Monday, August 8, 2022


I'd like to offer my thanks to Rob Conley, who pointed out that the title page of the first edition of FGU's Chivalry & Sorcery includes a dedication by the authors to the Society for Creative Anachronism (S.C.A.). The role of the SCA in the history of fantasy fandom (and, by extension, roleplaying games) is still underappreciated, I think. Since I've never been a member or attended any of the Society's events (though my college roommate went to Pennsic every summer), this is a topic about which I know very little. I'd love to know more about it, though, especially as it relates to the influence it may have had over the early days of the hobby.


  1. Jon Peterson's Playing at the World has a fairly detailed description of the first origins of the SCA, back in the mid-to-late 60s. I briefly hung out with a Swedish local SCA group in the 90s but I also had very dim ideas of the origins, especially the fact that originally they were so, well, gamist.

    1. If I recall correctly, Playing at the World includes some information on the early days of the SCA, but it's a fairly short section (maybe 5-10 pages) within the larger narrative. That's not nothing, to be sure, but I'd love to see something more substantial about the topic.

  2. FWIW, the Wikipedia page is fairly substantial, and for those interested in researching the subject, be sure to check out the "Further Reading" section at bottom.

  3. Glad to have helped.

    Also fun fact, I live a 1/2 hour drive north of where Pennesic is held. It is the largest SCA event in the world. I attended three of them in the late 80s. It is something else. The catch is that it is not open to the public. You have to be a participant in order to attend.

  4. I strongly suspect Peter S. Beagle's (underrated, I think) novel The Folk of the Air is bears the very fictionalized imprint of some of the unsavory things that were going on in the SCA, at least in connection with founders and early participants Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen.

  5. I've been active in the SCA for over 30 years at this point. I found the group in college, after I'd been a gamer and into fantasy and sci-fi for many years. Been hooked on it ever since.

    Pennsic just wrapped up, though I didn't attend this year. Next year will be Pennsic 50.

    I was in attendance a few years back at the SCA's 50th anniversary and we had a wonderful museum of the organization's history. It's wild to be in a living history group that is old enough to have a museum of its own history! I particularly enjoyed the historical armor exhibit. Lots of, "Oh, I would not want to get hit while wearing that," for the early gear.