Tag Archives: garth nix

Galactic Suburbia 153

In which letters are written to Octavia Butler. Get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

What’s New on the Internet?

British Fantasy Awards: Letters to Tiptree won one!

No Award on Conflux & Asian Flavours in SFF fandom.

Octavia project: Octavia Estelle Butler was born on 22 June, 1947, and died in 2006. In celebration of what would have been her 70th birthday in 2017, and in recognition of Butler’s enormous influence on speculative fiction, and African-American literature more generally, Twelfth Planet Press is publishing a selection of letters and essays written by science fiction and fantasy’s writers, editors, critics and fans.
We are looking for letters addressed to Butler, which should be between 1000 and 1500 words. We are paying 5cpw up to $USD75 for letters, to be paid on publication. We are looking for World First Publication Rights in English, and exclusivity for the first twelve months of publication.

Submissions: octaviaproject@twelfthplanetpress.com

More Butler stuff: Radio Imagination

Tansy’s new releases: Bounty (the final Fablecroft book) & Unmagical Boy Story


CULTURE CONSUMED:

Alisa: Jamberry & business training.

Alex: Once Upon A Time season 2; the Patternmaster series, Octavia Butler; The Starry Rift, James Tiptree Jr; Goldenhand, Garth Nix.

Tansy: The Life & Times of Angel Evans, by Meredith Debonnaire; DC Superhero Girls: Hero of the Year; Revolutionary Art: Writing For Social Justice webinar series; Hex – How to Be a Fan on iView; Labyrinth Board Game Facebook page; Dracula’s Feast on Kickstarter.

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!

Goldenhand

This book was sent to me by the publisher, Allen and Unwin, at no cost. It’s out now; RRP $24.99.

Unknown.jpegThis BOOK! I’m so happy to have read this book! I’m so happy this book exists! (Spoilers for the other Old Kingdom books. Just go read them.)

I’ve been a fan of the Old Kingdom books for a long time. Not as long as they’ve existed – Sabriel came out about 20 years ago and I didn’t read it then – but long enough ago that when the prequel, Clariel, came out in 2014 I was a bit over the moon. So with Goldenhand being a direct sequel to Abhorsen, I’ve been pining for this book for a good while.

This is most definitely a sequel. I’m not sure how it would stand by itself – there’s not a lot of explanation of the whole necromancy by bells thing, nor of the Charter, and there’s a moment where Lirael is required to use her mirror and I was like wait, what? because it’s been a while since I read the other books. But really that’s all right because just READ ALL THE OTHERS ANYWAY.

Lirael is pining the loss of the Disreputable Dog, and trying to fit in with her newly discovered much older half-sister Sabriel and her family, and learning to be the Abhorsen. Something I loved about Lirael was how she always struggled to fit in as a Clayr, and I like that Nix hasn’t just made her magically (heh) well-adjusted. Meanwhile, of course, things aren’t entirely hunky dory in the rest of the kingdom: a nomad appears unexpectedly at the Greenwash Bridge, and even more unexpectedly proceeds to be attacked by other nomads and their awesomely freaky magical constructs. Cue mad flight down the river…

The book follows two tracks: Lirael, taking charge of Abhorsen business while Sabriel has a holiday (heh so cute), which means investigating a message about Nicholas Sayre and there being a magical creature on the wrong side of the Wall… and Ferin, the nomad messenger, whose endurance makes all the other characters look a bit weak and who just occasionally has a wicked sense of humour.

I love Ferin.

Nix’s writing is incredibly easy to read: it’s fast-paced, and it has lovely descriptions that allow you to imagine the place but not get bogged down in detail. I love the idea of the Charter and the additional development that the magic system gets here. In the interview with Nix that’s included in the book, he seems a bit bemused by how many people mention the gender balance in his books. But here’s the thing: when you’re reading about some guards being awesome in fighting and realise that any number of them are women, and that’s just so not a thing for this world, it still blows my mind. Multiple women in multiple sorts of roles: it can be done.

This is a wonderful addition to the Old Kingdom world and I’m so happy that it exists.

Galactic Suburbia 152

In which Alisa & Tansy are left unsupervised to read feedback, give you the lowdown on the Brangelina break up and discuss how Hillary Clinton and Harley Quinn both have to put up with the same ridiculous gender double standards. You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia

Relevant links:

Garth Nix on Aboriginal stories

The Cost of Building the Death Star

Brangelina is Dead, Long Live Angelina (on Jolie’s handling of the media narrative built around her and her family)

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!

New Galactic Suburbia!

Feedback episode! Thanks so much for all your emails, tweets and voicemails. You can listen to us via iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Tansy: Andre Norton Sargasso of Space; I am Princess X, Cherie Priest; The Wicked & The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie; Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

Alex: Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie; Newt’s Emerald, Garth Nix; Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deb Biancotti.

You can Skype us to leave a short message about any of our topics or episodes, to be included in a future show.

03 90164171 (within Australia) +613 90164171 (from overseas)

Otherwise, 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.

Ahem.

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 113

In which we’re back, baby, all cultured up from our summer holiday to tell you what’s good in books, shows, comics & more. You can get us from iTunes or over at Galactic Suburbia.

Thank our Patreons for the Alisa’s headphones which have greatly improved our sound quality!

Alisa is about to go to print on the Year’s Best YA.

Over the summer, as well as appearing on Galactic Suburbia’s sister-wife podcast Verity!, Tansy also guested on the Two Minute Time Lord talking about the Doctor Who Christmas special. Yes, Chip’s episodes are totally 2 minutes or less most of the time, but of course Tansy talked for longer than that, don’t be ridiculous! Tansy also wrote an article on Sex & Science Fiction over at Uncanny Magazine.

Alex has an exciting new announcement too, but you’ll have to listen to find out what it is. (cough, Tor.com, cough)

The Locus Recommended Reading List is out now, and features lots of Aussies.

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: Warehouse 13 Season 1; Twinmakers by Sean Williams; Crash by Sean Williams;
ODY-C #1 (Image); Federal Bureau of Physics Vol 1: The Paradigm Shift (Vertigo); Sex Criminals Vol 1 and Sex Criminals Issue 6 and 7; Julie Dillon’s Imagined Realms Book 1;Once Upon a Time Season 1 and 2; Serial

Tansy: The Fangirl Happy Hour podcast, Issue 1 reviews: Bitch Planet, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, SHIELD, Hawkeye, Black Canary & Zatanna: Bloodspell, by Paul Dini; Agent Carter, Kameron Hurley on not quitting her dayjob.

Alex: Three Temeraire books, Naomi Novik; Haven season 4; The Female Factory, Lisa Hannett and Angela Slatter; Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch; A Face Like Glass, Frances Hardinge; Clariel, Garth Nix; Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. Abandoned: Orphans of Chaos and Hidden Empire

ZEROES – New superhero YA book deal from Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti & Margo Lanagan – words do not describe how excited Galactic Suburbia is about this one!!! Coming out from Simon Pulse in northern autumn this year.

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 112

In which we help you with your (possibly last minute) Christmas shopping with a ton of our favourite recommendations from the year, plus culture consumed. You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Don’t forget to send us your recommendations for the GS Award: for activism and/or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction

Christmas gift suggestions!!

Alisa: Soapasaurus; Ancient Arts Yarn
Alex: Orphan Black. Abhorsen trilogy (plus prequel), Garth Nix. Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, Angela Slatter. Hav, Jan Morris. Rupetta, Nike Sulway.
Tansy: Ms Marvel Vol 1: No Normal, G.Willow Wilson; Teen Titans Go; Dimetrodon, The Doubleclicks; The Musketeers (BBC 2014); Sex Criminals, Matt Fraction
TPP: Drowned Vanilla! Secret Lives of Books; The Female Factory, Kaleidoscope, The Total Devotion Machine and Other Stories; Perfections;
Other Personal Stuff to Plug: The GS Scrapbook, The Twelfth Planet Press Tab, Musketeer Space

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: Scrivener; Monstrous Affections edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant; Champagne and Socks (Alisa’s personal blog)
Alex: The Slow Regard of Silent Things, Patrick Rothfuss; Troll: A Love Story, Joanne Sinisalo; Uncanny #1; finished Project Bond.
Tansy: Young Avengers 2: Family Matters; Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways; Young Avengers Presents, The West Wing, Chicks Dig Gaming, Jennifer Brozek & Robert Smith?

Have a great summer… even if it’s winter where you live.

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!

Clariel

7489530Some spoilers for the Abhorsen trilogy at the start; spoilers for this book at the bottom, and flagged.

Clariel is another wonderful addition to the world of the Old Kingdom, with magic (good and bad), Abhorsens dealing with the dead, and a complex and compelling young woman growing up in a difficult world with a difficult family. There’s adventure and misadventure, a few friends, unwanted romance, moving to a new place and being forced to do what you don’t want to do. A lot of people – I’m going to assume, anyway – will be able to identify with Clariel being forced to go somewhere and consider a future that are neither of her own choosing; I could absolutely identify with her desire to just be left alone. The first is something that young adults are often dealing with in novels; the second is rarer, and it was really nice to see, rather than always having it suggested that gregariousness and being in groups is automatically a good thing and to be desired.

There was one thing that frustrated me enormously, and it has nothing to do with the plot and everything to do with my desire to see sentences constructed well: there were far, far too many comma splices. They prevent sentence flow and sometimes they actively interfere with meaning making. And now I can’t find any examples but THEY ARE THERE.

For those of us who know and love the ‘original’ Abhorsen trilogy, Clariel (set 600 years before Sabriel) is a little bit unbearable. While those books take place in an Old Kingdom bereft of a king, at least the Abhorsen is doing his job – and I submit that the Abhorsen making sure that the dead stay dead, and that necromancers aren’t being evil, is of more immediate import than a king making laws. Yes the lawlessness helps the necromancers, but at least the Charter Magic is strong and there is someone to combat the problems. … I found this excruciating.

And…

SPOILERS!!

When I first heard about this I thought it was a sequel, and I was kinda hoping for a continuation of Lirael. Then someone told me it was a prequel, and I immediately wondered if it was the story of Chlorr of the Mask given it’s suggested she was an Abhorsen and OMG I WAS RIGHT. I was SUPER excited to realise that Clariel would indeed eventually become Chlorr, and I loved how Nix made this more and more obvious but actually only confirms it right at the very end – in fact not in the story proper. Of course it’s pretty obvious when she puts on the mask. And I really love that this book absolutely stands alone… and actually now it occurs to me that I kinda wish Nix hadn’t confirmed her as Chlorr, because that’s a spoiler for people who come to this fresh. Sigh. Anyway, this is probably the darkest of the Abhorsen books so far, but perhaps only for those of us with knowledge of the future: it looks like Clariel could possibly avoid Free Magic, although of course that conniving Mogget certainly is going out of his way to make that not be the case. MOGGET. That treacherous beast. Imagine coming to Sabriel etc knowing what Mogget is actually capable of! That’s going to really influence your reading. I was intrigued that there was no connection with the non-magic world, given how wide-ranging it is otherwise, and the suggestion that the Old Kingdom and magical territory apparently extend quite a lot further than might be guessed from the original books. And how on EARTH does the Abhorsen family fall so far?!?

I’m excited that Nix is writing another in the Old Kingdom, too – this time following on from the original set!

Galactic Suburbia 109

In which we solemnly swear we will repeat the title of our culture consumed after discussing it. Pinkie promise. You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Update on Gamergate with particular focus on Brianna Wu AKA @spacekatgal

(This episode was recorded before the Felicia Day incident)

Alisa’s con report – Conflux
Tansy’s con report – CrimesceneWA

Strange Horizons fundraising

We read and appreciate all your Twitter comments and emails, even if we don’t reply. We love your feedback!

It’s time to start thinking about the GS Award, yes already, WTF 2014 why are you moving so fast?

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: Landline, Rainbow Rowell (NB since recording, Alisa actually finished this book YES SHE DID); Night Terrace S1 1- 5

Alex: Sarkeesian’s XOXO talk; Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen); Mothership: Tales of Afrofuturism and Beyond; Indistinguishable from Magic, Catherynne Valente; Bitterwood Bible and other Recountings, Angela Slatter; The Dish.

Tansy: Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan; Night Terrace S1, Agents of SHIELD S1, The Flash S1 Ep 1-2

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 #59

In which the boob window is explained. Don’t say we’re not educational! You can get us from iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.

News

Drink Tank loves us! Download their Hugo shortlist commentary here.

Mondy loves us too! He makes us go awww.

James Tiptree Jr finally in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and about time too.

Talking to Alistair Reynolds: he defends the idea that science fiction has a limited number of plots

Locus Award Finalists

Clarke Award

Women in (Japanese) Comics: Cheryl Morgan reports; Anime News Network

Some kickstarter stuff:
Feminist Historical Anthology from Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Scalzi on Amanda Palmer and how she worked hard for 10 years to get her “overnight success”

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alisa: We Wuz Pushed by Brit Mandelo
Alex: Castles Made of Sand, Gwyneth Jones; Captain America; The Avengers; Confusion of Princes, Garth Nix
Tansy: A Confusion of Princes, Garth Nix; The Avengers; Earth 2 & World’s Finest; Ishtar

Tansy’s Note: “I do not mourn the boob window” is a classic line that should be long remembered and oft repeated – but Cheryl Morgan said it first! I only steal from the best…

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, 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!