Science Fiction: The Mythology of the Future

Dates: September 19 – 21, 2014
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Science fiction is the most visible and influential form of futurist thinking in contemporary popular culture.

Why is science fiction so popular? Science Fiction, in narrative form, speaks to the whole person: Intellect, imagination, emotion, and the senses. For many people, science fiction has become a way of life: a way of creating and experiencing reality and the future. Science fiction is the evolutionary mythology of the future.

In this personally transformative, three-day educational experience, Tom and Jeanne Lombardo, Co-Directors of the Center for Future Consciousness, offer both a sweeping, intellectually stimulating overview of science fiction, from ancient times to the consciousness-expanding visions of contemporary cosmic science fiction, as well as a variety of personalized participatory activities in thinking and writing about the future. Topics include: Science Fiction Literature and Cinema; Science Fiction Art; Science Fiction and the Evolution of Human Culture; and the Science Fiction Community and Way of Life.

Schedule Highlights

Day One:

Introduction: Defining Science Fiction; Holistic Future Consciousness; The Cosmic Perspective; Myth, Fantasy, & Science Fiction; Evolutionary Mythology

Early History: Pre-Modern Visions of the Future & the Fantastical; Utopias; Science, the Enlightenment, & Journeys into Space; Romanticism & the Gothic; Prometheus & Frankenstein; The Double-Edged Sword of Science Fiction; Hope, Fear, & Wonder

The Nineteenth Century: Verne’s Extraordinary Voyages; Evolution & Entropy; Future War, Utopias, Androids, & Cosmic Mysticism; Science Fiction Graphics; Wells’ Evolutionary Visions

Early Twentieth Century: A Glowing Future; A Transforming Universe; The Amazing, Wondrous, & Astounding (Gernsback, Paul, and Campbell); Robots & Newts; Cinema (Méliès, Aelita, and Metropolis); Space Opera and Cosmic Evolution (Smith and Stapledon)

Afternoon Writing Workshop

Evening Dialogue Group and Movie Events

Day Two:

The Golden Age: Adventures in Space & Time; Writers of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame; Robots & Future History (Heinlein & Asimov); Comics; Dystopias & the Human Madness of the Golden Age; Metaphysics & Christian Science Fiction

The Silver Age: The Explosion of Science Fiction Cinema; The Fantastical Light of Alfred Bester; Transcendence at the End of the World; Clarke’s Mythic Narratives; Star Trek as a Way of Life; Human Evolution; Dick & the Questioning of Reality

The New Culture and the New Wave: Cultural Transformation & Science Fiction; The Erotic, Blasphemous, Dangerous, Psychedelic, & Catastrophic; Kubrick & Science Fiction Cinema; The Emergence of Women Science Fiction Writers (LeGuin, Tiptree, and Atwood)

The 1980s: How Science Fiction Conquered the World; The Cinema (Star Wars, Brazil, and Bladerunner); The Science Fiction Community; The Culture & Metaphysics of Cyberpunk; Wisdom and the Comedic

Afternoon Writing Workshop

Evening Dialogue Group and Movie Events

Day Three:

The 1990s: The Farthest Reaches of Space, Time, & Mind; The Evolution of Aliens; The Future of Everything; Biotech & Ecological Engineering; In Love with Destruction; Alternative Realities & Steampunk; Watchmen & the Graphic Novel; Regressive Romanticism & Naturalism

The New Millennium: Time Travel; Global Visions; Love in the Cosmos; The Singularity; The Evolution of Mind; Cosmic Science Fiction

Summary & Conclusion: Archetypal Narratives & Themes; The Value of Science Fiction; Science Fiction as the Evolutionary Mythology of the Future

Afternoon Writing Workshop

Evening Dialogue Group and Movie Events