Even though WorldCon is the biggest annual gathering of SF fans and professionals in the world, it does not always offer academic programming. This year, Gunn Center Director Chris McKitterick was asked to put together an academic track on behalf of the Center. So, rather than host a separate Campbell Conference with WorldCon just a month later in neighboring Kansas City - thus forcing out-of-town guests to choose one or the other - we decided to combine the two. Our regular attendees and award winners gain the opportunity to be part of the biggest SF event of the year while still celebrating the Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award. And WorldCon attendees gain a taste of the Campbell Conference.
Using MidAmeriCon's theme of "Tomorrow Is Now," we'll discuss the current state and future of science fiction. There are more than 35 presentations on topics from Defiance to Heinlein and everything in between. In addition, we also plan to hold our usual round-table discussion and have a charity auction. The silent auction will be Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the live auction will be Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds from the auction will benefit AboutSF, the educational outreach branch of the Gunn Center, and Pulse Victims Fund, which supports the victims of the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. The benefit auction is currently accepting donated items for the sale. Donors can bring the items to the auction until Saturday afternoon and a tax-deductible receipt will be printed for you. The round-table discussion will be Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:45, with James Gunn, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, and others. The discussion will revolve around how the Golden Age of SF shaped the present world and the current state of science fiction as well as how today's science fiction might affect the future. And of course, we'll celebrate the winners of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short SF, and host a reception on Thursday night for our winning guests of honor. The reception will have hors d’oeuvres for more than 200 people and a cash bar. For more information on any of these events, please visit http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/campbell-conf