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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    New club sheds light on sci-fi

    Galactic empires. Fire-breathing dragons. Epic battles. Welcome to the new Sci-Fi Cats club at UA.

    A joint project between the Honors College and UofA Bookstores, Sci-Fi Cats hopes to create a community where students can discuss fantasy and science fiction — genres that are usually overlooked.

    “”Fantasy and science fiction permeate pop culture,”” said Chris Schafer, a program coordinator at the bookstore who helped develop the idea. “”There was no way for students with that common interest to come together and talk about it.””

    Ryan Winet, the advanced First-Year Composition instructor spearheading the club, agreed that one of the club’s primary goals is to create a sense of community among students outside of the classroom.

    “”I grew up with ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,'”” Winet said. “”It’s been a kind of quiet obsession for most of my life. This club seemed like a great way to create a community around this genre.””

    Sci-Fi Cats plans to meet every couple of weeks to discuss a common book and work constructively with each other’s original stories.  

    “”Ultimately, we’d like to see a student’s book published,”” Schafer said. “”A great goal of ours is to have students of different disciplines collaborating with each other.””

    The first informational meeting on Friday drew about a dozen sci-fi and fantasy enthusiasts.

    “”I’m a super-huge nerd,”” said Sarah Trainor, a senior majoring in management and information systems who expressed interest in a leadership position with Sci-Fi Cats. “”As a kid, I’d go to the library and read everything I could get my hands on. I’d escape to other worlds.””

    Juhyung Sun, a senior majoring in molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry and molecular biophysics, expressed his own excitement at the emergence of the worlds of science fiction and fantasy from the figurative basement.

    “”The fandom is viewed as an underground thing, but some books really explore the human condition,”” said Sun. “”They give insight in ways other literature cannot.””

    Beyond book discussions, Winet hopes the club can view movies, workshop each other’s work, get some prominent authors as guest speakers and even take a field trip or two. San Diego Comic-Con, anyone?

    Most importantly, Sci-Fi Cats is about doing what you love.

    “”This should be a fun and stimulating experience,”” said Winet. “”You should come and read the books because you want to, not because you’re forced to.””

    If you’re a closet science fiction or fantasy fan, join up and look forward to some epic discussions on humanity, technology and everything else needed for an out-of-this-world story.

    Interested? Check out UA Sci-Fi Cats on Facebook.

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