Tansy Rayner Roberts

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Robotech Rewatch 51: Cool Rider

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

robo-rand-animatedWelcome to the Robotech Rewatch, in which I try to pretend I don’t still really resent the New Generation for not being the Southern Cross.

In my defence, there was VERY LITTLE closure to the Second Robotech War. And when I first watched this, there was no internet to tell me what had happened.

I wrote an essay to work through my feelings about that.

Okay, hovertanks to the back, my darlings, it’s all about biker gangs and swirly organic aliens now. POST APOCALYPTIC BIKER GANGS.

Episode 61 – The Invid Invasion

Our Stalwart Excitable Narrator has a lot to explain this time around – all about how the Invid Regis turned the Earth into a wasteland hunting out the Protoculture and everything is terrible. But surprisingly little about what the hell happened to Dana and her friends. Thanks for nothing, Stalwart Excitable Narrator.


Friday Links Directed Twilight & All She Got Was This Cupcake

Friday, May 29th, 2015

janeway-facepalmIt’s Friday! This week, I’m excited about my new short story publication “Fake Geek Girl” in the Australian Review of Fiction, and also my new author newsletter which you can sign up for here.

Next week I will be in MELBOURNE where I am Guest of Honour at Continuum! Eeeee!

This interview with successful women in the film industry about the terrible statistics about how many women directors get to work in film and television is fascinating, depressing and oh, so relevant. It’s not the sexism to your face that kills your career, it’s what happens behind your back, and what is actually built into the system… gah.

I really loved this essay about Real Genius, and why it’s still such an important (and beloved) film about geekery, 30 years later. I have a soft spot for Real Genius largely out of nostalgia – it’s one of my partner’s favourites and he basically courted me with 80′s movies until I moved in with him – but this essay reminded me of all the reasons why it’s not just funny and cute, but genuinely great. And not just because of Val Kilmer’s hair!


“Fake Geek Girl” & Review of Australian Fiction

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Holly Hallow is the lead singer of a band called Fake Geek Girl. You might have heard of them – at the very least, you’ve probably seen the vid of “Witches Roll Dice, Bitches,” which went viral last summer, and there are quotes from their classic song “Someone Is Wrong On the Internet” all over Tumblr and Mirrorweb.

If you go to Belladonna University, there’s no question that you’ve heard of the band. They play every Friday night down at Medea’s Cauldron, and whether you’re in the College of the Real or the College of the Unreal, you’ve seen my sister screaming out at you from one of the flyers posted around campus.

“Fake Geek Girl,” by Tansy Rayner Roberts, Review of Australian Fiction Vol 14 – Issue 4

RAF_VOL14_iss_4So this is exciting! I was invited to contribute a story to Review of Australian Fiction this year, and I took the opportunity to write a novelette that has been burning a hole in my brain for ages – a story about share houses, university life, magic, fandom and friendship. I’m really proud of “Fake Geek Girl,” and very attached to the characters – I plan to be writing more in this world, because I can’t possibly be done with Hebe, Holly, Sage, Juniper and the rest of them.

Even better, I was given the opportunity to choose the emerging writer whose story would be paired with mine in the issue! No pressure, right?

I asked Stephanie Lai, one of the contributors to Cranky Ladies of history. I was delighted that she agreed, and wrote a story that I am entirely in love with.


Mad Max as Feminist Ally

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015


It’s a few days since I saw Mad Max: Fury Road, and I’m still rolling it around in my head.

This movie.

I can’t even.

[The following contains much necessary swearing and also pretty much all the SPOILERS. Do like Margo did and watch the damn movie first.]

Other people have written and will continue to write about this movie as feminist science fiction, and its do-or-die Fuck the Patriarchy attitude. Furiosa is, let’s face it, the action heroine we’re all still going to be talking about in twenty years time, because men and women are like are punching the air about her. She’s our new Ripley, our 21st Century Sarah Connor.

Watch Furiosa load a shotgun. Watch Furiosa punch Max in the face, with her nubbins. Watch Furiosa drive a semi tractor trailer. Watch Furiosa fire a long shot, using Max’s shoulder to stabilize the gun barrel, as an alternative to using two hands! Watch Furiosa do anything you can do, but better, and with half the number of fingers.

I want to write about my personal reaction to the movie, because I’m taking this one personally, it’s got under my skin in a way almost nothing in a cinema has in a long, long time.


ROBOTECH REWATCH INTERLUDE: Dana’s Confusingly Vague Super Dimensional (Non-)Ending.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Okay something a bit different in the Robotech Rewatch this week – I had FEELINGS to express once I got to the end of my Southern Cross rewatch, so I’ve written an essay about it.

Normal transmissions will resume next week!

southern 3 fillesI was a Teenage Hovertank Racer: or, Dana’s Confusingly Vague Super Dimensional (Non-)Ending.

Watching serialised television was an emotional minefield in the days before the internet. If you missed an episode, THAT WAS IT. It was gone, into the ether until such a time as a repeat showing flitted past your screens.

You just got used to the idea that there were bits you had missed. For a lot of shows, this didn’t matter, but it’s amazing how many kids shows in the 80’s actually did have a strong serialised thread running through them.

In some cases (like the ever-repeated Astro Boy) you could watch every single episode on a high repeat turnover and still miss stuff – I only discovered as an adult that the crucial ‘this explains Atlas and Livian’ episode was never actually screened in the English language dub.

When I discovered Robotech in my early teens, and fell in love with it, the current showing was about a third of the way through the Rick-Lisa-Minmei era, and it wasn’t long before I decided that I – Could – Not – Miss – Another – Episode. I don’t remember if it was screening before school, after school or on Saturdays, but I do know that I was hooked.


Friday Links is a Prime Number!

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Super-Cupcake1-221x30037 is a prime number, right?

It’s my birthday which makes it very easy to remember that a year ago, I launched the Musketeer Space project. Since then I’ve written and published 52 chapters of the novel, posted 15 Musketeer Media Monday essays, and rewatched 60 episodes of Robotech.

It’s not too late to start supporting the project via Patreon if you want ebooks of the finished novel and essays!

Also, I’m going to be eating a lot of cake this weekend, just saying.


K-Drama Musketeers Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (2014)

Monday, May 18th, 2015

The-Three-MusketeersI will admit that I know very little about K-drama (Korean soaps?) except that they are apparently awesome and often terrible and possibly an acquired taste.

Many people feel the same way about The Three Musketeers, so I heard there was a K-drama adaptation from 2014 I knew I had to check it out.

Set in the Joseon dynasty during the reign of King Injo (1623-1649), I’m pretty sure the story takes about as many liberties with Korean history as Dumas did with French. Notably, one of our main characters is Crown Prince Sohyeon, who was apparently (possibly) murdered by his father for bringing western innovations to the country including science and Catholicism.

There’s also a narrative framing story about scholars arguing whether or not General Park Dal Hyang (our D’Artagnan) was a real historical person or not – which nicely acknowledges the original novel, where Dumas claims this whole thing is a genuine reflection of the historical shenanigans of the Comte de La Fere and his friends.

But let’s start at the beginning, with D’Artagnan Park Dal Hyang and his horse. His horse is unnamed but you know I’m gonna call her Buttercup.


Robotech Rewatch 50: Damn it, Zor

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

invidAttention, Micronians! Robotech is back.

Episode 59:
The Invid Connection

It’s a bad season for hay fever, with the Invid Flower of Life exploding pollen kisses all over the cave.

Nova can’t reason with Bowie, and Dana attacks her on the grounds that this is a love story she is interfering with here, just because of stupid old intergalactic military security.

Bowie uses the low blow of questioning Nova’s friendship.

Zor makes the bizarre revelation that Musica’s job was actually placating the clones with her music, and with her taken out of the flagship, the clone communities will be running rampant and causing all manner of chaos. That’s… actually slightly helpful?

Nova decides to be a good friend instead of competent at her job. Why are any of these people in the military?


Robotech Rewatch 49: Weepfleeing Justice

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

novaAt ease, troopers, Robotech is back.

Episode 57: Day Dreamer

Supreme Commander Leonard throws a strop about Emerson calling a withdrawal after merely damaging one of the enemy ships.

The 15th, meanwhile, are worried about what the Global Military Police (with their weirdly broad remit) are going to do to Musica given their dubious history with prisoners of war. They decide to keep her out of their hands.

Nova arrives to greet the 15th Squadron back on base and starts asking the difficult questions, like who is that mysteriously armoured trooper they are trying to sneak off the ship on a stretcher?

It turns out to be a grinning Sean inside the armour, insisting that he has shrapnel in his big toe, and Nova is so flustered and confused by his nonsense that she fails to notice Musica in plain sight, as one of the stretcher bearers.

Given that Dana is the only woman in the 15th, it’s highly ridiculous that they get away with this!


Robotech Rewatch 48: Spy Hijinks Among the Clones

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Hold your position, Robotech transmissions will now resume.

Another double episode as we race towards the conclusion of the Second Robotech War, the one where the army is mostly run by teenagers.

This one has a few dubious Alice in Wonderland visual metaphors, to make up for the fact that Dana and her boys obviously never took a class on covert operations in their lives.

Shut up, it's a great disguise. Look at me, I'm a clone!

Shut up, it’s a great disguise. Look at me, I’m a clone!

55. Dana in Wonderland

According to the Robotech Masters Dana’s very presence in the flagship is having a detrimental effect on the clones – which is put down to her erratic emotional state as a half-breed.

Dana is learning this for herself when Zor starts madly shooting at her – Angelo is very gallant and throws Dana to the floor to protect her with his body (aww) and then tries attacking a befuddled Zor by shooting at him from a hovertank (slightly more effective) but Dana has to yell instructions to him because he has it on the wrong setting. Poor Angie, he just can’t get anything right.

Zor fails to destroy them for no apparent reason, and Dana and Angie flee, meeting up with Louis, Bowie and Sean. Team WTF Are We Doing is back together again!


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