New Verity! EMERGENCY EXTRA! Moffat Says Goodbye, Chibnall Says Hello

January 27th, 2016

Schedule be damned! When there’s Doctor Who news this big, we throw gently set the spreadsheet aside. Join Deb, Erika, and Tansy as we talk about our feelings upon hearing Steven Moffat will be stepping down after season 10. And just as importantly, we discuss our hopes and fears for the Chris Chibnall era to come. Of course, the news that we won’t have any new Doctor Who until the Christmas special is quite something as well. We’ve got sadness and joy, hope and fear, excitement and meh.

What about you? What was your reaction to all the news? Let us know in the comments!


Bonus link:
Erika’s tweet in the Radio Times

Download or listen now (runtime 38:33)  Audio Player

New Directions for Special Collections: Cover reveal!

January 26th, 2016

*breathes into paper bag*

5 Things Make an Update Post

January 26th, 2016
  1. Back from #confusionsf, where an epic time was had. I got to meet new folks, all of my panels were excellent and interesting and well moderated, and I participated in a Hamilton sing-along. So, a win all round, really. I’m saddened to report that the chocolate chip cookies WITH raisins were the more popular choice. What is WRONG with people?
  2. Hamilton. Yup. I’m on the bandwagon. I am earwormed. I am quoting. A lot. Sorry. It’s a reasonably energetic distraction from…
  3. Program prioritization, which is in full swing. I’m reading and scoring ~20 programs per week, in preparation for a weekly 4 hour meeting. It is grueling, not gonna lie. On the bright side, I’m learning gobs about things I didn’t know existed on campus, and my committee colleagues are all focused, and working in good faith on a rather tight timeline. I wouldn’t call this fun, but the necessary work is being done in the most conscientious manner possible.
  4. New Directions for Special Collections is so close to submission! We have 2 final essays getting one last polish — all of the rest are DONE — and we are in the gathering contractual paperwork from authors stage. Once that’s in, we’ll be able to announce the table of contents. The book should be out this fall, as expected and contracted. \o/
  5. Verity! continues on with our Year of Firsts. I’m still parsing the Chris Chibnall news, and I don’t have an opinion yet beyond “yes, he’s a perfectly logical administrative choice given his track record of producing successful shows on time and on budget” and I’m looking forward to watching fandom discuss this video.

Epic CONfusion schedule!

January 19th, 2016

We will be attending our very first Epic CONfusion this year!


Saturday 10:00 AM Anthologies as Advocacy (Isle Royale)
All fiction is in some way political and science fiction and fantasy have a healthy tradition of anthologies that seek to open up space for new voices and new conversations. To what extent do an anthology’s political goals interact with other editorial considerations? And how are such books received and reviewed by the field — both politically, and aesthetically?
Michael J. DeLuca, Yanni Kuznia, Mari Brighe, Kelley Armstrong (M), Michael Damian Thomas

Saturday 11:00:00 AM Bad Girls Just Want Good Stories (Isle Royale)
Let’s talk about anti-heroines and the positives and negatives of the flawed female character archetype. Is the flawed female character becoming the new strong female character? Is this yet another one-note character type masquerading as diverse representations of women? What’s the line between an anti-heroine and a villain?
Merrie Haskell, Mari Brighe, Lynne M. Thomas, Navah Wolfe, Sarah Gibbons
Saturday 1:00:00 PM Adapting Science Fiction and Fantasy (Charlevoix)
Adapting beloved (and not so beloved) genre into other mediums (adapting books to screen, comics based on TV and media properties (Dr. Who, the new Star Wars comics, Mad Max, novelizations of films and tie-in
David M. Stein,  Michael R. Underwood (M), Lynne M. Thomas, Matt Pearson
Saturday 5:00:00 PM Generations of Genre (Isle Royale)
For one reader, “traditional fantasy” is pre-Tolkienian, pre-genre, sui-generis works; for another, it’s Forgotten Realms and David Eddings. Equally, for one reader The Hunger Games is a young adult dystopia, while for another it’s science fiction. Can the evolution of such terms be mapped onto changing demographics — is there such a thing as GenX fantasy, or Baby Boomer science fiction? And do any terms retain their currency, and describe common ground across generations?
Laura Resnick, Steve Buchheit, Lynne M. Thomas, Max Gladstone, Stina Leicht
Saturday 5:o0:00 PM LOLCats, Wols, and Watch Me: Pop Culture in SFF? (Keweenaw)
Pop-culture is ever evolving and fiction often hides behind a desire to be “timeless”. However, pop-culture is an increasing influence on our lives, particularly among young people. How can these modern phenomena be used to make science fiction and fantasy more relevant to today’s readers? Why don’t we see more created popular culture within invented worlds?
Ferrett Steinmetz, Amy Sundberg, Michael Damian Thomas, Sunil Patel, Adam Rakunas
Saturday 8:00:00 PM Professional Wrestling as Genre Fiction (Saugatuck)
From the force choke to the choke slam, from power armor to power bomb, the story telling within professional wrestling is not dissimilar from the hyperbolic nature of science fiction and fantasy. What can professionalwrestling teach us about writing and committing to a story?

Carl Engle-Laird, Merrie Haskell, Dave Hogg, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas (M)
Sunday 11:00:00 AM The Vocabulary of Criticism (Isle Royale)
Prose Style, Voice, and Narrative Structure: does anyone care? These terms are often thrown around, but what do they really mean? And more importantly how should a reader translate them in to something useful for evaluating what they read?
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Scott H. Andrews, Amal El-Mohtar, Carl Engle-Laird (M), Lynne M. Thomas
Sunday 11:00:00 AM Editorially Speaking (Charlevoix)

Come hear from working editors in the science fiction and fantasy field about what the role an editor plays in bringing a manuscript from submission to publication. What trends are editors seeing in the field and what do they want to see in the coming years?
Yanni Kuznia, DongWon Song (M), Michael Damian Thomas, Navah Wolfe, Miriam Weinberg
Sunday 1:00:00 PM Fragmented Fandoms (Keweenaw)

Before 1990, computer geeks tended to be the fans online, and fandom tended to be a little more fragmented (fanzine fans/con fans/gamers/readers). Now that almost every fan has an online presence, are we more fragmented or less?

Joel Zakem, Steve Drew, Michael Damian Thomas, Michael Lee, Pablo Vazquez

5 Things Make an Updatery Thursday Post

January 7th, 2016

*emerges from the haze of vacation* I was mostly offline over the holidays, which was a good thing. Now is the time on Sprockets when we get up 2 hours earlier and attempt to hit the ground running!

  1. New Uncanny Magazine Issue 8 is out! Part 1 is live on the website, and you can purchase the full issue at fine retailers everywhere. Better yet, subscribe or contribute to our Patreon! That’s how we keep the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps in fighting shape!
  2. New Verity! Extra, announcing this year’s theme! A Year of Firsts, in which we will be looking at lots of “firsts” for the series, which plausibly includes me consuming some New Adventures novels in the not-so-distant future…All of Michael’s collecting over the years will come in VERY handy as I have access to LOTS of cool firsts right in the house!
  3. New Directions in Special Collections (the book formerly known as The 21st Century Special Collections Reader) is still chugging along. We have all of our essays in hand in SOME form, and are working on polishing, etc. Beth is meeting with our editor at Midwinter.
  4. I’m now in the Program Prioritization process segment of the winter. I have 20 programs to assess every week from now until the end of March. So if I’m absentee from the internet, you know why.
  5. Caitlin LOVED Star Wars: The Force Awakens. LOVED. She is very clear that Rey is the best thing ever.

New Verity! Season 9 wrapup! Party Like It’s Season #9

December 16th, 2015

It’s always a party when we have all six Verities in the house! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, Liz, Lynne, and Tansy as we squee and muse and generally chat about series 9. It’s tons of fun and less chaotic than you might expect. And as always, we veer into thinky territory as we discuss whether this season really is the most feminist of newWho (or whether it’s really feminist at all). There’s lots to cover, and we enjoy the heck out of covering it.

What did you think of series 9? Where do you weigh in on the question of this series’ feminism? What do you think of Clara’s arc? The hybrid (or lack thereof)? Let us know in the comments!

And don’t forget to enter our Big Finish giveaway!


Download or listen now (runtime 1:27:50) Audio Player

ICYMI: New Verity! Ep 98: Hell Bent out of Shape

December 11th, 2015

Series 9 has come to a close with quite a bang. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we break down Clara’s end, the Doctor’s homecoming, gender-flipped regenerations, elegant storytelling, season-ending spectacle, and much more. There’s a healthy amount of squee and flail, but not everyone is in hyper-happy mode, so it’s a more balanced podcast than you might expect.

How did you feel about the final installment of S9? Was it everything you’d hoped for and more? Did it leave you wanting? Did it just confuse you? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Philippines Pantene commercial
“Not like other girls” trope

Download or listen now (runtime 1:22:39) Audio Player

New Verity! Episode 97: Stairway to Heaven Sent

December 2nd, 2015

It’s another LIVE edition of Verity! Join Erika and Lynne, live from Chicago TARDIS, as we cover “Heaven Sent”, Doctor Who’s very first one-man-show! We watched it a the con, which made it even more special.

What did you think of Capaldi’s very-nearly-solo effort? Let us know in the comments!



Download or listen now (runtime 52:25) Audio Player

New Verity! Episode 96: Face the Ravenclaw

November 25th, 2015

We may not be quite sure whether this is truly the end for Clara, but we all agree that “Face the Raven” is a fantastic story and a great Doctor Who debut by writer Sarah Dollard. Join Deb, Lynne, and Tansy as we evaluate character departures, discuss character motivation, and touch on Steven Moffat’s commitment issues. We examine Clara Oswald’s arc and try to determine whether she was running toward death or running from grief. We also discuss the themes of morality throughout Series 9 because, why not? (I think it’s safe to say we loved this one.)

What did you think of “Face the Raven”? Do you think Clara met a fitting end or did her death feel too slight or insignificant? Do you think Mayor Me is the other side of the Doctor’s morality or just a misguided villain? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Download or listen now (runtime 1:13:32) Audio Player

Chicago TARDIS schedule!

November 19th, 2015

My schedule for Chicago TARDIS has come out, so here’s where to find me!


Missy, Blowing Our Minds
Friday November 27, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Programming 3 (Grand Ballroom C)

We take a look at the Master– or, rather, Missy, as she’s currently known. What appeals about the bad Time Lord we all love to hate. You’ll say something nice, of course….
Me, Rod Hedrick

Doctor Who’s Remit
Friday November 27, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Programming 3 (Grand Ballroom C)

Let’s get serious for a moment. Doctor Who was originally to entertain and educate. It still does… but maybe not in the same ways it once did, and maybe in unexpected ways. From its education agenda in the 1960s to name-your-agenda in the 21st century… how is Doctor Who used as a force for good in the world?

Paul Booth, Me, Sam Stone, and Tom Spilsbury


U.N.I.T. Interview: Manning, Franklin, Levene
Saturday, November 28 • 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Main Programming (Grand Ballroom E-F)

I get to interview Katy Manning, Richard Franklin, and John Levene!


Verity! Live!
Sunday November 29, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Programming 2 (Grand Ballroom H-I)

Erika Ensign, Me

Join the ladies of the Verity podcast as they record their look at the episode “Heaven Sent.”