• a woman masterchef

    It was a tense final last night on Masterchef: The Professionals, but the best woman won: Claire Lara. I’d been watching Claire from the earliest rounds and believed she had the talent, focus and ability to win the show, as long as she gained enough confidence to believe in herself. She is the first woman to win Masterchef: The Professionals, and that’s hardly a surprise considering how the field is dominated by men. In the final round the last three chefs had to cook for thirty of the most influential chefs and cooking experts in the UK, and by my reckoning only two of the assembled were women (one of…

  • Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010

    World Fantasy Convention is happening this weekend in the USA, and in conjunction with that event I’ve received word from editor Paula Guran that Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010 is now available. Here is the Table of Contents: THE HORRID GLORY OF ITS WINGS, Elizabeth Bear LOWLAND SEA, Suzy McKee Charnas COPPING SQUID, Michael Shea MONSTERS, Stewart O’Nan THE BRINK OF ETERNITY, Barbara Roden FROST MOUNTAIN PICNIC MASSACRE, Seth Fried SEA-HEARTS, Margo Lanagan A HAUNTED HOUSE OF HER OWN, Kelley Armstrong HEADSTONE IN MY POCKET, Paul Tremblay THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, Holly Black STRANGE SCENES FROM AN UNFINISHED FILM,Gary McMahon A DELICATE ARCHITECTURE, Catherynne M. Valente THE MYSTERY, Peter Atkins VARIATIONS OF A THEME FROM SEINFELD, Peter Straub THE WIDE,…

  • contribution by women in recent horror anthologies

    Haunted Legends

    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…

  • MasterMonica

    As much as the craze for reality TV shows sometimes annoys me there are a few I enjoy. Generally, they are ones where contestants have to prove their skills under pressure and exercise some level of creativity. I am a sucker for the MasterChef series, started by the BBC, and now much-franchised. Currently the BBC is running MasterChef: The Professionals, in which Professional Chefs have to impress Michel Roux Jr., a respected Michelin-star chef, and Gregg Wallace, a food expert – especially of puddings. In the early rounds of the show the chefs are given a basic skill test watched over by Gregg and Monica Galetti, Roux’s sous chef at…

  • Nikita episode 1

    Last night I watched the début episode of the new television series Nikita. I’m intrigued how the core concept of this story has persisted and been remade. Its first incarnation was as a French action film in 1990, also called Nikita, which was written and directed by Luc Besson. The plotline is that Nikita is a young criminal sent to prison. French intelligence fakes her death, takes her to a secret facility and trains her to work as an assassin. After a significant test of her ability she is released into society with a cover story, but she can be activated for any job at any time. Nikita meets a nice…

  • making a difference

    I’d like you to take a look at this TED talk by Sheryl WuDunn on the subject of “Our century’s greatest injustice”, which is about gender inequity: http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf 50-100 million missing women in the current world population. That’s gendercide. Ms. WuDunn has written a book with her husband Nicholas D. Kristof called Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which addresses the same issue as this talk. Although, I was rather saddened to see that there is a chapter in the book entitled “Is Islam Misogynistic?” Based on my research the dogmas of most religions in the world are anti-female. When I was 16-years-old it became evident…

  • horrible happenings

    I’m in London at the moment, but I’ll be heading to Heathrow for Eastercon later today. Some time after 2pm this afternoon I’m back on “Arts Brew” on the Internet Radio Z103, and I’ll be discussing the forthcoming Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, among other things. World Horror Convention in Brighton last weekend was tremendous fun, if somewhat exhausting. The samples of the Roisin Dubh comic book arrived just in time for the convention on Friday morning, and it was a real joy to hold the 10-page preview. The panel I moderated about Women in Horror was excellent: our panellists were articulate and the audience asked questions and…

  • three things

    Today will be my last appearance on “Arts Brew”, the Z103 Internet Radio Arts Show, at around 1.30pm. I’ll be wrapping up the women and horror debate, and discussing forthcoming writers workshops in Ireland. I’ve enjoyed being on the show for the last four weeks, and it’s certainly made me think a lot more about doing podcasts in the future. I’d also like to point people to the blog of UK horror magazine, Black Static, where there is a constructive post on the issue of women in horror. It offers information about the female contributors to the magazine, statistics about the books the magazine receives for review and how many…

  • women in horror: a summary of recent posts

    It’s time for a summary of the reaction across the Internet to my recent posts about the lack of representation of women in the SFX horror edition. As I mentioned last week David Barnett at the The Guardian blog brought up the issue immediately, and by the end of the week UK Feminist web site The F Word was running with the story. Once I posted editor Ian Berriman’s reply to my query, the response in the comments, on Internet articles and to me personally has been anger and frustration at the lack of knowledge displayed about women’s participation in the horror industry. As Cheryl Morgan put it, it was…

  • a terrible treasure

    I decided to pick a work to feature in a “Horror’s Hidden Treasures” section of my own since SFX failed so spectacularly to ask women to promote an under-rated horror gem. I’d encourage other women to do the same. There’s no pressure to pick a woman’s work, but I’m doing so because this writer hugely impressed me with her work. Since the debacle last year about the lack of representation of women in horror I’ve been paying more attention to the subject. Even I was under-educated in the variety of women working in the field, but I’m hardly immune to a system that promotes men’s fiction and accidentally forgets to…