The Eaton Science Fiction Conference at UC Riverside commenced yesterday; Amazing Stories has been carrying advertising for the program for the past several months. This years headliners are Larry Niven, David Brin and Gregory Benford – futurists all. The conference will also be awarding three Lifetime Achievement Awards to Harry Harryhausen (animation master – King Kong, Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, the Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth and more), Stan Lee, comics (the ‘s’ is important) genius and Ursula K. Le Guin, dare I say ‘grand dame’ of science fiction? Author of The Left Hand of Darkness – a touchstone of characterization, feminism and gender issues and The Lathe of Heaven (which first appeared in Amazing Stories so we kinda get to claim it). Tickets are still available. You can read more about it here
From File 770 – Peter S. Beagle’s animated film The Last Unicorn is beginning an author’s tour, the first showing taking place in San Francisco; a 74th birthday bash is planned for the author as well. I sure hope it makes its way to Boston.
And also from that infamous File (770) comes news that the National Book Festival (Washington DC) has somehow managed to get a little genre on its hands this year via the presence of Brad Meltzer, Paolo Bacigalupi, Holly Black, Susan Cooper and Elizabeth Moon. Margaret Atwood will be there too, presumably saying “there ain’t no genre on me!”
SF Scope brings us word that a there are plans afoot to honor Dr. Isaac Asimov with an Historical Marker in the City of Brotherly Love – filthydelphia. (I’m allowed, I lived there for a bit.) Dr. A spent the war years (WWII for reference) working with Robert A. Heinlein, and L. Sprague DeCamp at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. While working on the Philadelphia Experiment (no, not really), Ike also managed to pen a few stories, little, inconsequential things featuring throw-away concepts like Psychohistory and the Three Laws of Robotics. Local nerds have allied with local SF luminaries (Gardner Dozois, Michael Swanwick, Tom Purdom, Gregory Frost, and Victoria McManus) to make the case that without Dr. Asimov’s influence, we might not be living in a world of computers and robots. They’ve floated a petition on Change.Org. Go sign.
(Not mentioned in the piece is another intersection of Asimov, Science Fiction and Philadelphia: the magazine named for Isaac Asimov (now Asimov’s Science Fiction, formerly Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) was originally edited in Philadelphia by George Scithers, ably abetted by the aforementioned Gardner Dozois. The magazine first saw print in 1977.)
And in a bit of internet serendipitousness, Andrew Liptak covers the SF brain trust at the Philly Yard on the Kirkus review today.