Hugo, and Livia

hugo rocketI am just surfacing from yet another spell of illness and bedrest after a long, cold winter of the perpetual Colds and Flus… but there is exciting newsness that really should be formally acknowledged.

For a start, we won a Hugo! Galactic Suburbia has featured on every Best Fancast shortlist since the category came into being, and we are beyond excited to have won ourselves a rocket (one each!). It was particularly pleasing to have received so much support from listeners and voters this year – to have the majority of Hugo voters come out in favour of such an openly feminist podcast is fantastic. Alex, Alisa, the Silent Producer and I are all over the moon.

Continue reading →

Robotech Rewatch 62: Rick Hunter’s Sure Spunky

Warning, Rick Hunter does not appear in these episodes. Or at all. Ever. When the excitable narrator implied otherwise in the ‘next week on Robotech’ at the end of The Midnight Sun, Ms10 (who was on Minecraft and firmly Not Interested in Robotech) perked her ears up.

HER – Is that?
ME – No.
HER – But he said Rick Hunter.
ME – He lied. It’s there to make you think he’s going to be in it.
HER – He’s not in it?
ME – Didn’t I tell you that Rick Hunter never ever comes back?
HER – But maybe?
ME – No.

See? See? Even the modern generation of kids who have access to Wikipedia still get their hearts broken by this damned show pretending that it’s going to follow up on the adventures of the original Robotech crew and then not doing it.

This is a particularly dire example of that.

Continue reading →

2. Diane Marchant & Kirk/Spock [SF Women of the 20th Century]

grup3p2Fanfic, and slash fiction in particular, is a huge part of SF fandom history – and its overlapping communities have mostly been built and shared by women.

Diane Marchant is generally regarded as the writer of the first published fic featuring Kirk/Spock – the ship which popularised slashfic as a fan phenonenon. And she was Australian, to boot!

You’re welcome, rest of the world.

The story, “A Fragment Out of Time,” published in Grup #3 in 1974, contained a steamy sex scene but named no names (and played the pronoun game, so it wasn’t even clearly marked out as a m/m relationship).

Still, the piece was illustrated with a Kirk & Spock picture drawn by Diane, making her intentions fairly obvious, and a cartoon underneath the final page of the story shows Bones saying to Kirk: “Impossible….. No, Jim. I warned you about messing with aliens…….. especially Vulcans.” (The look on Kirk’s face in the cartoon implies he has just been told about the existence of slash fiction. Oh, sweetie.)

Continue reading →

Robotech Rewatch 62: Awkward Shirtless Holiday Camp

Keep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

EPISODE 76 – Metamorphosis.

Marlene (AKA Ariel) is the worst infiltrator ever, because she has failed to send any spyware back to the Invid Regis.

The Regis transforms two other Invid using ‘biomass reconstruction’ which turns them into conventionally attractive humanoids with adorable hair: Sera and Corg.

She believes that the humanoid form has been categorically proven to be the most flexible and useful life form for surviving this planet, based largely on that time all her dinosaurs got blown up. Cute hair for the win!

awkward shirtlessOur freedom fighting bikie gang are relaxing on a tropical island (bwuh?) because beach time = not throwing hissy fits and quitting the team. Annie finds an abandoned military base from the Second Robotech War, and they get scavenging on the grounds that a boat might be more surprising in their planned attack on Reflex Point than a fighter plane.

Turns out Rand is pretty good at welding. Who knew?

When Rook is injured badly in a skirmish with a patrol, they promptly find themselves an abandoned paradise resort where she can rest up while they swim, frolic and fix up a bunch of mecha.

Rook is a bit of a grinch about fun in the sun, but a shirtless Rand eventually convinces her to enjoy their impromptu holiday.

Continue reading →

Where Have All The Friday Links Gone

poster2My Fridays are so much more jam-packed than they used to be so Friday Links have fallen by the wayside. Whoops! I have so many juicy bits and pieces saved up, though, I had to do one today.

Judith Tarr visited Charlie Stross’s blog to ask the question Where Have All The Women Gone – or, more precisely, to talk about why that question is so damaging.

Also on Charlie’s Diary, Nicola Griffith brought the stats to the party with her post Data, books and bias looking at the gender breakdown of awards versus how seriously those awards are taken. Stirring stuff that will be super useful for Alisa’s thesis.

Some Australian SF Year’s Best Tables of Content! Fablecroft’s Focus 2014 collects an elite selection of work which has received acclaim via national and international Awards recognition. Over at Ticonderoga, Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene have compiled the TOC for The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror. I’m honoured to be in both books, with two different stories – Focus is taking “Cookie Cutter Superhero” and Ticonderoga are taking “The Love Letters of Swans.”

My thoughts are on women’s role in the history of science fiction right now, so I was delighted to read Vonda McIntyre’s post at the Women in Science Fiction website, talking about “Starfarers,” the best long-lost SF TV show of all time. A diverse cast, an original premise (university faculty steal a starship when their travel funding is cut) and unusual aliens… oh and it was totally a hoax she made up in order to get through a dull panel topic at a convention. It has its own fandom. Oh, SF community, this is why we still love you.

Continue reading →

1. Raccoona Sheldon & “The Screwfly Solution” [SF Women of the 20th Century]

030-PseudoSignaturesI’m feeling a bit defensive about Raccoona right now, after re-reading the excellent biography James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips. Like many people, I’d always got so swept up in the Tiptree legend that I let Raccoona fall by the wayside.

But she’s terribly interesting, particularly in light of a recent article about the different reactions that an author received from agents who received her manuscript as being authored as a man, or as a woman.

Writing science fiction under the name James Tiptree Jr from 1967, Alice “Alli” Sheldon quickly became known as an important, groundbreaking writer in the field. She did her networking via correspondence, often by writing fan letters to her fellow writers, though she was also befriended by many editors who encouraged “Tip” in his work early on, giving personal feedback and demanding more work from him as his reputation grew.

Julie Phillips, in the epic biography James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, tells the anecdote of how Harlan Ellison rejected a couple of Tiptree’s trunk stories from Again, Dangerous Visions in 1969, and gave the writer a second chance along with an ultimatum: “You can do better than this, and I expect you to do so.” In a later letter, he instructed Tiptree to write something that was “brilliant,” to “bust your ass” and demanded: “A story on which to build a first-rank reputation. The best story you ever wrote.”

Inspired and challenged, Sheldon wrote “The Milk of Paradise,” a story that Ellison not only published but raved about directly to Tiptree: “You are the single most important new writer in science fiction today. Nobody touches you! Not me, not Delany, not Blish, not Budrys, not Disch, not Dick…”

Continue reading →

SF Women of the 20th Century: Introduction banner

Regardless of when you think science fiction started, and how far back you want to trace its origins (cough, Mary Shelley, cough, Verne and Wells, cough, Margaret Cavendish, cough, Lucian), the 20th century was undoubtedly a time of great development for science fiction as a recognisable genre. SF was in the pulp magazine, in the cinemas, on our radios and televisions, in novels and comics and artwork and fanzines and jewellery and action figures and glam rock.

And while 20th century science fiction is so often framed as a masculine genre, as a sexist genre, as a boys club, and as a hub of male geekery, male childhood, male second childhood and a world peopled by old white men, it was always a place where women existed, and worked, and played, and created wonderful things.

The history of women’s participation in science fiction is often troubling and problematic and difficult to talk about, and enraging, and inspiring, and so many other things. But most often, the history of women in science fiction is forgotten. (Too often, it ends up being a conversation about ‘where are the women in science fiction’ which is pretty insulting to those who were standing there in front of you all along, as Judith Tarr describes in her recent essay Where Have All The Women Gone?)

History is a living, dynamic thing, and we shape it as people when we decide what is important and what is not.

Continue reading →

Galactic Suburbia Spoilerific – James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips

We’re really proud of this episode! Some serious in depth crunchy conversation to be had. Also, Skype us with feedback! You know you want to. Stream or download the episode directly here or via iTunes.

phillips tiptree

In which we celebrate Alli Sheldon’s centenary with the first of our James Tiptree Jr spoilerific episodes and stand in awe of her extraordinary life, and the hard work of her biographer, Julie Phillips.

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips

It’s Tiptreemonth, and this spoilerific is a bit different from our usual ones because we’re focussing on a biography – Julie Phillips’ biography of Alice James Raccoona Bradley Davies Tiptree Sheldon. Her life sounds a bit like a novel and it’s all the more amazing for being real…

Join us for our next episode when we talk about some of Tiptree’s short works, including

Houston, Houston, Do you Read? and

“Your Faces, O my Sisters! Your Faces filled of Light!”

Continue reading →

Robotech Rewatch 61: Underground Dirtbike Break Up Song

"Yes, Rand, the apocalypse is a bad time and place to confess your feelings. Always."

“Yes, Rand, the apocalypse is a bad time and place to confess your feelings. Always.”

Keep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

Episode 75 – Separate Ways

Having successfully ditched Annie with that random jungle tribe (and not asking nearly enough questions about why there would be a random jungle tribe in a community that’s only been post-apocalyptic quite recently), Scott and Rand and Rook and Lunk and Lancer and Marlene do their thing in an abandoned city – their thing being fighting Invid a lot, and complaining that they’ve almost run out of protoculture.

Marlene hasn’t contributed much lately, but she rides on the back of Lancer’s bike, presumably because he’s the character least likely to sexually harass or be mean to her.

In a skirmish, Lunk’s beloved jeep, which has until recently been able to do anything a lightweight motorbike can do, gets crushed in a rockfall. Twice.

Continue reading →

Uncanny Magazine Year Two: The Return of the Space Unicorn

dillon2THE KICKSTARTER IS LIVE! 40% already, and the first day isn’t over yet.

Three-time Hugo Award-winner Lynne M. Thomas (Apex Magazine, Chicks Dig Time Lords, Glitter & Mayhem) and three-time Hugo Award nominee Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Magazine, Queers Dig Time Lords, Glitter & Mayhem) are launching a Kickstarter for Year Two of their professional online SF/F magazine: Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Each issue contains new and classic speculative fiction, fiction podcasts, poetry, essays, art, and interviews. Uncanny Magazine is raising funds via Kickstarter to cover some of its operation and production costs for the second year, with an initial goal of $18,700. The Kickstarter launched on August 11, 2015, and run through September 10, 2015.


Uncanny features passionate SF/F fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, and provocative nonfiction, with a deep investment in our diverse SF/F culture. We publish intricate, experimental stories and poems with verve and vision from writers from every conceivable background. The Uncanny team believes there is room in the genre for stories that inspire the imagination, challenge beliefs, and make readers feel. With the hard work of the best staff and contributors in the world, Uncanny Magazine delivered everything as promised with the Year One Kickstarter. Uncanny has received outstanding reviews and community support.  Some pieces from our first issue in 2014 even garnered award nominations and a Year’s Best anthology inclusion. Though Uncanny has developed several additional funding streams to make the magazine sustainable, we’re not quite there yet. Which is why we’re running the Uncanny Magazine Year Two Kickstarter,” Lynne says.

Continue reading →