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Award-Winning Science Fiction Author James Gunn to Speak at WVU

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 20th, 2010

WVU Today

Whether writing about immortality, space, dreams, death, demons, magic or the end of the world, award-winning science fiction author James Gunn has covered it all.

On Oct. 26, Gunn will visit West Virginia University speak about the contributions of another renowned science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. His presentation, “Isaac Asimov: Science Fiction to Science Fact,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms. The talk is part of the 2010 David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas.

Gunn has covered a variety of genres with his writing. He has written plays, screenplays, radio scripts, articles, verse and criticism – the majority of which have been in science fiction.

His works include “Human Voices,” “The Immortals,” “Gift from the Stars,” “The Dreamers,” “The Magicians,” “Breaking Point,” “The Witching Hour” and “Isaac Asimov: The Foundation of Science Fiction.” In total, Gunn has published more than 100 stories in magazines and books, written 28 books and edited 13 books.

Gunn currently serves as the director for the Center for the Study of Science Fiction and professor emeritus of English at the University of Kansas.

He has won numerous awards, including the Byron Caldwell Smith Award in recognition of literary achievement and the Edward Grier Award for excellence in teaching. He has lectured all over the world, including Denmark, China, Iceland, Japan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan and Yugoslavia.

A reception and book signing will be held following the presentation.

In conjunction with Gunn’s presentation, WVU Libraries is holding a celebration of the Isaac Asimov collection. Tours of the collection will be given by Associate Curator Harold Forbes at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. To register for a tour, visit http://universityevents.wvu.edu/asimovexperience2010 .

The Asimov collection will also be part of an upcoming symposium, to be held in April 2011.

The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas is named after WVU’s former president who created the lecture series. Each year, the festival brings key figures from the fields of sports, politics, business, entertainment, research, scholarship and culture to Morgantown.

The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment.

Other festival speakers will be announced in the coming months.

For more information on the 2010-11 Festival of Ideas, visit http://festivalofideas.wvu.edu/ .

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