April 9th, 2008


In my news

I'm not sure whether it's gluten or lactose that is causing my symptoms. I've mostly be abstaining from gluten and am noticing the effects of lactose - say like I had gluten-free cereal yesterday with normal milk versus gluten-free cereal this morning with lactose-free milk. Was going excellently well today until I had some cheese and then a yoghurt at lunch. I have been drinking a lot of coffee at work and eating a lot of yoghurt. Perhaps it's not a gluten but rather a lactose issue? I have a feeling that yoghurt should be lactose-free *if* it genuinely contains live probiotics.


Last night I sort of unpacked my Swancon bags (yeah, I know) and took my Swancon reading stash, well probably not even half of it, to my bedtime reading piles. I took home more books than I brought, or so it seemed. Anyway, the books that I added to the piles were: Borderlands 9 and 10, The Locus Awards and Tiny Deaths. But I also brought in my copy of Ghostworld which I picked up the other week at Planet Books (it's nothing like the movie). I still have a ton of review book copies I scored from Ticonderoga Online, some trashy stuff that lyzbeth lent me, Magic Dirt. And I hope that's it.

I read about 40 shorts yesterday, maybe more. And then I tried to go to bed earlish to get some fun reading done or ... some review reading, at least. But not surprisingly, not much focus of concentration.

I'm actually sleeping a lot at the moment - well, after Swancon it took me about a week till I had time to catch up on my sleep which meant that if I went to bed at 10ish, I really did need the 8 or 9 hours sleep and didn't move at all. But the last couple of nights, I've felt tired in the morning so tried to go to bed early (ie for 8 or 9 hours sleep) and then have tossed and turned or woken up in the middle of the night. I don't actually normally need that much sleep. So it's good cause it means I've caught up but I do feel tired at the end of the day. I guess in theory I *could* get out of bed an hour earlier but that just seems weird.

Twelfth Planet Press

A few people have emailed me or asked what's happening with respect to TPP so I thought I'd just post this to say that it's pretty much business as usual out my way. I am intending to meet all the commitments and project deadlines as previously advertised. And am currently working on the website that will house all that information in one consolidated place.

I have been lucky enough to have a fantastic subeditor find me and climb on board at ASif! (I think she'd prefer to stay in the background? She can say who she is if she wants) But now pretty much we are almost on track all the time with respect to publishing reviews in any case. She has now picked up some of the Managing Editor work for me too which is also a huge help. It makes a big difference when working on a project this size to *feel* like you are on top of it (whether you are or not).

Shiny is still going ahead with Issues 4 through 6 this year. Tehani Wessely has come on board as co-editor with me and we have been slushing and buying stories. Issue 4 should have been out by now but has been delayed because we don't have enough stories to fill it. So if you were thinking of submitting something, you should. And you should do it now! And I'm really excited to announce that Rachel Holkner has come on board to continue the Buffy Retrospective on the Shiny blog. We're going to mix up the format a bit and she has already written her commentaries on episodes 2.01 and 2.02. So that'd be me holding up the progress on that. Rachel has written a summary for season 1 as well which should get posted later this week.

New Ceres is going to be seeing some changes this year. I'm not quite ready to announce what's happening with it but stay tuned.

The Novella Series is still going ahead and I've had a few submissions to the call out. I should say that it is an ongoing series with the intention of releasing one or two a year. The closing date for the current reading period is July 25 for consideration of the volume that I would like to launch at Conflux later this year. That's the tentative plan and relies on a bunch of things including having a novella to print, it being ready to go ahead by then and me getting to Conflux (not sure on my finances precisely at this point in time).

I'm working on the Biancotti Collection mostly at the moment. We are intending for it to be launched at Natcon next year in Adelaide.

In addition to these, I have a few other projects in the pipeline and they mostly depend on budget at the moment.

But yeah ... it's all here with the cogs and wheels turning.

And later this year I will be at Wastelands II: The Age of Iron as Local Guest of Honour. I must say I am quite looking forward to this con.


Subtle sexism

There's lots of things I think that unless it's happening to you, you don't realise that there is still inequality between the sexes.

Today I went uniform shopping. Lots and lots of great office wear choices and all sorts of different style shirts and skirts and whatever. Then we have the field work pants thang to sort out. It seems I have been cursed (?) with a female body and actually look better in the female pants of a certain well known uniform type pants manufacturer. Same thing happened when I got my Sea Rescue pants. Not sure whether to be insulted or not.

In any case, field clothes were fairly easily sorted.

Then I had to get a pair of steel-capped boots. Okay. They can help with this and off we go to the back wall. The back wall is covered in boots - so I ask can I choose from any of these? She says this column here are female - so like 5 pairs of different boots out of maybe 40. And there was really only one actual pair of boots although all the shoes were steel capped. Oookay. So I go to try them on and I ask for a pair of socks: Oh, she says, we don't have any female pairs. And points to like a size 11 pair of male socks.

Cause what? Women can be decked out in field gear but don't actually go out anywhere that would need serious boots? And? The size of the boots I had to order? 4.

Way to feel not quite catered for.

ASif! Statistics

I've been thinking a lot about what website statistics mean. When you get down to dissect them, I think you find out that you don't really know what they mean.

But for the record, here's ASif's breakdown.

Currently the web counter has recorded over 54 000 unique visitors to the site.

Our busiest month was July 2007 when the site recorded 206,037 requests for pages.

In 2007 we had 1 809 200 requests for pages which exceeded the 2006 number of 965933 requests.

We have somewhere between 120 000 and 180 000 requests for pages a month.

The only thing I can figure from all these numbers is that likely a lot of people visit regularly and stay a while.

Call for Submissions

Call For Papers: New Edited Collection
Closing Date: July 1st 2008

Sounding Science Fiction will be an edited collection that examines the
way that sound, in all its aesthetic and technological forms, is
deployed to audio-sense a science fiction encounter, world, or universe.
The collection will be concerned with sound design and sound
signification, and with affect and feeling, so that questions of form,
style, narrative, authorship, production, subjectivity, and embodiment,
will all work their way into the book. Science fiction film and
television, live cinema, music video, computer games, advertising,
weblogs, digital art, mixed media installations, radio, and music, are
all potential sites of investigation and analysis.

The questions that energise this call for papers centre on:

* How does one sound science fiction?
* How do the sounds of science fiction affect/move/interpolate
* What semiotic, ideological, spatial, phenomenological,
psychoanalytical relations are in play when one sounds science fiction?
* What is the relationship between science fiction sound and image, or
sound and space, or sound and exhibition context?
* When one hears (but does not see) science fiction, what images are
brought to the mind, what feelings of the 'future' are created?

Essays could take any number of approaches to the topic, but could

* Otherworldly sounds
* Hearing the uncanny
* Sound as prophecy and enlightenment
* Alien sounds and otherness (sex, race, gender, class)
* Sound design (and full future world immersion)
* Sound effects/affect
* Composition/composers
* Sounding future weapons/warfare/cities/movement/travel/invasions/space
* Sounding Global (catastrophe)
* The interiority of science fiction sound (existential sound)
* Sound as trauma, loss, dystopia
* Sounding science fiction paranoia
* The carnality of science fiction sound
* Posthuman sound
* Sounding cyborg
* Contrapuntal music and the science fiction image/artefact
* Sounding scientific/rationalist (in dialogue, speech, voice-over)
* Live science fiction sound
* The sound image
* The 'moment' of sound (close textual analysis of a key sequence)
* Authoring science fiction sound: key auteurs of sound design Cultish
science fiction sound

Sounding Science Fiction's multi-disciplinary and multi-site focus will
build on the work done in single case studies such as William
Whittington's Sound Design and Science Fiction (2007), and on edited
collections such as Philip Hayward's Off The Planet: Music, Sound And
Science Fiction Cinema (2004), which take film/cinema as their
central/sole text.

Proposals of approximately 500 words can be sent electronically,
preferably as a word attachment, to:

Sean Redmond
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies,
Victoria University of Wellington,
New Zealand