Cheeseburger Gothic

A quick note on British/US spelling

Posted October 16, 2015 into The Dave by John Birmingham

A few of you have picked up on shifts between US and British spelling conventions. This will be a challange because different publishers previously sorted that out for me. I will probably go with the US spelling, simply because I sell more books there and it would save me a lot of extra work preparing additional manuscripts.

The question of ass and arse, however, is less problematic. The various characters will use which ever version is appropriate to their native dialect. That mostly means Emmeline will say arse and everyone else will say ass.

As I resolve the various queries, Google docs deletes the notes. But some I'm leaving there with my own replies to your questions. Eventually they'll go too, but I'll leave that until the last minute so you can see my reasoning for various decisions.

36 Responses to ‘A quick note on British/US spelling’

Sparty asserts...

Posted October 16, 2015
think spelling differences matter less than expressions but then even if in Emma's half English , lives in States POV -might be better to tend towards the US expression if that's where the market is - on the otherhand Birmo readers are brighter than the average bear so can probably deal with that....

Respond to this comment

Chirurgean mumbles...

Posted October 17, 2015
Shame that, but the costs of supporting 2 formats is probably too much. I can accept that for a book set in the US but it still irks me that though I can understand US english, they seem to be totally confused by British/Australian english. IMHO 'ass' seems a weaker swear word than arse! The phrase 'you ass' also has a different meaning from 'you arse'.I would however hate to see JB limit his droll phrases and words to pander to a US audience. After all, if they cannot understand a phrase, they can always Google it

Peter in the bleachers would have you know...

Posted October 17, 2015
You bet your arse! Ok, I am leaving now.

Respond to this thread

WA n'ker would have you know...

Posted October 17, 2015
Just as well you're not writing for Mills & Boon. You might have had to worry about whether Emmeline relaxes in one thong or two, or if her fanny is at the front or back.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 17, 2015
Lester vs Leicester

insomniac would have you know...

Posted October 17, 2015
tomato v tomato

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted October 17, 2015
Resigned contempt VS Global hegemony. No wait, I think I've got this wrong

Respond to this thread

Peter in the bleachers puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2015
colour vs color

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted October 18, 2015
I am glad you mentioned this common spelling difference. The history
behind this difference is fascinating and reveals the truth behind many
differences between English and American spelling.

In the
European Middle Ages there were many professional guilds, one of them
being the Printer's Guild. After the advent of movable type, the
Printer's Guild splintered into different guilds for the purpose of
increasing their long term cumulative profits by fostering the use of
superfluous letters.

The "U" Guild is responsible for inserting
the letter "u" into words, which explains why those who follow English
spelling traditions spell armour, behaviour, colour, flavour, honour,
humour, labour, neighbour, rumour and splendour the way they do to this

Some words the U Guild created are still used within both the English and American systems, e.g., guaranty, guardian, guacamole and guild.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted October 18, 2015
That is a fascinating historical footnote, PNB. It is interesting to trace the influence of this Guild in modern usages. Though the Guild was unsuccessful on the U.S. mainland, they did maintain a strong influence in Hawaii. As evidenced by the Union Jack which still adorns the Hawaiian flag and the plethora of the letter U in the native Hawaiian language. I believe the Guild was particularly proud of the word 'muumuu'.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted October 18, 2015
You do not give the Hawaiian branch of the Guild enough credit. At the height of their Polynesian influence, the accepted printed spelling of the word was "mu?uumu?uu" - adding two additional letters.

But let us not forget that there were twenty-eight Guild branches (promoting the excessive use of 26 letters and two punctuation marks ["!" and "?"]). The "A" Guild's successful promotion of the word "aardvark" is an achievement that should not be overlooked.

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted October 18, 2015
I don't know about that 'A' guild. Slackers, I reckon. I've always thought it should have been aardvaark? But the Hawaiian branch of the 'U' guild, they are top drawer. Take the little Reef Trigger fish, or as the Hawaiians call it, the Humuhumunukunukuapua?a. That is some pretty serious adding extra letters.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted October 18, 2015
I believe the ! Guild is having a modern day revival. Churr!!!

NBlob mutters...

Posted October 18, 2015
I believe PNB may suffer from undiagnosed mythomania.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted October 18, 2015
Is that what they call it these days?

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted October 19, 2015
Mr Boylan has indeed picked up on a little known historical turning point. First the free marketeers of the new world knocked over the poor old typesetters
and then proceeded to take the country to a minimum wage somewhere on par with Biafra.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted October 19, 2015
"Mythomania???" I am so tired of you people accusing me of suffering from mental illnesses that I can't pronounce. You think you're so smart because you know what a schizotypal personality disorder is and how to pronounce it. I've been trying unsuccessfully for years.

Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted October 19, 2015
I always had PNB down as a member of the FU guild.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 19, 2015
And fucking proud of it.

Respond to this thread

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted October 19, 2015

Is Biafra still a thing?

Rob puts forth...

Posted October 19, 2015

He's more Jello than Biafra these days.

Respond to this thread

Lulu mumbles...

Posted October 19, 2015
"This will be a challange"


Respond to this comment

Mei would have you know...

Posted October 19, 2015
Hi John,
This isn't related to this post but I would like to get in touch with you to ask for one massive, massive favour. My partner's 30th is coming up and 'He died with a falafel' is one of the books that defined his early to mid-20s. He loves quoting from it and always refers to it when talking about his experience with sharehouses. I was hoping that you could be kind enough to sign a copy with a personalised message.
Please consider this. I would be the best partner ever with a ziilion brownie points!
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kindest regards, Mei

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted October 19, 2015
Sure, Mei. How do I contact you?

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 19, 2015
Lionel Richtie might help "is it Mei you're looking for?"

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 19, 2015
I'm sorry. Very sorry.

Mei ducks in to say...

Posted October 20, 2015
Hi John, thanks for responding! I'm so excited that I got a reply! My email is mah.lah (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you so much!
Lol @ NBlob. Not the first time I've heard that. ;-)

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted October 21, 2015
Hi Mei. I've sent you an email. I'll delete you comment here (with your addy) when you reply.

Respond to this thread

insomniac puts forth...

Posted October 19, 2015
You may be very sorry but you are also very funny. I had to suppress the lols lest ms insomniac had questions.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted October 19, 2015
Thank you sleepy. I've been telling SWMBO & La Bobette for years that I'm hysterically funny. They seem resistant to the hypothesis. But now with your endorsement, I should be fine.

insomniac mutters...

Posted October 19, 2015
I fear my judgement in these matters is no better than yours. I too get no acknowledgment of my brilliance.

Respond to this thread

Sparty ducks in to say...

Posted October 20, 2015
Literal Hello

but not as good as
Total Eclipse of the heart

Respond to this comment

Frivolous is gonna tell you...

Posted October 20, 2015
Hey, John.

I'm a fan of yours from and in the Philippines. Have most of your books in paper, including Axis of Time (the trilogy only), Dave vs the Monsters, and the Disappearance.

Hope you all are well.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted October 20, 2015
Hi Frivolous. Thanks for dropping by. Where abouts in the Philippines are you?

Frivolous is gonna tell you...

Posted October 20, 2015
Hi again, John. I live in Metro Manila, the capital. The city of San Juan, to be more accurate.

I registered mostly just to express my appreciation for your writing your books. I'll probably comment again, though.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'A quick note on British/US spelling'

Beta Readers are on

Posted October 9, 2015 into The Dave by John Birmingham

Back in August I asked who'd be interested in having an early read of the two Hooper ebooks.

The following peeps said yes: NBlob, Insomniac, Brother Porkchop, Damien, JBToo, AuntyLoo, Sparty (or rather Mrs Sparty), Rhino, Ghostswirv, Sibeen and Chris B.

Apols to anyone I missed.

I think I'll use a password protected file at GoogleDocs as the simplest option.

If you're still interested email me at jbismymasternow AT gmail dot com. I'll add you to the collab list and email you back with instructions.

24 Responses to ‘Beta Readers are on’

FormerlyKnownAsSimon ducks in to say...

Posted October 9, 2015
i did put my hand up and got missed! But lucky I did. Shite has hit the fan here in Simonville and spare time has just been thrown out the window. I'll be content to get my hands on the finished product.

Respond to this comment

ChrisB reckons...

Posted October 9, 2015
Sweet! Cannot wait! Gracias JB!

Respond to this comment

JBtoo asserts...

Posted October 9, 2015
So sorry, brown stuff has hit fan here too. Next time for sure.

Respond to this comment

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted October 9, 2015
Brown & Fan free.

Respond to this comment

sibeen reckons...

Posted October 11, 2015
WooHoo :)
Where the fuck is Havoc?
I want to gloat.

HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted October 12, 2015
I'm off building somfin useless.....playing engineer!.....BASTARD!

Respond to this thread

Rhino puts forth...

Posted October 11, 2015
Oh, H s going to hate this.

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted October 11, 2015

What, huh ... which button did I push?

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted October 12, 2015
Nope and yes. Nope to the e/mail addy ya muppet, but yes to do a read. I'm writing....of sorts and reading like a mthr fkr at the mo so would be very happy to participate.
Good afternoon Mr Birmingham Sir. It's with great pride and pleasure that I submit to you my heartfelt request for participatory privileges in your forthcoming juggernaut of literary brilliance.
I should perhaps take this momentary chance to remind the good Sir that his standing, whilst being somewhat magnificent at present is surly to be elevated to on high with the tomes release to the general populous, it's there for my never ending wish that I be allowed to be part of this epic adventure, partaken by such gothic giants as the Rhino and further imbued with anarchy and deftness of action by the joining of patrons such as my good self.
in short, should the not le me in, the HAVOCK WILL CAP YOU SKINNY LATTE RIDDEN FKN ARSE!
Your comrade in arms

Major Havock!

Therbs would have you know...

Posted October 14, 2015
That's a bit late isn't it Hav? Should have been paying attention instead of fart arseing around capping fkn muppets.

Respond to this thread

Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted October 13, 2015
Ready and waiting, impatiently.

Respond to this comment

Sparty puts forth...

Posted October 14, 2015
Me and Mrs Sparty are in - waiting to unload a dollop of proof edit on the Dave. Cheeseburger doesn't seem to accept any updates from iphones!

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 14, 2015
I did too. Seems to have not stuck. I'll try again

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted October 14, 2015
Therbs: Here's an Extract of what I have been fkn about with recently...AND keeping the fkn planet safe opf course.This might take up some space

It was just a pity the F35 was not such a success, 100m
meters down from the drone revetments was the main beasts of RAAF Curtin, 2
full squadrons of JSF F-35 attack planes were able to be housed here, today
there was just 7, that’s all of the units single full squadron the was mission
serviceable at present, the rest were bent, or called unserviceable, but if you
were a crew chief, they were tits up useless.

Flight Line RAAF

Strolling down the flight line surveying the aircraft was
Master Crew Chief David Sphinx, not an overly tall man, but at 120 kilos with
his 6 ft. height he was not to be trifled with, what many might call a front
rower in rugby terms. Scanning the line The Master Chief shook his head, Jesus” he thought, <o:p></o:p>

“ If only the brass
had listened to the technicians early, we wouldn’t be in this fkn mess” <o:p></o:p>

What the chief was
referring to was the Joint Strike Fighter and is subsequent issues, the largest
of which was wholesale cancellation of orders, post a very brief but brutal
encounter with some borrowed flankers at REDFLAG exercises in Nevada. The
scuttlebutt initially coming out was simply that the Flanker aggressors had
scored some kills against the F35’s, both the STOL and VTOL versions, but the
release of gun tape footage and audio onto the net from various aircraft
involved broke the issue wide open. The F35
was a pig in anything but BVR engagements.<o:p></o:p>

Congress went nuts, the coalition of partners purchasing the
F35 went just as nuts and the shares for
Lockheed Martin building the F35 went down quicker than Bill Clintons “ we did not have sexual relations friend”
, whilst the emails demanding answers
and a increasing numbers of cancellations started piling up in e/mail IN boxes.
Whilst this was taking place senior commanders inside the Pentagon and across
the globe in the partner countries were scrambling to find out just exactly
what took place.<o:p></o:p>

What had happened? A small number of SU-35S Flankers had been acquired to perform
the adversary roles and the US pilots trained in their use. It was suspected
that the units had come from Malaysia but it was not confirmed. They were gen 4.5
units , with Thrust vectoring, multimode radar and stealth enhancements and they had achieved a 2 to 1 kill ratio
against the F35 in nearly all aspects of the flight envelope, except for BVR
engagements when the F35 was clean or stealthy with NO external missiles……….
and it went downhill from there.<o:p></o:p>

The chief stopped at the second row of shelters, these like
the ones housing the F35’s were not designed just to keep bombs off the
aircraft and contain a miss hap to one parking revetment, they also had IR and
Visual overhead cover, plus they kept the boiling Western Australian sun of the airframes. But
these hangars were twice as big as they ones beside them, sitting inside the
shadowed hangers was a large procession of dark slightly familiar airframes for
the casual observer. The actual number here was 24, but Australian now fielded
4 full squadrons of the them, they were classified as F111’s and these were the
newest ‘S’ model or ‘super pig’.<o:p></o:p>

thought the
chief as he strode up to the First F111S- <o:p></o:p>

he said ,as he slowly
and graceful swept his hand across the modified nose cone of the aircraft.<o:p></o:p>

Someone called out from behind him as he heard boots running up from the other
side of the aircraft. <o:p></o:p>

As David spun around to the front of the aircraft and watched
as first the boots and then flight suit appeared between the ground and the
airframe, then, as the now puffing aviator appeared from around the nose he was
not surprised the squadrons Chief pilot, Lt Colonel Rodger Rhino Ross, puffing
somewhat as he filled out the…..neat fitting flight suit stopped doubled over.
Rhino’s hand was waving kind of wildly at the Chief and he figured he knew what
he wanted whilst he was sucking in great lungful’s of air.<o:p></o:p>

It took about 20 seconds, but Rhino righted himself, now
composed but with kind of puffy flushed red cheeks he spoke with the chief.<o:p></o:p>

“Chief, we have an
alert warning from Holt, they want a Kestrel ASAP for the Lombok straight and
also a status on all other birds here at the base, which I would gather
includes piloted aircraft as well! And…. The CO has issued a full base Alert”<o:p></o:p>

The Chief had watched all the Adgies and aircraft mechanics
disperse and start swarming over the drones, he’d not given much thought to the
bases piloted aircraft up until this point. Reaching down for his radio he
called back to base ops.<o:p></o:p>

“ Base Op’s this is
Spanner 1, is the duty officer present , over” releasing the hand piece the
chief looked at Rhino.<o:p></o:p>

“ well Rhino, get ya
fkn arse in the Cockpit man….Jesus, where is your Nav?” he asked, just as
he heard the Huawei Assault Vehicle tyres squeak to a halt at the front of the
aircraft and the Pigs Navigator, Major Carley Simone bailed out of the backseat
before the Huawei shot across to the next aircraft shelter disgorging its next
set of aircrew.<o:p></o:p>

The F111 S or Super Pig was a direct result of the F35’s
technical and capability failures and it
had come at a cost. Whilst the RAAF decided to reduce its total order of
F35’s, deciding that they would try and utilise the Lightening as a fighter
only and pair it with less capable aircraft, it still left the RAAF short. The
legacy Hornets had long since been retired and the Super Hornets were being
left to do most of the work, the resultant airframe hours skyrocketing and
placing some tough decisions on the RAAF.<o:p></o:p>

Unfortunately the issues with the F35 were not just
Australian, it was the whole consortium who bought into the F35 debacle that
were now trying to secure other aircraft as fast as possible to fill the
capability gap and extend other airframes life, and this….very quickly created
an aircraft shortfall with plane prices shooting through the roof almost

The RAAF internally starting looking at options and what
force mixes they could use, one Commander suggested they dust off the F111
upgrade program and see if they could secure birds from the bone yard in the
US, after all the Commander said, we have the technical expertise here, Qantas
can support the units and we look at securing back the staff / support
personnel. The Pig will cut back on Hornet time and if we do the full upgrade
we will secure some very unique additional benefits.<o:p></o:p>

The Brass were not convinced, but the PM got wind of it and
requested a full briefing from the RAAF and its proposer, bending a lot of
senior noses out of shape in the process. The briefing had been interesting, at
the end of the session the PM it was said, had stood up and looked straight at
the Chief of the Defence force and said
Make it happen”
no buts, no histrionics, just get it done, and so the RAAF
and the DSTO embarked on what all said was the most bizarre , tax payer funded
money wasting exercise that the ADF had ever partaken in…… but they were wrong
or so the chief thought.<o:p></o:p>

The chief continued his walk around the aircraft’s topping
here and there to more closely inspect it, wings, leading edge slats, landing
gear and final now having checked all the normal operational equipment he was
ready for the weapons check, looking up at the cockpit the chief could see both
the Pilot and Nav were in their seat. <o:p></o:p>

“Ready for weapons
check Rhino, confirm Radar and pods are in standby please “ the chief called.<o:p></o:p>

He figured that the pair were still busy getting their own
collective shit sorted out, but not to bust protocol and commence the weapons
stations checks the chief allowed himself another look back over his plane as
he thought of it, mentally remembering just how hard it was to get this bird
into service and what radical changes had been made to the base G model pig to
bring her up to this… of the slipperiest aircraft available that could
deliver some serious load of steel on target. And that was the end game wasn’t

From where he was now standing at the front left side of the
aircraft, nearly all the significant mods were visible, although she had
received serious internal upgrades, the performance enhancing ones could be
seen by the trained eye, all over the airframe…and even that was partly new as

The F111’s was a super cruising low level penetrator now
with the RCS of a large bird, capable of carrying 12 AMRAAMS, or a similar number of SSM’s, she
was lengthened, had thrust vectoring nozzles with composite Kevlar / carbon
fibre wings, larger fuel tanks, upgrades electronics now all fully digitised,
link 17, AESA radar with full TFR, FLIR and IRSTS and helmet mounted queuing. In
all, she could do everything the JSF could and couldn’t, plus do it farther
away and faster. <o:p></o:p>

Private Residence.
Cable Beach Western Australia<o:p></o:p>

It had been a while, but the he knew the signs from past experience
and as far as Mat could see at the moment, all the stars were starting to
Align. For most married couples, especially the men and more so with kids there
are certain key signs that are left in the house jungle for those in the know.<o:p></o:p>

Take for example, the simple fact that the kids are staying
over at their friends house tonight, to most, that’s just regular event, but when matched with it being
Friday night, the house is clean, the other half has been out during the day at
the beauty salon and you are pretty sure that you can smell a new perfume. In
isolation, they count for a little, but as a whole they point to a possibility
that’s more possible than not, at least that’s what’s climbing through the head
at warp speed.<o:p></o:p>

But!..... like all signs left in the jungle you can easily
be miss read, lead astray and generally go charging off into the sunset only to
find your path blocked by the grizzly bear off all enemy simply because you
have miss interpreted the signs….. And that spells doom for all.<o:p></o:p>

So being a veteran, Joel new that more Intel was required so
rather casually he wandered into the bathroom and checked…YES! Sure enough the
razor had been out in the last 12 hours. That’s a good sign “he though as well.
He figured that it really was not that hard now, one last sure sign would be
somewhere and as soon as he walked through the bedroom door, having now shut
down the whole house, turned off all lights secured all doors and windows, put
out the rubbish and unstacked the dishwasher all whilst walking on egg shells….did
I mention cooking dinner as well?<o:p></o:p>

He looked up to see her, there standing upright at the dresser was his wife, clad in silk
shorts…the frilly type and a lovely red camisole to go with it …..”YES” Joel
did a little internal fist pump as he quickly made his way to the bathroom to
brush his teeth, the battlefield now survey, target located and ready to rock! <o:p></o:p>

“ There really is a
god’ he thought to himself as he opened the cabinet door for the
toothpaste” Humming Will I am, ‘ Tonight’s
gunna be a good night, tonight’s gunna be a good good night”
….hmmmmm hmm.<o:p></o:p>

With that, Joel spun, turned off the light to the en-suite
and walked over to the bed his wife was already in waiting for him, as she
gently snored….sound asleep.<o:p></o:p>

Lombok Straight,
Indonesian Archipelago SSK TANGO 2 ( Black leopard)<o:p></o:p>

It had taken 20 minutes to transit the Lombok straight at 10
knots against the 3 knot current. All whilst at periscope depth.The Black Leopard
and its crew, now safely back under the waves and descending out of sight,
allowed her Captain to relax ….. just a Little.<o:p></o:p>

<span style="font-size:11.0pt;line-height:
minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;
let’s make our depth 400 ft, reduce speed to 6 knots and rig for silent, and
then we will take a peek at what’s about”
<span style="font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA"> Said the Captain as he sat in the Black
leopards Command chair. The Black

Respond to this comment

Therbs asserts...

Posted October 14, 2015
You picking fights with the Indos again Hav? Gonna splat some Kopassus? I know, they're gonna do some cross border shenanigans in PNG.

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted October 14, 2015
And why are you not working?

Therbs would have you know...

Posted October 14, 2015
I am. Fkn multitasking. And being short and to the point with contractors who ask stupid fkn questions.

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted October 14, 2015

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted October 14, 2015
nope. we are being invaded by mauritians this time around.

Respond to this comment

AuntyLou is gonna tell you...

Posted October 15, 2015
I sent an email Oh Lord & Master...did I miss the instructions? Or am I just being impatient?

Respond to this comment

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted October 15, 2015
I don't want to sound impatient, but ?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted October 15, 2015
Did you not get your invite?

NBlob asserts...

Posted October 15, 2015
Ah. Excellent.

AuntyLou reckons...

Posted October 16, 2015
Well now I am just sad...

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Beta Readers are on'

Fanfic update Aug 11

Posted August 11, 2015 into The Dave by John Birmingham

I've finished the first edit of all your stories, and will write a couple of my own eye witness accounts over the rest of the week. My contributions:

Dave Killed it Good, by Vince Martinelli.

The Sumateem Chainsaw Massacre by Pastor Nancy Kemp, and...

As Your Attorney I Advise You To Take This Deal With The Devil, by X Boylan Esq.

Some of the stories have enjoyed a very light edit. Some have suffered grievously under the blue pencil. Only the authors and I shall ever know which.

I have another three or four chapters to write for The Demons of Buttecrack County, and then I'll need to spend a week or so edumucating myself in the arcane procedures of self publishing. As I said earlier, Dave Vs the Monsters: An Oral History of the Daemon Wars will be free forever, with a link at the end to a sign up page for the newsletter I'm planning to publish from the end fo this year.

An email addy for the newsletter gets you a free copy of Buttecrack. Or a buck ninety-nine for those whose in-trays are already full to pussy's bow.

The two HOOPER ebooks, A Protocol for Monsters and A Soul Full of Guns are now with the publishers. Next Tuesday I start writing S2 of The Dave.

16 Responses to ‘Fanfic update Aug 11’

Therbs reckons...

Posted August 11, 2015
If Greybeard has put any of those shiftless, filthy hobbits in his then bin it.

Respond to this comment

Sparty reckons...

Posted August 11, 2015
Since we've all had an opinion on the various Birmo book covers, how about a competition to design the ebook cover?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted August 12, 2015
Black, with just a scarlet splatter of blood.

dweeze ducks in to say...

Posted August 12, 2015
And just whose blood might that be?

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 12, 2015
1 vote Grey Beard's.

Brother PorkChop ducks in to say...

Posted August 14, 2015
Undead have no blood.

Respond to this thread

Rhino asserts...

Posted August 12, 2015
Have beta readers been chosen?
Just checking in case the email informing me of this exalted status went to the spam folder by mistake.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted August 12, 2015
In reference to As Your Attorney I Advise You To Take This Deal With The Devil, I can authoritatively assure you that, when considering
such contractual arrangements, the Devil is always in the details.

Peter Bradley is gonna tell you...

Posted August 12, 2015
Badum tish!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted August 12, 2015
Thank you. thank you! That is why I won't do two shows a night any more, babe. I won't. I won't do 'em.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 12, 2015
Is being in the details something to do with having all the good tunes?

Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 12, 2015
Ah I see what you did there.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted August 13, 2015
I didn't see what he did there, and that makes me angry.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted August 13, 2015

You should sell tickets right away - reviews always suggest you perform better when you're angry!

Respond to this thread

ChrisB would have you know...

Posted August 14, 2015
Are we talking hulk-angry, or regular angry?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted August 14, 2015
"Hulk smash" type angry.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Fanfic update Aug 11'

Fanfic update

Posted July 31, 2015 into The Dave by John Birmingham

Yesterday morning I sent off the draft manuscripts for A Soul Full of Guns and A Protocol for Monsters. They both came in around the 30,000 word mark, which is probably still a bit long in terms of my work flow and productivity, but I just feel that's the length at which readers get full value for their money. Finishing those drafts freed up some time to let me dive into all the submissions for the fanfic-based e-book. At the moment I'm calling it Dave versus the Monsters: an Oral History of the Daemon Wars. But I'm open to catchier titles.

I moved all of the submissions from Google Docs into Scrivener and organised them into a very rough story arc. The word count at the moment is just over 36,000. Some of the pieces are very short, just a few hundred words. Some run to thousands of words. I'll be editing them all to bring them up to publishing standard. I will also be writing maybe a dozen or so of my own stories to act as narrative scaffolding. My best guess of how long this will take is a month, because I'm not doing this as a primary project. It's only getting about two hours a day.

Before it can go live, I have to complete the second 'giveaway' e-book, The Daemons of Buttecracke County. This is the origin story of the female sheriff we met briefly at the end of Ascendance. Sheriff Sheila May Robinson. It's a piece I first worked on two or three years ago, before coming up with the idea for The Dave, but one led naturally to the other. I have about 20,000 words in that manuscript, but it was structured with a view to publishing a novel of seventy to eighty thousand words. There'll be some work in adapting it to a shorter format.

As I explained originally, the anthology will go free forever upon release, and act as a 'funnel' (in marketing speak) to both the second book and the newsletter I'll be starting towards the end of the year. Buttecracke County will retail for a buck ninety-nine, but be available free to anybody who provides an email address for the newsletter.

On a quick read through yesterday, the fanfic anthology is looking really good. I'm open to the idea of sending out a beta version to a small number of people who'd be willing to read it looking for errors to correct. If you're interested let me know, but understand you be reading it as a subeditor, not just a reader.

21 Responses to ‘Fanfic update ’

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 31, 2015

*Puts hand up*

Respond to this comment

Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted July 31, 2015
Pick me, pick me!

Respond to this comment

insomniac asserts...

Posted July 31, 2015
I will also put my hand up, and of course I have verifiable proofreading employment under my belt to boot.

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 31, 2015
and I promise not to derive any enjoyment at all from the reading ... not a skerrick.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted July 31, 2015
*shakes fist*
You'd better not.

Respond to this thread

damian puts forth...

Posted July 31, 2015
Subs I can do. Might need to see schedule before agreeing but

Respond to this comment

Rob has opinions thus...

Posted July 31, 2015
Need to buy a new eReader, my kobo is now a powered brick. Some reason the Kobo software just doesn't work. So how good are kindles? should I buy one of those?

Respond to this comment

AuntyLou ducks in to say...

Posted July 31, 2015
Ummm...I have absolutely no qualifications beyond being *that* reader who yells loudly, "Did no-one edit this book!?!?" when finding typos. Also BA level reader & buckets of time. Oh and Rob...I have an older style Kindle which has always worked and does the job for me. Don't know about the new fancy ones.

Respond to this comment

JBtoo ducks in to say...

Posted July 31, 2015
I'm a subby with time on my hands; would be honoured to assist.

Respond to this comment

Grand Admiral Thrawn mumbles...

Posted July 31, 2015
i'm willing to give it a read, might not find anything, but i'll give it a go.

Respond to this comment

Ceramic puts forth...

Posted July 31, 2015
If i'm not too late, i'd like to give it a go. Is the way I did it before ok, or a bit cumbersome?

Respond to this comment

Sparty mumbles...

Posted July 31, 2015
Can't say its in my skill set (as any one who has read my posts can testify), however Mrs Sparty has done a lot of proof reading and editing so is very happy to help.

Respond to this comment

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 31, 2015
I have beer and live sport on TV so therefore can't read. Who are you people?

Respond to this comment

Rhino mumbles...

Posted July 31, 2015
Murph looks a bit wan - I think you might be wearing him out. So, I'll step forward as a Seppo resource.

Respond to this comment

MickH mumbles...

Posted August 1, 2015
Is this just for the monsters stuff? Will choice bits of "Queen of the Seven seas" ever see the light of day?

Respond to this comment

ChrisB swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 1, 2015 if I could just remember my dammed password to the site...

Respond to this comment

Aaron mumbles...

Posted August 1, 2015
do you get a freebie or a character if you come up with the name? Here's my go.
'The front was everywhere: A human history of the daemon wars'
I like this cause it hints at the asymmetric warfare unleashed by threshy and suggests a daemon version could exist, published by the scholari Grymm or something. That would be fun. Seriously, it could be the next wave of fanfic.

Respond to this comment

sibeen would have you know...

Posted August 1, 2015
I'll throw my hat into the ring.

Respond to this comment

ShaneAlpha ducks in to say...

Posted August 1, 2015
How about: "When Hell Walked the Earth - An Oral History of the Monster Wars"or"Unexpected Terror - An Oral History of the Daemon Incursions"or "Left without a Prayer : Survivors Tales of the Monster Wars"

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted August 2, 2015

Am willing to assist you JB in any all of your endeavours ... including reading the literary monsterly gems of other rival members of the 10,000 all vying for your affections and trying not to weep too much at their glorious daemon musings.

Respond to this comment

Peter Bradley mumbles...

Posted August 4, 2015
If by subeditor you mean someone who is responsible for ensuring the correct grammar, spelling, house style and tone of the work, sorry way above my skill and pay grade.
I will leave it to those who know their participles from their gerunds

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Fanfic update '

Protocol ebook

Posted July 16, 2015 into The Dave by John Birmingham

Soul Full of Guns, the Karin ebook, was easy to write because it's a straight line through a series of action sequences and old spy movie tropes.

A Protocol for Monsters isn't. It's Emergence, but told from the PoV of the other guys. The Scooby Gang. So the narrative arc is set and familiar before you read it, but what's new is knowing what's happening both offstage and in the minds of Heath, Emmeline and Compton when they meet Dave.


This is from Heath's point of view, in the back of the SUV taking Dave from the hosptial to Area 6, the unnamed 'training base' where they run the super hero tests on him:

Hooper shied away from describing how he’d kill the things, saying he was hungry when Heath pressed the question.

‘I’m sorry, but I really have to eat,’ he whined, a strangely contrary tone coming out of such a large framed, rough-headed man. He looked to Heath like the sort of dumb ass cracker whose life had been on a steep downslope from the day he’d stopped playing high school football. And yet he was qualified engineer, so obviously not stupid. He was only about halfway gone to seed, and he had the sort of looks Heath could imagine might play well with cocktail waitresses of low repute.

Later, when Heath calls Compton and Emmeline on the Longreach to tell them about the ambush and Dave's unusual skill sets, Compton narrates the exchange, which gives us an insight into his relationship with Emmeline, while also filling in a little background on Dave, and Emmeline's first reaction to him:

Both of the scientists could hear the weariness and stress in Heath's voice, even through the encryption algorithms carrying his voice over the secure connection. Compton had taken over an office on the rig. Hooper’s in fact, from the name written on a piece of gaffer tape stuck to the door. If afforded him some privacy, and even some amusement at the disapproving look on Emmeline’s face as she took in the engineer’s unrivalled collection of pornography. Compton could tell part of her unusual mind was attempting to reconcile the fact of the centrefolds with the workplace harassment policies a large corporation was sure to have in place.

“I left a team behind to deal with local law enforcement," Heath explained "and Mister Hooper suggested a workable cover story.”

“So he’s not just pretty face,” Compton said.

“No, he also seems to be something of a pervert and a sexual harasser,” Emmeline said, still fixated on the wall art.


Compton pushed on, hiding a smug little victory smirk at having been able to read Ashbury so well. Once you understood her condition she was like a wind up toy.

The real challenge is humanising Compton, after having monsterised him in the second and third book. We are all the heroes of our own journeys and he's no different.

16 Responses to ‘Protocol ebook’

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted July 16, 2015
JB, those excerpts read superbly. Interesting concept. Using a monster plot that appeals somewhat to our eternal adolescent, plus laughs, but having a middle aged 'hero' who reminded me of a John Updike character. And then around that, accreting additional perceptive and diverse character writing. I think you are on to something here.

Respond to this comment

Aaron swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 16, 2015
Cool idea and glad you are filling in comptons motivations cause he was bordering in card board cut out character territory. I knew from experience that you take characters more seriously than that. I suspect compton may be a deciding factor in humanities fate in the end.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted July 16, 2015
I bet that in Compton's mind's eye he is Daniel Craig.

With a neck beard.

Respond to this comment

Aaron asserts...

Posted July 16, 2015
I would love to hear threshy refer to the scolari grymm as neck beards from now on!

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 16, 2015
Threshy's first PoV line in the next book:
Threshy sort of wished he'd eaten John Malkovich's brain.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted July 16, 2015
I wish the same thing for myself, but undoubtedly for different reasons.

GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted July 16, 2015

Is that a Malkovich RED brain or a PENQUINS of a MADAGASCAR type of brain?

Respond to this thread

Matthew F. mumbles...

Posted July 16, 2015
We're all the same Malkovore under the skin, Paul.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted July 16, 2015
I don't want to be him. I just have this hunch that his brain would be good eatin' if properly prepared. And served with a good French Margaux. Preferably one from Bordeaux, although any will do in a pinch. I'm not picky about that sort of thing.

Respond to this thread

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted July 17, 2015
I think the easiest way to humanize Compton is to suggest that after years of adjunct work he was happy to have a hand in establishing the Human Terrain Teams, leveraging that into a position with OSTP. As someone who remembers his poverty a little too well, he works pretty diligently to make sure he doesn't go back there.

Which means most of the time, to everyone else, he is probably going to seem like a first class prick.

We had a Vice Chancellor until recently who very much reminded me of Compton. Someone finally got rid of him, but I'm told everything he did was with an eye towards protecting his position after years of poverty.

Rob mumbles...

Posted July 17, 2015
Had a guy like that at law school. He wrote one paper and made us study it. An exercise in obscurity. Prick got tenure 30 years ago with a mere honours degree and didn't do anything else. The faculty hated him , I was just the part time graphic designer and they used to moan to me about it.

Respond to this thread

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 17, 2015
Before you judge me, please know that I've been working 16-20 hour days since the 29th of the last month. I am not prone to anxiety dreams, but I think I had one last night. I was in this business meeting from hell where I was trying to sell the idea of a song called "A Protocol for Monsters" sung to the tune of "The Politics of Dancing."

I woke up confused. I got the fact that the song titles coincidentally have the same foot and meter. But The Politics of Dancing is a terrible song. One of the worst from the 80's. "(We Don't Need This)Fascist Groove Thing" (Heaven17 1981) would have been a much better choice.

Therbs mutters...

Posted July 17, 2015
I can imagine you Paul, in 1981, cutting a swathe through West Coast discotheques and offering young ladies wine spritzers. Grand times.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted July 17, 2015
In 1979 I rejected disco as "corporate music" and in '81 was slam dancing when the opportunity presented itself. But the young proto-goth ladies I was attempting to seduce did enjoy the occasional white wine cooler. So you got that part right.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 18, 2015
Bartles and Jaymes, if I remember correctly. Very sweet, but also very sad at the same time. In this instant moment of retrospect it appears to have been appropriate for that particular place and time.

Respond to this thread

Rob ducks in to say...

Posted July 17, 2015
No wonder Dave hated Compton , prick took his office. You just don't do that man. Prick was probably playing with his star wars action figures and wrecking his Barney motivational posters.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Protocol ebook'