Skip to content



Discussion Groups

Khazad-dûm Report: October 12, 1997

Khazad-dûm Discussion Group Report
October 12, 1997, Topic: The Unicorn Sonata by Peter S. Beagle
Reported by Berni Phillips


Reprinted from Mythprint Volume 35 Number 2 (Whole #191), February 1998.

The October meeting of Khazad-dûm was held at 2 p.m. on October 12 at Ellie Farrell’s digs. I say “digs” to get in the spirit of the day which, unbeknownst to us, happened to be another one of those 30-year celebrations of the Summer of Love. (I’m not sure if the celebration is 30-years long, but I do know that October counts as summer in San Francisco.) The resultant parade of tour buses and yuppiemobiles made parking at Ellie’s almost-beachside apartment all but impossible, thus giving us our first topic of conversation for the day.

This meeting also found us with both fresh blood and an exotic visitor. Charles, from Concord, came to Khazad-dûm for the first time. I’m not sure if he gave us his last name and I just forgot it or if he was holding said name in reserve until he was sure exactly what kind of lunatics we all were. We also had a visitor from sunny SoCal, Lynn Maudlin, who is sort of a one-gal party all by herself.

The book under discussion was Peter Beagle’s The Unicorn Sonata. The general agreement was that it was a charming YA with delightful characters. There was a prayer of thanksgiving for its not being a bloated behemoth, as so much of the field seems to be. However, short books that everyone enjoys do not make for long discussions, so we soon went on to other things.

Said things included the gluing back together of Ellie’s futon frame and the watching of selections from Arden’s video of the past Mythcon. After ten years of hosting Khazad-dum discussions, the wood frame for Ellie’s futon-slash-couch chose that day to wiggle apart. We decided to hold a mass gluing ceremony, not too unlike those immortalized in James Blaylock’s The Paper Grail. Newcomer Charles asked if we always do that at meetings. No, he was told, sometimes we work on chairs or footstools or tables. He decided to beat a hasty retreat. (Being the youngest and probably best in shape person in the room, he may have been afraid of indentured servitude.) The rest of us gamely carried on in our efforts, proving that the glue which binds Khazad-dum together is, in fact, Krazy Glue (trademark). Ellie proved, in case anyone still had any doubts, that she is indeed a costumer by then using layers of duct tape as a sort of vise for the frame.

The futon cushion had been moved to the floor for the ritual gluing. There it remained for the watching of the video, allowing the glue to set properly. Everyone assumed orgy position to watch highlights of the video, primarily the segment on the Not Ready for Mythcon Players production. As always, we are our own best audience.