September 15th, 2011

Fishy Circumstances

SF authors

This weekend, a science fiction author asked me why I know so many science fiction authors personally.

I gave a long-winded answer at the time because I had never thought about it before. But really - it's just because I've been around sf fandom long enough. Fandom is full of writers. Many are unpublished, and over the years, more of them will have their works published. Many of them are widely published and just like hanging around conventions or pubs or other sfnal social venues. They're part of the community to whatever degree each is comfortable participating in it, just as much as anyone else with a stake in the subject, whether readers, editors, translators, publishers, artists, or anyone else.

P.S. I was tempted to entitle this "science fiction authors are human beings too".
Fishy Circumstances

At the National Media Museum

Joseph JB Priestley, Action Hero?
Joseph JB Priestley, Blue Sky Thinker?
A portrait with dephlogisticated air?



This sculpture of Joseph JB Priestley is in front of the National Media Museum in Bradford.

The museum wasn't entirely my cup of tea, but it did have its moments. I liked seeing the branch of BBC Radio Leeds hard at work, broadcasting radio, albeit surrounded by display stuff on television.

And it was amazing to see the workings of an IMAX projection booth. (With warnings not to take flash photography as the audience would be able to see it.) It was a glorious encounter with the technological sublime, reels like millstones on a floor-to-ceiling spindle, the 70 mm film passing to and from the pair of hulking projectors. I loved it.

As I now know, this was the UK's first IMAX theater and, for about 12 years, was its only one. No wonder several people enthused about it as something to do in Bradford! As it happens, I lived in Toronto for a while, home of the IMAX company, which, as a result, has a whole slew of them. They get used for non-IMAX projections too, when a multiplex has enough demand for a new film. This is how I came to see so much of Keanu Reeves' pores in one of the Matrix sequels.

But I had never seen a projection room for them before.