UC Riverside can be a little far out, but this time around they’re boldly going where few colleges have gone before. The 2013 Eaton Science Fiction Conference looks at the genre like no one else, enjoying and examining it beyond what mere earthlings can imagine. This year they collected some of the best names in science fiction to talk about what they love. Legendary writer Larry Niven, winner of both the renowned Hugo and the Nebula Awards for Ringworld and The Mote in the God’s Eye, will be showing up to speak at one panel. Fellow prolific writers Gregory Benford and David Brin will also be in attendance as well, lending their own minds to the discussions. In addition, the conference will be handing out three Lifetime Achievement Awards. One will be going to special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, responsible for bringing to life creatures like Mighty Joe Young and the perils of Jason and the Argonauts. The second will go to Stan Lee, responsible for your childhood fantasies of superheroes, and the third will be presented to Ursula K. Le Guin, writer of 20 fantasy novels with each of them recipients of a Hugo and a Nebula Award. But this event is more than just a group of names and faces. There’s music, history, social progress, panels on gender roles and movie screenings. This is an intellectual and recreational Mecca for nerds, die-hard fans and casual enthusiasts alike. Excelsior, true believers!
University of California, Riverside, 900 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 827-4331; ucriversidepresents.ucr.edu. Thurs, 8AM-1PM. Fri, 8AM-5PM. Sat, 8AM-3PM. Single day registration $95. General registration $170.