Ditch Diggers #54: Retcons and JKR

NOTE- I got an important call in the middle of this episode and was a tad distracted for the rest of the show. But Matt’s on a good enough tear that I’m not needed much anyway. I can let you know the purpose of the call some other time.

  • Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s official historical retconning chamber.
  • Matt makes it clear that Morgan Freeman’s retconning chamber is NOT to be confused with a time machine.
  • Somewhere between Morgan Freeman cross-breeding bees and butterflies and Mur being responsible for the diamond trade, the Ditch Diggers explain the concept of retconning.
  • How retconning, while sometimes necessary in and accepted as part of the vernacular of the comics medium, is more often than not detrimental to writing and publishing novels, using JK Rowling’s constant retconning of the Harry Potter books as an example.
  • The difference between retconning to continue telling a story and retconning for the sake of altering the past.
  • Matt recaps the controversy over the handling of Dumbledore in the forthcoming Fantastic Beast movie (spoiler alert: No gay Dumbledore), and gives his opinion on why JK Rowling retconning the HP books is a detrimental betrayal.
  • Mur talks about how if characters in fiction aren’t explicitly identified, audiences will default to straight and white, using Hunger Games as an example.
  • What the JK Rowling situation can teach smaller authors about brand management for themselves and their book series, specifically making promises on which they can’t deliver and not engaging legitimate criticism of their public behavior.
  • How being an author in the SFF field reacting publicly to one of these situations can also affect your brand.
  • How, in Matt’s opinion, popular authors, especially in SFF, are given “passes” when they screw up if they’ve accrued enough good will points and the cliquishness of fiction communities and how they protect those authors.
  • On being aware enough to acknowledge and deal with your problematic behavior as it happens.
  • Mur and Matt are working to make Ditch Diggers a more inclusive podcast and need your help to do it through their Patreon.
  • The customary end-of-episode shilling, including Hugo Award awareness raising.

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by Mur

Herself who runneth this site.

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