As noted earlier, we stopped by the EMP-slash-Science Fiction Musuem or whatever it’s called this weekend, and much to my surprise, shoehorned into the corner and basement of the Gehry Blob, it’s a superior museum and display experience to the EMP.

I’m not fully sure why this is. Partly it seems to be a reflection that SF fandom has always emphasized the cult of the physical object – the book, the zine, the prop – over the act that sacralizes the object – wearing the costume, writing the book. Thus, seeing vitrines filled with mixed stuff – book cheek by jowl with prop and poster – is of greater interest to me than the act of gazing on Greg Ginn’s now-mute plexiglas SG.

Additionally, it was interesting to see several books currently in my archives on display in editions suspiciously similar to those I own. Among these were mid-seventies editions of both Delany’s Dhalgren and Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up.

Of course, the original command chair from TOS Star Trek is on display, and that was cool to see. But my very favorite props were small. One was a can of Leopard Lager from Red Dwarf, which caused me to reflect upon my foolishness in giving away the Red Dwarf series one ‘baby girl scutter’ prop that a coworker once gave me. She’d received it as a going-away present from the show’s propmaster just before moving to the US. For a few years it was a totemic presence in my living room during the KCTS-9 Red Dwarf marathons.

The other item I relished as if it were tranya was the 18-inch molded-plastic AMT Enterprise model used in a scene shot for The Trouble with Tribbles. I had long heard that this kit was used by the TOS effects team, and having built it myself around 1974 or so I was charmed beyind measure to see the tiny ship, painted grey and decals flaking, mounted at kneecap level.