Orange County Science Fiction Club Orange County Science Fiction Club

Past Meetings

---- 2004 ----

November 25, 2004
  • John Bowen Pulp Collector.
    John, a long time collector and historian of the pulps,told us about the publishers and writers of the early pulps. It was wonderful hearing the history and thinking about the early readers and fans of Science Fiction.

    The world of Null-A by Van Vogt, A. E. (Alfred Elton), 1912-

October 27, 2004
  • A reading on tape: Laugh Track by Harlan Ellison
    Harlan's superb talent for dramatic readings was a delightful bonus to his twisted tale of a late aunt whose laugh and spirit had become the captive of the laugh tracks.

September 29, 2004
  • No guest speaker was scheduled.
    Members shared the video "Returner"

August 25, 2004
  • No guest speaker was scheduled.
    Members shared the video "The Iron Giant"

June 30, 2004
  • Our guest was author David Baumann who talked about his work on The STARMAN SERIES.
    David Baumann is an Episcopal priest, a karate instructor and a free-lance writer, who somehow manages to write one to two books, several short stories, and countless articles each year. As a free-lance writer for more than twenty years, David has published nearly four dozen articles in a variety of magazines and periodicals and one non-fiction book. A second non-fiction book is being prepared for publication this summer.
    Along with co-authors Jon Cooper and Mike Dodd, David writes the David Foster Starman Adventures - a set of brand-new old-fashioned good clean science-fiction adventure stories,

    Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (2003)
    From Publishers Weekly
    This fast-paced, densely textured, impressive first novel is an intriguing hybrid of William Gibson's Neuromancer and Norman Spinrad's Deus X. In the 25th century, it's difficult to die a final death. Humans are issued a cortical stack, implanted into their bodies, into which consciousness is "digitized" and from which-unless the stack is hopelessly damaged-their consciousness can be downloaded ("resleeved") with its memory intact, into a new body. While the Vatican is trying to make resleeving (at least of Catholics) illegal, centuries-old aristocrat Laurens Bancroft brings Takeshi Kovacs (an Envoy, a specially trained soldier used to being resleeved and trained to soak up clues from new environments) to Earth, where Kovacs is resleeved into a cop's body to investigate Bancroft's first mysterious, stack-damaging death.
    Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. (384 pages)
    [Availability notes: 2 in OC library system (Foothill Ranch & Costa Mesa)]

SPECIAL EVENT on June 23, 2004
  • About a dozen attended the tour of a special exhibit at the Laguna Museum

    Laguna Art Museum
    307 Cliff Drive
    Laguna Beach

    The exhibit is Deborah Aschheim's Neural Architecture

    We had a wonderful tour and are very grateful to Mr. Stallings for this special opportunity.
    Neural Architecture, is based on the structure of the cerebral cortex. The immersive site-specific sculptural environment lights up in response to each viewer's approach, appearing to "synapse" with the gallery's existing motion sensors and security devices, quietly highlighting the building's surveillance of its occupants.
    Based on neurobiology, with light as the principal medium the work models neural systems literally as cognitive networks, and metaphorically as structures for considering the intersection of perception, consciousness, culture, and technology.

    Our tour was conducted by the curator of the exhibit Tyler Stallings.

May 26, 2004
  • Our guest was Dr. Albert Vogeler who spoke on crop circles.
    Dr. Vogeler is a historian who taught at CSUF up until his retirement. He has various interests in addition to crop circles including the great libraries of the world and cartography. He has been curator of the cartograpy collection at the CSUF library for several years.

    Gnarl! by Rudy Rucker (2000)
    Though he is also a mathematician, computer scientist, and essayist, Rudy Rucker is best known for his ground-breaking science fiction. The companion volume to Seek!, Rucker's selected nonfiction, Gnarl! brings together three dozen of the writer's best science fiction short stories. His first major story collection in 17 years, the volume includes a number of previously unanthologized stories, including tales cowritten with Marc Laidlaw, Paul Di Filippo, and Bruce Sterling. Classics such as "The Fifty-Seventh Franz Kafka," a timely meditation on the paradoxes of cloning, are side by side with works of pseudomemoir like "The Indian Rope Trick Explained." The Rucker formula - cutting-edge physics, a wild but perversely logical imagination, and a decidedly punk attitude - illuminates this new collection. (576 pages)
    [Availability notes: None in Anaheim system, 2 in OC library system (Foothill Ranch & Irvine Heritage Park Regional), none in Fullerton, none at Buena Park. Not available on Braille audiobook.]

April 28, 2004
  • Our guest was David Alexander official biographer of Gene Roddenberry
    His book, Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography Of Gene Roddenberry
    is available from

    Shikasta by Doris Lessing's (1979)
    Doris Lessing stepped forward into the fabulous, the marvelous, but it is in this new novel that she makes her true break with traditional realism. Here she begins a series of novels, Canopus in Argos: Archives, set in some future time; novels transcending realism altogether, yet reinstating it within a space-age setting. She has created what she calls "a new world for myself," self-consistent and with infinite possibilities, "a realm where the petty fates of planets, let alone individuals, are only aspects of the rivalries and interactions of the greater galactic empires: Canopus, Sirius, and their enemy, the Empire Puttoria with its criminal planet Shammat Shikasta, encompasses millions of years of Earth's evolution and uses several contrasting styles and manners to do it, from the manic stupidities of "the Devil," to the lofty ruminations of "the Gods," but Lessing is also able to write the simple and sorrowful story of a single teen-age girl, whirled out of her little limitations by the world's cataclysms.(380 pages)
    [Availability: 1 in Anaheim system at Anaheim Central Library; OC library system at Garden Grove West, Irvine Heritage Park Regional, Irvine University Park & Westminster; 1 in Fullerton, none at Buena Park. Available on Braille audiobook.]

March 31, 2004
  • This was an open meeting with discussion of SF topics

    Contact Imminent by Kristine Smith (2003)
    Former captain Jani Kilian is a genetically altered human-idomeni hybrid who acts as a bridge of communication between two fiercely incompatible races. With intergalactic civil war looming large -- with renegades in the Service secretly plotting extermination -- Jani Kilian is being pulled once more into perilous space. Because a horrific act of terror is about to ignite a long-feared conflict between human and alien…and the key to the survival or destruction of human civilization is waiting for her somewhere on the edge of the universe. (448 pages)
    [Availability: In paperback: 1 in Anaheim system at Yorba Linda, 1 in OC library system at Rancho Santa Marg., none in Fullerton library, none at Buena Pk. library. Not on Braille audiobook.

    To buy paperback: Buy New: $7.50, Used from $4.25]
February 25, 2004

  • Dell Wolfensparger, Multimedia and Web Producer.
    Dell spoke about his experiences in the making of the Forrest J. Ackerman Museum of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy, a virtual museum of Forry's art, movie props and memorabilia collection on 4 CDROMs.
    While working at Marlin Software Development, Dell was the Project Manager (aka producer) of this product.
    Dell told us how he met Forry and his first encounter with the Ackermansion and Forry's collection when he picked him up in September, 1996, to bring him to the Sci-Fi Masters™ Convention he produced at UCI to be their Guest of Honor
    Also an experienced magician, Dell treated us to a little magic to add more spice to the evening.

    Cryptozoic! by Brian Aldiss (1967)
    Near the end of the 21st century, man made his final assault on the barriers of the fourth dimension -- time -- and they came tumbling down around him . . . In search of the truth are an expert mind-traveler, a phantasmal Dark Woman, an academic with the theory that time runs backward, plus aliens whose perspective includes uncreated time. A godlike vision or an child-like fantasy? Whatever they experienced, the reader must decide for himself in this splendid piece of psychologicial science fiction.
    [Availability notes: Library availability only at Fullerton Library and Braille Inst. Not available at Anaheim, Buena Park nor OC library systems.]

January 28, 2004
  • A rembrance of Philip K. Dick
    Confirmed guests include Authors James Blaylock, Tim Powers, Greg Benford,
    Paul Williams (Dick's biographer), and Warren James (Hour 25 host). The evening will celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of Dick's first novel Solar Lottery being completed and published.

    Our January book will be The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
    It's 1939 and an 18-year-old artist and magician uses his training by Houdini to escape Czechoslovakia for his cousin's NY home. With their love of legend and fantasy, the boys launch a superhero comic-book series during the golden age of comics.
    [639 pages]
    (NOTE: the author made his screenwriting debut with the script for Spider-Man 2 and his darkly comic novel "The Wonder Boys" was turned into a hilarious movie. This book will also be made into a movie with the author writing the screenplay.)

Email for more information or call Greg at (949) 552-4925.