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)

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)

Blakes 7: Mediasphere, novel co-written with Jonathan Blum (Big Finish Publications, August 2015)

Books read, 2015
*books 3
Barbara Baynton. Bush Studies. I hugely recommend this classic Australian anthology.
Catherine Chung. Forgotten Country.
Germaine Greer. On Rage. And Marcia Langton's passionate response.
Jonathan L. Howard. Johannes Cabal the Necromancer.
Ann Leckie. Ancillary Justice.
Liu Cixin. The Three-Body Problem.
The Dark Forest.
Lorrie Moore. How to Become a Writer.
Kim Stanley Robinson. 2312.
Philip Sandifer. Recursive Occlusion: an Unofficial Occultism of Doctor Who. Loved it!
Charles Stross. The Atrocity Archives.
Jill Bolte Taylor. My Stroke of Insight.
Alan Watts. Tao: The Watercourse Way.

The Probably Unwise "Man's Inhumanity to Man" Reading List Project:
Anna Funder. Stasiland.
Mark Isaacs. The Undesirables: Inside Nauru.
George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four. I also finally watched the excellent movie version, directed by Michael Radford and starring John Hurt.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Cancer Ward.

Manga etc
Kamio Yoko. Boys Over Flowers, volume 1.
Ven. Miao You (story), Yan Kaixin (art). Wind and Rain: the Life of Ikkyu.

Notable short stories
Charlotte Armstrong, "Miss Murphy"
Barbara Baynton, "Squeaker's Mate"
Kim Tongni. "A Descendant of the Hwarang"

Books bought and borrowedCollapse )

And that's Draft Zero of chapter two
yay 2, orange 1, *hooray!
I dance on your papery grave, you bastard.

ETA: I have just discovered that in chapter one I introduced a minor character as "the Garners' one-legged daughter" only to have the novel's narrator tell her a few lines later: "Now run!"

Warning: Secret Women's Business
How important is menstruation to girls' and women's identities as girls and women? I ask because of Germaine Greer's recent remark regarding transgender women: "If you didn't find your pants full of blood when you were 13 there's something important about being a woman you don't know." I was extremely certain of my gender before I had my first period, and I'm not going to feel like less of a woman after my final one. Even when I developed menorrhagia after my Implanon contraceptive implant was removed, my periods still weren't a central part of my existence - just another medical nuisance to deal with. I don't recall bonding with other women over the shared experience of menstruation, but then, over the years my friends have mostly been male.

Is this a gender non-conforming thing, where something female slash feminine is very important to most women, but not to me? Are there other aspects of female biology which are more central, such as the potential for pregnancy? Presumably a woman who menstruates at some point in her life fits Greer's requirement, so delayed menarche or temporarily absent periods aren't disqualifiers; but there is some percentage of female-bodied persons who go through their lives without ever menstruating: are they women?

On a related note - I need to re-read Connie Willis' Even the Queen to check my recollections, but I remember being puzzled that stopping menstruation was such a huge leap forward for all women, not just those who suffered debilitating periods. Come to think of it, I was also puzzled that it required new and invasive technology and was opposed by men. (Or was it just opposed by the usual political / religious suspects? Where have I put that anthology?)

I'd like to conclude by saying: Benedict Cumberbatch, I am disappointed :( Unless the trailer is extremely misleading, this (I hope) cameo is not exactly a leap forward for the portrayal of transgender women. (Of course, unless the trailer is extremely misleading, this is also one of the least funny films ever made, but to each their own, I guess.) I assume the joke is that Ben has one of the least androgynous faces around (unlike the trans woman he's presumably parodying, Andreja Pejić), with the punchline that, therefore, trans women don't look like "real" women. Quelle knee-slapper.

ETA: If you're interested, the interview in which Caitlyn Jenner made her (clearly tongue-in-cheek IMHO) "the hardest thing about being a woman is figuring out what to wear" comment is available on the Buzzfeed site.

World's most grumpy, unimpressed, impatient reader
*books 3
Much of what I read in the major US SF magazines leaves me cold - so cold, in fact, that I skip most stories after reading about a page. (I'm still catching up with what's happening in contemporary SF, but I have read an awful lot of the stuff over the years.) So here I am on the treadmill with the September 2015 issue of Analog:

- First story. We're in space! On a spaceship! Drama, conflict, excitement? One character mildly dislikes another. Zero style. Boost.

- Second story. We're in space! On a spaceship! Drama etc? One character does not get on well with his ex. Zero style. Boost.

- Norman Spinrad's The Crashing of the Cloud. Opening words: "Allah be praised". Explosion. We're where? The narrator is who?! Holy flaming cow! This reads like Hunter S. Thompson! Good gods, this is how it's done. (Story's main flaw: it's too short, revealing it for the parable of warning that it is.)

(In the unlikely event that the authors of the first two stories come across this posting, they can at least console themselves with the fact that they've been published in Analog and I haven't. :)

Refugee Update
Innocents suffered 'unconscionable abuse' after Christmas Island riots, advocate says (SMH, 13 November 2015): "Detainees who had nothing to do with the riot on Christmas Island were kept in cages, denied food and water and forced to urinate on the ground for more than 24 hours after police regained control of the facility."

'Fazel is free now, God gave him a visa' (SMH 14 November 2015)

Fazel Chegeni: Who was the man whose death in detention sparked a riot on Christmas Island? (ABC, 14 November 2015)

Christmas Island riot: Detainees stripped of their mobile phones (SMH, 12 November 2015)

Christmas Island detention: why is Australia deporting so many people? (GA, 14 November 2015). Helpful backgrounder on Section 501 of the Migration Act, the 600% jump in the number of "501s" being detained, why so many people are stuck in detention, and the actual crimes committed - ranging from serious violent crimes to "multiple driving offences" and... nothing.

People smuggler payment scandal: Captain asked Australian official for 'help' (SMH, 13 November 2015). The people returned to Indonesia thanks to the bribe made to the people smuggler taking them to New Zealand have appealed to that nation for help, with no response.

Cash-for-visas could 'help people smugglers and hurt the economy' (GA, 13 November 2015)

Free the Children NAURU
Quick! Go have a look at the Free the Children NAURU Facebook page while you still can. More about this effort by the refugee kids themselves: Children on Nauru break rules to launch Facebook page: 'We want everyone to hear our voices' (ABC, 13 November 2015)

Christmas Island
Secrecy over Christmas Island death 'blatant nonsense', says former Administrator of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories (GA, 11 November 2015). "Jon Stanhope says Coalition should be open about Fazel Chegeni's death, not use coroner's involvement as reason to not elaborate."

Kiwi inmates on Christmas Island 'beating weaker detainees' (The Australian, 10 November 2015): "... in the last month I've seen more than 25 bashings. They bash people for anything. They say, 'Give me your phone'. You say, 'I'm not going to give you my phone'. And they bash you. They take your phone."

Christmas Island riot: Seven detainees moved to 'correctional facility' in WA as vision emerges of damage (ABC, 11 November 2015).


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