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Science fiction (Part 1) with Patrick Gyger

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30 July 2010



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In today’s episode we’ll be diving into the world of Science Fiction with an interview of Patrick Gyger, director of one of the major Science Fiction Museums in the world called Maison d’Ailleurs. To celebrate the genre, we then bring you the Selkies stories written by Jack Graham without any interruptions.

Patrick Gyger

Patrick Gyger is the Director of the “Maison d’Ailleurs” or “House of Elsewhere” which is one of the major museums of science fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys in the world.

A couple months ago, we had the chance to visit this extraordinary museum where Gyger was giving a guided tour of a new exhibition about Galactic Hits. Over the past 10 years, 30 temporary exhibitions have been held or created there. We then wandered through alleys of shelves, since the museum owns a large, fabulous collection consisting of more than 50’000 books (in French, English, German and even Ouzbek, and many more), some of which are very old and/or rare. There are also nearly 20’000 documents and items related to science fiction and its imagery such as posters, toys, works of art and much more. This makes of the Maison d’Ailleurs a top research center for scholars, students or journalists from around the world who come for their theses, personal research and/or image research.

In this interview, we’ll be looking at the history of robotics in science fiction. Gyger tells us how science fiction can give ideas as to how robots can be used in our society or to mirror the human condition. We then discuss how scientists and science fiction writers can contribute to each other’s field. Finally, in a surprising development we discuss the worries of Science Fiction writers about technology advancing so fast (singularity), that it becomes difficult to write stories about the future.

Selkies

A while back, science fiction writer Jack Graham in Cambridge MA wrote the “Selkies” story for us which was featured in a four-part series in 2008. To celebrate the Science Fiction genre, we decided to rerecord the story so that you could hear it in one-shot. We’ve also added some nice sounds to allow you to immerse yourself into this world of waste, where seal-like robots strive to clean up the oceans.

Jack Graham has an amazing blog called Lonesome Robot which showcases his work in science fiction and role playing games.

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Podcast team The ROBOTS Podcast brings you the latest news and views in robotics through its bi-weekly interviews with leaders in the field.
Podcast team The ROBOTS Podcast brings you the latest news and views in robotics through its bi-weekly interviews with leaders in the field.





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