Links Galore! Hogwarts Saga Xmas Gifts, GeekyCon, Coptic Magic, Bethlehem Star, and New Covers for Harry Potter?

Merry Christmas, HogPro All-Pros! Some links from your friends for yuletide surfing and New Year’s planning!

From Twilight James:

Chris Chalderon writes:

Here is the link to an article in Touchstone magazine by Gilbert Meilaender about Dorothy L. Sayers’The Man Born to be King called The Greatest Drama Ever. At the end of the article, Meilaender provides a link for a legal site (grooveshark) containing mp3s for all 12 episodes, no downloading necessary, all totally protected.

The other item I thought of interest (considering the time of year) was a website and documentary called The Star of Bethlehem.  Basically, a lawyer, Frederick A. Larson, took it upon himself out of curiosity to see if there was perhaps some kind of astronomical proof of the miracle of Christmas, the Incarnation.  For myself, I can only say that his findings prove very interesting, and his documentary on the subject could be considered a kind of spiritual sequel to The Narnia Code (or so I believe anyway). Here is the link to Larson’s website for his project.

Leaky Con Becomes Geeky Con — and, Yes, I’ll be Going This Year

“GeekyCon will continue in the tradition of LeakyCon and be a celebration of fandom,” said Melissa Anelli, co-executive director of Mischief Management, which operates the event. “GeekyCon brings notable guests and compelling programming together with fans to create a positive and uplifting environment where attendees can enjoy themselves and each other.”

Mischief Management will return LeakyCon to its roots as a smaller, Harry Potter-only event held in different locations around the world. LeakyCon 2015 is being planned for the second half of the year with dates and location to be announced in the coming months.

GeekyCon 2015 will take place from July 30 through August 2, 2015.

Mail Bag: Weeks and Weeks of Lov-e-ly Links!

Please accept my apologies for the long absence from blogging. Look for my fall speaking schedule here in the days to come!

I do get the greatest mail from friends and readers, which I feel obliged to share. Make the jump to find your way to JRRT’s talk in Rotterdam to Hobbit fans (1958), Rowling’s revelations about Celestina and the Pine Marten, Lev Grossman notes and a review of Magician’s Land, and notes about some fascinating college classes on Harry Potter and other YA literature.


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HogPro Mailbag: A Fortnight of News and Notes

Ah, summer! I hope yours has been a delight!

Here are twelve links and notes from my inbox that serious readers and Potter-philes might find as interesting as I have:

Joyce Odell, the Red Hen of lore, writes that her Harry Potter Tarot Deck is now available for $16 plus shipping and handling. Follow the links here for more.

Ms Rowling wrote (?) a piece about the Championship Game of the Quidditch World Cup that was worth a few laughs. I confess to thinking at first that she might not have written it but allowed a fan fiction acolyte the honor with perhaps a few touches of her own (Luna and the flags?), the only truly funny parts. Read about it here and here if you haven’t already. Full text here and a story about other readers not thrilled with the sort-of-sequel-update, ‘The J. K. Rowling Backlash.’

The Capitol’s propos about the third Hunger Games film(s) are coming out. Enjoy. There’s a two-part alchemical analysis of the Mockingjay teaser worth your attention here and here.

More here on Harry Potter as a force for good in the “battle against bigotry.” The MuggleNet Academia discussion on this subject can be downloaded for listening here.

19 Real Thoughts Harry Potter Fans Actually Have.’ Really?

Harry Potter jewelry: bling for bedazzled Muggles.

Warner Brothers and Harry Potter franchise copyright holders make it official: the building of the Death Star headquarters has begun and the subjection of earth will be complete by 2019 when there are theme parks in every time zone of the planet. Good to have that out in the open at last.

Elspeth Gordon-Smith at Renaissance Rapscallion discusses with no little humour the continuing relevance of  ‘shipping in fandoms.

Amazon strikes back: why their attacks to bring publishers into line with respect to Kindle book pricing are for the greater good — readers, writers, even the greedy, backward book makers. ‘Readers United’ sounds like the kind of front that the cigarette companies used to put up (and the sugar industry still does) to distract from the obvious.

LeakyCon 2014 has just closed up in Orlando and look for a report here soon by our Hogwarts Professor on the spot, Louise Freeman. The first big news from the conference aftermath is that what has been called Leaky Con will now be known as ‘Geeky Con,’ a gathering of all fandoms with no special emphasis on the Hogwarts Saga. The good news for Potter-philes? Leaky Con will continue as a Harry Potter heavy-focused gathering. Read more about that if you like.

Fantastic Beasts, the film trilogy, is going into production and Warner Brothers has announced the release dates — November 2016, 2018, and 2020. These releases will essentially suck all the oxygen out of other holiday block buster releases in those years; the news release has the appearance of the bully on the block laying down the borders of his territory.

And the best news of all? Lev Grossman has written about C. S. Lewis at some length, with no little praise, and with the best CSL bon mot I have read in ages: the story of his mother’s encounter with the man in a pub before her final oral exams. Yes, I’ll be writing about his latest, The Magician’s Land, and I’ll join you in wondering if it’s possible that Mr Grossman is unaware of Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to James, David G, David H., Joyce, and Chris C. for sending me these news updates! The rest of this week will be devoted to guest posts from the summer conferences; don’t miss a day.

Mail Bag: Questions from Bookshelf Readers — in China?

I average an email a day from serious readers with questions, theories, and comments about the Hogwarts Saga and what I’ve written here or in my books about Harry’s adventures. Lately, I’ve been receiving mail from China. Which means that something I’ve written has been translated without my knowledge, or, more likely, we have some precocious readers of English doing some research.

Of course, when I receive notes like this one, I have to wonder.

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Overseas Mailbag: Serbian Grad Student Needs Our Help!

Our Mailbag collection this week features inquiries from Serbia, Poland (“a country in central Europe”), Australia, and Planet California!

Dear Professor Granger,

I am a doctoral candidate in my second year of studies at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, Serbia. I obtained an MA in English Language and Literature and at present my field of research is Cultural Studies. I applied for participation in an academic conference which is to be held in October this year in Winnipeg, Canada, at the University of Manitoba.

Conference’s topic is “A matter of life and death”; and I sent an abstract on the themes of life, death, Christianity, liminality etc. in the Harry Potter series. The abstract has been accepted and the organisers are willing to provide me with a 450 CAD travel grant. However, the airplane ticket solely would cost me about 1300 CAD.

Having read your Harry Potter’s Bookshelf, which was a source of valuable information for my paper, I decided to write to you and ask for some suggestions or guidelines as to which organisation I could address that could perhaps give me any financial subsidy. Are there any associations or institutions that are especially supportive of research on J.K. Rowling? I would appreciate it if you could help me regarding the matter.

Best regards,

Andrea Stojilkov

I’ve written several friends and the best advice they’ve given is that Ms Stojilkov contact the University of Manitoba again, as well as her own university to see if they cannot help her make up the difference. She has given me permission to post this here to ask for more helpful guidance or even to accept contributions for her travel to Winnipeg. Leave advice in the comment boxes below; if you’d like to help pay for her flight, contact me at and I’ll put you in touch with our Serbian friend.

Over to E–, writing from Poland: [Read more…]