Speaker's Night: The Colour Out of Space and Other Tales of Cosmic Horror (ONLINE)

Leo Alcorn
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Dr. Leo Yvonne Alcorn, Postdoctoral Fellow, Astronomy and Astrophysics, York University and The Dunlap Institute

This talk will examine the influence of stranger-than-fiction astronomical phenomena on the development of early science fiction and cosmic horror genres of literature. By discussing several short stories written during the development of General Relativity and quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, we will discuss phenomena such as radiation and quantum mechanics (through "The Colour Out of Space"), the discovery of Pluto ("The Whisperer in Darkness"), and non-Euclidean geometry and general relativity ("Dreams in the Witch House"). This talk delves into the crossover between sci-fi and science and how they can inspire each other, and how science fiction can spread an appreciation for, and interest in, our vast, weird, and sometimes terrifying universe.

Dr. Leo Yvonne Alcorn is a postdoctoral researcher in astronomy at York University and The Dunlap Institute, and received her PhD from Texas A&M University in 2019. Her research focuses on the properties of galaxies in galaxy clusters and how dense environments in the universe affect how galaxies form and develop. In her free time, she studies forbidden knowledge beyond the understanding of her fragile human mind, and uses this to write (bad and weird!) horror short stories based on current astronomical research.

Who can attend: Everyone
Not required
Organized by: RASC, Toronto Centre