Those who imagine college professors reading only dusty academic tomes and other deep, brainy material can get a look at the other side in the latest Community Conversations lecture series at Lower Columbia College.
In their leisure hours, you might find these LCC instructors raptly devouring gothic fiction, horror, children's books, or — as Klint Hull confessed Thursday — science fiction.
Hull, who teaches literature and English composition at LCC, was the opening speaker in "Guilty Pleasures: Books We Love to Read," which runs weekly at noon through March 8 in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts. Lectures are free and open to the public.
Hull, who also advises LCC's Science Fiction Club, got hooked on the genre in seventh grade and feels science fiction inspires real science. He said many TV shows have science fiction elements by exaggerating technology, but science keeps catching up with fiction.
"Science fiction is helping the culture become more scientific," he said.
Three of Hull's favorites are:
• Edward E. "Doc" Smith's "Lensman" series, an old-style "space opera" written in the 1930s and 1940s.
"The Lensman series had the kind of appeal of drawing you into a rip-roaring adventure," Hull said.
• Stephen Donaldson's five-novel "Gap" epic, written in the 1990s. The hero, villain and victim gradually change character as the story develops, he said.
• Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat" series of 12 novels about an interstellar con man.
"He's intelligent, he's bored and he wants to have adventure and fun," Hull said of Harrison's protagonist, James DiGriz.
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