US-based organization which describes itself as a forum for the study and practice of the culture and technology of the medieval period (ending arbitrarily at AD1600), especially knightly battle (> Knights) and its accoutrements. Its publications include a quarterly magazine, Tournaments Illuminated. Most of the SCA's focus is on weekend camp gatherings at which members wear medieval clothing, adopt medieval names and sometimes personae, and fight "wars".
The SCA was founded in 1966, mostly by members of sf fandom, to which it retained a close connection for several years. Many fantasy authors have been active in the SCA, particularly in its early years, among them Poul Anderson, Randall Garrett, Adrienne Martine-Barnes, Diana L Paxson and Paul Edwin Zimmer. Younger authors of Heroic Fantasy have also taken the opportunity for first-hand observation of medieval-style battles and technology. The Westria series by Paxson, set in a neo-medievalist post-Holocaust California, is a particularly pure translation of SCA style into fantasy. Recursive-Fantasy versions of the SCA itself appear in Peter S Beagle's The Folk of the Air (1986), Robert A Heinlein's "The Number of the Beast" (1980), the mystery Murder at the War (1987) by Mary Monica Pulver and Esther M Friesner's Demon Blues (1989). [DB]