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Discussion Groups


Khazad-dûm is one of the oldest still-active Mythopoeic Society discussion groups. Begun in 1971 by several students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the name was chosen to allude to the existence of caves and tunnels on the UCSC campus. Khazad-dûm revels in its reputation as being a group with strong opinions and relatively unorthodox tastes, in books as well as in food selections at our annual December Reading and Eating Meeting, held at The Last Homely House in Redwood City and host(ess)ed by KD’s secretarial team of Edith Crowe and Amy Wisniewski.

Khazad-dûm was proud to sponsor the first annual Book Toss at the 1998 Mythopoeic Conference (July 15-20, Wheaton College, Illinois). Undaunted by the fierce scheduling competition of the Lewis memorial service and an extended Society members’ meeting, the stalwart group took aim and fired both criticism and tome missiles. Our correspondent Berni Phillips reports.

Mythcon XXIX Book Toss Report

If you live in the San Francisco Bay area and would like to get information on Khazad-dûm meetings, please contact Edith at to be put on the mailing list.

Khazad-dûm’s “Best of the Millennium”

Not to be outdone by distinguished literary quarterlies and critics like John Updike, the stalwart regulars of Khazad-dûm decided to select our own choices for outstanding works published in the past thousand years. We limited our scope to mainly fiction, and understandably show a slight bent toward more speculative literature. In chronological order of publication:

  • Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
  • Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur
  • Machiavelli, The Prince
  • William Shakespeare, Collected Plays
  • Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote
  • John Donne, Poems
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
  • Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

In 1991 Khazad-dûm members celebrated our twentieth anniversary year with a January meeting featuring the first book ever discussed by the group, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In addition, an infamous set of group photos was taken at the Reading and Eating Meeting, featuring the usual suspects.

Before & After


Several reports from Khazad-dûm meetings have been published in Mythprint. These are available here for everyone’s enjoyment (and edification):

  • December 4, 1999: Topic: The Annual Reading and Eating Meeting (Reported by Eleanor M. Farrell)
  • July 1998: The First Annual Mythcon Book Toss (Reported by Berni Phillips)
  • October 12, 1997: Topic: The Unicorn Sonata by Peter S. Beagle (Reported by Berni Phillips)
  • January 6, 1991: Topic: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Reported by Edith Crowe)
  • June 3, 1990: Topic: Vampire Novels (Reported by David Bratman)
  • May 6, 1990: Khazad-dûm Spring Picnic (Reported by Ellie Farrell)
  • September 11, 1988: Topic: Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card (Reported by Ellie Farrell)
  • October 1986: Topic: Tam Lin in Literature (Reported by David Bratman)
  • 1984: Topic: Tea With the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy (Reported by David Bratman)