Hugo Gernsback (pictured here wearing television glasses in 1963) was an inventor and prolific writer. While his stories are largely regarded as pathetic as far as literature goes, the visionary settings they took place in earned him a place as the creator of the sci-fi genre. Today, the Hugo awards are given each year [...]
A few weeks back we looked at a speech memo written for the US President in the event that some catastrophe befell the Apollo 11 Moon landing, and they were unable to return to Earth. In the write up for that, I mentioned that some other posts sort of along a similar vein would be forthcoming, and this look at the science fiction book The Pilgrim Project, by Hank Searls, is the first of those. When I came across that memo, this story was the first thing that popped into my head. This book seems to be somewhat of an unknown, and was one of those books that my family just happened to own when I was growing up, and my brother and I read it as our interest in space and technology began to grow. For those of you [Professor, cough, cough] that might have been around, you may recall a film entitled Countdown, make in 1968 and based on this book. Reviews indicate the film was somewhat forgettable, and likely overshadowed by the actual Moon landing the following year.
The Pilgrim Project seems to have been inspired by actual ideas tossed around during the early days of the space race, and that always made it more interesting to me. In 1962, at a symposium in New York, members of the Institute of Aerospace Sciences proposed sending an astronaut on a one-way trip to the Moon. This was no suicide mission, but a long term mission. The theory was that we had rockets powerful enough to get someone to the Moon, but not to execute the then early plans for an Apollo type mission, where an orbiting capsule would send a lander down and then back up, then safely return to Earth. Instead, a simple capsule would land the intrepid astronaut on the lunar surface, and a separate launch from those same less powerful boosters would sent up a living quarters. Then those same rockets would launch re-supply containers at frequent intervals, until such time, perhaps a year or two in the future, the Saturn booster was ready for a full Apollo mission, at which point our lonely explorer would stand relieved and return to Earth.
Why go to extremes to get to the Moon? To beat the Russians, of course!
Continue reading Toasters Reads: The Pilgrim Project
Eliminate! ELIMINATE! ELIMINATE!
I stumbled across this and honestly have no idea. Theories anyone? I think for once it may not be photoshop. Perhaps a prop from a sci-fi flick. Something tells me the guy in the photo is as baffled as I am. Even as a prop, I get the feeling it would keep unwanted [...]
Now what goes with this?
Image from cnet.com, via laughingsquid.com.
For decades our planet was bombarded with alien technology. While appearing to be an abacus under the influence of LSD, this complex device was actually a form of abacus for calculating the event horizon and energy alignment threshold for opening transport wormholes throughout the galaxy. Wormholes are, of course, directional, so to [...]
Take a minute to relax–after all, it’s Friday!
Image via carabaas.livejournal.com.
In 1982, the film Blade Runner burst onto the science fiction scene. Released soon after the film was a book of concept art from the planning and production of the film–The Blade Runner Sketchbook. This book features artwork from Syd Mead, Mentor Huebner, Charles Knode, Michael Kaplan, and Ridley Scott. Long out of print, thanks to the wonders of the internet it is available for online reading, so hit the jump and check it out!
Continue reading Blade Runner Looks Sketchy
Happy first weekend of the new year! Let’s take a look at some posters from The Last Starfighter, a truly under-rated film! These are courtesy of a website called GeekyNerfHerder; some are original release posters, a few are fan created art, and the last few are from comics. Enjoy!
Continue reading Join the Star League
Since it is the holiday season, we can’t let the weekend pass without remembering some Christmas film favorites. Yesterday The Professor gave us some great vintage toons, and today, as a treat, we have Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a sci fi classic from 1964. The plot, if that sort of thing matters to you, involves a Martian bid to make disgruntled their children happier, that results in them kidnapping Santa from Earth… According to the Public Domain Review blog, this nugget regularly makes ‘Worst Movie Ever’ lists, and has been sent up repeatedly on such shows as MST3K and Cinematic Titanic. With endorsements like that, you can’t go wrong, so take a little time out of your last minute shopping and enjoy!
Continue reading Spiritus Santa