Worlds Of Speculative Fiction – Philosophical Themes

Worlds of Speculative Fiction is a monthly lecture and discussion series focused on philosophical themes in the narrative worlds created by now-classic authors in the field of speculative fiction.  These talks are provided by ReasonIO, delivered by Greg Sadler, and hosted by the Brookfield Public Library.  It is now in its third year.

We have created a FREE online class, where you can access all of the videos, handouts, reading suggestions, and other resources on the sessions, the authors, and their works.  To check it out or to enroll, click here.

In the first year, after a more general lecture about genres of speculative fiction, we examined narrative worlds of the following authors: J.R.R. Tolkien, A.E. Van Vogt, C.S. Lewis, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Roger Zelazny, Ursula K. Leguin, Michael Moorcock, Philip K. Dick, Mervyn Peake, and George R.R. Martin.

In the second year, we discussed  Philip Jose Farmer, Madeline L’Engle, Douglas Adams, Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card, Iain Banks, H.P. Lovecraft, William Gibson, C.L. Moore, and Octavia Butler.

Each session is videorecorded and uploaded into YouTube, allowing people around the world to view them and to participate by way of comments.  If you’d like to access those videorecordings, you’ll find them here.

The schedule for this year’s monthly sessions is below.  All of the sessions start at 7 PM, typically the second Thursday of the month.

  • January – Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths and Libraries.
  • February – Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser Series
  • March – Robert Heinlein’s Novels of The Future
  • April – L. Sprague de Camp’s Complete Enchanter Multiverse
  • May – Andre Norton’s Witch World
  • June – Arthur Clarke’s Mysterious Cosmos
  • July – Robert Howard’s Hyborian Age
  • August – Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy
  • September – Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun
  • October – C. J. Cherryh‘s Alliance–Union Universe
  • November – Jack Vance’s Dying Earth
  • December – Gordon Dickinson’s Childe Cycle
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