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Author Topic: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022  (Read 2172 times)

Lawman of the Present

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #15 on: 12 November, 2022, 04:27:13 PM »
I've ordered my copy and look forward to reading it when it arrives :)

Without asking for any spoilers JWare, I'm curious as to how you interpret the timeline of the Apocalypse War and whether this is addressed within the stories? I'm busying away on a Dreddverse chronology and have encounterd some apparent inconsistencies with regards the setting and duration of the War;

In The Doomsday Scenario: The Trial pt. 2 (Prog 1149), Dredd is put on trial by the remnants of East-Meg One for his destruction of the city at the climax of The Apocalypse War. It is stated that the war ended on July 9th 2104, a date known to the Sovs as 'Black July'.

It is also given that Orlok the Assassin entered the Meg in December 2103 (Progs 236-244). Are we to believe the war lasted seven months? This seems inconsistent with the content of the Block Mania and Apocalypse War stories, which appear to take place over a couple of weeks and thus suggest the end of the war occurred in January 2104.

The release of Block Mania 31.10- 26.12.1981 would be roughly consistent with a December setting. The Apocalypse War released 02.01- 26.06.1982 which even by release date of the end of the story, is inconsistent with July 9th (though I appreciate the stories don't always occur in line with release date, especially the mega-epics).

Further evidence can be found in the saga leading into City of the Damned, beginning with A Question of Judgement (Prog 387) which was set on Apocalypse Day (though no placement was given in that story). The eventual City of the Damned (Progs 393-406) saw Dredd and Cass arrive in the year 2120 on April 30th, suggesting they travelled a round 13 years into the future and it would have been the same date in 2107 when the story began. With a few stories passed by this point since A Question of Judgement, this again suggests that Apocalypse Day must occur pre-April in the calendar year and is inconsistent with a July setting.

It is, to my knowledge, never stated whether Apocalypse Day represents the anniversary of the start of the war or the end, though according to what is seen in The Apocalypse War, these dates should be quite close together by a matter of weeks.

Further evidence for a January ending to the Apocalypse War comes from novel Silencer, set May 19-22 2116, which sees a flashback in Chapter 3 recounting a couple emerging from the rubble into early Spring sunshine (as per my notes on that story, "On hearing the bombs of the Apocalypse War begin to fall, Genya Berger and boyfriend Tony hide out and make love in a Citi-Def bomb shelter. 'Nearly six weeks' later they decide to leave. Two days of digging and they emerge into 'early Spring sunshine' - giving the Apocalypse War as occurring around six weeks prior to the beginning of Spring. This is fairly consistent with our placement of that mega-epic at the start of 2104.")

The Big Hit (Progs 1029-1030) released 11.02- 18.02.1997, featured an assassination attempt on Chief Judge Volt at the remembrance day celebration. It was implied that this celebration was for all Big Meg tragedies including the Apocalypse War, Necropolis and Judgement Day, and may be a different event to Apocalypse Day. Perhaps given the amount of tragedies, it has superceded Apocalypse Day? Either way, this story released in February with likely setting in a similar timeframe, which again would be roughly consistent with my estimated end for the Apocalypse War.

Let's not also forget the snow which fell during the war itself, suggesting a winter setting! Though I suppose in a world of rad storms and weather control, anything is possible. Unless any new info comes to light, I'm thus far inclined to regard reference to Black July as erroneous - as far as I can deduce, it should be Black January!

JWare

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #16 on: 12 November, 2022, 05:09:42 PM »
Block Mania only lasted a couple of days. It's not said explicitly, but you can approximate a timeline from caption boxes and the like. Someone did that very thing for the 1984 Dredd Annual, and I referred to it often while I was planning my story.
The war, as far as I can tell, wasn't much more than a week or ten days. A Sov judge says straight out that the Griffin hit happened only four days into the war, and everything after that happened in a rush.
I assumed that it all happened in winter, but I didn't give it much thought.
I was happy to ignore any later source that contradicted the original story. To be honest, I'm very shaky on the Dreddverse after, say, 1990. The stuff from the eighties, on the other hand, I can practically recite from memory.

So when exactly did the events of The Citadel fit in? That's John Wagner's business. I'd already finished my story by the time it appeared.
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Lawman of the Present

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #17 on: 12 November, 2022, 07:02:42 PM »
Awesome thank you for the reply! I think I missed that Griffin hit reference. Might be time for a re-read of Apocalypse War before the dossier arrives :D

JWare

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #18 on: 12 November, 2022, 10:34:35 PM »
Rereading is probably advisable.
Looking at the story this afternoon, I began to worry that maybe I'd taken fan service a bit too far in places.When I was writing I'd just been assuming that the reader would, like me, be intimately familiar with every chapter and verse of the original progs.
The story will still make perfect sense if you're not, but you might miss out on the full self-satisfied nerdy experience.
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sheridan

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #19 on: 13 November, 2022, 12:20:56 AM »
I've not carefully read BM/AW to analyse the timings, but aren't there at least a few sections of both stories that have general Dredd fighting montages, which could have lasted hours, days or weeks?

JWare

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #20 on: 13 November, 2022, 10:26:29 AM »
Yes, there is a montage in the Apocalypse War, but it covers a period that lasts two to three days tops, given that it happens before the assassination run which takes place four days into the war.

Block Mania, ep. 6. There’s a lot of widescreen action going on in the preceding episodes, but when Dredd discovers the water is contaminated, a caption box tells us that a fifty-block war in the northern sectors had been raging for a day and a half.

Apocalypse War, ep. 7. The Sovs invade on the first day of the war. (‘Only yesterday I was pulling in perps on these streets.’)

Ep. 17. The assassination run. Sov Judge Gogol puts us in the picture. (‘It has taken us a mere four days to conquer half their city.’)

Ep. 19. Opening caption says it’s the eighth day of the war. This is the day that Dredd puts the Apocalypse Squad together.

If I dicked around with this then a mob of angry fans could drag me from my house and John Wagner wouldn’t lift a finger to help me.

If it fell to me to explain when The Citadel happened, I’d say that it could have happened if Dredd took a break from his guerrilla war and rescued the cadets before going back to take down Dan Tanna.
Slightly less unlikely, it could have taken place after the assassination run, with Dredd getting out of Med Bay, putting on a clean uniform, linking up with the cadets, and then changing back into his ragged bullet-holed gear before winning the war.
I’m not sure a jury would buy it either way.
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GordonR

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #21 on: 13 November, 2022, 10:40:39 AM »
Quote
Slightly less unlikely, it could have taken place after the assassination run, with Dredd getting out of Med Bay, putting on a clean uniform, linking up with the cadets, and then changing back into his ragged bullet-holed gear before winning the war.
I’m not sure a jury would buy it either way.

Presumably Dredd also travels years into the future first, to bring back the next-gen Lawgivers he and the cadets are using in Citadel.

JWare

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #22 on: 13 November, 2022, 10:46:46 AM »
Well there you go.
Glad we got that cleared up so easily.
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Dark Jimbo

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #23 on: 14 November, 2022, 11:13:04 AM »
Presumably Dredd also travels years into the future first, to bring back the next-gen Lawgivers he and the cadets are using in Citadel.

In The Citadel we're explicitly being told a story, rather than watching a flashback - we're 'seeing' events through the filter of Father O'Dow, as he listens to Winterton's reminiscences. A priest is unlikely to have a particularly good eye for judge tech, so of course he's imagining current uniforms and guns, the kind he sees on the streets every day.
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JWare

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #24 on: 14 November, 2022, 11:17:18 AM »
Well there’s clever!
Not only did I not see it that way at the time, I wasn’t forgiving enough to grant writer or artist much latitude when it came to one of the formative stories of my youth.
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Link Prime

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #25 on: 17 November, 2022, 10:20:56 AM »
Presumably Dredd also travels years into the future first, to bring back the next-gen Lawgivers he and the cadets are using in Citadel.

In The Citadel we're explicitly being told a story, rather than watching a flashback - we're 'seeing' events through the filter of Father O'Dow, as he listens to Winterton's reminiscences. A priest is unlikely to have a particularly good eye for judge tech, so of course he's imagining current uniforms and guns, the kind he sees on the streets every day.

I could just about squint and convince myself that the Lawgiver's were MK 1, albeit in the Cornwell Droid's distinct style.

Those covers featuring highly detailed Mk II's however...

Lawman of the Present

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #26 on: 13 January, 2023, 02:22:19 PM »
Having finished the Dossier, great job JWare it was very much enjoyed!

While one continuous story, I liked that each book had it’s own theme and the series felt overall like a proper trilogy. The new characters are entertaining and carried the story well. The gradual descent into chaos at the start was handled effectively.

Keeping Dredd himself to the background and never directly speaking was a smart move I think, preventing him from stealing the show and inserting himself into something which isn’t his story. It played on his legendary status and added a nice element of mystery to him, that a Judge of his rank and status is both involved and yet somewhat removed from most Judges.

The appearance of McGruder was a nice surprise in the final act, and I enjoyed the subtle hint that her developing madness may have stemmed from her head wound.

Perhaps I felt some of the chapters were overly short in places and could have been combined to aid pacing, particularly towards the end of book one? But overall a nice thumbs up from me! Perhaps we can get another ‘boots in the ground’ series following characters trapped in MC-1 during the Big Nec’?

JWare

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #27 on: 13 January, 2023, 02:59:48 PM »
Somebody read my book! Yay!

Dredd was kept in the background because his story has been comprehensively told already. (Also, I didn’t quite have the nerve to write him.)

The chapters were kept short because I feel pulp demands it.

You can thank my editor, Jim Killen, for McGruder’s inclusion. I only had an idea for a Block Mania story, but Rebellion wanted the full set, and there was no way on God’s earth I was going to turn down that opportunity. I got the impression that Jim (who’s American) had only read the original comic the weekend before our Zoom call, but when he made a few suggestions, I naturally said Yessir.

I have precisely zero ideas for further stories, and I have no idea if Rebellion is even planning on any more novellas. My efforts right now are on writing the last of my Dirty Shirt books, but obviously, if the House of Tharg should need my services, rest assured I will answer the call. No sacrifice is too great.

By the way, the release of the three volumes was originally to have been staggered, with one novella every three months. Hence the little recaps in the second and third volumes.
Also, the title Dossier was an editorial decision, and nothing to do with me. I suppose they could have called it The Apocalypse War Omnibus, but then people might have complained when they found that the original comic wasn’t included. I dunno. I haven’t a clue what I’d have called it myself.
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Lawman of the Present

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #28 on: 13 January, 2023, 04:00:23 PM »
I haven’t a clue what I’d have called it myself.

I think Dossier is a decent name as it fits the wartime theme well. The only other thing that comes to mind are the repeat references in the Dreddverse that many of MC-1’s files were lost during the Apocalypse War.

Perhaps something like Apocalypse War: The Lost Files or Lost Records might have worked, if the stories were bookended with present-day-Dreddverse chapters featuring an archivist of sorts still working through the backlog, and discovering all these untold stories from old reports as they do so.

In fact, I read a story recently featuring something similar; The Big Lie, Prog 2224, where a cit is sentenced to archival duties to make sense of all the Department’s unsorted missing persons paperwork from Necropolis. Perhaps there’s the start of the next book! ;)

Re: the chapters, certainly wasn’t a problem - For the most part it reminded me of the short Prog chapters in the original story and made for easy reading, going through a couple chapters a night!

JWare

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Re: Apocalypse War Dossier (novel) - released November 2022
« Reply #29 on: 13 January, 2023, 04:48:30 PM »
I think Dossier is a decent name as it fits the wartime theme well.
...
Re: the chapters, certainly wasn’t a problem - For the most part it reminded me of the short Prog chapters in the original story and made for easy reading, going through a couple chapters a night!

The Apocalypse War: Forbidden Tales! (parental advisory)
I can live with Dossier.
As for reading short chapters, I’m at the age when I find long ones daunting. Actually, I think I always did, but at least long ago I was able to stick my nose in a book and keep it there for hours on end. Nowadays there’s just too much stuff.


Quote
By the way, the release of the three volumes was originally to have been staggered, with one novella every three months.

I was out of the loop, but Michael Molcher can confirm (or deny).
I believe there was to have been greater fanfare for the 40th anniversary of the Apocalypse War, but then Vladimir Putin did a Bad Thing, and celebrating Soviet nukes flying around suddenly didn’t seem so funny anymore.
I know that once the Ukrainian war started, I got onto Mike to ask him if I could axe the cheery publicity I’d written at his request, and that’s when I was told that publication had been put on hold. The novellas all came out at once (six months behind) because the schedule for the omnibus edition couldn’t be so easily changed.
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