Out of This World @ British Library

Exhibition – Out of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It

British Library, London 2oth May – 25th September 2010

This forthcoming show at the British Library brings togather a range of archive material that show how our vision of the future has been shaped over the years in visual and literary culture, touching on the current re-appraisal of science fiction in terms of British Art Research as desmonstrated by the recent conference at the Courtauld Institute of Art Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics:

“Writers and artists through history and around the globe have long imagined ‘other worlds’ through the genre of Science Fiction. Science Fiction allows writers to ask the big questions: ‘Who are we?’, ‘What is reality?’

This new exhibition will invite visitors to enter the world of the future, alien worlds, parallel worlds and virtual worlds, and speculate on how our universe might change. These imaginings can provoke hopes and dreams, exhilaration or fear – and shed light on the time and place in which they were created. We hope to encourage visitors’ questions such as : ‘Is there such a thing as a perfect world?’ ‘When and how will the world end?'”

We will examine how scientific advances have influenced Science Fiction – and vice versa. We uncover hidden gems in our collection of manuscripts, printed books, magazines, fanzines, radio broadcasts and author interviews – from the earliest works to the latest films.

The exhibition will challenge what people think of as Science Fiction and show that it is not a narrow genre, but embraces  works of utopian and speculative fiction that people may not consider as ‘Science Fiction’, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, George Orwell’s 1984 and Audrey Niffeneger’s The Time-Traveler’s Wife.

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