Life, the Universe, & Everything

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the book by Douglas Adams, see Life, the Universe and Everything.
Life, the Universe, & Everything
Status Active
Genre Fantasy, horror, science fiction
Venue Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Location(s) Provo, Utah
Country USA
Inaugurated 1983
Attendance 600-1200
Organized by Utah County Events, LLC

Life, the Universe, & Everything: The Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy is an academic conference held annually since 1982 in Provo, Utah. It is one of the largest and longest-running academic science fiction conferences.[citation needed] An annual proceedings volume, Deep Thoughts (named after the computer Deep Thought from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), 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] Four years later, Orson Scott Card gave 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 first official symposium was held in 1983.

From 1982 through 2012, the symposium was held at BYU. In 2013, it was held at Utah Valley University, and in 2014, it moved to the Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Provo.

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


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