Retrotech Space Travel


In the post-WW2 years that form the interface between dieselretro and atomretro, master illustrator Chesley Bonestell created a pseudo-realistic vision of near-future space travel: sleek craft heading for dramatic alien worlds. I encountered his works in my childhood in 1960s and they have stayed in my mind.

Here is one of Bonestell’s stylish rocket planes. When I write science fiction, I enjoy putting that kind of spacecraft in the stories because of their beauty.

What If Mao Failed in 1949?

Alternate history is always an exciting mind game for me. The Economist magazine has written an interesting piece on what could have happened if the Nationalists had won the Chinese Civil War after World War Two. Read it here — link >>>

Hint: China would probably have been a better place for the common people without Mao’s mass-murders, man-made disasters and ideological obsessions.

Welcome to the dream worlds

By chance I recently heard of the late illustrator Peter Elson, when someone (thanks Alexander) directed me to a site with his works, mainly book covers. Top-notch craftsmanship — link >>>

To me, this dreamy landscape by Peter Elson depicts Leigh Brackett’s Mars with canals and cities older than Uruk. (Click on the picture to get a larger version.)

Atomretro Mars: Peter Elson’s depiction of a car chase on Mars in Robert A. Heinlein’s novel “Double Star”. If I remember correctly (it was years since I read that book), the car is a Rolls-Royce. (Click on the picture to get a larger version.)