Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Boy on a Broomstick

Very little in art is original and it's not always the original bits that make it good.

I read a story the other day about a boy who had magic lessons in school. He liked to ride his flying broomstick, but when he didn't behave his aunt and uncle, with whom he lived, took it away, grounding him in a very literal manner. His nasty cousin kept telling on him. Non-magic technology was barely known to the people in the story, and any investigations into it were discouraged.

The story was published in 1953, twelve years before J.K. Rowling was born. It's called "The Wall Around the World" and was written by American sf writer Theodore R. Cogswell (1918-1987). In 2003 it was nominated for a retro-Hugo for best novelette of 1953 (the award went to James Blish). Given the general state of sf in 1953, I suppose it's pretty good. But I like Harry Potter better.

Mike Ashley has made the same connection, but he doubts that J.K. Rowling read Cogswell's story before conceiving of H.P.

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Anonymous juniper (maike) said...

did you know that there is a enormous fandom built around Harry Potter on the net... but the members or commonly called: fangirls (male and female) don't give a damm about the real storyline JKR had in mind... so they are pairing couples like Harry/Draco or Snape/Hermione... wierd
... people are strange...

17 May, 2006 20:14  
Blogger Martin said...

I actually read some humorous Harry Potter slash fiction in Nerve a few years back. Harry got it on with Ron and Moaning Myrtle. (Isn't that a great porn star name?)

Slash fiction got its name from Kirk/Spock stories ("Kirk slash Spock"). If I understand correctly, there's this huge subculture on the net with women writing and reading gay male porn stories about characters from books and films. "If it makes you happy, it can't be that baaaaad..."

18 May, 2006 00:08  

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