Monday, August 6, 2018

DREAMING THE UNIVERSE: SOUTHERN CAL'S RICH SCIENCE FICTION HISTORY

SUPERMAN WAS SHOT--OR KILLED HIMSELF--AT HIS HOUSE IN BENEDICT CANYON.
THE MYSTERY HAS NEVER BEEN SOLVED.

I've had a few scattered blessed weeks off from my arts and culture column.

This week's begins:

“In the beginning was a flash of lightning. Two centuries ago, it was that flash of lightning that brought a creature back to life, in the laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein. While there were other creations of the fantastic, Mary Shelley’s work differed, for it was all brought about by science, with no hint of the supernatural.”

So begins a current exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History. “Dreaming The Universe: The Intersection of Science, Fiction, & Southern California” runs through September 2.

By the early 20th century, science had advanced to the point that popular culture became inundated with stories of spaceships, robots and intergalactic explorers. Greater Los Angeles, with its aeronautics industry, film studios and creative zeitgeist, was a kind of epicenter for that culture.

The confluence of science and art met in such figures as mathematician-poet Eric Temple Bell and earthquake expert/sci-fi aficionado Charles Richter.

Pasadena’s Clare Winger Harris was credited as the first woman to publish under her own name in science fiction magazines. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous creation gave the San Fernando Valley city of Tarzana its name.

Tracing the history of science fiction in Southern California from the 1930s to the 1980s, the exhibit is chock-full of artifacts, toys, graphic art, movie posters and stills, and vintage comic, paperback and magazine covers.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.


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