Tansy Rayner Roberts

Galactic Suburbia 98 Show Notes

April 23rd, 2014

Forgot to put these up on Sunday! Episode 98 is now available to download or stream directly from the site.

In which we approach Fringe from multiple sides, rant about Game of Thrones, muse about cake lit and Alisa is a PhD student again! Bonus supplemental awards chat (but not in depth about the Hugos because we recorded before the shortlist went public) and an invitation to CAKE OUT for our 100th. See you there…

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Hugo Links are Linkworthy

April 22nd, 2014

155px-hugoawardLots of discussion about the Hugos this year! Hardly surprising since it’s a more-chaotic-than-usual blend of joy and WTFery. Something for everyone, right?

I’ll point you again to the great chat I had on the Coode Street podcast with Jonathan, Gary and John DeNardo of SF Signal – we went into the bloc/slate voting issue and talked about the ballot in quite a lot of depth.

Liz Bourke, nominee on the awesome Best Fan Writer list this year, talks about her own reactions to the ballot, and why she’s voting for Abigail Nussbaum. She particularly goes into some of the gender issues that I also talked about on Coode Street, with a special shout out for the shifting Best Professional Artist category. Finally, some balance!

Abigail Nussbaum shares her own response to this year’s ballot, and her nomination as Best Fan Writer.

Natalie Luhrs at the Radish shares her conflicted feelings, with bonus GIF illustrations. Thanks to the shitstorm that followed in the comments section of her blog, she wrote a follow up about daring to speak up about issues in the community that concern her – and why it’s so important to talk loudly about things that upset you.

Doctor Who News reports on all the Doctor Who themed nominees, including some charming quotes from Steven Moffat who joins me in wanting Peter Davison to win the Hugo this year for The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.

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The Chauvelin Effect

April 21st, 2014

scarlet-pimpernel12Talking with my friend Isabel the other week, I wanted to put a name to the specific phenomenon of enjoying an actor in something, and retrospectively realising that actually they were in something else REALLY MEMORABLE AND SIGNIFICANT to you a long time ago, but you never made the connection that they were the same person. It’s like a kind of actorly deja vu only without any sense of remembering they are familiar and you have in fact seen them in things before. So the complete opposite of how I usually watch any TV/movies from Britain, which consists of pointing out all the actors who have been in Doctor Who, Press Gang or Carry On Movies.

I wanted to name the syndrome after Rupert Graves, as I am still frankly recovering from the retrospective shock of discovering that the actor who played Jolyon Forsyte (my favourite character) in The Forsyte Saga was the same actor who played the floppy-haired Freddy Honeychurch in Room with a View back in the distant 80′s.

Isabel, however, argued quite rightfully that actually this phenomenon could only be named for the experience we had both shared, of rewatching the classic Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour version of The Scarlet Pimpernel in the 21st century, only to discover that the reason we remembered Chauvelin as being really excellent and acting everyone else off the camera was in fact because he was played by SIR IAN FREAKING MCKELLEN.

I’ve had a couple of experiences of the Chauvelin Effect lately, so very glad that I now have a name to put to it when relating the anecdotes.

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Hugo Nominations are Shiny!

April 20th, 2014

Another year, another Hugo shortlist. There’s so much to talk about! I was simply bursting with opinions as I read through it this morning, and so I was really pleased to be snapped up by Jonathan Strahan to share some of those opinions with him, Gary K Wolfe and John De Nardo of SF Signal over at the Coode Street Podcast.

Sadly thanks to family plans, technical difficulties and a conversation that lasted way longer than we intended, I had to run away shortly after the Editor categories and so wasn’t able to share my major opinions about Professional Artist, Fanzine, Fancast and of course the category that I won last year, Best Fan Writer (well actually I did note my opinion on that one in the intro to the podcast, referring to that particular shortlist as a thing of beauty).

Tune in anyway to hear me champion Wheel of Time’s place on the ballot, squee about the sheer bonkers variety in the Best Related Work category, and begin my dedicated campaign to getting Peter Davison a Hugo. Come on, you know it makes sense.

I was delighted that both Galactic Suburbia and Verity were nominated in Best Fancast – and imagine my surprise to learn that we were in a shortlist of seven instead of the usual five! Very pleased to see our friends and fellow Australians the Writer and the Critic join us in the most fun category of all, and for fellow veterans Coode Street and SF Signal to hang in there with us. Also welcome to two more cheery travellers, Emma Newman’s Tea and Jeopardy (the only podcast with a butler, as far as I’m aware – more of us should follow in her footsteps) and the lovely Skiffy and Fanty crew. Hooray for Fancast! And thanks so much to those who nominated, helping to support this new and occasionally unappreciated category.

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Friday Links Wants a Touch Screen TV

April 18th, 2014

lego_article_story_mainTobias Buckell talks about a topic very dear to my heart: Tech and Five Year Olds

Karen Gillan’s Hair will Appear in Star Wars V. Not Karen, just her hair.

The issue of clothes and women in politics is a sticky one – on the one hand, it was frustrating as hell to see former Prime Minister Gillard constantly having her fashion discussed ahead of her policies, and that Prime Minister Abbott’s clothing choices were never policed as closely as those of his daughters. But as this post on departing Governor General Quentin Bryce notes, fashion choices can be a vital political tool for women. And frankly I have also taken quiet pleasure from the sight of her bright and undeniably feminine outfits in a sea of black business suits. What I wasn’t aware of was the degree to which Bryce’s feminism informed her time in office. If we have to have dames in Australia again, she’s a pretty good choice. As long as she also gets a white charger and a lance as part of the ceremonial bumpf. The lady would look good in jousting armour.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction, formerly the Orange Prize, is now the Baileys Prize. Smooth. Very excited to see an Australian crime novel on the list – Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, which the universe keeps telling me I have to read.

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Story Sale: Of War and Wings

April 14th, 2014

steampunk aliensVery 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!

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Slow Cooker Sunday: Sweet Apple Pork

April 13th, 2014

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.

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My Female Heroes: Guest Post by Marianne De Pierres

April 12th, 2014

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.

Peacemaker-CR_webMy 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.

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Galactic Suburbia Episode 97: Spoilerific Special – Veronica Mars

April 6th, 2014

In which a long time ago, we used to be friends, but I haven’t heard from you lately at all – come on now, sugah, bring it on, bring it on. Just remember me when

Stream or download the new episode now!


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Sunday Links is not Friday Links

April 6th, 2014

KingJoffreyStatueIt 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.

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