL! You sure know how to convince a gal. :)

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted August 27, 2015
If you do a Dave anthology with pro scribes ... Please, please, please promise that you'll reach out to John Ringo and Larry Corriea.
Just sayin.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted August 27, 2015
I would, but that's unlikely to happen any time soon.

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In Melbourne this weekend

Posted August 18, 2015 into House keeping by John Birmingham

It's a fleeting visit. I fly in lunchtime on Saturday, and out again Sunday evening. I have a couple of sessions on for the Festival.

Saturday 2.30-4.00 pm "Ask a Columnist" for Writer's Victoria.

Sunday 11.30-12.30 "Monsters and Mayhem." Gettin' down with The Dave!

If you can find a way to get to either, I'm always happy to catch up.

I'm planning to drop into Mark Dapin's book launch at Fed Square, 5.30 on Saturday for a few fizzy sherbets.

Saturday night the publishers sometimes spirit us away somewhere to a party. I'll check on that, but Sunday arvo drinks, or even breakfast might be nice.

20 Responses to ‘In Melbourne this weekend’

DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted August 18, 2015
aaaaannnd I'm BOOKED. For Monsters and Mayhem.
There'd better be mayhem JB...

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2015
There will be a mayhem surplus

Mayhem swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 21, 2015
I'm uh where at what now?

Mayhem mumbles...

Posted August 21, 2015
Oooopppsss!!! Oh well, at least I'm there a'plenty :-)

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GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2015

JB - ummmm, is there any chance you could crash my Dad's 80th Birthday on Saturday night, I'm sorted sposed to be giving a speech and now I'm conflicted as to where my true allegiance lies?



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DarrenBloomfield mumbles...

Posted August 18, 2015
I'd be honoured to.
Oh, you mean Birmingham.... right.

GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted August 19, 2015

I'd be honoured DB ... I'm producing an event on the 23rd, so am unable to participate in M&M on Sunday.

But I'd like nothing more than for you to tell me all about your hopes and dreams and expectations for the Birminghamness of the discourse on The Dave ...

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Spanner ducks in to say...

Posted August 18, 2015
You should check out the whisky selection at EDV.
http://eaudevie.com.au/melbourne/

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2015
God, I would love to make the Monsters and Mayhem event. But only as an excuse to visit Melbourne again, of course, and take tea with our own Mayhem.

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Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted August 18, 2015
I'd say the Viper is in the shop but the truth is that I sold the Viper to pay for beer.

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Bernie is gonna tell you...

Posted August 19, 2015
That's a shame, you're going to mess QMHE.
http://www.qmhe.com/

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jason puts forth...

Posted August 19, 2015
Looking to get there on Sunday. Happy to grab breakfast.

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Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2015
I am going to try for the Sunday drinks. I think like last time (5ish years already?) I will try and bring a potential convert if that's ok.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 19, 2015
Converts are always tasty

Legles reckons...

Posted August 19, 2015
Arsebiscuits!! I'm away in Phillip Island on business this weekend...

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Anthony would have you know...

Posted August 21, 2015
Damn - two weeks too early as I'm otherwise engaged all weekend. But in a couple of weeks time I may be flogging books in Fed Square since a bookselling friend wants me to set up a stall.

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Angus has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2015
I have not previously been to a Burger drinks, but I wouldn't be averse to a whisky or 2.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 21, 2015
Swing by during or after the gigs, or to the Mark Dapin book launch at Fed Square 5.30 tomorrow

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Bangar reckons...

Posted August 22, 2015
Well I'm organised see Burgers at the book launch.

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Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted August 24, 2015
I sadly couldn't make it, family down with flu do I was it. Please tell me what I missed out on just to rub it in.

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