This Again: “Asian Flavours” in SFF

It was a big weekend, and Liz and Steph were pretty distracted by the AFLGF (and also Steph had a busy Singapore weekend), so somehow we managed to miss the theme of Canberra’s SFF con, Conflux, this year with three white guests:

Chinese watercolour-style design of a monkey and some poorly-painted mountains forming the Conflux 12 logo

Three white guests, and the theme ‘Red Fire Monkey.’

Continue reading “This Again: “Asian Flavours” in SFF”

The invisible women

Last week, The Conversation published an essay titled “Science fiction’s women problem“, by Bronwyn Lovell. It examines women’s past and present place in SF, and looks at issues such as bias against female writers in both publishing and reviewing, and movements like the Sad and Rabid Puppies.

It’s one of those frustrating reads because Liz went in wanting to agree with everything it said, and wound up picking it all apart. Three over-long Facebook comments later, Liz remembered we have a blog.

Continue reading “The invisible women”

Reading the Hugos 2016: Novelettes

FUNNY STORY: so I thought I was eligible to vote for the Hugos already, but then I realised that I didn’t have a membership for the current WorldCon. So, a few weeks ago, I bought a supporting membership … for WorldCon 75. You know. Next year’s WorldCon.

But now it’s all sorted, I have a supporting membership to the right con, and more importantly, I have the Hugo packet.

Continue reading “Reading the Hugos 2016: Novelettes”

the value of the lady dollar

If you’re going to release shoes celebrating an iconic female character, you’re probably not even going to stop and wonder if they’ll be available to women. Because that’s a no-brainer, right? Obviously they’ll be marketed to everyone.

Reebok celebrates Ellen Ripley by selling her shoes in men’s sizes only

Continue reading “the value of the lady dollar”

#solidarityisforCatGrant

Supergirl is a delightful, frothy sorbet mingling the sweetness of a family drama (both in the sense of being about family, and suitable for families with older children), the stronger flavours of an action series, and just a dash of Feminism 101.  Its special effects are on the ropey side, some of the acting is a bit rough, and it wears its heart and subtexts on its sleeve.

I love it.

I especially love Cat Grant, self-made media mogul, employer of Kara Danvers and creator of Supergirl’s media persona. Cat’s storylines deal with the complexities of being a woman in a masculine business, being an older woman in an ageist society, and more.  She is a wonderful character who says true things about the challenges facing women in the workforce.  She calls out mansplainers and takes no crap from people who look down on her because she’s a single mother who started out as a gossip columnist. She is, in many ways, a feminist role model.

She’s just not mine.

Continue reading “#solidarityisforCatGrant”

Brown Bounty Hunter Business

Fact: Boba Fett is a lesbian.

It’s a memetic headcanon that emerged, as far as I can tell, earlier this week.

Within hours, it had evolved into “Boba Fett is a trans lesbian” (of colour, but that should go without saying, since Boba Fett was played by Maori actors Temuera Morrison and Daniel Logan.)

BobaJango_CVD

If you read OP Sashayed’s Boba Fett Is A Lesbian 2k16 tag, you can see it was all rollicking good trolling times, baiting homophobes, TERFs and transmisogynists alike.

Sadly, it’s not all fun and games, and we’re about to talk about the prioritisation of certain voices in fandom and the white-washing of Maori people. Hooray! (Also discussion of transphobic tropes and transphobia, so please tread carefully.)

Continue reading “Brown Bounty Hunter Business”

Vote 1 Liz Barr NAFF 2016 RIGHT NOW

Fan Fund: a fan-run fundraiser to enable the elected delegate to attend a con that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

NAFF: the National Australian Fan Fund, created to send a fan to the Australian National Convention (aka the Natcon, because that’s a mouthful).

As it happens, I’m a NAFF 2016 candidate!  (Hamilton interlude: “I was chosen for the Constitutional Convention!”) What does that mean?  If you vote for me, I’ll be able to attend Contact 2016, a one-off con held in Brisbane.

(Further Hamilton interlude: “You’re openly campaigning.  That’s … new.”)

(Further interlude: A CONVENTION IN BRISBANE, WHAT IS THIS MIRACLE?  I could take my mum!  I mean, I actually can’t, because $$$$, but it would be geographically feasible!)

Now, this is one of those years where there’s a strong field all around, and I wouldn’t begrudge any of the nominees if they won … but you should vote for me because (a) I am the only one who has a Harold Holt joke in her candidate bio; (b) HALF A NO AWARD ROAD TRIP (Stephanie will be going to Swancon, maybe, as is her Perthie duty); exciting things seem to be happening in Brisbane, fannishly, and I would like to investigate in person.  MAYBE I WILL WEAR A DEERSTALKER but probably not.

Voting costs $5, and closes Wednesday 23 December (TOMORROW).  GET IN QUICK.

GO HERE AND VOTE 1 LIZ BARR.

are you from linkspam or Mars?

We’ve been sitting on this post for a few weeks, so some of these links are, uhhh, vintage!

Liz is a candidate for the 2016 NAFF race, which sends the successful candidate to Contact 2016, the one-off Brisbane con running over Easter.

I’ll talk about this in more detail in the near future, but if you’re already convinced, voting costs $5 and you can do so at this link.

Stephanie adores Clueless, and just watched it last weekend, and loved this: ‘Clueless’ style: a fashion analysis of the best teen movie of all time

Steph cried with laughter at this: 46 Things That Would Be Different If “Love Actually” Were Set In Australia

Uncovering Australia’s Indigenous past: Forgotten 1920s photos reveal insight into coastal Aboriginal people

When there’s no room at the inn for victims of domestic violence (Don’t read the comments – sadly the ‘most liked’ comments are on the right-hand sidebar, putting them directly in view.)

Does YA fiction need to check its privilege?  On class, and the lack of working class YA protagonists who aren’t leading a revolution.  (Liz agrees strongly with this article, and sadly notes that some of the worst depictions of class are from OzYA.)

An Open Letter to JJ Abrams  – Did you know that girls can be Star Wars fans? Apparently JJ didn’t.  But what made this blog post particularly enjoyable was the author’s account of becoming a science fiction fan in Hong Kong.

Stephen Nothling, vision-impaired artist, brings unique perspective to Brisbane suburban streetscapes

Great piece at Overland on the shit going on against the CFMEU and Australia’s Unions: Black bans and blackmail, and why it’s important.

That’s why having workers’ representatives monitoring safety matters. Last month, when a concrete slab crushed two men to death on an East Perth worksite, it transpired that the CFMEU had been refused entry to the site sixteen times.

No Award reminds everyone that the voices of women (and genderqueer people) are frequently silenced by the medical fraternity and endometriosis is a real thing suffered by Friends of No Award: My Doctors Said My Crippling Menstrual Pain Was “Fine”.

Melbourne history business: The little blue building

Here’s What It’s Like To Go Through Gay Conversion Therapy In Australia

Peter S Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, screenwriter for the TNG episode “Sarek”, is suing his business partner.  Jim C Hines breaks down the issues as we know them. 

Writing Business

Great point at The Wheeler Centre’s notes: It’s Not Easy Being Green: when young writers meet opportunistic editors.

As Parkhill noted in a response to Kilbride’s piece on Facebook, the core issue was not simply that the piece was ‘garbage’, but that it passed the editorial process at all. ‘Perhaps worse than the article’s content is the fact that [New Matilda] have exposed a very young and inexperienced writer’s ill-formed thoughts to a large audience,’ Parkhill said. ‘This article was by no means ready to go live, and I’m sure in the fullness of time its author won’t thank [New Matilda] for the opportunity or “exposure” but will regret the fact that [they] were willing to publish such asinine crap to which his name will be forever attached.’

Right Place, Right Time: How the Melbourne Voice shuts writers out (as in being in Melbourne, not some publication called Melbourne Voice, as Steph first was confused by)

Steph nearly called this section Gross White People Business

NOPE: No criminal charges over pig head dumping at University of WA Muslim prayer room. GET IN THE BIN.

Seven News reported on Wednesday that police know the man, believed to be a former university student, responsible and found a second pig’s head in his home.

But he reportedly won’t be charged because technically no laws had been broken.

IT’S CALLED RACIAL VILIFICATION GET IT TOGETHER WA COPPERS COME ON.

Inadequate white man gets appointed to important political role; admits he loves revenge: Joe Hockey gets job as ambassador to US, admits staying in parliament would have been about payback. Fucking get it together, come on.

Australians head to Colombian village for cocaine ‘special tour’. ARE YOU MESSING WITH ME RIGHT NOW.

“When I came on this trip, there were a lot of things I hadn’t done at home,” said Rose, 32, from Western Australia.

“There was a bucket list and I always said that if I came to Colombia I would try cocaine.

“In Australia, it is a rich man’s drug and sells for about $300 a gram. Here we have had it for as cheap as $US5. People give it away because it is so accessible.”

GET IN THE BIN