When People In The 1920s And 1930s Imagined The Future, They Dreamed Big

The Space Age gave us some beautiful, rocket-shaped visions of future cities. But before World War II, people were already imagining sleek, beautiful structures. And floating airports. And air taxis. And Futurama, circa 1939! These are the most eye-popping videos of life in the future, from the 1920s and 1930s. » 4/01/15 3:00pm Today 3:00pm

Someone Is Blogging Late 1950s-Early 1960s Science Fiction In Real Time

What if there was a blogger tackling the history of science fiction at the end of the Golden Age, as it happened? It would look a lot like the Galactic Journey blog, over on Dreamwidth. » 3/31/15 11:30am Yesterday 11:30am

Cars From Another Universe: Bizarre Motor Vehicles That Never Caught On

When it comes to motor vehicles, history is filled with curious also-rans. If the inventors of these contraptions had had their ways, our streets might be filled with single-wheeled cars, gas-fueled chariots, and armor-plated snowmobiles. » 3/02/15 3:00pm 3/02/15 3:00pm

Woman First Walked On The Moon In 1957. Then She Tried To Stop Apollo 11

If you're looking for a badass, retrofuturistic space heroine to brighten your afternoon, look no further. Short film Over the Moon is about the first woman who walked on the moon, her robot companion, and their attempt to prevent the 1969 moon landing. » 2/20/15 1:20pm 2/20/15 1:20pm

In 1900, Two Inventors Audition For A Stage Show About The Year 2000

The year is 1900 and Georges and Madeleine are trying to get a gig showing off the wonders of life in the year 2000, complete with gadget that we would think of today as retrofuturistic. But it's when they debut their time machine on the stage that things start getting goofy. » 2/13/15 11:36am 2/13/15 11:36am

How We Imagined The Future Of Transportation Would Look In The 1940s

These ads made for the Detroit-based Bohn Aluminum and Brass Corporation were largely dreamed up by legendary illustrator Arthur Radebaugh during the 1940s. Radebaugh's utopian visions and Bohn's desire to appear as a forward-looking company combine for a slick retrofuturistic view of transportation. » 2/09/15 3:00pm 2/09/15 3:00pm

In 1976, Arthur C. Clarke Knew A Lot About Cell Phones And The Internet…

Vintage interviews of Arthur C. Clarke predicting the future of computing continue to surface. Here's one from 1976, just released by the AT&T Tech Channel, which contains even more spot-on description of what communications will look like in the future. As in, today. As in, internet and smartphones and maybe even… » 2/04/15 11:58am 2/04/15 11:58am

Behold The Glorious Retrofuturistic City From Tomorrowland's Concept Art

We're still not entirely sure what's going on in Brad Bird's upcoming film Tomorrowland, but we are excited to spend time in the shimmering city that the movie is teasing, one packed with futuristic vehicles, inviting public spaces, and skyscrapers from a forgotten version of the future. » 2/02/15 5:00pm 2/02/15 5:00pm

A Memory From The Future That Never Was

They had talked about it for so long, what they would do on the space station, how they would decorate their quarters, the famous view out of airlock 75, that she could swear she remembered Liana standing there in front of the airlock window. Then she would shake her head and realize Liana never did leave Earth. » 1/28/15 5:00pm 1/28/15 5:00pm

We Wish These Retrofuturistic Versions Of American Cities Had Come True

In the first half of the 20th century, artists came up with gorgeous designs for New York City, Columbus, Houston, and other American cities, imagining them as havens of efficient transportation, dense urban living, and space age architecture. » 1/08/15 3:20pm 1/08/15 3:20pm

The Weird Artist Who Combines Surrealism And Retrofuturism

These images by Russia-born, New York-educated artist Dasha Shishkin are just endlessly fascinating. They're cartoony in their simple, stark lines, but also surreal and reminiscent of 1960s futurism. Here's a detail from a new picture called "analyte detection via protein nano spores." » 10/30/14 2:40pm 10/30/14 2:40pm

The Zaniest Ideas We've Had For The Books Of The Future

Throughout the 20th-century, we've come up with crazy ideas for reinventing books, ones that make our phone and tablet readers seem almost modest. From books projected onto the ceiling to reading Ferris wheels, here are some of the last century's strangest and most innovative book proposals. » 10/14/14 3:00pm 10/14/14 3:00pm

This Propaganda Poster Showed Martian Technology Winning World War I

A 1917 poster by French artist Henri Montassier offers hope for a quick conclusion to the war through new technology. But, his image has little in common with the armored vehicles under development. Instead, he unveiled a weapon that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Martian war machines from The War of The Worlds. » 10/13/14 9:20am 10/13/14 9:20am

Behold, A Rocket-Powered Motorcycle From The Early 20th Century

Caught up in the let's-attach-a-rocket-to-everything-and-see-what-happens fad in Germany in the late 1920s, one genius came up with a rocket-propelled motorcycle. » 8/31/14 8:30am 8/31/14 8:30am

This 1965 Soviet Documentary About Lunar Colonization Is Astounding

The Space Age gave birth to some absolutely beautiful visions of space exploration and life in space — including a ton of lovely artwork from Soviet creators. And one of the most striking Soviet works of space-age futurism came in 1965, in a documentary called Luna or Moon. The whole beautiful thing is online, with… » 8/20/14 11:40am 8/20/14 11:40am

Back In 1937, People Worried That Science Fiction Was Going Downhill

Most of us have been seeing convention panels about the "Death of Science Fiction" for years now — it's become sort of a jolly cliche. Everybody laments the loss of some earlier, greater age for the genre. But back in 1937, British fans were pretty worried that SF was in permanent decline. » 7/31/14 8:00pm 7/31/14 8:00pm

These Steampunk Computers Transport Us To The Victorian Retro Future

In an alternate reality Charles Babbage's difference engine and Ada Lovelace's computer programming led us into a world filled with brass-keyed laptops with phonograph speaker systems. Several artists have brought that imagined reality to life, building working computers with a steampunk edge. » 7/10/14 3:15pm 7/10/14 3:15pm

The Future Of Transportation Used To Look So Much More Sensational

Nobody thinks about future methods of transportation or commuting and thinks "Wow, that's going to be incredible" any more. But for 100 years, from the Radium Age to the Space Age, people's imaginations were on fire. Commuter rockets! Super-fast trains! UFO buses. Check out the most beguiling illustrations below. » 5/06/14 3:15pm 5/06/14 3:15pm

1960s Retrofuture Short Film Inspired By The Oldest Story About Robots

Karel Čapek's seminal 1919 play R.U.R. coined the term "robot" and was set 50 years in the future, making it 1969. Chase Masterson of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine stars in R.U.R.: Genesis, set in a flirty 1960s retrofuture where artificials conspire against humans. » 4/29/14 12:30pm 4/29/14 12:30pm

Prefab Homes Take Us Back to Yesterday's Suburban Future

There's something inherently retrofuturistic about prefab houses, the kind that arrive ready-made, or only require some assembly. But their clean lines and beautiful curves look more striking and beautiful than a lot of buildings of today. Here are the most lovely prefab homes that were ever not built. » 4/14/14 3:10pm 4/14/14 3:10pm