Physicist talks about speculative science fiction at lectureship

By Clarence Plank: PNT Staff Writer

Los Alamos native and Physicist Ian Tregillis was the guest of honor for the 34th annual Jack Williamson Lectureship on Friday.

Tregillis spoke about science fiction and fantasy in the next decade.

“Speculative fiction writers have a very long history in predicting the future,” Tregillis said. “We have an equally long history of getting it wrong. This isn’t to say that speculative fiction will always is wrong because that is untrue, but it is to say it’s hard to predict certain trends in a future reality.”

Tregillis said anyone who has had outpatient surgery, been on the Internet or used an iPad already knows they live in a world where they are tapping into science fiction.

“I know that the Jack Williamson Lectureship has a long history bringing in people from different fields around Portales,” Tregillis said. “I just hope that I lived up to that tradition and have been an honored guest.”

Eastern New Mexico University English masters’ student Ray Juricich said he enjoyed the speakers and listening to a portion of their books on Thursday.

“I thought Ian was very insightful about the positives and negatives the future of science fiction and science fantasy holds,” Juricich said. “I’m hoping to be an author myself so it is always entertaining to attend these conventions and meet with the authors and find out different suggestions that they have.”

Sean Shepherd of the Golden Library talked about his idea for collecting space debris and his trip to present at the first International Orbital Debris Conference to discuss his idea.

Shepherd said he has learned that science takes some deep thought.

“I was honored to be a part of this and it really is a great thing to be a part of,” Shepherd said. “It was good to hear a science fiction author speak; it was very thought provoking. I’m not really a big fiction guy, but after today I will be.”

Shepherd said if nothing comes from his idea, it might be a good science fiction story.