London Travel Diary – Day 3

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1 and Day 2 if you missed them.

Day 3: Sunday, November 1

Thanks to our canny defeat of jet lag, Steven and I woke up at a decent hour. We had time for breakfast in our teeny studio. We discovered that the toothpaste provided was Bobo-sized!

Bobo-tiny toothpaste

After a leisurely morning in our pad, we met Simon and Warren at Trafalgar square at 11am. Our first solo experience taking the tube was awesome. Everything is so well laid out. The destinations are documented clearly on the walls at each stop. And when we needed to exit the station, there were signs pointing us to all 6 or 7 exits, detailing which streets they led to.

Sadly, Trafalgar Square was partitioned off because the rugby world cup had been projected on a screen there the night before. They were still taking down all the chairs. We took a few pics before Simon and Warren arrived anyway. Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 2

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1 if you missed it.

Bobo-plane to UK

Day 2: Saturday, October 31

Our second day started on the plane. We know this because Steven and I were both still awake. Also present on the flight was Steven’s plush Canadian Mountie bear, Bobo. (He’s keeping an eye on our progress in the picture above.)

They served us some breakfast snacks and drinks on the plane. I had a croissant that didn’t quite agree with me. Perhaps I oughtn’t to have jumped back into eating gluten so suddenly. But a croissant is a tough thing to resist while on vacation! As it turned out, that particular croissant was literally tough. What a waste of gluten consumption! Of course, it could have been the “proper” tea I drank with it. (By “proper”, I mean not herbal.) Based on later experience, I do blame the tea and not the wheat. Either way, I arrived in the UK with one doozy of a stomach ache. Continue reading

My Evolving Fan-tasies

Something odd occurred to me the other night. I don’t “fan” over things the same way I used to. I don’t want to put myself in the action in my imagination anymore. I used to have elaborate fantasies for how the real world would collide with my favorite fictional universes, and I can’t remember the last time I did.

Whether it was the 5th Doctor whisking me away in the TARDIS or somehow being banished to the Satellite of Love to be trapped with Joel* and the Bots, I’d spend hours living in my head, in those places.

I constructed a detailed Red Dwarf fantasy in which the boys from the Dwarf encountered a weak spot in space-time that allowed them to watch me living out my life–but just me–nothing around me (except my clothes because the rules in Red Dwarf were never internally consistent anyway). And of course, Continue reading

World Class Aftermath

As I wrote about a couple days ago, the BBC made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT regarding Doctor Who. I was hoping my cynicism was misplaced and there would be news that was as “MASSIVE” as they claimed. Alas, my cynicism was spot on. The announcement was a new spin-off, a YA series to be set at Coal Hill School called Class.

This is a great thing. I’m thrilled my favorite show is doing well enough to spawn yet another spin-off. I’m not personally excited about watching it, but I’ll give it a chance, and perhaps I’ll adore it and become a “massive” fan. It’s entirely possible. So let me make it clear, I do think this announcement is excellent news.

What I don’t think it is: MASSIVE. Or HUGE. (I’m using all-caps here because that’s what the promo tweets did.) Continue reading

Big Announcement? Big Delay!

DW Twitter

So according to the Doctor Who Official Twitter feed, there’s a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT coming from the BBC about Doctor Who. Is anyone else having flashbacks to when they had an ICONIC announcement that turned out to be…not-so-iconic? And the fact they keep saying it’s coming soon–or as soon as they can? Makes it look like they don’t have all their ducks in a row. I find it rather irritating. I’m all for good news, but it irks me when they start teasing something they’re not ready to go ahead with. I like it better when the marketing engine behind my favorite show looks like they have their shit together.

Anyway, the speculation on Twitter has been something delightful to behold. From the truly ridiculous to the…well, to the truly ridiculous! My gut-reaction guess was that David Tennant is going to guest in an episode. (This follows along with some speculation about how we may find out why the 12th Doctor has the same face as an ancient Roman.) But in my heart, I hope it’ll be something about missing episodes. I have no good reason to think that’ll be it, but the delay does make me suspect it’s something more involved than a mere casting announcement.

If the announcement isn’t going out as early as originally planned (which seems to be the case), there’s gotta be a reason. Continue reading

Cool People Doing Cool Things – Part Three

It’s been A Week.* So you know what that means? It’s time to focus on some good stuff! In this case, it’s good stuff created by other people. Yep, more cool people doing cool things! If you’re just joining us, do check out the first and second posts in this series.


 Cool Person: Tansy Rayner Roberts

My Verity! cohost Tansy has one of the most prodigious blogs in fandom!** Not only does she write about general geekery, feminisim, and fandom, but she does regular features on comic books, Robotech, and fun links (most) every Friday! She’s also a novelist, and she cohosts two podcasts: the aforementioned Verity! and Galactic Suburbia, a relaxed, rambly Australian podcast about speculative fiction news with a decidedly feminist viewpoint.  So yeah. Lots of cool stuff, but the one I want to highlight here is this:

Cool Thing: Musketeer Space

Tansy Musketeer Space

Among all the other great stuff she’s writing about, Tansy has been publishing a novel in weekly web-serialized form. And not just any novel! This is a gender-swapped space-opera version of The Three Musketeers. Continue reading

Cool People Doing Cool Things, Part the Second

It’s been a while, but it’s time for another post about the fantastic folks I know and the terrific things they’re working on. Read on and marvel at the talent and ambition in my circles of friends!


Cool People: The Uncanny Magazine Staff

Yes, I’m well aware Michael and Lynne M. Thomas were first on the list last time, but gosh darn it, they’re still being cool and doing an incredibly cool thing! You can read about them launching Uncanny in my previous CPDCT post. Well I’m here to tell you it’s been a rousing success! Lynne and Michael, along with managing editor Michi Trota, published some truly amazing stories and poetry as well as fascinating interviews and insightful essays about the sci-fi/fantasy community. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this effort.

That’s right, I’m helping! I co-produce the Uncanny Magazine Podcast. My co-producer is my talented spouse, Steven Schapansky. I really like working with Steven. We make a great team, and I think we put out a darn good podcast every month. But we don’t do it alone! Michael and Lynne are charming hosts and delightful to work with. I look forward to our on-Skype recording sessions every month. There’s always as much laughter as there is Serious Podcasting.

Plus we’re lucky enough to work with some incredibly skilled readers. Amal El-Mohtar and C.S.E. Cooney bring the stories and poems to life in a way that often makes me shiver. I love every episode, but the one that’s given me the most shivers so far is this one. Do check it out if you get a chance.

As if that isn’t enough, my fabulous Verity! cohost Deb brings us meaningful and substantial interviews with the authors. These are no fluffy puff-pieces! Though she manages to work in a good deal of fun and laughter as well. I always marvel at the amount of research she must do before each one. She asks The Best questions. And her podcast interviews are just the icing on the cake. She also puts together print interviews for the magazine itself!

Yeah, I could go on about how happy I am to be a part of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, but instead I’ll talk about one specific thing that’s happening RIGHT NOW!

Cool Thing: Uncanny Magazine Subscription Drive

uncanny_website_banner

That’s right! We’re having a subscription drive for Uncanny through Weightless Books! Continue reading

I’m in Another Book!

You and Who Contact Has Been Made Vol 2

That’s right! When it rains, it pours, apparently, and it’s pouring Doctor Who goodness at the moment. The excitement of seeing my name (and words I wrote!) in print in Companion Piece hasn’t even worn off yet, and here’s another opportunity to experience that thrill.

You and Who: Contact Has Been Made – Volume 2 has just been released. It’s the second volume in a series that looks at Doctor Who story-by-story. I can almost hear you saying “another book about Doctor Who?” Well first of all, I’m not sure there is such a thing as too many books about Doctor Who. There are as many interesting things to be said about the show as there are people to say them. And that is precisely why I’m so thrilled to be a part of this particular book. Continue reading

Lazy Doctor Who – A New Podcast!

Lazy Doctor Who Art

No, those are not my feet and not my socks, but I do have some socks very much like them. This picture does, however, refer to my new podcast, Lazy Doctor Who. “Our” new podcast, I should say. Steven and I have started our own Doctor Who podcast. It was inevitable, really. Two podcasters living together, both loving the same show, it was only a matter of time. Maybe the world doesn’t need another Doctor Who podcast. Maybe Steven and I don’t need to do another podcast, but gosh darn it, it’s fun! And it’s a wonderful way to spend some quality time together.

When we decided to move in together, it was a given we’d embark upon what Paul Cornell calls “the pilgrimage”–watching all 50+ years of Doctor Who from beginning to end. We had to put it off a while because of Steven’s other podcast, The Memory Cheats. The conceit of that lovely little show was that he and his cohost Josh talked about classic Who stories from memory. Rewatching those eps with me would be cheating on The Memory Cheats. Now that he and Josh have completed their run (congrats guys!), Steven is free to watch with me!

When we started talking about the pilgrimage, we were excited. Steven was particularly happy to watch a show at our own pace, without having to blog or podcast about it. When he said that, I silently pined. Watch a tv show (Doctor Who in particular) and not podcast about it? Is that even allowed?

So I started plotting. Continue reading

When Good Characters Feel Bad

Last week I wrote a post in which I said I wasn’t a fan of terrible things happening to characters I love. I suppose that sounds like a bit of a silly thing. Of course I don’t like it when bad things happen to a beloved character. Duh. But what I meant specifically is I’m dismayed when it’s something truly horrific and it only happens because the script says it needs to.

Crappy things often need to happen to main characters (and also not-so-main characters sometimes). That’s part of the hero’s journey. I’m all for seeing characters overcome adversity in order to grow and create a good story. But in my mind growth means a continuation of the same basic character. The change is a natural progression, based on the external (or sometimes internal) pressures and events they experience.

What I’m less fond of is when it doesn’t feel like a natural growth. Sometimes it feels like the creators decide a character should fundamentally change in a rather drastic way. And what’s the easiest way to make a great big change in a character’s personality? Why, have them experience something awful. Something so awful it’s scarring to their very being. Continue reading