eldritchhobbit: (Dr. Horrible/Ph.D.)
I'm back from an action-packed Worldcon, just in time for the start of a new semester!

My stand-alone academic presentation from the con, "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: How The Hunger Games' World of Tomorrow Builds on SF's Classic Past," is now available for free on the latest episode of StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

And here is Kaitlyn at Worldcon, her very first (but not her last!) con. Steampunk Star Wars shirt? Check. TARDIS? Check. Happy smile? Check.

eldritchhobbit: (SF/Exploring space)
I'll shortly be on my way to MidAmeriCon II/the 74th World Science Fiction Convention. If you're attending, I hope you'll say hello!

Below is my schedule. I'm delighted and privileged to be on panels with some stellar folks in the SF community. Each event title links to its official description and list of participants.


Thursday, August 18
2pm: "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: How The Hunger Games' World of Tomorrow Builds on SF's Classic Past"
This is my stand-alone academic presentation, which is part of the Campbell Conference/Academic Track.

Friday, August 19
11am: "Queer Star Wars"
This panel is part of the 40th Anniversary Star Wars Day programming.

Saturday, August 20
10am: "Alienation and Science Fiction"
I am the moderator of this panel.

12pm: "Inspiring the Creativity"
I am the moderator of this panel.

2pm: "Magazine Group Reading: Escape Artists, Inc."

8pm: The Hugo Awards
I am honored to be the official representative of Hugo nominee Tales to Terrify at this year's ceremony.

Sunday, August 21
12pm: "Criticism in Speculative Fiction"

I plan to post updates and photos on my Twitter feed.

Catch you on the flip side!
eldritchhobbit: (Apparitions/ Father Jacob)
* My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment is a review of the centuries-spanning "Destroyed London" exhibit at Loncon 3/Worldcon. It's available on Episode 353 of StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Here's a petition to ask that Jamie Lloyd's current production of Richard III at Trafalgar Studios (with Martin Freeman in the title role) be recorded for either broadcast or DVD release. Here's hoping!

* In other news, the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? focuses on the ancestors of actor Martin Shaw. If, like me, you're a fan of Mr. Shaw -- or, like me, you're interested in 19th-century British Industrial history -- this episode is well worth watching. There's also an outtake scene available here.

eldritchhobbit: (SF/Space travel)
I had a marvelous time at this year's Worldcon (which, the last I heard, was in the running to be the largest Worldcon in the event's 72-year-history with well over 10,500 attendees).

Some of the highlights of the con for me were the following.

- Meeting in person several of the StarShipSofa crew with whom I've worked for the last six plus years, including Tony C. Smith, Diane Severson Mori, Steve Bickle, and others, as well as many of our long-term listeners.

- Attending the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards Ceremony, which was presented like a 1939 radio broadcast, complete with a live band, ads, and breaks for newsflashes about approaching Martians. (Fortunately for us, the "con crud" killed the invaders before they penetrated the ExCel Centre where the ceremony was being held.) It was a loving extended tribute to Orson Welles' adaptation of The War of the Worlds, beautifully realized. My friend Diane Severson Mori, who was representing Amazing Stories editor Raymond Palmer (who was nominated for Best Editor), kindly invited me to be her "plus one," so I also got to see the other representatives at the pre-awards reception and enjoy the ceremony from choice seating. It was moving for me to see classic works I've loved and taught honored in this way.

- Officiating at the Prometheus Awards ceremony, where it was my privilege to present "Best Novel" awards to Cory Doctorow (for Homeland) and Ramez Naam (for Nexus), both of whom gave stirring speeches, and a "Special Award" to the representative of Leslie Fish (for her novella “Tower of Horses” and her related filk song, "The Horsetamer’s Daughter"), as well as to accept on behalf of Lois McMaster Bujold the "Hall of Fame" honor for her novel Falling Free.

- Giving my two talks, "Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction" and "Millennials and Worlds Gone Wrong: These Aren't Your Grandparents' YA Dystopias." I'm grateful to A.J. Hall for her wonderful (and hilarious) introduction to my Holmes talk, and to everyone who attended - even those several dozen who were turned away after the doors were closed due to overcrowding. (What a turnout! I was amazed.) I'm also grateful to the many who came to my YA dystopias talk and stayed with me, contributing great comments and questions, even though the tech specialists were unable to get my PowerPoint up and running. (So it goes...)

- Participating in stimulating and thought-provoking panels. It was great fun to sit side-by-side and converse with some truly gifted authors, scholars, and journalists. I particularly enjoyed the "Young Adult SF on the Big Screen" panel, where we had just the right balance of agreement and disagreement to make for a vigorous and fruitful discussion. I also attended several excellent panels as an audience member. Two of the standout examples were "My Beautiful Dystopia" (with a stellar panel of authors including the always-awesome Peadar O'Guilin) and "Reluctant, or Just Not Interested?," a panel about reluctant readers, the education system, and publishing, which featured more terrific guests (including Gray Rinehart, whose appearances are always "must sees").

Here's my obligatory selfie with my Loncon 3 badge, taken just before the Retro-Hugo Awards ceremony, and a photo of the ExCeL Centre at the Docklands, where the con was held.

Here I am before the Retro-Hugo Awards.The ExCeL Centre in London in 2014

Click here for my photos from Loncon 3/Worldcon, including close-up pictures from the "50 Photos for 50 Years of Doctor Who," "A Brief History of Worldcon," and "The Destruction of London" special exhibits.

My next con appearance is in September at A Long-Expected Party. At this point I'm not sure about next year's Worldcon, but I know I will be attending MidAmeriCon II/Worldcon in 2016.
eldritchhobbit: (Books and text)
Happy birthday to Ray Bradbury (22 August, 1920 – 5 June, 2012)!

"They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressures; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves."
- Ray Bradbury, "Usher II" (1950)

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

Speaking of Mr. Bradbury, it was my delight last week to sit next to the representative of his British publisher during the fabulous 1939 Retro-Hugo Awards Ceremony, which played out like a period radio broadcast, complete with live band, ads, and War of the Worlds-esque newsflashes about Martian invaders. Here is the Retro-Hugo Award he won for Best Fan Writer.

Ray Bradbury's Retro-Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer..
eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/ and Holmes)
I'm back, staggeringly jetlagged and tired but very happy, from a fantastic visit to London and Loncon 3/Worldcon. I'll be catching up on emails shortly. Pictures and reports of my English adventures will follow. You have been warned.

For now, let me say that the third and final installment of my "Looking Back on Genre History" series entitled "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother: Harry Potter in a Native American Context" is now live on StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy. Here are links to all three segments:
- "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother": Part 1 of 3
- "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother": Part 2 of 3
- "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother": Part 3 of 3

I'll leave you with a couple of my photos of notes left by fans at the The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London.

Notes Left by Fans at the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London

Notes Left by Fans at the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Airport)
I'm off to London for research and adventure before Loncon 3/Worldcon begins. I'll catch you on the flip side, my friends!

Here is my updated Worldcon schedule. )

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: (B7/Vila)
It's official! I'm delighted to say that I'll be giving two hour-long talks at Loncon 3: The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention in London this summer. One will be with the Young Adult Track, "Millennials and Worlds Gone Wrong: Or, Why These Aren't Your Grandparents' YA Dystopias," and one will be with the Academic Track, "Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction." It looks like I'll be on some terrific panels, as well. I'll post my schedule when I know it. (Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] peadarog!)

I'd also like to offer my congratulations to my undergraduate and graduate students who were chosen to present their original research from this semester formally during Lenoir-Rhyne University's campus-wide SOURCE: Symposium on University Research and Creative Expression. Three cheers for Elena Margo Gould ("Black Elk's Syncretic Spirituality"), Angelia Bedford ("Native Americans and the Criminal Justice System"), Liz Goebelbecker ("Spirit for Sale"), and Leah Phillips ("A Study of How Euro-American Disease and Medicine Affected the Nebraska Winnebago Native"). Well done!

Some Kickstarters of interest:
- Edgar Allan Poe illustrated "Ravings of Love & Death" (Thanks to Diane!) This one ends today!
- The Miskatonic School for Girls: Holiday Break Expansion (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sittingduck1313!)
- Geek Theater: Anthology of Science Fiction & Fantasy Plays
- Star Wars Lightsabers from Science Fiction to Science Fact
eldritchhobbit: (Firefly/Losing Side)
Hello, everyone! I'm back from Montreal and slowly recuperating from WorldCon. I'm currently catching up with emails and posts, and I hope to be in touch with everyone to whom I owe responses very soon.

* I came home to some shiny news: the abstract for my essay "Crowded in My Sky": Liberty and the Frontier in Firefly and Serenity" has been accepted for the forthcoming anthology The Philosophy of Joss Whedon, edited by Dean A. Kowalski and S. Evan Kreider. My article grew out of the lecture I gave at UCLA a couple of years ago, following Firefly's Tim Minear, about frontier literature and positive and negative concepts of liberty.

* In other news, I am very excited about the forthcoming two-book set from Library of America, American Fantastic Tales.

* The website is now up for ReConStruction: The 10th Occasional North American Science Fiction Convention to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA from August 5-8, 2010.

* Now for one more memory from WorldCon: here's the video of Neil Gaiman reading Cory Doctorow's "The Right Book."

“We should grant power over affairs only to those who are reluctant to hold it and then only under conditions that increase the reluctance.”
– Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
eldritchhobbit: (SF/UFO Magic)
It's my last post from Montreal, folks! Thanks so much for reading. This experiment in con reporting has been great fun. All of my WorldCon photos are together in a set here.

Here's my report for the fifth and last day of the 67th WorldCon. )

I'll be catching up with my replies and emails soon! Thanks so much for reading.

"Hello. My name is Darth Vader. I am your father. Prepare to die."
-- button seen at WorldCon
eldritchhobbit: (SF/Planets and interplanetary travel)
Hello from Montreal! Shall I pick up where I left off, then?

Here's my report from the rest of the third and all of the fourth day of the 67th WorldCon. )

“I’ve always liked the idea of a special Hugo to be awarded (by force, perhaps) to literary authors who write books dripping with themes filleted from mainstream SF and then deny that it’s science fiction ‘because it’s not about robots and spaceships’.”
– Terry Pratchett
eldritchhobbit: (Metropolis)

Today as part of the Academic Track at Worldcon 2009, I am giving the presentation "Anticipating Worlds Gone Wrong: Contemporary Young Adult Dystopias." For those attendees and others who may be interested, I am posting the bibliography of primary and secondary sources used to prepare my talk.

(Note added 2/21/10: This is no longer the most recent version of this list. If you follow/bookmark this link, you'll always be directed to the most recent iteration of the list.)

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

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

I will be posting additional reports from WorldCon 2009 soon! Thank you for reading.

"How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver
eldritchhobbit: (SF/Exploring space)
Hello once more from Montreal!

Here's my report for most of the third day of the 67th WorldCon. )

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." – Philip K. Dick
eldritchhobbit: (Space/Jupiter)
Hello again from beautiful Montreal!

I have another update to share.Here's my report from the second day of the 67th WorldCon. )

"At no time had Hobbits of any kind been warlike, and they had never fought among themselves.... Nonetheless, ease and peace had left this people still curiously tough. They were, if it came to it, difficult to daunt or to kill; and they were, perhaps, so unwearyingly fond of good things not least because they could, when put to it, do without them, and could survive rough handling by grief, foe, or weather in a way that astonished those who did not know them well and looked no further than their bellies and their well-fed faces."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
eldritchhobbit: (Day the Earth Stood Still)
Hello from beautiful Montreal!

Here's my report from the first day of the 67th WorldCon. )

"We have learned now that we cannot regard this planet as being fenced in and a secure abiding place for Man; we can never anticipate the unseen good or evil that may come upon us suddenly out of space."
- H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
eldritchhobbit: (SF/Exploring space)

It's almost that time! Convention Reporter is bookmarking the schedules of those of us who will be posting reports and pictures from Anticipation/the 67th WorldCon in Montréal, so I wanted to post my revised and finalized schedule for the con (which includes a few small changes from the previous version I posted):

My WorldCon Schedule )

"What is the use in not actively engaging life? It passes anyhow."
- Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time


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