2022 Mythopoeic Awards

The 2022 Mythopoeic Award winners were revealed on July 31 at Mythcon 52 in Albuquerque, NM.

MYTHOPOEIC FANTASY AWARD FOR ADULT LITERATURE

  • Jo Walton, Or What You Will (Tor 2020)

MYTHOPOEIC FANTASY AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

[Tie]

  • Lori M. Lee, Pahua and the Soul Stealer (Rick Riordan Presents, 2021)
  • Root Magic by Eden Royce (Walden Pond Press, 2021)

MYTHOPOEIC SCHOLARSHIP AWARD IN INKLINGS STUDIES

  • Holly Ordway, Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (Word on Fire, 2021)

MYTHOPOEIC SCHOLARSHIP AWARD IN MYTH AND FANTASY STUDIES

  • Philip Ball, The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination (U of Chicago P, 2021)

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi -volume, or single-author story collection for adults published during 2021 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.

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature honors books for beginning readers to age thirteen, 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 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 (2019–2021) 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.

[Update 08/02/2022: Corrected Children’s Literature winner to reflect a tie.]

2022 Mythopoeic Award Finalists

The shortlists for the 2022 Mythopoeic Awards were revealed May 17.

MYTHOPOEIC FANTASY AWARD FOR ADULT LITERATURE

  • Katherine Addison, The Witness for the Dead (Tor, 2021)
  • Ryka Aoki, Light from Uncommon Stars (Tor Books, 2021)
  • P. Djèlí Clark, A Master of Djinn (Tordotcom, 2021)
  • Susanna Clarke, Piranesi (Bloomsbury, 2020)
  • Garth Nix, Terciel and Elinor (Katherine Tegen Books, 2021)
  • Jo Walton, Or What You Will (Tor 2020)

MYTHOPOEIC FANTASY AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

  • Sayantani DasGupta, The Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond trilogy (Scholastic, 2018–2020)
  • Regina Hansen, The Coming Storm (Athenium, 2021)
  • Lori M. Lee, Pahua and the Soul Stealer (Rick Riordan Presents, 2021)
  • Eden Royce, Root Magic (Walden Pond Press, 2021)

MYTHOPOEIC SCHOLARSHIP AWARD IN INKLINGS STUDIES

  • Paul S. Fiddes, Charles Williams and C. S. Lewis: Friends in Co-inherence (Oxford UP, 2021)
  • John Garth, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth (Princeton UP, 2020)
  • Peter Grybauskas, A Sense of Tales Untold: Exploring the Edges of Tolkien’s Literary Canvas (Kent State UP, 2021)
  • Holly Ordway, Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (Word on Fire, 2021)

MYTHOPOEIC SCHOLARSHIP AWARD IN MYTH AND FANTASY STUDIES

  • Philip Ball, The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination (U of Chicago P, 2021)
  • Hadas Elber-Aviram, Fairy Tales of London: British Urban Fantasy, 1840 to the Present (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021)
  • Daniel Ogden, The Dragon in the West: From Ancient Myth to Modern Legend (Oxford UP, 2021)
  • Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games (New York UP, 2019)
  • Joseph Rex Young, George R. R. Martin and the Fantasy Form (Routledge, 2019)

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi -volume, or single-author story collection for adults published during 2021 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.

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature honors books for beginning readers to age thirteen, 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 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 (2019–2021) 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 will be announced during Mythcon 52, to be held July 29-August 1 at Albuquerque, NM.

[Based on an official statement.]

Priscilla Tolkien (1929-2022)

Priscilla Tolkien in 2005. Photo by Sancho Proudfoot.

Priscilla Tolkien died February 28 after a short illness at the age of 92. She was the youngest of J.R.R. Tolkien’s children and his only daughter.

Priscilla Tolkien interacted with fandom many times over the years. She attended The Friends of Lewis party held at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1975 hosted by Fr. Walter Hooper, where Owen Barfield, Nevil Coghill, Colin Hardie, A.C. Harwood, Fr. Gervase Mathew, Clyde Kilby, and her brother Fr. John Tolkien were among those present. That’s where Mythopoeic Society founder Glen GoodKnight met her – visiting from the U.S. – and discovered she was then selling books for charitable purposes that had belonged to her father (who died in 1973). About half of these were first edition translations of Tolkien in various languages. GoodKnight bought all he could carry away in two empty suitcases. (GoodKnight died in 2010 and his collection is now at Azusa Pacific University.)

For the U.K.’s Tolkien Society, she wrote “My Father the Artist,” published in a 1976 issue of Amon Hen, the Society bulletin. In 1986 she accepted appointment as the Society’s honorary vice-president, and hosted members of the Society at its annual Oxonmoot.

Priscilla Tolkien in 1992. Via Glen GoodKnight.

Priscilla, Christopher, and John Tolkien were all present at The J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, held in 1992 in Oxford by the Mythopoeic Society and The Tolkien Society.

In 2005, when the Tolkien Society celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings at Aston University, Birmingham she opened the event by wishing that “a star would shine upon our meeting.”  

She was a probation officer in Oxford, a social worker, and a tutor at High Wycombe College, before retiring.

After her eldest brother John returned to Oxford in 1987, the siblings began identifying and cataloging the large collection of family photographs. In 1992, she and John published the book The Tolkien Family Album containing pictures of the Tolkien family to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of their father.

She launched the special Tolkien edition Royal Mail stamps commemorating her father’s works in February 2004. 

In 2012, as a trustee of The Tolkien Trust, she joined a coalition of British publishers to sue Warner Brothers for US$80 million, accusing them of exceeding their rights by exploiting Middle-earth characters to promote online gambling (see “What Has It Got In Its Jackpotses?”).

Priscilla is the last of the Tolkien’s four children to pass away, following Michael (1984), John (2003) and Christopher (2020).

2021 Mythopoeic Awards

The 2021 Mythopoeic Award winners were revealed October 17 in a virtual ceremony. The winners’ acceptance speeches (including an appearance from Oor Wombat!) can be seen in the video below.

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth & Fantasy Studies

  • Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien by Anna Vaninskaya

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

  • Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer by John M. Bowers

Mythopoeic Fiction Award in Children’s Literature

  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

Mythopoeic Fiction Award in Adult Literature

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

2021 Mythopoeic Awards Shortlists

The shortlists for the 2021 Mythopoeic Awards were revealed August 1 during the Virtual “Halfling” Mythcon.

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth & Fantasy Studies

  • The Metamorphoses of Myth in Fiction since 1960 by Kathryn Hume.
  • Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology by Adrienne Mayor
  • The Shape of Fantasy: Investigating the Structure of American Heroic Epic Fantasy by C. Palmer-Patel
  • The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
  • Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien by Anna Vaninskaya

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

  • Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer by John M. Bowers
  • Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist by Oronzo Cilli
  • The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places That Inspired Middle-earth by John Garth
  • Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth edited by Catherine McIlwaine
  • A Wilderness of Dragons: Essays in Honor of Verlyn Flieger edited by John Rateliff

Mythopoeic Fiction Award in Children’s Literature

  • The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman
  • Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
  • When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
  • Sal and Gabi duology (Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, & Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe) by Carlos Hernandez
  • A Game of Fox and Squirrels by Jenn Reese

Mythopoeic Fiction Award in Adult Literature

  • Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

Pixel Scroll 7/29/21 How Many Hugo Finalists Can Scroll On The Head Of A Pixel

(1) WHO’S NEXT? The Thirteenth Doctor and the showrunner will both be replaced reports Radio Times: “Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall confirmed to leave Doctor Who”.

Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall.

Both star and showrunner will bow out following a six-part series (set to air later in 2021), two specials (already planned for 2022), plus one final feature-length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor which will also mark the BBC’s centenary next year.

In a statement, Chibnall said: “Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys.

“Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!…”

Whittaker, who was cast as the first female incarnation of the Doctor in 2017, said: “In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories.

“We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side, and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.

“I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”

A RadioTimes.com poll last year voted Whittaker the show’s second most popular Doctor of all time, behind David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor.

It’s not obvious who the candidates are to take over as showrunner says Radio Times: “Doctor Who’s ‘new generation’ will be announced ‘in due course’”.

…Within the current stable of Who writers, only a handful (including Vinay Patel and Pete McTighe) have written more than one episode, and it’s unclear whether the BBC would look within the current writing staff or elsewhere to find someone to take on the often demanding showrunner job.

In other words, the speculation isn’t just for who could replace Jodie Whittaker any more. Who is the new Chris Chibnall? Taking all bets…

And there’s been an adjustment to the schedule of Doctor Who episodes and specials to accommodate the BBC’s 100th anniversary celebration next year: “Doctor Who series 13 will be six episodes long – with specials in 2022”.

The upcoming thirteenth series of Doctor Who will be six episodes long, the BBC has confirmed.

It was originally announced that there would be eight episodes in the season, but it has now been announced that the main series will consist of just half a dozen episodes, each of which will form part of an ongoing storyline.

In addition, a trilogy of specials will now air in 2022 – one more than had previously been planned, with the first airing on New Year’s Day 2022 and a second following later in spring 2022.

…The third feature-length special, in which the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate, will then air in autumn 2022, forming part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

(2) COVID POLICIES FOR TWO MEGACONS. PAX West, which is September 3-6 this year, is requiring proof of either vaccination or a negative COVID test for attendance this year — see “Health & Safety Update”.

Throughout the year, the PAX team has been actively working to support a safe environment for our PAX West visitors. We are pleased to announce that, in line with the recommendations of state and local public health authorities, we will be implementing a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test requirement for everyone at PAX West. We appreciate your patience as we worked with our venue and the authorities to create our comprehensive plan….

Dragon Con, which is the same weekend, has promised to set its policy at least 30 days before the con, which means it should be announced by next week.

…As the nation continues to emerge from the pandemic, the rules and expectations are changing fast. We are working closely with the public health officials at the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Fulton County Health Department and the experts hired by our hotels to establish a set of health and safety protocols. We don’t know at this point what these ground rules will look like by Labor Day, but we are committed to communicating them as soon as the plan is finalized and at least 30 days before the convention.

(3) WINDOW ON A CENTURY. Tanner Greer asks what we can learn from the popularity of YA in “Escaping Only So Far” in City Journal.

…Future social historians will not be able to consult an oral tradition of fairy tales in an investigation of the twenty-first century’s “mental ordering,” but they will have an equally vast catalog of fictional narratives at their disposal. For the most popular stories of our own day also tend toward the fantastic. Speculative fiction—fantasy, science fiction, and dystopian prophecies—has captured the imagination of twenty-first-century man. These flights of fancy are the cornerstone of our popular culture; their protagonists are our cultural heroes. They testify to the power of escapism.

Yet like the fairy tales of old, our escapist yarns can escape only so far. Their imagery and plotting are irrevocably tied to our society. Despite their diverse subgenres and distinct audiences, these fictional narratives share a set of attitudes and convictions about the nature of authority, power, and responsibility. They provide a window into the moral economy of the twenty-first century’s overmanaged meritocrats.

The rise of the young-adult novel is the most significant literary event of this century. The significance of the genre—often simply called “YA”—is best appreciated when juxtaposed with general trends in Anglophone reading. In an age that has seen both the average number of books read and the average number of hours spent reading steeply decline, YA readership has exploded, and not just among young adults. In 2012, one marketing firm discovered that slightly more than half of all American YA readers were older than 22. Just under one-third were somewhere between 30 and 44…. 

(4) ALMOST HAD A SHORT LIFE. Gizmodo reports the “Lord of the Rings Studio Wanted Peter Jackson to Kill a Hobbit”.

…Speaking to IGN about their new Lord of the Rings podcast series—called “Friendship Onion”—Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd (who played Merry and Pippin) touched upon a time when pressure from executives above the Lord of the Rings production team wanted to amplify the stakes of the series by killing off one of its four smallest stars. Apparently, the tall folk were off-limits, and the stakes of, say, a massive war between the forces of good and evil for the fate of all Middle-earth could only be raised if you found one of the cutest hobbits around and stabbed them to death or something.

“It’s a good job that didn’t happen, because it would have been me,” Monaghan joked to IGN. “It definitely would have. There’s no way they are killing Frodo and Sam, and the only ones that would be left would be Merry and Pippin. They wouldn’t kill Pippin because Pippin has a really strong story with Gandalf. It would have definitely been me.”

(5) HALFLING MYTHCON THIS WEEKEND. The virtual “Halfling” 2021 Mythopoeic Society conference takes place online July 31-August 1. They are offering a special “flat rate” conference membership of $20, whether or not you’re a member of the Mythopoeic Society. 

(6) WATCH THE 2021 NEBULA CEREMONY. SFWA has posted video of The 56th Annual Nebula Awards Ceremony held June 5. (The list of winners is here.)

June 5th, 2021 marked the 56th Annual Nebula Awards Ceremony! Writer and Comedian Aydrea Walden hosted for a second year, and the awards were presented by multiple notable figures in the science fiction and fantasy community!

(7) A HOLLOW VOICE SAYS PUGH. “Scarlett Johansson sues Disney for releasing ‘Black Widow’ in theaters and on Disney+” reports Yahoo! The decision impacted her paycheck.

Scarlett Johansson may have retired as the Avengers’s resident Black Widow and passed the torch to Florence Pugh, but it appears that the actress still has some unfinished business with Marvel Entertainment and its parent company, Walt Disney. As originally reported in the Wall Street Journal, the actress — who played Natasha Romanoff over a 10-year period from 2010’s Iron Man 2 to the Black Widow solo adventure that opened in July after a year-long delay — has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against her former employers.

At issue is the way that Disney ultimately chose to release the movie. Originally scheduled to open exclusively in theaters in May 2020, Black Widow was repeatedly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Eventually, the studio made the decision to pursue a hybrid release, opening the massively-budgeted movie in multiplexes the same day it premiered on the Disney+ streaming as a Premier Access title. (Premier Access films are available to Disney+ subscribers for an extra $29.99 surchage.)

According to the lawsuit that Johansson filed on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, that hybrid release plan breached her original contract with Marvel Entertainment and Disney, which reportedly guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release. Furthermore, her salary for the film would be based largely on how it performed at the box office…. 

(8) TOWARDS CHEAPER FREE SPEECH. At The Dream Foundry, Jean-Paul Garnier offers “Freeware Solutions for Building Your Podcasting Studio”.

Starting your first podcast can be daunting. Perusing microphones and equipment, while fun, can be disheartening as the cost quickly becomes prohibitive. But one need not get discouraged, as it is possible to get started with a very small (or no) budget. Many of the things you will need can be obtained for free and in this article we’ll show you where to find the tools you need. 

When it comes to microphones you can be looking at spending anywhere from 10s of dollars to 1000s, but the cell phone in your pocket already has a pretty decent mic built-in, and it’s good enough to get you started. Most cell phones will also have a built-in recording app, and there are plenty you can download for free. If using these go into the settings and make sure to set the sample rate and bit depth as high as possible.

Once you have made your recording it’s time to edit the recording into the beautiful finished product that will be your podcast. Fortunately from here on out everything you’ll be needing can be downloaded for free, and many of the tools we’ll be discussing are powerful and versatile…. 

(9) A NEBULOUS WINNER. As a byproduct of another author mourning how his name got misspelled in a recent award shortlist announcement I learned that Isaac Asimov famously suffered the same indignity – see the “Isaac Asimov FAQ” at Asimov Online.

Asimov hated it when his name was misspelled in print or mispronounced by others. His desire to have his name spelled correctly even resulted in a 1957 short story, “Spell my Name with an ‘s'”.

(Notable instances of his name being misspelled occurred on the cover of the November 1952 issue of Galaxy, which contained “The Martian Way”, and on his 1976 Nebula Award for “The Bicentennial Man”.)

When in 1940 he wrote a letter to Planet Stories, which printed it and spelled his name “Isaac Asenion”, he quickly fired off an angry letter to them. (His friend Lester Del Rey took great delight in referring to him as “Asenion” for many years afterward. On the other hand, Asimov himself referred to positronic robots with the Three Laws as “Asenion” robots in The Caves of Steel.)

Asimov was quite perturbed when Johnny Carson, host of the Tonight Show, pronounced his first name as I-ZAK, with equal emphasis on both syllables, during an appearance on the television show in New York in 1968.

(10) MEMORY LANE.

  • July 29, 1953 – Sixty-eight years on this date, War of The Worlds premiered in Atlantic City. It was produced by George Pal, and directed by Byron Haskin. It starred Gene Barry and Ann Robinson with narration by Sir Cedric Hardwicke. The Martian war machines were designed by Al Nozaki, and the sizzling sound effect would be used again as the first Trek series phaser sound. (You know what novel it was adapted from.) The film was both a critical and box office success with its earnings making it the top SF film of the year. Weirdly, it would win a Retro Hugo at Noreascon 4 for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form due to its running time of 85 minutes (per IMDB). Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it a seventy-one percent rating.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 29, 1876 Maria Ouspenskaya. In the Forties, she did a run of pulp films, to wit The Wolf ManFrankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and Tarzan and the Amazons. A decade or so earlier, she was in the fantasy film Beyond Tomorrow. (Died 1949.)
  • Born July 29, 1888 Farnsworth Wright. Editor of Weird Tales. He regularly published Smith, Lovecraft and Howard, and even Hamilton. He’s also noteworthy for starting the commercial careers of three noteworthy fantasy artists — Bok, Brundage and Finlay. He’s been nominated for three Retro Hugos to date. (Died 1940.)
  • Born July 29, 1927 Jean E. Karl. She founded Atheneum Children’s Books, and she edited Ursula K Le Guin’s Earthsea sequence and Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising sequence. As an author, she wrote three genre novels, Strange TomorrowBeloved Benjamin Is Waiting and But We Are Not of Earth, and a reasonable amount of short fiction, all of which is In the Clordian Sweep series. Nine of those stories are in The Turning Point collection. (Died 2000.)
  • Born July 29, 1941 David Warner, 80. Being Lysander in that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was his first genre role. I’m going to do just highlights after that as he’s got far too extensive a genre history to list everything. So he’s been A Most Delightful Evil in Time Bandits, Jack the Ripper in Time After Time, Ed Dillinger / Sark In Tron, Father in The Company of Wolves, Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, The Creature in Frankenstein, voice of Ra’s al Ghul on Batman: The Animated Series and Abraham Van Helsing on Penny Dreadful
  • Born July 29, 1955 Dave Stevens. American illustrator and comics artist. He created The Rocketeer comic book and film character. It’s worth noting that he assisted Russ Manning on the Star Wars newspaper strip and worked on the storyboards for Raiders of the Lost ArkThe Rocketeer film was nominated for a Hugo at MagiCon which was the year Terminator 2: Judgment Day won. (Died 2008.)
  • Born July 29, 1982 Dominic Burgess, 49. His first genre roles are sixteen years back as a cop in Batman Begins, and as Agorax in the Ninth Doctor story, “Bad Wolf”. A decade later, he gets his first recurring role as Ember in The Magicans. He’s had roles in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.The LeftoversThe Good PlaceTeen WolfThe FlashSupernaturalAmerican Horror Story: Apocalypse and Picard.

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Half Full has one of Charlotte’s forgotten web messages.
  • Crankshaft has a garden so overflowing with zucchini it reminds somebody of a Star Trek reference.

(13) THIS IS HILARIOUS. I had never seen The Core (2003) before today when I flicked on Pluto TV in time to watch the scene where they land the Space Shuttle in the Los Angeles River (!!!) This was hilarious. The best thing since the Galaxy Quest landed in the convention center parking lot.

And it turns out there’s a whole oral history post of filmmakers telling how the scene was created – visual effects, models, water imagery, etc., in “’That will not work, Houston, we got bridges every few 100 yards’” at Befores & Afters. You can watch the scene here:

(14) BUSTED. In the latest Rite Gud podcast Raquel S. Benedict says “Genre Busting Makes Me Feel Good”.

Genre is safe. Genre is comfortable. Genre tells us, as readers, what to expect. As writers, genre gives us guidelines to follow, which can make it a lot easier to plan a story: put the villain monologue here, put the meet cute there, tragically kill the protagonist’s mentor in this part of the story. But do we rely on genre conventions too much? Can genre hold us back? Is genre busting good? In this episode of Rite Gud, we are joined by writer and designer Matt Maxwell.

(15) WELL… In “Playing Favorites With Favorites, or, What We Talk About When We Talk About Our Favorite Books” at Tor.com, Molly Templeton explores the complex experience of trying to answer an icebreaker question.

What’s your favorite book?

Maybe there are people for whom this isn’t a loaded question. I’m not sure I’ve met any of them. “Favorite” is a freeze-up word, a demand impossible to meet. Picking just one? Are you serious? But there are 17 books from just last year that are my favorites!

The thing about this question, though, is that it isn’t entirely about the answer. It’s also about what the answer seems to say—the shorthand inherent in talking about books, and who reads what, and what we get out of and return to in the ones we hold closest to our hearts. If someone tells you their favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye, you are likely to draw some conclusions about them. Same goes for someone who names The Princess Bride, or The Lord of the Rings. But what if they say A Tale for the Time Being or Firebreak or The Summer Prince? Does the answer still mean much if you don’t recognize the book?

(16) YOU’RE HIRED. Gawker is back, as the New York Times notes in “Gawker: The Return”, and which I report here because I love the new editor’s modest resume:

…In her editor’s note on Wednesday, Ms. Finnegan wrote that when approached to lead the site last year, she had said, “Absolutely no way in hell.”

A second approach in January won her over. Ms. Finnegan hired a team of 12, mostly women, including four contributing writers.

“I suppose my selling points as a potential editor in chief of Gawker were that I had previously worked at Gawker and Bustle and was unemployed,” Ms. Finnegan wrote. “I was also willing to do it, which not many people can say.”

(17) MOD ARRIVES AT ISS. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] The Russian module, Nauka, has completed its trip to the International Space Station, though there are still nearly a dozen (previously planned) spacewalks needed to put it into service. You may recall that Nauka initially had problems completing engine burns necessary to match orbits with the ISS. “Russian lab module docks with space station after 8-day trip” at Yahoo!

The 20-metric-ton (22-ton) Nauka module, also called the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, docked with the orbiting outpost in an automatic mode after a long journey and a series of maneuvers. Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, confirmed the module’s contact with the International Space Station at 13:29 GMT.

The launch of Nauka, which is intended to provide more room for scientific experiments and space for the crew, had been repeatedly delayed because of technical problems. It was initially scheduled to go up in 2007.

In 2013, experts found contamination in its fuel system, resulting in a long and costly replacement. Other Nauka systems also underwent modernization or repairs.

Nauka became the first new module in the Russian segment of the station since 2010. On Monday, one of the older Russian modules, the Pirs spacewalking compartment, undocked from the Space Station to free up room for the new module….

The International Space Station is currently operated by NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

In 1998, Russia launched the station’s first module, Zarya, which was followed in 2000 by another big module, Zvezda, and three smaller modules in the following years. The last of them, Rassvet, arrived at the station in 2010.

(18) CREDIT WHERE DUE. There a whole internet industry devoted to identifying movie continuity and set decoration goofs. But sometimes filmmakers get it right! Yahoo! lists “34 Super Small Details In The ‘Back To The Future’ Trilogy That Are Smarter Than All Of Us”.

13. The clock tower’s damage is consistent.

At the beginning of Back to the Future (1985), there’s no damage on the clocktower ledge. When Marty comes back to 1985 at the end, you can see the damage from when Doc was up there to send him back in 1955. from MovieDetails

14. And it’s still broken in 2015.

In Back To The Future 2, the ledge on the clock tower that Doc broke in Back To The Future is still broken from MovieDetails

15. Oh, and that guy Marty’s talking to? He’s the mechanic in 1955!!!

In Back to the Future Part II (1989), the elderly man raising money to save the clock tower in 2015 (who also inadvertently gives Marty the idea to buy the Sports Almanac) is the mechanic who removed the horse manure from Biff’s car in 1955. from MovieDetails

The mechanic is played by Charles Fleischer, who voices Roger Rabbit. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is another movie directed by Robert Zemeckis.

(19) ASSIMILATE THIS. Nature reports “Massive DNA ‘Borg’ Structures Perplex Scientists”:

The Borg have landed — or, at least, researchers have discovered their counterparts here on Earth. Scientists analysing samples from muddy sites in the western United States have found unusual DNA structures that seem to scavenge and ‘assimilate’ genes from microorganisms in their environment, much like the fictional Borg — aliens in Star Trek that assimilate the knowledge and technology of other species. These extra-long DNA strands join a diverse collection of genetic structures — including circular plasmids — known as extrachromosomal elements (ECEs). Most microbes have one or two chromosomes that encode their genetic blueprint. But they can host, and often share between them, many distinct ECEs. These carry non-essential but useful genes. Borgs are a previously unknown, unique and “absolutely fascinating” type of ECE, says Jill  Banfield, a geomicrobiologist at the University of California, Berkeley. She and her colleagues described the Borgs’ discovery earlier this month. month (B. Al-Shayeb et al. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/gnsb; 2021).

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Loki Pitch Meeting” on Screen Rant, Ryan George, in a spoiler-packed episode, says there’s at least a half hour of talking in every episode (like the architect scene in The Matrix) and people who think Loki in a multiverse is a spoiler should avoid the subtitle of Doctor Strange 2:  In The Multiverse Of Madness.”

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Petréa Mitchell, Rob Thornton, StephenfromOttawa, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Patrick Morris Miller.]

2020 Mythopoeic Awards
Winners Announced

The 2020 Mythopoeic Awards winners were posted February 14.

The Mythopoeic Awards are chosen from books nominated by individual members of the Mythopoeic Society, and selected by a committee of Society members.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

  • Theodora Goss, Snow White Learns Witchcraft (Mythic Delirium Books, 2019)

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature

  • Yoon Ha Lee, Dragon Pearl (Rick Riordan Presents, 2019)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies

  • Amy Amendt-Raduege, “The Sweet and the Bitter”: Death and Dying in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (The Kent State University Press, 2018)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies

  • James Gifford, A Modernist Fantasy: Modernism, Anarchism, and the Radical Fantastic (ELS Editions, 2018)

The announcement of the award winners was presented on this YouTube video, along with acceptance remarks from some of the winners.

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume, or single-author story collection for adults published during 2018 or 2019 that best exemplifies the spirit of the Inklings. Books are eligible for two years after publication if 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 beginning readers to age thirteen, 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. Books for mature “Young Adults” may be moved to the Adult literature category.

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 (2017–2019) 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.

2020 Mythopoeic Awards
Finalists Announced

The 2020 Mythopoeic Awards finalists were posted December 8.

The Mythopoeic Awards are chosen from books nominated by individual members of the Mythopoeic Society, and selected by a committee of Society members.

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced in early 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mythcon was not held in the summer of 2020, and the awards committees needed extra time to obtain and evaluate nominated books, thus necessitating a delay in the awards processes.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

  • P. Djèlí Clark, The Haunting of Tram Car 015 (Tor.com, 2019)
  • Theodora Goss, Snow White Learns Witchcraft (Mythic Delirium Books, 2019)
  • Alix E. Harrow, The Ten Thousand Doors of January (Redhook, 2019)
  • Jo Walton, Lent: A Novel of Many Returns (Tor Books, 2019)
  • G. Willow Wilson, The Bird King (Grove Press, 2019)

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature

  • Erin Entrada Kelly, Lalani of the Distant Sea (Green Willow Books, 2019)
  • Yoon Ha Lee, Dragon Pearl (Rick Riordan Presents, 2019)
  • Hilary McKay, The Time of Green Magic (Macmillan, 2019)
  • Suzanne Nelson, A Tale Magnolius (Alfred A. Knopf, 2019)
  • Anne Ursu, The Lost Girl (Walden Pond Press, 2019)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies

  • Amy Amendt-Raduege, “The Sweet and the Bitter”: Death and Dying in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (The Kent State University Press, 2018)
  • Dimitra Fimi, Sub-creating Arda: World-building in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Work, its Precursors and its Legacies (Walking Tree Publishers, 2019)
  • Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson and Michael Partridge, Informing the Inklings: George MacDonald and the Victorian Roots of Modern Fantasy (Winged Lion Press. 2018)
  • Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2018)
  • John Rateliff, ed, A Wilderness of Dragons: Essays in Honor of Verlyn Flieger (Gabbro Head, 2018)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies

  • Maria Sachiko Cecire, Re-Enchanted: The Rise of Children’s Fantasy Literature in the Twentieth Century (University of Minnesota Press, 2019)
  • James Gifford, A Modernist Fantasy: Modernism, Anarchism, and the Radical Fantastic (ELS Editions, 2018)
  • C. Palmer-Patel, The Shape of Fantasy: Investigating the Structure of American Heroic Epic Fantasy (Routledge, 2019)
  • Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games (New York University Press, 2019)
  • Mark J.P. Wolf, ed, The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds (Routledge, 2017)

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume, or single-author story collection for adults published during 2018 or 2019 that best exemplifies the spirit of the Inklings. Books are eligible for two years after publication if 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 beginning readers to age thirteen, 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. Books for mature “Young Adults” may be moved to the Adult literature category.

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 (2017–2019) 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.

[Via Locus Online. How could it be otherwise?]

2019 Mythopoeic Awards

The 2019 Mythopoeic Awards winners were announced August 4 at Mythcon 50 in San Diego.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature:

  • Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver (Del Rey)  

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature:

  • Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, Bob (Feiwel and Friends) 

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies:

  • Verlyn Flieger, There Would Always Be a Fairy Tale: More Essays on Tolkien (Kent State University Press, 2017) 

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies:

  • Dimitra Fimi, Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology (Springer Nature, 2017) 

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults published during the previous year that best exemplifies “the spirit of the Inklings”. Books are eligible for two years after publication if 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 beginning readers to age thirteen, 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. Books for mature “Young Adults” may be moved to the Adult literature category.

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 (2016–2018) 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.

Alexei Kondratiev Award: Also given at Mythcon, the 2019 Alexei Kondratiev Award went to Sarah O’Dell for “An Unexpected Poet: The Creative Works of Dr. Robert E. Havard.” The award is given for the best paper presented at Mythcon by an undergraduate or graduate student. The winner receives a certificate, a one-year subscription to Mythlore, and half-off registration for the next Mythcon they attend.

2019 Mythopoeic Awards Finalists

The 2019 Mythopoeic Awards finalists were posted June 6.

The Mythopoeic Awards are chosen from books nominated by individual members of the Mythopoeic Society, and selected by a committee of Society members.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature Finalists:

  • Mishell Baker, The Arcadia Project series: Borderline; Phantom Pains; Impostor Syndrome (Saga Press)  
  • Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands: A Novel (Big Mouth House)  
  • Ruthanna Emrys, The Innsmouth Legacy series: “Litany of Earth” in New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird (Prime Books); Winter Tide (Tor.com); Deep Roots (Tor.com)  
  • Madeline Miller, Circe: A Novel (Little, Brown)  
  • Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver (Del Rey)  

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature Finalists:

  • Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado, The Chronicles of Claudette series: Giants Beware!; Dragons Beware!; Monsters Beware! (First Second) 
  • Jonathan Auxier, Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster (Harry N. Abrams) 
  • Sarah Beth Durst, The Stone Girl’s Story (Clarion Books) 
  • Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, Bob (Feiwel and Friends) 
  • Emily Tetri, Tiger vs. Nightmare (First Second) 

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies  Finalists:

  • Jane Chance, Tolkien, Self and Other: “This Queer Creature” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) 
  • Lisa Coutras, Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty: Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-earth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)  
  • Verlyn Flieger, There Would Always Be a Fairy Tale: More Essays on Tolkien (Kent State University Press, 2017) 
  • Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2018) 
  • Jonathan S. McIntosh, The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faërie (Angelico Press, 2017)  

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies Finalists:

  • Dimitra Fimi, Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology (Springer Nature, 2017) 
  • Elizabeth Sanders, Genres of Doubt: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Victorian Crisis of Faith (McFarland, 2017) 
  • Jonas Wellendorf, Gods and Humans in Medieval Scandinavia: Retying the Bonds (Cambridge University Press, 2018) 
  • Mark J. P. Wolf, The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds (Routledge, 2018) 
  • Helen Young, Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness (Routledge, 2016)   

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults published during the previous year that best exemplifies “the spirit of the Inklings”. Books are eligible for two years after publication if 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 beginning readers to age thirteen, 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. Books for mature “Young Adults” may be moved to the Adult literature category.

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 (2016–2018) 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 will be announced during Mythcon 50, to be held from August 2-5, 2019, in San Diego, California. 

Update 06/17/2019 Corrected one the category definitions per Lynn Maudlin’s comment.