Boing Boing heroes Megan and Rick Prelinger run the Prielinger Library
, an amazing privately-funded but public "appropriation-friendly" collection of books, magazines, and ephemera in San Francisco. In my opinion, the Prelinger Library's materials have the vibe that I imagine a Boing Boing Library would feel like. Megan has been working on a fascinating book, "Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962
," that will be published in May by Blast Books. Judging by today's New York Times preview of the book, it's going to be a doozy of retro-futurism and atomic/modernist design. Congrats, Megan! From the NYT:
Some of the most extravagant of these visions of the future came not from cheap paperbacks, but from corporations buffing their high-tech credentials and recruiting engineering talent in the heady days when zooming budgets for defense and NASA had created a gold rush in outer space.
"Reaching for the Stars When Space Was a Thrill" (NYT, thanks Greg Long!)
In the pages of magazines like Aviation Week, Missiles and Rockets and even Fortune, companies, some famous and some now obscure, were engaged in a sort of leapfrog of dreams. And so, for example, Republic Aviation of Farmingdale, N.Y. -- "Designers and Builders of the Incomparable Thundercraft" -- could be found bragging in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine in 1959 about the lunar gardening experiments it was doing for a future Air Force base on the moon.
Or the American Bosch Arma Corporation showing off, in Fortune, its "Cosmic Butterfly," a solar-powered electrically propelled vehicle to ferry passengers and cargo across the solar system...
The book, she said, was inspired by a shipment of old publications to the library, including Aviation Week & Space Technology and Missiles and Rockets. "I little expected that the advertising in their pages would seize my attention more than the articles themselves," she writes in the introduction to her book.
Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962 (Amazon)
Last October, Penguin released its Galaxy boxed set, a $133 set of six hardcover reprints of some of science fiction’s most canonical titles: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin; Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein; 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke; Dune by Frank Herbert; The Once and Future King by TH White; and Neuromancer, by William Gibson.
Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 declaration that “there is no alternative” to neoliberal capitalism is more than a rallying cry: it’s a straitjacket on our imaginations, constraining our ability to imagine what kinds of other worlds we might live in. But in science fiction, alternatives to market economies abound (and a surprising number of them are awarded prestigious awards by the Libertarian Futurist Society!), and it is through these tales that sociologist Peter Frase asks us to think through four different ways things could go, in a slim, sprightly book called Four Futures — a book that assures us that there is no more business as usual, and an alternative must be found.
Ever since I found the Unfuck Your Habitat Tumblr, I’ve been addicted to its brand of frank, compassionate, sweary advice for people who want to be organized but don’t know where to start. Now, unfucker-in-chief Rachel Hoffman has distilled the UFyH philosophy into a brilliant, breezy book that is a must-read for people who are […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]
Using my iPhone while it’s charging is always a hassle. With tucked-away outlets and the meager length of included lightning cables, comfortable scrolling while plugged in is annoying. These 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cables are super convenient and probably the best iPhone accessory purchase I’ve made.At over three times the length of normal cables, these reach anywhere you […]