One of my favorite subgenres in science fiction is old-school interplanetary adventures, in which Mars has canals, Venus jungles, and Mercury two faces (hot and cold). Lo! and behold, yesterday I discovered a blog devoted to that subject: The Old Solar System. Its creator is the British pseudonym Zendexor, who introduces himself as an SF critic. Well, he certainly masters the subject, discussing the oldschool settings created by veterans writers like Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Brackett, SM Stirling, and Edmond Hamilton.
If Zendexor knew Swedish, he would probably have written a lengthy post about Sture Lönnerstrand’s solar-system odyssey Rymdhunden (“Space Dog”) from 1954.
The eminent site XKCD has published this picture that compares the surface areas of notable rocky celestial bodies in our solar system. The four giant planets are excluded because they lack mappable surfaces. The arrangement would be laid out nicely on the type of Ringworld that Larry Niven proposed in some of his stories — link >>>
Lunar exploration in the old-school heroic way: Fred Freeman made this piece of artwork for First Men to the Moon, a realistic moon-flight novel by rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun, published in 1960. I read the book in a Swedish translation in 1966 or 1967, but I only retain three fragmentary memories of its two astronauts’ troubled voyage to the Moon and back.
Space That Never Was is an art project by illustrator Mac Rebisz. The goal is to make technologically accurate depictions of space missions that could have been executed if the US/Soviet space race had continued for another decade at the hectic pace of the late 1960s, with manned expeditions to Mars and beyond.
The Soviet moon landing depicted above (click on the picture for a larger version) was on the way around 1970 and the one-man lander would have looked like that. However, the endeavor foundered because of insoluble problems with its huge N-1 rocket.
Read more about Mac’s project and view his “space history” paintings here — link >>>
Yesterday I had a nice author interview. The Swedish teacher in my youngest daughter’s class had instructed the students to write an essay about an author. So my daughter decided to write about the one she knows best, i.e. science fiction & fantasy author Anders Blixt. She therefore interviewed me for half an hour about my books The Ice War and Spiran och Staven and what inspires me to write. I spoke a lot about my memories of the Balkan War in 1990s, Afghanistan in 2008, the Apollo project in my childhood and other sources of inspiration.