Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

While writing my last post, a review of the excellent movie Edge of Tomorrow, I had cause to reflect on science-fiction movies starring Tom Cruise.  He has some impressive credits: Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, War of the Worlds, Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow. I have enjoyed them all. 

I then contemplated whether any other actors have appeared in so many great science-fiction movies. Charlton Heston immediately came to mind with Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes and The Omega Man. As I am a fan of John Carpenter movies, I then thought of Kirk Russell who stared in The Thing, Escape From New York and Escape From LA. He also appeared in the big screen version of Stargate and had a small role in Vanilla Sky.

But had any of those actors made it into a science-fiction hall of fame? There is a Science Fictionand Fantasy Hall of Fame located at the EMP museum in Seattle, a museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture.

Hall of Fame Members

  • Brian W. Aldiss
  • Poul Anderson
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Betty Ballantine
  • Ian Ballantine
  • Alfred Bester
  • James Blish
  • Chesley Bonestell
  • David Bowie
  • Leigh Brackett
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Octavia E. Butler
  • James Cameron
  • John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • Sir Arthur C. Clarke
  • Hal Clement
  • Samuel R. Delany
  • Vincent Di Fate
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Gordon R. Dickson
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Harlan Ellison
  • Ed Emshwiller
  • Edward L. Ferman
  • Virgil Finlay
  • Frank Frazetta
  • Frank Kelly Freas
  • Hugo Gernsback
  • William Gibson
  • Jean 'Moebius' Giraud
  • Joe Haldeman
  • Harry Harrison
  • Ray Harryhausen
  • Robert A. Heinlein
  • Frank Herbert
  • Damon Knight
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • H.R. Giger
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Fritz Leiber

  • George Lucas
  • Richard Matheson
  • Anne McCaffrey
  • Judith Merril
  • Abraham Merritt
  • Hayao Miyzaki
  • Michael Moorcock
  • C.L. Moore
  • Andre Norton
  • Frank R. Paul
  • Frederik Pohl
  • Richard M. Powers
  • Gene Roddenberry
  • Joanna Russ
  • Eric Frank Russell
  • Ridley Scott
  • Rod Serling
  • Mary W. Shelley
  • Robert Silverberg
  • E.E. Smith

  • Steven Spielberg
  • Olaf Stapleton
  • Theodore Sturgeon
  • James Tiptree, Jr.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Douglas Trumbull
  • Wilson Tucker
  • A. E. van Vogt
  • Jack Vance
  • Jules Verne
  • H.G. Wells
  • Michael Whelan
  • Kate Wilhelm
  • Jack Williamson
  • Connie Willis
  • Gene Wolfe
  • Donald Allen Wollheim
  • Roger Zelazny

Tom Cruise, Charlton Heston, Kirk Russell and John Carpenter haven’t been admitted yet. Unless I am mistaken, no Australians have entered either. 

Nobody in this hall of fame has me questioning its validity. The vast majority of hall of famers are authors and male.  

Who Else is Missing?
After a bit of thought, I could not come up with any other science-fiction authors who should absolutely be in the hall of fame. I think Margaret Atwood is close, perhaps when I finish reading Madd Addam she might have me pushing for her admittance. I think the only Australian science-fiction author who comes close to getting in is George Turner. Greg Egan has the talent and critical acclaim to get there one day.

I could think of a few television/film makers who should be in the hall of fame. JJ Abrams should be there for Lost, Fringe, Revolution, the movies Super 8 and Cloverfield, and the reboot of Star Trek. We do have to forgive him for writing Armageddon and being executive producer for the television series Alcatraz.

Joss Whedon should definitely be in the hall of fame for Firefly, Dollhouse and Agents of Shield on the small screen, and the movies Serenity, Avengers and Cabin in the Woods.

Russell T. Davies should be in just for rebooting Doctor Who. If that is not enough, he also created the spinoffs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Who do you think is missing from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame?


graywave said...

All the people in the list, as you say, are either authors, or have done brilliant creative work in sci-fi. I don't think acting a part in a movie is creativity of the same order by a very, very long way.

Of course, Tom Cruise is a scientologist, so, completely out of touch with reality - but I don't think believing in twaddle counts as creativity either. Charleton Heston was a bigwig in the NRA - so prone to creative interpretations of the 2nd Ammendment - but, still, just an actor.

Grant said...

Nigel Kneale.

Graham Clements said...

Graham, when I was thinking of writing this post I was going to mention the most compelling reason for Tom Cruise being in the Hall of Fame is him being the number one ticket holder of a religion thought up by a science fiction author. Damn, Damn, Damn.

Yes, the script is the most important part of a film or television show, followed by the director. But I wonder how many of the science fiction films Tom Cruise has been in would have been made if he had not signed on. I reckon Vanilla sky and Oblivion probably would not have been made, the two directed by Spielberg would have. Edge of Tomorrow, who knows.

graywave said...

Hehehe. But if you're using the "movie wouldn't have been made without X" argument, you would end up including producers and financiers, etc..

Grant, as a Quatermass fan of old, Nigel Kneale gets my vote, too.

Graham Clements said...

I was just reading Kneale's bio on wikipedia, and didn't he have a lot of frustration in his life. So many scripts not produced.

Graham Clements said...

Perhaps if Tom Cruise had signed onto a few of Kneale's scripts...

Anthony J. Langford said...

Great post Graham.
A tough one. Top of my head, perhaps Verity Lambert for inventing Doctor Who.. or was it Sydney Newman..

Edward Neumeier who wrote RoboCop and Starship Troopers (though based on the novel).

Not sure if actors should be included as theyre not the creators.. JJ, Joss and John Carpenter should definitely be in there.. Carpenter has legendary status already.. and wrote alot of his films.. thats a massive oversight..

Graham Clements said...

Hi Anthony, I was wondering how Kubrick, based on one film, admittedly probably the greatest science fiction film of all time, could get in ahead of John Carpenter. Carpenter wrote and/or directed The Thing, Escape from New York, the academy award nominated Starman, the excellent fantasy Big Trouble in Little China, the cult classic Dark Star, and the okay B grade films They Live, Ghosts of Mars, Escape from LA and a remake of Village of the Damned.