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.
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.
It takes some doing to beat Harry Potter in any form of sales record, but this week, Amazon reported that the Hunger Games trilogy “has suppl
anted Harry Potter as the best-selling series of all time on the website.” (Link and quote from EW’s Shelf Life.) Said Blogengamot member Arabella when forwarding this link, “That’s what JK gets for not releasing to ebook sooner and on Amazon.” Straight-up truth, there. Amazon’s figures include ebook sales, but Amazon has never been allowed to sell the digitized Potter books.
Amazon has more to offer literary fans this week, with a book of essays by YA authors on the Hunger Games books. This anthology can be augmented with a booster pack, which includes essays on the movies. Also, Twilight fans may be interested in Joel and Ella Emmett’s Twilight for Life: Finding Meaning in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight–and in Life.
And in other news:
The International Reading Association’s Engage site has posted a fascinating interview with Shannon Hale, covering some topics of likely interest to the Pub. For instance, here’s Ms. Hale on getting young boys to read about girls:
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:
As you may know, the latest installment of the Twilight franchise is out in theaters. As with a lot of movies nowadays based on book series, the final book, Breaking Dawn, has been broken into two parts. The first released yesterday, November 18th, with the second half to follow November 16, 2012.
Now, we haven’t always been too kind to Twilight here at the pub. Well, at least I haven’t. 🙂 So, I wanted to share a review of the movie called Twilight for Haters by Martha Brockenbrough. In reality, the review doesn’t really “hate” on Breaking Dawn, but it is a snarky, irreverent, slightly cynical look at the film. As with all reviews beware of spoilers.
You don’t have to be a Twilight fan to appreciate the wonderful humor in this report, in full here.
FORKS, Wash. — Those Goldman Sachs bankers taking home millions in bonuses could take a few lessons from the richest man in fiction, Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Unlike those bankers, Cullen has avoided populist ire by hiding his $34.1 billion personal fortune from charities, the I.R.S. and, until now, Forbes’ intrepid imaginary billionaire hunters.
There are the films critics want you to see. And then there are the films audiences actually do see…in droves.
In 2010, every one of the 20 worldwide box office champs was a fantasy film (see here). Which, to me, says reams about the kind of stories people want. They want magic, they want adventure, they want edifying, uplifting stories.
Below the break is is a list of the top 20 films in order:
As a result of varying factors, I only have time to throw together a variety of news stories and other things I found of note. First, a hat tip to The Torch Online, as I first saw many of these stories referenced on their site. So here goes…
If you haven’t heard, Elijah Wood has been cast to appear in the upcoming Hobbit film. If you’re wondering how Frodo, who Wood played in the LOTR films, gets into The Hobbit, in which the character doesn’t appear, then you’re not the only one. Please note the linked story has some spoilers about how they plan to incorporate Frodo. In related news, Ian McKellen & Andy Serkis will be reprising the roles of Gandalf & Gollum respectively. If you’re interested, TheOneRing.Net is the place to go for news & speculation. Speaking personally, I can’t help but think that this movie will end up being visually spectacular but will bear little to no resemblance to the actual source material that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote. More’s the pity.