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: (Firefly/Losing Side)
R.I.P., Ron Glass (1945-2016). Our 'verse is a warmer and brighter place because of your touch.

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: (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

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

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

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

A Long Expected Party 3
eldritchhobbit: (HP/Absent friends)
I had a wonderful time at ConCarolinas. I caught up with some old friends, made some new ones, traded book recommendations, and talked Arthur Conan Doyle, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Suzanne Collins to my heart's content. At Jonah Knight's fantastic concert, I also got to hear a new track ("The First") from his next steampunk album, and it was brilliant. I'm a huge fan of his first steampunk album, The Age of Steam: Strange Machines, and now I'm most excited for the sequel.

And now, links to share:

* On the latest from StarShipSofa -- which marks my sixth-year anniversary working with the podcast -- I begin a three-part "History of the Genre" special about reading Harry Potter in a Native American context. It's here in Episode #340. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Speaking of Harry Potter, Professor Sara Martin Alegre taught the first university course on Harry Potter in Spain, and as a result she and her English Studies students have put together a new English-language book they are sharing for free: Addictive and Wonderful: The Experience of Reading the Harry Potter Series.

* Last year I attended the "Joss in June" academic conference on Joss Whedon studies and thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. I'm happy to say that now the "Joss in June" special double issue of Slayage: The Journal of the Joss Whedon Studies Association is online for general access. Check out these great essays! In particular, don't miss this treat: "Exploring Cabins in the Whedonverse Woods" by my former graduate student, Curtis A. Weyant.

* Read Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 letter to the man burning his books.

* It's that time again. Here are my work-in-progress lists of English-language young adult dystopian novels and secondary sources about them. If you have any recommendations or suggestions for me of works I should include, I'd be most grateful if you'd let me know! Thanks so much.
List 1: English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Novels, 1960-1999 (with links)
List 2: English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Novels, 2000-Present (with links)
List 3: A Select Bibliography of Secondary Sources on YA Dystopian Fiction (with links)

My Autographed Copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/River/Morbid&Creepifying)
I had a splendid time participating in Joss in June: A Conference on the Works of Joss Whedon. It was a truly national event, with presenters from California to New York and everywhere in between, and a very well organized and attended one, to boot. The talks were consistently excellent, and in every session I attended, questions/answers and discussion continued well after the presentations. Two thumbs up! I returned with a couple of news items to share:

  • The Whedon Studies Association wants you! Here's the information: "We invite all Whedon scholars, whether writers or readers, to join the organization. Please send your name and email address to the WSA's secretary/treasurer Tanya Cochran at wsamembers@gmail.com. Those who enroll in the WSA will receive first notice of new issues of the journal; information about upcoming conferences; shared calls for papers for upcoming books; announcements of association meetings; and more. For anyone who can provide monetary assistance, $25.00 is the suggested contribution for those who are employed full-time; $10.00 is the suggested contribution for those employed less than full-time (presumably most students). However, we invite all devotees of Whedon scholarship to join the association, with or without financial contribution.

  • There's a new kid in town! The brand new Supernatural Studies Association (SSA) is an international organization dedicated to the study of representations of the supernatural in popular culture, including (but not limited to) film, television, literature, and art. Here is the Call for Papers for the inaugural issue of its multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, Supernatural Studies.

On a personal note, tremendous and heartfelt thanks to all of my friends who have responded to my call for help in navigating the smartphone jungle. Your kindness has been most helpful and most appreciated! You're the best!

Happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lynn_maudlin, [livejournal.com profile] morningapproach, [livejournal.com profile] gods_lil_rocker, [livejournal.com profile] bouncybabylemur, [livejournal.com profile] splix, [livejournal.com profile] divadiane1, [livejournal.com profile] fungus_files, [livejournal.com profile] markbourne, [livejournal.com profile] sunshinedew, [livejournal.com profile] knesinka_e, [livejournal.com profile] ithildyn, [livejournal.com profile] melissagay, [livejournal.com profile] faramirgirl, [livejournal.com profile] arymetore, [livejournal.com profile] caster121, [livejournal.com profile] syrcleoftrees, [livejournal.com profile] ghislainem70, [livejournal.com profile] johnjosephadams, and dear [livejournal.com profile] agentxpndble. May all of you enjoy a wonderful one and many happy returns of the day!

And now for your moment of zen...

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
eldritchhobbit: (4400/place in time)
I have lots of links to share today!

First and foremost, various ways you can donate/help the efforts in Oklahoma are listed here.


But wait: there's more! Literati Literature Lovers Blog is holding a fundraiser for the Red Cross to benefit communities affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. Donate and enter to win signed books by a variety of different authors. This is a win-win-win scenario. Please check it out!

Science Fiction News

  • I have breaking news to report from SofaCON, the forthcoming international, online science fiction convention sponsored by StarShipSofa. As part of the programming, I will be conducting a one-on-one interview with the brilliant Hugo and Nebula winning author Lois McMaster Bujold! Ms. Bujold will also be taking live questions from con attendees at the end of our conversation. Mark your calendars for 28 July, 2013!

  • I recently was a guest of the fabulous Gary Mitchel and Deanna Toxopeus for Roundtable 197 of the RevCast podcast from Revolution SF, in which we discussed young adult dystopian fiction. This episode is now live and available via iTunes and here. If you listen, I hope you enjoy! It was great fun.

  • Are you a fan of Doctor Who? How about the works of Joss Whedon? You'll want to check out the brand new, coming soon and sure-to-be-brilliant Kat and Curt's TV Re-View podcast here. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes now! Look for the first episode next month It promises to be both shiny and fantastic. :)

Ongoing Conversations

eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/Jayne/Bendy)
* The nominees for the 2013 Hugo Awards have been announced, and a very fine set of finalists they are. Congratulations to all of the nominees! I'm thrilled to say StarShipSofa has been nominated; heartfelt thanks to our listeners, supporters, and all the members of our extended family!

* R.I.P., Richard Griffiths (1947-2013), wonderful actor of stage and screen.

* I thought this Call for Papers might be of interest to some of you good Browncoat folk.
Call for Papers: Joss Whedon's FIREFLY )

Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] sarah531, [livejournal.com profile] vg_ford, and [livejournal.com profile] tunes84, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] captnofmyheart, [livejournal.com profile] wildviolet4, [livejournal.com profile] savagedoc45, [livejournal.com profile] lalam, and [livejournal.com profile] silveraspen. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

And happy April Fools Day to one and all!

someecards.com - I'm going to have trouble taking anything you say seriously today or any other day of the year.
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/Losing Side)
Attention Browncoats! Firefly's 10th anniversary special, Firefly: Browncoats Unite, airs tonight on the Science Channel. Here's a sneak peek...

Here's some fascinating goodness for your Sunday...

* From NPR's "On Point," a terrific interview with Nancy Marie Brown, author of the new book Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths, about the Icelandic sagas. Find it here. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine.)

* An alternate route of Trail of Tears has been discovered in Rutherford County, Tennessee.

* A research article inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" was published two weeks ago on Cornell University's Arxiv website. The author, Benjamin K. Tippett, is also part of the Titanium Physicsists podcast. Here's the article: "Possible Bubbles of Spacetime Curvature in the South Pacific." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] memphismaniac.)

* Speaking of Lovecraft, from The Lovecraft eZine: "Free and/or Very Cheap Lovecraftian Kindle Books."

* Tickets for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are now on sale! It feels real now, doesn't it? Woohoo!

River: [over Serenity's intercom] You're wrong, Early.
Early: I'm not wrong, dumpling, I will shoot your brother dead if you don't—
River: Wrong about River. River's not on the ship. They didn't want her here. But she couldn't make herself leave. So she melted. Melted away. They didn't know she could do that. But she did.
Early: Not sure I take your meaning there.
River: I'm not on the ship. I'm in the ship. I am the ship.
Simon: River—
River: River's gone.
Early: Then who exactly are we talking to?
River: Talking to Serenity. And Early? Serenity is very unhappy.
- "Objects in Space," Firefly
eldritchhobbit: (VA/Do Not Want)
A few quick notes:

* I'm happy to say that The Philosophy of Joss Whedon (University Press of Kentucky, 2011), which includes my essay "‘Just Get Us a Little Further’: Liberty and the Frontier in Firefly and Serenity," is a finalist for the 2012 Long Mr. Pointy Award, an award given by the Whedon Studies Association for the year's best long work of scholarship on a Whedon-related topic. Yay!

* Thanks to MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron for helping spread the word about my Hogwarts 101 summer course!

Under the cut, here's the promo. )

* My latest unabridged narration for StarShipSofa, which is the first half of Kate Wilhelm's novella The Bird Cage, is now available to stream or download on the newest episode of the podcast. If you listen, I hope you enjoy. (A full list of links to my unabridged dramatic readings is here.)

Most of all, Virginia and I offer a heartfelt THANK YOU! to everyone who sent good wishes for her recovery. She's under treatment and working hard to get well soon. Here she is, ready for her closeup as always:

Virginia, taking it easy
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/Simon and River "Safe")
Gacked from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

The great people at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) have a new video out this week recapping one of their most prominent victories over censorship in Academia — prominent because this case found a ready-made constituency of activists for individual rights. Fans of Firefly rushed to defend University of Wisconsin Professor James Miller after he was accused by campus police of creating a threatening environment by hanging a Firefly poster on his office door, a case in which FIRE prevailed. The video interviews Neil Gaiman and delivers a serious message:

Kudos to Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin for coming to Professor Miller’s defense, and especially to my fellow fans of Firefly and Serenity, but the serious point made in this video is that free speech should always have a constituency. Still, I do love Neil Gaiman's point here:

"There are people you do not want to upset in the world. And big groups of people you don’t want to upset would obviously include the politically disenfranchised who feel they have nothing to lose. And those that feel that the time has come for revolution. Then out on the edges beyond any of those are science fiction and fantasy fans whose favorite show has been cancelled in an untimely way."

FYI, FIRE has a contest for the most creative tweets promoting this new video, with $500 in prizes for the winners.
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/River/Morbid&Creepifying)
First of all, my thoughts are with everyone affected by the violence in London and the UK. There's a post by locals with useful news and support links I found to be of interest at the [livejournal.com profile] sherlockbbc community here: "London and UK Riots."

In Harry Potter news:

I'll be the Keynote Speaker at the upcoming "Harry Potter and Crossover Audiences: The 2011 Potter Watch Conference" event on October 1, 2011. It should be a magical time! Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gods_lil_rocker and PotterWatch: The Official Harry Potter Club of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for the lovely invitation!

If you're anywhere in the area, please consider submitting a proposal for a paper or panel. Here's the call for papers. Abstracts are due by August 15, 2011.

In Firefly and Serenity news:

* The Can't Stop the Serenity 2011 charity events are taking place all over the world. Our local event, in Charlotte, NC, will be held on September 18.

* Browncoats: Redemption, A Firefly Fan Film for Charity, will only be available for purchase until the end of the month. I just received my remastered DVD set, and it's wonderful. It even includes the soundtrack! You can read my original review of the film here.

Last but certainly not least, happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] gamgeefest,[livejournal.com profile] janissa11, [livejournal.com profile] lucybun, [livejournal.com profile] baka_kit, [livejournal.com profile] gabrielle_h, [livejournal.com profile] onegoat, [livejournal.com profile] mbranesf, and [livejournal.com profile] roo2. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

They're good at making sandwiches,
And breathing, and all that other stuff.
It's hard to call it pride,
But I think they're good enough.
There's no shame in Hufflepuff.
- "No Shame in Hufflepuff," The Blibbering Humdingers
eldritchhobbit: (Chuck/Jeffster)
Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] lexie_marie, [livejournal.com profile] jalara, [livejournal.com profile] theladyrose, and [livejournal.com profile] elvenjoy. May each of you enjoy a fantastic day and a wonderful year to come!

I'm writing on my next essay project at the moment, but I do have several tidbits to share...

* From The Telegraph: "Scotland Yard Fights to Keep Jack the Ripper Files Secret." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] marthawells.) (Speaking of Jack the Ripper, I'm currently reading the Sherlock Holmes-meets-the-Ripper pastiche The Whitechapel Horrors by Edward B. Hanna and quite enjoying it.)

* Chuck has been renewed! "Chuck Co-Creator Chris Fedak on the Final Season Renewal."

* The second series of Garrow's Law is finally coming to the US! I'm really looking forward to it. The first series was excellent.

* For those of you in/around the Charlotte, NC area...
-- The 2011 Can't Stop the Serenity event has been set for the afternoon/early evening of Sunday, September 18 at the UNCC Student Union Ball Room. I'll post more information as it's available.
-- A meet-up for fans of the BBC's Sherlock is in the works for ConCarolinas next month. For more information, see this post.

* Last but not least, I've received my contributor's copies of Nyx in the House of Night: Mythology, Folklore and Religion in the PC and Kristin Cast Vampyre Series (due out at the beginning of June), and I'm really thrilled at how beautiful the book is. The inside illustrations are breathtaking; for my essay ("Reimagining 'Magic City': How the Casts Mythologize Tulsa"), for example, there is a full two-page illustration of the Tulsa skyline with the face of Nyx watching over the city. Quite stunning. Hats off to illustrator Alan Torrance.

Cover for Nyx in the House of Night: Mythology, Folklore and Religion in the PC and Kristin Cast Vampyre Series (2011)

"My grandmother always used to say, 'Play your cards close to the vest. And wear a coat over the vest, or you'll look like a jerk.'"
- Volkoff, "Chuck vs.the Family Volkoff," Chuck
eldritchhobbit: (Fringe/Hand)
Hello everyone! Happy Passover and Happy Easter weekend to those of you who celebrate, and Happy Friday to everybody!

* My most recent StarShipSofa "Looking Back on Genre History" segment, which discusses the character of Andrew Latter by Harold Begbie, 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.)

* Information about the upcoming book The Philosophy of Joss Whedon is now available, and it's up for preorder at Amazon. This collection includes my essay “‘Just Get Us a Little Further’: Liberty and the Frontier in Firefly and Serenity.”

* It looks like an official DVD set of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future is going to happen! I'm ridiculously excited. I have been a faithful fan for more than twenty years. (You can hear/download my StarShipSofa segment on this controversial and award-winning series here at StarShipSofa or here on the Captain Power fansite.) Thanks for the early scoop on this some time ago, [livejournal.com profile] sneezythesquid!

* Librivox has two new unabridged readings of special interest, the dystopian Philip Dru: Administrator, A Story of Tomorrow, 1920-1935 by Edward M. House (1912) and the apocalyptic Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson (1908).

* In happy news, happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] izhilzha! May you have a wonderful day and a fantastic year to come.

* In sad news, R.I.P. Sarah Jane, Elisabeth Sladen (1946-2011). Tragic news indeed.

And last, memeage:
What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on Memegen.net

Neutral. Not Northern, Southern, or Western, just American. Your national American identity is more important to you than your local identity, because you don't really have a local identity to begin with.

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”
- T.S. Eliot
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/River/Morbid&Creepifying)

Happy 73rd birthday to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, which was first published on this day in 1937. You can see a collection of covers from various editions 1937-2007 here.

In personal publishing news, I'm happy to report that my essay "'Just Get Us a Little Further': Liberty and the Frontier in Firefly and Serenity" has officially been accepted for inclusion in the upcoming collection The Philosophy of Joss Whedon, edited by Dean A. Kowalski and S. Evan Kreider and due out with the University Press of Kentucky in 2011. (My essay looks at the Firefly and Serenity 'verse through the lenses of historian Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis and political philosopher Isaiah Berlin's concepts of positive and negative liberty.) I'll post more details on the volume as it nears publication.

"I got no need to beat you. I just wanna go my way."
- Malcolm Reynolds to The Operative, Serenity
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/Losing Side)

Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] gods_lil_rocker and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] bouncybabylemur. May you both have a terrific day and a wonderful year to come!

I have lots of links to share today...

* Now available: Three Hundred Years Hence, a newly illustrated online edition of the 1836 work by Mary Griffith (1772-1846), the earliest known utopian novel by a woman from the United States.

* Heads up, Browncoats: Nathan Fillion will be featured on an upcoming ALA Celebrity READ poster. (See right.) I love it!

* Red House Books is hosting a Blogoversary Mega Giveaway with lots of terrific book prizes.

* Great news for vampire lovers! Now free, unabridged narrations of all three volumes of Thomas Preskett Prest's classic Varney the Vampire are available for download from Librivox. Originally published as a penny dreadful from 1845 until 1847, when it first appeared in book form, Varney the Vampyre is a forerunner to vampire stories such as Dracula, which it heavily influenced.

* The science fiction community has lost two classic voices, it seems...
-- R.I.P., Stephen Gilbert (1912-2010).
-- R.I.P., F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre (1948/1949?-2010).

* Now here's an idea: "ZombieFit Classes: Can They Help You Survive the Coming Zombie Apocalypse?"

* Why yes, I want one: "15 Geeky Home Theater Themes to Ravish Your Senses." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] marthawells!)

* Last but not least, The H.P. Lovecraft Society is in the final stages of completing its next motion picture, The Whisperer in Darkness:

"When our own minds were sufficiently enlightened, when our hearts were sufficiently inspired by the humane principles of the Christian religion, we emancipated the blacks. What demon closed up the springs of tender mercy when Indian rights were in question I know not? – but I must not speak of it!"
-- from Three Hundred Years Hence by Mary Griffith, 1836 (Note that this was published two years before the Cherokee Trail of Tears.)
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/Simon and River "Safe")
The Can't Stop the Serenity event was great fun. There was a terrific turnout, and it's always fun to rewatch Serenity. It was especially nice to meet [livejournal.com profile] ashesngolddust (who was sporting a terrific Kaylee look) and see [livejournal.com profile] estellye again. Good times!

The Charlotte Browncoats also were fortunate enough to get one of the few complete rough cuts of the forthcoming Firefly/Serenity fan charity project Browncoats: Redemption to show at the event. Of course, since it was a rough cut, the film was not polished. It still needed sound editing, as well as the addition of the final musical score and special effects, for example. But we could get a very good idea of how the finished product will look.

Keeping in mind that Browncoats: Redemption is a fan film made solely by volunteers for the love of the story and the cause of charity, I found it to be quite impressive.

Here are some spoiler-free reasons why:
1. Writing. The characters are clearly drawn and interesting, and they speak in the English/Mandarin/frontier Whedonspeak patois that all Browncoats know well.
2. Plot. Not only is there conflict, but the film manages to throw in a surprise here and there.
3. Canon. The action deals directly with the believable repercussions of what happened at the end of Serenity. It moves the larger story of the 'verse forward by building directly on what we already know.
4. Setting. The film has an impressive array of location shots. The frontier town sequences are especially atmospheric.
5. In-jokes. There are plenty of nods to Firefly/Serenity fans, but there are also fun moments for fans of other science fiction texts. One of the last lines, a gift to Trek lovers everywhere, got some of the biggest laughs of the evening.
6. Cameos. If you don't want to know about the special someones who show up in the film, don't click this:
Cameo Appearances in Browncoats: Redemption )

Proceeds from the DVD sales of the film will be divided equally and donated to Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, The Dyslexia Foundation, The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.

Here's the latest trailer for the film:

"Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back! Wife or no, you are no one's property to be tossed aside. You got the right same as anyone to live and try to kill people."
- from "Our Mrs. Reynolds," Firefly
eldritchhobbit: (Books and coffee)

Happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] nurdbunny, [livejournal.com profile] lisa_marli, [livejournal.com profile] parisntripfan, [livejournal.com profile] graashoppa, [livejournal.com profile] toddlyles, [livejournal.com profile] pktheater, and [livejournal.com profile] lizzieausten. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

Tomorrow night I'll be at the Can't Stop the Serenity charity event in Charlotte, NC. I had a wonderful time last year, and this year promises to be even better, because [livejournal.com profile] estellye will be there, and I'll also get to meet [livejournal.com profile] ashesngolddust for the first time. Will anyone else be attending? It promises to be a night full of Browncoat goodness, all for a good cause.

I have a few links and reviews to share...

* One of my very favorite poets (and one whose work has been featured on more than one episode of StarShipSofa) is Ann K. Schwader ([livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl). Her new collection of dark science fiction poetry, Wild Hunt of Stars, is now available here. Deborah Kolodji, who wrote the introduction, had this to say, among other things: "Wild Hunt of the Stars is a book filled with 'familiar terrors tearing at our sleep' as well as 'quantum tantrums' you could have never imagined. Through it all, each poem is a testament to craft, each verse a testament to the incredible depth of Ann’s imagination." You can read a glowing review of the collection here at GreenGenrePoetry.

Nomansland Pictures, Images and Photos

* Just after I posted that no recent young adult dystopia novel had impressed me as greatly as books from previous years, I read Nomansland by Lesley Hague (2010), which is a fascinating and compelling read. Set in a post-apocalyptic future of environmental hardship and genetic mutation, the story describes life in a tightly-controlled, all-female world in which even pondering one's reflection is considered a moral failing and men are considered to be the enemy. Some of the teens discover a half-buried home from our time, complete with relics from our culture, and this adds pressure to the fault lines appearing in their community. The story went in directions I didn't anticipate, refused to provide easy answers for complex problems, and repeatedly raised interesting questions. Oh yes, and it doesn't hurt that it uses John Wyndham's The Chrysalids as the springboard for the story (and, in fact, it can be read as an extension of Wyndham's universe). I recommend this one.

* Speaking of young adult dystopias, I'm pleased that last year's Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins has won The Hal Clement Award for Young Adult Science Fiction in the Golden Duck Awards. The Golden Ducks will be presented at a ceremony at ReConStruction/ The 10th North American Science Fiction Convention this August. I'll be there as a guest, and I'm looking forward to it!

* From SciFi Wire: "The 20 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies of 2011."

"Two, among the many orders of men who merit the contempt and hatred of their fellows, are undoubtedly these: the grovelling minds which have never aspired to fancy an Utopia, and those ardents who have had the generosity to conceive a plan of our future good, and cannot refrain from afflicting us with a presentation of it."
- from No Traveller Returns, John Collier (1931)
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/Jayne/Bendy)

Happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] izhilzha! May your day be wonderful and your next year the best yet!

I'm busily at work on my essay for the forthcoming The Philosophy of Joss Whedon collection, but I have several links I wanted to be sure to share:

* Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on Music in Tolkien is now officially available! I have an essay in the volume. You can see the book description and the Table of Contents here.

* There's a new science fiction writing contest for Native, First Nations, Indigenous, and Aboriginal students. Please pass along the word! See Imagining Indigenousfuturisms: Science Fiction Writing Contest. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ithiliana!)

* The Locus Award finalists have been announced. Congratulations to all of the nominees! I'm pleased to see Kage Baker's The Empress of Mars (one of the books I nominated for the Hugo) on the list for Best Novel. I'll shortly be recording my narration of "The Island" by Peter Watts (nominated in the Best Novella category for both the Hugo and Locus Awards) for StarShipSofa.

* Several neat events are planned for my neck of the woods, and tickets are on sale now. I'll have to miss a couple of them due to other commitments, but I thought some of you might be interested:
-- Can't Stop The Serenity in Charlotte, NC, USA <- I'll be there!
-- ReConStruction, The 1oth North American Science Fiction Convention in Raleigh, NC, USA <- I'll be there!
-- The Browncoat Ball in Charlotte, NC, USA
-- The Upstate Steampunk Extravaganza And Meet-Up in Greenville, SC, USA

Jayne: Tell you what I think. I figure that fella we run into did everyone on board. Killed 'em all. Then he decided to take a swim, see how fast his blood would boil out his ears.

Wash: You're a very "up" person.

- Firefly, "Bushwhacked"
eldritchhobbit: (Waterhouse/heroines)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mr_earbrass, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck and [livejournal.com profile] firiath. May you three enjoy a fantastic day and may your next year be all you could wish!

I have a couple of quick links to share:

* If you, like me, enjoyed The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, you'll probably be interested in this post from John Granger: "Who is the Mockingjay? The Hidden Key to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy."

* Beginning tomorrow at The Hog's Head forums, there will be a view-through discussion of each episode of Joss Whedon's Firefly series. Everyone's invited!

Happy Valentine's Day to all! In honor of today's occasion, a quote:

Hail Bishop Valentine, whose day this is,
All the air is thy Diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are thy parishioners,
Thou marryest ever year
The lyric Lark, and the grave whispering Dove,
The Sparrow that neglects his life for love,
The household bird, with the red stomacher;
Thou maks't the black bird speed as soon,
As doth the Goldfinch, or the Halycon;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine,
This day, which might enflame thy self, old Valentine.

Till now, thou warmd'st with mutiplying loves
Two larks, two sparrows, or two doves,
All that is nothing unto this,
For thou this day couplest two Phoenixes;
Thou mak'st a Taper see
What the sun never saw, and what the Ark
(Which was of fowls, and beasts, the cage and park,)
Did not contain, one bed contains, through thee,
Two Phoenixes, whose joined breasts
Are unto one another mutual nests,
Where motion kindles such fires, as shall give
Young Phoenixes, and yet the old shall love.
Whose love and courage never shall decline,
But make the whole year through, thy day, O Valentine....

from John Donne, "An Epithalamion, Or Marriage Song, On the Lady Elizabeth and Count Palatine Being Married on St. Valentine's Day"


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