Around the Common Room: May 24, 2012

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:

And in specific corners of said fantasy realm, io9 asks why The Hunger Games is the new Little House on the Prairie, 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:

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! 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!

6 thoughts on “Around the Common Room: May 24, 2012

  1. I’ve only had time to look at a few of these fantastic links so far, Jenna and look forward to reading the rest.

    I was very happy to see The Chronicles of Prydain recommended for pre-teens, but any age can enjoy them. They set a bar for youth fantasy.

    Regarding mindblowing SF/fantasy twists, I agree on Ender’s Game and Planet of the Apes. But I have to say that the ending of Lost (a very novel-like, immersive story experience) was such a mindblower that it equaled any book in “…twists so startling, they actually change your understanding of what’s been going on in the whole book. The coolest twist endings turn the whole reality of the story on its head and leave you rethinking everything you’ve read thus far.” Scholars and fans are still studying Lost.

    I heartily agree about fantasy clichés, especially #7—Unrealistic fighting and healing from wounds; #9—The church of witch burning–irritating beyond belief (pun intended); and #10—Strange spellings, one I have a particularly hard time with.

  2. Jenna, that is one amazing set of links. I’ll comment on the one that grabbed my attention most: Top 10 Doctor Who monsters.

    I almost wish it had been “Top 10 without Daleks and Cybermen,” because those are pretty obvious and regularly reappearing baddies. The Master is a great villain, but he’s not a “monster” in anything other than a figurative sense. (Maybe “monster” wasn’t the right word for this?)

    With those ones excluded, I’d do a top five of:

    1. The Weeping Angels
    2. The Silence
    3. The Ood
    4 . Gas Mask Zombies
    5. Midnight Monster

    Even then, I’m torn. The Weeping Angels would be a clear #1 if only “Don’t Blink” had aired. The follow-up two parter with the Angels at the beginning of season 5 seemed to break all the rules established in “Don’t Blink” (how can there possibly be an army of Angels walking in the same direction? how could they be successfully surrounding Amy? Didn’t we cover this already?).

    The Silence are genuinely creepy and awesome. The Ood might deserve #1 just because of the way they’ve been intricately developed over the course of seasons. I can’t comment on the Zygons because so far I’m only familiar with the 9th – 11th doctors. I need to remedy that.

  3. Holy links batman! Well, this will give me plenty of ways to while away the evenings….Thanks Jenna!

  4. That reminds me I need to read The Stranger. As well as reread The Plague.

    It was good to see the opening line from Voyage of the Dawn Treader on that list you linked to, Red Rocker. Of course, the line I thought that should make it onto lists is missing from both the one you linked to & the one linked to by Jenna: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

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