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Love and Romanpunk

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  171 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Thousands of years ago, Julia Agrippina wrote the true history of her family, the Caesars. The document was lost, or destroyed, almost immediately.
(It included more monsters than you might think.)

Hundreds of years ago, Fanny and Mary ran away from London with a debauched poet and his sister.
(If it was the poet you are thinking of, the story would have ended far more happil
Paperback, Twelve Planets Collection, 105 pages
Published April 2011 by Twelfth Planet Press (first published 2011)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  171 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Deborah Biancotti
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writer-women, oz, aww2012
This is a brilliant read, a fantastic, engaging, fun-packed, occasionally melancholic read that kept me cackling like a madwoman on a three-hour bus ride (I got a whole seat to myself that day, it was awesome).

To my mind - and I could be wrong - the 4 stories fall into either more of the 'love' field or more of the 'romanpunk' field & I realised to my surprise I probably loved the love field more. (I'm usually bored witless by the subject of love - I like to think this is because love is so hard
I need more Romanpunk in my life. Cont'd on the blog: https://paperwanderer.wordpress.com/2... ...more
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011, lss
This is not a review. It can't be, really. Partly because it's by a friend - although I have reviewed Tansy's work before, and that by other friends too (fortunately, I usually like it, so that's no hardship). No, the main reason why this isn't really a review is the dedication. It's dedicated to meeee!! Tansy says that this is dedicated to Random Alex (heh), and that I am totally wrong for liking Marc Antony more than Octavian.

Of course, she is totally wrong about that. How could anyone appreci
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"One of my grandmothers turned herself into a dragon to prove a point."

from The Patrician

The second book in the Twelve Planets series from Twelfth Planet Press is Love and Romanpunk, by Tandy Rayner Roberts. This collection features four stories set in the same alternate world, where monsters live side by side with humans and Roman history is nothing like what we know. The above quote sums up a lot of the tone of the collection, and if you've smiled reading it, I can almost guarantee that you'll
Jenny Schwartz
Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts was an unexpected addition to my Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading & Reviewing Challenge. I was actually doing a shout-out for #steampunkchat on Twitter and asking for other-punk recommendations and @KaelaJael said “Romanpunk! by @TansyRR”.

So when I was reading Love and Romanpunk I was split between looking for the ‘punk and trying to analyse (for this review) what it was that made the book so good.

For a start, there’s no faking expertise. Tansy kno
S.B. Wright
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts is the second in Twelfth Planet Press’ Twelve Planets series.

I have been HANGING OUT for the ebook version of this book and fully appreciate the work that has gone into making my wish a reality(yes they did it just for me[1]).

What does one get?

For the meagre sum of $5.95 the reader is treated to 4 original and reasonably independent works, lovingly woven together.

Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary
Lamia Victoriana
The Patrician
Last of the Romanp
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a whole, glistening, shimmering pile of fun. Roberts combines her passion for Roman history and mythology with a gift for simple, engaging storytelling in a series of interconnected historical fantasies beginning in Ancient Rome, and ending in near-future Sydney. Julia Agrippina is a great character, although my view is limited (or freed) by having no knowledge of her historical attributes, and the idea of Julias being a class of warrior-women, magical bodyguards to the Emperor, wi ...more
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really, I want to give this 4.5 stars. Because I consider this a step up for Tansy, and she has the whole rest of her career ahead of her, and what will I do when she steps up again? But I gave 4 stars to Siren Beat, and this is even more impressive than Siren Beat was, so 5 stars it is.

These stories work so well together, but they are also perfectly constructed individually. I think the first one is my favourite, but maybe because of the shock factor (don't hate me, but I was not expecting the
Ben Payne
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts is the second of Twelfth Planet Press’s series of short collections by Australian female writers. It’s a laudable project in itself, and also a sign of the fine work that Twelfth Planet, among other critics and publishers, have done in promoting female voices in what remains a male-dominated marketplace.

Love and Romanpunk is the second published book in the series, but the first I read, although I dipped into Sue Isle’s collection while reading this one
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*4.5 stars*

I can't remember the last time a short story collection engaged, excited and frustrated me as much as this one did. I read it almost two weeks ago, but it's taken me until now to sort my thoughts out.

Love and Romanpunk is a set of four interlocked short stories spread across history, from the Roman empire to the near future, all stemming from the secret history of the Caesars - a history which involves vampires, werewolves, and all sorts of other mythical beasts. Tansy Rayner Roberts
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, fantasy, ebooks, 10
I've had this waiting for me to get around to reading it for ages. I got it as a giveaway offered by Twelve Planets Press and the Galactic Suburbia podcast as I'd always thought it looked interesting but not done anything about it.

I've just read the Galactic Suburbia Scrapbook today, which is a combination of "best of" from the podcast and its presenters and some feedback and other essays. Having thoroughly enjoyed that, I figured it was time to open Love and Romanpunk and actually read it.

I am
toria (vikz writes)


I have beeb listening to Galactic suburbia http://www.galactisuburbia.podbean.com/ for quite some time and I was interested in reading this book. It couldn't have been better for me. It takes the Roman world, turns it into a mythological sphere and then brings it forward to the modern world.


The narrative is told in a series of short stories that contain a overarching narrative arch. Each is set in a different historical period. Each one shows the fight that takes place between t
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved listening to Tansy Rayner Roberts' podcast Sheep Might Fly where you can listen for free to the four short stories that make up Love and Romanpunk Julia Agrippina's Secret Family Bestiary the podcast GlitterShip has Lamia Victoriana but The Patrician and Last of the Romanpunks are on Sheep Might Fly. ...more
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Feisty, funny, clever, powerful and full of awesome historical Julias. And vampires. A magnificent kickoff to Twelfth Planet Press's 12 Planets series, and a brilliant introduction to Roberts' work. If you love the idea of powerful women in Ancient Rome, Roman theme parks in the Aussie outback and fighting to save the world on an airship full of monsters, this is so the book for you. ...more
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The BEST book I've read so far this year. Four short intertwined stories, beautifully written and packaged. What makes them really stand out is that the stories (set in different time periods) are written in styles that reflect those time periods - clever and classy. LOVED IT! ...more
Omega Howell
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is simply delightful. It had enough historical accuracy to keep a history nerd like me happy and enough fantasy to make the whole thing a delicious romp. Really enjoyed this.
Erika Ensign
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Borrowed from my Recently Read podcast ep/blog post:

Let us begin with the issue of most interest to future historians: I did not poison my uncle and husband, the Emperor Claudius. Instead, I drove a stake through his heart.

That’s the first paragraph of Love and Romanpunk, by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Before we dive in, let’s get the full disclosure out of the way. Tansy is one of my cohosts on our Doctor Who podcast Verity!, and I do consider her a friend (despite never having met her in the non-in
Anna Hepworth
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A slender volume, put out by small press Twelve Planets Press, which the author describes as "...the literary equivalent of spraying offensive graffiti tags all over their area of expertise...". Roberts has taken the material from her Classics PhD and created four captivating pieces of interleaved short fiction that start with the assumption that the descendants of Julius Caesar were monsters in more than just name.

The initial piece, "Julia Agrippina's Secret Family Bestiary", introduces a range
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, this was a pleasant little short story collection.

The premise is great. Of the four stories, only the last two really stand on their own (in fact, I listened to "Last of the Romanpunks" on Tansy's podcast before I ever read/heard any of the others and enjoyed it just fine). It's certainly enriched upon reread by my having read the others, as they tie beautifully together.

That's not to say that the first two stories are bad, in any way, I'm just not certain how well they'd work if they were
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Some times when you read a new author, you just know that you are going to enjoy their books because you enjoy their voice! Tansy Rayner Roberts is one of those authors. She is a new author to me this year. I first read her story Relentless Adaptations in the Sprawl anthology, and then she guest posted for me, and finally, on the strength of loving this short story collection I have also now purchased the first book in her Creature Court trilogy, Power and the Glory.

Before I talk any more about
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

Lovely writing. An interesting engaging read, mostly.
The best bits are Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary(1st) and The Patrician(3rd).

The first story is interesting and serves as an introduction of sorts. It's heavy on names and, well, it IS a family history, but with emphasis on supernatural and importance of Julias.

The Patrician is by far the best of the lot. A full-fledged story. Top marks for the whole thing. Would shamelessly recommend.

Other stories did not leave much in way o
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Really interesting. A series of related stories, tracking from ancient Roman times, the existence in the world of 'mythical' creatures and those who love and fight them through history, moving right through to near future Australia. ...more
Angela Maher
Aug 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable little book. I know very little about Roman history and mythology, but that didn't stop me from being entertained and engaged. ...more
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Love and Romanpunk is the second book in the Twelve Planets series, released by Twelfth Planet Press, which showcase the talent of female Australian authors. There is now to be a thirteenth in the series, but that's a review for another time. The brief given to authors was to write 4 short stories of up to 40,000 words in total. The stories could be separate, discrete narratives or linked through character, setting or theme.

This collection contains four short stories of ancient history and alter
Bree T
Love And Romanpunk is a collection of four stories, loosely connected. The first story tells the family history of Julia Agrippina, who details the unusual members of her family and the amazing strength that lay behind the name Julia and what it meant to ‘be a Julia’. Her family members all had hidden sides and hidden depths and the detailed history includes dragons, the lamia (sort of like vampires) and werewolves.

The second story moves to the Victorian Era, where girls Fanny and Mary run away
Dave Versace
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The four short stories that make up Love and Romanpunk wrap around the premise that the Rome of Augustus and his heirs was crawling with mythological beasts, in particular vampires and lamia. So far, so here-take-all-my-money please. I’m not a particularly dedicated history buff (unlike Rayner Roberts, who has a doctorate all up in that bizzo) but I am drawn to the lives gleefully depicted in I, Claudius, Rome and even goddamn Gladiator. There’s just something about the series of debauched lunat ...more
Catherine Heloise
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the cleverest, funniest, most fascinating books I've read in years. On first finishing it, I immediately turned back to the start for a complete re-read, because I wasn't ready to leave Rayner Roberts' universe ye.

Love and Romanpunk is a collection of four linked novellas/long short stories, which start from the premise that our historical understanding of Ancient Rome, and particularly the Julio-Claudian period, is accurate... as far as at goes. We just didn't know about the lami
Anthony Panegyres
The word ‘important’ is bandied around a fair degree but I’ll use it here as I feel it’s vindicated. The fact that The Twelve Planets Series provided for greater gender parity in Australian speculative fiction is important. The series highlights the strength of female writers and has also transformed the face of The Aurealis Awards. I’ve read two so far, Deborah Biancotti’s excellent Bad Power and now, Tansy Rayner Robert’s entertaining Love and Romanpunk. Next on my list is Lucy Sussex’ Thief o ...more
(Disclaimer – I know the author through the internet)

Back in the olden days before I became a teacher, I completed an arts degree with a double major in Ancient History. My real love was Ancient Athens (I even learned Ancient Greek), but I did have a certain fondness for the early empire.

Which, luckily for me, is what Love and Romanpunk is based around.

The book is part of the Twelve Planet series and consists of four short, related stories. In the first one, Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Besti
Mark Webb
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love and Romanpunk is one of the Twelve Planets series published by Twelfth Planet Press (made up of 12 boutique collections of stories by Australian writers). It is made up of four shorter stories, including:

Julia Agrippina's Secret Family Bestiary
Lamia Victoriana
The Patrician
Last of the Romanpunks

The four stories are connected (although thousands of years apart in timeframe and tracing some very bizarre family history). It's hard to tell from the title, so I'll say immediately that there i
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Tansy Rayner Roberts is a fantasy and science fiction author who lives in southern Tasmania, somewhere between the tall mountain with snow on it, and the beach that points towards Antarctica.

Tansy has a PhD in Classics (with a special interest in poisonous Roman ladies), and an obsession with Musketeers.

You can hear Tansy talking about Doctor Who on the Verity! podcast. She also reads her own stor

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