Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group discussion

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ABOUT BOOKS AND READING > Random, interesting facts about authors

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I thought that this topic might prove interesting:
"Random, interesting facts about authors"

Here's one to start off with:
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"J.K Rowling's real name is actually Joanne Rowling. The 'Kathleen' part was taken from her grandma because publishers didn't think boys would read a book by someone with a female name, and J. Rowling sounded too boring."
FROM: http://www.funtrivia.com/quick/index....
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BTW, I found the above fact in the "Fun Trivia" website's "Quick Quiz". Back in September 2010, I started a team at Fun Trivia called "New York State Folks". It already has 17 members.
http://www.funtrivia.com/team_info.cf...

I enjoy the quizzes and also the crossword puzzles at Fun Trivia.
http://www.funtrivia.com/


message 2: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I just joined your team. I just answered the 25 Quick Quiz questions correctly, will the points go to the team?


message 3: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Oh boo! They only let me collect on 20 questions.


message 4: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Yes, Jackie, as far as I know, the points will go to our team. In fact, I see your 200 points (for your 20 questions) on the cumulative scoreboard of our team.

I welcomed you at the Team Message Board. Thanks for joining.


message 5: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Great, I just wanted to make sure The Team gets the points.


message 6: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 16, 2011 07:30AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie, our team isn't that active. So I doubt if we'll be very competitive. However, it's been fun gathering New Yorkers together in a team. I've been surprised by the response. Somehow it's interesting being part of a virtual team... gives one a sense of "belonging". :) Besides, it keeps me busy and keeps my mind active.

Hmmm, I wonder if any of the quizes about authors will give us any interesting info for this topic. I'll have to look into that.


message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I only did the quick quiz yesterday and today. I'll have to familiarize myself with the site so I can see what else they've got, and other quizzes to join in.


message 8: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Interesting facts about authors:
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"Jonathan Swift wrote a classic book called Gulliver's Travels that borders on science fiction. It was written before science fiction was what you called such books. In this book he wrote about two moons circling Mars. He described their size and speed of orbit. He did this one hundred years before they were described by astronomers."

"The man who wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories, Arthur Conan Doyle, was a professional ophthalmologist, an eye doctor. Because in his time specialty medical practices were hard to build and didn't pay well, he had to take up writing to make ends meet."

FROM: http://ideasofindian.blogspot.com/200...
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message 9: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Isn't that fascinating about Arthur Conan Doyle having to take up writing in order to make ends meet/as now it is just the opposite, unless you are one of the few lucky ones; J.K. Rowlings etc. Few can earn a real living. Jim, I am wondering if you have seen, probably have, the movie based on real life, "Champion?" I thought it was excellent just in case you or any of the rest of you haven't seen it. It is based on the true life story of a jockey overcoming tremdous odds in his life in England. The horses are magnifient. I remember one line, "If a horse admires and loves you, he will do anything for you." nina


message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6329 comments I don't recall the movie about Champion, Nina. I'm not a big one for animal movies, although I see them a lot because Marg & the kids are.

Swift's prescience in the case of Mars' moons is interesting but not because he was right. No, it was how he managed to be right.

Kepler said that Mars had two moons back in the early 1600's, a century earlier, I think. The prevailing theory had been they must be small & close to Mars or they would have been seen. Kepler had been proved wrong 50 years earlier, but that bit of information was still popular. You see, Kepler had based it on incorrectly deciphering some notes of Galileo's that actually had been talking about Saturn's moons. Kind of a new twist on 2 wrongs not making a right, eh?
;-)

Now, Arthur C. Clarke did predict & describe Charon, Pluto's moon (Well, it was a moon back before Pluto was demoted from planetary to planetoid status. I'm not sure what it is now.) in one of his books (Rendezvous with Rama?) before it was discovered.


message 11: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Jim, the movie Champion is about horse racing and is mostly about the jockey who overcame serious cancer to ride once again and it is his original horse in the movie. I thought the acting was superb. nina


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6329 comments I'll mention it to Marg, Nina. She may have seen it. I tried looking it up & think I found it. It's "Champions" made in 1984?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085320/


message 13: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Yes, that is the one. nina


message 14: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Nina wrote: "Isn't that fascinating about Arthur Conan Doyle having to take up writing in order to make ends meet/as now it is just the opposite, unless you are one of the few lucky ones..."

Nina, that is so true! Good point.


message 15: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim, that was interesting, about the moons and the planets.

Another fact about an author that I found interesting was:
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"Leo Tolstoy wrote a large book called War and Peace before computers and copying machines. His wife had to copy his manuscript by hand seven times."
FROM: http://ideasofindian.blogspot.com/200...
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message 16: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 527 comments Margaret Mitchell's original name for her heroine was "Pansy O'Hara". I am sure glad she changed it to Scarlet.


message 17: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 527 comments When Alice Mary Norton started writing Science Fiction and Fantasy in the 1940's, the target audience was assumed to be teen aged boys. So she adopted the pen name,Andre Norton.

Publishing over 90 SF and Fantasy books, she legally changed her name to Andre Alice Norton--though she still published most works under "Andre Norton".

The Andre Norton Award, given annually to the best SF or Fantasy for young adults, is named in her honor.

Btw, though her books often feature a young adult protagonist, they are quite worth the time of adult readers. Imho, her writing is very good indeed.


message 18: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 527 comments OOOOH, I Like this thread! I Hope it lasts a long time.


message 19: by Mary JL (last edited Feb 22, 2011 05:17AM) (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 527 comments Joy: I just signed up on the Fun Trivia page. Can I join your team? What is the exact name?

Or is it for New Yorkers only?


message 20: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 22, 2011 07:43AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Mary JL, my team at Fun Trivia is named "New York State Folks". Here's the link to our team page:
http://www.funtrivia.com/team_info.cfm
I had originally meant it for New Yorkers. But there are many other teams. Here's a page listing teams that are looking for members:
http://www.funtrivia.com/minigame/loc...
Or you can start your own team. You could call it "Omaha Folks". (g)

PS-Maybe we should start a "Goodreads" team. I'll have to find out if we can belong to more than two teams.


message 21: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 22, 2011 07:26AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Mary JL wrote: "Margaret Mitchell's original name for her heroine was "Pansy O'Hara". I am sure glad she changed it to Scarlet."

Mary JL, I too am glad her name wasn't Pansy! (g) Scarlett seems a perfect name for her.


message 22: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Mary JL wrote: "When Alice Mary Norton started writing Science Fiction and Fantasy in the 1940's, the target audience was assumed to be teen aged boys. So she adopted the pen name,Andre Norton ..."

Mary JL, thanks for the info re Andre Alice Norton (1912-2005).
I checked out her Wiki page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Ma...
Excerpt:
=======================================================
"Often called the Grande Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy by biographers such as J.M Cornwell and organizations such as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Publishers Weekly, and Time, Andre Norton wrote novels for over 70 years.

"She had a profound influence on the entire genre, having over 300 published titles read by at least four generations of science fiction and fantasy readers and writers.

"Notable authors who cite her influence include Greg Bear, Lois McMaster Bujold, C. J. Cherryh, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Tanya Huff, Mercedes Lackey, Charles de Lint, Joan D. Vinge, David Weber, K. D. Wentworth, and Catherine Asaro."
=======================================================


message 23: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 527 comments JoY: I think I will join an existing group for now. I might start a Midwest Group later.


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6329 comments I read a lot of Andre Norton as a teen, although I only have 7 of her books listed in my books. I was surprised to find out that her sex was such a closely guarded secret for years. I always thought she was a woman from her writing style. Enjoyable, but never a super favorite like Howard or Burroughs. I like(d) fighting, gore & death. Norton's heroes were always a little too nice.


message 25: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 527 comments Jim: I think Andre Norton made her heroes a little nice because she mostly wrote for a YA audience. No, she was never a huge favorite for many readers--but you could always rely on her for a decent, well written tale to pass the afternoon with.


message 26: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I'm watching a program on The Science Channel, recorded earlier, called The Prophets of Science Fiction. For those with DVRs, it reairs tonight at 3am Eastern time. I looked ahead for the week but this is all I can find. Hopefully, it'll be on again. This is not a program you want to miss.

It started with Jules Verne and his 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon. In this novel, 100 years before Apollo 8, his characters used the same material and similar weight as Apollo 8. He calculated escape velocity as 24,500 MPH, same as Apollo 8. His launch site is set 145 miles from Cape Canaveral. He has 3 men in the capsule, which will splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, same as Apollo 8. He estimated it would take 4 days to get to the moon by these means, which is how long it really took. He also explores the effects of weightlessness. It's pretty amazing when you think about it.

I can't wait to finish watching the rest of this. H. G. Wells is to be featured also in this program.


message 27: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 22, 2011 06:38PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie wrote: "I'm watching a program on The Science Channel, recorded earlier, called The Prophets of Science Fiction. For those with DVRs, it reairs tonight at 3am Eastern time. I looked ahead for the week bu..."

Thanks, Jackie. I found the program scheduled on the TV grid at 3 AM. If I'm up at that time, I'll try to watch it. (Netflix doesn't have it yet.)


message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I'm not sure if this is a new program or not. I'm sure Netflix will have it as soon as it's available. Or the library might get it too. It's very educational.


message 29: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6329 comments Jackie wrote: "I'm watching a program on The Science Channel, recorded earlier, called The Prophets of Science Fiction. For those with DVRs, it reairs tonight at 3am Eastern time. I looked ahead for the week bu..."

I wish I'd seen this last night. I'll see if I can't find it & record it, too. He was a visionary, but when people knew what & what we're taught is pretty interesting. I know I was fed some weird ideas about historic 'discoveries'. Almost a dozen people 'discovered' America before Columbus, but that's not what I was taught. Ditto with Marco Polo's journey & the flat earth model. It was only in the very limited knowledge of a very specific culture that these were discoveries at all. The Catholic Church seems to be a huge source of ignorance.

I remember reading something about a Victorian era moon adventure (possibly this one or "The First Men in the Moon"?) where the tea wasn't quite right because the air pressure was lower, thus the water boiled at a lower temperature. I was initially surprised that folks knew about such things so long ago. Later I read that air pressure & the boiling point of water were well known to the audience of the day - it was a clue. Why shouldn't they be? Anyone who lives in the mountains knows about it. A 3 minute egg took over 4 minutes to cook when I lived in Aspen, CO, I think.


message 30: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Jim wrote: The Catholic Church seems to be a huge source of ignorance.
More like suppression. Knowledge is power and the church wasn't sharing.

And: A 3 minute egg took over 4 minutes to cook when I lived in Aspen, CO
When I lived it Colorado Springs, I found that many recipes were altered. Even the amount of flour in a cake, time in the oven, etc. I had never thought about it before that.


message 31: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I caught most of "The Prophets of Science Fiction" program in the wee hours on the Science Channel. Both Jules Verne and H. G. Wells were featured and some interesting comparisons were made between the two authors and their work.
Wiki says: "Verne, along with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells, is often popularly referred to as the 'Father of Science Fiction'."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Verne

Thanks, Jackie, for mentioning the program.


message 32: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments I, too, am glad they changed her name to Scarlet otherwise, I doubt I would have named my Irish Setter, scarlet Ohara. Another thing, I want to thank whoever recommended "1776" from Netflix. I thought it was very good. And being reminded of Thomas Jefferson did you know he gets the credit for introducing French Fries to America when he served them at a White House dinner in 1802? Nina


message 33: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Glad you enjoyed "1776". Nina. Thanks for the info re French Fries. :)


message 34: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Bumping this to the top to re-position it.


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