eldritchhobbit: (Byers/Lose It)
In this X-Files revival moment, I thought I'd share a couple of older X-Files-ish goodies for those of you like me who want to believe.

* My "Looking Back on Genre History" StarShipSofa tribute to The X-Files features my "whirlwind tour" of the genre ancestors of Agents Mulder and Scully of The X-Files -- in other words, a discussion of the history of science fiction investigators in literature and television. It begins about 13 minutes into the podcast. You can stream or download it here. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Some time ago I compiled a list of post-colonization/post-apocalyptic X-Files and Lone Gunmen fan fiction stories that feature all or at least one of the Lone Gunmen characters (Melvin Frohike, John F. Byers, Richard "Ringo" Langly). My current list is no doubt incomplete, so any suggestions or recommendations would be welcome. Many thanks!

My list thus far with descriptions and links, in alphabetical order )
eldritchhobbit: (Fringe/Walter/Strawberry death)
Just a quick note to say that my essay "In Search of Fringe's Literary Ancestors" from the book Fringe Science is the spotlight essay today at the Smart Pop Books website. You can read it for free here!
eldritchhobbit: (Scully/Outer Space)
I'll shortly be off to Asheville, and I look forward to seeing some of you at my "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" weekend event.

Before leaving I had to make a quick post to say how very excited I am that The X-Files is returning (excited is an understatement!) and to share this Honest Trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, which says it all as far as I'm concerned. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck!)

I'll catch you on the flip side, folks!
eldritchhobbit: (Babylon 5)
These count as cool things:

- Here's a Call for Papers of potential interest: CFP: What Can We Expect from Joss Whedon?

- J. Michael Straczynski will be adapting Kim Stanley Robinson: "Babylon 5 creator heads back to TV to write the Red Mars series."

- Speaking of adaptations, has anyone watched the new Amazon Originals pilot of The Man in the High Castle, adapted from Philip K. Dick's novel? We give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! So does The Independent: "The Man in the High Castle: From the makers of The X-Files and Blade Runner, the Amazon pilot all sci-fi fans should watch."

eldritchhobbit: (Byers/Lose It)
These count as cool things:

- The Lovecraft eZine's Lovecraftian/Weird Fiction "Author of the Week" is the incomparable and eldritch [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl. Read all about it here!

- From io9: "Discover House Of Stairs, One Of The Most Underrated YA Dystopias."

- History goodness! "Researchers hopeful that NC site is that of Lost Colony."

- Hope springs eternal: "X Files Stars To Resume Search For The Truth?"

From the X File

"Be bold — read much — write much — publish little — keep aloof from the little wits, and fear nothing."
- Edgar Allan Poe in a letter to Abijah Metcalf Ide, Jr. dated January 25, 1845
eldritchhobbit: (Scully/Outer Space)
I have a spooky tale for you today, straight from my own backyard!

Brown Mountain, which is found in the county next to ours in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has long been the home of ghostly lights. Called the "Brown Mountain Lights," these mysterious glowing lights - most prevalent in September, October, and November - have been the source of government and private investigations, news reports, folklore, and music, television, and film. The first documented sighting took place on September 24, 1913, as reported in the Charlotte Daily Observer, but anecdotal accounts and oral history predate this report by many years.

The lights remain unexplained.

Brown Mountain

Here are some sources about the Brown Mountain Lights:

* Faculty and students from Appalachia State University maintain this website about the Brown Mountain Lights.

* This YouTube clip includes footage from Charlotte TV and National Geographic TV of and about the lights.

* This YouTube clip includes footage of the lights shot with night vision for the National Geographic TV program Paranatural.

Brown Mountain

Here are some of the fictional works inspired by the Brown Mountain Lights:

* The X-Files episode "Field Trip" has Mulder and Scully investigating the case of missing hikers who were found dead in the vicinity of Brown Mountain. Mulder, of course, immediately makes the connection to the Brown Mountain Lights.
ETA: The two-part story "Night Lights" by John Rozum in issues 18 and 19 of The X-Files comics is also about the Brown Mountain Lights.

* Scotty Wiseman's song "Brown Mountain Lights" attributes the lights to the lantern of a ghostly slave searching for his long-lost owner. Hear it performed by Tony Rice on YouTube. (Note: Another local folktale claims the lights are a Cherokee woman searching for her dead lover.)

* ETA: [livejournal.com profile] travels_in_time pointed out that the 1968 novel Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander H. Key (which has inspired several movie adaptations) mentions the Blue Ridge Mountains specifically and tells of mysterious lights and music coming from a particular mountain. Further research confirms that Key did, in fact, base Witch Mountain on Brown Mountain! How cool is that?

* The 2014 film Alien Abduction - which is very much worth watching if you like such movies - credits aliens with the lights. It was filmed in and around this area. Here's a Dread Central interview with director Matty Beckerman, who claims to have seen the lights himself.

eldritchhobbit: (Scully/Outer Space)
Hey there! Remember me? I'm back from a fantastic and thought-provoking colloquium in DC, rather tired, but in a good way. My final lecture for my spring classes is done, I've celebrated our seventeenth anniversary with my best friend and true love, and now I'm turning my attention to my as-yet-incomplete writing projects before the beginning of the summer term.

Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] lexie_marie, [livejournal.com profile] jalara, [livejournal.com profile] theladyrose, [livejournal.com profile] elvenjoy, [livejournal.com profile] gondoriangirl, [livejournal.com profile] vivien529, and [livejournal.com profile] senket. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

In other news, my sold-out "Sherlock and Science Fiction" Webinar, hosted last February by StarShipSofa's "HoloDeck Workshops," is now available for purchase as a video and audio download, including the question/answer session. Here is more information. It was terrific fun, and I'm grateful to StarShipSofa for making it available to those who might be interested.

This mashup of The X-Files and Sherlock made my day. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] killerweasel.)

“Hi guys. My name’s Martin Crieff, the Captain, and I’m the guy in charge of flying you today. On behalf of the rest of the guys on my team and the guys back on the ground, let me give you guys one hell of a big MJN welcome on board today. Now, before we go right ahead and fly some plane, I’m going to ask you to pay attention to this short safety demonstration. Hey, I know guys. Big yawn, eh? But you know what? It might just save your life... A-a-although of course an air accident is statistically incredibly unlikely. See you on the flip side of the safety demonstration. Ciao!”
- Martin Crieff, "Rotterdam," Cabin Pressure <- I now hear this in my head before takeoff every time I fly!
eldritchhobbit: (Read more science fiction)
* RIP, John Neville, OBE (1925-2011). He was Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Terror, Baron Munchausen in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and the Well-Manicured Man in The X-Files, to name but a few of his many roles.
Read more here: Former Stratford Director, John Neville, Dies and Slice of SciFi Remembers John Neville.

* RIP, Hugo and Nebula Award winner Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011), Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master, inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and author of one of the first science fiction novels to appear on the New York Times Best Seller List.
Read more here: Announcement from Locus and Slice of SciFi Remembers Anne McCaffrey.

* In happier news, Smart Pop Books is running a new promotion: Sign up for Smart Pop's mailing list, and get free excerpts from Smart Pop books! Two of the books from which you can get excerpts are collections that include essays of mine, namely Nyx in the House of Night and Fringe Science.

Last but not least, given the season, this seemed appropriate!

funny pictures history - Manifest Destiny
see more Historic LOL

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.

A few incisive mornings,
A few ascetic eves, -
Gone Mr. Bryant's golden-rod,
And Mr. Thomson's sheaves.
- Emily Dickinson, "Nature: XLIX"
eldritchhobbit: (Fringe/Walter/Strawberry death)
The PotterWatch 2011 scholarly conference was fantastic! Cheers to everyone involved. It was especially great to see [livejournal.com profile] gods_lil_rocker again and meet [livejournal.com profile] amedia in person at last.

Don't miss book blogger Book Chick City's annual All Hallow's Eve event, which runs for the entire month of October and celebrates all things that go bump in the night! Check it out here (or on Livejournal, [livejournal.com profile] bookchickcity).

What's the most Halloween-friendly television show currently on the air? For my money, it's Fringe.

Here's the trailer for the new fourth season of Fringe:

View the famous/infamous "Friday Night Re-animation" trailer for Fringe.

Text of the Day: For a limited time (that is, until Thursday, 6 October), my essay "In Search of Fringe's Literary Ancestors" (from Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, and Mad Scientists, 2011) is available online in its entirety from Smart Pop Books. Whether or not you like/know Fringe, I invite you to check it out, as it covers Shelley, Poe, Lovecraft, and other Halloween-friendly topics. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

So, if you'll kindly excuse my self-indulgence, let's delve into the spooky ancestors of a spooky series...

In this segment, Abrams explains that the original vision for the series entailed revisiting “the Frankenstein idea, but told as legitimately as possible.” Telling the story “legitimately” included updating a central character by turning the aristocratic Genevan medical student Victor Frankenstein into the eccentric U.S. scientist Dr. Walter Bishop. Like Victor, Walter shuns the scientific consensus of the day, following his own genius into unorthodox, even illegal experimentation.

It’s easy to see parallels between the two characters.... To reach their desired goals, both use unethical methods. Victor plunders fresh graves to find human body parts for his laboratory and refuses to provide even the most basic of necessities to the life he creates. Walter escalates experiments with nootropic drugs on innocent children, leaving them with after-effects that continue into adulthood, and wholly ignores warnings that acting on his untested theories could, as his assistant Carla Warren tells him, “rupture the fundamental constants of nature” (“Peter,” 2-16). Furthermore, each genius single-handedly makes decisions that determine the fate of many. Victor’s neglected creation slays his friends and family members. Walter’s recklessness costs the life of his assistant, drives his wife to suicide, and plunges an alternate world into chaos.

Perhaps most importantly, both Victor and Walter are haunted by their past scientific endeavors, pursued by the evidence of their own mistakes. Everywhere Victor looks, he finds the creature. Everywhere Walter looks, he finds evidence of an upcoming violent collision between our Universe and the other one Over There, a cataclysm that he set in motion when he opened the door between worlds and took the alternate Peter as his own son. Neither Victor nor Walter can escape the consequences of science pursued with intellectual arrogance, personal selfishness, and moral unaccountability. It’s all too appropriate that Peter asks Olivia in that first episode: “You’re telling me what? My father was Dr. Frankenstein?”

Read the complete essay.

Tomorrow, back to classic texts!

Bonus quote:
Dr. Walter Bishop: When the Victoria, the last surviving ship, returned to its harbor of departure after the first circumnavigation of the earth, only 18 of the original 237 men were on board.
Small Child: What happened to them?
Dr. Walter Bishop: They all died, young lady. Horrible and most likely painful deaths. You see, when you open new doors, there is a price to pay. Now imagine... tonight, you look under your bed, and, lo and behold, you find a monster! And you're immediately eaten. Now, if you hadn't looked for the monster, you wouldn't have found it and you'd still be happy in your bed, instead of being slowly digested in the stomach sack of the creature. But, with any luck, your sister or your brothers might have heard your screams, and your endeavor will serve as a valuable lesson to them.
- from "What Lies Below," Fringe
eldritchhobbit: (Scully/Outer Space)
I'm back from a terrific experience in Washington, D.C. Everything was right where I left it last time, although I was disappointed not to find Fox Mulder and Deep Throat sitting on a bench and gazing at the Potomac. (On a related note, we just rewatched the "Duane Barry" and "Ascension" episodes of The X-Files, and I was struck by how much a young Alex Krycek resembles Captain Jack Harkness. That explains a lot, actually.)

Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] astromachy and [livejournal.com profile] manonlechat, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] shalna. I hope all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

I'm still catching up. More soon!

For those who haven't seen it yet, a new favorite from xkcd:

eldritchhobbit: (Dr. Who - Smith)
[Poll #1557393]

"I'm the Doctor; I'm worse than everyone's aunt."
- Doctor Who, "The Eleventh Hour"
eldritchhobbit: (Jeremiah/Smith/Wandering)
Happy Wednesday! I have a few quick notes today...

* In Television News:
Tomorrow at 7pm EST the SciFi Channel begins showing the outstanding second season of Jeremiah, which introduces one of my very favorite TV characters, Mister Smith. If you missed the first season (which was good, but not in the same category as the second, in my opinion), you can catch up with this quick and handy summary from [livejournal.com profile] belleferret. I highly recommend catching this season!

* In Music News:
Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I've discovered the band Nuclear Bubble Wrap (former neighbors of mine from Germantown, Tennessee). Their music is quite fun. Check out the free downloads for "Dumbledore Died" and the wicked Harry Potter-centric parody of "Bad Touch" by Bloodhound Gang, "Bad Spell."

* In Personal, X-Files, and Podcasting News:
My tribute to The X-Files is featured today on the main page of StarShipSofa. The latest episode of the podcast features my "whirlwind tour" of the genre ancestors of Agents Mulder and Scully of The X-Files -- in other words, a discussion of the history of science fiction investigators in literature and television. It begins about 13 minutes into the podcast. You can download it here, listen to it streaming here, or get it via iTunes under "StarShipSofa."

* In Personal and Convention News:
I now have confirmed my appearance as a guest at two cons in 2009: ConCarolinas and RavenCon.

* In Lovecraftian News:
I adore this new Miskatonic University class ring. Badali Jewelry rules!

Kurdy: What's it all for, Smith? You one of those guys likes to spy on people for kicks?
Mister Smith: Not for kicks. For history.
- "The Mysterious Mister Smith," Jeremiah
eldritchhobbit: (HP/Ravenclaw/X-Files)
I realized that I'd never posted pictures of Virginia in her beloved Gryffindor scarf (which my mother made for "her granddog"), so here she is:


See more of Virginia the Gryffindor under the cut. )

In other news...

* We went to see The X-Files: I Want to Believe yesterday. It is not a flawless film by any means, but on the whole I was quite satisfied with how it treated the series' characters and themes. I enjoyed it far better than the first X-Files film, and I definitely recommend it, especially to fans of The X-Files.

* I've discovered a terrific new podcast that focuses on science fiction short stories from “SF’s Golden and Silver Ages.” Each show covers a story that was originally published between 1927 and 1965, and includes a dramatic reading (abridged or unabridged, depending on its length) and discussion and commentary about the tale. Thumbs up for A Bite of Stars, A Slug of Time, and Thou.

Father Joe: So you believe in these kind of things?
Fox Mulder: Let's just say that I want to believe.
- The X-Files: I Want to Believe
eldritchhobbit: (Scully/Outer Space)
My baby sister Margret (see these posts for more about her) is getting married this weekend, so I'm off to Oklahoma to be the matron of honor in her wedding.

I will be online while I'm away, but I want to go ahead and wish all of you who celebrate it a happy Fourth of July. Also, happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] archaic_angel; may you have a fantastic day and wonderful year to come!

A few quick notes before I go:

* AMC has announced casting news for the six-part mini-series remake of The Prisoner (with ITV Productions and Granada International) slated for 2009.

* R.I.P. Don S. Davis (1942-2008), veteran of such genre series as Stargate SG-1 and Twin Peaks, who will always be Captain William Scully from The X-Files to me.

* The [livejournal.com profile] livelongnmarry fandom-sponsored auction starts today and closes on July 15. Items up for auction include autographed books by [livejournal.com profile] marthawells, Peg Kerr, Pamela Dean, and Steve Berman, fan fiction, original stories, handmade custom jewelry, knitted clothing, baked goods, original art, fan art, and story critique services, among other things.

* Thanks to new suggestions and discoveries, I have updated my working list of recommended young adult dystopias. (Please let me know if you know of other titles or series that I have missed that were written specifically for YA readers. Many thanks!) Those with asterisks I've already read and highly recommend. FYI!

Recommended Young Adult Dystopias )

"Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit."
– Henry David Thoreau
eldritchhobbit: (TOS/McCoy/Fascinating)
Many of my friends are celebrating birthdays today and tommorrow! Happy birthday wishes go out to [livejournal.com profile] jasonbsizemore, [livejournal.com profile] _snitchbitch, and [livejournal.com profile] dannyboy8406, and happy early birthday wishes go out to [livejournal.com profile] dracschick and [livejournal.com profile] juxiantang. May you all have fantastic days and wonderful years to come!

I have a few quick notes today:

* First of all, congratulations to my husband and his school for the exciting news they shared this weekend: "College to Change Name to Lenoir-Rhyne University."

* Second of all, I am proud to announce that the book chapter "Sexy Nerds: Illya Kuryakin, Mr. Spock, and the Image of the Cerebral Hero in Television Drama," which I had the great pleasure of co-authoring with [livejournal.com profile] st_crispins, is now available in the new book Common Sense: Intelligence as Presented on Popular Television, edited by Lisa Holderman and published by Lexington Books. It was great fun to revisit the worlds of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Star Trek, Blake's 7, The X-Files, MacGuyver, Stargate SG-1, VR.5, Buffy, Firefly/Serenity, Numb3rs, and NCIS with [livejournal.com profile] st_crispins; moreover, several fans and fan fiction authors on my friends list provided us with terrific quotes we used in the article. (You know who you are!) This piece was almost a decade in the making, so it's a thrill to see it in print at last.

* Speaking of the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] st_crispins, I recommend that you check her out (she's the blonde professor/expert with some terrific quotes) on the following clip. Backstage with Larry Nolan, Comcast's entertainment news show, did a piece on the new Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, and they includeed clips from the Fandemonium extra that's among the set's bonus materials.

* And last, for your amusement: Which instruments would the denizens of the Star Wars universe play and why? Here's a guess: Guitar Wars?

"You know deep down this guy thinks he's Johnny Cash." (on Grand Moff Tarkin)
"Dude. He is so Clapton." (on Qui-Gon Jinn)
- Ale[X]-wing fighter at Guitar Wars?
eldritchhobbit: (Scully/Outer Space)
Floyd Red Crow Westerman has died at the age of 71.

Westerman is best known as a musician and an actor who appeared in over 50 films and series, including Dances with Wolves, Hidalgo, DreamKeeper, and The Doors. He appeared in some important genre television programs, as well, including Millennium, The Pretender, Poltergeist: The Legacy, and multiple episodes of The X-Files, in which he portrayed the character Albert Holsteen. In 2006, he won a NAMMY Award for his third music album.

Beyond being an entertainer, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Westerman was an activist, a member of the American Indian Movement and a spokesman for the International Indian Treaty Council. His first album, Custer Died for Your Sins, provided a soundtrack and slogan for the Red Power Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Read his obituary at Native American Times.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
eldritchhobbit: (Caravaggio)
Happy birthday to the spectacular [livejournal.com profile] elicia8, one of the very first friends I made through LiveJournal. I hope you have a fantastic day today, and many, many more!

In other news...

* Valancourt Books has several new titles available this month, including works by Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle.

* Mirror Box is having a "Behold The Great Pumpkin Halloween and Harvest Contest" with lots of great giveaways. No purchase is necessary, but all entries must be in by noon (PST) on August 25, 2007. Learn more here.

* The upper-division seminar I am teaching this semester is "History and the Gothic Imagination," and I am very excited about it.
See the course description and details for the 'HISTORY AND THE GOTHIC IMAGINATION' class. )

"Somewhere a star was going nova, a black hole was vacuuming space, a comet was combing its hair." - Kate Wilhelm, "Mrs. Bagley Goes to Mars" (1978)
eldritchhobbit: (Scully/Outer Space)
Happy birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] vonjuntz! I hope you have a wonderful day today and many more to come.

Aside from my two freshmen seminars next semester (Fall 2007), I will be teaching one upper-division seminar. This course will be online, thanks to the success of my online seminar this semester. I will post the list of texts once I've made my final decisions. I'm excited about it:
History and the Gothic Imagination (description under cut) )

* The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards is now updated with all awards results through the end of 2006, as well as 2007 nomination lists so far announced.

* And R.I.P. to two science fiction authors:
-- Charles L. Fontenay (1917-January 27, 2007), author of three dozen stories in the 1950s, three novels from 1958 to 1964 including The Day the Oceans Overflowed, and numerous children's books after his retirement in 1978, one of which won a special Golden Duck Award (for its strong female character) in 1998.

-- Lee Hoffman (1932-February 6, 2007), publisher of SF fanzines Quandry and Science-Fiction Five-Yearly beginning in the early '50s, and four SF novels from 1967 to 1972, including The Caves of Karst. He was best known for numerous Western novels, including Spur Award-winner The Valdez Horses (1967), which was made into a film starring Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland.

...at times I almost dream
I, too, have spent a life the sages' way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
Ages ago; and in that act, a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted out-not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories, as now, when once more seems
The goal in sight again...

from "Paracelsus" by Robert Browning, quoted in "The Field Where I Died" (The X-Files)
eldritchhobbit: (Nosferatu)
I'm still a hostage to deadlines at the moment, but my science fiction-loving heart could go no longer without saying "rest in peace" to Darren McGavin, who not only was the title character in Kolchak: The Night Stalker (a path-breaking program), and a veteran of such great genre fare as The X-Files and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but also stunning and incredibly poignant as Henry Black, father to Frank Black (Lance Henrikson), in one of my most favorite series, Millennium. Considering the significant influence Kolchak had on series creator Chris Carter and his works (The X-Files not least), it was highly appropriate that Carl Kolchak be Frank Black's father.

McGavin's contributions to his craft and to the genre are significant. He will be missed and remembered.

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eldritchhobbit: (Byers/Lose It)
I am in the process of compiling a list of post-colonization/post-apocalyptic X-Files and Lone Gunmen fan fiction stories that feature all or at least one of the Lone Gunmen characters (Melvin Frohike, John F. Byers, Richard "Ringo" Langly). My current list is quite incomplete, so any suggestions or recommendations would be welcome. Many thanks!

My list thus far, in alphabetical order )

And just because:

"Watching X-Files with no lights on,
We're dans la maison,
I hope the smoking man's in this one."

from "One Week," Barenaked Ladies


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