Sci-fi buffs celebrate Jack Williamson

Staff report

In Portales, the beginning of springtime brings a science fiction storm to Eastern New Mexico University.

Community members, students and sci-fi buffs swarm ENMU each year to celebrate Jack Williamson, one of the genre’s pioneers and former ENMU faculty member.

Today and Friday a series of events and workshops will take place on ENMU’s campus for authors, writers and lovers of the genre.

This year makes 38 for the annual Jack Williamson Lectureship, which has been marching on strong even after the sci-fi giant died in 2006 at 98. Williamson joined ENMU’s faculty in 1960.

This year’s lectureship theme is “The Wide World of Speculative Fiction.” The lectureship will showcase guest of honor author Darynda Jones. Also presenting will be Arthur M. Dula, and ENMU alumnus and literary executor for famed science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein.


What: 38th annual Jack Williamson Lectureship

When: Thursday and Friday

Where: Eastern New Mexico University

Admission: Free



Schedule of events


• A reading with Guest of Honor Darynda Jones.

6 p.m., Sandia Room of the Campus Union Building.


• Readings by visiting authors

9:30-11:30 a.m., Sandia Room of the Campus Union Building.

• Lectureship luncheon (This event requires an RSVP and costs $10)

11:45 a.m., Zia Room of the Campus Union Building.

• Science fiction panels

3-6 p.m., Golden Library Special Collections


Fast facts about Jack

• Williamson published 54 novels.

• He’s often referred to as the “Dean of Science Fiction.”

• He’s published hundreds of short stories and a comic strip.

• He was born in Brisbee, an Arizona territory at that time, in April 1908.

• He served as a weather forecaster in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II.

• The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library, started with donations from Williamson in 1967, now ranks as one of the world’s leading science fiction collections.

• El Portal, the literary magazine of ENMU, is published with an endowment from Williamson.

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