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The next two online events in Mythgard Institute's Guest Lecture Series are all about science fiction. You're invited to attend live for free!

DAVID BRIN will give his talk “Can Science Fiction Change the World?” on Saturday, 25 July, 2015 at 6:00pm ET. There's no cost, but virtual space is limited, so register now to reserve your seat!

David Brin is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant, and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula, and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. Some of his best-known novels include Earth, The Postman (filmed in 1997), and Hugo Award winners Startide Rising and The Uplift War. A leading commentator and speaker on modern trends, his nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction and philanthropy. He has served since 2010 on the council of external advisers for NASA’s Innovative and Advanced Concepts group (NIAC), which supports the most inventive and potentially ground-breaking new endeavors. In 2013, David Brin helped to establish the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD, where he was honored as a “distinguished alumnus” and where he was thereafter a Visiting Scholar in Residence.

Brin’s newest novel Existence explores the ultimate question: billions of planets are ripe for life. So where is Everybody? David’s main thread: how will we shape the days and years ahead – and how will tomorrow shape us?

As for myself, AMY H. STURGIS, I will give my talk “The Jedi, the Cowboy, and… Thomas Edison?: Pulp Science Fiction and Star Wars on Saturday, 15 August at 3:00 pm ET. There's no cost, but virtual space is limited, so register now to reserve your seat!

You know me (and if you don't, here is my website). Below is the official synopsis of my talk:

What images come to mind when you think of Star Wars? Luke Skywalker watching the twin suns set on Tatooine? Princess Leia with a blaster in her hand and buns on her head? The glow of a lightsaber in the darkness? These visuals convey volumes, and they spring in part from a common origin.

One of the keys to the worldwide success of Star Wars is that the saga draws from a variety of global sources, both classical and contemporary. Join Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as she discusses one particular tradition that has left its indelible imprint on the Star Wars franchise. How did pulp science fiction evolve? What is the relationship between this genre and the Western? And how can tracing the pulp ancestry of Star Wars give us new insights on key moments and messages across the Star Wars canon — and quite possibly shed light on the forthcoming film The Force Awakens? Star Wars fans and newbies alike are welcome!

Please spread the word if you know of others who might be interested! Thanks so much. I hope to see you at these talks.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2015 11:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! They both sound interesting, but I wish I could attend your talk. Unfortunately, I already have immovable plans for both dates. Rats.
Jul. 20th, 2015 12:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for being interested! They'll be taped, and I'll post them when they're available online.
Ace Hamilton
Jul. 19th, 2015 08:31 pm (UTC)
Impressive... most impressive.
Jul. 20th, 2015 12:55 pm (UTC)
... but I am not a Jedi yet! ;)

Seriously, though, thanks!
Ace Hamilton
Jul. 21st, 2015 09:19 pm (UTC)
I assume you've seen the behind the scenes footage from The Force Awakens from Comic-Con. This has really got me optimistic, more so than the trailer even.
Jul. 24th, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC)
I agree 100%! I just listened to the ForceCast Network's breakdown of the behind the scenes footage, and I appreciate the information those clips reveal even more. To be honest, it took me a number of watchings/rewatchings before I could get all the way through the video without tearing up. Very exciting indeed!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )