The 2007 Williamson Lectureship
April 27, 2007
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

A photo-report by Stephen Haffner
Be sure to check out for books by Jack Williamson

The 31st Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship was held April 27, 2007 on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. This annual lectureship honors distinguished Emeritus Professor of English Dr. Jack Williamson (1908-2006), science fiction author and scholar. A campus tradition since 1977, the Williamson Lectureship annually invites well known authors to visit the campus and discuss the interactions of science and the humanities.

This was the first year for the Lectureship without Dr. Williamson and
theme was "From Metal Man to Stonehenge Gate: 79 Years of Science Fiction." 

The luncheon speakers were Connie Willis, Rick Hauptmann, and Eleanor Wood.  Following the luncheon, attendees were invited to two panels held at the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library at ENMU's Golden Library. The first panel, "Science Fiction Past and Future: The Williamson Legacy" was moderated by Connie Willis with Ed Bryant, Stephen Haffner, and Eleanor Wood.  The second panel, " The Art of Science Fiction Today: Who's Writing What and How" was moderated by Melinda Snodgrass and panelists included Emily Mah, Ian Tregillis, Walter Jon Williams, and Eleanor Wood.

The home page for the event is here:

  Several attendees have "blogged" this year's Lectureship:
Walter Jon Williams' is
Melinda Snodgrass' is here

April 26, 2007
Thursday evening, Gene Bundy and Geni Flores held a gathering for Lectureship guests and friends and family at their Portales home.
(front) Vicky Medley, her daughter Katie, and ENMU Librarian Melveta Walker.
(back) Ian Tregillis, Ed Bryant, and Walter Jon Williamson
(l to r) Betty Williamson, Trevor Tippetts, Emily Mah,
and Katie Williamson (Betty's daughter)

Geni Flores, Connie Willis, and Gene Bundy.
C'mon, guys!  Can't you stand closer to each other--you're messing with this layout!

April 27, 2007
Prior to, and after, the luncheon staff members of the ENMU bookstore made available for sale books by
Dr. Williamson.  The campus bookstore was closed during the Lectureship and is slated to re-open
under the management of Barnes & Noble.
Nancy Mote (far right) oversees the the
display and sale of books before the luncheon
A new book from Haffner Press debuted at the
lectureship.  Details at

Books, books . . .
. . . and more books!
The last three copies of The Metal Man and Others were available for sale.  Stephen Haffner bought them!
Even a 12-word caption fails to explain what is going on here.
ENMU's Dr. Patrice Caldwell once again welcomes us to the Lectureship, note the absence of Dr. Williamson, and introduces the speakers.
Connie Willis bluntly states that "memories are a pathetic substitute for the real person," shares anecdotes of her times spent with Dr. Williamson, and sets the stage for the other speakers
Rick Hauptmann humorously informs the audience that were it not for that chance-issue of Amazing Stories in 1926, Jack Williamson would have made just as good an accountant as he would an SF writer.
Eleanor Wood speaks about negotiating contracts for Williamson, and shares texts from several Williamson stories that had many attendees thinking they were "swan-song" quotes, when they were really from as far back as 1951!

Following the speeches, all three guests were given plaques
with commemorating their participation in the 2007 Lectureship.
Rick Hauptmann, Connie Willis, and Stephen Haffner pose with a copy of their 2004 tribute to Dr. Williamson, Seventy-Five: The Diamond Anniversary of a Science Fiction Pioneer.

After the Luncheon, attendees ambled over to ENMU's Golden Library where the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library houses over 13,000 volumes of science fiction works, both fiction and non-fiction. It includes books, SF pulps dating back to the early 1900's, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and many other items. Many of these were donated from Williamson's personal collection.
Stephen Haffner (shamelessly promoting the new Williamson chapbook from Haffner Press), Connie Willis, and Ed Bryant before the panel, "Science Fiction Past and Future: The Williamson Legacy."
Emily Mah, Melinda Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, Ian Tregillis, Eleanor Wood during the panel, "The Art of Science Fiction Today: Who's Writing What and How."

April 28, 2007
Late Saturday morning, Lecutreship guests and friends journeyed to the Williamson Ranch in Pep, New Mexico.  (For additional images of the Williamson Ranch, click here to see a photo report from the 2006 Williamson Lectureship).
Higher than average rainfall during the winter season left the high plains of the Llano Estacado much greener than usual.

The Williamson Tribe opened their home to attendees and provided a grand meal, great company, and secret-recipe Old-Fashioneds.

Following their repast (ie food-coma), Stephen Haffner persuades the attending professionals to autograph copies of In Memory of Wonder's Child he brought from the bindery for just such an occasion. That's Stephen Gould at the bottom right. His 1992 novel, Jumper, will be a major motion picture in 2008.
Walter Jon Williams considers another Corona as Haffner holds open the umpteen-millionth copy for his autograph, Fortunately, we only had five copies to go . . .

At Jack Williamson's cabin on the Ranch (built in 1934) are (l to r) Ed Bryant, Emily Mah, Stephen Gould, Trevor Tippetts, Terry England, and Stephen Betts.
Ed Bryant makes a break for it out of the shack window.  Watch out for the rattlesnakes, Ed!
Royal Oak, Michigan meets an alien creaure of the Southwest.  Okay, so it's actuallyYankee small-press magnate making an equine friend.  Happens all the time.

See You Next Year!!!!

Super-mega kudos to Dr. Patrice Caldwell, Belinda Hilliard, Gene Bundy, and
Richard A. Hauptmann for custodianship of the Williamson Lectureship, and to
Betty Williamson & Milz Bickly and Jim & Nancy Williamson for their infinite
hospitality to the Lectureship guests and attendees.

Copyright © 2007 Haffner Press