On Now!

MAY 18 - JULY 28, 2019

TD Gallery, Main Level, Toronto Reference Library

Image credit: Modified cover illustration from Amazing Stories
July 1932, volume 7, number 4
Illustrated by Leo Morey
New York: Teck Publishing Corporation

About the Exhibit


Science fiction tries to predict the effects of change on future societies and asks the question “What if?” The answers that science fiction writers and illustrators come up with are often creative, inspiring, sometimes alarming, and range from the plausible to the far-fetched.

Retro Futures invites you on a nostalgic journey to futures-that-might-have-been. Using the 50th anniversary of NASA's first manned lunar landing in 1969 as its inspiration, Retro Futures features rare books, magazines, artwork and ephemera from the Toronto Public Library's Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy.

Amazing Stories
August 1928, volume 3, number 5
Published by Hugo Gernsback, 1884-1967
Illustrated by Frank R. Paul, 1884-1963
New York: Experimenter Publications

Amazing stories
October 1941, volume 15, number 10
Published by William B. Ziff, 1898-1953
Back cover art by Frank R. Paul, 1884-1963
Chicago : Ziff-Davis Publishing Company

Related Programming

The First Men in the Moon: Film and discussion

Science fiction writer and cultural commentator, Hugh A. D. Spencer invites you to this incredible 1964 film adaptation of H. G. Wells' classic novel. A three-in-one film that is part NASA pseudodocumentary, part Victorian comedy of manners, part Dynamation spectacular.

Monday, May 27, 6:30 - 8 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

Strategy and Vision: Science Fiction's New Place in the Boardrooms of America

How do we prepare for the future? Science fiction writer and foresight consultant Karl Schroeder discusses the changing roles and qualifications of futurist advisors in both business and governmental agencies.

Monday, June 17, 6:30 - 8 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

The History of the Future

Presented by science fiction writer and foresight consultant Madeline Ashby whose most recent novel, Company Town, was a finalist for the Canada Reads award.

Monday, July 15, 6:30 - 8 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

Retro Futures Book List

Continue your journey with books selected by our science fiction librarians.

Guided Tours

Please join a Special Collections staff docent on a free guided tour. Meet inside the TD Gallery. Drop in. No registration required.

Tuesdays at 2 pm

Amazing Stories
May 1944, volume 18, number 3
Illustrated by Malcolm Smith
Chicago : Ziff-Davis Publishing Company

Science wonder quarterly
Fall 1929, volume 1, number 1
Published by Hugo Gernsback, 1884-1967
Illustrated by Frank R. Paul, 1884-1963
Mt. Morris, Ill. : Stellar Publishing Corporation


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