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February Miscellany

Happy February to all!

* My latest unabridged narration for StarShipSofa, which is of Jerry Oltion's beautiful short story "In the Moment," is now available to stream or download on the newest episode of the podcast. If you listen, I hope you enjoy. (A full list of links to my unabridged dramatic readings is here.)

* I'm very pleased to say that I'll presenting my talk "Why Kendra Dumbledore? Harry Potter in His Native American Context" at the PotterWatch 2013 Conference on Harry Potter. Just a reminder: the call for papers is still open if you're interested in taking part! I hope to see some of you there.

* On the recent "new TV" front, I have two reports:

1. Ripper Street: Brilliant! I'm so pleased to see a well-written and well-researched series based on the time period. I've been flailing and referring to my books in delight after each episode, in appreciation for the dedication and craftsmanship represented by this series. Well done indeed. Beautifully written, gorgeously acted. Two thumbs up!

2. The Following: Alas, I've already kicked this show to the curb. Why on earth would one base a series on Edgar Allan Poe and then not read Poe? If the producers asked an unpaid intern to read the back flap of a Edgar Allan Poe for Dummies, it certainly doesn't show. To quote Sherlock, do your homework. Sheesh. What an insult. And what a waste of significant acting talent.

Happy belated birthday to time_shark and alitalf, and happy early birthday to mayree, infostudent, akaihyo, vonjunzt, wiredwizard, and griffith_gwyn! May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day.

For the love of Trek, here's the Super Bowl trailer. I can't wait for this film (but I will).


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2013 12:48 am (UTC)
I'm enjoying Ripper Street too, much more than I thought I would. I love it when a series takes me by surprise!
Feb. 4th, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad to hear it! You're right: isn't it lovely when a series actually exceeds your expectations? Yay! *makes clappy hands*

Edited at 2013-02-05 06:33 pm (UTC)
Feb. 4th, 2013 04:47 am (UTC)
How did Sherlock get into outer space? I'm so confused!
Feb. 9th, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
LOL! He's been there before. ;)
Feb. 4th, 2013 06:02 am (UTC)
:D I'd never heard of Ripper Street until today. It looks interesting, glad to hear you like it. Think I might have to check it out.

I cannot wait for ST either. I would have watched it anyway, but I can't wait to see BC!
Feb. 9th, 2013 03:15 am (UTC)
Oh yay! If you see it, I hope you enjoy it, too.

That film is going to be brilliant. I was so excited before the BC casting news, and now... I may just explode. How can we wait until May? \o/
Feb. 4th, 2013 06:09 am (UTC)
I am really looking forward to Ripper Street. I like Matt McFadyen's acting style - very restrained, under the surface, usually. But I'm especially delighted to read that it has passed your history muster! Nothing drives me crazy quicker than unintentional anachronisms. I'm never going to be utterly nitpicky (why, those coloured spats weren't produced until 1892, don'tcha know), but when glaring stupidities present themselves - particularly in language chosen - it's like fingernails down blackboards to me. My all-time 'favourite'? The Leelee Sobieski version of Joan of Arc, when the army commander spreads out a field map and says, "Okay, here's where we'll put our forces.." Aiyeee!

I don't mind when there's knowing anachronisms - for example, Stage Beauty - but that kind of tin-ear sloppiness...guh.
Feb. 4th, 2013 11:24 am (UTC)
My pet peeve: characters talking about firing bows.
Feb. 5th, 2013 05:39 am (UTC)
Oh, that is funny. And you know, I've probably not noticed it before. Now, of course, I'll catch it every time!
Feb. 9th, 2013 03:21 am (UTC)
I am really looking forward to Ripper Street. I like Matt McFadyen's acting style - very restrained, under the surface, usually.

Yes! Well said indeed. It needs a really deft touch to sell this character - especially since he's a real-life historical person - and McFadyen is doing such a beautiful job. As you say, very restrained, subtle, and smart.

I'm with you 100% about knowing anachronisms versus sloppiness. I can muster willing suspension of disbelief if it's done for a purpose, but carelessness kills my enthusiasm every time. Here, from the set design and costuming to the dialogue and background props, there's so much attention evident. I'm thoroughly impressed.

My all-time 'favourite'? The Leelee Sobieski version of Joan of Arc, when the army commander spreads out a field map and says, "Okay, here's where we'll put our forces.." Aiyeee!

AUGH!!!! ::headdesk::
Feb. 4th, 2013 11:34 am (UTC)
I'll definitely have to check out "Ripper Street", it sounds like just the kind of show I've been looking for.

As for "The Following", I watched the first two episodes and your short review got it spot on. And amidst all blatantly wrong drivel, everyone was referring to Poe as "Romantic". According to the encyclopaedia, Poe was indeed writing at the end of the Romantic period, but to me he's always felt like the beginning of Victorian writing, and not the End of Romanticism -- where are the lengthy nature metaphors? the constant references to Graeco-Roman religion? Of course, there's a preoccupation with death, but in Poe it's someone else's death, and in our Romantic writers it's the death of the author/narrator. Not to mention that Poe is gruesome, and Romanticism is anything but.

I'm sure the point could be argued, but if you ask me Poe does not belong in the same slot as Keats and Shelley.
Feb. 9th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
Oh, I hope you enjoy "Ripper Street" as much as I have!

YES, thank you for bringing up the "Romantic" issue! Great point. My guess is that someone on the writing staff was fumbling toward the term "Gothic" and never found it. Poe often was writing in the Gothic tradition (among others), as were some of the Romantics (including both Shelleys), but that doesn't make Poe a Romantic.

Your point about Poe's preoccupation with death being based on others' deaths, not his/his narrator's own, is exactly what they missed by a mile. Painfully. And repeatedly. And, you know, that doesn't take reading more than a Wikipedia article to set right. (God forbid they should actually consult with someone who knows anything about this...) I really, really felt for the cast, because given a good script, they could have make something of it. There's no shortage of talent there among the actors. *sigh*
Feb. 6th, 2013 03:45 am (UTC)
Harry Potter in a native American concept. Different topic, would not have thought of mixing those two things together.

Star Trek into darkness looks amazing!

Feb. 9th, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks! I'm building on the shoulders of a couple of giants in that regard, but they'd written before the final books in the series were out, so they didn't have the benefit of seeing some of the metaphors played out in full... or of Kendra Dumbledore being identified as Native American, for that matter.

Doesn't that film look delicious? I can't wait. And I'll be taking Kleenax. ;)
Feb. 8th, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC)
Listened to "In the Moment" this week, & you did a lovely job with this one. A little bit YA, but fine for us grown-ups!
Feb. 9th, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this! Once again, you've made me one very happy camper. I appreciate your encouragement tremendously.
Ace Hamilton
Feb. 12th, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
Really enjoyed "In the Moment." I see Mr. Oltion gave your reading the thumbs up, too. In the intro, Tony Smith made it sound like he has been contributing to Analog since 1930!
Feb. 14th, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I was so tickled that Mr. Oltion was pleased with the narration.

In the intro, Tony Smith made it sound like he has been contributing to Analog since 1930!

LOL! Very well preserved, that man is... ;)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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