Tansy Rayner Roberts

Musketeer Space Part 42: Communications in Outer Space

March 11th, 2015

headphonesIt’s Musketeer Day!

I’m at home with two sick, cranky children, but there’s always Musketeers to keep me company.

I had a jetsetting weekend, flying into Canberra for a fantastic launch of new book Cranky Ladies of History, the first book I have edited (co-edited) in twelve years, now available from Fablecroft.

Thank you so much to the extraordinary Karen Middleton for joining us to launch this wonderful book that I regularly hug to my chest. You can check out the amazing array of Cat Sparks photos from the event here on Flickr. So proud of this book, and I was so glad to hang out with so many of my East Coast friends on Sunday.

Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 41
Read a festive Musketeer Space prequel, “Seven Days of Joyeux.”
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: The Sun-kissed besieged the planet of Truth some time ago, and now Dana and her Three Musketeer best friends have shipped out to war as reinforcements for the Royal Fleet. Also, remember when Conrad Su got himself kidnapped for messing with palace politics? Fun times.


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ROBOTECH REWATCH 40: Who are the Invid?

March 7th, 2015

metal fireHold your position, Robotech transmissions will now resume.

Episode 45 – Metal Fire

Dana blows up at Angelo for his casual anti-alien racism. He obviously hasn’t got the memo about her being the famous first child born to a human-Zentraedi relationship.

Bowie, meanwhile, is moping about the pretty girl he saw on the flagship – and the narrator conveniently provides us with a short bio about her, so we learn before Bowie that she is Musica, sister to Allegra and Octavia, clones created by the Robotech Masters.

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Friday Links is a Secret Princess Story

March 6th, 2015

mockingbirdI haven’t watched Jupiter Ascending, but I have been fascinated by the meta commentary around about whether it’s a bad film or not, and whether it’s an anti-feminist film or not, and so on.

The Fangirl Happy Hour reviewed it very positively and got into some fantastic meta about what the film does well, while still (and this is crucial) not necessarily being a good film. Renay’s rant on agency and how a perceived lack of it is used too often to dismiss female-centred stories is a masterwork of criticism that she’s obviously been building up to for some time and everyone should listen to it.

I’d like to add this Tumblr post which explains how Jupiter Ascending is being criticised for failing to meet the requirements for a Chosen Hero narrative, when in fact it is a Secret Princess story, and that has different narrative beats.

Then we have Kate Elliott at Tor.com, being brilliant about Writing Female Characters as Human Beings – with an articulate, point by point exploration of how writers can do better at this particular skill, should they aspire to do so. She also talks about agency, and how there are different kinds of agency in real life as in stories. The article is full of practical advice and while some of the comments are frustrating, many of them add thoughtful layers to the conversation as a whole.

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Musketeer Space Part 41: Driving the Arquebus

March 4th, 2015

buttonIt’s Musketeer day!

A brand new month means more Musketeer hijinks in space. I’ve finally found a home for one of the spaceship names that I promised to include back when the project began – I still have a couple of these pending, and only one ‘name this spaceship’ option left on my Patreon page.

Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 40
Read a festive Musketeer Space prequel, “Seven Days of Joyeux.”
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan has been thwarting the Cardinal ever since she set foot on Paris Satellite: protecting the Prince Consort from the diamond stud plot, teaming up with her friends the Musketeers, and basically making a nuisance of herself. Somehow that’s earned her a job offer.


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What I did in February

March 2nd, 2015

agent-carter-768Online Essays:

Reasons to Love Agent Carter

Instead of the elegant martial arts usually used to explain how a Hollywood-petite woman can be lethal (eg. Black Widow, Melinda May), Peggy is a total bruiser. She punches, kicks, elbows and uses every dirty trick she has to hand. She also has a sense of humour and a full emotional range. She’s a genuine pleasure to watch on screen, whether she’s deflecting awkward work situations with quiet sarcasm, or punching the hell out of a pair of goons on the waterfront. Peggy, I love you, don’t ever leave me.

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

In interviews, the creators of the series stated that the original Young Avengers is about being 16, while this book is about being 18. This isn’t literally true (Kate, for example, is a hair’s breadth off turning 21) but definitely comes across in the content which explores themes such as sexual identity, informed consent, casual sex/serious relationships, gender fluidity and break ups along with the universe being in danger from Teddy’s inter-dimensional zombie mom, and Kid Loki’s murderous past. There are several bisexual or sexually questioning characters, which is pretty awesome to see in a story for an older teen audience, and in comics generally.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 39: Romancing the Clone

February 28th, 2015

So last week was a disaster. Those of you who tuned in on Saturday for “Debriefing the Dreamboat” may or may not have noticed that – it was totally the wrong episode. I skipped a disc! Which is something of a relief because there were quite a few parts of that episode that didn’t entirely make sense.


Here is a double episode to make up for it.

Hold your position, Robotech transmissions will now resume.

robotech-masters-000243. Prelude to Battle

The Alpha Tactical Armoured Corp (ATAC) 15th Squadron is at it again, another battle on the ground against the Robotech Masters, and they’re pretty exhausted.. A member of the Council suggests letting more than one squadron fight at a time to overwhelm the enemy, but the others are wary of that strategy, on the grounds that they might run out of troops that way.

Anyway, we all know there’s only one squadron.

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Friday Links Don’t Own Me

February 27th, 2015

The Cat PhoneOur family has been Batman-obsessed since my honey received the entire Batman 1966-68 box set on DVD for Christmas. My five year old is deeply attached to Julie Newmar to the point that she howls with delight when a cliffhanger ends on ‘Tune in Same Cat Time, Same Cat Channel’ instead of Bat Channel.

My ten year old has had a crash course on what sexism used to look like, simply by observing the gender dynamics in the show. We’ve been learning more about 60′s celebrities than I ever thought possible. Oh, and we’ve been counting down the episodes until we get to Season 3, because Yvonne Craig as Batgirl! (Ms 5 sneakily found montages on YouTube and watched ahead, I’m oddly proud of this)

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Issue #1 – Spider-Gwen (2015)

February 26th, 2015

Spider-Gwen_Vol_1_1_Latour_VariantTitle: Spider-Gwen #1

Writer: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

The Buzz: Spider-Gwen is all about buzz. She was created as an alt-universe version of much-killed-off Spiderman love interest Gwen Stacy in Edge of Spiderverse #2, to join an ensemble of dimension-hopping Spider-characters. But right from the start (actually from the release of the cover art/costume design via Instragram and Tumblr) her distinctive look and the fresh, contemporary feel of her world captured the imagination of readers. Spider-Gwen in her white web-lined hoodie, with her grrrl band and her dead boyfriend and her over-protective cop father, was so vivid in that single issue that she became a cosplay icon and a call to arms practically overnight.

All You Need To Know: Gwen was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker; he was so inspired/obsessed by the mysterious Spider-Woman that he experimented on himself and died as tormented villain The Lizard. Gwen is the drummer in the rising rock band The Mary Janes (their first single: “Face It Tiger, You Hit the Jackpot”) and her dad has just found out she’s a super vigilante. She’s just got back from her dimension-hopping adventure with all the other Spider-peeps, and is hoping to put her life back together.

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Musketeer Space Part 40: Tea, and the Cardinal

February 25th, 2015

teapotIt’s Musketeer Day!

I had a Robotech Rewatch disaster this week, accidentally skipping a disc and reviewing the wrong episode! Have no fear, I’ll be posting a double episode this Saturday to make up for it.

Check out this month’s Musketeer Media Monday post: Bat’Magnan & the Mean Musketeers (2001), in which a Musketeer adaptation gets almost exactly everything wrong, and is mostly forgiven because Catherine Deneuve.

Speaking of Musketeer adaptations, we’ve been marathoning our way through Leverage for the first time, and whenever Richard Chamberlain turns up, I convince myself that Aramis is immortal and training catburglars in the 21st century. Well, he would.

Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 39
Read a festive Musketeer Space prequel, “Seven Days of Joyeux.”
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: The Sun-kissed invaded the other end of the solar-system, and while her friends the Musketeers were waiting to be sent into battle, Dana managed to get into a whole lot of trouble including sleeping with the enemy, losing the Prince’s tailor she was hoping to have an affair with, discovering Athos’ dead husband wasn’t actually dead, and scoring a job that means she’s almost, but not quite, a Musketeer herself.


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Bat’Magnan and the Mean Musketeers (2001)

February 23rd, 2015

themusketeerI wasn’t sure what to expect from The Musketeer (2001) but the title didn’t give me a lot of confidence – after all, while the number of Musketeers in the title is canonically questionable, it’s the plural that’s important. I mean, last time I reviewed a piece of Musketeer Media that was only about a single Musketeer, we got Athos being sad on the moon.

This time around, we have Tim Roth in a hat, and a script that thinks it’s okay to tell the Musketeer story without Milady and, for the most part, without giving Athos anything to do.

It’s not okay.

We are introduced to the young Bruce Wayne D’Artagnan as a small boy, fencing with his father, until an arch Tim Roth in a glamorous all-black ensemble turns up to snark about taxes and kill both D’Artagnan’s parents for shits and giggles.

Just as I was wondering why you would cast Tim Roth as Rochefort and not give him an eyepatch, newly-orphaned Bruce Wayne D’Artagnan went at him with a sword and made an eyepatch supremely necessary.

The kid is left in the charge of Jarvis Alfred Planchet, a kindly servant who will do his best to raise him without anyone building a Batcave, creating a utility belt, or dressing up in silly costumes to fight crime.

Well, two out of three isn’t bad.

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