Monday, August 23, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

I've found some very fun stuff in the Blogosphere lately, so I'll give you the links in case you didn't catch it yourself.

--First up is the entertaining YA Fantasy Showdown, created by the talented team of Heather Zundel, Beth Revis, Charlotte Taylor, Danyelle Leafty, Chelsea Swiggett, and Lois Moss. Click on participating character names to read scenarios about how the various battles might play out. Final match-up? That would be the wizard Howl (from Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle and sequels) vs. Eugenides (from Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief and sequels). Go Gen! Oh, and Go Howl! Many of us would like to see a tie for that one.

--Betsy Bird of Fuse #8 tells us about her blogger husband's intriguing analysis of heroes in film; Betsy then applies the categories he's created to children's books. I read all of Matt Bird's posts and learned a lot!

--Adele of Persnickety Snark is an Australian teacher currently living in Japan. She polled blog readers to ascertain the Top 100 YA Books of 2010. This is the final list, but you can scroll down to individual posts about each book, counting up to #1, Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games.

--Author Malinda Lo posted a beautiful showcase of Fall 2010 Fantasy Cover Trends (in YA) over at Enchanted Inkpot; take a look.

Note: Art shown above is borrowed from the YA Fantasy Showdown site.

Update: Gen (Eugenides) won the YA Fantasy Showdown. Hooray for Gen, and for Megan Whalen Turner's wonderful books! If you haven't read them, you've been missing out. In order, they are The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings. Also, read Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, another terrific book.

11 comments:

jennysbooks said...

I was specifically hoping Howl and Gen wouldn't end up pitted against each other. I hate to have to choose! (But I love it that the clever tricksters are the ones that make it to the end.) I think Howl would win. He's as clever as Gen, but he's got magic as well.

Kate Coombs said...

My first impression was that Howl would win because of his magic, but then I remembered that Gen has the help of the gods... Also, I think they're both clever, but Gen is arguably more devious. As a lot of people are saying, I want to see a tie.

I, too, am pleased it's the two tricksters here at the end, not just a couple of skilled fighters. And the scene these people wrote for Gen and Howl is a hoot!

rockinlibrarian said...

You've highlighted all the favorite things I'VE read on the web this week, too! I am not sure how I became as obsessed with the YA Fantasy Showdown as I ended up getting (tell me I was not the only one kept awake at night trying to figure out logically whether Howl really COULD beat Percy Jackson!); and I feel like the Birds wrote those Hero posts JUST FOR ME and my Hero's Journey obsession! I have to not pay attention to the order on that particular 100 YA countdown though because I get too hung up on being stunned that The Hero and the Crown is only #100, and below current flash-in-the-pan books I've never heard of.

Kate Coombs said...

RockinL--Yeah, I was shocked that Hermione beat Chrestomanci. (No way!) And weren't those Hero posts fascinating? As for the YA countdown, I'm afraid today's readers are going to add up votes for those flash-in-the-pan books you mentioned, having missed some of the best older stuff. But I do think it's a good list overall. A great week on the web, huh? :)

natalie said...

We stopped by today to take a peek and enjoyed checking out the YA Fantasy Showdown as well as the other links provided. You are AWESOME Kate!
Til next time, Natalie (your friend in AZ)

Chachic said...

I love the final battle that they wrote for Gen and Howl! "What a lie that was!" I love Howl but I love Gen more so I voted for Gen although I wouldn't mind a tie. I'm waiting for the results and then I'm going to blog about them to pimp out both books. I'm glad that they both made it to the final round. I thought the characters from the more popular books were going to win.

Kate Coombs said...

Hi, Natalie! Wasn't the Showdown great?

Chachic--Like you, I thought Katniss or Katsa would win, so I was happy to see Howl and Gen at the last. And Gen won! I hope anybody who hasn't read Howl's Moving Castle or Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief and sequels will now take a look. (And yes, the hosts did some very fun things in that final battle scene!)

rockinlibrarian said...

Hermione beat Chrestomanci only through voter ignorance! ("I'm not DENYING she's extremely clever! I'm only saying YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO SHE'S DEALING WITH!!!!") Ironically, Chrestomanci would also completely beat Howl* (not to mention every other magic-user in the competition), so how would THAT skew the results? Then we wouldn't have had that completely awesome final battle though, so I guess it all works out in the end.

*(I also have this theory that Morgan Jenkins/Pendragon should grow up to become Cat's successor as Chrestomanci. He obviously has huge innate magical talent; his birth story gives a whole new twist to that "nine lives" thing; and HOW MUCH FUN would he have booking his parents for minor magical infractions on a near-daily basis! ...yes, you can easily see how I might have the sort of mind that keeps one up late at night debating which fictional characters could LOGICALLY take each other down in competition...anyway).

Kate Coombs said...

Well, if you just look at the original list, Chrestomanci should have won, unless someone figured out a way to use his silver problem against him. Other strong contenders were Ged and Goranu, technically speaking. But I do love how it played out, especially the way Howl's and Gen's personalities and quirks happened to match up so delightfully!

Interesting thought about Howl as a Chrestomanci candidate. I do appreciate your pristine and solemn logic about all of this. (Much better than thinking about, say, politics!)

Sydney said...

Really enjoyed looking at the YA Fantasy showdown. There's so much there; I am just going to bookmark that and enjoy it slowly. ;o)

Had to say that I was a little sad to see that Terry Pratchett did not seem to make that top 100 poll.

Thanks for the links!
~Sydney

Kate Coombs said...

Sydney--You're welcome! Yes, I would have liked to see Terry Pratchett's books in the poll, too. I'm a big Tiffany Aching fan. And I just reread Howl's Moving Castle, inspired by the YA Fantasy Showdown. It's as good as I remembered!