As we wake up, blinking and trembling, to a new year, we thought it was time to look back at 2016 and the media we loved.
Recently Steph had an article at Overland, A short history of the dangers of travel writing. This is a part of how she wants to write more about decolonising travel, and you’re going to be seeing more of that here on No Award. Today, a book review: Asia on Tour: Exploring the Rise of Asian Tourism, edited by Tim Winter, Peggy Teo and T.C. Chang.
Bashir “Bish” Ortley, a London cop — currently suspended after his drinking problem led to an incident with another cop — gets a phone call: a bus full of British schoolkids has been bombed in France, and his teenage daughter was on board.
And worse, one of the other passengers is Violette LeBrac, whose mother has been in prison for thirteen years after she confessed to helping her father bomb a supermarket — and Bish was the cop who took four-year-old Violette from her mother’s arms after the arrest.
Violette is the obvious suspect, but before the investigation can even begin, she has disappeared, taking a thirteen-year-old boy with her.
Controversial OzYA opinion: I’m really ambivalent about Melina Marchetta’s work. Looking for Alibrandi was my favourite book in grade nine, but then it became assigned reading for grade twelve advanced English, and didn’t really hold up.
So I’m not a wholehearted Marchetta fan. I’ve liked some of her books, hated one, didn’t bother with her fantasy series. And YET, when I heard that her next book was a thriller aimed at an adult audience, I was intrigued. (Crime fiction: my other passion.) I bought Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil from Kobo and spent the weekend on the couch, inhaling it.
It was wonderful.
There’s hope for change, in that the massive outpouring of criticism in this instance has persuaded the publisher to move the release date so that the manuscript can be revised, and the attempts to destroy Justina Ireland’s career have been unsuccessful — but this is an extreme case, and meanwhile, how many microaggressions are slipping through?
The world doesn’t need another white lady with an opinion here, so instead, I have made a bingo card for use whenever a pasty-faced writer responds to a call out.
I have a new appreciation for Blyton right now, because I’ve been reading some early Angela Brazil novels, and, well.
Brazil was one of the pioneers of the girls boarding school novel as a genre in its own right, but her early stuff, at least, hasn’t aged well. I don’t just mean the old-fashioned, episodic narrative structure, I mean the bit where the heroine’s sister writes minstrel songs for a hobby (a … different term is used), or the long digression about the inhumanity of the Chinese. I have a new appreciation for Blyton’s “everyone is white, and we’ll just be prejudiced against the Europeans who aren’t English” approach.
Anyway, stay tuned for more about Brazil in the podcast I’m launching with my friend Heidi in the new year. Yes, it’s about boarding school stories. Obviously.
When we left Malory Towers, scholarship girl Ellen was flouncing out in tears after Daphne makes a just-barely-inaudible jibe about her limited finances.
Hey, hey, hey, guess what’s out today! ONLY TKAY MAIDZA’S DEBUT ALBUM!
Previously at Malory Towers:
- Daphne has come to secretly like Mary-Lou
- Mary-Lou quite openly adores Daphne
- The two Mam’zelles are feuding
- Belinda has been entertaining her peers with satirical illustrations of the Mam’zelles’ French civil war
- Alicia suggested that Belinda “accidentally” leave her sketches where Jolly Mam’zelle Dupont can find them — but knows it will in fact be Bad Tempered Mam’zelle Rougier who’ll see the unflattering pictures
Yesterday was shockingly windy, but I had to leave the house for a Continuum programming meeting (aka eating a steak sandwich with a friend while we made plans and took notes and scribbled things like “THIS PANEL CANNOT RUN WITHOUT MAJORITY ASIAN PANELISTS” in our spreadsheets).
And since I was in the city anyway, I managed to knock some places off my to-do-one-day list: the Koorie Heritage Trust, and the Moving Tongues exhibit at the City Library.
Not the usual sort of thing we blog about, not the usual sort of thing I read. But this is special. This, my friends, is the tie-in novel where Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher finally hook up.
And since one of my great regrets in life is that I didn’t liveblog the Voyager novel where Janeway is brought back to life (after being fridged in a TNG novel because Picard didn’t have enough Borg-related angst) and then makes out with Chakotay on the battle bridge, I persuaded Stephanie to let me liveblog it.
(It went like this:
Me: Hey, can I do this?
Her: Sure, why not?
Tricky negotiations required, Picard would be proud.)
[Steph really needs to know more about Janeway and Chakotay making out tbh]
Beyond the cut: a bullet point recounting of the plot, with stream of consciousness digressions and also some gifs.
How amazing is fiction? People just MAKE UP STORIES, which I then buy and read and insert these ideas from other people’s heads into my brain!
Er, yes, I’ve read some Oz fiction lately — two crime novels, two YA. Let’s have a look.