Welcome to the Mothership, Clarion Sci-Fi Writers’ Workshop | Exhibit

Photo of items in the Clarion exhibit located at The Nest at Geisel Library.
Jun 25, 2024–Aug 25, 2024
All Day

They’re back! The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop returns to UC San Diego for a summer of sci-fi and speculative fiction, with intensive work spinning yarns that could involve time travel, dystopian disasters or any adventure imaginable. These scribes will study, learn and create right here at our “mothership,” Geisel Library, in a special classroom set aside for them.

UC San Diego Library staff has always had a special place in their heart for the Clarion students. Welcoming the writers into the iconic, brutalist, Pereira-designed “mothership” Library at the center of the campus is a rite of passage unto itself.

This exhibit is currently on display in the glass cases of The Nest on the 2nd (main) Floor of Geisel Library. The exhibit features various sci-fi and fantasy books of interest from the Library’s circulating collection. Academic texts from physics, chemistry, and engineering are also displayed, encouraging visitors to include more science in their science fiction writing. Otherworldly props from the years that Library staff threw formal steampunk teas at the iconic Geisel Library for incoming Clarion visitors are also on view.

Clarion alumna Octavia Butler receives special attention in the exhibit. Now known as the mother of Afrofuturism, Butler’s hand-corrected galley of “The Parable of the Sower” is featured in one corner of the exhibit, with supporting documents courtesy of recently retired UC San Diego literature instructor Stephen Potts, a Butler colleague. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination is also mentioned as being a key contributor to the workshop over the years.

The Library worked closely with Jac Jemc, faculty director of Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, to ensure Clarion writers felt at home at the mothership. Jemc also teaches creative writing at UC San Diego in the Department of Literature, and so is in the position to relay all the extra resources UC San Diego has to offer these visitors. Clarion Workshop program assistant Izzy Petrovsky, whose role was sponsored by UC San Diego’s Black Studies Project, provided invaluable support and research during the creation of this exhibition.

Learn more about the Clarion program and this year’s Clarion faculty.

Partners: Department of Literature

Scott Paulson