Science Fiction: Science Fact (SF2)

SCIENCE FICTION * SCIENCE FACT: [SF]^2, (AKA Science Fiction Science Fact SF2) PBS 1987, was a one-hour, live special with Ben Bova, Arthur C. Clarke, Charles Sheffield, John E. Stith, G. Harry Stine and NASA planner Jesco von Puttkammer. The program was produced by John Bluck of the NASA Lewis Research Center and Dr. Carrie Heeter, Director, Communication Technology Laboratory, Michigan State University.

SF^2 was an interesting communications experiment, featuring Clarke via video satellite link to Sri Lanka, and allowing real-time comments fed through a forum on CompuServe. (One of the things the producers learned was that the rate of questions scrolling across the screen was nearly impossible to cope with.) Robert L. Forward spoke via videotape. Artists James Christiansen, Don Maitz, and Michael Whelan participated from their homes via slow-scan video. A crew of scientists at the South Pole spoke via satellite.

An excerpt from Stith's novel Memory Blank was transmitted in a Videotrax-encoded several-second burst. Ben Bova and G. Harry Stine covered some of the aspects of the show in "State of the Art: Over-Communicated" in the March 1989 ANALOG.

The program aired in 1987, in the relatively early Internet days, prior to the world wide web.




Link to YouTube:

Complete Video