Talis Sci-Fi and Fantasy Portal

Ursula Leguin reading in Second Life

Are you a sci-fi, speculative fiction, or fantasy enthusiast? If so, Second Life’s Talis Sci-Fi and Fantasy Portal is for you. Founded in 2006, it is one of Second Life’s older institutions, featuring informational displays, author appearances, and discussions. Current displays include "Look into the Liaden Universe", about the series of books authored by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and displays about speculative fiction written by Asian-American and African-American authors. Other displays include Nebula and Hugo award winning novels, and displays of books featured in upcoming author appearances and discussions.

One notable event was the February 2009 author appearance by Ursula Le Guin, who was reading from her novel Always Coming Home at the Potlatch 18 conference in Sunnyvale, CA and simultaneously viewed by avatars gathered in Second Life, who along with members or the Potlatch audience were able to ask her questions.

The Talis Sci-Fi & Fantasy Portal

Two upcoming events are scheduled for this month:

  • Book of the Month Discussion: We will be discussing Neal Stephenson’s 1991 novel Snowcrash, which inspired much of what we see in virtual worlds today. It will be held on two separate days, Wednesday June 17th at 6:30pm SLT for those in the Americas, and Saturday June 20 at 1pm for those in European time zones.
  • Meet the Author: Professional geologist B Billy Marse will discuss his book H2onE2, which deals with the exploration of the universe, Earth’s climate, geology, and climate, folklore, and ancient structures, and he’ll discuss "Glacial Respiration" and how it affects climate change.

This month’s Film Discussion, already held, was about the new Star Trek film.

The easiest way to learn about upcoming events is to join the Second Life group "Sci Fi & Fantasy Portal", which runs the Portal and sends all members notices of events. If you have ideas for events or displays you would like to see or lead at the Portal, contact Franja Russell in Second Life.

Inside the Talis Sci-Fi & Fantasy Portal

The Portal got its start in 2006 when a group of avatars that included Floria Hand, Franja Russell, Michael Maitland, Grizzy Griswold, Chris Reitveld, and myself (in the form of my alt avatar Hawk Lightcloud) met to plan what we hoped would be a resource both for fans and reseachers in these forms of fiction. The Portal became reality when the Alliance Virtual Library provided the land, Talis provided the funding, and Chris Reitveld designed and built the Portal building. Today the rest of us have shifted our focus to other activities, but Franja Russell remains dedicated to the Portal, putting in long hours managing displays and events. Without her hard work, there would be no Portal.

Second Life members can teleport to the Talis Sci-Fi and Fantasy Portal by clicking http://slurl.com/secondlife/Info%20Island/217/95/52.

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