The New Who vs Oldskool Timey-Wimey Whovians [#geekgirl] [#DrWho]
—–[“The Time of The Doctor” SPOILERS (Sweetie) Alert]—–
On the 25th December 2013, Doctor Who received 12 new lives. In the episode “The Time of The Doctor”, the current series showrunner, producer and lead writer Steven Moffat imbued the once-labelled as 11th [and now redubbed the 12th, or even 13th] Doctor a new regeneration cycle. In this episode filled with heavy-duty retconned plot threads, we see the New [old] Who emerge.
From a traditional Whovian perspective, there’s been substantial trouble with Moffat’s version of a character who, like his regenerations, has undergone substantial re-jigging as part of the entire franchise reboot, many of which have been largely controversial. When Moffat plucked the Doctor Who writing mantle from Russell T Davis, there was substantial concern that his [then] largely episodic inflected story style wouldn’t be able to adequately extend beyond flashy emotion-inducing viewer bait, complete with thrill laden plot segments and incomplete long arc shifts where foregrounding, consistent character development and plots worthy of the previous writers were/are [mostly] abandoned.
In this pivotal episode, Moffat attempts to disassemble and reassemble elements of the Who Canon in an effort to extend the longevity of the franchise beyond the Doctor’s accepted and restricted Regeneration cycle. The episode contains all the benchmarks we’ve come to expect from Moffat: companions posited as disposable tools or eye-candy mannequins, story gaps you could drive a TARDIS through and plot-hole-construction-gloss thrown about almost randomly by the shiny bucketful. The result creates a type of standard willing Suspension of Disbelief that only just lightly grips the edges of believability. Emotional key points fall cheaply and wantonly [like the death of his handy Cyberman-head-pal “Handles”, or the Doctor's promise to Clara that he'll never abandon her again]. The rushed passage-of-time markers rub the viewer in any manner of annoying ways, and flimsy self-referential exposition becomes paramount when the contrived CGI effects fail to impress.
And yet, given all of the failings of this crucial episode, the emotional reefing that Moffat does best still manages to evoke a type of stretched wonder-thrall. Moffat discards [and has now for many, many episodes] conventions that traditional Dr Who fans hold dear: Joseph Campbellesque hero variables and crucial sci-fi story elements are bypassed in order to cater for more incrementally-oriented audience members used to absorbing their story snippets through 2 minute YouTube blipverts or Tumblr-emulating focals. Moffat knits together these contemporary absorption points via a method that, instead of catering for narratives comprising sequential beginning, middle and ends, seeks to harness the power of discrete narrative units. These units merge techniques drawn from graphic novel variable truncation to story-board framing, resulting in staggered story-time acceleration and retconned plot explosions designed for nonlinear attention spans.
Moffat may not be the great grand hope for old-timey-whiney Whovians [ahem] who yearn for believable extensions to Who chronology beyond an established and pre-mapped regenerative timeline. But through the New Who incarnation, Moffat instead offers us an extension of a well-worn and much-loved character, one that at least utilises the very methods that a contemporary audience regularly deploys to maintain narratives beyond standard story knitting.
100 Great Sci-Fi Stories by Women Writers (Read 20 for Free Online) [#geekgirl]
Via Open Culture: ‘…there is a discussion about gender parity in the science fiction world taking place now on the blog of sci-fi critic and writer Ian Sales. Sales curates SF Mistressworks—a blog for women sci-fi writers—and after reviewing a 1975 anthology called Women of Wonder, he asked readers over at his blog to submit their favorite short fiction by women writers. His goal? To collect 100 stories and novellas as a counter to the classic, and almost wholly male-dominated collection, 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, edited by Isaac Asimov. You can read the full list of 100 over at Sales’ blog. Below, we’ve excerpted those stories that are freely available online. If you’re a science fiction fan and find yourself unable to name more than one or two female authors in the genre (everyone knows, for example, the fabulous Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood, pictured above), you might want to take a look at some of the great work you’ve missed out on.
Sales’ list spans several decades and, as he writes, demonstrates “a good spread of styles and themes and approaches across the genre.”’
#Antimedia by Florian Cramer [#geekgirl]
“The Cover of Florian Cramer’s new book is, in short, beautiful (and us posting this here has *absolutely nothing* to do with the fact he devotes an entire section of the book to discussing a work by our Creative Director…*cough*…).”
Aussiecon 4: World Convention of Science Fiction & Fantasy #Melbourne #geekgirl
Entries close: August
Screenings: September 2-6
Aussiecon 4 is the 68th world convention of science fiction and fantasy. This event will be held in Melbourne in early-September and will host 1,500 authors, artists, filmmakers and fans of sci-fi, fantasy and horror from around the world. The organisers are looking to put together a program of Australian sci-fi, fantasy, horror and animated films from the past 5 years.
More Info: email@example.com
Female sci-fi writers at Sydney futurian event #geekgirl #outhere #goddesscyborgs
The Topic for March will be – SF by Women Writers that differs from Mainstream SF writing:
Friday night Sydney Futurian SF discussion meeting Dates and Topics are;
March 19 – SF by Women Writers that differs from Mainstream SF writing (as close to Int. Woman’s day as could be organised)
April 16 – Mythological and Religion inspired creatures in SF Stories
(Saturday May 1 – the Katoomba SF&F Gathering of Sydney and Blue Mountains SF&F fans, Writers and Artists)
May 21 – Second Life and other virtual world adventures in SF stories
June 18 – SF stories of Doom, Gloom, Despair, Hopelessness and any other really Bad things
Other 2010 meeting dates include;
July 18, August 20, Sept. 17, October 15, November 19 and December 17
UTS Sydney, under the light sabres / Perspex Deathstar globes. Meet in the Broadway entrance of the University of Technology Tower Building’s lobby, Sydney, (Australia) at or before 6.30 pm.
More info “Garry Dalrymple” <Garry.Dalrymple@det.nsw.edu.au>
The Liminal. Universes in transition part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival
THE LIMINAL, Universes in transition
MELBOURNE FRINGE ART EXHIBITION in Book Affair windows (3 new locations)
161 Elgin St, CARLTON * 287 Smith St, FITZROY * 149 Sydney Rd, BRUNSWICK
Thursday 24 Sept. – Sunday 11 Oct., 10am to 8pm (& 24/7 from the street)
Opening Parade: 200 Elgin St – Wednesday 23 September 6pm for 6.30pm
A record, three-day heat wave peaked on January 30 last summer in Melbourne, when the mercury hit 45. Suddenly Book Affair, that rambling and greatly loved second hand bookshop at 200 Elgin St, near the corner of Lygon, seemed to spontaneously combust.
Sparked in an air conditioner, flames soon billowed high above Carlton and the roof of the iconic 25-year-old business was gone. This led to flooding and a mammoth relocation of over 100,000 books. Finally, after hard work, understanding bridging support from staff and vital help and solace from the local community, a three-headed phoenix of three marvelous, specialist second hand Book Affair shops has arisen.
To celebrate this, the Book Affair – perhaps the only bookshop in Melbourne with a permanent Arts Projects Coordinator (Susan Bamford Caleo) and several practicing artists-cum-booksellers on staff – presents The Liminal, a delightful Melbourne Fringe Festival exhibition. Works are sculpted primarily from recycled book paper and bindings, but also incorporating other things such as barbed wire, silk, hemp, ash, cotton, wool, string and wood. It is the second time the Book Affair have appeared in the Fringe Festival; their exhibition last year ‘Bookish’ was very well received (“delightfully playful yet very thoughtful” – Buzzcuts; “drenched in the same sort of charm that one finds in any great bookshop” – Beat).
Led by owner Kaya Prpic, the staff of Book Affair is working with a group of consulting artists (including Shirley Cass, Katherine Connolly, Eliza Donald, Ute Leiner and Waltraud Reiner) on the exhibition, to be displayed in the windows of the three new shops. Sculptured forms and costumes will capture moments of transformation and disorientation, reflecting their experience over the last six months.
The Liminal (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is inherently unstable, alive with possibility. The myth of Daphne, who morphed from a nymph into a tree and the infinite possibilities of the liminal space that readers enter when they open a book, are some of the early ideas inspiring artworks that incorporate an element that can be worn.
This is a community project for Book Affair staff and friends and is important for morale as well as a marking a tremendous new chapter in the Book Affair story. Hence, a mad and joyous parade of staff and friends will proceed on Wednesday 23rd September at 6.30pm from the old shop (200 Elgin Street) to the seductively new wood-fragranced and sculpture-draped Book Affair HQ at 161 Elgin, to launch the exhibition and celebrate the three new shops. There will be fun, colour and an opportunity to shake off the last of the ash.
The new Book Affair second hand shops are at 161 Elgin St, Carlton (academic), 287 Smith St, Fitzroy (sci-fi, occult, graphic novels) and149 Sydney Rd, Brunswick (military, sport, transport).
For interviews with key personnel and further information, contact:
Jen Jewel Brown
Phone 0408 898 338
Star Trek Slash Videos
Kirk/Spock Fiction, a world in which the deep bond between James Kirk and Spok, goes deeper than friendship, way deeper.
Watch all 7 videos
Fantastic Planet Film Festival extended deadline
Fantastic Planet: Sydney’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Festival reminds filmmakers and screenwriters to submit their film or script soon.
ENTRY DEADLINE: 14/08/2009
The mission of Fantastic Planet Film Festival is to seek out and encourage bold speculative films that explore other imagined worlds, universes, and realities – new celluloid glimpses of alternative futures, pasts, and presents – and to showcase this fantastic cargo of cinema to audiences in Sydney, Australia. The festival was founded by the team behind A Night of Horror International Film Festival (Sydney, Australia’s leading horror film event).
The Withoutabox extended deadline is August 14, 2009.
More details are available at the festival’s official website: www.fantasticplanetfilmfestival.com
Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto the legacy of Gundam
The legacy of ‘Gundam,’ a 30-year-old science-fiction automaton
by Euan McKirdy for The Wall Street Journal
Like something out of a science-fiction movie, the robot stands 18 meters tall and towers above the tree line. But to the thousands of visitors who have come by Odaiba’s Shiokaze Park just outside Tokyo, it is a familiar sight. It’s Gundam.
The statue, a “life-size” replica of the television anime (Japanese slang for animated series) character created in 1979, was erected this month and will stand in the park through August. It was built by Bandai, the parent company of Sunrise, the animation studio that created the original series, “Mobile Suit Gundam,” to celebrate the iconic cartoon’s 30th anniversary and acknowledge the $528 million franchise of spin-offs, toys and books it has spawned in that time. Some fans even say the fictional robot has played a part in Japan’s rise in the world of robotics engineering and technology.
Set 100 years in the future on extraterrestrial mining colonies (colonies established on other planets or moons for the purpose of extracting minerals) as well as on Earth, “Mobile Suit Gundam” imagines a radical future, where robots are commonplace. A renegade faction, the principality of Zeon (an extraterrestrial colony), has declared war on Earth Federation (a global government of the future) in a bid to become independent. The weapon of choice (created by Zeon but quickly replicated by Earth) is a “mobile suit,” a robot driven by a human pilot who sits inside. The RX-78 Gundam — named for the fictional alloy, Gundanium, from which it is made — is used by a young pilot in defense of Earth. more…
Ursula K. Le Guin – Powers On.
Scott Timberg’s – LA Times story celebrates the work of Ursula K. Le Guin.
“The seminal science fiction writer just won another Nebula award, and her themes about the environment, politics and feminism are still fresh.
It’s hard to find a literary career as varied as Le Guin’s. At 79, she’s worked for half a century on the ever-shifting frontier between literary and genre writing, a line she has helped redraw with her elegant prose.
Le Guin has long been celebrated as a pioneer of young adult literature. Just two weeks ago she won a sixth Nebula Award for her YA novel “Powers.” With last year’s death of Arthur C. Clarke, she is also arguably the most acclaimed science fiction writer on the planet. But she’s more.”