May 20th, 2010


Ahh football, you are ever increasingly becoming outdated

I was going to post about the environment today but then, amongst all the news headings about footballers getting done for cocaine possession and violence both on and off the field and what not, one idiot man stood out from amongst the other idiot men of his clan and said this:

The AFL is not ready for openly homosexual players - Jason Akermanis (I don't much care which club he belongs to)

And amongst all the crap and prejudice and misinformation that accompaned his "opinion piece" were two key snippets for me:

"In an athletic environment the rules are different from the cultural rules for men."

Until football players in this country understand, fully understand, comprehend and get that this IS NOT TRUE and furthermore, the laws of the land apply ON AND OFF the field, we will never lift the behaviour of footballers into what I like to refer to as "appropriate and acceptable". The rules are not different for them. They cannot actively marginalise, aggrevate or ignore. They cannot take drugs, sell drugs, violate women or use violence to get their way. Except, like they can and do in this country. And I for one am sick and tired of the countless news articles and court appearances of this scum who somehow get a free pass cause they can jump real high and catch a ball. Whoop di doo.

"Locker room nudity and homoerotic activities are normal inside footy clubs."

This one I don't actually know what to respond with. A) Does he understand what "homoerotic activities" mean and B) is this like all those song lyrics - "totally not gay" as in, I participate in homoerotic activities but that doesn't make me gay?

It all comes back to this though, doesn't it. Homophobic straight (or supposedly straight) men are terrified that if they stand nude in the same place as a gay man, something "horrible" will happen to them - what? they'll be forced/coerced to have sex? We call that rape, and actually, straight men can be rapists too.

Maybe its that homosexuality is catchy? Maybe they are scared of catching Teh Gay?

Or perhaps homophobes fear that they will in some way have unwanted sexual advances made towards them? Or be touched in a way that they do not like? Or be forced to watch a man look at them and get aroused. You know what? As a woman, fully clothed, walking down the street, at work in my job, in a bar, at the shops and all over the damn place, in daylight and at nighttime THAT HAPPENS TO ME ALL THE TIME!

Really though, it's a call to preserve the nude locker space - a space in which men apparently *need* to be able to wander around nude, presumably either to air their bits or to reinforce some kind of pecking order based on the size of their pecker (sorry, I had to go there). But they want to be able to control the context of the gaze upon them - that is, in no way should they be seen as a sexual object, in that context.

And really, he's not arguing that there are no gay men in the AFL, so really ... what he objects to is the declaration of same. The declaration that perhaps some of the homoerotic activities in the locker room could be for realz.


Twelfth Planet Press Progress

It suddenly felt yesterday like we've been a little quiet on the interwebs of late. I hadn't really noticed cause it's been all a-flurry in our "offices" aka wherever my laptop and email inbox are and same for vodkandlime and editormum.

Horn has finally gone off to the printers for the second print run and I am so looking forward to it being back in print so I can sell it again. There have been quite a few preorders and those will be posted out as soon as the boxes arrive. The cover has been redesigned and the internal layout has been redone and updated. It was a complete pain to do but also marked a milestone for me, personally. And the process has also made me reconsider what size print run I think is appropriate. The jury is still out on that one. But if you want your copy of Horn, you can reserve it over here

Episode 2 of TwelfthPlanetCast should go up tonight, my voice willing.

Our books are now available over at the Australian Online Bookshop.

Stocks of A Book of Endings are running dwindingly low. I opened the last box last week and gave myself a bit of a shock. Could we really have none left to sell at Aussiecon 4? Meanwhile, cassiphone aka Tansy Rayner Roberts reviewed A Book of Endings over at her blog saying:

There isn’t a genre label you can hang on Deborah Biancotti. Not quite horror, not quite speculative fiction even, she hovers between the borders of genre. I suppose something like ‘urban weird’ would sum her up, with a heavy emphasis on ‘dark Australiana’. Her stories are grungy and powerful and often meander in directions other than those you might have expected. There’s a modernity to her work which makes her stand out as noticeably different to, for instance, Margo Lanagan, whose stories have more of a rural and fantastic tinge. Even when Biancotti writes fantasy, hers is unlike any other, and her stories seem more at home among broken suburban landscapes.
The book is simply beautiful. Not just the cover by Nick Stathopolis which looks fantastic – I can see it over on my maroon couch right now and it catches my eye every time – but the overall production values. I think it’s the prettiest of the Twelfth Planet productions. But mostly when I say the book is beautiful, it’s because of the way it has been put together.
If you have even the slightest interest in short fiction, and you haven’t read Deborah Biancotti, then you should. If you like Deb’s work and haven’t yet picked up this book, what are you waiting for? You might think you’re well versed with her fiction, but believe me, if you haven’t read A Book of Endings properly, you have no idea what she is capable of.

Which is nice cause over at the TISF podcast, Keith Stevenson gave Tansy her own awesome review for Siren Beat. He described the Twelfth Planet Press novellas as an entertaining novella series and then said that Siren Beat was a
standout novella from a very accomplished writer where sirens [are] given a 21st century makeover, at once startlingly fresh and so obviously right, with a third act you definitely won't see coming.

Very excitingly, I've been editing the final story for Glitter Rose which is the new story for the collection and makes the Carmine stories a quartet. If you read "The Flag Game" over at Hub a couple of years ago, it follows on from what happened there. Which is exceedingly cool cause I read that story and wanted to know "but what happens next!?" and that completely dragged me into this glittery world.

We also have been finalising the artwork to go inside the collection and saw 4 more sketches for the cover over the weekend. The picture featured here is an updated final version of an internal illustrated by Anna Repp. Yesterday we went ahead and picked the cover sketch we wanted, which will also be done by Anna Repp - it's an odd moment when your book suddenly gets its cover. It's usually been this idea of an object for months beforehand whilst you concentrate on the internal works. And you agonise over every word and every comma and the order of the stories and the layout font and so on. And then one day you get to the bit that everyone else will see first - the cover. I'm thrilled with the work that the artists have done for Glitter Rose. And I'm very proud of how this book is shaping up.

Other than that, I've been spending my time at the back end of the publishing gig. Working on all the little tasks that hopefully come together to make a shiny press - applying for Copyright data information, sending out and receiving contracts, getting printing quotes, sorting out new distribution options and so on. Sprawl is very close to be finished. Amanda designed the cover a while ago and it feels weird that once the final story is sent to layout, the book will pretty much be ready to go to the printer.

It's been so much work and so many things flying in different directions, I think I will wake up one of these days and have sent three books to the printer this year already.