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Various and Sundry

Happy birthday to gods_lil_rocker and happy early birthday to bouncybabylemur. May you both have a terrific day and a wonderful year to come!

I have lots of links to share today...

* Now available: Three Hundred Years Hence, a newly illustrated online edition of the 1836 work by Mary Griffith (1772-1846), the earliest known utopian novel by a woman from the United States.

* Heads up, Browncoats: Nathan Fillion will be featured on an upcoming ALA Celebrity READ poster. (See right.) I love it!

* Red House Books is hosting a Blogoversary Mega Giveaway with lots of terrific book prizes.

* Great news for vampire lovers! Now free, unabridged narrations of all three volumes of Thomas Preskett Prest's classic Varney the Vampire are available for download from Librivox. Originally published as a penny dreadful from 1845 until 1847, when it first appeared in book form, Varney the Vampyre is a forerunner to vampire stories such as Dracula, which it heavily influenced.

* The science fiction community has lost two classic voices, it seems...
-- R.I.P., Stephen Gilbert (1912-2010).
-- R.I.P., F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre (1948/1949?-2010).

* Now here's an idea: "ZombieFit Classes: Can They Help You Survive the Coming Zombie Apocalypse?"

* Why yes, I want one: "15 Geeky Home Theater Themes to Ravish Your Senses." (Thanks to marthawells!)

* Last but not least, The H.P. Lovecraft Society is in the final stages of completing its next motion picture, The Whisperer in Darkness:

"When our own minds were sufficiently enlightened, when our hearts were sufficiently inspired by the humane principles of the Christian religion, we emancipated the blacks. What demon closed up the springs of tender mercy when Indian rights were in question I know not? – but I must not speak of it!"
-- from Three Hundred Years Hence by Mary Griffith, 1836 (Note that this was published two years before the Cherokee Trail of Tears.)


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the Peter Watts story. Go team chimp!
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad to hear it! Thanks.

The chimp is watching you.
Jul. 7th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
I can't tell what book he's reading. I like to see what book they are photographed with, lol.

Great home theaters! A bit extreme for my budget, but too much fun, lol.
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean! I can't make out the title, either. I'm hoping it will be clearer when the picture goes up on the ALA site.

The home theaters cracked me up. So creative!
Jul. 21st, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
Aha! He's reading The Softwire: Awakening on Orbis 4.
Jul. 7th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't 300 Years Hence be a uchronia rather than a utopia, technically? I think of the invention of uchronia as a crucial step in the evolution from utopian fiction into science fiction.
Jul. 9th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'll admit that I just borrowed the terminology from those who maintain the archive at "The Celebration of Women Writers." :) I'll be looking at the text more closely. My impression is that it isn't a uchronia, though, because it's not taking place in an "alternate" history or a hypothetical, mythical, and/or undefined time; it's quite clearly taking place three centuries in the author's future (with a specific date). So that suggests that it fits squarely into the science fiction mold. Does that sound right?

As I say, though, I want to give the text some more attention. It promises to be fascinating!
Jul. 13th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
My understanding of "uchronia" did not involve either alternate history or undefined time; it was that it meant "a portrayal of a better or ideal society that is located not somewhere far away but sometime far away." For this purpose, "far away" could be either "before recorded history" or "far enough in the future so we can't treat it simply as an extrapolation of ongoing trends."
Jul. 14th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
Oh, okay. Sorry, we were talking past each other. Is it just the time-vs.-place distinction that differentiates this from utopia, then?
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Well, that's how I use the term. I can see that your usage is etymologically plausible . . . "uchronia" does mean literally "notime" (well, actually, paralleling "utopia," it would be a pun on "ouchronia," notime, and "euchronia," the good time) . . . but "utopia" has departed from its etymological roots and I was assuming a parallel departure for "uchronia." I haven't actually researched how other people use the word, though.

My underlying point was that this was an early step in the displacement of portrayals of ideal societies from "somewhere far away" to "sometime in the future," which later gave us Looking Backward, Watch the North Wind Rise, For Us, the Living, and Woman on the Edge of Time, among other works.
Jul. 7th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love that poster with Nathan Fillion!
Jul. 9th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
Me, too! I can't quite make out what he's reading, but I bet the larger picture that gets posted on the ALA site will show the title more clearly. I'm so pleased it will be available soon!
Jul. 7th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Cool! I am so looking forward to Whisperer!
Jul. 9th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
Me, too! :)
Jul. 9th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
The home theatre themes are fantastic! Thanks for sharing!
Jul. 9th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
My pleasure. I'm glad you liked them, too!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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