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Let me introduce you to Terl. He’s around 9 ft. tall and comes from a planet far away. For anyone who has seen “Battlefield Earth,” you’ll remember Terl as the alien portrayed by John Travolta.

Terl will be visiting us for a while, as he is on loan from Edward Marsh, the gentleman who donated our newest science fiction collection. Drop by the 2nd floor Love Library display case (just outside of the SCC) and make his acquaintance!

While you’re here, visit the extraordinary science fiction exhibit on display right now in the Donor Hall (1st floor of Love Library). Be here today at 2 p.m. and meet writer Greg Bear, an SDSU alumnus who happens to be a superstar in the world of science fiction! Greg will give a talk about sci fi and sign copies of his latest book, Halo: Silentium.

Here’s Terl, in all his glory:


My Spidey Sense told me something cool was going to happen at the library today (actually, an email from a coworker clued me in!). I grabbed my camera and headed to the north side of Love Library, where a crowd had gathered to watch…not Spiderman…but a member of SDSU’s ROTC rappell down the side of the building.





The Sixth Annual Student Research Symposium is being held at the SDSU Library. This two-day event recognizes the accomplishments of SDSU students and provides a public forum where they can present their research, scholarship, or creative activities.



For more photographs of the symposium, please visit us on Flickr.

In conjunction with our science fiction exhibit, “Strange Data, Infinite Possibilities,” the library is sponsoring a lecture series featuring three speakers who are well known to science fiction readers…and who also happen to have either studied or taught at San Diego State University!

Greg Bear
Friday, March 22, 2:00 p.m.
SDSU alumnus Greg Bear sold his first short story to Famous Science Fiction at age 15 and, along with high-school friends, helped found San Diego Comic-Con. At SDSU, he was a teaching assistant for Professor Elizabeth Chater’s science fiction course and went on to be a very successful writer of hard science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Bear is the recipient of two Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards and has had more than 60 works published. His newest book, Halo: Silentium (Tor Books, 2013), will be available for signing at this wonderful kick-off event.
 Greg Bear
Larry McCaffery
Thursday, April 18, 2:00 p.m.
Growing up in the 1950s, Larry McCaffery was first exposed to science fiction via the work of Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, Philip K. Dick, and Alfred Bester—and by the stream of “B movies” that were appearing. By the 1980s, he was teaching sci fi classes and discovering the many interactions occurring then between science fiction, film, rock music, and postmodern culture in general. During the next 20 years, he published a collection of interviews with innovative American sci fi authors (Across the Wounded Galaxies, 1991) and several fiction anthologies that featured sci fi authors, including Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern SF (1992).
 Larry McCaffery
Vernor Vinge
Thursday, May 16, 7:00 p.m.
From 1972 to 2000, Vernor Vinge taught math and computer science at San Diego State University. In 1982, at a panel for AAAI-82, he proposed that in the near future, technology would accelerate the evolution of intelligence itself, leading to a kind of “singularity” beyond which merely human extrapolation was essentially impossible. Vinge sold his first science fiction story in 1964. His novella True Names (1981) is one of the earliest stories about cyberspace. Rainbows End (2006) looks at the implications of wearable computing and smart environments. Vinge has won five Hugos, including three for Best Novel. His latest novel is The Children of the Sky (2011).
 Vernor Vinge

All lectures will take place in Love Library Room 108, directly adjacent to the Donor Hall. For more information on the lecture series or the exhibit, please contact Special Collections at 619-594-6791. For information on visitor parking, please visit the parking information Web page. A map for disabled access is also available.

Strange Data, Infinite Possibilities exhibitIf you’ve been in the library lately, you’ve probably noticed that the walls of the Donor Hall are covered with weird, wonderful graphics and the display cases are full of vintage science fiction books, Star Wars and Dune figurines, and other mementos of imaginary worlds far, far beyond the borders of our galaxy. “Strange Data, Infinite Possibilities” is the latest exhibit created by Special Collections, and it contains items from several of the library’s largest sci fi collections, including the new Edward E. Marsh Collection.

The exhibit features works from many science fiction genres: fantasy, utopian and dystopian fiction, early weird fiction, postmodern, and cyberpunk, to name a few. While the famous and familiar are well represented—Star Trek, Blade Runner, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Greg Bear, and H.P. Lovecraft—it’s the offbeat little gems that caught my eye. Shouldn’t everyone’s bookcase contain a copy of Judith Merril’s Galaxy of Ghouls, the subtitle of which reads:  A Handy Guide for Vampires and Werewolves of Spells and Sorcery of Switches on Witches of Shape-Stealers and Soul-Swappers of Demons and Damnation?

Science fiction materialsThere’s more to “Strange Data” than just books. The exhibit features pulp fiction, sheet music, and original correspondence from authors such as Isaac Asimov. Ray Bradbury’s unproduced screenplay for The Martian Chronicles and L. Ron Hubbard’s original manual typewriter are on display; both items were part of Edward Marsh’s generous donation. My favorite item in the exhibit is Jeff Wayne’s 1978 concept album The War of the Worlds, which was narrated by Richard Burton and contains the hauntingly beautiful “Forever Autumn,” sung by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.

Set aside an hour one afternoon or evening and take a look at this exhibit. It’s worth your time.

Flickr Photos

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