#1: I've discovered another online lecture series for free download: Studies In Narrative: Science Fiction & Fantasy by Pat Hodgell and Mike Levy of the University of Minnesota's Independence and Distance Learning Program. In twenty lectures, the two professors follow the history of science fiction and fantasy.
The main subjects covered include the following:
Science Fiction Foundations
Hobbits and Inklings
Science Fiction and Religion
Robots, Androids, and Cyborgs
Modern Fantasy and Horror
Modern Fantasy after Tolkien
Women in Science Fiction
An Interview with Gordon R. Dickson
Cyberpunk and Aliens
Go here to download the lectures.
#2: From Foxy Writer via lynn_maudlin: It's the Mythopoeic Awards Reading Challenge!
The Mythopoeic Society is dedicated to the study and enjoyment of fantasy and mythic literature, especially the works of the Inklings, an informal literary circle at Oxford that included the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and others. Each year the Society awards the best scholarly and literary achievements exemplifying “the spirit of the Inklings” with the Mythopoeic Award.
The challenge is to read seven books between JANUARY 1ST 2008 to DECEMBER 31ST 2008 from the list of Mythopoeic Award Winners. (See? All kinds of brilliant fantasy books to choose from!) [NOTE: The challenge includes the nominees for the fantasy and scholarship, which gives you a lot of choices!]
Here are the rules:
1. Choose seven books from the list of Mythopoeic Award Winners (or nominees, here for fantasy or here for scholarship).
2. Anything on the list is fair game, fiction or non-fiction.
3. Post a link to your list in the comments of this post (if you don’t have a website, post your list in the comments).
4. Somewhere in your post, link back to this challenge post.
5. Read the books between January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2008.
6. You may start anytime in 2008, but you must finish by the end of December 31st, 2008.
7. You may combine this challenge with other challenges.
"By 'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe type of story - a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision."
- Hugo Gernsback, "A New Sort of Magazine," 1926