SF conventions, and snapshots of SF conventions, go back a long time. Here's Midwestcon 2, put on by the Cincinnati Fantasy group in June 1951; shots include a haunting image of Henry Burwell, publisher of Atlanta zine Science Fiction Digest, and an already-old E.E. "Doc" Smith. From Retronaut, an unnamed 1980 con in LA. From the Mills photo archive, con costumes from the late 60s through the 80s. Forrest Ackerman, editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, in "futuristic costume" at the first WorldCon in 1939. This last from the endless compendium that is the MidAmerican Fan Photo Archive.
"It's a Good Life" is a 1953 story by Jerome Bixby, who also wrote It! The Terror From Beyond Space, said to be the inspiration for Alien, and the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror" (the one with evil bearded Spock.) It was made into a famous Twilight Zone episode, and is generally considered among the greatest SF stories ever written. Is "It's a Good Life" about God? Communism? 1950s suburban conformity? Or just about the horror of the self-contained world it creates in its few pages and the terrible realization that it would be possible to survive inside it, for a while?
Six or seven stances science fiction movies take towards science. From John Holbo at Crooked Timber. [more inside]
Think you get a lot done? Isaac Asimov (pronounced like "has, him, of" without the h's) , who would have turned 87 today, wrote or edited over 500 books, including science-fiction novels, introductions to organic chemistry (a field in which he held a professorship at B.U.) , indispensable anthologies of early science fiction, jokebooks, guides to Shakespeare, and collections of lively essays on science that have introduced thousands of people to the pleasures of thinking hard about the universe. He also found the time to write a few essays and write postcards to his fans. His story "Runaround" , from his 1950 collection I, Robot, is the only piece of fiction I know centered on the properties of a differential equation. His Foundation Trilogy was given a special Hugo award in 1966 as the best science fiction series of all time; a movie version, to be written by Jeff Vintar and directed by Shekhar Kapur, is currently in development. Previous AsimovFilter: here, here, here. Feel like a slacker yet? Stop reading MetaFilter and get to work!