content by

Jill Grunenwald

Five Reasons Harry Potter Should Have Been a Slytherin

This year, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication and even now, two decades later, there are certain debates that continue to rage like fiendfyre throughout the fandom: Who is worse, Umbridge or Voldemort? Is Snape really good or evil? Which Deathly Hallows would you choose? The fact that we still continue to feel so passionately about these topics speaks to the breadth and complexity of the wonderful world that J.K. Rowling created. For me, there is one particular question that I can’t stop asking, and it is, admittedly, a rather controversial one: did the Sorting Hat put Harry in the wrong house?

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Gaming and Virtual Reality Novels Featuring Fierce Female Characters

I love Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One. I love it so much, it’s among the handful of titles that I re-read annually. I love the popular culture references, the throwbacks, the easter eggs, and I especially love the audiobook version narrated by Wil Wheaton.

What I don’t love is the way the character of Art3mis is treated like a side quest, some challenge to be conquered by our torch-bearing hero. It happens in actual video games, too: my game of choice is The Legend of Zelda. I mean, her name is literally in the title and yet the character of Zelda (in all her reiterations) is hardly seen; instead, players run around the land of Hyrule as Link. In some versions of the game, Zelda doesn’t appear at all. Before I started playing, I even thought Link’s name was Zelda because, well, why wouldn’t the eponymous character appear as a major player in the game that features her name?

[Luckily, there are plenty of novels that put women gamers front and center.]

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