Margaret Cavendish and The Blazing World

A look at the 17th centenary SF writer, Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, based on a 2017 talk given to the Critical Mass SF discussion group.

Virigina Wolfe in 1929 wrote of Margaret Cavendish:

What a vision of loneliness and riot the thought of Margaret Cavendish brings to mind! as if some giant cucumber had spread itself over all the roses and carnations in the garden and choked them to death.

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The Sustainability Drinks Affair

“Hey”, said Trish, “guess who the speaker at the November Sustainability Drinks is! Ben Heard.”

“How Curious!” I replied. Sustainability Drinks is a monthly gathering of people interested in sustainability, held at my local pub, The King’s Head. Ben Heard is a PhD candidate at Adelaide, and an aggressive advocate of nuclear systems. … Read the rest

Brett Dean’s Hamlet

A review from the Adelaide Festival performance by Jennifer Bryce

Australian composer Brett Dean has written an opera, Hamlet, which is being performed at the Adelaide Festival, following acclamation at Glyndebourne, UK.

It is a brilliant collaboration between composer, librettist (Matthew Jocelyn) and director (Neil Armfield). I didn’t come away with the music running through my head; I came away thinking about the play, particularly Shakespeare’s language, which is used faithfully.… Read the rest

A Black Utopia?

This long-awaited film about a powerful black superhero is drawing huge crowds in the US. T’Challa, prince of Wakanda (played by Chadwick Boseman), returns home to claim his throne and battle with an old enemy, Ulysses Klaue (wonderfully portrayed by Andy Serkis). The real threat, however, lies in a returning cousin Erik Killmonger, who lays claim to the throne, claiming he was the victim of actions by by T’Challa’s father.… Read the rest

The Craft Sequence

Max Gladstone’s Craft sequence is set in a world where, until recently, Gods ruled. Due to arcane knowledge known as The Craft, some people learnt how to control/create god-like powers. After the God Wars, Gods have either been killed, hounded from their territories, or controlled by people.… Read the rest

The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker is a fine Australian movie, a black-comedy-fashion-western-revenge-drama murder mystery, set in the fifties.

Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, from the book by Rosalie Ham. It stars Liam Hemsworth, Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook and Judy Davis. You’ll also undoubtably recognise a fine ensemble of Australian actors throughout the film.

It opens as Tilly (Kate Winslet) arrives in an outback town on the evening stage bus, to be met by the Town Sergeant, who gives her a lift to her parental home.… Read the rest

Boldly going … Again!

Star Trek Discovery and The Orville have amassed a loyal following of fans during their respective premiere seasons.

For Star Trek fans, it has been quite a spell, close to eleven years to be precise, and for those card carrying trekkers, that is more than a life time!

As ‘Disco’ (Star Trek Discovery) commenced its final run to the starting gate, and premiering to — for the first time in Star Trek’s history — a pay per view audience, there was much trepidation being displayed by one sector of fans ‘post premiere’, due to its overall presentation.Read the rest

It’s all in the hearts

So….Doctor Who is going to be a woman. So what? To me it’s just another reincarnation. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t care who plays The Doctor, so long as they play to the true euthos and stylings of the character. If we have to have a change in Doctor yet again, I can handle it being a woman.… Read the rest