Troubled Blood ‘Listen Along’ Tomorrow

Professor Freeman posted the news Wednesday that Robert Galbraith’s twitter feed (@RGalbraith) will be sponsoring conversation of Troubled Blood in the run-up to publication of Ink Black Heart. Their plan is to offer questions on that twitter feed every Saturday at 2 PM BST (9 AM Eastern time) for readers to discuss in the comment threads beneath the tweets. See Louise’s post for the dates and chapters for those discussions.

Looking over the original tweet, it has two follow-up parts to the announcement of the ‘Listen Along’ exercise.

Unless I’m really misunderstanding this, the conversation seems to be an outreach to readers — make that ‘audiobook listeners’ — who have not yet read the book or heard the Glenister version of Troubled Blood.

I’m not sure where that leaves the Serious Strikers at HogwartsProfessor and Strike Fans who have been discussing the artistry and meaning of Strike5 for the better part of two years. Out in the cold? If we do more than listen in on the conversation, won’t we inevitably spoil the story for first timers?

Fortunately, I wrote down what I thought of each part of Troubled Blood as I read it, an exercise I doubt I’ll ever repeat given how labored that reading was and how far off-base my guesses were about Whodunnit. I think my contribution to the conversation tomorrow will only be to link to my discussions of Parts One and Two, chapters 1 to 14, posts that include no spoilers because I hadn’t read any further than those chapters, on the @RGalbraith comment threads. I’ll tweet @HogwartsProf (and post here) my own questions about the first fourteen chapters for all of us who have read and listened to the book more than once, even more than twenty or thirty times.

See you then!

Muggle ‘Quidditch’ Now ‘Quadball:’ Woke Virtue Signaling or Straight Economics?

Sky News reported yesterday that Muggle Quidditch groups have chosen ‘Quadball’ as the new name for their sport; From Quidditch changes its name to distance itself from JK Rowling

Real-life quidditch – which is based on the game featured in the Harry Potter books – is being renamed quadball by the sport’s governing bodies to “distance themselves from the works” of author JK Rowling.

US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch said at the end of last year they would conduct a series of surveys to find a new name for the sport.

The International Quidditch Association will also be adopting the new name worldwide, according to the announcement.

Major League Quadball, formerly Major League Quidditch, said changing the name “opens unprecedented opportunities for growth, exposure and partnerships”.

Despite the headline above (and a similar turn in The Daily Wire treatment) and as much as I believe that Harry Potter fandom has lost its collective mind about J. K. Rowling’s non-existent transphobia, I doubt very much that this change in name was made to “distance themselves from the works of J. K. Rowling.” The change from ‘Quidditch,’ a clever name with positive associations and over-the-top name recognition, is one driven by, surprise, surprise, money.

Quidditch organizations cannot receive corporate sponsorships or advertise without paying Warner Brothers. They’ve expanded as much as they can as in essence amateur organizations running on dues and tournament fees. To grow as a sport, they need to separate themselves from the copyright holder’s grip on their name.

Did fandom’s hysteria about Rowling’s resistance to transgender activist over reach and her insistence on the rights of women to safe spaces factor in to this decision? Almost certainly, but primarily as a catalyst, I’m guessing, to a separation that would have happened eventually — and as a virtue-signaling cover for what is really an economic and mercantile move.

The change may also reflect that Muggle Quidditch has been dying a natural death as a fad sport that really has little interest outside college communities. Their forced integration of sexes, though magical Quidditch features men and women on teams based on both sexes being equally able to fly brooms at great speeds, rather gives away the game that this isn’t a real sport. I expect this a last gasp effort to generate news stories about the Muggle version of the Wizarding World game and that ‘Quadball’ will soon be a trivia question about fads of the early 21st century.

If you really think this is about Woke fandom sticking “two fingers up” at The Presence, you can read a full write-up of that perspective at Expecto Vomitum! Wokesters Change the Name of Quidditch. I’m not a big fan of Occam or his razor, but the simpler explanation of the change here is almost certainly the right one: follow the money. Warner Brothers or the Quidditch leagues’ own lawyers told them there were copyright issues with the continued use of the game’s name and they have elected to go with ‘Quadball’ to duck litigation, create some publicity, and to foster sponsorships and contracts. Best wishes to them in what I have to think is a venture doomed to failure in the long or short terms.

Hillbilly Thomists: To Be A Good Tree

I received a copy of Secrets of Dumbledore: The Complete Screenplay today but have not had a chance even to skim through it. As a placeholder for those readers like me who will need a day or two to get through the screenplay’s 304 pages even in a cursory fashion, I offer some background music today, bluegrass music with a hint of Gospel from southern men in white robes but not Klansmen. Enjoy!

Secrets of Dumbledore Screenplay Is Available Tomorrow: Will You Read It?

19 July is the publication date for “the official complete screenplay of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves, accompanied by illuminating behind-the-scenes content and commentary.” That date, of course, is tomorrow. You’ll be forgiven if you forgot that a new book by J. K. Rowling will be available for reading when bookstores open Tuesday — there won’t be any Midnight Madness events naturally — and when the Amazon Prime trucks begin deliveries. I think it’s fair to say that not since Philosopher’s Stone or Cuckoo’s Calling has a book by The Presence been published with so little fanfare from book vendors and so little enthusiasm from Wizarding World fandom. At Amazon its sales ranking is only #2356 (the DVD is at #21 for films).

The Amazon page for the book tells us this about what screenplay readers can expect for only $25, 11% off the list price of $28:

Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches, and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?

The official screenplay of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the ultimate companion to the film, and invites readers to explore every scene of the complete script penned by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves. Special features include behind-the-scenes content and commentary from David Yates, David Heyman, Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne, Colleen Atwood, and more.

Three quick notes after the jump! All as preface to the question, “Are you buying a copy of the Beasts 3 screenplay?” [Read more…]

Troubled Blood: Unanswered Questions

Earlier this month, inspired by a comment Elisa made about Cormoran and Joan’s deathbed conversation and how Strike may have misunderstood what was said, I wrote a post that asserted that, as long and as satisfying a novel as Troubled Blood is and as much attention as we have given here to exploring the artistry and meaning involved, there are as many Strike5 mysteries still left to be solved. See Have We Covered ‘Troubled Blood’? No. for that discussion.

Yesterday I listed 7+ unanswered questions about the Strike series that we neglect because we’ve been suckered into trusting our two narrators, Sherlock Strike the Amazing Memory Man and the Jungian Jungfrau Ellacott, who are no more dependable as story-tellers than Harry Potter, Rowling’s other misdirection delivery system. Read Cormoran Strike: Unanswered Questions for those subjects that our Dynamic Detecting Duo just refuse to think about despite Rowling-Galbraith dropping clues around them for stop-and-look-down discovery.

Today I want to list and discuss seven plus more unanswered questions that are specific to Troubled Blood. Dave Polworth, Lucy Fantoni, Charlotte Campbell, Jonny Rokeby, Shanker, Ted Nancarrow, and Cormoran Strike with a ‘plus’ question about Ellacott the Incredible Cartomantist are all featured. See you after the jump! [Read more…]