Last weekend I attended RomCon 2014 down in Denver. RomCon is a conference for readers and writers in the Romance genre and its various sub-genres. There was a lot going on and a fair few people, but the conference has a very intimate feel with plenty of opportunities for meeting authors. It is a primarily fan driven conference, but they also sponsor RomCon University which provides various topics of interest to authors and aspiring writers.
You might ask, how did a Lutheran pastor end up at a romance conference? Several reasons. 1) My wife reads a lot of romance, primarily in the science fiction and paranormal genres, and her favorite author, S.E. Smith, was going to be at the conference. 2) The weekend before the conference my wife won two free registrations. Otherwise I was going to be left in the hotel room or sent off to the Colorado Rockies games; and 3) I read books, and sometimes I read romances, albeit primarily in the historical genre.
Though not quite my favorite book, The Order of the Phoenix is definitely the scariest in the Harry Potter series. The fact that two of us raised our hands to speak for it says much, but like its doppelgänger, Prisoner of Azkaban, Phoenix’s fear is primarily psychological and therefore far more upsetting than its more externally-focused counterparts. Continue reading
You’ve perhaps heard of Top Ten Tuesdays, a meme hosted by the blog The Broke and the Bookish. Now, I’m not planning on posting on this theme every week and as you may notice, today is Monday not Tuesday. As a good post-modern I don’t feel bound to societal constructions. 😉
However, I liked the topic for last Tuesday and I took my time thinking about it. That is, what are the top ten books you’ve read so far in 2013? There are two main ways to go with this. One, confine yourself to books which you’ve never read before and which you just read this year, or Two, it doesn’t matter if you’ve read a book before or not, just pick the ones you’ve read so far this year which are top ones for you. I’m going with the second option, but feel free to define your own criteria.
It’s 2013, some of us are still sweeping up bits of confetti left over from wizard crackers–surreptitiously, when Aberforth isn’t looking–and there are a few bits and leftovers from 2012 to be picked up and discussed as well. For instance:
…and though the Christmas season is almost over (it’s the tenth day–perhaps you’ll get some lords-a-leaping from your true love!), there’s a Godzilla Christmas tree to be seen, fifteen ice planets for a guaranteed white Christmas, Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s picks for Top Ten Christmas Reads for Kids, and a little mixup over the generous nature and white beard of Gandalf.
In the cheerful spirit of Happy Hoggy Days, here’s a gift many a Harry Potter fan should enjoy: a Harry Potter and Philosophy podcast put together by Keith Hawk at MuggleNet, starring our own Carrie-Ann Biondi and two of her students! Says Carrie-Ann:
It’s kind of a survey-ish discussion among the five of us ranging over a variety of questions and issues in philosophy and literature that John Granger came up with, so it’s very accessible to a wide audience.
Listen and enjoy! And now, here’s your roundup of the week’s news:
Several weeks back Mr. Pond posted about an All Hallow’s Read. For reasons beyond his control, he was unable to put together the list of books and stories he came up with. So, by his request, I’m putting up the list here. Unfortunately I’ll only be able to list the titles without any Skull Ratings (TM Red Rocker) or any commentary on the stories and their suitability for different ages. But I must needs return to watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 🙂
Here’s the list:
We’re just days away from Halloween, and have a few good links well suited to the holiday. First, Fantasy Faction has quite the aggregation of SFF links and v
ideos, including information on how to zombie-proof your house and dress as a famous work of art for your Halloween party. Kirkus Reviews has a piece up on H.P. Lovecraft, Off the Mark imagines out a soft drink for werewolves, and all the Top [n.] lists of the week seem to be horror-related: 10 massively awesome giant movie monsters, 10 stereotypical horror movie victims, 8 things Hollywood can no longer make creepy, the 15 greatest mad doctors of nerddom, and–in a nicely meta twist–the top 10 lists about horror movies.
Excellent non-Halloween news for Tolkien fans: Mythgard Institute has announced Mythmoot, a Tolkien/The Hobbit conference in Maryland, running December 15 and 16 with a private screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. From the site:
The Hog’s Head isn’t the only site pulling out the Halloween props–ghosts, spooks and goblins are all over the web! To begin, you may want to get your Potter-themed costume from OfficialHarryP
otterCostumes.com. Though making your own is always a perfectly good choice, too.
On Blu-Ray this fall: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection, which includes such famed monsters as The Phantom of the Opera, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Mummy.
Definitely frightening: a pie chart of Voldemort’s soul, describing what percentage is in which Horcrux (assuming a 50/50 split every time).