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Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957–1962 Paperback


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Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957–1962 + Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future + Popular Mechanics The Wonderful Future that Never Was: Flying Cars, Mail Delivery by Parachute, and Other Predictions from the Past
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Blast Books (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0922233357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922233359
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A brilliant tour through the iconography and literature of America's grandest corporate dreamtime, the Space Age." —William Gibson, author of Neuromancer and Pattern Recognition

"I wish I had this book when I started Mad Men. This is exactly what I look for, a concise visual-historical reference of mid-century advertising. Megan Prelinger has uniquely and beautifully taken us on a trip back to space." —Gay Perello, Prop Master for Mad Men

"Stupendous." —Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude

"To the author of this remarkable work must go well-deserved laurels for rescuing rocket/space ad artwork from virtual obscurity. Megan Prelinger's book is a treasure that should find a worldwide readership of space historians, lovers of space art, and all who seek to understand the evolution of humanity's transition to a space-faring species." —Fred Ordway, former member of the Wernher von Braun rocket team and consultant to Stanley Kubrick for 2001: A Space Odyssey

More About the Author

Megan Prelinger is an independent historian and a lifelong collector of space history ephemera and science fiction literature. She is co-founder and architect of information design of the Prelinger Library, a private research library open to the public, which houses more than forty thousand books and other print artifacts on North American regional and land use history, media and cultural studies, and technology, including a space history collection. She is also a naturalist and rehabilitator of aquatic avian species. She lives and works in San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

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For those of us who grew up during the golden age of space exploration, this book is a treasure trove.
Gilbert Huey
Author Megan Prelinger collected the best and most interesting ads from five years worth of aviation and technology magazines.
takingadayoff
Far more than just a nostalgia coffee-table piece, the text is both interesting and thought-provoking.
Dennis J. Boccippio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Veazey on March 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you were a youngster like me during the dawn of The Space Age, this book is a trip down memory lane.

I read and watched everything I could find about space travel and aviation, so most of these ads passed by my eyes at one time or another.

It was fun turning the pages and coming upon an image that I hadn't seen in 50 years or more. It recalled to me the wonder and the fabulous anticipation I felt at the time as man made his first baby steps into space.

The book is also kind of depressing, to see visions of a future that never arrived. The shuttle looks likes like a bus with wings, not the sleek streamlined spacecraft of the 50's. The ISS looks like a floating junk yard compared to the giant rotating wheeled space stations of those days. Damn it, I want my private spaceship, my vacations on the moon, tourist trips to Mars, day trips to the giant wheel space stations. What happened to the future we were promised in all these ads?

Oh well, if you're a Baby Boomer, and you were/are a space enthusiast who grew up in the late 50's and early 60's, you WILL enjoy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 3, 2010
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As I write this it's nine years after "2001: A Space Odyssey" was supposed to have taken place and not only do we not have PanAm clippers flying to the Moon, we don't even have PanAm any more and thanks to idiots, morons and fear-mongering bedwetters overreacting to 9/11 and creating the TSA, going to an airport and getting on an airplane is like visiting a minimum security prison. But back in the 1950s and 1950s the American military industrial complex was engaged in a space race with the Soviet Union, and they worked their asses off to sell it to the American public with some absolutely glorious and incredibly imaginative advertising campaigns. This book is another high quality product from the Prelinger archives, it's beautifully laid out and incredibly well written, Megan Shaw Prelinger ties multiple threads together to weave a tapestry describing the aesthetic dynamics of the space age, an era where the United States didn't know how difficult it was going to be to put a man in the Moon and didn't care, because damnit, we had to kick commie ass and beat the Soviets.
In the last 50 years though we seem to have gone from being a nation that dared to dream big to being a nation that dares nothing and fears the unknown, reading this book shows you just how far we've fallen. How did a nation that dared to dream of doing dangerous and difficult things like putting a man on the Moon, and did so, repeatedly, fall so far and so quickly and become a nation of passive, fear-crazed sheep willing to let their crotches be groped by low-grade morons for the illusory promise of safety?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2010
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I came across some old Look and Life magazines at a thrift shop recently. They all featured John F. Kennedy - his inaugural as president, his assassination, the funeral, Jackie and the kids one year after. Important and memorable topics, but when I actually sat down to look at the magazines, I found that I was flipping past the articles and studying the ads. Buicks and Studebakers and Chevys, cigarettes, whiskey and beer, typewriters, canned soup, TV dinners. They were fascinating.

Author Megan Prelinger collected the best and most interesting ads from five years worth of aviation and technology magazines. The result is Another Science Fiction, a document that is probably more revealing about the era than the collected articles in those same magazines, and certainly more entertaining.

The overall impression is one of optimism and the expectation that science and technology will pave the way to a bright future. We're going to the moon. ... and beyond!

Contrast that with aviation and technology magazines of today. The ads are overwhelmingly military-themed, featuring weapons and soldiers. They are utilitarian ads, using photographs and text.

The space age ads are also often utilitarian and direct, but just as often they are whimsical or futuristic. Many are works of art. The Martin Company (later Martin-Marietta, then Lockheed-Martin) used many paintings by graphic artist Willi K. Baum, most of which would not look out of place in a modern art gallery.

On opening Another Science Fiction, I first looked at all the images, and then read the text later. It was fun to start to recognize the style of some of the regular artists for the various companies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gilbert Huey on June 28, 2010
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For those of us who grew up during the golden age of space exploration, this book is a treasure trove. Although I had never seen most of the illustrations they transported me back to those exciting days when America had vision, courage, and commitment. Now as we shut down the shuttle program, I wonder what happened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hugh on January 6, 2011
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Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962 This book is not getting the attention it deserves. I should be fascinating and insightful to people interested in many fields, includinig persuasive communication, 20th Century American history, psychology, engineering and technology, space exploration, and national defense.
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