Clarke Center Lifts Off With Public Events

The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination will launch this month with a series of free events on the UC San Diego campus. 

May 1 through 31, 2013

“Remembering Sir Arthur C. Clarke”
Remembering and celebrating the diverse genius and joie de vivre of Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Artifacts and items are from the collection of Wayne and Gloria Houser. During the May 21 reception only: Special display of original paintings of Clarke book cover art on loan from Naomi Fisher, and space science posters by Jon Lomberg. Curated by Carol Hobson, and co-sponsored by the UC San Diego Library.
Seuss Room Foyer, Geisel Library, UC San Diego

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

1-5 p.m., “Visions of the Future”
An afternoon of conversations and presentations featuring Clarke Center affiliates on their visions of science and culture 33 years into the future (in honor of Clarke’s imagining of 2001 in 1968).
Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall, Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego

7 p.m., “The Literary Imagination”
A conversation between authors Jonathan Lethem and Kim Stanley Robinson presented by the Helen Edison Lecture Series, UC San Diego Extension and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
Price Center West Ballroom, UC San Diego

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 21 and 22, 2013

“Starship Century Symposium”
A two-day event devoted to an ongoing exploration of the development of a starship in the next 100 years. Scientists will address the challenges and opportunities for our long?term future in space, with possibilities envisioned by Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies, Peter Schwartz, John Cramer and Robert Zubrin. Science fiction authors Neal Stephenson, Allen Steele, Joe Haldeman, Gregory Benford, Geoffrey Landis and David Brin will discuss the implications that these trajectories of exploration might have upon our development as individuals and as a civilization.
Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall, Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego
Note: Seating is limited, but the two-day event will be offered via live streaming video at http://imagination.ucsd.edu.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Reception 6-8 p.m., “Remembering Sir Arthur C. Clarke”
Remembering and celebrating the diverse genius and joie de vivre of Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Artifacts and items are from the collection of Wayne and Gloria Houser. During the May 21 reception only: Special display of original paintings of Clarke book cover art on loan from Naomi Fisher, and space science posters by Jon Lomberg. Also screening of documentary film, “Arthur C. Clarke: The Man Who Saw the Future,” a BBC/NVC ARTS Co-Production in association with RAI Thematic Channels, 1997. Curated by Carol Hobson, and co-sponsored by the UC San Diego Library.
Seuss Room Foyer, Geisel Library, UC San Diego

Created by UCSD and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, the Clarke Center “will honor the late author and innovator through activities that will focus on cultural, scientific and medical transformations that can occur as we increase our understanding of the phenomena of imagination and become more effective at harnessing and incorporating our imaginations in our research and daily lives.”

UCSD’s Sheldon Brown, professor of computing in the arts in the department of visual arts, is the director of the center. The center’s associate director is David Kirsh, professor and former chair of the department of cognitive science.

In addition to drawing upon a wide range of disciplines and collaborations, the Clarke Center will engage the creative worlds of media, the arts and literature to help with discovery. UC San Diego’s unique relationship with speculative fiction and science fiction authors, including Kim Stanley Robinson, David Brin, Nancy Holder, Greg Benford, Vernor Vinge, Greg Bear and Aimee Bender, will allow the center to dismantle traditional boundaries and forge new ways of thinking about the future.

Southern Fandom Awards to Chalker, Fisher

Jack L. Chalker posthumously won the 2005 Phoenix Award, presented at Xanadu 8 / DeepSouthCon 43 in Nashville on April 9. The Phoenix Award, accepted by Jack’s wife, Eva Whitley, is given to the Science Fiction professional from the Southern part of the United States with the most respected work of the year.

The Rebel Award was also presented at the 2005 DeepSouthCon. Naomi Fisher received it in recognition of her special contributions to Southern Fandom.

Had he lived, Chalker would have had the pleasure of serving as toastmaster at this year’s DeepSouthCon. Eva Whitley wrote online, “I am grateful he won but you have no idea how much it would have meant to him to have gotten this award when he was alive (say, in 1996, which was the last time we came to a DeepSouthCon). But I appreciate the love that was behind this.”

Potential winners of the Phoenix Award are those science fiction or fantasy professionals who have, at some point, resided in the South; whose professional work reflects on the South in a positive way; or who have demonstrated friendship with Southern fandom through support of regional fan activities. It may be given posthumously.

By winning the Rebel Award, Naomi Fisher balances the family mantelpiece which already holds the 1993 Rebel Award won by husband G. Patrick Molloy. They have a tradition of matching fannish achievements, having also jointly won DUFF in 2001.

The first Rebel Award was given at the 1964 DeepSouthCon. Its history is retold by Guy Lillian III in a fine article available – here.

DeepSouthCon also hosted the presentation of the semi-satirical, semi-affectionate Rubble Award to its 2005 Target Judy Bemis, “For resigning as Southern Fandom Confederation treasurer.”