Thanks to everyone who has been tweeting or emailing me to say how much you have been enjoying the Matrons of Awesome series, and the Rock the Romanpunk posts generally. Normal service of the blog will be resumed as of Monday.
I didn’t end up doing any Films Romana posts (where I do in-depth reviews of the portrayal of Ancient Rome in old Hollywood films) because reworking the Matrons of Awesome posts took way more time this week than I expected. So tried to make up for that with a bunch of YouTube vids. There is much Romanpunk rocking in the world right now!
I’m only sad that I haven’t yet watched enough of Spartacus: Blood and Sand & Gods of the Arena, because I’m sure the fanvids for that are *awesome*.
Oh and cheers to Sean the Blogonaut, who reviewed the e-book version of Love and Romanpunk only a couple of hours ago. It’s also excellent timing that the books has been reviewed in Locus for a second time in the issue that came out today – this time, by Rich Horton. Hooray! It’s awesome to see this little book getting attention.
For those of you on the fence about whether Love and Romanpunk is a book that is for you, I thought I’d post some brief excerpts of the four stories. It should give you a sense for what you will be in for – I tried to pick bits that aren’t too spoilery, and used it as an excuse to scroll through my lovely new e-version on the Kindle, to find some of my favourite lines from the stories.
JULIA AGRIPPINA’S SECRET FAMILY BESTIARY:
We were draped with jewels and precious metals, but these were weapons too. Everything we owned had an edge to it. Which was important, because from the moment he became Emperor, people were trying to kill our brother…
I and my sisters fought bears, chimaera, sphynxes, dragons and all manner of beasts sent against my brother by foreign powers, or priests who would prefer to rule the Senate without a Caesar in command.
No Emperor has ever had an honour guard as magnificent or glorious as Caligula’s sisters.
“You are not one of them,” the man gasps, holding his sleeve to the wound. “Do not let the lamia take your will and your life from you, Frances Wolstonecraft.”
I shiver that he knows my name. Or perhaps it is that other word – lamia. I do not know what it means.
“Come near us again,” says the poet’s sister, “and my brother will kill you.”
When the last gargoyle was destroyed, Clea and Julius stretched out in the shade of the aqueduct, on the flat roof of the temple of Saturn. It was too hot to climb back down to ground level.
“Do you want to kiss me?” she asked.
He looked surprised. “No thank you.”
“Are you gay?” she asked next. Apparently she was going with personal questions this time around.
“No,” said Julius, still polite and friendly about the whole thing. No hint of embarrassment. “I’m just terribly old.”
“Clea lifted herself on her elbows, staring at him. “Did you really kill werewolves in the nineteenth century?”
“Among other things.”
LAST OF THE ROMANPUNKS
I let my head fall back against the dense wood of the door. “Typical. I had to fall for a girl who liked romanpunk. I couldn’t have gotten entangled with a cultist, or a part time assassin, or a meth addict. No, I had to go for the pretty girl in the sandals who had a thing about Virgil and roast dormice and becoming the queen of the immortal snake women.”
The door snapped open, and I fell backwards into the storeroom. The waitress immediately shut the door behind me, wedging a long shelf along it for extra security.
“How did you know I wasn’t one of them?” I said, looking up at her.
She made a face and pushed her dark hair behind her ears. “You’re just so pathetic.”
“Oh. Our family kind of has a tradition that women with the name Julia are – kind of superheroes. Warriors, soldiers, hunters… basically, they’re mighty.”
CAUTION: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MANTICORES
[It’s also a really good present to buy for any women you know called Julia]