Tag Archives: feminism

Galactic Suburbia 124

An all culture consumed special (with a little awards chat just for old time’s sake). You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Hugo Awards update – how we voted. If you’re voting, get in before the eleventh hour!

World Fantasy Awards: Aussies on the ballot.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: The Almighty Johnsons; Wayward Pines

Alex: Arrow season 1; Beauty, Sheri S Tepper; Poseidon’s Wake, Alastair Reynolds; Of Noble Family, Mary Robinette Kowal

Tansy: Uncanny Magazine No. 5: “Midnight Hour” by Mary Robinette Kowal, “Woman at Exhibition” by E. Lily Yu, “Ghost Champagne” by Charlie Jane Anders, “Catcall” by Delilah S Dawson, Natalie Luhrs “Ethics of Reviewing”. Black Canary #1. Glitch.

In August we will be reading:
James Tiptree Jr: The Double Life of Alice Sheldon, Julie Phillips
“Houston, Houston Do You Read?” and “Your Faces, O my Sisters, your Faces filled of Light!” by James Tiptree Jr.

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia 123

In which classics, what classics, we’ll pick our own canon thanks, and reading Heinlein becomes less and less compulsory every year, so try not to worry about it. Actually, no books are compulsory. Read what you want to read. Book-shaming is the worst. Don’t do that. You can get us at iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Introducing The Wimmin Pamphlet: serving you a diverse range of feminist thought since this fortnight.

Strange Horizons essay by Renay – Communities: Weight of History

Renay, we are with you! Anti-Impostor-Syndrome Reading and Life Support Group Is Go!

James Nicoll’s reviews of Women of Wonder, the Pamela Sargent books Tansy refers to as her SF education, highly recommended: 1 & 2

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: The 100 Season 1; Tiptree Bio, Julie Phillips, Sens8

Tansy: Rocket Talk Ep 53 on Spec Fic 14 & online writing in the spec fic scene, Loki: Agent of Asgard; Fresh Romance #1

Alex: Hugo fiction reading: short stories, novelettes, novellas, novels. OMG the decisions! The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie.

Also New Horizons!!

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia 122

You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Continuum 11 debrief: panels and programme stuff we loved.

Tansy’s Guest of Honour speech: Fantasy, Female Authors & the Politics of Influence.

FictionMachine announcement: Something New Can Come Into This World, a book of film essays by Grant Watson.

Discussion piece: “Stop Asking Is This Feminist” at the Mary Sue.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: Prep for the Alice Sheldon’s 100th Birthday Spoilerific episode in August: James Tiptree Jr: The Double Life of Alice Sheldon, Julie Phillips; Tiptree’s short stories – read “Houston, Houston Do You Read?”, “Your Faces, O my Sisters, your Faces filled of Light!”; Call the Midwife S1 -3

Alex: All Men of Genius, Lev AC Rosen; Prudence, Gail Carriger; Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson; Jurassic World

Tansy: Lois Lane: Fallout, by Gwenda Bond; Uprooted, by Naomi Novik, “Waters of Versailles” by Kelly Robson, illustrated by Kathleen Jennings; Once Upon A Time Seasons 1 & 2

Alex is reading fiction for Hugo voting next episode!

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/galacticsuburbia) and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia 121: Live from Melbourne!

Galactic Suburbia 121: Live From Melbourne

The Tea Salon edition in which we drink the Tabitha Blend in front of a live studio audience at Continuum XI and chat about feminist hashtags and vampire college girl romance.

Kathleen Jennings drew us while we talked!

Tehani storified some of the tweets from Writing While Female.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: Emerging Writers’ Festival: Writing while Female (How To Be A Woman in Any Boys Club); Bitch Planet, Issues 1-2; Twelve Monkeys
Alex: Cranky Ladies of History; Carmilla (based on J. Sheridan Le Fanu Novella); Veronica Mars; Radio Lab podcast catch up
Tansy: Sons of Anarchy; A-Force by Marguerite Bennett & G.Willow Wilson – AND Carmilla!

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Cranky Ladies of History

This is another book that I’ve given my mum recently. She started reading it and rather smugly emailed to say that now she doesn’t feel so bad about being one sometimes. She says:

I particularly loved “A Song for Sacagawea” because it is the story of all those unsung women who were forced to help conquerors take their lands. They were looked on as trade goods, but much of the exploration/exploitation wouldn’t have occurred without them. There is a similar story of a woman who translated for the conquistadors in Central America [she means Malinche]. Much as I admire those women, their treatment really p….d me off, of course. Don’t quote me on that, though.

(Oops. Heh.)

Anyway, I am so totally excited that this book exists. I supported it in its Pozible funding, I did a little bit of supporting in terms of writing a blog post (I had big intentions to do a few but whoosh there went the month), and generally YAY stories about real historical ladies!


So I finally got around to actually reading it. Firstly let me say I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE WITH THE ORDER OF THE STORIES, TEHANI AND TANSY.


The first few stories were the sorts of things I expected. Mary I as a child, Lady Godiva, Mary Wollstonecraft… and then Bathory Erzsebet. Who is someone I had never come across and who was very, very not nice. Very not nice. Like, Deborah Biancotti you had already scarred me with your Ishtar and now my brain is even WORSE. Because this story does not redeem Erszebet. It shows that women are quite capable of being cold and cruel and nasty. And, at a chronological and geographical distance, this is almost something to be pleased about… since after all, we are just human.

Hmm. Getting to Erszebet has meant skipping over Mary (a story showing how difficult her childhood must have been, thanks Liz Barr), and Godiva (thank you, Garth Nix, for making her more than just That Nude Lady) and Wollstonecraft (Kirstyn McDermott, I have always loved her at a remove – that is, knowing only basics of her life, I knew she was wonderful. This fictional take helps just a bit more).

Leaving Europe, Foz Meadows goes to the Asian steppes with “Bright Moon” and a fierce tale of battle and kinship obligation; Joyce Chng to China and silkworms and captivity. Nice Shawl teases with “A Beautiful Stream” by talking about events and people from the 20th century I felt I ought to know and drove me to google find out if I was right (yes); Amanda Pillar pleased me immensely by being all provocative about Hatshepsut, one of my favourite historical women ever.

Sylvia Kelso stunned me by talking about two women from Australia’s history that I had no knowledge of (a doctor? lesbians?? in the early 20th century?!) and Stephanie Lai puts flesh on the bones of Ching Shih, the female Chinese pirate I’ve only encountered in passing. I would like to thank Barbara Robson profusely for writing Theodora so magnificently and by incorporating Procopius, to show just how such historical sources can be used. Lisa L Hannett continues (what I think of as) her Viking trend, while Havva Murat takes on Albania’s medieval past and the trials of being born female when your father wants a son.

I don’t mean this as a negative, but I am so not surprised that Dirk Flinthart wrote of Granuaile, the Irish pirate. I was surprised where he took her; pleasantly so, of course. LM Myles brought in one of my other very favourite and bestest, Eleanor of Aquitaine, this time as an old, old woman – still cranky and sprightly and everything that was great about her. I didn’t love Kaaron Warren’s “Another Week in the Future,” but I have no knowledge of Catherine Helen Spence so I had no  prior experience to hang the story on. Laura Lam brought in a female pirate I’d never even heard of, the French Jeanne de Clisson, while Sandra McDonald writes a complicated narrative of Cora Crane: there are unreliable narrators and then there are unreliable timelines and sources and they get fascinating.

Thoraiya Dyer introduces someone else I’ve never heard of, by way of 19th century Madagascar and a royal family negotiating the introduction/imposition of European ideas. Juliet Marillier brings a compassionate, loving and beloved Hildegard of Bingen, while Faith Mudge caps the whole anthology with Elizabeth I.

Look, it’s just great. A wonderful range of stories, of women, of styles, of close-to-history and far (but still with that element of Truthiness). I think we need a follow-up volume. I’d like to order Jeanne d’Arc, Julia Gillard, the Empress Matilda, Pocahontas, Eleanor Roosevelt, Malinche, and the Trung sisters. Kthxbai.

You can find Cranky Ladies over here.

Galactic Suburbia: Teen Feminism edition

In which Tansy, Alisa & Alex take on Feminism 101 with a recs list of teen-friendly resources. Get us at iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.

Long-time listener and frequent commenter Scott emailed us to say : “My 16 year old daughter has been have issues with boys belittling her views at school class and not being supported by close minded teachers. One of the boys asked if she was a feminist. She said she looked it up on the internet and wasn’t sure it was very positive. I’ve told her it can be a positive term depending on how it’s used. Could you point me to a book or two that I could give her that could help break down feminism and put it in a positive light?”

And so, Lily, here are our thoughts…

Feminist Teacher – http://feministteacher.com/
with special note of this vid made by teen boys after taking a high school class on feminism – https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=319&v=9Vh60p4p2QM

Anita Sarkeesian: How to Be A Feminist http://feministfrequency.com/2015/03/24/how-to-be-a-feminist-panel-at-all-about-women/

Mindy Nettifee – For Young Women Who Don’t Consider Themselves Feminists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-aD9WrfWTM

Laci Green: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwJRFClybmk (also recced by Renay on Twitter)

Kitty Flanagan – woman against women against feminism

Stuff your Mom Never Told You: How To Talk To Friends About Feminism

Emma Watson’s UN speech – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkjW9PZBRfk

We should all be feminists | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc&feature=youtu.be c/Tehani

The F-Bomb http://thefbomb.org/

Jessica Valenti: Full Frontal Feminism (2008), He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know (2009)

Amy Poehler – smart girls in the room https://www.youtube.com/user/smartgirls
Vid with a 7 year old explaining feminism & generally celebrating issues to do with being female. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJqTAVJB_x8

Herself – http://herself.com/about/ [NSFW]

Mark Ruffalo on Facebook

Mary Sue’s film recs for growing feminists: http://www.themarysue.com/six-films-growing-feminist/

Listener Recs:
Girls Against Girls by @bonniegrrl c/ Booksandsundry via Twitter
@_TYFA: Twitter Youth Feminist Army c/ Cheryl Morgan
AmeliaBloomer.com Recommended feminist lit for Birth to 18yrs c/ Melina D via Twitter
teenfeminist.com c/ Melina D via Twitter
@SamMaggs’ FANGIRLS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY is beyond brilliant. c/ Deb Stanish

From Cheryl:
Awesome though Ruffalo is, he was just quoting someone in that rant. Here’s the original:

Also my awesome pals in Bristol who are doing great things on the menstrual health front.

Recently found:

Rookie Magazine – aimed at teenaged girls – kinda seems like the teen girl version of a weekend magazine.

Culture Consumed:

Alisa: Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, Ann and Jeff Vandermeer; The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu;
Tansy: Mad Max: Fury Road, Captain Marvel 2: Stay Fly, Kelly Sue Deconnick; Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
Alex: Mad Max: Fury Road (NB Feminist Mad Max); Guns of the Dawn, Adrian Tchaikovsky; Girl Genius vol 1-13; Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson

Letters to Tiptree submissions by June 8: http://www.twelfthplanetpress.com/submissions

Bring a mug to our live recording! Or drink tea while listening to our next episode, and tell us about it.

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia: Jupiter Ascending

In which Alex and Tansy take on the movie that the Mary Sue dubbed “The Worst Movie Ever” and “full-out, ovaries-to-the-wall original space opera.” Sexist melodrama or feminist fairytale? Why can’t it be both? Get us from iTunes or over at Galactic Suburbia.

Shout out to the Jane Rawson readathon:

“Just Read readathon, running through June and July to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. I’m lousy at physical activity, growing moustaches and sobriety so I wanted to offer another way for people to raise money for a good cause.”

Sponsor Jane.

Also, Letters to Tiptree: submissions period! (Closes June 8)

JUPITER ASCENDING: or how a hot wingless werewolf got his groove back, and how being a space princess is actually a worse job than cleaning toilets.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: No, Jupiter Ascending Is Not Your Feminist Fairy Tale

The Mary Sue Review: Jupiter Ascending Is The Worst Movie Ever Go See It Immediately

Also on the Mary Sue: The Ethics of Jupiter Ascending, Or why I am not a vegetarian

This is the podcast that made Tansy want to watch the film: Fangirl Happy Hour 4: Bees Don’t Lie (well this and Cranky Aunty Lou’s texts messages which you can’t have a link to)

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia 119

Belated show notes!
In which there are fast cars, ancillary swords, Vote! Helsinki! t-shirts, feminist serial killer narratives and answer the all important question: was watching all of Lost worth it, Alisa? You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Defying Doomsday funded!

Tiptree Award
Philip K Dick:

Alex’s plan for Hugo reading.

Upcoming episode: being ok with being feminist. Request for links! Send us vids, articles, book titles etc. to recommend to teens.

Vote for Helsinki for Worldcon 2017!

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Tansy: Avengers: Age of Ultron, DC: Convergence, The Fall (Netflix Original)
Alisa: Reign, Lost
Alex: Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie; Incandescence, Greg Egan; Book of Strange New Things, Michael Faber; Fast&Furious 7; Avengers: Age of Ultron

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Ancillary Sword

Spoilers for Ancillary Justice (first review and second review).

UnknownI loved this second book possibly not quite as much as the first, for which my love burns for its originality as well as its characters and action; but it’s a true love nonetheless, for a book once again dealing with complex issues without making them un-complex, and for characters who aren’t cardboard, and a plot that – stripped back – is really very straight forward but that kept me reading voraciously.

The issues are similar to Justice, as you would expect, although with a different emphasis. Of course the gender aspect is still there; yes I still found myself wondering whether that deadbeat was female or male, that that leader a man or a woman, and so on. A little bit less than when reading Justice, I hope, since I read this immediately after my re-read and I was a bit more in practise of just reading ‘she’ and remembering that genitalia is irrelevant. More importantly, and indeed driving the action to a much greater extent than in Justice, are the twinned notions of imperialism and colonialism. How does an empire genuinely make sure all of its new citizens are treated like the old ones? How does an empire deal with pre-existing racial and other tensions that are going to manifest even though you’re all now officially the same? And then you add corruption to the mix and of course things will not be pretty. And THEN, into that mix, you add someone new – someone with a powerful sense of justice – and you watch how things fall, and which things blow up.

It amazed me to discover that Leckie is an American, what with her Radchaai obsession with tea.

Breq continues to develop across this novel. Justice saw her get some form of justice, and then has her direction changed by Mianaai herself. She has more time, here, to reflect on the pain of losing Awn, and the pain of losing the majority of herself; there are some intriguing moments where Leckie thinks through what it would be like to be that one, remaining, very small part of something previously so large. How does that one small segment develop an identity? Does that experience bestow compassion or impatience with others experiencing similar issues of dislocation?

I was pleased to have Seivarden sticking around, and not be so whingy as in the first. I am very pleased with the new characters introduced; they provide neat foils for Breq and Seivarden. One baby lieutenant with issues (oh how I love the discussions of baby lieutenants and how they are brought up by ships and crews)

My prediction for the third book: it will have to deal with the alien Presger, as well as the outcome of the civil war within Mianaai herself. In fact, I don’t really see how this can be resolved in just one more book. MOAR BOOKS, LECKIE.

Ancillary Justice

This is my second time around in reading this book. I knew I needed to reread it before reading Ancillary Sword. You can read my original review over here.

9780356502403-177x177Multiple spoilers ahead!

I still found the almost exclusive use of ‘she’ to be quite disconcerting, and I feel like I noticed those few times that someone is ‘properly’ gendered more than I did the first time I read it. I still found myself trying to pick gender clues from behaviour and descriptions, which of course says something about me… and also quite a lot about Leckie, since I really don’t think she enables such a reading of anyone. I have absolutely no clue what sort of genitalia Lieutenant Awn had.

Because I wasn’t so staggered by the gender issue this time I believe I felt the imperialism/colonialism aspect more. The Radch is a monumentally arrogant civilisation – and I felt very keenly those discussions about how such a sentence would be constructed in their language, since the word for ‘civilised’ IS the word FOR their civilisation, and for themselves: Radch. So this arrogance, this narrow vision, is constructed into their language – while I’m not a complete subscriber to the notion that language creates reality, it certainly has an impact on our perception of such. Leckie herself notes the similarities between the Radch and the Roman Empire, which is useful both for the yes and the no. Make new peoples citizens, subsume/ align their gods with your, but use ‘corpse soldiers’ to help make it work and have a bunch of apparently random cultural hang-ups.

I loved the gloves thing this time. I could drive myself mad trying to figure out how a culture develops a horror of bare hands except in the most intimate of circumstances.

I’m not sure I noticed the descriptions of skin colour last time (oh the advantages of being white). Much like the people of Earthsea, the Radch are dark-skinned… which is neither here nor there in the book’s greater scheme of plot and character and theme, but is nonetheless important in the greater scheme of, you know, the world.

Another aspect I feel I appreciate more deeply this time around is the religion. Everyone, basically, is religious. All of the ships are named after religious figures; all of the decades of soldiers likewise. There is an expectation that senior soldiers will pray and cast the omens each morning. Each new planet has their own religion whose parallels with the Radch’s own must be found – and there’s even discussion of a problematic, exclusively-monotheistic bunch who have caused issues in the past, who basically appear atheist to the Radch: either horrifying or bemusing, depending on your attitude. Not everyone is especially devout, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that religion belongs in humanity and in space and everywhere there are humans. This is refreshing.

Finally, the plot. Even though I did have some memory of how everything was going to play out (that notorious memory of mine), I still found it gripping. The massacre of civilians to the death of Awn, the gradual change in Seivarden, the drama at Omaugh: it’s not the most fast-paced space opera I’ve ever read, but it is definitely compelling and in no way just a vehicle for discussing Important Issues.


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