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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Roman Snark and Other Bedtime Stories

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

50romanNew book out! Tehani at Fablecroft is releasing a couple of e-volumes of my collected essays from this very blog. First up is 50 Roman Mistresses, based on a fun retelling of history I did first for Women’s History Month some years ago, and then more recently when I did a “Rock the Romanpunk” blog carnival in honour of my Love and Romanpunk collection.

50 Roman Mistresses is not a history book so much as me telling you a bedtime story based loosely on my PhD thesis – on Good Girls and Wicked Women of Roman history, on the use of the title Augusta, on coins and statues and sex scandals and Vestal Virgins.

Here are fifty extraordinary women of Ancient Rome—virtuous wives and adulterous vixens, abductees and viragos, imperial mothers and mortals who became goddesses, all taking their place in history.

Reworked for publication, this is a novella-length work of pure historical snark that pretty much shows you what it’s like inside my head.

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It’s Raining Musketeers – the BBC Musketeer Edition Part III (2014)

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The MusketeersThis is the last special BBC edition of Musketeer Media Monday for July – three for the price of one! You can read my previous reviews of this series here:

Looks Good in Leather (the BBC Musketeer Edition Part I)

You Can Leave Your Hat On (the BBC Musketeer Edition Part II)

And you might also like to check out my other Musketeer Media Monday posts – Musketeers Are All For Love (1993) and Musketeers in an Exciting Adventure with Airships (2011).

The last three episodes of the season have a lot of drama and angst, so I need to start off by showing you this vid about Tom Burke, and his World Cup seat. Whenever Athos gets too miserable or drunk or overwhelmed with tragic backstory, all you have to do is remember that he has Roger. They’re gonna be okay.

BIG SPOILERS after this section, for the final run of the season, honestly, don’t read this at all. Just go watch them. They’re really good. There are NARRATIVE SURPRISES in each episode that are best enjoyed as the directors, writers and Roger the horse intended.

I did warn you.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 8 – Beauty Queens and Battloids

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages! The message that this episode is trying to convey is mostly that it’s not a good thing to screen a big distracting beauty pageant during a major military operation, especially if all your pilots and air traffic controllers have the ability to change to the ‘beauty pageant’ channel during combat.

I really wish I was kidding.

This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, and especially to all 47 of my paid patrons. You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.

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Watching New Who: The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

We are incredibly honoured to have tied for the William Atheling Jr Award, alongside Galactic Suburbia. Thank you to everyone who voted for us, and to all our readers for your support and for spreading the word. We also want to thank Lynne Thomas, Jo Anderton and Kathleen Jennings for their guest contributions. Congratulations to not only Galactic Suburbia on their well deserved win, but all the amazing nominees – you are producing some wonderful writing! We are looking forward to writing many more reviews about the show we love, and hopefully catching up with the new season soon.

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!

DOCTOR WHO

“The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon”

Series 6, Episodes 1 and 2
The Doctor – Matt Smith
Amy Pond – Karen Gillan
Rory Williams – Arthur Darvill
River Song – Alex Kingston
Canton Everett Delaware III – Mark Sheppard
President Richard Nixon – Stuart Milligan

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You Can Leave Your Hat On: the BBC Musketeer Edition Part II

Monday, July 14th, 2014

There are going to be three of these now. I’m not sorry.

This is an extra special Musketeer Media Monday month – I’m reviewing the whole Season 1 of The Musketeers (2014) across three blog posts. Check out Part I: Looks Good in Leather.

bbc-three-musketeers-2014promoI’ve come to the conclusion that the BBC series The Musketeers (2014) is largely about the hats. I’m actually fighting the urge to write Musketeer hat fanfic right now.

Seriously, the hats are important. They use their hats as umbrellas, when it rains on them. It rains on them a lot. I don’t know if that’s a Prague thing or if the directors are all very enthusiastic about wet Musketeers.

Each of the Musketeers has a special relationship with his hat. Athos uses his largely for slouching and hiding his feelings, and on one very memorable occasion, faked his own death for half an episode simply by pushing his hat a little further down his face. Aramis’ hat has a long enough brim that he regularly uses it to keep smoke and powder out of his eyes when shooting his musket. Porthos’ hat is larger and fancier than anyone else’s, just like his pretty armour.

D’Artagnan has no hat. That pretty much sums up his relationship to the rest of the Musketeers. He wants to be them, because they are older and better at everything, and they all have really great hats. He is occasionally allowed to borrow hats for comedy and espionage purposes, but otherwise… no hats for you, kid!

Sometimes, the hats are metaphorical.

There are spoilers in these episode reviews. The better the episode, the more spoilery I get. Read with caution, or just watch the show already.

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Galactic Suburbia 104 Show Notes

Monday, July 14th, 2014

You can download or stream the new episode here.

In which we gaze into the World of the Future with a double dose of Culture Consumed and Culture Yet To Consume.

Culture We Are Looking Forward To

Alex: new James SA Corey; Isobelle Carmody’s last Obernewtyn novel; every TPP; Guardians of the Galaxy; Snowpiercer; Saga.

Tansy: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison; Kameron Hurley, The Mirror Empire; Ben Peek, The Godless; Sailor Moon

Alisa: Extant

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 7: Dating in Deep Space

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

I’m enjoying the rewatch so far, not least because Raeli (Ms9.5) is enjoying it along with me. Jem (Ms4.11) is far less convinced, as the aliens scare her which necessitates a regular application of a blankie to the head. She starts perking up with interest once the lady aliens arrive, though…

However, this is not that day!

I’m doing my best to restrain the Minmei bashing (which is an essential aspect of Robotech fandom) because my daughters both like and identify with her. Also, it has to be said, she’s not the only female character who is regularly portrayed as a ditz… and let’s not even get started on the ridiculous inner turmoils of Rick Hunter, Drama Queen.

Minmei’s not the only airhead at this party, is perhaps my point. Though she’s the only one who has age as an excuse… that’s right, it’s birthday party time!

This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks everyone for your support!

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Verity! Extra! – Doctor in a Strange Land

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

VerityExtraDrStrangeLand-210This week’s Extra! features crossover madness! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy, as we muse over what it would be like to plop the Doctor into other fictional worlds. What makes a good crossover? Which Verity isn’t really comfortable with crossovers? Who coins the term “Capaldi-flicted”? And who observes that Capaldi “gives good cape”? Listen and see!

Then let us know in the comments what fictional worlds you’d like to see the Doctor (and/or his companions) visit. Inquiring Verities want to know!

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Looks Good in Leather: the BBC Musketeer Edition Part I (2014)

Monday, July 7th, 2014

bbc1It’s Musketeer Media Monday again! This month, we have a series instead of a single movie, so I’ll be reviewing it over more than one Monday.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I think The Musketeers (BBC 2014) may have ruined me for all past and future Musketeer adaptations. Which is a hell of a thing to say when you’re partway through writing your own Musketeer story… but I love this show so much. Stating the bias up front, here. I want to eat this show with a spoon. I have literally bought the t-shirt.

The BBC Musketeers is a gorgeously made show, with full commitment to swords, swagger and scenery. The scripts are fun, irreverent and fast-paced. There are also a huge variety of female characters with agency, who make an active contribution to the story, despite the deep and necessary focus on machismo, brotherhood and other blokey things of blokehood that is part of the Musketeer baggage.

I think the proves the case that sometimes it’s the adaptations that take more liberties that can better capture the spirit of original material. This is a thoroughly modern Musketeers, and maybe in 20 years it will look at dated as Kiefer and Co. do to me now, but I don’t care.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 6: Death by Flashback

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

robotech rewatchWelcome back to the Robotech Rewatch, the blog about the show that put all the wrong people in charge! This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks everyone for your support!

Episode 7. Bye Bye Mars

More months have passed.

Like the Wolf in Red Riding Hood, Breetai and Exedore’s Zendraedi forces drop out of hyperspace and get to Mars ahead of the Micronians, ready to set a trap for them as they bring their basket of goodies to Grandmother’s house. Most of the humans on the Mars outpost have already been wiped out by other Zendraedi forces, so it’s a good place to hide.

Exedore is horrified that Breetai has summoned Khyron’s forces for backup. By all accounts, this young blue-haired captain is too nasty for even the Zentraedi, with rumours he has killed his own men for looking at him funny. As soon as Khryon turns up, he establishes himself quickly as an arrogant little shit, who laughs maniacally at random intervals. Oh yeah, Breetai, no way this could possibly go wrong for you.

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