• advocacy

    solidarity

    I have a history of social activism. When I was attending Trinity College in Dublin I got involved in student politics. For four years I was on the Gradate Students’ Union, and for the last year I served as President. During that period I sat on numerous college committees, including TCD’s College Board – which was the ultimate decision-making body in the college. I learned a great deal during those years. I learned the nuances of negotiating within a structure where the majority of the decisions were quietly agreed upon by an elite group behind the scenes. I also learned the importance of solidarity. Even though people speak in patronising…

  • advocacy

    not a weekend for the ladies

    Some of my regular readers might remember my tangle with SFX magazine last year over its one-off special horror edition, which barely mentioned the existence of women in its pages, and its poor response. Things must have changed, eh? One year on the magazine just ran its multi-media conference, the Weekender 2, an event promising to offer ‘the ultimate sci-fi experience, packed with activities for fans’. I noticed a comment on Facebook today from one of the guests who wondered about the dearth of female guests. I looked at the list: 37 guests, only 4 of them are women. However, I spotted something else. Two of the female guests are…

  • advocacy

    miss representation

    I was delighted to hear that a new documentary, called Miss Represention, created by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, played at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been getting a great reception. Here’s the trailer: The issue of how women are represented in the media is one that occupies my mind on a regular basis, so I’m pleased that Newsom has put her time and effort into analysing and criticising this subject. There are a couple of articles in the Deseret News, touching upon this film and related issues that are well worth reading. The first is Family Films are not Friendly to Women, which reports on a public interview that took…

  • advocacy

    recognising women in horror

    February is Women in Horror Recognition Month, an event started last year to boost the profile of women who work in all facets of the horror industry. Check out the web site and the Facebook page for loads of blog posts and events promoting the contribution of women to horror. To kick it off here I’d like to mention that the results of the 4th Black Quill Awards have been announced. The Awards are voted on by the readers and editors of Dark Scribe Magazine so there are two awards in each category. A shout-out to Gemma Files, exceptional horror writer, who was the only person to win both the…

  • advocacy

    because I’m a girl

    I mentioned last year that Martin and I joined Plan Ireland, and we’re now sponsoring a girl in India. In December we received our first note from her. Both the letter and its translation were hand-written. It was lovely to hear from her in a way that makes the connection immediate and real. I returned her note with my own hand-written letter. I could have sent it via email, but in this case I felt it was important to take the effort for her to see my writing – not as neat as hers! Plan Ireland acts as the intermediary, so I included a note saying how much I appreciate…

  • advocacy

    Upstart

    For those of you not in Ireland we have a general election looming. The country is in “a terrible state o’ chassis”, to quote Captain Boyle in O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock. Part of my job is working with advocacy groups for the Arts in Ireland. In the past year and half Arts organisations have been working hard to remind politicians of the role of the Arts to our culture and economy. The above video is from UpStart, a non-profit arts collective which aims to put creativity into the public arena during the Election Campaign in 2011. It plans to do this by reinterpreting the spaces commonly used for…

  • advocacy

    national demonstration on nov 27

    A national demonstration, organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), as part of its A Better, Fairer Way campaign, is taking place from 12:00 – 15:00 on Saturday, the 27th November in Dublin. The ICTU invites everyone to join in making the people’s voice heard before Budget day in Ireland. Assemble at 12 noon, on November 27th at Wood Quay in Dublin. A route-map for the demonstration is available on the ICTU’s web site. I’m unable to attend because I’ll be in Wexford as part of the WexWorlds Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction Festival. This is a prior commitment I made in a professional capacity, and as much…

  • advocacy,  Fiction

    atwood interview

    There’s a very interesting interview from yesterday’s BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour with Margaret Atwood about her seminal text, The Handmaid’s Tale, which is twenty-five years in print this year. In the past Atwood has dismayed those of us who enjoy genre writing by trying to disassociate herself from science fiction, but thankfully when the issue of The Handmaid’s Tale being within a science fiction tradition was raised in the interview she didn’t argue against it – although she seemed more comfortable associating herself with the likes of Huxley and Orwell. I didn’t read the book when it first came out, but I was eighteen when it was lent to…

  • Women in Horror Recognition Month 2011
    advocacy

    women in horror recognition month 2011

    February this year saw the inaugural Women in Horror Recognition Month, which was an initiative started by Hannah Nuerotica out of frustration because of a perceived lack of women working in the horror industry (literature, cinema, television, comics, etc.). Of course, there are a lot of women working in the industry, but there has been a historic visibility problem: women haven’t always enjoyed equal critical attention or promotion as their male colleagues. Hannah started Women in Horror Recognition Month so that women writers, directors, actors, etc. would get a visibility boost at least for the month of February. It was an excellent idea and via the blog and Facebook page…

  • Haunted Legends
    advocacy,  Thoughts,  Writing

    contribution by women in recent horror anthologies

    On the Black Static web site today regular columnist Peter Tennant has analysed the contribution by women to horror anthologies over the past year. I thought it might be instructive to look at how women writers are represented in the current crop of anthologies, using the thirteen anthologies I reviewed in #19, Lovecraft Unbound from #18, and three others that are waiting in the TBR pile (Haunted Legends edited by Ellen Datlow & Nick Mamatas, End of the Line edited by Jonathan Oliver and More Stories from The Twilight Zone edited by Carol Serling). Of course, this is too sparse a sampling to draw any hard and fast conclusions, and…