Monthly Archives: May, 2013

Galactic Suburbia 81

436x700xGoT-Coverflip.jpg.pagespeed.ic.39huRTcZn2In which we chew over shortlists, awards winners, book covers and gender issues, all of which pales in comparison to the FIRST QUILT IN SPACE. You can get us from iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.

Hugo Packet! What are YOU going to read? Would password protected freebie novels put you off reading them?

Locus Award finalists

Sturgeon finalists

Campbell Memorial Award finalists

Mythopoeic Award finalists

Nebula winners

Aurealis Awards winners

Comments: Tansy on “winning too many awards” & Keith Stevenson on why the awards are just fine and don’t need to be ‘sorted out’. To add some positivity (which more accurately reflects most people’s experience of this awards night!) check out Sean’s Storify of the AA’s night and Tehani’s post on attending at the last minute with lovely frockage pics. For even more gorgeous pictures, Cat Sparks’ Flickr feed is the way to go!

The coverflip experiment, started by Maureen Johnson’s piece on Huffington Post.

The artist behind the Georgette RR Martin cover discusses her imaginary brief.

Hawkeye Initiative Coda – using humour & art to get the gender point across in the workplace.

THE FIRST QUILT IN SPACE! Frontier craft for the final frontier.

Also, bye bye Commander Hadfield – thanks for bringing back the sense of wonder

The most significant futurists of the past 50 years

Tansy’s Melbourne public appearances:
Sisters in Crime 14 June
Splendid Chaps 15 June – details tba, keep an eye on the Splendid Chaps website for booking details after the 23rd May.

Culture Consumed

ALISA: Star Trek Into Darkness

TANSY: Iron Man 3 FINISHED GAME OF THRONES BOOKS; Queers Dig Time Lords, 2 Minute Time Lord discussion with editors/contributors of QDTL

ALEX: Alanna, Tamora Pierce; The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner

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

The Gates of Noon

Probably spoilers for Chase the Morning.

Ah Stephen. Forgotten the Spiral, really? At least it didn’t happen immediately… still, it shouldn’t be a surprise that your brain couldn’t cope with the weirdness for very long. Too much career, too many one-night stands, to enjoy.

Until it reaches in to grab you again.

UnknownIn Chase, a lot of Stephen’s hollowness seems to stem from his long-ago break-up with the lovely Jacquie. Here, Stephen has got himself – and his company – involved in a project to ship the cargo of a charity irrigation system to Bali precisely because of her name. But the project is dogged by malign forces, it seems, such that they cannot organise to move it any closer to Bali than Bangkok. And with a little bit of pushing from external forces, Stephen Fisher – the Hollow Man, defeater of nasty forces last time he ventured into the Spiral – manages to find his way out of the Core again, and sets up a rather unusual method by which to deliver his cargo. It involves an ancient steamer, a seven-foot tattooed Maori, and an outlandishly mixed crew. Also another magician-type, although Ape is nothing like Le Stryge, which is about the best that Stephen can hope for. Cue adventures.

As with Chase, many of the awesome things I remembered are indeed still present. I love Rohan’s descriptions of battles, and also his evocation of sailing – be it on seas or stranger tides. The very idea is still utterly captivating – sailing into the dawn or dusk, into the clouds! – as is the idea that places have shadows. Actually, perhaps they’re closer to Platonic ideals, since they capture what is and was and will be; the essential nature of a place, even if never actually existed anywhere but in the imagination of very many people. And the idea of moving out into the Spiral as somehow refining people, as well as places, is also a wonderful one for story.

Also as with Chase, there are a couple of things that bugged me, and the main one was Stephen and his hang-ups. While the first book was mostly all “woe, I am a hollow man!”, this book is replete with “woe, I done wrong by Jacquie!” – which he did, right enough, but I could have done with a little bit less breast-beating. He does, true enough, make some attempts at restitution – and he was pretty nasty, so maybe I should cut him some slack as his conscience actually teaches him a lesson. But I didn’t have to be subjected to everything going through his head every time; it could have been indicated with a sentence or two, easily enough, especially the fourth or fifth or tenth time.

Also, bit of eye-rolling casual sexism. Irked me. It mostly does all right on the not-racist front – which, given it’s set largely in South-East Asia, is a relief. There are some bits where people’s mannerisms or characteristics are referred to as ‘oriental,’ at which I cringed a little, but on reflection those things are not usually coded negatively so… yeh, not sure what I think about that. But the inherent desire of the book is to balance tradition and ‘progress’, and I cannot fault that.

The other thing I cannot fault, and found also in Chase, is the very suggestion that there must be something MORE. More than career, more than sex-as-an-end, more than selfishness. Stephen finds that in action, but also in helping others; Mall and Jyp and others find it in becoming, and doing, what they are meant to be. It’s a worthy aspiration.

Is it very different from Chase? Well, the intention of the adventure is different, and Stephen doesn’t have to go through all the rooky, learning-to-be-on-the-Spiral stuff, so things happen a bit more immediately. There’s more sexual tension; there’s also more at stake, which I think made it work as a sequel. If it had been yet another “save that girl!!”, I am unlikely to have bothered. Plus, quite different places and different villains, which is great.

The Suck Fairy has been kind.

Galactic Suburbia is 80!

8709633595_4d7b06f199In which there is gallivanting, schlepping, recycling and rejoicing – cos a Galactic Suburbia baby is on the way!


Conflux Update: Alex’s Report, Alisa’s Report, Everyone Else’s Wrap Ups

Ditmar winners (and associated awards) announced.

Through Splintered Walls Art Exhibition

Aurora Award ballot – Canada’s Ditmars?

Shirley Jackson Award shortlist

Culture Consumed

ALEX: Iron Man 3; Oblivion; Cloud Atlas

ALISA: The Adventures of Alyx, Joanna Russ

A Song of Ice & Fire update, Flower and Weed by Margo Lanagan

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