Penthesilea: from battle-axe to bellatrix

Great Ladies of History is a Patreon-sponsored essay series for tansyrr.com! One of the rewards at the $10 tier (Great Ladies Patron!) and at the $20 tier (Deluxe Super Special Queen-Emperor of Glorious Patronage) gives you the magical ability to choose any woman of history, fiction or art (yes, superhero comics count) for me to write about.

You can check out this and many other exciting Patreon rewards at my sponsorship page.

D. Franklin requested one of two amazing Ancient Greek ladies, and my policy in life is when in doubt, pick the Amazon. (the other option was Hypatia, but I don’t feel guilty about not picking her, because there’s a fabulous post about her here at The Original Black Woman).

penthesilea editedSo let’s talk about Penthesilea!

The Amazons are a staple of Greek mythology – women warriors who are often held up these days as symbols of strength and feminism. In the ancient world, however, they were generally framed as monstrous, unnatural figures serving as the antagonists (or the objects) of male quests. It’s no coincidence that when the Amazons turn up in a story, it’s almost always at the point of being conquered, or killed – they are treated in art as equivalent to centaurs or other monstrous foes for the Greeks to battle against.

Most of the discussion around the Amazons in the ancient texts concerns their male-free culture, which sparked various theories as to how they acquired babies: by visiting a friendly tribe regularly to conceive, only to murder/hand back any boys born; or by enslaving the men conquered in battle. The rumour that they actually cut off a breast in order to free themselves for easier archery (because dying of infection, so convenient in the military) has been largely debunked, as it is not supported by the artistic depictions.

Those of the ancient world certainly believed Amazons had once existed, but even the oldest accounts we have describe them as a long-lost race, whose traditions were maintained by some cultures (Herododus claimed the Scythians were descended from Amazons, which is why they let their wives ride horses).

It’s more fun to believe they really existed, so let’s go with that.

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Sheep Might Fly: Unmagical Boy Story 1

Flying Sheep Show NotesHere we are, starting a brand new Sheep Might Fly serial!

“Unmagical Boy Story” is a sequel to “Fake Geek Girl,” and is original to this podcast.

Viola Vale has a paper to write for an important academic conference – the last thing she should do is go to the pub with her ex-best friend and his new girlfriend, to listen to an indie band she hates. But this is Belladonna University, where a good night out means magical explosions, literal trolls, hexed cocktails and sparkle pixie hair product. This particular night out will change Viola’s life, friendships and future forever…

unmagical boy 4sity

Sheep Might Fly now has its own Twitter account: @sheepmightfly
and its own Tumblr account: Sheep Might Fly
Follow along for updates, previews and other Sheep Might Fly specific chatter!

Master list of Sheep Might Fly serials.

Support Tansy & Sheep Might Fly at Patreon.

Sheep Might Fly: Julia Agrippina Part 6

Flying Sheep Show NotesNew Sheep Might Fly episode update! Listen now on iTunes (or your own favourite podcast app). You can stream, download & follow Sheep Might Fly on Podbean.

This is the final episode of “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary” from my Twelve Planets collection Love and Romanpunk, a story suite about a universe where the Ancient Romans fought (and occasionally married) outlandish magical creatures, some of which survived to the present day and beyond. You can get a copy of the whole book over at the Twelfth Planet Press website.

“Agrippina” is a story about sex, death, domestic violence, emotional abuse, the erasure of women in history, and manticores. It features some surprising facts about Roman Emperors, only some of which are made up.

PART SIX: Werewolves

Julia Agrippina Banner

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This Month Online: June 2016

IMG_8889It’s been a big month! The Silent Producer and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by getting married, because apparently you can’t just backdate these things. (I totally backdated it in my head, in case anyone was wondering)

We eloped for the weekend, taking our parents and children with us, and were married underneath the bridge at Richmond. It was very cold. June weddings in the Southern Hemisphere are… a bracing choice, but we were pretty pleased with the results.

I’m actively writing the next Sheep Might Fly original serial at the moment, which will be a sequel to “Fake Geek Girl”, tentatively titled “Unmagical Boy Story.” It’s about postgrad life in a magical university, friendship wars, snobbery and mythology, and takes place over a single eventful night in the life of Viola Vale and the residents of the Manic Pixie Dream House. We’re also working towards a release of the ebook version of “Glass Slipper Scandal,” which will be going out free to all Patreon supporters, hopefully sometime in July.

You can support my Patreon here.

kid dark full

At the end of the day’s session, seven-year-old Davey, who had been creeping closer and closer to the worksite, tugged on Willa’s sleeve and confessed: “Solar’s my favourite.”

Willa smiled a wide, approving smile. It was immediately wiped off her face when Jimbo jumped in with: “You can’t have a girl as your favourite. Unless you are a girl. And girls don’t even like superheroes.”

Willa looked furious. Griff braced himself to explain to management how one of the Teen Volunteers had punched a twelve-year-old. Instead of going after Jimbo, though, Willa got up in Griff’s face. “What the hell are you teaching these kids?” she hissed between her teeth.

“Don’t look at me,” Griff protested. “I just fix shit around here.”

“Yeah, well this looks like some shit that needs to be fixed.”

from “Kid Dark Against the Machine,” by Tansy Rayner Roberts, The Book Smugglers

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Smuggling Superheroes

almanacHey, let’s talk about the Book Smugglers Almanac!

This is a new quarterly journal from the Book Smugglers, featuring fiction, essays and reviews. I’m really excited that they are reprinting my “Cookie Cutter Superhero” story from Kaleidoscope, but it’s actually wall to wall cool content. The theme for this issue is superheroes, given that it is Year of the Superhero over at Book Smugglers, and I’m reading through it voraciously. Essays on superheroes by Genevieve Valentine, Jay Edidin and Sunil Patel? YES PLEASE

(also I have just read “How To Piss Off A Failed Super-Soldier by John Chu and it is AMAZING, everyone should read this story right away!!! it’s so heartbreaking and angsty and funny and it has wall climbing and attractive men in tuxedos)

Check out the Table of Contents:

THE BOOK SMUGGLERS’ QUARTERLY ALMANAC: VOLUME I – THE TOC
Introduction – The Book Smugglers • Essay
Cookie Cutter Superhero – Tansy Rayner Roberts • Story
Ninefox Gambit – Thea James • Review
How to Piss Off A Failed Super-Soldier – John Chu • Story
The Invisible Woman – Genevieve Valentine • Essay
Medium – Charles Payseur • Story
Where To Start With The X-Men – Jay Edidin • Essay
Crimson Cadet – Susan Jane Bigelow • Story
Captain America vs. Iron Man vs. Batman vs. Superman – Sunil Patel • Essay
The Geek Feminist Revolution – Ana Grilo • Review
On the Smugglers’ Radar – The Book Smugglers • List
The Vishakanya’s Choice – Roshani Chokshi • Story
Learn to Love Your Mary Sue – Carlie St. George • Essay

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Sheep Might Fly: Julia Agrippina Part 5

Julia Agrippina Banner

New Sheep Might Fly episode update! Listen now on iTunes (or your own favourite podcast app). You can stream, download & follow Sheep Might Fly on Podbean.

Our current serial is “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary” from my Twelve Planets collection Love and Romanpunk, a story suite about a universe where the Ancient Romans fought (and occasionally married) outlandish magical creatures, some of which survived to the present day and beyond. You can get a copy of the whole book over at the Twelfth Planet Press website.

“Agrippina” is a story about sex, death, domestic violence, emotional abuse, the erasure of women in history, and manticores. It features some surprising facts about Roman Emperors, only some of which are made up.

PART FIVE: Sphynx, Triton, Vampire

Need to catch up on the previous episode?
PART ONE: Basilisk, Centaur, Dragon, Eagle
PART TWO: Griffin, Harpy
PART THREE: Lamia, Manticore
PART FOUR: Naiad, Peacock

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Galactic Suburbia Episode 145 Show Notes

New episode available to stream or download!

In which we all had a very exciting weekend

Launched & pre-launched at Continuum: Defying Doomsday and Something New Can Come Into This World

(Tansy & the Silent Producer totally got married!)

British Fantasy Award shortlist

CULTURE CONSUMED:

Alisa: The Martian, Trepalium

Tansy: The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley, Cleverman, UnReal, Which Witch by Eva Ibbotson

Alex: Angela Slatter binge: Vigil, Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, Sourdough and Other Stories, Black-Winged Angels. Revolution School (ep 1 until July 6)

Alex’s new podcast! Acts of Kitchen

Tansy’s new superhero story at The Book Smugglers: Kid Dark Against the Machine
On superheroes, kids, gender and role models: Tansy’s Inspiration & Influences

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Sheep Might Fly: Julia Agrippina Part 4

Flying Sheep Show NotesNew Sheep Might Fly episode update! Listen now on iTunes (or your own favourite podcast app). You can stream, download & follow Sheep Might Fly on Podbean.

Our current serial is “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary” from my Twelve Planets collection Love and Romanpunk, a story suite about a universe where the Ancient Romans fought (and occasionally married) outlandish magical creatures, some of which survived to the present day and beyond. You can get a copy of the whole book over at the Twelfth Planet Press website.

“Agrippina” is a story about sex, death, domestic violence, emotional abuse, the erasure of women in history, and manticores. It features some surprising facts about Roman Emperors, only some of which are made up.

PART FOUR: Naiad, Peacock

Need to catch up on the previous episode?
PART ONE: Basilisk, Centaur, Dragon, Eagle
PART TWO: Griffin, Harpy
PART THREE: Lamia, Manticore

Julia Agrippina Banner

Continue reading →

Sheep Might Fly: Julia Agrippina Part 3

Flying Sheep Show NotesNew Sheep Might Fly episode update! Listen now on iTunes (or your own favourite podcast app). You can stream, download & follow Sheep Might Fly on Podbean.

Our current serial is “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary” from my Twelve Planets collection Love and Romanpunk, a story suite about a universe where the Ancient Romans fought (and occasionally married) outlandish magical creatures, some of which survived to the present day and beyond. If you like your stories in dead tree or undead pixel format, you can get a copy of the whole book over at the Twelfth Planet Press website.

“Agrippina” is a story about sex, death, domestic violence, emotional abuse, the erasure of women in history, and manticores. It features some surprising facts about Roman Emperors, only some of which are made up.

PART THREE: Lamia, Manticore

Need to catch up on the previous episode?
PART ONE: Basilisk, Centaur, Dragon, Eagle
PART TWO: Griffin, Harpy

Julia Agrippina Banner

Continue reading →

Sheep Might Fly: Julia Agrippina Part 2

Flying Sheep Show NotesNew Sheep Might Fly episode update! Listen now on iTunes (or your own favourite podcast app). You can stream, download & follow Sheep Might Fly on Podbean.

Our current serial is “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary” from my Twelve Planets collection Love and Romanpunk, a story suite about a universe where the Ancient Romans fought (and occasionally married) outlandish magical creatures, some of which survived to the present day and beyond. If you like your stories in dead tree or undead pixel format, you can get a copy of the whole book over at the Twelfth Planet Press website.

“Agrippina” is a story about sex, death, domestic violence, emotional abuse, the erasure of women in history, and manticores. It features some surprising facts about Roman Emperors, only some of which are made up.

PART TWO: Griffin, Harpy

Julia Agrippina Banner

Need to catch up on the previous episode?
PART ONE: Basilisk, Centaur, Dragon, Eagle

Continue reading →