Tansy Rayner Roberts

Announcing the Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2014

July 27th, 2014

Snapshot has taken place four times in the past 10 years. In 2005, Ben Peek spent a frantic week interviewing 43 people in the Australian spec fic scene, and since then, it’s grown every time, now taking a team of interviewers working together to accomplish!

SnaphotLogo2014-300x287In the lead up to Worldcon in London, we will be blogging interviews for Snapshot 2014, conducted by Tsana Dolichva, Nick Evans, Stephanie Gunn, Kathryn Linge, Elanor Matton-Johnson, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Jason Nahrung, Ben Payne, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs, Tehani Wessely and Sean Wright.

Last time we covered nearly 160 members of the Australian speculative fiction community with the Snapshot – can we top that this year?

To read the interviews hot off the press, check these blogs daily from July 28 to August 10, 2014, or look for the round up on SF Signal when it’s all done:

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 9 – It’s Not Easy Being Vermilion

July 26th, 2014

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

i09 jumped on the Robotech train this week, with a great piece looking at five failed attempts to produce a sequel to the popular cartoon. (I’m still bitter about The Sentinels not making a go of it) Rather cruelly, i09 have included the currently Kickstarting project for Robotech Academy in their list of ‘failures’ when it’s still 14 days away from being finished – it looks awesomesauce and I have totally backed it, so there!

It’s not over till it’s over, cadets!

Episode 10 – Blind Game

Breetai attempts to get sensible information out of the three bungling spies: Konda, Bron and Rico, but they are babbling utter nonsense about half naked ladies, secret weapons and designer frocks, and the Zentraedi command can’t make head nor tail of it.

Their footage, sadly, was destroyed in that sortie with Rick, so Breetai can only assume that they’re suffering from space hallucinations. Exedore suggests that taking a Micronian alive is the best way to get further intelligence – and adds privately to Breetai that it might be time to stop messing around and get more aggressive with the enemy, for the sake of morale.

“I like nothing better than aggression. Exedore, I think we had better discuss this matter further in my quarters.”
Breetai, throwing down to the slash fandom.

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Friday Links is Watching July Disappear into the Distance

July 25th, 2014

batgirlnewHey July! You and I had a lot of stuff to get done, didn’t we? How are we going with that, then? July? JULY DON’T LEAVE ME, IT’S TOO SOON!

Ahem. It’s been a busy month. Yesterday was Alexandre Dumas’ birthday, and I spent a good chunk of it writing 1000 words of sports commentary for an imaginary sport I made up for Musketeer Space. It allowed me to channel some deeply held misery that has been lurking in my heart since Cesc Fabregas signed with Chelsea. LET US NEVER SPEAK OF IT. Part of the commentary will appear in Chapter 16 (yes I’m that far ahead!), and the rest will be published in a future issue of the Musketeer Space newsletter of extra content that I send out for Patreon supporters of the $3 per month level and above.

In the mean time, links! I haven’t been as linky lately, and I’m sorry for those of you who miss it as a regular feature of the blog. It may be a phase. Anyway, I have several weeks to catch up on, so here we go!

I appeared on the SF Signal podcast talking about Space Opera – it was super fun!

An interesting post was doing the rounds on my various social media spots today, explaining exactly why Australia Post is suffering so badly at a time when Australians are using online shopping so much more than ever before (and the effect this is having on our book industry).

I’m a bit excited about the upcoming Batgirl relaunch, mostly because it looks like DC are finally trying to aim the comic at young women, and moving it away from the grimdark sensibility that is an unfortunate factor in ALL Bat-related books these days. But no one is more excited about Batgirl’s cool new outfit than Supergirl!

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Musketeer Space Part 10: The Weight of the Solar System

July 23rd, 2014

Fleur de lis littleIt’s Musketeer day! I love Musketeer day. This chapter has Dana doing Covert Operations, Athos doing Backstory, and Why TeamJoust Is An Awesome Sport. Also, Grimaud! I am a bit enamoured of Grimaud.

This week’s news includes the third of my BBC Musketeers reviews for Musketeer Media Monday: It’s Raining Musketeers is a super spoilery look at the last three episodes of the show.

I also wanted to give a shout out to this great post at overtheeffingrainbow.co.uk – is that a great web address or what? Lisa fangirls over both the BBC Musketeer series AND Musketeer Space, with a bonus Kermitflail gif for emphasis, which made me grin all over my face. I’m very glad when any reader tells me they are enjoying this story – which does feel like something of a departure from my usual fiction – but I am especially gleeful when someone who deeply loves the original novel likes what I’m doing. Because, you know. Liberties Are Being Taken.

Though every time I go back to the original material, I take comfort in the fact that my own banterific, comedic take on the story isn’t remotely out of place. Dumas was a comedy genius, with swords and hats. His Athos, while every bit as angsty and tormented as you might expect, also gets some of the funniest dialogue.

So without further ado…

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 9
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan came to Paris Satellite to become a Musketeer pilot, and has ended up as a Mecha cadet instead. At least she has three Musketeers as her new best friends – and, thanks to her new landlady, a sinister plot to uncover.



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Roman Snark and Other Bedtime Stories

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)

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

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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Musketeer Space Part 9: Madame Su’s Bed and Board

July 16th, 2014

Fleur de lis littleIt’s Musketeer day again! And it’s exciting because this week, we have plot, so much plot. It’s kicking off good and proper now.

I guested this week on the SF Signal podcast, talking about space opera, why it’s awesome, and talked a little bit about this project too, though not as much as I talked about Saga and Robotech. It was a great group discussion and I hope many of you who have followed me back and forth between Verity and Galactic Suburbia hop over there to check it out.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to catch up on my Musketeer Media Monday posts for the month, there are two reviews of the 2014 BBC Musketeers series up: Looks Good in Leather and You Can Leave Your Hat On. They are quite spoilery but also talk a lot about hats, which I feel is important in a Musketeer review.

But on to the space opera version – which, I will admit, suffers from an extreme lack of hats. I might have to do something about that…

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 8
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY IN MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana wants to be a Musketeer pilot, but she’s stuck in the Mecha Squad. Thanks to her Musketeer friends, Athos, Aramis and Porthos, she’s doing okay, but that doesn’t mean she has any forgiving thoughts towards the mysterious pilot Ro who screwed her over before she even got to Paris Satellite.



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

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!


“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

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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