Mythopoeic Society Conference, July 29 - August 1, 2022, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
· Every day, every person wore a mask. The COVID guidelines were sent out with the conference materials, and participants were expected to abide by them. And they did!
· More women attended than men.
· One Guest of Honor speaker urged participants to explore, in more depth than ever, representations in fantasy literature of women, LGBTQ+, and the disabled.
· Several talks included discussions about the affects of colonialism on current populations, and how fantasy writers dealt with—or ignored—those issues.
· A popular topic was the Chronicles of Narnia, and how C. S. Lewis dealt with the children who had experienced that land as youth and faced continued disorientation when they returned as adults. Did you know that he killed them all in a train accident? Except one?
· A presenter about Latinx fantasy and the use of “alien” images in protest literature, was unaware of the UFO Watchtower. He found it on Google Earth and plans to visit it soon. 😊
· A heartfelt and heated discussion took place about whether to hold the conference next year, or the year after, with the intent of shifting to an every-other-year format. Why? To reduce our footprint of travel on the planet.
· An equally heated, and even more heartfelt discussion took place about whether a proposed state was worthy of hosting this event due to their current stand on abortions.
· The second Guest of Honor, an author who lives in Taos, urged participants, especially authors, to find ways of telling stories that do not include the use of violence to solve problems. She wants to see fantasy literature move toward problem-solving for social justice, rather than the use of swords.
· This literary gathering ended with a rousing rendition of “What Do You Do With a Drunken Hobbit?” Well, what would you do with a drunken Hobbit?
[Shrug.] Ah, these modern times!