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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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Blogger Bugail Aberdyfi said...

I love the picture of the two astronuts in brown slacks and short back and sides.

Just because you're in space, doesn't mean you should let your sartorial standards drop!

Anonymous Ajani said...

These illustrations are amazing!

I'm impressed.

Anonymous kernel.net said...

haha I loved the picture about space perils, where aliens sneak behind the astronaut to kill him with hammers :D

Anonymous Bendarr said...

Just a brief note. The last illustration was used in a book called "The Gods hate Kansas" written by Joseph Millard.

I've always loved that title for a SF book!

Blogger Still Struggling with Ceaseless Chaos said...

That one painting, "Fragment of the Grosset & Dunlap...", is quite specifically of the Tom Corbett Space Cadet characters. I'm guessing it's Tom speaking and Astro running the wireless; & that might be wise guy Roger Manning in the space suit....

Anonymous Things to do said...

Love those pics. They remind me of the classic sci-fi films and tv shows.


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