UVM’s 15th Tolkien in Vermont Conference announced

UVM will once again host its annual Tolkien in Vermont conference. The theme this year is Language and Etymologies, and it will take place on Saturday, April 7th.

A full schedule hasn’t been posted yet, but the conference committee is accepting papers on the theme and other subjects, according to its Facebook event page. (Papers are due by January 31st).


The Champlain Games Festival is coming to Essex

Gamers, mark your calendars for Saturday, April 14th. There’s a new event coming to the Champlain Valley Expo: The Champlain Games Festival. Billed as a family-friendly event highlighting locally made digital and tabletop games, the event will be a place for game designers to showcase their work, and for gamers to discover something new.

Tickets for the event will cost $15 — $10 if you buy them now. Thus far, there’s a small lineup of digital and tabletop games on the schedule, with more likely to be added. The event will take place at the Expo on the 14th, from 10am to 4pm.

Watch a new trailer for On the Trail of… Champ

This summer, a film team called Small Town Monsters is releasing a short documentary series, On the Trail of… Champ.

Here’s the description:

“Champ” marks the beginning of the new, ongoing series from Small Town Monsters titled “On the trail of…” and will be followed up in 2019 with a massive search across the Eastern United States for the legendary being called Bigfoot. On the Trail of… Champ will premiere on DVD and the VIDI Space streaming platform on June 15th before heading to Amazon in July. VIDI Space (http://www.vidi.space) is a new online network founded by Nick Groff (“Paranormal Lockdown” / “Ghost Adventures”), Elizabeth Saint (“Ghosts of Shepherdstown”), and Justin Narragon featuring paranormal and supernatural content. The mini-series will make it’s debut under VIDI Space’s new Cryptid.Space.

Find out more here.

Foods of Middle Earth at Groennfell Meadery

Are you a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth novels? Stop by Colchester’s Groennfell Meadery on January 21st from 5pm to 9pm, where they’ll be serving a meal inspired by the late author’s works.


Throughout the land of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth the differnt races feast and enjoy many a varied and unique foods — Elven Lembas, Ent Draught, and Elevenses in the Shire. Please join us for this ethnohistoric-fictional dinner exploring and celebrating the works of J. R. R. Tolkein with pairings of beverages and short talks by chef Richard Witting, meadmaker Ricky Klein, and English Professor Chris Vaccaro.

Additionaly this event is a fundraiser for, and sponsored by, the Civil Advocacy Project a non-proft that provides legal assistance for low income individuals in Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania (civiladvocacyproject.org).

This event will be a multicourse (4+) dinner including paired sampling pours of paired beverages with additional beverages available to purchase.

Unfortunately, the event is sold out, but check in with the events page to see if there’ll be last-minute spots.

Winter Weirdness: This Weekend!

Gamers in Barre rejoice! The Green Mountain Gamers are holding their annual game day on Saturday, January 13th from 10am to 10pm.

The event will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on Washington Street, and it’s free to the public. Bring along donations, though: they’ll be split between the Green Mountain Gamers and The Good Samaritan Haven, a local homeless shelter.

There’ll also be a raffle: Entry gets you one ticket, and additional tickets can be purchased for $1 each or 6 for $5.

Marko Kloos’s Points of Impact is now in stores

New Hampshire military science fiction author Marko Kloos has a new book in stores: Points of Impact, his sixth installment of his Frontlines series. If you haven’t read them, they follow a soldier named Andrew Grayson, who joins the military and becomes embroiled in an interstellar war.

Interestingly, Vermont plays a bit role in the series: Grayson is from the area, and Kloos frequently has him stop by Vermont, which he portrays as a small oasis of stability in a largely dystopian world.

Here’s what it’s about:

Earth’s armed forces have stopped the Lanky advance and chased their ships out of the solar system, but for CDC officer Andrew Grayson, the war feels anything but won. On Mars, the grinding duty of flushing out the twenty-meter-tall alien invaders from their burrows underground is wearing down troops and equipment at an alarming rate. And for the remaining extrasolar colonies, the threat of a Lanky attack is ever present.

Earth’s game changer? New advanced ships and weapons, designed to hunt and kill Lankies and place humanity’s militaries on equal footing with their formidable foes. Andrew and his wife, Halley, both now burdened with command responsibilities and in charge of more lives than just their own, are once again in humanity’s vanguard as they prepare for this new phase in the war. But the Lankies have their own agenda…and in war, the enemy doesn’t usually wait until you are prepared. As Andrew is once again plunged into the chaos and violence of war with an unyielding species, he is forced to confront the toll this endless conflict is taking on them all, and the high price of survival…at any cost.

Katherine Arden Vermont events

Local fantasy author Katherine Arden will be appearing at a couple of bookstores this week to promote her new novel, The Girl in the Tower, the sequel to her critically acclaimed debut, The Bear and the Nightingale.

Arden will appear at the Vermont Bookshop in Middlebury tomorrow, January 10th at 6:30PM. She’ll also appear at Phoenix Books in Burlington on Thursday, January 11th, also at 6:30. This event will be ticketed: a $3 ticket will benefit the Vermont Footbank.

Next week, she’ll be stopping by Phoenix’s Rutland location on Thursday, January 18th.

Katherine Arden’s The Girl in the Tower is now in stores!

Katherine Arden published her debut novel earlier this year, but her second is now in stores! The Girl in the Tower is the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, and is set in a fantastic Russia.

Here’s what it’s about:

Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.

Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.

But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.

Arden will be holding a couple of signing events here in Vermont in the new year: stay tuned.

Where you can watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi early

The latest Star Wars movie is about to hit theater! The Last Jedi is the sequel to 2015’s The Force Awakens, and the reviews thus far have been extremely positive. If you’re itching to be the first to see it, here’s where it’ll be screening around Vermont tomorrow, December 14th, 2017.

(Be sure to check with your local theater to see if tickets are available.)

  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 7:00PM (3D), 7:30PM, 8:30PM, and 9:45PM.
  • Big Picture Theater, Waitsfield. 7:00PM.
  • Bijou 4 Cineplex, Morrisville. 7:00PM.
  • Capitol Theatre, Montpelier. 7:00PM (2D and 3D).
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 7:00PM (3D), 8:00PM, 9:00PM and 10:20PM (3D). *501st Legion will be attending.
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 7:00PM and 9:30PM.
  • Latchis Theatre, Brattleboro. 6:40PM, 7:00PM, 9:20PM, and 9:40PM.
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 6:00PM, 7:00PM, 7:15PM (3D), 9:00PM, 9:15PM, and 9:30PM.
  • Merrill’s Roxy Theatre, Burlington. 7:00PM, 7:15PM (3D), and 8:00PM.
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury. 7:00PM. *501st attending on Saturday.
  • Palace 9, South Burlington. 7:00PM, 8:00PM (3D), and 9:30PM.
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 7:00PM (3D), 8:00PM, 10:30PM (3D), and 11:30PM. *501st in attendance.
  • Star Theatre, St. Johnsbury. 7:00pm (3d), 8:00PM, and 9:45PM.
  • Stowe Cinemas, Stowe. 7:00PM and 10:00PM.
  • Village Picture Shows, Manchester. 7:30PM.
  • Welden Theater, St. Albans. 7:00PM.


Trivia Tuesday at Waterworks: Star Wars

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is coming, and that means that folks are getting into the full swing of the franchise. Waterworks Food + Drink in Winooski is hosting a Star Wars themed trivia night on tomorrow, December 12th from 7:00PM to 9:00PM:

Let the force be with you on December 12th for Star Wars trivia at Waterworks. Featuring questions related to all of the movies,bring the whole family. Now accepting reservations of parties up to 8, and at least half of your party must be present to be seated. Sponsored by 95 Triple X and Smugglers’ Notch Resort