Cheeseburger Gothic

Dave III. Release the Spoilers

Posted May 11, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

[Warning, for US and UK readers, this thread contains SPOILERS for all three Hooper books]

When we first met Dave he was a little the worse for wear. I often tell people we meet him on his hands and knees beside a helipad, throwing up corn chips and tequila for breakfast. But of course we don't. He's already in J2's chopper and his regurgitated breakfast is just a memory. It was an image so strong that even though I didn't write it, I recall it vividly.

Dave does his own misremembering, of course. He spends a good deal of the next 350 000 words misremembering his life and just who is responsible for it. If there is a point at which the story actually begins it's not with him on his hands and knees vomitting up the remains of an epic debauch. It's when he's strapped into the chopper and flying out to the rig. Trapped. Confined. Running on rails laid down by circumstance. It's where we learn that it's not morning in Dave Hooper's America. Life ain't all Doritos and Mescal.

As J2 flies out across the Gulf he imagines himself flying towards his boys, Toby and Jack, descending from the skies as an avenging hero. (Although WTF he'd be avenging besides his own inability/refusal to send an alimony cheque isn't mentioned.)

It's all foreshadowing.

From that moment on I knew where the series was going to end. On the edge of the Atlantic, far to the north, with Dave coming to the rescue of his family. Well, of his boys anyway. Annie's fate was always uncertain, and right up until I turned in the final draft, there was no garauntee she'd still be with us.

What was certain though – Dave is an unreliable narrator, and the ex-wife we meet through his recall is not necessarily a fair and accurate portrait of the woman herself. That's probably why, in the end, Annie O'Halloran is still with us. It seemed unfair to leave readers with only Dave's impression of her. Karin lets us know he hasn't been entirely truthful about their marriage, not even to himself, but that wasn't nearly enough to redress the balance. So Annie lives, and I'm happy with that. She, along with Karin, is more than a match for him.

As to the Scooby Gang, do they have a future? We lost a fan favourite in Zach. And I'll tell you now, he's not coming back. Igor is still drawing breath, but he's in bad shape. Heath and Emmeline have work to do in long and fruitful story arcs ahead of them.

But then so does Compton/Compt'n.

And what of Dave's lawyer, X Boylan? Well, it's not pure random coincidence that he happens to be stranded in the same city as Jellybean Johnson. And those other champions? Are there more of them? I do seem to recall Karin speculating on that very point. She thought there might be twelve of them, a champion for every Realm. It's gives a fellow to wondering just how a douchebag Messiah like Dave might bring these apostles togther.

I'm happy to let you know that I already have three longform novels planned and plotted for Season Two of The Dave. Stronghold, Citadel and Empire. With the world built in Season One, it's my intent to make each of the new novels stand alone titles, within a longer developing story arc. It should be possible to read them out of order and still make sense of the greater plot. Although, of course, you'll get a much better deal working through them as they're meant to be read.

I'll throw open the spoilers threads now, with a general forum below, and more specific topics through the week. If there is a topic you particularly wanted addressed, just say so.

82 Responses to ‘Dave III. Release the Spoilers’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2015
I see Dave and Threshy as parallel characters, both transmogrified and struggling with new realities that demand more from them than they were designed to give. From the beginning, this has been their joint story. Am I imagining this structure?

And I just loved the Demons of Buttcracke County tie-in at the end. It brought the whole thing - from concept to final fruition - full circle.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 11, 2015
You are spot on about Dave and Threshy. They both have their heroes journey to go on. Although, to be honest, I didn't realise that until about halfway through the second book. Threshy was originally just comic relief. It was only when he ate Compton's brains that I clued in to what a powerful driver of the story he could be. He still makes me LOL but.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2015
That's what I thought when I read Emergence, but as I read Resistance and Ascendance I felt that Threshy was more parallel to Boylan and not so much Dave any more, and when Threshy was about to start his piece to TV and said "People of Earth", that just confirmed it for me and even though I was on the train at the time, I lol'd, and that you also had Threshy giggling to himself didn't help.

I also lol'd at the Albrechtson reference towards the end. That was gold.

There was one part that is a little confusing. Early on, Threshy refers to Karin as Agent Romanoff. Later, Dave does the same thing on two occasions. I don't know of any connection between Threshy and Dave (other than the parallelnessness of their stories) that would make them both say it. I think I'm also missing whatever cultural reference Agent Romanoff refers to, which may be part of my confusion.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2015
Threshy, remember, is initially embiggened as Thresh-Trev'r, after ingesting the brains of a semi moronic mall rat. Somebody who would have a lot of time for reading comics. Dave, OTOH, would have seen the Marvel movies with his boys, and possibly by himself. They'd both be aware of the Black Widow/Agent Romanov character.

insomniac asserts...

Posted May 11, 2015
ok, I understands now, thanks

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2015

The combination of Compton's thinkings and Trevor's speech patterns is absolute comedy gold. I find I have to read each bit at least twice to get the full meaning and effect.

And I must agree with PNB's mention of the Buttecracke tie-in. I Lol'ed as soon as I realised the connection.

But I still can't find my copy of the book that has that story in it. So I can't yet re-read it in the wider context. Any plans to publish that one electronically at some point, John?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 11, 2015
I have two version's of Buttecracke. The 'short' 6000 words story that was published in an anthology, and a 24000 word unfinished ebook. I'm not entirely sure what to do with the ebook. Both Murph and my agent think it's fraught because I'd be a white guy, writing a black woman, which is apparently wrong in some people's eyes.

Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 11, 2015

maybe get Colson Whitehead to edit/rewrite it?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2015
Yeah, it would be politically dangerous, but the same danger attached to your depiction of Igor; you didn't promote any gay stereotypes writing him, at least none that I noticed.

American writers are most at risk of offensive racial depictions. You ain't American, and so have a better chance of avoiding stereotypes, even positive ones, that white Americans automatically fall into. It was your depiction of race issues in the AoT series that drew me to your work in the first place. The collision or racial attitudes during WWII with future race relations was completely fresh and hell of good read.

Your agent and Murph are right to urge caution. But I think if anyone can bring Sheriff Sheila May Robertson to life, you can.

In any event, the issue appears to be moot. You did bring her to life. She is one of The Twelve. I realize the story has left the Sky Lords, like the Wave before them, behind. But you've set up a huge fucking battle with The Twelve assembled like the Avengers. That has to happen, right?

Sheriff Robertson is one of The Twelve. Apparently so is "Mr." Johnson. What possible "other agency" could he be working for or with? And what the hell kind of demon floats?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2015
I really, really love Sheriff Shiela May Robertson. Even if I can't publish Buttecracke in it's own right, I'll find some way of doing her justice.

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted May 11, 2015
PNB..I totally fkn thought Avengers and its gotta take place in the under realm as well!

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2015
To me, "Buttecracke" will always be the radio play version done at the Opry House by Bedes and co. That was great..

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted May 11, 2015
I deeply resent and regret not having been there to see it.

Murphy mutters...

Posted May 11, 2015
The difference between Igor and the Sheriff is that Igor is purposely designed to be The Antistereotype. He is a man who happens to like sleeping with other men, preferable one at a time, definitely the one he is married to.

The Sheriff, on the other hand . . . it is just begging for the insanity that roils the science fiction community to come right to this very doorstep. One would have a better time hitting themselves in the head with a ten pound sledge.
Or we can play the game, "How Fast will Scalzi throw me under the bus?"
Personally, I'd rather not.




Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted May 11, 2015
The "science fiction community" isn't really relevant here. Reacting to the "community"'s whining, wild gesticulating and frothing at the keyboard is tantamount to the GOP kowtowing to climate change deniers.

Okay, not a good analogy. But I maintain that it doesn't matter what that "community" has to say. What matters is the integrity and honesty of the character.


Murphy reckons...

Posted May 12, 2015
Given John's numerous contacts in the community, it seems best not to antagonize them.
In my personal opinion, the only way to move forward with Buttecracke, or the Sheriff for that matter, would be to handle her in the same manner as we have Igor. She'd need to be The Antistereotype. Maybe she becomes that after her ascension. More probably what needs to happen is a serious retcon of the character.

Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted May 15, 2015
Fuck all of this. Would it be a good story? If yes then fuck the perpetually outraged.
Only thing worse than external censoring is self censoring.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2015
I'm just glad we got to have a couple of scenes at a Cracker Barrel.
And it would be great if we could get someone to work up a graphic like the Hunn taking a blood spraying bite out of the apple for The Battle of the Apple Hoodies and Shirts.
We need to get some merch going for this franchise.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2015

The development of Jellybean is going to be interesting. Another agency has him and that not necessarily need be Trinder's crew. I'm assuming his handgun is now enchanted and the monster he slotted will have some handy powers to give him; could be one of those ones which zombiefies people. Lots of fun there.

While Dave hasn't yet been stripped down raw and reforged to his potential there's lots of fucked up Dave to enjoy even if he doesn't go through the fire and come out as a true hero. Threshy is just all kinds of fun as well as being an important plot driver. At what point does the Low Queen see him as a threat and will that realisation make him flee, run to the humans for salvation, offering them all the juice on the realms? Then a confrontation with Dave? Man, the next series has all sorts of possibilities.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2015
Jellybean killed a Revenant Master - an unaligned necromancer with the power to raise the dead and force them to do it's bidding. So yes, now, Jellybean can do that too.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2015
And yeah, there's still plenty o' fucked up Dave tot go around. That was one of the major challenges in this series; having him grow, but not so quickly that he became a conventional hero and we lost the fun of having Bad Dave to go tear-assing around town with.Somewhere in my editor's notes for book two or three there is a complaint that Dave is still behaving like a fuckwit, when he should have moved well beyond that by now. They were right, but I'd like to think there's a part of Dave that will always be a bit of a fuckwit.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2015
I was reading a column by a bloke tasked with writing some sitcom scripts. He started by watching a lot of the best and most successful sitcoms over the decades. He saw there was a pretty strict and unvarying format. They have some mildly or strongly fucked up characters. There is an opening scene which underlines this. After this, a problem is introduced which, after some missteps, is resolved. Then the final comic scene seems to solely function to reassure the viewer that, despite the 'journey' of that episode, they are still exactly the same likeable fuck ups that they were in the opening scene. That there has been zero personal growth. I thought that was a fun and true observation that is a bit unique to that format.

Therbs asserts...

Posted May 11, 2015

I reckon the end of this whole thing would be when Dave is rid of his fuckwittery. Who wants Dave to be Captain Clean?

Huh?

I only hear crickets.

works with computers, kills monsters. mutters...

Posted May 11, 2015
JB, does this mean there's gonna be 13 superfriends? 12 clan-aligned an one zombiemaster?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11, 2015
That would be so, if Revenant Masters were the only freelance fiends.

Sly ducks in to say...

Posted May 13, 2015
Dave is a fuckwit! I just starting book 2 and it's proving to be a great read just as the first was (and all your previous books) but at times I'm tempted to stop because Dave is an arsehole and just so unlikable.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 13, 2015
He is a bad man. There's no denying that. But he'll meet his match.

Sly puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2015
It is an interesting experience following a character that I'm rootin' for and hoping his moment of redemption comes so he becomes the altruistic good guy who triumphs over the bad guys while at the same time wishing that someone would take his head off with a chainsaw and take his powers. Years of reading and watching that common narrative of outsider becoming the savior has conditioned my expectations.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 13, 2015
This is an interesting enough topic that I'm thinking of breaking it out into a stand alone entry. But given you're only at the start of book 2, to avoid spoilers I'll just say that Dave becomes increasingly surrounded by strong characters, especially women, who are disinclined to take any shit from him.

Rob mutters...

Posted May 13, 2015

I actually really liked Dave Hooper. He would have to be one of the few people with an engineering degree I would like hang out with. But then maybe I see alot of myself in Dave, being slightly useless, quite like getting drunk at loud bars and not growing up any time soon if I can help it.

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11, 2015


I really loved the ending in the book 3. I had to go have a cigarette and break half way through reading it. Partly because it was genuinely tense, and partly because I didn't want the book to end.

Certainly Threshy is a metaphor for knowledge is power. And the queen might need see evolution of thought and industrial knowledge as anything more than to win her her ongoing battle with the other realms. Threshy's boss had to evolve too and accept that we were men not food. I think a notated version of the books should be released, with a special section of where the references come from , (might be a good blog entry). 1. Use of 'shame spiral' was first mentioned in the episode of the Simpsons where Springfield decide to all act like Bart Simpon after listening to a new age guru. Whats your name son? Ruditiger. We must be like little Ruditger here. 'His names Bart' his name isnt important'.... .

also loved the return of the words 'Surrender Monkeys.' that was fkn awesome.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11, 2015
Yeah, the ending was tense. I thought the good guys might actually lose. John is more than capable of doing that.

And then... and then.... deus ex American housewife cum magica chainsaw.

I would happily spend weeks here just talking about how cool that was - and is.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2015
The ending was excellent. It ended well but also felt like it hadn't ended at all because you were able to see that there was a whole lot more story to come. There's a certain sense of relief that it's not all over.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted May 11, 2015
Yes, an even better ending for that reason. The sad closing of a good read whipped away by the delicious expectation of more to come. I get the same sort of feeling after an Emberverse or Destroyermen novel. Flints early 1632 series did it, too.

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Anthony reckons...

Posted May 11, 2015

A couple of questions about the "magic" weapons. Do the guns and chainsaw still need reloading/refuelling? Do those wielding them require the same level of fuel that Dave and Karin do? They're less physically demanding weapons to use.

I did like the ending of book III.- given Dave's personality I always figured that there was more to Dave's wife than Dave's description of her.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 11, 2015
Speaking as the weapons consultant, I suspect that firearms and other powered weapons consume the same type of ammo/fuel as before. It is the process of being loaded/fueled and fired/employed which gives the weapon additional capability.

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Surtac mutters...

Posted May 11, 2015

I have a question about Dave's secret sauce capability. It struck me when I first noticed it (well before Emmeline's little tete-a-tete about it with Dave on the plane) that it might have been a shout-out to the old Marvel Comics character Mandrill, who had the ability to control women via pheromones. And Mandrill was in some ways not unlike The Dave, being a misogynistic bastard who was quite capable of taking sexual advantage of his chemical 'conquests'.

And then when all of the Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow references started appearing, I remembered that the use of pheromones to subjugate members of the Black Widow Program also got a mention in Natasha's fictional back-story.

(Yes - I was a Marvel comics geek in the 70s and 80s, but things have been revised and retconned in those universes so often since that I really don't know anymore what's canon there and what's not.)

Anyway, I'm just curious as to where Dave's irrestibility came from and where that aspect might be going.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 11, 2015
Dave's secret sauce is pheremonal and it has a very simple explanation. But I'm not telling you.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 11, 2015
No connection to the Marvel canon though.

Surtac puts forth...

Posted May 11, 2015
Actually, I'm re-reading Ascendance again and you may have actually told me, buried in dialogue. :)
But of course I could be wrong.

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Me thinkings swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 11, 2015
John, a great trilogy. Great humour and a none stop can't put it down vibe. And great of a mainstream publisher to put the three books out so close together.
Can we please have more of The Dave (and friends)?Soon?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2015
Thank you, me. Yes, you may have some more. Another three next year.

Wayne reckons...

Posted May 11, 2015
Excellent news, though a year is a long time to wait ;(

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 12, 2015
Haha. I'm going to show this comment to my publishers when they worry about exhausting the market.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted May 12, 2015
What an interesting concern. I've never heard of a drug dealer worrying about exhausting the addict appetite for the product. Perhaps the risk of overdose removing a customer from the list, but there is no risk of overdose in this situation.

Therbs reckons...

Posted May 12, 2015
That's what I think. It needs to be approached from the point of view of soap opera junkies. Not that this is soap quality, it just drags you in, wanting more of The Dave. Then again you don't want a Game Of Thrones prisoner author mentality to producing the story. Is six books a year too much taking into account drafts, fixes and final editing?

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 12, 2015
well we didnt say he was fkn smart!

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rainburger would have you know...

Posted May 11, 2015
Hi John, great news on another trilogy. Can't wait.Speaking of trilogies, any word on new Stalin's Hammer? I've been hanging out for more sweet sweet alt history.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11, 2015
Daniel, I have more written, but my rival international publishers have to sort out global rights.

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Wayne ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2015
Perhaps it is time to self publish some of the shorts if your contracts permit

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sibeen mutters...

Posted May 11, 2015
"People of Earth"
<font color="#333333">It's dead man. I'm not sure it can be resurrected. </font><font color="#333333">
</font><font color="#333333">OK, onto the books. Fred...from Angel. That's cruel man, just cruel.</font>

sibeen asserts...

Posted May 11, 2015
Be fucked if I know what happened there.
If anything, after I mentioned "People of Earth" the font colour should have turned into 666.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted May 12, 2015
Perhaps you should not have mentioned "People of Earth" without prior clearance.

insomniac reckons...

Posted May 12, 2015
I mentioned "People of Earth" yesterday, and again now fuck it. Should I be worried.?What evil will befall me? Will ms insomniac be concerned when i give her a lingering goodbye this morning?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted May 12, 2015
You mentioned it yesterday, too? I missed that. How unfortunate.

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2015
Paul, your warnings have gone unheeded. You need goons. Yes, goons. The kind who'll foul the offender's coffee, interrupt their sentences, make them late for the train and disrupt their tv reception.

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 12, 2015
Yes, I blatantly wrote under your initial comment. I was unaware of the prior clearance rule, and now that I am aware, I don't care and shall continue to flout.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted May 12, 2015
You have my permission to do so.

Carry on.

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GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted May 12, 2015

Great ride JB - thoroughly enjoyed Ascendance, made all the more special by my good lady wife driving the family to the Monster-In-Laws on Mother's Day so I could read the last chapter in the car - tried to convince my Grymm-In-Law, err father-in-law to give you a burl but he gave up on Matthew Reilly so no win there for your nefarious literary utterances.

I love how its Karin and not Dave who figures out that his kids are in danger - he's soooo bizzzaayyyy partying, feeling sorry for himself and signing contracts, while under the influence of TheBoylan, that he hasn't even given any thought to the idea his own kids might be in peril - even blame-throwing Emmerline for not knowing when he should've been onto it himself.

As for the Sky Lords - I still hope and pray their out there somewhere - what I reckon is that when Dave moves into superluminal speed and seems to come against a barrier of sorts the Sky Lords OverRealm is on the other side.

So sad about Zach but what a way to go - up to your neck in serious bad guys when you give them a hand-grenade enema.

Finally - as Melbourne was listed as a Designated Target that it would be really very cool JB if one the Twelve Champions was a Hipster Dufus from Brunswick - a chai latte sipping dude with a teak detachable Pool Cue that turns in a Magic Javelin or Spear and when in two pieces its used as a pair of nun-chuks.



Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted May 13, 2015
Love it. What a great idea. And, if he's from Melbourne, why not - while you're at it - make him 2nd generation Greek?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 13, 2015
I don't mind this idea at all.

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted May 13, 2015

We could call the Pool Cue ... Cyril.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted May 13, 2015
No. The enchanted pool cue has to be named Stavros.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted May 13, 2015

Esteemed Professor X, if that is your 'guaranteed to be a sure-fire monetised legal position' ... then who am I to argue.

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted May 15, 2015
OMG Stavros. *High five*.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted May 16, 2015
One of my favorite characters from an alternate Birmingham universe.

GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted May 16, 2015

You do realise that with the current fiscal crisis in the Non-Birmingham Universe we call 'Reality' - The President of Greece is considering annexation of certain suburbs of Melbourne, (largest greek city outside of Athens), with a view to engaging 'Stavros' and his Champion ... Elias, to battle the Hordes of the EU and restore Greece to its natural state of 'awe & disorder'.

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Russ is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2015

G'day JB

Love your work - couldn't put it down. Congratulations!

A couple of questions though:

1. The Dave understood the Sliveen's thoughts after his massive munchies attack. Will he will take on aspects of the Sliveen's personality/thinkings similar Threshy, albeit in a reduced capacity as The Dave seems not to be terribly empathetic?

2. Is The Dave's ability to 'super-warp' the key to him getting into the Underworld without using the Masters of the Ways as required by the Horde?

Just wondering what we might look forward to in the next season of The Dave.

Cheers

Russ


John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2015
Great questions, Russ. No, Dave won't take on the Sliveen's personality. Once he's digested the delicious braaaainz, they're gone.
As for the warp ability, you might very well think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.

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Sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 12, 2015
Ascendance was excellent. Scenes like the one armed cop concentrating slapping a mag home kept it real in a world of super heroes. Its also been an interesting publishing approach - "Dave" is a hard person to stay with across multiple books (whatever else he is -he is still an absolute w*%ker) - I think everyone at the cheeseburger trusts you to deliver at the end (and the couch summary by Karin was superb - so economical but pretty much revised the whole book in a sentence), but so many people in general seem to fail to grasp the concept of the unreliable narrator, I wonder if spreading it across three books was a risk for wider readership? (ie one big book people continue with even if they lose a little patience with the protagonist, making a choice to buy a second or third volume is a different dynamic).

But that's a publishing question - I enjoyed the hell out of all three!
My real question - how do ISIS treat all this?


John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13, 2015
All reasonable corners, Spartacus. Especially with the reveal of Annie's actual nature coming so late in the piece. Inevitably there will be some readers who just don't get it. That happens with every book. Oh, how I recall with jolly fondness the hate mate from some American readers about the 'USS Hillary Clinton.'You just gotta ignore it and punch on.

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Wayne mumbles...

Posted May 13, 2015
John I wanted to say that you have pulled off a perfect balance of horror, action and amazing comedy in this series of books. They are easily the best I have ever read in mixing this combination. The popular culture references are great and I loved seeing the Fred references in particular.
I hope someone has optioned the movie or TV rights already as I was picturing the translation to screen space as I was reading.
Best regards and I have to say I would love to see the next trilogy published earlier than next year. The mainstream publishers have to get their head around how the world has changed and those of us who are used to binge watching our favourite shows are starting to expect it of our books as well.
Cheers,
Wayne Cosshall

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Adam reckons...

Posted May 13, 2015
It's odd. Just finished reading this. Took a bit of a delay between book 1 and 2 (I read 2 & 3 within about 2 days this week literally finishing it a few minutes ago).
I think the only thing for me reading this was the sense that it wasn't entirely self contained. The series is quite intense, I think the timeline from 1 to 3 is maybe 4 or 5 days, possibly a week. So Dave changing too much might work for a movie, but because the plan is to have this go out longer, it would seem somewhat strange for Dave to make such a massive change so quickly.
But the sense I got when reading 3 was that it was going to finish with him just beating back the horde at Pat's place. My thinkings keep getting stuck on the sense that it was literally just the beginning. Which just made it slightly unsatisfying. Didn't get any closure on Guyuk or Compt'n other than they've run away, ahem, sorry tactically retreated.
At least it's only 7 monthish before the next installment. Which I can look forward to (damn Dresden Files taking so long).

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 13, 2015
Adam, you're thinking is spot on. There is more to come. This series starts with Dave demonstrating his lack of fitness for parenthood. And perhaps even personhood. He's just shot a six month bonus on hookers and blow to stop his ex-wife getting it and spending it on school fees and the like. Then he sits there, hungover, feeling sorry for himself because his boys have a low opinion of him. His 'journey', such as it is, had to be a return those boys, and maybe to his former wife. At least to reconcile if not to return things to how they once were.That's Dave's story, but the bigger story is the return of magic and monsters to the world and, yes, you are right, that will go on for a while yet. There is a lot more to this story world. Some of it will come out in ebooks seen from the points of view of supporting characters. Some will told in future novels. I'm building a whole world to live in here.

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WarDog would have you know...

Posted May 14, 2015
John, thanks.
These 3 have been bursting with all the humour from your Semper days, cut and polished by a couple of decades of field time.
Loved every second. And am so very very happy that there will be more.

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Surtac reckons...

Posted May 15, 2015

Really happy with The Dave books so far and very happy that there will be more (when can we expect to see the ebooks?).

But something struck me yesterday, which begs a question that in context is spoilerish. I've been reading 'The Administration of Fear' by Paul Virilio, a French philosopher. His title is an homage to Graham Greene's novel 'The Ministry of Fear' and the content is essentially an analysis and reading of the modern world that recognises that what you have given us in the Dave's universe as Compton's playbook for destroying civilisation is real and achievable. In combination with other stuff I've been reading lately, it's starting to scare ne sh*tlless about the future that my daughters will have to grow up in.

Anyway, my question is: what can you share about your research for this set of stories? What books and/or other resources have influenced the overall shape of The Dave's story so far? Other than Dr Who and the monsters vs technology aspects, what has shaped the worldview that anchors this set of stories?

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 15, 2015
I feel like civilisation is going down the toilet at present. Is the current situation similar to other civilisations that collapsed, and how would we know without contemporary records?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 15, 2015
Great question, Tac. I'll answer it in a stand alone thread is his weekend.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 15, 2015
'this weekend'
Stupid autocorrect.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted May 15, 2015
Not since Matthew Reilly bumped off Fox have I been so enraged and grief stricken and frankly pissed off at an author as when you killed Zach. I was visiting a friend in Townsville at the time and I had to explain to her what had triggered the howl of rage when I finished the book and didn't even have the catharsis of hurling it across the room in frustration because I was reading the digital version on my iPad.

Being a long standing BFF she just nodded and said "So, he's not your favourite author anymore?" Then I was forced to calm down and admit that maybe, yes, you were still my favourite author, but I was very very disappointed in you and maybe I needed to go work on my essay for Uni for a bit and try to get some perspective. So my poor lecturer has copped a rage filled feminist screed about how the women of the emerging middle class in the 19th century totally got screwed over by the patriarchy with the notion of the "angel in the house" and being legally their husband's property with no rights as an individual, and it's all your fault. (Not the patriarchy bit, just the screed.) Just sayin'.

Anyway, I really really loved this. I've spent the trilogy barracking for Dave and rolling my eyes at his fuckwittery, but the scene where Karin strips his soul bare for all the Scooby gang to see while Dave just weeps into his hands was heartbreaking. In that moment you really see the broken child inside Dave, and get an inkling of how so much of his fuckwittery stems from his inability to deal with his guilt and grief, and the drive to run away from the responsibility of dealing with it. The hookers and blow behaviour, in that context, smacks of self medicating on a truly destructive level. In the first novel I found his aversion to guns and the military odd for the knuckle dragging frat boy he defaults to, but of course it all makes tragic sense now.

And of course, cannot wait for the next season, and the ebooks, and anything else you care to write about in this universe. There were so many funny, clever lines in this book, but the two that stand out for me was the espresso martini one, and "you were going to apologise to the world's most dangerous gay man." Just delightful.

I also find myself grieving a little for the original Thresh, subsumed under Trevor and Compton but still there and terrified. But Threshy as a character is just such a hoot. In his way he's also going through Dave levels of fuckwittery, at least from the Horde's perspective. It makes the parallels between Dave and Threshy really enjoyable to watch, because neither character is one we should really like or want to see succeed, but we do both of these things anyway. I long for the day when Dave and Threshy come face to face. That will be epic.

Two quick questions: Is it too late to submit fan fiction? And will you be doing a book signing somewhere soon? I need to complete my set of signed analogue versions :)

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Some Dude mumbles...

Posted May 26, 2015
I just finished Dave #3.
Needs moar fkn dragons.
That is all.

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