River Song: in the Hero Seat (a Great Ladies of Fiction essay, sponsored by Patreon supporter Heather Berberet)
The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens chronicles the rise and fall of teen entrepreneurs who built effective Tumblr networks and monetised them. Yep, this is what the new generation is doing when you think they’re just ‘spending all their time on the internet:’ dominating their own realms of social media.
At the Toast, a love letter to the era that was Livejournal, a time when we wrote intensely personal diaries for public performance.
Kate Elliott’s tour-de-force essay on Writing Women Characters into Epic Fantasy Without Quotas
Coming Home To a Pirate Near You! (cover reveal & announcement that my debut novel Splashdance Silver & its sequel Liquid Gold will be published as an omnibus by Fablecroft) Update: the books are now available in the wild, Tehani was selling them at Contact last weekend!
Speaking of the weekend, I was delighted that Cranky Ladies of History and Galactic Suburbia both won Ditmars! Actually I was delighted with all the wins – with an extra shout out to the fabulous Glenda Larke who took out the inaugural Sara Douglass Series Award. Congrats to all finalists and winners!
Margaret Brundage & Weird Tales [SF Women of the 20th Century #17] (the sexy pastel covers by a bohemian female artist in the 1930’s that defined the visual style of pulp SF for a generation)
Review: Black Widow #1 by Mark Waid & Chris Samnee
Review: Mockingbird #1 by Chelsea Cain & Kate Niemczyk
I’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.
The two big Australian SF Awards released their shortlists this month! Thank you to everyone who nominated me for the Ditmars – I’m up for several categories, continuing my ongoing deep and meaningful relationship with the William Atheling in particular. I’m also delighted have “Fake Geek Girl” nominated in the novelette category. Over at the Aurealis Awards, they’ve put in some new short fiction categories, and launched the brand new Sara Douglass Book Series Award – which has my Creature Court trilogy on the shortlist!
Congrats to all the nominees, it’s always fun when award season comes around.
SF Women of the 20th Century:
16. Anne McCaffrey & The Rowan
Great Ladies of History:
Mary Vindicated: The Life & Politics of Mary Wollstonecraft
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:
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.
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 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.
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!”
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.