Linky time again.
Sci Fi Wire has a map of 68 must-see sci-fi sites around the U.S. (with a few in Canada as well). Museums, buildings and locations used in movies, that sort of thing. Some of them are pretty lame; and hey, what’s The Texas Chainsaw Massaacre doing in there? The Midwest seems under-represented, with only James T. Kirk’s birthplace in Riverside, Iowa. They forgot about the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL — not far from where I grew up.
Here’s a list of reality shows and mainstream dramas that could be improved with the addition of sci-fi elements. I like the Dirty Jobs in Space idea.
Star Trek aftershaves. “Smell like the future, because tomorrow may never come.”
Here’s a graph at io9 showing science fiction television trends over the last 40 years.
Physicist Michio Kaku is a really cool guy; I see him on a lot of science shows and documentaries (the History Channel’s series The Universe for instance). Here he discusses how many science fictional technologies — like invisibility, teleportation, and time travel — are actually closer to reality than to fantasy. I recently watched a few episodes of another History Channel program, That’s Impossible (narrated by Number One himself, Jonathan Frakes), which explores the same ideas — the growing reality of laser weapons, force fields, and other sci-fi staples. Interesting stuff.
Domed cities on Mars or other planets have long been a common image in science fiction. Could they actually be coming to Earth?
Ben Bova talks about science fiction and why politicians should read more of it.
Isaac Asimov’s phycohistory may have more of a basis in reality than you thought.
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Tagged Ben Bova, domed cities, invisibility, Isaac Asimov, James. T. Kirk, phychohistory, sci-fi, science fiction, SF, Star Trek, teleportation, time travel
Majel Barrett, that familiar voice of the computer in all the Star Trek series and most of the movies, passed away yesterday at the age of 78, surviving husband Gene Roddenberry by 17 years. This is sad news indeed; I’ve been hearing that voice in the various series for nearly my entire life. Not to mention seeing her in her various acting roles — the original Number One, Nurse Chapel, and my favorite, the fun and flamboyant Lwaxana Troi. A true loss for Star Trek fans everywhere. Says Leonard Nimoy:
“She was a valiant lady. She worked hard, she was straightforward, she was dedicated to ‘Star Trek’ and Gene, and a lot of people thought very highly of her.”
Which is pretty much what I’ve always heard and seems to be the general consensus. She was a devoted part of one of science fiction’s most historic and widespread successes, and she said in 1998, “It’s been a hell of a ride.” It sounds as if she had a happy and fulfilling life, and I’m sure she’ll be missed by many.
I found a couple of videos for you (courtesy of YouTube) as my small way of paying tribute to Star Trek’s First Lady. This one (posted by SuperTrekNerd) is an homage to Barrett’s computer voice on all the various Trek shows:
This one (posted by SciFiDude42) is a short segment from Entertainment Tonight with Barrett as a special guest discussing the changing role of women in Star Trek:
Over at Discover magazine’s Science Not Fiction blog, there’s an article about the discovery by astronomers that one of our closest stellar neighbors, Epsilon Eridani (10.5 light years away) has a solar system somewhat like our own, with rocky inner planets, outer gas giants, and two asteroid belts.
This is good news, insofar as numerous science fiction stories have used the Epsilon Eridani system as a home for alien civilizations, or future human colonies. So it would seem sf can take some small amount of pride in getting this location right.
But….. just who in science fiction was right? This solar system has been used in several books and tv series. Most famously, it was the location of Vulcan in Star Trek. It was also the location of the planet the Babylon 5 station orbited. Epsion Eridani also has made appearances in the fiction of Isaac Asimov, Greg Bear, C.J. Cheryh, Gordon Dickson, Alastair Reynolds, David Weber, and others.
They can’t ALL be right, can they?
I know who I’m rooting for. When we finally zoom in with more powerful telescopes, or actually travel there, I’m really really hoping we find Vulcan. And I’m hoping some of their logic rubs off on my species. ;)
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Tagged Alastair Reynolds, astronomy, Babylon 5, C.J. Cheryh, David Weber, Epsion Eridani, Gordon Dickson, Greg Bear, Isaac Asimov, sci-fi, science fiction, SF, Star Trek, Vulcan
Here’s a nice little interview with Gene Roddenberry on Good Morning America from 1986, talking about the creation of Star Trek and some of the issues related to it.
I really liked this comment:
Mass communications is our language today, between one another; and we can’t say, “well let’s not really talk about anything serious on television.” That is a criminal statement, and a criminal intention.
Right on, Gene. We miss you, buddy.