Speculative Art – Idea Stimualtor

What if there was world peace? What would it look like? Tell an improvised story about a future without war.

Try putting yourself back in time to the 1970’s, for example. What if computers were about to become accessible to everyone? Tell a story from the 1970’s perspective predicting how computers may change our lives. Futurists believed computers would help create more leisure time by changing work habits dramatically. However, people are spending more time at work and work related tasks. We put in more hours because we carry our offices with us wherever we go and because we don’t know how to use our free time. Certainly computers have changed the ways photographers spend time. What if you, used your leisure time creatively?


This book was published in the late 1970’s and

is long out of print.

Used and collector’s copies are available on-line.

Stand in front of the science fiction book shelf at your bookstore. Take a look at some science fiction art. Imagine what each book is about without reading the dust jacket. Get a book on science fiction art like Tomorrow and Beyond: Masterpieces of Science Fiction Art by Ian Summers. You will find a collection of over three hundred paintings by seventy outstanding artists. Here is speculative art of the highest order. What all the art has in common, besides the themes and subject matter, is a passion for exploration. The artists transport us to frontiers where nothing can be taken for granted. They offer us a challenge and invitation; a challenge to dispense with stale habits of thought, and an invitation to discover the joys of seeing the world and ourselves from a fresh perspective. Let your imagination wander with abandon. Scrutinize the stories the art suggests. Create your own stories.

Science Fiction assumes a certain mission in training the imagination. Its strength comes from its attitude towards the future. It is not afraid of technology. It is not afraid of contemplating alternative views of reality. If a single lesson can be learned from this wealth of imagery, it is that nothing conceived by the imagination is utterly alien.

Ray Bradbury points out that the first science fiction writers were cavemen who were trying to figure out the first sciences. Bradbury wrote, ”

…Pondering those problems and possible sciences, the first cavemen drew science fiction dreams on cave walls. Scribbles in soot turned science fiction (problem solving) into science fact (problem solved). Some few brave ones ran out of caves to be stomped by the mammoth, toothed by the tiger, scorched by the bestial fire that lived on trees and devoured wood. Some few finally returned to draw on the walls the triumph of the mammoth knocked like a hairy cathedral to Earth, the tiger toothless, and the fire tamed and brought within the cave to light their nightmares and warm their souls.”