Wednesday reading (on Thursday)

Yesterday was just very busy, okay?  On the upside, the old house is now clean and empty, with the very last round of stuff to be picked up this evening.  I guess I can take time out of reading Free Comic Book Day stuff on Saturday to drop off the keys.

Books Recently Read

The Life and Death of Harold Holt by Tom Frame

This wound up being a bit of a slog, which is what happens when you have a subject who’s basically a decent person who avoided major scandals and kept his private life to himself.  But it didn’t destroy my illusions about Holt being quite a good sort, and made me extra-sad that the Liberal Party has become everything that Menzies and Holt wanted to avoid.

Also read: four out of the five Hugo-nominated short stories.  But you all knew that, because that post was the second-most visited on this blog ever.  (The first: the one where I spoil the ending of the Australian Secrets & Lies.  IDK, it got picked up by an entertainment site or something.)

General consensus on that post seems to be that I’m an easy grader.  And I agree; I think I was trying too hard to not seem like I was rejecting stories just because they were on a slate I strongly disagree with.  So I’m inclined to unearth some of the nominated stories of recent years, read those, and reconsider my choices for this year.

Currently reading…

The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

A nominated novel, of course, and a very good one so far.  I had heard it described as didactic and heavy on the exposition, which are two of my least favourite things ever in fiction — Stephanie, back in our Ann Leckie discussion, was curious to see how I’d cope with Chinese SF — but so far, so good?

But then, I really need some of the scientific exposition Liu supplies — I don’t have much of an education in science at all, and I just can’t get my head around physics whatsoever.  I struggled with the science in Rosemary Kirstein’s The Steerswoman — note to self, make Stephanie read that series so we can talk about it — so the contemporary/near future/recent past stuff is way over my head.

I’ll do a proper post about The Three-Body Problem when I’m finished.

What I’m reading next…

I have the nominated Kevin J Anderson novel checked out from the elibrary.  I don’t expect it will be difficult.  (Not an insult — I love good, solid storytelling.  I breezed through Leviathan Wakes when that was nominated, and loved it.)

I also have The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald checked out.  I hope it’s good, but Americans writing about Australian Indigenous cultures is always rich with the potential for grossness.  Either way, I’ll probably get a post out of it.  I think Steph is also going to read it, so maybe we can make it substantial.

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Liz reads the 2015 Hugo-nominated short stories

I thought that Project: Read As Much As Possible And Vote By Merit would be easier if I didn’t sit around waiting for the voter pack.  Accordingly, I’ve reserved a bunch of the nominated novels at my elibrary of preference.  As for short stories, all but one are available online, and I’ve started reading and organising my preferences.

(I really love preferential voting.  I like to have my senate ballots prepared weeks ahead of an election.  Of course I vote below the line.  SO GREAT.)

The stories!

“On A Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli

It’s not clear whether this version on Antonelli’s blog is the same as that published in Sci Phi Journal #2.  For the sake of my embarrassment squick, I hope not.  The blog version’s dialogue is full of run on sentences, which (aside from being grammatically problematic) makes it a bit hard to read.  I dearly hope it’s a first draft.

Anyway, it’s a story about an alien planet whose magnetic field creates ghosts of the dead, and a human chaplain who has to deal with the first human ghost.

The concept is mildly interesting, the execution mildly frustrating.  An example:

Ymilans believe–as do many Terran religions–that each individual has a spark of an eternal extra-dimensional over-arching consciousness that is imbued in each of them at birth and ultimately returns to a higher dimensional plane when the physical form is no longer viable. I told him we call it the “soul”. They also know–I won’t say believe because the evidence was obvious on Ymilas–that while alive we develop an electromagnetic imprint as a result of the experiences of life that survives after death. I told Dergec an ancient Terran religion had the same belief, and in fact built elaborate pyramids and tombs filled with personal belongings to keep those spirits happy.

I don’t know that the Egyptian concept of the ba had anything whatsoever to do with electromagnetism, but the Ymilan religion — where ancestors remain part of a person’s life after death — has more to do with Chinese beliefs anyway.  Beliefs which are contemporary and actually practised right now in the actual real world, and aren’t in fact alien in any way whatsoever.  That the author doesn’t seem to realise this is … well, it shows a certain carelessness in research, or a lack of general knowledge, or maybe a cultural arrogance?

I found the writing amateurish and the central idea poorly executed.  This is going above No Award, but only because it’s not actually insulting.

“The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C Wright

This is actually insulting.  If Bible-quoting animals debating their place in the world after the extinction of humanity is your idea of a good time, this might be the story for you.  If you thought that The Last Battle was amazing but needed to make its metaphors more obvious, this is definitely for you. If you like interesting, original and insightful fiction, I’m sorry, you will have to move on.

Wright is trying very hard to incorporate Catholic theology into this story, but the result frankly makes me a bit embarrassed to share a religion with him.  It takes a very talented writer to pull off explicitly Christian references in what appears to be a secondary world fantasy setting, and John C Wright is no C S Lewis.

Going below No Award.

(A note: both of these short stories have been posted to blogs but formatted for paper — indents, no paragraph spacing, etc.  Guys, don’t do that.  It’s fine for a book or ereader, but in the context of a website, it’s just hard to read.  And neither story has been worth the eye strain.)

“Totaled” by Kary English

Finally, some formatting I can read!

And this is the best story so far, which is not to say it’s not derivative in concept and execution, and kind of sexist in its portrayal of the sandwich-fetching grad student hated by the heroine.  A scientist working on the preservation of living tissue after death is killed in an accident, her brain is preserved, but she only gets a short afterlife before decay sets in.

The idea’s been done a bunch of times, but this gets a neat ZOMGObamacare twist: preservation is dependent on your monetary worth.  Death panels, guys! It’s weird and specifically American, but hey, this is an American story.

I’m pretty lukewarm overall, but it was readable (in every sense of the word) and largely inoffensive.  I’m probably going to give this my first preference.

“Turncoat” by Steve Rzasa

Look, the integration of human, AI and spaceship is not a new idea.  Anne McCaffrey wrote The Ship Who Sang before I was born; Ann Leckie gave the concept a powerful new twist, oh, just a couple of years ago.

I guess Rzasa deserves some praise for claiming the subgenre for People Who Aren’t Named Ann(e), but it’s just soooooo boring.  A whole paragraph about the protagonist’s hull and weaponry?  *snore*

This feels like the author read Ancillary Justice and went, “Yes, but what this really needs is less ambiguity and a really boring main character.”  It’s competently written, which is sadly high praise for the short story category this year, but that’s all I can say.

This whole “vote by merits” thing is really hard, guys.  Like, I don’t think that this deserves an award.  And yet two-fifths of the category is SO BAD that the overall standard is so low, I can’t in good conscience NOT place it second on my ballot.

The fifth nominated story is “A Single Samurai” by Stephen Diamond, which doesn’t appear to be available online.  That will have to wait for the voter pack.  Until I’ve read it, my ballot currently looks like:

  1. “Totaled”
  2. “Turncoat”
  3. “On A Spiritual Plain”
  4. No Award
  5. “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds”

(I keep typing “The Parliament of Beats and Birds”, which I presume is about DJs and HORRIBLE AVIANS gathering together to work out their place in the universe after the fall of non-DJ humanity.)

birds of australia: rainbow lorikeet

This month in Birds of Australia with Hayley and Michael, we bring you Michael being wrong.

Hayley Says

Look, I want it straight from the beginning that I love parrots. Parrots are my favourite species of bird alongside owls and ordinarily I adore all varieties of these extremely clever, colourful and cute birds.

But rainbow lorikeets are destructive, brightly coloured emissaries from BIRD HELL.

rainbow lorikeet sitting in a tree. image by michael.
contemplating the destruction it hath wrought

“Oh but they’re so beautiful Hayley, with all their flashy bright colours, like a casino or carnival sideshow alley, two other things that distract me with visuals while committing untold evil right under my nose.” NO, WRONG, WHY DID YOU EVER LISTEN TO KEATS WHEN HE SAID BEAUTY EQUALED TRUTH, KEATS DIDN’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT BIRDS AND WAS FULL OF LIIIIIIIIIES.

I am here to prove to you that rainbow lorikeets are nasty, bullying, loud, messy, feral birds that you should never let near your person, your garden, your city, your life. Order of the day is: rainbow lorikeets are bastards.

Rainbow lorikeets are highly territorial about their breeding areas, and will aggressively attack other birds to drive them away, and not just smaller birds like noisy miners, but large birds like magpies. I’m not sure if you’re aware of the dangerous nature of the Australian magpie, but they are not to be trifled with, and the fact that flocks of lorikeets regularly succeed in driving off nesting magpies proves that lorikeets are FUCKING TERRIFYING.

What is most terrifying about lorikeets is when they become established in a non-native environment. A release of lorikeets in Perth in the 1960s (rumoured to have originated from the University of WA, ACADEMICS YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER) has resulted in a feral population that has officially been declared pests. Settling in the metro area, giant flocks of lorikeets now travel daily, using the highways to navigate, and descend upon the orchards and vineyards of the Swan Valley stripping them of their fruit, which has resulted in the Western Australian government instigating culls of the bird. They also compete with many native WA species for nesting hollows, muscling out species such as the purple-crowned lorikeet and Carnaby’s black cockatoo, the latter of which is endangered. There are also introduced populations of lorikeets in Auckland, New Zealand, which also precipitated a government enforced cull, and in Hong Kong. Rainbow lorikeets could descend upon your city AT ANY MOMENT.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, rainbow lorikeets are noise polluters. You will know when a flock of lorries are in the neighbourhood because the noise is WINDOW SHATTERINGLY LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS. How anyone can enjoy these shrill, piercing shrieks I have no idea. Walking under flocks of them rustling about in trees I have to clasp my hands over my ears so as not to go immediately deaf. Also if flocks take up residence in your neighbourhood, along with noise-cancelling headphones make sure you get shoes you don’t mind been ruined by MOUNTAINS OF LORRY SHIT.

I should at least give rainbow lorikeets some grudging credit for adapting so well to urban environments, but there’s one way this adaptation is actually killing them – idiot humans feeding them food that is bad for their little guts and giving them bacterial bowel infections. So if you wind up somewhere where rainbow lorikeet feeding is an attraction, don’t participate, don’t leave bread or honey or artificial nectar out for them in your own garden, it is all a very bad idea. Especially because they’ll just swarm in making a horrid noise, poop everywhere, muscle out all the other birds and ruin your fruit trees.

One feather.

 

Michael Says

As I’m sure you’ve realised by now, I like to cultivate an identity as a bit of a bird nerd – constantly carting my binoculars around with me, correcting people who talk about birds (“They’re silver gulls. There’s actually no such bird as a seagull.” etc) and spoiling holidays by insisting on taking a detour past a swamp or a sewerage pond. It’s all part of my shtick. And key to any self-respecting bird-nerds shtick is a disdain for the showy and obvious birds, the common and colourful birds. “Sure, sure, that rainbow bee-eater is lovely,” I’m meant to say, “but look at the subtle stippling on that brown thornbill. Now that’s beautiful!”

Well pish posh to that. I guess I better hand in my twitchin’ licence and my binoculars, because I am an absolute sucker for gaudy, colourful birds – the more extravagant the better. There’s a certain embarrassing pride that comes from knowing your thornbills from your weebills (full disclosure: I misidentify these birds about 70% of the time), but nothing beats a ludicrously colourful parrot screeching aggressively in your face. Nothing.

A brightly coloured lorikeet sitting on a branch
Rainbow Lorikeet by Fir0002 via flickr

I know, I know – mean ol’ rainbow lorikeets are the bullies of the parrot world, driving other species out of nesting hollows and officially achieving ‘pest’ status in WA, but like Rory Gilmore confronted with Jess’ broodingly attractive awfulness, I just don’t care. I’ll take beauty every time. And look, rainbow lorikeets are ridiculously, astoundingly beautiful. LOOK!

They’re so common around Australian cities that we forget how remarkable they are – we barely even glance up as they cut across the sky like little groups of flying jewels. Ask an overseas visitor what they think of them and I guarantee you they love the goddamn hell out of them. The only reason SOME PEOPLE don’t is because they’ve stopped really looking at them, or have generally lost the ability to feel joy. As Miss Piggy famously said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”

It’s worth remembering that the current oversized population of rainbow lorikeets is a slightly odd aberration – up until the 1960s, rainbow lorikeets were almost never seen in Victoria and were scarce around Sydney. For some reason, the population blew up in the 1970s and 80s and they spread throughout the Eastern states – it’s all a bit mysterious, although increasing urban growth of native flowering plants, feeding stations and even Currumbin Sanctuary have been blamed.

They’re now firmly a bird of the urban environment, feeding on an array of flowers but also on fruit, seeds, insects and, in a horrifying recent development, raw meat. They nest in hollows, which they aggressively stake out, putting pressure on meeker parrot species who are bullied out of nesting sites (although it’s hard to feel sorry for the much bigger Australian Ringnecks, who really just need to toughen up a bit). And yes, they’re considered pests by some people. Particularly by farmers in WA, who complain that the birds destroy their precious orchards. It’s worth remembering though, that farmers will complain about anything – if we listened to farmers, Western Australia wouldn’t have any Australian ringnecks left to worry about because the farmers would have shot them all). If we listened to farmers, we’d be shooting flying foxes left, right and centre (oh wait, we already are).

Look, the point is: farmers love nothing more than complaining (except maybe shooting native animals), so I’m not going to listen to their whining about one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Get over it farmers! Who eats fruit anyway? Rainbow lorikeets bring colour and joy to the drabness of the city, bring beauty to our otherwise grey urban existences and scare the shit out of our cat when they fly, screeching, just a few metres above our balcony. I bloody love them, and so should you.

Five feathers.

rainbow lorikeet by michael

Bird: Rainbow Lorikeet

Hayley: One feather

Michael: Five feathers

linkspam goes out to the one i love

CEPHALOPOD SELFIES

No Award has very mixed feelings about Anzac Day and how it’s gone from a reminder of a time we totally fucked it to a Nationalistic orgy of war mongering and celebration. But maybe we can all agree that the commercialisation of the death of many Australians in a war is not a great thing? Woolworths debacle: Minister for Veterans Affairs attacks Anzac ad campaign; Poppies for Profit. And some other articles: Anzac Day a jarring experience for migrant Australians at Eureka Street; Fresh Failure at Overland. Also Liz wrote for Spook! Lest we forget to cough up some coin: How the ANZAC spirit became a cash cow.

Good times (not good times): Detention centre guards totally racist and into anti-Halal and Reclaim Australia shenanigans. Also you know it’s a bad day when Steph learns a new racist slur.

Aussie pulp fiction of the 40s and 50s. AMAZING.

Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them. At WaPo.

Friend of No Award Fei is involved in a comic about science! Science Adventures with Rabbit and Cat. Check it out!

Steph really hopes you read her review of reviews of Howard’s Menzies book. She didn’t want to read the whole book, so she reviewed reviews instead! Also with a drinking game, and Liz’s love of Holt.

Jess Ainscough, Belle Gibson and the New Purity Movement: How Nutritionism and Pseudoscience Overtook the Fundamentalist Focus on Bodily Integrity and Acceptable Femininity  It’s possible that Rebecca is drawing a bit of a long bow, comparing the Cult of Wellness to the Cult of Sexual Purity … you know what?  Liz changed her mind as she typed that.  Carry on.

On a related note, Liz’s coworker told her on Monday that drinking chilled water will give her cancer.  Snopes is here to reassure you that isn’t even slightly true.

(Said coworker also believes that a thick coating of tea tannins on unwashed porcelain is better for your health than vaccines, so, y’know.)

Important London fatberg update: 10 tonne fatberg removed from Chelsea sewer.

# Lighten Up, on skin colour and privilege in comics/illustration. A great comic that Steph is in love with.

A survey of non-US fans re: the Hugo Awards.

Very UK-centric, but the cold truth about our thirst for bottled water. As Australians, there are very few places where you should be choosing bottled water over tap water. A quick google gives us some Australian city or drinking fountain maps: Melbourne, Wangaratta, Perth.  And a 5 minute cartoon on nurdles and plastic waste.

Wednesday Reading

I have successfully moved house, and some time this year, the old house will be clean and empty, and I will have functional, fast internet at my new place, and won’t be a massive ball of stress.

In the meantime, just about the only thing I have time for is reading as I wait for buses and take trans between home, work and the old place.  So here is a post, based on a meme popular on my Dreamwidth circle in 2014, that I will try to make a regular thing.

Books Recently Read

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen with annotations by David M Shapard

S&S has never been my favourite Austen novel, but a friend was recently dumped by her boyfriend (Kickstarter to set him on fire, btw), and coped by going the full Marianne Dashwood, ie, not coping at all.  And that got me thinking how this is one of Austen’s novels that translates particularly well to the modern day, and wondering how that would be done.  Luckily, I had the annotated edition already on my Kindle.

Anyway, the great thing about S&S is that, while every single literate woman on the planet thinks she is Lizzy Bennet, there’s a bit more variation in the question of whether or not you’re an Elinor or a Marianne.  (I’m an Elinor, obviously.)

What struck me on this read-through is that Mrs Jennings, one of Austen’s most ridiculous characters, is also extremely kind, and part of Marianne’s growth is in realising this and valuing her for it, whereas previously she looked down on Mrs Jennings for being vulgar and overly familiar.

Following the book, I’ve acquired copies of the 1996 movie, the 1971 miniseries and the 2007-ish miniseries.  One day I might even have time to watch them.

Still thinking about a modern S&S, and wondering what and who Colonel Brandon would be in a contemporary Australian setting, I read…

Uncommon Soldier by Chris Masters, an account of the training, duties and general experiences of the contemporary Australian soldier, with particular emphasis on service in Afghanistan.

This was an interesting read, frequently made unnecessarily confusing by getting bogged down in acronym soup.  The earlier chapters, about training, including the professional paths and cultures for recruits, ADFA graduates and Duntroon cadets, was more interesting to me, and easier to follow, than the later chapters based on Masters’ experience as an embedded journalist in Afghanistan.

I definitely learnt a lot more about Australia’s role in Afghanistan, and while I am never going to be comfortable with a situation where civilians are so vulnerable, I came away with the impression that the Australian forces were more professional and culturally sensitive than, say, the US.  But also that Masters — probably because he himself is a white Australian man — wasn’t in a good position to see the times where that was not the case.

For similar reasons, I felt that Masters didn’t spend enough time discussing the experiences of female soldiers and officers, or of any military personnel who weren’t straight, white and male.  (Although homsexuality is legal in the Australian defence forces, he notes that homophobia is rampant, to the point where a commando only came out at his retirement party.)

In short, an informative but disquieting read.

Currently reading…

The Life and Death of Harold Holt by Tom Frame.

Saying “May the Sea Return Him” is all very well, but I realised last week that I don’t actually know very much about Holt as a person or politician, save that he was more progressive than he’s often given credit for, and that his life was less interesting than his death.

I’m only 15% into the book, but Frame makes a good argument for Holt’s life being, in fact, reasonably interesting — his parents divorced, his father married a woman Holt himself was courting — but also very private, with few records remaining.  Of Holt’s politics, it’s too soon to say; like most Australian conservatives of the 1940s, he was primarily concerned with finding a democratic balance between socialism and fascism, and upholding the glory of the British Empire.

On entering Parliament, Holt was 27 years old, the most eligible bachelor in the House of Representatives.  One highlight is his thoughts on women and fashion:

“I don’t like women to dress so conspicuously that they make a man feel hot under the collar to be seen with them but on the other hand, they should not be too inconspicuous.  Women seem to be most charming in summer frocks, plain, cool linens, prints and all that sort of thing. Perhaps it’s the prettier colours that appeal to me.  I like pastel shades very much and all the ‘off’ colours, dusty pinks, blues, greens and so on.  They are more subtle.”

He concluded that most women ‘dress to make their sisters sit up and take notice’.

My thoughts:

1. Thanks, Harold, but I’ll dress as conspicuously or otherwise as I want.

2. More male politicians should share their feelings about pretty colours and pastels.  It’s nice.

3. It’s depressing how refreshing it is to see a bloke point out that women mostly dress for themselves and each other.

What I’m reading next…

It’s Hugo season!  Suffice to say there have been some issues this year, and very little of what I nominated made the short lists.

I’ve been chewing over my voting intentions for a couple of weeks, and while I was initially tempted to vote No Award for any Puppy Slate works, I’ve decided that it would be fairer to read everything I can and vote on the merits.

Accordingly, I’ve resolved to read every short story, at least three chapters of every nominated novel, and at least 25% of every novella.  And I’m going to blog about them here.  Look, we named this blog for maximum confusion/hilarious trolling, it’s practically made for this type of thing.

I’ve borrowed The Three Body Problem from the library, requested the Kevin J Anderson novel, and made a note of where I can get the other nominated novels. Short stories etc can wait for the voting pack.

I’m quite excited to read The Three Body Problem, because I’ve wanted to read it since I first heard it was being translated, and until recently the ebook was going for about AU$30.  But I’m also nervous, because I hear it’s quite didactic, which Stephanie says is a feature of Chinese literature, but also something I don’t much care for.  Fingers crossed!

I’m hoping that I’ll like it enough to rank it above Ancillary Sword, which I enjoyed but found inferior to Ancillary Justice.  I do not like to agree with the Sad/Rabid Puppies on anything, but I did feel like Leckie prioritised exposition about social justice over plot in that book.  Unlike the Puppies, I’m quite pro social justice, I just like a bit of subtlety, or at least originality.

I also just became aware of Sandra McDonald, an American author with an SF series “based on native Australian culture”, according to Amazon.  I like bits and pieces of the blurb, but the potential for a trainwreck is also pretty high.  Again, if I have thoughts, I’ll share them here.

‘The Menzies Era’ – drinking game and review review

Former PM of Australia John Howard loves Menzies. He loves Menzies so much, in 2014 he released a 630 page tome about Menzies’ impact on Australia. No Award doesn’t have time to read 630 pages written by a white man about another white man in order to review it for you, so instead we’re going to review the existing reviews of people who could be bothered reading 630 pages a white man wrote about another white man. (Please note: actual tome is 720 pages in length, but only 630 of those pages are biography.)

Rules of reviewing Howard’s Menzies:

  • You have to play the Howard’s Menzies drinking game.
  • Every time someone mentions that Australia was “cheated” by the slandering of Menzies: drink.
  • Every time someone says it was Keating’s fault that Menzies is viewed badly by Australian history: drink.
  • Every time a review says ‘Menzies had his bad points’ but fails to mention that thought Nazism wasn’t that bad: drink.
  • Every time a conservative waxes rhapsodic about Gough’s sweet kisses: drink.
  • Every time someone mentions how amazing John Howard was: drink.
  • Every time someone references light: drink. Drink twice if that light is on a hill.
  • Every time someone mentions a personal anecdote about Menzies or Howard: drink.

Spoilers: Stephanie’s favourite review is the Quadrant one. You’ll know why when you get there. Special mention to the Canberra Times review, for amazingness that we will be discussing later. #regionaldystopia

Overall, Steph has learnt from this process that she maintains a bias in regards to Menzies and his years, and she’ll be damned if she’ll let some baby boomer (or older) take that bias away from her.

Reviewer’s note: None of these reviews are linked, because Steph doesn’t want the bounceback to NA. However you have been presented with all the details you need to google them.

Continue reading “‘The Menzies Era’ – drinking game and review review”

red the blood of angry linkspams

No Award is a bit all over the place at the moment; Steph’s computer died a death by drowning in tea, and Liz is right this very moment moving abodes. So have some things to read.

California is about to run out of water. Actual water thefts are occurring. The dystopia is now. (Trick statement: you already knew that) The post contains some great infographics and stats and things for your water dystopia needs.

This post at The Hoopla about Margie Abbott makes some interesting points, but Steph struggled to post this because it’s about Margie Abbott, and it made her feel like some sort of traitor to be pointing to something that is, even tangentially, favourable about Tony Abbott. And then she realised, that’s the point. As the article points out, she’s more than the headline about losing weight. She’s more than Tony Abbott’s wife. To reduce her from who she is down to what she is does her a disservice, even if she’s married to an absolute turd.

Great article by Bec Shaw at KYD: TERF War: Transphobia in the LGBTIQ community.

How technology led a hospital to give a patient 28 times his dosage. FASCINATING.

My boss brought a machete to a staff meeting at Captain Awkward.

The hidden tricks of powerful persuasion.

It’s getting cold! If you can, please help fund Winter Survival packs for homeless Melbilbies.

Did we mention Steph and Liz are in a book? Steph and Liz both have stories in Cranky Ladies of History, available now from Fablecroft. Read it, it’s great.