World’s Strangest

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Retro Future: To The Stars! – Part 3

Link – by Avi Abrams

We can not get enough of that stuff. The Future that never happened. The Past that kept dreaming and never woke up.

Also read Part 2 and Part 1

We continue to update our extensive collection of the most inspiring and hard-to-find retro-futuristic images. As usual, we try to stay away from the well-known American pulp and book cover illustrations and instead focus on the artwork from some rather unlikely sources: Soviet and Eastern Bloc “popular tech & science” magazines, German, Italian, British fantastic illustrations and promotional literature – all from the Golden Age of Retro-Future (from 1930s to 1970s). Wait for images to load.

We’ll start with a line-up of neat planetary vehicles, envisioned for “Project Sword” series. Here is a Moon Bus, powered entirely by crude oil:

(images via)

You have to appreciate the lines of the “First Spaceship on Venus” (from the 1960 East Germany/Poland film):

Curious how such a cool vintage-streamlined rocket might look on the launch pad? Check out these scenes from a Russian cult-favorite movie “Nebo Zovyot”, 1960 (remade by Roger Corman as “Battle Beyond the Sun”):

(images via)

Life inside the space station (complete with a space kitten) from the Russian movie “Road To The Stars”, 1957 -

(more screenshots and info here)

(left: “UFO” series; “Land of the Giants” vehicle is on the right)

(left: screenshot from “Space 1999″; right: from “Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun” – via)

(scenes from the German TV series “Orion Patrol” – via)

(scenes from the Russian movie “Planeta Bur: The Storm Planet” – see the whole movie here)

(Russian magazine covers from the 1950s and 1960s)

Great vintage designs from the cover of Hunt Collins’ novel “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” (Hunt collins is a pen name of Evan Hunter, better known as Ed McBain) – left image. A curious one-man space platform from the cover of “Weird”, Oct 1971 – on the right:

German rare sci-fi editions yield a peek inside a space port, spaceship maintenance and repair:

(images via)

(intense planetary exploration scene from “Operation Future” (ed. by Groff Conklin, 1961) cover – left. Right: “The Space Frontiers”, novel by Roger Lee Vernon)

Construction of the space dome on Mars (from “Dan Dare’s Space Book”, 1954) – below left. And pretty ugly space suits (1952 model) shown on the right:

(images via)

Floating in a pretty crowded space, 1950s style:

(fragment of the cover of “The War Against The Rull” by A. E. Van Vogt; image via)

(images from the Vols Interplantaires, French space exploration futuristic edition)

Perils of the Spaceways:

(art by Alex Schomburg)

(art by Ed Cartier, illustration to “Tradition” by J. McIntosh, Other Worlds, April 1952)

Vintage Japanese movies also depicted pretty intense space exploration:

(images via)

Outrageous water-to-air launch jet from Gerry Anderson’s UFO series (see some similar real life designs on our page Flying Submarines) -

(images via)

Great minimalist art from the Russian vintage book “The Flight To The Moon”, 1954, showing the Moon Base:

Here is another busy Russian Moon Base (from 1961) -

(image via)

Rare and gorgeous visions of space exploration from the Russian 1950 book “The Rocket”:

(images via)

Pretty detailed art by Jack Coggins from “Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Space Ships” (1951) -

(images via)

Fragment of the Grosset & Dunlap 1950 “Book of Model Spaceships”: there is something from the vintage Westerns in this scene -

(image via)

“The Next 50 Years on the Moon” (by Erik Bergaust, 1974) states that sometime between 1980 and 1990 we will have a permanent Lunar colony:

(German book covers in the 1960s-1970s)

Of course, no retro-future space art collection will be complete without a mention of Frank R. Paul – the king of science fiction illustration during the Age of Wonder (1930s-1940s). Here is his “City on Mars”, 1940, and “The Golden City on Titan”, 1941:

(images credit: Frank R. Paul)

One more thing… do you suppose there is such a thing as a Retro Futurism Cute Overload? Well, the utterly adorable and infinitely cheesy picture below may just start the new category :)



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