Posts Tagged 'space ships'

From the Archive: Nat. Geo Our Universe

cover spaceship

Scans from National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe. The book also includes some humorous 80’s illustrations of possible alien lifeforms. Here though, are pages that testify towards the universal vision of the future. Aesthetics and forms that define our present. Check ’em out because they’re awesome, but realize why you feel that way.

space station illustration

space station interior

spaceship asteroid

space shuttle orbit

Apologies for that binding line on the last one…



Gallant, Roy A. National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe. Washington DC: National Geographic Society, 1980.


A Curated Look at Pulp Covers

pulp cover jetpack

Why are these images appealing? They are most obviously amusing because of their antiquity, something that depends not necessarily on the subject matter but the style: pulp covers of jungle beasts and vampires are also awesome. But like those genres, these images of the futuristic are worth considering for their uniformity and adherence to a particular world. The aesthetics and characters seen here in THRILLS INCORPORATED are the same ones we’ve seen in recent movies and television.

pulp cover robot

Is this where it all began? Not really, Jules Vern, H. G. Wells and Mary Shelly should be as good a starting point as any. Science Fiction has emerged as a unique critique and social dialogue, diverging itself from fantasy in an issue thoroughly dissected by post-marxist hero writer Fredrick Jameson in Archaelogies of the Future. As I’ve previously written, there is a fundamental desire among us to approach the world seen in science fiction, if not, then why do we continue to build and shape our world after the ones seen here:

pulp cover rocket with silver robots

And now here’s Jameson going to town on the matter:

“…we confront something like a binary alteration between the reality principle of SF and the pleasure principle of fantasy. Perhaps in that sense Utopia does constitute a working synthesis of these two incommensurable: the supreme creativity or shaping impulse of fantasy marshaling the most recalcitrant raw material of all, in the state and the social order. So it is that as Science Fiction approaches the condition of Utopia… a peculiar fairy-tale topology begins to rise towards the surface like a network of veins.”

Archaelogies of the Future page 74.

Utopia here is described as the critical awareness of science fiction applied to the real world, inspired by fiction. If the Utopian will portrays an ideal world, what is that world based on? More often than not its less to do with an actual sense of social justice as pertaining to the the real world and more to do with wishful fantasy.

All images gather from around the Net.


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