Mythicworlds: Straddling the way between sci-fi conventions and transformational festivals?

I'm finishing the editing of a manuscript for McFarland that explores aspects of fantastic fan cultures in relation to the sacred. I am waiting for one more chapter to be submitted and then the manuscript goes off for peer review. In addition to editing and writing he Introduction I am contributing a chapter that contrasts fantastic fan conventions and transformational festivals. The latter are those like Burning Man (on which I wrote my graduate thesis) and Faerieworlds, weekend societies that people participate in as a means of personal and spiritual transformation. In my chapter I argue that the use of mythos and ritual (in one example by way of costuming and cosplay) in both conventions and festivals makes for an overlap and that the sacred is literally in play at both.

During the research for my chapter, one of the interesting things I discovered was Mythicworlds. This is related to the producers of Faerieworlds, so technically it's a transformational festival. But it has many similarities to fantastic fan conventions. It is held indoors (most transformational festivals are outdoor events), it draws upon myths and legends for participants to live out, it includes a heavy emphasis on costuming (similar to cosplay), and a masquerade is held in connection with it. This has me wondering whether it is possible to view Mythicworlds as a form of festival or convention that straddles a middle way between fantastic fan conventions and transformational festivals.

I'll post more on this book of mine once a publishing date is known.

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