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Renay: Hello friends! I’m Renay.
Ana: And I’m Ana.
Renay: And you’re listening to Fangirl Happy Hour: Question Tuesday Edition.
[Music: B-3 by BoxCat Games]
Renay: Today we have two questions. Y’all really took that, “We can only answer one question per ep because we don’t have many questions” as a challenge, so bear with us as we adjust to our new reality. I am pro more questions per episode, but Ana is a little dubious, only because I’m going to end up locking myself into my office to edit hugely long question episodes and then get eaten by wild wolves.
Ana: [laughter] We are ready.
Renay: We can—we can do this. We’re going to rec authors of a specific nationality, and talk about fictional character comfort, which sounds a bit odd but will all make total sense in a few minutes. Time for some questions.
[Music: B-3 by BoxCat Games]
Renay: From Elanor: have you read many Australian authors, and if so who are your favourites? I have a terrible admission.
Renay: I don’t note nationality as part of my reading. I know that I should, because otherwise I’m reading a lot of prose by Americans and probably very little from anywhere else, but I had to go digging to figure out what authors I’ve read who are Australian.
Ana: And did you—what were your findings?
Renay: I did find—I found three!
Ana: Three! I’m really curious to see if any of our picks overlap.
Renay: My first is Margo Lanagan. I tend to like everything I read by her, but my favorite book by her is Tender Morsels. It was one of my favorite books of the year, the year I read it. It is a super dark fairy tale, which is a surprise because I generally don’t tend to like super dark fairy tales? I liked Tender Morsels a whole lot. Who is your first one?
Ana: I have multiple. I have lots and lots and lots of it, some of my favorites, even. There was a whole thing with contemporary YA from Australia a couple of years ago that really exploded within contemp YA readers and blogs, and I read quite a few and I loved a lot of them. And there is also a lot of speculative fiction authors from Australia I love quite a few of them, so I have one two three four five six, seven…eight.
Renay: Wow. Okay, well I’m just gonna finish mine then and then we can go into your deep, deep, deep list.
Ana: Yes. Let’s do that. [laughter]
Renay: I feel so ashamed now, and Elanor’s like, “Wow Renay, you’re pathetic, only three? Wow.”
Ana: No bad talking about yourself.
Renay: Okay. My second is Amy Kaufman. She writes awesome YA science fiction and I want her to come out with about a zillion more books as soon as possible cause I love all her work. My favorites by her right are the series she co-authors, The Illuminae Files and Starbound. And my third is Justine Larbalestier and she’s another author I came across because of her non-fiction writing, mostly on her blog. Her fiction is really good, though. I liked Liar alright, even though the end really confused me. But the novel that put her on my radar as a writer to watch was How To Ditch Your Fairy, which was one of the weirdest, but most charming fantasy novels I’ve ever read, and now I kinda wanna re-read it right now.
Ana: I really like Justine Larbalestier too, she was on my list as well so I guess that’s one that we had in common. I like Amy Kaufman, I forgot that she was Australian, so I didn’t include her on my list.
Ana: But I really like her.
Renay: I knew she’s Australian because Elizabeth did a guest post for Lady Business and she was on the list and I was like, “Oh! Cool!” So that’s how I learned, Elizabeth taught me.
Ana: So, on my list we have Tansy Rayner Roberts, obviously.
Renay: I read —I’ve read half of her Musketeer Space and it’s great, I’ve just gotta finish it.
Ana: Yeah, I loved, Love in Romanpunk. That was a collection of short stories about a family of creature hunters from an ancient Roman family. It’s really fun. I love it. And of course there’s a little bit of bias here because I am her publisher and there is a novella coming from her this year from us called Girl Reporter. and this is another moment—this is another ad moment for Book Smugglers Publishing, I’m so sorry. Beyond Tansy and Justine, I really like Marianne de Pierres. I’ve read a couple of books by her, one of them was called Glitter Rose which was weird and was a collection of short stories all about women. I read and loved Melina Marchetta On The Jellicoe Road, it’s a beautiful contemporary YA novel. Fiona Wood: also contemporary YA. Lianne Howell wrote This is Shyness, a really weird, different, urban fantasy with werewolves, but in a dystopian society—it’s really different. It was the most different books I have ever read in my life. I still need to read the sequel.
Another one is called Shirley Marr, she wrote a book called Fury that is about a girl who has been arrested and she’s giving a deposition and it’s about her feelings. It’s just fantastic. But my favorite one would Jacqueline Moriarty. She writes fantastic epistolary novels in the Ashbury and Brookfield series. And she also has this speculative fiction series starting with A Corner of White, The Colors of Madeleine, and it’s fabulous. So those are my favorite Australian writers. I am surprised that I had so many!
Renay: I’m embarrassed.
Ana: I think we should really read Marianne de Pierres. If I’m not mistaken she has space opera.
Renay: I guess we can look her up!
Renay: I’m excited that I got so many recs from you. You’re like a rec machine.
Ana: [laughter] I’m a rec machine!
[Music: Torn by Chuki Beats]
Renay: Next up is a question from inkjunket. They asked what fictional character would like to give a bit hug to/make tea for if you could and what character would you want a hug/tea/etcetera from on a shitty day?
Ana: This is by far the hardest question I’ve gotten so far.
Renay: Wait, even harder than that one I asked you that one time?
Renay: Congratulations inkjunket, you beat me.
Ana: I don’t know how to answer that question. I don’t have an answer for that question. I don’t interact with fiction like that. I did write something down here that I’m gonna read out.
Renay: Okay, read it. I’m gonna give you a pass or fail grade.
Ana: I can only answer this question if “hugs and teas” are codes for something else. If yes, then let’s say I’d like to have tea with Sawyer from Lost.
Renay: Pass! You’ve passed. Congratulations.
Ana: [laughter] I’m so sorry. [laughter]
Renay: I actually answered this question, sort of.
Ana: Good. [laughter] One of us is good at it.
Renay: I had to think about it for a while, but my answer for the first part is probably Tony Stark because Tony Stark has since the nineties been having a lot of shitty days, all in a row, and deserves some R&R and friendship. Of all the characters I have ever loved, I have never seen them get so much crap in canon AND outside of canon? And I realize this isn’t really part of the question: the level of vitriol towards Tony in fandom sometimes seems worse than some of the vitriol aimed at Rinoa Heartilly back in the heyday of Final Fantasy VIII fandom. The very small percentage of people familiar with Final Fantasy VIII know what I mean. I know it’s probably not worse, Tumblr tends to act as a megaphone and misogyny is always more vicious than the hatred of rich white men, but I am still going to choose him. And honestly I could probably benefit from the tea and hug just as much as Tony would. But for the character I’d want to cheer me up, that would Fezzik from a Princess Bride. He’s so positive and optimistic and getting a hug would be awesome.
Ana: Awww! That’s so nice!
Renay: I mean, we’d probably have to find him a bucket for his tea, but then we could sit around and make up terrible rhymes and tell jokes. It’ll be great.
Ana: Awwww. That’s totally conceivable.
Renay: See, you just have to have a little bit of imagination. Then again I’m a fanfic writer so I’ve probably had these thoughts a whole lot.
Ana: I think that’s the difference there.
Renay: But I liked your answer. Quote-unquote “tea.”
[Music: Feeling by Chuki Beats]
Renay: If you could buy one material thing and money was not an issue, what would it be?
Ana: That’s easy: a bigger house with more rooms so I can hang more posters and have more bookshelves.
Renay: Would this house also have, like, better soundproofing?
Ana: It can be arranged. Money—money’s not an issue so yeah, definitely. I can have a studio just for recording this podcast.
Renay: People do not even get how pained I get because Ana and her house are so loud.
Renay: They’re both loud, Ana and—Ana moved into a loud house. Like if her partner’s downstairs on the other side of the house whistling, I’m like “What is that noise? Is that a tea kettle?” It’s bad.
Ana: British houses, man. Made of cardboard.
Renay: Now I’m curious: would you still live in the same neighborhood?
Ana: Yeah, I like my neighborhood, although they don’t have bigger—much bigger houses here, so I guess I would have to move out to the outskirts of Cambridge where they’re building new houses. Beautiful, beautiful new houses. But I still love my house, so I don’t know. Do you know that conversation that we had about me not planning things for the future and not worrying about things that much?
Ana: I also don’t think about what could I have. I think about what books I can have, what more books I could buy, and I—what are the places I could go and visit.
Renay: This is why I really wish you played video games because then I could give you The Sims and you could build the house you wanted in The Sims.
Ana: But it’s not real!
Renay: Yes, so then I could see what is in your head!
Renay: One day when you come visit me, I’m gonna sit you down in front of The Sims and teach you how to use it, be like, “Okay, build a house.”
Ana: Okay, that’s interesting, that would be an interesting exercise. Let’s do that.
Renay: And then I’ll know what your dream house looks like. All you have to do is finally come visit. Much easier.
Ana: My dream house would have kitchen twice the size of my kitchen with an island. I would love an island.
Renay: You would’ve really liked some of the newer houses here in the US, in that whole thing of kitchen open to living area divided by island.
Ana: No, I would not like that though. I would hate a kitchen open to the living area because of the smell. I just get—I can’t. I can’t have my living area smell of kitchen.
Renay: It doesn’t really smell like kitchen?
Ana: But I cook so many like Indian food.
Renay: Then maybe it would smell like kitchen because I don’t think that’s like a big thing here in America.
Ana: The smells are so strong that I just don’t want—
Renay: I mean there’s a lot of white people buying these houses.
Ana: Yeah, I cook a lot of spicy food with lots of different seasonings.
Renay: So you want a massive kitchen with an island, but not open to living area.
Renay: So you want, like, the house that I had when I was growing up.
Renay: Probably not designed like mine was. My house that I grew up in was like straight outta the seventies.
Ana: Oh yeah no, probably not.
Renay: It had yellow linoleum, orange carpet.
Renay: Yellow walls.
Ana: No, please shut up, no la la la, I’m not listening I’m not listening, no!
Renay: House horror stories.
[Music: Memories by Chuki Beats]
Ana: If you could go visit any place in any time, where would you go time travelling?
Renay: Time travelling questions are hard because the past might be hell for women depending on where they went, I—like, even though I’m white I have no clue what might happen if I went somewhere where I was twigging people wrong. I could end up like, burned as a witch or demon or something. So a clarification question: am I just an observer and no one can see me, or am I—am I able to influence and interact with the past?
Ana: I’m gonna change that a little bit.
Ana: So you know that Westworld the TV show for example creates an adventure park that is set in the Wild West and you can just go there as a visitor and you will be protected from any harm. So say there is version of that, where would you go?
Ana: It’s hard, right?
Renay: It’s very hard. In the most boring answer ever, I would wanna go back in time to San Francisco in the 1960s when my mom was working as a nurse there. And I would just follow her around like a creep.
Ana: That an interesting answer.
Renay: My mom was older when she had me. she had me when she was forty, and she lived a lot before she had me. A she lived in Tennessee, Virginia, California, and she had a house in San Francisco and she foolishly sold it way before San Francisco started booming. cause now it’s like one the tech capitals of the world. I think so now she’d held onto the house, she’d be super rich right now cause she could have sold it tons of money. But she has all these stories about how she was in a bowling league and she hung out with friends and went out to eat and she had this like super-glamorous life out in San Francisco. She still talks about it like it’s this kinda magical place. My concept of San Francisco comes from what I learned from KJ and Full House.
Renay: And that’s it, and it’s probably wrong and now everybody who lives in San Francisco is like “ReNAY, you FUCKER, no!”
Renay: I mean, I wanna visit and one day I will, but I would just really what it was like for Mom, cause she was there when she was young and she was just getting started in her profession. I’m just really curious about what it was like back then, cause the way she talks about it is fascinating so I’d love to see it.
Ana: I would go into the future.
Renay: Of course you would go into the future. what part of the future?
Ana: Any part of the future, a hundred years from now.
Renay: What if you couldn’t speak the language any more?
Ana: Well if it’s a park I’m sure they will sort that problem out by giving me a immediate translator.
Renay: Or a babelfish.
Renay: Problem solved. Wow. I didn’t even think about the future, where would I go in the future if I went to the future?
Ana: A thousand years. Can you imagine this Earth a thousand years from now? I would really love to see that. More than any time in the past.
Renay: I would not wanna see the Earth a thousand years from now as humans continue to set it on fire slowly and cook us from the inside out.
Ana: Oh my god, yeah, it’s probably likely that we will just end dead.
Renay: I’m very, very dubious about the longevity of the human race, let’s just be real.
Ana: Yeah, doomsday clock at five to twelve.
Renay: And now we brought it back to politics for a full circle. Super.
Ana: We’re great like that.
[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]
Renay: Another Question Tuesday is in the bag! Thanks to Elanor and inkjunkett for sending in questions. Follow us on twitter at @fangirlpodcast for more of us during the week. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your detailed thought about whatever you want including where you would go if you could time travel. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes or wherever quality podcasts are acquired. If you’re a Facebook user: number one, I’m so sorry about that last political fight, pal, and number two: feel free to slide over and give our Facebook page a like. That’s way more positive than fighting with your racist relatives sharing death panel propaganda.
Ana: What the hell is death panel propaganda?
Renay: I will explain it in a minute.
Ana: This week our music is by Boxcat Games and Chuki Beats. Ira made our show art with their super art skills. Links to their work will be in our show notes as usual, as well links to some of the media we discussed. Susan creates episode transcripts for us and you can find all the available transcripts so far on fangirlhappyhour.com. If you want to ask is a question you can ping us on social media or use our form on fangirlhappyhour.com.
Renay: Thanks for listening to our show, friends!
Ana: See you next episode!
[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]
Ana: [weird noises]
Renay: Are you having trouble over there? Are you okay?
Ana: Oh my god, I am so—I am having so much trouble.