Here are 8 developments of interest to fans.
(1) “Darcy and Elizabeth Go To Summer Camp” in The Paris Review shows that when Austen scholars and fans got together for a weekend conference at the University of North Carolina, they were quite faanish in their own waistcoated way…
11:15 A.M. Following little sleep and generous helpings of fruit, I chair the panel on “Jane Austen and Romance,” with excellent papers from Sarah Frantz, Kumaraini Silva, and Emma Calabrese. (At the current rate, Colin Firth will set a record for most appearances in Microsoft PowerPoint before the weekend is up.) My task is to introduce each panelist and then drag her from the lectern as gently as possible once her time is up. Professor Inger Brody has provided me with three large laminated signs: “FIVE MINUTES”; “TIME TO STOP”; and my favorite, “YOU’VE DELIGHTED US LONG ENOUGH,” a quotation from that uncomfortable scene in which Mr. Bennet must separate his bespectacled, strident-singing daughter Mary from the piano forte.
(2) On another historical note – while humorist Alexandra Petri of the WashingtonPost was in Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary she ordered the Pickett’s Charge Challenge at the Blue and Gray Grill.
The thing about large, ill-advised sandwiches occurs to you a few bites in: namely, they wouldn’t be $25 challenge sandwiches if they actually tasted good. What you are paying for is the privilege of not finishing the sandwich. You know where you stand.
A clever as well as funny piece.
(3) Doctor Who is one of the few TV series that’s survived a change in the lead actor – something it’s done time and again. But you don’t hear producer Steven Moffat saying, “What, me worry?”
Last month, the BBC announced that Doctor Who star Matt Smith had decided to leave the 50-year-old British science fiction show after this year’s special Christmas episode. So how goes the search for the next Doctor? “Well, it’s always just terrifying,” says Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat, who recruited Smith to replace his predecessor, David Tennant, back in late 2008. “If you’re a Doctor Who fan, as I have been all my life, you’ve been doing fantasy casting for this part for as long as you can remember. But when you’re suddenly faced with the reality that you are going to sit there and you are going to make that decision it does feel absolutely chilling. There’s a very big range of people who could play it and different ways you could go with it. We must get this right. One false move and the show’s over.”
(4) Google has mapped the Diagon Alley movie set at Warner Bros. Studios in London, England for its Street View program.
It’s no Marauder’s Map, but Google now lets you explore the set of Diagon Alley from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. In Street View mode, you can see 360-degree images of Ollivanders Wand Shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop and Mr. Mulpepper’s Apothecary.
(5) Your money’s no good here, if you’re a difficult person Jane Frank doesn’t want as a customer anymore. From the latest installment of “The Artful Collector” at Amazing Stories:
But then, in 1991, I started up Worlds of Wonder – with the idea of helping artists sell the kind of original illustrative art (and even 3-D art) I collected – and practically overnight I found myself acting on a much larger stage, having to play multiple parts, sometimes simultaneously. And where I previously had exposure to only one or two “high maintenance” collectors, and only sporadically, I now found myself a major conduit for horror stories and gossip among artists, collectors and other dealers, relating to “collectors from hell.”
And I can attest: they are out there. In fact, YOU COULD BE ONE OF THEM.
(6) Mark Plummer devotes his latest Strange Horizons column to wishing he had a better name for that thing we do —
And so I unhelpfully stick with “fandom,” sometimes justifying the unadorned usage by invoking comparisons with the reason the UK is the only country that doesn’t feel obliged to explicitly proclaim itself on its stamps. But that really requires a milieu where fandom and its various component features—fanzines, conventions, clubs, and meetings and whatever—remain damonknightishly “what we point to when we say it.” That’s fine when we can be reasonably confident that we’ll all be pointing at the same thing—amongst the attendees of an event such as Corflu, say—but once you look to something like the British Eastercon or especially the Worldcon, the reality is that tasking three random fans with pointing at fandom will likely end up with them pointing at book-ends, pumice stone, and West Germany.
(7) We’re one step away from The Terminator now that 3-D printers can make things with liquid metal.
(8) Ron Chaney, the great-grandson of Lon Chaney Sr., the Phantom of the Opera, and grandson of Lon Chaney Jr., the Wolf Man, would like you to listen to his pitch about supporting the makers of the Clash of the Monsters video game with a Kickstarter donation. Who better to put the bite on you?
[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus, Taral, Martin Morse Wooster and John King Tarpinian.]