Tansy Rayner Roberts

Snapshot: Ben Peek

July 31st, 2014

godlessBen Peek is the author of Black Sheep, Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, Above/Below, Dead Americans and Other Stories, and The Godless. He can be found at www.theurbansprawlproject.com and @nosubstance on twitter.

1. Your epic fantasy novel The Godless will shortly be released from Tor. Given that I completely stuffed up the details last time I tried to describe it publicly, can you tell us about your book and what you are trying to achieve with this series?


Nah, you didn’t do too bad a job, but either way, here it is: The Godless is the first novel in the Children Trilogy, my ensemble cast fantasy set in a world where the bodies of gods lie across the ground, in the ocean, and orbiting around the planet. They are both dead and dying, and their divine essence is bleeding into the world, infecting men and women. In some parts of the world, this is known as a curse. In the part of the world Ayae lives in, it is known as a curse, and unfortunately for her, she is going to find out exactly what that means as an army marches up the mountain she lives on. For Bueralan, a saboteur, he has taken on a job to find out what the army marching on Mireea want, and how to stop them. Unfortunately for him and his band of mercenaries known as Dark, they are worn out, emotionally exhausted from their last job, and they should have stayed home.

And then there is Zaifyr, for who the less is said about, the better, really.

The series is a kind of love letter to my teenage years, where I lived on a steady diet of fantasy novels, but written by my adult self, who perhaps would have very little to do with the person I was, then (which, really, is what most of us think, I assume). The adult me took a much more measured view to the world building, and began it from an ideological point of view. When I say that, I don’t mean the bit about the gods being dead, but I mean the world beyond that, the interactions of men and women, and race. A lot of fantasy is, either through design or not, conservative. Monarchist, patriarchial societies filtered through psuedo christian values. Not all of it, mind you, and sometimes that’s the exact point – but in a genre where dragons can appear, personal hygiene is of a higher standard than usual, and people kill without any real pause, I don’t really see much of a point to adhering to that conservative side. Which is a long way round of saying I approached my world building from a point of equality in terms of race and sex and sexuality, and I have used that as the base from which I have grown everything in the book, both in terms of basic prose, and in terms of plot, themes, etc.

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Musketeer Space Part 11: The Friand of Aramis, the Espresso of Athos, and the Convenient Boyfriend of Porthos.

July 30th, 2014

Fleur de lis littleMusketeer Day again! For those of you who listened to the SF Signal podcast on space opera, we had a discussion on how space opera needed more bagels – and I claimed that mine, at least, had friands.

Friand, by the way, is a terrible word to try to type if you have any kind of predictive text activated.

But they taste good.

This is, by the way, my favourite chapter title so far in the Musketeer Space project. It’s going to be hard to top. This is also a month with five Wednesdays in it, which means I was totally entitled to skip a week and take a small Musketeer holiday. But I didn’t, because I <3 you all.

50 Patrons! And only $8 away from that tantalising Christmas festive story that I am dying to write. I accidentally started plotting it the other day. Had to sit on my hands to stop myself typing…

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 10
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan is a Mecha cadet who longs to be a real Musketeer like her friends Athos, Aramis and Porthos. Dana’s landlady Madame Su has begged her to find her abducted husband, Conrad, who works for Prince Alek of Auster, consort to the Regent. Intrigue is afoot, involving an old scandal, zero gravity sports, the Duchess of Buckingham, and the sinister Captain Rosnay Cho. It’s really getting quite complicated now, isn’t it?



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Snapshot: Kim Wilkins

July 28th, 2014

KIM WILKINS AUTHOR PHOTOKim Wilkins was born in London and grew up the seaside north of Brisbane. She has degrees in literature and creative writing including a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland where she also serves on faculty as a senior lecturer. 2014 will see the release of her 25th and 26th full-length work of fiction. She is published in 17 countries and under her pseudonym Kimberley Freeman has been a bestseller in Germany and the United States.

1. Daughters of the Storm is due out from Harlequin in November – a big historical fantasy novel under the Kim Wilkins byline. What excites you most about this release?

What excites me the most is that this is going to be my first major publisher release under my own name since 2005 (almost 10 years). I have loved being Kimberley Freeman and writing under that name has given me opportunities and successes that I couldn’t have imagined. But fantasy has always been closest to my heart. I’ve been very lucky to do a wonderful collection with a small press, and write a few short pieces, but the big fat fantasy novel that reaches a wider audience has been my unfulfilled dream for many years. Also I fucking love it. It’s easily the best thing that I’ve ever written. Truth.

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Galactic Suburbia 105 Show Notes

July 27th, 2014

drowned vanilla coverThis episode of Galactic Suburbia is brought to you by the flavour vanilla and the colour of fairytales. You can download or stream the new episode here or via iTunes


Drowned Vanilla Cover reveal – order the book at the publisher’s site.

Tansy’s Drowned Vanilla Pinterest board

Wiscon Update

Aussie Spec Fic Snapshot is on again.

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Announcing the Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2014

July 27th, 2014

Snapshot has taken place four times in the past 10 years. In 2005, Ben Peek spent a frantic week interviewing 43 people in the Australian spec fic scene, and since then, it’s grown every time, now taking a team of interviewers working together to accomplish!

SnaphotLogo2014-300x287In the lead up to Worldcon in London, we will be blogging interviews for Snapshot 2014, conducted by Tsana Dolichva, Nick Evans, Stephanie Gunn, Kathryn Linge, Elanor Matton-Johnson, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Jason Nahrung, Ben Payne, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs, Tehani Wessely and Sean Wright.

Last time we covered nearly 160 members of the Australian speculative fiction community with the Snapshot – can we top that this year?

To read the interviews hot off the press, check these blogs daily from July 28 to August 10, 2014, or look for the round up on SF Signal when it’s all done:

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 9 – It’s Not Easy Being Vermilion

July 26th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

i09 jumped on the Robotech train this week, with a great piece looking at five failed attempts to produce a sequel to the popular cartoon. (I’m still bitter about The Sentinels not making a go of it) Rather cruelly, i09 have included the currently Kickstarting project for Robotech Academy in their list of ‘failures’ when it’s still 14 days away from being finished – it looks awesomesauce and I have totally backed it, so there!

It’s not over till it’s over, cadets!

Episode 10 – Blind Game

Breetai attempts to get sensible information out of the three bungling spies: Konda, Bron and Rico, but they are babbling utter nonsense about half naked ladies, secret weapons and designer frocks, and the Zentraedi command can’t make head nor tail of it.

Their footage, sadly, was destroyed in that sortie with Rick, so Breetai can only assume that they’re suffering from space hallucinations. Exedore suggests that taking a Micronian alive is the best way to get further intelligence – and adds privately to Breetai that it might be time to stop messing around and get more aggressive with the enemy, for the sake of morale.

“I like nothing better than aggression. Exedore, I think we had better discuss this matter further in my quarters.”
Breetai, throwing down to the slash fandom.

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Friday Links is Watching July Disappear into the Distance

July 25th, 2014

batgirlnewHey July! You and I had a lot of stuff to get done, didn’t we? How are we going with that, then? July? JULY DON’T LEAVE ME, IT’S TOO SOON!

Ahem. It’s been a busy month. Yesterday was Alexandre Dumas’ birthday, and I spent a good chunk of it writing 1000 words of sports commentary for an imaginary sport I made up for Musketeer Space. It allowed me to channel some deeply held misery that has been lurking in my heart since Cesc Fabregas signed with Chelsea. LET US NEVER SPEAK OF IT. Part of the commentary will appear in Chapter 16 (yes I’m that far ahead!), and the rest will be published in a future issue of the Musketeer Space newsletter of extra content that I send out for Patreon supporters of the $3 per month level and above.

In the mean time, links! I haven’t been as linky lately, and I’m sorry for those of you who miss it as a regular feature of the blog. It may be a phase. Anyway, I have several weeks to catch up on, so here we go!

I appeared on the SF Signal podcast talking about Space Opera – it was super fun!

An interesting post was doing the rounds on my various social media spots today, explaining exactly why Australia Post is suffering so badly at a time when Australians are using online shopping so much more than ever before (and the effect this is having on our book industry).

I’m a bit excited about the upcoming Batgirl relaunch, mostly because it looks like DC are finally trying to aim the comic at young women, and moving it away from the grimdark sensibility that is an unfortunate factor in ALL Bat-related books these days. But no one is more excited about Batgirl’s cool new outfit than Supergirl!

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Musketeer Space Part 10: The Weight of the Solar System

July 23rd, 2014

Fleur de lis littleIt’s Musketeer day! I love Musketeer day. This chapter has Dana doing Covert Operations, Athos doing Backstory, and Why TeamJoust Is An Awesome Sport. Also, Grimaud! I am a bit enamoured of Grimaud.

This week’s news includes the third of my BBC Musketeers reviews for Musketeer Media Monday: It’s Raining Musketeers is a super spoilery look at the last three episodes of the show.

I also wanted to give a shout out to this great post at overtheeffingrainbow.co.uk – is that a great web address or what? Lisa fangirls over both the BBC Musketeer series AND Musketeer Space, with a bonus Kermitflail gif for emphasis, which made me grin all over my face. I’m very glad when any reader tells me they are enjoying this story – which does feel like something of a departure from my usual fiction – but I am especially gleeful when someone who deeply loves the original novel likes what I’m doing. Because, you know. Liberties Are Being Taken.

Though every time I go back to the original material, I take comfort in the fact that my own banterific, comedic take on the story isn’t remotely out of place. Dumas was a comedy genius, with swords and hats. His Athos, while every bit as angsty and tormented as you might expect, also gets some of the funniest dialogue.

So without further ado…

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 9
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan came to Paris Satellite to become a Musketeer pilot, and has ended up as a Mecha cadet instead. At least she has three Musketeers as her new best friends – and, thanks to her new landlady, a sinister plot to uncover.



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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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