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Science Fiction Exhibit in Special Collections

Science Fiction Exhibit in Special Collections

Science Fiction Exhibit in Special Collections


Julia D. Ree:


Jim Clark:




In the early 1970s I got caught up in the world of talking apes when I saw the first movie (Planet of the Apes) on TV. It captured my imagination like nothing else had. Over the next few weeks the second movie (Beneath the Planet of the Apes) and the third movie (Escape from the Planet of the Apes) were shown. I eventually saw the fourth (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes) and fifth (Battle for the Planet of the Apes) movies. I started collecting everything I could find for Planet of the Apes. I found books, comic books, action figures, coloring books, plastic models, and read-along records.

Planet of the Apes celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2008. There are several fan groups that have online forums that reminisce about all things Apes. They also create their own stories and comics based in the world of Planet of the Apes. Simian Scrolls is the bi-annual UK Planet of the Apes apezine that began publication in the summer of 2000. Ape Chronicles is a bi-monthly magazine for the International Planet of the Apes Fan Club. Both publications keep fans up-to-date with the latest news on Planet of the Apes.

In 1977 I began my visit in the world of Marvel Comics. I started by picking up The Amazing Spider-Man. This was not your typical hero. He had problems like everybody else. I expanded my view of the Marvel Universe by picking up other titles. It was fun to see heroes make appearances in titles that were not their own. Spider-Man would show up in Daredevil one month while the X-Men would appear in the Avengers the next.

2009 marks the 70th Anniversary of Marvel Comics. The comic book arm of the company started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the 1950s was generally known as Atlas Comics. Marvel's modern incarnation dates from 1961, with the launching of Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others.

Also in 1977 came a movie that changed the way I looked at science fiction. Star Wars opened up my imagination even further with thrilling dogfights in space, lightsaber duels, and a hero that was less than perfect. I eagerly looked forward to going back to "a galaxy, far, far away" when each Star Wars movie was released. I picked up any books that would continue the adventures. I collected the action figures, comic books, and plastic models among other things.

Star Wars celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2007 with Celebration IV. It was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California from May 24 to May 28. It was the fourth Celebration of the Star Wars saga. Fans from all over the world gathered together to dress up as their favorite character, hunt down an elusive collectible or just simply hang out with fellow enthusiasts. Star Tours has been a popular attraction at the Disney Resorts starting in 1987.

Jim Clark


i think it's safe to say that star trek is a cultural icon. the franchise has gone where no other tv show has gone before, to include five additional series--animated, next generation, deep space nine, voyager, and enterprise, ten movies, hundreds of novels and critical tomes, museum exhibitions, amusement attractions, countless merchandise, fodder for the critical and the criticizing, and fan clubs that stretch across the globe. it has inspired great debate and peaceful assembly. soon, the franchise will reinvent itself, yet again, as captain kirk and company take to the big screen in may of this year.

star trek has become firmly intertwined with our society, our history, and possibly our future. do you own a cell phone? is it a flip phone? perhaps those original star trek communicators were the inspiration. physicists are trying to work out the principles of teleportation. only in star trek lore, we would call it using the transporter. our lexicon is forever changed with words like phaser, or tribble. and who among us hasn't heard phrases like: "beam me up", or "he's dead, jim," or "live long and prosper."

star trek, for me, was a way to believe that there would be a future when i grew up. we would survive the cold war of the 60's. we would move beyond hate and rejoice in our differences. we could be different and be accepted! we would survive the adolescence of the human race and move toward a more utopian future. as i got older, it also became a satisfying way to enjoy stories that resonate.

what's your favorite voyage of the starship enterprise? has star trek inspired you in some way? many youngsters of the 60's grew up to become scientists because of spock, or doctors because of mccoy, or even entered into the military, like kirk. the first prototype shuttle that NASA would develop was named "enterprise." what other tv show can boast of that measure of influence?

inspiring a positive future, telling well crafted stories about the human condition and taking risks for the greater good are all hallmarks of star trek. and alongside the very serious aspects of life aboard a starship, let's face it, star trek can be fun! so, let's play! here's a quick quiz to see what you know about star trek:

1. one of the cases has three push buttons…can you find the buttons and play the recordings? who is speaking on each of the pieces of the display?

2. how many different ships do you see in the four cases? even pictures count! can you name them all? can you guess the function of each representation? bonus point: what item is not a ship but is a vital part of one series? name the series!

3. count all the tribbles in the tall display, but, you might never be able to count them all -- because they are always multiplying!

4. a very famous "other collectible" is also featured in one of the cases…can you name her?

5. how many star trek characters represented here can you name?

6. how many phasers, communicators, and tricorders can you find? can you name the series they came from? do they have another real life function, beyond their being a toy or collectible?

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