Category: Science Fiction

Atompunk Space Junk

Except for the X-15, none of these space vehicles ever took flight. But that rocket at the top, slightly left of center, resembles this Space-X one.

A Real Life Mecha

This primitive mecha was designed for the US Air Force in the early 1960s to service the nuclear-powered bombers which were then on the drawing board. Needless to say, the nuclear bomber program was cancelled and these monstrosities were not needed after all. Today such work would be done remotely and without a human operator. …

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Lost Robot

This eerie, sad-looking robot was designed by NASA in the early 1960s to test the viability of space suits for astronauts. Sadly, it was a failure and never used. But it’s Atompunk design at its most authentic.  

Dissing on The Dispossessed

I’m not going to snark on the book itself here, only the covers. But in doing so you’ll learn a fair amount about the book! First of all, this one, which to my mind is the classic one. It’s grand, sweeping, colorful, exciting. It boils the tale down to its basics: two worlds, very different, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/31/21: Atompunk Robots

Atompunk robots (those in media from 1945 – 1965) tend to have the same sort of names. Short ones like Gort, cutesy ones like Robbie or Tobor (“Robot” spelled backwards) or functional ones combining scientific terms with letters and numbers. That’s the sort I was after here with this randomly generated list. These names showed …

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Getting Around in the Atompunk Age

  One of the futurism themes of the post-WWII era was transportation. This makes sense. Innovations in manufacturing and aircraft design,¬† the growth of large cities, and the need for improved highway systems and vehicles¬† all came together in a magic moment, in the Western world at least. Germany had its Autobahn, Britain the M- …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/24/21: Anarres and Urras

Ursula K. LeGuin’s political science fiction novel The Dispossessed has as its subtitle “An Ambiguous Utopia.” But screw that. Isn’t this a whamdoodle of a cover? Twin worlds, close enough to touch, one lush and green, one red like Mars but cratered like the Moon, done up in a riotous rainbow of colors? (I’ll do …

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Gyron

In the glory years of the Atompunk Age it was customary for major automakers to create buzz by depicted futuristic “concept cars” showing what may be coming down the assembly line in the next few years.¬† This marvelous illustration not only shows the Ford Gyron with its rocket-like tailight/exhaust piece, but also what were thought …

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Swooning Spaceman

For a change, the BEM (Bug-eyed monster, even though it’s a robot) is carrying away a strapping but unconscious young man instead of a scantily clad young woman. His plight is equally dire as the robot seems none too friendly.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/10/21: Let’s Talk About
xxxxWakanda

The 2018 Marvel movie Black Panther featured an advanced yet isolated African kingdom called Wakanda which is the birthplace of the titular superhero character, T’Challa, who is its King. Wakanda is powered by vibranium, one of those rare yet powerful imaginary elements favored by comic writers. Vibranium is both a blessing and a curse: blessing, …

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