eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/trick or treat)
We are almost there, my friends!

The quote for today come from Neil Gaiman's oh-so-timely essay "Ghosts in the Machines" from Tor.com.

"We are gathered here at the final end of what Bradbury called the October Country: a state of mind as much as it is a time. All the harvests are in, the frost is on the ground, there’s mist in the crisp night air and it’s time to tell ghost stories....

"And then there was the one who said, in her cellphone’s voicemail message, sounding amused as she said it, that she was afraid she had been murdered, but to leave a message and she would get back to us.

"It wasn’t until we read the news, several days later, that we learned that she had indeed been murdered, apparently randomly and quite horribly.

"But then she did get back to each of the people who had left her a message. By phone, at first, leaving cellphone messages that sounded like someone whispering in a gale, muffled wet sounds that never quite resolved into words.

"Eventually, of course, she will return our calls in person."

Read the complete "Ghosts in the Machines" here.

eldritchhobbit: (Default)
My Spring 2014 online, interactive, international course for The Mythgard Institute (available both for M.A. students who are seeking degrees and auditors wishing to participate the love of the subject) is now open for registration. It's "The Gothic Tradition."

The Gothic Tradition at Mythgard Institute

Here is the class description: The Gothic literary tradition began in the mid-eighteenth century in Europe and lives on in various forms across the globe through contemporary fiction, poetry, art, music, film, and television. Mad scientists, blasted heaths, abandoned ruins, elusive ghosts, charming vampires, and even little green men people its stories. With ingredients such as a highly developed sense of atmosphere, extreme emotions including fear and awe, and emphases on the mysterious and the paranormal, Gothic works tend to express anxieties about social, political, religious, and economic issues of the time, as well as rejection of prevailing modes of thought and behavior. This course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination (from the haunted castles of Horace Walpole to the threatening aliens of H.P. Lovecraft, from Dracula to Coraline), identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, consider how it has developed across time and place and medium, and explore how it has left its indelible imprint on the modern genres of science fiction and fantasy.

Here is the class trailer.

For more information, check out the course page here.
eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Weird)
I come bearing links I hope will be of interest and use...

Fundraisers for Worthwhile Charity Causes
  • The wonderful historical fantasy author D.B. Jackson is spearheading a fundraiser and giveaway via FirstGiving for the Boston Foundation and the One Fund of Boston to help the city in the wake of the bombings. Learn more here.

  • Fans of the brilliant Rupert Graves are celebrating his upcoming 50th birthday via JustGiving by raising funds for the charity of which he's patron, The Springboard Opportunity Group, which serves children across North Somerset who have disabilities and additional needs. Learn more here.

Kickstarter Projects with a Lovecraftian Focus (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall!)

Two Keynote Talks Worth Watching on YouTube

Last but definitely not least...


You are invited to participate in an international, interactive science fiction convention... from the comfort of your own home! It will be action-packed, inexpensive, and most of all, FUN!

SofaCON: An Online International Science Fiction Convention

Join the crew of the Hugo Award winning StarShipSofa, their special guests, and friends from all over the world as a new tradition begins: SofaCON, An Online International Science Fiction Convention. This live, history-making event will focus on those who are creators, scholars, and fans of the best of speculative fiction. Over the years StarShipSofa has brought together a global community of science fiction lovers; it’s time for old and new Sofanauts alike to meet in a real-time, interactive virtual venue to celebrate the genre they love.

Meet stellar authors. Watch exclusive interviews and lectures. Ask questions and offer comments. Enjoy the SF convention experience from the comfort of your home. Don’t miss this inaugural event!

New information on guests, scheduling, and registration will be updated at the con's website regularly, and I'll also be posting more updates soon here! I hope you can join us.

SofaCON 2013
eldritchhobbit: (Neil Gaiman)
Apologies for being so quiet! This past week scarcely left me time to breathe.

Tremendous thanks to those of you who attended my "The Hunger Games and the Science Fiction Tradition" online lecture yesterday, and thanks to Tony C. Smith of StarShipSofa for inviting me to do it. I had a fantastic time, and I appreciate the terrific audience!

Neil Gaiman has joined the Unchained Tour, and I have tickets! I really look forward to seeing this.

I have a few quick items of personal news:

  • The forthcoming 2013 collection Lois McMaster Bujold: Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy (which includes my essay "From Both Sides Now: Lois McMaster Bujold and the Fan Fiction Phenomenon") now has a cover.

  • Emilie Flygare-Carlen's haunting Gothic classic The Magic Goblet: A Swedish Tale, which I edited for Valancourt Books, is now available for Kindle readers.

  • My essay "Are Americans Vikings or Indians?: What Dueling Origin Myths from the 19th Century Tell Us about Ourselves" will appear in the next issue of Reason Magazine.

Happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] marthawells, and happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] aragornlover, [livejournal.com profile] alii_s, [livejournal.com profile] beatonna, and [livejournal.com profile] agameofthree. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

Departing summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of spring;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely carolling.
- William Wordsworth, "September"
eldritchhobbit: (Trek Reboot/McCoy Silence)
Many thanks to everyone who took part in my poll on the "Vampire Novel of the Century." The poll is still open, if anyone else would like to take part.

In other news...

* As of the time I'm posting this, there are only three tickets left for my Sherlock and Science Fiction web lecture/Q&A on February 18. Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about this event.

* I have an update about Star Trek and History, the collection edited by Nancy Reagin that will include my essay "If This Is the (Final) Frontier, Where Are the Natives?" Wiley Blackwell has slated it for April 8, 2013 publication, just ahead of the expected May 2013 release date of the new Star Trek film. Huzzah!

* R.I.P., Etta James, January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012. I was listening to her haunting cover of "Somewhere" only hours before I learned of her death. *moment of silence*

* Neil Gaiman's Sherlockian story "The Case of Death and Honey" (from A Study in Sherlock) has been nominated for an Edgar Award. (So, too, has an episode of the amazing Justified.)

* Previously I posted that China Glaze was releasing a new nail lacquer set in honor of The Hunger Games. Here is new information and detailed pictures of "Colours from the Capitol: The Hunger Games Collection."

* Lastly, my sweetheart gave me my Valentine's present early, a wonderful little netbook to make all my travels this spring/summer/fall far easier. (While I like tablets, they're not terribly useful/efficient for my purposes.) I just got a new "skin" to personalize it, and I'm quite tickled with what I found. To me, it looks like a cross between Conan Doyle's Dr. John Watson, looking off into the distance, and a refugee from H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, contemplating the Martians.

The official description is as follows: "A lone figure decked out in suit and bowler hat, is drawn to a mysterious, almost alien structure in the distance as a flock of silhouetted birds keeps watch, flying overhead, in this faded black and white grayscale design." I love it!

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: (SF/Exploring space)
A Study in Scarlet (Beeton's Christmas Annual) by Toronto Public Library Special Collections
I'll be off tomorrow for StellarCon! I look forward to seeing some of you there. In the meantime, I have many links to share:

* StarShipSofa's episode with the nominees for this year's British Science Fiction Association Award for "Best Short Story" is now available, and it includes my narration of Aliette de Bodard's "The Shipmaker."

* The second of my two interviews with KosmosOnline Podcast, this one on the themes of liberty in Joss Whedon's Firefly and Serenity, is now available here.

* Underworld will be releasing a soundtrack album for Nick Dear's new Frankenstein play.

* March 4, 2011 marks the 130th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes's investigation of the "Lauriston Gardens Mystery," aka A Study in Scarlet. [livejournal.com profile] study130 is a new community celebrating A Study in Scarlet (and its modern incarnations, including Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" and the BBC's Sherlock episode "A Study in Pink").

* I thought this was a most interesting exchange regarding Helen Mirren's role in the latest version of The Tempest:
-- "On Prospero's Island" by Ursula K. Le Guin
-- in response, "As Weak as Women's Magic" by Athena Andreadis

* From Cthulhu Chick: "Wordcount for Lovecraft’s Favorite Words." "Hideous" FTW! (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall.)

* When oh when is the second series of Garrow's Law going to be available on US DVD? We inhaled the first series, and now we need more.

* Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] mizz_history! May you enjoy your day and a wonderful year to come.

"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it."
- Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle
eldritchhobbit: (Neil Gaiman)
Yes folks, it's that time again: I've updated my working list of young adult dystopian novels. There have been a number of new releases and forthcoming titles announced lately. If you have any recommendations or suggestions for me, I'd be most grateful! Thanks so much. (Note: If you follow/bookmark this link, you'll always be directed to the most recent iteration of this list.)

--Fifty Years of English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Fiction, With Links )

--Secondary Sources Relating to Young Adult Dystopias, A Select Bibliography )

And, for your amusement...

funny celebrity pictures - Sherlock channeling Jack Donaghy
see more Lol Celebs

My quotes for the day come from this past week's terrific episode of Fringe:
Peter Bishop: You know, a thank you wouldn't kill you.
Dr. Walter Bishop: Oh, I'm sorry if at this moment when the universe is collapsing I forgot the magic word.
Astrid Farnsworth: How come?
Dr. Walter Bishop: Dear God, is it 'Second-Guess Everything I Do Day'? Because I haven't been informed.

- Fringe, "6B"
eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/Watson sweater)

** So NASA is holding a special televised news conference on Monday "to discuss the Chandra X-ray Observatory's discovery of an exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood." Now that sounds interesting. Hmmm.

** Thanks to the brilliant Sherlock, I've decided to correct my heretofore scattershot and disorganized reading of Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes works by reading through them all in their original order of publication. I'm two novels into this project now and enjoying myself quite a bit. I'll probably use this as an excuse to revisit the Professor Challenger stories, too. (I love The Poison Belt!)

I wanted to ask you, my friends, for recommendations of Holmes pastiches. I know that the field is vast, and I want to sample the best (and leave the rest). I'm particularly interested in those that lean toward science fiction and speculative literature, as opposed to straight mystery. Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" is one of my favorite short stories of all time, and I need to read all of Shadows over Baker Street. I've noted that Sherlock Holmes in Orbit, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Gaslight Grimoire, and Gaslight Grotesque all seem like good starting places. As for the subgenre of Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper fiction, I gather that Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson is the novel most respected by scholars of "Ripperology."

Do you have any suggestions for me?

** In other news, I'm quite intrigued by the new official trailer for 2011's Jane Eyre, starring Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, and Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska as Jane. It looks like the film may emphasize the gothic aspects of the story, rather than just focusing on the period romance. If so, that's very refreshing. I look forward to seeing it.

** Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] adamantrealm, [livejournal.com profile] sneezythesquid, [livejournal.com profile] bibliotrope, and [livejournal.com profile] m_stiefvater. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

"I had no idea that such individuals exist outside of stories."
- Dr. Watson, A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle

Link salad!

Nov. 8th, 2010 03:58 pm
eldritchhobbit: (Neil Gaiman)
Apologies for being quiet lately. My husband and I both caught a nasty stomach virus that's making its way around the area, and I lost several days to the ick. (Food and I still aren't on friendly terms.) Fortunately, we were fit enough at least to catch a terrific performance of Much Ado About Nothing yesterday by the L-R Playmakers, which perked us up a bit.

R.I.P. to Glen GoodKnight (1941-2010), the founder of an organization that's near and dear to me, The Mythopoeic Society. He won't be forgotten. My heart goes out to everyone who has been touched by this loss.

Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] actourdreams, [livejournal.com profile] coppervale, and [livejournal.com profile] st_crispins. May all three of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

Reminder: If you'd like to receive a holiday card from me this December, please reply here. Thanks!

I have a few links to share:

This particular post at Historic LOLs cracked me up. What can I say?

There are reasons kids are scared of clowns...
see more Historic LOL

Librivox has been releasing some terrific new unabridged recordings in some of my favorite genres. In case anyone's interested, here are some of the latest available:
Science Fiction
  • The Flying Inn by G.K. Chesterton

  • The Hate Disease by Murray Leinster

  • Two Thousand Miles Below by Charles W. Diffin

  • "The World That Couldn't Be" by Clifford D. Simak
  • Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard

  • Lady into Fox by David Garnett

  • Gothic
  • The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Pocket Island by Charles Clark Munn

  • "The wild November come at last
    Beneath a veil of rain;
    The night winds blows its folds aside,
    Her face is full of pain.
    The latest of her race, she takes
    The Autumn's vacant throne:
    She has but one short moon to live,
    And she must live alone."
    - Richard Henry Stoddard, November
    eldritchhobbit: (Tori/All Your Tomorrows)
    Happy New Year's Eve! I'm sorry I've been quiet lately, but I've had a great deal on my professional plate. ('Tis the season.) I hope all is well with everyone.

    Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mamomo! May you have a wonderful day and a fantastic year to come.

    In honor of the date, here is a quick meme:
    Favorites of 2006 )

    A few recommendations...

    * Since I made my comments on the title for the next Harry Potter novel, related posts have appeared elsewhere, including here, here, and here. (Be sure to check the list of links in the last one.)

    * HogwartsProfessor.com has been redesigned and is hosting some fascinating discussions. I'm glad to see The Hidden Key to Harry Potter is being reissued in 2007.

    * [livejournal.com profile] vulpine137 has posted a very useful "Beginner's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos."

    And a couple of personal notes...

    * My 50-minute interview on the "Writers on Writing" radio program (KUCI, Public Affairs Radio from the University of California at Irvine) from earlier this year is now online here. In this interview, I discuss The Magic Ring, The Trail of Tears and Indian Removal, and my other 2006 projects. (This interview is different than my previous half-hour interview on the "What Would Arwen Do?" radio program on the same station, which now is available for listening here.)

    * I've created a "virtual office" for my classes, which at times will include open posts about required and recommended readings and such, here: [livejournal.com profile] dr_sturgis. I've also created a classroom blog for my upper-division seminar, [livejournal.com profile] hogwarts_at_bu, which will be a closed community for enrolled students only (although the links are visible to all).

    Thank you, my friends, for helping to make my 2006 such a rewarding year. I am grateful for each and every one of you, and I wish you the very best in 2007.

    Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.
    - Henry Ward Beecher


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