University of Calgary

Science fiction

October 25, 2010

Warp speed into alien worlds

One of the thousands of science fiction magazines in the Gibson collection.One of the thousands of science fiction magazines in the Gibson collection.By Jennifer Howse

Dust off your Star Trek unitard. Practice your light-sabre skills. Join us as we delve into the many worlds of science fiction at the University of Calgary's Rothney Astrophysical Observatory on Oct. 30.

Loyal fans of science fiction can dress up as Wookies, Borg drones or in steampunk costumes (a new Victorian era technology fashion trend) while soaking in lectures, readings and discussions on the weird and wacky world of sci fi.

Dr. Stefania Forlini, an English professor, will explore Victorian era science fiction when writers were focused on flights to the moon and personal jet packs from the Bob Gibson Collection of Speculative Fiction. This extensive collection consists of over 35,000 items from hardcover and paperback books to pulp magazines and other materials spanning from 1840 to 2001. Housed at the U of C, the Bob Gibson collection is one of 19 major science fiction collections in the world. While it is not the largest, it is utterly unique including the collector's handmade anthologies.

In collaboration with the English department, astrophysicist Dr. Phil Langill of the physics and astronomy department is putting a challenge to guests—ask him tough questions. Is travelling at warp speed possible? Would the Star Trek crew make it out of a black hole? Could a planet like Avatar's Pandora really exist? Langill will lead a question and answer session.

The night will also feature discussions and readings by up and coming writers from the Calgary Science Fiction Club. Sci fi music, movies and costume contests will round out the evening. If we have clear skies the telescopes will be operating for a closer look at alien worlds.

Sci Fi Night will be held at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory about 45 minutes southwest of campus on Saturday, October 30, 2010 from 7:30-10:30 pm.

Tickets are $20 per person $10 for Uof C students. To order, contact

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