End of 2011 Book of Honor/Programming Progress Report

Well, the votes are in (mostly from ConCom) and A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr is the winner for Book of Honor.

Canticle is an interesting choice for BoH in a couple of ways. On the one hand it is a Post-Apocalyptic novel (a theme we worked over well at Potlatch 20) and it addresses religion and the power of religious institutions (which we touched on, albiet from a Buddhist viewpoint, at Potlatch 19). On the other hand Canticle is a broad-sweep novel, delivering a wide and deep future history and showing how those who do not know history tend to repeat it.

And that is the theme we intend to focus on for Potlatch 20: the life-cycles of civilizations. The wheel of history. Certainly we want to touch on the role of religion in the turning, but it is the wheel itself we fix our gaze on. And there are other forces than religion driving the axle: myths and myth-makers, conquerers and power seekers. But in Canticle, who are the most important forces of all? Why, librarians! Of course!

(How could we pass up a chance to finally celebrate librarians as the heros they are? Who of us does not yearn to read the ‘Librarians Militant’ works of the fictional writer Jerzy Hacek? For a second best, we will be scheduling a librarian-focused panel or two at Potlatch 21.)

Thus Potlatch 21 programming will peer into the cycles of history and the forces driving those cycles. What better way to do this than to examine our present day and ask ourselves what cycles are repeating around us? From the Occupy movement to the rise of Imperial America, we can find many parallels in history to our current milieu. There is much to think about here…

Of course Potlatch 21 programming will include lots of the usual panels, including writing/editing discussions and some pure fluff. We will be sending out program-participant questionnaires soon; make sure you have sent in your membership so we can include you in the mailing. Also, if you know a fan, writer, editor, or (most especially) a librarian who you think would be great on a panel then please encourage them to get a membership and join us.

For more information about the convention hotel and how to join Potlatch, see the Fall 2011 Hotel Progress Report/Membership Reminder.

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