Tansy Rayner Roberts

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Robotech Rewatch 47: Your Humanitarian Ethics Are Spoiling My War

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

EPS_66_2_9754Attention, Micronians! Robotech is back. A double whammy of episodes this week – and I’m going to have to do a lot more double eps if we’re going to get through this before Musketeer Space winds up.

53. The Hunters

Once again, the narrator is on top of current events and thank goodness for that. In this case, he’s spotted an Invid Sensor Nebula nearby, scanning for evidence of protoculture. The Robotech Masters’ worst nightmare and all that! (AKA foreshadowing for the next time that they are going to take an unrelated Robotech-ish show and redub it as if it’s part of the same saga)

Dana is enjoying some downtime, gambling chocolate bars against Louis on who is better at a computer game he designed. (Spoiler: it’s her)

Bowie, suspiciously dressed in civvies while the rest of them lounge out in flight suits with pointy bits, slides out to “go play piano.” Until told otherwise I choose to believe he is working a second job as a strippogram. Or maybe he’s working for the mob now?


Issue #1 – Convergence Special – Oracle, JLI, Batgirl

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

ConvergencePromo_blog_545ac8f60bc3f7.39159954A slightly different Issue #1 review this time – because DC Comics have exploded with a multitude of #1s of the like unseen since the New 52 revamp. I hate a massive sprawling comics event as much as anyone else (seriously, does anyone enjoy these?) but the premise for this one had me at “Nightwing and Oracle,” so…

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? DC Comics have taken a two month break from continuity to tell a story that involves sneak peeks into that multiverse they’ve been struggling to distance themselves from since 1985. So they’ve thrown out all their regular comics and instead are telling one core ‘event’ book, orbited by a bunch of two-issue mini series which are designed to a) hit us in our nostalgia wallets, which are much like ice cream stomachs, apparently of endless capacity & b) remind us of all the great characters that DC Comics threw under the bus with the New 52 reboot.

DC if your aim here is to make us extra trepidatious about what the hell Marvel is going to do with its own universe reboot later this year, then good job. Well done there.


I actually really love multiverse stories, and DC’s use of them is probably at least partly responsible for it. But is this a good multiverse story?


Robotech Rewatch 46 – Drunken Weepy Jeep Song

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

marie slapsAttention, Micronians! Robotech is back.

Episode 52 – Love Song

Never mind the war, we have important kissing business to sort out!

48 hours before the battle, it’s time for a whole bunch of personal matters to be resolved, including Nova Satori’s sudden high demand as a girlfriend, and the fragile romance between flying ace Marie Crystal and her total hound dog of a boyfriend, Private Sean Phillips.

(Though the narrator does drop in the interesting info-dump that the lack of protoculture is making the Robotech Masters’ bioroid technology more unreliable)

Emerson’s men – particularly young hothead Lieutenant Brown – are worried that he is being sent on a suicide mission because it’s politically expedient, but Emerson is being stupidly noble about the whole thing.

Dana tries to get Bowie to admit he has feelings about Emerson’s mission, but he laughs it off because he’s being a total boy about it.

Nova is informed that her job in the Global Military Police means that it’s up to them to find out who has been leaking information to the enemy. Does she even know that it was her? Only time will tell.


Issue #1 – Silk

Friday, April 17th, 2015

silk #1Title: Silk

Writer: Robbie Thompson

Artist: Stacey Lee

The Buzz: Like Spider-Gwen, Silk is a new female character who emerged from the recent massive Spiderverse crossover, now given her solo title. A combination of vivid art and the excitement at a new high profile Asian-American superhero has added to the buzz.

All You Need To Know: Cindy Moon was bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker, then locked in a bunker for ten years because reasons. Now she’s out and after all that multiverse-hopping of the Spiderverse event, she’s ready to settle down and have a life of her own – but where to start? (And yes the premise is very similar to the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt but with superpowers)

Story: Cindy has set herself up with a reporting job, not because she’s devoted to new media (she doesn’t even know what Twitter is, which earns her the nickname ‘Analog’ from J. Jonah Jameson) but because she wants to use the company resources to find her family, who disappeared shortly after she went into the bunker. As superhero Silk she has acquired her first nemesis, is working on her witty quips, and sharing the occasional angsty conversation with her sort-of-mentor and fellow member of the spider bite club, Peter Parker.


All the Musketeer Ladies (2015)

Monday, April 13th, 2015

tamla maimieSo, last year I launched my Musketeer Media Monday series, writing happy snarky essays about Musketeer movies and other media properties (but mostly movies) and then the BBC TV series came out, and blew my mind.

Part of what I love about the BBC series is that it’s not a straight adaptation at all, nor does it try to be – it works with the spirit of the swashbuckling original text, and the essence of the characters, to create a wild alternate universe in which the historical French Court and the Wild West come together to make beautiful leather-clad babies.

That sounded less weird before I typed the actual words.

So now the second season is done, and I have so many feelings about it, but instead of doing an episode-by-episode breakdown like last time (which turned into THREE essays) I wanted to talk about the characters who were really the centrepiece of this particular season of television: Queen Anne, Constance Bonacieux and Milady De Winter.

You might have been watching a show about four handsome fellows in leather and three hats (D’Artagnan still doesn’t have a hat), but I was watching a show about interesting, complex women who will probably stab you.

You can read my previous BBC Musketeers reviews here:

Looks Good in Leather: BBC Musketeer Edition Part I (2014)
You Can Leave Your Hat On: BBC Musketeer Edition Part II (2014)
It’s Raining Musketeers: BBC Musketeer Edition Part III (2014)

This essay will completely spoil Season 1 & 2. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Watch it first if that stuff matters to your brain.


Robotech Rewatch 45 – Clone Emotion

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

hqdefaultHold your position, Robotech transmissions will now resume.

Episode 51 – Clone Chamber

We’d be lost without the narrator, who lets us know that the mysterious flower we found last time is actually the Invid Flower of Life. Dude. Spoilers.

Marie Crystal reports home on the mass casualties they suffered in the assault. They have managed to find shelter in an abandoned research station, and she requests to ship the injured home.

Leonard hears ‘hey we have a military base up here now, let’s use it to launch another assault.’ Emerson despairs.

LEONARD: This is war, man, not an exercise in intergalactic diplomacy.
EMERSON: We haven’t even TRIED negotiations.


ROBOTECH REWATCH 44: Three’s Probably Relevant

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Does this triumvirate make my butt look big?

Does this triumvirate make my butt look big?

At ease, troopers, Robotech is back.

Episode 50 – Triumvirate

So what is it with the Robotech Masters and threesomes? If the episode title is anything to go by, we’re about to find out.

Leonard makes a massive passive aggressive speech about how he appreciates the constructive criticism about his ‘shoot first ask questions later’ military policy but the time for discussion is over now and he is completely right.

Emerson is cranky.

Marie Crystal and Dana have a snarkfest on hover bike, Marie being super smug because she gets to be in the first wave of the attack (AKA Suicide Squad).

If that wasn’t enough lady sniping, Nova Satori then turns up to politely tell Dana she can back off from Zor now. Dana flares up because she doesn’t trust the scientists and she thinks he still needs her help.

“He’s mine and I’m going to keep him!”
Dana Sterling, always the professional.


ROBOTECH REWATCH 43: “Debriefing” the Dreamboat

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

dana zorHold your position. Robotech transmissions will now resume.

43. A New Recruit

Ahem, so we’re caught up now to the point where I skipped a disc. Sorry about that! All the episodes should now be rewatched in the right order :D

Dana is doing exhaustive sit ups when she hears her name called over the PA. She is called to Emerson’s office where she finds their prisoner of war standing all pretty in a uniform, his purple hair freshly curled. As established, his memory is completely gone, which is inconvenient for everyone hoping to drag useful intelligence out of him. Despite the fact that Dana broke into a hospital and beat him up recently, she’s now being asked to take charge of him.

Zor is in fact presented to Dana as a recruit, on the grounds that making him part of a secure military unit might help jog his memory and allow Dana to debrief him properly.

From this point on every time someone says “debrief,” it’s important to imagine inverted commas around the words, and Bow-chicka-bow-wow music going in the background. Because everyone is shipping Zor/Dana already, including the top brass.


Issue #1 – Jem and the Holograms

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Jem-and-the-Holograms-1-review-spoilers-1Title: Jem and the Holograms #1

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Sophie Campbell (with extra covers by Amy Mebberson)

The Buzz: What isn’t the buzz? Nostalgia for classic 80’s cartoon Jem and the Holograms is at an all time high because of the movie-in-development, and so word of this comic got bounced around the web in a girlpower frenzy. (More recently, the news that adorable girlfriends Kimber and Stormer will actually have a proper Hologram/Misfit star-crossed romance in the comic meant everything got even more high-pitched, we’re not even squeeing now, we’re just breaking the sound barrier.

All You Need To Know: They’re truly, truly, truly outrageous. Oh, okay. If you were living under a rock or possibly more interested in Transformers in the 80’s (or not even born yet, shoot me now), Jem is the story of a bunch of orphaned foster kids who have their own rock band.

Lead singer Jem is actually band manager Jerrica in disguise thanks to a legacy of magic super science holograms, and they embark in all kinds of Battle of the Bands shenanigans against the wicked, ethically compromised Misfits (WE ARE THE MISFITS OUR SONGS ARE BETTER) to raise money and keep the orphanage open. They sing, they dance, they have their own film clips, and yes there was a toy line, shut up, it’s awesome.


Galactic Suburbia 116 Show Notes

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Our special 2014 Galactic Suburbia Award episode! Listen to find out our winner and shortlist for our award to honour activism and/or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction.

Get the new episode HERE.


Alisa: Haven S5, Tempest’s Reading Challenge

Alex: Tehanu, Tales of Earthsea, and The Other Wind, Ursula le Guin; Jupiter Ascending; Waistcoats and Weaponry, Gail Carriger.

Tansy: D’Artanyan i tri Mushketyora (1979); New Avengers: Breakout prose novel by Alisa Kwitney; New Avengers: Breakout, by Brian Michael Bendis; Curb Stomp #1 – Ryan Ferrier (writer), Devaki Neogi (artist); Princess Leia #1 – Mark Waid (writer) Terry & Rachel Dodson (artists).

NEXT TIME: tune in for our Ursula Le Guin essay spoilerific. We will be covering: “The Space Crone” & “Is Gender Necessary? (Redux)” (both in Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, and Places) and “Science Fiction and Mrs Brown”(in The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction).

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 and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

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