RE: [mythsoc] Announcements of Future Mythcons
- Before we get too far into declarations of how nice it would be to get
confirmed information about Mythcon two years or even more in advance, may
I, as an old Mythcon hand, make a couple of points?
1) Mythcons usually aren't determined much more than a year in advance.
Bids are sometimes in tentative state before then, but we rarely have solid
information on bids earlier than a few months before the previous year's
con, and that's even leaving out the stage of formal acceptance.
This year's Mythcon, for instance, was first hatched over a beer at the
table outside the pub at the Tolkien 2005 conference in Birmingham two
years ago. But it was no more than a hatchling for months, and a bid was
not prepared until May of 2006. Even after that (but before the
announcement), we seriously considered changing our dates. The 1998 Lewis
Centenary Conference, which was announced early, actually did change its
dates after the announcement.
So if we announced much earlier than we do, you'd be going on incomplete
and possibly inaccurate information. Some people have mentioned that date
is more important for them to know than place; well, date is usually
determined much later.
2) Nevertheless, Mythcons are traditionally between mid-July and
mid-August, even when they leave the central weekends around the turn of
the month, and with only the rarest exceptions, past Mythcons for thirty
years have been held between July 20 and August 20.
3) For what it's worth, our planning now is much more regular and in
advance than it was during the early years of the 1970s, when Mythcons
moved around in date a lot more than they have since, and often weren't
announced until March or April of the year in which they were taking place!
I do not think it would be a good idea to try to confirm bids and lock
Mythcons into place much earlier than we do now. Our committees are
entirely volunteer, personal circumstances change, university sites will
often not book that far in advance, and the possibilities of change or
collapse are too great. We did in fact once lose what I recall was a
confirmed Mythcon bid for personal reasons, and the further ahead we
planned the more likely this would be to happen. I think a year or a bit
more is a good compromise.
- My thanks to everyone for their welcoming replies. I'm consolidating my responses into one post so as not to clog up your mailboxes. Wendell: I'm not sure my class paper would be of high enough quality to stand alongside other Mythcon presenters, but I'll take a look at it and see if I can get it up to snuff for submission. Thank you very much for the Knossos schedule. Emerdavid: Of course pun intended. Re: the MySpace page: The reason I didn't volunteer to create one was because of exactly the reasons David Bratman mentioned. I've only been a member a few months; if a page were to be created, it should be created by someone in an official capacity. And I wholeheartedly agree with David when he said, "We don't have to reinvent the Society to some low media denominator." If that happened for the sake of attracting members, much of the value of the Society would be lost. The trick is not to change it so that more people want to join, but to let more people know about it so that those people (like me) who would say, "Wow, such a thing EXISTS!?" will find what they've already been searching for. (Btw, I found out about the Soc. through Google - I was searching either for Lord of the Rings sites, or for sites about the Inklings, if I remember correctly.) Ellen: I am also on LiveJournal. I know there are several Tolkien/Lewis communities, some of which actually have good discussion. (On the "tolkien" community, someone just tried to post their "fanpics" of male LOTR characters engaging in romantic relationships with each other, and links to their club for the encouragement of the same. Several other members of the community gently but firmly suggested that, while that person had the right to post whatever he/she wanted, those drawings might not be quite appropriate for a community of people who were serious about discussing, among other topics, the moral and spiritual themes of the Middle-Earth Legendarium - oh, and they also weren't very respectful of the author's own beliefs. [Kind of like the LOTR tarot deck I saw sold at the Renn Faire where I work. The owner didn't care. It made me sad.] I was surprised to find on LJ something more than just rabid movie fans.) Lynn: Thank you for the tip about the "Starving Scholars" fund! Don't worry, I will be sticking around, and will try to make it to the next Mythcon (or Knossos meeting) I can. Cole
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]