It’s been a hectic month, school holidays means I spend my time chasing around after my daughters and their social lives, so it’s amazing I get anything done at all! As well as organising sleepovers and playdates, three family birthday events (including a tween camping sleepover), and supervising Ms11 as she entered a 48 hour filmmaking challenge, not to mention launching a new podcast, this is what happened on the blog in January:
Two new entries in the SF Women of the 20th Century series:
14. Andre Norton & the High Hallack Library
15. Nichelle Nicholls & Lt. Uhura.
Issue #1 comics reviews:
Adventures of Supergirl
The first of my Great Ladies Patreon-sponsored series of essays:
Marie Curie, Radioactive Lady Scientist, requested by Aifin.
But the biggest blog event was of course the launch of my new Sheep Might Fly podcast: Part 1 of Fake Geek Girl. Come back tomorrow for Part 2! The podcast will be uploading Mondays from now on.
Galactic Suburbia is on its summer break, but we still found time to put together a New Year’s special episode (with guests!) and a Star Wars: The Force Awakens Spoilerific.
We’re also in the final hours of Fablecroft’s In Your Face anthology crowdfunding/pre-order campaign: check out me writing about my story, Letters to Cleopatra.
Musketeer Space Updates:
25 – Love Letter to Absent Friends
26 – Rendezvous at the Fountain of Tranquility
27 – Paying for Porthos
28 – For Love of Aramis
Robotech Rewatch Updates:
23: Fastest Wedding Plot Twist Ever
24: Provocative Pairing Rituals
25: Ships Fall, Everyone Dies
26: Whole New World
27: Who the Hell Are The Robotech Masters?
Musketeer Media Monday: Musketeers Break My Heart Seventies Style (1974)
“Here is a thing that many people who only know the characters from modern movies do not know about book canon D’Artagnan: he’s a bit slutty.”
Watching New Who: The Doctor’s Wife
“That blew my mind when I saw this episode – it’s pretty rare to watch a Doctor Who story that completely changes the way you view the stories that came before it, all the way back to 1963.”
Skiffy and Fanty: Squeeing about Superheroines
“There’s a lot to critique about the role of women in superhero comics and associated media — and I spend a lot of time and energy doing exactly that. But today, I’m here to talk about a bunch of reasons to be super excited about female superheroes, and what’s being written, drawn and performed either right now or in the future.”
Episode 110: In which culture, we consume it.
Episode 111: In which we try to fix the world and don’t even fix ourselves, but progress is being made (we hope)
Episode 59 – Dark Waterdeep
Episode 61 – Permission to Squeeeeeee! (About Series 8]
Verity! Extra! – Pleasant, Unpusillanimous Peri [interview with Nicola Bryant, w/ Big Finish recs from me & Liz]
UPDATE: Forgot to add this fabulous review on Kirkus of Love and Romanpunk.
I feel ridiculously guilty about missing out on my Friday links post last week thanks to miscalculating how long it would take me to pack and get ready for Genrecon (which was amaaaazing and has turned my brain inside out, more on that later).
I have a ‘to do’ list a mile long from the convention, with publishers I need to query, social media wrongs I have to right (or write), and empires I want to build. Writing, you are a business, let’s get on that! One of the big takeaway messages I had from the con (many of which were a bit depressing and negative I will admit) is that there is totally a built in, fairly mainstreamy audience for my Livia Day books. So while all my illusions about making a living from just writing have been well and truly punctured, I have come away hugely excited about A Trifle Dead and the potential for getting that book into the hands of readers next year.
Livia now has a website! That’s item one of my long and sprawling Genrecon Plots list ticked off. I will be running an occasional post over there and have some subject headings to write about, but I deliberately have made it ‘not a blog’ on the front page so I’m not killing myself trying to keep up anything as actively as I do this one, which is always going to be my Front and Centre web presence. (guiltily sweeps away tumbleweeds) Still, if you want to keep an eye on what my scarlet alter ego is up to, there is a RSS feed.
Continue reading →
10 good reasons not to feel guilty about reducing book buying in 2012
Is it me, or are these weeks coming around REALLY FAST? 2012 is prancing by, and what do I have to show for it? Well OK, one published novel, four completed short stories, a novel in progress that seems to be working and a handful of awards nominations, but apart from that??
The soccer season has started, and for once I’m not talking about Arsenal, which has been elating and frustrating me in equal measure since last September, but about young Raeli, kicking off for another season, this time in the Under 7’s. The good news is, her spikes still fit, which was something of a relief because I don’t have the cash to buy her new ones.
In the mean time, I have LINKS for you.
My honey sent me an email this week saying ‘you are a superhero’. Which, OBVIOUSLY. But it turned out he was referring to this, an article about how curating the internet is becoming more and more important, and the people who do this work are, well, superheroes. I have to say, I like the term ‘curators’ as it feels a lot less elitist than ‘gatekeepers’. Though of course, ‘doorbitch’ is still my favourite. HEAR ME, INTERNET? I AM YOUR DOORBITCH.
At the Intergalactic Academy, a great post by Phoebe about a current trend to discredit/challenge the genre credentials of teen dystopia novels because they also have romance in them and thus might SNEAKILY be contaminated with girl germs. Only, of course, she says it better or I wouldn’t be linking to her. I know we don’t read the comments but some important discussion did happen in these – in particular, addressing one of Phoebe’s key points about how you probably shouldn’t be refiling these books as ‘romance’ without knowing something about the romance genre, and it’s actually a bit more complicated than “I SUSPECT THIS IS A KISSING BOOK!”
Continue reading →
Margery Allingham, at work
The article on gender, genre, publishing & ME in yesterday’s Hobart Mercury is now up electronically
. Admire my library, cos it doesn’t always look quite that tidy. Cough. Thanks to Rebecca Fitzgibbon (@becfitzgibbon) for the article, it’s lovely to see some coverage of fantasy-relevant topics (not to mention feminism, gosh!) in our local paper. Bec has been writing some great pieces on culture in recent months, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for her byline.
I linked to this once already but I think it bears repeating: I appear on Jim C Hines’ blog, talking about my first novel publication.
Over on Doctor Her I finished up my series (for now at least) looking at Domesticating the Doctor with Marrying the Ponds.
A half-worked-out story idea about the concept of “lady novelists” and some mad Google fu led to my creation of this Pinterest board: Lady Novelists. I started out looking at 1920’s-1930’s era of women and then went a bit off book to add all kinds of people. I became fascinated with the images that came up for searches of particular authors – and when I only chose one picture to represent each (occasionally I picked a couple) I tried very much to find pictures that showed them at work – at the typewriter, holding books or public speaking. I was quite selective, trying not to automatically pic the most glamorous or smiley picture, but one that represented that writer’s personality. Except Nancy Mitford, of course, for who the glam pictures are just so calculated! And of course, some of them like Margaret Mitchell are glamorous while working. I also tried not to automatically go for an image of the author in her early career when I could put in a picture of a more interesting older woman. Miles Franklin, for instance, is so often depicted as a very young woman rather than the adorable dotty lady she seems to have become in later life.
I also took some new Deepings Dolls pictures that I’ll be putting up over the next week or two. Since my library was all clean and tidy from my photographer visit (heh) I used it as the base for this series of pictures, playing with books themselves as backgrounds. In this case, for Reader, I Married Him I used my aged and beloved copy of Jane Eyre (hate the novel, love the book) as a backdrop for a fake wedding album for a very happy example of our ‘nostalgia bride and groom.
Some links of things to do with me (tangentially or otherwise) on the internet this week:
A very positive review of Beyond Binary at i09 – doesn’t mention my story at all (sniff) but it’s great to see such a positive reaction to this book, which I’m very proud to be part of.
Our Sean (yes, he’s ours!) has interviewed New Zealand fantasy author Helen Lowe for Galactic Chat.
A lovely, witty review of Love and Romanpunk – again, I’ve been so pleased at the critical reception for this book, and so very proud of it. I am always interested in the way that readers pick a favourite from the collection (there’s something about the four story suite in particular, I think, that makes people pick out one sweetie over the rest).
Over at Doctor Her, I’m back on the Domesticating the Doctor kick with a short essay about Human Nature/Family of Blood and the Doctor vs. Domesticity. Next one will tackle the Ponds, really truly, I’m not avoiding it or anything!
As usual every other week, Galactic Suburbia has peeled out some of my best & crunchiest links. But that’s okay, still plenty to go around! You don’t mind the mostly frivolous, right? Well, not entirely frivolous.
The Bitch Magazine series looking at maternity issues in pop culture is continuing to produce some gems like this post about the myth of almost-certain-death-in-childbirth that we see in historical drama.
Sherwood Smith muses on the difference between metafiction and fanfiction.
Deb Biancotti wraps up her excellent On Burnout series of Blog Briefs.
An interview with Australian manga writer-artist Queenie Chan.
The question of why comics by women are becoming more, not less scarce, is tackled with the question of whether comics by women are bad for business?
Continue reading →
After not quite prioritising my reading enough all year, I’m suddenly in a frame of mind where I am trying to read ALL THE BOOKS at once. Which, for those of you who have some idea of the size and scale of my To Read Shelf, is a lot of books.
And more besides, because the current graphic novel fetish has taken hold and I have been binge-ordering at my local library, as well as borrowing and buying a bunch of titles. Then there’s the fact that this is Get It Read month For Last Short Story, and there’s Tiptree reading, and stuff for Galactic Suburbia, and books to review for ASif and you know, other books I want to read!
I walked into a bookshop today to look for someone (who wasn’t working that day) and walked out with Marianne de Pierres’ Angel Arias, and the new Merridy Eastman. Honestly I want to just download them directly into my head.
I’m halfway through reading Trent Jamieson’s Roil, and a Catwoman trade, and Gwyneth Jones’ new collection, because one book at a time is just not enough.
Oh, and I recently posted reviews at Last Short Story of Eclipse 4, and Subterranean’s Spring and Fall Issues.
And over at Deborah Biancotti’s blog, I contribute to a great series of (super short) guest posts about creative burnout, how to avoid it, and how to deal with it when it hits you smack in the face. I recommend checking out the whole series!
It occurs to me belatedly that I should do a summary post with links for those who didn’t get a chance to catch up on my crazy Rock the Romanpunk week while I was putting out several essay-length posts every day!
Here they are, then.
Matrons of Awesome: 50 Women of Ancient Rome
Part I – The Raptae
Part II – Republican Mothers
Part III – Republican Vixens
Part IV – Good and Evil at the End of the Republic
Part V – Romana Princeps
Part VI: Imperial Daughters and Many Small Islands
Part VII: Sex, Scandal and Bloodshed
Part VIII – Agrippina
Part IX – Forgotten Daughters, Brigitte Bardot, and Claudian Goddesses
Part X – Flavian Ladies
Part XI – Trajan’s Matrons
Part XII – Good Wives and the Gladiators
Part XIII – Between the Dynasties
Part XIV – A Surfeit of Julias
Part XV – Saint Helena
and while we’re at it, some silly ones:
Rocking the Romanpunk, one fanvid at a time.
Kermit Tours the Romanpunk
Mark Antony Strips the Romanpunk
Cleopatra Sings the Romanpunk
Brutus and Cassius Slash the Romanpunk
Bad Emperors Dance the Romanpunk
Supersizers Eat the Romanpunk
and don’t forget all this was an excuse for me to talk about my book, Love and Romanpunk…
Love and Romanpunk is an e-book now!
Love and Romanpunk is Kindled
Sneak peeks at the stories in Love and Romanpunk
In closing I’d like to give a shout out to Doctor Who, which managed in its season finale to totally out-romanpunk me, even more than last year. And last year gave me Roman autons, the Last Centurion and River Song as Cleopatra! (Two years before that it was Donna speaking Latin, Vesuvius and Karen Gillan as a soothsayer) Hard to beat Winston Churchill as Caesar on a mammoth, though.
Sigh. If only they could have afforded a mammoth.
I found this article about what a (mostly) feminist society that actually exists in the world today really inspiring. I have no idea how to get there from here but oh, I do hope Australia can be Iceland when it grows up! Their social attitudes to female politicians, childcare and the work/life balance make me ridiculously happy.
Meanwhile Bitch Magazine is doing a new blog series which looks at the portrayal of pregnancy, childbirth and early childhood/parenthood in TVland. I have Strong Opinions on this topic, so looking forward to reading what they have to say.
Tehani posted this link about which comic book superheroines deserve their own movies. Which is all very well, but let’s face it, Hollywood has badly let down the female superhero (and not the other way around). I can’t help thinking their stories would be better served by taking visuals out of the equation and going straight to the novel.
So if anyone wants to hire me to write a Huntress novel, I’m available! Or Wonder Woman, come to that…
Gail Simone tweeted this article which looks at two different kinds of representation of race in current DC Comics, comparing the Static Shock approach (he just happens to be black, yanno) with the Firestom approach (actual discussion of racial issues in the text). It’s a thoughtful piece, and I think demonstrates that both approaches have value, and it’s important to have both kinds of representation of race in stories – if all stories with characters of colour were about race, or all stories with characters of colour were NOT about race, we would have a real problem.
I do love it when people point out that these things are not either/or!
Jo Anderton, whose debut novel Debris (Angry Robot) I loved when she sent it to me for blurbage (it’s about magical architects! and magical garbage collectors! And it has technology mixed in with magic, plus a professional heroine who is flawed and cranky and acquires a TEAM, and has sex without it having to be her true love!) has done an interview over at Rowena’s blog.
Continue reading →