Friday, August 2, 2013

The Future of the Past

Angus McKie
Back when I talked about the Strange Stars "Appendix N," I mentioned how I saw the stylings of this particular future as harkening back to previous decades. I imagine spaceships like in seventies films, seventies and eighties book covers and comics books, and particularly the Terran Trade Authority books.

Terran Trade Authority
Also, the groovy fashions of late sixties and seventies book cover art, the euro-sensibilities of Heavy Metal, and disco-era comic book sci-fi in the U.S. inform how I view the fashion and material culture. Sure they're silly in a lot of ways, but often so are clothes from real historical eras to modern sensibilities.

Chaykin's Monark Starstalker
Mike Grell's Charma
Now as anyone who's been reading the posts knows, I'm not doing retro-sci-fi, overall. It's just that it seems like the there is a narrow range of how the future is viewed in any given era. Science fiction done today tends to look the same: a lot of darkness, sleek suits, and electric blue holograms, etc. I'm certainly not immune to recent influences, but I feel like those things get too familiar. The future needs to seem exotic and going back to the past is a way to restore some of that exoticism. At least it reminds me (and maybe other around my age) of a time where the future looked different, and we were young enough to be encountering these images and the ideas behind them for the first time.

8 comments:

Francis Lee said...

It's reminds me of some of my favourite images of sci-fi and what caused my love of sci-fi and a touch of Charma would have been a bonus.

Trey said...

@Fran - I figured you'd lihe that.

Chris said...

Yeah, I kind of like that you're shaking things up a bit by looking at the future through the past a bit. Not that I dislike our contemporary sci-fi esthetics, but I do think digging up some older stuff does bring back a certain exoticism.

The Wasp said...

Oh, lord, I'd completely forgotten about the Terran Trade books. They're beautiful. Thanks for the memory spark.

Trey said...

@Chris - That was my feeling. Glad I'm not alone. :)

@Wasp - You're welcome.

Jez said...

I still have my copy of one of the TTA books I was given as a kid, and found a collected omnibus of all the series not to long ago.

I did the right thing of course and promptly handed it to the boy.

Trey said...

@Jez- Well....if you think that's the way to go..

Justin S. Davis said...

If future-space doesn't look like the Buck Rogers tv show, I'm going to be devastated.