Author Elizabeth Moon to speak Oct. 18

imageScience fiction and fantasy writer Elizabeth Moon, author of the award-winning novel “The Speed of Dark,” will speak at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Laker Hall’s Max Ziel Gymnasium.

Moon’s appearance on campus highlights activities tying into her book’s selection for campus-wide reading under the Oswego Reading Initiative. It is also part of the Arts and Psychology series, which brings to campus a number of artists, guest lecturers and filmmakers whose work explores the blending of creation and cognition.

“The Speed of Dark” is a futuristic examination of what it means to be “normal.” When protagonist Lou Arrendale is offered a cure for his autism, he must choose between his known life as an autistic man or a future that more closely follows society’s guidelines for behavior. “If I had not been what I am,” he asks, “what would I have been?” 

The Washington Post Book World called the book “splendid and graceful. . . . A lot of novels promise to change the way a reader sees the world; ‘The Speed of Dark’ actually does.”

The novel won the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novel and was an Arthur C. Clarke Award finalist.

“Every once in a while, you come across a book that is both an important literary achievement and a completely and utterly absorbing reading experience—a book with provocative ideas and an equally compelling story. Such a book is ‘The Speed of Dark,’” said the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Moon’s 18 books include her debut novel, “The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter,” which received the 1989 Compton Crook Award, and “Remnant Population,” which won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Moon was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and has two bachelor of arts degrees, one in biology and one in history. She has also worked as a paramedic, a sign painter and a draftsman.

Her written work often tackles issues related to the clashing of politics and personal relationships, and she based much of “The Speed of Dark” on her experiences as the mother of an autistic son.

In addition to her evening lecture, Moon will discuss the issue of autism and the creative process in multiple SUNY Oswego classes. 

Moon’s Web site,, features an essay on the history and possible future of autism as well as a list of related books. 

The Oct. 18 lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required to accommodate the anticipated crowd. For tickets, contact the Tyler Hall box office at or by calling 312-2141. 

For more information on the Oswego Reading Initiative, or to download a sample chapter from “The Speed of Dark,” visit the 2005 ORI selection page.

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(Posted: Sep 21, 2005)