Past Rivendell Topics 1997-2010
Our scheduled monthly discussions during 1997 have included:
All Saturdays, 1:30 p.m., in Coffman Union 355 (U of MN-MPLS campus) unless otherwise noted:
Jan. 25. Topic: Owl in Love, by Patrice Kindl.
OWL IN LOVE is the 1995 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award-winning book, which received many very positive reviews. It was published as a “YA” book, a “young adult” children’s book, though I think that many adults could read it without recognizing that (like Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea). It’s a little off-beat, the story of an adolescent were-owl, obsessed with her high school homeroom teacher. I was so taken with the opening paragraphs that I sat down and read it straight through, a couple of years ago after bringing it home from the public library–it only took a couple of hours or so. Kindl’s book would be in most big children’s departments of thepublic libraries, and there was also a paperback edition (try Uncle Hugo’s or Dreamhaven or The Red Balloon if it’s already vanished from the shelves of the big bookstore chains). I think that it will also make a good subject for a discussion, as it is the sort of book that could easily be read in different ways, and the decisions that Kindl made in creating the world of the story couldbe second-guessed in many respects. Indeed, we did have a pretty good discussion of this book.
Feb. 15. Topic: Exile’s Song, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
We had a good discussion of the Heritage of Hastur sequence that includes this new book, I hope to write up a brief synopsis of our discussion in the near future.
March activities at Minicon, March 28-30, the annual Minnesota Science Fiction Convention, at the Radisson South Hotel..
Minicon was the last weekend in March, we held a discussion of Jane Yolen’s new “Young Merlin” trilogy, beginning with the book Pasager, continuing with Hobby, and concluding with Merlin. Jane was present for the discussion. These are very short books, based originally upon stories that appeared in her colleciton Merlin’s Booke. (Try that if you can’t find the new books).
We also co-hosted (with Second Foundation) a discussion of C.J. Cherryh’s fiction.
Our “Tolkien 101” panel discussion of one of our favorite authors, as an introduction to his works, to Tolkien fandom, and to our upcoming “BREE MOOT 3.” featured authors Ruth Berman and Patricia C. Wrede, and book dealer and scholar Phil Kaveny, along with David Lenander.
April 12. Topic: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain, plus a film or two based on this book.
This is the classic ironic fantasy, or satire, by perhaps the greatest American writer–
admittedly, not his greatest work. But interesting and fun to read!
We’ll probably look at one of the movies….
July 26 Special Meeting at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, , at Diversicon TOPIC: Tim Powers’ Expiration Date.
August 23rd meeting at Mike’s & Marianne’s, Denny Lien will present an informal review of some Fantasy scholarship non-fiction reference works.
Sept. 20, we will be celebrating Bilbo’s and Frodo’s birthdays with another Birthday Party, including filksinging & other Tolkien fan activities. 1:30 p.m. in Fridley, MN. (a northern suburb of Mpls)
Special SUNDAY, September 28, Noon Rivendell discussion of one or more works by James Branch Cabell at Arcana, with guest of honor Neil Gaiman.
October 25, Coffman Union room 327. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. The revisionist Oz book, with the Wicked Witch of the West as misunderstood heroine.
November 19, –WEDNESDAY– a signing by Peg Kerr, Bruce Bethke and Lois McMaster Bujold of their new books, starting off with a brief panel discussion, Minnesota Book Center, U of MN campus, 4 p.m.
November 22, Coffman Union room 327, topic: Rivendeller Peg Kerr’s new novel, Peg will be a special guest for our discussion ofEmerald House Rising (Warner Aspect, June 1997).
December 6, Coffman Union room 327. “Readings from Rivendell,” our annual reading of original stories by members. Expected readers include Ruth Berman, Margaret M. Howes, Joan M. Verba, Eric M. Heideman, and others.
January meeting postponed.
February 14. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Exile’s Song & The Shadow Matrix (meeting as the Friends of Darkover Council of St. Valentine-of-the-Snows). Room 326.
March 7. topic: Lois McMaster Bujold will be joining us for a discussion of her novel,The Spirit Ring, in Room 326. Here’s a Bujold home page at http://www.dendarii.com/
April 10-12, we’ll be doing several things at Minicon, the annual Minnesota Science Fiction Convention, held in the Raddison South Hotel in Bloomington; notably a discussion of some book, probably Peg Kerr’s Emerald House Rising (yes, we just discussed it in November, but we think that there may be others at Minicon interested in a reprise discussion). Also, possibly a filk-sing focussing on Tolkien & Lewis; a panel on a Century of Lewis & Barfield; another on “Magic & Mettalurgy: featuring Lois McMaster Bujold, Peg Kerr, Ellen Kuhfeld, Eleanor Arnason”.
May 16 Minn-Stf & Hennepin County Library program, 2 p.m. topic is”Crossover Stories: If It Isn’t Science Fiction or Fantasy, What Is It?”, a panel discussion by Lois McMaster Bujold, Pamela Dean, Peg Kerr, Elise Matthesen, and Patricia Wrede, to be held in the Southdale Library meeting room. It also counts as a MinnStf meeting. People can bring books by the authors to have them signed. There will probably also be a party at a member’s home that evening. For more info: Laura Krentz firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 612-830-4910 fax: 612-830-4976 Southdale Library 7001 York Ave. So. Edina, MN 55435
May 30 Rivendell discussion, 1:30 p.m. Room 326 Coffman Union. sorry, I’m not sure of the topic–maybe the Margaret Oliphant, maybe a C.S. Lewis topic, perhaps the recent Deluxe edition of the Chronicles, or at least the first one, with the additional color illustrations by Pauline Baynes.
No June meeting, though there is a free 3 day celebration of Science Fiction & Fantasy at the Har Mar Barnes & Noble on Snelling in Roseville, which will be featuring several Rivendellers on panels. June 26-28, contact B&N for more info.
July meeting is unclear, we may be discussing at Diversicon at the end of the month.
August meeting replaced by the Writers’ Block Party.
September: 26: Baggins’ Birthday Party! Our evening meeting/party was at Arcana, the local Dark Fantasy Convention occurring that last weekend of September. I provided birthday cake and some non-alcoholic beverages (tea, coffee, pop) The party was at Arcana, at the Holiday Inn Express, off Energy Park Drive in St. Paul (next to Bandana Square). It lasted several hours. Click the link to see a picture of last year’s party from the Baggins Birthday Party web-page. On the Baggins Birthday Page are also notes about ideas and other parties being held around the country.
October 24: The Black Cauldron, both the Disney animated film, and the first two Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, upon which the film was based. The books are The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron.
November 14: A 100th Birthday Party for C.S. Lewis (his birthday is the 29th). Discussion topic: Favorite CSL passages, bring some to share & discuss.
December. Readings from Rivendell. After this meeting, there were no more Rivendell meetings in 1999 until the discussion at Mythcon/Bree Moot in July ’99, which was sponsored by Rivendell. Then meetings resumed in September with the annual Baggins Birthday Party.
July 31. Discussion of the work of P.C. Hodgell, with the author, at Mythcon in Milwaukee.
No August meeting
Sept. 22, Bilbo’s birthday, shall we gather in the Dinkydome eating place to talk about fall semester plans? Incidentally, I will have the contest forms for the sweepstakes on “win a trip to Middle-earth (in this case New Zealand). See the press release from Tolkien’s publishers. Announces a CONTEST sponsored by Houghton-Mifflin and New Line Cinema.
September 26. Annual Frodo & Bilbo Baggins Birthday Party! At Margaret & Dick Gates’ place (again). contact David for directions, at 292-8887; or email@example.com. For more about Baggins Birthday Parties, check out the Baggins Birthday Party Page! And see our picture from ’97.
October 16: The Fathergod Experiment by L. A. Taylor (available at Uncle Hugo’s or Dreamhaven). Southeast Public Library, 1222 Fourth Ave. SE, diagonal from Dreamhaven in Dinkytown. Off-street parking available. 1 p.m.
November 2, 7 p.m.: Neil Gaiman will receive the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (MFA) statuette at Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com/, for his book with Charles Vess, Stardust (which is also a future Rivendell topic, so you might want to pick up a copy and see if he’ll autograph it for you). The award also recognizes the profuse, colorful illustrations by Charles Vess, which appear in both hard and soft cover editions from DC Comics/Vertigo, as opposed to the more widely seen and found hardcover edition (pictured below). I suspect that Dreamhaven may have some copies of the DC/Vertigo edition, but you could call in advance (I saw some paperback copies at the Midway Borders in St. Paul). We displayed the award, a statuette of a lion with an inscribed plate, at the Rivendell meeting in September, and I should have a photograph or two (taken by Mike Dorn) on the Rivendell web-site this week. The award was actually announced at Mythcon/Bree Moot on August 1. Stardust was dedicated to Wendy and Brian Froud http://www.endicott-studio.com/biofroud.html, who plan to be present as part of the signing event at Dreamhaven, along with Terri Windling http://www.endicott-studio.com/, also a past winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for her novel, The Wood Wife. Brian Froud, of course is the illustrator famous for the bestselling Faeries, among other books and projects. The book they’re touring behind is the new A Midsummer Night’s Faery Tale, by Wendy and Terri, which they’ll be signing, of course.
In this photograph by Mike Dorn (used by permission), Neil Gaiman’s MFA statuette, (sometimes fondly known as the “Aslan”) is pictured between two of his books, the unillustrated edition of Stardust–the award was made this year for the illustrated version–and his collection of short pieces, Smoke and Mirrors, which was also on the preliminary list this year for the MFA. (The candles were to match those on the Smoke & Mirrors cover). That’s the Rivendell Group banner in the back. Sorry, I should’ve thought about the fact that a darker background would’ve set off the MFA better. Neil’s previous novel, Neverwhere, was a finalist last year for the MFA. A good web-page devoted to Neil can be found at The Dreaming: the Neil Gaiman Page: http://www.holycow.com/dreaming/ Photo was taken at the September Rivendell Group discussion (the Bilbo Baggins Birthday Party). See a closeup photo of the award on the Bird & Baby site.
November 20 topic: Peg Kerr will join us for a discussion of her recent novel, The Wild Swans. Southeast Public Library, 1222 Fourth Ave. SE, diagonal from Dreamhaven in Dinkytown. Off-street parking available. 1 p.m. We’ve heard chapters from it at past “Readings from Rivendell” meetings. I certainly enjoyed reading it, and people are talking about nominating it for our Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, as well as other awards. Several Rivendellers are thanked in the author’s note at the end of the book. Peg’s been getting some amazing reviews, check some out from links on her web-page.
December 4: The traditional “Readings from Rivendell,” featuring local writers reading their stories and poems. Southeast Public Library, 1222 Fourth Ave. SE, diagonal from Dreamhaven in Dinkytown. Off-street parking available. 1 p.m. Ruth Berman is promising to read a new chapter for Bradamant, called “The Ogre’s Loom.” It follows in sequence directly after “The Buried Sword,” which she read last year or the year before. Other likely readers might be Eleanor Arnason, Amanda Elg, Eric M. Heideman, Margaret Howes, Deb Jones, Peg Kerr, Joan Marie Verba, maybe you?
December 5. The next Second Foundation meeting (our sister group, devoted to SF as we are to Fantasy) will be on the following day, Dec. 5, and it’s their annual reading of favorite stories (by other people). FFI: Eric Heideman, firstname.lastname@example.org
January 22, 2000: at Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com/, Finally! we discuss Margaret Oliphant’s story, A Beleaguered City, –Read it online! Ruth Berman will also read us a paper about Oliphant’s fantasy. This is a very short novel, published more than a century ago. But it’s a fine work, and I am absolutely convinced that C.S. Lewis had read at least some of her fiction, and drew upon one of her stories for one of his. It’s also short, so you could probably stand to read it online, but there are also some suggestions of how to obtain it through libraries on the page linked here.
February 26, TOPIC: A retrospective look at the career of Marion Zimmer Bradley, and a discussion of her last Darkover book, Traitor’s Sun, which is a sequel to the recent Exile’s Song and Shadow Matrix, in turn, these follow closely on the books Sharra’s Exile and The World Wreckers. At the Walker Library branch of the Minneapolis Public Library, 2880 Hennepin Ave, Mpls.
March 18: TOPIC: Diana Wynne Jones’s Deep Secret. 1 p.m. At the Walker Library branch of the Minneapolis Public Library, 2880 Hennepin Ave, Mpls. This time we’ll be in the cozier conference room within the main library portion instead of in the too-large (but more separate) meeting room on the 2nd level.
No meetings in April or May, but there were lots of conflicts, notably Minicon and Wiscon.
June 3: 1 p.m. RIVENDELL at Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com/, Topic: C.S. Lewis’ The Discarded Image
July 7-9: CONVERGENCE 2000, Downtown St. Paul Radisson. $50 At the door. Children (6-12) $15 until 5/15/2000. We won’t be having a Rivendell meeting, proper, but there will be a Second Foundation discussion, and Rivendeller Peg Kerr will be a “featured guest” and participating on many panels, including one on The Wild Swans. FFI: CONVERGENCE 2000, P.O. Box 13208, Dinkytown Station, Minneapolis MN 55414,
July 29 topic: The Wrong World by Margaret M. Howes At Diversicon. July 28-30: Diversicon 8, Holiday Inn Express–Bandana Square, 1010 W Bandana Blvd, St. Paul. Guest of Honor: Lois McMaster Bujold; Special Guest: Laurel Winter; Posthumous GOH: Leigh Brackett. Diversicon 8 is the host of the 2000 James Tiptree, Jr., Award Ceremonies. $30 Adult/$25 Child February 15-July 4, 2000; $40 Adult, $35 Child At-the-Door. Diversicon 8, PO Box 8036, Lake Street Station, Minneapolis, MN 55408. FFI: Andrew, 612-798-5880; http://www.diversicon.org/
No meeting in August–but there are lots of local events of interest, as well as Mythcon in Hawaii.
Sept 15-17: Arcana 30, Holiday Inn Express-Bandana Square, 1010 W Bandana
Blvd, St. Paul. Guest of Honor: David Drake. $20 through December 31, 1999;
$25 January 1-August 1, 2000; $30 At-the-Door. Arcana, PO Box 8036, Lake
Street Station, Minneapolis, MN 55408. FFI: Eric, 612-721-5959,
September 16 Annual Frodo & Bilbo Baggins Birthday Party! At Margaret & Dick Gates’ place (again). contact David for directions, at 292-8887; or email@example.com. For more about Baggins Birthday Parties, check out the Baggins Birthday Party Page! And see our picture from ’97.
Sept. 22, Bilbo’s & Frodo’s birthday
October 14: 1:30 p.m. RIVENDELL at Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com/, TOPIC: Dark Cities Underground, by Lisa Goldstein.
November 4, 1:30 p.m. topic: The Masques of Amen House by Charles Williams, ed. by David Bratman, at Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) Plenty of free parking located behind the store. Copies of this book, recently published by The Mythopoeic Society, should be available from Dreamhaven http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com or Amazon.com (you can link from the Mythopoeic Society web-page to the Amazon order page)
December 9: 1:30 p.m. RIVENDELL at Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com/, TOPIC: “Readings from Rivendell” our annual readings of original stories by members and friends. Currently expected readers include Joan M. Verba, from novel-in-progress The Coming War, Margaret Howes from recently published The Wrong World, Eleanor Arnason, author of A Woman of the Iron People, and author-poet-scholar-critic Ruth Berman.
January-February meetings postponed.
Claire has recently been attending meetings of the Little Knights of the Round Table at the Midway Borders books shop (St. Paul) on the first Sunday of the month. Topic on March 4 is Susan Cooper’s The Boggart. The membership is mostly under 12 years old.
March 18: note day, Sunday, at the Southdale Public Library (7001 York Ave. S. Edina, MN 55435 952-847-5900), 1:30 p.m. topic: The Children’s Theatre Company production of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. As a special program, we will be discussing C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and its fiftieth anniversary production as a play, earlier this year at the Children’s Theater Company. We will look at slides of the CTC production and consider it in context of other dramatic productions, illustrations, and musical interpretations. Besides these, we’ll also discuss and examine some examples of Narnia-inspired merchandise and fan activity, and the American interest in C.S. Lewis and the Inklings and their fiction. We are expecting to have slides to show of the Children’s Theater Company production, and I hope to have a review of the production linked to our web-page in the near future. I think with the descriptions by various Rivendellers who attended a performance along with the slides, even those who couldn’t catch an actual performance will be able to join in the discussion. I hope also to be able to present some examples of other dramatic or artistic interpretations of the book, such as the BBC television and radio dramatizations, and various artwork–it’s our recognition (a few months late) of the book’s 50th anniversary of its publication. We’ll also have a scrapbook present of C.S Lewis and Narnia memorabilia, and I encourage others to bring things for show-and-tell. I don’t have some of the paperback covers, for instance, and I’m not sure if I’ll find my big Narnia map by Pauline Baynes in time. Although the Twin Cities C.S. Lewis Society has been dormant for several years, it would be nice to see a revival, if anyone is interested let me know and I’ll provide you with some names of formerly active CSL fans.
April 7, at the Southdale Public Library (7001 York Ave. S. Edina, MN 55435 952-847-5900), 1:30 p.m.
a panel discussion featuring experts on and writers of children’s fantasy.
FROM HOBBITS TO HARRY POTTER: Children’s Fantasy since Tolkien
Confirmed panelists as of this writing are:
Peg Kerr, author of the VOYA-reviewed novels Emerald House Rising and The
Wild Swans. Peg has also taught at the University of Minnesota.
Laura Krentz, a Hennepin County children’s librarian and coordinator of the Children’s Fantasy bi-monthly correspondence circular, Once Upon a Time.
Claire Lenander, an 11-year-old member of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award committee.
Caroline Stevermer, author of River Rats and several other novels,
including her latest book, When the King Comes Home.
This program will be co-sponsored by the Southdale Public Library, the
Rivendell Group of the Mythopoeic Society and The Minnesota Science Fiction
4/00 There will be a Tolkien Conference on April 26, 2001. We hope to follow it up immediately with Bree Moot 5, April 27-28. At the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. A fuller announcement appears on the Bird & Baby page.
October 27, 2001. panel “Of Hobbits and Starships: Fantasy and Science Fiction for Teens.” 2 p.m. in the Southdale Library Meeting Room (7001 York Ave. S. Edina, MN 55435 952-847-5900). The panel will talk about science fiction and fantasy books that teens might enjoy, whether they were marketed as adult or as young adult books. There might be some discussion of Tolkien, because of the Lord of the Rings movie due out in December, or even the Harry Potter books, with the film opening Nov. 16. Adults are welcome to attend as well as teens. The Rivendell Group of the Mythopoeic Society and the Minnesota Science Fiction Society (MnStf) will co-sponsors, along with the library. Panelists include science fiction/fantasy author Lois McMaster Bujold, Lisa Stuart (Wild Rumpus employee, library school student and reader of science fiction), librarian Laura Krentz, Alex Higgin-Houser (a teen reader who participated in the library’s summer book discussion group), possibly some other teens.
November 10 Annual Tolkien/Hobbit Party At Margaret & Dick Gates’ place (again). contact David for directions, at 292-8887; or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about Baggins Birthday Parties, check out the Baggins Birthday Party Page! And see our picture from ’97.O.K. so we missed the Baggins Birthday in September. With the motion picture coming up in December, we’ll have to talk Tolkien some time.
December 8 at Dreamhaven Books Annual “Readings from Rivendell” program. Expected readers include Eleanor Arnason, Ruth Berman, Eric M. Heideman, Margaret Howes, Deb Jones, Peg Kerr, Joan Marie Verba, others….
December 16. Second Foundation meeting, see the listing further down for Second Foundation.
Fri, Dec 21, 7PM. OF SPECIAL NOTE–MISFITS Read The Book, See The Movie Club: Fellowship of the Ring.
January 27. A joint meeting with Second Foundation. It will be a discussion of Tolkien and it will be held at Dreamhaven. We’ll be able to dissect the movie, I suppose.Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) 1:00 p.m. There is plenty of free parking in the back of the store. And Dreamhaven is a great place to buy some books! http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com
February 16th meeting at 1:30, we’ll discuss the television mini-series of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. We’ll plan to watch at least some excerpts on video, so if you missed it, you could plan to just reread some of the book (or read it for the first time). In February we traditionally meet as the Friends of Darkover Council of St. Valentine-of-the-Snows. While this isn’t really a Darkover book, one of our members once called Mists of Avalon “King Arthur on Darkover.” Again, at Dreamhaven.
March 16. at Dreamhaven for a Rivendell discussion of Peter Beagle’s Tamsin. .
March 29 weekend is this year’s Minicon, with ex-Twin Cities locals Emma Bull (War for the Oaks, Finder and other books) and Will Shetterly (Elsewhere, Dogland and other books) as guests of honor. We will be proposing discussions of both writers at Minicon as Rivendell and Second Foundation meetings, but may not know for a while if these are accepted by the program committee at Minicon. [They were. We also had a discussion of Harry Potter & fantasy; and of Charles Williams with Bernadette Bosky.]
April. The farther out we go, the more tentative things become, but we’re thinking of trying to organize a meeting at the Children’s Literature Research Collections in Andersen Hall at the U of MN campus to discuss Harry Potter in April. We may start things off with a panel discussion, featuring several local experts.The CLRC has agreed to co-sponsor, along with the University Libraries Friends organization.
June 8, 2002. Panel discussion of SF & F at the Amery, Wisconsin, Public Library, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Panelists: SF writers Peg Kerr, Lyda Morehouse, Anna Waltz, and Shari Mann , aka S.N. Arley. They’ll be talking about the process of writing science fiction, and answering questions. Books will be available for sale. Refreshments will be provided. For more information call (715) 268-9340.
regular meetings cancelled for the summer–resuming in September
September 21: 2 p.m. Annual Hobbits’ Birthday Party.
October 19: 1:30 p.m. Discussion of Autumn World (by Joan Marie Verba, Tess Meara, Deborah K. Jones, Margaret Howes and Ruth Berman), at the Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 995 Rice St. in St. Paul.
November 20 WEDNESDAY, 2:15 p.m., at The Andersen Library (west bank Minneapolis campus: a panel discussion of the Harry Potter books and related issues at the U of M, with the Children’s Literature Research Collections, Panelists include author Peg Kerr (The Wild Swans), Prof. Lee Galda (University of Minnesota College of Education) and Brian Landon, English and Film Studies student. Co-sponsored with the Children’s Literature Research Collections of the University Libraries.
November 23. (Saturday) 1:30 . Harry Potter discussion, at least the first book and movie. At the (Minneapolis Public) Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown (1222 4th St. SE, Mpls). The Harry Potter books are by J.K. Rowling, and include Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (U.S. title), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and two more. The two movies share these titles.
December 7: Our traditional “Readings from Rivendell” meeting at which members read their original stories, poems and essays. 1 p.m.. at the Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 1011 Rice St. in St.
Paul. This is a brand-new building, with a large, adjacent parking lot. The Rice Street branch is just north of Front Ave (or is it street?) on Rice Street, a little more than a mile north of the state capitol building and University Avenue, about 1.3 miles north of I-94. I suppose the best way to drive there is take the Marion Street exit north, then go east on University a few blocks to Rice street, and continue north for a little more than a mile. Front street is the busy street a block or two before the library
January 26 (SUNDAY) 1:30 p.m. The Two Towers movie, joint discussion with Second Foundation. At Dreamhaven Books 912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612-823-6161) Plenty of free parking located behind the store http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com. It’s also been suggested that we should recognize the eleventy-first birthday of JRRT.
February No Meeting.
March 22 (Saturday) 1:30 . For the March Rivendell discussion we will be joined by a special guest. Discussion of The Curse of Chalion, with the author, Lois McMaster Bujold. At the (Minneapolis Public) Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown (1222 4th St. SE, Mpls).
The book is easily available in mass market paperback in all general bookstores as well as Uncle Hugo’s and Dreamhaven, and at the public libraries. It’s a good read and there’s still time to read it–or certainly at least begin it–before the 22nd! Lois is a gracious, thoughtful and fun person who has a lot to say about what goes into her books, judging by our previous discussion of The Spirit Ring, a few years back. And maybe we can coax her to share a few hints about the next book she’s been working on–or even read us a few pages. I understand that it’s a sequel to The Curse of Chalion.
??Sorry, my records are unclear–did we meet between March and June? I was closing on a house and starting to move in…and out….and in….
June Discussion of Harry Potter at David’s new home.
August discussion of Tim Powers’ Declare at Diversicon.
Sept. 20, 1 p.m. the Rivendell Group will gather to celebrate
and talk about things Tolkien, from the original Hobbit to the new films. Contact David at email@example.com or 651-292-8887 to get an invitation and directions to the private home in which we’ll be celebrating.
I’d like to set some sort of program, to begin about 2 p.m. A couple of
possibilities occur to me:
One of the Inklings Studies Mythopoeic Scholarship Award candidates for the past several years (Scholarship Award nominees are eligible for 3 years) was George Clark’s & Daniel Timmons’s, J.R.R. TOLKIEN AND HIS LITERARY RESONANCES (Greenwood, 2000), a collection of essays. Two outstanding essays in this collection were by the two scholars who’ve probably written the best critical books on Tolkien: Verlyn Flieger (Splintered Light and A Question of Time) and Tom Shippey (The Road to Middle-earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century). Both essays explore logical conundrums in Tolkien’s handling of good vs. evil characters in LOTR (Flieger’s looks at how the text condemns the evil trees of the Old Forest in defending themselves against the Hobbits’ depredations
in Buckland, while praising the attack of the Ents and Huorns on the orcs and Orthanc, while Shippey’s examines the nature of Orcs vs. humans or hobbits or elves). Both essays inspired me to object to things that the authors seemed to be saying, and both essays were well-written and lively–there was also an earlier essay in the volume on Dragon lore and Tolkien’s use of it that I thought outstanding. I suggest that we could read one of these essays out loud and then discuss it. (So you don’t have to read anything in preparation, but you’ll hear a good essay into the
A second idea, at Mythcon this summer a popular program was Peter Jackson’s FOTR meets MST3K. We could try the same: watch the Fellowship movie (or the new Two Towers) and all try to make witty (or at least mildly amusing) comments
at its expense. Or just watch one, I suppose, and discuss it more conventionally–a third idea.
Here are some photos from last year’s observance of Bilbo & Frodo Baggins’ Birthday Party
(The meeting was held in a local church basement as our usual venue wasn’t available. We discussed the Fellowship movie on DVD and ate. We were joined by a couple of first-time attendees, one of these, Angelo, brought his E-bay-acquired sword, “Glamdring)”
No October or November meetings–sorry, I’m still moving & not organizing meetings.
December 6, 1:00 p.m. “Readings From Rivendell:” Local writers read their fantasy & SF stories & poems. Meeting at the Southeast Community Library (Mpls, near the U of MN East Bank Campus), 1222 Fourth Ave. SE, diagonal from The Library bar in Dinkytown. Limited off-street parking available.Here’s a photo from last year’s Readings meeting.
January 25 A SUNDAY meeting, jointly with Second Foundation, a discussion group devoted to SF. Topic: The Peter Jackson-directed RETURN OF THE KING. 2 p.m. Location: at the Roseville Public Library (Ramsey County Public Library), Co. Rd. B and Hamline Ave. A few block south of highway 36 (Hamline exit), or about 4 blocks east of Snelling Avenue.
August NOTE: see the Minnesota Tolkien Society page for news of picnic BBQ on Sat., Aug. 21!
September 18 Hobbits’ Bilbo & Frodo Baggins Birthday Party; we were joined in celebrating by the new Minnesota Tolkien Society. At Margaret & Dick Gates’ place For more about Baggins Birthday Parties, check out the Baggins Birthday Party Page! And see our picture from ’97. You can also check the Recent Rivendell Topics for a few more pictures from 2002.
Sept. 22, Bilbo’s & Frodo’s birthday
October 2, 11 a.m.–note unusual time!–Discussion with the author of Tim Powers’s fantasy (such as Declare, The Stress of Her Regard, The Drawing of the Dark, The Gates of Anubis, Last Call, On Stranger Tides, etc., at Arcana, a convention of the Dark Fantastic over Oct. 1-3, at the Holiday Inn Express in Bandana Square in St. Paul.
November 6, at the Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown. topic: Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf.
December 4, 1 p.m. at the Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown: “Readings from Rivendell.” Meeting at the Southeast Community Library (Mpls, near the U of MN East Bank Campus), 1222 Fourth Street. SE, diagonal from The Library bar in Dinkytown. Limited off-street parking available. A helpful detail on parking for anyone who finds the library’s limited parking all full up — there are two parking lots a block away from the Library, on 5th Str., one across the street on 5th Str. and 13th Ave., and the other around the corner to the right in the middle of the 1300 block. Not expensive.
Expected readers include Joan Marie Verba & Deb Jones, co-authors of Autumn World, Peg Kerr, author of The Wild Swans, Margaret Howes, author of The Wrong World, Eric M. Heideman, editor of Tales of the Unanticipated, Dan Goodman, Ruth Berman, Rhysling-award poet and author, and Caroline Stevermer, author of A Scholar of Magics, and other works
Dec. 31–special notice: check out the Minnesota Tolkien Society plans for a big screen showing of The Lord of the Rings Extended Version.
We had a good discussion of Peter Jackson’s Return of the King.
January 22 Topic: The Extended Edition of the Peter Jackson-directed Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, a joint meeting with Second Foundation and the Minnesota Tolkien Society (see pictures, above, from our joint meeting a year ago). While you might think that we’d discussed this movie already, a year ago, there’s more to be said! And, we’ll focus on the “extensions” in the new Extended DVD.
February 12 Topic: We couldn’t finish in one meeting! Part 2 of: The Extended Edition of the Peter Jackson-directed Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, a joint meeting with Second Foundation and the Minnesota Tolkien Society (see pictures, above, from our joint meeting a year ago). Returning to the Southeast Community Library (Mpls, near the U of MN East Bank Campus), 1222 Fourth Street. SE, diagonal from The Library bar in Dinkytown. Limited off-street parking available. A helpful detail on parking for anyone who finds the library’s limited parking all full up — there are two parking lots a block away from the Library, on 5th Str., one across the street on 5th Str. and 13th Ave., and the other around the corner to the right in the middle of the 1300 block. Not expensive. At the last meeting we looked at the extensions in Disk 1, so we’ll move on to those in Disk 2 of the new Extended DVD.
March 2005 discussion will be at Minicon, and topic will be the Discworld fantasies of author Guest of Honor Terry Pratchett, especially his recent YA novels: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky. But also take a look at any of his adult Discworld novels. At our January & February meetings there seemed to be some consensus that the “Wyrd Sisters” novels were among the best of these: Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Maskerade and Carpe Jugulum. But almost any of the books in the long series will do–and they needn’t be read in any particular order. In fact, several people suggested avoiding the first couple of titles as Pratchett didn’t really “hit his stride” until a bit later in the series. I guess that means avoid the first one, The Color of Magic in favor of later ones.
April topic deferred to May.
May 7 Topic: Tolkien’s The Monsters and the Critics. 1:30 p.m. the Southeast Community Library (Mpls, near the U of MN East Bank Campus), 1222 Fourth Street. SE, diagonal from The Library bar in Dinkytown. Limited off-street parking available. A helpful detail on parking for anyone who finds the library’s limited parking all full up — there are two parking lots a block away from the Library, on 5th Str., one across the street on 5th Str. and 13th Ave., and the other around the corner to the right in the middle of the 1300 block. Not expensive.
JUNE 18 Joint attendance at the CTC Hobbit with the Minnesota Tolkien Society. Some Rivendellers are joining the MN Tolk. Soc. in attending the 2:00 p.m. performance of _The Hobbit_ at the Children’s Theatre Company. Afterwards, many of this group are planning to go to Romano’s Macaroni Grill Italian Restaurant, 7651 France Ave. S., Edina (Phone: 952-844-0084) for dinner at 5:30 p.m. As it says on the MN Tolk Soc web-page: The Dinner for the Hobbitses. We have so many Baggins and Boffins, not to forget Proudfoots, coming to the play, we have found a dining hall to hold us all afterwards and fill our bellies. If you have already seen the Hobbit, or would like to stop by and say hello to the group, feel free to stop by Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Look for hungry Hobbits in costumes. (And, of course, there’ll be those of us who are not wearing costumes).
JUNE 25 Topic: The CTC Hobbit of this year. Plan on a guest speaker on the subject. THE MINNESOTA TOLKIEN SOCIETY, The Rivendell Group & The Southdale Public Library
presentRe-Visions of Tolkien’s Middle-earth: The CTC Hobbits, past, present & future, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25 SOUTHDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY. The Children’s Theatre Company has mounted productions of Tolkien’s classic story three times, this year a completely new production. Be sure to catch one of the performances this month, and then come and discuss what they’ve done right or wrong, and let’s plan what Peter Jackson should do if he films the prequel to his Lord of the Rings films. Members of the Rivendell Group and the Minnesota Tolkien Society have been discussing Tolkien for years. We’ll be displaying some of the books, illustrations and memorabilia that we’ve collected, with multiple interpretations of this classic children’s fantasy. Come and join the discussion! After years of reading, loving and discussing Tolkien’s _The Hobbit_, members of the Mythopoeic and Minnesota Tolkien Societies are coming together to talk about the Children’s Theater Company production of their beloved fantasy story about a little hobbit that could, a prequel to _The Lord of the Rings_. They invite others to join them in this discussion and compare it to other productions and the recent Jackson films about Middle-earth and hobbits. Members will be sharing some of their Tolkien and Hobbit memorabilia and collections in a special display of books, mathoms and photographs. I am preparing to present a paper that I wrote about the script changes that had been made in the previous two productions (this time there’s a different script, one not written in-house for the CTC, but taken from a previous production in Australia), and trying to arrange for permission to show some slides from those productions,
JULY 23 1:30 p.m. Roseville Public Library (Ramsey County Library System), Co. Rd. B and Hamline Ave. A few block south of highway 36 (Hamline exit), or about 4 blocks east of Snelling Avenue. Topic: We’ll be meeting to hear advance readings of papers being presented at “Tolkien 2005,” an August conference in England (which is including the annual Mythopoeic Society conference, Mythcon, this year) by Sharin’ Schroeder and David Emerson: “Tolkien and Moorcock: Achieveing Literary Depth through Vertical and Horizontal Explorations of Time.” If you’d like to receive the texts in advance, let me know and I’ll add you to a list for emailing (or by special arrangement, US mailing) once they’re available. We plan to discuss the papers and give David and Sharin’ our feedback on their papers. In a sense they’ll be representing Rivendell the MTS and Minnesota Tolkien Fandom & Scholarship at the international conference this summer.
August 13, 10 a.m. Minnesota Tolkien Society Annual Picnic Potluck. Elm Creek Park Reserve. 13080 Territorial Road, Osseo, MN. (County RD 81 to Territorial Road.) The Three Rivers Park District now offers free parking to all patrons attending any of their parks. The picnic will be held in the recreation/picnic/swimming area. This is about a mile drive and on your left side once you have enter the park. Look for LOTR flags in the picnic area and that is where you will find us. Bring a dish to share. Come in costume, bring your LOTR book for discussions and games to play. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
In August we have 2 Rivendell panel-discussions at Diversicon, here are the descriptions, and the tentative times:
Saturday, August 20, 2005 CE: 10:00-10:50 a.m., Mainstage. Panel: Tolkien’s Influence on Fantasy. Most writers and fans of fantasy will freely admit that much of the fantasy that wegot in the initial genre explosion was influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) or, at the very least, it benefited from The Lord of the Rings’ positive reception. Over time, some of that influence has blurred a bit, but the lineage is still present. With the popularity of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, the books are seeing a bit of a resurgence. Is Tolkien again influencing fantasy now, decades after he first did so? What evidence are we already seeing of this and what might we expect to see in fantasy yet to come? Is there an element of backlash, fantasy that both attempts to avoid evidence of influence or even makes an attempt to be as different as possible from Tolkien? David Lenander, mod.; Minister Faust, Philip Kaveny. Sponsored by The Rivendell Group, a Twin Cities fantasy-book discussion group that has met regularly since late 1973
Sunday, August 21, 2005 CE:4:00-4:50 p.m., Krushenko’s. Discussion: Howl’s Moving Castle. Looks at the 1986 novel by Dianna Wynne Jones & the new film adaptation by Hiayo Myasaki. David Lenander, mod.; sponsored by The Rivendell Group
Diversicon is a small, local SF convention held over Aug. 19-21. The convention will be at the Holiday Inn Select in Bloomington, for more info: http://www.diversicon.org/ I believe that anyone who’s not attending the convention but would like to come to just our discussion can be accommodated: contact me in advance. But, you might also want to consider attending Diversicon, one of the most intimate (small) yet program-rich of the local SF conventions. Check out the web-page for more info–and if there isn’t a tentative final program posted by now, contact me and I’ll provide some more details of other activities. http://www.diversicon.org/
SUNDAY–SEPTEMBER 25, afternoon. Our annual Bilbo & Frodo Baggins Hobbit Birthday Party. At the same home as in the past, contact Dave to obtain directions.
October 6: CELEBRATING HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
Hans Christian Andersen was born in 1805 and to honor his 200th birthday the CLRC and the College of Liberal Arts are hosting a conference “Celebrating Hans Christian Andersen” covering the significance of his tales and stories. The conference will include talks by Prof. Sven Rossel (University of Vienna), Prof. Poul Houe (UMN), and Anatoly Lieberman (UMN). There will also be a panel discussion moderated by University of Minnesota Professor and noted fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes and a slide presentation by CLRC curator Karen Hoyle. Frank Theatre will present a dramatic skit based on Andersen’s writing. The fall CLRC newsletter will have detailed information on the event but please mark your calendar for the afternoon and early evening of October 6, 2005.
October 8 Tolkien Mini-Fest Teen Read Month program on Tolkien with the Southdale Public Library, which includes a display in their display case. The main program is now called the Tolkien Mini-Fest and will be from 2-4 on Saturday, Oct. 8.
29 [MTS]: Halloween Costume Party:Second Annual Lord of the Rings Costume Party Saturday, October 29, 7:00 pm Hobbiton 7900B Forest Blvd. Woodbury, The Shire Hobbit Feast Bring a dish to share (See food list or contact 763-559-6616, email@example.com) LOTR Games, Neat Costumes and Lots of Fun No Shoes Required No Admittance without Party Clothes (Please come in costume. For costume ideas see page two. And for the sensitive, please consider going light on scented products.) Please RSVP by Wed., Oct. 26 so we can plan accordingly Maps and directions available Parking is limited, we recommend carpooling (even Legolas, Aragorn and Gandalf shared their horses!) Contact your elven hostesses Donna Kurtz 651-578-2494, or Linda Gunderson 763-559-6616 or firstname.lastname@example.org
26. “Through the Wardrobe:” Narnia Mini-Fest, program on Narnia and CSL with the Southdale Public Library, which includes a display in their display case. 2-4 on Saturday, Nov. 26. Featuring slides by Ruth Berman, a biographical mini-introduction to C.S. Lewis, and a number of activities, including art and games for grade-schoolers on the theme. Probably also a dramatic reading. Partly preparation for _The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe_ film coming out this holiday season….
10. “Readings from Rivendell” Local writers, mostly Rivendellers, read their original fantasy stories and poems.Our traditional “Readings” meeting at which members read their original stories, poems and essays. 1 p.m.. at the Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 1011 Rice St. in St. Paul. This is a brand-new building, with a large, adjacent parking lot. The Rice Street branch is just north of Front Ave. on Rice Street, a little more than a mile north of the state capitol building and University Avenue, about 1.3 miles north of I-94. I suppose the best way to drive there from I-94 is take the Marion Street exit north, then go east on University a few blocks to Rice street, and continue north for a little more than a mile. Front street is the busy street a block or two before the library. (Or come south on Rice from 694 or 36).
February 12, topic is the recent motion picture, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. 1:30 p.m.. at the Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 1011 Rice St. in St. Paul. This is a new building, with a large, adjacent parking lot. The Rice Street branch is a block or two north of Front Ave on Rice Street, a little more than a mile north of the state capitol building and University Avenue, about 1.3 miles north of I-94. I suppose the best way to drive there from I-94 is take the Marion Street exit north, then go east on University a few blocks to Rice street, and continue north for a little more than a mile. (Or come south on Rice from 694 or 36). We previously met there a couple of times, last in December.
March 5, Saturday morning, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at MarsCon, a local Science Fiction convention at the Holiday Inn Select, Bloomington, MN, this weekend, March 3-5, 2006. TOPIC: Recent Harry Potter, both the 4th movie and the 6th book (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). MarsCon costs $55 at the door for the whole weekend, $30 for just Saturday, $20 for either Friday or Sunday. You don’t have to join MarsCon to come to our meeting, but this is a convenience for those who are attending both. Note that our meeting will be shorter than usual because of an 11:00 a.m. program in the same program space, which will be labeled “Krushenko’s.” (It might be possible to continue our conversation in some nearby space, perhaps there’s a hotel coffee-shop or something).
The program is now up on the MarsCon web-site, and I think it includes a number of interesting items. There is another Harry Potter program later in the schedule, for example, and a panel on Victorian ghost stories, I noticed. Check it out on the web-site. For more info on MarsCon: http://marscon.org
APRIL 15, 1 p.m. A joint Rivendell and Second Foundation discussion groups discussion of Harlan Ellison’s fiction, at MINICON FFI: http://mnstf.org. My understanding is that (as in the past) Rivendellers who aren’t attending Minicon can still come to our discussion, which will be in Kruschenko’s (a programming space) at 1 on Saturday. While you’re there, you’ll probably have a chance to scope out Minicon, of course, and maybe decide to join, or at least consider it for next year. Lots more info reprised below, under conventions.
Also see below for news of 2 other local conventions, including a FREE Oz convention at Inver Hills Community College this week, Wed-Fri, and a Harry Potter convention a bit later this month. See below under Conventions.
Also a CLRC author-illustrator talk this Thursday, April 13, Norwegian Princess Martha Louise and Norwegian artist Svein Nyhus
MAY We’ll have to make plans for the next Rivendell meeting, presumably in May. We had tentatively planned to discuss Hans Christian Andersen at a near future meeting, not sure if that will be in May. We’d also thought about discussing Jack Zipes’s Hans Christian Andersen — The Misunderstood Storyteller (Routledge, 2005), and maybe we can find someone to read a paper on Andersen from the class, last fall.
June 17 1:30 p.m. Topic: Anja Shepala’s paper on Hans Christian Andersen’s treatment of female characters compared with some stories by the Grimm Brothers. 1:30 p.m.. at the Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 1011 Rice St. in St. Paul. This is a new building, with a large, adjacent parking lot. The Rice Street branch is a block or two north of Front Ave on Rice Street, a little more than a mile north of the state capitol building and University Avenue, about 1.3 miles north of I-94. I suppose the best way to drive there from I-94 is take the Marion Street exit north, then go east on University a few blocks to Rice street, and continue north for a little more than a mile. (Or come south on Rice from 694 or 36). We previously met there a couple of times, last in February.
Anja writes: Hi David, the title of my paper is “The Female Protagonists of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen: A Hard Road to Travel” and it is approx. 15 pages long. The tales I focus on are Cinderella, Little Red Cap, and Briar Rose by the Grimms and Inchelina, The Little Match Girl, and The Girl Who Stepped on Bread by Andersen. I give a brief introduction into the history of the genre before discussing the texts. I translated all the quotes from the Grimms into English as well. Let me know if you need more information! anja
July 8, 11 a.m. – Noon (possibly to be continued informally, possibly in another hotel venue). Topic: The Road to Middle-Earth : How J. R. R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology, both the book by Tom Shippey and the topic itself (in other words, you don’t have to have read Shippey’s book to have and express an opinion on the subject). The book is highly recommended, of course, generally said to be the best book ever on Tolkien. We’ll talk about the topic of Tolkien’s development of Middle-earth and The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings out of his own creativity and also from elements of previous legend and literature, boiled up in “The Cauldron of Story” (to employ Tolkien’s own phrase, from his famous and magisterial essay, “On Fairy Stories.” The venue for this discussion will be in an open discussion at Minnesota’s largest Science Fiction & Fantasy convention, CONvergence. If you aren’t a member of CONvergence already, you could join at the door for $55–and check out the web-page for more info on the many other program events. But if you can’t afford the time or money this year, just come to our meeting, in the “Krushenko’s” program space in room 118 at the the Sheraton Bloomington Minneapolis South Hotel. (It’s a good opportunity to get a reading on CONvergence, maybe next year you’ll plan to attend the whole convention).
This Way to Krushenko’s! (Poolside 118) Krushenko’s, from a Manhattan bistro in Minicon 1983 GOH Larry Niven’s
Ringworld, started at Minicon 1983 as a space that encouraged discussion of science fiction and fantasy at SF conventions. It has evolved over the years, and influenced the shape and focus of other programming and party spaces at
local conventions, but the Krushenko’s commitment to promoting SF discussion and conversation remains vibrantly alive, having spread to include annual Krushenko’s appearances at MarsCon, CONvergence, Diversicon, and Arcana in the
Twin Cities and Odyssey Con and WisCon in Madison. At CONvergence 2006 Krushenko’s (Poolside 118) will offer panels and discussions in the daytime and SF-related parties in the evenings. Stop by for light comfort food and heavy,
mellow conversation. “Krushenko’s is accustomed to serving alien guests!”
Eric M. Heideman, Krushenko’s Founder/Manager Edward E. Ness, Krushenko’s “Number One”
In August, Rivendell will sponsor two discussions at Diversicon, a far smaller convention. 9 p.m. Friday night topic: a discussion of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe motion picture of last year. Sunday afternoon (1 p.m.?) there will be a discussion of Guest of Honor Kelly Link’s highly praised short story collection, Magic for Beginners. Joining Diversicon at-the-door costs $40, by the way. There might be a single-day rate.
Sept. 6, 7 p.m., Rivendellers & the Minnesota Tolkien Society assembled to meet and talk about things Tolkien with Katherine Kohman, who was visiting the area. Ms. Kohman, also known as “Celevon Elensar” in the “TheOneRing.net” online community, is author of Lembas for the Soul: How the Lord of the Rings Enriches Everyday Life, which contains “fifty deeply felt tales of newly forged friendships, courage and inspiration, joy and loss. Whether these Ringers’ personal stories make you laugh or move you to tears, you will likely recognize something of your own Lord of the Rings journey within these pages.” On the back cover, longtime Tolkien fan Renee “Arwen” Alper, is quoted about this book:
It’s quite an accomplishment to create an entire world of magic. It’s another to see that world’s magic creating magic of its own in the real world. Lembas For the Soul is an amazing compilation of real life people who found their own magic through the writings of Prof. J.R.R. Tolkien. Included therein are some of the most poetic — and the most profound — illustrations of LOTR’s effects on its audiences, both literary and cinematic. Each story is unique, and yet connected to the others by the magic of Middle-earth. I couldn’t put it down!
– Renee Alper, Founder/Head of The American Hobbit Association
Saturday, September 23, 1 p.m. A bit later this month, we’ll be holding our annual Hobbits’ Birthday Party, on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23, to celebrate the joint birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Once again, this will be held in a private home in Fridley, overlooking the Mississippi and adjacent to a wildlife reserve/park, and I’ll send out directions a bit closer to the date. This might be the last time at this home and location as the owner may be selling the home in the next year.
October plans include a couple of activities with the Minnesota Tolkien Society.
Monday, November 13, 2006, Southeast Library, 6:00 p.m.-7:45 p.m Second Foundation, the Minneapolis Public Library& The Rivendell Group will be co-sponsoring a discussion of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Southeast Public Library, 1222 4th St SE, as part of Minneapolis Public Library’s on-going Frankenstein exhibit. –Eric M. Heideman, Community Librarian, Southeast
Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature: Everyone knows the story of Frankenstein. Or do they? Explore how popular culture has embraced Frankenstein’s story and inspired scientific invention. SEE: Frankenstein Exhibition in Central Library’s Cargill Hall–“Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” an exhibition exploring Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, and how her creation continues to influence popular culture and illuminate the blurred, uncertain boundaries of what we consider “acceptable” science. September 5 – December 30, 2006, during operating hours. Exhibition and programs presented in partnership with The Bakken Library and Museum and The Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library. Major funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Library of Medicine and the American Library Association. DISCUSS: Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Explore various aspects of Mary Shelley’s landmark work at a book discussion moderated by Eric Heideman of the science fiction book-discussion group Second Foundation and David Lenander of the fantasy book-discussion group The Rivendell Group.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH 1:30 p.m. at Dreamhaven Books. I noticed that Dreamhaven Books was having a “tea party”–signing & Q&A session with authors Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede to celebrate the release of their new book, a sequel in the brief series that began with Sorcery and Cecilia, which Rivendell discussed with Pat & Caroline some years back. Since then, we’ve had a couple further discussions with both Pat and Caroline, but I don’t recall if we ever discussed the second volume, The Grand Tour, and we certainly haven’t taken up the new Mislaid Magician. So I’m suggesting that anyone who’d like to talk a bit about these books gather at about 1:30 at Dreamhaven for an advance discussion to prep us for the Dreamhaven Tea Party with Pat and Caroline. It won’t be in a separate room, so we’ll gather in a corner or something, or in the central area for a discussion. This plan was o.k.’d by Elizabeth, the store manager. If you’ve never read these books, there’s still time–they’re fast reading and a lot of fun. Think Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer as inspiration, plus Magic. I have a web-page up for the work of Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot:
and I interviewed both writers for Joan Marie Verba’s “TV Bookshelf” series for local cable television (http://tvbookshelf.ws/) and you can see the interviews via the web. The first two books are pretty widely available in a nice paperback edition at places like Barnes & Noble, or via the public library, where they may be in the Young Adults section, (though originally, at least the first book was published as an adult novel). Of course Dreamhaven is the optimal place for buying these, as they are so kind as to host this event and stock all of the local SF writers all the time (as does Uncle Hugo’s SF bookstore).Here’s Dreamhaven’s description of the event at 3 (Elizabeth suggests arriving at least by 2:30 to get in line/ready for the event:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH, 3:00PM PATRICIA C. WREDE AND CAROLINE STEVERMER will be here. We’ll be having a tea party to celebrate the release of their new fantasy novel THE MISLAID MAGICIAN OR TEN YEARS AFTER, featuring Kate and Cecy in an alternate, magical Regency England. Pat and Caroline will be reading, answering questions, and signing books.FFI about the event: email@example.com or call 612-823-6161. If you cannot attend and would like to order signed copies of their books, visit our website http://dreamhavenbooks.com/wrede-stevermer.php or call our mail order department at 612-823-6070 (11:00am – 7:00pm Weekdays, 1:00pm – 6:00pm Saturday, central time).
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2. Our traditional READINGS FROM RIVENDELL is on Saturday, December 2, 1:15 at the Roseville Public Library (Ramsey County Public Library), Co. Rd. B and Hamline Ave. A few block south of highway 36 (Hamline exit), or about 4 blocks east of Snelling Avenue. 2180 North Hamline [651-628-6803]. this is the meeting at which members & other local writers read original stories, poems, etc.
FFI: David Lenander, (651)292-8887; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.tc.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
Reading this year were: Ruth Berman, Eric M. Heideman, Margaret Howes, Cat Lenander, Mikeal Smith, Caroline Stevermer, and Joan Marie Verba
For January we didn’t hold a separate Rivendell event, but the Minnesota Tolkien Society made up with several events.
FEBRUARY 17, 1:15 PM. Discussion topic: “The Bartimeus Trilogy” especially volume 1: The Amulet of Samarkand, but if you can manage to read the other volumes: 2: The Golem’s Eye, and 3: Ptolemy’s Gate. These books received the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythopoeic Fantasy Award last year, and they are truly outstanding books. This discussion will be at the Rice Street branch of the St. Paul Public Library. We’ve met at this library a number of times in the past, and it has a comfortable meeting room and an ample parking lot.
We’ll start with the first volume, which is hefty enough, and available in paperback, but may embrace the later volumes as well. Vol. 3 may only be in hardcover, as yet. The books should be in most public libraries, generally in the children’s or young adult sections. Although ostensibly “children’s books,” these fine fantasies are probably a lot more “adult” in many respects than the Narnia books or The Hobbit. Complex in plotting and themes and styles, they are probably closest to C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength and The Screwtape Letters among Inklings books, though comparisons to works by Diana Wynne Jones, Lloyd Alexander, James Blaylock and Neil Gaiman also occur to me. The stories are rather grim, but leavened by humor, much contained in the “footnotes” that appear throughout the trilogy. The protagonist is rather an anti-hero, and as the story progresses, the reader may begin to doubt whether the apparent protagonist really is…. the protagonist or the antagonist or ???
It’s been a while since we took on a real discussion of a new fantasy without a local connection, and I think this is a worthwhile book to try. Incidentally, my sense is that the first book is more “finished” as a story than a lot of trilogy volume ones, where the story just stops without really ending, with much left unresolved.
Directions: Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 1011 Rice St. in St. Paul. This is a new building, with a large, adjacent parking lot. The Rice Street branch is just north of Front Ave on Rice Street, a little more than a mile north of the state capitol building and University Avenue, about 1.3 miles north of I-94. I suppose the best way to drive there from I-94 is take the Marion Street exit north, then go east on University a few blocks to Rice street, and continue north for a little more than a mile. Front is the busy street a block or two before the library. (Or come south on Rice from 694 or 36).
MARCH Discussion at Mars Con in 2007: http://www.marscon.com: topic: The fiction of guest of honor Eleanor Arnason, with the Author.
APRIL Discussion at Minicon http://www.mnstf.org. Topic: the Fiction of guest of honor Charles de Lint, including his new novel, Widdershins, and many others (Moonheart, The Little Country, Jack of Kinrowan, Trader, Someplace to be Flying, The Newford Stories, The Onion Girl, Promises to Keep, etc. etc.) . In Krushenko’s:
2:30-3:30 p.m. Discussion: The Works of Charles de Lint
Share your thoughts and/or learn about the fiction of Minicon 42’s Author GOH. David Lenander, Eric M. Heideman, co-mods. Co-sponsored by The Rivendell Group, a Twin Cities fantasy-book discussion group meeting regularly since 1973 or 1974, and Second Foundation, a speculative fiction-book discussion group meeting since 1983.
Welcome to Krushenko’s and Krushenko’s Annex*Krushenko’s (Atrium 8) and its sometime partner, Krushenko’s Annex (Poolside Cabana 110) are spaces that encourage conversation about science fiction and fantasy at SF conventions. Krushenko’s, named after a Manhattan bistro in Larry Niven’s novel Ringworld, started at the 1983 Minicon (where Niven was Guest of Honor). It now also travels to MarsCon, CONvergence, Diversicon, and Arcana in the Twin Cities, as well as OdysseyCon and WisCon in Madison. At Minicon 42, Krushenko’s serves up panels, discussions, and a bit of video in the daytimes, and Krushenko’s Annex serves up conversational parties hosted by SF-related groups in the evenings. Krushenko’s is accustomed to serving alien guests!
Eric M. Heideman, Krushenko’s Founder/Manager
Saturday, May 12, 2007 3:00 PM. For our May Discussion we’ll endorse the MN Tolkien Society Silmarillion Discussion:
From Mai Kue of the MN Tolkien Society, Location: Arden Hills, MN: Christy and Jeremy will be hosting our next discussion on the Silmarillion. This time, we will be reading these four chapters, “Of aule and Yavanna,?” “Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor,?” “Of Thingol and Melian,” and “Of Eldamar and the Princes of Eldalie.” As with all of our previous discussion, we will be listening to the audio CD as a group and discussing the material. Amee will be making us some of her Middle Earth pasta. If you are interested in bringing something to compliment Middle Earth pasta, feel free to do so. As always, bring your book, questions, and opinions. Send an email to email@example.com for exact address.
June? July? what did we do?
AUGUST 25, Saturday at 1 PM, The Rivendell Discussion Group will talk about Harry Potter. Should we talk about book 7? the recent movie 4? The entire series? the cultural phenomenon? Well, yes, and yet, no–obviously there’s way too much to squeeze into one discussion. So it will be a start, and we’ll have to take this up again in the near future for further discussion.
This discussion will be at the Rice Street branch of the St. Paul Public Library. We’ve met at this library a number of times in the past, and it has a comfortable meeting room and an ample parking lot. Directions: Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 1011 Rice St. in St. Paul. This is a new building, with a large, adjacent parking lot. The Rice Street branch is just north of Front Ave on Rice Street, a little more than a mile north of the state capitol building and University Avenue, about 1.3 miles north of I-94. I suppose the best way to drive there from I-94 is take the Marion Street exit north, then go east on University a few blocks to Rice street, and continue north for a little more than a mile. Front is the busy street a block or two before the library. (Or come south on Rice from 694 or 36).
Let’s plan on talking about plans for fall, and in particular, the next Hobbits’ Birthday Party, which will be on Saturday, Sept. 22, possibly at the U of MN. It will not be at the Gates’ place, where we’ve met in the past few years.
Also, this Saturday evening is the regular monthly Housefilk–“filk-singing” is kind of like folk-singing with fantasy & SF lyrics:
Notice from the Housefilk folk [Rich Brown]: Next Saturday — the 26th — is the 4th Saturday and another housefilk here. You’re invited.
Starts around 5 pm — FFI: 651-646-2159
September: , the MN Tolkien Society September discussion of _The Siilmarillion_:
Anthony Souza will be hosting the next Silmarillion book reading on
Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:00PM. Details are as follows: As usual, we will listen to the audio CDs and have various discussions.
Please bring your book and a snack to share.
September 22: Frodo & Bilbo Baggins Birthday Party/Celebration. We had a great discussion of Harry Potter in August. We made some decisions about our fall discussion topics.
Unfortunately, I have to cancel our plans for our annual Hobbits’ Birthday Party this Saturday (Sept. 22).
If you’re willing to attend on-campus events, the Center for Medieval Studies is planning quite a fall schedule. One upcoming event:
>>Where Did Trolls Come From?
>>Who: Anatoly Liberman of the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch
>>What: The opening colloquium of fall 2007 with a reception to follow
>>Where: 140 Nolte Center (formerly the chapel)
>>When: Thursday, September 20 at 4:00 p.m.
Abstract: Medieval trolls were part of a large group of frightening creatures with which the human imagination filled the world. Gods, elves, and dwarves were among them. In the beginning their main distinctive feature was their ability to do harm. The talk will explore the evolution of trolls, their half-hearted integration into human society, and the origin of the word /troll./
There are a couple of other events in September of note: On
Saturday the 22nd there is the regular monthly Housefilk gathering,
>>Starts around 5 pm — 1258 Van Buren Ave., St. Paul
>>Email me [Rich Brown at <rab at freemars.org> or call 651-646-2159 with questions.
I’d guess that in honor of Bilbo’s & Frodo’s birthday they’d be happy to sing a few Tolkien filk-songs.
Sunday, September 30 is the regular Second Foundation discussion. I don’t have the details, but if you’re interested I expect to receive these very soon, and I’ll put them up on the Second F. web-page (you can find a link from the Rivendell page)–or you can contact me & I’ll forward the details. Or, for further info (FFI) : Eric Heideman, <EHeideman@mplib.org> or 612-721-5959
October 27 1:00 PM : at the Hamline-Midway Branch Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul. [651-642-0293] Our topic was Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Earthsea”–and Miyazaki’s interpretation of it.
The new movie hasn’t been released in the U.S. (there are apparently some copyright issues, but it will probably be called “Tales of Earthsea” and the DVD is available in a sub-titled version. We hope to have a copy at the meeting. It’s unclear exactly how the movie relates to the books, but apparently the story draws elements from the third and fourth books (Farthest Shore and Tehanu) while somehow being set in-between the first two (A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan) so read what you can! This movie is from Studio Ghibli but it’s not directed by the famous Hayao Miyazaki, but by his son, Goro. As might be expected, the animation is supposed to be gorgeous, but opinions about the story and its telling are very mixed. The actual Japanese title translates to something like Ged’s War Chronicles, according to Wikipedia, which also says that the plot is drawn from The Farthest Shore and Tehanu. So, read or reread whatever you can!
We had a fine time with this film, but our reactions were quite mixed, with the best reactions coming form the people who’d NOT read the books. Most seemed to feel that this movie was definitely above average as animated films go, but not up to the work of the senior Miyazaki. There were also puzzling things about the film that only familiarity with the books could really explain, at the same time, the movie is impossible to even begin reconciling with Le Guin’s world of Earthsea. We also read aloud her comments on the film, which reflected much of our sentiments.
The Hamline Branch is located on Minnehaha about a half-block east of Snelling Ave., about a block south of the Hamline University campus. This is a mile or so north of I-94, so you could take the freeway to Snelling and go north. Bus connections could include the 16 or University Avenue or Selby Ave. (used to be #21?) bus to Snelling, though that bus doesn’t run as frequently on Saturdays. The library web-site at http://www.stpaul.lib.mn.us/locations/hamline-midway.html has wonderful directions and so on.
November 17 11:00 A.M. discussion will be of Neil Gaiman’s _Stardust_, wqs on Saturday, Nov. 17, in Mondale Hall, the Law School building, Room 50, at the U of MN-Mpls west bank campus. This unusual start time for the discussion was because this was during the Fantasy Matters Conference, where Gaiman was a keynote speaker. The meeting was quite short, most of our 40 or so participants left for other programming (many for Peg Kerr’s paper on the “heart of flesh/heart of stone” motif in fairy tales and fantasy fiction). But we had a lively discussion, much related to the motion picture, for a hlf hour, with about 15-20 participants making at least one comment, including a visitor from our sister Mythopoeic Society San Francisco bay area Discussion Group, Khazad-dum, David Bratman. the book, which received the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award a few years back. Gaiman recommends only the ILLUSTRATED version, which is a graphic novel illustrated by Charles Vess. After more than 30 of our participants departed to move onto other programs a handful lingered in very pleasant (and much lower key) talk about Gaiman and related topics. There were lots of interesting papers and presentations for this conference, and an outstanding display by the Children’s Literature Collections in their Andersen Library display cases, which may stiill be seen for some weeks. There is a PDF schedule that can be downloaded from the Fantasy Matters web-site, and it now includes a list of the paper and presentation topics, including a number of papers on Tolkien, one on C.S. Lewis’s _That Hideous Strength_, a couple of papers on Diana Wynne Jones’s _Howl’s Moving Castle_, Pullman’s “His Dark Materials,” some on monsters, etc. There are now a number of photographs posted at the web-site as well. Noted Tolkien/Inklings scholar David Bratman (and longtime national Mythopoeic Society officer and activist) is visiting from California to talk about Gilbert & Sullivan and fantasy operetta. There are many readings by mostly new authors, but also including such well-known writers as Pam Dean and sometime Rivendellers P.C. Hodgell and Peg Kerr.
For Further Info (FFI): http://www.fantasymatters.org/index2.html
(Personally, I read the non-graphic version first, and thought that was lovely, and didn’t see that the graphic novel really changed my view of the book all that much. I do very much like the Vess illustrations, though, and I gather that they were employed by the film designers). I’m not sure of the time, but the organizers plan to schedule us on Saturday, when there’s at least a possibility that Gaiman will join us (he’ll only be present at the conference on Saturday). The conference sessions are being mostly held in the Law School building over the weekend. I think its other name is Mondale Hall.
Dec. 2: the Second Foundation SF discussion group will hold its annual “reading of favorites by Other writers,” meeting where people read selections from favorits stories that they did NOT write (it’s a companion meeting for our “read your own work” meeting a week later). FFI see the Second Foundation page.
December 8, 1:00 PM–we’ll have our annual “Readings from Rivendell” meeting. So far, I’ve heard from Joan Marie Verba, who will read a short story, “The Best Training,” Dan Goodman will read something, David Emerson has a short story, “The Last King of Gondor,” Ruth Berman will read some poems, Deb Jones might read from a sequel to “The Society of Guinevere.” This discussion will be at the Rice Street branch of the St. Paul Public Library. We’ve met at this library a number of times in the past, and it has a comfortable meeting room and an ample parking lot. Directions: Rice Street Branch of the St. Paul Public Library, 1011 Rice St. in St. Paul. This is a newer building, with a large, adjacent parking lot. The Rice Street branch is just north of Front Ave on Rice Street, a little more than a mile north of the state capitol building and University Avenue, about 1.3 miles north of I-94. I suppose the best way to drive there from I-94 is take the Marion Street exit north, then go east on University a few blocks to Rice street, and continue north for a little more than a mile. Front is the busy street a block or two before the library. (Or come south on Rice from 694 or 36).
January 26, 1:30 PM topic: Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass (Northern Lights is the original, British title), and the new motion picture. Location is the re-opened Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown, where librarian Eric Heideman has invited us to return. We’ll have to meet in some space on the main (street) level as the downstairs auditorium will likely remain closed for a time. 1222 4th St SE, Minneapolis–in Dinkytown, near the U of M campus. There is a little parking lot, and there is more parking on street (metered) and some nearby commercial parking lots for the Dinkytown business district.
Our discussion should include both the currently released fantasy spectacular motion picture, and the book by Philip Pullman. The book is volume 1 in a trilogy called “His Dark Materials,” and really, the “trilogy” is more of a trilogy like LOTR, the story is continuous, just bound in three volumes, except that the story changes for much of the next volume to introduce anther main character and story arc, etc. You can go on to read the others if you like, but we’ll mainly focus on the first volume. Many readers loved the first volume, and it received the Carnegie Medal (under its British title: Northern Lights). The really controversial volume is probably the 3rd, The Amber Spyglass, and we may have to go on to discuss this later. I may try to find someone to read a paper for us at this meeting as well, there were several papers at the recent Fantasy Matters conference. In fact, there may be other papers from this conference for which we might seek a reprise at a future meeting. And I learned of a Narnia paper that might work for us next spring in connection with the upcoming Narnia film.
February 16, at 1:30 PM, Location is the re-opened Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown. We’ll have to meet in some space on the main (street) level as the downstairs auditorium will likely remain closed for a time. 1222 4th St SE, Minneapolis–in Dinkytown, near the U of M campus. There is a little parking lot, and there is more parking on street (metered) and some nearby commercial parking lots for the Dinkytown business district… Topic will be the new book by Diana Pavlac Glyer, The Company they Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. This is a fine new book, but unfortunately is only available in hardcover from Kent State University Press, and it lists at $45. It’s considerably discounted via Amazon.com, and there are even some used copies already available for even less than $30. I’ve only read the first 100-plus pages so far, but consider it money well-worth the expense. I somehow doubt that it will be in stock at most bookstores, but obviously, it can be ordered. The Hennepin County library system owns two copies, and the U of MN Libraries own one. Request it from your public library and they’ll either buy it or borrow it for you. (But, either way, request it now as this all takes some time). I’m willing to lend my copy, once I finish it. One thing, it’s written in a fine and readable style, with an absolute minimum of literary critical jargon. And, it’s very interesting.
March 1st. 4-5 PM. Special MARS CON program Rivendell Group/Second Foundation interview/discussion of the works of Naomi Kritzer scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Krushenko’s, hosted by Eric Heideman & David Lenander. At Mars Con, which is in the Holiday Inn Select in Bloomington, on I-494. Advance Mars Con registration is now over, they may have a single-day rate. Note that if you’d just like to attend our discussion with Naomi Kritzer you won’t have to join the convention. But contact me in advance–David. firstname.lastname@example.org
March 22 we discussed J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix movie & book, at Minicon,
April 19 topic: a paper by Peg Kerr originally presented at the recent Fantasy Matters conference, “Heart of Flesh, Heart of Stone,” and for this we will also read Robin McKinley’s Sunshine, a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award-winning novel.
About this paper, David Bratman wrote in Mythprint: “the best [paper] was by Peg Kerr, who surveyed the literalization of ‘heart of stone’ metaphors from Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’ to Hughart’s Bridge of Birds.”
Peg is the author of The Wild Swans and Emerald House Rising. She has been a grad student and taught at the University of Minnesota.
Here is a note from Peg, with some links for anyone preparing for the discussion:
Links for April meeting:
David, here are two stories on the web which I suggest that people read on the topic Heart of Flesh, Heart of Stone. The first one I discuss in my paper. Both are quite short:
The Girl With the Heart of Stone
Here’s the bibliography for my paper:
Anderson, Hans Christian. “The Snow Queen.” Tr. Neil Philip. London: Reader’s Digest Association Limited, 2004.
The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1976.
Bobet, Leah. “The Girl with the Heart of Stone.” Strange Horizons. Ed. Susan Marie Groppi. 12 Nov. 2007. <http://www.strangehorizons.com/2006/20060109/heart-f.shtml>.
Bull, Emma. “Why I Write Fantasy.” Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine. Ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Eugene, Oregon: Pulphouse Publishing, 1990. 14-22
Byatt, A.S. “Ice, Snow, Glass.” Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore their Favorite Fairy Tales. Ed. Kate Bernheimer. New York: Anchor Books, 1998. 60-79.
Dickens, Charles. Nicholas Nickleby. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.
Hughart, Barry. Bridge of Birds. New York: Ballantine Books, 1984.
McKinley, Robin. “The Stone Fey.” Imaginary Lands. Ed. Robin McKinley. New York: Ace Fantasy, 1985.
—. Sunshine. New York: Jove Books, 2003.
May 17 topic was Prince Caspian, the forthcoming motion picture and the book by C.S. Lewis, and perhaps we’ll also have a paper or three. 1:30 PM at the Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown. We’ll meet in some space on the main (street) level as the downstairs auditorium will likely remain closed for a time. 1222 4th St SE, Minneapolis–in Dinkytown, near the U of M campus. There is a little parking lot, and there is more parking on street (metered) and some nearby commercial parking lots for the Dinkytown business district… .Special Moderator: David Emerson, who’s working on a paper for Mythcon on Lucy Pevensie. He’ll talk about his ideas and possibly read a first draft.
JUNE TOPIC: the “History of the Hobbit” books by John Rateliff, beginning with Mr. Baggins, a book we’ve been awaiting for more than ten years since John was the guest of honor at our Bree Moot 3 conference and read from his then work-in-progress;
JULY TOPIC: A discussion with Mercedes Lackey of her many fantasy novels at CONvergence in Bloomington, Saturday, July 5.
AUGUST 2, Saturday, at 1:00 PM. The topic is the Works of Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, including her novels Zahrah the Windseeker & The Shadow Speaker. I’m half-way through the latter, and hope to finish both before tomorrow’s meeting. I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Some may remember meeting Ms. Okoafor-Mbachu at last year’s Fantasy Matters conference. If you aren’t planning to attend any of the rest of Diversicon, you can come to just our Rivendell discussion/interview with Ms. Okoafor-Mbachu, but if you’re interested in the con overall, I’m including a blurb just below, and I’ll mention that there’s a single-day rate for Saturday of $20 at the door. This discussion will be jointly sponsored with the SF regular discussion group, Second Foundation.
There are going to be other programs of interest, of course. A couple with Rivendell participation include a panel on _The Golden Compass_ at 10 a.m., with 3 Rivendellers participating, and the Margaret Howes Memorial Massive Poetry/Prose Reading at Noon, where Ruth Berman will read from Margaret’s novel, The Wrong World (briefly) and other writers and members will read 5-minute selections from their work, including other Rivendellers like Joan Marie Verba.
August 1-3 Diversicon16-the annual Science Fiction convention devoted to exploring the diverse ideas of SF in stories, movies and other media-will come to the Holiday Inn Metrodome, adjacent to campus on the west bank. Diversicon is one of the half-dozen or so regular SF conventions in the Twin Cities but the only one so convenient to the University. It’s a small, intimate gathering (less than a tenth the size of July’s CONvergence) but it’s intensely programmed with up to three simultaneous tracks of programming and opportunities to find discussions in the hospitality room and hallways and lounges. This year’s chair, Rick Gellman says: “It’s not wild and crazy fun, but it is intelligent and thoughtful fun This year we intend to leaven our recipe with a dash of silly fun.” Guest of Honor is Anne Frasier, and Special Guest is Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu. Membership at the door is $40 ($30 for students up to age 21). There are also single day rates. www.Diversicon.org
Saturday Sept. 20, 1 p.m. The annual Bilbo & Frodo Baggins Hobbits’ Baggins’ Birthday Party.
For which Rivendell was joined by the Minnesota Tolkien Society. This was at an Off-campus location.
Saturday, September 20, 1:00 p.m.
The Rivendell Group
met-partied with The Minnesota Tolkien Society
at a private home in. Fridley, MN 55413. .
The Rivendell Group assembled at a private home to celebrate and talk about things Tolkien, from the original Hobbit to the new films. People began to arrive about 1:00, and talked for most of the afternoon.
For a program , I think we read one or two of Margaret Howes’s short stories in her “Tales Told by the Lonely Mountain.” Margaret died earlier this year, but her stories in this series were probably the best things she wrote. Three of them appeared in The Tolkien Scrapbook, and we read from that. After that, people read their own Tolkien-inspired poems or sang songs, not necessarily pastiche or “set” in Middle-earth, but responding to or inspired by JRRT. Ruth read her Tolkien memorium poems from The Tolkien Scrapbook. Others similiarly read or spoke. David Emerson accompanied us on a singing through of the Donald Swann-composed “Road Goes Ever On” song cycle, based upon Tolkien’s Middle-earth poems (and approved by JRRT).
No need to bring anything (though Tolkien memorabilia to show off is always appropriate! And bring any copies of the Swann/Tolkien Road Goes Ever On and The Middle-earth Song Book–or the like). I expect to provide tea, coffee and probably other non-alcoholic beverages, and some form of snacks, and at some point I will probably have some more substantial food (in the past we’ve had lasagna and hot dishes) and you are welcome to bring something if you want to share. In the past we’ve had some teenagers, possibly some younger, so bring kids if you like, there’s lots of room to run around outside. They’ve tended to play board games or watch videos. Any smoking will have to be outside.
If it rains or is too cold, we’ll watch more Tolkien-related videos and/or listen to audio recordings, or just talk. But if it’s a fairly nice day, it may be perfect for watching the river flow by and walking around the Banfill Locke grounds, so perhaps some will go for a walk. In the past we’ve often had music from such members as Mark Heiman or Greg Bohen, so feel free to bring along your guitar or tin whistle if you want to share your music, which need not be Tolkien inspired.
November 22 meeting: On this 45th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, Ruth Berman had suggested talking about Shadowlands, the play and screenplay, currently being staged at the Guthrie. I have a copy of the motion picture with Debra Winger (as opposed to the earlier BBC television version with Claire Bloom) as Joy, and we might be able to watch that or at least a few scenes, especially for those who need memories refreshed and haven’t had a chance to make it to the Guthrie. There is also the current production of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Children’s Theatre Company, and the video release of the film Prince Caspian, coming next month. So there’s lots of CSL to think and talk about. I will try to send a further message about some of the other upcoming activities later in the week. We’ll meet at the Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown. 1222 4th St SE, Minneapolis–in Dinkytown, near the U of M campus. There is a little parking lot, and there is more parking on street (metered) and some nearby commercial parking lots for the Dinkytown business district…
December 6 meeting: 1:00 PM–Southeast Community Library. December 6, 1 p.m. at the Southeast Community Library in Dinkytown: “Readings from Rivendell.” Meeting at the Southeast Community Library (Mpls, near the U of MN East Bank Campus), 1222 Fourth Street. SE, diagonal from The Library bar in Dinkytown. Limited off-street parking available.
A helpful detail on parking for anyone who finds the library’s limited parking all full up — there are two parking lots a block away from the Library, on 5th Str., one across the street on 5th Str. and 13th Ave., and the other around the corner to the right in the middle of the 1300 block. Not expensive.
Expected readers include Joan Marie Verba, co-author of Autumn World (reading “The Wisest One,”) Mikeal Smith, Wilt Hodges (reading “My Father’s Ways,” a short story), Eric M. Heideman, editor of Tales of the Unanticipated, Dan Goodman, and Ruth Berman, Rhysling-award poet and author (reading “Regular Rider.”)
January 24 meeting, 1:30 PM. We will talk about Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books, and their impact on J.R.R. Tolkien, inspired by a paper by Ruth Berman, who will read her paper, which appeared in Mythlore a year or so ago. Our meeting will be at 1:30 PM at the Southeast Community Library, a branch of the Hennepin County Library system, located in “Dinkytown,” near the U of M East Bank Campus. We’ll meet in some space on the main (street) level as the downstairs auditorium will likely remain closed for a time. 1222 4th St SE, Minneapolis. There is a little parking lot, and there is more parking on street (metered) and some nearby commercial parking lots for the Dinkytown business district. If you’d like to read the paper in advance, and don’t have easy access to recent Mythlores (I believe that there is a subscription at Wilson Library, on the University West Bank campus) Ruth provided me with an electronic file/Word document that I think I can share. It’s written in plain English (as opposed to arcane Academese), and it’s not very long: “Tolkien as a Child of The Green Fairy Book” and Ruth suggests that if you want to read some stories to prepare for the discussion:
The items people might like to look at specifically from that volume are the preface, “Rosanella,” “The Enchanted Ring,” “Prince Narcissus and the Princess Potentilla,” and maybe “The Three Dogs.” And if people have the Red volume handy, “The Story of Sigurd.” If people have time for one but only one of these, “Prince Narcissus and the Princess Potentilla” is maybe the most interesting, as having both a Melian-like fairy in Melinette and a ring of invisibility.
You can read more about Lang’s series of twelve collections of fairy tales at Wikipedia, among other places, here’s the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Lang’s_Fairy_Books and if you look carefully at the listing for the _Green Fairy Book_ or the _Red Fairy Book_, you can find the links to the Project Gutenberg full text of these stories online. For instance, at http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/7277 , you can find a link to the full text of the Green Fairy Book, and with a simple search in your browser, home in on this story. If this doesn’t work for you, I can email you the text of just this story. (Or maybe the others as well).
February 21 discussion. 1:30 PM We’ll have another paper, David Emerson’s paper from last summer’s Mythcon, “Innocence as a Super-Power: Little Girls on the Hero’s Journey,” which is about Dorothy Gale (of Oz), Lucy Pevensie (of Narnia) and Chihiro, the little girl protagonist in Miyazaki’s animated film, Spirited Away It’s our intention to watch part or all of this film on DVD during our discussion, which will be at the Southeast Community Library (Mpls, near the U of MN East Bank Campus), 1222 Fourth Street. SE, diagonal from The Library bar in Dinkytown. Limited off-street parking available.
A helpful detail on parking for anyone who finds the library’s limited parking all full up — there are two parking lots a block away from the Library, on 5th Str., one across the street on 5th Str. and 13th Ave., and the other around the corner to the right in the middle of the 1300 block. Not expensive..
March 6-8: MARS CON And we’ll hold a co-sponsored discussion at Mars Con over the weekend of March 6-8 with 2nd Foundation of Jack Vance, 2nd Foundation discussion of the same topic a week earlier.
March 28 discussion, 1:30 PM. Sharin Schroeder will read her paper-in-progress, working title is “It’s Alive: Tolkien’s Monster on the Screen.” She writes: “In my abstract, I’m looking at the effects putting Frankenstein and Tolkien’s monsters on film.” Then we’ll give her feedback and talk about it. We’ll probably eat cookies and drink tea and soft drinks. Meeting at the Southeast Community Library (Mpls, near the U of MN East Bank Campus), 1222 Fourth Street. SE, diagonal from The Library bar in Dinkytown. Limited off-street parking available.
A helpful detail on parking for anyone who finds the library’s limited parking all full up — there are two parking lots a block away from the Library, on 5th Str., one across the street on 5th Str. and 13th Ave., and the other around the corner to the right in the middle of the 1300 block. Not expensive.
April 11. there are at least a half-dozen local annual conventions or conferences at which there are extensive discussions of F & SF, and we often hold our regular meeting for the month at one of these. The oldest of these, and perhaps best-known, is Minicon, occurring for the 44th time this April 10-12, (Easter weekend) and we will have a discussion with a local author of his fantasy novels at 1 PM on Saturday, April 11, in the programming room known as “Krushenko’s”. The author is Adam Stemple, and his novels are Singer of Souls and Steward of Song. He’s also written with Jane Yolen several children’s fantasy novels, Pay the Piper and Troll Bridge, two “Rock-n-Roll Fairy Tales,” and they are currently finishing up a forthcoming novel about a Golem. Adam has been a professional musician for a number of years now, most famously as the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist for Boiled in Lead, a sort of Celtic-Rock group that was fairly prominent and produced several fantasy-tinged recordings–also check out any recordings by Cats Laughing. He’s no longer with them, but currently plays with another local group.
April 25. a past regular Rivendell discussion participant who moved away (Local Girl Makes Good) and published several well-received novels, will be at Uncle Hugo’s SF Bookstore signing copies of her novels on Saturday, April 25, 1-2 PM. We will take the opportunity to have a discussion of those books with P.C. Hodgell later in the afternoon, at 3:30 at the Southeast Community Library. Her books about Jame and the Kencyrath are God Stalk, Dark of the Moon, Seeker’s Mask and To Ride a Rathorn, with a new volume forthcoming this summer. Her books have been variously collected in anthology volumes, one being Dark of the Gods, and I think there may be a reissue or new one being signed at Hugo’s.
Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:30 pm Discussion of the film Prince Caspian at the Southeast Community Library
1222 4th St. SE, Minneapolis. This is in Dinkytown near the U of MN Mpls campus.
We’ll watch the DVD and then talk about the film and the book (by C.S. Lewis), and perhaps the C..S. Lewis talk from the night before by Dr. Michael Ward.
Extra event of interest, Saturday, Nov. 7, Doug Rossman, of the Mythopoeic Society discussion group in Iowa, is scheduled to do a reading/signing for his new short-story cycle, THE DRAGONSEEKER SAGA, at Ingebretsen’s on Lake Street at 2:00 P. M., . Doug has occasionally visited us, and told stories at our Mythcon in ’93. We might manage an impromptu discussion with Doug afterwards, either at Ingebretson’s, or perhaps at another, nearby venue. Or maybe we’ll make more definite plans before then.
Saturday, Nov. 14, 1:30 PM, at the Southeast Community Library, local author Lois McMaster Bujold will join us for a discussion of her recent work, particularly her fantasy sequence, “The Sharing Knife,” made up of volumes designated: Beguilement, Legacy, Passage & Horizon. Bujold has joined us in the past to discuss her fantasy novels The Spirit Ring and the Curse of Chalion books, and we’ve always had fun and informative discussions. Lois is also known for her Science Fiction “Vorkosigen” novels, for which she’s received several Hugo and Nebula awards. She is also a recipient of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (from our “parent” organization, The Mythopoeic Society).
Saturday, Dec. 5, 1:30 PM, at the Southeast Community Library, “Readings from Rivendell,” our annual reading of original stories, poems and so forth, by local writers, especially members of Rivendell.
Saturday, May 8, 2010, at 1:30 at the Southeast Community Library, 1222 4th St. SE Minneapolis, MN (in “Dinkytown,” near the U of M Mpls campus). Library phone: 952-847-2728. I previously sent a .pdf of a flyer for this meeting, so hopefully you were able to read the details there. Here are a few more. Plus additional news.
Sharin Schroeder read her paper-in-progress, working title is “‘It is enough to make the dead rise out of their graves!’: Tolkien, Oliphant, and Gendered Conventions of the Supernatural.” She writes: “In my paper for the panel on Tolkien Un-bodied, I will begin with Oliphant’s novella in order to discuss the gendered roots of discussions about the fantastic and the spiritual that spilled over into modern fantasy from eighteenth and nineteenth-century literary criticism. As we know from “On Fairy Stories,” Tolkien saw a reason to intertwine the religious and the fantastic while at the same time wishing to separate the fantastic from the childish. Tolkien is attempting to counteract a narrative of the fantastic that associates both the religious and the preternatural with women and children. After framing the terms of the debate, I then examine moments in _The Lord of the Rings_ where the spirit meets the incarnate, particularly in the narrative of the Paths of the Dead.”
Assuming that you’ve read the Tolkien, you might want to look at the novella by Margaret Oliphant, _A Beleaguered City_, which you can find on the web, since it was originally published in 1880 and is long out of copyright. Or I could probably send you the text as an attachment to an e-mail if you like. I found some notes about Margaret Oliphant on the web today–check out http://www.jimandellen.org/gothic/Ghost.OliphantBeleaguered.html. _A Beleaguered City_ is a pretty short novel, and I thought it wonderful. But it’s written in Victorian language and style, and some readers today may be quite put off by it–at least one former Rivendeller was quite emphatic about that. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11521.bibrec