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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Posts Tagged ‘salon futura’

Indulge Me?

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

There have been some lovely reviews (and sort of not reviews) of my work around this week. I am grateful for all of them! Having books which are talked about is an utterly joyful thing. Feel free to skip if any mention of my books is making you roll your eyes at this point. I promise plenty of Xena, Agatha Christie and gender politics blogging to come!

Over at Salon Futura, Cheryl Morgan says some excellent things about Power and Majesty. I was astonished to hear she was reading and reviewing it at all, since it’s not a book generally available outside Australia and New Zealand. (an email this week made me crazy happy, from a US reader who heard about me from a guest blog I wrote last year, asked his parents who were travelling through NZ to pick up a copy of P&M for me, and they did so after visiting 3 different shops to find it – how awesome is that? Luckily he liked the book, otherwise that would have been embarrassing) Cheryl calls me brave in my writing choices, and has some beautiful explanation of what my books actually do. She also provides some very grabbable quotes:

“Fans of Storm Constantine might find a lot to interest them in this collection of fashionable, sexy, dangerous misfits.”

“As fans of the Galactic Suburbia podcast might expect, it is also a feminist book. “

Publishers are always complaining that they can’t find anything new, fresh and interesting to offer their audiences, and yet this book is not available in the UK or USA. I cannot for the life of me understand why.

I always feel guilty when people overseas want to get hold of my work and can’t, at least not easily. Here’s hoping Creature Court is snapped up by one of those lovely US or UK publishers who agree with Cheryl that it should be more widely available!

A little closer to home, Random Alex has reviewed (or rather, not-reviewed) Love and Romanpunk – I’m glad she did write up her thoughts about this book, given that I dedicated it to her and all, but completely understand her hesitation to claim it as a real review. Still, at least she declares her biases! I think my favourite bit in the post is her response to what I did with Caligula in “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary,” which I will quote here because the other review of this book I’m going to quote from didn’t like that story at all (YES, BEN, LOOKING AT YOU):

“The first story in this collection is “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Bestiary.” It gives a potted history of the Caesar family… with added monsters. I really enjoyed Tansy’s characterisation of the various members of this crazy family. She captures an essence, I think, of the various emperors and their wives/sisters/mothers that actually rings quite true. I particularly liked that although Gaius – Caligula – is shown to be a bit nuts eventually, he’s handled much more sensitively than most other fictional representations bother. Of course. And the monsters made a bizarre sort of sense; they fit in delightfully well with the overall vibe of the story.”

Then there’s Ben Payne’s review – and all teasing aside, Ben is one of those people whom I absolutely rely on to be honest about what he likes and doesn’t like about my work. He’s also been reading me & paying attention to my short fiction for a lot longer than most people – having edited my work before he even knew me, back in the old Andromeda Spaceways days!

Which is why this bit, in particular, bowled me over:

“I have been thinking for a while about how to best sum up Love and Romanpunk. In some ways it delivered what I expected, but in others it surprised me. I expected this book to be smart, to know its history, to have a sense of fun, and some laughs, and some steamy romance. Those things are almost Tansy trademarks. And it does have all those things, but in the end, all of those things felt almost peripheral to the things I liked most about the collection.

What’s not often talked about, with Tansy’s writing, is the fact that there is a real emotional courage to her best works, a sense that she is ready to get into her gumboots and rubber gloves and muck about in the messiest, ugliest, most confusing of human emotions and relationships, and to try to find a path through them. It’s that depth of emotion, sometimes sweet, but just as often brutal and painful, that drives the best of these stories into being something a cut above the majority of works out there. The fact that they are also smart, and fun, is just the icing on the cake.”

With comments like that, I can totally forgive him for not liking my Agrippina story!

There haven’t been many reviews for The Shattered City yet, though it is interesting to note how many people are reading and reviewing P&M now that the second book is out. I have been eyeing the responses on Goodreads, though. Would it be far too self-indulgent to put up a post where people who have read Book #2 could comment about the surprisey bits without worrying about spoiling anyone?

Good Listening and a Souffle of Links

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

So school is back! I’ve been lucky enough to be able to shift most of my workload to, well, now, so that the last several weeks of the summer holiday were all Mummying all the time. Now, of course, I have to go from nought to typing maniac in 60 seconds, and I’m not *entirely* sure I remember how to do it. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here is a delicious mix of tidbits from the internet over the last week or so and some great things I’ve been listening to while catching up on the housework, supervising trampoline time, and sewing an Alice in Wonderland wallhanging.

Ben Peek wrote a post which completely blindsided me, about an author who embodies perseverance, the one who to me sucked up the bad times and pushed through them, and the one who should stand as an example for new authors… The twist is, it’s me!

N.K. Jemisin writes about gender assumptions/associations surrounding epic fantasy, and why anything that deviates from the masculine norms of the genre are seen as suspect. There are some brilliant, intelligent comments about gender, romance and the male gaze. Lovely stuff.

Alisa posts about Twelfth Planet Press award eligibilities for the coming awards season. Have you nominated for the stuff you can nominate for yet? Don’t forget that all of us who were at Aussiecon can nominate for the Hugos this year. Would be lovely to have some Aussie names on that ballot.

This amazing, powerful post by Juliet Jacques
about being a trans woman and a football fan really affected me, to the point where I read through her whole year’s worth of columns about transition. I can really recommend these for anyone looking to educate and inform themselves about some of the issues affecting people trying to transition. I found it a real eye opener, and she’s an entertaining and funny writer with it. Plus, football fan!

Jim Hines had some pointed things to say about the ‘self publishing ebooks is totally the way to make a career sing like a canary’ people and the way that ‘ebooks are the future’ so often gets turned into a bashing of commercial publishers and their methods.

So that’s the links done. Now for the listening…

The latest Salon Futura podcast has a great round table discussion about small press publishing featuring our own Alisa Krasnostein (plus Sean Wallace and L. Timmel Duchamp) – those of you mourning the lack of a Galactic Suburbia episode this week (sorry, we’ll be back with all guns blazing next week!) may like to check it out. There’s also a cool interview with Ann VanderMeer about her editorship of Weird Tales which was great to hear, especially the bit where they both start talking about Peter M Ball and unicorns.

My Big Finish obsession has been continuing apace. I have been relistening to all my Ace and Hex plays, and really enjoying the first two seasons of the 8th Doctor and Lucie Miller, which were designed to fit the tone of New Who a bit more firmly than the monthly series. They’re fast paced, funny and character-crunchy 50 minute episodes, with some fantastic casting. The whole first season is great, though the quirky Horror of Glam Rock (featuring Bernard Cribbins before he joined RTD’s Who crew) by Paul Magrs is a stand out, as is the exceptional two part finale, Human Resources.

I’m currently on the finale of the second season, which features a return of the Sisterhood of Karn and (quite possibly) Morbius, though I haven’t yet heard him with my own ears. The standouts for this season were Max Warp, a quite stunningly outrageous Top Gear parody with spaceships and Graeme Garden, and the comedy-romance-tragedy of The Zygon Who Fell To Earth (featuring Tim Brooke Taylor and Steven Pacey), but I also really loved the creative anachronisms of Dead London and the splendid historical heist story Grand Theft Cosmos. The return of the Headhunter, who is officially my favourite female villain of Doctor Who’s history, was a cause for much glee.

Elsewhere, I also discovered the Big Finish Comedy Podcast, which was released fairly recently as a limited series of 5 minute episodes to promote the Mervyn Stone mystery novels by Nev Fountain, which revolve around a script editor of a defunct cult sci-fi show of the late 80′s, who also solves crimes. The podcast is a great introduction to the character and his world, and over the course of about half an hour of bite sized, highly entertaining interviews (the conceit is that this is a DVD extra for “Vixens from the Void”) presents and solves the mystery of who killed the actor who played the quirky translator robot Babel J. It’s very funny, featuring among other things the note-perfect tones of Nicola Bryant, and absolutely free.

There is more, I expect, but I’m sleepy, and it’s school tomorrow!

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