eldritchhobbit: (Me/Sparkly)
2017-06-23 12:25 pm

New Escape Pod Narration

My latest science fiction narration is up on the new episode of Escape Pod: the beautiful story “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

EP581: That Game We Played During the War: Escape Pod
eldritchhobbit: (Read More SF)
2017-06-22 10:52 am
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Happy Birthday, Octavia Butler!

Happy birthday to Octavia Butler (22 June, 1947 – 24 February, 2006)!

Protects itself.
Promotes suspicion.
Engenders fear.
Fear quails,
Irrational and blind,
Or fear looms,
Defiant and closed.
Blind, closed,
Suspicious, afraid,
Protects itself,
And protected,
Ignorance grows.”

― Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents (1998)

eldritchhobbit: (SW/BB-8)
2017-06-16 10:47 am
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Look Who We Have Here!

My mother is the best.

Look who she just made for me!

(Rey’s hair beneath her removable cap is the the cutest thing ever, but I love the goggles so much I had to leave it on for this photo.)

Now they can join the rest of the gang!

May the Force be with you!

eldritchhobbit: (SW/Obi-Wan/Not Defeat)
2017-06-16 10:45 am

"Looking Back at Genre History"

My latest “Looking Back at Genre History” is up on the new episode of the StarShipSofa podcast. It’s a standalone piece, but it also serves as a follow up to my recent interview on the My Star Wars Story podcast. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

eldritchhobbit: (Millennium)
2017-06-13 10:11 am
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40th Anniversary of the Camp Scott Girl Scout Murders

I can’t believe it’s been forty years.

On June 13, 1977, a terrible crime rocked the world that I knew. Three young Girl Scouts from my hometown area were found murdered outside of their tent at the Girl Scout property Camp Scott near Locust Grove, Oklahoma.

It hit very close to home for me not only geographically, but for a variety of reasons, and it continues to be an unsolved case and an unhealed wound in my home state. I didn’t want to let this anniversary pass without observing it.

I didn’t want today to go by without saying the names of these beloved girls:
Lori Lee Farmer (age 8), Doris Denise Milner (age 10), and Michelle Heather Guse (age 9).

The case was complicated by racial/ethnic tensions, because the victims were white and black, and the only official suspect, Gene Leroy Hart, was Cherokee. After a complicated and dramatic manhunt, Hart was tried but eventually found innocent. (Recent DNA tests proved inconclusive.) Since then, the case has remained unsolved, the fodder for local legends, suggestions of bizarre occult and ritual connections, and various conspiracy theories. The Girl Scout camp remains closed to this day.

For more information:

* The Tulsa World just published a six-part series on the murders here: “40 years ago, the murders of three Girl Scouts in Oklahoma stunned the nation, created shockwaves still being felt.”

There’s also an audio version here.* Episode 169 of the Generation Why Podcast offers a thoughtful and detailed discussion of the murders and the subsequent investigation.

* The most famous book on the case remains Someone Cry for the Children: The Unsolved Girl Scout Murders of Oklahoma and the Case of Gene Leroy Hart by Michael and Dick Wilkerson.

* Photos of the abandoned site are posted here at AbandonedOK.

* The long-rumored movie supposedly designed to name an alternative murder suspect, Candles, is currently listed at IMDB as filming for 2017 release, but I remain skeptical that it will happen. It’s been listed as in pre-production/production for six years now, and each year the release date is updated.

Never forgotten.

eldritchhobbit: (Default)
2017-06-13 10:10 am
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Documentary Film Rec: Mifune

I just finished watching the 2015 documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai by Oscar-winning director Steven Okazaki (streaming on Netflix). It’s very, very much worth watching. Two thumbs up.

I’m a fan of both Toshiro Mifune’s and Akira Kurosawa’s – I’ve just pulled Throne of Blood, Sanjuro, and Yojimbo from my DVD collection for rewatching – and I got a lot out of this film. But even if you’re unfamiliar with this incomparable, iconic actor, I’d recommend the documentary. It’s very accessible, and it provides great context. Without Mifune, there would have been no Magnificent Seven, no Clint Eastwood as a Man with No Name, no Star Wars.

As you may know, Mifune was George Lucas’s first choice to portray Obi-Wan Kenobi. As much as I dearly love Alec Guinness, I still ask myself, “What if?”

eldritchhobbit: (SW/Qui-Gon/What You Cannot)
2017-06-10 07:48 am
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Indie Star Wars Documentaries

I’ve been thinking about indie documentaries related to Star Wars – that is, documentaries above and beyond those “making of” and “behind the scenes” documentaries available with various versions of the DVDs, my favorite of which is Empire of Dreams from 2004, or channel-specific televised specials, such as ESPN's Star Wars: Evolution of a Lightsaber Duel from 2015, which my students love – that I find enjoyable/useful.

Here are the ones that come to mind:

* Looking for Leia (in production, Kickstarter in progress)

* Elstree 1979 (in production)

* The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan’s Journey (2016)

* Elstree 1976 (2015)

* I Am Your Father (2015)

* Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys (2014)

* The People vs. George Lucas (2010)

* A Galaxy Far, Far Away (2001) 

Any recommendations for others? Thanks! 

eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze and Chirrut Comic)
2017-06-10 07:36 am
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Star Wars meta

Hey everyone!

There are several discussions of Star Wars meta from different sources I want to recommend:

* On the Guardians of the Whills Rejecting the Light Side/Dark Side Discord in Their Understanding of the Force (It's canon!) Note: This also includes discussion of Qui-Gon Jinn and the so-called Gray Jedi.

* How Rogue One Subverts Asian Male Stereotypes (And Why That's Important)

* Considering Baze and Chirrut in the Context of Chinese Culture and Storytelling
eldritchhobbit: (Default)
2017-06-02 04:39 pm

Cherry Squid

My latest science fiction narration is up here on the new episode of Escape Pod. I read the fantastic story “Cherry Squid” by Celeste Hollister. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!
eldritchhobbit: (Default)
2017-05-25 08:23 am

Happy Towel Day!

Psst! These days I'm spending more time here on Twitter and here on Tumblr, so if you're on either one, please find me and say hello!

That said, I had to wish everyone a happy Towel Day!

eldritchhobbit: (SW/Luke/Twin Suns)
2017-05-25 08:20 am

Happy 40th Birthday to Star Wars!

Happy 40th birthday to Star Wars!

On May 25, 1977, the original Star Wars was released to movie theaters. I loved it in 1977, and I still do!

May the Force of others be with you.

eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock Holmes/Damn Impudence)
2017-05-22 06:55 am
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Happy Birthday, Arthur Conan Doyle!

Happy birthday to Arthur Conan Doyle (22 May, 1859 – 7 July, 1930)!

Portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

"I had no idea that such individuals exist outside of stories."
- Dr. Watson in Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet (1887)
eldritchhobbit: (SW/Qui-Gon/Feel)
2017-05-04 04:22 pm
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Happy Star Wars Days!

May the Fourth be with you!

Happy Revenge of the Fifth!

eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze and Chirrut Comic)
2017-05-02 05:16 pm
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Two thumbs up!

Two thumbs up for Greg Rucka's Guardians of the Whills, which gives us more Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe goodness while not Jossing too many fan theories about their past.

Here are some of my favorite passages from the novel.

eldritchhobbit: (books/coffee)
2017-04-26 10:20 am

It's Aliiive! The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe

I am delighted to share that The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 from Hocus Pocus Comics is now available here through Comixology.

“Edgar Allan Poe has lost everyone he ever loved and now he is losing his mind. Haunted by his dead wife and his literary failures, the poet tumbles into a fantastic world created by his genius…and his madness.”

Here is the trailer.

eldritchhobbit: (books/text)
2017-04-24 10:07 am
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Book Reviewers Wanted - Journal of Science Fiction

The Journal of Science Fiction currently seeks reviewers for books we receive from publishers. We are looking for reviewers to write objective, academic book reviews rather than the more casual book reviews commonly found on Goodreads, Amazon, and other venues. If you would like to submit a book review, please consult the book reviews we published in Volume 1, Issue 3 of our journal or these sites to better understand what we're looking for:
-- Writing Critical Book Review
-- Book Reviews
-- Book Reviews

We currently have the following titles available for review:
The Berlin Project (by Gregory Benford).
Codex Orféo: A Novel (by Michael Charles Tobias).
Europa's Lost Expedition: A Scientific Novel (by Michael Carroll).
The Hunt for FOXP5: A Genomic Mystery Novel (by Wallace Kaufman and David Deamer).
Murder on the Einstein Express and Other Stories (by Harun Siljak).
Science Fiction and Futurism: Their Terms and Ideas (by Ace Pilkington).
Science Fiction by Scientists: An Anthology of Short Stories (ed. by Michael Brotherton).
Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction (by André M. Carrington).
Using Medicine in Science Fiction: The SF Writer's Guide to Human Biology (by H.G. Stratmann).

To request a book for review, or if you have any questions about the book review process for the Journal of Science Fiction, please contact Monica Louzon (Managing Editor) at monica.louzon@museumofsciencefiction.org.
eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze smiling)
2017-04-23 09:16 am

The Jiang Wen-a-thon Continues

Hi, everybody! I’m now seventeen films into my viewing of all of Jiang Wen’s remarkable works. I have five more lined up before I decide what to do about those that don’t have subtitles. The themes of history, memory, and agency in many of these movies speak to me in a powerful way. The films he directed are genuine, meaningful works of art, and so are many in which he starred. So be warned (ha!): there will (soon!) be a post breaking down, commenting on, and ranking/recommending his films.

I’m also doing some reading on his works, too. And speaking about texts on Jiang Wen, if you’re interested in him and and his perspective, you definitely should check out everything posted under the “#Books on Baze” tag here. Must reads!

On a somewhat related note, I’ve also managed since first watching Rogue One to see ten or so Donnie Yen films, and I’m sure there are more of those to come, as well – so, yes, that’s probably another forthcoming post. (Two words: Ip Man.)

On a more loosely-related note, if you have the chance to see the brilliant Genghis Khan exhibit at Charlotte’s Discovery Place, do so! It’s wonderful and it’s leaving very soon. I had the good fortune of catching it just after finishing John Keay’s China: A History, so that was excellent timing.

Currently I’m reading Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion that Opened the West by William Hogeland, which I’ll be reviewing for Reason.

It’s finals time in university land, so if I’m quiet, just know that I’m grading. And grading. And then grading some more!
eldritchhobbit: (Default)
2017-04-17 07:24 pm
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Gratuitous Niece Picspam

Just in case your Monday needs a smile, here's my niece.

eldritchhobbit: (SW/BB-8)
2017-04-15 08:31 am
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Journey to The Last Jedi titles

The news from Star Wars Celebration Orlando is that we have three new titles to look forward to preparing the way for The Last Jedi.

- Captain Phasma, a 5-issue comic by Delilah S. Dawson
- Leia: Princess of Alderaan, a YA novel by Claudia Gray (whose Bloodline and Lost Stars are among my favorite Star Wars novels)
- The Legends of Luke Skywalker, a novel by Ken Liu (I am most excited about this! Ken Liu? Luke Skywalker? Yes!) Ken Liu talks more about this title here. Fantastic.

I'm still having a difficult time finding the most efficient way to post images to Dreamwidth. Every option seems very clunky to me. So it goes.

eldritchhobbit: (SW/WildHair Old Luke)
2017-04-14 01:39 pm
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Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Here's the trailer.

Here are the behind the scenes photos.

And here's the poster:

"I only know one truth: it's time for the Jedi to end." - Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi

How long is it until December?