Question: What is this website all about?
Answer: It's all about sci-fi babes.
Which creates a problem, only 2 sentences in! How do you define the sci-fi genre and what is a "Babe"?
Let's start with the question of science fiction. The Wikipedia definition goes like this:
"Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology."
But the definition is by no means rock solid, as scifi.about.com suggests:
"Science fiction takes our current understanding of how the universe works and imagines ideas and technologies that we haven't seen yet, but still could fit within that understanding. It's fiction that expands on what we know about science, operating on familiar principles."
In fact, in reality, the genre often overlaps with other genres and can often be considered hybrid, there's plenty of examples in Tim Dirk's excellent article here. So there isn't really a definitive answer to that question, and most commentators will agree that you know what is science fiction when you come across it, but it's hard to describe.
But it is important to have a working definition, unless we simply start to list every woman that ever appeared in a film or a TV programme!
The term "scientist" first appeared in 1840 and "science fiction" was first coined later, in 1851 (source). That is not to say that there was no science fiction prior to that, just that it wasn't recognised as such. Indeed, time travel features in Japanese texts as early as the year 720.
It is true to say, though, that science fiction is based on imagined situation, but also based on what could be scientifically possible. Certain themes are common to science fiction which gives us a bit more structure, such as..
settings in the future
aliens from other worlds
"For a film or TV to be considered as sci-fi, it must be listed, at least in part, on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) as within the sci-fi genre."
So that I'm not deluged by the size of the debate (I don't pretend to know the answer, and will happily include any omissions if the argument is strong enough), I will set an empirical and objective definition for the babes appearing on this site.
The starting point (because it's easier than making my own list) will be the Wikipedia listing of Sci-fi films. I will initially use the TV listings from tv.com, although acknowledge that they don't always meet the strict sci-fi criteria. These listings will be used as my starting points and, whilst I will publish the list, I will change them as I uncover errors. The films will be listed on each page. BUT, where there is a dispute about the genre of a film or TV series - that is it is included when it should not be, or isn't included when it should be - I will seek verification, as follows:
Here's some examples to show what I mean.
Christine Aguilera is certainly hot in this sci-fi shoot for her greatest hits album, but I failed to get her name up when I searched for her on the IMDb (Oh she was there, but not listed as sci-fi, and besides, who is the character she is portraying?).
Lovely Liv Tyler, playing as Arwen EvenStar looks the part, pointy ears and all, but Lord of the Rings (great trilogy though it was and one of my favourites), is listed as adventure, fantasy and not science fiction. If we try the test of scientific themes, it's difficult to say that any of them apply to the books or films. So sorry, neither can make the list.
Now consider Barb wire (1996). It's clearly listed on the IMDb as "Action, Sci-fi" and the plot starts off with "21st century.." Keywords include "future". Can't dispute that, then - it's sci-fi. As Barbara Kopetski is a female character in the film, she is eligible as a sci-fi babe. Further research shows the character is played in the film by Pamela Anderson, appears in a comic book, can be bought as a figurine and has some fan art dedicated to her. All are eligible.
Now we come to the other side of the argument.
What about the babe part?
Evolutionary scientists would have us believe that men are instinctively attracted by fertility factors, such as the waist-hip ratio. Fine, believe that if you want, but have you never found a woman's voice to be sexy? Or her eyes? And what about non-definable factors, such as a sense of adventure, humour or confidence? Lets face it, the shape of the body and how she looks are important, but they aren't the only factors.
It's true to say, then that there's no consensus. Well that isn't a problem, because I am going to try to find as many candidates as I can and then let you decide.
Who is the babe - character or actress?
Now we are sooner or later going to have to come up with the answer to this question.
For me there isn't really an argument, because they BOTH make up the babe. You can't have an actress who is purely sci-fi (think about it - she needs to be fictional!), but on the other hand the character is brought to life by the actress. So, we'll concern ourselves with the actress as the character. Okay this means that a character can be played by more than one actress (no problem there, that's just more babes to look at) and the actress can play more than one babe (even more babes!). As far as I am concerned it just creates more babes for us. So if I mention the actress, then its just that I'm looking at the angle that makes the character a babe.
Now, one problem I have with some of the so-called sci-fi babe sites out there is that they feature images of the actresses outside the context of the film or TV series they were in. Whilst I enjoy looking at them, this just becomes a babe site and we might as well feature every hot woman there is on this and every other planet (hmm, I wonder how long THAT would take)! The point is, the sci-fi criteria has got to be the first on the list, and I will only make that exception if I cannot find an image from the film or TV series....and even then I will carry on looking until I do or someone out there provides me with one.
Let me show you what I mean..take a look at Jessica Alba here..
Jessica Alba is undoubtedly hot (although I don't doubt there is a small minority who disagree, but she certainly hits all my buttons). But is it sci-fi? No - not according to my definition. That doesn't rule out bikini-clad women though. There are many examples of eligible babes in bikinis, and there's no better than Princess Leiah in her metal bikini.
Now look at this image...
The image is of Sue Storm (not Jessica Alba) in somewhat dull attire is sci-fi (it's from the film and we've verified the film's genre), but is it hot?
Well actually I think it is quite hot, but wouldn't it be better if we saw her as the Marvel character in her costume?
So for me the last one is the preferred one. I hope never to just show the actress - and will only do so if I want to include the character and can find no image of that character, be it from a film, a TV series, a poster, a work of art, a model or even a comic or book.
The Batman question
Yes -Batman, the TV series is listed as sci-fi under the genres list, amongst others.
But the films are NOT listed as sci-fi, despite the fact that the 1966 film is BASED on the TV series. So the case for including Batman, and other comic book characters, for that matter, becomes blurred.
This is an important issue, and is one of the main reasons why I rewrote the entire web site - because of my conviction of the genre's existence in a defined way and my belief that I know sci-fi when I see it. I said earlier that the character needs to be listed on the IMDb as, at least in part, sci-fi. If it wasn't, then I would apply the test of science fiction themes to see if there was an element (and it only needs one) of science fiction involved. In that case I will apply the test and see if it is successful. Let's remind ourselves of the themes from above.
settings in the future
aliens from other worlds
Cutting straight to the point, I want to make the point that in many comic books characters like Batman belong in a universe which itself is filled with science fiction. Some people may argue that these universes don't strictly fit in with the principle that a scientific possibility exists, and that we are more into realms of fantasy here. I don't agree. In the Marvel/DC universes, we find aliens from other worlds and outer space - where do you think Superman came from? Superman IS an alien from another world - Krypton! And who is to say that an alien species can't fly? Evolution here on Earth shows that is most definitely possible, so why not on other worlds? For me then, if a character belongs to this universe, he/she/it is automatically eligible to make the list.
It creates a bit of a problem for me in that I have to research all this stuff, but then that sounds like fun...
The other side of the coin is that characters may be divorced from this universe in TV or film. Lets look at Batman again..
Neither the Batman TV series or the films directly suggest that we are in a superhero universe. We are in Gotham city, but in the present time. We can rule out time travel, settings in the future, alternative timelines, utopian societies, space, aliens from other worlds and robots.
But we are left with advanced technology and computers.
The TV series in the 1960s contained technology that was advanced for its time. Sure we know about lasers and supercomputers now, but then it was fiction. So I am happy with the TV series and the 1966 film (right down to the batsharkrepellentspray).
In the more modern films, we also have technology which is not available to us yet. Examples are Batman's memory fibre cape, his exoskeleton, "jumping" cars, a plane that converts into a submarine and a computer that uses mobile phones to create a "map" of the city. Now these are not to be confused with the gadgets he carries in his utility belt - strictly speaking these are current or at least not particularly advanced. So no Bond doesn't make sci-fi because of this! But I am convinced that Batman does. And so the rest of the characters in Batman. Let's move on..
Now, finally, I want to explore the general qualification of the babe as a sci-fi character. As it stands, if I can satisfy myself that the media is of the sci-fi genre and that the character as portrayed by the actress is female and relatively attractive, then we have an eligible character. However, I believe that some characters are more sci-fi than others. Luckily for us, as the genre has developed, then so too has the character. But in many cases the character is what I call a "bystander" - these are the girlfriends, nieces, token doctors etc. I use this term to describe them because they have very little reason to be there, apart from being the proverbial eye-candy.
What I am looking for is something - anything - that makes the character stand out as an actual sci-fi character. There are some obvious traits, like being an alien, a cyborg, or from another world. Another might be an ability or power, such as Sue Storm's abilities to become invisible. This ability might just be high level athleticism or gymnastics. I'll be happy to consider a uniform of some sort, like spandex or leather (you could argue that this only adds to the eye-candi-ness, but I believe it makes a distinction, at least when it is different to the general public. Adding to that, a willingness to get involved in the action. For example, tackling a villain, as opposed to hiding and screaming, knowing how to fly a spaceship, or use a laser gun. This could be unfair to many of the babes who, pre-sixties for example, weren't allowed to do this for all sorts of reasons, but is doesn't rule them out! It merely qualifies them.
Sometimes I will supplement images with video to illustrate the babe in context or just simply to entertain. Where I do that the following key applies:
The whole film can be seen, usually from the Public Domain
A clip, either Public Domain or YouTube-type
Anyway, enough of all that, you came here to look at babes, didn't you? Navigate the site using the menu on the left, top or in the footer. There will be more added to the site in time as I don't envisage it will ever be finished - so come back soon!
On to the origin of sci-fi babes >>