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Tansy Rayner Roberts

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!

veronica-mars-dick-weevil-logan-wallace-piz-showing-how-reunions-end-png

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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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Cranky Ladies, One Last Push

March 31st, 2014

Here we are on the final run! With sixteen hours to go, we have funded our project by 130%, not to mention the Arts Tasmania grant that we also receive for reaching our funding goal.

Tehani and I have been blown away by the wonderful support so many of you (just short of 200!) have shown for our book idea that just kept getting bigger and bigger. It’s nothing short of inspiring to have so many people eagerly awaiting the anthology, and to have so many more gearing up to create something wonderful for it.

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Friday Links will Delete You

March 28th, 2014

Elite-Elite-Cybermen-TShirtThis is my favourite link of the week, for entirely selfish reasons: Jason Sanford is reading the new issue of the SFWA Bulletin and rather enjoying it.

“This is what we’ve all been wanting from SFWA—a member magazine which actually provides useful information to members.”

Still talking about my crazy projects, Cranky Ladies of History got some serious National press time this week, with an article in the Age as well as a bunch of other newspapers across the country, in print and online. It brought in way fewer pledges than did the ABC article a couple of weeks ago, but hey. We’ve funded, so there’s nothing but smiles over here. (Night Terrace on Kickstarter funded too! Hooray for crowdfunding!)

Over at the Verity Podcast, the hosts who are not me (AGAIN, sob!) discuss the Cybermen as quintessential Doctor Who villains. It’s a great ep, with every era mulled over and defended/championed by one or other of the Verities. Just when I was getting cross none of them had mentioned The Invasion, in came Liz on her white charger to remind everyone what we were missing. I also enjoyed Lynne championing Silver Nemesis, Erika squeeing about The Tenth Planet, and Deb being quite valiant about the New Who Cybermen. Liz then wrote up an almost completely wrong (but occasionally right) list of the best Cybermen stories in order.

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Galactic Suburbia 96

March 24th, 2014

In which we announce the 2013 Galactic Suburbia Award for activism and/or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction.

You can download the episode here, stream it direct from the computer, or pop over to iTunes.

[If you want to listen unspoilt to the episode discussing shortlist and winners of the GS Award, listen Noooooow without reading the rest of the show notes. Don't even glance at them! Move along, nothing to see here]

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