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: (Elsewhere)
Wow! The first weekend of my two-weekend "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" event was spectacular, with amazing students and fascinating discussions. I'm very much looking forward to the second half of the event. Thanks to everyone who participated!

In other news that makes me happy, I've just proofed the final galleys for two of my essays which will be published soon. “Feminism, Frankenstein, and Freedom: The Individualistic Works and Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley” will appear in REASON, and "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother: Harry Potter in the Native American Context" will appear in Harry Potter for Nerds II (along with works by several of my current and former graduate students, I'm delighted to say).

In addition, my proposal for the essay "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition" has been accepted for the forthcoming 2016 scholarly volume Critical Insights: The Hunger Games.

Day 38/365 ~ We Read to Know We Are Not Alone

Speaking of publications, here are some Calls for Papers of possible interest.
- New Worlds, Terrifying Monsters, Impossible Things: Exploring the Contents and Contexts of Doctor Who
- Engendering the Disc – The Fantastic Worlds of Terry Pratchett
- Being Humans. The Human Condition in the age of techno-humanism: representations, practices, experiences

Happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] sarah531, [livejournal.com profile] vg_ford, [livejournal.com profile] tunes84, [livejournal.com profile] captnofmyheart, [livejournal.com profile] wildviolet4, [livejournal.com profile] savagedoc45, [livejournal.com profile] lalam, [livejournal.com profile] silveraspen, [livejournal.com profile] denorios, [livejournal.com profile] prettybirdy979, [livejournal.com profile] sakuraember, [livejournal.com profile] cherylmmorgan, [livejournal.com profile] muuranker, [livejournal.com profile] izhilzha, and [livejournal.com profile] justicemuffins. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
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: (Scott & Bailey/glasses)
Hearty thanks to everyone who responded to my poll about a Halloween-athon this October. If you haven't yet replied and would like to do so, the poll is still open here!

In other news, my article from the latest issue (October 2014) of Reason Magazine, "Not Your Parents' Dystopias: Millennial fondness for worlds gone wrong," is now online here at Reason's website.

From Reason Magazine

In addition, I just accepted a lovely invitation to speak at Duquesne University in November. Pittsburgh, here I come!

Last but definitely not least, here's a Kickstarter worth attention: Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide: Tales of Science Fiction for a Middle Grade Audience. Foster the love of SF in a new generation.
eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
Here's a recap of the links to my London photos I've shared in recent posts:
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
The Whitechapel Ripper Walk
Loncon 3/Worldcon
The Museum of London

The new semester is kicking off, but I wanted to make a quick fly-by post today to say that the latest (October 2014) issue of Reason Magazine is on newsstands now, and it includes my six-page feature "Not Your Parents' Dystopias: Millennial fondness for worlds gone wrong."

From Reason Magazine

When it goes online in the future, I'll post a link.

I'll be catching up on my replies to comments shortly. I hope you have a great day!
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Dames and Horses)
It's official! I've happily accepted the position of Department Chair of Literature and Language at Signum University. Speaking of which, registration is open for my online "Science Fiction, Part I" course for Fall 2014 at Mythgard Institute at Signum University.

I'm getting ready to head out for a quick trip south to offer guest lectures on intellectual history and The Hunger Games, Serenity, and YA dystopian fiction. (It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.) Here is a quick look at my upcoming speaking schedule.

Science Fiction, Part 1 at Mythgard Institute

Where I Will Be Speaking When

"Life Is Improv" Seminar at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia

Loncon 3/the 72nd Worldcon in London, UK
Here is my updated schedule. )

A Long-Expected Party 3 in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

A Long Expected Party 3
eldritchhobbit: (HP/RonHermione/Freshmen)
Looking ahead to a class discussion of wizard rock (or "wrock"), I was pleased to see that the We Are Wizards documentary is now available on YouTube. There are also trailers and clips from The Wizard Rockumentary: A Movie About Rocking and Rowling on the official website.

FYI, if you're in the mood for some "retail therapy"...

* My awesome sister (you know, the tornado chaser) has opened "Thunder and Lightning," a KitsyLane jewelry and accessories boutique, so I invite you to check it out. In addition, her Etsy shop is Stormy Sky Designs. Yay!

* Peadar Ó Guilín's brilliant Bone World Trilogy is now complete with the new release of The Volunteer. Don't miss the dystopian goodness.

* Speaking of science fiction series, Jeff Carlson now has a sequel to his thriller The Frozen Sky. Betrayed is "Vonnie vs. the sunfish"; who can say no to that?

* I was sad to hear that Strange Chemistry is closing its doors. If you're interested in any Strange Chemistry book titles, this would be a good time to get them! I recommend the YA steampunk Emilie duology (Emilie and the Hollow World and Emilie and the Sky World) by Martha Wells.

Last but not least, I finally chose new glasses. Dark blue in front and bronzey-gold on the sides, they're bookverse Ravenclaw house colors, so they had to be mine! Nerdhood rocks!

Pics or it didn't happen. )
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: (Combs/Frighteners)
Ruth Graham started it with her article at Slate: "Against YA: Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children." Graham manages to diss not only all of YA fiction, but also fantasy, science fiction, and detective fiction, as well, in favor of big-L Literature.

One of my favorite contemporary authors, Lyndsay Faye, has just responded with a wickedly tongue-in-cheek "thank you": "Slate Nailed It: YA and Detective Fiction Are for Rubes."

Faye's reply is well worth reading for insightful sarcasm like this:
"In a knockout left hook of an argument that left me reeling at Graham’s perspicacity, she later suggests, 'the YA and "new adult" boom may mean fewer teens aspire to grown-up reading, because the grown-ups they know are reading their books.' This is not merely true of adults reading Harry Potter, a terrible series touching on love, bravery, ultimate self-sacrifice, and a truly unambiguous, almost cartoonish character named Severus Snape; it is likewise true of detective fiction. When I was very young, I read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes at the behest of my dad, who loved The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. My father’s unabashed admiration for the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have stunted my capacity to comprehend literary fiction, razing my intellect like a nuclear winter, had a half-bespectacled, elbow-patched stranger not bashed me over the head with a first edition Finnegan’s Wake when I was a nubile sixteen years of age. If not for this vigilante illuminati (they have capes, and a lair), I would not now have To the Lighthouse and Beloved open at either elbow so I can read them simultaneously in my periphery while writing this article in praise of 'Against YA.'"

Books, again.

* Nope, me neither.
eldritchhobbit: (HP/Absent friends)
I had a wonderful time at ConCarolinas. I caught up with some old friends, made some new ones, traded book recommendations, and talked Arthur Conan Doyle, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Suzanne Collins to my heart's content. At Jonah Knight's fantastic concert, I also got to hear a new track ("The First") from his next steampunk album, and it was brilliant. I'm a huge fan of his first steampunk album, The Age of Steam: Strange Machines, and now I'm most excited for the sequel.

And now, links to share:

* On the latest from StarShipSofa -- which marks my sixth-year anniversary working with the podcast -- I begin a three-part "History of the Genre" special about reading Harry Potter in a Native American context. It's here in Episode #340. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Speaking of Harry Potter, Professor Sara Martin Alegre taught the first university course on Harry Potter in Spain, and as a result she and her English Studies students have put together a new English-language book they are sharing for free: Addictive and Wonderful: The Experience of Reading the Harry Potter Series.

* Last year I attended the "Joss in June" academic conference on Joss Whedon studies and thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. I'm happy to say that now the "Joss in June" special double issue of Slayage: The Journal of the Joss Whedon Studies Association is online for general access. Check out these great essays! In particular, don't miss this treat: "Exploring Cabins in the Whedonverse Woods" by my former graduate student, Curtis A. Weyant.

* Read Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 letter to the man burning his books.

* It's that time again. Here are my work-in-progress lists of English-language young adult dystopian novels and secondary sources about them. If you have any recommendations or suggestions for me of works I should include, I'd be most grateful if you'd let me know! Thanks so much.
List 1: English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Novels, 1960-1999 (with links)
List 2: English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Novels, 2000-Present (with links)
List 3: A Select Bibliography of Secondary Sources on YA Dystopian Fiction (with links)

My Autographed Copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
eldritchhobbit: (Millennium/Worry)
To follow up on my last post, I wanted to share my updated select bibliography of sources on YA dystopian literature. Online sources include links. If you know of something that should be here and isn't, please give me a shout! Thanks.

My working list of English-language YA dystopian novels can be found here using my "YA dystopias list" tag.

--Secondary Sources Relating to Young Adult Dystopias, A Select Bibliography )
eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
Psst! Did you know [livejournal.com profile] darchildre was reading Icelandic sagas and sharing the recorded narrations? Run, don't walk, to partake of the goodness.

And now, on the subject of YA dystopias...

* From The New York Times: "Our Young-Adult Dystopia" by Michelle Dean. There are some interesting assertions here, especially in the context of Divergent and The Bone Season:
"I often wonder if the people in charge of these decisions noticed that Rowling was 30 when she sold Harry Potter, or that Collins was 46 when The Hunger Games appeared.... Forgive the presumption, but our present circumstances lead me to suggest another item for C.S. Lewis’s list: We like these stories because they have a special relationship with time. Children’s literature toys with our chronological expectations because the best of it has always been written, actually, by the comparatively elderly. Lewis himself was 51 when the Narnia books came out; Lois Lowry was 56 when The Giver was published; Madeleine L’Engle wrote A Wrinkle in Time in her 40s, and L. Frank Baum his Oz books in the same decade of his life. Age is what the greats have in common. The long years between adolescence and middle age seem to be necessary soil for this craft."

* On a related note, from Charles Stross: "Generation Z." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] whswhs.)
Stross articulates some of the questions I've been asking in my work:
"There has been a boom market in dystopian young adult fiction over the past decade. There is a reason for this. Play and recreation is an important training mechanism in young mammals by which they practice or rehearse activities that will fit them for later adult life experiences. (It's also fun, but bear with me while I discuss the more ploddingly puritan angle for a moment.) Could it be that the popularity of YA dystopias reflects the fact that our youngest generation of readers expect to live out their lives in dystopia? (The alternative explanations hold that (a) high school in the age of helicopter parenting, fingerprint readers in the library, and CCTV in the corridors is an authoritarian dystopia anyway, and YA dys-fic helps kids understand their environment; and (b) that worse, their parents (who influence their reading) think this.)"

Catching Fire

On a less dystopian note, happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] angelinehawkes, [livejournal.com profile] idwoman, [livejournal.com profile] pseudoanorexic, [livejournal.com profile] vyrdolak, [livejournal.com profile] lyria_theringer, [livejournal.com profile] bistokidsfan77, [livejournal.com profile] catw, [livejournal.com profile] dragonrose1125, [livejournal.com profile] dduane, [livejournal.com profile] lexie_marie, [livejournal.com profile] jalara, [livejournal.com profile] theladyrose, [livejournal.com profile] elvenjoy, [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine, [livejournal.com profile] gondoriangirl, [livejournal.com profile] vivien529, and [livejournal.com profile] senket. May each of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
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: (HP/Ravenclaw/sadhappydeep)
* Why did the 2013 YA post-apocalyptic film How I Live Now receive such little attention? Meg Rosoff's novel, on which it was based, won the British Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the American Printz Award for young-adult literature, and I expected there to be considerable excitement about the adaptation (especially with Saoirse Ronan in the lead role). I quite liked the novel, and I thought the film was well worth seeing. Consider it recommended!

* I just used my "Gothic Tradition" course as an excuse to reread Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. So, so good.

* I'm currently reading War Dances, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2010, as I'm gearing up for my interview of Sherman Alexie when he visits Lenoir-Rhyne University later this month. My "Native American Experience" students are reading one of my favorite Alexie novels, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which won the National Book Award as well as many other well-deserved honors. I'm so pleased they'll have an opportunity to hear and meet him.

This is making the rounds again, and I thought I'd pass it along in case it's useful.

"Growing moon. Angry cat. Feather on the wind. Autumn comes. The grass dies."
- A Night in the Lonesome October, Roger Zelazny
eldritchhobbit: (Day the Earth Stood Still)
I'm reposting my work-in-progress list of young adult dystopian novels. Due to its length, I'm dividing the list into two separate posts, one for the 20th century and one for the 21st century.

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 Plus Years of English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Fiction, With Links, Part 2 )
eldritchhobbit: (Day the Earth Stood Still)
I'm reposting my list of young adult dystopian novels. Due to its length, I'm dividing the list into two separate posts, one for the 20th century and one for the 21st century.

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 Plus Years of English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Fiction, With Links, Part 1 )
eldritchhobbit: (Hobbit/Bilbo corner wonder)
Hello, everyone!

Fun things...
* From Medievalists.net: "The Hidden History of Christmas Carols." Well worth reading. (Thanks to James!)
* From Thirdroar: The Art of Amy L. Rawson: Santa Cthulhu 2013. Fantastic. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall!)
* Today is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug day! Woohoo!

* My free Hunger Games event begins on Monday, December 16, and registration is still open: "On Tyrants and Tributes: Real World Lessons from The Hunger Games." (Watch the trailer here.)
* Registration is also open for my Mythgard Institute Spring 2014 course on "The Gothic Tradition." (Watch the trailer here.)

Happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] tuesday_darling, [livejournal.com profile] juliakarr, and [livejournal.com profile] janellemadigan. Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mguibord and [livejournal.com profile] gypsyjr. And happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] ericadawn16, [livejournal.com profile] tuilelindowen, [livejournal.com profile] whswhs, [livejournal.com profile] arkhamdenizen, [livejournal.com profile] irisbleufic, [livejournal.com profile] i_llbedammned, [livejournal.com profile] internet_sampo [livejournal.com profile] pambachorz, [livejournal.com profile] cyloran, and [livejournal.com profile] mamomo. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!


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