Sunday, March 04, 2007

Oxford Literary Festival 2007

*Thunk*

That was the sound of my head hitting my table as I finally finished writing the first draft of my second piece of "Doctor Who" fiction... All that lies ahead is proof-reading and revisions, and that'll keep until tomorrow.

Now that's out of the way, I'll drag my head back out of the Whoniverse to tell you about this year's Oxford Literary Festival - the programme for which arrived on Friday and received a cursory flick accompanied by moans of mingled joy and misery. Joy, because there are some great talks going on again this year; misery, because my budget's going to keep me from getting to ANY of the talks I'm keen to attend (I get paid a week after it's all over, wouldn't you just know it?!)

Anyway, just to tantalise everyone, here's what I'm missing:

WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH ANTHONY HOROWITZ - Nightrise 4.30 pm

Anthony Horowitz is a hugely popular children's author whose books have won many awards and sold millions of copies around the world. He is the creator of the phenomenal Alex Rider series, which follows a teenage spy's adrenalin-packed adventures. He also writes extensively for film and television, with credits including Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War * and the recent Alex Rider movie, Stormbreaker. His new book, Nightrise, is the third in "The Power of Five" supernatural saga [the second of which was nominated for a Cybil].

(* David Tennant starred in an episode of Foyle's War - it's on my TBW (To Be Watched) list !)

FRIDAY 23 MARCH PHILIP PULLMAN and ADRIAN HODGES with MARK LAWSON The Ruby in the Smoke 6 pm

The Ruby in the Smoke, the first book in Philip Pullman's gripping Sally Lockhart quartet, set in Victorian England, was adapted for television recently by Adrian Hodges (starring Billie Piper as Sally). Philip Pullman and Adrian Hodges discuss the adaptation (with clips from the film) and Philip shares some photographs that helped to inspire the writing of the book. Chaired by Mark Lawson.

(The thought of missing this makes me want to cry - or scream ! Ditto the one below.)

SATURDAY 24 MARCH PHILIP PULLMAN'S THE GOLDEN COMPASS From Book to Film 2 pm

This year's Festival is proud to host a discussion on the evolution of The Golden Compass from book to film, in which Philip Pullman is joined by producer Deborah Forte to discuss their roles in taking an award-winning book to one of the most anticipated films of 2007. Chaired by BBC arts presenter, Mark Lawson.

The Golden Compass, adapted and directed by Chris Weitz, is the first of three films based on Philip Pullman’s acclaimed "His Dark Materials" trilogy. Released in December, it stars Nicole Kidman as Mrs Coulter, Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel and introduces Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra.


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Perhaps I should try my Sonic Screwdriver on a nearby ATM, as The Doctor did in the Christmas Special "The Runaway Bride" ?



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I'm in the middle (literally) of re-reading Garth Nix's "The Keys to the Kingdom" series at present, having picked up Lady Friday yesterday. However, I shall have to put the fourth book on hold whilst I re-read The House in Norham Gardens ready to start the Book Discussion on Tuesday. I'm also reading Paul Parsons' fascinating and very readable The Science of Doctor Who. Oh and I shall soon start researching for a third Who story featuring my original companion - so that means there will continue to be only a few book reviews each week.

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If you can get to Bristol's Forbidden Planet on Saturday March 17 from 1 - 2 pm, Diana Wynne Jones and Stephen Hunt will be appearing with four members of the Write Fantastic collective: Juliet E McKenna, Stan Nichols, Marc Chadbourn and Jessica Rydill. Fortunately it's a free event, and I've got a lift to get there and back too, so I'll be able to go - and maybe I'll even find something half way intelligent (or intelligible !) to say to Diana Wynne Jones, whose books I've admired since I read Fire and Hemlock (Of course, I'll have to be forcibly restrained from looking at all the lovely "Doctor Who" goodies!)

2 comments:

Sheila said...

Wow, is that the current Doctor? He's hot! I could get used to watching it if he looks like that. My only experience with Dr. Who was watching it once about 25 or 30 years ago, when the Doctor was this guy with curly hair and a long scarf. It just didn't catch my interest.

Anyway, congrats on finishing your second Doctor Who story! You're really rolling along!

Michele said...

Yes that's the current Doctor - young Mr David Tennant, whom I agree is rather gorgeous (though skinny as anything - I keep wanting to feed him up !). He's also a superb actor...

Curly hair and a scarf ? That'd be the rather wonderful Tom Baker, who was a lot of fun...

Thanks, yes I'm definitely surfing the wave with the fiction. But why didn't any of the authors of my acquaintance ever tell me that fiction writing is addictive ? Or is it just me ?!