Sci-Fi Museum Inducts Harryhausen, Spielberg, Dick

While their works hold timeless appeal, sci-fi and fantasy legends Ray Harryhausen, Steven Spielberg, Philip K. Dick and Chesley Bonestell have become museum pieces of a sort. The visionaries from the worlds of film, literature and art constitute the Science Fiction Museum’s 2005 Hall of Fame inductees. The induction ceremony will take place on May 6 at the recently opened Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, Wash.

Harryhausen, a famed stop-motion animator and visual effects pioneer, is single handedly responsible for the enduring magic of such classic films as The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Jason and the Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Clash of the Titans. In 1992, he was presented with an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement and went on to earn his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June of 2003. His lavishly illustrated autobiography, Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life, was published in the U.S. last April and a retospective DVD titled Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years was released in February of this year.

Spielberg won three Oscars, three Emmys, two Golden Globes and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Film Institute and Directors Guild. His best-known science fiction films include E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jurassic Park. For TV, Spielberg exec produced the hit SCI-FI Channel miniseries, Taken, and has returned to the theme of alien invasion with his upcoming big-screen adaptation of H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds. For this latest project, he re-teams with Tom Cruise, star of Minority Report, which Spielberg adapted from a story by fellow inductee Philip K. Dick.

Dick is considered one of the most important figures in 20th-century American science fiction, having inspired such science fiction films as Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report. Widely considered the forefather of cyberpunk, Dick passed away in 1982 at the age of 54, but his body of work will continue to influence writers and filmmakers for generations to come.

Chesley Bonestell is the most influential creator of photo-realistic astronomical art. During the 1950′s, his work often appeared in such publications as Life and Collier’s Magazine, inspiring the careers of countless astronomers, scientists and artists. His special-effects matte paintings for films such as Destination Moon and George Pal’s The War of the Worlds led to the creation of the Chesley Award, which honors achievement in science fiction and fantasy art. Bonestell passed away in 1986 at the age of 98.

Founded in 1996, the Science-Fiction Hall of Fame was relocated from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at Kansas University to its permanent home at SFM in 2004.

Each year, the Hall of Fame inducts up to four individuals on the basis of their continued excellence and long-time contributions to science fiction. This year’s class will join the ranks of such well-known figures as Ursula K. Le Guin, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Samuel R. Delany, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells.

As part of the induction, a new display featuring personal artifacts and video footage from each inductee will be added to the existing Hall of Fame exhibit. The new inductees will also be featured in laser-etched images on the translucent, glowing Hall of Fame display.

Tickets for the induction ceremony sell for $85 and are now available to members. The general public can purchase tickets on April 1. The evening includes a seated dinner, ceremony and after-party. For more information, visit the Hall of Fame section of the SFM web site at www.sfhomeworld.org.