Monthly Archives: January 2012

See you at the Aurealis Awards? Saturday 12 May, 2012

The Aurealis Awards for works published in 2011 will be held in Sydney on Saturday 12 May, 2012. The ceremony will be held at The Independent theatre (269 Miller Street, North Sydney 2060) and is open to all interested parties (writers, publishers, fans and anyone with an interest in Australian speculative fiction!).

The venue is quite lovely, but tickets are limited. There is an early-bird price of $29.00 (only available until 15 March – full price is $35.00). Last year’s event was a fantastic evening, organised by Spec Faction, and promises to be as good this year!

To book your ticket, visit – don’t miss out on this important event on the Australian speculative fiction calendar. Hope to see you there!

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New Who Season Two Report Card

See David’s S2 Report Card and Tansy’s S2 Report Card through the clickies! (See our Season One Report Cards here)
The Doctor: David Tennant
It took me a good long while to warm up to Tennant’s Doctor on first viewing, but coming back to it second time around I already had the love, so it was an interesting experience. Tansy’s recurring point about us as viewers accepting bad behaviour from the Doctor because of Tennant’s charisma is one that I thought of often during the season, because it’s something that you can’t “un-see” once you’ve thought it. I definitely agree that Ten is given some pretty horrid behaviour, and you kind of accept this as the viewer, which is a bit problematic. But Tennant as the Doctor is great, in general – I think you can tell he loves the part and that shows through.
The Companions:
Rose Tyler: Billie Piper
I liked Rose more this time around than before but she’s still not my favourite. I liked that she got a bit more room to stretch her wings, even though she was all moony over the Doctor so much. I did enjoy her making her own choice at the end of the season, even if it was then overturned by circumstance, but she didn’t let the Doctor or Pete make that choice for her. That said, she was SO nineteen at times! Which got annoying.Mickey Smith: Noel Clarke
Loved the change we saw in Mickey during the season – very believable and solid growth and the Mickey at the end of the season was a really great character.
Recurring Characters:
Jackie Tyler: Camille Coduri
Really enjoyed Jackie in all her appearances – she’s so much more than the bottle-blonde bimbo we first met in Season One. I love that she gives Ten a hard time with frequency – he needs that sometimes!Pete Tyler: Shaun Dingwell
A much harder Pete in the season finale is an interesting contrast from the bumbling Pete of Season One and the more successful Pete of “Rise of the Cybermern/Age of Steel”. I liked that he stepped up in his universe, and the scene with he and Jackie was very sweet.

Harriet Jones: Penelope Wilton
I LOVE Harriet Jones – Ten really disappointed me with his treatment of her in the Christmas episode, because she deserved better than that. She did what she believed right, and her actions are no different to those of other characters who the Doctor just lets destroy things – I look forward to seeing her again.

Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen (or should she be in Companions??!)
This episode tugged on the heartstrings for so many reasons. I don’t really remember Sarah Jane as a companion, but she was fantastic in this, and Ten’s reaction to her was marvellous. I agree with Tansy though that the writers did her an injustice by implying she has been moping around over the Doctor for decades – boo! Glad she got her own show after this!

What is your favourite episode of this season?
Hard! It’s a toss up between “School Reunion” and “The Girl in the Fireplace” but I think on balance, while “School Reunion” was gorgeous for the Sarah Jane factor, TGitF is the winner for me.

Least favourite episode?
“The Satan Pit” – the end was good but the “devil”? Blech.

Favourite guest performance?
Shirley Henderson in “Love and Monsters”

Describe this season in one word!

Grade: A “settling in with a bang “season for the Tenth Doctor, with a few low points but interestingly stronger on second round viewing! B


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We are now Tasmanians!

Wow, it’s been a busy week and a half! We are now TASMANIANS! We arrived here on Saturday afternoon, after a surprisingly pleasant Jetstar experience from Brisbane. Husband was waiting, much to the delight of the children, and we came to our new house, which is in a very convenient location! But more about that in a minute – before I forget, I’d best recap the last of our Brisbane adventures!

Wednesday we had booked the kids into the Lego Education Centre for a session then more for Thursday. Walked them down to that (was in the streets behind South Bank) and wandered back through South Bank when they had finished. Don’t think we did much else Wednesday, but Thursday was the same again for Lego – they had three sessions in a row, so I had a few hours with Mum while they were there. We actually managed to get Dad to go to the movies too! We were walking past the South Bank theatre to drop the kids off and a session of War Horse was about to start – I think it was the $6.50 ticket price that sold him! He didn’t love it, but at least he went, which we were all pleased about. My aunt and uncle and their son arrived late morning, so I took my cousin (who is 11) with me to pick the kids up, and we met Dad on his way back from his movie, so had a nice walk through South Bank again. Spent the rest of the day with the rellies which was nice.

Friday! Mum and Dad had given us tickets to Mary Poppins for Christmas so this was the day. We dressed up for the occasion – was the first show the kids had been to so wanted to make it special. It was pretty good, but not sure my kids were quite into it – Miss Six liked it I think 🙂 Master Nine? Not so much into the singing and dancing 🙂 For me, I thought the sets stole the show! The child actors were pretty darn good too! After the show we went on the Wheel of Brisbane which the kids really enjoyed. I finally got in a game of Scrabble with Mum in the evening (and beat her!) which was also fun 🙂

Saturday we finished packing ourselves up and spent a couple of hours with Mum before Dad drove us out to the airport. Was a bit nervous about travelling Jetstar, but other than the smallest leg space I’ve come across, it went pretty well. Master One-day-off-One slept on me  pretty much the whole flight, which made things a bit tricky, but I managed to watch a bit of Doctor Who and Torchwood on the iPad during the flight. Big kids were good. And then we were in Tasmania! At last! Seems like it’s been a long time coming 🙂 We dropped in to the VERY nearby Coles store to stock up the fresh stuff – can’t believe how close and convenient everything is to the house – very pleased with my choice of rental 🙂 Husband had, thankfully, set up beds sort of, which meant we had somewhere to sleep at least! Started unpacking a few kitchen boxes, knowing that we were expecting visitors on Sunday.

Finished the kitchen Sunday morning, and Mr Flinthart and Mau-Mau arrived around lunchtime (with a gingerbread house for a housewarming present!), followed not long after by Helen, Stewart and Julia. Master One turned into Master Two! Had trouble finding presents, so luckily Helen brought a very good one! We had a wonderful afternoon (what a great way to warm the house, with old friends!) and Helen etc stayed with us for the night, which was great (although Helen and I stayed up far too late drinking wine). They headed off after lunch on Monday, but not far. Husband took the car to work so we didn’t do too much otherwise.

Tuesday we took husband to his work, via our little house in Rossarden – hmmm, very glad we didn’t end up living there 🙂 VERY windy hilly road! Back from there, we drove out to Lilydale to meet with Helen and co again, joined once more by the Flinthart & child – the six year old girls hit it off quite well 🙂 Pleasant BBQ lunch at their camping venue, before went back to town and sussed out some furniture.

Wednesday we walked up to the nearby shops and bought two bags of winterish clothes from the Salvos, visited the local bank & PO and checked out the local shops. Later we went out to my work to pick up a box of books I’d had sent there, and then bought a desk at one shop, a microwave at another, and the rest of our living room furniture at a third! Productive afternoon.

Master Two at Rossarden

Thursday was Australia Day – husband took the day off (mostly) and we went for a drive to the East Coast to visit St Marys, St Helens and the like. We ended up having to come back through Rossarden as the vehicle husband was organising came through. Didn’t end up picking it up (although we did uncover some linen I’d sent over months ago with the husband!) because it had no petrol, (heh, and then husband and his mate managed to miscommunicate and get the wrong fuel for it, long after we’d left him behind!) but eventually husband got home, where I’d managed to clean the living areas in preparation for the arrival of the new furniture.

We spent yesterday frantically trying to finish off all the jobs we needed to do before I start work next week. Got ourselves daycare, vacation care, post box address, sorted the business mail redirections, Medicare stuff, found the place to do vehicle ownership transfer and all that sort of thing. And our furniture came! Very purty and looks great. So nice to have things to sit on again!

After an early night, we got up this morning and took husband once more to work (this time he DID get the ute, so we won’t have to worry about that anymore hopefully!) then came back in, through to Lilydale to pick blueberries with the Flinthart. We all enjoyed that, even if M9 got a bit funny because he was worried about jumping jack ants! M2 was pretty good up until the point he soiled himself and started being a ratbag 🙂 We ended up with 12 kg of blueberries – that’s a LOT of berries! Yummy though, and $6.00 per kilo. You can be jealous now 🙂

And that’s us up to date! In summary, we like Tasmania so far. Really must go unpack something now 🙂


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New Who in conversation: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday (S02E012/13)

Watching New Who – in conversation with David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely

David is coming to New Who for the first time, having loved Classic Who as a kid. Tehani is a recent convert, and ploughed through Seasons 1 to 6 (so far) in just a few weeks after becoming addicted thanks to Matt Smith – she’s rewatching to keep up with David! Tansy is the expert in the team, with a history in Doctor Who fandom that goes WAY back, and a passion for Doctor Who that inspires us all. We’re going to work our way through New Who, using season openers and closers, and Hugo shortlisted episodes, as our blogging points. Just for fun! We have already talked about:

“Army of Ghosts / Doomsday” – Season two, episodes twelve and thirteen
The Doctor – David Tennant
Rose Tyler – Billie Piper
Mickey Smith – Noel Clarke
There’s a cluster of Hugo-nominees at the beginning of this season (plus we wanted to talk about the Cybermen two-parter), then none until the season finale two-parter (which we’d review anyway), so let’s quickly recap the intervening episodes before we chat about “Army of Ghosts / Doomsday”…”The Idiot’s Lantern” – another monster of the week episode with not a lot to distinguish it, I didn’t think. I liked the strength of the mother at the end though.TANSY:
I liked “The Idiot’s Lantern” far more on the recent rewatch than I remembered. The Rose/Doctor vibe was bugging me by this point (oh, the smug, the glee) but I think the story about the family is an important one – and it feels like Gatiss is saying something (or rather, not quite saying something) about growing up different, with indications either that the son might be gay and/or that his father might suspect he is. I liked Ten’s interactions with the boy, which made me wistful for a solo male companion, something he never got! (well, apart from [SPOILER REDACTED])

“The Impossible Planet” (concluded in “The Satan Pit”) – a lot creepier than we’ve really seen so far I reckon. We meet the Ood (remember them, David). I really liked the first of this two-parter, it’s nicely scary and science fictional, but the second part went to dumb places, I thought.

A solid piece of space opera science fiction, and it’s always a relief when they finally get the TARDIS away from Earth for a change, but I agree the second part was problematic. Once you bring the Devil into your science fiction, the shark has well and truly been jumped. I liked the crew a lot, though. Continue reading


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Bumper line up of supporters for the 2011 Aurealis Awards

SpecFaction NSW Inc, organiser of the Aurealis Awards, is delighted to announce an impressive line up of sponsors for the 2011 Awards to be presented on 12 May, 2012 in Sydney.

Awards Co-convenor Susan Wardle said, “The Aurealis Awards are Australia’s premier awards for Speculative Fiction. SpecFaction is a not for profit organisation and all our members are volunteers. Without the support of sponsors, we could not hope to host the awards.”

HarperVoyager will be a Silver Sponsor of the awards.

Stephanie Smith, Associate Publisher of HarperVoyager, said, “HarperVoyager is delighted to sponsor the Aurealis Awards again this year. The awards are highly regarded within the speculative fiction genre in Australia. Many Voyager authors have won, or been shortlisted for, the Aurealis Awards over the past 15 years, including such bestselling authors as Sara Douglass, Glenda Larke, Jennifer Fallon and Kylie Chan. Voyager’s enthusiasm for the genre and our commitment to seeing it grow and expand is as strong as ever.”

Both Cosmos Magazine and Galaxy Bookshop will also come on board to help stage the awards.  Cosmos Magazine as a media sponsor and Galaxy Bookshop as a supporter.

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for genre fiction, are for works of speculative fiction written by an Australian citizen, or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011.

Over 800 entries were received this year, a record number, indicating both the strength of the speculative fiction genre in Australia, as well as the respect the Awards garners. Finalists will be announced in late March 2012 and winners will receive their awards at a gala evening ceremony held in Sydney at The Independent Theatre on Saturday 12 May, 2012.

All entries are read by independent panels of judges.  As with past awards, sponsorship arrangements do not influence the judging process.

For more information on the Aurealis Awards, visit or to book a ticket to the awards night

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