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: (Star Wars/Obi-Wan/Truths)
It's a true and honor and delight to be the focus of Episode 25 of the brilliant My Star Wars Story podcast. What great fun I had recording this! If you listen (via iTunes or here at the podcast's website), I hope you enjoy!

eldritchhobbit: (HP/Dumbledore)
Recently I was invited to share thoughts related to the controversial question of how J.K. Rowling has addressed Indigenous America in her two recent Pottermore works ("History of Magic in North America" and "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry") in an extended interview on MuggleNet Academia with hosts Keith Hawk and the Hogwarts Professor himself, John Granger, as well as my fellow scholar, Allison Mills of the University of British Columbia. It meant a lot to me to be a part of this important conversation.

I hope you'll check out MuggleNet Academia Lesson #51: "Harry Potter and the Indian in the Cupboard"! If you listen, I hope you enjoy.

eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
Recently I was invited to share thoughts related both to Harry Potter and to my essay "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition" in an extended interview on MuggleNet Academia with hosts Keith Hawk and the Hogwarts Professor himself, John Granger, as well as the editor of Critical Insights: The Hunger Games, Lana Whited, and my fellow contributor to the volume, Elizabeth Baird-Hardy. It was great fun to be part of this conversation.

I hope you'll check out MuggleNet Academia Lesson #45: "District 9 3/4: Harry Potter and The Hunger Games: Critical Insights"! If you listen, I hope you enjoy.

eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Don't Tread)
... It is now archived here!

I'm grateful to host S. Evan Townsend for a delightful discussion. The hour flew by so quickly!

If you listen, I hope you enjoy.

eldritchhobbit: (SF/Rocket to Limbo)
Today (Friday, April 15) at 6pm Eastern, I'll be the guest interviewee of host (and bestselling author) S. Evan Townsend on The Speculative Fiction Cantina on the Writestream Radio Network. I'll be on the show for about an hour, and I think it will be great fun! Here are more details.

To listen to the show live, click on this link.

To call in during the show, you can dial (347) 945-7246.

Consider yourself invited!

eldritchhobbit: (Read more science fiction)
This Friday (April 15) at 6pm Eastern, I'll be the guest interviewee of host (and bestselling author) S. Evan Townsend on The Speculative Fiction Cantina on the Writestream Radio Network. I'll be on the show for about an hour, and I think it will be great fun! Here are more details.

To listen to the show live, click on this link.

To call in during the show, you can dial (347) 945-7246.

Consider yourself invited!

eldritchhobbit: (Tecumseh)
There's been a lot of talk surrounding J.K. Rowling's new four-part work on Pottermore, "The History of Magic in North America." I'm in the process of writing an article on it now.

In the meantime, I was interviewed for this article in The Huffington Post about the Native American aspect of Rowling's work.

In addition, the team at the SpeakBeasty podcast (which is dedicated to the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films) has devoted a thoughtful episode to the first two parts of "The History" here: "Episode 7: Porpentina Ate A Bagel."
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/binary suns)
I was invited to share my interpretations of and opinions on The Force Awakens -- including my five-point rebuttal to the "derivative" objection -- in an extended interview on MuggleNet Academia with hosts Keith Hawk and the Hogwarts Professor himself, John Granger, as well as my fellow Potterphiles Emily Strand and Shannen Michaels.

Check out MuggleNet Academia Lesson #41: "Lightsabers and Wands"! If you listen, I hope you enjoy.

I should mention that some of my comments on "Rey's Theme" from John Williams's score for The Force Awakens were inspired by the insights of the brilliant David W. Collins on Rebel Force Radio's "Oxygen Vol. 25: The Music of The Force Awakens, Part 1." Highly recommended!

Note: I'm still recovering from my recent illness, so I've fallen behind in my replies to comments. I'll be catching up soon!
eldritchhobbit: (Qui-Gon/When the time comes)
Today is the 15th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Say what you will about that film (there's certainly more than enough to criticize), it did provide us with Qui-Gon Jinn. So there.

In the mood for a bit of nostalgic wallowing, I thought I'd dust off a few of my related past posts from the vault:
* "Violently in Battle, In Shock and Despair"
(A study of passages from Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice novel series that foreshadow Qui-Gon's untimely death before Obi-Wan reaches knighthood.)
* "One Destiny"
(The five tone poems from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.)
* "Pure Vessels"
(My discussion of Qui-Gon Jinn and the metaphors of the Force in Star Wars. With links to non-fiction texts.)
* "When Qui-Gon Went Under the Microscope"
(Reviews of Qui-Gon-related fan fiction. With links. A companion post to "Pure Vessels.")
* "The End of Star Wars, But Not Its Fans"
(A post about my NPR interview on the "Talk of the Nation" program about the Star Wars phenomenon and the nature of fandom.)

Sing it with me, people:
"And in the end, some Gungans died,/ Some ships blew up, and some pilots fried./ A lot of folks were croakin'./ The battle droids were broken./ And the Jedi I admire most/ Met up with Darth Maul, and now he's toast./ Well, I'm still here, and he's a ghost..."

Last, here's a relevant quote for your day. The chant from the Star Wars theme "Duel of the Fates," which is heard during the climactic Darth Maul fight with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace, is a Sanskrit translation of two lines from the archaic Celtic poem "Cad Goddeu" (or "Battle of the Trees"):

Under the tongue root a fight most dread,
And another raging behind, in the head.

In English:
The Battle of the Trees )
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: (Dr Who/Riddell torch)
I'm the scholar guest on the latest episode of the MuggleNet Academia podcast. The show's theme is "Fairy Stories: Comparing Tolkien and Rowling Literature." I had a most fantastic time. Many thanks to Keith, John, and Amy!

If you listen (here it is), I hope you enjoy!

In other news, happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] ekeppich, [livejournal.com profile] jinxed_wood, [livejournal.com profile] princeofcairo, [livejournal.com profile] chickenfried_jo, and [livejournal.com profile] llembas. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

Oh, and as expected, Rupert Graves was fantastic in Doctor Who. Yay!!!

The Doctor: I'm a Sagittarius. Probably.
"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," Doctor Who
eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/Lestrade doubts it)
I'm up to my eyeballs in work, but there are so many geeky reasons to smile at the moment, I just had to share the happiness...

* Yesterday was one of my favorite personal holidays, made all the more enjoyable because I never know the exact day it will occur. It was the first Starbucks pumpkin latte of the season. Autumn is on its gorgeous way! Come soon, dear fall!

* Today is the seventy-sixth birthday of the late, great Buddy Holly. Here, enjoy a song on me...

* Tonight, while lecturing on Edgar Allan Poe and his C. Auguste Dupin, I'll get to point out one of my happiest geek-girl moments of this year: spotting the apt genre tribute Moffat-n-Gatiss worked into the Sherlock episode "A Scandal in Belgravia." Whose portrait hangs on Sherlock's bedroom wall? Edgar Allan Poe's, fittingly enough. (Screencap or it didn't happen.)

* Tomorrow, Rupert Graves guest stars on Doctor Who. Enough said.

* Sunday, I'm to be interviewed by the kind folks at the MuggleNet Academia podcast. This will be difficult to do if I spontaneously combust the night before thanks to the Graves-on-Who goodness, so I'll try to keep it together. It won't be easy, though, I suspect.

“It is simple enough as you explain it,” I said, smiling. “You remind me of Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin. I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories.”
- Watson to Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
I'm back from Trip #1 (which was fantastic), and I have a few days until Trip #2...

Huge thanks to those of you who so kindly sent v-gifts to my LJ! You've made my day. :D

Just a quick update for now. Here are a few bits of news...

-- 1. Adagio Teas now has a line of Sherlock-inspired blends! See them here.

-- 2. Investor's Business Daily ran a piece last week on Tecumseh's leadership style, and the article by Scott S. Smith quotes both me and the biography I wrote of Tecumseh: "Tecumseh's Integrity Attracted Warriors To His Cause."

-- 3. I've begun doing narrations for a terrific new podcast for dark fiction, Tales to Terrify, which is hosted by horror author Larry Santoro. My first unabridged reading for the podcast (P.D. Cacek's "Payback") is now available on the latest episode.

A parting smile for your Monday...

funny pictures history - As  little  Thomas  walked  away,  every  time  he  turned  around,   the  cat  was  a  few  steps  closer.
see more Historic LOL
eldritchhobbit: (Dr. Horrible/Coming Along)
Happy Friday! A few random bits...

* Several friend have posted this news. If you have four-legged family members, please check it out: Purina pet food has started making dogs and cats ill.

* Last weekend the fantastic DarkCargo had a wonderful AtHomeCon, and I was interviewed about my upcoming "Taking Harry Seriously: The Artistry and Meanings of the Harry Potter Saga" graduate course at the Mythgard Institute.

* If you love SF genre history as I do, don't miss Jess Nevins' series at io9, which speculates about which works might have received the Hugo Awards if they'd started back in the 1880's rather than the 1950's. Here are the "Victorian Hugos" thus far: 1885, 1886, 1887, and 1888.

It's that time when I start thinking about the year in retrospect. It probably will take me several posts to get this out of my system(!), but here's a start:

My Publications in 2011 )

The quotes for the day are two passages I particularly loved from Barry Day's Sherlock Holmes and the Seven Deadly Sins Murders (my review is here).

[Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade at 221B]
How often had the three of us sat here like this, I reflected, while events grave and gay, some of them affecting the highest in the land, were unfolding around us. How often had the decisions we had arrived at in this room changed the lives of hundreds, even though they were never to be aware of it?

We were an ill-sorted trio. Holmes, thin and angular, perched in his chair at a moment like this, as if ready to take flight. Lestrade, small, almost - if I'm honest - ferrety but as tenacious as any of that under-rated species when he had determined his target. And me - how did I view myself? A middle-aged ex-soldier of no particular distinction with a war wound that played up in the damp weather. And yet that remarkable man, Holmes had told me on more than one occasion that I completed him - so who was I to argue. Certainly the three of us had survived more than a few adventures together and it seemed as though we were about to embark upon another.

[Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes talking]
"...the strangest thing of all is that, deep down, they are the closest of friends. The need each other. The one defines the other."

"Rather like Watson and myself?" said Holmes and I fancy he was only half joking, which pleased me more than a little.

Mycroft let the remark pass.
eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
First, two quick notes:

* The second half of my interview with Darkcargo is now available here. We discuss science fiction, Sherlock Holmes, upcoming publications, and more. And there's a fantastic book giveaway related to the interview, with my picks (Mary Shelley! Sherlock Holmes!), so please check it out!

* Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] fenice_fu, [livejournal.com profile] saladinahmed, [livejournal.com profile] coalitiongirl, [livejournal.com profile] fory_san, [livejournal.com profile] seren_ccd, [livejournal.com profile] boojumlol, [livejournal.com profile] grisemalkin, [livejournal.com profile] shadowkittykat_, and [livejournal.com profile] marill_chan. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

Now, because this isn't exactly new content, I wanted to post this the day before my proper Halloween Countdown begins. I do hope it helps get you into the mood!

I created the following virtual campus ghost tour for my countdown in 2008. Many of my readers are new, and I hope you will find this to be fun; for those of you who read my post previously, I hope you will enjoy revisiting the spooky haunts of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Ghost Tour: There is a Halloween tradition at my husband's school, Lenoir-Rhyne University, of a "campus ghost tour" during which the guides share local folklore, campus legends, and creepy stories. Thanks to the generosity of the good people at Lenoir-Rhyne, I now have all of those spooky tales to share with you. I have taken pictures around the campus to illustrate the stories, so that I may lead you through the tour virtually.

Without further ado, I would like to invite you to join me for a virtual "campus ghost tour" of Lenoir-Rhyne.

Ghost Tour Introduction: Most of the buildings on the Lenoir-Rhyne campus have acquired a ghost, gremlin, spirit, or legend that has lingered from year to year. Some of the legends have been exaggerated or miscommunicated through the years. The ghosts and spirits that you’ll learn about now are as official, as documented, as close to recollection as possible. Most of the ghosts that you'll read about have been witnessed either by security officers, students, alumni, or others who visit the university. The older spirits, say from 1979 or before, have been included in the oral history of Lenoir-Rhyne College, Traces, which is available by special permission from the archives in the university library. Throughout the years, several articles in the college paper have accounted for the ghosts in our buildings, and the local newspapers have even run stories about them.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University sign

I'm brave! Take me on the ghost tour! )

Let's conclude with Emily Dickinson:

One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one's own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror's least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O'erlooking a superior spectre
More near.
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Pre-Raphaelite)
Happy Tuesday!

* The first part of a two-part interview with me is now up here at Darkcargo, in which I talk about science fiction, classic novel/monster mashups, "further adventures of," and other literary subjects. The second half (about genre, Sherlock Holmes, and writing, among other things) will be up on Friday. Darkcargo is a terrific multi-authored blog about reading, book anticipation, con-going, and general genre-related fun, and I highly recommend checking out its other features!

* There's additional information online about this upcoming Saturday's PotterWatch 2011 Scholarly Conference on Harry Potter at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My keynote talk will be "On Fairy-Stories, Readers, and the Potterverse." I hope to see some of you there!

* Happy belated birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] delenn1960, [livejournal.com profile] lbilover, [livejournal.com profile] shagungu, and [livejournal.com profile] xanath, and happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] curtana! May all of you enjoy a wonderful year to come!

* In personal news, three cheers for my baby sister, Margret!
-- Her first refereed scholarly article has been published! So next time you're reading the International Journal of Climatology (who doesn't?), be sure to look for her work: "Spatial Coherence of Rainfall Variations Using the Oklahoma Mesonet." Woohoo!
-- She has a brand new, shiny job (besides perpetual tornado chaser extraordinaire) with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Yay!
-- She and my brother-in-law are expecting their first child. Huzzah! The whole family is excited about welcoming baby Kaitlyn in the spring.

And here's Virginia, doing her impersonation of my reaction to the new Star Wars blu-ray release:

Virginia feeling sleepy

"It's not that I expect Lucas to stop screwing with Star Wars. I imagine that he'll do so until he dies, and even then, he'll probably build a special robot that lives on after him with the sole purpose of finding things it doesn't like about Star Wars and 'fixing' them."
- A. Lee Martinez, "Why You Should Stop Telling Fans to 'Get Over It'"
eldritchhobbit: (HP/Absent friends)
I'm suffering from something of an emotional hangover thanks to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, so consider yourself warned...

FYI, my interview as a scholarly guest with WUTC FM (88.1 in Chattanooga, TN) on today's show about "Pottermania" is now up online here.

More to the point, I haven't loved all of the Harry Potter films, but Deathly Hallows, Part 2 gets two thumbs up from me. The scenes it had to do well, it did; and many more also stole my breath. The theater was packed (mostly with adults my age or thereabouts), and weeping was audible in all directions throughout the second half of the film.

A Scattershot List of First Impressions - Spoilers! )

The Deathly Hallows - One Side -

In other news...

* Dwight L. MacPherson's wonderful steampunk webcomic Sidewise is on sale for download. The first issue is free, and the second and third are $.99 each. Check it out and support a great webcomic.

* Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] knesinka_e, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] ithildyn, [livejournal.com profile] melissagay, and [livejournal.com profile] faramirgirl. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

McGonagall to Harry: "Do what you have to do. I'll secure the castle."
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
eldritchhobbit: (HP/Snape/Tori)
Thanks to everyone who's participated in my new Doctor Who poll. It's still open, if anyone else would like to take part!

I'm being interviewed this afternoon by WUTC 88.1 FM, Chattanooga's NPR station, for a news story regarding the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film. Good heavens, it's hard to believe this is the last in the series... My tissues are packed and ready.

Harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2

And now, for news...

* My most recent "Looking Back on Genre History" segment, which discusses H.P. Lovecraft's non-fiction essays "Supernatural Horror in Literature," "Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction," and "Notes on Writing Weird Fiction," is up today at StarShipSofa. This new show also includes the second of my three-part reading of Rachel Swirsky's Nebula Award-winning and Hugo Award-nominated novella The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath The Queen’s Window. All of this is available here, on the latest episode of the podcast.

* Today's TeeFury shirt is from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog!

* I'm intrigued by the Con of Wrath documentary project.

* Librivox.org has some new unabridged audiobooks available for free download. Several are of interest to genre readers:
The Italian by Ann Radcliffe
The Witch of Salem by John R. Musick
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

"Tell me one thing," said Harry. "Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"

Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry's ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
eldritchhobbit: (LOTR/Emo Hobbit)
Just a quick post to share some links:

* From The Chronicle of Higher Education: "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Zombies: An international-relations scholar's satire yields some serious lessons."

* From Locus Online: "2010 Locus Recommended Reading List."

* My latest dramatic narration for StarShipSofa, which is of Caitlín R. Kiernan's haunting James Tiptree, Jr. Award-honored story "Galápagos," is now available on the most recent episode of the podcast.

* Recently I was interviewed by Jeanne Hoffman of the KosmosOnline Podcast about the theme of liberty in science fiction. The interview is now available here.

And last, because it makes me happy, here's the official Hobbit cast photo from the recent press conference:

say hello to bilbo and the 13 dwarves (cast photo)

"Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies just because you helped them come about. You don't really suppose do you that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck? Just for your sole benefit? You're a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I'm quite fond of you. But you are really just a little fellow, in a wide world after all."

"Thank goodness!"

- The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien


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