Friday, January 27, 2017

My history of the SCA


Last year was the fiftieth anniversary of the Society for Creative Anachronism.  As a professional historian who has been a member of the SCA from practically the beginning, I seemed to be a logical choice to write a history of the organization to be distributed to people who would attend the celebratory event.  I found the idea intriguing.  I've spent much of my life studying how medieval writers created histories and chronicles.  Now I was being asked to do much the same thing for my own times, based firmly on my own experience.  Quite different from writing scholarly history of some long-ago era.


I liked the result and so did many readers, so I decided to publish it for a wider public.  Thanks to Stonebunny Press, the book is now available


Here is the back-cover blurb:

The Society for Creative Anachronism, which started out essentially as a backyard party in the ‘60s, is now a world-wide organization with members in the tens of thousands. To mark the occasion of the Society's 50th anniversary in 2016, Steven Muhlberger was asked to write a history of the organization, from its fledgling days when hobbits and elves were not an uncommon sight, to recent times when much more emphasis is placed on historical accuracy. Dr. Muhlberger was uniquely qualified for this task. He is a professional historian with seven scholarly books to his name, and has a long and diverse experience in the SCA, where he is known as Duke Finnvarr de Taahe. Under that name he has been recognized for excellence in tournament combat, reigned twice as king, and been honored for high accomplishment in the arts and exceptional service to the organization. Dr. Muhlberger describes how the Society originated in the unique environment of California's Bay Area; how a combination of discontent and whimsical creativity led a small group of young people to stage a tournament and then found "the Current Middle Ages;" and how this movement grew to include, eventually, participants on every continent. This is the story of how 20th-century America produced one of its most interesting and popular historical hobbies. This volume is a must for anyone interested in the SCA and its origins, in medieval re-enactment and its connection to science-fiction and fantasy fandom, and in what has been called "inter-kingdom anthropology" – how the Society relates to the larger society around it.
 
And here is the front cover, by the inimitable Merald Clark:


https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51MOVetSm%2BL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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