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April 13, 1999


The Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) announced last week that it has awarded a project grant to the Harbinger to sponsor a symposium featuring the work of southern authors who write in the genre of science fiction.

I.F. Clarke said: “Science Fiction is the dialogue of a technological society with itself.” The symposium, titled “Southern Accents in Science Fiction,” will focus on the influence and scope of science fiction in the South and its influence on the culture of the United States in general.

The keynote speaker is Gregory Benford, originally from Fairhope, Alabama, who holds a Ph.D. in physics and teaches at University of California-Irvine. In his novel Against Infinity, Benford wrote with a Southern view of hard science fiction and interplanetary exploration. Dr. Benford will give a talk on science and technology in relation to southern science fiction on June 3 at 7 p.m. in the Admiral Semmes Radisson Hotel Ballroom.

On June 2 at 7 p.m. in the Admiral Semmes Radisson Hotel Ballroom, Professor Wendall Houston of the History Department of University of South Alabama will use a counterfactual analysis of the Battle of Antietam with the South as the winner of that battle to extrapolate a post-Civil War history of United States.

Also, on June 4, authors Gregory Benford, Kathleen Goonan, Andy Duncan, and Jack McDevitt will read from their science-fiction stories in the Admiral Semmes Radisson Hotel Activity Room.

This current project is the 15th grant that the Harbinger has received from AHF since its formation in 1983.

For more information, contact project director Dr. Thomas Brennan at 460-7835 or email

The Harbinger, P.O. Box U-980, Mobile, AL 36688-0001