Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine’s book critic and tech writer, is the newest special guest to join the Ascendio programming roster. Mr. Grossman’s best-selling novels, “The Magicians” (2009) and “The Magician King” (2011) have been called “The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes…” (Chicago Tribune) and “Harry Potter for grown-ups” (The Guardian).
Lev has been TIME magazine’s resident writer on books and tech issues since 2002 and posts all over the Internet, including Time.com, his personal blog at levgrossman.com, and @Leverus on Twitter. You may have read his 2010 TIME Person of the Year story on Mark Zuckerberg, or his 2011 piece on fanfiction, which featured Harry Potter fandom. Lev also edits TIME’s annual Best Inventions and 10 Ideas issues and pioneered their coverage of video games, blogs, viral videos, Facebook, and webcomics like Penny Arcade and Achewood.
At Ascendio, he will not only be doing a reading and signing of his books, but will lead Formal Programming sessions on Pottermore from the perspective of a gamer, a parent and a technologist, and give exclusive insights into his 2005 interview with J.K. Rowling and his 2011 article on fanfiction. Lev is no stranger to Harry Potter conventions — in 2009, Lev was a special guest at HPEF’s 6th event, Azkatraz.
Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.
Lev Grossman, TIME, July 18, 2011