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.

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