Doctor Who: Literary Time Traveler, a guest post by Annie Cardi
A fun question to ask writers or readers is: “If you could meet any writer, living or dead, who would it be?” For most of us, that’s at least partly a hypothetical question. At best, you can see deceased writers’ homes and see their original manuscripts in rare books collections of libraries. For the Doctor and his companions, meeting famous writers of the past is a real adventure.
These episodes also have inside jokes for fans of the particular author’s work. In “The Unicorn and the Wasp,” companion Donna Noble drops hints at books Agatha Christie hasn’t written yet, which leads to a fun exchange with Christie:
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Pros: Austen publishes Pride and Prejudice. Get to hang out with one of the wittiest writers of all time, go to balls and wear cool dresses.
Potential cons: encountering an evil alien version of Mr. Darcy, intent on taking over London society. Also corsets.
Pros: get to see if there’s a real Robin Hood, learn archery.
Potential cons: getting caught by local law enforcement, getting taken to the Crusades.
Pros: all the books in the universe, translated into all sorts of languages, in one place—and you can buy something!
Potential cons: long lines at the checkout counter, Vashta Nerada.
Pros: workshopping with the Inklings, having a drink at the Eagle and Child.
Potential cons: Orcs are a real alien species.
Pros: a wild summer with Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron.
Potential cons: the sketchiness of Byron, someone trying to make a real monster out of human body parts.
Pros: literary society is formed.
Cons: awkward Q&A questions.
Bio: Annie Cardi is a young adult writer whose debut novel, The Chance You Won’t Return, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press in April 2014. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College and a BA from the University of Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in The Georgetown Review, Vestal Review, Juked, and other publications. In 2011, PEN New England selected her as a winner of the Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award for the manuscript that would become, The Chance You Won’t Return. Annie lives near Boston with her husband and a portrait of a sea captain.
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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