Feeds
75%
Out of this World

Out of this World science fiction exhibition

Sci-Fi at the Brit Li

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Lit Crit vs lightsabres

And this is why the British Library's Out of this World exhibition was so immediately familiar to me: that's how it's arranged too. The exhibits could all be pictures from the Encyclopedia. And both book and exhibition are equally at pains to stress the serious, speculative side of SF.

Out of this World

John Wyndham didn't get Day of the Triffids' opening right at first

With sections entitled Alien Worlds, Future Worlds, Parallel Worlds, Virtual Worlds and The End of the World, and the tagline, 'Science Fiction but not as you know it', the exhibition is an attempt to show that sci-fi isn't all lightsabres and warp drives.

It's a more literary world on display here - natural, perhaps, given it's presented by a library - and one more interested in SF's speculative qualities than its escapist pleasures. It can't ignore 20th Century Science Fiction's pulp roots - they reach too deeply - but it clearly wants visitors to come away with the understanding that this isn't a genre bounded by Hollywood.

The Library has had to acknowledge the popular conception of SF, of course, but it has gone for gentler, more thoughtful popular fantasy: there's the inevitable Police Box, an unnecessary steampunk incarnation of K9, a model of Marty McFly's time-hopping DeLorean, and even a display quote from Groundhog Day.

But the moving image itself is represented, on a handful of video terminals, by monochrome movie clips: the BBC's 1984 and Fritz Lang's Metropolis, for example - respectively, SF as literature, as art. Authorial and scientific talking heads toss their orbs too.

Out of this World

Ooo-weee-ooooooo: Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme score

SF may be a forward-looking genre, but Out of this World seems tugged by a consistent gravitational pull to the past.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Who Goes There?

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.