Sunday, August 21, 2016

Alternate Futures 1: The World of Tomorrow That Wasn’t

When I was in Grade 7, I found this curious book in my school library: The World of Tomorrow, by Kenneth K. Goldstein, published in 1969, the same year as the first moon landings.  It was full of beautiful four colour illustrations that assured me of all wonderful things that were just around the corner: giant space stations, cities on the moon and under the sea, weather control, manned missions to Mars and the other planets, computers in the home, and sleek jet-like cars zooming down automated roadways between gleaming new cities. A few years later, I found a copy of the book in a second-hand store, so I snapped it up, so serious an impression it had made on me.

Well, the future didn’t happen exactly like we thought it would, did it?  Oh, we have our space station – with a crew of six – and we do have computers in the home, which would seem to be the only prediction they got right. Sure we have other things like cell phones and the web, now it seems, driverless cars, but…

You see my point.  Still, we do have snatches of that more optimistic, brighter – and probably, to be honest, a little unrealistic – alternate tomorrow, which I still like to think, may have happened in some other reality.  In this post, we’ll be starting off with a few images from the General Motors Futurama II exhibit from the 1964 New York World’s Fair that featured so prominently in The World of Tomorrow.


Undersea habitat

Space station


The City of Tomorrow (and Highway of Tomorrow)

Automated highway and farm blooming in the south west.

Weather Control Central

Who knows? Maybe these things will still come to pass.

Meanwhile, you can help out a poor unemployed writer by purchasing Elvis Saves JFK! for just 99 cents and War Plan Crimson, A Novel of Alternate History, for $2.99 and now The Key to My Heart, also $2.99 (all are free to preview). All books -- which are already on Smashword's premium distribution list -- are also available through such fine on-line retailers such as Sony, Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble and Apple's iTunes Store.  Thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment