Tag Archives: joanna russ

Galactic Suburbia Episode 35

New episode up! Grab it from iTunes, by direct download or stream it on the site.


In which “best” becomes “superior,” Pottermore is Pottermeh, one of us wins all the awards, and we visit/revisit classic non-hard works of SF and Fantasy by Bujold, Willis and Pratchett (with bonus Russian fairytales by Valente).


Pottermore announcement made during our podcast…

Theodore Sturgeon finalists

David Gemmell Awards

NatCon professional guests for next year are Kelly Link and Alison Goodman.

Chronos Awards 😀

Sidewise Awards finalists

Translation Awards winners

Stoker Awards announced

Coode Street Horror Special with Stoker winners Datlow & Straub

Gender Spotting Tool – Naff.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: Connie Willis’ Passage in progress, the next 3 Twelve Planets.
Alex: so much Bujold (Cordelia’s Honor and Young Miles omnibuses… omnibi… whatever, Fly by Night, Frances Hardinge, Red Glove, Holly Black. Series 2 of V (reboot)
Tansy: Deathless, Catherynne Valente; I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett; Wyrd Sisters audiobook, Terry Pratchett/Celia Imrie.

Next Fortnight: Galactic Suburbia’s Spoilerific Book Club Presents: Joanna Russ. Reading How to Suppress Women’s Writing, The Female Man, “When It Changed.”

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

A Linkier World

I am loving the Tumblr “A Doctor World” which remixes the odd, philosophical phrases of the art-tragicomic-musing-on-the-universe comic strip A Softer World with images from Doctor Who. These range from funny and romantic to sad and uncomfortable – wonderful stuff.

Also, this week on the internet…

Jo Walton talks about child-markers in the Robert Heinlein juveniles.

An inspiring interview with Hope Powell, England football coach and all-around awesome woman. I was fascinated by honest descriptions of what it was like to be a West Indian girl who loved football in Britain in the 1970’s, and how she made it to the top of her field despite how marginalised women’s football still is.

Tehani and Random Alex are doing a chronological read-along series of posts about Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga – Tehani, like me, is a diehard Bujold fan, and Alex is reading the books (and loving them) for the very first time. I’m excited to follow along! Two posts up so far, Cordelia’s Honor and The Warrior’s Apprentice. NOBODY SPOIL ALEX.

For those of you just joining us, Cheryl does a bang up job of summing up the current gender discussion on the internet, centering around The Guardian, lists, Nicola Griffith and others.

The SF MindMeld, which hasn’t had a brilliant record at addressing gender parity in the past but I believe has been working to improve, reiterates Griffith’s idea of the Russ Pledge and asks What’s The Importance of the Russ Pledge Today? Sadly, while most of the official respondents have the right idea and some interesting things to say, there are many commenters who seem offended at the very concept of giving women writers a fair go.

“Why I won’t be taking the Joanna Russ pledge” by Athena Andreadis. Powerful, important post – I think she is somewhat unfair in her characterisation of the pledge and its usefulness but hard to argue with “I have been implementing it for the last forty-plus years.”

Speaking of gender politics, Gail Simone has publicly commented on the lack of female creators involved in the DC reboot (even fewer than usual in comics) and tried to discuss it on Twitter with her fellow professionals. A warning: the comments on this one are beyond depressing.

A cool piece about the equal male-female balance on the writing team of TV show Community and how it worked out really well for them, though starting as an experiment imposed upon them. While there’s a little bit of ‘wow, we included women writers and they didn’t suck, and actually it meant we had a team that had a wider range of views!’ and I think there is some belittling of the idea that a good racial mix among writers would be just as important, it still feels like a step in the right direction.

“Thinking too hard” about The Hunger Games
, why the concept of the first book worked so well, and the subversive message it gives to teens, which goes beyond “be yourself” all the way to “if you have to pretend not to be yourself to anyone, chances are they are out to kill you.”

Galactic Suburbia Episode 33 Show Notes

New episode up! Grab it from iTunes, by direct download or stream it on the site.


In which we wax lyrical about awards, short stories and the love of reading. Because it’s that time of year!

Aurealis Awards winners as reported by roving reporter Tansy

Nebula Awards winners

Translation Awards

Aqueduct links to 25 commemorations of Joanna Russ

New podcast – How I got my Boyfriend to Read Comics

Last Short Story is on Twitter @lastshortstory

New Galactic Chat: Kirstyn McDermott

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Tansy: The Shattering, Karen Healey
Alex: The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss; How to Suppress Women’s Writing, Joanna Russ; Welcome to Bordertown, Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling; finished Stargate SG1 for the second time.
Alisa: Ken Liu’s Paper Menagerie (F&SF March/April), Joanna Russ’s We Who Are About To

Pet Subject: Last Short Story 2011

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

Galactic Suburbia Episode 32 Show Notes

New episode up! Grab it from iTunes, by direct download or stream it on the site.


In which we bid farewell to Joanna Russ, talk e-publishing (again) and Alisa reads a real live actual book. With bonus raving about Doctor Who and Alistair Reynolds – in other words, another episode of Galactic Suburbia.


On Joanna Russ:
Making Light
Broad Universe Samuel Delaney interviews Joanna Russ
Aqueduct Press

Barb & Jenny on e-publishing
Part 1
Part 2

Book Country launched by Penguin USA
Jim Hines on Book Country
Ellen Datlow on the role of the short story editor, at Book Country

Brimstone Press closing

Shaun Tan named judge for Illustrators of the Future

What Culture Have we Consumed?
Alisa: Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott, Fringe Season 3
Alex: Deep State, Walter Jon Williams; Shattered City, and Love and Romanpunk, Tansy Rayner Roberts; Pushing Ice, Alastair Reynolds; Troubletwisters, Garth Nix and Sean Williams.
Tansy: Doctor Who & Big Finish audio plays. The Eighth Doctor Adventures.


Announcing upcoming Spoilerific Book Club on Joanna Russ with particular focus on The Female Man, How To Suppress Women’s Writing and short story “When it Changed.” Read along with us!

Galactic Chat interviews Glenda Larke

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

Smart Women Saying Smart Things

I have been gathering a pile of interesting links for blog posts all week, many of them linking to each other and building upon each other in a fascinating conversation about writing, reviewing and gender.

Reviewing and Writing as Women’s Work

Nicola Griffiths on how the gendered gaze affects our perceptions of how “hard” or “soft” science fiction actually is (and how sexual it is).

Madeleine Robins on the insidious, internalised cultural pressures of “nice girls don’t brag or draw attention to themselves” and how that works against promoting your own books as an author.

Sherwood Smith on the gender imbalance in SF reviewing and how Important Books tend to be those on Manly Subjects of Manliness and yet books about/by women mysteriously turn out to be Not Important, and isn’t that an odd coincidence? Also, how important it is to realise that if your literary tastes differ from the accepted standards of what is Good, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with you. In closing, in response to Madeleine Robins’ post, she also points out that the mythical women who don’t push themselves forward enough (and are therefore responsible for people not realising women can write good books) tend to be highly criticised by society when they actually do push themselves forward. Yes, still.

Owlectomy on how a gendered perspective of a novel’s subject can absolutely mess with your instincts about whether it is worthy of an award, and it can screw with you even if you are a woman and a feminist. Her description of the Joanna Russ Fairy is epic and must become a staple of critical language:

And the Joanna Russ fairy said, “If you think that family and love and grief are not inherently important topics, you might as well put some zombies in your Pride and Prejudice and be done with it.”

Juliet McKenna on how insidious Default/Lazy Sexism can be, and how easily people slip into the idea that fantasy is a genre for and about men.

Timmi Duchamp at Aqueduct on reviewing as a woman, reviewing marginal and mainstream work, and why we need more diverse critical voices.

Miscellaneous but Still Awesome

A powerful essay by Farah Mendlesohn about the work of Diana Wynne Jones, her literary influence, and why she was so terribly important as a writer. (not all that unrelated to the previous section, now I come to think of it)

Nisi Shawl on Race, Still – essential reading for anyone in the genre. And yep, this one’s not all that unrelated either.

Diana Peterfreund announces that Errant, the medieval-awesome-women-with-unicorns novelette that was one of my favourite pieces of short fiction last year, is available as an e-book. If you didn’t get hold of the antho it was originally in (Kiss Me Deadly) then I can recommend this one very highly.

Image found thanks to Ragnell – I have seen this fantastic cosplay group around the web all over the place but this is the first time I saw so many of them in one image. It may well be the awesomest thing I have seen in many months.


Over at the Swancon blog, I guest-posted about retro-futurist fashions with particular reference to June Hudson and Blake’s 7, and a healthy side helping of Doctor Who.

Get an early e-book edition of Aussie spec fic anthology After The Rain (Fablecroft) in exchange for a donation for QLD flood relief.

While you’re at it, you can also bid on one of a huge selection of writerly donations for flood relief in the Authors for Queensland auction. There are lots of signed books here, and many offers for manuscript assessments and mentorship from some of the best in the business. Pick up a bargain and help Queensland recover!

And it’s never too late to read Joanna Russ. Always cool to hear someone else’s take on trying to educate yourself about one of SF’s most important women.

Galactic Suburbia Episode 21

New Episode now available for streaming, direct download or from iTunes!

In which we work, play, shake up our format a little (gasp!) and cover the life & death of magazines, the changing face of the industry, respect for non fiction, sexual harassment, rants, reboots and as usual, books, books and more books. Also a few sneaky clues about what Twelfth Planet Press is publishing next year!


Realms of Fantasy is back, again…

Escape Pod Expands:
“We have been pushing to expand what Escape Pod does, adding an SF blog and distributing our stories via magazine format. We’re also becoming a pro market, and hope to keep paying our authors pro rates well into 2011 if the donations make it possible.”

Cheryl Morgan talks about paying for reviews as semipro

On the Cooks Source scandal and seeing stuff on the internet as ‘public domain’

Jim C Hines on reporting sexual harassment in SF/F

Old men complaining?
When you get older, do you by consequence lose your sense of wonder? Just simply because you’ve read everything? And is/should all SF be aimed/written for the 60 year old man?
Jason Sanford responds

New Buffy Reboot

New Friend of the Podcast: The Writer & the Critic (Mondy & Kirstyn)

Rambly Discussion
Books that aren’t marketed as being a part of a series…
Publishing, deadlines, and attitudes thereto…
Chat, rants and backpedalling…

What Culture have we Consumed?
Alex: Blameless, Gail Carriger; The Devil in Mr Pussy, Paul Haines; Women of Other Worlds, ed. Helen Merrick and Tess Williams; Bold as Love, Gwyneth Jones; Day of the Triffids (2009 BBC production)
Alisa: works too hard, and also FRINGE
Tansy: To Write Like a Woman, Joanna Russ; Marianne, the Magus & the Manticore by Sheri S Tepper; Sourdough & Other Stories, Angela Slatter; China Mountain Zhang, Maureen McHugh, Mists of Avalon movie

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

Saturday Soup

It’s been oddly productive around here, for a Saturday. Usually Saturdays are a mad haze of parenting, unrealistic expectations about work goals, a bit of hasty housework and occasionally managing to snatch a chapter or two of reading by flinging the children at my honey and locking myself in the library. Usually there’s guilt, either for not spending enough time with the girls, or for getting cranky with the girls after spending too MUCH time with them, or for not getting anything done, or for the house looking like a circus threw up on it.

But today I manage to hang out with the girls all morning (including a cranky teething baby), threw together a delicious lunch for me & my honey (leftover potato & cauliflower soup goes VERY WELL with added chorizo & bacon, served with hot cheesy muffins), put out some laundry, finished reading my 100th book for the year (a Joanna Russ, which seems appropriate), did a last minute podcast with Jonathan Strahan, got to the two-thirds mark of my copy edits, and played outside with the kids. I got to see Jem on a bike for the first time!

All this, and my honey is cooking dinner. Awesome!

Elsewhere in the world, Mary Robinette Kowal talks about how amateur writers should be given the same respect as hobbyists in other fields. I still can’t get over that Shades of Milk and Honey is a Nano novel! I had been meaning to lend it to [info] godiyeva already, but once I learned that, I practically forced it upon her, for inspiration.

John Scalzi puts his weight behind Nano being awesome rather than a waste of everyone’s time – I particularly enjoyed the comments on that one!

Ekaterina Sedia makes a great post about what you can say when men who don’t feel they’re sufficiently benefiting from the patriarchy derail a feminist conversation to talk about themselves.

Finally, some Bujoldy goodness. On Tor.com the very learned and well-read Jo Walton analyses the appeal of Aral Vorkosigan (lotsa spoilers) while on i09, Charlie Jane Anders asks whether Bujold writes “hard” science fiction, leading to many tangled comments as everyone tries to define what hard SF is. Sigh. At some point I am going to write my hard SF post. I think my philosophy comes down to “if Bujold isn’t it, and one of the best examples of it, then I don’t understand what it’s for.” Possibly I shouldn’t write that post.

Galactic Suburbia Episode 20 Show Notes

New Episode now available for streaming, direct download or from iTunes! Can you believe we made it to twenty episodes?

In which we talk World Fantasy, female editors, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree, Connie Willis, Pat Murphy, and more World Fantasy – plus Alisa tells us off for not mentioning how awesome certain books actually are (we totally did).


World Fantasy Award winners

Peter Tennant at Black Static looks at the stats for women being published in recent horror & dark fantasy anthologies
Hathor Legacy compares representation of female authors in two recent horror anthos

Cat Sparks is the new fiction editor of Cosmos, taking over from Damien Broderick

Discussion on the lack of female editors in pro fantasy publications (read through the comments which raise many important points about the post)

Steampunkgate (yes, really)
Charles Stross criticises the “glut” of steampunk and calls it out as a subgenre
Nisi Shawl talks about how the literary side of steampunk just isn’t as diverse and interesting as the other aspects of steampunk… yet
Catherynne Valente rants and then raves about steampunk
Scott Westerfeld gets cranky about the steampunk haterz

Small press turned imprint to publish line of multicultural SF/Fantasy for children:

Jeff VanderMeer reports on Amazon Best of SF/F lists for 2010

What have we been reading/listening to?
Alex: Changeless, Gail Carriger; The Two of Them, Joanna Russ (http://randomalex.net/2010/11/02/the-two-of-them/); Brightness Falls from the Air, James Tiptree Jr; backlog of Tor.com (esp. Robert Reed’s The Next Invasion) and Strange Horizons (esp. Sandra McDonald’s Seven Sexy Cowboy Robots)
Alisa: Fire Watch, Remake (both Connie Willis), White Cat by Holly Black, Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold
Tansy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, NK Jemisin, Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell, by Pat Murphy (http://tansyrr.com/tansywp/pseudonyms-and-pat-murphy/)

Pet Subject
Capclave and World Fantasy Convention! Alex and Tansy interrogate Alisa about her trip away, her loot, and her adventures.

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

How to Suppress Women’s Writing

This is a book I should have read fifteen years ago. This is a book someone should have put in my hands the week before I started university, and locked me in a room until I had read it. I should have read it again before I started my Honours degree, and every year I worked on my PhD. When I walked out of my head of school’s office, numbed by his awful pronouncement that the work I had done over 5 years was not enough, that the thesis was simply not worthy of a doctorate because of its scope and subject matter, I should have gone home again and read this book from cover to cover before I began my campaign to prove him wrong.

(he was, as it turned out, wrong, but that is a story for another day)

I don’t believe in ‘should’ when it comes to books. Who are you to decide how I should spend my limited reading time? But yeah. Someone should have told me about this book.

(except, of course, they did)

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