Monday, September 14, 2009

Shiny Closes

Issue 6 will be the final issue of Shiny. Twelfth Planet Press originally launched Shiny to experiment with the webzine form, and to carve out an audience for YA short stories. With the overwhelmingly enthusiastic support for Twelfth Planet Press' print publications, both by paying readers and submitting authors, and with so many new books planned for the 2010 and 2011 schedules, it's time to let Shiny go.

In just over 2 years, Shiny published 18 stories, 9 by Australians. "Cracks," by Trent Jamieson (Issue 2) won the 2008 Aurealis Award for Best YA Short Story and reminded us that good stories get noticed, no matter the published format. It was with extreme pride that we watched our little e-magazine that could, Shiny, get flashed up in the Aurealis Award presentation slide show.

It has been an honour to work with both my fellow editors, Ben Payne, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely, and all the writers who have together made Shiny a fun, exciting and worthwhile project to work on. Thank you to the loyal supporters who read and enjoyed the stories in the 6 issues, over the last two years.

An option of the return of outstanding subscriptions via paypal or credit towards other Twelfth Planet Press products will be offered to those with subscriptions beyond Issue 6.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Top 10 Buffy Episodes of all Time

Den of Geek released their Top 10 list of Buffy episodes of all time

I'm not sure I've thought about it hard enough to come up with my own list but it'd be hard to diasagree with the top 3:

1. Hush
2. The Body
3. The Gift

Though I'd probably put Hush at three.

How bout you? What's your list look like?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stalking is not exactly a turn on for a girl, you know

Edward Cullen meets Buffy The Vampire Slayer

(not kind to Edward, beware!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shiny Issue 5

The latest issue of Shiny was released last Friday. Issue 5 was edited by Alisa Krasnostein, Ben Payne and Tehani Wessely.

The Table of Contents:

"Like Us" by Tansy Rayner Roberts
"Root" by Emily Mah
"Paper Dragons" by Sue Isle

"Reading Like a Teenager" by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Issue 5 can be purchased on its own or as part of a subscription.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BtVS: 3.04 Beauty and the Beasts

Rachel says:
There is not much to say about this very straightforward episode. Although it holds some interest as a mystery, there's nothing in it for repeat viewings. Pete and Debbie play out a Jekyll and Hyde story. We wonder if the killer is Oz, is it Angel? It's kind of a disappointment that it's Pete, the non-regular. In the end, Angel saves the day - and he is saved.
"Great. Now I'm going to be stuck with serious thoughts all day." - Cordelia

However there has been some kerfuffle about the internets this week regarding a Buffy movie. The Kuzuis - whose names you will recognise from the opening credit sequence of every episode of BtVS and Angel - are looking at taking advantage of the rights they hold having produced the original Buffy movie to relaunch the franchise.

I'm actually not in favour of a Buffy movie at all. I think it would not have an audience outside of Buffy fandom and would probably go the way of Serenity for the general public. ie a decent stand alone that has some bits that don't make sense. The Buffy franchise (if we want to look at it as a living thing) doesn't need a movie or "re-booting" at the moment, it lives in comic form and is very healthy in terms of tie-in products (calendars, action figures, novels...)

But you can't argue that Kuzui Enterprises wasn't smart holding onto the rights for that long. If Fran and Kaz think they can make a go of it, why not let them? Either it'll be something we can enjoy or something we can forget exists. Like Star Wars I-III. But they're not doing their creative careers any favours by not pursuing a new story.

Alisa says:
I also am not in favour of the movie. I don't want a reboot. The whole point of Buffy, as we have talked about at length is the scoobs and without them, I'm not sure I'm interested. And more to the point, the movie completely sucked and I only saw it twice at the cinema cause Dylan from 90210 was in it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BtVS: 3.03 Faith, Hope and Trick

Alisa says:
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there's a new slayer in town.

I'm loving Oz so much in this rewatching. I think that's a sign of a good ensemble cast show that you can watch it over and over and enjoy the storylines from different character perspectives each time. I love how Oz is so unflappable, often steps in as referee and whilst so cool and calm, finds empathy for most people in most situations.

Whilst this is another Monster of the Week episode, and random boy of the week (is Hope in here purely for the use of his name in the episode title?) there is much meta arc development afoot. Firstly the most divine Faith joins the cast - yay! Secondly we see Joyce start to accept Buffy for who she is and the enormity of the role she plays:

When did you die? You never told me that you died.

I've tried to march in the Slayer Pride Parade

And finally we get the unbelievable hot naked and sweaty Angel leap onto the screen at the very end! Angel! He is not dead!!! And wouldn't you know it, just like they tell me all the time, just when Buffy is starting to move on and past him, he shows back up. Typical!

Rachel says:
Yeah, a new slayer in town wearing the worst outfit ever committed to film. That's a seriously unfortunate first impression, but you know, it's meant to be. We're not supposed to like her. And even though we do, I think it's only because of all the weight the character has built up over the years. Here, not so much. She's shallow and self-centred, tough, but not lovable.

The character I really love in this episode is Mr Trick. And I'm so glad, out of all the bit parts (Scott especially), he's the one that we get to see more of. His big picture, high tech approach to everything is very inspiring.

As for Angel returning from the undead/dead? Thank goodness for it. I was sick of all the dream sequences to justify Boreanaz's spot in the opening credits.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

BtVS: 3.02 Dead Man's Party

Alisa says:
So I already mentioned how much I don't love the Monster of the Week episodes, right? This is the zombie episode and well ... meh. The only bit I think I really and truly love is when Buffy and her Mum are having the awkward fight at her Welcome Home party and Buffy starts yelling at people and singles out Jonathan, "Anyone else want to weigh in? How 'bout you, over by the dip!"
Love it! It's one of my all time favourite lines.

Underlying all the zombie mayhem, and flashing eyes, there's the fact that Buffy's friends didn't let her get away with bailing after the Angel confrontation. She seriously betrayed their trust and friendship and whilst uncomfortable, they force her to face up to and address it. Friendship underpins this series and is what I love about it.

Yay - the Scoobs are back! Bring on Season 3 proper!

Rachel says:
The awkwardness between best friends is really well played here - haven't we all been there? Where you want everything to be alright, but it just isn't?

I have to disagree and say I quite like the use of zombies. Although the metaphor's a little obvious - all the problems Buffy tried to bury are coming back after her - how can you go past that cat?
"I think you should call it Patches."

And Giles is just terrific, his slayer is safely returned, but he isn't off the hook.
"Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty. It raises the dead!"

Actually the whole episode is filled with quotable lines (Nighthawk, dip, tingly feelings). For a Monster of the Week episode, this one's more than adequate. Killing off Pat - we all have one of those we'd like to shovel through the eyes - yet the arc is still moving forward with the Scoobies reconciled by the end, but not without a fight.
"Talking about it isn't helping, we might as well try some violence."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BtVS: 3.01 Anne

Alisa says:
I think it's becoming plain that I like the Monster of the Week episodes less than the ones that move the meta story arc or offer character development.

I always think this is such a banal filler episode to introduce the third season after such a climatic finale for Season 2. You notice how Buffy is always out of town for summer vacation? Why doesn't she just want to hang out with her friends?

Thanks Cordelia for the phrase: "and I use sarcastic quote marks" I'm so stealing that one!

And of course, the most memorable line from this episode: Can I be Anne?
Don't we all have days when we want to start over and just ... be Anne?

Rachel says:
It's Chantarelle/Lily/Anne! My favourite of all the recurring characters.
Really dislike Buffy in this episode. I really hate that she's given up - it's so demoralising and powerless.

Another Hell dimension? So soon?

I agree, Alisa, this is a very banal episode, not a great start to the season!

Although I don't mind her going away over the summer. After all, we've been away from her too, and her catching up with Willow and Xander gives us a chance to find out what they've all been up to. And I wouldn't want to begrudge her any time with her Dad.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

BtVS: 2.22 Becoming Part 2

Rachel says:
The Acathla thing really is ridiculous. Sucked into Hell? They just don't think these things through do they? In which episode does it become a "hell dimension"? Are they just using "Hell" as a generic term to describe the experience? Hell, I can't stop saying it. Hell.

Hang on, if Acathla sucks the whole world into Hell, where does that leave Acathla? Standing in a void?

But things to like about this one, there are some; I love Spike as the level headed character, it's sad to see him and Dru go at the end of the episode.

Swordfight! Pretty convincing choreography, one of the best fight sequences of recent episodes.

Xander's vindictive streak, although I of course hate that he's lying to both Buffy and Willow, adds such a great dimension to his character that I love it as well. It's something that lurks under the surface, one of the things that makes him so human.

But Joyce, being also quite human, fails as a parent - you never want to say something that you're not going to be able to follow through!

The costuming is a little obvious in its themes during this and Part 1 of Becoming. The coat changes from the cheery, hopeful blue with clean confident lines to a shapeless brown number. The fight outfit is minimal (although the way she tends to stride into battle with heels always irritates me), with the silver cross displayed prominently in the v of her black shirt.

In the final scene she is in a hobo outfit that really had no place belonging in her wardrobe at all - overalls, giant jumper, brown vinyl bag from an op-shop. What were they thinking?

Buffy's leaving is pretty dumb too, sure she's lost Angel (yeah, I snivelled again) but she still has her friends. Who are ace. And she needs to say sorry for being a dumbass and leaving them while Drusilla strolls in a wreaks the joint.

However this was a really shocking way to end a season. Was it ever really done in television before this? Have, not really a dramatic cliffhanger, but a deep sense of hopelessness. But as we now know, this is so typically Joss.

Alisa says:
Heh - Buffy's ooh if I wear a horrible brown coat and black beanie, I will look incognito! Surely not if you are the only person wearing the brown coat and black beanie and everyone else is not dressed for winter?

Being a big fan of Whistler and his interfering to push things in the direction he wants:
Buffy: What are you, just some immortal demon sent down to even the score between good and evil?
Whistler: (impressed) Wow. Good guess. (grins)

This episode is such a powerful and strong ending to a great season.
In the end, you're always by yourself. You're all you've got.
That's the point.

Which is sometimes the point in this show and sometimes not. Often it's about friendship and the people who have your back and how you wouldn't be able to do things without them. But then when it's the big hard crunchy decisions that are unpopular to make - those are the ones the hero must make alone, I guess. Like in this episode and in The Gift and so on.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BtVS: 2.21 Becoming Part 1

Alisa says:
I loved rewatching this episode. I found it funny how a lot of the scenes were familiar yet I hadn't associated them as belonging to this episode. This is mostly, I guess, because of the enormity of the episode to follow. Yet this episode contains so much overall backstory. It's here we glimpse some of Angel's life history including when he was sired. We see snippets of Drusilla before she was turned.

We discover that Buffy was the motivating force for Angel to come out of his 90 year mooch-fest and join the real world - and that he knew about her long before they meet in Sunnydale, Angel having watched her get called. And that him watching that moment was what made him want to stand up and be counted. Whistler is a favourite character of mine - too underplayed and should so have gotten more screentime. He works well to hint at the greater worldbuilding for us - that not all demons want to end the world and that there might be some bigger fight at play.

It occurred to me on this viewing that Willow channelling all the energy to re-curse Angel was perhaps the opening of the door that became very hard for her to shut again, in the end.

It was nice to see that Jenny was working on the curse for Buffy and Angel in her private time - that she really was part of the posse and not out to get them.

I love this episode. I love the drama of Dru coming in to kidnap Giles, that she so easily kills Kendra, that it shows how powerful she is in her own right even though she so often stands off to the side and watches and claps. Xander standing up and reminding everyone that it's not so clear cut - that Buffy wants to ignore the murder so she can have her boyfriend back - because oh that it were that simple!!

I love the building to the climax episode. I'm a fan of the costuming department and the use of the coats for Buffy throughout the show. The blue one is so great and wears so well for all the really dramatic shots in this and the next episode - when she faces Angelus down and then when she runs back through the streets and round the halls of the school - its lines are long and clean and they make her look powerful and strong and simultaneously small.

Buffy: This is a beautiful moment we're having. Can we please fight?
Angelus: Gosh, I was hoping we could get back together. What do you think? Do we have a shot? (gets a look from Buffy) Alright. We'll fight.

I love how Angelus is always teasing her because she falls every time for thinking it's about her and it never is, it's always a trap. And one of the best suspenseful moments is when Buffy realises it was a trap and discovers her whole world (the library and her friends in it) in disarray.

And I love the voice over at the end of this episode:
Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

That's just awesomely brilliant writing. Does he meant for the next episode or for everything that happens after this moment? I love the way this show is written such that it is internally consistent and holds up all the way to the very end.

Rachel says:
Actually I kind of hate the voiceover.

Also, Alisa has said everything that could possibly be said about Becoming Part 1 except the best line of the episode:

"It's a big rock. Can't wait to tell my friends. They don't have a rock this big." - Spike