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Sci-Fi Books Media

Sneak Peek of SF Museum 116

Posted by michael
from the body-snatchers dept.
maxentius writes "Posted on Trufen.net: Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, due to open June 18, is offering early "Charter Memberships" to a select list of e-mail recipients (and apparently to anyone else who happens to hear about it before the June 5 deadline). The museum will adjoin the Experience Music Project in the very odd Frank Gehry-designed building near downtown Seattle. Allen, a life-long SF fan, has been working on the project for a few years, and it will probably be the same sort of sensory extravaganza as the EMP. The e-mail promises "exclusive access" for Charter Members, including the chance to go to an pre-launch tour and party, a t-shirt, and a limited-edition lapel pin. There are many levels of membership, from "Terran" ($40), through "Hive Mind" ($75), "Replicant" ($500), all the way to "Immortal" ($10,000). It's hard to say just how this will turn out, but with the likes of Greg Bear and Forry Ackerman as advisors, and some interesting ideas, it might be okay."
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Sneak Peek of SF Museum

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  • donations? (Score:5, Funny)

    by David E. Smith (4570) * on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:28AM (#9277504)
    Isn't this Paul Allen, aka "one of the zillionaires from Microsoft," aka "Charter Communications," aka "richer than God" ?

    Why the heck does he need to take donations for this?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      He is trying to catch up with Bill :D
    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Maybe his Membership category is off the chart, and is called God, Cthulu, Q, etc.
    • Re:donations? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Haydn Fenton (752330) <no.spam.for.haydn@gmail.com> on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:46AM (#9277667)
      Actually, he was forced to resign from Microsoft after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease.

      However, he is the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Seattle Seahawks, Rose Garden Arena, TechTV, some Portland radio stations. He runs Vulcan Ventures, created the Experience Music Project. Updated the Cinerama movie theater. Hes one of the principal founders of the SETI project. Founded Asymetrix. Hes the sponsor behind SpaceShipOne, founded the Allen Institute of Brain Science, Project Halo... but yea :-p

      Source: Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].
    • by mackermacker (250587) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:49AM (#9277700) Homepage

      Allan was also the largest contributer of the New Seattle Library that opened up this week. I have to hand it to him, his money went to good use.

      Not only it is an architectural masterpiece, but it has 11 floors with ramps that gradually wrap down to the bottom levels, and an ingenious system for finding books easily. Combined with the RFIP chips in all the books, along with the conveyor system that automatically scans and sorts the books, it is another great masterpiece, financed by the big man.WIFI for the entire building doesnt hurt either :)

    • I'm sure he IS spending a significant amount of his own money on this, but even though he has boatloads of money, setting up an entire museum isn't exactly pocket change. I doubt he'd want to spend his entire fortune, especially considering the other things he has going.

      Plus, people (and businesses!) like donating to museums and seeing their names on the little plaques they always have.
    • Re:donations? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Z4rd0Z (211373)
      Probably the same reason he needed "donations" from taxpayers to build a new football stadium [stadium.org]. He's also trying to get the city of Seattle to build him a new streetcar to the neighborhood he owns [nwsource.com].
      • I will give you the football stadium. That was a bad idea, but the people here did vote for it. However on the streetcar, I'm totally on his side. The land that he owns on south lake union he attempted to donate to the city to build a park. The voters turned it down. So now he wants to develop it. Can't hardly blame him for that.
        • I can't blame him for wanting to develop South Lake Union either, in fact it makes me happy because I work there and it's good to see the area improving. But where is it written that the city should give him a streetcar? And if they were going to, why not just extend the monorail or light rail?
          • I don't know if he came up with the street car all on his own. If he did, it was pretty dumb. I think he probably just asked for some sort of public transportation to the area and pointed at portland as an example. Then the mayor decided a street car was a great idea. I think extending the rest of the public transit there would be a great idea. Although, I'm not quite sure how you'd work in the monrail to it. The current plans go from north ballard to west seattle, you'd almost have to build another s
    • Why the heck does he need to take donations for this?

      It's a tried and true principle in philanthropy--you get more bang for your bucks if you put up some seed money and then let other people contribute.

      Thirty million dollars will buy you a nice library with your name on it.

      Or, thirty million dollars will buy you a nice library, a university lecture hall, a youth drop-in center, and a park--all with your name on them--since you only put up five or ten million in seed money for each. By putting up some

  • by rwiedower (572254) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:28AM (#9277505) Homepage

    Here's what you get!

    • Membership card, includes unlimited admission
    • Members-only express entry to SFM
    • 10% discount at the SFM store, both museum and online
    • 10% discount at the restaurant
    • SFM Member Newsletter (quarterly)
    • Science Fiction Author and Events Advance Notice
    • Discount on SFM events
    • Invitations to exclusive members-only events

    A Discount! 10% off! A Membership Card!

    They must think sci-fi geeks are dumber than they...wait, a newsletter too? Sign me up!

  • by cmpalmer (234347) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:28AM (#9277507) Homepage
    I see that Forry is an advisor, but I didn't find anything in a quick RTFM that says how much of his collection made it into the museum. Does anyone know?

    I know that he had to sell off some due to health and legal costs and it destroyed my dream of visiting the Ackermansion, which I'd wanted to do since reading Famous Monsters starting about 30 years ago.
    • I doubt that very much made it to Seattle. 4SJ didn't sell off "some", he was forced to sell off damn near everything. He was left with a small collection of items of special value to himself.

      There are people, like Paul Allen, who were in a position to buy the whole collection. None of them did a thing.
  • SF Museum? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:29AM (#9277513) Homepage
    Isn't that a bit like an inflatable dartboard?

    At least they can have a display about all the broken flying car promises.
  • Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stanmann (602645) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:32AM (#9277541) Journal
    Are these memberships annual or lifetime, that was the only thing I couldn't find on the site.

    I'm not close enough that an annual membership would be any value, but lifetime I would get all over that... prolly android level in case I have kids.
    • by cens0r (655208)
      The memberships are usually anual. Some of the truly expensive ones are lifetime. They really only make sense if you live in town. My girlfriend and I are both members at EMP in seattle, and it's saved us quite a bit of money. I believe she's a member at a couple of other museums in town (she's studying museum science at UW). They really pay off if you plan on going 3+ times in a year, or really enjoy the members only events. I'll probably spring for the couple membership to this museum.
  • I heard (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:33AM (#9277557)
    the guy who made his own Tron costume is cutting the ribbon at the opening.
    • Re:I heard (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I won't say how I know this, because people will get fired. But here's some stuff you can expect to see inside.

      SEVERAL camera-models of the USS Enterprise (Origional AND TNG)
      The severed T-800 arm from Terminator 2
      A T-800 head from Terminator 2
      A recreation of the Bridge set from the origional Star Trek using as many origional set pieces as they could find (Including the actual Captains Chair)
      Guns, Phasers, and Accessories(5th Element, Blade Runner, Star Treck, Star Wars, Robo Cop, etc.)
      THE Power Lifter fro
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:33AM (#9277558)
    There are many levels of membership, from "Terran" ($40), through "Hive Mind" ($75), "Replicant" ($500), all the way to "Immortal" ($10,000).

    What can I get for 1$? "Oompa Loompa"? "Ugnaught"?

    Can I get "Q" for a million bucks? How about "Operating Thetan"?
  • if only... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by solarlux (610904) <noplasma AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:40AM (#9277624)
    Now, if only more geeks could get rich. We'd have more SETI telescopes, sci-fi museums, space project funding....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:44AM (#9277654)
    Let's face it, boys (and most of you are boys), we've had it. Computers aren't cool anymore. The next big fortunes will be made in biotech or something else, and the suits have taken control of the industry.
    We're not going to see geeks (what's that you say? he's a bigshot at Microsoft so he's not a geek? yeah, business types use their spare cash to fund a *science fiction museum*) rich enough to fund scifi museums again. So we might as well smile and remember the late 90s, when computer people actually were hip, as we work overtime for piddling salaries until our jobs are finally sent to India.
    • We can always go to India in twenty years to visit the next version of the Science Fiction Museum... although I guess given the cultural differences it will be more Bollywood related, and you'll have to sit through a four-hour dance number at the entrance before you get inside.

      Hey, that doesn't sound so bringht after all. Unless it's a really good dance...
    • by AndroidCat (229562) on Friday May 28, 2004 @11:04AM (#9277853) Homepage
      Computers aren't cool anymore.

      I can live with that. When I was soldering my first computer, they thought Dukes of Hazzard and CB radios were cool.

  • Replicant (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Nice. Pay $500 to be labelled a 'Replicant'
  • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:49AM (#9277695) Homepage Journal
    >>" Terran" ($40), through "Hive Mind" ($75), "Replicant" ($500), all the way to "Immortal" ($10,000)

    Those are the "membership" levels for Scientology too, except the prices are all off by two orders of magnitude.
  • by jackb_guppy (204733) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:49AM (#9277698)
    Greg Bear
    Forrest J. Ackerman
    Robin Wayne Bailey
    Betty Ballantine
    Astrid Anderson Bear - Daughter of Poul Anderson / Wife of Greg Bear
    Gregory Benford
    Jeff Bezos
    Ray Bradbury - this shows taste
    David Brin
    Charles Brown - A cartoon?
    Octavia Butler - I like her work
    James Cameron - give me a break!!!
    Orson Scott Card - Ender was it
    Arthur C. Clarke - nice ideas but fluffy
    Freeman Dyson - the creater of sphere!
    Harlan Ellison - yes!!
    James Gunn
    Ray Harryhausen
    David Hartwell
    Tim Kirk
    Lawrence Krauss
    George Lucas - twenty years way past his prime
    Syne Mitchell
    Dennis Muren
    Kim Stanley Robinson
    Majel Barrett Roddenberry - I know still running the "Great Bird" business, but have you seen some of the lastest works?
    Stanley Schmidt
    Steven Spielberg - Not SciFi - pretty pictures
    Neal Stephenson
    Gary Stiffelman
    Phil Tippett
    Bjo Trimble
    Michael Whelan
    Jane Yolen
    • Whether you like their work or not, all of the individuals listed have had enormous influence on the field. The museum should include people important in the history of SF, whatever their roles, just as, e.g., history museums should include exhibits on people who did both Really Good and Really Bad things.

      BTW, Charles Brown is the editor of Locus [locusmag.com], one of the most influential magazines in the SF field. He's not famous, but he's got a lot of pull.
    • Expanded who's who (my comments in parens).

      Greg Bear -- (Local Seattle hard-SF writer and all-around nice guy)

      Forrest J. Ackerman -- (If you don't know who he is, don't bother reading on)

      Robin Wayne Bailey -- (Don't know)

      Betty Ballantine -- (Local Seattle SF BNF [Big
      Name Fan], well know for her belly dancing workshops and ability to sing anything in Klingon [not to mention being the only person I know that can sing the cantina scene song from 'Star Wars'])

      Astrid Anderson Bear -- Daughter of Poul Anders
  • After what he pulled in Portland with the investors for the Rose Garden- declaring bankruptcy even though he personally is a billionaire- I refuse to support him in any endeavor- including the scifi museum. I also refuse to buy Blazers tickets or even watch the games on TV; it's obvious that they need to get rid of their owner for a full turnaround from the bad old days.
  • I have no idea how they got my e-mail address but I got a spam on just this topic.

    Strangely, I wasn't likely to sign up to matter what the cause.
  • by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79 @ g m ail.com> on Friday May 28, 2004 @11:05AM (#9277855) Homepage
    "Hive Mind" ($75)

    Are Slashdot subscribers are exempt from this fee?

  • San Francisco... Whew. Glad I misinterpreted that one. *sigh of relief* /. headlines are the best.
  • Hopefully it will be like traditional museums, and lend items out for exhibitions around the world.
  • EMP design (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @11:12AM (#9277914)
    The design of this building came from the cutting up of several Fender Stratocaster guitars. Although I don't see the resemblance much in the finished product. :)

    My company did the structural steel portion of this project and let me tell you it's amazing. The building was litterally a finished handbuilt model on a desk, then digitized into a computer using a device similar to this [immersion.com]. Much of the design work was then done with Catia. I thought I new 3D when I started this project this pushed the limits of our knowledge, workstations and server storage way beyond. When we got ahold of the models we developed the connections and members in 3D and finally onto shop drawings using AutoCAD.

    When visiting the museum a couple years ago we got the back stage tour. You would not believe the amount of computer and sound horse power in that place. They stuck servers rooms where ever there was space and nice setup's too.

    Probably one of the neato things we learned was about one of the drywallers. You see we were walking through all those back hallways and kept noticing amazing artwork drawn or painted just on the walls. Many face portraits of Hendrix. One of us asked "Is this hallway public access?", to which our guide answered "No." So then we asked what was up with all this expensive looking artwork. He told us Paul Allen was touring the project during construction and noticed the same thing. He asked who was going around making pencil sketches all over the walls of his building. They figured out that it was this one drywall guys and Paul asked for him to come and see him. Paul told him to go tell his boss he just quit, then to come back and get the details on his new job for more artwork! Can you imagine?! "Honey, I'm home! I got a raise!"
  • memberships (Score:3, Funny)

    by FrivolousPig (602133) on Friday May 28, 2004 @11:36AM (#9278166)
    Please tell me who wants to be labelled "Artificial Intelligence" after spending 1,000 bucks?
  • New Serfdom (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThatGuyInTheHole (628205) on Friday May 28, 2004 @11:40AM (#9278212) Homepage
    While it is nice that Allen donated this money, does anyone else see what is going on here? Corporations are soaking their workers, and the US population by not paying taxes. Their bringing in exorbitant profits, and yet we thank them when they give a little back to us. It was nice that Enron, after ripping off the state of California, gave Houston Enron field. Ken Lay obviously has a good heart. This is just a new form of serfdom where our labor is taken, and we're given new shiny things to play with worth a fraction of our excess. Vil
  • by KC Swan (254596) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:12PM (#9278578)
    I'm sure some readers are sure that Paul Allen is just out to rape the SF world. Here's a true story that I hope will cast this project in a positive light.

    There already is a Science Fiction Hall of Fame [kcsciencefiction.org]. It was started several years ago, sponsored by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS) and the Center for the Study of Science Fiction [ku.edu] at the University of Kansas [ku.edu]. Financial backing was primarily provided by KaCSFFS, with the bulk of the money raised in a benefit auction each Memorial Day weekend at ConQuesT [kcsciencefiction.org]. KU has never really embraced the SFHoF, declining to even provide a place to hang the plaque listing all the inductees.

    Along comes Paul Allen and his project. Now, they could have very easily said "screw you, we'll do our own Hall of Fame!" But they didn't. Instead, they are taking over the Hall of Fame, with full acknowledgement of the history of the existing hall and inductees. After the 2004 induction ceremony, held at the Campbell Conference [ku.edu], responsibility for the Hall will be transferred.

    Is this some huge financial windfall for KaCSFFS? No, we aren't getting a penny out of the deal. What we are getting is the acknowledgement of our past efforts, and the comfort of knowing that future inductions are going to be done by a group with the money and PR presence necessary to do it right.

    Do you know who has been inducted in the past? Probably not. Our efforts have mostly fallen on deaf ears in the media. But I suspect that when the 2005 inductees are announced, you'll see the story on Slashdot!

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