Tansy Rayner Roberts

ROBOTECH REWATCH 39: Romancing the Clone

February 28th, 2015

So last week was a disaster. Those of you who tuned in on Saturday for “Debriefing the Dreamboat” may or may not have noticed that – it was totally the wrong episode. I skipped a disc! Which is something of a relief because there were quite a few parts of that episode that didn’t entirely make sense.


Here is a double episode to make up for it.

Hold your position, Robotech transmissions will now resume.

robotech-masters-000243. Prelude to Battle

The Alpha Tactical Armoured Corp (ATAC) 15th Squadron is at it again, another battle on the ground against the Robotech Masters, and they’re pretty exhausted.. A member of the Council suggests letting more than one squadron fight at a time to overwhelm the enemy, but the others are wary of that strategy, on the grounds that they might run out of troops that way.

Anyway, we all know there’s only one squadron.

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Friday Links Don’t Own Me

February 27th, 2015

The Cat PhoneOur family has been Batman-obsessed since my honey received the entire Batman 1966-68 box set on DVD for Christmas. My five year old is deeply attached to Julie Newmar to the point that she howls with delight when a cliffhanger ends on ‘Tune in Same Cat Time, Same Cat Channel’ instead of Bat Channel.

My ten year old has had a crash course on what sexism used to look like, simply by observing the gender dynamics in the show. We’ve been learning more about 60′s celebrities than I ever thought possible. Oh, and we’ve been counting down the episodes until we get to Season 3, because Yvonne Craig as Batgirl! (Ms 5 sneakily found montages on YouTube and watched ahead, I’m oddly proud of this)

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Issue #1 – Spider-Gwen (2015)

February 26th, 2015

Spider-Gwen_Vol_1_1_Latour_VariantTitle: Spider-Gwen #1

Writer: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

The Buzz: Spider-Gwen is all about buzz. She was created as an alt-universe version of much-killed-off Spiderman love interest Gwen Stacy in Edge of Spiderverse #2, to join an ensemble of dimension-hopping Spider-characters. But right from the start (actually from the release of the cover art/costume design via Instragram and Tumblr) her distinctive look and the fresh, contemporary feel of her world captured the imagination of readers. Spider-Gwen in her white web-lined hoodie, with her grrrl band and her dead boyfriend and her over-protective cop father, was so vivid in that single issue that she became a cosplay icon and a call to arms practically overnight.

All You Need To Know: Gwen was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker; he was so inspired/obsessed by the mysterious Spider-Woman that he experimented on himself and died as tormented villain The Lizard. Gwen is the drummer in the rising rock band The Mary Janes (their first single: “Face It Tiger, You Hit the Jackpot”) and her dad has just found out she’s a super vigilante. She’s just got back from her dimension-hopping adventure with all the other Spider-peeps, and is hoping to put her life back together.

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Musketeer Space Part 40: Tea, and the Cardinal

February 25th, 2015

teapotIt’s Musketeer Day!

I had a Robotech Rewatch disaster this week, accidentally skipping a disc and reviewing the wrong episode! Have no fear, I’ll be posting a double episode this Saturday to make up for it.

Check out this month’s Musketeer Media Monday post: Bat’Magnan & the Mean Musketeers (2001), in which a Musketeer adaptation gets almost exactly everything wrong, and is mostly forgiven because Catherine Deneuve.

Speaking of Musketeer adaptations, we’ve been marathoning our way through Leverage for the first time, and whenever Richard Chamberlain turns up, I convince myself that Aramis is immortal and training catburglars in the 21st century. Well, he would.

Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 39
Read a festive Musketeer Space prequel, “Seven Days of Joyeux.”
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: The Sun-kissed invaded the other end of the solar-system, and while her friends the Musketeers were waiting to be sent into battle, Dana managed to get into a whole lot of trouble including sleeping with the enemy, losing the Prince’s tailor she was hoping to have an affair with, discovering Athos’ dead husband wasn’t actually dead, and scoring a job that means she’s almost, but not quite, a Musketeer herself.


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Bat’Magnan and the Mean Musketeers (2001)

February 23rd, 2015

themusketeerI wasn’t sure what to expect from The Musketeer (2001) but the title didn’t give me a lot of confidence – after all, while the number of Musketeers in the title is canonically questionable, it’s the plural that’s important. I mean, last time I reviewed a piece of Musketeer Media that was only about a single Musketeer, we got Athos being sad on the moon.

This time around, we have Tim Roth in a hat, and a script that thinks it’s okay to tell the Musketeer story without Milady and, for the most part, without giving Athos anything to do.

It’s not okay.

We are introduced to the young Bruce Wayne D’Artagnan as a small boy, fencing with his father, until an arch Tim Roth in a glamorous all-black ensemble turns up to snark about taxes and kill both D’Artagnan’s parents for shits and giggles.

Just as I was wondering why you would cast Tim Roth as Rochefort and not give him an eyepatch, newly-orphaned Bruce Wayne D’Artagnan went at him with a sword and made an eyepatch supremely necessary.

The kid is left in the charge of Jarvis Alfred Planchet, a kindly servant who will do his best to raise him without anyone building a Batcave, creating a utility belt, or dressing up in silly costumes to fight crime.

Well, two out of three isn’t bad.

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Galactic Suburbia 114 Show Notes

February 23rd, 2015

New Episode is up! You can get it here.

In which the Champagne and Socks podcast casts on, Cranky Ladies is about to be launched, and it’s that time of year again, DITMAR CENTRAL.

Ditmar awards ballot is out
And the Sir Julius Vogel too

Champagne and Socks

Cranky Ladies launch March 8

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Musketeer Space 39: Milord, and his secrets

February 18th, 2015

sapphireIt’s Musketeer Day!

When all this is over I’m still going to be waking up every Wednesday morning thinking about fleur-de-lis jpgs and last minute proofing. And hats, obviously.

The Ditmar ballot came out over the weekend – I’m delighted to be nominated across several categories for “Cookie Cutter Superhero,” Galactic Suburbia, the Snapshot etc. As always, I’m a little relieved I won’t be able to attend the awards ceremony where I’m sharing a ballot with Cat Sparks (Best Short Story), because I’m pretty sure she means it when she yells SCRAG FIGHT, and as I learned at the Zombie Apocalypse party I attended last Friday night, I’m not much of a survivor.

Those of you going to Swancon this year, have an awesome time. I’ll be up to my kneecaps in chocolate-stained children and the gruesome remains of edible Easter bunnies, so spare a thought for me.

This chapter’s only slightly NSFW for language/content. Your mileage may vary.

Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 38
Read a festive Musketeer Space prequel, “Seven Days of Joyeux.”
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: While waiting for orders to ship out to war halfway across the solar system, Dana D’Artagnan has discovered a terrifying fact about Milord De Winter. She totally should have listened when Athos said: “Don’t sleep with a man just because you think he might have kidnapped your boyfriend.”



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New Who In Conversation: A Good Man Goes to War/Let’s Kill Hitler

February 17th, 2015

We would like to thank everyone who nominated our “New Who in Conversation” series for the William Atheling Jr Award again this year – it’s a great honour to be on the ballot! Voting for the annual Ditmar Awards (which the Atheling is included in) is open to all members of Continuum X (2014 Natcon – Melbourne) and Swancon 40 (2015 Natcon – Perth), and can be done online.

Jenny and VastraDAVID:
I really enjoyed the introduction to “A Good Man Goes to War”. I do think that there are times when Amy puts the Doctor in roles that by rights are Rory’s, and it was great that he was the subject of her speech and, unless, I am way off, the “good man” of the title and the prophecy. The scene where they confront the Cybermen is quite effective, though you do have to ask about the ethics of blowing up so many of them just to get information – it’s even more casual slaughter than we are used to. I actually had already seen this scene when it was played during the Hugo ceremony, but I had managed to blank it out and it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this.

Rewatching the beginning I’m just all “RORY ROCKS”! Which is, almost certainly, the idea.

I love that Rory uses his Roman Legionary costume and identity when he needs to kick ass, and I do like this scene very much – of course, as soon as you start thinking about the ethics of exploding the whole army it’s a bit icky. Looking back to 2011, when this episode aired – this was the point very much at which fandom accepted Rory as officially awesome instead of complaining about him being a doormat or another Mickey. I’ve always given a bit of a side-eye to this group reaction, as it seems to me that Rory became a lot more popular as a character as soon as he became more traditionally macho – waving swords and uttering threatening lines. Which is a shame, because I love squooshy, sensitive Rory too.

I am very glad that they seem to now have dropped the whole thing with Rory feeling jealous of the Doctor – it feels like discovering Amy’s abduction has led him to finally drop that very boring narrative thread, so he can concentrate on what’s important.

PS: the ‘A good man’ of the title is the Doctor I think, but it also refers to Rory, and takes on different meanings for each of them.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 38: I’ll Patrol the Discos!

February 14th, 2015

night lifeRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

Episode 42 – Danger Zone

A newscast reports on what’s happening with the invading fleet. Weirdly, the broadcaster seems to be aware that the military commander of the Robotech Masters (Prince Charming) is called Zor, even though no one has been formally introduced. The standard of investigative journalism in the post-apocalyptic robot universe is surprisingly high.

The 15th Squadron have patrol duty in a city which is jam-packed with seedy recreation as portrayed by neon signs and hot ladies. The boys are all delighted at this turn of events and Dana is amused enough to let them have a little fun – all except Angelo, of course, who would rather have a proper patrol somewhere with no discos or strippers. Poor lad, all he wants is for everyone to take things seriously.

That he has Dana as his superior officer is a tragedy for them both.

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Friday Links is Batty About You

February 13th, 2015

batty about youIs Valentines Day even a thing in Australia? My 5 year old is weirdly obsessed with it. Me, I love the geeky Valentines that pop up at this time of year (Pinterest and Tumblr, what did we do before you?)

Chirravutever presented some cute Flash & Arrow chibi Valentines for each of the characters. I don’t know why Picnic with the Sisko is my favourite, don’t judge me.

I also wanted to point readers towards Check Please! an adorable webcomic about a college hockey team with a tiny, gay social-media-obsessed protagonist. Here are the Check Please! Valentines which probably make no sense unless you’ve read the comic. Read the comic, it’s all sports and pie-baking, I love it.

Though of course when it comes to funny, weird fandom valentines, the classic is always Gingerhaze. Can’t be beat. (prove me wrong in the comments, send other links!)


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