EMP, a pop culture museum in Seattle, is creating a new exhibition called Icons of Science Fiction, and we need your help. The exhibit is organized around six big themes in science fiction, and explores how these themes play out in books, films, TV shows, comics, games, and art. We'll display props, costumes, artwork and more. The exhibit will also present great written works that explore these themes - and that's where you come in.

For each of the novels and stories below, we're looking for a 100-300 word excerpt to display that both illustrates the theme and captures the essence of what makes that work special.


We're asking you, the Great Internet Science Fiction Brain Trust, to suggest excerpts. We've got our reasons: 1. You know your stuff. 2. We want to bring a variety of voices and points of view to the exhibition.

If you have an excerpt to suggest, you can either make a comment to this post, or email us directly at icons@empmuseum.org. Include which work you're submitting for, the edition you're using as a source, and chapter/page info. You don't have to type in the whole excerpt! Just include the first and last sentences. For comics pick one or two pages. Be creative and daring. The obvious choice might not be the best. Surprise us.

Thank you for your help, and good hunting. Here are the books we need excerpts from, as well as the themes we think they illustrate.

Theme: Exploring the stars

What we're looking for: Excerpts that talk about exploration, adventure, why go out there, or perhaps give caution. Sense of wonder.

Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold

Theme: Enslaved by our machines

What we're looking for: Great examples of mechanical menace or perhaps a good anti-human screed.

"I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" (short story) by Harlan Ellison

Demon Seed by Dean Koontz

Theme: Aliens come to Earth

What we're looking for: Excerpts that depict the shock, wonder or horror at encountering the Other.

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Theme: Superpowers

What we're looking for: Explorations of what it's like to be extraordinary-both positive and negative.

Watchmen by Alan Moore

The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey

Theme: Designer Children

What we're looking for: This theme explores clones, genetic manipulation, and humanoid androids and robots. Do they long to be human, or revel in their differences?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro

Theme: The Chosen One

What we're looking for: This section looks at science fiction heroes with a capital-d Destiny. Excerpts could explore prophesy, what it's like to be seen as a savior, the desire to just be normal, etc.

Dune by Frank Herbert

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

Is that all? Nine books, two graphic novels and one short story to represent all of print science fiction? Yes, it's a short list, but our goal is to give visitors to the exhibition a taste of some of the best that's out there, then send them away to explore the genre more deeply.

You can learn more about the EMP Museum on our website, and find us on Facebook or Twitter.