Tansy Rayner Roberts

New Who In Conversation: A Good Man Goes to War/Let’s Kill Hitler

February 17th, 2015

We would like to thank everyone who nominated our “New Who in Conversation” series for the William Atheling Jr Award again this year – it’s a great honour to be on the ballot! Voting for the annual Ditmar Awards (which the Atheling is included in) is open to all members of Continuum X (2014 Natcon – Melbourne) and Swancon 40 (2015 Natcon – Perth), and can be done online.

Jenny and VastraDAVID:
I really enjoyed the introduction to “A Good Man Goes to War”. I do think that there are times when Amy puts the Doctor in roles that by rights are Rory’s, and it was great that he was the subject of her speech and, unless, I am way off, the “good man” of the title and the prophecy. The scene where they confront the Cybermen is quite effective, though you do have to ask about the ethics of blowing up so many of them just to get information – it’s even more casual slaughter than we are used to. I actually had already seen this scene when it was played during the Hugo ceremony, but I had managed to blank it out and it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this.

Rewatching the beginning I’m just all “RORY ROCKS”! Which is, almost certainly, the idea.

I love that Rory uses his Roman Legionary costume and identity when he needs to kick ass, and I do like this scene very much – of course, as soon as you start thinking about the ethics of exploding the whole army it’s a bit icky. Looking back to 2011, when this episode aired – this was the point very much at which fandom accepted Rory as officially awesome instead of complaining about him being a doormat or another Mickey. I’ve always given a bit of a side-eye to this group reaction, as it seems to me that Rory became a lot more popular as a character as soon as he became more traditionally macho – waving swords and uttering threatening lines. Which is a shame, because I love squooshy, sensitive Rory too.

I am very glad that they seem to now have dropped the whole thing with Rory feeling jealous of the Doctor – it feels like discovering Amy’s abduction has led him to finally drop that very boring narrative thread, so he can concentrate on what’s important.

PS: the ‘A good man’ of the title is the Doctor I think, but it also refers to Rory, and takes on different meanings for each of them.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 38: I’ll Patrol the Discos!

February 14th, 2015

night lifeRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

Episode 42 – Danger Zone

A newscast reports on what’s happening with the invading fleet. Weirdly, the broadcaster seems to be aware that the military commander of the Robotech Masters (Prince Charming) is called Zor, even though no one has been formally introduced. The standard of investigative journalism in the post-apocalyptic robot universe is surprisingly high.

The 15th Squadron have patrol duty in a city which is jam-packed with seedy recreation as portrayed by neon signs and hot ladies. The boys are all delighted at this turn of events and Dana is amused enough to let them have a little fun – all except Angelo, of course, who would rather have a proper patrol somewhere with no discos or strippers. Poor lad, all he wants is for everyone to take things seriously.

That he has Dana as his superior officer is a tragedy for them both.

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Friday Links is Batty About You

February 13th, 2015

batty about youIs Valentines Day even a thing in Australia? My 5 year old is weirdly obsessed with it. Me, I love the geeky Valentines that pop up at this time of year (Pinterest and Tumblr, what did we do before you?)

Chirravutever presented some cute Flash & Arrow chibi Valentines for each of the characters. I don’t know why Picnic with the Sisko is my favourite, don’t judge me.

I also wanted to point readers towards Check Please! an adorable webcomic about a college hockey team with a tiny, gay social-media-obsessed protagonist. Here are the Check Please! Valentines which probably make no sense unless you’ve read the comic. Read the comic, it’s all sports and pie-baking, I love it.

Though of course when it comes to funny, weird fandom valentines, the classic is always Gingerhaze. Can’t be beat. (prove me wrong in the comments, send other links!)


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Issue #1 – Operation: S.I.N.

February 12th, 2015

Operation_S.I.N._1_CoverApparently it’s Agent Peggy Carter Week in this household. LIKE EVERY WEEK.

Title: Operation: S.I.N. #1 (of 5)

Writer: Kathryn Immonen

Artist: Rich Ellis

The Buzz: This mini-series is another one I hadn’t heard anything about before it popped up on Comixology but it’s pretty clear that this 1950’s espionage comic featuring the double act of Agent Peggy Carter and playboy scientist Howard Stark is designed to appeal to fans of the Agent Carter TV show. Check out this interview with writer Kathryn Immonen.

All You Need To Know: Peggy Carter was a secret agent working for the US government during World War II and beyond. She’s amazing. Howard is a genius millionaire inventor and kind of an asshole, but he’s smart enough to value Peggy’s skills as an operative. If you’ve seen the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of these characters in Captain America: The First Avenger, or in Agent Carter, then there are no surprises here except that comics Peggy is blonde.

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Musketeer Space Part 38: All Cats are Grey (in cyberspace)

February 11th, 2015

gwg52746It’s Musketeer Day! I feel it’s important that you picture me, the author, wearing a genuine Musketeer hat while typing. Also a sword.

If you’ve been enjoying the story so far, and you want to support the project for as little as $1 per month, please visit my Patreon page.

The NSFW poor life choices of Dana D’Artagnan continue in this chapter. Be aware that some scenes in this chapter depict violence and sex in fairly close proximity to each other, so you might want to skip this one if that’s likely to be distressing.

Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 37
Read a festive Musketeer Space prequel, “Seven Days of Joyeux.”
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan has had a busy few months befriending Musketeers, training in space mecha, saving the Prince Consort from a terrible scandal, romancing a slightly married tailor (now kidnapped), drinking, duelling and generally getting into trouble. Meanwhile, aliens exploded half of the space station where she grew up and are hovering in Truth Space waiting for war.

Flirting under two different identities with Milord, the agent she suspects to be behind Conrad Su’s abduction, was a mistake, but at least she wasn’t stupid enough to fall into bed with him – right? RIGHT? Oh, Dana.


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Reasons to Love Agent Carter

February 10th, 2015

agent-carter-768This show, you guys, this show. On the Fangirl Happy Hour Episode 1, Ana and Renay talked recently about the terrible injustice that Agents of SHIELD got a whole season commissioned and didn’t start delving into proper character stuff for at least ten episodes, while Agent Carter is brilliant from the start, and it only gets eight episodes all up, and we all have to sit on tenterhooks waiting to find out if we ever get another season.

It’s true. But I wonder if the short run works in Agent Carter’s favour – 8 x 40 minutes a fantastic length in which to tell a crunchy, layered crime story, with plenty of room for character development and side plots but no excuse to have throwaway episodes or padding. Like, you know, most of US network television with its crazy long seasons.

Agent Carter hits the ground running and never stops. I’m five episodes in, and I was in love from the start. Here are some of the things that are great about this show:

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Galactic Suburbia 113 Show Notes

February 9th, 2015

In which we’re back, baby, all cultured up from our summer holiday to tell you what’s good in books, shows, comics & more.


Thank our Patreons for the Alisa’s headphones which have greatly improved our sound quality!

Alisa is about to go to print on the Year’s Best YA.

Over the summer, as well as appearing on Galactic Suburbia’s sister-wife podcast Verity!, Tansy also guested on the Two Minute Time Lord talking about the Doctor Who Christmas special. Yes, Chip’s episodes are totally 2 minutes or less most of the time, but of course Tansy talked for longer than that, don’t be ridiculous! Tansy also wrote an article on Sex & Science Fiction over at Uncanny Magazine.

Alex has an exciting new announcement too, but you’ll have to listen to find out what it is. (cough, Tor.com, cough)

The Locus Recommended Reading List is out now, and features lots of Aussies.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 37: Prince Charming in a Red Bioroid

February 7th, 2015

Half_MoonRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

Dana follows correct military procedure for like two minutes in this episode, a personal best.

Episode 41 – Half Moon

Dana Sterling and Bowie Grant are on dirt bike patrol in a wasteland sector where no one has been for ages. I kind of love that whenever the 15th Squadron aren’t in their hover tanks, they are riding massive dirt bikes. Well, they call them hover bikes, but they don’t actually hover and kick up a bunch of dirt, so…

Dana spots that pesky red Bioroid that has been freaking her out in battle. A pretty human-looking boy with purple hair and a croaky voice steps out of it, and Dana suspects he is the leader of the whole Robotech Masters operation. Bowie scoffs at this.

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Friday Links Are Hiding in Plain Sight

February 6th, 2015

I love that people send me links to articles about Roman women turning out to be extraordinary! In this case, a scholar of Trajan’s Column is talking about the relevance of female figures on the relief sculpture, suggesting that women were more involved in military forts than previously thought.

colleen mcculloughColleen McCullough, one of Australia’s bestselling authors, has died. Rather than link you to the meme that did the rounds after the shameful obituary that did the rounds, I’ll send you over to Hoyden About Town who wrote respectfully about McCullough’s life, work and attitude. She was basically awesome. And oh, thanks to those Masters of Rome books which I read at a critical point in my teens, she basically shaped my life.

Kameron Hurley has done that rare thing of publicly discussing her book advances, comparing them to actual day job income and also showing how her Hugo wins affected her financial bottom line: What I Get Paid For My Novels: Or, Why I’m Not Quitting My Day Job I also want to point writers (especially writers who have dayjobs) to her Life on 10,000 Words a Day: How I’m Hacking My Writing Process post, which shows that not all writing methods work for all writers, and one amazing writing day per week can be more effective than seven steady sensible days. I’m pretty sure Kameron’s current system would kill me, but I appreciated her showing it as an alternative to the accepted wisdom (ha) of ‘write every day’.

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Kicking Holes in Reality with the Young Avengers (Vol. 2)

February 5th, 2015

1 – Style > Substance
2 – Alternative Cultures
3 – Mic-drop at the Edge of Time and Space

I’m a bit of Young Avengers fangirl, or I thought I was – and despite collecting the trades of the Marvel Now relaunch of the series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie when they were first released, I wanted to catch up on all the previous appearances of the gang before I got to the book that was already receiving so much buzz and acclaim.

So I taught myself How To Read the Young Avengers.

At the end of that journey, which took me several months of collecting, considering and critiquing, I inhaled all three trades of Vol. 2 of Young Avengers in a single afternoon like it was a bowl of ice-cream.

This actually worked really well, because Vol. 2 of Young Avengers isn’t so much a comic as it is a YA novel told over three illustrated editions (or 15 issues). It’s a single, epic story that completely reframes who the Young Avengers are and what they are about, with a plot that could only really be told about a teenage super team.

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