From Rocket Monorails To Yugos

When it comes to wild-ass ’50s dreams about mankind’s imminent future in space, it’s tough to beat Freeman Dyson’s nuke-powered Project Orion, but this concept drawing of a rocket monorail is not half bad either. A rocket monorail!

Unfortunately, while the only thing that stood between Dyson’s magnificent spaceships and the stars was a lack of federal funding, this Yugoslav rocket monorail was but the cover of a sci-fi magazine, Moji Romani (“My Novels”), although it does say argonauti vasione (“argonauts of the universe”) on the cover, along with an alluring hint at a fantasy short story by the Soviet writer Vladimir Vlatka.

Perhaps what the unknown cover artist had in mind was the Pixies song “Space (I Believe In)” from 33 years in the future, which begins with this line: “We needed something to move and fill up the space”. Prime somethings indeed, rocket monorails.

Magazine scan from Once Upon a Time in Yugoslavia.