Mythic Fun at UCLA

 Diana Glyer at Mythcon 40 Sarah Beach, Diana Glyer, James Owen at Mythcon 40 opening panel Lee Speth, Glen GoodKnight, James Owen hold Society banner Lisa Cowan and Lisa Harrigan at Mythcon 40 Sierra, Sophie, Nathaniel before Mythcon 40 procession Princess Sierra at Mythcon 40 Mike, Diana and Sierra at Mythcon 40 banquet James Owen displaying food sculpture at Mythcon 40 banquet The Condiments They Keep by James Owen

Mythcon 40 returned the series to its Southern California roots, attracting 136 fans and scholars for a weekend of play and scholarship on the UCLA campus. Author GoH James A. Owen and Scholar GoH Diana Pavlac Glyer developed the theme “Sailing the Seas of Imagination” in their keynote speeches, while at the banquet Mythopoeic Society Founder Glen GoodKnight sketched a vision for using technology to extend the Society’s work into the future.

Diana and I brought Sierra to the conference. She had a ball playing with the Owen children Sophie and Nathaniel. And a high point of her weekend was the expedition to the campus’ family pool, graciously led by Farah Mendelsohn. The con also profited from Farah’s donation of five copies of her Rhetorics of Fantasy – had she been able to stay for the very last meeting, she would have been gratified to see that just as soon as chair Sarah Beach announced they were for sale, fans rushed to the front of the room with twenties waving in their hands.

Some of my photos actually came out, and are posted above. (Scroll your cursor over to read the tags explaining who’s in them.)

The 2009 Mythopeic Award winners were announced at the conference banquet:

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

Carol Berg, Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone (Roc)

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature

Kristin Cashore, Graceling (Harcourt Children’s Books)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

John Rateliff, The History of the Hobbit, Part One: Mr. Baggins; Part Two: Return to Bag-end (Houghton Mifflin, 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)

(The full awards press release appears after the jump.)

Another Mythcon banquet tradition was the preparation of food sculptures from select leftovers, dubbed with punny titles appropriate to the works of the guests of honor. James Owen created a dragon’s head with ketchup and mustard and named it “The Condiments They Keep,” a sound-alike for the title of Diana’s Inklings study, The Company They Keep.

The Mythopoeic Society

PRESS RELEASE: July 19, 2009

2009 Mythopoeic Award Winners

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

Carol Berg, Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone (Roc)

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature

Kristin Cashore, Graceling (Harcourt Children’s Books)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

John Rateliff, The History of the Hobbit, Part One: Mr. Baggins; Part Two: Return to Bag-end (Houghton Mifflin, 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)

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume, or single-author story collection for adults published during 2008 that best exemplifies ‘‘the spirit of the Inklings.” Books are eligible for two years after publication if not selected as a finalist during the first year of eligibility. Books from a series are eligible if they stand on their own; otherwise, the series becomes eligible the year its final volume appears. The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature honors books for younger readers (from ‘‘Young Adults” to picture books for beginning readers), in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia. Rules for eligibility are otherwise the same as for the Adult Literature award. The question of which award a borderline book is best suited for will be decided by consensus of the committees.

The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies is given to books on Tolkien, Lewis, and/or Williams that make significant contributions to Inklings scholarship. For this award, books first published during the last three years (2006–2008) are eligible, including finalists for previous years. The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies is given to scholarly books on other specific authors in the Inklings tradition, or to more general works on the genres of myth and fantasy. The period of eligibility is three years, as for the Inklings  Studies award.

The winners of this year’s awards were announced at Mythcon XL in Los Angeles, California, on July 19, 2009. A complete list of Mythopoeic Award winners is available on the Society web site:

www.mythsoc.org/awards.html

The finalists for the literature awards, text of recent acceptance speeches, and selected book reviews are also listed in this on-line section. For more information about the Mythopoeic Awards, please contact the Awards Administrator: David Oberhelman, 306 Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, awards@mythsoc.org.