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An interesting meditation on the history of the great utopian scientific dreams of the early twentieth century and the stories that were told about them, wrapped in something of a frame story, though not much of one, and beautifully drawn. This book begins at the 1939 World's Fair, undoubtedly the highlight of the Art Deco future-modernist fantasias, with its exhibits of models of the sort of city Fritz Lang thought up for Metropolis; it continues through 1975 and the end of the Apollo missions. In the interim it hits the major points of scientific progress, space exploration, and geopolitical fear, but I think the thing it does that I like the most is its careful, note-perfect re-creations of typical space-exploration whiz-bang comic books from the forties through sixties, correct in every detail down to disclaimers, publisher's prices, and bad four-color reproduction. Each of these mini-comics rings absolutely perfectly as an archetype of what the sf adventure story meant at that time.

The point, of course, is the evolution of the dream, especially the dream of space, and how what we got is not what anybody dreamed, though what we got is wondrous. I-- hm. I am of two minds about this. )


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