Very cool that the Table of Contents has gone public now, so I can announce this one – I had a piece accepted into the anthology Clockwork Universe: Steampunk Vs Aliens, which will be the inaugural book coming out from start up publisher Zombies Need Brains. They raised the money for this book via Kickstarter last year, and it’s now all coming together!
I’m really proud of my story, one of two history + aliens pieces that I wrote last year – in this case, Victorian lady soldiers, genderqueer aliens and of course (because it’s me) the occasional frock.
I’m so looking forward to seeing the finished product in a couple of months!
As a writer and a mum, the most important piece of technology in my life (apart from my laptop, my phone, Tunelink in the car and oh yes, my kettle) is my beloved slow cooker. I have had it nearly a year and have thus far managed not to give it a cutesy name. Which is frankly something of a miracle in our family, given that our new heat pump/air conditioner goes by the moniker of Svent. (We got it just after watching Frozen for the first time)
Ahem. Anyway. The slow cooker has been something of a life saver this year, as it enables me to make grown up meals that actually taste like something, as opposed to the simpler fare that our children prefer to eat. It’s much easier to find the energy to feed them something healthy-ish that they actually like in the evenings (even if it’s DULL) if I know that our dinner has been cooking away all by itself since ten in the morning…
I’ve even been firing it up over summer, largely because I hate the way the oven heats up the kitchen so fast in the hot months, but my lovely slow cooker turns out curries and roasts that can be paired with salads, without filling the house with hot air.
Marianne is one of my longest serving friends and mentors in the publishing industry – I have learned so much from her over the years, and she is still one of the first people I go to when I have a career dilemma.
It’s been so exciting to see her own career rise over the last decade and a half, through cyberpunk, space opera and vampire YA to her current western-inspired science fiction novel Peacemaker, with a protagonist who first saw the light of day in the Australian small presses.
When Marianne asked to contribute something to my blog as part of her tour for Peacemaker, the topic I asked for seemed obvious, as it’s one close to both of our hearts.
My Female Heroes
by Marianne De Pierres
It’s hard to know where to start on this, but I guess the beginning is a good a place as any. Some of you may know that I grew up on a diet of boys own adventure stories – Tom Swift and the like. At the same time, I was devouring Westerns and inhaling James Bond. So it would be right to say, that my desire to create female heroes, stemmed simply from me wanting to do all the good stuff that the boy heroes got to do. It never, ever occurred to me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t. My first novel attempt at age ten was modelled on the Famous Five but featured a resourceful girl who caught a bunch of sheep stealers. Danger, action, intrigue, and female heroes existed in my stories right away.
Life happened. I grew up, had my share of encounters being marginalised because of my gender and had my eyes opened to the world. By the time I began write with true purpose, in my thirties, the desire to present female heroes through the novel form had grown even stronger. Now, however, the desire was tempered with the knowledge that I did not want to simply swap genitalia i.e. write an ostensibly male hero and just give him a female name and appearance, but that I truly was in love with the idea that women could be as competent, heroic, charismatic and flawed as their male hero counterparts.
It was the Aurealis Awards last night! Congrats to all the winners, and to Nicole Murphy and her team for putting on what sounded like a great night. Here’s a Storify of how it all looked on social media, thanks to Sean the Blogonaut.
The Mary Sue reports on the King Joffrey statue that has been erected in New Zealand, which will be slowly toppled via social media hashtags. Does anyone else think it is SUPER CREEPY to be publicly desecrating the image of a real live teenage boy in public to promote a TV show? I don’t mean Joffrey – like anyone else who has read the books and watched the show up to this point, I am happy to see the kid bumped off as gruesomely as possible. But the statue depicts an ACTUAL teen actor, and surely he has enough trouble walking down the street without having rocks thrown at him without literally being destroyed in effigy in a public square.
Justine Larbalestier and Kate Elliott began their new book club, discussing bestselling fiction by women from other eras. First up: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. (I read it for the first time in my early twenties after finding it in the uni library and was startled to discover it wasn’t an H Rider Haggard style lost world epic but a grim tale of failed glamour and pill-popping in Hollywood.)
Nisi Shawl writes about Reviewing the Other, with some fascinating insights into the ways that reviewers can help promote diversity but also the limitations placed upon them.
Here we are on the final run! With sixteen hours to go, we have funded our project by 130%, not to mention the Arts Tasmania grant that we also receive for reaching our funding goal.
Tehani and I have been blown away by the wonderful support so many of you (just short of 200!) have shown for our book idea that just kept getting bigger and bigger. It’s nothing short of inspiring to have so many people eagerly awaiting the anthology, and to have so many more gearing up to create something wonderful for it.
Over at the Verity Podcast, the hosts who are not me (AGAIN, sob!) discuss the Cybermen as quintessential Doctor Who villains. It’s a great ep, with every era mulled over and defended/championed by one or other of the Verities. Just when I was getting cross none of them had mentioned The Invasion, in came Liz on her white charger to remind everyone what we were missing. I also enjoyed Lynne championing Silver Nemesis, Erika squeeing about The Tenth Planet, and Deb being quite valiant about the New Who Cybermen. Liz then wrote up an almost completely wrong (but occasionally right) list of the best Cybermen stories in order.
[If you want to listen unspoilt to the episode discussing shortlist and winners of the GS Award, listen Noooooow without reading the rest of the show notes. Don't even glance at them! Move along, nothing to see here]
So we’re heading into our final week of the Cranky Ladies of History anthology crowdfunding project – we’re fully funded (113%!), and reached our first stretch goal to add more illustrations to the book, but there’s still a very tantalising stretch goal just out of reach!
And today we woke up to a fabulous article about our project in not only The Age, but a bunch of newspapers across Australia! Check out the Arts page in your local Sunday paper to see if we’re there.
The question was, what shows/movies/media have you chased up purely because of a Doctor Who connection?
I found the various perspectives really interesting, especially as the episode is balanced equally between those who started Doctor Who with the new version of the show, and those who have been watching it since they were ‘wee.’ Liz provides a treasure trove of which old movies to track down in search of Doctors!
Mrs Hudson from Sherlock, what are you doing with the Third Doctor?
Turns out that despite having watched Doctor Who my whole life, I’ve rarely gone hunting for Classic Who actors in TV shows or movies – I’m much more likely to have done that with the modern gang, in our post-IMDB reality. I did however spend most of my childhood being hit over the head by appearances of Doctor Who actors in unexpected places.
I am more likely to have deliberately sought out shows featuring Press Gang actors (yes Hotel Babylon I’m looking at you for hiring Dexter Fletcher) – though there are several actors appearing in Press Gang who I definitely saw in Doctor Who first, including Principal Winter and Duggan from City of Death. Oh, and Chrissie, AKA Winifred Bambera.
I think my lack of actively hunting classic actors is because it wasn’t exactly an easy thing to do back in the height of my classic Who fandom – I was much more likely to casually stumble across them. And by the time the Internet was available for the likes of me, I was already pretty well established in my ‘casual stumbling’ technique. (also let’s face it, a lot of the actors playing companions didn’t actually turn up in many other shows, at least in substantial roles)
And, you know, remembering odd connections between actors from British TV is kind of my superpower. I have often baffled people with my unfailing ability to remember exactly which Carry On Film featured that particular actor, or which long-forgotten BBC drama featured that actor now guest-starring on Absolutely Fabulous. Following them deliberately would be a bit of a cheat, wouldn’t it?
Having said that…
I'm a fantasy author who lives with my partner and our two daughters in Tasmania, and I am one of the three voices of the Hugo-nominated Galactic Suburbia podcast. I also write crime fiction as Livia Day.