Premier Events presented by Peninsula Arts & Letters



 
 

 

Techno-Optimism: Neal Stephenson and Friends

Wednesday, September 10, 7:30 p.m.

 
Panelists include Neal Stephenson, Annalee Newitz, Rudy Rucker, Keith Hjelmstad, and editors Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer 

In his 2011 article "Innovation Starvation," Neal Stephenson argued that we - the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space exploration - must reignite our ambitions to think boldly and do Big Stuff. He also advanced the Hieroglyph Theory which illuminates the power of science fiction to inspire the inventive imagination: "Good SF supplies a plausible, fully thought-out picture of an alternate reality in which some sort of compelling innovation has taken place."

In 2012, Arizona State University established the Center for Science and the Imagination to bring together writers, artists, and creative thinkers with scientists, engineers, and technologists to cultivate and expand on "moon shot ideas" that inspire the imagination and catalyze real-world innovations.

Now comes this remarkable anthology uniting twenty of today's leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries - among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson - to contribute works of "techno-optimism" that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world.

Tickets will be available soon at Kepler's or click HERE to purchase tickets online.


Credit: Gasper Tringale, Meo Represents

 

Premier Event: Gail Sheehy

Thursday, September 25, 7:30 p.m.

Daring: My Passages


We are so excited to welcome Gail Sheehy,author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages, on the release of her inspiring memoir, Daring. Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring is a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking "girl" journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times. Always on the cutting edge of social issues, Sheehy reveals the obstacles and opportunities encountered when she dared to blaze a trail in a "man's world."

Daring is also a beguiling love story of Sheehy's tempestuous romance with and eventual happy marriage to Clay Felker, the charismatic creator of New York magazine. As well, Sheehy recounts her audacious pursuit and intimate portraits of many twentieth-century leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush, and the world-altering attraction between Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Click HERE to order tickets online.


Credit: Melanie Abrams

 

Premier Event: Vikram Chandra

Friday, October 3, 7:30 p.m.

Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty


Vikram Chandra has been a computer programmer for almost as long as he has been a novelist. In this extraordinary new book, his first work of nonfiction, he searches for the connections between the worlds of art and technology. Coders are obsessed with elegance and style, just as writers are, but do the words mean the same thing to both? Can we ascribe beauty to the craft of writing code?

Exploring such varied topics as logic gates and literary modernism, the machismo of tech geeks, the omnipresence of an “Indian Mafia” in Silicon Valley, and the writings of the eleventh-century Kashmiri thinker Abhinavagupta, Geek Sublime is both an idiosyncratic history of coding and a fascinating meditation on the writer’s art.

Vikram Chandra is the author of three highly acclaimed works of fiction, most recently Sacred Games, which won the 2006 Hutch Crossword Award. Chandra lives in Oakland and teaches at UC Berkeley. 

Click HERE to order tickets online.




 


Premier Event: Rick Riordan

Wednesday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.

Heroes of Olympus: Book 5 - The Blood of Olympus

Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City 


GREAT NEWS! Rick Riordan is returning to the Bay Area to talk about The Blood of Olympus, the finale in his Heroes of Olympus series.  We are SOOOO excited. 

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it might be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

PLEASE NOTE: Mr. Riordan will only be speaking and answering patrons’ questions during the event, therefore no signing line will be held. Pre-signed copies of the HEROES OF OLYMPUS series, and the PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS series, and the KANE CHRONICLES series, will be available for purchase at the Fox Theatre the evening of the event.

This is a ticketed event. Ticketing information will be available soon.  



 


Premier Event: Leon Panetta in conversation with Jim Newton

Friday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.

Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City 


It could be said that Leon Panetta has had two of the most consequential careers of any American public servant in the past fifty years. His first career, beginning as an army intelligence officer and including a distinguished run as one of Congress’s most powerful and respected members, lasted thirty-five years and culminated in his transformational role as Clinton’s budget czar and White House chief of staff. He then “retired” to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife of fifty years, Sylvia; to serve on the Iraq Study Group; and to protect his beloved California coastline.

But in 2009, he accepted what many said was a thankless task: returning to public office as the director of the CIA, taking it from a state of turmoil after the Bush-era torture debates and moving it back to the vital center of America’s war against Al Qaeda, including the campaign that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. And then, in the wake of bin Laden’s death, Panetta became the U.S. secretary of defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.

Ticketing information will be available soon. 


Credit: Nina Subin

Premier Event: Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.

Just Mercy


Peninsula Arts & Letters is very excited to host Bryan Stevenson, winner of the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant, who has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color.

Just Mercy is a true account of an idealistic young lawyer's coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justicefrom one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

A 1985 graduate of Harvard, with both a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from the School of Law, Bryan Stevenson joined the clinical faculty at New York University School of Law in 1998.

Stevenson has been representing capital defendants and death row prisoners in the deep south since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. Since 1989, he has been Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private, nonprofit law organization he founded that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the United States.

Click HERE to listen to his TED talks.

Click HERE to order tickets online.