I am a big fan of sci-fi, a fact anyone reading this blog will be left in no doubt about, but I also like economics. I had not really seen these two interests as being particularly closely related - until today, that is. What happened was that I was browsing io9, something I do pretty much every day, and my attention was caught by a news article reporting that:
I had an hour or two to kill today, and I decided I would retreat from the heat and humidity of August in Venice to a nice little cafe with a powerful AC system that the people who work there keep cranked up to the max. There is often a complimentary copy of The New York Times hanging around inside, but just as often it has been pilfered – or “half inched” as they say in Cockney rhyming slang – so it is always a good idea to have a plan B for something to read.
In the late 70s, giant robots started to appear in the UK, or at least toys and model kits depicting them did. I loved them, though times were tough in the grim north of the UK in those years, so I couldn’t afford to buy many. A plastic robot kit was a rare treat, for a birthday or Christmas. I didn’t know it, but the giant robots I loved had quite a history, even by the late 70s, and they have gone on to become an even more significant part of popular culture since.
I posted about Star Trek: Discovery episode 3, Context is for Kings, the other day, and one of the things I like is that the show continues to subvert the technobabble of Star Trek with a bit more of an infusion of magic and the uncanny. The science of the new invention they are working on in this episode, for example, is described as a mix or energy and organics, exploiting an invisible web that unites the galaxy.
I have been thinking about sci-fi lately, as usual, but this time specifically about the clothes. Yes, that’s right - Space Clothes, as they are called on the sci-fi fashion page of the TV Tropes website. The stereotype, of course, is that everyone wears silver with huge shoulder pads, and pocketless spandex, and I’m glad to say there is some truth to it. A lot of early, more optimistic science fiction had people in the most ridiculous sci-fi outfits.
I’ve been working on one of my 3D spaceships for a while, several months in fact. This current spaceship project is quite different from any spaceship design I’ve ever done before. Usually I create spaceships with a traditional metal look, similar to these famous spaceships, which all have the classic metal-panel look. The spaceships I usually do are at home in what many people call the used future. This is the kind of future seen in sci-fi shows where spaceships look dirty, dingy, and used.