Hello Daily Geekette Readers! Today we wish Harry Potter, and his creator J. K. Rowling, a very happy birthday! As we do every year, The Daily Geekette will celebrate by taking a look at the world that Rowling has created and trying to see it through new lenses.
The Harry Potter canon expanded this year to include the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as the play The Cursed Child. We’ve got some really great articles for you this year based on the new canon, as well as on the books we have continued to love for the past 20 years.
Stay tuned for some awesome new articles and have a happy Harry Potter Week!
Check out some of our previous Harry Potter articles here!
Treasure hunting. Code breaking. Doodles and audio clips. If your reading experience doesn’t include these elements, then I guess you haven’t picked up Emilie Autumn’s new ebook edition of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. While the detective skills may seem more fitting for a mystery novel, TAFWVG is actually part-autobiography, part-historical fantasy about being institutionalized for mental illness in the Victorian era and today. Emilie Autumn continues her dedication to a personalized relationship with her fans by developing this new level of interactive fiction. Continue reading Interactive Fiction: Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls Ebook Review→
I’ve been out of the DW loop for a while now. Things get in the way of watching episodes–lack of cable television, not enough time, and to be honest, not enough investment in the show anymore. A lot of my friends seem to be in the same boat: big fans at one point, but no longer as literate in Who Lore as they once were. Maybe some of it lies with Moffat. Maybe it’s just a show wearing out, like an old coat. It’s just not as warm as it once was.
To be honest, I’ve been so out of the loop that I had only the vaguest idea that Capaldi was moving on. My brother, another Whovian, mentioned it during the last week, and I didn’t hold my breath. They’d talked about casting a woman last time, and while I didn’t watch enough of Capaldi’s run to determine fair judgment of the series during his tenure, the whole thing kind of had me exhausted.
Maybe, I thought, they’ll go with picking a woman this time. However, my hopes weren’t high. I still had my TARDIS string lights, but they were mostly decoration, and Who, like so many of my formerly rabid interests (including writing for the Geekette) had been sacrificed during college to the time management gods in a bid for more time. Did I even want to watch Doctor Who anymore?
My brother texted me at around noon from the beach: “Did they announce the new doctor yet?” He probably didn’t have great wifi, which is why he was asking me. It’s one of our few shared interests, or it used to be. So I did a quick Google search of “doctor who”, knowing if there was any news, it would pop up at the top of the page. I didn’t know any of the hyped candidates, and didn’t have any expectations. Just doing a favor.
BBC News: “Jodie Whittaker: Doctor Who’s 13th Time Lord to be a woman.”
I’m a little late to the game but finally got around to reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first installment of J.K. Rowling’s detective mystery series published under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. The novel follows detective Cormoran Strike and his temp secretary Robin Ellacott as they investigate the suspicious suicide of supermodel Lula Landry. One of the major themes of the book is exploring different experiences of being black in England, engaging in race relations with a nuance often lacking in the Harry Potter universe. Rowling also steps up her disability representation by featuring a protagonist with a prosthetic leg but at the same time seems to make backward progress in her portrayal of women.
Judging by the internet, I’m not alone in saying that Wonder Woman has restored my faith in DC. As a fan of their animated features, especially the earlier version of the film made in 2009, I was pleasantly surprised by Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the Princess of the Amazons.
But with the film doing as well as it is, I couldn’t help but mull over how many other superheroines deserve more screentime. Too often are such characters left less fleshed out, pushed to the side, or tokenized in lieu of their male counterparts. While full-length movies and spinoffs aren’t for everyone, the following five characters definitely deserve more love. I did my best to pick a variety of girls and women who are beloved in their own right – if only a bit underused.
The Ruby in the Smoke, Book One of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart series, never gained the same fame as The Golden Compass and the rest of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, perhaps for good reason. It’s a cute story but doesn’t have quite the magical draw of epic world-building that bolsters his other works. From a feminist perspective, I appreciated the feisty female protagonist who demonstrates math skills and business acumen, but on an intersectional level, the book fails. The novel is meant to be a treatise against opium and the role England played in encouraging the opium industry, but it is rife with simplistic or downright racist depictions of Asians and the East. Continue reading Book Review: Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke→
If you’re looking for a good YA series with bisexual, Hispanic, or autistic representation, it might be time to hop on the Dark Artifices train, as the second book was just released last Tuesday, May 23. From the author who brought us our first Jewish vampire and an immensely powerful gay warlock comes a new spin-off series from her original The Mortal Instruments world. Today I will review Lady Midnight (Book 1 of The Dark Artifices) by Cassandra Clare, particularly focusing on the minority characters Mark, Christina, and Ty. Continue reading Diversity Among Shadowhunters: Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight→
A whole episode about Laura Moon! Whether you read the book or not, you probably have conflicting feelings about Laura. She’s the love of Shadow’s life, but she is no saint, which this episode reaffirms.
With the vaguest of titles, Everything, Everything doesn’t offer a lot of promise by name alone. But is there ever going to be one that can explain the story of a teenager with an immune disorder, falling for the boy next door? Not really, but this very distant Little Prince reference will have to do. And with its mix of basic posters yet heavy load of trailers, this YA adaptation has quite the hill to climb – especially since its lead character can’t even go outside. But does all of that mean this film is a failure from the start? Well no, the case is quite the most lovely (though flawed) of opposites.
Recently, I’ve been reading Literary Wonderlands: A Journey through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created by Laura Miller. It outlines literary works with the best world-building across history, from early myths to modern sci-fi/fantasy franchises. Inspired by this, I’d like to share with you some of the books with the most immersive settings I’ve ever read, books that had me walking their worlds long after I closed the pages. (I skipped the obvious ones like Harry Potter, which were of course featured in Literary Wonderlands.) Continue reading Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy→