20 August 2012

The Locus Photo and Ephemera Archive Project

I received a great little parcel in the post today from the Locus Science Fiction Foundation for giving to their Photo and Ephemera Archive Project on Kickstarter, which managed to raise over $24,000 when its initial goal was $9,500. In the parcel was a t-shirt (with fantastic design by Shaun Tan), a chapbook (The Creator by Clifford D. Simak), five photo postcards and a bookmark.

I really look forward to seeing the results of LSFF's digitisation projects when they start becoming available online. I'm particularly excited about the prospect of being able to listen to digitisations of the vast collection of author interviews LSFF has on microcassette (a very degradable medium - trust me, I worked in my library's Music and Multimedia section for several years). The massive collection of sf ephemera passed into the hands of LSFF after Charles N. Brown, the co-founder and editor of Locus, passed away in 2009. I think it's awesome that LSFF is undertaking such a massive digitisation project and making these materials available to the wider sf community. I really hope they can achieve their ambitious goals with the money raised through Kickstarter. Donations to the Locus Photo and Ephemera Archive Project can be made on the Locus Science Fiction Foundation website.

19 July 2012

The Gender Games Symposium

The Sìdhe Literary Collective, a reading group my wife and I participate in, has been involved in organising an upcoming symposium called The Gender Games: Stories in/for the Contemporary World. The inter-disciplinary symposium will look at different ways we construct gender in society through narratives and in different forms of media. It has been organised by Deakin University, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, and will be held on 26-27 November 2012 at Deakin's city campus in Melbourne. Best of all, it will be a free event (although registration is required). Unfortunately my wife and I will be unable to attend, as we will be overseas at the time (more on that later, but expect blog posts from Toronto, New York and Paris). The call for papers can be found on the conference website.

22 February 2012

Sìdhe Literary Collective blog

Since 2007 my wife and I have been members of the Sìdhe Literary Collective, a reading group with common interests in feminism and popular culture that was formed at Monash University. Recently we've been working on a blog, which has now gone live!

The Sìdhe Literary Collective blog (22/2/2012)

On the blog you'll be able to find information on the group and its history, details on the conferences we've organised, and an 'In the Media' section pulling together articles and interviews related to the group and its conferences. The first blog post is just an introduction to the website, but there will be another up shortly offering a recap of our recent conference, Tights and Tiaras: Female Superheroes and Media Cultures, which ran in August 2011. Check out the blog at sidheliterarycollective.blogspot.com.au

06 February 2012

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

On Saturday 4 February, my wife and I attended the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, performed by the amazing Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Concordis Chamber Choir. The concert was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre's Plenary Hall, a massive venue that was packed with Doctor Who fans, many of whom (ourselves excluded) had dressed up as their favourite Doctor or donned their nerdiest Doctor Who tees - there were even TARDIS and Dalek themed dresses and many, many fezes and bow ties (they're cool, you see).

As expected, the music was incredible. Most of the pieces performed were chosen from the two most recent series of Doctor Who (featuring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor) and were accompanied by clips from their corresponding episodes (sometimes with the original dialogue and effects sounds). The score's composer, Murray Gold, was in attendance and even played the piano towards the end. The orchestra was conducted by Ben Foster, who has been responsible for the orchestrations of Gold's pieces and conducted the orchestra that plays them for TV score.

There were also a couple of fantastic surprises that I wasn't expecting (although I probably would have if I'd done some research before going). The first was that the concert was hosted by the incredible Mark Sheppard, an actor that has appeared in all my favourite nerdy TV shows (Doctor Who, The X-Files, Firefly, Chuck, Battlestar Galactica). The second was that throughout the performance professional cosplayers roamed the venue dressed as Doctor Who monsters, including the Silent, the Ood and the Cybermen. The moment after the interval when the Daleks entered to take over the concert, enslave the orchestra and threaten the extermination of the audience was particularly awesome.

Andrew Macleod, David Thomas, host Mark Sheppard, Natasha Thomas, composer Murray Gold and Ben Hanlon get chummy with the Daleks. Picture: Stuart Milligan Herald Sun. Check out the Herald Sun article.