Welcome to this week’s Around the Common Room! Owing to the temporary absence of at least one of my usual informants, this is likely to be on the short side, but there’s good stuff here nonetheless.
First, a couple of great pieces on fairy tales:
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
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:
The Hunger Games is still big news, and while not nearly all of our links are related to that story, we’ve got a cluster of them. First, in serious thought: Brian Green, by way of Fr. Robert Barron, commented on the stories with the aid of a little Rene Girard theology. Also, the New York Times recently held a discussion on the idea of Katniss as radical female hero and woman warrior.
In the lighter forms of news, Katniss makes Tor’s Top Ten Favorite Fictional Archers, sharing notoriety with Robin Hood, Cupid, and Legolas, among others. Also, the tale is inspiring baby name trends; Katniss, Rue and Primrose are all pretty enough (if a little… well, unique to that story) to reasonably achieve some popularity. But Cato–really? He must have come off a lot better in the movie than the book.
On the theme of games–any games–Yahoo’s Unplugged blog has Fiction’s Most Famous Games, and How to Play Them for Real. Quidditch makes the list. So does Pooh-sticks, of course.