Cheeseburger Gothic

So, three books or twenty?

Posted March 6, 2009 by John Birmingham
The economies thread below veered off on an interesting tangent when McKinney of Texas raised the idea of something approaching a decology set in the Post Wave World. Specifically he was interested in what would happen in the Middle East, and saw the potential, quite reasonably for a whole series of conflicts playing themselves out there.

Murph, while agreeing with many of his points, raised the issue of writer fatigue. It is a real issue. But then of Final Impact I was tired of that world and ready to leave. (I'm now ready to go back, after a break.)

For myself, I'd fear getting stale inside one world, even though with a whole world to build and explore that shouldn't be a issue. Perhaps Steve Stirling performed the trick best with his ISOT/DTF series, which effectively creates three narative realms out of one event. The Nantucket world, the post Change world, and the far post change world, all with their own character sets and story arcs.

I'm not sitting here planning my next five years. I have too much copy to get thru and quite a few of those years are allocated anyway. But I would be interested to see this topic discussed.

74 Responses to ‘So, three books or twenty?’

Lobes would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2009
Dont go overboard with the series. Being concise can be nice. You want to be able to have a reference point in the beginning and if theres 5+ books you'd struggle to relate events to the beginning. And if you're not careful it will turn into another Amtrak Wars.

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lostatlunch swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2009
The idea has legs until the author or the readership gets bored.

If it starts to go all Dune~ish... I am outta there.

If it came down to returning to AOT or going into a new idea, I would take the new idea.

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girlclumsy mutters...

Posted March 6, 2009
Hey! You could be like that Robert Jordan guy!

(I think that's the right dude. The one who's death was greeted with cheers by fantasy lovers everywhere. That's the one, isn't it?)

Is it something you could do intermittently? As in, every couple of years, add to the series? Or does the tyranny of distance come into play then?

Thinking about my own reading habits, the only extended series' I've really hung out for was Harry Potter and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. Yup, sad as I'm sure, but hey at least it wasn't Twilight.

I think I agree with Lobes. Tell the stories that initially popped into your head in the first place. The rest is for the fan fic, isn't it? ;)

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2009
Ii seems to be a common phenomena with writers. If you're not careful you end up doing spending all your time in one world. That's fine - if its a lucrative one. I'm thinking of Jordan and Piers Anthony here. But at some stage the thing just seems to run on sheer inertia.

Ringo suffers the same problem. Everyone wants him to write more 'Prince Roger' or Aldenata books. Instead, he partners while doing other work. Some of the partnership work is with other writers ie Kratman etc JR seems to write the story arc and works in an overseer role. Tom Kratman admits he doesn't play well with others. So personal quirks aren't an issue.

Webber does the same thing. Senior writer does the arc.

Fan-fic works. Helps to gauge the interest. Also it identifies possible partners. But . . .someone else does the scut work of looking it over. Eric Flint - 1632 model.

On the whole? Look to setting up an ad-hoc WoW site. Allow fan-fic. Let the fans cherry pick stuff based on no. of comments and who's commenting. Let the 'inner circle' do the vetting(I'M LOOKING AT YOU LOT IN THE STATES) Some may stimulate your thinking. Cherry pick (like you're not!) ideas from the threads.

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Leo euler swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2009
There are certainly enough interesting stories to be told in WW for dozens of books, so I don't think having enough material is an issue. I don't think people would necessarily get tired of more than three. You just have to make sure that the writing is fun and interesting.

I like the idea of a cooldown between writing the stories. Try out three books, see how people react, and then work from there to see if people might want more. I definitely think a lot of people assume that you will return to AoT with a Cold War trilogy.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2009
Coolddown - good term. But not too cool. That's why you have fan-fic. Allows things to bubble along quietly.

Dozens of Rhino stories for a start,

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2009
To be fair, not that I would have mentioned it if Birmo had not already, I sensed a fair amount of fatigue by Final Impact when I was brought on board to do the military research. I didn't think he was there by that book, but I could sense it coming, feel it around the edges. I think that is part in parcel for the acceleration from 1942 to 1944 and the war's end.

There is also a very real danger in that world and in the Without Warning universe of giving in to the need/desire/demand to fill the narrative full of battles. That is what the readers want, right?

Well, actually, the battles won't work effectively if time is not spent on supporting story lines and character development. The battles are interesting partly because you actually give a shit whether or not a given character dies or not.

And you can see this demand manifesting itself in every thread. They all veer toward matters military and I'm certainly guilty of feeding it to some degree (I'm the, uh, military advisor, so it is kinda my bag).

Here are some non-military questions to ask then.

1. What will the Federal Government look like in three years? Who will be represented in it?

2. What new states and territories will be online? McKinney raised this point previously.

3. In a world moving backward in many ways, will there be a demand for horses? If so, can the US export their horses for a profit? Same per mules.

4. What would a home built on a homesteading plot look like? After three years of exposure, many homes are not going to be in the best shape. The better move may be to salvage them for parts and build a new home. What would that home look like?

Things to ponder.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted March 6, 2009
I cannot stress more my adamant belief that you and Murph should co-author the fourth AoT novel - a prequel. As far as I can tell, WW is selling very well. Convergence could come out relatively fast and ride that wave.

Look, if all the guys at Baen can team up to pump out pulp, surely you two can finish the incredibly good start that is Convergence and persuade your publisher to put it out.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2009
It is - like- a no-brainer, dudes. Seriously.

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Orin is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2009
As much as I bang on constantly about Ian McDonalds "River of Gods" on my own blog - he provides a fairly good model with the followup to River of Gods, "Cyberabad Days". The sequel involved seven short stories (one of which got a Hugo) set in the same world. You got to see answers to some "so what would have happened with X Y years later" questions without those answers having to be shoehorned into an overarching narrative. Reynolds did a bit of the same where he fleshed out the Revelation Space universe with "Galactic North" and "Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days". Hamilton did it for the Confederation universe with "Second Chance at Eden".

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Orin reckons...

Posted March 6, 2009
You could tell a lot of short stories on "what happened next" with an AoT or a post After America collection (or even go back and pick up threads that you might have dropped for other reasons where you had a cool idea but didn't think that it was worth adding another character arc for)

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Guru Bob puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2009
Girl Clumsy I am impressed - I ran out iof steam with Stephanie Plum after about number Seven - I couldn't recall which ones I had or hadn't read any more and they all dissolved into a morass...

Short stories coudl be a nice way to keep the pot simmering - but I do agree with Murph's point that these threads always tend to return to 'military nerdism' - I think one of the most interesting WW fanfic stories was the one about guns in NZ.

Murph - after looking at houses for the past few weeks - not many modern houses would be inhabitable after 2-3 years of exposure to the elements without ongoing maintenance. Late 20th century building standards are almost uniformly crap.

Once a window is broken or roof leaks, it just becomes a matter of time before a house in the suburbs is just full of trash. Have you ever been through a town after a flood? Treasured possesions and supposedly high quality consumer stuff becomes rusty, stinky rubbish faster than you would imagine.

There may be a property rush for older more robust houses though.

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2009
No more than three books, however I still like the idea of you organising a couple of fanfic collections (one for AOT and another for the WW series) for all those frustrated writers out there.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted March 6, 2009
GB, oh yes always room for prime redevelopment properties!!!

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George03 ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2009
I do like the cool-down idea.

JB might be busy with the "After America" novel but some time in the future I would like to see a continuation from "Final Impact".

I was really getting into the way that 1940's attitudes were crashing, head-on, with the one's from the 2020's.

I could see many stoylines coming from the way the book ended.....

Will the sunset clause get extended?

Will the Special Zone attitudes take in the rest of the country?

How will the USA deal with the oil producing states?

Would there be a real war with the Soviets?

There are hundreds of questions that could be answered but to do it all in a consecutive 4-5 book series is risking reader burnout.

You could do a "Lord of the Rings" style series with the main story in one hit (Done) and later come back and fill in the blanks.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2009
Thanks for the compliment, Paul. :)

Flood of 1993, National Guard duty. Yep, been there, done that, GB. But some things are going to remain salvageable.

Wiring, pipes, brick, certain types of wood if it hasn't rotted badly, some appliances, cooking utensils and such. But I do agree, GB, that most houses will have gone to crap.

We've got a failed housing development in the area with two good sized homes. They have been boarded up but you can already see gaps, pulled away boards, and I'm certain there is water damage. Once you've got water damage and vermin running around in the house, you've got what GB says, which is crap.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2009
I like new ideas, rather than one idea beaten to death.

As for author fatigue.

Read James Herbet's 'Fluke' then '48.'

The dude is so obviously just cranking them out so he gets a new hover I mean masarati it's embarrasing.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted March 6, 2009
It's not a compliment alone: it is advice from a very wise old man whom you and John should listen to. And if it is a compliment, it is somewhat back handed; you know how much I enjoyed what I saw, but you also know I feel it needs moderate revision. One of John's strengths is his skill depicting women and romantic events between men and women. You and he together could get Convergence polished to a high gloss. I already know it will be a good read.

So Professor, listen to the other Professor and get it done. No excuses. Just do it. At least have something finished that can be shown when the time is right - presuming it isn't right right now (which I don't accept: the time could never be better).

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lostatlunch reckons...

Posted March 6, 2009
crap can be repaired... starting from nothing is always hard.. I will be looking to find a place to repair, than demolish and repair.

I am taking 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as my residence, sure it will be a fixer-upper and unwelcome visitors will drop by, but it is well armed, fully prepped bunkers & nice free fire zone, with a bowling alley and a movie theatre. renovators dreem... but I would change the paint scheme.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2009
Got to be careful with the story telling.

Build the worls first.

Example :

The food/ agriculture thread can be a real bear if you don't watch out.

Things as simple as bread and milk have to be figured in advance. Example : You have a town. Who bakes the bread. Where does the flour come from? Who is milling the flour? Few small flour mills exist. And making flour involves testing cereals and blending flour types. True! Down here in Oz - drought has effected the quality of the wheat, less gluten. Old flour stocks loose their gluten - aging as far as I can gather. Who has the know how to re start aflour mill? Not the Army. And . . .it is a mill IOW a factory. You need a trained workforce.

Milk : You need cows. You need tankers you need bottling plants.

And finally a distribution system.

In some cases the only bottling plant or flour mill in the state has burnt down.

If you're figuring on living on canned and packeged goods for the interim. Fine. What are the health consequences? Where do the vitamins come from? Whats the shelf life?

How soon to getting fresh greens etc growing and moving.

What to do with Vegetarians? (I have my opinion, and I'm not sharing it)

First we have to build the world.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2009
"What to do with Vegetarians?"

Same as all other herbovores.

BBQ

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Naut mutters...

Posted March 6, 2009
I love the short story idea. Limitless scope for stories and a chance to flesh out some of the back stories you have written but us punters never get to see.

It is also a great opportunity to get guest authors to fund your next hovercraft.

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RobW has opinions thus...

Posted March 6, 2009
I'm sorry I missed your signing in San Francisco....but I was tied up on business in Oklahoma and Texas. Then, when you made it to Houston, Tx I was in San Francisco. Oh, well.

In any case, before you start planning on competing with L. Ron Hubbard on the longest science fiction series in history, note the demise of yet another bookstore, this an old, respected, and to-be-missed one in San Francisco. The obituary is here:

Reading marks final chapter at Stacey's books in San Francisco:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/05/BATK169I3F.DTL

I've seen so many good bookstores bite the dust; it is really, really sad. Don't know whether you made it to Stacy's for a signing when you were in the City (I understand from your entries you made it past the Mission district). In any case, the demise of another book store deserves a moment of silence....

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Moko mutters...

Posted March 6, 2009
I'd hate to see it go regurge. Someone like Clancy refreshes the same dude over and over. IT's a good thing. Anyone sick of Bond yet?.

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Brian would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2009
Back stories people. Back stories.

What happens to an Aluminium smelter when you turn off the juice? All the molten metal freezes and you need to jackhammer the pots out. Ditto - any smelting process that was going on when the Wave hit.

Where are all records for utilities, sewers kept? Handbooks on how to switch things back on? If electronic - they're gone. If paper - where?

The problem with 'Made in America' - is that all the American makers are dead. Factoid : Iraq invasion : Rebuilding program : Electricity Generators : European Made. Contracts given to American companies to replace the gear. Simpler than working with gear they didn't have the handbooks for or the contractors to rebuild. Apart from which - French made. I wouldn't be counting on getting too much infrastructure up and running just yet.

ANything that required chilling or freezing is now defrosted and ruined. That also means - blood banks. Seed stores. That has to be cleaned out - deconned, and put back into commission. Fancy transplants are now history for a bit. Hmm . . .pharmaceuticals need temperature control as well. As well as chicken eggs for vaccine. production.

See where I'm going?

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2009
I'd say Dr. No & Blowfeldt are sick of Bond.

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Orin ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2009
Anyone sick of Bond yet?

Yeah but we got Rhino - and the endless torment that putting Rhino in print brings Havock is its own reward to the author.

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savo would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2009
Thanks for that Murph

.1. What will the Federal Government look like in three years? Who will be represented in it?

Smaller more streamline more able to come to terms and deal with internal problems BUT as the Americanism goes, speak softly and carry and big stick, I see them pulling no punches on the international scene and more than willing and able to flash into ash any nation/state that threatens the lives of the very few survivors.

.2. What new states and territories will be online? McKinney raised this point previously.

The North American Federation will be the three Canadian Territories will be the norther Territoris, Maritime and Canadian Lost. Each will have a congressman and 2 Senators, the recently freed Canadian Lost wil have their reperesentatives appointed by the elected reps. The US portion of the Federation will be Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Displaced, Federal Defence Forces and Lost States, each with a congressman and 2 senators similarly the Lost States will be appointed by the elected members.

.3. In a world moving backward in many ways, will there be a demand for horses? If so, can the US export their horses for a profit? Same per mules.

Yes absolutely, but don't export horses only export mules therefore the market never runs out as mules are, er mules and can't breed. What does the US want to import? people. Perhaps not the most elegant way of doing this but mules for humans sounds better than oil for food.

.4. What would a home built on a homesteading plot look like? After three years of exposure, many homes are not going to be in the best shape. The better move may be to salvage them for parts and build a new home. What would that home look like?

Homesteads will all be different. Don't expect too many log cabins. The Wave survivors have seen the world. they will be a ware of many differt ways to build subsistance accomodation comfortably. They may know that adobe blocks are quick and easy to make and can even be earthquaked proofed, Solar panels and wind can power a whole home communications can be jerry rigged, fuels can be grown as crops etc etc. Nothing will be what it is now.

And AoT needs another book AND Cheeseburger needs its Fan Fic section up and running, AND after AoT, franchise the Universe, what would a collection of short stories set in AoT by Drake, Stirling, Burch or Phelan read like? or for that matter Hawkes Lohburger Flintheart or Barnes?

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Moko ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2009
Phelan's got some good shit going.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted March 6, 2009
Being a reader who can get sucked into a neverending series I'd say finish this as a trilogy and then chill it for a while. I'm looking forward to what happens over the next two books but will be interested in seeing what you decide to play with next time.

Mr Boylan's suggestion is a grand idea. "The Caliph Knitter"?

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2009
Actually, Paul is quite right. Murph and Birmo's prequel to the AoT would be brilliant.

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sparty mutters...

Posted March 7, 2009
becareful of being too far from the origin event (loved dies the fire , but got bored once the central conceit had moved on). AOT rpequel though that would be cool And genuine alt history.

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Sweet Jane Says mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
Birmingham, there comes a time when a writer should only listen to their own eternal voice.

J.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 7, 2009
Although I am all in favor of an AoT prequel that showed the events that created the technology and mindset of the expeditionary force that was cast back in time, I am suggesting something within the existing AoT story.

What I loved about AoT was the feeling that I had a ring side seat on events that would become legend. When I suggested a "prequel" I was talking about filling in the gaps within AoT - for example, the American invasion of Hawaii to expel the Japanese, and the events that elevated Jones and his men from damned good Marines to a legendary and feared phalanx of archangels.

John, Murph, make it so.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 7, 2009
A writer's "eternal" voice?

Again, you crack me up, dear. I mean it sincerely and appreciatively.

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Abe mutters...

Posted March 7, 2009
Paul and Jane are SOOOO getting it on.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted March 7, 2009
So?

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Tarl mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
Eeew. Isn't that, like, bestiality or something?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 7, 2009
Again, so?

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tygertim mutters...

Posted March 7, 2009
Paul, Jane can be interesting, no doubt about it... but the lady has a TEMPER, and she ain't afraid to use it... I've had... Thoughts... about Sweet, Sweet, Jane. I find her disturbingly attractive at times... but that TEMPER... Oh my! (See Jane. See Jane's Boots. Good Jane, Good.)

Just a Californiacation heads up from one Cali boy to another.

as for you, Jane. HI! :P

Improbe amor quid no mortalia pectora cogis

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tygertim has opinions thus...

Posted March 7, 2009
Hey! Murph! as per

4. What would a home built on a homesteading plot look like? After three years of exposure, many homes are not going to be in the best shape. The better move may be to salvage them for parts and build a new home. What would that home look like?

Straw. Good building material. Good insulation value. Cheap. Lots and lots of straw about!... Coat with adobe. Paint. Lasts a Hunndert years... Lots of Straw houses in Missouri dating back to the Missouri settlement still in use.

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tygertim is gonna tell you...

Posted March 7, 2009
Three guesses as to what I've been drinking?

:D

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sibeen ducks in to say...

Posted March 7, 2009
.3. In a world moving backward in many ways, will there be a demand for horses? If so, can the US export their horses for a profit? Same per mules.

Perhaps not. Maybe JB should be more careful with his canon, or maybe his editors and pre-readers (yes, I'm looking sternly at you, Mr Murphy) should take a little more care with the sacred words.

I had a problem with an earlier thread where JB finally stumped up and stated that "the primates were gone". This set up a few alarm bells in the nerdy, engineering type brain that I have; and I decided to do some fact checking.

On the top of page 207, Australian edition, of WW; we can wasily find:

Where there should have been cattle or horses, there were charred spots and grassfires, especially in west Texas.

So it appears that there is no horses for export, nor cattle to eat. Woe is me, is the canon to be as fucked up and as contradictory as the bible?

:)

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted March 7, 2009
Well, the Bible is fairly hilarious - especially Genesis.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted March 7, 2009
sibeen, ever heard of "retcon?"

And yes, I know what the Australian version of the novel says per West Texas.

Moreover, umm, so what? Yes, I'm saying this as consultant and military editor. I'm also a writer (a very small one) and I have some inkling of an understanding as to the challenges faced in this project.

If we go with "The Wave killed everything" then we create a massive problem which was discussed during the earlier thread, one of essentially terraforming North America. We can't even begin to speculate on what that ecosystem would look like. Folks with far more understanding of that sort of thing than myself have said as much.

On the one hand, it'd make for a brilliant speculative exercise. You'd probably also need a PhD in Biology to write a book on the issue that was:

A. Believable

B. Understandable to the lay person

C. Entertaining

It is an awfully tall mountain to climb. Given deadlines and the demand of the audience base, you can either ignore the ecology problem altogether (not advisable as ecology will shape the post Wave civilization) or you can retcon the novel.

More to the point, as I recall from the earlier thread, some animals were indeed vaporized or did die but the effect was not universal.

In any case, if Birmo asked for my advice on the matter (we have talked about it before) my advice would be to stick with the recent statement that the Wave vaporized mainly primates. Regardless of what any version of the book may say on the matter I'd advise that.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a couple of chapters of the sequel to look at. Which are pretty good I might add and I'm way overdue for putting my time in on them.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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sibeen mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
or you can retcon the novel.

All sounds a bit protestant to me.

:)

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted March 7, 2009
Charred spots and grass fires are hardly Murph's turf. And that particular section is just poor writing rather than inconsistency. the previous sentence, describing footage from a UAV read: 'Ditches and craters of burning ruin in the fields where aircraft had gone down over what many called “Flyover Country” in the Midwest. Where there should be cattle or horses, there were charred spots and grassfires, especially in West Texas'.

The burned bits refer to wild fires started by air crashes etc. I got the image from recalling aerial shots of post bushfire landscapes in Oz which are always full of crispy critters.. But unfortunately the 'stream of images' effect I was going for in that par is misleading. I should have stuck to full sentences.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 7, 2009
I, for one, am relieved that the powers that be have decided not to wipe out everything with an advanced nervous system. As Murph points out, it would be impossible to believably describe the affects because no one knows what would happen. All anyone knows is that it would be a disaster of biblical proportions.

The major problem restricting the affect to primates is explaining why. Why hit humans and gorillas and pass up the majestic moose?

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
Paul, there is the potential for an outstanding novel in that concept. Thing is, it'd probably take a dedicated scientist to write it.

Speaking of things which are my turf, I found a pretty neat YouTube video put out by US Army Pacific. In three minutes it pretty much describes what US Army Pacific is, does, has, and the like. If one were to retroactively change the digital camo to the older BDUs (I seriously doubt the Army will go through the uniform transition after the Wave) then you'd have a pretty good feel for the Army in that universe.

The size of the force is about right as well.

or if the embed doesn't work, try this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tB9DvoJMSA

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy reckons...

Posted March 7, 2009
sibeen, I was actually thinking Church of England, or Catholic Light if you like.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted March 7, 2009
Murph. Catholic Light - High Church of course. Nice phrase.

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mckinneytexas has opinions thus...

Posted March 7, 2009
Coming in late again--both the Aot and the WW series have the potential for stand-alone story arcs along the S. Stirling model. Not necessarily the same characters doing more of the same--that doesn't appeal--but rather, a series, or a single novel, resolving the ME situation, for example. Perhaps another novel or two 10 and 20 years after the end of the initial WW set. there are a lot of possibilities for great work on a landscape with the back story already written and with a built-in market. I think fleshing these out is a good move, entertainment and cash flow-wise.

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
The why of the Wave is already settled Paul.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
Please, oh please, don't let it be the Wizard of Oz explanation. I hate when that happens.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted March 7, 2009
Going back to the AoT - tactically sound in terms of picking up follow on readership from WoW.

I guess you're already planning a third something or other

as a breather.

I think a title is appropriate for your research and reading team. Looks to be about four?

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Sweet Jane Says asserts...

Posted March 7, 2009
A lot of little men push each other behind the curtain.

J.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 7, 2009
And what's your role again, sweetie?

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted March 7, 2009
I push buttons.

J.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted March 7, 2009
Hey, wait a minute! I thought I was the one who pushed the buttons. Jane, we had an agreement. Now I feel betrayed.

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Sweet Jane Says mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
How did he conjure a word before monitoring the nocturnal literary emissions of the provincials?

J.

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted March 7, 2009
Paul, and why's that? Janes just using her womans perogative to screw with your mental wellbeing!

Murph ahhh you mean the HIGH Church not that roman rubbish!!

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Chaz reckons...

Posted March 7, 2009
Jane the benefit of having been orn in the mother country..

Oh and having lived in the Royal Borough, you're all provincials except...Moi! But it hasn't stopped me playing nice.

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mckinneytexas would have you know...

Posted March 7, 2009
J is on a roll.

Damn.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted March 8, 2009
You say "on a roll" I say acreting odd, leading to stronger & considerably larger sphere of effect.

Dog help us when she reaches a critical density of wierdness.

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tygertim mutters...

Posted March 8, 2009
How did he conjure a word before monitoring the nocturnal literary emissions of the provincials?

J.

See! That's why I find Jane disturbingly attractive.... in a spiked leather bustier (something like http://www.fashionising.com/diary/s--Rihana-at-American-Music-Awards-1874-1.html) kind of way.

Yeah. I'm evil.....

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted March 8, 2009
My 2 cents ...

I'd like to see something written in the AoTverse as a prequel of sorts ... could see this farmed out to an apprentice or two (looking at Murph and Mick) working from JB's outlines with an 80/20 division of work. Give an up and comer a leg up. This approach gives the fans what they want - more product, keeps things fresh and eases risk of author fatigue with respect to a series.

As for the WW series - Where would it go after the initial arc? In WW we have the explosion - the Wave's impact on the world. Looks like the next one is focused on the implosion - the rushing back in to fill the vacuum that is now the US. Not going to speculate on #3 ... so, until we have some idea as to what is going to drive the tension beyond the second - I'm not so sure that it would make sense to keep going.

Now, to jump to the other side - the story is HUGE and if the fans are rabid enough it could spur demand for spin-off tales ala Flint's Ring of Fire series. Brian said it first regarding fanfic, etc. Get the juggernaut moving with a dedicated WW fan site. I would love to see this - hell, I'd run it.

From a business perspective - I say that if sales warrant it, and Birmo is ready to cash in, now is the time to take things to the next level and let the market sort it out. Just checked Amazon and see that WW is ranked 814 overall, 15 in SF and 50 in Thrillers. So, the thing has got some legs. Has there been any impact/uptick on AoT sales?

Besides, I think the world is more than ready for The Rhino action hero series - I'm thinking something along the lines of William Johnstone's "Ashes" series.

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Brian asserts...

Posted March 8, 2009
Ashes - now there was a goodie. If formulaic towards the end.

I don't have a problem with a dedicated site. It provides an different venue than what we get up to around here. It needs to be seeded properly. How much of the AoT fan fic was recovered from the JSpace crash? That'd be part of it.

I can think of other things - but that depends on the group.

One instance is the Middle East. Another could be Asia. There are going to be stories about Embassy's being stormed, Japan's response, what's actually happening in England etc

Jeez . . .it could get worse than 1632 if'n you're not careful.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted March 8, 2009
If "I think the world is more than ready for The Rhino action hero series "

Then the world is also ready for the Rhino Action figure.

Sorry Big Fella, but there is already a Havock Action figure - I have photographic proof!

If requested I'll stick it up over @ Desthpicable.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted March 8, 2009
I WANT!, I want the action pre AOT, the ME, Indonesia and the battles they fought, our intrepid reporters previous life and DAN BLACK, its gotta be choch full of kill'em all.....PLEASE!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted March 8, 2009
First of all, let's be very clear about action figures. The Rhino figure is surely a given. But the first one out has to be the Stavros action figure - with Hellenic Grip.

But we digress (which, of course, is always delightful - until Jane goes too far). All the talk about spin offs and sequels is fine, but the pragmatic reality is that unless Birmo is the headliner, it simply won't be published. Until liquid cash returns to the world economy and credit/lending loosens up, publishers are going to play it safe with existing authors and will be resistant to giving a chance to new faces and voices.

Which means the only way for we who read to get more to read is for Birmo to do it - which, like it or not, bottlenecks the process - or for him to co author with someone else. That is still a lot of work - and when all is said and done, it is work load and burn out that is being considered in this thread - but it would be a bit less, fostering the publication of more stuff I like to read. Ultimately, this is why I found y'all in the first place. I want the AoT universe to expand and the story to proceed.

So, in this economic climate, the only hope for that happening is for Birmo to team up with someone and hope that enough cash is being generated by WW with a hopeful resulting bump in AoT sales to convince Birmo's publisher to take a chance on a co-authored work within the AoT series.

I am postulating one exists that is either complete or near completion that, once polished will make for a really, really good read.

And even if the economic climate is not ripe for such a collaboration, do the work anyway. Get it ready for the time when opportunity intersects with preparation.

God, I feel like Cato the Elder constantly repeating my single message.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted March 8, 2009
Paul - I agree with you. Its trying to work out the right model isn't it?

The best model is one book per year. (Unless you're John Ringo with an a/c bunker and an abbreviated family life)

It works for Feist, Pratchet and Goodkind. One book per year. Feist has had co-authors. Then we have Clive Cussler - whose later books are spun off. I'm thinking of "Tales from The Numa Files' here.

Eric Flint seeds his ROF volumes with a single short story of his - even a novella. And then populates the rest with stuff that falls within canon.A few other well knowns. And then a few 'introducing' slots. It also allows the lead author, a rest break of sorts.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 8, 2009
Flint's model isn't working. The Dreeson Incident was so bad I've decided not to continue following the series - and I am probably not alone.

The right model is necessarily work and time intensive for those involved. And that means the right model is personality driven. Not everyone can or even wants to collaborate with anyone. It might not be something John wants to do, and if so, it isn't likely to happen.

Nevertheless, I think the material and talent are extant and I am hoping the time is right to try it. From where I sit (quite comfortably and well-fed at the moment) the only thing lacking is the will to do it.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted March 8, 2009
Paul : re : Flints model. Its worked quite well for a while.

Flint co-authored with Webber and Dennis (Galileo Affair) - so don't discount the model completely.

What we're talking about are options. Option choice depends on the authors involved. And the publisher. Jim Baen was rather keen on the co-authoring model. But that's nuts and bolts stuff best left to authors and publishers.

Its like the other experiment of allowing free downloads of book titles. As a reader, I'm for it. Hmm . . .Mathew Reilly (Oz author), was doing it out of his site (radio interview) - seemed to work for him. Seemed to get an extra publishing run out of one his titles. For him - it was a commercial success. That's a different debate.

I understand publishing is in a bad way at the moment . . or at least getting that way. That probably means that different things are going to have to be tried.

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Guy puts forth...

Posted March 12, 2009
Personally I think it would be best to keep it tight. One or two good books is worth any number of poor ones. In many ways my interst is in the way that the loss of the US affects the rest of the world, rather than the surviving Americans. What about the smouldering remains of the Middle East? Will Israel be seen as the new Third Reich? How is Europe panning out? It looks like the UK is the only state to stay even vaguely stable - at the price of becoming somethign close to a police state. Of course that is preferable to the anarchy engulfing France...

Even more I would like to see another sequel (or even another trilogy) in the Weapons of Choice universe. What happens after the Soviets invade half of Western Europe? How will the USA of the 1940s develop in the long-term with the heavy influence of the 2020s? We need to be told!

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