Document Type

Senior Award Winner

Award Date

Fall 2010

Course Name

Speculative Fiction


Tracy Townsend


On what must have been my third or fourth day of IMSA, I remember an upperclassman asking me, “You’ve read Ender’s Game, right? You have to read that book—everyone at IMSA does.” I had, in fact, read the book, and I immediately felt relieved. I felt had passed my first test at IMSA, plus I was geeked to learn that my taste in books wasn’t out of place here. I shouldn’t have been so surprised. IMSA is overflowing with science fiction fans of all varieties—we are a nerd school after all, even if the Admissions Office disapproves of my terminology. But reading David Hartwell’s “The Golden Age of Science Fiction is Twelve” has made me realize that IMSA’s association with science fiction runs even more deeply—IMSA is science fiction, or at least the reality TV show version of it. The main effects of science fiction upon its readers—to isolate readers from normal society, to introduce scientific ways of thinking, and to influence the way readers see the rest of the world—are, in my opinion, identical to the main effects IMSA has upon its student.