Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The new riot reporter

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  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    t’s not exactly high art, but any writer (or publisher) who condescends to their audience is going to have that disrespect paid with interest.

    Actually, I tried to write a Mills & Boonesque novel a few years ago (as a challenge with a friend), and it was astoundingly hard. Everything I wrote felt like parody, and that's exactly what you don't want.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm looking forward to iOS 5 letting me mirror anything on my iPad screen.

    iPad2 only though, yeah...

    It just strikes me as so insanely obvious that organised disturbance/protesting/rioting/violence/whatever always manages to use whatever communcication channels are available that shutting down the newest spangliest one would just be massively pointless. Especially given that it seems this particular communication channel:
    a) wasn't the major organising channel for these riots (BBM, text, I suspect fairly underground web forums)...
    b) does a lot more good than harm during the same period (although Riot Wombles would have been heaps better if it was actually rioting Wombles)
    c) is actually relatively easy to track compared to others (this basically being the primary reason business are so behind social media)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1722 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Riot Wombles would have been heaps better if it was actually rioting Wombles

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's the only way I'd do it. Being able to choose a good pseudonym is like the first basic qualification for being able to bluff your way through that genre. Don't call yourself Busty Harlotte.

    That reminds me...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Sacha,

    "Underground, overground, rioting free..."

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I’ve asked my friend Stella Duffy, lesbian writer of lesbian thrillers, for some comment,

    Having just read this, late as usual, can I ask RB, what is the significance for her title? Wasn't her name or profession good enough? It felt like a dish of fluff to describe her as such. Does it matter one iota if she is lesbian?
    Jus' sayin'.
    As you were .

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6349 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Does it matter one iota if she is lesbian?

    Given the context, I suspect he was trying to reassure us she wasn't some middle aged bloke faking it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Does it matter one iota if she is lesbian?

    Not really, but Duffy is out and her genre work prominently features lesbian-bi protagonists - it wasn't that long ago when authors of genre fiction with a Sapphic flavour published under pseudonyms and heavens forfend mainstream publishers would sully their hands with invert pornography. (Patricia Highsmith wouldn't even publicly acknowledge the lesbian romance novel she published under the nom de plume 'Claire Morgan' in 1952 for over thirty years. Murderous sociopaths, no probs. Dykes who didn't commit suicide or rediscover a taste for cock in the last chapter, not so much.)

    So, yeah, I think we can let Russell off with a warning. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Having just read this, late as usual, can I ask RB, what is the significance for her title? Wasn’t her name or profession good enough? It felt like a dish of fluff to describe her as such. Does it matter one iota if she is lesbian?

    I usually say she's a writer who grew up in NZ, or just my friend Stella -- who cringes a bit when she sees ""lesbian writer Stella Duffy" being used as a "job description" -- but it's relevant in this context because she writes as who she is -- and, more to the point, because she had some bloody choice words earlier this year for the men who were outed pretending to be lesbian bloggers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So, yeah, I think we can let Russell off with a warning. :)

    I get the jist and I’m not telling RB off. Was interested why his headspace was there. I don’t see pulling someone up every time they express themselves other than what I would do is actually beneficial but his description just wasn't what I would expect of him. I understand his referring to Paul Lewis ’with a hoodie was for disguise but to place a person into the “lesbian” category seemed a bit discriminatory, and I know that’s not RB

    See, you guys, his reply was sufficient, :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6349 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    Mensch isn't a mensch.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    and, more to the point, because she had some bloody choice words earlier this year for the men who were outed pretending to be lesbian bloggers.

    Which, without putting words in Duffy's mouth (and looking forward to seeing the show) I hope she'd not put Greg McGee on the same level as that. I'm actually trying to make the transition from seething incoherence to seething coherence at this:

    Before publication, Cut & Run was assessed by five readers. I insisted that three of them not be told who the author was. The two (one male, one female) who knew that I’d written it, had major problems with Anna’s credibility. The three readers (two female, one male) who had no idea who the author was, thought Anna was a wonderfully written, sympathetic and engaging character.

    That was the moment when I decided my name would not be on the book. I wanted the book and Anna to be treated on their merits, not be assessed on what people thought they knew about its author.

    What. The. Fuck. First, I could rattle off a bloody long list of female mystery writers who write perfectly acceptable novels with male protagonists, and any reader who had "credibility issues" with them really needs to kept far away from sane publishers with a mystery list. For that matter, it's not impossible for straight writers to produce GLBT characters who aren't stereotypically swishy queens or uber butch man-hating dykes.

    Grrr...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Which, without putting words in Duffy’s mouth (and looking forward to seeing the show) I hope she’d not put Greg McGee on the same level as that. I’m actually trying to make the transition from seething incoherence to seething coherence at this:

    Aw, not even. She said she could understand the urge to get out from under a legacy like his, and noted that she knows both male writers doing the gender shuffle and women opting for the neutrality of initial capitals.

    Greg was good value tonight, in the context of an enjoyable show – he struck me as authentic. Although he did nearly ruin my best freakin’ ad-lib of the year by trying to bolt the moment the crowd started applauding …

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Greg was good value tonight

    Meanwhile, just checked my library waitlist and Alix Bosco's oeuvre is IN TRANSIT. Thank you, Auckland Libraries. (Should be writing two reviews for The Listener that are due on Tuesday, but public libraries are evil literary tinny houses for us weak-willed bibliophiles...:) ]

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    public libraries are evil literary tinny houses for us weak-willed bibliophiles...:)

    Innit. They'll find me one day sprawled on my bed, surrounded by half-read books face-down to keep the page, a folio dropping from my limp fingers as my sightless eyes stare at the ceiling.

    "the purity of the metaphor was too strong for him, ma'am. We're seeing a lot of this sort of thing with the new first editions out on the streets."

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Stella Duffy,

    *waves* thought my ears were burning ...
    Just for the record, I tend not to say 'lesbian writer', what with no-one paying me for being gay, prefer not to use lesbian as a noun (far too reductive) but don't mind it as an adjective, and have written 12 novels only 5 of which feature a lesbian (adjective) protagonist (noun). All of them feature occasional LGBT characters though, just as all of them feature black, asian, and/or mixed race characters, what with not living in a white, middle class writers' ghetto, and not wanting to pretend I do either. But I hope that sexuality or race or class is never a defining characteristic for any of them, just as I hope it's not for me either, my sexuality (among other things) being an utterly intrinsic and also utterly irrelevant (for many things) part of me. All that said, in a world where many people are still killed or attacked for being LGBT, in a world where class still defines and often limits many of us (and yes, those of us who grew up in Tokoroa as much as any), and a world in which women still do the bulk of all childcare and earn less across the board than men, then until those things are fixed, yeah, I'm ok with being called 'lesbian writer' when and where it's relevant. Not least because I hope it might make it better for the next 14 year old getting bullied, or the 85 year old afraid to be out in an uncaring care home. Just not only 'lesbian writer' and certainly not only 'writer of things lesbian'. (Not a single lezz in the whole of The Room of Lost Things, which is mostly about Brixton and blokes. Or the Medea adaptation I have on now in Edinburgh, which is mostly about er, the infanticidal half-goddess revenge chick.)
    Right then, I'm back to the beach.

    Oh and Ms Mensch - oddly, given our UTTERLY different politics, Louise is a friend, (book-writing in the UK gives the most unusual combination of mates) - and while I often shake my head at some of her beliefs, her Murdoch questioning, especially after the pie-throwing irritation (engendering far too much sympathy for the old man) was great. 'Are you going to resign? Why not?' Lovely stuff.

    London • Since Aug 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stella Duffy,

    'Are you going to resign? Why not?'

    I'm so looking forward to her or someone else asking that again.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Stella Duffy,

    Just not only ‘lesbian writer’ and certainly not only ‘writer of things lesbian’.

    Quite - and when I came Mary Renault at the age of thirteen (and firmly in the closet), I was convinced she was fronting for a gay man. How could a woman -- and one I presumed (incorrectly) was heterosexual - write so sympathetically and vividly about homos, not only in her historical novels but the quietly astounding The Charioteer? As I matured in all kinds of ways, I came to realize the answer was this: She did it one word at a time, like everyone else.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Mary Renault was, for me, another eye-opener. "The Charioteer" - yep. That empathetic insight into battle nature and participants. Followed by the 'Alexander'trilogy*.and his loves, especially "Fire From Heaven" and "The Persian Boy" - it all made a kind of sense about battle-worn people I knew (including a couple in my family...)

    *Can I state here that I think Alexander -the-Psycopath did way more harm than he ever did good? And Mary Renault picked that up?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and anyone who says "oh, menz can't write laydeze" needs to sod off and read Love and Rockets. Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have been doing a pretty good job of writing complex magnificent women -- and ones who aren't straight white & middle-class at that! -- for nigh on thirty years .

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stella Duffy,

    what with no-one paying me for being gay

    It'd be a mint job though, wouldn't it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Stella Duffy, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it would, and with all these years of practice, reckon I'd be well rich.

    London • Since Aug 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It’d be a mint job though, wouldn’t it?

    Payment only comes in kitchen appliances though, so you're constantly on trade me fobbing them off.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6221 posts Report Reply

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