Writer Ray Bradbury was an American icon. His work straddled genres, uniting the seemingly-disparate worlds of science fiction and high literature, haunting readers' imaginations with side shows, skeletons, bright stars, the dark skies of space, solitary front porches and late night train whistles.
Science fiction conventions can feel like an alien world for newcomers.
People can speak differently at them, often invoking insider references about their favorite shows and comics.
And it’s a world where die-hard fans dress differently.
For instance, this weekend’s Planet Comicon in Kansas City is expected to attract droves of costumed convention-goers, dressed up like their favorite protagonists and antagonists from sci-fi novels and cinema.
University of Kansas Film and Media Studies professor John C. Tibbetts is not just a film scholar, but a fan of its work, more specifically, science fiction. He had a strong influence: Tibbetts' father was an early science fiction fan who named his son after Edgar Rice Burrough's second great hero, John Carter of Mars.