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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Musketeers Crack Me Up Seventies Style (1973)

September 15th, 2014

Three_Musketeers_1974It’s Musketeer Media Monday! Today I’m reviewing The Three Musketeers (1973) which many hold up as the ultimate adaptation of the novel. It’s hard to argue with that. Let’s buckle some swash!

This film, directed by Richard Lester and scripted by George McDonald Fraser, is a surprisingly close interpretation of the original novel’s narrative. I’d watched it before and liked it a lot, but this time around (with my engagement with the text just a BIT more intensive) I was surprised at what a fantastic job they did.

The Three Musketeers (1973) features very old school interpretations of the characters, plenty of direct quotes from the book itself, and a deep dedication to awesome sword fighting as well as background historical detail. Great costumes, great sets, great action, sharp dialogue, and random hawking and hunting scenes. All good stuff. The story is split over two movies, The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974), with this first film covering the Matter of the Queen’s Diamonds. I really should have looked at this one at the beginning of the Musketeer Media Monday project, as there are many creative decisions of the later adaptations (particularly Musketeers in an Exciting Adventure With Airships (2011) but it could be argued for Musketeers Are All For Love (1993) and Looks Good In Leather (2014) as well) which are obviously alluding to, inspired by or working against this particular film.

The main innovation of The Three Musketeers (1973) is that it’s a comedy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – after all, the novel itself is very, very funny. But I was still a bit shocked at how completely hilarious the film version was. I was in stitches most of the time I was watching – and apart from a few wince-inducing moments, I was mostly laughing WITH the movie rather than at it.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 16 – Don’t Make Dinner Plans

September 13th, 2014

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

The death toll of major, minor and background characters is about to start going up… and there’s no going back! What, you thought this was going to be a fun time?

roy18. Farewell Big Brother

This has to be one of the spoileriest titles ever. Talk about doing what it says on the tin. But I have to say, the amount of glee with which Ms9 approached this episode was… disturbing. She’s been predicting the death of Roy Fokker since day one and she loves being right.

Rick is still in hospital and has managed to acquire a super snarky nurse who pranks him with the idea they’re going to do medical experiments on him to see if pilot’s heads really are made out of granite. I love her. She needs her own show. I hope she is actually Sami’s roommate and they hang out practicing appalling things to say in innocent voices while batting their eyelashes.

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Friday Links’ Eyes Are Up Here

September 12th, 2014

thorFrom the Mary Sue: Does the Marvel Cinematic Universe Play to the Female Gaze? Well sure, sometimes. Most TV action shows are learning this lesson too – why else do Arrow & Dig whip their shirts off so often? (though sadly never at the same time)

The amazing Nancy Kress argues against the weird idea that living in a science fictional future makes it less interesting to write science fiction – right now, she’s taking inspiration from genetic engineering.

“Science fiction made personal, because the future always is.” Nancy Kress.

Jaym Gates talks about taking inspiration from RPG gaming to take control of her life – On Her Own Damn Game.

Salon on Why The Most Exciting Crime Novelists These Days Are Women.

Katie Schenkel on “I Guess Comics aren’t for me”, how gatekeeping and sexism actively dissuades so many women from an entire creative medium.

Charles Tan on How To Live Safely In an Online Universe.

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Musketeer Space Part 17 – Portrait of a Marriage

September 10th, 2014

fdl_c.png__83003__25861.1409136866.1280.1280Musketeer Day is my favourite day of the week!

It’s been a busy week on my blog, largely because Metafilter discovered my Pratchett’s Women essays and this has caused a massive spike of readers. (thanks, person who wrote the great, comprehensive piece with all the links including to the ebook, I totally owe you one) Then Boing Boing picked up the topic (with a very flattering piece written by Cory Doctorow) and created a spike that left the other spike completely in the shade. My blog is dizzy from all the attention.

Hi, new readers! I also write things about Musketeers sometimes. You can purchase the complete collection of my Pratchett’s Women essays as an ebook from Fablecroft, via any good online retailer. The ebook includes not only all the pieces from my blog but an extra essay exclusive to the book which looks at the extraordinary gender-and-feminist achievement that is Monstrous Regiment, and unpacks a lot of my inner turmoil about how much I disliked the book the first time I read it (spoilers: I was wrong).

We’re now at a point where around 16,000 people have read my essay “The Boobs, The Bad and the Broomsticks.” I actually don’t know what to do with that.

But we’re not here to talk about witches and gendered narratives, we’re here for female Musketeers in Space. This chapter involves pastries, eavesdropping, and a mission that will change Dana’s life forever! There may be a bit of kissing.

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 16.
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan just wants to be a pilot with the Musketeers. Instead she has three Musketeers as her new best friends, a love-hate relationship with a mecha suit, and a palace conspiracy that just won’t quit.

NOW READ ON!

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 15 – Electric Dreams (in Outer Space)

September 6th, 2014

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

Say what you like about those Macross/Harmony Gold fellows, they were pretty clever about reusing animation to save a bit of money. Prepare to delve into the depths of Rick Hunter’s subconscious! I know, I was a bit surprised too to discover he had depths. Still waters run deep and all that…

PhantasmEpisode 17. Phantasm

Rick Hunter is in the base hospital, unconscious but under observations by a bunch of medical robots that look a lot like the skutters from Red Dwarf. His subconscious takes him on a magical mystery tour back to that concert Minmei gave that time despite only having two songs.

Is this another clip show? TELL ME NOW IF THIS IS ANOTHER CLIP SHOW.

Weirdly, it is kind of a clip show, retelling key moments from Rick’s life in an odd, surrealist fashion – setting off to fly his Robotech fighter for the first time, calling Lisa an old lady, Minmei being grabbed by a giant hand, getting advice from Roy, training montage – genuine bits of earlier animation are recycled and jumbled up with surrealist retellings and redrawings that heighten Rick’s concerns and his more paranoid imaginings. Sometimes the soundtrack is the same, but mostly it’s a complete redub to add to the weirdness of the experience.

Well played, Harmony Gold. Well played.

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Friday Links is a Series, Not a Standalone

September 5th, 2014

You Can't Take The Sky Kanga From Me

You Can’t Take The Sky Kanga From Me

Friday links lives! It lives! The biggest obstacle to Friday links, in fact, has been that my mother has been babysitting for me on Friday mornings, allowing me a blissful several hours a week to type frantically in a library where the wifi is so slow I don’t even turn it on – distraction free writing time!

So in an effort to return to old traditions, I’m putting Friday Links together on a Thursday night. How’s that for a life hack?

Justin Landon at Staffer’s Book Review has proclaimed that The Series is Dying. And The Internet Killed It. I don’t want to agree with him and I’m not entirely sure that I do – but his point about which books are getting buzz feels very accurate to me, and I have turned into that reader who enjoys and raves about the first book in the series, but can’t quite be bothered to pick up the second, so who am I to throw custard pies?

Kameron Hurley has been blogging up a storm all over the internet, promoting her new book The Mirror Empire. Which I am very excited to read, but I pre-ordered which in my world means I get it three weeks after everyone else. #sadfacts I was particularly drawn to this piece she wrote for SF Signal – 5 Things I Learned When I Stopped Worrying About Genre. We could all pretend that I’m not recommending this article purely because Kameron refers to the genre implications of Wonder Woman riding a giant kangaroo through space, but we all know that we would be lying to ourselves.

Speaking of genre, Damien Walter had some interesting thoughts this week on Space Opera and how it’s the thing that’s about to be super hot right now (not his actual article title). This is a thing with no drawbacks.

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Musketeer Space Part 16 – Cinquefoil For Beginners

September 3rd, 2014

gaslit085Happy Musketeer Day! In exciting book news, I just got the author copies of The Mammoth Book of Gaslit Romance, edited by Ekaterina Sedia, which includes a reprint of my story “Lamia Victoriana” from the Love and Romanpunk collection. I also have a couple of new stories out or due for publication soon! “Of War and Wings” appearing in the crowdfunded Clockwork Universe: Steampunk V. Aliens which has been posted out to backers in the last week or so, with only the signed copies still waiting to go out. The book will be available to the public on September 15 via Amazon and the Kindle. “The Love Letters of Swans” will appear in the Fablecroft anthology Phantazein which should be out in October in time for Conflux. It’s my ‘work through your issues with the Helen and Paris myth’ story and is a teeny bit smutty.

So hooray, more Tansy writing out there in the world. Not to mention all the amazing reviews coming in for Kaleidoscope. It’s wonderful to be part of a book that’s getting so much attention and buzz – I’ve been reading the other stories myself this week and they are SO GOOD.

Fleur de lis littleIt’s September now, can you believe it? I’ve been doing this Musketeer chapter every week thing since May! Everyone who contributes financially to Musketeer Space via Patreon, I love you dearly. Everyone who reads the book as each chapter goes up, I love you loads. And everyone who is saving it all up to read in one go at the end, I’m totally going to love you around this time next year. Brace yourselves for that.

Those of you who support Musketeer Space at the $3 or above level should have received The Pilot’s Slice, my official newsletter of the project, on the last day of August. Please get in touch if you don’t have your copy and you think you should have it! The latest issue includes a piece on the historical and literary role of Madame Chevreuse, as well as some insights into how my daughters are dealing with my Musketeer obsession.

This chapter’s all about blood sports, and how to avoid talking about feelings with your friends.


Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 15.
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan has stumbled across a conspiracy involving Alek the Prince Consort, Buck the Duchess of Buckingham, and Chevreuse the mysterious former PR minister. Dana is far too attracted to her landlady’s husband Conrad, who is deeply involved in the conspiracy. Buck has a sinister man called Winter living inside her head, and she really shouldn’t have taken the Prince’s diamond-studded peacock coat back with her to the planet Valour. Oh, and Athos managed to get himself arrested instead of Dana, so that was fun.

NOW READ ON!

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 14 – The Pacifist’s Fighting Feet

August 30th, 2014

Picture 4Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

Lynn Kyle is a jerk and I hate his face.

Episode 16 – Battle Cry

Captain Gloval is under siege by his bridge crew, all demanding that he do something about the ridiculous and unfair decision by Headquarters – that the SDF1 has to go back into space.

The situation is fraught but luckily there is lunch to distract them.

Meanwhile, Lynn Kyle arrives in Macross City to the shock of his parents. His mother is delighted, but his father has a very odd response, refusing to talk to him in favour of doing the washing up with repressed emotions.

The more we get to know of Kyle’s personality, the more understandable this reaction is. Quiet fist bump in the direction of Papa Lynn.

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Musketeer Space Part 15: Whatever Happened To Madame Su

August 27th, 2014

Fleur de lis littleHello Musketeer Day!

In other news, jet lag sucks. It really, really sucks. I was basically assuming it was one of those mind over matter things like writer’s block? But no, I actually keep keeling over randomly at various times of the day, as if I have been beaten over the head with something heavy.

Jet lag really REALLY sucks. But my trip to Loncon3 was otherwise awesome. I got to meet so many online friends and colleagues, and plenty of wonderful new people too. I AM OMG SO GLAD TO BE HOME.

We didn’t win a Hugo for Galactic Suburbia or Verity, but while I was away my crime novel (writing as Livia Day) A Trifle Dead was nominated for two different awards, the Silver Falchion in the US and the Davitt here in Australia. So that’s pretty bloody awesome.

And I was pretty delighted with all the stuff that did win Hugos. So that was nice!

Never mind all that, you’re here for Musketeers. Allow me to provide…

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 14.
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Madame Su is a perfectly sensible businesswoman and entrepreneur whose young husband Conrad is handsome, loyal and a magnet for trouble. He works as a tailor in the Palace, making silk coats for the Prince Regent, and playing Zero-G TeamJoust with him in his spare time. When Conrad was abducted for his part in yet another ridiculous Palace conspiracy, Madame Su turned in desperation to her young lodger, Mecha-Cadet Dana D’Artagnan, to help them. While Dana had her own (probably unimportant) adventures, Madame Su was arrested by the red guards. None of this has anything to do with her. She is so over this. Conrad is going to be in so much trouble when he gets home.

NOW READ ON!

musketeerspace_banner

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 13: Can’t I Smoke Anywhere?

August 23rd, 2014

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

It’s all getting a bit political.

minmeis yokohamaEpisode 15. Homecoming

The SDF1 is home! But it’s not going to be that easy. While the population of the ship party like it’s 1999, Lisa and Captain Gloval fly to Antarctica Base to talk to the government about resettling the civilians.

The spies practice their party skills, which mostly consists of yelling Hurrah and drinking. They’re fitting in just fine.

Claudia gets off duty and goes to call on her fiancé Roy – FIANCE? Where did that even come from? Last I saw he was still making smutty comments about how he could take Minmei off Rick’s hands. And while there has been some definite flirting-dating action between these two, mostly only hinted at in between larger plot developments, apparently there has been some serious progression.

Then again, it’s been two years, and we missed quite a lot thanks to time dilation and alien abductions.

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