eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)
We can all agree that death sucks. But I think we can also agree that if we’re going to die, we may as well eat a lot of candy before we go.

Halloween is one of many "memento mori" traditions designed to make death just a little bit more fun—and provide an age-appropriate hint to children about an inescapable fact of life, which is that life ends.

This has emotional benefits. As Oliver Burkemen notes in his essay “The Positive Power of Negative Thinking,” one study found that walking through a graveyard made people 40 percent more likely to help a stranger than walking down an ordinary block; another found that visualizing death can lead us to become more grateful for the things we have in life.

- “Five Reasons Why Humans Need Halloween“ by Jeremy Adam Smith


As one of the “naturally cantankerous and gloomy,” I also recommend the related/linked (and Halloween-relevant) article “The Positive Power of Negative Thinking.”

And speaking of visualizing death, I found this list to be helpful:Here’s how to get your Halloween TV fix this year.”

Here’s another great link for the season: “8 Chilling Reads from Around the World.”


The artwork is october/ and october// by the very talented Ogvi.

eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
Have I mentioned yet how excited I am to hear that Twin Peaks is coming back - with a nine-episode continuation of the series, set in the present day, explaining what has happened these past 25 years? In a statement issued by Showtime, David Lynch and Mark Frost said, “The mysterious and special world of Twin Peaks is pulling us back. We’re very excited. May the forest be with you.” Oh yes.

And this news makes me happiest of all.

Take a peek at the teaser.

On a different note, I had to share this.

eldritchhobbit: (Apparitions/ Father Jacob)
Are you looking to binge-watch a miniseries/series for the Halloween season? Here are my top four recommendations for smart and savvy -- and doable (that is, weighing in at a reasonable number of hours for consuming all of the complete episodes to date) -- Halloween mainlining.

Total Hours: 6
Apparitions (The Complete Series) - British
Father Jacob Myers, a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, examines evidence of miracles to be used in canonization, but he also performs exorcisms. As he discovers, his duties run deeper than just sending demons back to Hell; he later must prevent them all from escaping. One of Apparitions' claims to fame is that, unlike other portrayals of exorcism and spirit possession in fiction, this series attempts to be more respectful, doctrinally accurate, and historically based, incorporating the nature of demonic possession as described by the Church and recounting historical events associated with Christianity and other Abrahamic religions. Extraordinarily humane and textured performances by Martin Shaw, Siobhan Finneran, and Rick Warden make this a thoroughly chilling and affecting work.

Total Hours: 8
Penny Dreadful (The Complete First Season) - British/U.S.
Three great classics -- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray -- meet in a mash-up that pays tribute to the original texts and reimagines them through the sensationalist lens of the late Victorian penny dreadful. The writers know their stuff; multiple times I anticipated quotes or references (Varney the Vampire FTW!) and had to applaud in delight. Eva Green's performance in particular strikes the perfect chord for Halloween. I was delighted and moved by David Warner's guest appearance as Abraham Van Helsing, as well. Watch this first season and you'll be all caught up with the rest of us. (Note: This isn't for the kiddies.)

Total Hours: 8
The Returned (The Complete First Season) - French
In a small French mountain town, many dead people reappear, apparently alive and normal: teenaged road crash victim Camille, suicidal bridegroom Simon, a small boy named "Victor" who was murdered by burglars, and Serge, a serial killer. They try to resume their lives as strange phenomena occur. During recurring power outages, the water level of the reservoir mysteriously lowers, revealing the presence of dead animals and a church steeple. At the same time, strange marks appear on the bodies of the living and the dead. Subtle, haunting, and dark, this program won the International Emmy for Best Drama Series with good reason. The second season is due out in 2015. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] peadarog for first recommending this to me.)

Total Hours: 13
Miracles (The Complete Series) - U.S.
Miracles follows Paul Callan, an investigator of modern miracles for the Catholic Church who questions his faith after repeatedly finding mundane explanations for various supposed phenomena. After he witnesses a true, supernatural miracle that saves his life, only for his findings to be dismissed on a lack of evidence, Paul leaves his position. He is approached by Alva Keel to join his organization Sodalitas Quaerito, investigating and cataloguing "unexplainable" phenomena. Along with former police officer Evelyn Santos, Paul and Alva attempt to battle the impending "darkness" before it's too late. Do the letters "godisnowhere" mean "God Is Now Here" or "God Is Nowhere"? The series considers this an open question, and it delivers some genuine spookiness in the process.

Apparitions DVD Penny Dreadful DVD The Returned DVD Miracles DVD

So what do you recommend?

"Perhaps it has always been there, this thing, this demon inside me. Or behind my back, waiting for me to turn around."
- Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful
eldritchhobbit: (Longmire)
Here are a couple of Calls for Papers that may be of interest.

- From Here to Hogwarts is a proposed interdisciplinary, multi-contributer volume born of the burgeoning field of Harry Potter Studies and the community of collaborators that is developing within the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association. Read more here.

- Joss Whedon's Comics: Essays on any aspect of Whedon’s comics are welcome. Read more here.

And here's a thoughtful piece on one of my favorite current television series, Longmire: "Longmire Shattering Expectations for Procedural Television."

An excerpt: "The legacy of the western frontiersman chases and embraces dominance: dominance over the land, over the indigenous Cheyenne and Lakota peoples, as well as over Longmire’s own family. It is a paternalistic legacy that honors an alpha-masculinity, whose power can only be maintained by dwarfing all others. Instead of fully embracing this tradition, Walt Longmire represents an alternative. He inherits only that which is noble within this tradition, while working to mend the callously inflicted wounds perpetrated by those that fully embrace it....

"We tend to forget that when perpetrators commit crimes, they take. When thieves rob they do not just take nice cars and expensive jewelry, but they often take from the identities of their victims, distort reality, invade memories, seize happiness, and hold it for ransom. Longmire explores the crippling sorrow of reconciling with such grief, and the value in seeking resolution."

Here, have a scene (in which the literature-loving Longmire gets his Iliad on).

eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/NRK parody murder by death)
Good news! "Sherlock Returns for One-Off Special AND Series 4."

And here are a couple of other nifty things that may be of interest. (Thanks to Michael!)

- Living with Frankenstein, a web series: "Frankenstein’s Monster (aka Frank) is alive and living in Los Angeles with Mary Shelley, P.B. Shelley, and Lord Byron. In this dark comedy the Monster is not a fictional character. P.B. Shelley created Frank, and Mary Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein to chronicle actual events." Check it out here and here.

- Finding Hogwarts: This is a documentary film about seven Harry Potter fans and their journey to find Hogwarts, as well as the stories and shared experiences they had as they followed Harry until the very end. More details are here.

Last but not least, happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lynn_maudlin, and happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] morningapproach, [livejournal.com profile] gods_lil_rocker, [livejournal.com profile] splix, [livejournal.com profile] divadiane1, [livejournal.com profile] markbourne, [livejournal.com profile] sunshinedew, [livejournal.com profile] ithildyn, [livejournal.com profile] melissagay, [livejournal.com profile] faramirgirl, [livejournal.com profile] agentxpndble, [livejournal.com profile] arymetore, [livejournal.com profile] caster121, [livejournal.com profile] syrcleoftrees, [livejournal.com profile] ghislainem70, and [livejournal.com profile] johnjosephadams. May you all enjoy many happy returns of the day!
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Hey Chief)
I have my preliminary schedule for Loncon 3/the 72nd Worldcon. I'm really excited!

Friday, 15 August
11am-12 noon
Solo presentation: “Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction”

Saturday, 16 August
12 noon-1:30pm
Panel: “Commercializing Fans”

Panel: “Young Adult SF on the Big Screen”

Panel: “Young Adult and Middle-Grade SF”

I’ll be officiating at the Prometheus Awards ceremony.

Sunday, 17 August
Solo presentation: “Millennials and Worlds Gone Wrong: These Aren’t Your Parents’ YA Dystopias”

{245} Science Fiction

Following up on my recent post about Ruth Graham's article in Slate, here are a few more "must read" responses.
- From my friend and former graduate student, Curtis Weyant: "Unliterary Criticism"
- From Julie Beck: "The Adult Lessons of YA Fiction" (Thanks to Leslie!)
- From Maggie Stiefvater: "Here is a lie we've all been told: books will make you smart." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estellye!)
- From Heather Hogan: "Geek Out: No, Adults Should NOT be Embarrassed to Read Young Adult Books" (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] brighteyed_jill!)
- And, in fiction form (You want to see this!), from Kathleen Hale: "A Young Adult Author’s Fantastic Crusade to Defend Literature’s Most Maligned Genre" (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estellye!)

And regarding current television...
- How amazing was Fargo? So good.
- The new season of Longmire is off to a terrific start. Check this out: "The Top Five Reasons You Should Be Watching Longmire."
- I don't want this season of Orphan Black to be over.
eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/Watson sweater)
It's Saturday!

* More Harry Potter! From The Guardian: "J.K. Rowling to collaborate on Harry Potter play for West End."

* My most recent "Looking Back into Genre History" segment is up on the latest episode of StarShipSofa (Ep. 336), and it offers a look at the classic television series Dark Shadows. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* My tickets are bought for Martin Freeman as Richard III at Trafalgar Transformed. Score!


But I, — that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love’s majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them,—
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
- Richard III


Feb. 21st, 2014 05:44 pm
eldritchhobbit: (DS9/Weyoun)
I have more cool links to share! I've enjoyed these, and I thought you might, too...

* From Den of Geek: "Looking back on The Baker Street Boys." "Nostalgia ahoy! With Sherlock Holmes more popular than ever, Alex looks back at eighties children's drama, The Baker Street Boys..."

* From Observation Deck: "Age Appropriate: What's Wrong with YA?" "So why all of the animosity toward or disinterest in YA SFF? That’s what’s really difficult for me to comprehend, especially when I’m discussing it with people who, in almost every other media, fully embrace things that are marketed to younger people." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall!)

* From io9: "Science Fiction and Fantasy Are Now Officially Part of 'American Literature.'" "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's famous 'Best American' series, which features annual anthologies of the best fiction, essays, and more, is starting up a 'Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy' series in 2015, presided over by award-winning editor John Joseph Adams." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall!)

* From Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque: "H(arry) P(otter) Lovecraft." "What if 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named' was so called not just because it was dreaded to speak his name, but also because he hailed from the Nameless City located somewhere on the Arabian peninsula? Forget all the nonsense about Tom Riddle; that's just a red herring." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sittingduck1313!)

* From London Review of Books: "Ghosts of the Tsunami." "I met a priest in the north of Japan who exorcised the spirits of people who had drowned in the tsunami. The ghosts did not appear in large numbers until later in the year, but Reverend Kaneda’s first case of possession came to him after less than a fortnight. He was chief priest at a Zen temple in the inland town of Kurihara. The earthquake on 11 March 2011 was the most violent that he, or anyone he knew, had ever experienced." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] quietselkie!)

coffee and book

"Thus fortified I might take my rest in peace. But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths."
- Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
eldritchhobbit: (Longmire)
* If you're looking for a worthy project to fund, check out this Indiegogo campaign to build the Museum of Science Fiction's Preview Location: Help us build a preview location for the new nonprofit Museum of Science Fiction in Washington, DC! (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estellye!)

* Speaking of science fiction, next weekend I'll be conducting a live virtual interview with award-winning and bestselling SF author David Brin for the Sofanauts. I'm soliciting questions! If you've got something you'd like me to ask Dr. Brin, please let me know. I hope to "see" some of you at the interview.

* My latest "Looking Back into Genre History" segment is up on the latest episode of StarShipSofa, and it offers a tribute to the science fiction career of actor Russell Johnson, who passed away last month. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Last but not least, a recommendation. I have a pattern when it comes to adaptations: I go the source material first and read it, and then I watch the adaptation to see how it measures up. Not this time. I fell hard for the A&E television series Longmire thanks to its gorgeous use of setting, consistently excellent acting, and most of all its informed and sensitive portrayal of the interaction and politics between Anglo and Northern Cheyenne communities in Wyoming. In fact, I hesitated about reading the novels that had inspired the show, in fear that this might somehow compromise my enjoyment of the series. I needn't have worried. (Thanks for your encouragement, [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl!) Reading the first two novels in Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series has only enhanced my appreciation of the Longmire show and convinced me that I need to read all of the other books in the series, which I will do very soon.

Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking. - Black Elk
eldritchhobbit: (Millennium/textless)
I hope all is well with you, my friends!

A few quick notes:

1. If you missed my "Sherlock, Science, and Ratiocination" seminar, you can now purchase all 36 hours of lecture (in both video and audio formats) for a reduced price from Mythgard Institute at Signum University. (The shop also includes course packs for my past classes, including "Science Fiction, Parts 1 & 2," "The Dystopian Tradition," and "Taking Harry Potter Seriously.") Go here for more details.

2. This week's episode of StarShipSofa includes my latest "Looking Back into Genre History" segment, which celebrates Chris Carter's Millennium TV series and the current Back to Frank Black Campaign related to it. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

3. The Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University has created a YouTube Channel for my LL videos.

I'll leave you with a touch of holiday cheer...

eldritchhobbit: (Dr. Who - Smith)
It's been a good weekend to be a geek. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was absolutely exceptional. (I'll be seeing it again this week, and then I'll post more of a review. Nutshell version: it's brilliant! Very, very well done.) And there was An Adventure in Space and Time (Mark Gatiss did it again!) and "The Day of the Doctor." Wow. We even got a new Sherlock trailer and an update to John Watson's blog.

Almost Last Call for Holiday Cards! Reminder: if you'd like a holiday card from me this year, please respond here. Thanks so much!
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: (Holmes/Impudence)
Fresh from Wildside Press, the new Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #10 includes my essay "Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction."

Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #10 (October 2013)
eldritchhobbit: (Millennium/textless)
I can think of a number of excellent television series to recommend for the season, but one holds a special place in my heart with its Halloween-friendly atmosphere and content. I loved Millennium (1996-1999) from the debut of its pilot episode, and I've continued to adore it all these years. It holds up to repeated viewings. (All three seasons are available on DVD, via Netflix, etc.)

Just the introduction alone puts me in a different place.

Millennium Season 3 opening credits from Troy Foreman on Vimeo.

One of my favorite episodes is from the second season. "A Room with No View" suggests that the Devil does not seek out the good in the hopes of turning them evil, as much as (s)he seeks out those with promise in the hopes of turning them to mediocrity. A chilling script, beautifully realized.

We just rewatched the second-season Halloween episode "The Curse of Frank Black." Fantastic.

Imagine my delight recently when I discovered the Back to Frank Black campaign -- supported by show creator Chris Carter, co-executive producer Frank Spotnitz, composer Mark Snow, and all of the show's regular stars -- and its exceptional podcast (highly recommended!) and hard-copy collection of essays/interviews (currently reading!). A return of this remarkable series (likely as a film or miniseries) is possible. The time, as the Millennium Group would say, is now.

Consider this trailer for the campaign, scored by original series composer Mark Snow. Those of you who are familiar with the show should note that the photo of the young woman is indeed child-actress Brittany Tiplady (who played Jordan Black) all grown up, and of course Frank Black remains none other than the brilliant Lance Henriksen.

Catherine Black: If you're not afraid, you're living in denial.
- Millennium

Bob Bletcher: If it was 500 years ago, you'd have been burned as a witch.
Frank Black: Nothing I do is magic, Bob.
Bob Bletcher: Yeah, a lot of people shouted just that from the middle of a bonfire.
- Millennium
eldritchhobbit: (Dr. Who - Eccleston)
The Doctor Who news is official. The Twelfth Doctor has been named...

the Eleven Doctors

Spoiler under the cut! )

So what do you think?
eldritchhobbit: (Combs/Frighteners)
* The latest Oklahoma City tornado!apocalypse passed my family by, although my sister had some very rough moments (read: hours) thanks to it. I'm most grateful for all of your concerns and good thoughts. I'm still catastrophically behind on my email. Please forgive me for my tardiness in replies.

* I love Goodreads and Bookmooch. So much! I'm here on Goodreads and here on Bookmooch, if you're ever there and interested in "friending."

* If you've missed the Peter Cushing blogathon at Frankensteinia, in honor of Cushing's 100th birthday, check it out!

* Spoilers! So the Doctor Who news is official. I look forward to seeing what's next. The finale blew my mind (in the best possible way), so I'm wholly invested, on the edge of my seat, and ready for more.

* Speaking of Doctor Who, don't miss the first episode of Kat and Curt's TV Re-View, where the Buffy and Doctor Who 'verses combine. It's going to be brilliant!!!!

* Have I mentioned how much we've loved the first season of Orphan Black? It's wonderful to find a new genre-related series that doesn't talk down to the audience. It's exceptionally well done and thoughtfully constructed. (I was deeply discouraged by Copper and Vikings, and frustrated to the point of genuine anger by The Following and Elementary, so it was a breath of very fresh air to be fascinated/delighted by Orphan Black. Thank goodness the next season is in the works! YMMV, of course; IDIC in all things, always, my friends.)


* Last but certainly not least, happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] chorale, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] nakeisha, [livejournal.com profile] poenari, [livejournal.com profile] ebonange, [livejournal.com profile] frodosweetstuff, [livejournal.com profile] primroseburrows, , [livejournal.com profile] eowynmaiar, [livejournal.com profile] sally_maria, [livejournal.com profile] magicwondershow, [livejournal.com profile] groovekittie, [livejournal.com profile] eveningblue, [livejournal.com profile] peadarog, [livejournal.com profile] thehornedgod, [livejournal.com profile] baylorsr, [livejournal.com profile] lin4gondor, [livejournal.com profile] caitri, [livejournal.com profile] belleferret, [livejournal.com profile] valancourtbooks, [livejournal.com profile] potboy, [livejournal.com profile] alex_beecroft, [livejournal.com profile] nurdbunny, [livejournal.com profile] lisa_marli, [livejournal.com profile] graashoppa, [livejournal.com profile] toddlyles, [livejournal.com profile] pktheater, and [livejournal.com profile] lizzieausten. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day! Love to all of you!
eldritchhobbit: (Dracula/Gorey)
On this day 100 years ago, Peter Cushing was born. He would go on to become an actor and a gentleman, portraying roles from Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy to Edgar Rice Burroughs's Dr. Abney Perry, a repeated Victor Frankenstein and Van Helsing, and a staple of Hammer Horror films. He became a very human Doctor Who, and he offered, over a number of years, one of cinema's finest interpretations of Sherlock Holmes (one of my "top three" favorite incarnations of the Great Detective). Last but certainly not least, Cushing became Grand Moff Tarkin himself, wielder of the Death Star, destroyer of Alderaan, and holder of Darth Vader's leash.

peter cushing tarkin photo: Grand Moff Tarkin tarkin.jpg

[Poll #1915650]

Peter Cushing in ''The Hound of the Baskervilles'' (1959)
eldritchhobbit: (TOS/dead Jim)
* The preliminary schedule for Potterwatch 2013 is up now on the conference website. I look forward to seeing some of you there!

* Here are two new Calls for Papers from Mythopoeic Press. I've worked with the press (and editor Janet B. Croft, who is wonderful) multiple times in the past, and I know these collections will be terrific.

--- Call for Papers: Women in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien
Here are the full details. )

--- Call for Papers: Baptism of Fire: The Birth of Modern British Fantasy in World War I
Here are the full details. )

* I have a new book giveaway on Goodreads! It's for Star Trek and History, which is due out later this month. It includes an essay by Yours Truly ["If This Is the (Final) Frontier, Where Are the Natives?"]. Here are all the details.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Star Trek and History by Nancy Reagin

Star Trek and History

by Nancy Reagin

Giveaway ends April 07, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Airport)
I'm off to Santa Fe for a conference -- and apparently some snow. (My brain insists on playing "You can drum a gentle drum, and I can seat guests as they come, chatting not about Heidegger but wine..." on continual loop. Silly brain.) But before I leave...

* Three brilliant and important science fiction novels appear to be headed to the small screen. Variety reports that SyFy will be adapting Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle as a miniseries (with Ridley Scott and Frank Spotnitz at the helm, which rather eased my initial panic at the news), and Mary Doria Russell reports that her novels The Sparrow (one of my all-time favorites) and Children of God may become a full-fledged series for AMC.

* Not even Gabriel "You've Loved Me Since Excalibur" Byrne and his fantastic greying wig could salvage the shipwreck that was Vikings. I can't bear to watch another episode. Woe. At least I have Ripper Street for one more week. We may give the new shows Bates Motel and Orphan Black a test drive when they debut later this month.

* How is one supposed to choose among all of these competing versions of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on DVD?

* Happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] bluerocean and [livejournal.com profile] mizz_history, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] thewordoffred, [livejournal.com profile] lovefromgirl, [livejournal.com profile] artwhisperer, [livejournal.com profile] jasonbsizemore, [livejournal.com profile] dannyboy8406, and [livejournal.com profile] _snitchbitch. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

I just adore this still from the forthcoming Star Trek into Darkness. Admiral Pike/Bruce Greenwood FTW.

eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure)
Hi there! I have a few quick links to share:

1. I'm deeply in love with Juan Ortiz's new retro-style Star Trek: The Original Series art here.

2. Speaking of love, I highly recommend Martin Berman-Gorvine's Seven Against Mars, a science fiction novel just published this month (YA but also great for adults). You can read my review here.

3. To celebrate the series finale of Cabin Pressure, you can make your own Captain Crieff hat. The hat is paramount! (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] killerweasel.)

4. Is anyone else planning to check out Vikings next month? It's Vikings. It's Gabriel Byrne. I have to give it a try.

5. My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment for StarShipSofa, which is the second of a two-part segment about Edward Bellamy's classic novel Looking Backward, 2000-1887, is now available. (The first part is here.) You can listen or download it here. An updated list of all of my podcast appearances (with links) is available here.

Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mr_earbrass and [livejournal.com profile] mollypunkin, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck, [livejournal.com profile] firiath, [livejournal.com profile] alicia_stardust, [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl, [livejournal.com profile] dqg_neal, [livejournal.com profile] xerum525, [livejournal.com profile] homespunheart, [livejournal.com profile] jagash, [livejournal.com profile] settiai, [livejournal.com profile] rosamundeb, and [livejournal.com profile] kalquessa. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

Valentine Overload

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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