Sci-Fi/Fantasy Cultural Interests

Extending your stay in Portland and looking for more geek-tastic things to do? Find event calendars at Portland Geek Council and Geek Portland or check out some of our suggestions below.

The Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) - Five unique exhibit halls, eight hands-on science labs, the USS Blueback submarine, Kendall Planetarium, the Empirical Theater and much more! OMSI is a great place to spend an afternoon. On the last Wednesday of every month, they host OMSI After Dark, a 21+ night of childfree, adult beverage-fueled fun. Mixing science and alcohol, what could possibly go wrong?

Portland Science Pubs - An informal science lecture with beer, wine, or a non-alcoholic beverages. Basically you get a chance to eat and drink while learning about science. Presentations open with 10 trivia questions on the night's topic (with prizes!). After trivia, the scientist takes over and usually speaks for an hour or so. Then it's time for Q&A with mics in the audience so everyone can hear.

TARDIS Room - Of course Portland has a Dr. Who-themed bar! Check out this fabulous article about the TARDIS Room from the Thrillist.

Ground Kontrol - Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade celebrates and preserves arcade gaming's “golden age” by operating over 100 of the best video games and pinball machines from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. Full bar is available from 5pm until close every night.

Wunderland - Clean, fun and safe arcade environment for families and guests of all ages, offering over 100 arcade games at each location all using nickels to play.

Pacific Northwest TV & Movies - More than just Portlandia, you might be surprised to find out some of your favorite flicks were filmed with Oregon as the backdrop. From Twilight to the TV series Grimm and Leverage, to The Goonies, find out why Hollywood loves Oregon – and maybe plan a sightseeing tour around your favorite film. The PNW hosts indy film makers Dead Gentleman Productions with geek favorites The Gamers and Journey Quest. Recent release Knights of Badassdom was primarily shot in Spokane, WA and staffed by many PNW fans as extras.

Comic Publishers - “The presence of Dark Horse in the metro area continues to attract comics professionals to Portland. The city is now home to two other comics publishers, Oni Press and Top Shelf;  [and] the nation's largest ensemble of freelance cartoonists, Periscope Studio...” - Steve Duin

Laika & Laika/House - An animation studio that produces features and shorts. From scratch. The Oscar® and BAFTA-nominated film ParaNorman, premiered August 17, 2012. Laika’s first stop-motion movie, Coraline, was released to critical acclaim on February 6, 2009.  Their next animated feature, The Boxtrolls, will premiere in theaters on September 26, 2014. The short Moongirl (2005) was Laika’s first all-CG-animated film. Laika is a community of artists and technicians who create original animated content. We handcraft and transform everyday materials into living creatures infused with dimension and soul.

Pacific Northwest Authors - Perhaps relaxing with a good book is more your style for your extended stay. From Portland: The Science Fiction Capital of America?: “Portland lays claim to the grand dame of science fiction and fantasy, the great Ursula K. Le Guin, who has lived in the Rose City, penning Hugo and Nebula award-winning novels since 1958. Frank Herbert, author of the formidable Dune series, cut his teeth writing for the Oregon Statesman Journal—and, little-known fact—found inspiration for the desert planet Dune while writing an article about the sand dunes of Florence, Oregon.”  

Oregon Authors - If you are looking for a list of local authors, Oregon Authors is an annual bibliography of works by authors residing in Oregon.

Hive of Dreams - The work of a dozen internationally prominent science fiction writers who make their home in the Pacific Northwest, Hive of Dreams begins in the forests and mountains of the Northwest with Ursula Le Guin's "The Good Trip" and ends in the cities and multinational conglomerates of the Pacific Rim with William Gibson's Idoru. In the space between, readers will encounter writings by such notable authors as Greg Bear, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Michael G. Coney, Douglas Coupland, Molly Gloss, Richard Powers, Joanna Russ, Neal Stephenson, and John Varley. Together, these selections clearly establish the unique signature of Northwest writers within the broader world and traditions of science fiction.