Today is a special day for Star Wars fans in London.
To add to the excitement that May 4 brings, the Science Museum has announced a new Stars Wars themed exhibition which is due to open this autumn.
Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination, set to be the largest exhibition the museum has ever had, will invite visitors into a unique story-led exhibition through the world of science fiction.
Guests will be dazzled by a gold-plated spacesuit from Danny Boyle’s sci-fi thriller Sunshine, discover how Star Trek’s tricorder provided inspiration to change medicine and see the vicious Xenomorph of Alien.
Inspired by the Darth Vader helmet created for Empire Strikes Back, which will be displayed in the exhibition, Science Fiction will also host a programme of events.
Discussing the key questions around cyborg technologies, superhumans and time travel, industry experts will examine a selection of sci-fi topics in two separate talks at the museum: Are We Turning into Cyborgs? and Quantum Mechanics: Stranger than Fiction?
There will also be a live concert from the art-pop trio Stealing Sheep and electronic pioneers The Radiophonic Workshop.
The museum will also run a science fiction writing competition for new writers which will run alongside the exhibition.
Science Fiction Debuts will open for submissions from June 4.
Applicants will need to submit 10,000 words of the opening of a novel that fits into the science fiction genre and a 500-word synopsis.
Writers must be unpublished and not represented by a literary agent and live in the UK.
The deadline for submissions is midnight September 30.
A shortlist will be announced at the Science Museum’s Lates on October 26 with the winner selected in January 2023 by a panel of authors and industry figures.
The winner of the Science Fiction Debuts prize will receive £4,000, alongside a full critique of their work, a six-month-long mentoring programme with Hodderscape Editorial Director Molly Powell, and introduction to three literary agents.
The runner up will receive £2,000, alongside a full critique of the work submitted, and the rest of the shortlist will receive a cash prize of £800, and feedback from the judging panel.
Glyn Morgan, lead curator for the Science Fiction exhibition at the Science Museum said: “Science fiction invites us to consider the world around us, our impact upon it, and to consider alternatives.
“Visitors to the exhibition will see examples of bright futures the genre has imagined and be confronted by some of the biggest threats to our existence as we invite them to think about how often dystopian imaginings can help us imagine and create more utopian futures.
“New writers are the lifeblood of any genre, but in science fiction, where reinvention and innovation is so vital, they are particularly important and I’m delighted that the Science Museum can play a small role in discovering some of the exciting new talent of the future.”
Molly Powell Hodder & Stoughton Editorial Director said: “From Arthur C. Clarke to Octavia Butler, from Star Wars to Dune, science fiction creators have long imagined and built new worlds to better understand our own, and it is vital we continue empowering them to do so, today and into the future.”
Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination opens at the Science Museum on October 6 2022.