All Things Diana

It’s the easiest thing in the world to keep up with Dr. Diana Pavlac Glyer on her blog.

Please also enjoy the new video trailer (click here for YouTube) promoting her book The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. It’s the work of my nephew Adam Bradley, who did a beautiful job.

The video features comments by Terry Glaspey, author of Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis, songwriter and singer Kemper Crabb, and author Lancia Smith, among others.

We hope the video will get more people to read her book and encourage libraries to acquire it.  It’s won a string of awards and was a 2008 Best Related Book Hugo nominee. Many reviewers have praised Diana’s account of the Inklings including the Times Literary Supplement.

Good Company

There’s been a small flurry of new reviews by people who love Diana’s book about the Inklings, The Company They Keep.

John Adcox drew comparisons with Humphrey Carpenter’s group biography:

Glyer’s book makes a wonderful companion to Carpenter’s more well known volume, and stands very well on its own. Carpenter’s book is a biography; Glyer’s is an examination of the very significant ways in which, as a community, the Inkings challenged, inspired, influenced, and supported one another. The Company The Keep is a terrific and insightful read.

Jason Fisher said kind things about the book, beginning with this observation about the paperback edition:

This says a lot, actually; most books on Tolkien, Lewis, and the Inklings never get a second printing, or never go from hardcover to soft.

He also praised David Bratman’s contributions:

The appendix and index by David Bratman are, collectively, a work of art, ne plus ultra. Would be bibliographers and indexers should take them as a model.

Steve Hayes came away from The Company They Keep impressed with the value of artistic communities and convinced can be even more readily organized in the age of the internet:

In many ways we have it much easier than the original Inklings. When they read their writings to each other seventy years ago, they did not have the benefit of word processors or even photocopiers. They read from hand-written manuscripts which they brought to meetings stuffed in jacket pockets. But they also lived close to one another, and could meet face to face.

Now we have the Internet, and even if there are no likeminded friends within visiting distance, it should be possible to find people with similar literary interests with almost the whole world open to us. Distance is no longer a barrier.

Milestones for Diana’s Book

Steven Silver has posted an insightful new review of Diana Glyer’s The Company They Keep on his website at http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/reviews.html.

And if you’re looking for a library that can lend you a copy, the chances of finding one are improving daily. According to WorldCat, as of June 2 The Company They Keep has been catalogued in 414 libraries. It is now in all 50 states and in 10 countries. Taking other Kent State University Press books as a yardstick, Diana’s seems to be doing pretty well with libraries. The stats are behind the cut.

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2008 Mythopoeic Award Finalists

The Mythopoeic Society has announced the finalists for its 2008 scholarship and literature awards. The winners of this year’s awards will be announced during Mythcon XXXIX, to be held from August 15-18, 2008, in New Britain, Connecticut.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

  • Theodora Goss, In the Forest of Forgetting (Prime Books)

  • Nalo Hopkinson, The New Moon’s Arms (Grand Central Publishing)

  • Guy Gavriel Kay, Ysabel (Roc)

  • Catherynne M. Valente, Orphan’s Tales, consisting of In the Night Garden (Spectra) and In the Cities of Coin and Spice (Spectra)

  • John C. Wright, Chronicles of Chaos, consisting of Orphans of Chaos (Tor); Fugitives of Chaos (Tor), and Titans of Chaos (Tor)

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature

  • Holly Black, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale (Simon & Schuster); Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie (Simon & Schuster); Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale (Margaret K. McElderry)

  • Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant (HarperCollins)

  • J.K. Rowling, The Harry Potter series, consisting of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s [Sorcerer’s] Stone (Bloomsbury); Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Bloomsbury); Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Bloomsbury); Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Bloomsbury); Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Bloomsbury); Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Bloomsbury); and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Bloomsbury)

  • Nancy Springer, Dusssie (Walker Books for Young Readers)

  • Kate Thompson, The New Policeman (HarperTeen)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

  • Marjorie Burns, Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien’s Middle-earth (University of Toronto Press, 2005)

  • Verlyn Flieger, Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien’s Mythology (Kent State University Press, 2005)

  • Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2006)

  • Diana Pavlac Glyer; appendix by David Bratman, The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community (Kent State University Press, 2007)

  • John D. Rateliff, The History of the Hobbit, Part One, Mr Baggins; Part Two, Return to Bag-End (HarperCollins, 2007)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies

  • Charles Butler, Four British Fantasists: Place and Culture in the Children’s Fantasies of Penelope Lively, Alan Garner, Diana Wynne Jones, and Susan Cooper (Children’s Literature Association & Scarecrow Press, 2006)

  • Heather O’Donoghue, From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths (I.B. Tauris, 2007)

  • T.A. Shippey, editor, The Shadow-Walkers: Jacob Grimm’s Mythology of the Monstrous (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005)

  • Richard Carl Tuerk, Oz in Perspective: The Magic and Myth of the L. Frank Baum Books (McFarland & Co., 2007)

  • Milly Williamson, The Lure of the Vampire: Gender, Fiction and Fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy (Wallflower, 2006)

Monrovia Couple in Good Company

Azusa Pacific University’s Media Relations people have been an enormous help in attracting attention to Diana’s book, The Company They Keep. Thanks to their press release about her Hugo nomination, a local paper sent reporter Evelyn Barge to interview the two of us for an article that appeared April 24.

I liked Evelyn’s well-written article very much, because most of the focus was on Diana and her book — and there was no taint of “crazy Buck Rogers stuff” at all.

Staff photographer Sarah Reingewirtz came by a couple days after the interview to shoot the pictures. She had Diana and I pose in our shared office: I was surprised that she was able to make our fannish mess appear so photogenic. She took another series of photos with me gazing profoundly at my Hugo rockets’ reflection in a mirror. Does it remind anyone else of Jan van Eyck’s use of the mirror in his “Arnolfini Wedding” portrait?

There was one error in the article, for which I am to blame: “But this year, the Monrovia couple have both of their names printed on the ballot, only the second time in the 55-year history of the Hugo Awards that a married couple have been nominated in the same year for independent projects.”

I remembered that in 1977 Kate Wilhelm got nominated for Best Novel and Damon Knight for Best Short Story. However, when the question was posed to the Smofs list, Mark Olson immediately pointed out the many nominations for independent work by two other couples, David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

In 1989, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 David Hartwell was nominated for Best Editor, while he and Kathryn Cramer also were among the editors of Best Semiprozine nominee New York Review of Science Fiction.

Then, in 1993 and again in 1994, when Kristine Kathryn Rusch was nominated for the Best Editor Hugo for her work on The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, also got a Best Semiprozine Hugo nomination for Pulphouse (edited in 1994 with Jonathan Bond).

Other couples may belong on the list. There are several instances where spouses co-edited a Hugo-nominated fanzine, and in the same year, one was nominated for Best Fan Writer. Did Charlie Brown do fanwriting outside of Locus? (Not that I recall.) Did Susan (Glicksohn) Wood write elsewhere than Energumen in the years it was up for the Hugo? (Probably, but the Internet is of limited help in researching fanzines published as long ago as 1972.) What about Teresa Nielsen Hayden, who was a fanwriter nominee in 1984, the same year Izzard was up for the Hugo? (Quite possibly – let’s find out.)

The newspaper headline remains true: “Monrovia Couple in Good Company.” A lot of good company… 

Narniafans on Diana Glyer’s Hugo Nomination

Narniafans posted Diana Glyer’s comment on the nomination of her book, The Company They Keep, for the Best Related Book Hugo:

“It is so rare for a book about Tolkien or Lewis to gain this kind of recognition,” said Glyer. “But this is about their interaction. I think there is a renewed interest in creative collaboration, even in business, science, and technology. We are in the age of Wikinomics: it’s not so much about being a solitary genius as it is about teamwork, relationships, and context.”

Diana Glyer Wins Imperishable Flame Award

Diana Glyer’s The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community has won the Northeast Tolkien Society’s 2007 Imperishable Flame Award for Tolkien/Inklings Scholarship. Her book tells the story of the Inklings, the writers group that met in Oxford through the 1930′s and 1940′s to read their work aloud and offer feedback. The group’s 19 members included Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, and C. S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia. 

Nominees for The Imperishable Flame are named by the Northeast Tolkien Society. This year, the winners were chosen by readers of the Journal of the Northeast Tolkien Society, participants in the NETS Yahoo online group, and visitors to the Herenistarion.org website.

Northeast Tolkien Society chairs Anthony S. Burdge and Jessica Burke told winners, “We see your work as an inextinguishable light amongst the rest, guiding future generations to further understanding and education, leaders in community functions and creativity.”  

The Company They Keep has received enthusiastic reviews from the Times Literary Supplement, Green Man Review, Mythlore, Mythprint, the SF Site, and Tolkienlibrary.com. It was named a Core 1000 book by Yankee Book Peddler, and a recommended title by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine.

Diana Glyer’s exploration of the Inklings shows how many ways that the members of this group encouraged, critiqued, and on occasion, even rewrote each other’s work. For example, after Tolkien asked for feedback on a long poem Lewis not only criticized it but actually re-wrote several sections of it for him. When Tolkien abandoned all hope of finishing The Lord of the Rings, Lewis took him to lunch and made him promise to write more of the tale. And unforgettably, Charles Williams, an Inkling, once wrote a poem that prompted Lewis to write a letter saying that his work was getting to be so good, “I’ve a good mind to punch your head when next we meet.”