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Spoiler Thread. RESISTANCE

Posted March 5, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

I’ll open this general spoiler thread by welcoming everyone who's finished RESISTANCE and warning off those who have not. Heere be Monstrs. Like, in the next par. So bugger off if you are not ready to deal with them.

Professor Boylan is correct. RESISTANCE, indeed this whole season of The Dave is about transformation. Not just Dave, but everyone around him. Some, like Compton, transform violently and radically. Others, like Dave, resist the very notion of change. Our little friend Threshy becomes a study of ceaseless transformation, and yet remains forever shaped by his initial experience of change. (I'll write more abiout that soon, in a more technical entry on voice and PoV).

Some characters remain as they ever were, but our understanding of them shifts. Emmeline and Igor exemplify this process. Others are the rocks upon which waves of change can break without ever altering the underlying truth of that individual. Yes, Captain Heath, we’re looking at you.

With RESISTANCE this series found its voice. It isn’t radically different from EMERGENCE but Dave’s vioce is more confident, even as he himself is less sure of things. As Orin wrote last week, you just can’t help but love the big, dumb lug. No matter how hard he makes it. And man, he makes it hard. I sometimes channel my own worst instincts through Dave, and more than once in this book I found myself pausing to ask, seriously? Would he?

Of course he would. He’s Dave.

The most fun I had in this volume? Apart from channeling Professor X Boylan? Dave’s LA party. (And many of the Prof's best lines had to be cut lest he steal every fucking scene he was in)

That party chapter ran much longer and was way more self indulgent in the first draft. Left to my own devices I’d do entire books about nothing but Dave having his idea of fun.

The scene I had been most looking forward to? The battle of Omaha.

Interviewing George RR Martin for the Herald a couple of years back, he told me about the genesis of Game of Thrones. He was sitting at his kitchen table in his undies, on a sweltering day, writing some sci fi TV thing. To escape the heat, he imagined a frozen scene, a woodland world, with a giant wolf. That was enough. He was away.

Dave was, in part, written to allow me to describe an army of orcs being caught in the kill box of a B-52.

I have to dip my lid to Murph at this point. It was he who suggested the surprising character development for Igor. A development which proves a challenge for Dave. One he fails dismally. The publishers loved it and I think it allowed RESISTANCE to grow into a story that was stronger than EMERGENCE because it gave Dave a chance to grow into somebody stronger than the man we first meet.

Sure, he fails. But that’s The Dave.

I’ll open some specific threads in the next few days. There's lots to discuss. Threshy. Guyuk. Karin Varatchevksy. And Dave's special way with the ladies. Plenty more fanfic to come too.

48 Responses to ‘Spoiler Thread. RESISTANCE’

Some Dude mutters...

Posted March 5, 2015
Totes. I mean, yes.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 5, 2015
Ha. I see what you did there.

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Sparty mutters...

Posted March 5, 2015
"Interviewing George RR Martin"
Now that's probably the coolest sentence you've ever written ;-)

I'm glad the horde have adapted - assuming they will now pop up in small groups among civilian centres -very hard to deal with in most countries- we'll need to take the fight to them.

I'm glad to see that the RAF is leading on Draken kills

I know why you've limited the number of characters where we see their POV but I'd love to be in the head of a Typhoon Pilot as they incept a Dragon over London etc

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2015
I'd love to see something like that too, but I can't write it because of the built in PoV restrictions. This is the brilliance of fanfic.Get to it.

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Some Dude ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2015
"Game Of Thrones" introduced fkn dragons at the end of season one, but didnae do much with 'em in season 2. There be fkn dragons at the end of "Emergence", but bugger all fkn dragons in "Resistance". Want moar fkn dragons in "Ascendance", JB, with beaucoup fkn splosions.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2015
There will be Drakonen. Eventually.

Murphy reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
I suspect, without really knowing, that the Drakonen have their own agenda.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2015
"Okay, everyone. Simmer down. Simmer down. Approval of the agenda is on the table. Opened Session, Item No. 1: Burn everything. Any comment? Any revisions? No? Good. Item No. 2: Eat what is left. Comment? No? Okay, the Board Chair has moved for approval of the agenda. Do I have a second? Yes? Okay, it is moved to approve the agenda as written. Resolution passes 3 in favor, 1 against with 1 abstention."

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted March 6, 2015
That reads like the script for a reality cooking show, "My Fkn Kitchen Fkn Dragon Fkn Rules".

Rhino asserts...

Posted March 7, 2015
"Simmer down". I see what you did there.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 7, 2015
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ybmPHD7FPcQ<font face="Helvetica">?</font>

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
"many of the Prof's best lines had to be cut lest he steal every fucking scene he was in"

And that's a bad thing?

Glad we can finally talk about this openly. The differences between Emergence and Resistance are worth discussing. I view these first volumes - of what simply must be a much longer series - as a three course meal. Emergence was the appetizer: simple, but delightful, insisting that the reader want more. Resistance
is a far more complex main course, offering more of everything with an
extra helping of ultra cool (Threshy's transformation and Dave's
solution to the Karen problem are nothing less than ultra cool). Ascendance promises to be a dessert that ties the two courses together. And the anticipation alone is delicious.

Personally
speaking, I am hoping for something savory with sharp and bitter flavor
profiles rather than something merely sweet. If I want sweet I'll read
a John Ringo space opera.

I think I speak for all except NBlob
when I say that there is general interest about your writing process.
For example, I was surprised and delighted that Boylan survived the
Battle of Omaha. Tell us true, John: did you flirt with the idea of
killing the character and having his brain sucked out by the thresh? You
set it up for that, but seemed to change your mind.

Not that I'm
complaining. We all love the character and are hoping he survives to
make deals beyond the Gates of Hell. Or in Los Angeles.

Lasciate ogni speranza, tutti coloro che essere in lite e dibattere qui!

NBlob would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2015
So I want the Deux to remain concealed in the machina, the golden goose to continue laying those eggs. Explorative surgery ain't always a good thing.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
Who doesn't want that? Perhaps it is best that some mysteries remain thus.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
Who am I kidding? I wanna know. Everything.

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2015
Particularly if your brains get sucked out like the dregs of a cheap slurpie...or not.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted March 6, 2015
Best scenes?
At the Cracker Barrel!

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2015
There is some bitterness coming in book three. As for Professor X Boylan, by the time I got to the Cracker Barrel I knew he'd be hanging around for at least a little while longer.

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Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2015
"Always good to get a mention in The Dispatches. Thank you, my liege.
Anti-Stereotypes.
I think it is important to mention them. We have two.
We have Zach Allen, who is religious without caricature or being overly zealous. It is just one part of his personality.
The same, most notably, can be said for Igor. Yes, he is gay, and the attitude everyone has is so what. He isn't drag queen gay, or any of the other overly used stereotypes. He is a warrior who loves men, one in particular.
And naturally, that fucks with Dave's head so severely. It is good juicy fun without launching off into a thousand sermons about it.
If only there were more examples like those two instead of what we usually get served elsewhere in the genre.
Respects,<\/div>
Murph
On the Outer Marches

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2015
Another fave scene involved Zach and his quietly judgmental, reluctantly forgiving faith. The bit where Dave approaches him after the confrontation with Igor. Zach wrote that scene. I just typed it out for him. It was amazing to watch it come out on the screen and to see how Dave had no answer for him.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
That. Right there. One of the big differences between Australian & USA, or perhaps more specifically New York humour. Seinfeld, Woody Allen & countless others take one nice little idea and beat it to death. Ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Where as Australians will make a sideways nod to something and move on. One of the best examples of this was the film The Castle when Steve (the ideas man) arrives home off camera on his dirt bike, then appears in frame carrying a ludicrously large bird cage.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2015
That whole scene was quietly agonising to read. I found myself in vigorous, judgmental agreement with Zach, even though I'm a godless heathen, yet crying on the inside for Dave.

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Yank Across The Sea is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2015
I happen to live in Omaha! Can't wait till I get a copy of that book in the States.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
Oops! Sorry about messing up your home town!

Murphy would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2015
We probably shouldn't tell him about the ironic decision to nuke the home of Strategic Air Command, should we?

Yank Across The Sea would have you know...

Posted March 7, 2015
Technically it's called STRATCOM or Strategic Command now. But a nuke on American soil sounds rather like over kill to me. Any president who did drop one on American soil can kiss any chance of reelection goodbye.

Murphy asserts...

Posted March 7, 2015
If he wasn't eaten first.

Yank Across The Sea would have you know...

Posted March 7, 2015
I would say that they would have to be pretty stupid and desperate to want to eat a politicians. Not that we would miss them if they did mind you.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
The evolution of the monsters and their first attempt to manipulate human tech would be an interesting take on war accelerating development. Plenty of room for mashing their 'magic' and tech particularly with Threshy's new brainz. Also can other Thresh do the same thing? Eat the brains of tank drivers, tech engineers etc. Lots of possibilities.

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JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
I finished Resistance last night and wow, once again, what can I say other than that it was anazing, JB. Loved it. I like your astute, overarching summary here about the series. Transformation is the central theme. A terrific cast, full of outrageous humour, action galore, horror, and intrigue. The twists were a delight and I love the way you end chapters, JB... always page turners. What a mix. Ingenious. Congrats to you too, Murph. Joanna

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DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
"That party chapter ran much longer and was way more self indulgent in the first draft. "
I seem to recall some tweeting from you back then, battling rhetorically with yourself about tradeoffs between length and fun on the one hand and taking forward and contributing to a story arc on the other.
It was probs this chapter...
IMHO you got it pretty right!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted March 6, 2015
Nope. I want to read the party chapter in all its bloated, decandent Davish glory.

Including the X lines that hit the cutting room floor.

I sense a nascent eBook here, dontcha know, eh?

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
There was a centerfold.
It was cut from the final edit.

You are welcome.

Anthony is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2015
Is the world ready for a Boylan centrefold?

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted March 7, 2015
What has been seen cannot be un-seen. Thank you Murph.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted March 7, 2015
My work on this thread is done.

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Brother PorkChop asserts...

Posted March 6, 2015
I think Threshy is going to change sides and moon over the Thresh-a-licious Russian chick. In fatc as I work for a gambling organisation, I might run a book on it, except JB and Murph bets will not be accepted.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2015
"Gambling organization" is code for "Russian Mafia" to my ears.

Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted March 6, 2015
medlenno

Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
YA ub'yu tebya

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Lulu would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2015
Oh, so you're familiar with Crown Casino then?

Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted March 6, 2015
No, not Crown. Did some work there a while ago. Seedy joint.

she_jedi reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
*Cough* I won't mention I work for their Perth casino then :)

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Rhino mutters...

Posted March 7, 2015
All I wanna know is when does Caitlyn show up?

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Some Dude puts forth...

Posted March 7, 2015
I was expecting The Dave and the mega-lightning ultra babe Russian assassin to go at it hammer and tongs, not because they wanted to kill each other as befits a taut political thriller, but because they were both smothered in the super sexytime sauce and could not keep their hands off each other. The basic outcome would still be the same: a dalliance with The Dave, waving his weapon about, ending in détente.

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GhostSwirv swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 7, 2015


Ahhh Rhino - I too wonder what would Caitlyn do in this situation - could she handle Karen - could she handle Dave?

Sadly I think warp speed trumps Echelon training any day.

Thoroughly enjoyed Resistance JB - now itching to see how you further transform Dave into the man he needs to be - if only to make peace with himself let alone everyone else he's pissed off along the way.

A terrific set with the Darth Grymm Mastermind outwitting Dave and company all the way - very much looking forward to seeing how the final confrontation between the Callings and the Horde plays itself out - can imagine a Suicide Squad of Mercs launching an assault on the UnderRealms.

As for Threshrend - what a bitchin' character - Compton finally gets to be the macho hero his Id has always dreamed of - except its for the wrong side of humanity - and doesn't he relish the opportunity to avenge himself.

Sky Lords - any chance perhaps - no hint or residue in Resistance - but I hope they make an appearance in - oh wait, no - I just had a terrible thought - almost too monstrous to contemplate ...

Professor X Boylan isn't human at all ... he's a manifestation of man ... he's a Sky Lord skylarking and messing about with the Realms - cos if that were true - that would be just - so, so you JB?

GhostSwirv over and out on duty - my shift on #HordeWatch

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Sparty asserts...

Posted March 7, 2015
GhostSwirv " think warp speed trumps Echelon"
<font color="#333333">It does, but Caitlin would just take him to the sack, not let him come up for air (or a refuel) and once he was out of warp fuel, take him down.....</font>

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pinchageek ducks in to say...

Posted April 27, 2015
I think Dave and Kaz should take off and nuke the place from orbit, its the only way to be sure............and nice nod to Kill Bill there JB, all I can see is Uma when I think of Kaz !!!

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