Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race, 1957-1962

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The late 1950s and early '60s were the golden age of classic science fiction, an era when the furthest reaches of imagination were fed by the technological breakthroughs of the postwar years.

Another Science Fiction

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While science fiction writers expressed the dreams and nightmares of the era in pulp print, real-life rocket engineers worked, often in secrecy, on making space travel reality. The imaginations of many cold war scientists were fed by science fiction literature—but not only from writers such as Arthur C. Clarke. The aerospace industry itself often promoted its future capabilities with fantastical, colorful visions depicted in its advertisements aimed at luring young engineers into its booming workforce. In trade journals such as Missiles and Rockets and Aviation Week, something new was happening. In between dry articles about program successes and failures, a new visual vernacular sprang up. Companies such as Lockheed, B. F. Goodrich, Douglas Aircraft, and Westinghouse encouraged engineers to reach far in their work, farther than their minds had ever gone before. Aerospace industry ads pitched the idea that we lived in a time when anything was possible—the rocky substrates of Mars and the Moon were the new western frontier. Gravity was history, and soon so would be the confines of our solar system itself. The shock of Russia's 1957 Sputnik satellite launch lit a fire in America to get a man into space and onto the Moon—the race was on, and the aerospace industry was hot. With nearly 200 entertaining, intriguing, inspiring, and sometimes mind-boggling visions of our new space age in the atomic era, Another Science Fiction presents a fresh, smart, focused look at the moment when American aerospace development and world politics led to Kennedy's 1961 directive to achieve the goal of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

Additional Information

Author Megan Prelinger
Publisher Blast Books
Page Count 240pp
Publication Size 8 x 11
Publication Notes softcover, color, nearly 200 images
Publication Date April 1, 2010
ISBN 978-0922233359

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