Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May
Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May, based on the highly successful novel of the same name by Charles W. Bailey II and Fletcher Knebel, tells the story of an attempted military putsch in the United States.

It’s the early 1970s. An unpopular President Jordan Lyman (Fredric March) has signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union and is facing strong opposition from the military and the right. The charismatic Air Force General James Mattoon Scott (Burt Lancaster) has convinced all but one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to support him in a coup against the president. Colonel Jiggs Casey (Kirk Douglas), director of the Joint Staff, finds out about the plan and teams up with Lyman to stop it. Continue reading “Seven Days in May”

Pereira and Luckman LAX Terminal design

Unbuilt Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a dieselpunk’s delight with its collection of Art Deco architecture, ranging from its famous City Hall to the Art Nouveau-ish Bullocks Wilshire to the iconic Eastern Columbia Building to the heavyset headquarters of the Los Angeles Times.

If it had been up to the following architects, though, the city would have been turned into a theme park of postwar, Atomic Age architecture as well. Continue reading “Unbuilt Los Angeles”

Washington DC nuclear attack illustration

Imagining World War III in 1945

As soon as the Second World War was over, military strategists started planning for the next one.

Life magazine reported in its November 19, 1945 edition that the head of the United States Air Force, General Henry H. Arnold, had warned that technologies developed during the last war — atomic bombs, ballistic missile, long-range bombers — could make possible “the ghastliest of all wars.”

The destruction caused by nuclear weapons would be so swift and terrible that a “war might well be decided in 36 hours.”

Life envisaged what such a war might look like. Continue reading “Imagining World War III in 1945”

Tokyo Disney Sea Japan

Steampunk in Tokyo Disney Sea

Many a steampunk is familiar with the sights of not only Nautilus in Tokyo Disney Sea, but the entire scenery of Mysterious Island. While many Disney parks have a castle at the center of the park, Mysterious Island boasts Mount Prometheus of Mysterious Island. Literally, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Is this all there is that makes Tokyo Disney Sea so worth it for ‘punks? Or is there more to the park than meets the initial eye? Continue reading “Steampunk in Tokyo Disney Sea”

Günter Radtke artwork

Günter Radtke’s World of Tomorrow

Günter Radtke was a German illustrator who mostly did work for Stern magazine.

He also illustrated various science-fiction stories, including Ulrich Schippke’s Zukunft: Das Bild der Welt von Morgen (“The Future: An Image of the World of Tomorrow”) (1974), which shows self-driving cars, skyscrapers in the sea and various imagined forms of public transportation. Continue reading “Günter Radtke’s World of Tomorrow”

Soviet Arctic dam map

The Soviet Plan to Thaw the Arctic

These days, we worry the Arctic is getting too hot. Half a century ago, the Soviets wished it was warmer — and they thought of a way to thaw the frigid North.

Popular Mechanics reported in June 1956 that Soviet authorities were considering building a 55-mile dam between Alaska and Siberia. The barrier would keep icebergs and arctic currents out of the Pacific, allowing warm southern currents to sweep unchecked up the eastern shore of Siberia and down the western coast of North America. Warm water from the Pacific Ocean would be pumped back into the Arctic and transform the once-frozen region into a “blossoming landscape”. Continue reading “The Soviet Plan to Thaw the Arctic”