As per the kind request from Travis, and because I obviously can’t shut myself up from the subject of Doctor Who, these are my thoughts on the casting of the Twelfth Doctor who will be making his way into the world this Christmas. I’m not sure how cogent an argument or analysis I can make at this point as to his ability, given that it will be a year before we see a full episode featuring him as the new, new, new, new Doctor. However, I do have several thoughts (many of them shared with other Whovians and bloggers) that I’d like to put on record while the news is still fresh.
Last Wednesday, of course, was Harry Potter’s thirty third birthday. Ah, kids grow up so fast nowadays. 🙂 Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday, Harry!! Very glad that all is still well with you.
It was also Joanne Rowling’s birthday, too, as strangely enough she and Harry share the date, July 31st. Hmmm, she’s only one year older than me. Anyway, John Granger has a post on the birthdays over at Hogwarts Professor. He has three thoughts on it, which I sum up here. 1) Have you ever had or attended a birthday party for Harry and/or Rowling; 2) What would you write to Rowling in a birthday card; and 3) If it was your birthday and Rowling said she’d answer one question as a gift for you, what would that question be. Check out Granger’s post and also feel free to share your answers here.
The interwebs are all about the random this week, it seems, but for the gathering around our common room, we’ll start off with some fantastic literary analysis: Chris Russo’s post titled Unknotting Tangled, in which he talks about the roots of Rapunzel’s story, alchemy, and helicopter parents. Says Professor Russo: “I haven’t enjoyed a Disney film this much since Beauty and the Beast, and as a literature teacher, I haven’t had so much fun exploring the deeper meanings of a Disney film since, well, ever.”
And now that you’ve theoretically got that article opened in another browser tab, here comes the not-oft-connected rest:
Balloon artist Jeremy Telford made his living room into Bag End… entirely by means of balloons. It’s exhausting just watching the stop-motion video, but the final result is stunning.
Seattle, which could probably be fairly called one of the nerd capitals of America, is partially protected by a league of superheroes.
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. 🙂
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.)
Once again, a linkfest for the ages!
Ray Bradbury’s death, some weeks back, drew quite a lot of beautiful eulogies. Among those who remembered him and his contributions to literature: Sarah A. Hoyt, Neil Gaiman, Hog’s Head regular Katherine Sas, Catholic writer Jimmy Akin, and President Obama. Also, RiaNovosti put together an infographic of Bradbury predictions that have been fulfilled.
In fantasy fiction:
- Over at Kirkus Reviews, fans of N.K. Jemisin list their top ten recommended fantasy novels by female authors. Harry Potter didn’t make it on, but I suspect the list stuck mostly to epic fantasy.
- At the Fantasy Faction site, Eric Christensen submits his ideas as to why fantasy is currently so popular.
- Cap’n Carrot, at Dad’s Big Plan, enters his choices for the top ten live-action fairy tale movies.
- Feast of Fiction, this week, will teach you how to make your own Turkish Delight. No more having to get it from the White Witch.
- Wired’s Top Ten Dads in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Three cheers for Arthur Weasley making the list! And Geppetto! Wired also has a list of Top Ten Minor Characters in Geek Fiction, and my own favorite pick from that list–Flitwick aside–was Valerie from The Princess Bride. “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife! And after what you just said, I’m not even sure I want to be that anymore!” Total scene-stealing moment.
- SFX has a list of the 50 worst sci-fi and fantasy films for which there was no excuse. I think there was no excuse for not condensing said list onto two or three pages, but that’s just me.
- ToplessRobot’s Jason F.C. Clarke puts forward Ten High-Risk Sci-Fi and Fantasy Careers, for those looking for work in difficult economic times. Applicants must be willing to do some pretty dangerous stuff, and in some cases, should be able to recognize paranormal creatures on sight.
In science fiction: Continue reading
All right, fellow geeks! If you haven’t gotten your Fandom Identification Card yet, you should definitely do so. Mine says I’m a Hufflepuff (no surprises there) and places me fairly in the Lord of the Rings universe (Ent–I’m tall) and Divergent faction (Abnegation), but I still don’t know what I did to be labeled a Borg and a Dalek. Be sure and stop back in the comments to tell us how you fared.
Over at Hogwarts Professor, check out the You know you’re really an adult Harry Potter fan if… list and add your own! I happen to be very much down with the Apparating and the use of chocolate.
Those of you dying for the Potter ebooks will find sympathy in Katherine Coble’s post ranting about the extended lack of same. Even as someone who probably won’t buy the ebooks immediately, I must agree with her about the way it’s been handled.
And then, here’s Harry, Dumbledore, Voldemort and Snape griping about not winning any Oscars. Via YA Highway.
Finally, since I’m reading The Silmarillion for the first time, I’ll leave you with this thought: when Tolkien called the great mountain in Valinor “Túna”, I don’t think he anticipated small cans of fish. Or the nicknaming powers of Andy from The Office.
While we’re discussing movies at the Pub, it seemed a good time to mention that quite a number of books–ranging from the popular to the obscure to the classic–are being made into movies. We all know about The Hobbit and The Hunger Games; maybe we’ve also heard about upcoming adaptations of Les Miserables (book to musical to movie) and The Great Gatsby. Young adult book blogger Rebecca has the most complete list I could find at a glance; the Huffington Post features a slideshow piece of their own top ten picks. From The Lorax to Anna Karenina, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to Great Expectations, this should be an interesting year for the movies. Whether the results are very good or very awful, book-loving movie-goers should have plenty to talk about.
A girl after our own heart: Given the suggestion to make a Top Ten list about any book-related subject, Briana from the review blog Pages Unbound lists the Top Ten Books Relating to J.R.R. Tolkien. Some of them look quite fantastic.
In an article about The Green Hornet on it’s premiere weekend, there was this interesting tidbit:
What’s the buzz on The Green Hornet? Enough to make Michel Gondry as mad as one.
After the director of the new action-comedy saw fans stampedinjg out of the movie’s Q&A panel at Comic-Con International this summer, Gondry lit into them with a vengeance not unlike that of the hero himself.
“Their values are fascistic,” he seethed about comic-book fanatics to the British newspaper the Guardian.
“When you step into this genre, they feel it belongs to them. They want you to conform, or they won’t like you. They want the conventional.
“But it’s fine,” Gondry said. “The movie’s been doing very well, I think, whenever we’ve screened it to normal people.”
O-kay. Have fans of beloved iconic stories become too picky over film adaptations? Do they put too much pressure on filmmakers, not allowing them the freedom of their own vision and interpretation? Should filmmakers cave or stand firm, even if the end product is hated by the work’s most loyal fans? Who does the genre belong to?