Tag Archives: Black

Subscribe to T3A Space – new TTA Press website tweaked

Well, I hope you’ve all had a nice long holiday weekend – even if the weather was as rotten as it was here in Velcro City. I hardly noticed, though – I’ve been busy.

One of the many things I’ve been doing over the weekend is playing around behind the scenes at T3A Space, the new-look blog-style website for TTA Press (publisher of short genre fiction magazines Interzone, Crimewave and Black Static). T3A is where updates and story acceptances for the TTA stable are posted, and over the coming months it’s going to grow into a content-rich site with lots of good stuff to read.

Andy (TTA’s head honcho) already had things looking sexy with an eye-catching theme (luckily – as, having seen VCTB, no one in their right mind would set me loose on the aesthetics of a website), but yours truly has been hacking about with the ergonomics and functionality. Upgrades include a working spam-free comments system, and lots of other behind-the-curtain search-engine friendly stuff. There’s still work to be done, but things are looking good so far.

I’ve also set the RSS feed for the site to run through Feedburner, which is a very easy operation but well worth the time invested. But if you click through, you’ll see the subscription counter sat at a lowly first-day count of zilch, zero, nada.

So, here’s the challenge – I’d like you all to subscribe to the T3A RSS feed, which I’ve made extra easy by linking to it there. You don’t even have to click more than once! Let’s see if we can’t get that counter to show something a little more impressive than zero by tomorrow, eh?

A critical situation

Two superb bits of critical writing in the RSS feeds today.

First off, Martin Lewis looks at Richard Morgan’s Black Man (or Thirteen as it is titled across the pond) for Strange Horizons:

“Violent confrontation is the engine of all Morgan’s novels. What makes them unusual is that this confrontation is almost always verbal. At least at first. Marsalis is always happy to crush a windpipe or break a kneecap, but only after trying to assert dominance through words. It is not just winning the fight that is important: you have to win the argument. It is the praxis of force and knowledge, and it brings out the key difference between Morgan and his peers. Black Man is what you might call paramilitary SF, a point on the thriller-to-war-story spectrum somewhere between cyberpunk and mil SF.”

Lewis writes about books the way I wish I could write about books. However, doing so brings its own hazards – a gentleman in the comments appears to have taken Lewis’ critique in a way that I’m sure it wasn’t meant. Then again, maybe I’m misreading both of them – text is an inherently low-bandwidth medium, after all.

Secondly, Vicky and Nic from Eve’s Alexandria do a double-team review of Adam Roberts’ Gradisil. Interestingly, neither of them seem to have been deterred by what I have heard others describe as the very unfeminine female characters in the novel:

“Now it’s true that Roberts’ prose is sometimes pedantic and that his characters are often, and above all else, cold and distant but, as I see it, these qualities serve Gradisil’s ultimate purpose.  The Gyeroffy women, Klara and Gradi both, are quite disagreeable creatures, hard-nosed and closed off.  Neither of them exhibit ‘maternal’ instincts and neither is ‘feminine’ or ‘intuitive’ or ’emotional’, and this is only right.  They are, after all, women living on the outskirts of life, at the very edge of the permissable.  Like all pioneers and colonists they are driven by physical hardship to positions untenable in the heart of society; and they’re both consumed by a vision of the Uplands as it was or as it could be.”

In the discussions of gender and sf that I have read or listened to, there has often been a prevailing condescending (and, sad to say, male) attitude that female readers don’t like science fiction because they find the female characters hard to reconcile with the roles that society has taught them are ‘correct’. Maybe the truth of the matter is that female readers don’t identify with female characters in sf because a great number of their mostly male writers can’t write a believably flawed female character …