Tag Archives: game of thrones

Friday Links Provides the Recipe

bittyI’ve been mildly obsessed with pie-baking over the last few months (thanks largely to watching far too many seasons of Supernatural in a very short time frame, good thing I’m not also going around shooting ghosts with rock salt) – and fans of the Livia Day books will be pleased to know that Tabitha has been likewise engaged! Mmm, pie.

Our friend Alexis had a Game of Thrones Murder themed party for his 40th a few weeks ago, and I happily dived into the Game of Thrones themed cooking blog. I went looking for Sansa Stark’s lemon cakes and came out clutching a strawberry pie recipe to die for! I especially love the thyme in the pastry. For the party, I made these as mini pies with pastry hearts on top (it was Valentine’s Day!) and I think they worked even better than the full sized pie I tried a few days later – the combination of strawberries and lemon curd is VERY sweet, so little mouthfuls work better. But oh! *dreamy sigh*

Speaking of pie and emotions, there were some major developments in Check! Please this week, one of my favourite current webcomics. Year Two of the story of Bitty, a tiny gay pie-baking, vlogging-and-tweeting hockey player navigating the weird world of bros and frathouse living at a very LGBT-friendly college, finished up with three updates and Major Boy Kissing. Fansquee was probably heard from Mars. If you haven’t been reading this comic, now is a great time to get started!

Jim C Hines wrote a great article for Uncanny Magazine, Men of Their Times, which addresses the common refrain we hear when trying to point out the extreme racism (or other problematic behaviour) of historical figures such as Lovecraft who are held up as icons of our field. I love articles like this, which mean you no longer have to argue certain points when the topic comes up on the internet (in this case: that you can’t judge people from the past for their racism, or how they expressed it, because history is super racist), you can just post a link, drop the mic and get on with your day.

Continue reading →

Gender, Ambivalence & the Women of Westeros

Game Of Thrones CerseiSo, I have finally come to the end of my several-month-long quest that is the five books of the unfinished A Song of Ice and Fire saga, AKA A Game of Thrones The Books.

I’m not feeling the entitled outrage that GRRM hasn’t finished writing them yet, but I’m sure it’s gonna kick in any day now.

I’m still digesting it all, but wanted to start processing some of my thoughts about this series, its incredible popularity and acclaim (even before the TV series started, but way more now) and its role at the centre of so many discussions about what’s right and wrong with the fantasy genre when it comes to the representation of women, gender issues, and sexuality.

What intrigued me most, to tell you the truth, is that whenever the big discussion about female characters in epic fantasy fiction starts up again, ASOIAF (Game of Thrones is SUCH a better series title, just saying) is frequently cited on both sides of the argument – that is, as an example of a male writer writing a variety of female characters in a rich, nuanced and substantial way, AND a male author writing female characters in an extremely problematic way.

Looking at the books from the other side, I have to say – well, yep. Both those things are true.

Continue reading →

Friday Links is Late Today

Game of Thrones CoverflipSorry!

The big talking point on social media this week is Maureen Johnson’s piece in the Huffington Post about gendered book covers, along with a highly entertaining challenge to genderflip covers from one ‘author’ to another and see what difference it makes.

May the 4th (be with you) brought its usual slew of Star Wars posts, some good, many bad or boring. But I did enjoy this piece about Leigh Brackett, and how her pulp SF fantasy writing (and not her long history of excellent screenwriting) led to her writing a draft of the much celebrated middle film, The Empire Strikes Back.

Bitch Magazine looked at how F. Scott Fitzgerald (and thus The Great Gatsby, and thus all the film versions of The Great Gatsby) completely missed the point of flappers.

My favourite new blog, A Song of Ice and Attire, looks closely at the costume choices of the female characters in Game of Thrones, and all the clever subtext that they convey. It’s brilliant stuff, and makes me look at the designers of the show in a whole new light.

Continue reading →

Insert Strong Male Protagonist Here

ned-stark-needs-a-hugKate Elliott writes about strength, and writing “strong” characters, and how that ties into our societal preconceptions about the definitions of female vs. male strength. It’s a great post, and I highly recommend it.

There have been many additions in the last year to the conversation about strong female characters in SF/comics/movies and the problematic idea that ‘strong, female’ is so often defined as ‘acts in a traditionally masculine way while having a great rack.’ It’s a good conversation, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, even though it feels like there isn’t a LOT left to say once you’ve read Kate Beaton’s take on the trope.

Kate raises a really interesting question, though, of the perceived strength of male characters. How far can we get from traditional masculine behaviour before our (male) hero starts to feel, well, not heroic enough? Why is it that so many beloved, ‘romantic’ male lead characters actually behave like arseholes?

What kind of role models are these heroes?

Continue reading →

A Year in TansyRR.com

The response to my Tor.com post on “Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy” has been pretty overwhelming. Not only have there been many, many readers over there (the comments thread is still going strong, though it has turned overnight into a discussion about gender in children’s fiction which… is not a bad thing to be talking about?) but over 2500 people have tuned in to this blog to check the post out here, since Thursday. That’s… a lot, by my standards.

So if you’re here for the first time, hi, I’m Tansy! I write books, and talk a lot.

Here are some other Gender & Pop Culture posts from this year that I’m quite proud of:

Sexing Up the Classics
Mothers & Daughters, Battle-Embroidery & Bears
Babies & Bicycles: Watching Call the Midwife
Hack, Slash, Squish: Gender and Sex In Season One of Game of Thrones
What Geek Girls Wear (is none of your business)

Continue reading →

Hack, Slash, Squish: Gender and Sex In Season One of Game of Thrones


OK everyone’s way ahead of me on this one, even (to her great delight), my Mum. Once I actually sat down to watch this first season of Game of Thrones, I found myself enjoying it way more than the waves of (mostly feminist) internet critique suggested I would.

There’s a lesson in that somewhere, possibly. Anyhow, here are my reflections on the show:

[Warning, text probably not work safe, though the images should be fine, presuming that your workplace is non judgemental about fantasy fiction as a whole, which is presuming quite a lot, really, what do I know, my workplace is me and the three-year-old. She hasn’t watched the show.]

Continue reading →

Friday Links Has Pink Polka Dots

Thanks to Charles Tan for putting up my guest post, “Oops I got History in my Fantasy (again).”

Voyager also put up a Flappers With Swords post of mine: Food For Thought in Fantasy Fiction.

The Mary Sue interviews Rachel Weil, the creator of Femicom, a web museum of “girly games” which seeks to archive and provoke discussion about those most-derided computer games: the ones with all the pink. It’s a great, crunchy discussion about how products “aimed at women” can simultaneously alienate male and female gamers, but also how the gaming community is so quick to disassociate itself with games thought of as feminine.

Mamaguilt, which I think is my new favourite blog title, has started a ‘Sheroes’ page to inspire us with amazing female heroes whenever the internet gets us down. Wonderful stuff, and I love some of her choices. Mary Beard for the win!

Karen Healey talks about Why I Write Diversity, and it’s an important post which I will probably need to link people back to many times in my future life. *bookmarks*

Continue reading →