Yes, I said shipping, not sipping.
It’s a stinker of a hot day, I’m drinking iced tea poured from my shiny new T2 iced tea brewer jug into stylish citrus-coloured glasses, and trying not to spend all the electronic money I don’t have on Doctor Who themed tea. My favourite thing about this site is not just that they know who my beloved Hexy Scofield is (oh, Big Finish companions, why do I love you so?) but they allow you to ship tea blends together and give you discounts for doing so. Hex, for instance, is in a ship with Ace. OH YES HE IS.
Sure, there are people who design fandom tea based on the actual Doctors too, if that’s your bag (did you know tea fandom was a thing?). But I’m having more fun reading the blends for the companions. (Aww, Turlough isn’t shipped with anyone but OMG his blend is Earl Grey Moonlight, Caramel and Ginger!)
Speaking of Doctor Who, my favourite written response to the Doctor Who Christmas Special The Snowmen so far is this great Doctor Her article by Nightsky: My bustle’s stuck!: Women vs. Victorian values in “The Snowmen”. Brilliant stuff about Victorian women, Doctor Who, and why talking about clothes is not necessarily frivolous as a woman – sometimes it’s a matter of survival.
Continue reading →
One of the books I most want to get my hands on right now is Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, a historical retelling of the Rapunzel myth. Sean interviewed Kate for Galactic Chat (which was down for a while this weekend for reasons that make us very cranky with Podbean).
Meanwhile, Rowena Cory Daniells hosts a guest post with Kate talking about the history behind the fairy tale that inspired Bitter Greens:
“Sixty years later, the story appears again, this time in France. It is told in 1698 by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force , who has been banished to a convent after displeasing the Sun King, Louis XIV, at his opulent court in Versailles. Locked away in a cloister, much like Rapunzel is in her tower, Charlotte-Rose was among the first writers to pen a collection of literary fairy tales and also one of the world’s first historical novelists. Published under a pseudonym, Mademoiselle X, Charlotte-Rose’s tales became bestsellers and she was eventually able to buy her release.”
It feels like Rapunzel has been in my life a lot recently! Raeli adores the movie Tangled, which she saw at the cinema with friends, so I haven’t seen it yet. But I have read the book of the film many times, and played through the pretty awesome Wii game with her so much that it feels like I’ve seen the movie itself. I kind of want to see it now, just to compare! (but the game is most excellent)
Continue reading →
So the big SF news on the internet this week is apparently not the release of the Clarke Award shortlist, but that Christopher Priest does not approve of the Clarke Award shortlist. Scalzi and Charles Tan discuss both the rant itself and the responses to it. Cheryl Morgan looks at the piece as part of a larger tradition of deciding award decisions are WRONG.
Personally, as someone who has judged a bunch of awards, I think that critiquing shortlists is fair game, because there’s no completely objective definition of ‘best’, but suggesting that the decisions are wrong, incompetent or should in some way not count is the height of arrogance because, you know, THERE’S NO COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE DEFINITION OF BEST. And it’s amazing how often these critiques come down to “people with different opinions to me are stupid/wrong” which isn’t an overly healthy attitude. At the point you’re suggesting that the judges should be fired and their decisions overturned… gah. No. Not okay.
On the other hand, internet rants are fascinating when they’re happening to other people. So there’s that. And sometimes there are t-shirts. By far the most measured, well-crafted and nuanced response I have seen in response to the Priest post, however (and one which made me seriously reconsider my use of the word ‘rant’) is by Catherynne Valente, who brings up all kinds of really interesting angles to the story that I hadn’t considered before. I really think she is becoming one of our most important commentators on the field.
Speaking of nuanced criticism, Maggie Stiefvater’s first response to the Hunger Games film and the audience she saw the movie with is really interesting. Certainly worth considering if you’re over all the ‘it should have been more violent’ complaints of the movie.
There’s a great discussion on the Australian Women Writers blog about romance, and whether it’s feminist or not, being a genre all about women’s point of view (readers, writers and characters), but one that sometimes promotes unfeminist ideas. (You mean supporting women’s rights to CHOOSE what they read even if it’s bad for them might be feminist???)
Jennifer Mills interrogates the gender essentialism that sometimes surrounds discussions of women’s writing.
Continue reading →