Friday, November 16, 2012

Chicks Unravel Time Prize Package Winner

Congratulations to David K44, the winner of the Chicks Unravel Time Prize Package.  David - email me at and I'll get this out to you on Monday.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who entered.  And stay tuned - my lovely co-editor L.M. Myles is hosting another give-away next week.  Details to follow!

Friday, November 9, 2012


We are only days away from the publication of Chicks Unravel Time and all sorts of fantastic things are happening - including a give-away!

But first, there are several events scheduled which, if you are in the Boston, Chicago or New York area you won't want to miss.

On November 17 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. join contributors K. Tempest Bradford, Jennifer Pelland and our fantastic cover artist Katy Shuttleworth at Annies Book Stop of Worcester for an afternoon event that includes a roundtable discussion, readings and a few surprises.

The weekend of November 23 sees the Chicks Unravel Time crew at Chicago TARDIS.  I'll be there with my lovely co-editor L.M. Myles as well as contributors Lynne M. Thomas, Liz Barr, cover artist Katy Shuttleworth and our Mad Norwegian publishing team of Lars and Christa Pearson.  There will be a panel as well as book signing.  As cool as this all is, follow the link and see the other amazing guests attending that weekend!

Finally, on November 28 join us for a complete evening of Doctor Who at a Reading Event at The Churchill hosted by the Doctor Who New York group.  Once again, both Liz and I will be in attendance along with K. Tempest Bradford and a few special guests. This is a bonus event featuring not only Chicks Unravel Time but also Mad Norwegian Press's aHistory and Outside In, a new essay collection in which both Liz and I both have essays along with Andrew Cartmel, David Howe and 156 other contributors.

Now for the giveaway!  To celebrate the release of the book we are giving away a complete prize package.  Along with a copy of Chicks Unravel Time the winner will receive the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Planner:
And the totally adorable (and incredibly useful!) Doctor Who Sticky Notes:
Just leave a comment here or at the Chicks Unravel Time Facebook Page to be eligible!  Winners will be announced Friday, November 16 at noon EST.  Good luck!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Geek Girl Artist

Mad Norwegian Press is offering a special pre-order deal on their "Geek Girl Chronicles".  This four volume set, schedule to be released in  November, includes Chicks Dig Time Lords, Whedonistas, Chicks Dig Comics and the forthcoming Chicks Unravel Time. What ties these books together - other than their sheer awesomeness?  The amazing cover artist Katy Shuttleworth. 

Katy is a talented animator (my children were a bit starstruck to learn she worked on the PBS Emmy-award winning series "Word Girl") who puts an incredible amount of time and detail into her illustrations. Her groundbreaking cover for Chicks Dig Time Lords featured a now-beloved character which she and the editors dubbed "Verity" after Doctor Who founding producer Verity Lambert.  We were thrilled when she agreed to do the cover art for Chicks Unravel Time and brought Verity out to play once more.

The best part of a Katy Shuttleworth cover is decoding the symbols and fannish bits of triva she slips into every piece, in fact it's almost become a tradition for fans to pick out these clever visuals.   (I fully anticipate the "Media Art: Analyzing the work of Katy Shuttleworth" at a future convention!) For example, on the cover of Whedonistas there were visual references to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Angel as well as Mutant Enemy, Joss Whedon's production company.  For Chicks Unravel Time, Verity is still wearing her Rose Tyler wrist warmers and iconic fourth Doctor scarf first seen on the cover of Chicks Dig Time Lords, but given the nature of this book she is unraveling the scarf, yard by yard*. This visual alone is what sold both Liz and myself on this version of the cover.  Katy took the iconic and, with a clever twist, referenced both the title and mission of the book. As someone with absolutely zero artistic talent or vision, I am amazed that someone managed, with a few brush strokes, to capture the very thing that 34 writers chase down with thousands of words. 

To say that we are Katy Shuttleworth fangirls may be a slight understatement. Now, if we can just convince someone to make these covers into posters!

*There are a few other fannish nods as well but I'll leave them for you to discover!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chicks Unravel Time - Table of Contents!

I love when an anthology's full Table of Contents is published.  Not only do you get to see, for the first time, the framing structure of a book, but also the veil is finally pulled back and you get to see all the writers in a collection.

I couldn't be more excited about Chicks Unravel Time's TOC.  We have an absolutely stunning group of essayists - they are smart, funny and fierce.  You will laugh, ponder, nod your head in agreement and, in some cases, vehemently disagree with their critiques of Doctor Who.  And that is just how it should be. If a Table of Contents is the spine of the book, its contributors are its heart and this book's heart is true.

From the Mad Norwegian Press Website

Chicks Unravel Time Table of Contents

Regeneration - Shaping the Road Ahead by Barbara Hambly
The Doctor’s Balls by Diana Gabaldon
A Dance With Drashigs by Emma Nichols
No Competition by Una McCormack
Identity Crisis by L.M. Myles
The Still Point by Anna Bratton
For the Love of Tom by Sarah Lotz
Donna Noble Saves the Universe by Martha Wells
I’m From the TARDIS, and I’m Here to Help You:
Barbara Wright and the Limits of Intervention by Joan Frances Turner
I, Robot, You Sarah Jane: Sexual Politics in Robot by Kaite Welsh
Between Now and Now by Juliet E. McKenna
What Would Romana Do? by Lara J. Scott
The Women We Don’t See by K. Tempest Bradford
The Ultimate Sixth by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Maids and Masters: The Distribution of Power
in Doctor Who Series Three by Courtney Stoker
Robots, Orientalism and Yellowface: Minorities
in the Fourteenth Season of Doctor Who by Aliette de Bodard
David Tennant’s Bum by Laura Mead
Superficial Depth?: Spirituality in Season Eleven by Caroline Symcox
The Problem With Peri by Jennifer Pelland
All of Gallifrey’s a Stage: The Doctor in Adolescence by Teresa Jusino
All the Way Out to the Stars by Iona Sharma
Build High for Happiness! by Lynne M. Thomas
Nimons are Forever by Liz Barr
Ace Through the Looking Glass by Elisabeth Bolton-Gabrielsen
Hey, You Got Science in My Fiction! by Laura McCullough
Seven to Doomsday: The Non-Domestication  of Earthbound Doctor Who in Season Seven
  by Mags Halliday
The Sound’s the Star by Emily Kausalik
Ace Through the Looking Glass by Elisabeth Bolton-Gabrielsen
Hey, You Got Science in My Fiction! by Laura McCullough
Seven to Doomsday: The Non-Domestication
of Earthbound Doctor Who in Season Seven by Mags Halliday
The Sound’s the Star by Emily Kausalik
Harking Back and Moving On by Jenni Hughes
Anything Goes by Deborah Stanish
How the Cold War Killed the Fifth Doctor by Erica McGillivray
Waiting for the Doctor: The Women of Series Five by Seanan McGuire
Timing Malfunction: Television Movie + the BBC
Eighth Doctor Novels = A Respectable Series by Kelly Hale
Guten Tag, Hitler by Rachel Swirsky
Reversing Polarities: The Doctor, the Master and False Binaries in Season Eight
  by Amal El-Mohtar

While some of these essays may appear irreverent (where else can you find an anthology with essay titles referencing BOTH the Doctor's balls and David Tennant's bum?) they are sharp, concise and fresh critiques on all of Doctor Who.  I can't wait to see it in print!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

George Eliot

Autumn is finally here and good riddance to summer.  Although I'm sure we'll be on the receiving end of a few more summer-like scorchers before we get dragged into the delicious gloom. I always feel cheated when I turn the calendar to September and the weather doesn't immediately comply with crisp mornings, apple-scented afternoons and shivery nights.  But after a summer of busy, sometimes frustrating, activity, I'll take autumn on whatever terms it's offering.

On the writing front, Chicks Unravel Time is being prepped for the printer for its November release.  After going over the final PDF file of the manuscript, and reading a fantastic email from my co-editor, I've fallen in love with the book all over again.  Anyone who has ever worked on a long writing project knows the "sloggy middle" and "the bit where you never want to see this book again" but that is only temporary and gets pushed aside when it's all polished and pretty and the heart of the thing is opened for everyone to see.

I'm also very pleased to be a part of Outside In edited by Robert Smith?

If you are a Doctor Who fan I can almost guarantee you know someone in this book. While I think Robert is absolutely insane for working with 160 writers I have to admire his chutzpah and his vision. But mostly his chutzpah. ;-)  I'm really looking forward to reading all the contributions. (My perspective was on "The Claws of Axos" - Jo Grant's knickers, Bill Filer's sideburns and delicious Master snark - j'adore!)  Also noteworthy - this is the first book from the fledgling ATB Publishing. I wish them all the success with this and future projects!

As always, autumn feels like a new beginning. I can't wait for what comes next.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicks Unravel Time

I am so very, very pleased to finally, OFFICIALLY, announce that the amazing anthology for Mad Norwegian Press that has consumed me for the past year is available for pre-order:

From Amazon: 

The sister book to the 2011 Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords...

In Chicks Unravel Time, editors Deborah Stanish (Whedonistas) and L.M. Myles bring together a host of award-winning female writers, media professionals and scientists to examine each season of new and classicDoctor Who from their unique perspectives.

Diana Gabaldon discusses how Jamie McCrimmon inspired her best-selling Outlander series, and Barbara Hambly (Benjamin January Mysteries) examines the delicate balance of rebooting a TV show. Seanan McGuire (Toby Daye series) reveals the power and pain of waiting in Series 5, and Una McCormack (The King's Dragon) argues that Sylvester McCoy's final year of Doctor Who is the show's best season ever.

Other contributors include Juliet E. McKenna (Einarrin series), Tansy Rayner Roberts (Power and Majesty), Sarah Lotz (The Mall), Martha Wells (The Cloud Roads), Joan Frances Turner (Dust), Rachel Swirsky ("Fields of Gold") and Aliette de Bodard (Obsidian and Blood series).

This project has been massive - working with 34 writers we took on each season of Doctor Who, including the Television Movie and the year of specials.  These essays will make you think, make you laugh and may make you look at Doctor Who in ways that you never imagined.

In addition to the writers listed above, we have an absolutely fantastic group of women in this anthology and I can't wait to release the full table of contents. 

It's been a long journey but I think the results are worth it. ;-)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Where I've been...

It's been a mad, mad, mad few weeks trying to tie up loose ends on an upcoming project (announcement soon!) but even though I haven't been here I have been a few places around the web:

The lovely Chip of the Two-Minute Time Lord Podcast invited me to participate on The Steven Moffat Roundtable with Steven Schapansky (Radio Free Skaro), Neil Perryman (Adventures of Wife in Space) and the fabulous Teresa Jusino (of everywhere it is cool to be).

If you like podcasts and listening to fun people (mostly them but I try!) check out 2MTL265: The Steven Moffat Evaluation

I also had the privilege of contributing to the Legendary Women's month of Buffy by talking about Whedonistas.  They are also running a Whedonistas (now in its second printing!) giveaway so if you don't have a copy, drop by.  You have until May 31 to enter.

So...a bit busy but more exciting news to come!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the Shelf

We are entering the Season of Driving and Sitting, also known as "little league" and "swim team".  The upside is my reading time gets a huge boost and all that time in the car means I can catch up on podcasts and audio plays. This is what's keeping me company these days:


On the Back Burner:  The Odyssey.  Since this is a year-long reading project this will be hanging around for a while

On the Shelf: Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.   I just picked this up yesterday and can't wait to delve into it's creepy, photograph-laden pages.  I can't resist digging through piles of old black and white photos at flea markets and antique shops so I have high hopes for a novel that incorporates the creepiest of found images.  

On the Nook:  Apex Magazine.  I'll be honest and admit that I initially subscribed to this magazine as a show of support to new editor Lynne Thomas but I quickly learned that it was a treasure trove of short, amazing bits of fiction and thought-provoking essays. Perfect for between inning reading.

On the iPhone:  The Witch From The Well.  This audio play from Big Finish is the second in a trilogy featuring Doctor Who's Eighth Doctor and Mary Shelley.  Yes, that Mary Shelley.  If you've never listened to an audio play I can't recommend them enough.  With a full cast of actors and high production values it engages me in ways that audio books can't.

Of course this makes me look like a person who is absolutely terrified of downtime but that's a post for another day. ;-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cool things for Friday

1.  I was interviewed with Lynne M. Thomas at Doctor Her on projects current and past.  This is one of my favorite new websites and if you're interested in pop culture and feminism I can't recommend it enough.

2.  Another favorite - the The History Chicks podcast - has a new espisode discussing Margaret "Molly" Brown.  If everything you know about "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" is via Debbie Reynolds run to this podcast and be amazed at this spirited philanthropist who got things done with style and panache. Hosts Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider never fail to amuse and educate and their shownotes are an amazing resource.

3.  One of my favorite publishers, Persephone Books, has a beautiful blog that is a catch all for art, history and the lives of women.  It's the sort of thing you dip into when you feel your spirits flagging.  Thank you Persephone Books for rescuing and reclaiming so many women writers!  Now, if they'd only open a shop in the U.S......

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Power of Story

In February of this year I had “A Perfect Moment”.  I was at the The Getty Villa in Los Angeles, eating a plate of figs and cheese while drinking a glass of chardonnay.  The breeze was soft, the company excellent and the view sublime.  All of my senses were fulfilled.  But what pushed the day to “perfect” status was the opportunity to see a tiny sliver of papyrus, a bit over 2,000 years old, which held a fragment of Homer’s The Odyssey.  See, I’d just undertaken a year-long read-along of The Odyssey and while I may be a book or two behind at this point, it’s been a fabulous experience.  I don’t think I’ve done a close reading of a text since college so to be forced to slow down, to give the words time to sink into my bones and let the story that has been such a bedrock of western literary experiences wash over me has been a luxury. 

It certainly hasn’t hurt that I chose to read  Robert Fagles' translation, selected because it purported to give us a bit more domestic detail along with all the clashing armor.  While there has been some criticism of Fagles’ trading authenticity for readability, there is no denying the language is sensuous and beautiful.

So, what is it about that tiny sliver of parchment that still transfixes us centuries later?  Nothing really.  Despite its age and rarity it’s just the medium for the real treasure: the story.  And what a story – it’s been told and retold so often that it’s become a part of us. Over the years we’ve picked it apart, rebuilt it and, at times, turned it into something new.  It is a story that speaks to our soul.

That is what a good story does.  

Of course The Odyssey is “literature” and given the reverence and awe that “literature” deems its due.  But the story started out as merely a cracking good tale filled with adventure, loss and love, told by storytellers to captivated audiences. It was the Lost or Downton Abbey or Doctor Who of its time.   It didn’t become “literature” until much later.  

I guess the lesson to be learned from that tiny slip of papyrus is that the medium is irrelevant.  A good story is a good story whether it is delivered to us via paper, film or the internet.  It has a power over us that cannot be contained by its delivery system and whose merits are earned by the emotions it generates.

And that is, pretty much, the definition of perfect.

P.S. If you really want a perfect example of the power of story, check out Chicks Dig Comics edited by my fabulous Whedonistas co-editor Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis.  These amazing essays by women artists and writers will challenge you to re-examine the powerful story-telling medium of comics.