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Science Fiction Conference Set in Seattle

UC Riverside Libraries and The Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame Team Up for Conference on Science Fiction

Eaton Conference to be Held May 5, 6 and 7 in Seattle in Connection with Science Fiction Hall of Fame Induction

(April 30, 2005)

George Slusser, curator emeritus of the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection at UCREnlarge

George Slusser, curator emeritus of the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection at UCR

The University of California, Riverside Libraries, which house The J. Lloyd Eaton Collection, the world’s most extensive science fiction and fantasy collection, joins The Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame in Seattle to present "Inventing the 21st Century: Many Worlds, Many Histories" on May 5, 6 and 7 in Seattle.

The conference will be held at the same time as the museum’s first ever Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday, May 6, which will honor film director Steven Spielberg, author Philip K. Dick, artist Chesley Bonestell and animator Ray Harryhausen. Eaton Conference attendees will have the opportunity to register before the general public.

The Science Fiction Museum is co-located with Experience Music Project in the landmark Frank Gehry building at 325 5th Ave. North at Seattle Center.
Cost for this year’s conference is $75, with a student-rate of $40. Registration forms can be found at this link:

The year 2005 marks the 26th Eaton Conference to bring together academics, scientists, writers, editors, publishers and artists in the fields of science fiction and fantasy. This year’s event promises to reunite many previous Eaton Conference attendees and attract new speakers as well. Speakers this year include Gregory Benford, Howard Hendrix, Joseph Miller, Eric Rabkin, George Slusser, Stanley Schmidt, Greg Bear, Eileen Gunn and Alan Shapiro, with David Hartwell delivering the Frank McConnell Memorial Lecture.

“This is a conjunction of the world's most important collection of science fiction and the world’s first museum dedicated to science fiction," said George Slusser, curator emeritus of the Eaton Collection at UCR and the principal architect of the revival of the Eaton Conference. “It is a new millennium, and time to take a fresh look at science fiction, the map of the future."

According to Eric S. Rabkin, professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a prolific scholar of science fiction, “The 26th Eaton Conference will be a stellar gathering of science fiction writers, critics, editors, and above all enthusiasts, bringing their knowledge and passion from around the country to Seattle in order to focus on the next developments in a field that is arguably the most important popular literary genre of our lifetimes.”

Ruth M. Jackson, University Librarian at the University of California, Riverside, commented, “This is an historic moment when we have the opportunity to combine the world’s premier science fiction collection, housed at UCR, with the world’s first and only museum dedicated entirely to science fiction in a conference of this magnitude.”

A schedule follows:

INVENTING THE 21ST CENTURY: Many Worlds, Many Histories
SF Museum, Seattle
May 5-7 2005

May 5

5:00-730 PM
Reception and Visit to SF Museum

May 6

Session One: The Frankenstein Century: The Age of Biology
Moderator: Joe Miller (USC)

1. David Clayton (University of Maryland)
“The Frankenstein Paradigm:

2. George Slusser (UCR) and Danièle Chatelain (University of Redlands)
“Paranormality: Revisiting the Frankenstein Barrier at the Biological Interface”

3. Ria Cheyne (Royal Holloway, University of London)
“Native Tongues? Alien Languages and the Linguistics of Biology”

4. Joseph Miller (USC)
“Many Worlds in Science and Science Fiction”


Session Two: The Astounding Age: The Past, Present, and Future of Hard SF
2:30-5:30 PM
Moderator: Gregory Benford (UCI)

1. Introductory Remarks: The Age of Astounding
Stanley Schmidt

2. Istvan-Csicsery-Ronay (DePauw University)
“How SF Became the 21st Century”

3. Alan Shapiro
“Original Star Trek, Nondualistic Thinking, and SF to Come”

4. Rob Latham (University of Iowa)
“The New Wave in the Zines: Fan Culture and the Reshaping of SF in the 1960s”

5. Gregory Benford (UCI)
“Economics and the Real Future of Space”


6:30-9:30 PM
Reception and Hall of Fame Banquet

May 7
Session Three:
Remembrance of Things to Come: Future Histories and Alternate Histories
9:30-12:30 AM
Moderator: Paul Alkon (USC)

1. Howard Hendrix (CSU Fresno)
“APOKATOPIENDENCE: End-Time Obsessions in SF, Film and Other Religions”

2. John Huntington (University of Illinois, Chicago)
“Gernsback’s Alternative History: H.G. Wells in Amazing Stories

3. Alan Elms (UC Davis)
“Cordwainer Smith’s Rediscovery of Man: The Fourfold Functions of a Future History”

4. Mark Brake and Neil Hook (University of Galmorgan)
“Alternative Comedy”

5. Carl Freedman (LSU)
“To the Perdido Station: The Politics of China Miéville’s Iron Council”

6. Neil Easterbrook (TCU)
“Alternate Presents: The Ambivalent Historicism of Pattern Recognition”

7. Chris Palmer (LaTrobe University)
“None of what we do here is ever really private: Pattern Recognition and the Future
of the Private”

Session Four: From Analog to Digital and Sometimes Back Again: The SF World and its
2:30-5:00 PM

1. Eric Rabkin (University of Michigan)
“How the Future Shapes the Present: A Brief History of the Bow Wave of Material

2. Mark Brake et al (Galmorgan)
“The Counterfactual Classroom”

3. Daryl Mallett
“Would You Give Up Your I-Pod for Fredric Jameson? The True Shape of Technotopia”

4. Brooks Landon (University of Iowa)
“The Technological Contours of Contemporary SF”


5:00-6:00 PM
Frank McConnell Memorial Lecture
David Hartwell

The Eaton Collection at UC Riverside Libraries is the world’s largest catalogued collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror and utopian literature, containing about 80,000 books, 10,000 pulp magazines, 30,000 comic books and more than 200,000 science fiction fanzines (newsletters privately printed by amateur science fiction enthusiasts). The collection also contains the literary papers of some of the most influential writers in the science fiction field.

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (SFM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to inspire new generations to reach beyond the present, imagine the future and explore the infinite possibilities of the universe. Founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, the museum is also home to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, honoring the legends and luminaries that have shaped humanity's visions of the future. The initial 36 members of the Hall of Fame represent major figures in the establishment of the science fiction genre - from Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells to Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein. New members will be inducted annually as SFM continues to celebrate the artists and thinkers that create the visions of tomorrow.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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