You may have missed the news, but this is the 50th anniversary of a cheap, scrappy British science fiction series called Doctor Who. Like a fair number of folk my age, I first stumbled across Doctor Who one Saturday afternoon on PBS, back when PBS was able to air things like Doctor Who, The Avengers, The Prisoner, and it being cultural and all, Benny Hill. Unlike many, however, I seem to be one of the few people who came into the show not during an airing of the iconic Tom Baker years, but rather during the tenure of the man with the velvet smoking jackets and Venusian aikido. The Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, was my introduction to Doctor Who, and he remains my favorite. Continue reading…
BadAzz MoFo debuts, “White One Hundred: 100 Great Films Starring Only White People”: ” The entire purpose of this project is not to condemn the films and the filmmakers as being racist, but merely to point out the incredible extent of omission that goes on in film, and is accepted as being perfectly normal.” (via […]
An armorer has some suggestions about balancing functionality, character and story in “fantasy armor and lady bits.”
Adrian Tchaikovsky plans to scorch epic fantasy’s rolling hills and verdant forests, joining other restless fantasy writers in a revolt against the eternal Middle England of Middle Earth: “In traditional epic fantasy, nothing ever changes. The only person trying to alter the world is the Dark Lord, and to defeat him is to restore the […]
BBC 2′s “In Their Own Words: British Novelists,” with J.R.R. Tolkien.
Orson Scott Card writes an impassioned defence of Lord of the Rings (and the type of popular book championed by readers) against Ulysses (and the type of difficult book espoused by academics), complete with call to action to make your own family canon of beloved literature (scroll down past a long rant about chocolate!).
At The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik writes about The Lord of the Rings and its influence on young adult fantasy, how Tolkien’s fusing of the epic and the familiarly domestic brought us Eragon and Twilight. “Kids go to fantasy not for escape but for organization, and a little elevation; since life is like this already, […]
Get ready players, Jared at the ever-excellent Pornokitsch shares the 5 things he hates about Dungeons and Dragons: “As a result of Tolkien’s Middle English Mary Sue, generations of gamers have been saddled with Tylenol Applebottom, Laxative Spottypork and their size-Pathetic sling attacks.”
In the year 2001 I discovered a magical world. Not Harry Potter (that was a few years later) and not the Internet (although it was responsible), but a world that captured my attention and hasn’t let go ten years later. It has to do with fanfiction; unpaid fiction that is written by fans of a […]
Hobbits on film! Well, not quite yet. Here’s Peter Jackson’s second production vidoe for The Hobbit.
Needs some nice lettering for your tabletop gaming, LARPing, epic fantasy, Sindarin memoirs or sinister rings? DaFont has a whole section devoted to Elvish and Runic fonts.
Reporting live from the Shire, Peter Jackson records his first videoblog from the set of The Hobbit. (Thanks, Drew!)
The New Yorker tours Guillermo del Toro’s Los Angeles mansion and gets a look at Smaug and The Mountains of Madness. (via @Propnomicon)
It’s summertime and all the happenin’ sites have advice about bikinis, manscaping, quick cool meals and reading lists. I have no idea what to tell you about beachwear, other than you do look cute in that, but I do have some reading suggestions.
Andrew O’Hehir reads a book about artificial language and decides: “Tolkien’s languages, one might say, form the missing link between Esperanto and Klingon.”
The monkeys over at See Monkey round up a whole whack of fan film action including “the greatest fan film of all time,” which “def[ies] all laws of God, man and intellectual property and cramming vastly different fictive universes — Marvel, DC, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, you name it — into one great big ball […]
Patrick McGoohan has died. He’s been in movies from Ice Station Zebra to Scanners to Braveheart. He turned down a crazy number of roles: The Saint, James Bond, Gandalf and Dumbledore. He directed and starred in some smart tv including Columbo. Most people will remember his dreamy auteur tv show, The Prisoner, a show Glenn […]
They may say they are inspired by Tolkien, but it looks like a lark, of an etymological nature, to me! The Atlas of True Names converts place names into their original meanings. It’s like a whole different world.
Guillermo del Toro has a lot to say about Hellboy and hobbits at the L.A. Film Festival. (Really, it’s an hour interview).
Despite being a rapacious reader of just about everything, during my formative years I managed to miss any number of writers who are the bedrock of their particular genres. For instance, I read Terry Brooks long before Tolkien (and yes, I’m aware of the gravity of that mistake). I didn’t discover Diana Wynne Jones until […]
When a writer puts a story down on paper, one version of all possible outcomes becomes the final version. The ending is part of a carefully constructed framework of theme and comment and all that good literary stuff, and it’s never going to change. For example, the evil lord Sauron is never going to win […]