New Verity! Episode 37: These Villains are History!

March 12th, 2014

This week we dip into the past to talk about some baddies from the old days. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we set out to discuss the historical villains of Doctor Who. Along the way we discover it’s much more complicated than it seems. Historical (and pseudo-historical) stories are really different beasts from other types of Who. It’s a fascinating discussion! We hope you find it so too.


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Cranky Ladies Of History crowdfunding campaign on Pozible
Cranky Ladies Of History Blog Tour
Cranky Ladies Of History on Pinterest
The Settling

Download or listen now (runtime 1:12:18)


A Brief Caitlin Update

March 10th, 2014

…because the good news is, there isn’t much to update.

Trust me, when it comes to medical stuff and kids, it is BORING that you want, and we have been deeply grateful to be in the land of boring for the past couple of weeks.

Caitlin has been healing up nicely. She had a follow up appointment with her surgeon at the end of February, where he noted that he was really pleased with how good everything looked.

She’s off of her pain medications. She has begun to roll to her side when lying down under her own power. We’re still working on getting her to keep stretching and using her legs.  She is slowly building up her stamina for sitting up, both in her chair and, say, on the couch. We were able to solve the barfing problem with a new medication that limits her secretions, which means that her breathing has been getting better. 

She has made it through the ENTIRE SERIES of Full House, which she enjoyed very much. (Her dad, not so much.) She’s also watching a ton of other stuff, including Cosmos last night. 

This is the period where we just slowly wait for bone to grow. We’re working on getting her wheelchair adjusted for her new back, which is one of the last steps before she can go back to school, possibly some time in April maybe? We’re playing it by ear, but we are very happy with her current progress. Michael has been doing an amazing job caregiving for her, and I’ve been back at work and getting back into the swing of things, spelling him as I can on nights and weekends. We make a great team.

So far, so good.

We are deeply grateful for everyone who has visited, brought us food, sent Cait notes and gifts and silly pictures and all manner of things. Your support has meant the world to us.

The snow is beginning to melt. Now we look forward to spring.


SF Squeecast Episode 33: An Alien Invasion in Tight Pants is Live!

March 6th, 2014

Episode 33: An Alien Invasion in Tight Pants

The February episode of the SF Squeecast, episode 33 is called “An Alien Invasion in Tight Pants.” This episode features the SF Squeecast regulars Paul Cornell, Seanan McGuire, Lynne M. Thomas, and SPECIAL GUEST Adam Christopher!

This is the second of our NEW FORMAT episodes. In this episode, we generally squeed about comic books and graphic novels! We mentioned so many comics that we are skipping the links this month. If you’re having trouble looking up something on your search engine of choice, please let us know. Works that are currently eligible for Hugo Award consideration this year that we wanted to draw your attention to are in bold.

Paul Cornell:

  • Captain Marvel
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Fantastic Four
  • The Superior Spider-Man
  • Beautiful Darkness

Seanan McGuire:

  • The Boys (Marvel)
  • Invincible
  • Kim Harrison’s Hollows series
  • The Avengers
  • Dark Horse Warren Comics Archival Editions: Creepy Magazine andEerie Magazine
  • Alpha Flight
  • Wolverine and the X-Men
  • X-23
  • Wolverine
  • Atomic Robo
  • Atomic Robo and the Flying She Devils of the Pacific
  • Saga
  • The Unwritten
  • Planetary
  • Hypernaturals
  • My Little Pony official comic


  • A Girl and Her Fed
  • Skin Horse
  • Narbonic
  • Namesake


  • Hawkeye
  • Captain Marvel
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Captain America
  • Batgirl
  • Birds of Prey (Gail Simone)
  • Wonder Woman (Gail Simone)


  • Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern (Blackest Night)
  • Coffin Hill
  • High Crimes
  • Lazarus
  • Black Widow

A Note From Lynne:

I need to apologize, because this podcast deviates from our typical format just a touch more than usual. We recorded 2 days after we got home from the hospital after my daughter’s major surgery. I didn’t do as much prep as I should have. Unfortunately, I ran it as I would a typical panel about the topic at an SF/F convention. I asked craft-related questions that forced Paul, Seanan, and Adam to be more self-promotional than is our wont, and I want to apologize to Paul, Seanan, and Adam for putting them in an awkward position. I will try to do better next time.

Click here to listen, press play below, or right-click to download the episode (mp3)

Additional credits: Special thanks to our webmaster, Dmitri Zagidulin, our technical producer David McHone-Chase, Jeff Bohnhoff at Mystic Fig Studios for the instrumentals of music by Seanan McGuire, Katy Shuttleworth, who made our ROCKING logo, and Michael Damian Thomas for general administrative support.

 Episode 33: An Alien Invasion in Tight Pants [ 1:07:14 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

New! Verity! Extra! Chicago TARDIS Leftovers

March 5th, 2014


Remember how much fun we had at the Chicago TARDIS live show when we let the audience pick the topics we’d talk about? It didn’t seem fair that we couldn’t all participate, so we saved the last few topics for the rest of the gang! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we clean up the last few ideas submitted by our lovely Chicago TARDIS live audience. We don’t manage to stay on topic terribly well this time either–surprise surprise!


Bonus link:
Tansy’s blog post on Martha Jones

Download or listen now (runtime 39:59)

One SF/F Research Wiki To Rule Them All…

March 4th, 2014

I’m a member of the Science Fiction Collections Consortium. That’s one of those old-fashioned email listservs you may have heard about, where we communicate with one another about who has what, who’s getting what, and who may wish to be in touch with whom. :-) We offer each other duplicates, occasionally commiserate about lack of space, and work together as best we can to coordinate our collecting and curating of science fiction and fantasy literature for the ages.

Now we have something new! We have pooled our time and collection lists for one-stop shopping for author papers. If you want to know who holds what, BEHOLD: THE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS WIKI.

Elspeth Healey did much of the work to physically set it up, and it is being slowly populated by a whole passel of curators! Hal Hall has graciously shared his AboutSF spreadsheet of collections with us, and the wiki will integrate that info, and help us to keep it up to date!

We like to share! Go check it out, and find out what you need to know. :-) (You’re welcome).

New Verity! Episode 36: Run-of-the-mill to Run for your life!

February 26th, 2014


Steven Moffat is often praised for his ability to take perfectly normal everyday things and make them terrifying, but Doctor Who has a long history of such antics. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we chat about lots of mundane items we now give the side-eye, thanks to our beloved show. From angels to dolls to plastic policemen to telephones, the world is a scary place. Thanks Doctor Who!

And in a strange bit of synchronicity, Deb tries to remember the title of a book she read as a youngster. After recording, she looked it up and discovered it was Mutant 59: The Plastic Eaters, by Kit Pedlar and Gerry Davis– the creators of her beloved Cybermen!

Last, but certainly not least, we do our first Verity! giveaway, courtesy of Paul Cornell! Leave us a comment to enter to win a signed copy of The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who! (We’ll contact you via the email address used to leave the comment, so make sure it’s a legit addy.)


Also covered:

Download or listen now (runtime 1:09:16)


Locus Recommended Reading List!

February 21st, 2014

So, another thing I didn’t get a chance to note because we were in the hospital is that there are FIVE stories on the Locus Recommended Reading List that appeared in either Apex Magazine or Glitter & Mayhem. This list forms the basis for the annual Locus Poll and Survey. So, if you enjoyed them, go vote for them!


A Hollow Play”, Amal El-Mohtar (Glitter & Mayhem)

Short Stories:

Karina Who Kissed Spacetime”, Indrapramit Das (Apex 6/13)

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, Rachel Swirsky (Apex 3/13)

Ilse, Who Saw Clearly”, E. Lily Yu (Apex 5/13)

Such & Such Said to So & So”, Maria Dahvana Headley (Glitter & Mayhem)

I’m so very, very proud that we’ve had such a strong showing this year!

Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014!

February 19th, 2014


Hey, look! Rich Horton’s Best SF/F of the year Table of Contents is out!

And they include stories from Apex Magazine and Glitter & Mayhem!!!

Call Girl” by Tang Fei (Apex)

Ilse, Who Saw Clearly” by E. Lily Yu (Apex)

Such & Such Said to So & So” by Maria Dahvana Headley (Glitter & Mayhem)

*is totally chuffed*

5 Things Make a Monday Post

February 17th, 2014

1. Caitlin is relatively stable with slightly intermittent barfing. Her electrolytes are normal! She is nearly off of her pain medications (yay!); we suspect this may be adding to the abovementioned barfing (boo). We are now at the part of recovery where she’s basically mostly stable, and we need to be really patient and remember that we’re not officially in crisis mode anymore.

2. There was a new episode of Verity! last Wednesday. You should go listen to it. :-)

3. So, Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor got a starred review from Kirkus. This is the next novel from Sarah Monette (new name, same awesome writer). If you haven’t read Sarah’s stuff, you SHOULD, and this novel is a standalone, so it’s a perfect place to begin. It’s very high up on my Need To Read list. (And yes, the manuscripts live here at NIU in the archives).

4. New archival acquisitions! Terri Windling has graciously gifted us the first portion of her literary papers along with a ton of books from her library at Endicott West. Also, we are pleased to add Diana Pharoah Francis to our roster of authors who have donated materials. :-) There will be more pictures and such once we’ve had a chance to unpack the boxes. :-)

5. It is snowing here. A lot. I’m officially tired of winter, and we were talking lovingly of August on the ride in to work. work. Which I’m sure I’ll be groaning about once we GET to August.


Caitlin’s Scoliosis Surgery, part 5

February 13th, 2014

So, uh, sorry that it took me 10 extra days to wrap all of this up. It’s been a bit busy.

We spent several days in our new hospital room in the pediatric ward, where the attempts to fix Caitlin’s electrolytes continued, along with the breathing treatments to make sure her lungs were okay. This was about as exciting as you may think it is. Lots of sitting around between supplements and IV delivery, and blood tests to see if they worked. Apparently, part of the problem was that the recipe for her formula was in the computer incorrectly: it was missing her vitamins and salt substitute (her potassium source). We figured this out on the 6th, the same day we were released and sent home with additional supplements, orders for continued bloodwork (which we don’t have to do at Lurie, but in Aurora near her pediatrician), and a new set of pain medication for Cait.

We were finally discharged at 5pm on the 6th, into the heart of rush hour. We finally made it home at 7:45 pm. Ugh.

We got ourselves as sorted as we could, and crashed. Marie cat missed us. She has been in my lap at every possible opportunity since we got home.

Cait’s pain medication schedule meant that I was still up periodically to administer pain meds, but she has basically been resting comfortably. We took her to get her blood checked again for electrolytes on Saturday, and then again on Monday. This time we found out on Saturday that some of them were too HIGH rather than too LOW.   Supplements stopped. On Monday they had dropped back down enough to feel okay, but we were set up to re-check today.  

Mary Robinette Kowal came to our house and stayed with us on Sunday through to Monday, which was a huge, huge help. (She’s an excellent cook, and left us with plenty of leftovers). I cannot thank her enough for that, as well as coming BACK out to our house last night to sit for Cait so that Michael and I could go out for dinner to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Our original plan was to go into Naperville for dinner at Meson Sabika, but Cait barfed just before I got home from work. She seemed okay after a while, so we went to Nat’s on Maple (a local place 5 minutes away) instead. Mary gets double-awesome friend points for taking care of Cait during a barfy period, especially since Cait threw up again while we were out, and Mary handled it like a pro.

Cait didn’t have a fever, and kept her meds down, and made it through the whole night without barfing. She was barfy again later this morning, so we’re in wait-and-see mode, as we don’t know what’s causing her to barf (the usual suspects like upset tummy don’t match the timing…).

So, the surgical recovery for Cait has been mostly okay. Here’s a picture of her sitting up in a chair watching TV for over an hour. She hasn’t been able to do that for a couple of years.

We are all very, very low energy and tired. We deeply, deeply appreciate all of the cards and gifts that have shown up for Caitlin, as well as the meals, the respite, and the well wishes we’ve received. Your support has made us able to be functional. I also want to note (I will post pictures later) that Caitlin received a gift of a new iPad Air from Brownie Troop #4956 Grace McWayne Elementary 3rd graders! Sammi, Stella, Avery, Madelyn, Meara, Clare, Sara, Kyleigh, Gemma, Meredith, and Hanna did a fundraiser at a local pizza restaurant and made and sold crafts to raise money for the iPad to help cheer Cait up after her surgery. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity.

I feel like a bit of a broken record saying thank you, but I need to keep saying it, because I don’t know what else to do. We (and I) have been overwhelmed at the response from everyone in helping to care for us during such a difficult time. From the moment we’ve entered the hospital, all the way through March in some cases, people have come out of the woodwork to help out through this whole experience, visiting, giving us breaks, bringing us food. Your support means so very, very much to us through this difficult time. You are living proof that the world is full of good, kind people who care about each other’s welfare. Thank you for proving that to us, time and time again.

I’m back at work as of yesterday, doing my best to get back into the swing of things. I’m hoping to be closer to full brain mode in the next couple of weeks as Cait’s recovery progresses.

If you are a prayer or kind thoughts person, please also keep Caitlin’s Aicardi sister Annie Tolman and her whole family in your thoughts and prayers. She developed a massive infection in her back and is undergoing surgery twice this week and a big course of antibiotics. Also spare a thought for another of Cait’s Aicardi sisters, Azaria Baker, as she is going through a different scoliosis surgery in Philadelphia tomorrow. Annie and Azaria and Caitlin are of an age, as are all of us parents. We’re thinking of them, and wishing them recovery and care and community as we have experienced here.