“Harry Potter and the Sinister Spoilers”

Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs at Time Magazine have written an essay about security for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows called “Harry Potter and the Sinister Spoilers.” I’m no Lev Grossman fan (anyone who thinks C. S. Lewis would be a Death Eater if he appeared in Rowling’s sub-creation — and says so in a national magazine — has gone out of his way to make a poor first impression) but I especially enjoyed this point about it not being possible to spoil the magic of this last book: [Read more…]

Sonorus 2007: Simply the Best

I have had the pleasure of being a Featured Speaker at three Harry Potter conferences. Two of these, Nimbus 2003 and Lumos 2006, were multi-day affairs with close to or more than a hundred lectures and panels to attend in addition to games, movies, luncheons, and podCasting. They were, in brief, a delightful overload for Harry Potter readers like you and me.

I met Ann-Laurel Nickel and her dad Ken at a Nimbus 2003 luncheon. Ann-Laurel is as well read on the Harry Potter books as you’d expect at an HPEF Fanon but she was also delightfully enthusiastic and cheerful. We wrote on occasion after Nimbus (she sends the greatest Harry-themed Christmas cards) and met up again at Lumos in Las Vegas, where she hit it off with my wife Mary as well. What’s not to like about the lady in the Lion Hat with radish earrings? This serious reader was a lot of fun and took her fun seriously!

I was not very surprised, consequently, when Ann-Laurel wrote to say she was organizing a Harry Potter conference where she lives, the Antelope Valley in the desert above Los Angeles. It was going to be a one-evening “wow,” she explained, with just two featured speakers talking back-to-back in a Great Hall like at Hogwarts. She wanted me and Steve Vander Ark to be the speakers. She called her idea Sonorus 2007. [Read more…]

John Makes Another Mistake

Ouch. I just got a friendly note from Hans Andrea, the alchemy guy at Harry Potter for Seekers.com (and one of the nicest people I know in Fandom) pointing out a blunder I made in a previous post here.

I wrote on the Great Expectations post:

“Harry Potter for Seekers,” one of the wildest Fandom web sites (and because of its more thoughtful alchemy posts, one of the very few sites of which I am a member), is running a thread this month called “What are your heart-felt wishes for Book 7?” Serious Readers are invited to answer this question and send it to harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com. Hans Andrea, the moderator and genie at HPfS, will post it for you.

The blunder? That is the email address for registered members of HPfS. If you’re not a member and you wrote to Hans at this address, he has not received that email about your three heartfelt wishes. Yahoo groups rejected it.

If you wrote and still have a copy, you can send it on to him at harrypotterforseekers-owner@yahoogroups.com. I apologize for this hassle. If you wrote and your email program doesn’t automatically save what you wrote in a “sent” file, you, too, have my apologies.

I’ll go fix the other post now so more people don’t send messages into the cyber waste bin.

Potter Blotter: Interview and Discussion

I had a long and wonderful talk yesterday with Maria Elena Baca at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. She posted excerpts from this conversation, largely about the morality of the books, on her weBlog, the Potter Blotter, this morning. It’s worth reading largely because of the nasty response it drew immediately from an atheist (self-proclaimed) saying the Harry Potter books couldn’t be considered Christian per se or anything more than generically mythological or moral.

I disagreed, which I suppose you might have guessed.

Catholic Harry Haters Release Deathly Hallows Ending? (No Spoilers Here)

When I reposted back in April the oft requested, “Pope Opposes Harry Potter? Hardly,” an article detailing the shameful use of Cardinal Ratzinger – Pope Benedict’s thank you note to a woman in Germany by a group of cafeteria Catholics and “culture warriors” in Canada, I made a prediction that they’d be back in the run-up to Deathly Hallows. Most HogPro readers know my predictions are usually a good pointer to the opposite of what will actually take place but this bit of prognostication has, unfortunately, seemed to come true.

On 21 June, we all woke up to the story that the ending or key details of the ending from Deathly Hallows had been hacked from Bloomsbury’s website and published online. This was disappointing news, of course, but not unexpected. Ms. Rowling and larger fan sites have repeatedly asked readers and others not to reveal the ending of the series but, with 12 million copies “out there,” I think many observers have thought this a glorious but naive hope.

The more disturbing part of the story to me, though, was the note left by the hacker in cyberspace. He claimed, incredibly, to be acting as a servant of his Holy Father, Pope Benedict. [Read more…]