Note: This comes from our newest contributor Momosanla. Look for more great stuff from her soon.
If you’re looking for a good book to read on your summer holidays – fire up those digital readers because you’re in luck. The finalists for the 2012 Mythopoeic Awards were announced on Tuesday, May 22. Past award winners have included the Harry Potter series, Orson Scott Card for “Seventh Son” and Neil Gaiman for “Anansi Boys”. With a track record like that, you’re sure to find a quality read amongst the nominees.
The Mythopeoic Society, founded by Glen GoodKnight in October of 1967, is a group dedicated to the discussion of and the study of the literary genre of mythopoeia: authors who create an entirely “new and transformative” mythology or “incorporate and transform existing mythological material.” Specifically the society focuses on the works of Inklings members J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. Each year, since 1971, they have honored outstanding examples in both adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction studies.
There is some stiff competition in the two fiction categories. Last year’s adult winner Jo Walton is back again to defend her title with her book “Among Others”. But hot on her heels are Erin Morgenstern, a first time novelist with the stunning debut “The Night Circus” and double nominee Catherynne M. Valente for “Deathless”. In the Children’s literature category Lisa Mantchev may take the award with her popular “Théâtre Illuminata” series. However don’t discount Valente and her book the decidedly non-Twitter friendly titled “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making”, which debuted at number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list. If you’re anxious to judge for yourself, all of the nominated books with the exception of Richard Parks small press book “The Heavenly Fox”, are available for download at Amazon.com.
The Scholarship Awards for Inkling (books written about Tolkien, Lewis and/or Williams) and Myth and Fantasy Studies (books written about specific authors in the Inklings tradition or more general works in the myth and fantasy genre) may be a little more difficult for us lay-folk to judge. Past winners Hammond and Scull are once again nominated for “The Art of the Hobbit” and world-famous writer Ursula Le Guin has a collection of essays called “Cheek by Jowl” on the list. Not to give it an unfair advantage but Jack Zipes’s “The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films” is available for free at Amazon. That could turn into an “it’s the one nominated foreign film I saw last year so it should win” situation. Similarly several others of the non-fiction works are also available for regular download.
The full list of this year’s nominees as well as past winners is available on the Society web site:
http://www.mythsoc.org/awards/ . This year’s winners will be announced at the Mythcon XLIII, to be held from August 3-6, in Berkeley, California.