The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), located in Seattle, Washington, has announced its Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inductees for 2016.
The typical year sees four new members added, though there have been a couple of years that inducted five instead. The hall of fame began with stricter guidelines for inductees than what are currently used. Originally, only writers and editors were included, two of whom were living and two of whom had passed. In 2005, they began including non-literary inductees, as well. While the nominations are sent in by the public, the decision on who to induct is made by a committee of “award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, editors, publishers, and film professionals.”
The four inductees being added to the current 84 members, which include the likes of David Bowie, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Lucas, Hayao Miyazaki, and many more, are Star Trek, Blade Runner, Terry Pratchett (author, Discworld series), and Douglas Adams (author, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).
Star Trek is an American science fiction franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. It aired its first episode in 1966 with The Original Series. The franchise has had many iterations in the last 51 years, including seven TV series (The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and Discovery, which debuts this year), 13 feature films, books, comics, games, and more.
The franchise continues today with the addition of Discovery and the continuation of the reboot films, which take place in an alternate timeline. The series had a huge cultural impact when it was released because of its diverse cast and interracial relationships.
Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford and directed by Ridley Scott, was released in 1982 as an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Though the film received mixed reviews from critics upon release, it has since been studied endlessly for its philosophical questions on humanity. It eventually became a cult classic and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
The dystopic world, set in 2019, has achieved the 139th place on IMDB’s top 250 movies. It won three BAFTA awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design, a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography, and a London Critics Circle Film Award, as well as other awards and nominations throughout the years.
(April 28, 1948-March 12, 2015)
Sir Terry Pratchett was an English author of fantasy best known for his 41 novel Discworld series. He had his first story published at the age of 13, with his first novel being published when he was 23. He published the first of his Discworld books in 1983 titled The Colour of Magic. His third Discworld novel, Equal Rites, included some of the emerging ideas of feminism and was broadcast on Woman’s Hour radio. In 2002, Pratchett won the Carnegie Medal for his children’s book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, which was the award he was most proud of. He was knighted by the Queen in 2009 for services to literature just two years after being diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s Disease.
He won a BAFTA and Emmy for his documentary on assisted dying, Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die. He succumbed to his disease in 2015, a few months after finishing his 41st novel in the Discworld series.
(March 11, 1952-May 11, 2001)
Douglas Adams was an English author best known for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which began as a BBC radio comedy in 1978 before becoming a five book series. He also wrote the Dirk Gently series and three stories for the Doctor Who TV series. He was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation for The Highhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series. He had two brief appearances in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, as well.
He was slated to give the commencement address at Harvey Mudd College, but passed away two days before from a heart attack.
In order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the hall of fame, 20 additional inductees have been chosen from the almost 2,000 public submissions. In addition to individuals who have had an influence on the genres, the museum is also including the genres’ most impactful creations this year. Those 20 additional inductees are:
Margaret Atwood, Keith David, Guillermo del Toro, Terry Gilliam, Jim Henson, Jack Kirby, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Leonard Nimoy, George Orwell, Rumiko Takahashi, John Williams
2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Dungeons & Dragons, The Matrix, Myst, The Princess Bride, Star Trek, Wonder Woman, X-Files
The exhibition not only honors these inductees, but also gives visitors the chance to explore the lives and legacies of the now 108 members of the hall of fame. It includes artifacts like Luke Skywalker’s severed hand (Empire Strikes Back), the Staff of Ra headpiece (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Isaac Asimov’s typewriter, and the “Right Hand of Doom” (Hellboy), as well as interactive kiosks and interpretive films.
When asked why something like this is so important, Brooks Peck, curator of the Museum of Pop Culture and co-curator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame exhibition commented, “Science fiction and fantasy are a central part of our popular culture. With the Hall of Fame we want to both honor the pioneers of those genres as well as recognize today’s most innovative creators and works.”
Indeed, these genres are a staple for literature and movie fans alike. The surge of superhero movies, plus the resurgence of the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, combined with the best-selling novels of today, which themselves are being turned into movies and TV shows, have all contributed to the popularity of both science fiction and fantasy.
The new exhibition will be opening on March 4, 2017, with more details still to come. For a full listing of the current inductees, as well as information on MoPOP and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, you can visit their website.