Heather writes:

I love your site. You do a wonderful job of keeping it up-to-date, interesting, and user-friendly.

For once, I have info you may wish to add to it. From February 19-21, Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, will host Life, the Universe, and Everything: the Marion K. “Doc” Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy. That is a very long name for a fun and educational event that’s now on its twenty-second year of existence.

The symposium will feature a number of panels and presentations related to the Lord of the Rings, as well as the movies, artwork, and related works of fiction. There will be a presentation on Tolkien’s linguistics. At least two panels will focus on the movies’ costumes. One panel will discuss the movies in the context of translating works of fiction to film. Friday evening’s variety of activities will include LotR trivia games. In addition to the LotR-related activities, the symposium also features panels and presentations on writing, art, gaming, media, and CYOW (create your own world, à la Tolkien–topics covered this year include social movements, politics, the history of warfare, a weapons demo, and creating a believable magic system). We’ll have several writing workshops. We’ll have dancing, feasting, spontaneous filking, an art show, and all manner of good, wholesome fun. Guests include Jim Conley and Bill Widder, representatives of the prestigious Writers of the Future contest; Bob Defendi, rising star in the RPG business; Sam Longoria, the actor who brought the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to life and has done amazing amounts of interesting stuff; Michael R. Collings, professor and poet extraordinaire; Dave Wolverton, well-known sci-fi author; and David Farland, well-known fantasy author. Best of all, the symposium is free to the public! Registration, as well as most events, will be on the third floor of BYU’s Wilkinson Student Center. [More]