LTUE History

While Life, the Universe, & Everything officially started in 1983, there were a few events prior to that which helped establish the foundation for the symposium and The Leading Edge magazine (now simply Leading Edge). Much of this content is taken from (and in some cases, copied wholesale from) an essay written by Lee Allred titled “Nobody Here Still but Us Orcs…: An Incomplete History of Life, the Universe, & (Mostly) Everything


The BYU Library, BYU Press, and the BYU English Department organized a one day symposium called “Science Fiction: Ultimate Odyssey,” held on January 20, 1976 in the Jessie Knight Building. Marion K. “Doc” Smith, Dr. Marjorie Wight, and Sue Ream were involved in this event.


Orson Scott Card visited BYU as part of the Church Sesquicentennial lecture series BYU held commemorating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He gave a speech on March 13, 1980 titled “Nobody Here but Us Orcs: How a Mormon Writer Deals with the Problem of Good and Evil.”


Author and editor Ben Bova was invited to speak at a campus-wide Forum Assembly on February 25, 1992. Bova was scheduled to speak during the noon hour and hold an hour‐long Q&A session at 2 p.m. The BYU English Department thrust the care and feeding of Bova into “Doc” Smith’s hands. Never slow on the uptake, Smith hastily called a few of his sf writing students together and they held an impromptu ad hoc sf symposium. The affair ended in a late night visit to BYU librarian Betty Pope’s house, where Bova was presented with a handmade afghan, starting a tradition of presenting guests with these afghans until Pope’s death.


Dates: February 7-12, 1983
Guest of Honor: Orson Scott Card
Chairs: Dave Doering


Dates: February 16-19, 1984
Guest: James Christensen
Chairs: Dave Doering


Dates: February 6-9, 1985
Guests of Honor: Elizabeth Boyer, C.J. Cherryh, Frederik Pohl
Other Guest: Betty Ann Hull
Chairs: Dave Doering


Dates: February 6-9, 1986
Guests of Honor: Orson Scott Card, Alan Dean Foster, Madeleine L’Engle
Other Guest: James Christensen
Chairs: Jonathan Langford


Dates: February 4-7, 1987
Guests of Honor: Orson Scott Card, Stephen R. Donaldson, Jack Williamson
Other Guests: Bridge Publications, James Christensen, Julius “Julie” Schwartz
Chairs: Jonathan Langford


Dates: February 3-6, 1988
Guests of Honor: Algis Budrys, Tim Powers
Other Guests: Elizabeth Boyer, Bridge Publications, Ed Bryant, Orson Scott Card, James Christensen, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Karen Joy Fowler, Tracy Hickman, Jay Kay Klein, Michael Whelan (see note)
Chairs: Karl Batdorff, M. Shayne Bell, Dave Doering, Dave Wolverton (known as “The Quatarchy”)
Notes: Michael Whelan wasn’t a guest of the symposium, but rather of the BYU Art Department. One of Whelan’s works of art was stolen from a secured art gallery. Ray Bradbury was at BYU for an English Department event on March 9, 1998, about a month after the symposium.


Dates: February 1-4, 1989
Guests of Honor: Karen Anderson, Poul Anderson, David Brin, Octavia Butler
Other Guests: Glenn Anderson, Bridge Publications, Algis Budrys, Orson Scott Card, Dr. Stephen L. Gillett
Chairs: Pat Birkedahl


Dates: February 7-10, 1990
Guests of Honor: Hal Clement, Robin McKinley, Mike Resnick
Other Guests: Algis Budrys, Tracy Hickman, Dave Wolverton
Chairs: Terry Jeffress, Scott Parkin
Notes: This is the first year where a previous chair returned as a guest of the symposium.


Dates: February 6-9, 1991
Guests of Honor: Forrest J. Ackerman, Connie Willis
Other Guests: Bridge Publications, Tracy Hickman, Dave Wolverton
Chairs: Fen Eatough


Dates: February 6-9 1992
Guest of Honor: Jane Yolen
Other Guests: Darren Albertson, M. Shayne Bell, John Scott Clegg, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Derek Hegsted, Chris Hicks, Michaelene Pendleton, Dave Wolverton
Chairs: Sheila V. Schmall, Charlene C. Harmon


Dates: February 10-13, 1993
Guests of Honor: Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Barbara Hambly
Other Guests: Rebecca Moesta Anderson, M. Shayne Bell, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Chris Heimerdinger, Leonard Parkin, Norman Peercy, Michaelene Pendleton, Dave Wolverton
Chairs: Marny Parkin, Melva Gifford (Rick Bickmore was “vice-chair)


Dates: February 16-19, 1994
Guests of Honor: Robert L. Forward, Katherine Kurtz, Roger Zelazny
Other Guests: Henry Bassman, M. Shayne Bell, Marty Brenneis, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Martha Dodson Forward, Michael Liebmann, Greg Olsen, Leonard Parkin, Norman Peercy, Michaelene Pendleton, Dave Wolverton
Chairs: Steve Setzer, Joe Ficklin
Notes: This was Zelazny’s last major public address before he passed away due to cancer.


Dates: February 1-4, 1995
Guests of Honor: Lois McMaster Bujold, Patricia McKillip
Other Guests: M. Shayne Bell, Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Richard Garfield, Michael Liebmann, Sam Longoria, Judith Moffett, Néné Thomas, Leonard Parkin, Michaelene Pendleton
Chairs: Clorinda McElwee, Rick Bickmore
Notes: A few events were held at UVSC (now UVU) this year. Sue Reams’ dog Kenjo died shortly after the symposium this year.


Dates: January 31 – February 3, 1996
Guests of Honor: Tracy Hickman, Dave Wolverton, Patricia C. Wrede
Other Guests: Virginia Baker, M. Shayne Bell, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, Steve Jackson, Steve Keele, Kuo-Yu Liang, Judith Moffett, The Off Broadway Theatre, Michaelene Pendleton, Bill Ransom, Christian Ready, Martha Soukup, W.R. Thompson, K.D. Wentworth, Julia West, Dr. Richard T. Wootton
Chairs: Lee Allred, Joe Monson
Notes: The Kris & Dean Show, a writing workshop hosted by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, was held January 5-6 as a fundraiser at the BYU Alumni House.


Dates: February 27 – March 1, 1997
Guests of Honor: Orson Scott Card, Judith Moffett
Other Guests: Dr. Michael R. Collings, Diann Thornley, Dave Wolverton
Chairs: Lee Allred, Scott Bronson
Notes: Scott Bronson’s student theatrical adaptation of Card’s short story, “Quietus”, was unusually successful for a student production.


Dates: March 12-14, 1998
Guests of Honor: Elizabeth Moon, Sherwood Smith, Dave Wolverton
Other Guests: Marty Brenneis, Michael Leibmann, Sam Longoria, Diann Thornley
Chair: Heather Monson


Dates: March 11-13, 1999
Guests of Honor: Kevin J. Anderson, Marty Brenneis, Rebecca Moesta, Dave Wolverton
Other Guests:
Chair: Matthew Hamby


Dates: March 23-25, 2000
Guests of Honor: L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Margaret Weis, M.K. Wren
Other Guests: David Howard, Dave Wolverton,
Chair: Ethan Skarstedt


Dates: March 1-3, 2001
Guests of Honor: Jeanne Cavelos, Tracy Hickman, Sam Longoria, Harry Turtledove
Other Guests:
Chair: Ivan Wolfe


Dates: February 21-23, 2002
Guests of Honor: Marty Brenneis, Larry Niven, Christian Ready
Other Guests: Jeri Smith-Ready
Chair: Jenna Eatough


Dates: February 13-15, 2003
Guests of Honor: Esther M. Friesner, Patricia C. Wrede
Other Guests: Orson Scott Card, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Norman Peercy
Chairs: April Hennis, Frank Hennis


Dates: February 19-21, 2004
Guests of Honor: Robert J Defendi, Sam Longoria
Other Guests: Jim Conley, Dr. Michael R. Collings
Chairs: Amanda Hunt Peltier


Dates: February 17-19, 2005
Guests of Honor: Dr. Michael R. Collings, David Howard, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Jerry Pournelle
Other Guests: Robert J Defendi, Howard Tayler, Stacy Whitman, Dave Wolverton/David Farland
Chairs: April Randall, Andrew Rosenvall


Dates: February 16-18, 2006
Guests of Honor: Mike Allred, Kevin J. Anderson, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Rebecca Moesta, Theresa Mather
Other Guests: Robert J Defendi, Howard Tayler
Chairs: Andrew Rosenvall, Peyton Smith


Dates: February 15-17, 2007
Guests of Honor: Julie E. Czerneda, Gloria Skurzynski, Howard Tayler, Stacy Whitman
Other Guests:
Chair: Elizabeth Steimle


Dates: February 14-16, 2008
Guests of Honor: Orson Scott Card, Gail Carson Levine, Kevin Wasden
Other Guests: Robert J. Defendi, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler
Chair: Ross Wolfe


Dates: February 19-21, 2009
Guests of Honor: Laura Hickman, Tracy Hickman
Other Guests:
Chairs: Nathan Langford, Tim Richardson


Dates: February 11-13, 2010
Guests of Honor: Marty Brenneis, Nathan Hale, Brandon Sanderson
Other Guests: James C. Christensen, Howard Tayler
Chair: Nicholas Montelongo


Dates: February 17-19, 2011
Guests of Honor: James Dashner, Steve Keele
Other Guests: Howard Tayler
Chair: T. Drake Terry
Notes: Held at the BYU Conference Center.


Dates: February 9-11, 2012
Guests of Honor: James Owen
Other Guests: Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells
Chairs: Logan Kearsley
Notes: Held at Utah Valley University.


Dates: February 14-16, 2013
Guests of Honor: Megan Whelan Turner
Other Guests: David Farland
Chairs: Nathan Langford
Notes: This is the first year the symposium was held at the Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Provo.


Dates: February 16-18, 2014
Guests of Honor: Orson Scott Card
Other Guests: Blake Casselman, Dr. Michael R. Collings, Michaelbrent Collings, David Farland, Brian C. Hailes, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., James A. Owen, Brandon Sanderson
Chair: Jessica Rhees


Dates: February 13-15, 2015
Guest of Honor: Toni Weisskopf
Other Guests: Michaelbrent Collings, Maxwell Alexander Drake, James Ganiere, Tracy Hickman, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., James A. Owen, Steven L. Peck, Eric G. Swedin, Dan Wells
Chair: Jessica Rhees