Barack Obama's geek credentials

We ran this article looking at Barack Obama's love of SF in issue 178 of SFX, but here are a few facts again in honour of his inauguration on Tuesday 20 January.

Sci-fact! “I grew up on Star Trek,” he told an audience in Wyoming. “I believe in the final frontier.” Further proof of Trekkie tendencies came when Newsweek reported a flip remark he made about an item of wife Michelle’s wardrobe: “That’s an interesting belt buckle. Dilithium crystals! Beam me up, Scotty!” Expect America to conquer warp technology by the close of Obama’s first term, Borg permitting.

Sci-fact! None other than Leonard Nimoy revealed that Obama tends toward the highly logical. “About a year and a half ago I was at a political event and one of our current campaigners for the office of President of the United States saw me, approached, and gave me the Vulcan signal… It was not John McCain.”

Sci-fact! As a kid he collected Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics. Robert E Howard’s lusty, blade-swinging barbarian hero may seem an improbable fave for the supernaturally cool, dapper Obama, but he may surprise us all if he addresses the world wearing a ragged loincloth and waving a bloodied sword. By Crom!

Sci-fact! He’s clearly a fan of JK Rowling’s boy wizard, having read every Harry Potter book. (Good job, too – maybe magic can bail us out of this current financial apocalypse…)

Sci-fact! At the Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York he revealed: “Contrary to rumours you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-El, to save the planet Earth.”

Sci-fact! Obama’s geek cred took a minor dive after a fumbled metaphor about rival John McCain: “He hasn’t been a maverick. He’s been a sidekick. He’s like Kato to the Green Lantern.” Luckily, the Republican campaign didn’t pounce on the fact that Kato was in fact aide-de-camp to the Green Hornet.

Sci-fact! Leading superhero artist Alex Ross created a print in his honour (below left) and he’s already been immortalised in comic book form, cameoing in the pages of The Savage Dragon (below right).

There you have it. Check out our post yesterday about 44 fictional presidents in SF too. And in honour of the occasion, we're setting up a complimentary subscription to SFX magazine for the White House so that a busy President Obama need never go without a monthly supply of SF news and features.

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