Kate Orman's Writing CV
snow kate
Published Books and Short StoriesCollapse )

Completed Writing Projects, 2015
Keeping Mum (short story, 4800 words)
Blakes 7: Mediasphere (novel, with Jonathan Blum)

Books read, 2015
*books 3
Barbara Baynton. Bush Studies. I hugely recommend this Australian classic.
Anna Funder. Stasiland.
Mark Isaacs. The Undesirables.
Ann Leckie. Ancillary Justice.
George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four. (I also finally watched the excellent movie version, directed by Michael Radford and starring John Hurt.)
Philip Sandifer. Recursive Occlusion: an Unofficial Occultism of Doctor Who. Loved it!
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Cancer Ward.
Alan Watts. Tao: The Watercourse Way.

Kamio Yoko. Boys Over Flowers, volume 1.

Notable short stories
Charlotte Armstrong, "Miss Murphy"
Barbara Baynton, "Squeaker's Mate"

Books bought and borrowedCollapse )

Words in Print, 2015
The Ambassador from Wolf-Rayet 134, short story, 2000 words (published in Seasons of War unofficial Doctor Who charity anthology)
Playing for Time, short story, 12,000 words (published in Liberating Earth, Obverse Books, January 2015)

Finally getting around to watching WALL·E. I have decided to mentally gender the protagonist as female. This requires a surprising number of small self-reminders, since the movie - and I'm only half an hour in, so far - genders the robot as male in lots of little ways. None so big that they can't be overcome by vaguely imagining her as Tamsin Greig.

For those wondering what the hell I mean by "the movie genders the robot as male", I mean it gives us hints and clues that WALL·E is meant to be understood to be a boy, from the obvious (his name) to the subtle (he dances like the men in the video) to somewhere in between (he has a traditionally male job; in traditional romance stories, the boy pursues the girl).

SPOILERS in the comments. Also some gender analysis of recent Doctor Who. Ho hum.

Context bloodhound
One of my weird little hobbies is looking for the original context of soundbites and quotes which are bandied about in the media and online. Today I came across this:

"South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who claimed 'tragedies happen, accidents happen' after an asylum seeker boat sank between Australia and Indonesia"
That was in Adelaide Now last week, but a quick Google shows that the quote - if it is a quote - has been gleefully bandied about as "evidence" of callousness, hypocrisy, etc etc, ever since. An Australian piece from the time dates it to about 18 December 2011. ETA: Seems to have been an interview on ABC radio.

I'll keep searching for the exact original context, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you a doorstop interview with Hanson-Young, dated 19 December 2011, which impressed me. (This media release is essentially a summary.) Within five minutes she's displayed not just compassion and a consistent policy, but has explained in detail the alternatives to the failed policy of deterrence. (Details of turnbacks - evidence of the policy's failure - will continue to be kept from the public. Meanwhile, a boat has been sighted in Australian waters; its Vietnamese passengers, Catholics fleeing religious persecution, are in danger of refoulement.)

Women warriors
The Filipina as Ritualist and Warrior

The Female Soldier Website

World War I: Teenage girl Maud Butler cut hair, dressed as soldier and stowed away on troopship

‘We are so proud' – the women who died defending Kobani against Isis

World's first all-female patrol protecting South Africa's rhinos

Dahomey's Women Warriors

Gulabi Gang

Asgarda: Amazons of Ukraine

(Because, you see, We Have Always Fought.)

Refugee Update
Busy week.

Petition! Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

Outrage over new child abuse, mismanagement claims at Nauru detention centre. In this case, it's an asylum seeker who has been accused of sexually abusing young girls. He was bailed on condition he was kept isolated. One of the girls he had allegedly abused was promptly placed in isolation with him for a night. He continues to live in isolation with his wife and eight-year-old daughter. (SMH, 4 July)

It's disturbing to be reminded that some of the alleged abusers are themselves asylum seekers, rather than guards or service providers. It's tempting to think that intolerable psychological pressure is distorting the detainee's behaviour. It may be more likely that victimisers do what they can get away with - and on Nauru, we've created a lawless "Lord of the Flies" situation. I plan to go through the Moss report and the Senate inquiry submissions to date to get some sort of picture of who is responsible for the sexual violence on Nauru (other than our current and former governments, of course).

ETA: the Moss report includes an allegation of a rape; threats of rape; and the sexual abuse of two children by detainees. All the other allegations - sexual harassment (including of minors), indecent assault, the offer of extra shower time in exchange for being able to watch, the purchase of sexual favours with goods such as cigarettes, the sexual abuse of children, and a rape - involve guards or staff. (There were also physical assaults allegedly committed by both detainees and by guards or staff, but only guards were accused of physical assaults on children.)

Asylum seekers abused on Nauru may never get justice, says former adviser. (GA 9 June)

Asylum Seekers Lose Freedom Of Information Rights to government documents about themselves (New Matilda, 17 June). The Refugee Advice and Casework Service describes the ability of asylum seekers to obtain documents such as their entry interview as "invaluable" to their application. Or to put it another way, "inconvenient" for the guvmint determined to keep them out.

In light of the latest government attacks on Gillian Triggs, head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, a campaign is underway to have her named Australian of the Year.

The new Strange Flesh
*writing 2
My original SF novel Strange Flesh is now under revision. I hope to finish a complete redraft by the end of the year, and be able to show it to potential agents early next year. Chapter One is now complete. The break from the book has given me just the perspective I need to improve it, and the writing I've done since polishing off that first draft has also taught me a thing or two. On to the next chapter!

Refugee Update
First some good news: Risk of other countries copying boat turn-backs low: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (SMH, 2 July).

Australian detention centre secrecy laws condemned by World Medical Association (GA 3 July)

Can Bill Shorten win government without a boat-free policy? It's unlikely (GA 2 July): This opinion piece annoyed me by failing to mention neither the fact that the incumbent government has not stopped the boats, nor that there are outright alternatives to "detention and deterrence" which Labor could adopt as its policy. The frightening success of the abuse of refugees for both major parties puts the ALP in a tricky position, it's true. Takes a bit of lateral thinking to get out of one of those.


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