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)

SF and fantasy events in our region

Some upcoming events in our region

  • Conflux Grimm Tales – Canberra’s annual speculative fiction convention. Friday 29 September to Monday 2 October, at the Hotel Vibe next to the Canberra Airport. Guests of honour – Ellen Datlow and Angela Slatter. Membership is $250 for the weekend ($200 concessional membership) or $70 for the day.
  •  Goulburn Steampunk Victoriana Fair – an annual retro-futuristic fair, essentially a mixture of a mini-convention and a fete. Saturday 14 October, at the Goulburn Historic Waterworks (a steam powered museum). Entry is $5, come as yourself or in costume.

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”.

Shakespeare and Science Fiction

Today is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s plays have been borrowed by or provided inspiration to science fiction and fantasy authors and movie and television creators.

One of the most obvious ‘borrowings’ is “Forbidden Planet”, the 1950s retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. There are many other examples, with long running franchises such as “Star Trek” using many characters and ideas and often direct quotes, for example in “Star Trek V”.

Its not just Shakespeare’s works that are used. The author has been used as a character in stories, for example “Doctor Who” and the “Blackadder” time travel special.

Do you have a Shakespeare influenced science fiction or fantasy story, comic, movie, tv show etc? Please leave a comment and let us know

Back to the Future Arrival

Today’s date, 21 October 2015, is the future date the characters travelled to in ‘Back to the Future 2’.

Did they get anything right about the future? Is there anything you wanted that they predicted?

I’m glad we don’t have flying cars … all those rooftop accidents.

The BBC website has a detailed article analysing the future shown in the movie, and which predictions came close to our real 21 October 2015.

Warp Drives and Bending Time

The science and science fiction of faster than light travel is the topic at the Shine Dome on Tuesday 5 May.

Professor Tamara Davis will be presenting “Warp Drives and Bending Time” as a part of the Shine Dome’s ‘Science Fiction becomes Science Fact’ public speaker series.

The event starts at 5.30pm, tickets are $6 and bookings can be made at https://www.science.org.au.events/warp-drives-and-bending-time

CSFS Meetings

The Canberra Science Fiction Society meets twice a month.

The general meeting is held on the first Thursday of the month, 7pm at the Canberra Southern Cross Club in Woden (near the Hoyts Cinemas).

We also have a restaurant meeting on the third Thursday each month. For talking SF, fantasy and whatever else over a meal.
Please contact the Secretary at canberrascifi@hotmail.com to reserve a seat.

Upcoming venues are –
April 2016 – Flavours of India, Woden
May – Ethiopia Down Under, Pearce

Today is International Fanworks Day

February 15th is International Fanworks Day, the first annual day to celebrate fanwork of all kinds. Writing, crafting, costuming, reviewing, role playing games, photography, creativity related to fandoms, and more.

The Organisation for Transformative Works has organised the day to “celebrate all iterations of fansworks across the world”. Further details including a fanwork drabble are at http://transformativeworks.org/news/international-fanworks-day-here

What fanworks do you enjoy as a creating or consuming? What makes it special?

Zine Lounge – what a place to make a paper zine!

Over the last 87 years a lot of things have happened in Old Parliament House. Now there is a Zine Lounge in the building.

Apparently a would be (fan) zine maker can let their “let your imagination run wild in this self-guided workshop, with all supplies and materials provided to make your own zine. A zine (pronounced ‘zeen’) is a handmade, self-published magazine, often photocopied in black and white, and with a limited print run. The range of subjects is as diverse as the people who make them. Zines can be about absolutely anything! Print is powerful.”

The Zine Lounge is open daily between 9am and 5pm at Old Parliament House, Barton. Website: moadoph.gov.au/visiting/zine-lounge