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Renown Alaska writer Dana Stabenow will talk about sci-fi genera in Kenai workshop

Aspiring authors’ fantasies come true

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2007


  Julie Niederhauser, assistant director for the Kenai Community Library, reshelves books in the science fiction section recently. Photo by Joseph Robertia

Julie Niederhauser, assistant director for the Kenai Community Library, reshelves books in the science fiction section recently.

Photo by Joseph Robertia

The Kenai Community Library is putting the call out for pointy-eared penmen, green-skinned character generators and alien-loving authors for an upcoming science fiction workshop.

“This is a rare opportunity that I think is going to fill up fast. We’ve already got 10 people signed up,” said Julie Niederhauser, assistant director for the library.

The free workshop March 3, made possible by a grant from Arisia Inc., is intended to help augment the sci-fi/fantasy collection at the library and encourage people to explore this genre, according to Niederhauser.

It will feature a four-hour survey of popular science fiction with author Dana Stabenow.

“We wanted an author that was Alaskan, interested in sci-fi, well-known and willing to participate in a workshop,” Niederhauser said, adding that Stabenow was all of the above.

Stabenow, born in 1952 in Anchorage, was raised in Cordova and Seldovia. She graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1982, putting herself through school by using earnings from seafood processor and oil field work.

In 1990, Stabenow sold her first book — “Second Star,” bought by Ace Science Fiction. She has since written dozens of books including the popular Kate Shugak mystery series.

“I read everything, no printed matter is safe from me,” Stabenow states in her biography. “I love good science fiction and I wish there was more of it out there in any format.”

Niederhauser said the workshop will be comprehensive.

“Sci-fi is such a broad subject. It’s not just aliens. There’s fantasies, alternative histories and a lot of other different types of stories. And, (Stabenow) will explore science fiction from the perspective of the past, present and future,” she said.

To accomplish this, Stabenow has already put a box of books and videos — in multiple copies — at the library for participants to read and view before the workshop, including, to name a few titles, “The Rolling Stones” by Robert Heinlein, “Wildside” by Steven Gould and “Trails and Tribble-ations,” a Star Trek Deep Space Nine video.

“She wants people to have an opinion, so there can be some lively debate during the workshop,” Niederhauser said.

The workshop will be held at the Kenai Visitor’s and Convention Center on March 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an hour lunch break at noon. It is limited to the first 25 people to sign up. To reserve a spot, call the Kenai Community Library at 283-4378.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at joseph.robertia@

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