After a couple of weeks’ buildup, we have an immense number of links this week. Accio interesting stuff!
First, the Hogwarts Professor’s report on St Andrews’ academic conference on Harry Potter. The members of the Blogengamot who couldn’t catch a broom to Scotland for that experience are all thoroughly mopey for having missed it.
In the fantasy realm, in bullet points:
- George Lister lists the best fantasy for pre-teens. Other than Harry Potter, he says, because everyone already knows that one.
- i09 gives its picks for the most mind-blowing endings from science fiction and fantasy books. With spoilers, of course, so beware of the descriptions of those you’ve not read.
- Fantasy Faction offers a list of cliches that fantasy writers ought to avoid, some of which would seem ridiculous to exclude were it not for the clarifying note at the end.
- Lev Grossman tries to locate the best thing anybody ever said about fantasy ever, and comes up with a few options. More great words follow in the comments.
And in specific corners of said fantasy realm, io9 asks why The Hunger Games is the new Little House on the Prairie, EW.com gives us the scoop on a new Official Game of Thrones cookbook (and asks whether there’ll be an official Potter one to follow), Hypable picks the top ten best monsters from Doctor Who, L.B. Gale has a fantastic post about the five ways that Tolkien defies accusations of narrative simplicity, Wired reviews Carpathia, a novel which puts vampires on the Titanic, and io9’s George Dvorsky claims it’s time to move past Star Trek’s anachronistic vision of the future.
In fiction at large:
- Flavorwire’s Emily Temple and friends list 10 YA novels that scarred them for life, including the single strangest reason I’ve ever heard for not liking Narnia. Anyone who actually understands this, kindly explain.
- Also in YA, infographicist extraordinaire Kate Hart looks at cover trends, particularly where minority representation is concerned.
- Yahoo News’ Stephanie Pappas discusses R-rated language in teen books this week. Similarly, HuffPo’s Andrew Losowsky has a piece on the ever-popular question of assigning ratings to YA novels. Said piece seems to “benefit” more from a failure to understand conservative parental concern than clear hindsight, but makes some good points nonetheless.
- Once a work of Twilight fanfiction, erotica bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey has been making headlines. The Guardian sees this as a new “potentially lucrative source of material for publishers.”
- Also from The Guardian, their picks for the ten best first lines in fiction.
- Over at Boston.com, Jonathan Gottschall explains why fiction is good for us.
- And if you haven’t seen it yet, the movie trailer for The Great Gatsby is out, reminding me that it’s about time to read the book first.
And now, for the stuff you’ve all been waiting for: pure Harry Potter fun.
First, Dr. Amy Sturgis links fan film The Battle of Hogwarts, which is structured as a documentary and looks awesome.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll be able to check out the Potter books through the Kindle Lending Library.
Geekologie recently discovered Harry, Ron, and Hermione in a yearbook photo. They’re real!
InternetRetailing.com has an interview with Pottermore’s chief technology officer, Julian Thomas, for all who may be interested.
MSN reports that Harry’s questioning of Tom Riddle’s diary has inspired an all-new, quick-read blood type test.
Lastly, the original Parselmouths members got together and ate their way through a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. On camera. Including the booger one, with which Brittany clearly had prior experience. Enjoy.
Thanks to revgeorge, Arabella and PotterMom05 for a lot of these links!