Thursday, March 29, 2007

Harry Potter hoopla

Well, I don't imagine I'll ever have a book come out where the cover gets as much scrutiny as the recently unveiled covers of Harry Potter. Admittedly you never can tell, but I just don't see my writing as ever reaching this kind of popularity (in fact, that's not really my goal in writing--it's not lack of confidence that makes me say that, but simply a different type of approach to writing--would you expect a new cover from McKillip or VanderMeer, LeGuin or Beagle or Wolfe to get such a reaction?).

Still, I'm looking forward to reading the new book. And if you want to brush up a bit on the series as a whole, I have a perfect recommendation for you. My cousin Steve runs one of the main Harry Potter websites out there, the Harry Potter Lexicon. You won't find a lot of speculation about the new book there, but an incredible amount of information on the books that are already out as well as a collection of essays about the world that are fun to read. The people involved in the site are far more into the series than even most fans, so you'll find all kinds of things you missed if, like me, you only read each book once.

Yeah, Harry Potter is a far cry from the books I usually mention here and recommend, and a far cry from anything I write, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it for what it is.

7 comments:

Mirtika said...

Actually, I do look forward to new McKillips, because I collect her books for those Kinuko Craft covers. LOVE LOVE LOVE those covers. Love them better than the stories, sometimes. :D I'll pay hardcover prices just for the art. Yep.

And, hey, should have linked to my post on the cover art speculations! :) Speculating Runs Amok Due to Artwork on Various Harry Potter Covers

Mir

Daniel Ausema said...

I like her covers too...but I don't think they're likely to inspire such in depth examination from so many fans. And I love the Scott Eagle covers for some of VanderMeer's books and could look at them often, but again it wouldn't cause swarms of people to try to decipher each element (which would be silly in the case of many authors anyway).

And you know, it was noticing your post that got me thinking about this, that sent me over to the Lexicon (which I hadn't visited in a long time). But then I forgot to link back. *shrug* Sorry ;)

Mirtika said...

I think the ONLY reason there is so much discussion is that this is a phenomenon. Ursula and McKillip and such do NOT sell in the bazillions. They do not have people wringing their hands waiting for the next installment.

The covers aren't even that great art, honestly. (I am not wild about the HP Americn covers.) It's just that the public has spent all these years obsessed about the outcome of these tales, year by release, and the culmination is at hand. We're all Holmeses, looking for the smallest clue to tell us if what we think will happen WILL HAPPEN! IT's not just a rousingly fun tale...it's a puzzle GAME and treasure hunt. haha

Mir

hellojed said...

I have to say I'm not a big fan of the latest Harry Potter cover, but I do enjoy reading the series. I prefer Narnia though - now I'm showing my age.

Daniel Ausema said...

Thanks for stopping by, Hellojed--I enjoyed Narnia as well, especially the Silver Chair (how can one not love Puddleglum?). My mind doesn't typically rank things into better or worse all that often, so I couldn't say which I enjoy better though.

Mir, that's exactly what I'm saying--these other authors that are among my favorites (and whose ranks I aspire to someday) write a type of story that doesn't attract this type of phenomonon. And that's OK--I don't imagine myself writing that kind of story either.

But it does make it sort of fun to guess :)

mscelina said...

I think the frenzy over HP is based, at least in part, on a phenomena that wasn't necessarily anticipated by anyone. Who could have foreseen that in the world of Playstation and Grand Theft Auto that a writer could have created characters vivid enough to bring an entire generation of youth back into the world of reading? My daughters, who usually considered reading a punishment, were so enthralled by Rowling's work that not only are they obsessed with the series BUT it brought them through their adolescence as readers. READERS. I can't keep them in books, which is saying a lot considering the size of my library. (I also can't keep them off of Myspace but that's neither here nor there.)

Personally, I adore the Potter series. I'm so impressed with Rowling's ability to create her world and mature it (and her writing style) along with the characters and her core target audience that the Potter books have a place of honor (yep; first edition hardcovers from several countries) next to Tolkien and Lewis. I, too, will go to the midnight showing of movie five (with hordes of teenagers in jury-rigged Hogwarts robes) and I, too, have my advance copy of the final book reserved. I know I'll never write anything that falls into Rowling's category of success but I don't care. Her success gives me greater ambition to TRY and for a writer, I think that's key.

:)

Daniel Ausema said...

Yeah, there's certainly no sense downplaying what she's done for younger readers--and they are enjoyable even for us old folks.