August 19th, 2013


This and that, on the run, with a side order of dystopia...

My undergraduate/graduate cross-listed seminar on "U.S. Exceptionalism: The American and the Frontier" begins today at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and my graduate course on "Sherlock, Science, and Ratiocination" begins next Tuesday (August 27), so I'm a bit snowed under at present, but I will catch up with comments I owe shortly.

I wanted to pause for a couple of quick notes that might be of interest...

* Rob Goodman has a very perceptive meditation on the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre in today's Chronicle of Higher Education (which should be available for free for the next day to non-subscribers): "The Comforts of the Apocalypse." I'd say he should have listed H.P. Lovecraft first among Orwell and Stapledon as creating a Copernican kind of cosmic outlook (Lovecraft was the pioneer, after all), but otherwise I think Goodman has some terrific - and exceptionally helpful - insights here.

* Just in time for the 125th anniversary of the Autumn of Terror, there are two new items fresh on the market:
-- 1. Letters from Whitechapel Board Game, a game of intrigue and deduction for two to six players, based on the true story of the hunt for the infamous murderer Jack the Ripper. (Thanks to sittingduck1313!)
-- 2. Tales of Jack the Ripper, a collection edited by Ross E. Lockhart. You can read my review here.

* I'm delighted that students have asked me to give a talk at Vanderbilt University, where I earned my M.A. and Ph.D., so I'll be there for a "Science Fiction and Liberty" lecture and quick visit in October.

Virginia sends her best to everyone! Here she is on our morning walk, just as the sun was rising (hence the darkness).

Virginia on her morning walk