Feeds
75%
Out of this World

Out of this World science fiction exhibition

Sci-Fi at the Brit Li

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Who Goes There?

Maybe, in the era of the word processor, there isn't enough modern material to show, or SF's commercial nature has now diminished its literary dimension. Even the British Library is taken: witness the huge selection of merchandise available to buy when you leave.

Out of this World

Science fiction: take it seriously

It's also an oddly clinical exhibition - all these references to authors, illustrators, composers and film-makers, all working in a genre ultimately concerned with what the future holds for humanity, and not a picture, not a biography of a one of them.

Alongside the video screens are some interactives that will keep the kids occupied but not for long, and they're unlikely to be engaged by the static displays. My advice: don't take the offspring when you visit.

Out of this World is not without its gems: Ron Grainer's handwritten Doctor Who theme score, and a (small) number of typed or handwritten manuscripts by J G Ballard, Philip Pullman and others provide an all-too-brief glimpse into the creative process.

Out of this World

Fantastic planet: Luigi Serafini's Euro-utopia

I'd never seen or heard of Italian designer Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus, a painted compendium of futuristic cities and landscapes, all annotated in a made-up language, bizarre in that way 1970s European SF - think Fantastic Planet and French comic art from the period - could be. To its credit, Out of this World isn't as anglocentric as many SF shows tend to be.

Verdict

With is emphasis on the literary - the exhibition is notably keen to highlight mainstream writers' forays into the genre - Out of this World seems aimed more at the Eng Lit crowd than sci-fi fans. Yes, it does convey the notion that SF can and has been a genre of ideas as much as brute escapism. But for all us long-time fans - particularly those of us who've read the encyclopaedias - among the novels there's little here that's novel. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

75%
Out of this World

Out of this World science fiction exhibition

The British Library reveals its Science Fiction treasures to show there's more to the genre than blockbuster hokum.

More from The Register

next story
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
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
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Dragon Age Inquisition: Our chief weapons are...
Bioware's fantasy forces in fine fettle
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.