Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer has been chosen to write one of eleven new Doctor Who short books, and the big speculation of the week is that J.K. Rowling may be chosen to write another. Colfer’s much-revered name was the first to be released; other news will hopefully be coming soon.
A series longer in the making than Harry Potter released its finale on the eighth of January: Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time epic began with The Eye of the World in 1990 and now, after Jordan’s death in 2007, has been completed (from Jordan’s notes) by Brandon Sanderson with A Memory of Light. Jordan’s story is known for worldbuilding almost unrivaled in its depth and range, a cast of characters large enough to fill a decent-sized small town, a high page count–fourteen books averaging over 800 pages apiece, a fantastic magic system, a handful of repetitive descriptors, and–to its loyal fans–a great deal of awesomeness. One of those loyal fans happens to be writing this blog post, and can hardly stand the wait for her copy to come in the mail.
Brandon Sanderson’s release post offers some final details: for instance, that Jordan himself wrote the ending before he died, and why the ebook release has been delayed. Also, Tor art director Irene Gallo toured the bindery as the book was in production, and posted a long set of pictures from the process.
There are rumors–again, only rumors, but still–that Universal may be getting the rights to create a Middle-Earth theme park. It seems likely that a satisfactory recipe for lembas will be as difficult to come up with as a satisfactory recipe for butterbeer.
Today being the 75th anniversary of the release of The Hobbit, and tomorrow being Hobbit Day, you’ll want to have Second Breakfast–and there’s a site dedicated to helping you do just that at 11 AM today. (Reading this a few hours late? It’s eleven o’clock somewhere. Go for it!)
If you’re hosting, you might want to check out Jana Riess’ delightful piece titled “Everything I Needed to Know about Hospitality, I Learned from Molly Weasley.” The rest of us will want to check it out just because it’s about Molly Weasley; who could stand to miss an article on every wizard and witch’s favorite mum?
Once you’ve read about Mrs. Weasley, if you’re hungry for more posts on Potter, you might try yours truly’s little “Harry Potter and the Writer of Fairy Tales,” guest posted over at the lovely fairy tale blog Spinning Straw into Gold.
And one more for the Harry Potter department: a little Voldy humor.
In other news:
Don’t forget that flash fiction entries for the First Sherlock Contest are due by Midnight EST on 8/4–that’s tomorrow!
Some of you mi
ght have missed the Second Sherlock Contest held on Wednesday (congrats again to Chelsey for acing the quiz!). Don’t despair, though, for you have one last opportunity to win a prize. Today is the Third Sherlock Contest of Sherlock Holmes Week here at The Hog’s Head. This one’s a bit simpler, but no less fun . . .
A Toast to Sherlock Holmes
Ladies and Gentlemen, here he is, the Prince of Detectives, the Napoleon of Crime Fighters, the Finest Mind of the Victorian Age, a glimpse (if you’ll believe it) of the next stage of our evolution—ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Sherlock Holmes.
There he is, the lean figure in the deerstalker hat, impeccably dressed, smoking a fine pipe. He’s learned in sciences and in the arts, especially chemistry and music, in which fields he’s written authoritative little monographs. He lives frugally, but cultivates as fine a palate as he is able. He’s at his ease with the worth of men, and has met the Queen herself. His conversation is engaging but not demonstrative. His brother is a respected civil servant. Holmes is an artist, an academic, an effective worker; he keeps his wits and his poise about him at all times, and always carries himself with dignity. In a word: Sherlock Holmes is a gentleman.
While some of you might be working on your flash fiction entry for the First Sherlock Contest (due by Midnight EST on 8/4), here’s the . .
Second Sherlock Contest, which is a ten-item quiz that tests your general and specific knowledge of part of the Sherlock Holmes corpus. So I hope that you’ve been reading (or re-reading) the Holmes story links that Kris provided earlier this week. Whoever submits the first fully correct quiz by Midnight EST today 8/1 in the comments below will win a Ravensburger Scotland Yard game (with a surprise bit of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia thrown in). Follow us below the jump for the quiz!
I’m not sure any more. Up until a few months ago I would’ve said Basil Rathbone hands down, no questions asked. Then I started watching Jeremy Brett in the various productions of the stories by Granada Television, which spanned 1984 to 1994. Brett pe
rhaps captures the literary Holmes the best while Rathbone’s portrayal is more cinematic. Still I’ll give the nod to Rathbone for two reasons. First, he successfully portrayed the role in both film and on radio. Two, I really liked the rapport he shared with his Dr. Watson, Nigel Bruce.
But it’s an extremely slight margin of victory for Rathbone. Of the many others who have portrayed Sherlock Holmes, I’m not sure they have enough appearances behind them to define the role. Perhaps one day Benedict Cumberbatch might. I’ve yet to watch his performance as Holmes but he still has had only a limited amount of time as Holmes compared to Rathbone and Brett.
So, do you have a definitive version of Holmes? If so, why?
In celebration of Sherlock Holmes Week (July 30-August 5), here are some free online resources for reading and watching the great detective:
- Read Sherlock! : since the original Sherlock Holmes stories have expired copyrights, they are freely available on many web sites. I like this one for ease of reading online, with eye-appealing features like clear text fonts and line lengths.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: free web books (University of Adelaide) : This site also contains all of Conan Doyle’s stories online, but you can also download the stories here for free to your Nook or Kindle!
- Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: free audio book. If you’d like to listen to an audio book, here’s a free collection of short stories you can download and listen to in the gym, in the car, or anywhere.
- Librivox: Arthur Conan Doyle. You can also find free audio books to download here, read by volunteers.
- Sherlock Holmes (1954). The first and only American television series of Sherlock Holmes adventures aired in syndication in the fall of 1954. Thirty-nine (39) half-hour mostly original stories starred Ronald Howard (son of Leslie Howard) as Holmes and Howard Marion Crawford as Watson. Now with an expired copyright, the series is available to watch free online here!
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 1927 interview. A rare television appearance by Conan Doyle discussing the creation of his fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.
According to this website, today is the first day of the first annual Sherlock Holmes Week, which this year runs from July 30 through August 5. So welcome all of you Sherlockians to a week here at The Hog’s Head that will be filled with Sherlock-related posts and contests (see the First Sherlock Contest rules below the jump)!
This past year has seen a number of tributes to one of literature’s greatest detectives: BBC’s justifiably well-regarded Sherlock series (starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman), the second Holmes film Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law), two Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy volumes (one edited by Josef Steiff and the other forthcoming one edited by Philip Tallon and David Baggett).
These represent just a few of the most current highlights of the ongoing, more-than-century-long fascination with all-things-Sherlock. Did you know that . . .