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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Good Listening and a Souffle of Links

February 16th, 2011 at 23:46

So school is back! I’ve been lucky enough to be able to shift most of my workload to, well, now, so that the last several weeks of the summer holiday were all Mummying all the time. Now, of course, I have to go from nought to typing maniac in 60 seconds, and I’m not *entirely* sure I remember how to do it. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here is a delicious mix of tidbits from the internet over the last week or so and some great things I’ve been listening to while catching up on the housework, supervising trampoline time, and sewing an Alice in Wonderland wallhanging.

Ben Peek wrote a post which completely blindsided me, about an author who embodies perseverance, the one who to me sucked up the bad times and pushed through them, and the one who should stand as an example for new authors… The twist is, it’s me!

N.K. Jemisin writes about gender assumptions/associations surrounding epic fantasy, and why anything that deviates from the masculine norms of the genre are seen as suspect. There are some brilliant, intelligent comments about gender, romance and the male gaze. Lovely stuff.

Alisa posts about Twelfth Planet Press award eligibilities for the coming awards season. Have you nominated for the stuff you can nominate for yet? Don’t forget that all of us who were at Aussiecon can nominate for the Hugos this year. Would be lovely to have some Aussie names on that ballot.

This amazing, powerful post by Juliet Jacques
about being a trans woman and a football fan really affected me, to the point where I read through her whole year’s worth of columns about transition. I can really recommend these for anyone looking to educate and inform themselves about some of the issues affecting people trying to transition. I found it a real eye opener, and she’s an entertaining and funny writer with it. Plus, football fan!

Jim Hines had some pointed things to say about the ‘self publishing ebooks is totally the way to make a career sing like a canary’ people and the way that ‘ebooks are the future’ so often gets turned into a bashing of commercial publishers and their methods.

So that’s the links done. Now for the listening…

The latest Salon Futura podcast has a great round table discussion about small press publishing featuring our own Alisa Krasnostein (plus Sean Wallace and L. Timmel Duchamp) – those of you mourning the lack of a Galactic Suburbia episode this week (sorry, we’ll be back with all guns blazing next week!) may like to check it out. There’s also a cool interview with Ann VanderMeer about her editorship of Weird Tales which was great to hear, especially the bit where they both start talking about Peter M Ball and unicorns.

My Big Finish obsession has been continuing apace. I have been relistening to all my Ace and Hex plays, and really enjoying the first two seasons of the 8th Doctor and Lucie Miller, which were designed to fit the tone of New Who a bit more firmly than the monthly series. They’re fast paced, funny and character-crunchy 50 minute episodes, with some fantastic casting. The whole first season is great, though the quirky Horror of Glam Rock (featuring Bernard Cribbins before he joined RTD’s Who crew) by Paul Magrs is a stand out, as is the exceptional two part finale, Human Resources.

I’m currently on the finale of the second season, which features a return of the Sisterhood of Karn and (quite possibly) Morbius, though I haven’t yet heard him with my own ears. The standouts for this season were Max Warp, a quite stunningly outrageous Top Gear parody with spaceships and Graeme Garden, and the comedy-romance-tragedy of The Zygon Who Fell To Earth (featuring Tim Brooke Taylor and Steven Pacey), but I also really loved the creative anachronisms of Dead London and the splendid historical heist story Grand Theft Cosmos. The return of the Headhunter, who is officially my favourite female villain of Doctor Who’s history, was a cause for much glee.

Elsewhere, I also discovered the Big Finish Comedy Podcast, which was released fairly recently as a limited series of 5 minute episodes to promote the Mervyn Stone mystery novels by Nev Fountain, which revolve around a script editor of a defunct cult sci-fi show of the late 80′s, who also solves crimes. The podcast is a great introduction to the character and his world, and over the course of about half an hour of bite sized, highly entertaining interviews (the conceit is that this is a DVD extra for “Vixens from the Void”) presents and solves the mystery of who killed the actor who played the quirky translator robot Babel J. It’s very funny, featuring among other things the note-perfect tones of Nicola Bryant, and absolutely free.

There is more, I expect, but I’m sleepy, and it’s school tomorrow!

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