eldritchhobbit: (Excalibur/Arthur)
Today the second part of my two-part "Looking Back on Genre History" discussion of the intersection between Star Trek and Arthurian literature is up on StarShipSofa.
- Here is Part 1 (on Episode 431).
- Here is Part 2 (on Episode 436).

If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

Image from Book of Prophecy by Gloria Fry (referenced in my "Looking Back on Genre History" segment), MJ Press, 1995, artwork by Maggie Symon
eldritchhobbit: (TOS/McCoy/Fascinating)
Here are a few calls for papers that I thought might be of interest.
* The Comics Work of Neil Gaiman
* The Female Science Fiction Western
* Future Humans (in literature, film, TV, history, & pop culture)

In other news, my most recent "Looking Back on Genre History" segment on StarShipSofa discusses the relationship between Star Trek and Arthurian literature. It's here on Episode 431. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

eldritchhobbit: (Excalibur/Arthur)
Very sad news. The Lion in Winter, Excalibur, Caravaggio... His work fills a shelf of my DVD collection. Nigel Terry, R.I.P.
eldritchhobbit: (Excalibur/Arthur)
* R.I.P., Mary Stewart (17 September, 1916 – 9 May, 2014), best known for her Merlin series of Arthurian fantasy novels: Mythopoeic Award winners The Crystal Cave (1970) and The Hollow Hills (1973), followed by The Last Enchantment. Read more from The New York Times: "Mary Stewart, British Writer Who Spanned Genres, Dies at 97."

* Is Tolkien's translation of Beowulf better than Seamus Heaney's? From Katy Waldman at Slate: "The Don’s Don: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Beowulf translation finally arrives."

* I should mention again that scholar Michael Drout has written a most enlightening blog post clarifying his work with Tolkien's Beowulf papers, etc.: "Tolkien's Beowulf: The Real Story."

And here's some amazing street art, a tribute to The Professionals.

The Professionals ~ Gatecrasher Fence
eldritchhobbit: (Pros/Bodie/tea)
The new semester begins today! Apologies for my recent silence, but I've been busy getting prepared for the new term. I'm teaching both undergraduate and graduate versions of "Native American Experience in the U.S. Context" for Lenoir-Rhyne University and the graduate course "The Gothic Tradition" for Mythgard Institute.

In other news...

* In the next couple of months I'll have the privilege of interviewing two distinguished and celebrated authors whose works I regularly teach. I'll be interviewing David Brin virtually for StarShipSofa's Sofanauts, and I'll be interviewing Sherman Alexie in person as part of Lenoir-Rhyne's Visiting Writers Series. My students this semester will be reading Alexie's brilliant, U.S. National Book Award winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, so I'm delighted that they'll have a chance to see Alexie on campus.

* Here's a Call for Papers that may be of interest: The Inklings and King Arthur.

* Fans of the late (and great) Lewis Collins will want to see this moving message from his family.

* Interesting! "Four Changes to English So Subtle We Hardly Notice They're Happening." (Thanks to James!)

* I've updated the list of my personal appearances this year.

* Sherlock! As much as I enjoyed "The Empty Hearse" and "The Sign of Three" -- and I really did! -- "His Last Vow" blew them both away. Well played, Moftiss. Well played indeed.

Javier Fernandez Auditor - Series TV - Una nueva promo de la tercera temporada de Sherlock

I'll leave this on a January-esque note...

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing dear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.

- Emily Brontë, "Spellbound"
eldritchhobbit: (Knight)
As you may know, I have a brilliant and beautiful new niece. As you may not know, she's half a continent away. Thank goodness we live in the era of electronic photos and videos and live Skype chats! I realized that, if I lived close to Kaitlyn, what I'd want to do most is read to her. So I've decided to do that anyway. With what I'm calling "Project Kaitlyn," I'm recording my narration of stories I'd most like to share with her (especially those with a fantasy or science fiction flavor), and my family will play them for her. Just in case anyone else is interested, I'll share those recordings here, too.

My first full, unabridged book narration for "Project Kaitlyn" is Stories of King Arthur's Knights Told to the Children by Mary Esther Miller MacGregor.

Here's my narration. If you'd like it, please help yourself!

"Chapter 1: Geraint and Enid"
"Chapter 2: Lancelot and Elaine"
"Chapter 3: Pelleas and Ettarde"
"Chapter 4: Gareth and Lynette"
"Chapter 5: Sir Gallahad and the Sacred Cup"
"Chapter 6: The Death of King Arthur"

I'm quite excited about the next texts I've got lined up to record. More soon.

Tales of King Arthur's Knights Told to the Children (1907)

Note: Since one of the goals of this is for Kaitlyn to hear and recognize me, I've kept my own accent for this narration. Not exactly authentic to the source material, I know. I do, however, use different voices for the characters.
eldritchhobbit: (Excalibur/Arthur)
[Poll #1577133]

"I have often thought that in the hereafter of our lives, when I owe no more to the future and can be just a man, that we may meet, and you will come to me and claim me as yours, and know that I am your husband. It is a dream I have..."
- Arthur, Excalibur
eldritchhobbit: (Knight)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] nakeisha! May your day be wonderful and special, just like you.

Many thanks to all of you who responded to my recent poll about autobiographies.

I have a few links to share today:

* My most recent StarShipSofa "History of the Genre" segment, which is about the classic 1884 dystopia Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, is now available in the latest episode of the podcast. You can download it or listen to it here. If you listen, I hope you enjoy. (A full list of my past podcast segments, with links, is available here.)

* Very sad news, in case you haven't heard: according to Ansible, author Diana Wynne Jones has discontinued her chemotherapy and is in very precarious health. All of us who have been touched by her writing have the opportunity to express our appreciation and support for her. The front page of her official fan site has a note from its organizer about where to email best wishes.

* I've discovered another podcast I want to recommend: Chivalry Today. The monthly show explores the history, literature and philosophy of the code of chivalry, from medieval knights and the legends of King Arthur, to contemporary works of popular culture such as Star Wars and Batman, and the depictions of ethics and personal honor that they offer. Thus far I've been very impressed with the show's level of discussion and the insights of the expert guests; if you are interested in medievalism, Arthuriana, popular culture, and/or ethics, I suggest checking it out.

* The finalists for the 2010 Mythopoeic Awards have been announced, and I'm pleased that both of the works I nominated made the final list! Congratulations to all of the nominees. See the complete list of finalists here.

"I think we ought to live happily ever after."
— Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle
eldritchhobbit: (Excalibur/Arthur)
Happy birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] magicwondershow, [livejournal.com profile] groovekittie, and [livejournal.com profile] eveningblue, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] peadarog. May all of you enjoy a wonderful day and a fantastic year to come!

I have some links to share:

* From io9: "Four Authors We Wish Would Return to Science Fiction." One of the four is a favorite author of mine, Mary Doria Russell. As someone who balances both professional and personal love of history and science fiction, I appreciate her insights on how science fiction and historical fiction make similar demands on a writer (and perhaps reader, I would add), as well as her comments about how her background as an anthropologist informs all of her work.

* From SFX: "15 SF Acronyms." U.N.C.L.E.! T.A.R.D.I.S.! And the oft-forgotten V.I.N.C.E.N.T!

* Sarah Zettel on Book View Cafe lists her "Top Ten Arthurian Films." There are some interesting choices, but no Excalibur?!?

* from Topless Robot: "The Nine Greatest Fan Films Ever Made." It's a great list, but I want to give the clever "Troops" extra props. It works on so many levels. I've used this film in my lectures on several occasions. In case you haven't seen it, enjoy. If you have seen it, well, watch it again anyway.

"I have turned out to be kind of a genre slut. I will stand on the literary street corner and get into any genre that drives by and offers to take me to a good par-tay. And sometimes I don't go home with the one who brung me to the dance."
- Mary Doria Russell, from "Four Authors We Wish Would Return to Science Fiction"
eldritchhobbit: (TOS/space hobbit)
Happy Mother's Day to everyone who is a mother (biological, step, or otherwise, to two-footed or four-footed children)! Also, happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] hisluvpet, with best wishes for many happy returns of the day!

I have a few links to share...

* A couple of people have asked me about my work on Star Trek and Arthuriana, which I referenced in my last post. My article ("The Sword in the StarShip: Arthuriana in the Four Incarnations of Star Trek") was published originally in 2000 in the now-extinct Winedark Sea; it's available online here as a PDF file. (Edit: For those of you whose browsers don't like this, you can also download the PDF file here. Please let me know if it needs to be uploaded again. Thanks!)

My book chapter ("Beam Me Up, King Arthur? Star Trek and the Arthurian Tradition") is due for 2010 publication in a collection edited by Michael A. Torregrossa and entitled The Reel Matter of Britain: Transformations of the Arthurian Legends on Film and Television. Thanks for your interest!

* The University of Nebraska Press is having a spring sale including 75% off of some of its science fiction publications from the Bison Frontiers of the Imagination imprint. See more here.

* From the Apex Book Company blog: Jacob Kier on "Why We Love the Apocalypse."

Because I feel that in the heavens above
The angels, whispering one to another,
Can find among their burning tears of love,
None so devotional as that of "Mother,"
Therefore, by that dear name I have long called you,
You who are more than mother unto me.
~Edgar Allan Poe
eldritchhobbit: (Cold outside)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mayree, and best wishes for many happy returns of the day!

Personal News

* My latest podcast narration, an unabridged dramatic reading of Jeff Carlson's science fiction story "Long Eyes," is now available from StarShipSofa for streaming here, for downloading here, and under "StarShipSofa" at iTunes. To my great delight, author Jeff Carlson has blogged about my narration and recommends it! (Links to all of my podcast work are collected here.)

* We've just about settled on a title for the collection on fantasy and Native America that will be coming out this summer with Mythopoeic Press. (I'm co-editing the book and contributing a chapter.) At this point, it looks like it will be The Intersection of Fantasy and Native America: From H.P. Lovecraft to Leslie Marmon Silko. I'll be posting more about it as the publication date nears.

TV and Popular Culture Studies News

Attention Supernatural Fans! BenBella has a new title in its Smart Pop Series. I'm a fan of several of the Smart Pop Books (especially Star Wars on Trial and Mapping the World of Harry Potter), and I know this will be a terrific edition to the series - especially since the fantastic [livejournal.com profile] dodger_winslow is contributing a chapter! I long ago learned that whatever literary project she is involved with is well worth reading.


Read more about In The Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural here.

Online Literary News

* The latest issue of Journey to the Sea, the online magazine of myth, is now available, and it includes some interesting articles such as "Batman: Dark Knight, Dark Myth" by Dave Jones and "Northern Mythological Traditions in The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" by Jason Fisher.

* Via Alan Lupack: The wonderful people at The Camelot Project have added some fascinating new texts to the archive, both medieval and modern. Of particular interest are two translations done in 1780 by Lewis Porney. One is of the French romance Claris and Laris, which may be the only English version that exists. Porney's translation is a product of its time, and he abridges considerably. Yet as a way of getting a sense of the romance for those who can not read the original and as an example of eighteenth-century medievalism, this text is worth reading. Porney also translated (and radically abridged) a version of the Prose Tristan, which is also now available on The Camelot Project. This is interesting because it contains sections of the romance not found in Renée Curtis's selections, which provide the only other translation into English of this important text. Porney's Claris and Laris can be found here and his Prose Tristan can be found here.

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the withered air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, and housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
eldritchhobbit: (BillyMack/Love)
* If you're looking for a smile for your day, I highly recommend this: Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] travels_in_time.)

* I've discovered a new blog with excellent book reviews and interviews: Fruitless Recursion: A Journal Devoted To Discussing Works of SF Criticism. You can check it out on LJ as [livejournal.com profile] fruit_recursion.

* Norris J. Lacy's fascinating 2008 plenary address to the International Arthurian Society on the epic topic of "Arthurian Texts in Their Historical and Social Context" is now available online here.

Last but not least, a quote for the day (long but well worth it):

If a man has something to say he will manage to say it; if he has nothing to communicate, there is no reason he should have a good style, anymore than why he should have a good purse without any money, or a good scabbard without any sword. For my part I always scorned the very idea of forming a style. Every true man with anything to say has a style of his own, which, for its development, requires only common sense. In the first place he must see that he has said what he means, in the next, that he has not said it so that it may be mistaken for what he does not mean. The mere moving of a word to another place may help to prevent such a mistake. Then he must remove what is superfluous, what is unnecessary or unhelpful to the understanding of his meaning. He must remove whatever obscures or dulls the meaning, and makes it necessary to search for what might have been plainly understood at once. All this implies a combination of writer and critic not often found. Whatever, in a word, seems to the writer himself objectionable, either in regard to sense or sound, he must rigorously removed. He must use no phrase because it sounds fine, and no imagined ornament which does not contribute to the sense or feeling of what he writes.

But, first of all, he ought to make a good aquaintance with grammar, the rarity of which possession is incredible to any but the man who is precise in his logical use of words. There are very few men who can be depended on for writing a sentence grammatically perfect. And, alas! English is scarcely taught in England! I have not time to write on a subject which is not my business, but a means to other ends. The theme is summed in this: A good style is one that not merely says, but conveys what the writer means; and to gain it, a man must continuously endeavor to convey what he means, and never to show himself off. The mere endeavor to gain the reputation of a good writer is contemptible. I would say to anyone whose heart burned within him, write freely what you feel, and then correct rigourously. The truth must give you your material and utterance, and then you must get rid of the faults that would interfere with the entrance of your utterance into the minds of those who may read. The effect after style ought to be but a removal of faults. Say, and then say right.

- George MacDonald from The Art of Authorship, 1891


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