Williamson lectureship set

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

Science fiction fans will descend on Eastern New Mexico University on April 11 for the 31st annual Williamson Lectureship.

Authors are invited to visit the campus and discuss the interactions of science and the humanities.

The lectureship has been a campus tradition since 1977 to honor science fiction author Jack Williamson, considered by many the “Dean of Science Fiction.”

A prolific writer, Williamson authored more than 50 novels and numerous short stories, including eight novels completed after he turned 90. His first story, “The Metal Man,” was published in 1928, and he continued to work up until close to the time of his death in Novembver 2006.

Williamson was an ENMU professor and longtime Portales resident.

This year’s theme will be “Transformation translocation conjuring the future,” with special guest of honor Steven Gould, whose novel is the basis for the movie “Jumper,” which was released worldwide in early February.

“Steven was honored when we asked him to be a guest speaker,” said Patrice Caldwell event coordinator. “He has many great ideas and has a great deal to say about science fiction and its leaders.”

Also speaking at the lectureship is Christopher Stasheff, associate professor of communication at ENMU.

Stasheff’s work includes the “Warlock of Gramarye” series, “Rouge Wizard” and the novel, “Saint Vidicon to the Rescue.”
There will be a tribute to honor Williamson as the founder of the lectureship.

A special issue from Stephen Haffner press titled “The Worlds of Jack Williamson a Centennial Tribute,” a collection of Williamson’s work, will be available for the first time for sale at the lectureship.

“This year would have marked Jack’s 100 birthday,” Caldwell said. “This is the second year without Jack and people still walk into this event and look for him. We will hold this event as a tribute to Jack for as long as possible.”