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Back in November, the National Academies announced the formation of a new group to promote the use of accurate science in science fiction productions, focusing primarily on Movies and TV. The Science and Entertainment Exchange came out of the starting gate strong, with Watchmen leading the pack. A serious voice for both the acting community and the sciences, Dustin Hoffman helps make that connection now, working to get the science in science fiction right. This is not the first time this kind of thing has been done; Mike Brotherton has been the primary force behind Launchpad, a NASA funded free crash course in Astronomy and Astrophysics for science fiction authors for some years now. This years guest teachers include amateur astronomer and author Joe Haldeman, and Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame.

I gave links to the pages that give you this years Hugo Award nominee writings yesterday. Today, I thought I should point out a classic; read Cordwainer Smith at this link. If you don’t know who he is, these stories will introduce you, as will Frederik Pohl’s Introduction to a truly great man, who also wrote some of the best science fiction of his era. The new Stargate Universe trailer is now online, as broadcast during the Battlestar Galactica finale Friday. It looks like it could re-energize the franchise.

In April we will have the first new Red Dwarf in many years, and Dave TV has now posted the schedule. They are running the three new episodes one each night of Easter weekend, along with a selection of the best classic episodes and a behind-the-scenes special. SFX is in the middle of it, running 50 copies only with a special Red Dwarf cover that will be featured in the show. To find one, you need to hunt the newsstands in the UK. The DVD will be released on DVD on June 15th in England, but I have not found a US release date yet.

Mike Brotherton has posted a thought provoking article about Why Science Fiction rules, and why most people just don’t get it. It’s worth a read, and if you communicate to the public (Teacher, Journalist, etc.) you should also be aware the next round of his Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop still has a few days before registration closes, but you have to hurry. Funded by NASA, the training is free and comes complete with an observatory or two at the University of Wyoming. Even Lex Luthor is looking for a Bailout these days… what is the world coming to?

The 35th annual Saturn Awards will be presented in June, and the nominations are now out. The Dark Knight leads everyone with 11 nominations, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button pulled 9, and Iron Man garnered 8. Some categories this year would be easy to decide, were I an Academy member. Best Horror would be THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, and the Best International Film would be FORBIDDEN KINGDOM. Other categories… how to decide between THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, IRON MAN, and JUMPER? On different days I would vote for different films. And that’s without getting into the TV side of the competition, with Fringe, Heroes, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Battlestar Galactica, and True Blood all in the running. There are a lot more, you can see the full nominations list here.