Diana, the Arkenstone

Diana Glyer and Michael Ward (Planet Narnia) headlined the 13th annual conference of the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society last weekend (April 9-11) in Oklahoma City.

Jason Fisher, who will co-chair Mythcon 41 in July, was there. Jason had high praise for Diana’s speech and reading:

Diana Glyer gave a terrific after-banquet keynote speech, in which she discussed the central hypothesis of her own book, The Company They Keep: whether, and to what extent, Lewis and Tolkien (and to a lesser degree, the other Inklings) influenced one another, and moreover, what “influence” itself really means. I say “hypothesis”, but the persuasive power of Diana’s argument is such that it is hardly that any longer. I regard it as established fact…

Finally, a real gem, the very Arkenstone of the entire weekend’s embarrassment of riches: Diana Glyer and Michael Ward performed a reading of selected letters from the unpublished (as yet) correspondence of Major Warren Lewis and Blanche Biggs, a missionary doctor stationed in Papua New Guinea. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, Warren Lewis? But trust me, their correspondence, of which we heard roughly a quarter of the extant material, was funny, affectionate, clever, and in the end, profoundly moving. It brought tears to my eyes.

Diana and I will be reading these letters again at Mythcon 41, but since I can’t promise to acquire a British accent by then Michael Ward’s performance is likely to remain unequalled.

Mythcon 41 Sets Dates

Author Tim Powers and scholar Janet Croft are two compelling reasons to attend Mythcon 41 in Dallas.

Tim Powers is famous for his stories revealing the supernatural causes of history. Three Days to Never (2006) is the most recent of his four Mythopoeic Fantasy Award-nominated novels, while Last Call (1992) and Declare (2000) won the World Fantasy Award.

Janet Croft is the editor of Mythlore, one of the premier periodicals on the Inklings and fantasy literature. Her three books about J.R.R. Tolkien include War in the Works of Tolkien (2005), winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies.

The conference will run July 9-12, 2010 on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.

Early-registration rates are available through January 31, 2010: $60 for Mythopoeic Society members; $70 for non-members; $55 for students. Free for children (under age 12). Online registration is available here.

[Thanks to Lisa Harrigan for the story.]