I’ve only managed to spend a few minutes so far exploring our exciting new exhibition Out of this World: Science Fiction but not as you know it, but I will definitely going back for more soon.
The exhibition has some first editions and manuscripts of some of the great stories I discovered in my youth, such as John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids.
One of the most memorable short stories I read way back then, was about an anti-gravity device (always a popular topic in Sci-Fi… and with some of our inventors, now I come to think of it).
The concept is that a selection of scientists from various disciplines are shown a grainy film of a working anti-gravity device, unfortunately the machine crashes and the inventor is killed. They are then shown the inventor’s study with books on range of disciplines such as physics, biology, religion and witchcraft. They are then asked to try and re-create the machine. After many false starts they manage the impossible, and are only then told that the film was a fake, designed to help them get over their mental blocks.
The story is called Noise Level by Raymond F Jones.