Tag Archives: sarah rees brennan

people actually concerned about sexism do not go around saying that women should shut their dumb faces about it

Look at me, raising my head up in the internet. Hello, internet! I’m a lot of words this month! I haven’t been doing my usual Friday Links while Nanoing, but there are a couple of things I wanted to make an exception for.

untoldSarah Rees Brennan has written a really important essay on TheToast.net about being a woman in the publishing industry, or any industry that requires self promotion, and how differently the universe reacts to women’s self promotion. It’s sad but a must-read: A Female Author Talks About Sexism and Self-Promotion.

So, women are often left in a situation where if they want to succeed, they have to promote themselves, via being a person on the internet. And then, people say: “Lady, when you promote yourself, it is bad.”
(Sarah Rees Brennan)

Malinda Lo has written a companion piece, also on TheToast.net, about her own experiences in self promotion as a queer woman, and how more mainstream events/promotions for her YA books about lesbians mean having to come out all over again: A Second Female Author Talks About Sexism and Self Promotion.

I don’t believe that creative individuals should have to grow thicker skins. I believe that if you’re out there creating art, you should make sure you’re as open and thin-skinned as possible, so that you can feel every damn thing that arises in you. You need to be able to fully experience those emotions so you can use them in your work, but only within reason. I draw the line at letting mean-spirited criticism into my mental space.
(Malinda Lo)

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Friday Links is Shipping Iced Tea

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.

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Friday Links Meets House

I’m excited that the new Sarah Rees Brennan novel was released this week – her gothic girl-detective-meets-house YA Unspoken, and as far as I know (Schroedinger’s PO Box, anyone?) I might already have my copy!

Sarah has wound up her two series of blog essays, Gothic Tuesday and Sleuth Thursday (sob! I’ll miss them!) with a parody of Northanger Abbey. Yes, she parodies the parody. She has no shame!

ELEANOR: Oh Catherine, great to see you. Look, I was wondering if you might come pay me a visit at my home in Northanger Abbey. I know my dad’s a little weird and the house is a little Gothic and creepy, but–
CATHERINE: Did you say Gothic and creepy? I’m there. I’m there with eldritch bells on.
ELEANOR: Oh, fantastic! You may be interested in our antique furniture–
CATHERINE: Ghastly skeletons!
ELEANOR: –we have a very nice shrubbery…
CATHERINE: I hope there’s a nun who got buried alive!
ELEANOR: –also our roses always get first prize at the flower show—
CATHERINE: Can’t wait!
ELEANOR: Sometimes I worry we’re having conversations in two different dimensions.
CATHERINE: Maybe there’s an interdimensional portal to a demon realm at your place!

Sarah also talks about the central concept of her novel over at John Scalzi’s The Big Idea. But enough pluggery, let’s get some linkitude under our belts.

This one’s for my friends on Twitter discussing the ‘maternal driveby’ and how many people (often complete strangers) like to get in the face of a pregnant or new mother: a hilarious article at McSweeney’s of all places entitled “Hello Stranger On the Street, Could You Please Tell Me How to Take Care of My Baby?”

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Friday Links is a Bit Proud

Proud of my state and my premier this week, for creating legislation that brings gay marriage a little closer to Australia. Same sex marriage laws have passed the Tasmanian Lower House as of yesterday and now have to face the legislative council. It will be a hard road ahead but it’s about time someone in power took a stand. Check out Lara Giddings’ speech, which goes a long way to addressing so many of the issues concerned with allowing this important civil right to same sex couples.

Also on a smaller but still awesome scale, I am so proud of Galactic Suburbia and of Alisa, Alex, Finchy & myself getting our very first Hugo nominations in the brand new Fancast category. It finally feels real – and Julia Rios emailed us today to let us know she HAS OUR HUGO PINS which made my head explode a little bit. A Hugo pin. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself about maybe not achieving as much as I wanted to this year, I need to stop and kick myself in the ankle and remember that a Hugo nomination is one hell of a step up the career ladder.

I’m especially proud of Alisa this week who got over her stress and anxiety about public speaking to make a speech at the National Council of Jewish Women Australia WA evening for Women’s Achievers, and they gave her an award! Considering how rarely she stops to consider everything she’s achieved over the last few years, I’m always glad when other people point it out to her. Some excerpts of her speech here.

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Friday Links Are Like A Phoenix – They Keep Coming Back

It’s not small, it’s boutique, right? For some reason the internet is not inspiring me as much as usual – it’s either residual guilt about not writing as much as I feel I should, or it’s the winter blahs, or it’s the depressing revelation that Arsenal is losing yet another captain this summer. Oh, Robin, we thought you were different.

Still, there are a few bright spots in the pixellated aether. For a start, congrats to Robert Hoge who has recently sold his memoir, “Ugly” to Hachette, which will be published next year. (no links yet, Twitter announcement only)

Grant Watson has started an examination of how DC’s fortunes have improved since last year’s New 52 Reboot with his favourite title: Batman.

Speaking of comics, Marvel has announced it’s own New Thing What Is Not a Reboot But Will Help People Find New Comics, AKA Marvel Now, rolling out from Novemberish this year – and the thing that has everyone talking about it is the rumoured return of Jean Grey, She Who Gets Killed Off More Times Than Anyone Else. The cool thing is that the Jean Grey in question is a very early version of the character, in a title based around the concept that the original X-Men accidentally travel forward in time to Marvel Now and have to deal with modern day culture, the Twitter, low-slung jeans and the realisation that they’re all going to screw up their lives someday. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the exact wording of the press release, but it still sounds like a great jumping-on X-Men title, something I’ve always struggled to find.

Tor.com outlines the many reasons why it’s time for Jean Grey to return.

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Friday Links is on the Side of the Bronies

Tor.com on In Defense of Bronies – the Quest for Gender Equality in Fandom. The patriarchy hurts men too, especially men who like cool cartoons about adorable ponies!

Alisa on The Knitting Olympics, and why the spat between the Olympics committee and Ravelry is a feminist issue for her.

Jennifer Crusie, queen of the collage-your-novel technique, talks about brainstorming with yarn, and other art and craft. It’s all about YARNSTORMING!

Bluemilk responds to the Atlantic article about Women Having It All, pulling the best points from the article and providing a bunch of links to interesting followup blogs.

The fabulous epic fantasy writer Karen Miller talks publishing, fantasy and feminism in Five Questions.

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Friday Links Buys Quite a Lot of Books Actually

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!”

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The Force is With Friday Links

Is this not the best author picture EVER? It’s an illustration by the wonderful Kathleen Jennings from this post at Angela Slatter’s blog, interviewing Australian media tie-in writers Sean Williams and Karen Miller about their individual work writing for the Star Wars universe. So very cool.

(and reminds me it might be time to send my CV to Big Finish again, begging them to let me write a Blake’s 7 novel – you don’t get if you don’t ask!)

The Locus Kickstarter project to restore & archive a huge collection of photographs and ephemera has already met its target, which is fantastic, but they have many other projects in mind so it’s not too late to sign up to support them.

Sean the Blogonaut talks about his platform in running for NAFF
(the National Fan Fund) and links to where you can vote or support the fan fund. I’m voting this year, for sure! Check out the candidates for yourself.

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Friday Links Can’t Do It Alone

I empathised deeply with this post about the solitary existence of writers and the way we need our people around us to keep us sane, and professional.

As part of the ongoing excellent advocacy work coming out of the #AWW challenge, here’s a list of Australian women writers of Asian heritage to help you include some diversity in your choices.

The Australian government is running an online survey about our opinions on gay marriage. So far the interim response is pretty depressing (running at only a bit over 30% saying YES GAY MARRIAGE) but it’s not based on very many people’s opinions. So if you’re Australian, go, take five minutes and register your own thoughts on the issue.

Alisa Krasnostein, Cheryl Morgan, Lynne M Thomas and many other smart people share their opinions on awards in the latest SF Mind Meld.

One of my favourite Tor.com posts this week – Redskirts looks at some of the portrayals of women among the traditional ‘redshirt’ junior-Starfleet-person-of-the-week tradition in the original Star Trek.

The new Doctor Who companion has been announced and we still know very little about her – Ritch Ludlow asks some questions about fan response to Amy Pond and considers what kind of standards might be applied to this new character.

Oooh, another great one from Tor.com! Comic artist Faith Erin Hicks whose work I really enjoyed on ‘Friends With Boys’ has drawn a personal response to The Hunger Games as a popular story, drawing upon her family experience (as the daughter of a Vietnam veteran). I love to see the comics form used to tell powerful memoir and this brief piece is very compelling.

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Friday Links is a Heroic Lady

Lots of Sarah Rees Brennan in this one! Here, she answers a question about what traits she likes best in a heroic lady character, and manages deftly to expand her answer into a very important discussion about feminist critique, and the way talking about female heroes can so easily turn into a bitchfest about which fictional women don’t make the grade.

Avante garde artist Sarah Maple reveals her new work, a series of self-portrait photographs of Disney Princesses as modern day career women and university graduates. I’ve seen so much sickening art which involves the mutilation or mockery of the Disney Princesses, and it’s lovely to see female artists like Maple (and the excellent cartoonist Amy Mebberson) who use their iconic images to create something that subverts expectation, and has something positive to say about women.

I missed this before – a piece from the 7:30 report that screened before the Stranger With My Face women in horror film festival. Includes gore, lesbian zombie musicals, and some nice interview footage with the two women behind the project, Briony and Bec. It was such a cool event – I hope they do it again! It made me want to write a horror film script…

Jeff Vandermeer talks about panicking about your career path and productivity as a writer, something I can identify with strongly, especially right now.

Meanwhile, Catherynne Valente is inspiring over at the antipope blog, talking about the many faces of publishing, and how a writer doesn’t have to choose between traditional, small press and even self publishing, but can construct a career out of all the options.

Back to Sarah Rees Brennan now, and the announcement that Elementary, the modern version of Sherlock Holmes that they are making in the US that made us all roll our eyes cynically, suddenly got interesting with the casting of Lucy Liu as Watson. Sarah talks not only about how the casting of a (40+) woman of colour is an exciting move that marks this adaptation out as different, but also addresses the cynical criticism that is already building up around the casting choice.

Differences will exist! Media is imperfect. But ‘until we can achieve perfection, let’s stick with the white dudes’ is not something I believe in. I’ll see how Dr Watson of Elementary plays out: and if I don’t like it, I’ll stop watching.

Till then, I am uncomfortable with how much easier, on far less evidence, people seem to find it to dismiss a woman: she won’t be good enough, won’t be strong enough, Elementary hasn’t done ENOUGH.


i09 interviews Courtney Stoker about crossplay, femme cosplay and the rise of the female Doctor at conventions.

Speaking of Courtney and feminist Doctor Who stuff, there’s a whole lot of great new posts over at Doctor Her. Some I found particularly interesting:
Are You My Mummy? The power of motherhood in New Who, by cathannabel
Too Many Dads in Doctor Who by Ritch Ludlow
The Bechdel Examination: Rose and the End of the World by daisybones
The Doctor and the Subtext of Loneliness by K.N. Porter
Companions in Comics: Getting into Sharon’s Head, by Kmasca (did anyone else know the first black companion joined Tom Baker in 1980??)
and I wrote a piece about the awesome first producer of Doctor Who back in the 60’s, Verity Lambert.

Finally, doing my bit to signal boost to the internet that ‘The Avengers’ doesn’t always mean Captain and his shiny friends: