August 2-5, 2019
Looking Back, Moving Forward
DRAFT logo by Sue Dawe
Theme: Looking Back, Moving ForwardOur theme is a head-nod to Roman mythology's Janus, the god of beginnings and endings, gates and doorways, transitions and passages and duality. So we are moving forward into the future while also, at least for this Mythcon, looking backward toward the place from where we've come.
Call for Papers will be available soon.
Local artist and Mythcon favorite Sue Dawe has agreed to run the art show and is currently working on our logo; she gave permission to share this draft image at the top of the page.
Guests of Honor
John Crowley was born in December, 1942, in Presque Isle, Maine, where his father, an Army Air Corps doctor, was stationed.
He spent the war years (of which he remembers nothing) in Greenwich Village, in a family of women: his mother, older sister, aunt and grandmother,
and baby sister. After the war his father resumed his medical practice in Brattleboro, Vermont, and then in 1952 took the family to Martin, Kentucky
(pop. 700) to be medical director of a small Catholic hospital. John read Sherlock Holmes and Thomas Costain and Gods, Graves and Scholars,
and decided to be an archeologist.
John Crowley - Author Guest of Honor
Two years later Doctor Crowley got a better job — head of the student infirmary at Notre Dame College (now University). John taught himself to write blank verse, composed the beginnings of tragedies, and planned for a career in the theater. He went to Indiana University, where he dropped that idea, majored in English and wrote poetry. Upon grduation, he went to New York City. There he planned to make films, wrote screenplays that were not produced, and began working on documentary films. He also began writing novels, beginning with a science fiction tale (The Deep, 1975)and then another (Beasts, 1977). But he had also begun writing a much larger and odder work, which would not be finished for ten years: Little, Big was published in 1981 and won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in 1982. By then he had moved to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, where he met a woman he hired, on their first date, to do research for him on a documentary. After some years of friendship, courtship, collaboration, they married and had twin daughters. In 1992, through the intervention of Yale professors who had come to admire his work, he got a job teaching Creative Writing as an adjunct and later a half-time Senior Lecturer, from which eminence he retired in June of 2018.
John won his second Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in 2018 for KA: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr. We include the closing paragraph from his acceptance remarks here: “When he was in his eighties, the English writer Leonard Woolf, husband of Virginia, said at a literary dinner set out for him that the way to gain honor in British literary life is simply to live long enough. I don't think that that's the American standard. Which makes me doubly happy at the age I have reached to receive again this honor that once before came to me, close to the beginning of my career. My thanks to all who brought this about.”
Meanwhile he has all along continued to write books and stories, some magical, most historical in one way or another, none of them very much like any of the others. They are described on the pages of his website, which also includes his blog.
Verlyn Flieger - Scholar Guest of HonorVerlyn Flieger is a specialist in comparative mythology with a concentration in J.R.R. Tolkien. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Tolkien, Celtic, Arthurian, Native American, and Norse myth. She holds an M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1977) from The Catholic University of America, and has been associated with the University of Maryland since 1976. Retired from teaching at the University of Maryland in 2012, she is Professor Emerita in the Department of English at UMD. She teaches courses online at Signum University.
Her best-known books are Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World (1983; revised edition, 2002); A Question of Time: J. R. R. Tolkien's Road to Faerie, which won the 1998 Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies; and Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien's Mythology (2005). She won a second Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies in 2002 for Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth, which she co-edited with Carl Hostetter, and a third Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies in 2013 for Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien.
With David Bratman and Michael D. C. Drout, she is co-editor of Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review.
Verlyn has also written Pig Tale and The Inn at Corbies’ Caww, a novella, Avilion in The Doom of Camelot, an anthology of Arthurian fiction edited by James Lowder, and a short story, “Green Hill Country” in Doug Anderson's fantasy anthology, Seekers of Dreams.
LocationPlease join us in San Diego, California, for Mythcon 50. San Diego is a wonderful "destination city" where Mythcon has been held only once before in 1991 (Mythcon 22) and is well worth the return. Early Mythopoeic conferences were held primarily at colleges and universities, a more-affordable option back in the late 1960s through the 1980s; in the last decade Mythcons have been primarily hotel-based and we find this to be a kind of two-edged sword: hotels are almost always more comfortable in which to stay but much more challenging for shared meals, which many of us really enjoy. They are more expensive housing but sometimes less expensive function space (we must guarantee a high-enough number of room nights and spend a lot of money on food and beverage) but very expensive audio/visual support. These choices are always the challenge in planning every Mythcon.
For Mythcon 50, we are harkening back to our roots and will be on a university campus with very nice meeting space.
Specific details and room & board packages will be available soon. Our plan will include breakfast and dinner (Friday and Saturday) or banquet (Sunday) in the room & board package; lunch will be on our own with many close options from which to choose. For people who aren't able or willing to stay in a dorm, there are several hotels on the trolley line, to which we'll link in the future.
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