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.
Sarah 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)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!”
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.“