I’ve commented before about how much I like the new more open JKR we’ve gotten to see since the release of the last Harry Potter book last summer. Today I got my best taste yet of this liberated Joe on a special surprise episode of Potter Cast. Talk about a fantastic Christmas treat, without any advanced warning the entirety of episode 130 was given over to a long discussion about the books with JKR her self. What’s even better is that there’s a second part to come next week!

I’ve just finished listening now and it was fantastic. Very natural, very informative and very entertaining. It’s not your typical interview fodder, it sounds like a group of friends having a chat about Harry Potter only one of the friends happens to be the author herself!

If you’re a fan of the Potter books you really should have a listen to this episode, even if you wouldn’t usually listen to Harry Potter podcasts.

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The books may be finished but we still continue to learn more about the characters we have come to love through Joe’s comments. I posted before about how great it was to see a more open JKR now that the books are over. It’s great to finally get to see her starting to share more of the encyclopedic knowledge she has of her characters and their world. However, I have to admit that I thought we’d heard all the big revelations at this stage. It turns out I was wrong! During her current American tour JKR told an audience in New York that Dumbledore was gay! You can read more in this BBC News article.

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People didn’t seen averse to my posting links to interesting articles I’d recently read so here’s another batch to tickle your fancy. These range from serious and thought-provoking to playful and humorous.

  • We’ll start with a thought-provoking article about Linux. This is one that some of you are bound to disagree with but I think Walt Mossberg is right, Linux is getting better but it’s not yet ready for novice users – Linux’s Free System Is Now Easier to Use, But Not for Everyone
  • While we’re on the topic of technology I came across a fantastic essay by one of my hero’s Stephen Fry on smart phones. I had no idea Stephen was such a technophile! This is a very long but a very well written, thoughtful, and humorous look at why none of the supposed iPhone killers actually are iPhone killers – Device and Desires
  • Before we more on to other matters here’s one more technology article. One I find rather humorous. According to Steven Frank from Panic Software Macs make better Windows machines than regular PCs! – Macs Really Do Run Windows Better
  • Now on to a totally different subject, light pollution. I came across a fantastic article about it in the New Yourker this week. That article is long, but very well written and touches off all the issues including energy savings, the ways in which much modern ‘security’ lighting actually helps the criminals and of course the wonders of the night sky which we are depriving our selves of needlessly – The Dark Side
  • Finally, some light entertainment in the form of a fantastic parody of the last Harry Potter book – Potterdammerung

A New More Open J.K. Rowling

Filed Under Harry Potter on July 29, 2007 | 1 Comment

The Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been notoriously tight lipped while she was writing the Potter Books. She said very little and when she did answer questions she always chose her answers very carefully. Now that the final Potter book is out we are getting to see a new more open JKR. She now seems happy to share what ever other information she has about Harry and his world with an eager public.

WARNING – the remainder of this post contains Harry Potter 7 spoilers!

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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows CoverWell, it’s over. The Seventh Book is out and I’ve finished reading it. This post contains my initial reactions and a rundown of how many of my predictions from almost two years ago came to pass. To protect people who haven’t read the book yet from spoilers I won’t be putting anything else here in the preview, you’ll have to read the article itself to see more.

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Potter Ponderings

Filed Under Harry Potter on July 18, 2007 | 15 Comments

I’ve had a whole series of potter articles in the back of my brain for the last few months and I just haven’t gotten them out. Now with the book officially only two days away and a leaked copy doing the rounds on the internet I guess those posts are just not going to be. Two friends of mine now have a copy of the leaked book and both are convinced it is genuine. So, it would seem that the time for predictions is over and the time to watch out for spoilers has begun. I have to say I just don’t get the mentality of those people who think it’s fun or clever to ruin the book for the fans. Yesterday a supposedly sensible and educated chap ruined the book for a good friend of mine by posting spoilers on Mikado (our college bulleting board system). I have to say I was not impressed. What kind of sicko takes pleasure from causing others pain? Surely someone with a personality like that needs help? Anyhow, I’m being very very careful about what I read and what sites I visit for the next few days but before I vanish into hiding I just want to list the important un-answered questions from the first six books as I see them (in order):

  1. What were Snape & Dumbledore arguing about in the forest when Hagrid over-heard them? – Theories that Dumbledore ordered Snape to kill him hinge on this
  2. On who’s orders Snape to betray Emaline Vance? We know Snape gave Voldemort information that led to her murder, was that a solo-run by Snape or was it on Dumbledore’s orders? This would give us insight into which side Snape is really on.
  3. What did Dumbledore’s little gleam of triumph at the news that Voldemort used Harry’s blood to return to power mean?
  4. Who is R.A.B.?

I’ve had Frank Sinatra in my head ever since I heard that the last Harry Potter book will be out on the 21st of July this year. That will be the end. First off my predictions were totally off. I was convinced it would be Halloween or the Winter Solstice. I was of the opinion they’d never release a book and a film right at the same time let alone the LAST book and a film but that’s exactly what they’re doing. So, color me surprised as hell!

I have to say my initial reaction is not really one of joy but rather one of melancholy. I’ve been looking forward to the next Harry Potter book for years now. First it was the Order of the Phoenix, then it was the Half Blood Prince and now, for just a few more months, the Deathly Hallows. For years now there’s been the suspense as to what will happen next, the theories (mad and intriguing), the discussions with fellow fans …. the end is neigh.

Sure, it will be great to know how it ends, but what if I don’t like the ending, it could ruin everything! Years of fandom for a series that turns out to be a brilliant lead-up to a terrible ending! But I shouldn’t be thinking like this. JKR hasn’t disappointed yet so why should this book be any different? Why should it be any less enjoyable, funny, unexpected and brilliant? I’m sure it will be as great as I’ve imagined ….. but maybe no book CAN live up to such huge expectations …

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For those of you on another planet JK Rowling released the title for the seventh Harry Potter book on Friday the 22nd of December. The title is:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I’ve given myself a few days to mull this one over and see what the Potter fandom are making of it before committing my thoughts to electrons. I have no doubt I’ll look like a fool when the book comes out and I’m shown to be totally wrong but on the off chance that I actually have it right I’d like to have it on record so I can gloat properly :)

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The Big Hints for HP7 – Part 3

Filed Under Harry Potter on August 10, 2006 | 2 Comments

This is the third part of a series of posts I've been working on for a while detailing what I think are the important hints for the final book in the Harry Potter Series. In the first part I looked at Petigrew's debt to Harry and in the second part I looked at Dumbledore's Unexplained Look of Triumph . In this part I'll be looking at the second book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, because JKR has said that it contains some very important clues for the seventh book. In this post I'll be explaining why I think House Elves are the big clue from this book. Read more

Something which has annoyed me of late is the up-surge in mad theories revolving around the Mirror of Erised showing Harry where the Horcruxes are hidden. The basic idea is that Harry just has to really want to find a Horcrux, look in the mirror and then he'll see where it is. This theory is ludicrous for a number of reasons which I'll happily share with you.

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