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Life, the Universe, & Everything
Status Active
Genre Fantasy, horror, science fiction
Venue Ernest L. Wilkinson Student Center, Brigham Young University
Location Provo, Utah
Country USA
First held 1982
Organizer Symposium committee
Attendance 300-600
Official Website

Life, the Universe, & Everything: The Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy is an academic conference held annually since 1982 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. It is one of the largest and longest-running academic science fiction conferences. An annual proceedings volume, Deep Thoughts, publishes the academic papers and main addresses given at the event. The symposium was named, jokingly, after the Douglas Adams novel Life, the Universe and Everything.[1]


The roots of the Life, the Universe, & Everything (LTUE) and other science fiction efforts at Brigham Young University (BYU) began with a one day symposium on science fiction held on January 20, 1976.[1] For years later, Orson Scott Card have a speech in 1980 at the university about morality in writing, which showed some of the students and faculty that a serious, academic forum for discussion of science fiction writing was a possibility at BYU, but there weren't enough students interested in trying to make things work at that time.[1]

This changed in February 1982 when Ben Bova was invited to speak at a university forum event. The English Department assigned Marion Smith, the professor whose name is now part of the title of the symposium, to take care of Bova while he wasn't speaking. He and a handful of his writing students (including M. Shayne Bell) got together and held a discussion with Bova. This inspired those students to try to create something like that the following year, when they invited Card back to be the first guest of honor.[1]

The Leading Edge science fiction and fantasy magazine was started by these same students, all members of a 1980 creative writing class at BYU.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Allred, Lee (1997). "Nobody Here Still but Us Orcs...: An Incomplete History of Life, the Universe, & (Mostly) Everything" (PDF). Archived from the original on February 25, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2010. 


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