Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

162 comments

obvious (1, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489573)

A collection of the most inspiring and hard-to-find retro-futuristic graphics from rather unlikely sources: Soviet & Eastern Bloc 'popular tech & science' magazines

In Soviet Russia, future finds you!

Re:obvious (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489601)

The present was so much cooler in the past...

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21489645)

The present was so much cooler in the past...
Hi, this is Al. What did you just said?!

Re:obvious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21490273)

> The present was so much cooler in the past...

As Tales of Future Past puts it:

"It wasn't that long ago that we had a future."

http://davidszondy.com/future/futurepast.htm [davidszondy.com]

Re:obvious (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491695)

> "It wasn't that long ago that we had a future."

An optimist thinks we live in the better world possible.

A pessimist fears that is indeed true.

Re:obvious (2, Interesting)

shvytejimas (1083291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491709)

> The present was so much cooler in the past... This reminded me of one gallery with soviet architecture - colossal projects that were never built. http://www.muar.ru/ve/2003/moscow/03e.htm [www.muar.ru] - not really space art but very retro-futuristic nevertheless.

Hey KDAWSON, How is this NEWS? (0, Troll)

KDAWSON sucks (1165799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490787)

Please, please answer me that. More garbage on the front page sprouted by an underqualified editor.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21490845)

So true, so true!

Re:obvious (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491169)

See, global warming IS happening!

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21490731)

nice! you beat me to the YS reference!

SECOND POST!!! (-1, Offtopic)

yoshi3 (1118623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489585)

OMFG 0o

Re:SECOND POST!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21490309)

dick head, go back to digg.

Verb? (3, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489605)

Ok, Dawson, it's late; but can't you put a verb in there someplace?

Re:Verb? (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489637)

A reply most insightful. Nice presentation, concise.

All from Slashdot.

More work NOT to have one (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21489693)

Good catch, but I actually think it took more work not to include a verb in his description.

Verbing weirds language. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21489927)

Verbs? Overrated.

My suggestion (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490441)

Look! Rare Soviet Retro-Future Space Art!

Re:My suggestion (0, Offtopic)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491667)

L@@K! Soviet Retro-Future Space Art! RARE! NIB NR
Fixed it for you...

Re:Verb? (0, Offtopic)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490819)

I guess I have been away too long. Who in the hell is kdawson? Is he that "Knuckles Dawson" kid who plays XBOX 360 20 hours a day and has a 100k gamerscore on xbox or something? I mean, I thought "first post" guys had the most pointless endeavor on earth . . .

Rare?! (0)

Crispin Cowan (20238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489635)

What "rare"? This looks like clones of old science fiction magazine Analog/Astounding [analogsf.com] covers [vinylzart.com] .

Crispin

Re:Rare?! (1)

eleitl (251761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489987)

Technika Molodezhi was a very popular teenger magazine.
I recognize at least one of the front covers from the 1970s that Dark Blend posted.

Re:Rare?! (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490105)

I have a bookshel full of this sort of stuff, love it.

All I needed to do to collect it was get a good relationhip with my local antiquarian bookshop (chocies on the holidays, stuff like that). They have a list of the things I like and bid for interesting books at auction because they know I'll buy it.

The contents usually pretty good too. Back in that era you find a lot of scientists elaborating on their idea's of space travel and aliens using a medium that held no risk of peer ridicule. It's surprisingly interesting, a backdoor into the passions of scienits in the fifties and sixties.

There's a fair bit of sexism in some books (E.E Doc Smith, I'm looking at you..), but every now and then you find some real gems.

I se a lot of 'cowboy story translated to space opera' offerings in this era as well. I'm a huge firefly fan, I think the cowboy story translates well to SF, so when I find these I really enjoy them.

Re:Rare?! Traitor. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21491351)

What's wrong with sexism? Are you a feminist? Feminists are bad. You are bad. You are a traitor to all men.

Unlikely sources?! (4, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489655)

Why "unlikely sources"?! The Russians were the first in space after all.

Re:Unlikely sources?! (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490149)

Depending on your definitions, the Germans were first. The V-2 was suborbital, though obviously unmanned.

Re:Unlikely sources?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21491121)

Clearly it defends on your definition, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to use a definition that includes not reaching space. "The [V2] reached a height of 80 km (50 miles) before shutting off engine." (Wikipedia). The FAI define "space" as anything above 100km, or 62miles. So the Germans were close, but not close enough.

Manned vs unmanned (1)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491821)

Tradition states that only a manned launch is considered a "first" for gloating purposes. If you count unmanned launches, then the Soviets were first on the Moon [wikipedia.org] , Mars [wikipedia.org] , and Venus [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Unlikely sources?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21491261)

I think the "unlikely sources" are the magazine covers, not the country of origin. That said, the summary seems to be rather poorly written.

Re:Unlikely sources?! (1)

apt142 (574425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491585)

I think what they were referring to as unlikely was not so much the subject matter but the actual art itself. Soviet Russia wasn't the most artistically permissive regime.

Futuristing predictions are depressing. (2, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489679)

Those images are sad. It's so easy to imagine the future, and so hard to reach it...

It's depressing to think we'll be long dead before humanity finally understands the universe.

Space travel, immortality, living in far planets, knowing the origin and the end of all, and, most of all, contacting an alien intelligence and culture if there is one.

However, I do feel lucky for living in an era of enlightenment and fast technological evolution. A mere two or three centuries in the past, I'd have seen the same advance in all my life as I can in a modern decade.

Re:Futuristing predictions are depressing. (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489723)

Take solace in that: Humanity will be long dead before the universe is understood

Re:Futuristing predictions are depressing. (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490031)

It's depressing to think we'll be long dead before humanity finally understands the universe. Space travel, immortality, ... Take some mianserin [sciencedaily.com] then. It might not make you immortal but it might increase your life span. Even if it doesn't, at least you won't be depressed over it anymore.

Re:Futuristing predictions are depressing. (1)

llirik (1074623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490227)

The more you know, the more you understand how little you really know. I don't think we'll ever learn "origin and the end of all".

Re:Futuristing predictions are depressing. (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490973)

Do you think the Universe is flat? Well we will never know.

Re:Futuristing predictions are depressing. (4, Insightful)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491225)

Those images are not sad, they are wonderful. Images like those show hope and imagination. What's sad is looking at a generation of individuals (including me) that do not dream about exploration.

Re:Futuristing predictions are depressing. (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491631)

Those images are not sad, they are wonderful. Images like those show hope and imagination. What's sad is looking at a generation of individuals (including me) that do not dream about exploration.
I think one reason is that we don't really believe it to be possible.

The farther we see with new telescopes and techniques, the farther the horizon of the unknown is. At the same time, the top travel speed seems unbreakable.

We have fought jungles and deserts. We have fought the infinite ocean. Now, with gigantic space and limited speed, we have to fight time. And that's a fight we've been trying to win since the very beginning.

Imaginative... (5, Insightful)

gethoht (757871) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489711)

What happened to mankind's fascination with space? These pictures are awesome to me not because of their scientific validity, but because they are a reflection of the way that mankind used to dream of the stars.

While great sci-fi is by no means limited to a distant past(thank you gaiman, stephenson, etc...), it is seems that space travel just isn't that romanticized in today's cultures. Have we stopped dreaming of an extraordinary not-so-distant future?

Re:Imaginative... (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489745)

I believe the Japanese had not....

Re:Imaginative... (1)

trickyrickb (910871) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489845)

someone sent us the bill! theres no money to be made in space, yet.

Re:Imaginative... (2, Insightful)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489867)

hurray for short term thinking...
at the current pace, there won't be any money to be made there for a long long time...

Re:Imaginative... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21490005)

It got crushed by economic rationalism. We have become obsessed with price and lost sight of values.

Re:Imaginative... (4, Interesting)

FST777 (913657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490033)

The Cold War is over.

Re:Imaginative... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490145)

Fell victim of dumbing things down. Stupid society is easier to control and has lower expectations. Interest in science tends to make people smarter. Making science, learning etc unfashionable lowered the supply of smart people, and the consumer industry drained the remaining human resources leaving nearly none for actual science.

Agreed 100% (2, Interesting)

coder111 (912060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490247)

When I look at those pictures it makes me sad and very mad at the same time.

What happened to humanity? We used to dream about bright space future, flying cars, scientific progress and stuff like that. And we had hope to achieve all of this if we put enough effort into it. And now I think we lost that hope.

I don't see people dreaming about anything more than getting a million dollars and doing 2 chicks at the same time...

And you can bash soviets all you wish, but they had one thing right- the education was non-religious and pushed belief in sience most of the time. (Well, there were propaganda bits and belief in communist ideals, but these were easily discarded and did not interfere with science). I think soviet union was the first and only truly non-religious state. And that is something to be admired.

Don't get me wrong. I realize that the technological progress now is faster than it ever was. But you get no rush thinking about it anymore. It is not considered exciting and sexy and bright. It fails to captivate the minds of people. And I think it should be.

--Coder

Re:Agreed 100% (1)

Shohat (959481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490419)

It's because we don't have breakthroughs anymore, just slow, normal , progress. We are in the modern dark ages. We are using the same engine, same types of energy, same methods of flight and construction, same communication methods and machines. We are just contstantly improving them, nothing more.
We don't have flight, radio, nuclear power, combustion kind of progress... we have flat screens instead of normal screens, a smaller mobile phones, we are going from analog to digital, etc... People don't do breakthroughs any more.

Re:Agreed 100% (1)

coder111 (912060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490535)

Heh, that might be partially true. However I'd like to see a graph of "breakthroughs" produced each decade. I don't think current decades would fall far behind. And we'd have to agree on the definition of "breakthrough". Maybe its just that current breakthroughs are less visible, less flashy.

However, there are also things called "disruptive technologies". Maybe they are not "breakthroughs" per se, but they do change the way we do things. Internet is one of them. Mobile phones is another. I really like ideas that disrupt established markets and change the way we lead our lives.

I consider cyberpunk to be the most flashy and sexy Sci-Fi to come out after the golden era of space operas. From exploration of outer space it turned inwards. It was about the usage of IT to organize societies and people's lives. I think this area is still open to innovations and breakthroughs. I believe new forms of government can be build utilising IT that are more advanced than democracy/capitalism. New ways of association and collaboration (like open-source development) are already cropping up that would have been unthinkable 50 years ago.

--Coder

Re:Agreed 100% (5, Insightful)

Stefanwulf (1032430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490835)

We are in the modern dark ages.

I'd argue against that. In my lifetime (since the late 1970's) I've seen amazing progress. Cars have started using different engines on a wide scale for the first time since the early 20th century, plausible theories of physics have been advanced to unify quantum mechanics and relativity, and parents walking through the subway have to explain to their young children that all phones used to have cords like the ones on the wall.

The world has been connected in a way never before seen via the internet, and embedded computers are making AI pervasive, easing many day to day tasks, from a car that parks itself to a phone that knows what word I want to type based on past usage patterns, or a camera that can recognize faces. Those that aren't embedded are displaying their imagery on screens which are not only made of an effectively heatless light source, but one which we are now growing organically. Every day I read stories selected automatically from hundreds of newspapers, and for better or worse robots have begun fighting for us in wartime. I walk around with thousands of hours of music in my pocket, and what's playing can be altered at the touch of a button, even automatically selected to suit my mood.

The introduction of the FMRI and MRI have allowed us to safely look inside a persons head without opening it up (which if you think about it is truly amazing), and to see with such detail and precision that we can follow distinct tracts of neural connections (diffusion tensor imaging) or watch the patterns of thought activity play across a living human brain (FMRI). The Poincaré Conjecture was proven after stumping mathematicians for a hundred years, and new construction materials are allowing us to build ever grander and more elaborate buildings, of a scale that dwarf the skyscrapers of the previous century. People can don gloves and climb walls like geckos. We have mapped the human genome and brought cloning from conjecture into reality.

If we go back a bit before my birth, we began to take people's failing organs out and replace them with new ones, or with artificial ones we have made ourselves. Now we can alter blood types and revitalize failing systems with stem cells. If you suffer nerve damage and are rendered blind or deaf, we can wire sensory devices directly into your brain to bypass the affected areas. We have eradicated smallpox and invented plastics, not to mention the introduction of home refrigeration. Containerization revolutionized the shipping industry, allowing me to eat whatever food I want at any time of year, without regard for growing seasons. We understand how continents form, and that the earth moves beneath our feet.

This is an amazing time, and breakthroughs are happening every day. Many of us just don't see them, because of the sheer volume we encounter, and the rate of change we have become accustomed to.

Re:Agreed 100% (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490653)

I don't think dreams are any smaller or larger than they used to be, most likely you're just older than you used to be -- 15-year olds have "larger" dreams than 30 year olds, because they're less likely to reject dreams on the basis of unlikeliness and/or hard-to-reach goals.

How about "Provide the sum total of human knowledge for free to every human being, in every human language" for an ambitious dream ?

How about a network and a laptop for every child ?

How about reducing by half the proportion of humans suffering from hunger, by 2015 ?

How about reducing child-mortality by two thirds, in the same timeframe ? And reducing maternal mortality by 3/4.

It's not hard to find people dreaming large dreams if you give it a try. We're actually well underway on -achieving- many of the goals I mention above too -- despite them all being very ambitious.

Re:Agreed 100% (0)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490919)

What happened to humanity? We used to dream about bright space future, flying cars, scientific progress and stuff like that. And we had hope to achieve all of this if we put enough effort into it. And now I think we lost that hope.

I don't see people dreaming about anything more than getting a million dollars and doing 2 chicks at the same time.../quote>

WTF, I don't get flying cars, space ships, a million dollars or two chicks at once.

I can't even have a good present, much less future!

Re:Imaginative... (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490863)

What happened? For a long time people's lives were getting better as time progressed. Life was easier, less stressful, healthier. Science and technology were improving the world in very real ways that were visible to people all the time.

Now we live in a polluted world of mass-media violence, government oppression; people have lost all the power they believed they once had. Education is not valued; the long term doesn't matter.

When those "retrofuture" pieces were being produced, there was a real sense around the world that tomorrow was going to be better than today.

Who here honestly thinks tomorrow is going to be better than today? Who here honestly thinks their kids are going to live in a world better than we are?

That sort of mass human space exploration was a powerful vision of where the future was leading back then... whereas these days something between Mad Max and Bladerunner is probably more accurate.

Times have changed, thats what happened to mankind's fascination with space.

Re:Imaginative... (3, Insightful)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490997)

>What happened to mankind's fascination with space?

Because in space, there are no runaway ex-CIA generals to capture, and no oil.

It's revisionist to suggest that the space race had anything to do with science or education or exploration. Sure, 99% of the people WORKING on the project felt so... but it was a military project in civilian clothing. It took a LOT of pressure by NASA workers to get one token scientist on the moon mission... and in one document, he lightheartedly referred to outsider treatment because he was an egghead and not a combat pilot.

For the price or the Iraq war, we could afford solid missions to the moon and Mars. The damage done to the present and future economy by the neo-cons like Cheney will not be understood until someone else has to pay for it. It is a sad chapter in US history that we elected these neo-cons, who had vested interests in bankrupting the USA and many of which carry "dual passports".

There will be a space race again all right... led by China. The USA will react, but will be so poor that they have to outsource the shipbuilding.

Incompetence happened (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491347)

"It's only been half a century since we developed powered flight, and we're on our way to the Moon" is inspiring.

"It's been half a century since we went to the Moon, and we're having trouble just putting a little space station in Low Earth Orbit" is depressing.

Or as someone else summed it up: "The Cold War is over." Nobody who could afford to build orbital spaceships ever really wanted to, not when making really big ICBMs was all it took to embarrass the Soviets, and certainly not after our first spaceship prototype turned out to be a flop.

God damnit (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489719)

Why the hell has no one made even the most rudimentary moon base yet? Damnit I want to see people living on another celestial body before I die.

Re:God damnit (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489763)

Why the hell has no one made even the most rudimentary moon base yet? Damnit I want to see people living on another celestial body before I die.
Me too. I'll start a list of people I'd like to see living in the sun.

Re:God damnit (1)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489925)

oooh, i know that joke "isn't it hot there?" "don't worry, we'll go by night!"

Dark Roasted Blend (1)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489775)

I've been following the articles on this blog since a while and I can tell you that the content is really interesting. I recommend it.

Russian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21489875)

Why does the picture which most prominently displays Earth show the American continents, instead of Europe or Asia?

Re:Russian? (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489913)

Why does the picture which most prominently displays Earth show the American continents, instead of Europe or Asia?
It was originally sold as a dart target.

Re:Russian? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490383)

With the darts being small models of ICBMs?

Re:Russian? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489977)

1 out of 4 pictures of earth show America, 3 out of 4 does not.

Re:Russian? (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490017)

Why does the picture which most prominently displays Earth show the American continents, instead of Europe or Asia?

Because it is the other side of the Earth ?

More seriously, the most likely cause is that Eurasia is just a big blob of landmass, not much variety. The two Americas do look much better - and make it obvious it is a planet.

Re:Russian? (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490729)

... The two Americas do look much better - and make it obvious it is a planet. ...

Only to someone from the Americas. Eurasia has a coast too, and a very distinctive one at that. Just look at the west coast. People recognise what they are used to.

Re:Russian? (1)

kaiwai (765866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490813)

Or simply "we're up in space, and the Americans are still down there".

Does anyone remember Star Trek? if anyone took time to pay attention; the future turns into a quasi communist paradise where people have evolved to the point that they work for the good of each other rather than per sue their own individual animalistic desires.

The utopia view of society is hardly new, the Soviet Union, for all its flaws, had many visionaries who wanted to turn society into a place where people worked for the good of each other; where people discovered and created for the good of society rather than simply for profit and notoriety.

Re:Russian? (1)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491093)

To be fair, if I could live on a frickin' starship with a warp drive, zooming around the galaxy, I wouldn't ask too many questions about my paycheck either.

Right on the money... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491397)

If you read some of the SF that was illustrated by those pictures, you'll find out that in most of them - its one united communist world.

And not just any communist world. Its makes Star Trek with its space battles and wars seem like a second rate utopia.
Capitalism, hunger, disease, wars, borders, ignorance - all of that is extinct.

On the other hand, some visions were quite... bizarre.

I remember reading this book where soviet (as in Soviet Earth) cosmonauts are on a mission to some far away planet or other and along the way they stumble upon a earlier era.
It is not explicitly mentioned, but it is obvious that what they find is a US military starship. The crew was dead because of the inadequate radiation protection or something.
But the part that was most amusing was how cosmonauts reacted to pin-up posters on the walls.
From not understanding the purpose of posters of naked women on the walls, to questions like why are their lips and nails painted red.

Now... a utopia where people don't understand the concept of disease or capitalism... OK.
But one where they don't know about porn and makeup?

Riiiight... I guess they also forgot how to make beer.

Re:Russian? (3, Funny)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490087)

Maybe it was their way of showing the readers "Those capitalists in North-America are very easy targets from space".

View of Earth (2, Interesting)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489901)

Did anyone else notice that the only image with a view of Earth still featured the Americas, instead of Mother Russia?

Re:View of Earth (3, Informative)

MrNiCeGUi (302919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489947)

Are you looking at the same images? Besides that image of the Americas, which does not appear to be from the same set as the rest of the scans, I counted at least two views of Eurasia and one of Australia.

Re:View of Earth (2, Informative)

earthpig (227603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490181)

there are four earth views that are easily identified.
"Lunar Unicycle" by Frank Tinsley, 1959 - pacific ocean
(TM cover, Russia 1953) - Africa Europe
"Nuclear Rocketship" by Frank Tinsley, 1959 - Africa Europe
(image credit: retro-futurismus) - Americas

Wrong continent? (2, Funny)

aalu.paneer (872021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489951)

In http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1128/1058108337_46491e437c_o.jpg [flickr.com] , they show North and South America. I would have guessed them showing Eurasia.

Re:Wrong continent? (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21489971)

They have always shown Eurasia.

Re:Wrong continent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21490025)

If there was something clearly showing that the space crafts are of Russian origin, it wouldn't be surprising to picture those continents because the overall image could be perceived as depicting a triumph over the still earth-bound Americans.

Nostalgia (4, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490073)

I have to admit, although U.S.S.R. and so called "Bolshevism" has written lot of dark pages in history while building "Communism", those dreams about future when humanity together working to defeat universe at least in subjective scale, expressed in these pictures and stories from Stanisaw Lem and other soviet sci-fi writers are which I am more found of. Yes, western sci-fi usually spells more doom and gloom, power of coorporations, profit over science and discovery, etc. Both "schools" have beatiful exceptions, like Lem sci-fi fairy tales or "I, Robot" series by Isaac Asimov. When I think of sci-fi, I usually think of "The Magellanic Cloud". This novel from then-young Lem is something I still fill very exceptional. In Soviet times it was published in so called "Winning Communism edition", but after collapse of Eastern Block it was published in non-tweaked edition, as Lem said first edition was too rosy about communism. What I like about it is that even in old version Lem touches (but only touches) issues of conflict as aims of society vs. aims of personality, as it challenges people who try to reach only closest star system. In some way, it is similar to western sci-fi - it doesn't say anything nice about way the Western lives and how it ends. But as socialist Lem of course tries to provide alternative. Of course, big question is - is this possible.

Anyway, what I wanted to underline that so called "Socialism in space" was more than propaganda, it had different mind set, and sometimes it was for me as small boy easier to connect to those stories with all scientific stuff and challenges of scientists against their egos and needs. Also they definitely tried to imagine how life of people would be in future, how social and moral elements change - for good, of course. While Western sci-fi (as it holds roots more in Scepticism) bashes human nature and don't find escape from it, however there are lot of funny and hopeful authors. I still wait for sci-fi who would embrace both of these - western and "socialist" styles. That would definitely exciting to read.

In resume, I really miss sci-fi which could inspire and lift up, not just show future from very pessimistic point of view. Yes, we as humanity has huge issues, starting with problem to lacking people who value humanity over their egos, who work together with others to achieve something. It is not said that everyone should work and live together as brothers, but at least we should not try to kill each other because of small petty differences.

Just my two euro cents,
Peter.

Re:Nostalgia (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490109)

"stories from Stanisaw Lem and other soviet sci-fi writers"

ekhm, ekhm.

Re:Nostalgia (1)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490141)

"Stanisaw Lem and other soviet sci-fi writers"
Errr... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislaw_Lem [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nostalgia (1)

RipTides9x (804495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491245)

Errr... yourself.

In 1946, Polish eastern Kresy were annexed into the Soviet Ukraine and (his) family, like many other Poles, were resettled in Kraków

Re:Nostalgia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21491635)

If Lem were still alive (he died only last year), he would be gravely offended by you, in your ignorance, calling him a soviet writer.

Tintin inspiration? (3, Interesting)

Ruben3d (859906) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490113)

This image [flickr.com] from the article reminds me of Tintin: Explorers on the Moon [wikipedia.org] published in 1954, a year later.

Customer alert (2, Funny)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490163)

The x-ray glasses advertised in the back of those science mags don't work.

On Soviet Moon... (0, Offtopic)

trickyrickb (910871) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490299)

something something YOU!

wish the space race is still on... (1)

nerdyalien (1182659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490395)

If something worth noting in 20th century.. it is the space race. Two big powers, trying so hard, investing billions on research to conquere the space. WoW!!! We saw saturn-5, black bird, harrier and many other great stuff, at first look.. we just say "awesome" in that era.

Space race ended after the fall of berlin wall. In world peace sense, it is one of the greatest thing happened last century. But it also marks the end of some bleeding edge technology, creativity. If you think about many technologies which we enjoy today are infact directly or indirectly influenced by the technologies developed in those space-race days.

Tell you one nice example. Back in cold war, Americans sended these mini-sattelites. They just take photographs of russia, then land (more likely.. crash landing) somewhere. In that.. they didn't use typical film roles and stuff. Instead, they take gray images, pixel-ize, each gray shade has a distinct number in a scale.. which then printed in a recorder. Which is highly sophisticated and un-hackable by that times technology. (I saw this on Discovery) Think.. this is the start of pixel based digital imaging. Still I find it WoW!

I'm reminded of 1970s Maplin catalogue covers. (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490609)

I wish I could remember who did them. Lovely "space scenes". I also wish I still had some of the catalogues, but not half as much as how much I wish Maplin still stocked the goodies they did then.

2001 Artwork (1)

FiveLights (1012605) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490765)

The pieces identified as:
image credit: Klaus Burgle
TM cover, Russia 1953
and "Nuclear Rocketship" by Frank Tinsley, 1959

really remind me of some of the artwork from 2001: A Space Odyssey. At least the artwork I remember being on the album for the movie. I suppose there just aren't many ways of seeing people standing around on the moon!

LOL'd at this one (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490799)

Looks a bit.. funny [flickr.com] Or maybe it's just my dirty fantasy.

Re:LOL'd at this one (1)

zifferent (656342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490975)

That's ok, the second picture [flickr.com] in is highly phallic and suggest the penetration/piercing of a vagina shaped nebula.
I probably wouldn't have noticed but it didn't take much imagination at all.

Both of you... (0, Offtopic)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491445)

Turn of the computer, get outside and find yourself a girlfriend. NOW!

Or at least prostitute.

Vagina shaped nebula? Good good...

"A"! I MEANT A PROSTITUTE!! (0, Offtopic)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491571)

I just hope I am not too late.

I also wrote god with one "O"? I need coffey...

This brought tears to my eyes (5, Insightful)

Wiseleo (15092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21490889)

I recognize quite a few of those illustrations.

That's what partially inspired me to go into tech in the first place. I wanted to make those images a reality.

An interesting piece of trivia - pictures credited with TM were published by the official magazine of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. This magazine was targeted at teens. Among other things, we had ZX80 source listings, MK61 programmable calculator listings, and so forth. Those were simple games that I would have to painstakingly type in on my MK61 calculator in RPN notation. Yet they taught me the principles of directly addressing a microprocessor. I had a subscription to many of these magazines since I was 5. Yet now in US we are experiencing a rapid decline in science education. It sounds unthinkable that Whitehouse would sponsor something like this, even though the expense would be trivial and would promote agencies like NASA. Something needs to happen before we wind up a 3rd world country due to lack of science, lack of big dreams, and apathy. That's precisely what USSR did. Even though the scientists were paid miserly wages, the children were inspired to get involved in building the future. I don't ever see big dreams promoted in the US. Everything is compartmentalized, processed, antisocial, and really not inspiring.

I will own several of the technological marvels such as flying cars within a few years. I will do it because I still have dreams and still remember what inspired me. But will others? Or will they be toiling away in overwhelming debt unable to see through the haze of daily stress? The only thing I can think of that is good for science and inspiration lately is Mythbusters. That's my opinion, but it probably made more than a few kids curious about chemistry at the very least.

This is so sad that it brought tears to my eyes.

Anyone else notice. . . (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491205)

the two odd (interesting?) things about these pictures?

1. Almost without exception, the ships depicted in space, on the moon, etc, are shown with pointy or round noses. If you're in space, you don't have to worry about aerodynamics and certainly not on places which have no atmosphere (the moon).

2. The first picture below To Saturn and beyond: shows people on a moon of Saturn wearing full spacesuits EXCEPT for the camera man.

Re:Anyone else notice. . . (1)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491793)

2. The first picture below To Saturn and beyond: shows people on a moon of Saturn wearing full spacesuits EXCEPT for the camera man.
It's obviously depicting a scene of decadent westerners faking another "triumph of American ingenuity", just like they did with the so-called moon landings (not to mention that whole Mars scandal in 1978).

Notice (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491233)

Notice how few of these images center on a single individual. Mostly they are space-scapes or pictures of massive engineering projects in which people are tiny figures like in an architect's model, if they appear at all.

There's only one image that would be typical of a US sci fi magazine cover, with the handsome space pioneer man in the foreground and his female counterpart in the background. Even so, there is little suggestion that the pioneer man plays a key role as an individual in whatever action is being depicted.

This might be an artifact of selection, but it's tempting to speculate that this reflects a collectivist view of the future. Still, I have a certain kitschy fondness for Socialist Realism school of art, and many such works do use an heroic individual as a focal point -- albeit either an anonymous one or a historical hero like Lenin. Arguably in either case, Socialist Realism uses the individual functioning as a representative of the working class.

These images are quite austere and free of any hint of individuality as a focal point in the imagined future.

What a nightmare.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21491297)

..is the code of the original blog article. When I hit the page I wondered why is was so SLOW SLOW SLOW.

Aha. Reveal Source shows why: the linked page has 2300 lines of evil garbage code and only about 10 lines of actual content.

Wrapped around the tiny sliver of content it has TONS of Google adwords javascripts, in-numerable crap links to rubbish sites and affiliate-deal retailers and crap-merchants, various suss i-frames being called in by the code, in-numerable remote links calling down remote image and javascripts etc etc ad nauseum.

Oh, and I also shouldn't forget to mention the **5** or more shitty stat counting javascripts (sitemeter, easyhitcounters, urchin, mybloglog.com etc) that page also pulls in and which want to set cookies on my PC and do God knows what else.

Die!!! darkroastedblend.com. If there was a Hell for web developers, I'd happily see you hurled into there, alongside the very worst of the MySpacers and other HTML hooligans.

Pity the Slashdot traffic didn't melt your server down to a blob of slag. You deserve it.

_Atoms for Peace_ posters? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491327)

These are interesting, but my favorite "retro" art of that era is still the work done by Erik Nitsche [wikipedia.org] for General Dynamics' "Atoms for Peace" program.. Anyone know where I can find reproductions?

Re:Anyone know where I can find reproductions? (1)

objekt (232270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491655)

Go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/eriknitsche [flickr.com] , download the original size images, print them up on a wide format printer.

Interesting, the ideal of female equality (2, Informative)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491465)

One thing you can say about the Soviets, they had among their ideals equality between the sexes.

In one of the paintings there's a woman standing next to a man, and they're both wearing the same outfit and appear to be equals in the space endeavor, which is a far cry from how space exploration was portrayed in the USA, with only white men permitted to go anywhere near a spaceship.

Wait for it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21491711)

These images represent the next wave in "retro" designs we'll see out of Detroit's automakers.

Projecting the past into the future (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491863)

Check out that image of the determined manly man in a space suit working away while the young lady in a skirt and holding a Raggedy Anne doll looks on in wonder.

It reminds me of one early Star Trek episode where Kirk turns to a very short skirted Yeoman Rand and says something like "get me some coffee honey".

More (1)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21491979)

There's more Soviet space art here [globalsecurity.org] and here [colostate.edu] .

Which makes me wonder, what other coolness have the Russians been hiding behind their backs?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...