Finalists: Vintage Ads of Fictional Futures

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a weasel — I couldn’t pick three out of the thirty excellent submissions on the gallery. I had trouble getting it down to ten, and there are still some that I wish I could include. Here is the short list of finalists, and a web thingy you can vote with — remember, you can pick your favourite three! (You can click on the thumbnails for a larger view.)

(And if any of the artists would like to explain why their submission is superior, please feel free to do so in the comments.)


Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster


Blish universe


the spice must flow


Fahrenheit 451


Amana Palanquin is Best




Do bosses dream of electric secretaries?


Soma was served

Nexus 6



Holodeck with Hitler

There are prizes!

What, pray tell is the prize? Well, if you win, you can choose from:

  • a prominent walk-on role in my next novel
  • a copy of THE AMADEUS NET
  • a “mystery” item from within the bowels of my desk.

The second-place winner will choose from the remaining prizes, and the bronze winner gets whatever is left.

Voting ends at 8 am, April 28th!

The full gallery of entries is here. Everyone from is invited to vote early and often.

, , ,

22 Responses to Finalists: Vintage Ads of Fictional Futures

  1. bagel April 22, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    Yay for us!

    I’m sad that my 2 faves (Talkie Toaster and Ringworld Vacation) didn’t make the cut. I thought those folks would be shoe-ins.

  2. Mark A. Rayner April 22, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Like I said, it was tough …

  3. bagel April 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Remember, kids: A vote for Soma is a vote for me not punching you in the neck.

  4. Tom Marcinko April 22, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    If you vote for the spindizzy girl, she will come to your house and visit you … **but ZOMG she’s all made of teh paper and ink and cardboard eeek-eeek-eeeekkk!!!!!***

  5. Kit MacAllister April 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    How can you argue with the company that invented Daryl Hannah?

  6. Mark A. Rayner April 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    I must admit a certain weakness for the pinup nature of some of these old ads. Did anyone happen to catch Feng’s take on the pinup ad here:

  7. Paul Baack April 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    Free 30 day supply of Melange to all who vote for the CHOAM Corp. “Spice” entry.

    Everybody here did such a great job, I’m knocked out to be in such terrific company!

  8. Martin McG April 22, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    What could be more fun that a trip on a Carousel? And no pesky pensioners smelling of pee!

    Vote early (well, before you’re 30), vote often!

  9. Kit MacAllister April 22, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    Basically all of fengtastic is brilliant. I was rooting for the Stepford Clingwrap too.

  10. Alex L April 23, 2008 at 3:06 am #

    I have a rabbit, I will hurt it if you dont vote for me… dam my hollow threats I could never hurt the bunny.

  11. Gary Piserchio April 23, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    This is tough just picking three!!

  12. Chris C. April 23, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    Just wanted to stop by and say congrats for this contest being featured on Neatorama! Think I should create a pic and enter….

  13. Mark April 25, 2008 at 6:12 am #

    Now, I’m not bitter.

    Hmmm. Didn’t really have much of a chance there, did I? Of all the finalists, mine’s the only one chosen that wasn’t from a classic novel or among popular culture. Might have stood a chance had either of my other entries been chosen instead but I guess it wasn’t to be. Not that I’m bitter, of course.

    Yours, not bitterly.

  14. Mark A. Rayner April 25, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    Hmm, sorry about that Mark. I thought it was clever, so that’s why I included it above the Ringworld one. Like I said, not an easy choice all the way around. I’m also surprised that “carousel” isn’t doing better, but then again, what the hell do I know.

  15. Christine Gio April 27, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    Some background on the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and why it is so flippin awesome:
    “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”

    In an interview, Douglas Adams stated that there are a number of environmental and weapons treaties and laws of physics which prevent the The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster from being mixed on Earth. Sounds dangerous.. just like the man pictured in the ad accessorized by a sandwich, dog, and rifle.

  16. Kit MacAllister April 27, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    A drink like that for 5¢ is pretty amazing.

  17. Feng May 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm #


    I am SO late to this party.

    Mark: thanks for hosting the contest and linking to another piece of my so-called work.

    Kit: thanks so much for compliment. It is quite rare to find anyone who understands, much less appreciates, my sense of humor … and congratulations again.

    Christine: regarding the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, I will NEVER forget the line “it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost.” I will greatly miss whatever work Douglas Adams might have done had he not died so young. His last years of residence were here in my little town and I never did manage to wrangle an introduction. I wish I’d tried harder.

  18. Elisson August 4, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    This comment is way, way after the fact…but after revisiting this post, I am amazed at the creativity and SF knowledge out there. The references to Dune, to Phil Dick, and to Blish’s Cities in Flight novels were delightful. What a brilliant idea for a Photoshop contest!

  19. Mark A. Rayner August 4, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    Thanks Elisson — I was happy to see the outpouring of SF love too. Even David Brin noticed it!


  1. mark a. rayner --> scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: » Blog Archive » Vintage Ads of Fictional Futures, Mark II - September 12, 2010

    […] are the finalists from last time to help you get the […]

  2. mark a. rayner --> scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: » Blog Archive » Vintage ads of fictional futures: the winners - September 12, 2010

    […] finalists here, and the original contest notice here. We’ll do it again sometime, for […]

  3. Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily » Blog Archive » “Vintage” Future Ads Contest - September 14, 2010

    […] Mark A. Rayner is running a repeat of his Vintage Ads of Fictional Futures contest, with a deadline of October 4. Here’s the concept: find a vintage ad, and then create a product […]