Tansy Rayner Roberts

Roman Snark and Other Bedtime Stories

July 22nd, 2014

50romanNew book out! Tehani at Fablecroft is releasing a couple of e-volumes of my collected essays from this very blog. First up is 50 Roman Mistresses, based on a fun retelling of history I did first for Women’s History Month some years ago, and then more recently when I did a “Rock the Romanpunk” blog carnival in honour of my Love and Romanpunk collection.

50 Roman Mistresses is not a history book so much as me telling you a bedtime story based loosely on my PhD thesis – on Good Girls and Wicked Women of Roman history, on the use of the title Augusta, on coins and statues and sex scandals and Vestal Virgins.

Here are fifty extraordinary women of Ancient Rome—virtuous wives and adulterous vixens, abductees and viragos, imperial mothers and mortals who became goddesses, all taking their place in history.

Reworked for publication, this is a novella-length work of pure historical snark that pretty much shows you what it’s like inside my head.

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It’s Raining Musketeers – the BBC Musketeer Edition Part III (2014)

July 21st, 2014

The MusketeersThis is the last special BBC edition of Musketeer Media Monday for July – three for the price of one! You can read my previous reviews of this series here:

Looks Good in Leather (the BBC Musketeer Edition Part I)

You Can Leave Your Hat On (the BBC Musketeer Edition Part II)

And you might also like to check out my other Musketeer Media Monday posts – Musketeers Are All For Love (1993) and Musketeers in an Exciting Adventure with Airships (2011).

The last three episodes of the season have a lot of drama and angst, so I need to start off by showing you this vid about Tom Burke, and his World Cup seat. Whenever Athos gets too miserable or drunk or overwhelmed with tragic backstory, all you have to do is remember that he has Roger. They’re gonna be okay.

BIG SPOILERS after this section, for the final run of the season, honestly, don’t read this at all. Just go watch them. They’re really good. There are NARRATIVE SURPRISES in each episode that are best enjoyed as the directors, writers and Roger the horse intended.

I did warn you.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 8 – Beauty Queens and Battloids

July 19th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages! The message that this episode is trying to convey is mostly that it’s not a good thing to screen a big distracting beauty pageant during a major military operation, especially if all your pilots and air traffic controllers have the ability to change to the ‘beauty pageant’ channel during combat.

I really wish I was kidding.

This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, and especially to all 47 of my paid patrons. You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.

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Musketeer Space Part 9: Madame Su’s Bed and Board

July 16th, 2014

Fleur de lis littleIt’s Musketeer day again! And it’s exciting because this week, we have plot, so much plot. It’s kicking off good and proper now.

I guested this week on the SF Signal podcast, talking about space opera, why it’s awesome, and talked a little bit about this project too, though not as much as I talked about Saga and Robotech. It was a great group discussion and I hope many of you who have followed me back and forth between Verity and Galactic Suburbia hop over there to check it out.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to catch up on my Musketeer Media Monday posts for the month, there are two reviews of the 2014 BBC Musketeers series up: Looks Good in Leather and You Can Leave Your Hat On. They are quite spoilery but also talk a lot about hats, which I feel is important in a Musketeer review.

But on to the space opera version – which, I will admit, suffers from an extreme lack of hats. I might have to do something about that…

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 8
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana wants to be a Musketeer pilot, but she’s stuck in the Mecha Squad. Thanks to her Musketeer friends, Athos, Aramis and Porthos, she’s doing okay, but that doesn’t mean she has any forgiving thoughts towards the mysterious pilot Ro who screwed her over before she even got to Paris Satellite.



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Watching New Who: The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon

July 15th, 2014

We are incredibly honoured to have tied for the William Atheling Jr Award, alongside Galactic Suburbia. Thank you to everyone who voted for us, and to all our readers for your support and for spreading the word. We also want to thank Lynne Thomas, Jo Anderton and Kathleen Jennings for their guest contributions. Congratulations to not only Galactic Suburbia on their well deserved win, but all the amazing nominees – you are producing some wonderful writing! We are looking forward to writing many more reviews about the show we love, and hopefully catching up with the new season soon.

David is coming to New Who for the first time, having loved Classic Who as a kid. Tehani is a recent convert, and ploughed through Seasons 1 to 6 (so far) in just a few weeks after becoming addicted thanks to Matt Smith – she’s rewatching to keep up with David! Tansy is the expert in the team, with a history in Doctor Who fandom that goes WAY back, and a passion for Doctor Who that inspires us all.

We are working our way through New Who, using season openers and closers, and Hugo shortlisted episodes, and sometimes a couple of extra episodes we love as our blogging points. Just for fun!


“The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon”

Series 6, Episodes 1 and 2
The Doctor – Matt Smith
Amy Pond – Karen Gillan
Rory Williams – Arthur Darvill
River Song – Alex Kingston
Canton Everett Delaware III – Mark Sheppard
President Richard Nixon – Stuart Milligan

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You Can Leave Your Hat On: the BBC Musketeer Edition Part II

July 14th, 2014

There are going to be three of these now. I’m not sorry.

This is an extra special Musketeer Media Monday month – I’m reviewing the whole Season 1 of The Musketeers (2014) across three blog posts. Check out Part I: Looks Good in Leather.

bbc-three-musketeers-2014promoI’ve come to the conclusion that the BBC series The Musketeers (2014) is largely about the hats. I’m actually fighting the urge to write Musketeer hat fanfic right now.

Seriously, the hats are important. They use their hats as umbrellas, when it rains on them. It rains on them a lot. I don’t know if that’s a Prague thing or if the directors are all very enthusiastic about wet Musketeers.

Each of the Musketeers has a special relationship with his hat. Athos uses his largely for slouching and hiding his feelings, and on one very memorable occasion, faked his own death for half an episode simply by pushing his hat a little further down his face. Aramis’ hat has a long enough brim that he regularly uses it to keep smoke and powder out of his eyes when shooting his musket. Porthos’ hat is larger and fancier than anyone else’s, just like his pretty armour.

D’Artagnan has no hat. That pretty much sums up his relationship to the rest of the Musketeers. He wants to be them, because they are older and better at everything, and they all have really great hats. He is occasionally allowed to borrow hats for comedy and espionage purposes, but otherwise… no hats for you, kid!

Sometimes, the hats are metaphorical.

There are spoilers in these episode reviews. The better the episode, the more spoilery I get. Read with caution, or just watch the show already.

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Galactic Suburbia 104 Show Notes

July 14th, 2014

You can download or stream the new episode here.

In which we gaze into the World of the Future with a double dose of Culture Consumed and Culture Yet To Consume.

Culture We Are Looking Forward To

Alex: new James SA Corey; Isobelle Carmody’s last Obernewtyn novel; every TPP; Guardians of the Galaxy; Snowpiercer; Saga.

Tansy: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison; Kameron Hurley, The Mirror Empire; Ben Peek, The Godless; Sailor Moon

Alisa: Extant

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 7: Dating in Deep Space

July 12th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

I’m enjoying the rewatch so far, not least because Raeli (Ms9.5) is enjoying it along with me. Jem (Ms4.11) is far less convinced, as the aliens scare her which necessitates a regular application of a blankie to the head. She starts perking up with interest once the lady aliens arrive, though…

However, this is not that day!

I’m doing my best to restrain the Minmei bashing (which is an essential aspect of Robotech fandom) because my daughters both like and identify with her. Also, it has to be said, she’s not the only female character who is regularly portrayed as a ditz… and let’s not even get started on the ridiculous inner turmoils of Rick Hunter, Drama Queen.

Minmei’s not the only airhead at this party, is perhaps my point. Though she’s the only one who has age as an excuse… that’s right, it’s birthday party time!

This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks everyone for your support!

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Verity! Extra! – Doctor in a Strange Land

July 10th, 2014

VerityExtraDrStrangeLand-210This week’s Extra! features crossover madness! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy, as we muse over what it would be like to plop the Doctor into other fictional worlds. What makes a good crossover? Which Verity isn’t really comfortable with crossovers? Who coins the term “Capaldi-flicted”? And who observes that Capaldi “gives good cape”? Listen and see!

Then let us know in the comments what fictional worlds you’d like to see the Doctor (and/or his companions) visit. Inquiring Verities want to know!

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Musketeer Space Part 8: The Nesting Habits of Musketeers

July 9th, 2014

Fleur de lis little

Wednesday is Musketeer Space day! It’s the school holidays here, and I’ve just finished editing a book, so hopefully lots of musketeer writing this week. Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments about Look Good in Leather, the first of my Musketeer Media Monday reviews of the BBC Musketeer series. I’ve been acquiring a whole bunch of other adaptations to review including the Mickey/Goofy one from Disney, the one with Tim Roth, and one that appears to be a gender-swapped Hong Kong action movie. So there’s THAT to look forward to…

I’m SO CLOSE now to the next milestone on Patreon, and really hope we hit that $200 level because I am storing up all kinds of brilliant ideas for a Christmas story. Hello to all new subscribers! Thanks for joining the party.

This chapter is a bit different – the last bit of calm set up and worldbuilding before the first wave of crazy plot antics begins. It’s going to be a fun month!

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 7
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan came to Paris Satellite to become a Musketeer pilot – but closest she got was befriending three of them. The Regent was pleased with her valiant contribution to drunken bar brawls, and rewarded her with a job – but not the job she wants.


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