It’s release day for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey! On account of which, there are a nearly infinite number of relevant articles and such this week, some of which are aggregated here:
In not-so-small Harry Potter news: the stars of the Potter films are getting together to film a Potter mini-movie, which will be shown at the theme parks containing Potter attractions. Over at The Guardian, Ellie Lewis makes a guess at what the movie may be about.
Happy Thanksgiving to all American Pub members!
The big news story of the week is Utah paper boy Jaxon Gessel’s getting chased one dark morn
ing by a goat named Voldemort. Now dubbed “The Boy Who Lived” by the goat’s owners, and less flattering names by his school peers, Gessel seems to have taken the event philosophically and with a fair degree of bravery as well, preventing other passers-by from likewise getting treed. After all, whatever Aberforth might say, a male goat can be an odd and rather frightening creature, especially in the dark.
In more serious discussion, Fantasy Faction’s Ryan Howse suggests a moratorium on Campbell’s monomyth. He criticizes it on several principles, from its influence on definitions to its overall masculinity. “Campbell’s monomyth is important to know,” he says, “but as writers we need to be willing to push against its boundaries and break it. We need to criticize it with a thousand cuts and let it lie fallow in the earth.” Do you agree? Disagree? Discuss.
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:
It’s that time again–not just for a Common Room linkfest, but for the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Results, where, in honor of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s “It was a dark and stormy ni
ght”, judges have chosen and proclaimed this year’s winning attempts to write the worst possible opening line for a novel.
Much imagination goes into this contest every year. As a big fan of really bad puns, I probably laughed hardest over this one:
Professor Lemieux had anticipated that his latest paper would be received with skepticism within the small, fractious circle of professional cosmologists, few of whom were prepared to accept his hypothesis that our universe had been created in a marijuana-induced industrial accident by insectoid aliens; nevertheless, he was stung when Hawking airily dismissed it as the Bug Bong Theory. — Alan Follett, Hercules, CA
But there are many more to enjoy, all of them works of positively awful brilliance. Have fun.
In other news of literature and imagination:
From SmartPopBooks.com, How Star Trek Liberated Television. This piece contains some interesting thought that may appeal in particular to pub readers used to the marginalization of fantasy and speculative fiction in general:
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:
cheapest cialis>It’s not Halloween, but apparently it’s a bit of a week for vampire news anyhow–although the story of Kristen Stewart having cheated on Robert Pattinson is more like sordid vampire gossip, and you’ll also find people around here who will argue that the word vampire doesn’t properly apply. Anyway, less sordidly and perhaps more vampirically, MSNBC has the news that Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been cast as Dracula in an upcoming NBC series. What I find funny, however, is that they claim this:
“In the world of “Twilight” and “True Blood” and all the contemporized stories, we thought we’d go back to the original”
…but then, the plot summary reads like this:
The series, which bypassed the traditional pilot stage, takes place in the 1890s and finds Dracula living a double life in London as an American businessman interested in bringing modern science to Victorian society. His true plan to exact revenge on those who burdened him centuries ago, however, is derailed when he falls in love with a woman who seems to be his reincarnated wife.
I’ve read Dracula, and I don’t remember any of that.
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:
Our last Common Room post having been nearly a month ago, we’ve aggregated quite a number of links, so prepare yourselves for a full and (hopefully) satisfying websurfing experience.
We all know the Internet world has exploded with Hunger Games movie reviews. Along with those have come various spinoff posts, including Slate.com’s fascinating “How Will They Make a Movie out of Mockingjay?” and FilmCritic.com’s “How YA Like ‘The Hunger Games’ Came to Rule Fantasy and Scifi Films“. For those who read The Hunger Games and want more books along the same lines, Tor.com offers “Hunger No More: YA Fiction to Fill the Hunger Games Void“, and Flavorwire gives us a similar post starring mostly different books, titled “Required Reading: Dystopic Books where Kids Meet Tragic Fates“.