The Fourth Doctor & His Metal Pals

June is all about robots for me!

I’m one of the co-editors of Mother of Invention, an epic anthology of stories about gender dynamics and artificial intelligence — currently running a Kickstarter campaign.

We’re raising $20,000 to pay our authors and other upfront costs of this book, which will be published by Twelfth Planet Press alongside such previous fantastic publications as Kaleidoscope, and Defying Doomsday.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about fictional robots (and megalomaniacal talking super computers), and who actually designs those robots, in the stories. In Doctor Who as much as the rest of pop culture, there are a lot more Professor Kettlewells than there are Madame Lamias.

madame lamia

Doctor Who is full of vivid stories of women interacting with robots, cyborgs and AI gone bad — think of the little girl from Remembrance of the Daleks, or Tomb of the Cybermen which not only gives us the villainous Kaftan, but features the iconic moment of Victoria Waterfield placing a Cybermat in her handbag. In New Who (we’re still separating them, right? Even though “new” refers to a span of 12 years? Ok good), we had Miss Hartigan & the Cybermen, or the brilliant Oswin interacting close enough with the Daleks to hack their systems from the inside…

But it is rare we get to see Woman As Robotics Engineer, in Doctor Who as well as SF generally. Hence: Our Book. Do women build robots differently to men? Do they want something different from artificial intelligences than male creators do? What gender are computers anyway?

I wanted to make you a list of my favourite artificial intelligences in Doctor Who, and then I realised that most of them were from the Tom Baker era. Like, almost ALL of them. So I decided to lean into the nostalgia instead of, as I usually do, running away from it.

TANSY’S TEN FAVOURITE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCES:

The Tom Baker Edition.

In reverse order, for the sake of the dramah. Be aware that the text of many of these answers will be spoilery for the episode listed in the title so if you haven’t seen it, read at own risk!

Continue reading →

Streeeeeetch

I can’t keep up with all the milestones we’ve been hitting! Powering on towards 20K and beyond, with the Mother of Invention Kickstarter.

When we hit $18K we announced stretch goals, via this adorable Facebook vid featuring Alisa & Mack. #mackneedsrobots

But if you can’t see the vid, or you prefer your info in typed lettering, here they are:

$21,000 – Dr Frankentastic! Tansy reads Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an episodic podcast, starting in September 2017. The twist – she’ll be swapping pronouns to make this a female-driven narrative but changing no other words!

$23,000 – Essays Unbound! 3 artificial intelligence essays commissioned from exciting writers, exploring themes of gender & AI. We have Aliette De Bodard & K. Tempest Bradford signed up, with our 3rd essayist to be announced later.

$24,000 –
Enamel Planet! every backer at $25 or above receives a gorgeous Twelfth Planet Press logo enamel pin with their rewards.

$25,000 – WHO KNOWS? Watch this space for further stretch goal updates.

The super sad-face emoji news is that there are no more knitted robot or hand-stitched feminist bookmark levels. BUT — you can still get these astounding hand-made special rewards at the ridic extravagant Robot Uprising reward level, along with homemade gingerbread robots.

Check out our latest mini-MOI interview with one of our lovely authors, Eugene Myers! You can win his fabulous Norton-winning YA novel Fair Coin by commenting on the interview post.

To Infinity and Beyond! (Nearly there nearly there nearly there)

Sheep Might Fly: The Bromancers Episode 5

EPISODE FIVE: Whatever Happened To Miss Juniper Cresswell, gentlewoman and cellist?

Our favourite witchy rock band, Fake Geek Girl, are road-tripping to a magical music festival in a wi-fi free zone on the same weekend that the season finale of their favourite TV show drops. Can they avoid spoilers? Can Hebe, Holly, Juniper & Sage camp in tents for three days without murdering each other? Can coffee really fix EVERYTHING including missing band members, messy relationship drama and obsessive fan shenanigans?

Friendship is magic, but if you pile too much friendship on top of too much magic over one weekend, the results are bound to be explosive.

If you missed it:
EPISODE ONE: Hebe Plans For Failure
EPISODE TWO: Sage Says 10 out of 10, Would Break Up With Again
EPISODE THREE: True Bromance, Mei-Style
EPISODE FOUR: Hebe Is Unexpectedly House Proud

You can listen to the first two Belladonna University stories, Fake Geek Girl & Unmagical Boy Story, right here on Sheep Might Fly.

Fake Geek Girl (Belladonna University #1) is also available as a free ebook.
Unmagical Boy Story (Belladonna University #2) is available for sale from Kindle, Kobo, iBooks & more.

Thanks for listening to Sheep Might Fly. You can sign up to my author newsletter for updates, follow me on Twitter at @tansyrr or @sheepmightfly, find me on Facebook at TansyRRBooks, and if you like this podcast consider supporting me at Patreon where you can receive all kinds of cool rewards and exclusive stories for a small monthly pledge.

CHECK OUT MOTHER OF INVENTION, CROWDFUNDING NOW ON KICKSTARTER!

See you next week!

Week 2! Post-Continuum.

So, I’m wrecked, basically. Between travel, a long weekend of intense socialising, my current work commitments and oh yes, my daily radiotherapy appointment, I don’t have a spare second to breathe, let alone do my nails.

Also, every spare minute is being siphoned into Kickstarter promotion, so there’s that.

Look, we made it to $12,000 before the end of Week 2! And $130 backers! Why yes, I have created adorable robot icons for many upcoming milestones!!!
Storify of my recent Twitter thread about how awesome our authors are — look at me, developing new skillz!

Continue reading →

Justice League Europe #4: Bialya Burning (July 1989)

THE PACKAGING: Justice League International trade Vol Five

THE CREATIVE TEAM: Keith Giffen (Plot & Breakdowns), J.M. DeMatteis (Script), Bart Sears (Pencils), Pablo Marcos (Inks), Gene D’Angelo (Colors), Andy Helfer (Editor)

CROSSOVER ALERT: Weirdly, both JLA & JLE are dealing with Queen Bee plots right now, but in different ways — there are references to the current “brainwashed Beetle” storyline. Also several references to some kind of revelation about Captain Atom spying on all of them for the government which I assume came out in his comic, which featured a lot of guest appearances by Beetle, Booster and other Justice League characters during this era.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ROLL CALL: Captain Atom, Power Girl, Metamorpho, the Flash (Wally West), Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny), Animal Man, Rocket Red (Dmitri Pushkin), with Catherine Cobert and Sue Dibny in civilian support. [Ralph and Sue don’t really contribute in this one]

GUEST STARS: Queen Bee, Jack O’Lantern, J’onn J’onzz Continue reading →

Galactic Suburbia Show Notes: Live from Continuum 13!

In which we Continuum all the Continuum! Our live podcast, recorded on the afternoon of June 11 2016, with us still buzzing, inspired and surrounded by cake. Alex has a travel announcement. Alisa is knitting.

Get the episode now!

Continuum 13! We were there!

Seanan McGuire’s Guest of Honour Hour

Likhain’s GOH speech on YouTube & written version. (we hadn’t seen this when we recorded so don’t mention it in the episode but PLEASE read/watch it.

Rivqa Rafael’s Continuum tweets Storified.

Mother of Invention: our campaign is past $11,000 and still going!

CULTURE CONSUMED:

Alisa: Hidden Figures; The Happy Place; Disney on Ice: Frozen

Tansy: Heathers: The Musical/Heathers, Wonder Woman

Alex: Wonder Woman; Hugo reading: Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee; All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders; That Game We Played During the War, Carrie Vaughn;

Q&A: we answer your questions & take on your conversation topics. Thanks SO MUCH to our darling audience, who filled our seats, howled when we needed you to, came up with questions, and stayed blissfully quiet the rest of the time. If you hear a moment of odd, no-context-provided hilarity, just assume something funny has happened involving one of the Galactic Suburbia Gentleman’s Auxilary, or that someone is gesturing with cake.

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon – which now includes access to the ever so exclusive GS Slack – and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Sheep Might Fly: The Bromancers Part 4

EPISODE FOUR: Hebe Is Unexpectedly House Proud

Our favourite witchy rock band, Fake Geek Girl, are road-tripping to a magical music festival in a wi-fi free zone on the same weekend that the season finale of their favourite TV show drops. Can they avoid spoilers? Can Hebe, Holly, Juniper & Sage camp in tents for three days without murdering each other? Can coffee really fix EVERYTHING including missing band members, messy relationship drama and obsessive fan shenanigans?

Friendship is magic, but if you pile too much friendship on top of too much magic over one weekend, the results are bound to be explosive.

If you missed it:
EPISODE ONE: Hebe Plans For Failure
EPISODE TWO: Sage Says 10 out of 10, Would Break Up With Again
EPISODE THREE: True Bromance, Mei-Style

You can listen to the first two Belladonna University stories, Fake Geek Girl & Unmagical Boy Story, right here on Sheep Might Fly.

Fake Geek Girl (Belladonna University #1) is also available as a free ebook.
Unmagical Boy Story (Belladonna University #2) is available for sale from Kindle, Kobo, iBooks & more.

Thanks for listening to Sheep Might Fly. You can sign up to my author newsletter for updates, follow me on Twitter at @tansyrr or @sheepmightfly, find me on Facebook at TansyRRBooks, and if you like this podcast consider supporting me at Patreon where you can receive all kinds of cool rewards and exclusive stories for a small monthly pledge.

CHECK OUT MOTHER OF INVENTION, CROWDFUNDING NOW ON KICKSTARTER!

See you next week!

Justice League America #28: A Date With Density (July 1989)

THE PACKAGING: JLI trade vol 4

THE CREATIVE TEAM: Keith Giffen (Plot & Breakdowns), J.M. DeMatteis (Script), Ty Templeton & Mike McKone (Pencils), Joe Rubenstein (Inks), Gene D’Angelo (Colors), Andy Helfer (Editor) Kevin Dooley (Assistant Editor)

JUSTICE LEAGUE ROLL CALL: Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Oberon

GUEST STARS: Big Barda, Black Hand

THE STORY: Guy Gardner, as if he has something to prove after his moments of half-decency over the last few issues, challenges Ice to look beneath the surface and get to know him as a person and go on a real date with him. She agrees, still under the illusion that “Nice Guy” from his brain-damaged era couldn’t have come out of nowhere. (Oh, sweetie) Continue reading →

Mother of Invention Week 1

We’re on Day 6 of our Kickstarter month and we have nearly half our funding! Not only that, but Kickstarter picked us out as one of their “Projects We Love.”

Check out this post by one of our authors-to-be, Cat Sparks, with an opportunity for Australians to win a copy of her new novel, Lotus Blue — but only if you back us first!

Thanks so much to everyone who supported us early, and has continued to signal-boost via Twitter, Facebook or your social media platform of choice. We couldn’t do this without you.

(Week 2 will involve public appearances at Continuum!! Stay tuned.)

Sheep Might Fly: The Bromancers Part 3

EPISODE 3: True Bromance, Mei-Style

Our favourite witchy rock band, Fake Geek Girl, are road-tripping to a magical music festival in a wi-fi free zone on the same weekend that the season finale of their favourite TV show drops. Can they avoid spoilers? Can Hebe, Holly, Juniper & Sage camp in tents for three days without murdering each other? Can coffee really fix EVERYTHING including missing band members, messy relationship drama and obsessive fan shenanigans?

Friendship is magic, but if you pile too much friendship on top of too much magic over one weekend, the results are bound to be explosive.

If you missed it:
EPISODE ONE: Hebe Plans For Failure
EPISODE TWO: Sage Says 10 out of 10, Would Break Up With Again

You can listen to the first two Belladonna University stories, Fake Geek Girl & Unmagical Boy Story, right here on Sheep Might Fly.

Fake Geek Girl (Belladonna University #1) is also available as a free ebook.
Unmagical Boy Story (Belladonna University #2) is available for sale from Kindle, Kobo, iBooks & more.

Thanks for listening to Sheep Might Fly. You can sign up to my author newsletter for updates, follow me on Twitter at @tansyrr or @sheepmightfly, find me on Facebook at TansyRRBooks, and if you like this podcast consider supporting me at Patreon where you can receive all kinds of cool rewards and exclusive stories for a small monthly pledge.

CHECK OUT MOTHER OF INVENTION, CROWDFUNDING NOW ON KICKSTARTER!

See you next week!