A breeding ground for great science fiction authors?

Is there something in the water at the University of California at San Diego that helps turn the students into great sci-fi writers? That’s one of the questions explored in the video below, a fantastic panel discussion featuring some of those UCSD alumni who have gone on to become successful sf authors. I believe this event occurred in 2002.

The panel participants: Gregory Benford (!), David Brin (!), Kim Stanley Robinson (!), Vernor Vinge (!), and Nancy Holder (ok, never heard of her before, I admit). These are all UCSD alumni, and all extremely intelligent and entertaining panelists. The discussion begins around the question of why that particular campus produced so many great writers, and then moves on to other topics such as the “two cultures” (science vs. the humanities), politics and society, the themes and strengths of science fiction, predicting the future, dumb movies, etc. They also talk here and there about some of their work, about various books or stories. And there’s plenty of laughter to go around! These panelists really enjoy themselves here, and so will you.

By the way, a couple other UCSD alumni are also mentioned, who were unable to attend: Suzette Hayden Elgin and Raymond Feist. Wow, they really turn out the authors there in southern CA, huh?

The video is around an hour and a half long, but well worth that much of your time. So…. here’s your video:


6 responses to “A breeding ground for great science fiction authors?

  1. Have you ever looked to see how many came from Seattle? There are tons.

  2. But from a specific university?

  3. Interesting video…

  4. Other schools? Cal State Fullerton and Kansas State University have cranked them out.

  5. I’m sure you’re right about other schools. I think the whole school angle was just a convenient excuse for UCSD to get those authors together for a panel. Fortunately, they broadened the discussion to other areas, and the whole thing ended up being very enjoyable. I was impressed by Brin especially, and how passionately he talked about science fiction and other things.

  6. I actually haven’t found time to watch the thing yet. Maybe this weekend, hopefully, between my forays into the garage (its a hellacious mess and Ive been told to fix it).

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