In Seattle, amidst the Space Needle, rainy days and Starbucks around every corner sits one of the city’s greatest treasures…. the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, otherwise known as the EMP/SFM. The Experience Music Project (EMP) portion takes up the larger part of the building, but lets face it, if you’re anything like me, it’s the promise of spaceships and movie props galore that draws you in.
And I can honestly say, you wouldn’t be disappointed. In the doorway, you are greeted with a full scale replica of Gort from the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. Permanent exhibits you’ll find along the way include Captain Kirk’s chair from the Star Trek:TOS and a model of the Death Star. There’s even a fantastic robots display with an amusing exchange between Robby the Robot and the Robot from Lost in Space. If you like your robots mean, you can also see a full-size Cyberdine Systems model T-800. In the Armory you can get up close and personal with an array of weapons from a pulse rifle to alien edged weapons. Meanwhile the Brave New Worlds room has several costumes from the original Planet of the Apes on display.
Depending on when you go, the museum also plays host to some excellent travelling exhibits. From now until March 4th 2011, BSG fans can check out the Battlestar Galactica exhibits. The exhibit includes three full-scale ships, a Viper mark 2, Viper mark 7 and a Cylon raider. There are also 15 costumes on display, yes, including the iconic red dress worn by Six, and props such as a piece of a Centurion and Colonel Tigh’s flask and eye patch.
Avatar fans will also want to stop by the Science Fiction Museum to check out the recently announced Avatar exhibit from June to September which will include over 50 artifacts from the movie including models of the Na’Vi and, my favourite, one of the Armoured Mobility Platform Suits. And you thought everything in that movie was CGI!
The Hall of Fame portion of the museum originally started its existence in Kansas City in 1996, but moved to Seattle in 2004. At one time, you had to be an author to be included in the Hall of Fame, although that has since changed. Now artists like Michael Whelan and directors like George Lucas join literary favourites such as Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. Recent inductees include Richard Matheson and Douglas Trumbull.
Admission to the museum is just $15 and includes all travelling exhibits and entrance into the Experience Music Project. The SFM portion is small enough that you can easily speed through it in just a couple of hours- unless you’re like me and just want to sit and soak in the geeky sci-fi goodness that makes up the EMP/SFM.