Tag Archives: Mark Twain

Steampunk Images from Hannibal

Just posting some photos from the Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, MO.  My parents went up there over Labor Day weekend and snapped these. As I said in an earlier post, it’s nice to see one of America’s best … Continue reading

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Doctor Who’s Connecticut Yankee References: Season 9, Episode 1

My UC Davis class on Mark Twain’s technocratic writing ended the weekend before the Season 9 premiere of Doctor Who.  I re-read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court just weeks prior, not knowing that writer/producer Steven Moffat, actor Peter Capaldi, … Continue reading

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Mark Twain’s Town Discovers Steampunk

I recently returned from a Mark Twain conference in Hannibal, MO, and I noticed a change in Twain’s hometown since the last time I was there in 2011. There’s a lot more steampunk stuff. The town is already a tourist destination, … Continue reading

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Mark Twain “Travel and Technocracy” Class at UC Davis

The course announcement for my UC Davis “Studies in an Individual Author” class on Mark Twain went live a few weeks ago.  I’m posting the link and a screen clip here. We’re focusing on travel and technocracy, especially stories where … Continue reading

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Vote for Kansas City in 2016 at Worldcon

If you or someone you know is heading to the World Science Fiction Convention in London in 15 days (Aug 14-18), I encourage you to support Kansas City’s bid to host the 2016 Worldcon.  They’ve done a splendid job of planning. … Continue reading

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Jack Wright in D.C., Twain and Faulkner at ALA

I spent most of Wednesday reading two Jack Wright dime novels at the Library of Congress.  Both are great examples of proto-science fiction that imagines inventors making a difference in real-world affairs. In “Running the Blockade; or, Jack Wright Helping the Cuban … Continue reading

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Secret Origins: Mark Twain, Profanity, and Science Fiction

Yesterday, I posted the following Mark Twain quote on Facebook: “Profanity is more necessary to me than is immunity from colds.” I came across the actual letter where Twain scribbled this comment earlier this week using the awesome online archive … Continue reading

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Final Exam Questions: Steampunk, Nostalgia, SF Novels

Because it’s finals week at UC Davis, I thought I’d go ahead and publicly post the final exam questions from last quarter’s novels class on nostalgia and desiderium.  Here’s a taste of the questions I asked.  Students could write about … Continue reading

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A Kansas City Labrick in California, Part 3

It has been brought to my attention that the term “Kansas City Labrick” may in fact be a geo-social redundancy, akin to “pushy New Yorker” or “dumbass Texan”*. *Any offended Texans, please note that the last one comes directly from … Continue reading

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A Kansas City Labrick in California, Part 2 (Sci-Fi edition)

Two days after teaching Tom Sawyer (see Part 1), I find myself writing a grant proposal to visit libraries with Twain collections.  So, I’m thinking about him in the scope of my research, not just as a fan or a … Continue reading

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A Kansas City Labrick in California*

I’m teaching The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in my Topics in the Novel: Nostalgia/Desiderium class today. Rather than wax on Twain’s approach to nostalgia, I want to wax on my nostalgia for Twain—or lack thereof. See, I grew up in … Continue reading

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