That smiling rascal is a virtual avatar of yours truly, created for the online digital community, Second Life. The talented designers at The Illusion Factory brought him into being, and they’re currently designing The Carl Sagan Pavilion, an online center for anyone who wants to learn about who my father was and what he believed. Very cool what they’re doing, and as a science fiction writer it’s a thrill to be welcomed into a virtual world inspired by the Metaverse from Neal Stephenson’s postmodern cyberpunk masterpiece,Snow Crash. Though the pavilion is still a work in progress and won’t be open for a little while, today we held a virtual ribbon cutting. Here’s what I said:

Hello. Nick Sagan here. I’d like to welcome you to the future site of The Carl Sagan Pavilion. Today, on the tenth anniversary of my father’s passing, The Illusion Factory is building a testament to his life and work, a virtual gathering place for Second Lifers with a sense of wonder about the universe. My dad inspired millions of people to ask the questions that truly matter, generating a passion for science, skepticism and social issues. Even though he’s no longer with us, his influence lives on. And now in Second Life, and I hope you’ll be a part of it.

There’s a video up on YouTube, and here’s the link. Watch for the part where I run with scissors!

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