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: (Books and text)
Happy birthday to Ray Bradbury (22 August, 1920 – 5 June, 2012)!

"They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressures; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves."
- Ray Bradbury, "Usher II" (1950)

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury


Speaking of Mr. Bradbury, it was my delight last week to sit next to the representative of his British publisher during the fabulous 1939 Retro-Hugo Awards Ceremony, which played out like a period radio broadcast, complete with live band, ads, and War of the Worlds-esque newsflashes about Martian invaders. Here is the Retro-Hugo Award he won for Best Fan Writer.

Ray Bradbury's Retro-Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer..
eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/ and Holmes)
I'm back, staggeringly jetlagged and tired but very happy, from a fantastic visit to London and Loncon 3/Worldcon. I'll be catching up on emails shortly. Pictures and reports of my English adventures will follow. You have been warned.

For now, let me say that the third and final installment of my "Looking Back on Genre History" series entitled "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother: Harry Potter in a Native American Context" is now live on StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy. Here are links to all three segments:
- "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother": Part 1 of 3
- "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother": Part 2 of 3
- "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother": Part 3 of 3

I'll leave you with a couple of my photos of notes left by fans at the The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London.

Notes Left by Fans at the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London

Notes Left by Fans at the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Airport)
I'm off to London for research and adventure before Loncon 3/Worldcon begins. I'll catch you on the flip side, my friends!

Here is my updated Worldcon schedule. )

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eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Hey Chief)
I have my preliminary schedule for Loncon 3/the 72nd Worldcon. I'm really excited!

Friday, 15 August
11am-12 noon
Solo presentation: “Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction”


Saturday, 16 August
12 noon-1:30pm
Panel: “Commercializing Fans”

3pm-4:30pm
Panel: “Young Adult SF on the Big Screen”

6pm-7pm
Panel: “Young Adult and Middle-Grade SF”

8pm-9pm
I’ll be officiating at the Prometheus Awards ceremony.


Sunday, 17 August
1:30pm-3pm
Solo presentation: “Millennials and Worlds Gone Wrong: These Aren’t Your Parents’ YA Dystopias”

{245} Science Fiction


Following up on my recent post about Ruth Graham's article in Slate, here are a few more "must read" responses.
- From my friend and former graduate student, Curtis Weyant: "Unliterary Criticism"
- From Julie Beck: "The Adult Lessons of YA Fiction" (Thanks to Leslie!)
- From Maggie Stiefvater: "Here is a lie we've all been told: books will make you smart." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estellye!)
- From Heather Hogan: "Geek Out: No, Adults Should NOT be Embarrassed to Read Young Adult Books" (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] brighteyed_jill!)
- And, in fiction form (You want to see this!), from Kathleen Hale: "A Young Adult Author’s Fantastic Crusade to Defend Literature’s Most Maligned Genre" (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estellye!)

And regarding current television...
- How amazing was Fargo? So good.
- The new season of Longmire is off to a terrific start. Check this out: "The Top Five Reasons You Should Be Watching Longmire."
- I don't want this season of Orphan Black to be over.
eldritchhobbit: (B7/Vila)
It's official! I'm delighted to say that I'll be giving two hour-long talks at Loncon 3: The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention in London this summer. One will be with the Young Adult Track, "Millennials and Worlds Gone Wrong: Or, Why These Aren't Your Grandparents' YA Dystopias," and one will be with the Academic Track, "Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction." It looks like I'll be on some terrific panels, as well. I'll post my schedule when I know it. (Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] peadarog!)

I'd also like to offer my congratulations to my undergraduate and graduate students who were chosen to present their original research from this semester formally during Lenoir-Rhyne University's campus-wide SOURCE: Symposium on University Research and Creative Expression. Three cheers for Elena Margo Gould ("Black Elk's Syncretic Spirituality"), Angelia Bedford ("Native Americans and the Criminal Justice System"), Liz Goebelbecker ("Spirit for Sale"), and Leah Phillips ("A Study of How Euro-American Disease and Medicine Affected the Nebraska Winnebago Native"). Well done!

Some Kickstarters of interest:
- Edgar Allan Poe illustrated "Ravings of Love & Death" (Thanks to Diane!) This one ends today!
- The Miskatonic School for Girls: Holiday Break Expansion (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sittingduck1313!)
- Geek Theater: Anthology of Science Fiction & Fantasy Plays
- Star Wars Lightsabers from Science Fiction to Science Fact
eldritchhobbit: (Space/Jupiter)
* I'm delighted to say it's official: I'll be giving an hour-long academic presentation on "Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction" at Loncon 3: The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention in London this summer. (It's the perfect year for returning to London, as it's the 160th birthday of Mr. Holmes!) It looks like I'll be on some terrific panels, as well. I'll post my schedule when I know it.

* Speaking of Sherlock Holmes: "One Fixed Point: Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, and the British Imagination." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck!)

* Check out the latest experience from StarShipSofa: The Sofanauts! You're invited! "Do you travel extensively to meet and hear the great creators of science fiction or wish that you could? Now you don’t have to do so! The Sofanauts will bring highly respected and sought-after guests directly to you for video talks and chats. Hear and interact with SF legends and rising stars from the comfort of your own home!"

join-the-sofanauts


Last but not least, here are several Calls for Papers that may be of interest:
* "Doctor Who: Twelfth Night" (book collection)
* "The Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Phenomena" (book collection)
* "Sensationalism and the Genealogy of Modernity" (book collection)
* "New Approaches to the Jazz Age" (book collection)
* "Digital Games and Interactive Media" (journal special issue)
* "The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work" (journal special issue)
* "Privacy and Dataveillance" (journal special issue)
* "Queens of Crime" (conference)

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