Would you fly on that spaceship?

For a change at our general meeting in April we played a game in the form of a Crew Hiring Challenge.

The challenge was for each team to agree on a spaceship and its crew – the crew being the Captain, First Officer, Science Officer, Chief Engineer, Navigator, Medical Officer, Security Officer, Quarter Master, and the Sanitation Engineer.

The rules of the challenge were: everything must come from a fictional universe; the crew and its ship must all come from different fictional universes; and the same ship or character could not be chosen by more than one team.

There was a lot of discussion, some spying on other teams and some laughter before three possibly highly dysfunctional crews and their ships emerged.

In no particular order….

Would you travel on this spaceship?

Spaceship Helva (Anne McCaffrey’s novel The Ship Who Sang)

  • Captain John Sheridan (Babylon 5)
  • First Officer Chewbacca (Star Wars)
  • Science Officer Harry Seldon, (Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels)
  • Chief Engineer Conrad Stargard (Leo Frankowski’s Cross-Time Engineer novels)
  • Navigator Aelliana Caylon (Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden novels)
  • Medical Officer Doctor Conway (James White’s Sector General novels)
  • Security Officer Tasha Yar (Star Trek the Next Generation)
  • Quarter Master Elli Quinn (Lois McMaster-Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga novels)
  • Sanitation Engineer Adam Quark (Quark)

Or would you travel on this spaceship?

Spaceship Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

  • Captain Nemo (Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea and other novels)
  • First Officer 7 of 9 (Star Trek Voyager)
  • Science Officer The Doctor (Doctor Who)
  • Chief Engineer Richard Ceason (Sky Layer)
  • Navigator Major West (Lost in Space, 1960s series)
  • Medical Officer Doctor Victor Frankenstein (Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein)
  • Security Officer Flash Gordon (originally from Alex Raymond’s 1934 comic strip Flash Gordon)
  • Quarter Master Alfred Pennyworth (Batman)
  • Sanitation Engineer Dave Lister (Red Dwarf)

Or would you travel on this spaceship?

Spaceship New York City (James Blish’s Cities in Flight novels). Yes, it is the actual city of New York.

  • Captain Aral Vorkosigan (Lois McMaster-Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga novels)
  • First Officer Hal (Arthur C Clarke’s novel 2001: A Space Odyssey)
  • Science Officer Ash (Alien
  • Chief Engineer Kaywinnet Lee “Kaylee” Frye (Firefly)
  • Navigator A Navigator (Frank Herbert’s Dune novels)
  • Medical Officer Doctor Stephen Franklin (Babylon 5)
  • Security Officer Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess)
  • Quarter Master Vila Restal (Blake’s 7)
  • Sanitation Engineer Kryten (Red Dwarf)

Canberra celebrates Star Wars with bells on

May the 4th (be with you) is Star Wars day and one of Canberra’s institutions is celebrating loudly.

At 12.30pm on May the 4th, the National Carillion is hosting a Star Wars concert – with arrangements of new and original Star Wars themes composed by John Williams ringing out across Lake Burley Griffin until 1.30pm.

This is a free event and a rare chance for Star Wars fans to hear the themes played on the Carillion’s 55 bronze bells.

The full program is:

  • Main Theme (played by Peter Bray and Harrison Whalan, arranged by T Laue, P Bray and K Mahajan)
  • Imperial March (played by Lyn Fuller, arranged by A Bowler)
  • Princess Leia’s Theme (played by Lyn Fuller, arranged by A Bowler)
  • Cantina Theme (arranged & played by Julie Wright & Peter Bray)
  • Yoda’s theme (arranged & played by Anna Wong)
  • Throne Room (arranged & played by Leonard Weiss)
  • Finn’s Confession (arranged & played by Leonard Weiss)
  • Jedi Steps (arranged & played by Leonard Weiss)
  • Luke and Leia (arranged & played by Harrison Whalan)
  • Across the Stars (arranged & played by Peter Bray)
  • Rey’s Theme (arranged & played by Peter Bray)

ABC returns to the stars

Stargazing Live, the combined television and stargazing event, which will be on the ABC again this year from 22 – 24 May. As a part of this event…

Budding astronomers and space explorers – on Wednesday 23 May, the Australian National University and the ABC will be attempting a Guinness World Record for the ‘most people stargazing – multiple venues’. The current record was set by the ANU at 7,960 people across 37 locations. During this time, we will be hosting a number of events both here in Canberra and up at Siding Spring.

The ABC and ANU are putting out the call to schools, astronomy societies, community groups, and all budding galactic explorers across Australia to join the world record attempt by hosting a Stargazing Live Star Party on Wednesday 23 May.

Yes, you can party with the stars and not starlets!

ABC Stargazing Live site

Details and how to register your party on the ABC’s website. 


Star Wars flying into Canberra first

Usually Canberra doesn’t get to see visiting science fiction exhibitions and models. However, that changes this week with an Australian first for ‘Star Wars’ fans.

A full scale model ‘Star Wars’ x-wing will be “flying” into the Tuggeranong Hyperdome from this Monday, 19 February, for a week, on its first stop around the country.

The x-wing exhibit has set opening hours – 11am to 4pm Monday 19th to Friday 23rd, and 10am to 3pm Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th.

The businesses in the Hyperdome are joining in with Limelight Cinemas showing ‘The Last Jedi’ at $6 sessions daily, and discounts on ‘Star Wars’ merchandise at various stores.

Perhaps the best thing for ‘Star Wars’ fans will simply being able to enjoy a celebration of the universe you love.

Star Wars battles for Gungahlin

The Gungahlin Library is hosting a Star Wars Reads Day.

The day, for kids aged 7 to 16, is Saturday 14 October from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Come and decide if the Empire or the Rebels are the victors in the Battle for Gungahlin Library.

Bookings are essential

The event includes a costume contest, Star Wars themed crafts, Star Wars story readings, and photo opportunities with Jedi and Storm Troopers.

2016 Asimov and Analog AnLab awards announced

The 2016 Asimov’s Readers’ Awards and Analog AnLab Awards were announced and presented on May 20, 2017.

The Asimov’s Readers’ Awards winners for 2016 are:

Best Novella – “Lazy Dog Out”, Suzanne Palmer (4-5/2016)
Best Novelette – “I Married a Monster from Outer Space”, Dale Bailey (3/2016)
Best Short Story was tied between – “The Mutants Men Don’t See”, James Alan Gardner (8/2016), and “All That Robot . . .”, Rich Larson (9/2016)
Best Poem – “After”, Herb Kauderer (10-11/2016)
Best Cover Artist – Donato Giancola

The Analog Science Fiction and Fact: Analytical Laboratory winners are:

Best Novella – “The Coward’s Option”, Adam-Troy Castro (3/2016)
Best Novelette – “Detroit Hammersmith: Zero-Gravity Toilet Repairman [Retired]”, Suzanne Palmer (9/2016)
Best Short Story – “In the Absence of Instructions to the Contrary”, Frank Wu (11/2016)
Best Fact Article – “Energy for the Future”, Richard A. Lovett (7-8/2016)
Best Poem – “Somebody I Used to Love Asks Me Who Marie Curie Is”, Carly Rubin (3/2016)
Best Cover – December 2016 by Vincent DiFate

Outlander on SBS

The science fantasy tv series ‘Outlander’ is to be broadcast on SBS starting this Thursday night (20 October) at 9.30pm.

Based on the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series follows the adventures of a woman who finds herself transported from the late 1940s to 1743 in Scotland.

The series was filmed on location in Scotland with a lot of attention to detailed costuming and good acting.

Definitely worth a watch

Canberra fan’s collection on exhibition

Canberra collector Timothy Kirsopp is displaying his entire collection of Doctor Who memorabilia in the exhibition, ‘Bigger on the inside: Collecting Dr Who’.

The exhibition is an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest collection of Doctor Who related memorabilia.

Items document everything Whovian from Daleks and the TARDIS to the Doctors and their companions. Timothy’s collection ranges from miniatures and toys to books and board games.

At the Canberra Museum and Gallery, 176 London Circuit, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, 2601. Open daily. Exhibition ends November 20

Replicants and RUSes and flying elephants

As a part of their Cult Classics movie series, Dendy is screening two very different ’80s classic movies.

9 May will be the day for “The Princess Bride” and rodents of unusual size and on 15 May “Blade Runner” will be screening.

While on the other side of town, Limelight is screening classic Disney animated fantasy movies starting with “Dumbo”.