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Site of the Week: The SciFi World

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Gilles Nuytens loves Science Fiction. “SF allows people to dream,” he says. “Without it the world would be so sad, so formal, so gray!” So, like many people, he decided to share that love with a community in 2005 by building himself a website. But, unlike many people, Gilles found a hook–something to distinguish his SciFi destination from the myriad others on the Internet. “When I was in design school, I had a website that listed sites with high-resolution 3D artwork that really impressed me. So then I decided to try to make my own.”

In six months, The SciFi World began receiving thousands of hits a day and became one of the Web’s premiere destinations for original, exclusive (and yes, unofficial) wallpapers, chat smilies, and Instant Messenger avatars for some of the genre’s heaviest hitting shows and films: Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Star Wars, Firefly and many others. “I wanted to create something different,” Gilles says. “There was no need to create one more news site or even a big site with thousands of desktop wallpaper downloads. I wanted to offer only quality.”

Today, the site still offers the same quality artworks–all of which are originals: “I don’t take anything from anywhere,” he says–but SciFi World also boasts a healthy online community and regular interviews with Science Fiction creators and stars. “I wanted a forum,” he says, “to create a community of people and get recurring visitors.” To that end Gilles has organized forum chats with celebrities like Battlestar Galactica‘s Grace Park and Stargate: Atlantis‘ Rachel Luttrell.

He also posts one-on-one interviews, most recently with Summer Glau of Sarah Connor Chronicles and Serenity fame, and Jamie Bamber of Battlestar Galactica. His coverage has attracted the attention of the shows, too, as he’s been invited on several set visits, which he fastidiously reports to his readers. “What I like about it is interacting with the celebrities,” he exclaims. “But I just try to provide the best and have fun.” It would seem that for both creator and visitors, The SciFi World has accomplished both goals.

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