Halls of Stfnal Fame

ESPN The Magazine primarily covers sports, so I was surprised to see a page in its recent “Hall of Fame” theme issue devoted to a list of miscellaneous pop culture halls of fame, two of which may be of interest to readers.

(1) The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Fame, was created in 2005. This was the first I’d heard that the game had a Pro Tour, let alone a Hall of Fame, yet for some reason I still expected to recognize someone on list of inductees. I guess I’ve grown accustomed to finding fans in every niche activity ever spawned by the sf/fantasy genre, from running blood drives to competing in the Space Elevator Games.

I looked particularly for Drew Sanders’ name, remembering how he used to preside over Magic games at the LASFS clubhouse. He even wrote an introductory article about collecting the cards in File 770. But no Drew. And I’ve never heard of any of others, either.

(2) The Robot Hall of Fame began online. It was established in 2003 by CarnegieMellonUniversity’s School of Computer Science and honors both real and fictional robots. Then, in 2009, CarnegieScienceCenter in Pittsburgh incorporated a physical Robot Hall of Fame display into roboworld™, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit.

Inductees to the Robot Hall of Fame in 2012, selected by popular vote, were Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO humanoid, iRobot’s PackBot bomb disposal robot, Boston Dynamics’ four-legged BigDog and WALL-E, the fictional robot in the Pixar movie.

Making my own search, I found one more hall worth mentioning in this post:

(3) The International Space Hall of Fame at the New MexicoMuseum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM. Lots of astronauts and engineers are in this hall, created in 1976 to “recognize the imagination, efforts, and achievements of those who have endeavored to advance man’s knowledge of the universe, and his ability to explore space.”

As for the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, transferred in 2004 from the GunnCenter for the Study of Science Fiction to Seattle’s Science Fiction Museum, not even Paul Allen’s money could sustain the place as originally conceived.

For awhile the impressive Gehry-designed building near the Space Needle housed coequal science fiction and rock music museums. But the Science Fiction Museum was de-installed in 2011 and the EMP has been reorganized as a pop culture museum that includes science-fiction-themed exhibits.

Ellison Added to SF Hall of Fame

For Harlan Ellison it never rains but it pours. Lucky for him it’s raining honors this week.

He learned from the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle that he’ll be inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame this June.

His editor at IDW greeted him with the news that his hardcover graphic book Phoenix Without Ashes entered the New York Times Bestseller List at #6 in its first week of publication – Harlan’s first-ever appearance on that list.

And the Encyclopaedia Britannica has created an entry about him. According to Harlan, “I am right next to Ralph Ellison, just following Ellis Island. What a wonderful thing.” Call it a story of requited love. Harlan has been irresistibly attracted to the encyclopedia since he was a kid.

When he accepted the 1970 Forry Award Harlan told those of us at the banquet about his times as a young fan in Cleveland. Harlan joined the first local sf club (Andre Norton was also a member). He started collecting. Then… “I went into the phase I called ‘liberating’ volumes from my high school library. I stole the first 23 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. They never suspected a thing. But then I got greedy, and they finally caught me when I tried to stuff both the Index and the World Gazetteer under my jacket…” So now the circle has closed in a way his high school librarian would not have predicted. It’s a well-deserved accolade.

Locus reports that the full list of 2011 inductees to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame includes Ellison, Vincent Di Fate, Moebius, and Gardner Dozois.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame was founded in 1996 by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KCSFFS) in conjunction with the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. Four individuals are added each year, chosen on the basis of their continued excellence and long-time contribution to the science fiction field.

Seattle: SF Help Wanted

Seattle’s Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame want to hire a Coordinator, Museum Experience and Education. Fans, could be this job is right up your alley —

Skills and Experience

  • 2-3 years experience conducting work-place training programs and/or classroom teaching
  • Keen interest in American popular culture, especially popular music and imaginative fiction and film
  • Knowledge of educational theories and museum interpretation techniques; familiarity with object-centered and visitor-centered interpretation preferred
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; comfort with public speaking required
  • Experience with volunteering, ideally in a museum setting, and working with volunteers
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the link.]