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Tales from Obamalot

06/11/2008. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Kennedy's administration was known as Camelot, and now the world's science fiction and fantasy fans have voted for their choice of name for Barack Obama's upcoming years of rule, choosing a name with echoes of the Kennedy age, Avalon.

Following on from an online election between Obama and McCain on SFcrowsnest.com - the internet's first sci-fi web site - which Obama carried with 68% of the vote, the question of a name for Barack Obama's coming administration was also posed to the world's genre fans.

Their top five choices were:

1. The Avalon years
2. New Camelot
3. Camelot II
4. Second Camelot
5. Obamalot

The Avalon years was the most popular name suggested by thousands of Internet users, Avalon being the land of magic and hope from Arthurian legend, a land that lived on in legend after Camelot.

SFcrowsnest.com's owner, fantasy author Stephen Hunt, said, "It was fascinating to see Obama winning by the same healthy margin in SFcrowsnest.com's online elections, just before he swept to power in the real popular ballot. I think the internet's genre fans have made a very apt choice in the name they've selected for the new Obama administration. Avalon, the land from the tales of King Arthur where magic and hope is reborn. That land is now the US and I'm sure than when our children look back on the Avalon years, they'll feel the same sense of wonder that those who were there recall when remembering Kennedy's age of Camelot.'

Avalon is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend. It first appeared in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 1136 book Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain) as the place where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after his last battle at Camlann, and where Arthur's sword Excalibur was forged.

Cornish legend claimed that King Arthur had never really died, but would return from Avalon one day to lead his people.

Just like in the quest for Arthur's mythical capital Camelot, a large number of locations have been put forward as being the real Avalon. In medieval times, suggestions for the location of Avalon ranged far beyond the UK's shores. They included on the other side of the Earth and at the antipodes.

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