Saturday, July 21, 2012

Joy Chant

Searching for something interesting to read in a used bookstore, a book catches your eye. You buy the book, read it and want to read read more of the author’s books. But, you discover, most of the books are out of print and there are no new books. Joy Chant is such an author. She is a talented Fantasy writer. Her few books are gems in the genre. Two won the Mythopoeic Award several years ago.

Red Moon and Black Mountain is the first story in her world of Vandarei. It is a story of children from our world that find themselves transported to this Fantasy world. The three children must each complete a part of a quest that will defeat the Dark god. This is a tale with a strong sense of courage and honor. It has a lot of adventure too.

The next book of Vandarei is The Grey Mane of Morning. This tale is about Ms. Chant’s Harani. They are a combination Native American and Cossack steppe culture. It is a fascinating story with interesting ide ›as and characters. This might be Ms. Chant’s strongest book.

Lastly came When Voiha Wakes, which won a Mythopoeic Award. In this book, readers are provided a tale of a female dominated culture. A male artist is trying to escape the limitations of this society. He must struggle through difficulties to gain his freedom.

Ms. Chant’s last published book turned to Arthurian Fantasy. The High Kings is a book of Celtic and King Arthur stories. Interspersed are knowledgeable articles on Celtic society, history and culture. The hardback version was a coffee table book with pictures while the paperback consists of the text only. Either version is an informative book.

Joy Chant is a talented Fantasy writer of interesting books. Her works contain strong characters, fascinating cultures and powerful themes. It is too bad she hasn’t written any new books in a long time. All of her books are our to print, but if you find any in a used bookstore, be sure to check them out.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Mythopoeic Society

There are many literary organizations that study and discuss fantasy worlds in fiction. The Mythopoeic Society is an excellent organization of this kind. Founded in 1967 by Glen GoodKnight, the Society is dedicated to the study of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams and fantasy literature. The Society contributes many things to the fantasy genre.

According to the Society definition, mythopoeic means "myth-making" or "productive of myths." This type of literature draws from the world of myth to produce powerful works of lasting resonance, sophisticated themes and mythic proportions. Such things are found in the books of many authors, though the Society's emphasis in on Tolkien, Lewis and Williams.

The Society has three publications it publishes. Mythprint is the monthly newsletter with news of the Society's doings, editorials, information on books and many other things. Mythic Circle is a short fiction magazine of fantasy stories and poetry. The last publication provides the most interest to serious fantasy readers.

Mythlore contains articles, book reviews and other features on their featured authors and other fantasy fiction. These articles provide in depth studies of various aspects of their topics. This publication is a gold mine for readers interested in the literary aspects of fantasy worlds.

The Mythopoeic Society does other things too. They put on an annual conference with papers, discussions, music and many other things. An annual award is given to a fantasy book that exemplifies the spirit of the "Inklings" (Tolkien, Lewis, Williams). Also, they have independent affiliated discussion groups for people who want to discuss fantasy in their own regions.

The Mythopoeic Society is an important organization for readers and writers of Fantasy. Their publications provide greater understanding of the Fantasy genre. It helps legitimize Fantasy as a viable literature. I have been a member for many years and recommend the society for fantasy fans. Check out their Internet site at "" for more information.