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While Alisa is away, Alex & Tansy play… in ANCIENT GREECE! We talk awards, the end of publishing as we know it, stressful feminist debates, Vonda McIntyre, Twitter fiction, Stargate, and whether there’s enough Greek & Roman mythology in modern fantasy.
Tansy wins WSFA Small Press Award for Siren Beat;
Last Drink Bird Head Award Winners;
John Joseph Adams takes over from Cat Rambo & Sean Wallace as editor of Fantasy Magazine;
Wiscon committee disappoints through inaction (also here); and then finally moves to disinvite Elizabeth Moon as GoH (warning, many of the comments on that one are pretty awful to wade through); also here and here;
Paul Collins on how the ebook revolution isn’t working so well ;
Cat Valente on tedium, evil, and why the term ‘PC’ is only used these days to hurt and silence people;
Peter M Ball explaining how white male privilege uses requests for civility to silence the legitimate anger of others;
What have we been reading/listening to?
Tansy: Death Most Definite, Trent Jamieson; Blameless, Gail Carriger, Bleed by Peter M Ball, “Twittering the Universe” by Mari Ness, Shine & “Clockwork Fairies” by Cat Rambo, Tor.com.
Alex: Silver Screen, Justina Robson; Sprawl; Deep Navigation, Alastair Reynolds; The Beginning Place, Ursula le Guin; abandoned Gwyneth Jones’ Escape Plans; listening to The 5th Race, ep 1 (Stargate SG1 fan podcast).
Classical mythology in modern fantasy. Can it still work? Do you have to get it ‘right’?
The Firebrand, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Medea, Cassandra, Electra by Kerry Greenwood
Olympic Games, Leslie What
Dan Simmons’ Ilium and Olympos
Gods Behaving Badly, Marie Phillips
Troy, Simon Brown
Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad and Jeanette Winterson’s Weight, also David Malouf’s Ransom – along the same lines as Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin
Robert Holdstock’s Celtika, Iron Grail, Broken Kings
My mother told me to read this book, and after reading about Aphrodite and Apollo getting it on like rabbits I’m a leedle bit embarrassed by that.
The book’s by Marie Phillips; from what I can tell it’s a first novel. The Olympians live in a big old house in London, and it – and them – have definitely seen better days. They bicker and argue, and they still try to act as cavalierly with humans as in ‘the good old days’ – but their power is significantly reduced, which naturally feeds into some rather serious frustration. And then there’s Neil and Alice, the classic near-innocents who get tied up in a cosmic game…
You need a certain amount of knowledge about ancient Greek myth to get along with this book. Although some references are explained – like Daphne, and Orpheus&Eurydice – without a basic grasp on the personalities and traits of gods like Artemis and Aphrodite et al, I think you’d probably struggle to fully appreciate this story.
That said, with a rudimentary understanding, this is a very funny story. Apollo reduced to being an oracle on cable? Artemis the dog-walker? And let’s not even talk about Zeus… Perhaps the funniest two are Eros and Athene. Eros, the Christian. And Athene, mind-boggling intelligent… but articulate? Not so much. Even without an ancient Greek background, it would still be funny, since it’s obvious they’re gods and it’s obvious they’re not happy about their current place in the cosmos.
An amusing story that took me a couple of hours to barge through. Highly recommended for a bit of ancient Greek fluff.
I can’t really pretend this is an unusual thing anymore – once again, I am flicking between Video Hits and Rage. But that’s not the point of this post. No: the point is Britney Spears, and not even her ‘music’. The ad was for her new perfume. Basically, I think she’s heard the story of Artemis and Aktaeon, and got it mixed up a bit in her head. In the ad, she (the goddess, of course), is being pursued by a hunter, who has fallen in love with her; he shoots her with a ‘magic love arrow’ or somesuch (so maybe Aktaeon and Eros have got mixed up in her head… who’s to say?), and they live happily ever after. Very curious. And all of this, of course, takes place in a forest… very primal.