Tansy Rayner Roberts

Friday Links is Still a Feminist in case you were wondering

September 26th, 2014

un-women-1024x817So this has been the week of Emma Watson, who gave an impassioned speech at the UN (full transcript here) about the responsibility of men to support and promote gender equality. The #HeForShe campaign launched by Watson gained plenty of traction with many celebrity men making public statements about being feminist allies.

“When I was 8, I was confused about being called ‘bossy’ because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents. But the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualised by certain elements of the media, when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams, because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscle-y,’ when at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist. And this seems uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.”

But of course as with any public stance on feminism, there were the detractors and the attackers – that’s the depressing thing about the world we live in. Threats were made – though this later appeared to be a hoax, which makes it no less problematic – to expose nude pictures of Watson as had happened with Jennifer Lawrence and others in recent weeks.

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Musketeer Space Part 19: How they Lost Porthos and Aramis

September 24th, 2014

Metal+Signatures+Fleur+de+Lis+2"+x+2"+Decorative+Tile+in+Aged+BronzeMusketeer Day! I’ve been home with a sick kid this week – which is to say, I have been furniture for a sick kid all week. Luckily I can type one-handed while cuddling a 5 year old. It’s a life skill I have to use surprisingly often.

I have my cushion back! 7 chapters between you and me. No idea how I managed it – oh yes that’s right, I’m completely obsessed with this story.

Don’t forget to check out this month’s Musketeer Media Monday post if you haven’t got to it already – Musketeers Crack Me Up in the Seventies (1973). Or just watch the movie, which is hilarious and wonderful.

Perth friends, readers, fans and people generally at a loose end on a Monday evening – I will be in your town (under the covert identity of crime writer Livia Day) in a couple of weeks for the CrimesceneWA convention – and the awesome Stefan is hosting a book event on the 13th October for the new Cafe La Femme novel, Drowned Vanilla. It features homemade icecream, film noir quotes, YouTube snogging and people being horribly drowned in lakes. I’m completely in love with this book (amazingly at this stage of the publishing process) and very excited that other people can read it soon. Squee! Please come along to the bookshop if you’re around and free because it’s going to be so much fun to meet & catch up with you all.

In the meantime, there’s a road trip to be getting on with. IN SPACE!

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Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 18.
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Dana D’Artagnan is on a mission to reclaim a coat with diamond studs from the Duchess of Buckingham, to save the Prince Regent’s marriage and possibly the solar system. Her friends, three Musketeer pilots, are along for the ride without asking any questions because they’re just that awesome.



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ROBOTECH REWATCH 17: Don’t Make Dinner Plans II Revenge of the Steak

September 20th, 2014

Picture 1Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

More death and food in this one.

19. Bursting Point

We haven’t forgotten the vital plot thread about how the SDF1 has been ordered into space along with its tantalising city full of peoplebait, to lure the Zentraedi away from the Earth.

Captain Gloval takes passive aggressiveness to the ultimate extreme, flying the SDF1 in a low crawl over cities and other populated areas. As the authorities protest his actions, he declares over an open channel that he will continue to keep intimidating them all with his massive Robotech ship until the Earth government lets him deport all his civilian passengers.

Oh, and he pretends that the low flying is due to a ‘fault’ in the ship which is endangering the residents of Macross City. Another reason to let them off already. Gloval is basically awesome, and he is too old for this shit.

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Friday Links is Blue and Gold

September 19th, 2014

blue beetle now kissThe news of the week as far as I’m concerned is the return of Ted Kord as Blue Beetle, my all-time favourite male superhero, to DC Comics. And yeah, Booster’s coming too. I am officially going to start reading Justice League 3000 now, because REASONS. Much love to Tara O’Shea, who let me know about this exciting development on Twitter, because I was one of only 2 people she knew who would care. YES I CARE.

And for those of you who share Friday Night is Arrow Night with me in real life, no I’m not gonna stop squealing with anticipation every time someone walks past a box labelled Kord Industries.

In other news, NY Mag put up a piece recently on the Most Feminist Moments in Sci Fi History. It’s a good list.

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Musketeer Space Part 18 – Kissing at Airlocks

September 17th, 2014

fleur-de-lis-wax-sealMusketeer Day again! They come around quick, don’t they?

I’m still recovering from the joyous swordfest that was The Three Musketeers (1973) or as I prefer to call it, Musketeers Crack Me Up Seventies-Style.

Meanwhile, I’ve been writing the Christmas Joyeux story which will be published on the blog at Christmas, thanks to the financial supporters of the Musketeer Space project via Patreon. It may have turned into a novella. I regret nothing.

There are a bunch of rewards and milestones still up for grabs on my Patreon page, including 3 more opportunities to name a Musketeer Space spaceship. Check it out today!

Now on to space hijinks.

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Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 17.
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PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Prince Alek of Auster shouldn’t have met secretly with the Duchess of Buckingham, and he definitely shouldn’t have given her that peacock jacket with the diamond studs. As the Regent’s husband, the stability of the government of the entire Solar System rests on his marriage contract, and Alek’s blown it in a big way.

Would-be Musketeer pilot Dana D’Artagnan has volunteered to get the diamonds back in time to save the day… for the sake of the Crown, honestly, and not just because the Prince’s tailor Conrad is really cute. Though let’s not kid ourselves here, he’s extremely cute.



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Musketeers Crack Me Up Seventies Style (1973)

September 15th, 2014

Three_Musketeers_1974It’s Musketeer Media Monday! Today I’m reviewing The Three Musketeers (1973) which many hold up as the ultimate adaptation of the novel. It’s hard to argue with that. Let’s buckle some swash!

This film, directed by Richard Lester and scripted by George McDonald Fraser, is a surprisingly close interpretation of the original novel’s narrative. I’d watched it before and liked it a lot, but this time around (with my engagement with the text just a BIT more intensive) I was surprised at what a fantastic job they did.

The Three Musketeers (1973) features very old school interpretations of the characters, plenty of direct quotes from the book itself, and a deep dedication to awesome sword fighting as well as background historical detail. Great costumes, great sets, great action, sharp dialogue, and random hawking and hunting scenes. All good stuff. The story is split over two movies, The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974), with this first film covering the Matter of the Queen’s Diamonds. I really should have looked at this one at the beginning of the Musketeer Media Monday project, as there are many creative decisions of the later adaptations (particularly Musketeers in an Exciting Adventure With Airships (2011) but it could be argued for Musketeers Are All For Love (1993) and Looks Good In Leather (2014) as well) which are obviously alluding to, inspired by or working against this particular film.

The main innovation of The Three Musketeers (1973) is that it’s a comedy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – after all, the novel itself is very, very funny. But I was still a bit shocked at how completely hilarious the film version was. I was in stitches most of the time I was watching – and apart from a few wince-inducing moments, I was mostly laughing WITH the movie rather than at it.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 16 – Don’t Make Dinner Plans

September 13th, 2014

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

The death toll of major, minor and background characters is about to start going up… and there’s no going back! What, you thought this was going to be a fun time?

roy18. Farewell Big Brother

This has to be one of the spoileriest titles ever. Talk about doing what it says on the tin. But I have to say, the amount of glee with which Ms9 approached this episode was… disturbing. She’s been predicting the death of Roy Fokker since day one and she loves being right.

Rick is still in hospital and has managed to acquire a super snarky nurse who pranks him with the idea they’re going to do medical experiments on him to see if pilot’s heads really are made out of granite. I love her. She needs her own show. I hope she is actually Sami’s roommate and they hang out practicing appalling things to say in innocent voices while batting their eyelashes.

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Friday Links’ Eyes Are Up Here

September 12th, 2014

thorFrom the Mary Sue: Does the Marvel Cinematic Universe Play to the Female Gaze? Well sure, sometimes. Most TV action shows are learning this lesson too – why else do Arrow & Dig whip their shirts off so often? (though sadly never at the same time)

The amazing Nancy Kress argues against the weird idea that living in a science fictional future makes it less interesting to write science fiction – right now, she’s taking inspiration from genetic engineering.

“Science fiction made personal, because the future always is.” Nancy Kress.

Jaym Gates talks about taking inspiration from RPG gaming to take control of her life – On Her Own Damn Game.

Salon on Why The Most Exciting Crime Novelists These Days Are Women.

Katie Schenkel on “I Guess Comics aren’t for me”, how gatekeeping and sexism actively dissuades so many women from an entire creative medium.

Charles Tan on How To Live Safely In an Online Universe.

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Musketeer Space Part 17 – Portrait of a Marriage

September 10th, 2014

fdl_c.png__83003__25861.1409136866.1280.1280Musketeer Day is my favourite day of the week!

It’s been a busy week on my blog, largely because Metafilter discovered my Pratchett’s Women essays and this has caused a massive spike of readers. (thanks, person who wrote the great, comprehensive piece with all the links including to the ebook, I totally owe you one) Then Boing Boing picked up the topic (with a very flattering piece written by Cory Doctorow) and created a spike that left the other spike completely in the shade. My blog is dizzy from all the attention.

Hi, new readers! I also write things about Musketeers sometimes. You can purchase the complete collection of my Pratchett’s Women essays as an ebook from Fablecroft, via any good online retailer. The ebook includes not only all the pieces from my blog but an extra essay exclusive to the book which looks at the extraordinary gender-and-feminist achievement that is Monstrous Regiment, and unpacks a lot of my inner turmoil about how much I disliked the book the first time I read it (spoilers: I was wrong).

We’re now at a point where around 16,000 people have read my essay “The Boobs, The Bad and the Broomsticks.” I actually don’t know what to do with that.

But we’re not here to talk about witches and gendered narratives, we’re here for female Musketeers in Space. This chapter involves pastries, eavesdropping, and a mission that will change Dana’s life forever! There may be a bit of kissing.

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PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan just wants to be a pilot with the Musketeers. Instead she has three Musketeers as her new best friends, a love-hate relationship with a mecha suit, and a palace conspiracy that just won’t quit.



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ROBOTECH REWATCH 15 – Electric Dreams (in Outer Space)

September 6th, 2014

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

Say what you like about those Macross/Harmony Gold fellows, they were pretty clever about reusing animation to save a bit of money. Prepare to delve into the depths of Rick Hunter’s subconscious! I know, I was a bit surprised too to discover he had depths. Still waters run deep and all that…

PhantasmEpisode 17. Phantasm

Rick Hunter is in the base hospital, unconscious but under observations by a bunch of medical robots that look a lot like the skutters from Red Dwarf. His subconscious takes him on a magical mystery tour back to that concert Minmei gave that time despite only having two songs.

Is this another clip show? TELL ME NOW IF THIS IS ANOTHER CLIP SHOW.

Weirdly, it is kind of a clip show, retelling key moments from Rick’s life in an odd, surrealist fashion – setting off to fly his Robotech fighter for the first time, calling Lisa an old lady, Minmei being grabbed by a giant hand, getting advice from Roy, training montage – genuine bits of earlier animation are recycled and jumbled up with surrealist retellings and redrawings that heighten Rick’s concerns and his more paranoid imaginings. Sometimes the soundtrack is the same, but mostly it’s a complete redub to add to the weirdness of the experience.

Well played, Harmony Gold. Well played.

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