Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Welcome to our new blog category: we all have so many projects on the go that may or may not intersect with our Verity lives (cough, hockey podcasts, cough, award-winning magazines). This is a way to keep our listeners up to date with what ELSE is going on in our worlds.

As I (Tansy) mentioned on our last episode, I’ve spent this month feeding and caring for a Kickstarter project: Mother of Invention.

Mother of invention (1)

Edited by Tansy Rayner Roberts & Rivqa Rafael, and published by Twelfth Planet Press, Mother of Invention will be a speculative fiction anthology of diverse, challenging stories about gender and artificial intelligence. We’re raising $20,000 to pay our authors and other upfront costs of this book, which will be published by Twelfth Planet Press alongside such previous fantastic publications as Kaleidoscope and Defying Doomsday. Our authors include such names as Kameron Hurley, Seanan McGuire, John Chu, Nisi Shawl, Cat Sparks, E.C. Myers and Ambelin Kwaymullina.

Our premise is that most stories about building/creating artificial intelligence tend to portray the creators as men, and while the robots & living computers (objects) as female. (Too many Professor Kettlewells, not enough Madame Lamias) We wanted to turn the tables a little, and see what interesting science fiction stories we could gather about women in the role of genius, creator & robotics engineer. madame lamia

The REALLY exciting part is that with 8 days to go, we are at 91% already — so close to our funding target! We just announced stretch goals today, which includes an essays project, Twelfth Planet Press pins… and me personally podcasting the entire novel of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley with gender-switched pronouns.

If smart science fiction short stories are your sort of thing — our book may be exactly what you’re looking for! If you’ve never heard of the award-winning Australian micro-press Twelfth Planet Press before, there’s a fantastic deal at our $18 (Australian dollars) pledge level to get their two most recent anthologies as well as this new one. There are also reward levels involving tea and jam, because robots are delicious.

MOTHER OF INVENTION: Our anthology is going to be fierce, feminist and full of robots!

What a fascinating discussion this week’s Doctor Who episode lends itself to. Join Deb, Erika, and Tansy as we discuss women who are allowed to fail and still be heroes, the sexual politics of Romans, the Doctor’s (possible?) impatience, Bill’s outlook on history and its denizens, Nardole as a “space tourist”, and much more.

Erika, of all people, even has a cracktastic fan theory about the next season of the show. Incredibly unlikely, but kinda fun, depending on your outlook.

What did you think about this story? Was it slight? Were the stakes high? Was the monster the point? Was the doctor impatient or irritable or something else? What’s up with Missy? SO MANY QUESTIONS. Please feel free to play in the comment section like it’s one big happy fandom sandbox.

^E

Also covered:

Download or listen now (runtime 1:09:37) 

Low expectations may have helped, but all three Verities enjoyed this ep to varying degrees. Join Deb, Erika, and Katrina as we talk about what we liked and, of course, the few things we didn’t. There was some definite “iffy” territory to cover as well.

What did you think of “Empress of Mars”? Was it rollicking, fanservicey fun? Did it make you uncomfortable from a representational perspective? Possibly both? Does the title need a definitive article? Let us know in the comments!

^E

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Bonus links:
Gene Demby mentions Doctor Who
Does the dog die?

Download or listen now (runtime 1:09:40) 

There’s been a lot of agreement on the podcast as of late, but that ends today! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Liz as we disagree over whether this story worked and how many episodes it really should have been. At least there’s consensus on Peter Capaldi’s hair and Pearl Mackie.

What did you think of “The Lie of the Land”? Let us know in the comments!

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Download or listen now (runtime 1:11:43) 

It’s another Verity! three-hander, but we soldier on to dig into this “meaty” episode. Join Deb, Erika, and Tansy as we talk about consent–as it relates to our feelings about the word as well as world politics. We speculate about a possible impending reset button (or not?). And there’s an awful lot of squee. Not all of it is related to the episode itself. Spreadsheets, man. Spreadsheets.

Did you enjoy this episode? Did you also feel our discomfort at the use of “consent”? Do you think there’s a reset in our future? Let us know in the comments!

^E

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Download or listen now (runtime 1:16:45) 

After a mind-bendy episode of Doctor Who, we need to talk it through to really come to terms with us. Join Deb, Erika, and Tansy as we do just that. What was real? What did it mean? What did it portend for the future? What’s the deal with Nardole? And who’s really in the vault? We answer…maybe one of these questions. Maybe.

What did you think of “Extremis”? And all those other things? Let us know in the comments!

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Download or listen now (runtime 1:16:32) 

A proper space episode! Join Erika, Liz, and Lynne as we discuss non-zombies, evil capitalism, disability, and racism. Doctor Who was pulling no punches this week! What did you think of this ep? Let us know in the comments!

^E

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Bonus link:
The Incomparable covers Luna: New Moon

Download or listen now (runtime 1:05:50)