Science Fiction Emojis 💩

Where are the Science Fiction emojis? Mundane emojis are everywhere. Target, Safeway, Home Depot, Domino’s, Wheel of Fortune, Sprouts, and even Unsplash use them in email. OK, maybe you never heard of that last one. That’s OK, but Unsplash is a great place to get images for social media posts or a fictional-family vacation album. The point is, marketers have discovered emojis and I’m annoyed at the limited choices of these colorful characters in science fiction and fantasy themes. Here are the ones I found that could plausibly have an SF meaning.

👽 👾 🤖 🖖 🦾 🦿 👁 🧑‍🚀 🧟 🦠 🍄 🌍 🛰 🚀 🛸 🌕 🪐 🌠 🌌 ☄ ⚗ 🧪 🧫 🧬 🔬 🔭 📡 ☢ ☣ 

Total count is thirty. Sure, there are a few variants of astronaut by gender and skin tone. Zombies have gender also, and Earth has three views, but the Science Fiction emojis set pales by comparison to smilies (101) and faces (140).

Personally, I would like to see the Simpsons alien, the one-eyed octopus with an enormous clear helmet and exposed tentacles. From Star Trek, let’s get emojis of a Klingon, Romulan, and a DS-9 Cardassian (I really want to see Odo’s Kardashian neck trick). Don’t forget the Fluidic Space alien, and the Enterprise. A mushroom cloud could be useful. And weapons, like blasters, disruptors, lasers, phasers, tasers, and plasma cannons.

And why isn’t Robby the Robot wandering through emoji space? Robby featured in the 1956 film Forbidden Planet and kept appearing in films, series, and commercials through 2014. Google “Robby the Robot” for all appearances. Wikipedia has the best history and most comprehensive list, but don’t skip the Fred Barton Productions website. It includes Gort, The Iron Giant, Robocop, Cylon Centurian, and more.

We can do more than hope. Luckily, anyone may propose a new emoji. Visit Unicode’s emoji proposal page for the submission process. It has several gating criteria, including repeatable data on usage and verifiable public interest in terms that describe the new emoji. In other words, they want data proving people need the emoji because related words appear often in conversation. You must also submit art with the package. That last requirement is a barrier for me. I can sketch, but my digital art talents are less than rudimentary. If you have the skills Unicode requires, please consider creating some new Science Fiction emojis. Or put together a team of people to make it happen.

Looking realistically at the list above, Star Trek aliens probably wouldn’t make the cut. The mushroom cloud has potential, as does one futuristic energy weapon. Sadly, Robby would likely fail because a robot head already exists. But hey, you never know until you try.

Spring Gardening

Spring always sneaks up on me. Winter is my most productive time for writing, but seeds need to be planted before the last frost! It’s March and I’m already late starting. This year, I want six to eight Joe’s Long Cayenne pepper plants. Gotta put those seeds in soil this week!

I like this variety of cayenne. I bought plants from The Gardens on Spring Creek four years ago. The Gardens is a local organization that supports community gardens, runs a butterfly pavilion, and hosts a wide variety of events throughout the growing season. They also sell flower and vegetable plants to raise money for their activities. Many of the flower varieties are natives.

Joe’s Long cayenne is an heirloom variety. Plants are about two to three feet tall and produce a bounty of peppers that are six to twelve inches long. When they turn red, I harvest, dry, and grind them into tiny flakes. The last batch I grew kept me in spicy nirvana for two years.

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