Category Archives: Harry News and Commentary

Around the Common Room: August 10, 2012

The Olympics have been on everyone’s mind and television these last couple of weeks, and apparently a giant Voldemort waged war against Mary Popp

inses (yes, plural) during the opening ceremonies. Between J.K. Rowling reading Peter Pan and Rupert Grint carrying the torch, our Harry didn’t have to show up himself to get good representation in his home country. It sounds like children’s literature in general got fair play in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremonies.

I wouldn’t know, because I don’t have a TV and can’t be bothered to look it all up on the Internet. What I can be bothered to do is come up with a bunch of Potter- and other fiction-related links for an Around the Common Room post (credit where credit’s due: the Blogengamot helped!) Here it is.

First–and this one is so important that multiple people sent it to me–NPR has finally announced its voter-chosen “100 Best-Ever Teen Novels.” Guess who’s number one? Number two is not much less surprising, nor is number three. Twilight hit the list at number 27, and I’m pleased because Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl made the cut (at #80; superb fairy tale retelling, and I voted for it myself).

Upon the list’s release, the Internet took note: female authors may struggle in every other genre, but they write a fair percentage of the favorites in YA. Middle-grade author Nathan Bransford asks, in a positive way, why.

Meanwhile, in fantasy and science fiction:

Around the Common Room: July 27, 2012

cheapest cialis>It’s not Halloween, but apparently it’s a bit of a week for vampire news anyhow–although the story of Kristen Stewart having cheated on Robert Pattinson is more like sordid vampire gossip, and you’ll also find people around here who will argue that the word vampire doesn’t properly apply. Anyway, less sordidly and perhaps more vampirically, MSNBC has the news that Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been cast as Dracula in an upcoming NBC series. What I find funny, however, is that they claim this:

“In the world of “Twilight” and “True Blood” and all the contemporized stories, we thought we’d go back to the original”

…but then, the plot summary reads like this:

The series, which bypassed the traditional pilot stage, takes place in the 1890s and finds Dracula living a double life in London as an American businessman interested in bringing modern science to Victorian society. His true plan to exact revenge on those who burdened him centuries ago, however, is derailed when he falls in love with a woman who seems to be his reincarnated wife.

I’ve read Dracula, and I don’t remember any of that.

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Deathly Hallows Five Years On

On July 21st, 2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. The last book in the Harry Potter series was eagerly awaited and speculated about feverishly. It was five years ago to this day. Some of you were barely into your teens at

the time. Others were leaving their teens. And some of us were, well, we were five years younger than we are now. ūüôā

Many things have changed. The movie adaptations of the books are all finished. Pottermore has come, and while Jo Rowling hasn’t committed to writing the so-called “Scottish book,” she has released much new information on the Harry Potter books through Pottemore. She also has a new book, totally unrelated to Potter, coming out this fall. The Potter fervor and fandom seems to be dying down and dwindling away. (Spoilers may lie ahead.)

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Around the Common Room: July 13, 2012

Here’s a list that’s slightly less monstrous, having aggregated for only a week instead of a month. Never fear, though–it’s still packed with interest.

First, if you haven’t checked out Mythgard Institute, i

t’s worth a look and then some, as it offers college-level classes on medieval and fantasy literature (accreditation coming soon). Dr. Amy Sturgis has been teaching classes on Harry Potter, and on Saturday, September 1, she’ll be giving a “live, one-time only video lecture” titled “The Hunger Games and the SF Tradition.”

While we’re on The Hunger Games, the movie for Mockingjay is going to be split into two parts. Surprised, anyone?

Here’s a fascinating post: Lit Reactor’s Rob W. Hart on the question of whether–and what–series writers owe their fans. Does George R.R. Martin owe it to the world to spend every waking moment writing, in order to provide highest likelihood that he won’t die before finishing his series like Robert Jordan did? Or are fans too demanding in worrying, publicly and sometimes rather desperately, whether Martin has another six or seven years to write the last two books?

Now, something to warm every Hog’s Head regular’s heart: Continue reading

Harry Potter: Anti-Christ

Entertainment Weekly¬†reports that a Harry Potter-like character is the anti-Christ is Alan Moore’s latest volume of his ¬†League of Extraordinary Gentlemen¬†comic book series. References to a magical train that departs King’s Cross station for a magical school leave readers in no doubt, though Moore’s story takes a¬†decidedly¬†darker turn with “flashbacks of psychotic adolescent rage and whimpering children pleading for their life.” ¬†Harry Potter fans and detractors will both get a chance to weigh in on Moore’s version of the Chosen One when his¬†book is released in the next month.

Auror’s Tale: Fan Fiction Comes to Internet-based TV Series

If this hadn’t come from Alivan’s newsletter, I’d have certainly thought it too good to be true.

Entirely fan-made, it’ll be much like any TV serie

s (though web series often have shorter episodes), just presumably uploaded to YouTube. It contains all original characters and storyline, but it’s set in the Wizarding World, New York chapter. Best of all, it looks startlingly well shot, acted and produced, especially considering that it’s a small private enterprise.

There’s a website for it, a Tumblr blog, and a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for it. They’re dependent on reaching their funding goal by July 6, so hie thee over and contribute if it interests you.

This is one I don’t intend to miss. What about you?

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:

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Serious Matters: The Literary Elite vs. The Literary Potterphile

Over in Scotland, with our own Mr. Pond in the organizer’s chair, a group of over sixty Potter scholars is currently discussing Rowling’s work at the University of St. Andrews. Titled¬†A Brand of Fictional Magic: Reading Harry Potter as Literature, the gathering purports to be “the UK‚Äôs first academic conference on the subject and the first in the world to discuss Harry Potter strictly as a literary text.” (From St. Andrews’ news. Note that the conference is not, as the Telegraph claims, “the first event in the world to look at the series as a literary text”–only the first to do so exclusively.)

The media has featured various reports on the conference, including this piece from the BBC. Since the first notice from the press, however, a handful of reporters have turned to the con angle, one every serious Potter student is familiar with: academic dismissal. Both the Telegraph and The Guardian¬†have run stories in which they’ve found some reasonably credentialed speaker to claim that:

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