Walter Koenig

Best known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Alfred Bester in Babylon 5, the American actor, writer, teacher and director Walter Koenig was born September 14, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa with a pre-med major. He transferred to UCLA and received a BA in psychology. After a professor encouraged Koenig to become an actor, he attended the Neighborhood Playhouse with fellow students Dabney Coleman, Christopher Lloyd, and James Caan.

Koenig played Ensign Pavel Chekov, navigator on the USS Enterprise, in the original Star Trek television series (starting in Season 2) and in several movies featuring the original cast. One of only two actors to audition, he was cast as Chekov almost immediately primarily because of his resemblance to British actor/musician Davy Jones of the Monkees, to attract a younger audience. As the 30-year old’s hair was already receding, costume designers fashioned a Davy Jones-style “moptop” hairpiece for him. In later episodes, his own hair grew out enough to accomplish the look with a comb-over. Gene Roddenberry asked him to “ham up” his Russian accent to add a note of comic relief to the series. Chekov’s accent has been criticized as inauthentic, in particular Koenig’s substituting the “w” sound in place of a “v” sound (e.g., “wodka” for “vodka”). Koenig has said the accent was inspired by his father, who had the same difficulty with the “v” sound. Having been told that Chekov would be a recurring role based on his popularity, Koenig was pleasantly surprised when he immediately became a regular cast member, and most of his fan mail indeed came from children.

When the early Season 2 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series were shot, George Takei (who played Sulu) was delayed completing the movie The Green Berets, so Chekov is joined at the Enterprise helm by a different character. When Takei returned, the two had to share a dressing room and a single episode script. This reportedly angered Takei to the point where he nearly left the show. But the two actors have since become good friends, and the image of their two characters manning the helm of the Enterprise became iconic. Koenig is also credited for writing the Star Trek: The Animated Series installment “The Infinite Vulcan”, making him the first “original cast” member to write a Star Trek story for television. The character of Pavel Andreievich Chekov never appeared in the animated version of Star Trek due to budget reasons, so Koenig never got to reprise his character on the animated series. Koenig also received Saturn Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in Film for both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Koenig reprised his role of Pavel Chekov for the fan webseries Star Trek: New Voyages, To Serve All My Days and the independent Sky Conway/Tim Russ film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, both in 2006.

Following Star Trek, Koenig had a starring role as Psi Cop Alfred Bester on the television series Babylon 5 in twelve episodes and, at the end of the third season and a handful of episodes for TV shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series, Land of the Lost, Family and The Powers of Matthew Star. He has also written several books, including Warped Factors: A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe (an autobiography), Chekov’s Enterprise (a journal kept during the filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot (a science fiction novel), which was re-released in 2006. He created his own comic book series called Raver, which was published by Malibu Comics in the early 1990s, and appeared as a “special guest star” in an issue of the comic book Eternity Smith, which features him prominently on its cover. He also wrote the script for the 2008 science fiction legal thriller InAlienable.

In 1987, Koenig and his wife directed his original one-act plays The Secret Life of Lily Langtree, Tech Night: Hands on Demo and Encore: Long Distance Lady — all under the umbrella title Public Moments at the Theatre of N.O.T.E. in Los Angeles. In 1997, Koenig starred in Drawing Down the Moon, an independent film about a Wiccan woman who attempts to open a homeless shelter in a small Pennsylvania town. In 2004, Koenig co-starred in Mad Cowgirl, an independent movie about a meat-packing health inspector dying from a brain disorder in which he played televangelist Pastor Dylan, a character described as “a sleazy, slimy, sex-addict”.In 2007, Koenig was asked by the human rights group U.S. Campaign for Burma to help in their grassroots campaign about the humanitarian crisis in Burma. As detailed on his official website, he visited refugee camps along the Burma-Thailand border from July 16 to July 25, 2007 and on September 10, 2012 Koenig received the 2,279th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Stanislaw Lem

Described as the most widely read science fiction writer in the world, Polish author Stanislaw Lem was Born September 12 1921 in Lwow, Poland (Which is now Ukraine), During World War II, Lem, due to being a Polish citizen with Jewish ancestry, had to survive using fake papers, and worked as a car mechanic and welder. After the war he relocated to Krakow, where he studied medicine.

In 1946, Shortly after the war , a selection of Lem’s poetry, was first published as well as a series of US popular fiction ‘dime novels’. In that same year, Lem’s first science fiction work, Czlowiek z Marsa (The Man from Mars), was also serialised in the magazine Nowy Swiat Przygód (New World of Adventures). His first novel, Astronauci (The Astronauts) was written in 1951, during the Stalinist era, and he was forced to include many references to the “glorious future of communism” in order for his published work to be approved by the Communist authorities, later in 1961 he published the novel Solaris, which focuses on the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species. Since then, this novel has been made into a feature film three time, most recently in 2002 starring George Clooney.

Many of His novels featured elaborate word formation, humour, puns and alien/human interaction In 1973, he was made an honorary member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, despite being technically ineligible and openly critical of American science fiction, and in 1974 His novel The Cyberiad was first published in English. It featured a series of humorous short stories from a mechanical universe inhabited by robots. Particularly the exploits of two constructor robots named Trurl and Klaupacius, who try to out-invent each other, and travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, however this ends up having dire consequences for their employers. The Cyberiad also featured many wierd and wonderful Illustrations by Polish artist Daniel Mroz and led to Lem being internationally recognised for his literary work.

In 1996, Lem was made a Knight of the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest decoration award for both civilians and the military. Stanislaw Lem Sadly passed away on March 27, 2006 , at the age of 84, in Krakow, Poland, however He has sold over 27 million copies of his popular science fiction books, which have also been translated into 41 different languages and remain popular including The Cyberiad, Star Diaries, Man from Mars and Solaris, So far I’ve read The Star Diaries and the Cyberiad.

Star Trek

The first episode of The American science fiction telvision series Star Trek, entitled, “The Man Trap”, debuted in the United States on NBC on September 8, 1966. Two pilot episodes were also made, “The Cage”, starring Jeffrey Hunter as Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike And “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry and followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel, built by the interstellar federal republic United Federation of Planets in the twenty-third century on their five-year mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” The original 1966–69 television series featured William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, James Doohan as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, and Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov and During the series’ original run, it earned several nominations for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and won twice: for the two-parter “The Menagerie” and the Harlan Ellison-written episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

Gene Roddenberry drafted a proposal for the science-fiction series that would become Star Trek As early as 1964. Although he publicly marketed it as a Western in outer space—a so-called “Wagon Train to the Stars” he privately told friends that he was modeling it on Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, intending each episode to act on two levels: as a suspenseful adventure story and as a morality tale. Most Star Trek stories depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, the space-borne humanitarian and peacekeeping armada of the United Federation of Planets. The protagonists have altruistic values, and must apply these ideals to difficult dilemmas.

Many of the conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek represent allegories of contemporary cultural realities. Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective decades. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology. Roddenberry was able to make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles By creating a new world with new rules. He intended the show to have a progressive political agenda reflective of the emerging counter-culture of the youth movement, though he was not fully forthcoming to the networks about this. He wanted Star Trek to show humanity what it might develop into, if it would learn from the lessons of the past, most specifically by ending violence. An extreme example is the alien species, the Vulcans, who had a violent past but learned to control their emotions. Roddenberry also gave Star Trek an anti-war message and depicted the United Federation of Planets as an ideal, optimistic version of the United Nations.

The Original Series was modeled on classical mythology within science fiction. It’s people looking for answers – and science fiction offers to explain the inexplicable, the same as religion tends to do… If we accept the premise that it has a mythological element, then all the stuff about going out into space and meeting new life – trying to explain it and put a human element to it – it’s a hopeful vision. All these things offer hope and imaginative solutions for the future. The continuing popularity of Star Trek is due to the underlying mythology which binds fans together by virtue of their shared love of stories involving exploration, discovery, adventure and friendship that promote an egalitarian and peace loving society where technology and diversity are valued rather than feared and citizens work together for the greater good. Star Trek is also noted for its cultural influence beyond works of science fiction and its progressive civil rights stances. The Original Series included one of television’s first multiracial casts.

While the original show initially enjoyed high ratings NBC canceled the show after three seasons; the last original episode aired on June 3, 1969. The petition near the end of the second season to save the show signed by many Caltech students and its multiple Hugo nominations would, however, indicate that despite low Nielsen ratings, it was highly popular with science fiction fans and engineering students. These adventures continued in the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. Four spin-off television series were eventually produced: Star Trek: The Next Generation followed the crew of a new starship Enterprise set a century after the original series; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager set contemporaneously with The Next Generation; and Star Trek: Enterprise set before the original series in the early days of human interstellar travel. The original series became popular in reruns and has since found a cult following.

The adventures of The Next Generation crew continued in four additional feature films. In 2009, the film franchise underwent a “reboot” set in an alternate timeline, or “Kelvin Timeline,” entitled simply Star Trek. This film featured a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original show; their adventures were continued in the sequel film, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). The thirteenth film feature and sequel, Star Trek Beyond (2016), was released to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary. A new Star Trek TV series, entitled Star Trek: Discovery, can be seen on CBS All Access & Netflix.

Star Trek also has a wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, and comics. Star Trek had a themed attraction in Las Vegas that opened in 1998 and closed in September 2008. At least two museum exhibits of props travel the world. The series has its own language, Klingon. Several parodies have been made of Star Trek. In addition, viewers have produced several fan productions. As of July 2016, the franchise had generated $10 billion in revenue, making Star Trek one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Best known for his creations of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, American novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs was born September 1, 1875. he also produced works in many genres. Aiming his work at the pulps, Burroughs had his first story, Under the Moons of Mars, serialized by Frank Munsey in the February to July 1912 issues of The All-Story —under the name “Norman Bean” as a precaution to protect his reputation. (Under the Moons of Mars inaugurated the Barsoom series. It was first published as a book by A. C. McClurg of Chicago in 1917, entitled A Princess of Mars, after three Barsoom sequels had appeared as serials, and McClurg had published the first four serial Tarzan novels as books.) Encouraged by the success of these, Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Mars had finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes, which was published from October 1912 and went on to become one of his most successful series.

In 1913, Burroughs and Emma had their third and last child, John Coleman Burroughs (1913–1979). Burroughs also wrote popular science fiction and fantasy stories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets (notably Barsoom, Burroughs’s fictional name forMars, and Amtor, his fictional name for Venus), lost islands, and into the interior of the hollow earth in his Pellucidar stories, as well as westerns and historical romances. Along with All-Story, many of his stories were published in The Argosy magazine. Tarzan was a cultural sensation when introduced. Burroughs was determined to capitalize on Tarzan’s popularity in every way possible. He planned to exploit Tarzan through several different media including a syndicated Tarzan comic strip, movies and merchandise. Experts in the field advised against this course of action, stating that the different media would just end up competing against each other. Burroughs went ahead, however, and proved the experts wrong — the public wanted Tarzan in whatever fashion he was offered. Tarzan remains one of the most successful fictional characters to this day and is a cultural icon.

In either 1915 or 1919, Burroughs purchased a large ranch north of Los Angeles, California, which he named “Tarzana.” The citizens of the community that sprang up around the ranch voted to adopt that name when their community, Tarzana, California was formed in 1927. Also, the unincorporated community of Tarzan, Texas, was formally named in 1927 when THE US Postal Service accepted the name, reputedly coming from the popularity of the first (silent) Tarzan of the Apes film, starring Elmo Lincoln, and an early “Tarzan” comic strip.In 1923 Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and began printing his own books through the 1930s.Burroughs divorced his wife Emma in 1934 and married the former actress Florence Gilbert Dearholt in 1935, the former wife of his friend,Ashton Dearholt, and Burroughs adopted the Dearholts’ two children. The couple divorced in 1942 At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Burroughs was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late 60s, he applied for permission to become a war correspondent. This permission was granted, and so he became one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. during the Second World War. American film director Wes Anderson is Burroughs’ great-grandson. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Burroughs in 2003. After the war ended, Burroughs moved back to Encino, California, where, after many health problems, he sadly died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost 80 novels. The Barsoom novels were also adapted into the film John Carter starring Taylor Kitch and Lynn Collins.

Voyage dans Le Lune

The Classic French science fiction movie A Trip to the Moon,(voyage dans le Lune) was released in France on 1 September 1902. Directed by Georges Méliès. It is considered one of the first science fiction films and was,Inspired by a wide variety of sources, it follows a group of astronomers from the Astonomers Club whose president, Professor Barbenfouillis (“Messybeard” proposes a trip to the Moon. After addressing some dissent, six brave astronomers agree to the plan. They build a space capsule in the shape of a bullet, and construct a huge cannon to shoot it into space. The astronomers embark and their capsule is fired from the cannon with the help of “marines”, most of whom are portrayed as a bevy of beautiful women in sailors’ outfits, while the rest are men. The Man in the Moon watches the capsule as it approaches, and it hits him in the eye. (The image is a visual pun: the phrase dans l’œil, literally “in the eye,” is the French equivalent of the English word “bullseye.”

After Landing safely on the Moon, the astronomers get out of the capsule and watch the Earth rise in the distance. Exhausted by their journey, the astronomers unroll their blankets and sleep. As they sleep, a comet passes, the Big Dipper appears with human faces peering out of each star, old Saturn leans out of a window in his ringed planet, and Phoebe, goddess of the Moon, appears seated in a crescent-moon swing. Phoebe calls down a snowfall that awakens the astronomers. They seek shelter in a cavern where they discover giant mushrooms. One astronomer opens his umbrella which promptly takes root and turns into a giant mushroom itself. At this point, a Selenite (an insectoid alien inhabitant of the Moon, named after one of the Greek moon goddesses, Selene) appears, The Selenites arrest the astronomers and bring them to their commander at the Selenite palace.

The astronomers manage to escape and run back to their capsule while avoiding the pursuing Selenites, A Selenite tries to seize the capsule at the last minute. Astronomer, capsule, and Selenite fall through space and land in an ocean on Earth. The Selenite falls off and the capsule floats back to the surface, where they are rescued by a ship and towed ashore. The final sequence (missing from some American prints of the film) depicts a celebratory parade in honor of the travelers’ return, including the unveiling of a commemorative statue bearing the motto “Labor omnia vincit” (Latin: “work conquers all”)

The film was released by Méliès’s Star Film Company and is numbered 399–411 in its catalogues.Its total length is about 260 meters (roughly 845 feet) of film, which, at Méliès’s preferred projection speed of 12 to 14 frames per second, is about 17 minutes. An internationally popular success at the time of its release, it is the best-known of the hundreds of films made by Méliès, and the moment in which the spaceship lands in the Moon’s eye remains one of the most iconic images in the history of cinema.it was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranking at #84,and in 2002 it became the first work designated as a UNESCO World Heritage film. French duo Air were also asked to provide a sound track for a restored colourised version of the film which was released in 2012. The film also inspired the promo video for the Smashing Pumpkin song Tonight Tonight and is mentioned regularly and referenced often in the film Hugo by Martin Scorses which is based on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik.

VOYAGE DANS LE LUNE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JnfJo8lronQ

Kenny Baker

Famous for portraying the robot R2-D2 in Star Wars, the late great English actor Kenneth George “Kenny” Baker was born 24 August 1934. Baker, who stood 3 ft 8 in (112 cm) tall, was born and educated in Birmingham, West Midlands, and went to boarding school in Kent. His parents were of average height. He wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and be an engraver, but had not received sufficient education. He went to live with his stepmother in Hastings, Sussex and in 1951 was approached on the street by a lady who invited him to join a theatrical troupe of dwarves and midgets. This was his first taste of show business.

He Later joined a circus for a brief time, he also learned to ice-skate and appeared in many ice shows. He had formed a successful comedy act called the Minitones with entertainer Jack Purvis when George Lucas hired him to be the man inside R2-D2 in Star Wars in 1977. Baker appears in seven Star Wars films and played an additional role in 1983’s Return of the Jedi as Paploo, the Ewok who steals an Imperial speeder bike. He was originally going to play Wicket, but he fell ill and that role was handed over to Warwick Davis. Kenny is also featured on Justin Lee Collins’s programme “Bring Back Star Wars”. He also revealed that he didn’t get on with his co-star Anthony Daniels, whom He claimed had been rude to him on numerous occasions.

Baker’s other films include The Elephant Man, Time Bandits and Willow (with Jack Purvis), Flash Gordon, Amadeus and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. On television, he appeared in the British medical drama Casualty. In the late 1990s, Baker launched a short stand up comedy career. Baker played harmonica with the James Coutts’ Scottish Dance Band at Hugh McCaig’s Silverstone Party in July 1997. In November 2009, his biography entitled From Tiny Acorns: The Kenny Baker Story was made available through his website and at conventions and book signings. It was written with Ken Mills. He reprised his role as R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode VII and He also had a part in the BBC production of “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Tragically Kenny Baker sadly died 13 August 2016 however his films remain popular.

Ray Bradbury

Best known for his dystopian futuristic novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , The American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer Ray Bradbury was born 22 August. Throughout his youth Bradbury was an avid reader and writer. He knew as a young boy that he was “going into one of the arts.” Bradbury was drawing, acting and writing. In 1932, one of Bradbury’s earliest influences was Edgar Allan Poe. At age twelve, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about eighteen. At the time, his favorites were also Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter as well as comic books. He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, and when the show went off the air every night he would sit and write the entire script from memory. In his youth, he spent much time reading H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, He loved Burroughs’ The Warlord of Mars so much that at the age of 12 he wrote his own sequel. The young Bradbury also was a cartoonist and loved to illustrate. He wrote about Tarzan and drew his own Sunday panels.

Bradbury Was also influenced by many other authors from Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, to Thomas Wolfe. He attended Los Angeles High School and was active in both the Poetry Club and the Drama club, continuing plans to become an actor but becoming serious about his writing as his high school years progressed. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he took poetry classes and short story writing courses where the teachers recognized his talent and furthered his interest in writing.When he was seventeen, Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and said he read everything by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A.E. Van Vogt, but cited H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as his big science fiction influences. In 1936, Ray Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Thrilled to find there were others with his interests, at the age of sixteen Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave. Soon Bradbury began submitting his short stories for publication. After a rejection notice from the pulp magazine Weird Tales, Bradbury submitted to other magazines.

During World War Two Ray Bradbury started a career in writing after, he was rejected by the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines, he was also invited to attend meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which met in downtown Los Angeles. His first published story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, which appeared in the fanzine Imagination! in January, 1938. Bradbury’s first paid piece, “Pendulum,” written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in November 1941,and he also published “The Lake”, and became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947, Bradbury’s short stories, “Homecoming’” was also spotted and subsequently published in Madamoiselle magazine where it won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947, Bradbury also wrote his classic story of a dystopian book-burning future, The Fireman, which was later published under the name, Fahrenheit 451.

Besides his fiction work, Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, and In the 1980s, Bradbury concentrated on detective fiction. Several comic book writers have also adapted Bradbury’s stories. Particularly noted among these were EC Comics’ line of horror and science-fiction comics, which often featured Bradbury’s name on the cover announcing that one story in that issue would be an adaptation of his work. The comics featuring Bradbury’s stories included Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Crime Suspenstories, Haunt of Fear and others.

Bradbury sadly passed away on June 5th, 2012 after a lengthy illness, however he remained an enthusiastic playwright throughout his life and left a rich theatrical and literary legacy. Bradbury became one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers. His obituary stated that Bradbury was “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.” Many of Bradbury’s works have also been adapted into television shows or films, he is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories, and More than eight million copies of his works, published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world.