David Brin: One of the best things to happen in SF and fandom, in recent years is the “AboutSF” project, run by famed author and SF academic James Gunn, at the University of Kansas’s “Science Fiction Center.”
One AboutSF program — the online curriculum on science fiction literature — has been tested at numerous conventions and Worldcons, receiving great praise. The turn-key program will let almost anyone run a fascinating Introduction to SF seminar almost anywhere, from local libraries and schools to cons around the world.
The AboutSF Project could use some help! Volunteers and people with expertise could be invaluable to Jim Gunn’s endeavors, strengthening SF fandom and literature. Especially needed are DATABASE experts who could help fix and improve AboutSF’s other paramount program… the SPECULATION SPEAKER’S BUREAU.
SpecSpeakers aims to provide an easy, one-stop shopping place to find SF authors, SF scholars and futurists who might be willing to talk to the public about a wide range of topics (especially SF and the future, but also science and related subjects). It could be a library, looking for a local writer willing to talk about her or his latest book. Or a major corporation seeking a keynoter for a big fee. Either way, SF will benefit. So will fandom and civilization!
Experts who might be willing to form an advisory group, and get their coding fingers dirty, for a good cause, should contact Professor Gunn at: jgunn (at) ku.edu or to AboutSF (at) gmail.com.
Jim Gunn adds: Kristen Lillvis, our current coordinator, thinks this would be helpful, particularly if we’re able to get an assistant who is skillful in web matters, as we hope to do. So, we’d be grateful for any volunteer help.