Monday, December 13, 2010


In the first place, we've seen that utopia needs the protection of fiction so as not to be merely sad. And we also know, of course, that utopia needs the protection of removal, either in space or time. And for these reasons, fiction that's removed in both senses -- i.e., fiction of the off-world future -- seems to have an inherently utopian element to it, as Jameson suggests, I think, in his Archeologies of the Future.

Along these lines, here's a wondrous site/sight, and a primary resource:  Atomic Rockets. Filled with facts, possibilities, calculators, links, and images -- e.g.:

That graphic was used for the end pages of a series of juvenile (these days "young adult") science fiction books published in the 1950's, and though it might seem innocuous enough now, then it inspired awe, nervous excitement (as did Gort the robot in The Day the Earth Stood Still) , and a sense of a wondrously open possibility in stark contrast to the banality of everyday waking life. A sense that, when you think about it, is a principle characteristic of utopias of all sorts, is it not?


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