Science Fiction Summer

Summer days. Books. Spaceships and dinosaurs.

That pretty much captures my misspent youth—so much so that even now I associate lazy July afternoons with Winston juveniles, Ace paperbacks, and EC Comics.

Given that association, it’s fitting that summer is the season of the Nebula Conference (which I posted about here) and the two major science fiction conventions WorldCon and NASFiC.

Summer SF Conventions

Established in 1975, NACFiC is held whenever WorldCon takes place outside North America, which means that this summer diehard sf fans can celebrate the genre in both Glasglow, UK; and Buffalo, NY.

For my part, I’ll be dropping in on NASFiC before attending two of my favorite regional conventions: Confluence in Pittsburgh and the Readers and Writers Festival in Milford (the eastern Pennsylvania town that many regard as the birthplace of modern science fiction).

Here’s a preview of what I’ll be up to at each of those cons:

Conventions & Panel Topics:

North American Science Fiction Convention – Buffalo, NY
  • Great but Forgotten Genre Movies [July 18 @ 5:00 PM]
    • What sf films need to be rediscovered?
  • Books to Film [July 19 @ 1:00 PM]
    • How to get a book to the screen and what [not] to expect.
  • 50 Years: The Forever War [July 19 @ 2:00 PM]
    • After a half-century, how does Joe Haldeman’s classic military SF novel hold up?
Confluence Science Fiction Convention – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Not Everything Is a Series: The Best Stand-Alone Novels of the Last Decade [July 27 @ 11:00 AM]
    • It seems that every book is part of a series, but there are still good stand-alone novels being published. The panelists discuss some of their favorites.
  • The Social Impact of A.I. [July 27 1:00 PM]
    • We are already seeing some of the social impact — and controversy — around AI. What impact can we expect in the near future and beyond?
  • Frail Flesh: A Look at Body Horror [July 27 @ 5:00 PM]
    • A conversation about books and films that deal with unnatural transformation or degeneration of the physical body.
Milford Readers and Writers Festival – Milford, PA
  • Milford Was/Is a Mecca for Science Fiction [September 17 @ 11:00 AM]
    • Around the world, the town of Milford is famous for its role in the early days of Science Fiction. Isaac Asimov, Damon Knight, Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison, Gene Wolfe, James, Blish, Virginia Kidd, Anne McCaffrey.  These are just a few names of those who traveled to Milford to be part of the SF scene. What brought them here? Why do authors still come to visit? How did Milford influence their works?

Next Post: Great But Forgotten SF Films

I hope to start posting some thoughts on each of the above topics starting this Thursday, and since the first post will deal with Great but Forgotten Science Fiction Movies,I’m interested in hearing what films you think are ripe for rediscovery.

You can submit recommendations in a comment to this post or by reaching out via the social media buttons below. I’ll endeavor to include some of the suggestions I receive in my next installment.

See you then!


  • Science Fiction Summer – Composite of Creative Commons images.
  • Alex Schomburg’s cover and endpaper art for the Winston Science Fiction edition of Richard Marsten’s Danger Dinosaurs (1953).
  • Convention art for NASFiC, Confluence, and Milford Readers and Writers Festival.
  • Kerry Gammil’s cover art for Bill Warren’s Keep Watching the Skies (2010).

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Latest Comments:

  1. The cinematography alone draws me in. Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Larry. And best of luck as your…