Science Fiction Day: "Reality Ahead of Schedule"


The Big Picture:

Today, January 2, is Science Fiction Day! In the now immortal words of artist/futurist Syd Mead, science fiction is "reality ahead of schedule." He died this week (12/30/2019) after a prolific career illustrating science fiction concepts. Just thought we'd use this day to share some our favorite illustrations created by him.


Syd's Contributions to Science Fiction

Syd was widely known for his artwork for the film industry. He did several illustrations for Blade Runner, including this flying car (below). As flying cars are currently in development, this is a great example of how yesterday's science fiction is today's reality.


He also did illustrations for films such as Alien, Star Trek, Tron, and Tomorrowland (below).


Even George Lucas patterned the Star Wars AT-AT vehicles after one of Syd's designs (below) he created for U.S. Steel:


Our Absolute Favorite Syd Mead Illustration

Our favorite illustration is another one Syd did for U.S. Steel, seen in our top photo and immediately below. It features a Von Braun wheel space station with a cutaway reveal of an agricultural section. (The Von Braun wheel is a hypothetical space station that rotates on its axis, using centripetal speed to create an artificial gravity.) The Elysium film starring Matt Damon features a luxury space habitat based on that design.



Farewell Syd!


All images (except Disney's Tomorrowland): SydMead.com and Syd's Facebook page.