Tag Archives: kameron hurley

Not Not If You Were the Last… February Stories!

JanFeb16_Issue8_cover-340x510I’m trying to read more short stories again this year, after being semi-retired from the Not If You Were The Last Short Story on Earth project for far too long.

My plan is to find at least 5 stories worth recommending each month, however many I have to read to get to that point! That’s doable, right? As long as we don’t mention January.

“The Heart is Eaten Last” by Kameron Hurley is a Nyx novella, set in the same world as Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha series. It was released this month as a backer reward for Hurley’s Patreon campaign, and I seriously just read it in one afternoon. It was that good. (If you’re not a Patreon backer I don’t know how you can get hold of this but I’m sure someone will publish it, watch this space)

I’m in love with novellas as a format right now, and “The Heart is Eaten Last” is everything I want from a good one – a solid, character-rich story. I hadn’t thought before how much Nyx, in her war-torn city of assassins, magic and beetle technology, is a noir hero before this story, but she totally is – she’s a foul-mouthed Phillip Marlowe hunting the Maltese Falcon, only… she’s not. She’s Nyx, harsh and ruthless and completely fucked up but somehow managing to hold a team together long enough to solve the mystery and save her reputation while hanging on by her fingernails. Meet her terrible judgy sister! Wince at her awful life choices and the mean things she says to people! Cheer at her badassery! Everything I liked about the character and the world in God’s War comes across beautifully here – so much crunchy gender commentary in such a tight, fast-paced adventure. I want want want to read more novellas with Nyx and her team, because I think the format is perfect for Hurley’s cynical, violent prose, and I am far more invested in the characters than I really thought possible.

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Friday Links is a Series, Not a Standalone

You Can't Take The Sky Kanga From Me

You Can’t Take The Sky Kanga From Me

Friday links lives! It lives! The biggest obstacle to Friday links, in fact, has been that my mother has been babysitting for me on Friday mornings, allowing me a blissful several hours a week to type frantically in a library where the wifi is so slow I don’t even turn it on – distraction free writing time!

So in an effort to return to old traditions, I’m putting Friday Links together on a Thursday night. How’s that for a life hack?

Justin Landon at Staffer’s Book Review has proclaimed that The Series is Dying. And The Internet Killed It. I don’t want to agree with him and I’m not entirely sure that I do – but his point about which books are getting buzz feels very accurate to me, and I have turned into that reader who enjoys and raves about the first book in the series, but can’t quite be bothered to pick up the second, so who am I to throw custard pies?

Kameron Hurley has been blogging up a storm all over the internet, promoting her new book The Mirror Empire. Which I am very excited to read, but I pre-ordered which in my world means I get it three weeks after everyone else. #sadfacts I was particularly drawn to this piece she wrote for SF Signal – 5 Things I Learned When I Stopped Worrying About Genre. We could all pretend that I’m not recommending this article purely because Kameron refers to the genre implications of Wonder Woman riding a giant kangaroo through space, but we all know that we would be lying to ourselves.

Speaking of genre, Damien Walter had some interesting thoughts this week on Space Opera and how it’s the thing that’s about to be super hot right now (not his actual article title). This is a thing with no drawbacks.

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Burnout and Recovery: When Publishing Hurts Writers

please look after this bookThis post by Kameron Hurley on how she dealt with the burnout that comes from writing a series (itself an exhausting thing, especially towards the end) for a publisher who has let her down in many ways.

It’s not a post you see very often. Authors still tend to feel vulnerable about airing their bad experiences in public, worrying that this lack of solidarity will get them a bad reputation in the industry.

But keeping quiet can be more damaging. Not just to the other writers you fail to warn, but also to your own sense of self, and to your writing. If all writers talk about is the good experiences, we are not only letting each other down (by pretending everything is rosy) but ourselves.

We’re not always the hardbitten hacks we pretend to me – even the toughest of us do have at least one layer of self conscious, self-doubting fragile snowflake, and one bad experience can make it incredibly hard to pull up our boots and keep working like nothing has happened. Our business is emotional, and that can take a mighty toll on the work itself. Which SUCKS BEYOND BELIEF.

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My Little Friday Links

OK the news that really sparkled for me this week was the availability of the My Little Pony comics on ComiXology – which means I can actually access them! Oh, ComiXology, you are so convenient, if only your DRM-based platform wasn’t so inflexible and slightly evil. DID I MENTION PONIES?

Alisa passed on a link to this inspiring article about Nicola Beauman and Persephone Books. There’s a lot to unpack in this one, particularly about the value of aesthetically pleasing books, but also the human side of “building a brand”. Warning: this article may make you buy books while reading it.

Mary Shelley blogs about the origins of her classic story Frankenstein. Yes, really. Well, a bit.

Jennifer Mills talks about reading Australian classics for the AWW challenge, and Elizabeth L Huede writes about the year’s challenge over at the Huffington Post.

Rebecca Fitzgibbon responds to the Hobart ABC closure
, discussing some of the roll on cultural effects that come from not producing TV in Tasmania any longer. Sigh.

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Andrea Hairston wins Tiptree Award

I’ve had the best fun ever being a juror for the James Tiptree Jr. Award this past year, and it’s very exciting that now the news is out, we get to share our picks with everyone! We had such a wealth of material to read for this, which makes me feel very happy about the current state of the genre. Interrogating gender issues may not be something every SF or fantasy book does, but it feels like there’s a hell of a lot more out there than there used to be. (my groaning bookshelves attest to this)

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 Tiptree Award is Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011). Hairston had already agreed to serve as a juror for the 2012 award. By a first-ever coincidence, she is also one of the Guests of Honor at this year’s WisCon, where the Tiptree Award is traditionally celebrated.

The James Tiptree Jr. Award is presented annually to a work of science fiction or fantasy that explores and expands gender roles. The award seeks out work that is thought-provoking, imaginative, and perhaps even infuriating. It is intended to reward those writers who are bold enough to contemplate shifts and changes in gender roles, a fundamental aspect of any society.

The Tiptree Award winner will be honored during Memorial Day weekend at WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin. Andrea Hairston will receive $1000 in prize money, a specially-commissioned piece of original artwork, and (as always) chocolate.

Each year, a panel of five jurors selects the Tiptree Award winner. The 2011 jurors were Lynne Thomas (chair), Karen Meisner, James Nicoll, Nisi Shawl, and Tansy Rayner Roberts.

Redwood and Wildfire was a favorite of the jurors from the moment they read it. They reported: “This vivid and emotionally satisfying novel encompasses the life of Redwood, a hoodoo woman, as she migrates from rural Georgia to Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. While Redwood’s romance with Aidan Wildfire is central to the novel, female friendship is also a major theme, without deferring to the romance. Hairston incorporates romantic love into a constellation, rather than portraying it as a solo shining star. Her characters invoke a sky where it can shine; they live and love without losing themselves in cultural expectations, prejudices and stereotypes, all within a lovingly sketched historical frame.

“Intersections of race, class, and gender encompass these characters’ entire lives. They struggle with external and internal forces around questions of gender roles, love, identity, and sexuality. This challenge drives how they move through the world and how it sees them. The characters in Redwood and Wildfire deftly negotiate freedom and integrity in a society where it’s difficult to hold true to these things.”

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Galactic Suburbia Episode 47

A new Galactic Suburbia episode freshly baked and ready for your consumption! Wow, we’re getting close to having 50 of these…

In which we bid farewell to the queen of dragons, squee about 48 years of Doctor Who, dissect the negative associations with “girly” fandoms such as Twilight, and find some new favourites in our reading pile.


RIP Anne McCaffrey
i09 obituary
Charles Tan rounds up a bunch of tributes

48th anniversary of Doctor Who!
Tansy says it with pictures

Weirdfictionreview.com – a website devoted to The Weird and created by Luis Rodrigues. The project is the brainchild of editing-writing team Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Critiquing the Bigotry of Twilight-haters, not the same thing as defending Twilight
Original article
Sarah Rees Brennan
Holly Black

Announcing the Galactic Suburbia Award – we don’t know what it is yet either but we’re figuring it out! Send emails/tweets to make suggestions.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alex: The Steel Remains, Richard Morgan; Alastair Reynolds, Blue Remembered Earth; “The Glass Gear” in Valente’s Omikuji Project; also watched Thor.

Tansy: Batman (1989); All Men of Genius, Lev A.C. Rosen; God’s War, Kameron Hurley. Comics: Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman (abandoned); Batgirl the Greatest Stories Ever Told

Alisa: Once Upon a Time; The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood

Note: the post we discuss which looks at the believability of the war in God’s War by Kameron Hurley was in fact not written by Cheryl Morgan, but by Farah Mendlesohn. Which explains why I wasn’t able to find it on Google last night. Thanks to Cheryl for correcting my confusion and my apologies to Farah. (quietly headdesks to self)

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 45 Show Notes

The new episode is up! Head over here to check it out.


In which Alex and Tansy wax lyrical about Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing (despite knowing next to nothing about it), welcome the new Apex overlord Lynne Thomas, celebrate the twin dawns of All Hallows Read and Nanowrimo, and embark upon an epic marathon of Culture Consumed.


Joss Whedon makes Much Ado About Nothing in secret
at first we knew next to nothing
then we knew something
and every new bit of something brings squeeage!

Harry Potter DVDs to disappear from the shelves after Christmas (and Tansy’s still not over the whole Disney revelation)

Lynne Thomas’ first issue of Apex comes out next week featuring an article by Tansy on The Australian Dark Weird.
As the new editor, Lynne talks about what she wants from authors at Outer Alliance

The lack of (paid) women reviewers (in the lit scene) continues to dismay and fascinate us in equal measure.

All Hallows Read is upon us
And if you’re going to gift a scary book to someone, why not make it Australian?

Nanowrimo is imminent!

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Tansy: Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Alex: Life on Mars S2
Tansy: Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Alex: Obernewtyn, The Farseekers, and Ashling, by Isobelle Carmody
Tansy: Debris by Jo Anderton
Alex: God’s War, Kameron Hurley
Tansy: Marvel’s Ultimate Universe: Ultimate Spiderman, Ultimate X-Men, The Ultimates
Alex: Shadow Unit
Tansy: Big Finish and Mary Shelley: Mary’s Story (for 99p) & The Silver Turk.

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!