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.’

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Liveblog: Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Death in Winter” by Michael Jan Friedman

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.

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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.

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No Award watches Cleverman 1.05 and 1.06

This week on Cleverman, Liz realises that the time difference whilst Steph was travelling meant she couldn’t frantically text her thoughts to Stephanie; Nerida and Linda continue to be smarter and more competent than the men of the family (sadly, we don’t get to see much of Alinta); Blair makes a truly terrible pun; Kora calls Koen an arse; Sloan continues to be deplorably boring and Steph texts ‘wow WOW’ to Liz quite a lot.

Because we had to wait until Steph’s return to Australia to review these, we’re reviewing them together, plus a season overall.

1.05

Liz: Three renowned Indigenous stage actors out of five.

Steph: Three renowned Indigenous stage actors out of five.

1.06

Liz: Three renowned Indigenous stage actors out of five.

Steph: Three and a half renowned Indigenous stage actors out of five.

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No Award watches: Cleverman 1.04

This week on Cleverman, Stephanie yells ‘Nobody needs this’ half a dozen times, Latani and Alinta are our faves, and there is no Deborah Mailman.

Liz: Three Renowned Indigenous Stage Actors out of Five

Steph: Four Renowned Indigenous Stage Actors out of Five

We’re not sure if we’ll be able to post reviews for eps 5+6 immediately after, as Steph is on a plane RIGHT NOW and we’re not sure of her viewing capabilities in Germany and Poland, so the next review might be a combined one later in July.

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Hugos 2016: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Once again, I’m attempting to read as many Hugo nominated works as I can stomach, review them here, and vote according to merit. Luckily, I have a really good library.


When I was twelve or thirteen, I read 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I didn’t like it. The first two thirds were okay, but then we hit the hallucinatory journey through the monolith, and although I lacked the appropriate vocabulary at the time, I thought it was a load of wank. My reading that year was equal parts Asimov and McCaffrey, and I didn’t have the patience for hallucinogenic metaphysical trips. (Spoilers: I still don’t.)

On the other hand, I adored 2010: Odyssey Two and 2067: Odyssey Three. I read my dad’s copies until they fell apart — there was something reassuring about them, with their spaceships full of multicultural, variously-degrees-of-stereotyped civilians and military officers. They were just simple enough for a young teen to understand, with occasional flashes of complexity that made me feel like I was reading proper literature. I even rented the 2010 film adaptation on VHS (it was my introduction to Helen Mirren, who played the commander of a Soviet space ship).

Which brings us to Seveneves.

(Spooooooilers ahead!)

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A jolly good apocalypse

Today’s post is brought to you by my subconscious!

Let me tell you, Enid Blyton and Mad Max: Fury Road make for an odd combination. But how would the Malory Towers girls fare in an apocalypse?

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#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.

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