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I’m not entirely sure if you can call a Post 1950s SF magazine a ‘pulp’, except in the broader sense of continuing the tradition. And since I’m continuing the tradition of magazine cover spaceships, I’ll let myself slide a bit on the historical inaccuracy. You guys shouldn’t worry too much – just enjoy the pictures.
If ever there was a recognizable pulp magazine cover, this one is it. I don’t think there’s a single visual history of the SF magazine that doesn’t feature this one. And the babe is a BABE. The ship isn’t bad either.
Whenever I see an illustration for something from the well-informed mind of Willy Ley I wonder – what happened? Willy was like Werner von Braun’s explainer, a science popularizer the equal of Carl Sagan. I love this pic: it illustrates what could be – not what ‘might’ have been.
Ahhh, Chesley Bonestell, from his series of space exploration images. The vision is astounding, the detail incredible. I wish someone had produced a Bonestell-in-space playset.
I like it when SF artists go unconventional with their ship designs – you can only be thrilled by cylindrical submarines in space so many times before it wears thin. These ships are very reminiscent of Kubrick’s 2001 moonbus.
The lost spaceship. Hidden away in the jungle (or buried in the sand, frozen in the ice, lying on the bottom of the ocean…) for decades, if not centuries. Can you think of anything cooler that discovering an abandoned spaceship? I can. Getting to go inside…
Building your spaceship out of an asteroid is just the ultimate in SF fiscal responsibility.
The crash at the rocket field. If you look closely underneath the ship, you can see a figure that appears to be trying to hold the ship up. That’s not gonna work, buddy.
I said I liked unconventional. This is about as outlandish as you can get. On the other hand – consider how small a profile this thing would have. The lack of metal would give sensor systems very little to pick up on. The bizarre shape (for a spaceship) would create initial confusion for anyone seeing if for the first time. We may be looking at the first ever successful stealth spaceship design.
Speaking of cylindrical submarines in space…
I think the coolest spaceships are the ones that actually go into space.