Brown paper packages tied up with string . . .

Here are some things of eclectic wonder and joy that I’ve been meaning to recommend:

Galactic Suburbia

A podcast of crunchy awesomeness, hosted by Alisa Krasnostein (Perth), Tansy Rayner Roberts (Hobart) and Alex Pierce (Melbourne). Lots of news, chat and incisive critical analysis of all things speculative fiction, with a feminist bent. Galactic Suburbia celebrated their 1st Birthday last week — there was cake! — and have announced the impending birth of a new sister podcast, Galactic Chat, which will focus on interviews with (mostly Australian) writers. Nom nom nom.

Celtic Road - Sunas

Súnas

This four-piece Celtic folk band are based in Brisbane and have just released a gorgeous new album, Celtic Road, through ABC Music. Stunningly beautiful music which has enjoyed regular rotation in our home — it’s playing as I type this post, in fact. I was fortunate enough to have Súnas play at my wedding last year and their stripped back, somewhat fragile cover of “Lovesong” never fails to catch at my heart. I truly love this album and hope it does amazingly well for them.

Treme

A new drama series from HBO which premiered last year, Treme is set in immediate post-Katrina New Orleans and follows the paths of several residents as they try to rebuild their lives and their city with varying degrees of success. Beautifully shot and scripted, the acting is impeccable and the storylines are understated and subtle, wound through with loss, grief, anger and joy. It’s a remarkable show, veering skillfully away from melodrama and the all-too-common aethetics of disaster-porn, to present a community of people who are neither saints nor sinners, but merely human. The second season is currently in production — I can’t wait to see it.

Reasoning with Vampires

Fast becoming my favourite online diversion, this blog is one young woman’s systematic critique of the Twilight Saga (she’s in the middle of New Moon right now). Not only is it smart and funny and extremely well presented, it’s critical in the true sense of the word. Dana’s project involves the analysis of language, character, plot and style on both a macro and micro level — it’s not just a bitch-fest about Twilight, although occasional snarkiness does creep in. Reasoning with Vampires is both an incredibly useful guide to Not Writing Badly as well as a concise critique of problematic literary and cultural tropes. Bite-size brain food with side serving of snark. Delicious!

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