Cheeseburger Gothic

Butte Crack comes alive!

Posted January 5, 2017 into The Dave by John Birmingham

I just hit send on the mailout and created a dozen or so new minty-fresh published writers. Huzzah.

From the Introduction:

My first book tanked. At first anyway. And then it went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, and to be adapted for the stage and the big screen. He Died With A Felafel In His Hand was first published in 1996. The internet was a thing by then, but not much of a thing. Book publishing was still an old world business, yet to be disrupted by Amazon, the torrentz and the Great Recession. I sometimes wonder what might have happened to that book if it was released now.
Nothing good, I suspect.
I was lucky to be published by a small, independent house. Michael Duffy, the publisher, literally bet his own house on the business. A couple of months after release, with only a handful of copies sold, it must have looked like a bad bet. Happily, it did eventually pay off.
A couple of readers picked it up here and there. They told a couple more. Word spread slowly, and then quickly. After about six months it was suddenly an overnight sensation.
I’ve always remembered that. I wrote that book, but the readers made it. All writers live and die by their readers, but not all of them remember that. I try. This book is me, remembering. Over the years I’ve always been open to my readers playing in the story-worlds I make up. I created those worlds because I wanted to see what happened in them. For me, reading a story in my own imagined space, but one which I didn’t write, is a special sort of revelation. I love it.
So, I’m an unusual writer who actively encourages fan fiction. Or ‘reader fiction’, as I prefer to think of it. I’ve read some cracking stories set in all of my fictional universes. It was only this year, dipping my toe into indie publishing, that was I able do something more than just post these pieces as an entry on my blog.
The book you hold now is the first of many more to come, I hope. In that way, it’s a rough draft for the future. I’d like to do more, and I’d like to get better at doing them. If you’d like to try your hand at spending a little time in the worlds of Prince Harry, The Dave or Caitlin Monroe, feel free. If you’d just like to read more stories set after the Transition, the Wave or the Emergence, that’s cool too. So would I.
The stories that follow have been written by some of my blog regulars. I’ve edited lightly, but it’s not a highly polished commercial release. It’s just for fun. And for members of my bookclub, it’s a little gift to say thanks for your time and attention.
I hope you enjoy these stories.
If you’d like to write your own, let me know.

15 Responses to ‘Butte Crack comes alive!’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 5, 2017
Well fuck. Is it too late to correct one typo. My fault if no, but if yes:

Page 62 of the draft I have: "These were college kids." Change to
"These were not college kids."

But other than that, you made me look good, mate.

If you are up to it we all gotta do more of this.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 5, 2017
Mate, you will be the death of me. I tells ya.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 5, 2017

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 5, 2017
I promise to make it up to you, in grand style.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted January 5, 2017
Good timing, I till have a few days off so I can leisurely read the output of the Burger Collective. Had a quick look at mine and cringed a tad. Have a better one worked up but its at least double the word limit.
Love the concept, great stuff JB.

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Bernie mutters...

Posted January 5, 2017
I bought a copy of Felafel back in 96, and when I got to the section about the hallway golf I had flashbacks, I used to be a motorcycle courier in Sydney back in the day and I'm sure I attended a few parties in that house.
I've been a fan ever since.

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foreverwar would have you know...

Posted January 6, 2017
thank you, kind sir.

In the spirit of Pay It Forward, I've bought a copy of Felafel for my son to read on his flight back to Oz (he was over there from the UK for a year, came home for Christmas, and flies back to Melbourne (well, Albury/Wodonga, actually, but he lands in Melbourne) at the end of January for a couple of years.

Keep up the good, nay, great work, JB

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 6, 2017
Cheers guvnor. Hope Felafel doesn't put your kid off the outside world.

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jason would have you know...

Posted January 6, 2017
And it's a big thanks from me for making me feel like a real writer. Sad about the couple of stories that didn't make the cut but amazing to see my stuff in a genuine publication.

Gotta say I loved reading everyone's contribution.

John thanks for letting us play in your world for a little while.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 6, 2017
Jason, the only reason I had to cut a couple of yours was it looked weird that HALF THE STORIES IN THE BOOK WERE WRITTEN BY ONE GUY.

There'll be more books for them to go in.

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jason mutters...

Posted January 6, 2017
No problems John. Figured that might be the case.

The down side is i promised myself I would get a tattoo as soon as I had any sort of publication. Looks like I am off to the needle shop pretty soon.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 6, 2017
How about a large American flag waving in the just and free breeze? That's the tattoo I would choose if not for the instruction in Leviticus mandating death for all who defile their bodies with a tattoo. If not for that I would have a picture of Old Glory on my chest right now.

insomniac mutters...

Posted January 6, 2017
I would like to make two points.
1. My wife is not that old, and
2. Why would you have a tattoo of her on your chest?

Rob would have you know...

Posted January 6, 2017
maybe get an old persuader tattooed on you, Not me though I stick to pin up girls, fish and Picasso.

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jason has opinions thus...

Posted January 6, 2017
Predictably I am looking at a typewriter on my forearm. Symbolic and aspirational. Also Old Glory would be inappropriate as (based on this thread) it represents another man,s wife or a country that I don't happen to live in.

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