Tansy Rayner Roberts

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 30 – Dating Tips for the Apocalypse

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

rainyRobotech will be Rewatched after these messages.

This one is all about the Rick and Lisa and Minmei thing. Oh, the angst. They are all so bad at this, possibly because they’ve been fighting a war instead of going to college, sleeping with all the wrong people, and building social skills.

But even in the apocalypse, there’s always someone worse off than yourself.

Episode 33 – A Rainy Night

The narrator informs us that the love triangle between Rick, Minmei and Lisa has reached a critical impasse, despite the fact that this has been obvious to everyone else for MONTHS.

Claudia plays the role of sassy friend, giving a heartbroken Lisa some tea and the helpful advice that maybe she should mention to Rick how she feels about him.

As we all know, telepathy is not his strong suit. Sadly, conversations about feelings are also not his strong suit.


Musketeers in Technicolor (1948)

Monday, December 15th, 2014

This is my tenth Musketeer Media Monday post!

SPOILER WARNING: As with Musketeers Break My Heart Seventies Style, The Three Musketeers (1948) is a surprisingly comprehensive adaptation of the original novel, so if you’re enjoying reading Musketeer Space without knowing the narrative beats of the book, this might reveal some revealy things. Also, this essay spoils the hell out of the movie, but that’s what Musketeer Media Monday is all about!

Poster - Three Musketeers, The (1948)_02Did you know there was a Technicolor Three Musketeers movie starring Lana Turner and Gene Kelly, with Angela Lansbury and Vincent Price and a bunch of other fairly famous people of the era?


The first thing you need to know about this film, after its mere existence, is that Gene Kelly, in his late thirties, is far too old to play D’Artagnan.

The second thing you need to know is that his performance is basically everything that Kathy Seldon ever said about Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain.

The third thing you need to know is that this D’Artagnan has a hat, though it’s an odd sort of beret with a feather in it.


ROBOTECH REWATCH 29 – Azonia is a Sex Kitten Now

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

They’re using the word ‘protoculture’ a lot these days. Anyone would think that’s going to turn out to be important. Stay tuned.

This is just embarrassing for everyone, Azonia.

This is just embarrassing for everyone, Azonia.

31 – Khyron’s Revenge

The Earth Forces have scored themselves a Robotech Factory, which means they should be able to build themselves a bunch of Battlepods, plus they have an excuse to talk about protoculture around the protoculture water cooler when not making things out of protoculture because protoculture.

Sadly the factory was damaged in the fight, so that was a slight waste of everyone’s time.

Turns out the Robotech Masters, light years away, have co-workers to argue with. These co-workers are also a matching trio, with different shades of hair, and as my daughter points out, they look a bit like David Bowie (AKA androgynous and dressed like glam rockers). They still aren’t totally relevant to the main plot, but maybe someday.

Back on Earth, Rick is called to deal with a disturbance at New Detroit City, where they find rebel Zentraedi stealing a protoculture chamber – i.e. a sizing chamber, the essential tool that Khyron needs to keep his people happy, and whatever size they like.

Rick prevents the theft with a side order of judginess at their poor life choices.

Azonia and Khyron chew out the officer who failed to prevent the theft. Weirdly, close contact with Khyron has turned her into a flirtatious sex kitten, which he finds vaguely embarrassing (you’re not the only one, Khyron) and is serving as his second-in-command despite the fact that I’m pretty sure she outranked him before.


Friday Links is Kissing Under the Mistletoe

Friday, December 12th, 2014

sharkIt’s been a while since I’ve done one of these! That means some of the links aren’t terribly recent but they are all things that caught my attention.

No Award has put up their Holiday Gift Giving Guide. It involves sharks, as well as a great range of mostly Australian themed awesomeness.

The Female Factory has just been released! This boutique collection by Angela Slatter and Lisa Hannett is Vol 11 of the epic Twelve Planets series.

A great essay at the Mary Sue on why the New 52 reboot of Wonder Woman’s origin is not the one that should be used for the DC Movieverse.

Daniel José Older at the Guardian: Move over HP Lovecraft, fantasy writers of colour are coming through


ROBOTECH REWATCH 28: Love is a Weapon (featuring: Babies are Adorable)

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Robotech will be Rewatched After These Messages

A couple of episodes ago, I mentioned that I remembered the novelisation of Robotech by Jack McKinney as adding a sexual aspect to Rick and Lisa’s relationship during this time – and no, I wasn’t imagining it, thanks Chip for confirming that I was right! (of course I could have gone and just taken the books off the shelf but you know, that requires effort)

Unfortunately, if you do take the reading that Rick and Lisa are currently sleeping together but not actually talking, dating and he’s still acting all lovesick about Minmei then.. yeah, it makes him look like even more of a jerk than usual and her look like a complete doormat. So possibly not recommended.

Miriya_VivaEpisode 30 – Viva Miriya

So what have Max and Miriya been up to apart from having their adorable baby? Turns out they’re both still working as pilots, in this case on a mission under the command of Breetai.

The mission also includes Lisa, Claudia, Exedore and Rick, who don’t know why they’re here when they arrive.

Breetai, who is still giant-sized, is an awkward but affable host as he welcomes them to his old ship. They still don’t know why they’re here – and it turns out that Breetai has requested not only Max and Miriya, but their baby Dana.

Wonder what the occupational health and safety forms for THAT look like.


What I Did in November

Monday, December 1st, 2014


Musketeer Space Updates:
25 – Love Letter to Absent Friends
26 – Rendezvous at the Fountain of Tranquility
27 – Paying for Porthos
28 – For Love of Aramis

Robotech Rewatch Updates:
23: Fastest Wedding Plot Twist Ever
24: Provocative Pairing Rituals
25: Ships Fall, Everyone Dies
26: Whole New World
27: Who the Hell Are The Robotech Masters?

Musketeer Media Monday: Musketeers Break My Heart Seventies Style (1974)

“Here is a thing that many people who only know the characters from modern movies do not know about book canon D’Artagnan: he’s a bit slutty.”

Watching New Who: The Doctor’s Wife

“That blew my mind when I saw this episode – it’s pretty rare to watch a Doctor Who story that completely changes the way you view the stories that came before it, all the way back to 1963.”

Skiffy and Fanty: Squeeing about Superheroines

“There’s a lot to critique about the role of women in superhero comics and associated media — and I spend a lot of time and energy doing exactly that. But today, I’m here to talk about a bunch of reasons to be super excited about female superheroes, and what’s being written, drawn and performed either right now or in the future.”

Galactic Suburbia:
Episode 110: In which culture, we consume it.
Episode 111: In which we try to fix the world and don’t even fix ourselves, but progress is being made (we hope)

Episode 59 - Dark Waterdeep
Episode 61 – Permission to Squeeeeeee! (About Series 8]
Verity! Extra! – Pleasant, Unpusillanimous Peri [interview with Nicola Bryant, w/ Big Finish recs from me & Liz]

UPDATE: Forgot to add this fabulous review on Kirkus of Love and Romanpunk.

ROBOTECH REWATCH 27: Who the Hell Are The Robotech Masters?

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

ep30_robotech_masters_resurrect_zorRobotech will be rewatched after these messages.

Minmei is sad, the Zentraedi are cranky and oh look, mysterious clones in another galaxy! I wonder if they’ll turn out to be significant at all?

Episode 29 – The Robotech Masters

Unexpected Robotech Masters! Three mysterious men talking about Zor and the Invid suddenly turn up, talking about the missing protoculture factory and the secrets of Robotech. To some extent, they are explaining the plot so far, as far as what’s been going on with the humans and the Zentraedi, though it’s mostly lucky guesswork on their part.

They seem quite skeptical that humans might have been able to destroy Dolza’s fleet because, 1 ship against 4 million? So unlikely, though it does lead to the charming quote:

“The destruction of 4 million Robotech ships doesn’t happen every day…”


ROBOTECH REWATCH 26: Whole New World

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Picture 2Robotech Will Be Rewatched After These Messages.

We’ve entered a new phase of the story – and the one that I really think of as mine. I was a sporadic watcher of Robotech when I first discovered the show. Hey, remember the days when if you missed an episode you couldn’t just jump online for a catchup? It was years before I saw a lot of the early parts of the saga. But the New New Macross era (no it’s not called that) marks the stage where I was watching religiously and, let’s face it, obsessively.

Later when I got into the novelisations, the first one I owned was a collection of books 4, 5 and 6, which is the second half of the Macross-Rick-Lisa-Minmei story, and gave me an even more intense familiarity with these particular scenes and storylines.

So it’s this world-weary Lisa and shellshocked Rick who first made a strong impression on me, not to mention drunk and abusive Kyle, and the older, sadder version of Minmei.

Jack McKinney’s novelisations, by the way, are some of my favourite space opera novels of all time. They’re based on a cartoon, and yet he invests them with a great deal of gravitas, building up the storylines into something that feels tailored for an adult audience. I particularly love the chapter headings which are matched with snippets from “historical” documents, giving a larger sense of the history that these characters are making, and the story still to come. This includes academic texts, pop culture essays, and snippets from Lisa’s memoir.

The fact that she’s gonna be an Admiral someday doesn’t make the thing where she does Rick’s dishes any less weird.


Watching New Who: The Doctor’s Wife

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

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!

Find Tehani’s post here, and David’s post here.

wife2“The Doctor’s Wife”

Series 6, Episode 4

The Doctor – Matt Smith

Amy Pond – Karen Gillan

Rory Williams – Arthur Darvill

Suranne Jones – Idris/The TARDIS

So, much as we could happily talk all day about different episodes, we’re going back to our original remit of Hugo Award nominees, season openers and closers and specials. That means we’re skipping “Curse of the Black Spot”, which most conventional fandom wisdom will have you believe is a really rubbish episode, a condemnation I actually quite disagree with, but we’re not TALKING about that one, so that’s okay! :)

Pirates and swords and sirens, what more can you ask for? I quite liked “Curse of the Black Spot”, which just goes to show I continue to be completely out of touch with conventional fan wisdom!

Say it with me: “Conventional fan wisdom can bite me”!


Musketeers Break My Heart Seventies Style (1974)

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Spoiler warning: sure the essay spoils the entire film, that’s pretty much how these Musketeer Media Monday posts go. But if you’ve been enjoying Musketeer Space without any knowledge of how the second half of the book turns out, this review might reveal a little too much simply because the Richard Lester films represent the most comprehensive adaptation of the original book in all its many fractured glories.



So the first half of The Three Musketeers was adapted by Richard Lester into the film I like to call Musketeers Crack me Up Seventies Style (1973), and the second half screened a year later as The Four Musketeers (1974).

Famously, the actors did not find out that their gruelling marathon shoot was intended for two movies instead of one, and were very unhappy when they found out! It didn’t stop many of them (including at least one whose character dies in this film) signing on for a sequel in 1989, but that’s long in the future.

Things that happened in Musketeers Crack me Up Seventies Style (1973): pretty much everything that usually happens in Musketeer movies, up to and including the matter of the Queen’s diamonds, Buckingham being a fancy clothes horse who can’t keep his lips to himself, D’Artagnan being a D’ork, the Musketeer meet-cute, and a happy ending. If you’ve never seen it and the words ‘Spike Milligan as Bonancieux’ don’t convince you to do something about that, I just don’t know what to do with you.


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