April 03, 2011

KaCSFFS and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame

This is the Hall of Fame logo.
An open letter from Robin W. Bailey:

I'm pleased to let the group know that I'm once again serving on the induction committee for the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

We have many new members who may not know that our club was instrumental in establishing the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.  In 1995 I approached the KaCSFFS membership with the idea of setting it up as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.  The members were enthusiastic, but we needed a launching platform--a place--to establish it.

This is an example of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame
Telescope Award.
Several of us met James Gunn in Lawrence to discuss the proposal.  He signed on at once, and we agreed to make it part of the annual Campbell Conference, hosted by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction (CSSF).

We created a lovely plaque upon which the names of the nominees were placed.  The plaque featured beautiful engraved artwork by member Harold McEldery. We also created little trophies with actual working telescopes.  Ursula LeGuin says she watches whales with hers!

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame is housed in
the Frank Gehry Building with the Experience Music Project,
under the Space Needle (not visible in this view) in Seattle.
The SF Museum is on the left, under the silver part.
The Hall of Fame was widely hailed as a big success--enough so that it caught the eye of billionaire Paul Allen, who was about to launch a Science Fiction Museum in Seattle.  Allen's group, Vulcan Enterprises, approached us about acquiring the Hall of Fame.  They sent representatives to KU, and over dinner we discussed the possibilities.

In the end, we decided not to sell the Hall of Fame outright to them.  However we did transfer certain rights to them, while retaining other rights ourselves.  2004 was the last year the SF Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were held at KU.  In 2005, the first induction took place in Seattle.

Okay--there's the Space Needle!  (We couldn't leave out the
Space Needle!)  From this view, however,  we're looking at
the part that houses the Experience Music Project.  The SFM
entrance is around the corner to the left.
The rest is fhannish history.  I've remained involved with the Hall of Fame since that time, serving for a while on both the museum's advisory board and on its HOF induction committee.  Now, with the dissolution of the advisory committee, I am on the induction committee only.

I've made a handful of visits to Seattle to see the Museum and Hall of Fame, and I've kept a close eye on it, but I haven't really reported to the club or communicated much about the Hall of Fame for a while.  I want to do a better job of that.

It should not be lost in the dark annals of time that the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society played a huge role in the creation of what has become a remarkable and successful entity.  In my opinion it should be one of our proudest achievements, and not forgotten.  Certainly it is one of mine.  For more information, click on the highlighted links.
This is the entrance to the Science Fiction Museum
in Seattle.

Thank you, KaCSFFS and the CSSF!

PHOTO CREDITS: Hall of Fame Logo and picture of a Telescope Award are courtesy of the Midamericon Website.  The image of the Frank Gehry Building with both SFM and EMP is from the blog, The Omnivore.  The Space Needle view of the Gehry Building and EMP is from TripSketch.  The SFM entrance is courtesy of Vulcan, Inc.

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