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The Science Fictional World: 16th May

Hey, everyone! It’s May 16th – and you know what that means!

Er . . . no?  No, nor do we, really, but one of the very interesting things about science fiction is that it is now so culturally all-pervasive and such an integral part of conceptualising the science of the last hundred years or so, that that you can pick almost any date at random and find something that feels linked. Don;t believe us? Here are some of the events that have occurred on 16th May that we think might be of interest to SF fans:

1920 – Joan of Arc was canonised in Rome. OK, more historical/fantasy than SF, but still . . .

1929 – The first Academy Awards were held in Hollywood. Queue almost a century of moaning about genre films being ignored by the Oscars.

1940  – Yvonne Craig, the actress who played Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in the 1960s Batman TV series was born. HOLY RIGHT-UNDER-THE-COMMISSIONER’S NOSE, BATMAN!

1960 – The first working laser was demonstrated at Hughes Research Laboratory in California. Laser. Mmmm. . .

1963 – Astronaut Gordon Cooper returns to Earth, after orbiting the Earth 22 times in the Project Mercury capsule.  Astronauts! The Right Stuff! Top Gun!

1969 – The Soviet spacecraft Venus 5 lands on the planet . . . er . . . Venus.  ‘Nuff said.

1971  – David Boreanaz, famous in genre circles for his portayal of Angel in Joss Whedon series Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and eponymous spin-off Angel, was born. <sigh> Joss Whedon . . .

1992 – The space shuttle Endeavour  lands safely after its maiden voyage. Don’t get us started on the closure of the shuttle programme!

Happy May the 16th!