October 9th, 2009


First Twelfth Planet Press Double: Roadkill/Siren Beat now available!

Yesterday I got these in my mailbox:

That's my Mum's $20, she always buys the first books out of the box.

I'm very excited about this book. It looks so much better in real life than I was imagining, even having seen the printer's proof. The finishing looks really really good and the design is spot on.

Our first Double features two novelettes back to back, 100 pages of urban fantasy goodness from two of my favourite fantasy authors - "Roadkill" by Robert Shearman and "Siren Beat" by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Both stories will leave you wanting more from these writers and luckily for you, you can get that. Robert Shearman's second collection of short stories, Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical will be released next month from Big Finish. And Tansy Rayner Roberts' first installment in her new Creature Court trilogy will be out next year from Harper Voyager. Though if you're like me, you'll be wanting to see more of "Siren Beat's" Nancy Napolean and in longer length, too.

All preorders for Roadkill/Siren Beatwere posted out in the mail today.

Roadkill/Siren Beat is now available for $12/$15 depending on your postal needs, here

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ball of yarn

Tumbling Blocks

I don't seem to be getting on well with my camera right now but here's what I've been spending a lot of time on. I've laid out most of the blocks in order to fiddle with them before I start piecing them to each other. At this stage, I was just getting a feel for size, rather than placement. Have realised I am going to need to use maths on this.


Schrödinger’s Rapist

Here is a really great article, rec'ed to be by cassiphone, Schrödinger’s Rapist-or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced, be warned there's potential for triggers for rape, also possibly the rest of this post.

Something similar happened to me recently and I really had trouble verbalising exactly what about the scenario bothered me. I think there are few paragraphs in this piece that capture it well.

Now, you want to become acquainted with a woman you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that women are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a man. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted.

“But wait! I don’t want that, either!”

Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into war zones? Because, for women, it is. When I go on a date, I always leave the man’s full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor. This is so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will call or e-mail me the next morning, and I must answer that call or e-mail before noon-ish, or she begins to worry. If she doesn’t hear from me by three or so, she’ll call the police. My activities after dark are curtailed. Unless I am in a densely-occupied, well-lit space, I won’t go out alone. Even then, I prefer to have a friend or two, or my dogs, with me. Do you follow rules like these?

I do this. I do. Whenever I go out on a first date with someone, I drive to meet them, I never let them come to my house and pick me up. I don't think they get to know where I live before I get to screen them. And usually I have a friend who knows who I am going out with, where I am going, how to contact that person (their address or phone number), and they usually text me at some point in the date to check in with me. It's this double edged sword - it's a scary world out there but all the people I know are married! (Well, not all, but you get the point, I'm dating people I don't know and my friends don't necessarily know.)

This article goes on to discuss incidents of rape - One in every six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. - and how women being cautious to protect ourselves is part of what we do because the stats say that we need to.

You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me.

What was really interesting to me though was near the end of the post:

The third point: Women are communicating all the time. Learn to understand and respect women’s communication to you. And The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.

And then a discussion of how a guy behaved after one date - calling and texting and emailing incessantly even though the woman had expressed that this was making her uncomfortable.

This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.

BINGO! Now I get my own reaction to my own recent situation!!! It was subconscious but his lack of listening to me was a great big hint that there might be other scenarios where he might not listen to me. Now, my recent situation seems to have (finally) taken care of itself (yay) but this is really interesting to me because it gives me insight into how I might have screened some men better in my past to avoid certain situations. I'm going to pay more attention now, consciously, to when a man is ignoring what I am saying. And I'm gonna kick those ones to the kerb. It also makes me appreciate the men in my life who do listen to what I am saying and has made me realise why that is so important to me - other than feeling respected and heard and cared about, they make me feel safe to be with them.


Fuck off Tracey Spicer

When you defend racist hijinks, just be careful what exactly you are defending.

This from an opinion piece on news.com.au which, I think, I might stop reading:

A NEW division has been set up within the Federal Police to deal with a scourge on society. The Fun Police will conduct raids on homes across Australia searching for evidence of jokes about blacks, Jews, sex, cyclists or fatties.

Anyone seen laughing, snickering or smirking at jokes deemed to be in poor taste will be punished.

Cause I know I personally have LONG enjoyed hilarious caricatures of Jews with big noses, or animals for heads or jokes about stealing or pinching money! Hell, some of my own relatives were marched off to the camps and gassed, encouraged by such mature, well developed hilarity such as jokes about Jews. (It was actually propoganda, but like, whatever)


I commented this on their website and think I will go looking for a new news source:

I know I've LONG found evidence of jokes like Jews with huge noses or animal heads *hilarious*. So mature and not at all racist or used for persecution. No. Just a good old innocent laugh. Nothing in it at all. So long as you get your laugh, eh Spicer?!

You know, I haven't commented on the Hey Hey Fiasco up till now. Maybe I should have. Maybe I only speak out when my own minority is picked on and maybe that's wrong. But I'll say this, when I was about 6 I saw an old film with minstrels in it and I was greatly offended and my parents explained to me why that was utterly insulting and the history behind such acts. It wasn't funny then, and it's not funny almost 3 decades later. I didn't watch the Hey Hey Reunion because my humour has evolved over the last 20 years. I think it's really sad and upsetting that theirs hasn't.

I am embarrassed and appalled at the defense of what happened on that show. It was racist and the commentary that's following that seems to suggest this it was ok, or that it was all part of the Aussie fun. The Aussie sense of humour also pretty much thinks footballers dressing up as women for hijinks is high-browed humour too. It seems most of Australia likes its toilet humour and fart jokes. You can see why often I find myself feeling quite "unAustralian".

I for one, prefer a more intellectual joke. One that doesn't have that subtle streak of nastiness in it, that most people are too immature or ignorant to understand.

ETA: The defense of the Hey Hey skit was that satire is a strong and important element in the Aussie humour. From Wikipedia, satire is defined as:

In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.

In this skit, some men dressed up as the Jackson 5 by wearing big afro wigs and painting their faces black and then they performed in a very familiar Jackson 5 type way, but exaggerated. What I am struggling with is the defense of this act being called "satire". What exactly about this was satirical? What was being satirised? Being black? Being a motown act? Being the Jackson family? Being Michael Jackson? Nothing in here looks like an attack on something that the performers disapprove of ... other than being a successful, black performance group. Perhaps if the defenders of this skit took a moment to think through what the humour relies on or what actually was being satirised, they might be able to explain to me how it's not actually racist?

Cause I don't get it.

Furthermore, we live in a global community now. It is no longer ok to ignore imagery or use propaganda that is highly offensive but triggery to a group of people who are not you, and not expect that to rebound and kick you in the arse.