Monday, June 6th, 2011

Come Play University Challenge With Me. MAGIC University Challenge.

During the early phase of our courtship, my wife used to preface questions with the phrase, “starter for 10!” I chuckled knowingly at this. But in truth I did not understand.

Then I figured out I could use our corporate VPN to fool the BBC into thinking my computer was in London, and now I understand. “Starter for 10” is a catchphrase from University Challenge, a British quiz show that features teams of contestants from different universities and has been airing for like a million years. I have become obsessed with it. It’s hyper-literate and no-bullshit and endlessly interesting.

Here is a youthful Stephen Fry on University Challenge, almost blowing a question buy azithromycin ebay about Walter Matthau:

I can’t be on University Challenge, because I am 1) American and 2) massively old. But I can pretend to. My friend Leigh Ann Hildebrand and I are going to run a samizdat episode of University Challenge this year at WorldCon in Reno, with me as the host. We want you to play.

Details are here. It’s going to be hugely fun. We’ll be fielding teams from Hogwarts, Miskatonic, Unseen University and Brakebills. Except not really, because those places aren’t real. If you’re going to WorldCon, and you want to play, get in touch with Leigh Ann here or with me here.

Fingers on buzzers…


10 comments on “Come Play University Challenge With Me. MAGIC University Challenge.

  1. ES says:

    Ah… America.

    Your country has many advantages over the UK, particularly in geek culture, but you have nothing as truly, nerdily marvellous as the sight of a bar packed full of teenagers yelling answers about Baroque architecture and inorganic chemistry at the tiny figures of eight geeks on a TV screen.

    Have you seen ‘Only Connect’? It’s like University Challenge for older, even-speccier people.

  2. David Olsen says:

    I want to go to WorldCon now. Well, I wanted to go before, but I want to go even more now 🙂

  3. JSE says:

    More’s the pity you didn’t grow up in one of the cities served by “It’s Academic.” Steve Burt beating us at the buzzer in the 1989 DC final remains one of my most painful memories.

  4. amybillingham says:

    Oh man, why is Reno so far away? WHY!?

    Go Team Brakebills!

  5. Leigh Ann says:

    Yay! I am full of squee that you have posted about it. Seems like Miskatonic U is much more eager to play than the other teams. Pesky!

  6. Abdulla says:

    I was so excited about this one when I first heard about it, and I put it on hold at my lirarby while it was still on order. By the time it came in and I’d picked it up, I’d already read quite a few reviews that suggested that it was on the dark, depressing side this was mentioned in both positive and negative reviews. I knew then that it probably wasn’t for me. I love my magic and enchantment to be hopeful and inspiring that’s what draws me to Harry Potter, what drew me to the Golden Compass, to A Wrinkle in Time, to Edward Eager’s books, to all the magical books that I adored when I was growing up and never got too old for. So I returned The Magicians to the lirarby unread!

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