Monthly Archives: February 2012

I made a new book!

I’ve just announced the special pre-order price for FableCroft’s new book, To Spin a Darker Stair, featuring work by the amazing Catherynne M Valente, Brisbane writer Faith Mudge, and the ever awesome Kathleen Jennings.

To Spin a Darker Stair was rather a surprise addition to FableCroft’s 2012 lineup, springing as it did, unexpected, from the slushpile of a completely different project! It’s a beautiful little book though, and I’m proud to be able to share it with everyone (at Easter).

The pre-order prices include discounts on the RRP and reduced/free shipping all over the world. It’s good to get in early!


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Weekly is the new daily

It seems that while other content might go up here during the week, an actual life content post is a weekly event these days! Ah well, at least I’m still posting I guess 🙂

A bit of an odd week – we had the school swimming carnival on Tuesday, which I enjoyed working at (in the computer area with nice people – it’s my favourite job because of the problem solving!). Only had the half day there though, because the second half of the day was at school where I facilitated a PD on WordPress for other staff. Apparently I’m the “expert” – who SAID blogging was a waste of time! Quite enjoyed it, and a good PD is one where you learn something, which I did.

Had an unexpected time bonus on Friday, as Miss Six came home from school sick – this got me ahead on my weekend cleaning plans, which was a nice surprise. She didn’t seem all that unwell to me, but school was convinced she was, so didn’t have much choice but to collect her. To be fair, she actually had quite a high temperature, so perhaps was somewhat genuine. However, she was bouncing by the evening, as children are wont to do (I was nasty though – made her have a big sleep when we got home at lunchtime, then wouldn’t allow her to do anything fun – she was sick, there’s no rewards for that!).

Miss Six and MauMau Flinthart, in the gorgeous long Tasmanian evening light.

Yesterday we headed out to Scottsdale for a very pleasant (quite warm!) day with the Flinthart clan, which culminated in a return to Launceston for Symphony under the Stars, a free outdoor concert by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, which was just marvellous. Over 8,000 people attended! The kids were really good, and enjoyed the music (and the Flinthart provided food) very much. We had to leave before the end, as Master Two had reached his limit, but we had a wonderful time.

Today is about knocking over some reading for CBCA (home stretch!) and Aurealis Awards, lots of folding and ironing, and hopefully unpacking a few boxes. REALLY need to unearth the stuff for the bathroom cupboards – don’t want to have to purchase more of what I know we have!

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New Who in Conversation: Smith and Jones (S03E01)

David is coming to New Who for the first time, having loved Classic Who as a kid. Tehani is a recent convert, and ploughed through Seasons 1 to 6 (so far) in just a few weeks after becoming addicted thanks to Matt Smith – she’s rewatching to keep up with David! Tansy is the expert in the team, with a history in Doctor Who fandom that goes WAY back, and a passion for Doctor Who that inspires us all. We’re going to work our way through New Who, using season openers and closers, and Hugo shortlisted episodes, as our blogging points. Just for fun!

“Smith and Jones” – Season three, episode one

The Doctor – David Tennant

Martha Jones – Freema Agyeman

I loved Martha from the moment I met her. She’s funny, smart, cool and works well under pressure. I love her dysfunctional but ultimately awesome family and her obvious and instant difference to Rose and Donna (clearly marked by her telling the Doctor about the events of the past couple of years that Donna had missed entirely). Well, in the beginning…

Is it just me or is Tennant more relaxed in the role in this episode? It’s almost like he’s taken a breath and gone, yup, I’m the Doctor and everything is ooo-kay.

There could certainly have been a bigger time gap there, for the Doctor, which allows him to have relaxed a bit into himself. And I think it helps for David Tennant to not be the new boy any more.

I’m also a huge Martha fan! This is a great introduction to her and her family – and it really is a game of contrasts between her and Rose. She has a life, something not as easily walked away from, and is only interested in an adventure or two before returning to her career and attachments. She’s also capable, clever and quite flexible.

Like Donna, she’s also perfectly capable of smacking the Doctor around when he gets too high handed … and does it rather less abrasively than Donna did in “The Runaway Bride”.
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Another week flies by

This working full-time business takes a bit of getting used to! Basically I’ve not done much else for the past week. I read a bit, watched a bit of tv, devoured a new (to me) web comic, and tried to keep up with the washing, cleaning and getting kids to school stuff. They started swimming lessons on Monday. Bit of a shock to the system to pay $13 each per lesson after several years of VacSwim where $10 gets you two weeks (ten days) of lessons!! But good for them to keep up their swimming. Master Nine has his school swimming carnival this week coming, so will be interesting to see how he goes.

At work, I’m starting to build a website of resources for teaching and learning. It’s not at all finished, nor does it yet look like I want it to in terms of page layout for links, but it’s started! Ongoing project ahoy.

Today has been about playing catchup – still have to get to the grocery shop before days’ end, but otherwise happy with what we’ve achieved. Hopefully tomorrow will actually involve an activity out of the house!

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Thoughts from Outland

This is not a review of the new ABC show Outland. It’s only aired a third of the episodes at my time of writing, and I’m enjoying them so far, but I’m not reviewing it here. I think it’s good – if you have some similar tastes as me, you might like to try it (check out the episodes so far on iView). But this is not a review. Instead, Outland has inspired me to think a bit about fandom.

According to some people in the Australian spec fic community, I’m not a fan. I’m not quite sure what that means, exactly. I’ve liked fantasy (and to a lesser extent, science fiction and other related genres) books and movies since I was a kid. I became hardcore about my preferred reading genre when I was about nineteen, and for many years, read exclusively in spec fic. I did assignments at university on Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Raymond E Feist, Seaquest DSV and Terminator 2. I helped start a small press magazine ten years ago, devoted to furthering the prominence of the genre in Australia and overseas and to providing a market for writers and artists who might not otherwise have an outlet for their work (I didn’t get paid for the thousands of hours of work I put into the magazine. Volunteering for passion = fan?). I started my own indie press and have worked with others in the same field in many ways, for the same reason. I have been reviewing and judging for almost as long as I’ve been publishing. I’ve helped run a convention. I’ve spoken on panels and dressed up for book launches. I’ve become addicted to writers, tv shows and film franchises. If that’s not what being a fan is, well…

Artwork by osmosis8 on Deviant Art

And I think that brings me to my point; the point of this post. You want to know what the coolest thing about fandom is? I think it’s the same as the coolest thing about humanity. Diversity. I’ve seen some criticism by people in fandom saying that Outland is not representative of fandom. Or it’s poking fun at fandom. Or is too generic about fandom. I find that position so very odd, because fandom, like humanity, infinitely diverse. We are all people, and hence we are all completely different. We might have points of commonality. I might love Doctor Who, but my love of the show manifests differently from your love. I might write DW fanfic. I might not. I might cosplay DW characters. I might not. I might create DW fanart. I might not. I might write reviews of DW episodes to spread the love. I might not. But what’s cool about my love of Doctor Who is that even though it might be different from yours, it still makes both of us fans.

Fandom is made up of hundreds, probably thousands, different points of commonality. You might be an SF film fan, or an anime fan, or a podcasting fan, or a Twilight fan, or a big fat fantasy fan, or a comic fan, or a Whedon fan, or a Fringe fan, or any one of, or combination of, so many different individual fandoms. You might be an extrovert fan or an introvert fan, a cosplayer, a fanfic writer, a fan film maker, a volunteering-type fan or an academic-type fan. We’re all different, but our points of commonality (even that one very central point that we all are mad about something geeky!) are what make us a community. Which is why it makes me sad that people within this community are sometimes not willing to accept that just because others don’t fit their own personal view on fandom, doesn’t make them any less fans.

Picture from Qwertee

The characters in Outland may or may not be over the top (personally, I have met fans in real life who are a lot like each of them – there’s very probably a little bit of each of them in me!). They are fictional creations, written by people who are fans themselves (and who thus actually have experienced fandom in all its glory), and they are not MEANT to be representative of every fan. However, I think that what they do well is represent some ASPECTS of fandom. Again, not all, because you can’t possibly do that in a six episode show (or probably in six THOUSAND episodes!), but some. The creators of Outland have made a show with science fiction fans at the heart of it, which I think is pretty cool, and I’m glad that it’s out there, showing even a small part of what fandom is to those who have never experienced it. You don’t have to love it, just like you don’t have to love every part of every fandom. But being accepting is nice. It’s okay for us all to be different, and for us all to like different things. That’s what makes us human.


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