eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
Today I want to share an extraordinary new story from the October 2017 issue of The Dark Magazine. It is, in a word, haunting. You don’t want to miss “The Whalebone Parrot.”

As author Darcie Little Badger says of her story, “I tried to learn Lipan, but so little remains. Haunted by the ghosts of my dying language, I channeled my anger and sorrow into a story.” Check out this Twitter thread in which she explains the roots of her unforgettable Gothic tale.

Here is a brief taste:

Stairs had been chiseled into the incline between the beach and elevated meadow. As if summoned, a woman in white stepped onto the granite landing. Although her face was hidden by a lace veil, Emily recognized the willowy shape and unflagging straight posture.

“Thank you, Franklin!” Loretta called. That low, lilting voice had given Emily a thousand stories, a thousand admonishments, and a hundred thousand tender endearments. “Albert and I can manage the rest.”

As the skiff broke away from land, the sisters met in the middle of the staircase. “I missed you!” Emily cried. “Let me see your face!”

Loretta turned away from the sea and lifted her veil. “Have three years changed me?” she asked.

“Well … ” Loretta’s skin, once richer than dark amber, was sallow. She must rarely sun it. The new look complemented Whalebone Island, as dreary a place as any. Its grasses, brush, and scraggly trees were wind-stooped and stunted by their inhospitable lot. Emily wondered if the island, with time, would leech the color from her cheeks, too.

“Why do you cover your face?” she asked.

“Because I hate the way they stare.”


“Everyone but you, Darling.” Loretta smiled. “Let’s hurry home. A surprise is waiting.”

Read “The Whalebone Parrot” by Darcie Little Badger – or listen to the podcast version – here.
eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
Today for the Halloween Countdown I want to share the best ghost story I've read in ages. I had the honor of including "If a Bird Can Be a Ghost" by Allison Mills in the August 2017 issue of Apex Magazine (a "Celebration of Indigenous Fantasists"), which I guest edited. If you haven't read this story, you're in for a treat. If you have read it, then read it again! I can tell you from personal experience that it rewards multiple readings.

Here's a brief taste:

If Shelly’s mother had been home, she wouldn’t have let her go to the river. Grandma walks up and down the bank a few times, holding Shelly’s hand, the cops trailing after them, and Grandma lets her hair hang loose and long to pull up any ghosts.

She catches the ghost on the third pass. His clothes are plastered to his body and his shivering makes him shift in and out of focus. He doesn’t speak, but he keeps glancing over his shoulder, towards a little outcrop of rocks on the bank of the water.

“Ah,” Grandma says, nodding. She gestures the cops closer and points to the rocks. “He’s caught up in there. A nice young man with a red beard.”

The cops wait until Shelly and Grandma leave to pull the body from the water. The ghost comes home with them, wet and shivery, even after the bus ride back to the house.

“Do you want me to turn on the heater?” Shelly asks him.

The ghost jumps and looks down at her. “Where did you come from?”

“Leave him alone, Shelly. We’ll feed him and send him off,” Grandma says. “He doesn’t need us confusing him even more.”

“I don’t understand what happened,” the ghost says. “I was just on the bridge. I was just thinking.”

Grandma pours the ghost a mug of milk and warms it in the microwave as he drifts around their kitchen, flickering in and out of focus as Shelly watches, fascinated. A new ghost, a ghost who is still deciding if he wants to stick around or not, is new for her.

“What’s your name?” Shelly asks because the cops hadn’t said.

The ghost gives her a distressed look. “I don’t know,” he says. “Do you know who I am? Do you know my name?”

Grandma set the mug of warm milk down on the kitchen table. “Here you go,” she says. “This will warm you up and then we’ll make sure you get where you’re going. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Shelly, would you get the scissors from my sewing kit?”

Shelly goes and gets the pair of small, silver scissors. The ghost drains the milk on the table. His wet hair drips real water on the floor. He looks like he’ll never be fully dry, like if you tried to wring him out he’d twist and twist and the water would just keep coming. This, Shelly thinks, is probably why Grandma doesn’t want to keep him. Having a damp ghost haunting their house would be troublesome.

Grandma wraps a strand of hair around her ring finger and clips it off. By the time the milk is finished, the ghost is nearly gone, just a faint smudge in the air where once there was a man.

“Where do they go?” Shelly asks. “Where do we send them?”

Grandma picks up the mug and refills it with milk. She sticks it in the microwave to heat it up for herself. “We’ll find out, won’t we? One day, a long time from now.”

Read "If a Bird Can Be a Ghost" by Allison Mills here.

Listen to my reading of "If a Bird Can Be a Ghost" here.
eldritchhobbit: (Default)

My latest “Looking Back on Genre History” is up on StarShipSofa, and it’s an update on Native American Science Fiction/Indigenous Futurism. Listen for free here!

(The earlier segment I did introducing this topic in 2011 is here.)

Here are some of the links I mention in my new segment.

Apex Magazine’s “Celebration of Indigenous American Fantasists”

Strange Horizon’s Roundtable on Indigenous Futurism

Extrapolation’s Issue on Indigenous Futurism 

A Tribe Called Geek

Indigenous Comic Con 

eldritchhobbit: (Default)
As guest editor, I am beyond thrilled to share this issue with readers. The amazing works assembled here represent Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Mushkegowuk Cree, Karuk, and Ojibwe Nakawē perspectives. Please check out issue 99 and its related podcast here.


eldritchhobbit: (Default)

As guest editor, I am beyond thrilled to share this issue with readers. This project has been a year in the making! The amazing works assembled here represent Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Mushkegowuk Cree, Karuk, and Ojibwe Nakawē perspectives. The stories are outstanding! Please check out issue 99 and its related podcast here.

eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze smiling)
Hi, everybody! I’m now seventeen films into my viewing of all of Jiang Wen’s remarkable works. I have five more lined up before I decide what to do about those that don’t have subtitles. The themes of history, memory, and agency in many of these movies speak to me in a powerful way. The films he directed are genuine, meaningful works of art, and so are many in which he starred. So be warned (ha!): there will (soon!) be a post breaking down, commenting on, and ranking/recommending his films.

I’m also doing some reading on his works, too. And speaking about texts on Jiang Wen, if you’re interested in him and and his perspective, you definitely should check out everything posted under the “#Books on Baze” tag here. Must reads!

On a somewhat related note, I’ve also managed since first watching Rogue One to see ten or so Donnie Yen films, and I’m sure there are more of those to come, as well – so, yes, that’s probably another forthcoming post. (Two words: Ip Man.)

On a more loosely-related note, if you have the chance to see the brilliant Genghis Khan exhibit at Charlotte’s Discovery Place, do so! It’s wonderful and it’s leaving very soon. I had the good fortune of catching it just after finishing John Keay’s China: A History, so that was excellent timing.

Currently I’m reading Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion that Opened the West by William Hogeland, which I’ll be reviewing for Reason.

It’s finals time in university land, so if I’m quiet, just know that I’m grading. And grading. And then grading some more!
eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Weird)
Hey everyone! Remember me? Apologies for being quiet. I am slammed with work at the moment. I look forward to catching up with emails and comments soon. In the meantime, I wanted to make a quick post with some updates.

First, in one week until HP Comics will start its first Kickstarter! I hope you'll check it out. I'll post more when the event is live.

Speaking of HP Comics, huge congratulations to our President and Publisher Dwight L. MacPherson! His comic Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom is being adapted to film, and Mark Hamill, Jeffrey Combs, and Christopher Plummer will be voicing roles! Too cool!

In other news, my Apex Magazine essay "The Once and Future Chief: Tecumseh in (Science) Fiction" is now online here. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you a wonderful day, my friends!
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: (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: (Halloween)
Happy October! Let the countdown commence!

Thank you for joining me for the eleventh year of my blog-a-thon celebration of Halloween. I have some special treats for you this year, including two exclusive interviews and two giveaways, and I truly hope you'll enjoy them.

For today's spookiness, I'd like to quote from the story exhibit at the wonderful Museum of the Cherokee Indian (which I encourage everyone to visit!). Here's what the exhibit says about the Cherokee tradition regarding Spearfinger:

"Long long ago, hilahiyu, a terrible monster lived in the mountains. Her name was Spearfinger, Utlvda, because she had a long, sharp, stony forefinger of bone like an awl. She used to stab people and scoop out their livers -- her favorite food. She had a thick stony skin, but the scariest thing about her was that she could change her appearance to look like your grandmother, or someone in your family. When she got close to her victim, she could stab him, scoop out his liver, and eat it without him even noticing. A few days later he would get sick and die.

"Finally the Cherokees held a council to decide how to get rid of her before she killed everyone. They dug a deep pit, and covered it over with brush and grass. Soon Spearfinger came along the trail, looking like someone's granny, and fell in the pit. Then she changed into the monster that she was, and all their arrows just bounced off her stony hide.

"The titmouse, utsugi, sat on a branch and sang, and the warriors thought it was saying 'heart, heart.' They aimed at her heart, but their arrows and spears bounced off and broke. This is why they say now the titmouse is a liar.

"Then the chickadee, tsikilili, flew down and lit on Spearfinger's right hand, where she kept her heart clenched in her fist. The warriors shot at that, hit her hand, and killed her. Ever since, the chickadee is known as a truth teller."

eldritchhobbit: (Books and coffee)
I'm delighted to announce that I've accepted an invitation to guest edit an issue of Apex Magazine (scheduled for August 2017). I will be soliciting new stories that showcase the rich depth and diversity of science fiction, fantasy, and horror penned by Native American/First Nations authors. Apex Magazine routinely provides 12,000 words of original fiction per issue, but my special issue will deliver 20,000.

My long relationship with Apex dates back to the fourth issue (Winter 2005) of its print-edition days, when it was Apex Digest. It is with the greatest excitement that I look forward to this important project.

If you have questions or recommendations, you are welcome to contact me via my website.

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: (Tecumseh)
Here are a few new calls for papers that may be of interest:
- Doctor Who: Twelfth Night
- I Am Already Dead: Essays on The CW's iZombie and Vertigo's iZOMBIE
- Kaiju and Pop Culture Anthology
- Social TV Fandom and the Media Industries
- Octavia Butler Essay Collection

I'm back from a fantastic trip to Cherokee, North Carolina. I hope everyone is having a great day!

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: (Tori/I was here)
It's time for my year-end review post.

Apologies for being quiet of late. I've been dealing with both shingles and sinus-related nastiness for which surgery looms in 2016. Ick. I do hope your holiday season has been more enjoyable!

But back to taking stock of 2015...

What I Published in 2015

In Books

* “Seeking Dumbledore’s Mother: Harry Potter in the Native American Context” in Harry Potter for Nerds II, Kathryn McDaniel and Travis Prinzi, eds.

* “Harry Potter and the Dystopia After Tomorrow” in Ravenclaw Reader: Seeking the Artistry and Meaning of J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts Saga, The St. Andrews University Harry Potter Conference, John Patrick Pazdziora and Micah Snell, eds.

* [Note: Also written in 2015 and accepted for 2016 publication: “His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition” in Critical Insights: The Hunger Games, Lana A. Whited, ed., Grey House/Salem Press, forthcoming in 2016]

In Reason Magazine

*“Star Wars, Remixed: George Lucas’ Universe Is a Mashup Masterwork,” Reason (January 2016) online here

* “The Many Resurrections of Sherlock Holmes: Why the Great Detective Is Always in Fashion,” Reason (October 2015) online here

* “Feminism, Frankenstein, and Freedom: The Individualistic Works and Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley,” Reason (June 2015) online here

What I Read in 2015
What I Read in 2015 )
eldritchhobbit: (Banner Icon)
My latest "Looking Back in Genre History" segment, which explores the story behind H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shunned House," is available here on StarShipSofa's episode 390. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl for her kind words about this!)

I am glad that Kurt Vonnegut is a 2015 inductee in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Toasting Vonnegut

In other news...

* "This American Indian Dungeons and Dragons lets you weave powerful stories." Ehdrigor, a game created by a black, American Indian game designer, gently reflects the Native experience, and how that approach to storytelling differs from Western narratives. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall!)

* Call for Papers: Seeking Chapters for Fantastic Cities: American Urban Spaces in Science Fiction & Fantasy. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] internet_sampo!)

* Call for Papers: Ordinary Chronicles of the End of the World.
eldritchhobbit: (Books and text)
Happy birthday to Ralph Waldo Emerson (25 May, 1803 – 27 April, 1882)!

"Explore, and explore, and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatise yourself, nor accept another's dogmatism. Why should you renounce your right to traverse the star-lit deserts of truth, for the premature comforts of an acre, house, and barn? Truth also has its roof, and bed, and board. Make yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will give you bread, and if not store of it, yet such as shall not take away your property in all men's possessions, in all men's affections, in art, in nature, and in hope."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Literary Ethics" (1838)

eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Weird)
I'll shortly be off to Asheville, and I look forward to seeing some of you at the second half of my "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" weekend event.

Here, have some links!

- Tribute to Providence horror writer H.P. Lovecraft takes place Sunday.

- Wilma Mankiller could be on the $20 bill. Very fitting.

- Everyone is invited! I will be the featured guest on The Lovecraft eZine's weekly Sunday live web show on April 26 at 6pm Eastern.

- Last but not least, StarShipSofa's fearless leader, Tony C. Smith, has launched a new science fiction YouTube series. Check out the first show!

Have a great weekend, everyone!
eldritchhobbit: (The Time Machine)
Links of potential interest...

* This worthy Kickstarter has already met its goal, but there's still time to join the effort. I'm looking forward to my copy! MOONSHOT: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Vol. 1 is an incredible 200-page collection of short stories from Indigenous creators across North America, in comic book form. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] divadiane1.)

* "The Arthur Machen collection is at risk." This is a collection of international importance. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall.)

* How does The Imitation Game compare to the real history behind it? Read "A Poor Imitation of Alan Turing." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck.)

* I was sorry to hear of the passing of Rod Taylor. He starred in a number of good films, but his The Time Machine is a work that's been especially near and dear to my heart since I was a child. Here's an obituary from People.

Apologies for being quiet. The new semester starts next week, and my plate is full! I hope all is well with you, my friends.


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