eldritchhobbit: (Books)
Happy birthday to the father of modern dystopian fiction, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1 February, 1884 – 10 March, 1937)!

We


So, take the idea of “rights” and drip some acid on it. Even the most adult of the Ancients knew: the source of a right is power, a right is the function of power. Take two trays of a weighing scale: put a gram on one, and on the other, put a ton. On one side is the “I,” on the other is the “WE,” the One State. Isn’t it clear? Assuming the “I” has the same “rights” compared to “WE” the State, is exactly the same thing as assuming that a gram can counterbalance a ton. Here is the distribution: a ton has rights, a gram has duties. And this is the natural path from insignificance to greatness: forget that you are a gram, and feel as though you are a millionth part of the ton…
― Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1924)
eldritchhobbit: (Books and coffee)
Happy birthday to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (11 November, 1922 – 11 April, 2007)!

Here, have some Vonnegut.





eldritchhobbit: (SF/Exploring space)
I'll shortly be on my way to MidAmeriCon II/the 74th World Science Fiction Convention. If you're attending, I hope you'll say hello!

Below is my schedule. I'm delighted and privileged to be on panels with some stellar folks in the SF community. Each event title links to its official description and list of participants.

midamericanconii.jpg


Thursday, August 18
2pm: "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: How The Hunger Games' World of Tomorrow Builds on SF's Classic Past"
This is my stand-alone academic presentation, which is part of the Campbell Conference/Academic Track.

Friday, August 19
11am: "Queer Star Wars"
This panel is part of the 40th Anniversary Star Wars Day programming.

Saturday, August 20
10am: "Alienation and Science Fiction"
I am the moderator of this panel.

12pm: "Inspiring the Creativity"
I am the moderator of this panel.

2pm: "Magazine Group Reading: Escape Artists, Inc."

8pm: The Hugo Awards
I am honored to be the official representative of Hugo nominee Tales to Terrify at this year's ceremony.

Sunday, August 21
12pm: "Criticism in Speculative Fiction"


I plan to post updates and photos on my Twitter feed.

Catch you on the flip side!
eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
Happy birthday to George Orwell (25 June, 1903 – 21 January, 1950)!

The Stanmore lanes project, again, NO STOPPING, Wikileaks


“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”
― George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
eldritchhobbit: (Books and text)
Happy birthday to the father of modern dystopian fiction, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1 February, 1884 – 10 March, 1937)!

Untitled


“It is said there are flowers that bloom only once in a hundred years. Why should there not be some that bloom once in a thousand, in ten thousand years? Perhaps we never know about them simply because this 'once in a thousand years' has come today.”
― Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1924)

We


Happy birthday also to [livejournal.com profile] time_shark, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] alitalf, [livejournal.com profile] mayree, [livejournal.com profile] infostudent, [livejournal.com profile] akaihyo, [livejournal.com profile] vonjunzt, [livejournal.com profile] wiredwizard, [livejournal.com profile] moglaikhan, [livejournal.com profile] griffith_gwyn, [livejournal.com profile] mr_earbrass, [livejournal.com profile] mollypunkin, [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck, [livejournal.com profile] firiath, [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid, [livejournal.com profile] alicia_stardust, [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl, [livejournal.com profile] dqg_neal, [livejournal.com profile] xerum525, [livejournal.com profile] homespunheart, [livejournal.com profile] jagash, [livejournal.com profile] settiai, [livejournal.com profile] rosamundeb, and [livejournal.com profile] kalquessa. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
Happy birthday to George Orwell (25 June, 1903 – 21 January, 1950)!

The Stanmore lanes project, again, NO STOPPING, Wikileaks


“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”
― George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Weird)
I'll shortly be off to Asheville, and I look forward to seeing some of you at the second half of my "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" weekend event.

Here, have some links!

- Tribute to Providence horror writer H.P. Lovecraft takes place Sunday.

- Wilma Mankiller could be on the $20 bill. Very fitting.

- Everyone is invited! I will be the featured guest on The Lovecraft eZine's weekly Sunday live web show on April 26 at 6pm Eastern.

- Last but not least, StarShipSofa's fearless leader, Tony C. Smith, has launched a new science fiction YouTube series. Check out the first show!



Have a great weekend, everyone!
eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
Wow! The first weekend of my two-weekend "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" event was spectacular, with amazing students and fascinating discussions. I'm very much looking forward to the second half of the event. Thanks to everyone who participated!

In other news that makes me happy, I've just proofed the final galleys for two of my essays which will be published soon. “Feminism, Frankenstein, and Freedom: The Individualistic Works and Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley” will appear in REASON, and "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother: Harry Potter in the Native American Context" will appear in Harry Potter for Nerds II (along with works by several of my current and former graduate students, I'm delighted to say).

In addition, my proposal for the essay "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition" has been accepted for the forthcoming 2016 scholarly volume Critical Insights: The Hunger Games.

Day 38/365 ~ We Read to Know We Are Not Alone


Speaking of publications, here are some Calls for Papers of possible interest.
- New Worlds, Terrifying Monsters, Impossible Things: Exploring the Contents and Contexts of Doctor Who
- Engendering the Disc – The Fantastic Worlds of Terry Pratchett
- Being Humans. The Human Condition in the age of techno-humanism: representations, practices, experiences

Happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] sarah531, [livejournal.com profile] vg_ford, [livejournal.com profile] tunes84, [livejournal.com profile] captnofmyheart, [livejournal.com profile] wildviolet4, [livejournal.com profile] savagedoc45, [livejournal.com profile] lalam, [livejournal.com profile] silveraspen, [livejournal.com profile] denorios, [livejournal.com profile] prettybirdy979, [livejournal.com profile] sakuraember, [livejournal.com profile] cherylmmorgan, [livejournal.com profile] muuranker, [livejournal.com profile] izhilzha, and [livejournal.com profile] justicemuffins. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
eldritchhobbit: (Books and text)
Happy birthday to the father of modern dystopian fiction, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1 February, 1884 – 10 March, 1937)!

Untitled


“It is said there are flowers that bloom only once in a hundred years. Why should there not be some that bloom once in a thousand, in ten thousand years? Perhaps we never know about them simply because this 'once in a thousand years' has come today.”
― Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1924)

We


Happy birthday also to [livejournal.com profile] time_shark, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] alitalf, [livejournal.com profile] mayree, [livejournal.com profile] infostudent, [livejournal.com profile] akaihyo, [livejournal.com profile] vonjunzt, [livejournal.com profile] wiredwizard, [livejournal.com profile] moglaikhan, [livejournal.com profile] griffith_gwyn, [livejournal.com profile] mr_earbrass, [livejournal.com profile] mollypunkin, [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck, [livejournal.com profile] firiath, [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid, [livejournal.com profile] alicia_stardust, [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl, [livejournal.com profile] dqg_neal, [livejournal.com profile] xerum525, [livejournal.com profile] homespunheart, [livejournal.com profile] jagash, [livejournal.com profile] settiai, [livejournal.com profile] rosamundeb, and [livejournal.com profile] kalquessa. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Babylon 5)
These count as cool things:

- Here's a Call for Papers of potential interest: CFP: What Can We Expect from Joss Whedon?

- J. Michael Straczynski will be adapting Kim Stanley Robinson: "Babylon 5 creator heads back to TV to write the Red Mars series."

- Speaking of adaptations, has anyone watched the new Amazon Originals pilot of The Man in the High Castle, adapted from Philip K. Dick's novel? We give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! So does The Independent: "The Man in the High Castle: From the makers of The X-Files and Blade Runner, the Amazon pilot all sci-fi fans should watch."

Claire_Man-in-the-High-Castle-640x360
eldritchhobbit: (Tori/I was here)
It's time for one of those end-of-the-year stocktaking posts. This is more for my benefit than anything else. What have I accomplished this year?

My 2014... )
eldritchhobbit: (Fringe/Hand)
Happy birthday to Philip K. Dick (16 December, 1928 – 2 March, 1982)!

Philip K. Dick Books


“This is a mournful discovery.
1) Those who agree with you are insane.
2) Those who do not agree with you are in power.”

- Philip K. Dick, VALIS (1981)
eldritchhobbit: (Harrison Bergeron/jubilation)
Happy birthday to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (11 November, 1922 – 11 April, 2007)!

Kurt Vonnegut - 1922 — 2007 - RIP


“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano (1952)

Miscellany

Nov. 10th, 2014 09:56 am
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Obi-Wan/Not Defeat)
* Huge congratulations to Glass Hammer's Stephen R. Babb on the publication of his gorgeous The Lay of Lirazel in paperback, ebook, and audiobook form. The Lay Of Lirazel is narrative poetry told in epic fashion, but it is poetry fully equipped with fangs and enough terror to keep a reader turning pages till the last curse falls and death and doom claim their prize! Inspired by the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson, the paintings of John W. Waterhouse, and the writings of George MacDonald, William Morris, and Lord Dunsany, The Lay of Lirazel is the essence of the mythopoeic set to verse. I'm proud to have written the foreword for this remarkable work. Highly recommended!

screen-shot-2014-10-07-at-4-14-57-pm


* I'll be offering a two-weekend-long intense lecture series called "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" in Spring 2015 in Asheville, NC (minutes from where much of The Hunger Games was filmed). Accepted undergraduate/graduate students will have hotel and meals provided without cost. Interested students may apply here.

* Sean Pertwee's Halloween costume made me go all mushy inside. (Incidentally, he's my favorite thing about Gotham, and there's a lot to love about that show.)

* So Star Wars Episode VII will be The Force Awakens. I didn't realize that the Force had dozed off. That said, I hope the latest speculations have some truth to them. If so, it could be good, even great. (Anthony Daniels certainly seems pleased with it.)

What do u think? Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens #starwars #disney


* I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Elizabeth Peña. She starred in a film I dearly love, Lone Star, and several other great ones (Jacob's Ladder, anyone?). So sad.

* I'm looking forward to Billy Boyd's "The Last Goodbye" for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. (We can hear a clip now here and via iTunes.)

Have a great day!
eldritchhobbit: (Apparitions/ Father Jacob)
* My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment is a review of the centuries-spanning "Destroyed London" exhibit at Loncon 3/Worldcon. It's available on Episode 353 of StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Here's a petition to ask that Jamie Lloyd's current production of Richard III at Trafalgar Studios (with Martin Freeman in the title role) be recorded for either broadcast or DVD release. Here's hoping!

* In other news, the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? focuses on the ancestors of actor Martin Shaw. If, like me, you're a fan of Mr. Shaw -- or, like me, you're interested in 19th-century British Industrial history -- this episode is well worth watching. There's also an outtake scene available here.

eldritchhobbit: (SF/Space travel)
I had a marvelous time at this year's Worldcon (which, the last I heard, was in the running to be the largest Worldcon in the event's 72-year-history with well over 10,500 attendees).

Some of the highlights of the con for me were the following.

- Meeting in person several of the StarShipSofa crew with whom I've worked for the last six plus years, including Tony C. Smith, Diane Severson Mori, Steve Bickle, and others, as well as many of our long-term listeners.

- Attending the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards Ceremony, which was presented like a 1939 radio broadcast, complete with a live band, ads, and breaks for newsflashes about approaching Martians. (Fortunately for us, the "con crud" killed the invaders before they penetrated the ExCel Centre where the ceremony was being held.) It was a loving extended tribute to Orson Welles' adaptation of The War of the Worlds, beautifully realized. My friend Diane Severson Mori, who was representing Amazing Stories editor Raymond Palmer (who was nominated for Best Editor), kindly invited me to be her "plus one," so I also got to see the other representatives at the pre-awards reception and enjoy the ceremony from choice seating. It was moving for me to see classic works I've loved and taught honored in this way.

- Officiating at the Prometheus Awards ceremony, where it was my privilege to present "Best Novel" awards to Cory Doctorow (for Homeland) and Ramez Naam (for Nexus), both of whom gave stirring speeches, and a "Special Award" to the representative of Leslie Fish (for her novella “Tower of Horses” and her related filk song, "The Horsetamer’s Daughter"), as well as to accept on behalf of Lois McMaster Bujold the "Hall of Fame" honor for her novel Falling Free.

- Giving my two talks, "Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction" and "Millennials and Worlds Gone Wrong: These Aren't Your Grandparents' YA Dystopias." I'm grateful to A.J. Hall for her wonderful (and hilarious) introduction to my Holmes talk, and to everyone who attended - even those several dozen who were turned away after the doors were closed due to overcrowding. (What a turnout! I was amazed.) I'm also grateful to the many who came to my YA dystopias talk and stayed with me, contributing great comments and questions, even though the tech specialists were unable to get my PowerPoint up and running. (So it goes...)

- Participating in stimulating and thought-provoking panels. It was great fun to sit side-by-side and converse with some truly gifted authors, scholars, and journalists. I particularly enjoyed the "Young Adult SF on the Big Screen" panel, where we had just the right balance of agreement and disagreement to make for a vigorous and fruitful discussion. I also attended several excellent panels as an audience member. Two of the standout examples were "My Beautiful Dystopia" (with a stellar panel of authors including the always-awesome Peadar O'Guilin) and "Reluctant, or Just Not Interested?," a panel about reluctant readers, the education system, and publishing, which featured more terrific guests (including Gray Rinehart, whose appearances are always "must sees").


Here's my obligatory selfie with my Loncon 3 badge, taken just before the Retro-Hugo Awards ceremony, and a photo of the ExCeL Centre at the Docklands, where the con was held.

Here I am before the Retro-Hugo Awards.The ExCeL Centre in London in 2014


Click here for my photos from Loncon 3/Worldcon, including close-up pictures from the "50 Photos for 50 Years of Doctor Who," "A Brief History of Worldcon," and "The Destruction of London" special exhibits.

My next con appearance is in September at A Long-Expected Party. At this point I'm not sure about next year's Worldcon, but I know I will be attending MidAmeriCon II/Worldcon in 2016.
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Dames and Horses)
It's official! I've happily accepted the position of Department Chair of Literature and Language at Signum University. Speaking of which, registration is open for my online "Science Fiction, Part I" course for Fall 2014 at Mythgard Institute at Signum University.

I'm getting ready to head out for a quick trip south to offer guest lectures on intellectual history and The Hunger Games, Serenity, and YA dystopian fiction. (It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.) Here is a quick look at my upcoming speaking schedule.

Science Fiction, Part 1 at Mythgard Institute


Where I Will Be Speaking When

***JULY***
"Life Is Improv" Seminar at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia

***AUGUST***
Loncon 3/the 72nd Worldcon in London, UK
Here is my updated schedule. )

***SEPTEMBER***
A Long-Expected Party 3 in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

A Long Expected Party 3
eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
Happy birthday to George Orwell (25 June, 1903 – 21 January, 1950)!

Orwell


“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”
― George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

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