Random Alex wrote a lovely post about the closure of ASIF. I pretty much nodded and moved on when I heard the news, as I’ve felt quite removed from the project for a long time, but Alex brought home to me what ASIF actually represents – sure, a site devoted to reviews which covered a long period when Australian SF/F writers were struggling to get reviewed anywhere, and sure, a site which published a lot of my writing over the years.
Proud of my state and my premier this week, for creating legislation that brings gay marriage a little closer to Australia. Same sex marriage laws have passed the Tasmanian Lower House as of yesterday and now have to face the legislative council. It will be a hard road ahead but it’s about time someone in power took a stand. Check out Lara Giddings’ speech, which goes a long way to addressing so many of the issues concerned with allowing this important civil right to same sex couples.
Also on a smaller but still awesome scale, I am so proud of Galactic Suburbia and of Alisa, Alex, Finchy & myself getting our very first Hugo nominations in the brand new Fancast category. It finally feels real – and Julia Rios emailed us today to let us know she HAS OUR HUGO PINS which made my head explode a little bit. A Hugo pin. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself about maybe not achieving as much as I wanted to this year, I need to stop and kick myself in the ankle and remember that a Hugo nomination is one hell of a step up the career ladder.
I’m especially proud of Alisa this week who got over her stress and anxiety about public speaking to make a speech at the National Council of Jewish Women Australia WA evening for Women’s Achievers, and they gave her an award! Considering how rarely she stops to consider everything she’s achieved over the last few years, I’m always glad when other people point it out to her. Some excerpts of her speech here.
Tor.com on In Defense of Bronies – the Quest for Gender Equality in Fandom. The patriarchy hurts men too, especially men who like cool cartoons about adorable ponies!
Jennifer Crusie, queen of the collage-your-novel technique, talks about brainstorming with yarn, and other art and craft. It’s all about YARNSTORMING!
Bluemilk responds to the Atlantic article about Women Having It All, pulling the best points from the article and providing a bunch of links to interesting followup blogs.
The fabulous epic fantasy writer Karen Miller talks publishing, fantasy and feminism in Five Questions.
If you’re in Melbourne this weekend and not at the Continuum/Craftonomicon convention, you can still get in on some Twelfth Planet Press action!
Hosted by Ian Mond of The Writer and the Critic Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein and a bunch of her authors will be recording a live podcast from Embiggen Books this Saturday afternoon and otherwise causing merriment and mayhem. We’d love to see you there whether you’re a reader, writer, podcast listener or just someone interested in awesome, cute books. For many of you it will be your first chance to get your hands on (or just gaze lovingly at) Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren, and Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan, two brand new books in the Twelve Planets range, plus Salvage by Jason Nahrung, which will be launched at the convention the previous night (TONIGHT)
5pm Saturday 9th June (TOMORROW)
197-203 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
A book launch with a difference! Come join host Ian Mond, Twelfth Planet Press publisher Alisa Krasnostein and Twelfth Planet Press authors as they launch the Twelve Planets into space, via a live podcast from Embiggen Books. Find out what goes in to putting together this acclaimed series of boutique collections. Hijinks will undoubtedly ensue.
If you’re at the convention, of course, we’d love to have you come along as well! It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the main con venue, and the more people we have, the better.
Eeee I’m going to be in Melbourne in a few hours.
Alisa muses on the last five years here, and also talks about how she can find positive female role models in trashy reality TV shows.
Speaking of role models, I wrote a Friday Hoyden post for Hoyden About Town, about: who else? Joanna Russ!
Kirstyn McDermott talks about the false equivalence of male and female representation on book covers, as beautifully illustrated by Jim C Hines.
Ben Peek heralds the new Ditmar ballot as ammunition in his ongoing secret rivalry against Bill Wright. Best Ditmar response so far!
A little one today because, funnily enough, many people have been a bit too busy to blog much this week, and most of the best blog posts I’ve read have been of the ‘summing up the year’ variety that are only worth reading if you follow that blog regularly.
Sarah Rees Brennan has written a marvellous, loving parody of Jane Eyre, Or: The Bride of Edward ‘Crazypants’ Rochester and it turns out that she loves Press Gang, too! I knew our tastes were eternally intertwined. I’m so looking forward to both of Sarah’s new novels, to be released this year.
On a more serious note, Alisa wrote about her response to the Lovecraft-representing-World-Fantasy discussion, as a Jewish woman who recently won a World Fantasy Award and only learned about Lovecraft’s racism and anti-semitism recently.
UPDATE: Excellent, crunchy post about the awards system by the ever-sharp Ursula K Le Guin.
And yes, that’s basically it. Onwards to 2012! May there be linking frenzies, flamewars and feminist rage, as well as adorable music vids. That is what the internet is for, after all.
I was working at the university this morning, so only able to sneak the occasional peek at my Twitter feed as the World Fantasy Awards tweets started up, and I almost caused a Serious Disruption to some poor chap’s exam when I discovered that our Alisa had picked up her first World Fantasy Award, this time for Special Award Non-Professional. Some day, when she manages to pay herself for all the work she does to publish and promote Australian speculative fiction, I know she’ll be up for a matching Professional award too!
I’m so very proud to be a Twelfth Planet author.
My, but the trophy is on the dour side. Does anyone want to volunteer to knit a jaunty beret or bonnet or something for hers, to cheer him up a bit?
The whole list of winners can be found here.
Congratulations to all the winners – I am absolutely squeeful about the magnificent Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor winning best novel, but all the winners were worthy, and I hope very much that all the finalists are just as proud of themselves and their achievements. It was a great shortlist this year.
Thanks to Cat Sparks who pointed me in the direction of the following vid. You can see Alisa’s award at about the 35 minute mark. It’s just a shame that the microphone discriminated against short people! But knowing Alisa, she was probably quite happy to be mostly hidden behind the podium. I hope she had a great celebratory evening afterwards, and a good night’s sleep. We’ll be interrogating her about her experience on the next episode of Galactic Suburbia!
Meanwhile, Narrelle M Harris, self-reprinter, discusses that other kind of indie press, and whether self-publishing is actually all about vanity.
Jason Nahrung has been on fire lately with some brilliant posts about our changing industry, and I particularly liked this one: Putting the eeeeee in e-books.
Meanwhile the Stella Prize for women was officially launched. Is it too much to hope that a spec fic writer wins it in the early years? Alisa, get publishing!
Aliette de Bodard wrote a marvellous rant which examines the way that US storytelling tropes are so ingrained in global culture that they basically dictate what is considered good and bad writing. I think this is a very important topic and one that bears further discussion.
Ellen Datlow is angry about the portrayal of older women in fiction, and challenged writers to do better.
Juliet McKenna has a challenge of her own, for us all to promote equality in genre writing and reviewing. Kudos to SFX for publishing this piece which criticises their own practices as well as those of the industry as a whole.
My plan was for today’s Friday links to be all about the SF gateway, but in breaking news, the World Fantasy nominations were released, and I’m SO EXCITED that Alisa Krasnostein has her first nomination! It’s for Best Non-Professional Achievement (some day she will be able to start paying herself and it will be Best Professional!) and I love that it is for Twelfth Planet Press rather than all the volunteer work she does in the community for projects like ASif & Swancon – much though I appreciate her work in that area, TPP is her future and for it to be the reason she has her first WF nomination is fabulous.
Congrats to all the nominees – I’m particularly delighted by the diverse and exciting novel shortlist, but also crowing over Rachel Swirsky’s novella “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window,” Jonathan Strahan’s anthology “Swords and Dark Magic,” and Angela Slatter’s exceptional collection, Sourdough and Other Stories. Also, extra congrats to Charles A Tan & Lavie Tidhar for their nods in the same category as Alisa, for Bibliophile Stalker and the World SF blog respectively.
But now, links!
I haven’t spotted quite as much analysis as I had expected about the significance of the SF Gateway, but here are some key posts from the last week or so:
Nicola Griffith on being one of the Gateway authors.
Cheryl Morgan on The Gateway Opens
io9 presents a vid of authors talking about their favourite out-of-print SF classics
Over at the Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan & Gary interview John Clute about the SF Encyclopedia, and how it ties into the SF Gateway project.
And now some more random linkage:
Chris Alpha of The Ood Cast has been writing a season by season recap of Doctor Who, in haiku. Oh yes, he has.
Apologies for the LJ links at this time of great LJ unreliability, but these ones are worth it. Michelle Sagara talks about how to be a good panellist at a convention, and what not to do.
Catherynne Valente is delighted by the sheer writerfantasy of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
Cheryl Morgan is republishing Linda Nagata’s SF novels as e-books.
Diana Peterfreund blogs about choosing surnames for your fictional characters.
Mary Robinette Kowal continues her interesting blog series on the writerly/practical use of Google Plus: in this case, how to teach a class using Google Hangouts.
N.K. Jemisin wrote a very cool post about women’s roles in fantasy and the problematic nature of judging the strength and value of female characters by masculine standards – the conversation in the comments is interesting, as so many people jump in to talk about domestic skills and values in fantasy, and why giving a woman a sword isn’t the only way to make her a “strong” character.
Also, I’m on the fence about Google+ and expect to continue so until too many friends of mine are in there for me to ignore it any longer (was I not right about Google Buzz? Thankyew and goodnight) but this post by Mary Robinette Kowal about constructing writing dates & writer gatherings in Google+ makes me think I’m going to have to get my arse in there before this year’s Nanowrimo.
Meanwhile, over at Twelfth Planet Press, Alisa has revealed the gorgeous cover of the new Twelve Planets collection by Lucy Sussex, and info to tantalise you about this book from one of Australia’s veteran science fiction & fantasy writers. Alisa also revealed the titles this week of the next season of TPs, by Deborah Biancotti, Narrelle Harris and Kaaron Warren… and what titles they are!
But you know, when it comes down to it, the most awesome thing about this week was Noni Hazlehurst reading modern classic picture book, Go The Fuck to Sleep. Text Publishing hit on a genius method of publicising the fact that they are the Australian publishers of this instant classic for exhausted parents everywhere. Noni is a goddess as well as a national icon, and her performance of the book, including traditional Play School commentary & asides to the viewer, and a deeply authentic ‘going downhill rapidly’ emotional journey, is note-perfect.
The glee on Twitter as Noni’s reading was announced (you can keep your Samuel L Jackson, Americans!), the outrage as YouTube canned the video for offensive conduct (you know where you can go, YouTube…) and the joy as the video was re-released on other platforms… honestly, this is the most patriotic joy I think most Aussies have felt in years.