In which we feed our feedback back to you, with a side order of cheesecake! You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.
WHAT’S NEW ON THE INTERNET
Aurealis Award winners announced.
Ditmar prelim ballot
Books mentioned in feedback:
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
The Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook
Joy of Cooking
Amanda Downum’s Necromancer Chronicles
The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
Please send feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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!
There are a lot of films in the rewatch category this year. This was seriously impacted by Project Bond, of course, but also by our decision last summer holidays to rewatch the entire Harry Potter series (we had a run of really hot days), and then the CAHRAZY idea to watch all the Fast and Furious movies (mostly again). I had forgotten about some of the films I saw for the first time this year, and I feel like we watched quite a lot of television – most of it new, though, so that’s good I think.
House of Cards (US) (season 1) * Game of Thrones (season 3) * Sherlock (season 3) * Fringe (season 1) * Orphan Black (season 1) * Fringe (season 2) * Fringe (season 3) * Fringe (season 4) * Agents of SHIELD (season 1) * Fringe (season 5) * Orphan Black (season 2) * The Hour (season 1) * The Hour (season 2) * House of Cards (US) (season 2) * Secret State * Alias (season 1) * Extant (season 1) * Haven (season 1) * Haven (season 2) * Haven (season 3) * Doctor Who (season 8) * Newsroom (season 2) * Homeland (season 4) *
Battlestar Galactica (season 4) ( rewatch) * FarScape (season 2) *
Jonathan Creek and the Savant’s Thumb * The Desolation of Smaug * Shakespeare’s Globe: Doctor Faustus * Cabaret * Riddick * INXS: Never Tear Us Apart * Escape Plan * 2 Fast 2 Furious * Furious 6 * 2 Guns * Evil Angels * The Monuments Men * Any Given Sunday * Captain America: The Winter Soldier * American Hustle * The Man with the Golden Gun * The Three Musketeers (2011) * X-Men: Days of Future Past * Edge of Tomorrow * Europa Report * For Your Eyes Only * Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit * Robocop (2013) * Octopussy * Maleficent * A View to a Kill * Snowpiercer * Rise of the Planet of the Apes * The Incredible Hulk * Expendables 3 * Guardians of the Galaxy * Noah * Interstellar *
Doctor No * Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone * The Expendables 2 * Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets * From Russia with Love * Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban * Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire * Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix * Goldfinger * Bran Nue Dae * Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (1 and 2) * Marie Antoinette * Thunderball * Iron-Jawed Angels * The Fast and the Furious * The Fast and the Furious – Tokyo Drift * Fast and Furious * Fast 5 * You Only Live Twice * On Her Majesty’s Secret Service * Ocean’s 11 * Thor * Ocean’s 12 * Ocean’s 13 * The Matrix * The Name of the Rose * Bend it like Beckham * Live and Let Die * Evil Angels * Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade * The Spy Who Loved Me * Moonraker * The Living Daylights * Thirteen Days * Captain America: The First Avenger * License to Kill * Aladdin * GoldenEye * Fellowship of the Ring (extended) * Aliens * Iron Man 2 * Iron Man 3 * The World is Not Enough * The Bourne Supremacy * The Blues Brothers * Blues Brothers 2000 * Die Another Day * The Outsiders * The Dish * Casino Royale * The Karate Kid (original!) * Casino Royale * The Return of the King (extended edition) * Quantum of Solace * Skyfall * Mission: Impossible III * Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol * Chronicles of Riddick *
In which we get excited about awards, and sexism in SF. In other words, it’s Galactic Suburbia! You can get us at iTunes or over at Galactic Suburbia.
Tiptree Award Winner & Shortlist – first Australian Tiptree winner! Congrats to N.A. Sulway!
Pet Subject: the not-SFWA “debate”, the pervasive dismissal of women in SF
Note: this episode was recorded several days before broadcast, before Sean Fodera made his apology to Mary Robinette Kowal, who accepted it gracefully. Please look at her post about why she accepted, and the role of apologies in general.
Some other relevant articles we discuss or allude to, or which Alisa found after recording and wanted us to include – keep following the Galactic Suburbia Facebook Page as she’s been updating it with interesting links daily:
The Radish hosted early discussion on the Bulletin anti-censorship petition.
The Daily Dot coverage of the petition & responses in the community.
Steven Gould on why the petition was based on a false premise.
SL Huang writes Can We Please Not Rewrite History, Folks?, and worth checking in on SL’s original Timeline of 2013 SFWA Controversies, now updated. [my apologies for stumbling over pronouns on the podcast]
THE LATEST WAVE OF TURMOIL, DISSENT AND SEXISM
Silvia Moreno-Garcia outlines the invective against Mary Robinette Kowal on SFF.net and the politics of “plunging necklines,” “diaphanous white outfits” and ankles.
Mary Robinette Kowal’s post on Being a Representational Example
Scalzi presents the Insect Army t-shirt design courtesty of Ursula Vernon’s awesome artwork.
N.K. Jemisin makes her own comments on the current shenanigans. Some really important words here. Alex also mentions Nora’s important tweet from 5 days ago:
N. K. Jemisin @nkjemisin
The loss of privilege is not oppression. The loss of privilege is not oppression. THE LOSS OF PRIVILEGE IS. NOT. OPPRESSION.
The post we possibly discuss in most detail on the podcast today: Juliet McKenna’s Why The SFWA Shoutback Matters
A really important message from James Patrick Kelly on age, and generations, and making a difference.
and don’t forget the…
Galactic Suburbia Award!! for activism and/or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction. There’s still time to send us your suggestions – only work from 2013, please, but start saving the 2014 links to send us next year.
Please send feedback to us at email@example.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!
You know, I had planned on doing a little summation after each book, but… I lost momentum. And I wanted to keep reading, so I did. So… I’m not going to bother with writing down all my thoughts, which would probably be frankly boring anyhow. So instead these are a few rambly musings.
I enjoyed them. I don’t think I have a favourite, although some of the twists and revelations in Half-Blood Prince were awesome. Order of the Phoenix was definitely too long (although, hooray for not being an editor, I don’t know what I’d cut. Definitely some of the Cho sap, though). I had not expected the end of Half-Blood Prince, and was a bit distraught by it! I had half-expected some of what happened to Harry in Deathly Hallows, but it was still well done.
Rowling’s style definitely improved over the series. And the intended audience changed immensely, too. This is partly to be expected, of course – hard to write a series that spans 11 year olds to 17 year olds without that happening. Still, I wonder how 11 year olds, who are introduced to the series now, will go with Deathly Hallows by their 12th birthday; that would be pretty harsh, I reckon. Also, I was impressed by how many threads she managed to pick up and bring to a conclusion in the last book; it takes a clear sense of direction from the start OR the ability to write like that’s what you meant all along, without having to invent anything too ridiculous, to manage it.
Rowling definitely knows teenagers. Yes, there are some exaggerations, and a few daft bits, but… gosh I think she has teenaged interactions, and relationships, well sorted. Probably not so evidently in the H/R/H triangle, but certainly with some of the others. The Ron/Lavender thing is hilarious, just by the way, and way too accurate.
The Malfoys? a very cool ending to their particular thread.
Dumbledore? infinitely more complex than I had anticipated.
Harry? pretty much what I expected. Still a bit annoying.
Snape? most awesome and intriguing and interesting storyline overall.
Hermione? it PISSED ME OFF that she seemed to be the only one who shrieked, moaned, sobbed or in any other way demonstrated emotion through her voice. I think Ron scored the occasional groan, and maybe some of the others got to shout, but this rankled me a lot.
And very lastly? I cannot believe she did that to Lupin and Tonks! No fair!!
So I read this one on the weekend, too; I’ve just been lazy about commenting on it.
This one is different from the first two; in those, there was a definite end-point, if you like: getting to a destination or thing. Here, although there’s a destination in terms of finally meeting the eponymous Prisoner, it’s not entirely clear from the title what will happen when Harry finally does. Once again it was fascinating to read when already knowing what happens in the end – I think Rowling does quite well at not giving hints about Sirius’ innocence, but it’s not like it makes absolutely no sense. I had been a bit wary that her plot structures would leave something to be desired, but the revelations do make sense, which is a relief: it’s just a matter of looking at something from a different perspective, or with a tiny amount of additional information.
I really liked Lupin. I seem to remember hitting my head over not getting the connection with his name sooner, when watching the movie… and then, reading the book, I finally realised the connection between ‘Sirius’ and his turning into a dog. Sometimes her names are just a bit silly and obvious; sometimes, she is very clever (like finally understanding the Phoenix’s name; Fawkes! So clever!). Once again, the actor worked well enough for my imagination in this role. Perhaps surprisingly, Gary Oldman doesn’t stick in my mind as Sirius. However, maybe this is not as surprising as I think; Oldman is such an astonishing actor that half the time I don’t realise it’s him, because he changes so much between roles.
I thought the whole reveal about being godfather and Harry being so dead keen on that happened a bit fast. I did enjoy Sirius’ near-insanity, and his attitude towards Wormtail (heh, nearly typed Wormtongue there; two of a kind, those characters!) – worked neatly for both guilty-Sirius and innocent-Sirius.
Snape continues to be a fascinating character; there’s clearly something that going to happen with his character – there has to be!! – the whole saving Harry in the first book, issues with James Potter et al at school, blah de blah… his story arc is perhaps the one I am most interested in following, because I am struggling to imagine how it will turn out. (Even if I’m wrong, I can imagine various outcomes for HR&H).
And, again, there’s just a bit more here in the book than made it into the movie. I don’t remember the providence of the Marauder’s Map being explained in the movie – that’s cool; Percy, again; and Divination classes are hilarious (oooh there’s another actor who works – Emma Thompson makes me giggle every time I imagine her in those glasses).
Anyway. I’m writing this because I just finished Goblet of Fire and figured I should do this properly, and write about them in order. It might take me a day or two to get around to writing about it, though… there’s a bit to think about…
1. On the book vs the movie
So this one, again, felt a lot like the movie to me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; in fact I’m impressed the movie managed to stay so faithful. Of course, this could be the fact that I saw the movie before reading the book talking…
Naturally, though, there were some differences, and I found those quite interesting. I’m quite sure Hermione’s parents are never seen in the movie – and the idea of them being shepherded by the Weasleys is quite a fascinating one, hinting as it does at a harmonious Muggle/wizard relationship. Given the threat to Muggles and Mudbloods throughout the book, this is an interesting little idea. I also would much have preferred to see the dueling scene as represented here, than as I remember it from the movie – surely I can’t have forgotten Hermione in a catfight?? And finally, I don’t recall Percy acting weird in the movie. I was really, really hoping for there to be more than “ooh, Percy’s got a girlfriend to his oddity – but alas, no. (Also, much more on Fred and George; I suspect they’re going to be favourite characters.)
As for actors and characters… well, Snape is Alan Rickman and that’s that, and it’s just fine. Also, I could never imagine Lockhart as anyone other than that gloriously inane version Branagh presented, and I have to say I thought it worked perfectly. They’re really the only two who have imprinted themselves on me strongly at this stage. I guess Ron and Hermione in a way, too, but at this stage they’re not exactly outstanding characters, so it doesn’t matter so much what they look like (to me).
2. The story itself, etc
It still reads very much as written for younger readers – and that’s just fine, too, because it was. There’s a bit of complexity (the reason why everyone gets Petrified rather than dying is quite sneaky, and I like it), and enough character development that they’re not quite 2D. (I do look forward to further character development as they get older.) I read it in a few hours, as my Dealer told me I would (and as I did the first); in some ways I was actually disappointed that there wasn’t more deviation from the movie, as there were no surprises.
I hate Dobby. That is, I hate the self-inflicted violence, as I did with the movie. I can’t quite believe it’s in there – it seems quite out of character; ironing your fingers?? Even the spiders aren’t as troubling as that image.
I’m really looking forward to the development of Lucius Malfoy’s character.
I have the third one sitting right here, waiting for me to finish the work I should be doing so I can legitimately skyve off…
Fairly random thoughts, really:
The book was quite similar to the film, in that there was only one section that I remembered being a lot different from the movie (and that might anyway be my memory): the opening. I don’t recall so much detail about Harry-getting-to-Dursleys, which didn’t surprise me and which I quite enjoyed.
It felt very much a first novel; there were some aspects of her writing style that had me wincing. That said, it was certainly readable. Obviously…
It is hard for me to say whether I would have been hooked on this had I read it sans-hype, and before seeing the movie. Possibly? Certainly the omnipresent threat of Voldemort, and the rather neat ‘one school year in a book’ timeline, makes a series seem attractive enough.
There weren’t that many characters in this book, and I think most of them made it into the movie. I know a friend of mine has a thing for Pansy, and I don’t remember her from the movie; there might have been one or two profs who didn’t make it into the movie either. Other than that, a good concordance I think? Also, I had forgotten how genuinely obnoxious Hermione was early on, and how little Harry and Ron like her at first.
This is probably one of the books where for me, having seen the movie was actually quite useful. I love Maggie Smith, so seeing her as Prof McG worked immensely well for me; ditto Robbie Coltraine as Hagrid. The banquet scenes etc probably also worked better for my limited imagination with something to remember.
Characterisation? Not that great. Plot? Not overwhelmingly original. Descriptive? Quite. Do I understand Tansy’s mania for fanfic? Not yet.
Yesterday was extremely productive. I had to do something that required my presence but no action – physical or mental – on my part. So I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Yes, the whole thing. In about three hours. Yes, for the first time. Also the first two chapters of Chamber of Secrets.
As predicted, I enjoyed it. I’ve been putting this off for a while – first off I refused to read it because it seemed like a tawdry rip-off of many of my favourites; then later because one of the things I hate most is waiting for the next book in the series (I’m looking at you, Garth Nix; get on with Lord Sunday already.) Also, when they first came out I was not in a YA frame of mind. And finally, I am a mule sometimes: so many people told me to read them that I got stubborn.
Aaaaaanyway… now I’m going to read them. Good thing I have plenty of friends who can hook me up with the set on demand.
Ocean’s Thirteen. woohoo!! I loved Eleven, thought Twelve was a bit average although it had a brilliant soundtrack – it let itself down – and, from the ad I just saw, it looks like Thirteen is going to go back to being smart-ass, sassy and very clever. I really hope so.
Die Hard 4.0. Oh. My. Goodness. A fourth?! Is Bruce Willis out of money? Hopefully, this will learn the lesson of Lethal Weapon 4, and be aware of the fact that its protagonist is too old for this sort of shit, and make jokes about that. But, seriously – more Die Hard?! It can only be good!!
Transformers. Hurry up already.
Shrek the Third. J hasn’t even seen the first yet. Bad; very bad. I really, really hope it’s as good as the first two… this is the sort of series that could very easily do a belly flop, though.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Looks very dark and very good. And I can’t wait for the last one to get published, so I can hurry up and read them….
Not Bridge to Terebithia. Boo hiss. Travesty of a marvellous book. More boos and hisses.
Not Nancy Drew, either. Gosh they were bad – although I loved them as a teenager (although Trixie Belden was better…). I read one at age 19 or so and just laughed myself silly. And then just recently I found out that they were syndicated – not written by the same person! (And same deal for Babysitters’ Club!). Oh the shock, the horror.