Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
PORTALES—The 28th annual Jack Williamson Lectureship blasts off on Thursday, Mar. 11, at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, and will feature appearances by three grand masters in science fiction writing.
The annual event is held in honor of ENMU's distinguished emeritus professor of English and science fiction grandmaster, Jack Williamson. At the age of 95, Williamson has won national Nebula and Hugo Awards and is credited by Oxford English Dictionary with inventing the terms, "genetic engineering"and "terraforming."
ENMU opened The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library on March 30, 1982, in honor of the renowned pioneer of Science Fiction and a building on campus, The Jack Williamson Liberal Arts building, also bears his name. "Space Opera — Then and Now" is the theme for this year's event which will feature two other randmasters of science fiction, Robert Silverberg, one of the most prolific authors and anthologists in science fiction, and Frederik Pohl, who has been nearly everything one can be in the world of science fiction, from a writer, agent, magazine, editor, anthologist, lecturer and statesmen. Both Silverberg and Pohl, as well as Williamson, have won Hugo and Locus awards, as well as The Grand Master Nebula Award, the highest honor in the field of science fiction writing.
A special lectureship luncheon is slated for 11:45 a.m. in the Campus Union Building Ballroom. Cost is $7 and is payable at the door. The luncheon will be followed by a tour of the University Special Collections and Jack
Williamson Science Fiction Library in Golden Library.
That evening at 7 p.m. there will be a panel presentation by the authors in Buchanan Hall inside the ENMU Music Building. It is free.
"Anyone who likes 'Star Wars' will enjoy the panel's discussion of 'Space Opera,'" said Dr. Patrice Caldwell of the Jack Williamson Lectureship Committee. "The term 'space opera' refers to rollicking adventure epics in
space, made famous in the 1920s and 1930s in pulp magazines," she added. Williamson was one of the early authors of the genre.
Albuquerque writers Walter Jon William and Fred Saberhagen will attend, along with authors Ed Bryant, Michael Swanwick, Connie Willis and editors Charles N. Brown of Locus magazine and Scott Edelman of "SciFi Weekly." In addition, fantasy author and ENMU Professor of Communication Dr. Christopher
Stasheff, author of more than 40 novels, including the Rogue Wizard series, will moderate during the panel.
Silverberg has written more than 60 non-fiction books and edited more than 60 anthologies. His work is recognized around the world. His major novels include "Nightwings," "The World Inside," "Lord Valentine's Castle" and "Roma Eterna." This year, Subterranean Press will issue a mammoth collection of his work titled "Phases of the Moon."
Pohl has written more than 50 novels, hundreds of short stories and produced dozens of collections and anthologies. His fiction includes The Space Merchants, Gateway and The Midas Plague. He also edited several science fiction magazines and edited the groundbreaking six-volume series of Star Science Fiction original anthologies and most recently edited the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Masters anthology series. He has also done collaborations with Williamson.
As for Williamson, he has received lifetime achievement citations from The World Fantasy Convention and The Horror Writers of America and just recently added new Nebula and Hugo awards to his collection for his novella, The Ultimate Earth, which was published in Analog magazine. Williamson teaches a class in science fiction at ENMU every spring and continues to write. His latest novel, "The Stonehenge Gate," is due for release in 2005. In addition, his newest collection, "Seventy-Five: The Diamond Anniversary of a Science Fiction Pioneer" will be released by Haffner Press later this year.
For more information about the Jack Williamson Lectureship or to make reservations for the luncheon, contact Patrice Caldwell at 505.562.2315.
Lunch attendees are asked to make reservations by Tuesday, Mar. 9.