Secondary Universe I
Secondary Universe I was held May 10–11, 1968, at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and was organized by Ivor Rogers. Attendance was over 200 including both academics and fans. The affair had originally been intended as a two-hour symposium on "Imagination in the Theatre Arts," but it expanded into a two-day conference comprising all areas of science fiction and fantasy.
It began on Friday evening with two plays by Ray Bradbury, "To the Chicago Abyss" and "Season of Disbelief." The first was more or less a fantasy, while the second didn't seem to have any fantastic elements in it. Another crowd pleaser was a showing of Ed Emshwiller's short film, Relativity followed by a short talk by Emshwiller. On Saturday morning, the keynote speaker was Clyde S. Kilby, who had written several books on C. S. Lewis whose topic was "Morals and Literature", with specific references to Lewis and Tolkien. The conference the broke up into several special interest groups: A Tolkien working group, a group on sf in television and in the movies in which Gene DeWeese gave a talk, and a group on "The New Thing" with Samuel R. Delany as a speaker.
The lunch speaker was Judith Merril, who talked about how inclusive science fiction had become, in terms of subject matter, comprising everything from fairy tales to so-called "hard" science fiction. After lunch, three more special interest groups held sessions: one on SF in poetry and music, one on "The Twentieth-Century Romance" and one on "Science and Literature." Ed Meskys participated in the third session, substituting for Bruce Pelz who at the last minute had been unable to attend. Three late afternoon sessions were also held. One of these sessions had the topic of mass media and science fiction, and featured a talk by Phil Klass.
The conference was deemed successful enough that another was held the next year.
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