The Mid-Atlantic Speculative Fiction Symposium, which I attended in October 2015, was a literary conference under the aegis of the Mythgard Institute. Mythgard may be a unique institution. It’s a school of the liberal arts in which half of the participants are people who know literary scholarship well, and the other half are scientists with no particular knowledge outside our own specialties. We (I count myself among the latter half) just love fantasy and science fiction, and want to talk about it.
By the end of the day, an observation was unavoidable: Talks given by the literati were just plain better than those given by the scientists. That’s not surprising, since a scattering cross-section calculated by a physicist is likely to be better than one calculated by an expert in Anglo-Saxon grammar, but it dampened my plans for contributing a talk myself. I want to give one of the good talks.
Searching the Web for a how-to was (predictably) fruitless. That means I’ll have to figure it out for myself. This blog will document my attempt to find a way to create valuable literary scholarship, from a starting set of skills that have nothing to do with literature.