eldritchhobbit: (Me/Sparkly)
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: (SW/Obi-Wan/Not Defeat)
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: (Default)
I am beyond delighted to be a featured speaker at Asheville Wordfest 2017: Ten Years of Multiculturalism at the Mic on April 18-23, 2017, speaking about world science fiction. If you're in beautiful Asheville, please do join me! And check out the amazing programming planned for the rest of the weekend!
eldritchhobbit: (Frankenstein)
First of all, happy 199th birthday to what is perhaps my favorite novel and definitely the pioneering work of modern science fiction, Frankenstein! Here are five reasons to celebrate Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley today.



Also, the latest episode of StarShipSofa includes my new "Looking Back on Genre History," part one of a two-part discussion of the relationship of one of my very favorite authors, Lois McMaster Bujold, to fandom (and fan fiction, in particular). Here it is! If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

(And speaking of StarShipSofa, heartfelt thanks to those of you who have helped make Everyone: Worlds Without Walls a reality! We're most grateful to you!)

Last but not least, it seems that I've embarked on an in-depth study of the films of award-winning actor-director-writer Jiang Wen, sort of a personal (and multi-month-long) film festival that also includes reading the popular and scholarly analyses of his work that are available in English. (I've found that his films are kind of dream dining for someone who does intellectual history, though I'm having to brush up a bit on my knowledge of recent China, which, hey, is a good thing.) When that's all done, expect a report, including breakdown of his films with brief reviews/reactions. Consider yourself warned, ha!



I am still recovering from The Ick That Wouldn't Die, but I'm much better than I was. And we're expecting snow tomorrow, which makes me very happy indeed. I hope all of you are doing well, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Hitchhiker's Guide)
Happy birthday to Douglas Adams (11 March, 1952 – 11 May, 2001)!

A Wholly Remarkable Book


“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Don't Tread)
Blech! Very sick here. So many are! The ick is making the rounds. 'Tis the season, I suppose. My husband is two weeks into it and he still has little voice and lots of coughing. I'm just in week one, full of antibiotics. Joy! /Whinging

I hope all of you are well, my friends!

Here are several cool Calls for Papers for anyone so inclined:
* "Special Edition of Fantastika Journal" (incorporates the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but can also include alternative histories, steampunk, young adult fiction, or any other imaginative space)
* "Representing Rural Women"
* "Stranger Things: Eighties Nostalgia, Cynicism and Innocence"
* "Science Fiction Beyond the Western Canon"

Most of all, I just want to share the news about an amazing and inspiring project created by StarShipSofa's Districts of Wonders network, one I'm deeply honored to be a part of: Everyone: Worlds Without Walls, a speculative fiction anthology of new and diverse voices from around the globe. I invite you to check it out!

eldritchhobbit: (Read more science fiction)
Happy birthday to Jules Verne (8 February, 1828 – 24 March, 1905)!

Jules Verne Statue


"The sea does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears. Ah! sir, live--live in the bosom of the waters! There only is independence! There I recognise no masters! There I am free!"
- Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
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: (Tecumseh)
My "The Once and Future Chief: Tecumseh in (Science) Fiction" appears in this month's Apex Magazine. I'm so delighted to be featured in such fantastic company! This special double issue is available in ebook form for $2.99.

eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/John & Sherlock computer)
How about Sherlock!?! Wow. Okay, on to links...

I had the pleasure and privilege of narrating a very powerful science fiction story, "In a Manner of Speaking" by Charity Tahmaseb, for Escape Pod. This one will stick with me a long time (in a very good way). One of the podcast listeners on the Escape Pod forum called it "*so good*. Like, be late to work because you have to hear the rest of the story good." I agree. My narration went online this week on Episode 556. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

In other news, the Hocus Pocus Comics website is aliiiive! Aliiive, I say! You're invited to check us out. Thanks!

eldritchhobbit: (Coffee)
Happy birthday to E.M. Forster (1 January, 1879 – 7 June, 1970)!

yellow is happiness


“He broke off, and she fancied that he looked sad. She could not be sure, for the Machine did not transmit nuances of expression. It only gave a general idea of people -- an idea that was good enough for all practical purposes, Vashti thought. The imponderable bloom, declared by a discredited philosophy to be the actual essence of intercourse, was rightly ignored by the Machine, just as the imponderable bloom of the grape was ignored by the manufacturers of artificial fruit. Something 'good enough' had long since been accepted by our race.”
― E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops (1909)
eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze smiling)
It's time for my annual navel-gazing post, in which I take stock of the year beyond my university teaching for my own information/edification.

So here's my reading, podcasting, and published work this year.





Below the cut: lists! )
eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
Today my first narration for the Cast of Wonders podcast is available on Episode 221. I read the wonderful tale "The Jungle Between" by Holly Schofield. If you listen, I hope you enjoy! This is the final dinosaur-centric episode in the podcast's "Dinovember" celebration.

Just in case Cast of Wonders is new to you, I should mention that it's a Young Adult fiction podcast featuring tales of the fantastic. ("The Jungle Between," for example, is YA science fiction.) It's a terrific podcast, and if you know any young people or adult lovers of YA literature, I encourage you to share the news about it. Cast of Wonders is part of the Escape Artists family of podcasts.

eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Luke/Watching You)
I am counting down the hours until Rogue One!


In other news...

Here are some interesting links I wanted to share.

- from Science Fiction Ruminations: "Three SF Short Stories Pre-1969 by Women Authors"

- from The Baltimore Sun: "Newest 'Poe Toaster' to Return for Edgar Allan Poe's Birthday Tribute"

- from The Atlantic: "The Science Fiction that Came before Science"


And in personal news..

My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment -- which is about Firefly, Serenity, the Frontier Thesis, and Ron Glass -- is now up here at StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

Last year I filmed some videos about Star Wars for the Learn Liberty project with the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. Two of these went up on YouTube last year ("Star Wars: Does Fear Cost Us Our Liberty?" and "Star Wars: Behind the History"). Now the other two are available on YouTube: "Good and Evil in Star Wars" and "Warrior, Librarian, Jedi Master."



eldritchhobbit: (Fringe/Walter/Self-Medicated)
A lot has been going on here, but pretty much everything pales beside the specter of the Western North Carolina wildfires. What's happening to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the wildlife there is absolutely tragic, and the heroism of the men and women fighting the flames cannot be overstated. We're currently in what's been classified as a Red Zone for "unhealthy" air quality due to the smoke and ash.


In happier news...

- I was interviewed for this article by Tiffany Gee Lewis of The Deseret News: The Cultural Impacts of Harry Potter on the Next Generation."

- My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment, which focuses on the work of Sheri S. Tepper, is up on the new episode of StarShipSofa here. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

- Here are a few Calls for Papers that may be of interest.
--- Medicine and Mystery: The Dark Side of Science in Victorian Fiction
--- Serenity: Essays on Joss Whedon’s "Big Damn Movie"
--- At the Mercy of Monsters: Essays on the Rise of Supernatural Procedural Dramas


Lastly, on my trip to speak in D.C. a couple of weeks ago, I stopped off at one of my favorite places in the world, The Poe Museum. Here's Poe in the Poe Shrine, with the morning's pennies left by visitors.

eldritchhobbit: (Books and coffee)
Happy birthday to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (11 November, 1922 – 11 April, 2007)!

Here, have some Vonnegut.





eldritchhobbit: (HP/Ravenclaw/sadhappydeep)
I have two items of news today. First, my unabridged narration of Beth Goder's wonderful time-twisting science fiction tale "Murder or a Duck" is up here on Episode 545 of Escape Pod. It's a terrifically entertaining and clever story, and it was great fun to record! If you listen, I hope you enjoy.

Second, my latest critical essay, "Hogwarts in America," is now on newsstands in the December 2016 issue of Reason. (This is the essay to which I referred in my recent interview on the MuggleNet Academia podcast.)

I'll post again when this article goes up online.

eldritchhobbit: (SF/Cosmic puppets)
Let's get some vintage science fiction in this countdown!

Here is the teaser for The Men in the Walls by William Tenn published in the October 1963 issue of Galaxy:

"The world was divided between the Men and the Monsters — but which were Monsters and which were Men?"



Download the free audio reading of The Men in the Walls from Librivox here.
(The description is as follows: "There are giant, technologically superior aliens who have conquered Earth. People live like vermin in holes in the insulation material of the walls of the homes the monsters have built, sneaking out to steal food and other items from the aliens. A complex social and religious order has evolved, with women preserving knowledge and working as healers, while men serve as warriors and thieves. For the aliens, men and women are just a nuisance, neither civilized nor intelligent, and are generally regarded as vermin to be exterminated. This story begins, 'Mankind consisted of 128 people. The sheer population pressure of so vast a horde had long ago filled over a dozen burrows.'")

Read the online text of the story from Project Gutenberg here.

Here's an excerpt:

He was on the other side. He was in Monster territory. He was surrounded by the strange Monster light, the incredible Monster world. The burrows, Mankind, everything familiar, lay behind him.

Panic rose from his stomach and into his throat like vomit.

Don't look up. Eyes down, eyes down or you're likely to freeze right where you are. Stay close to the wall, keep your eyes on the wall and move along it. Turn right and move along the wall. Move fast.

Eric turned. He felt the wall brush his right shoulder. He began to run, keeping his eyes down, touching the wall with his shoulder at regular intervals. He ran as fast as he possibly could, urging his muscles fiercely on. As he ran, he counted the steps to himself.

Twenty paces. Where did the light come from? It was everywhere; it glowed so; it was white, white. Twenty-five paces. Touch the wall with your shoulder. Don't — above everything — don't wander away from the wall. Thirty paces. In light like this you had no need of the glow lamp. It was almost too bright to see in. Thirty-five paces. The floor was not like a burrow floor. It was flat and very hard. So was the wall. Flat and hard and straight. Forty paces. Run and keep your eyes down. Run. Keep touching the wall with your shoulder. Move fast. But keep your eyes down. Don't look up. Forty-five paces.

He almost smashed into the structure he had been told about, but his reflexes and the warnings he had received swung him to the left and along it just in time. It was a different color than the wall, he noted, and a different-textured material. Keep your eyes down. Don't look up. He came to an entrance, like the beginning of a small burrow.

Don't go in that first entrance, Eric; you pass it by. He began to count again as he ran. Twenty-three paces more, and there was another entrance, a much higher, wider one. He darted inside. It'll be darker, at first. The walls will soak up light from your glow lamp.

Eric paused, gasping. He was grateful for the sucking darkness.

eldritchhobbit: (Books)
Happy birthday to Frank Herbert (8 October, 1920 – 11 February, 1986)!

dune trilogy by frank herbert 1


"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
- Frank Herbert, Dune (1965)
eldritchhobbit: (SF/Planets and interplanetary travel)
Happy birthday to H.G. Wells (21 September, 1866 – 13 August, 1946)!

Tea and Books I


“Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.”
― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895)

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