Robert Theodore McCall (1919-2010) was an iconic illustrator of the Space Age. He created concept art for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and was hired by NASA to document the history of the Space Race.
He also painted many scenes of what the future of space exploration might look like.
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An American military base on the Moon, defended by nuclear grenade launchers. If that doesn’t sound like an atomicpunk fantasy, I don’t know what does.
Except it was a real plan.
A 1959 feasibility study, codenamed Project Horizon, argued for a lunar outpost, manned by about a dozen soldiers, to keep the Moon out of Soviet hands.
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Maciej Rebisz is the man behind Space That Never Was, which imagines the Space Race didn’t end. Spacecraft based on the Apollo mission that first landed men on the Moon now travel to Venus. The Soviets reached the Moon. There are crewed missions to Mars. Private space companies flourish. The people of Earth, as Rebisz puts it, have “never stopped dreaming big and aiming high.”
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Vincent Di Fate is an American fantasy and science-fiction illustrator. He started his career in the 1960s drawing for pulp magazines and has since produced artwork for IBM, NASA and the National Geographic Society, among others.
He is also the author of some 300 articles and three books and a professor at the State University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology.
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Alexander Leydenfrost was born Sandor Leidenfrost in Debrecen in 1888, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was from a noble family and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine and Applied Arts of Budapest.
The First World War and the subsequent collapse of the monarchy convinced Leydenfrost to emigrate to the United States in 1923. He changed his name to Alexander, which was easier to pronounce for Americans, and found employment as an industrial illustrator.
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Kurt Röschl (1923-1986) was an Austrian graphic artist and painter who illustrated various science-fiction stories in the 1950s. There’s not much information about him online, but it seems he illustrated quite a lot of books for Erich Dolezal (1902-1990), another Austrian.
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Imagine a space opera-style movie with both casual, practical and elaborate costumes, visually pleasing combat scenes, all kinds of alien, human and everything in-between species, interesting villains and bombastic space ships as well as magnificant scenery.
Well, you don’t have to imagine it any longer, because the creators of the Matrix trilogy are back with a new cyberpunk sci-fi epos: Jupiter Ascending.
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Dieselpunk fans will be familiar with the 2012 movie Iron Sky, which shows how a group of Nazis fled to the Moon after Hitler’s defeat in 1945 and return to Earth with flying discs and a huge zeppelin-like spaceship.
Not all may be aware that the fantasy of a German Moon base precedes this film.
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Today we have a short story by Brett Harte and B.R. Nielson: Outcasts of East Mars. Taking place in 2072 on, naturally, Mars, the story centers around a small group of people who have been deemed undesirable by the city of East Mars and so are forced into exile.
These unwanted examples of humanity include Mr Rose the gambler, the Mistress, Dear Mother and Uncle Billies. We are given very little description of these characters, yet you can easily form pictures of them in your mind.
They are escorted out of the city at gunpoint and head off on a journey to West Mars, where hopefully they will be given a better reception.
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On the planet Aradius, the human interlopers have suppressed the indigenous Arid for years because of their link to the planet itself, called the Wei, and their fear thereof. This resulted in a near genocide of the Arid race and all kinds of unpleasant side-effects that both remaining Arid people and humans alike suffer from.
Centuries later, the planet is a wasteland and humanity is led by the tyrant Griffin, who uses his deacons to hunt down the Arid and their rebel leader, Moss.
Enter our reluctant hero, Hirokin, who crosses paths with the despot and ends up with the choice between standing up for the Arid and leading their rebellion so they can once again be free — or avenging his family.
Continue reading “Hirokin: The Last Samurai”