The Rolling Houses and Homes of Futurlandia.

 

The rolling house of the future (offered in the September, 1934 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics) promised at least one thing–the ability to be towed by a tractor.  (And seeing that the thing is being pulled along by chains, let’s make sure that there’s no downhill towing, yes?)
Image source originally located via  Retronaut.
The spherical houses seemed to come with their own railroad tracks for easier motion–a continuously self-laying track, which would make the new American suburbs a Suburbia Mobilia.
Cheap cars, cheap houses, and a Great Depression might have made for a picture of the future that was very self-sustaining.  On the other hand, the one thing that would not have been in the gunsights of the American manufacturing centre which does not make for a lot of room to store all of the consumables that were waiting just around the corner.
In this respect I am sure that these small buckets for human life would seem unacceptable, leaving little room for purchases.
It does remind me of wholesale town-moving, but from the past–real-life stuff, things that happened.

Like here, for example, in  Ochiltree, Texas, 20 October 1920.  This was a rare occurrence–to move a town–though it is hardly unique, particularly if moving the town closer to a railroad line that had decided to pass it by meant the difference between life and death of the town, then, well I guess you moved the town if you could.  Cemeteries included, sometimes; and sometimes not.
Source: JF Ptak Science Books: The Rolling Houses and Glass Homes of Futurlandia

Airships and Tentacles.

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How can we not feature something that boasts airships, Arctic wastes, tentacles and sensuality – all at once? Impossible, I say! So here is the “Airships and Tentacles” Series by Myke Amend, combining Vernian and Lovecraftian atmosphere and concepts into strange-fiction fantasy horror mashups:
—- What are your influences, besides the obvious Lovecraft references and airship-induced themes?
“I would count my artistic influences over my lifetime as: Gustav Dore, Pieter Brueghel (the Elder mostly, but I admire the entire family’s work) Zdzislaw Beksinski, Bethalynne Bajema, Michael Whelan, Derek Riggs, Dave McKean, and Gerald Brom – though recently I have found myself very drawn by the works of newer artists such as Brian Despain, Travis Louie, Chet Zar, and Chris Mars.
I don’t see any of which really showing in my works, regretfully, but they are there – each encouraging me to try something new and experimental in the styling, media, or feel of each work I do.
I am also influenced by the written works of Edgar Allen Poe, Algernon Blackwood, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Robert W. Chambers, Gordon R. Dickson, Tolkien, Jules Verne, Terry Brooks, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Neil Gaiman, and Warren Ellis.
In my teen years, it was music – gloomy gothy music, deathrock, horror punk ordered by mail or shared through duplicated cassettes – and the largest assortment of obscure and semi-unknown metal and progressive metal bands – many of which I picked out of the music store almost entirely according to their album art, hence Derek Riggs (Illustrator for Iron Maiden) listed in my artistic influences.
Most influential, especially in my youth, outside of Dungeons and Dragons and Dark Sun campaigns, were the entire series of Final Fantasy games, the Dragon Warrior games, as well as Chrono-Cross and Chrono Trigger – leading into my earlier adult years with games such as the Heroes of Might and Magic series, Xenosaga, Dark Cloud, and Dark Cloud II.
Audio-visual eye-candy tends to grab me more than anything else these days. This perhaps because I regrettably find myself with less time for reading or for visiting my favorite museums.
Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Golden Compass, Stardust, Mirrormask, Pan’s Labyrinth, City of Lost Children, Chronos, Howl’s Moving Castle, Casshern, Brazil, the Adventures of Baron Munchausen account for much of what I have been doing over this last year or so.”
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“The Machine” was done for for Josh Pfeiffer/the Steampunk Industrial Band “Vernian Process”.
see more via Dark Roasted Blend: Airships and Tentacles.

Vintage Pulp Science Fiction.

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What is it about science and the future and how the science fiction of the past (pre-1950s) almost never could encapsulate the superior scientific innovation and discovery of its near future?
And, like most science fiction at that time they considered that  our threats would come from outer space.
I guess that’s why I like a lot of sci-fi centered around man’s bastardry to man.
It is marvelous and wickedly magnificent to look at some cover art and illustration for the pulp and not-so-pulpy science ficton, images that not only have a certain look and feel, but also a smell, a particular bookstore/basement pulp-paper-not-exposed-in-forty-years smell.

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Image: Steampunk Eye–that enormous ship, governed by a long, long pole with a small box with an an eye in it, being raised and lowered on pulleys:
See more via Ptak Science Books: Fantastic Beasts and Tales.

‘War of the Worlds Radio Show, 1938.

orson-war-of-the-worldsOn October 30, 1938, from the Mercury Theater in New York City, Orson Welles broadcasted a “modernized” radio play of H.G. Wells 1898 novel “War of the Worlds.”
For the last three quarters of the century, we’ve been told that this fictionalized CBS broadcast sent Americans into a panic; that citizens across the country did not realize that this was science-fiction (despite the fact that it was explicitly stated at the beginning and twice during the broadcast) and thought the USA was under attack from an invading Martian army.
Littered with realistic simulated news reports and “eyewitness accounts,” the hour long broadcast was innovative and an extremely entertaining way to present the story.
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But the thing is, no such nation-wide panic actually occurred.
While there were certainly many exceptions, documented evidence indicates most who listened did know it was a dramatization and were completely aware that New Jersey was not being destroyed by visitors from space.
Further, the broadcast didn’t have very good ratings when it first aired; so even if everyone who listened had thought it was real, it wouldn’t have resulted in the level of mass hysteria commonly spoken of since.
Read on further via The “War of the Worlds” Mass Panic That Never Really Happened.

The Surprising Origins of Tarot.

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Above: Cards from a Tarot de Marseille deck made by François Gassmann, circa 1870. Photo courtesy Bill Wolf.
The Empress. The Hanged Man. The Chariot. Judgment. With their centuries-old iconography blending a mix of ancient symbols, religious allegories, and historic events, tarot cards can seem purposefully opaque.
To outsiders and skeptics, occult practices like card reading have little relevance in our modern world. But a closer look at these miniature masterpieces reveals that the power of these cards isn’t endowed from some mystical source—it comes from the ability of their small, static images to illuminate our most complex dilemmas and desires.
“There’s a lot of friction between tarot historians and card readers about the origins and purpose of tarot cards.”
Contrary to what the uninitiated might think, the meaning of divination cards changes over time, shaped by each era’s culture and the needs of individual users.

This is partly why these decks can be so puzzling to outsiders, as most of them reference allegories or events familiar to people many centuries ago. Caitlín Matthews, who teaches courses on cartomancy, or divination with cards, says that before the 18th century, the imagery on these cards was accessible to a much broader population.
But in contrast to these historic decks, Matthews finds most modern decks harder to engage with.
“You either have these very shallow ones or these rampantly esoteric ones with so many signs and symbols on them you can barely make them out,” says Matthews.
“I bought my first tarot pack, which was the Tarot de Marseille published by Grimaud in 1969, and I recently came right around back to it after not using it for a while.”
Presumably originating in the 17th century, the Tarot de Marseille is one of the most common types of tarot deck ever produced. Marseille decks were generally printed with woodblocks and later colored by hand using basic stencils.
Read on via Tarot Mythology: The Surprising Origins of the World’s Most Misunderstood Cards | Collectors Weekly.

‘Star Wars’ with Staples.

James-Haggerty-staples-550x681A New York artist has been combining his love for staples and Star Wars to create stunningly intricate works of art. 40-year-old James Haggerty makes pictures of iconic Star Wars characters using tens of thousands of multi colored staples in organized patterns.
Some of his most notable works are Darth Vader (made from 10,496 staples), C-3PO (33,580 staples) and Greedo (21,458 staples).
Haggerty’s work is incredible and meticulous – he starts out with a thoroughly organized plan.
He first creates five to ten ink drawings and picks his favorite one. He transfers that one onto a painted board, about 40 x 32 inches in size.
He then patiently punches each staple on to the board.
The dark background of the board fills in some of the negative spaces, while the metallic staples form the highlights, adding shine and depth to the picture.
See more work via Patient Artist Creates Detailed Star Wars Art with Thousands of Staples | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities.