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Retro rockets: the good old days that never will be.
December 13, 2006 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Smith Goes to Venuspart 1CC and part 2CC. Legendary space artist Chesley Bonestell shows us what family vacationsCC should have been like in Coronet Magazine, March 1950. [Click thumbnails for LARGE images.]
posted by cenoxo (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes! When Rocket Ships looked like Rocket Ships and the Future was still the Future. (And still something you might want to look forward to.)
posted by jfuller at 5:50 PM on December 13, 2006


Great stuff. Haven't read the text yet, but how does he explain dinosaurs on Venus?
posted by brundlefly at 5:56 PM on December 13, 2006


The children were disappointed that there was no reptile house, but so far no serpents had been found on venus.

Apparently they found them on venus, but didn't rank them as reptiles.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:08 PM on December 13, 2006


So that's what Nasa has planned for the moonbase - plastic domed atomic factories!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:33 PM on December 13, 2006


brundlefly said: ...how does he explain dinosaurs on Venus?

ERB (who coincidentally died in March 1950) may have had some popular influence on that idea with his Venus series. As Earth's sister planet, many sci-fi writers portrayed cloud-covered Venus overgrown with prehistoric, rainy tropical jungles, but their notions (alas) were finally disproven with Mariner 2's 1962 flyby.
posted by cenoxo at 6:56 PM on December 13, 2006


Yeah, we'll see how long that unique Venusian ecosystem lasts with dirty people and their roach-infested belongings waltzing off the ship from Earth.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:02 PM on December 13, 2006


Bonestell also did a background for Destination Moon (1950), America's "first major science-fiction film." I remember reading that the painting Bonestell did was something like fifteen feet long, and full of tiny details -- an incredible effort, but they wound up with that year's Academy Award for Visual Effects.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:13 PM on December 13, 2006


Neat post, thanks, but is there something I'm not getting with that "cc" thing you seem to have invented? They go to the same page as the link just before them, it looks like.
posted by mediareport at 9:21 PM on December 13, 2006


cenoxo seems to have jumped on the superscript bandwagon to show Coral Cache links to the site in question. Coral Cache helps rickety websites to hold up under traffic (from places like here and Slashdot and Digg and stuff) by caching the site and spreading the load.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:18 PM on December 13, 2006


mediareport, "cc" is an alternative link to the Coral Cache mirror site. The FPP's main links go to a personal blog, and it might get overloaded by MeFi connections. Note that the "cc" URLs contain the added redirection text ".nyud.net:8090" at the end of the site's domain name.
posted by cenoxo at 10:19 PM on December 13, 2006


Ah, I just looked at the end of each link in the status bar, and didn't notice the Coral Cache links are longer. Thanks for the clarification.

Oh, and please stop inventing new uses for superscripted abbreviations on the front page. We were doing fine without them. Thankee. :)
posted by mediareport at 10:53 PM on December 13, 2006


Oh, and please stop inventing new uses for superscripted abbreviations on the front page. We were doing fine without them. Thankee. :)

Sure, I'll take the crusader bait again. I feel compelled to ask you not to draw attention away from the post's subject and to a silly notation issue again. It's silly to ask other users not to use abbreviations just because you don't get them immediately.

Great post, cenoxo - and what, no "jetsons" tag? ;)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:00 AM on December 14, 2006


Bonestell was fantastic—he was probably the first illustrator whose name I knew as a kid (followed rapidly by Ed Emshwiller, or "Emsh"). The name is three syllables, by the way: BON-e-stell.

Of course, the city's name should be Veneriopolis and not "Venopolis," which might mean "city of hunting" or "city of veins" but can't possibly mean "city of Venus." But I don't want to distract from the post with my usual linguistic nitpicking, so I won't mention that.

D'oh!

I feel compelled to ask you not to draw attention away from the post's subject and to a silly notation issue again. It's silly to ask other users not to use abbreviations just because you don't get them immediately.


Seconded.

posted by languagehat at 5:44 AM on December 14, 2006


Cool post, I love Bonestell's stuff. One of my most treasured books is a hardbacked copy of his Conquest of Space. The future used to look so cool.
posted by octothorpe at 5:48 AM on December 14, 2006


It's the superscripting, not the cc, I crusade against.
posted by mediareport at 6:08 AM on December 14, 2006


That famous depiction of Saturn seen from Titan -- I'd always thought Don Dixon did that; nice to know it was a Bonestell work.
posted by pax digita at 6:55 AM on December 14, 2006


Illustrated in part by Bonestell's paintings, Werner von Braun's articles in the 1952-54 Collier's space flight seriesCC were the inspiration for Disney's TV movies Man in Space (1955), Man and the Moon (1955), and Mars and Beyond (1957).

The Space Ark in George Pal's film When Worlds Collide (1951) looks very much like the Diana spaceliner that the Smiths take to Venus. (Too bad they didn't stop off at the Space Station for gas and snacks.)

[WRT to the superscripts, I'm not trying to make a habit of them in FPPs: they just seemed like the least obtrusive way of noting the Coral Cache links.]
posted by cenoxo at 8:52 AM on December 14, 2006


goodnewsfortheinsane said: ...and what, no "jetsons" tag?

Haven't found a direct Bonestell-Jetsons link yet, but given the season, there's A Jetson Christmas Carol (with Cosmo G. Spacely as Ebenezer Scrooge.)
posted by cenoxo at 9:24 AM on December 14, 2006


13 more pages of Bonestell space art and covers [page links at bottom].
posted by cenoxo at 3:04 PM on January 10, 2007


...plus more (and better) scans of Bonestell's illustrations for Collier's.
posted by cenoxo at 3:30 PM on January 10, 2007


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